When you take a look at how beautiful and good looking your house is, on most occasions, you’ve got to be worried about your backyard—especially if you do not have anything to make it look attractive and alluring. Ordinarily, fire pits easily make the environment look unique as it gives it a very good touch of serenity. Aside this, it also serves a wide array of practical purposes. If you want to host a summer outdoor cookout or just a simple drink-out with friends, a fire pit can be a center of attraction at your backyard which can offer you this convenience.
Obviously, there are quite a couple of benefits to be derived from having a fire pit in your backyard. Apart from the decorative features it possess, it can also serve other purposes. For instance, when you have an outdoor fire pit, you would be availed the opportunity to spend quality time with your family and friends—no doubt, this would definitely improve your relationship and bond with the people you love and care for.
Here in this article, we have made a list of the top inventive and original fire pit ideas that you should consider having in your yard which are as given below:
If we are to talk about good ideas on fire pits, then it’s quite imperative that we discuss more about aesthetics than functionality. The decorative iron fire pit brings an ambiance and an alluring look to your backyard. It is set in an area where there are stones or gravels around which sitting benches and chairs are also placed.
- Circular Fire Pit with a Wood Bench
The Circular Fire Pit is one of the most famous fire setups. The wood bench that is available around the pit gives you, family and friends the opportunity to sit under a rather comfortable and warm atmosphere. One of the main advantage that comes with this pit is that all its components are readily made available.
Without any iota of doubt, the campfire fire pit is another simple setting whose inspiration is usually gotten from outdoor campfires. It is constructed by placing a bundle of wood and a circle of rocks around the pit. It is a prospect that is special—especially if you want to reproduce a certain camping vibe within the comfort of your own home.
- Base-Level Outdoor Fire Pits
When the Base-level fire pit is built with care, it is usually found to look alluring and stunning. This is because it readily blends with the landscape of the surroundings without withdrawing from other details of the backyard. It is usually built by digging a deep base into the ground, and due to this, it is highly essential for you to check the texture and quality of the soil in your backyard before you commence.
Conclusively, even though having a fire pit would give some redefining touch and outlook to your backyard, nonetheless an outdoor fire pit require certain precautions. The availability of pets or children in your home makes it imperative for you to take safety measures at all times. Given that cases of serious injuries are being recorded every year, you cannot be so sure through negligence and non-nonchalance when it comes to securing the environment around your fire pit.
Downsizing is a great option for seniors who are looking to make a move, but it can bring a lot of questions even as you’re trying to answer a few. Knowing the right time to downsize is important. You may be thinking about how to make your post-retirement years as safe and comfortable as possible, but it’s important to ensure that your finances are in check and that you’re able to find a home that meets your needs while staying within your budget. This can be tricky depending on the area where you’re looking, so it pays off to do some research before you make any decisions.
Preparing for a downsize can be a lot of work, because it includes not only the packing and moving, but it also means going through all your belongings to figure out what you’ll bring to the new home. Keep in mind that the more items you can discard, the more room you’ll have, which helps eliminate fall hazards, one of the most common causes of injury in seniors.
If downsizing is on the horizon for you, here are a few tips on how to get started.
Check out the area first
If you’re thinking of buying a home in a particular area or neighborhood, it helps to check it out first. You might rent a vacation home there for a week to get a feel for the weather, the people, and the community. This is also a great way to test the waters and see what you’d like to have in a home, from the size to the location. You should also scope out the housing market in the area you decide to live in, to see if you can actually afford to live there. In Bay Shore, average home prices have been an average of $356,000 over the past month.
Don’t overlook the details
It’s important to know what to look for in a new home when you’re downsizing. You may find a great home that’s just the right size, but if the details are wrong, it might not be the best fit for you in the long run. Take a look at all parts of the home. A one-story two-bedroom might just be perfect, but if there’s a large yard to take care of, you may end up regretting it down the road. Does your chosen house sit in a neighborhood with an HOA that will cost potentially hundreds of dollars per year? Are there grab bars in the bathroom? If not, you can always purchase them later, since they’re easy to install. (You can find grab bars on Amazon for $23.37 each.) Make sure you know the ins and outs of the home and the area before making a commitment.
Staying organized while you pack and declutter is essential because it helps keep your belongings separated from the items you plan to get rid of, and because it enables you to reduce stress while you’re preparing for such a major life change. Make packing lists as you go, and clean at the same time so you’ll have less to do on moving day. Try not to make a “maybe” pile when going through your belongings, as it’s best to be definitive. Donate, trash, or sell the things you know you don’t want to take, and measure the rooms in the new house to make sure your furniture will fit.
Get some help
These days, many cities have companies that specialize in helping seniors downsize, so look to see if there’s something like that available for you. These professionals can help you declutter, pack, transport, and unpack your belongings. You can also ask friends and loved ones to help you get everything organized and ready for moving day, and have someone help you clean the old house when all is said and done.
Downsizing is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s crucial to ensure that you take your time and research your options. Finding the right home for your post-retirement years takes a lot of careful thought, but it’s well worth it if it keeps you safe and healthy.
Written By: Mike Longsdon
If you have just bought a home or are in the process of buying one, you may have a good idea what mortgage insurance is. It is quite possible you’re paying it right now. To make things affordable for homebuyers, one of the prerequisites of opting for a mortgage via any lending organization is getting mortgage insurance on specific varieties of loans.
The fundamental advantage of mortgage insurance is securing the lender and shielding it from a financial risk or uncertainty on behalf of the homebuyer. But it also makes accessibility for the homebuyer easy even if they do not have a truckload of money to pay for it up front. Sure, there is no doubt that acquiring a mortgage with mortgage insurance can help you get your dream house quickly ,however, you have to understand the flipside of it – which is the fact that mortgage insurance payments will stack up higher and higher in the long run.
If you’re getting that butterflies in the stomach feeling, there is no need to worry at all. We have compiled a handful of effective and simple ways to lessen the burden of paying for mortgage insurance. Check it out…
Wrap Your Head Around LTV
Eliminating mortgage insurance heavily relies on what type of loan you have acquired – as well as that loan’s LTV and mortgage insurance specifications and requirements. LTV is short for (Loan-to-Value) ratio, and it basically calculates the amount of equity you have stacked in your home.
You can easily calculate this by dividing the amount of your current loan (the balance that remains) by the original value of your real estate, then multiply the total amount by 100. Remember, the higher the number of payments you make, the lower the loan-to-value ratio. If your LTV is 80% or higher, you don’t have to pay mortgage insurance. This means that if you make a down payment of at least 20% of the home value, you can avoid mortgage insurance.
Paying Mortgage Insurance? Here is How You Can Stop!
For FHA Loans
If you have acquired an FHA loan, you have to understand that you don’t have an option to cancel making FHA loan mortgage insurance. So what do you do? The best way out of this is to transfer your loan into a conventional loan via refinancing. The fastest way to do that is if you have a low loan-to-value ratio or if you have drastically enhanced your credit score.
For Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance
If you have acquired a lender-paid mortgage insurance, the first thing you have to understand is that no lender is going to be paying for your insurance contrary to what they have advertised. What happens is the lender pays for your mortgage and then asks you to make repayments to cover that cost with a slightly raised interest rate.
Sure, this might have sounded awesome to you when you first acquired the loan. However, you may want to reconsider your refinancing options, especially if you’re eligible for a brand new loan without the need to pay any mortgage insurance, interest, or either.
When the Value of Property Increases
If your vicinity’s market has gone up, and you have already spent quite a bit of money making improvements to your house, your house’ true value (and equity) probably has gone up too since the date of purchase. And this may very well mean that your loan balance falls below 80% of the home value. If this happens, the lender has to remove the mortgage insurance requirement.
So now you know that ditching mortgage insurance is possible. More importantly, you know how to do it. Who doesn’t like canceling a monthly payment? Feel free to discuss this with us and see what’s the best way out of mortgage insurance for you.
Ready to buy the house of your dreams?
It doesn’t matter if you have already started doing the due diligence or if you are unsure of the market. Making an offer is a pivotal point in the house buying process.
Let’s look at some things that’ll help you make a compelling offer and up your chances of getting that home your heart is set on!
Do Comprehensive Research
Nothing is more important than identifying the most vital aspects of the house, especially if you are buying the house with your partner. Do this even before you start looking for houses. In a hot market, it is a truism that you will probably not get the time needed to adequately investigate whether or not the house is near a good school district or make up your mind regarding how many bedrooms you would like to have. If you are interested in a house, sit together and jot down everything that is important to you.
Being crystal clear about your criteria is curial before stepping into the market. Keep in mind that you should also establish the factors you are willing to work around or be more flexible with. Doing so will provide you with a sense of clarity; you won’t be surprised by anything when you start making offers. And it will certainly minimize much of the stress that comes along with buying the house of your dreams.
Convince the Seller Why You Want to Buy Their House
Yes, it is absolutely vital to be personal about it. You see, selling a house can be just as stressful as buying one. And sellers would very much like to know whether or not they are giving their house to the right family.
It couldn’t hurt to write a personal letter to the sellers, explaining what their house means to you. Assure them that they are indeed passing it on in the right hands and that you will most certainly take care of it. When it comes to multiple offers, this a very good way to make yours stand out of the rest.
Look for an Experienced and Skilled Real Estate Agent
There is no question a qualified and experienced real estate agent must have a broad know-how of the housing market. And this includes the market for the types of dream houses you are looking for and what the prices are. The real estate professional representing you must be sincerely proactive.
They must understand your needs down to a personal level and must be an excellent communicator. Do not rely on the first couple of recommendations made by your friends and family. Do some vetting on your own and select one that truly reflects your perspectives.
Make Sure Your Seller Know You Can Afford the House
This is another important factor when preparing to make an offer. You have to know how much financing you can possibly get. In a fast moving market, you have to be able to convince the seller that you have the necessary financing required to make the purchase; they will not just take your word for it.
The best thing to do to save time on this is to ask your real estate agent to print an attested and verified letter of approval on part of your lender. The letter will contain information on how much financing the lender has approved.
Keep the Lender on Call
Sure, the approval letter is ample proof that you have the financing necessary to go ahead with the purchase. However, there may be a couple of sellers who would prefer hearing it from the lender.
That is why it’s vital to keep your real estate agent in the loop. Ask them to have the loan consultant talk to the seller agent, reassuring them that there will not be a financing complication.
So, there you go – these tips will help you make a compelling offer to secure your dream home. Of course, having a great real estate professional on your side is always a good idea. Go ahead and make an offer they can’t refuse and settle in in your dream home!
Is Renting Right for Me?
If you’re currently renting on Long Island and have dreams of owning your own home, it may be a good time to think about your next move. With rent costs rising annually and many helpful down payment assistance programs available, home ownership may be closer than you realize.
According to the 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 74% of renters plan on buying within the next 5 years, and 38% are planning to buy within the next 2 years.
When those same renters were asked why they disliked renting, 52% said rising rental costs were their top reason. The results of the survey can be seen here:It’s no wonder rising rental costs came in as the top answer. The median asking rent price has risen steadily over the last 30 years, as you can see below.There is a long-standing rule that a household should not spend more than 28% of its income on housing expenses. With nearly half of renters (48%) surveyed already spending more than that, and with their rents likely to rise again, it’s never a bad idea to reconsider your family’s plan and ask yourself if renting is your best angle going forward. When asked why they haven’t purchased a home yet, not having enough saved for a down payment (44%) came in as the top response. The report went on to reveal that nearly half of all respondents believe that “a 20% down payment is required to buy a home.”
The reality is, the need to produce a 20% down payment is one of the biggest misconceptions of home ownership, especially for first-time buyers. That means a large number of renters may be able to buy now, and they don’t even know it.
If you’re one of the many Long Island renters who are tired of rising rents but may be confused about what is required to buy in today’s market, let’s get together to determine your path to home ownership.