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.
The importance of fencing around your property cannot be underestimated. Fences provide security, privacy, and even for beautification purposes among others.
But do you know that there are different types of fences and each comes with its own cost and specifications? Well, in case you wish to install a new fence or replace an old one, here are some options:
1. Wood Fence
The Wood fence is one of the most popular type of fence, especially in America. Aside from providing privacy and security to homeowners, it is one of the most attractive types of fence. The wood fence has become a favorite among homeowners because it is economical. You wouldn’t have to break the bank to install one. That said, the specs would determine the price. For example, if you need it thicker and higher, be prepared to pay more. The size of your area also comes to play when determining the cost of installation. This type of fence also comes with several other advantages including longevity and durability when done with quality logs.
2. Aluminum Fence
The Aluminum fence comes with elegance, attractiveness, and durability, due to its easy molding. This makes it one of the preferred choices of many homeowners. Due to its easy molding, it can be styled according to your taste. However, this also comes at a disadvantage as it can easily wobble and lose its form if hit by a heavy item. Aluminum fence is somewhat maintenance free if you paint it. It is also nature-friendly and recyclable. However, it is not very strong to provide the best of security.
3. Wrought Iron Fence
The Wrought iron fence is very stylish and durable. Unlike the aluminum fence, the wrought fence is strong enough to withstand any massive hit. It is also easily repaired. The Wrought iron fence comes with several designs to choose from. In fact, you can request a custom-made design. Maintaining a wrought iron fence is not as tedious as you may think. Whenever you detect any rusting, apply rust remover, steel wool or paint the area. You can periodically apply liquid wax or clear linseed oil, which would also help prevent rusting. When it comes to cost, the wrought iron fence can be expensive depending on the style and specs you choose.
4. PVC Fence
The PVC fence is arguably the cheapest type of fencing on the market today. This type of fence is best for places that don’t require high security. It comprises of both wood and PVC, which serves different purposes. The wood is used for framing the structure or as poles, while the PVC serves as stakes. Since PVC is cheaper than wood, the cost of installation is reduced by almost half.
5. Vinyl Fence
According to some experts and manufactures, The Vinyl fence is much stronger and durable than a wood fence. With the high cost of installation, you may break the bank to install it. The cost however is worth it, due to its durability, longevity, and low maintenance once installed. With its paint and stain resistance, you can easily clean unwanted stains with just soap and water.
6. Chain Link Fence
Before I delve into it properly, do not install a chain link fence if privacy is what you require. Yes, the chain link fence can serve its purpose of providing security and turning off intruders but has no privacy measures. Schools and homeowners with less to spend mostly use this kind of fencing. It is cost effective, easy to install and relatively requires low maintenance. To ensure some form of privacy after installing a chain link fence, a homeowner may choose to grow flowers in or outside the fence or install a privacy slate.
7. Farm Fence
As the name implies, the farm fence is for farm owners. A farm fence can be built with wood, bamboo, and barbed wire, among other options. The cost of fencing highly depends on the amount of land the farmer owns. It can be a costly venture, considering the vast land some farmers own.
Each type of fence comes with its pros and cons, ranging from durability, cost, and the purpose it serves. As privacy and security are the main reasons a homeowner would install a fence, these should be the priority when choosing what to install. Choose according to your needs.
Moving from an old home to a new place can be exciting yet tedious. The move becomes exciting when well-planned and executed but the opposite when done impromptu. Moving entails a lot more than you could ever imagine. Packing and hiring a truck can take a toll on you, however, your approach and preparedness towards it can reduce the burden.
Here are some tips to make your move more comfortable and exciting.
1. Schedule your move
When do you want to move? Plan the time you want to move and prepare accordingly to avoid unnecessary delay and procrastination.
2. Place items you will need first in clear plastic containers
At your destination, you will immediately need items like scissors, cutters, some eating bowls, and phone charger, etc. so pack these items in clear plastic for easy identification.
3. Acquiring packing boxes
One of the first steps to ensuring an easy move is acquiring packing boxes for your smaller belongings. You can acquire boxes from warehouses, retail outlets, and grocery stores, etc.
4. Labeling your boxes
Labeling your boxes according to their contents is essential for easy identification. So for instance, you can categories the boxes into clothing, jewelry, appliances, kitchen sets, and other accessories. This will reduce future stress when searching for a particular item.
5. Make an emergency luggage
We always wish for the best, but also prepare for the worse. You planned to get to your new destination at a set time, but long traffic and other emergencies beyond your control can prolong that scheduled time. Therefore, having an emergency luggage becomes essential. The emergency luggage can contain your bath set, toiletries, clothes for the evening and next day and other necessities.
6. Sort your items
Don’t just mix up things because you are in a haste. Carefully sort your belongings according to their categories. Sort kitchen items into breakables and unbreakable. That means glasses and plates should be in a separate box and well cushioned to prevent breaking. Pack all the breakable dishes vertically to keep them more secure. Other cooking utensils and unbreakable can be in a separate box.
Also, separate your office dresses from your casual and daily wears for easy access in case you need them. In addition, don’t mix up the belongings of different people. Each member of the family should pack t
heir properties separately. For instance, mommy and daddy’s belongings shouldn’t be in the same place.
As mentioned above, jewelry and other dressing accessories must be in a separate box. Before packing, you can wrap your necklaces, earrings, and bracelets in toilet rolls.
7. Keep drawer items in them
Unless you want to discard a drawer, don’t remove the things in them. Instead, lock or wrap them with plastic wrap. Items in your drawers will be just fine when properly wrapped.
8. Keep liquids separate
Avoid staining your belongings with liquids like cooking oil, and soaps among others. Pack all liquids in one box and cover their openings with tapes. Also, note that strongly scented liquids should be packed separately.
9. Discard unused items
As you move to a new place, you may have some stuff that are of no use anymore. They can be old furniture, electronic appliance, or clothes. Don’t bear the burden of transporting those items to your new place. Donate or discard them
10. Ask for help from friends
The best farewell your friends can give you is helping you pack your belongings into your hired truck. This gesture will save you from hiring movers, which comes at a cost. This can also be the time to share memories and receive special and passionate farewells from all loved ones.
Take a photograph
You can’t leave your old home without taking a picture of it. If not for nothing, it will serve as a memory. Don’t forget also to take photographs with your friends and neighbors. Good memories are shared in pictures.
A well-planned move should not bring you undue stress and anxiety. It should instead be one of your fondest memories. Before you even think of moving, prepare and get all your needed materials intact to make the procedure a smooth one.
As we journey through our Aviation history and monuments, our next stop is none other than The Cradle of Aviation.
Undoubtedly, The Cradle of Aviation Museum, in Long Island is another big thing when it comes to the preservation of aviation monuments.
Located in Garden City, east of New York City’s Long Island, The Cradle of Aviation Air and Space Museum maintains a wide range of aircrafts, artifacts, and aviation feats. This makes the site a must-see for aviation enthusiasts and persons seeking knowledge about American aviation history.
The architecture of the museum, a vast glass-enclosed building, is itself an attraction to visitors. The 150,000 square foot structure resembling a spacecraft, maintains exhibits including hot air balloon and Apollo lunar module.
You may be wondering how the museum earned the name “Cradle of Aviation.” Well, you can get the answer to your question when you visit the museum. But let me gist you with a little info.
Long Island earned the nickname, Cradle of Aviation in the 1920s. The name stems from the natural flying environment of Long Island. The area is flat and virtually treeless making it suitable for aviation activities. About 20 aircraft manufacturers operated in Long Islands between 1918 to 1938. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew from Long Island to Paris.
The famous Cradle of Aviation Museum started as a dream of George C. Dade, Henry Anholzer of Pan American Airlines and other volunteers.
To achieve the dream of creating an aviation museum, they started acquiring and restoring aircrafts. The first acquisition was a World War I Curtiss JN-4D, discovered by Dade in an Iowa pig barn in 1973. Subsequent acquisitions include a Grumman Lunar Module spacecraft, Republic Seabee, Republic P-47N Thunderbolt, and Grumman F-11A Tiger.
The aircrafts occupied hangars 3 & 4 of the Mitchel Air Force Base. Nassau Country purchased these hangers when Mitchel Air Force Base closed in 1961.
In 1980, the Museum ultimately opened with few aircraft and Dade as its first director.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum closed in the 1990s to undergo a massive expansion and face lift program.
The hangers, which had received no form of renovation before the museum’s opening were refurbished. The museum re-opened in 2002, in a massive and state-of-the-art facility.
What makes the Cradle of Aviation Museum more interesting is the variety of offers visitors are treated to. Visitors can have access to the cockpits of exhibiting aircraft and watch short films.
Aside from aircraft viewing, you can watch virtual reality shows on space travel, the solar system, and the night sky. With volunteer docents ever ready to serve their guest, you can ask any question about items on display. You can also learn more about aviation by signing up for a space lab live astronomy in the dome theater.
Nassau County Firefighter’s Museum and Education CenterThe Cradle of Aviation Museum also hosts the almost 10,000 square foot Nassau County Firefighter’s Museum and Education Center. There, visitors can acquire historical information on fire fighting. On display are antique and contemporary fire apparatus spanning the history of firefighting in Nassau County.
The facility house the JET BLUE DOME theatre that features IMAX 70 millimeter format films. It also hosts a state-of-the-art digital planetarium and The Red Planet Cafe, which is decorated to resemble a space station on Mars.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum opens from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 am – 5 pm.
The Reckson Visitor Center Atrium serves as the main entrance to the museum.
Visitors have access to the facility on a guided tour.
Planetarium & Dome Theater Shows
Museum and Show Combo
Combo includes the museum and a single Planetarium or Dome Theater show.
*Children ages 2-12, Senior Citizens 62+, Military Personnel, Volunteer Firemen & Non-Ambulatory Visitors
Junior Jet Club $2.50
Nunley’s Carousel $2
Every property owner expects maximum profit with the least amount of expenses. However, with today’s market characterized by unpredictability and complexity, the property selling process is becoming more tedious, due to emerging issues such as legal agreements, environmental concerns, and seller disclosure statements. Thus, to succeed in the dynamic real estate business, property owners must adapt to new market demands, which involves strictly following requisite approach to yield maximum returns on investment. These prudent home selling procedures entail:
- Finding the Right Real Estate Agent
It is advisable to involve property experts during the home selling process. These professionals possess both technical and financial knowledge of the market. They will provide you with sound
guidance about setting the right sale price, advice on renovations, inspection procedures, and negotiating with prospective homeowners. Besides, these dealers have a ready customer pool that
cuts down on expenses, such as advertising for the property. Here are some of the things you can do to make sure you get the ideal realtor for you:
Seek referrals – The best real estate agents usually stay in the business as a result of previous
satisfied clients. Thus, you need to seek recommendations from the people around you to make
sure that you are hiring the right real estate agent for you.
Check licensing – Real estate agents are required to be licensed in order to operate; thus, it’s
paramount that you make sure that the prospective agent is licensed. You should make sure that
he or she doesn’t have any disciplinary actions or complaints.
Check out current listings – Look up the agent’s listing online, either on their website, or from
other accredited real estate websites. Among the factors to consider, include:
✓ Look at how closely the agent’s listings mirror the property you want to buy or sell.
✓ Are they in the same area?
✓ Is the price range similar?
✓ Does the agent have enough listings to indicate a healthy business, but not so many that you’d just be a number?
- Staging Your Home for Buyers
Often the buyers seek the best arrangement in the market. Such deals mean that the property’s general physical condition must match, or slightly exceed, the standards in the neighborhood. The house’s conditions should be mint, with its renovation reflecting the community preferences. Different cosmetic enhancements, such as landscaping, wallpaper, and paint, must be factored in to depict to prospective buyers that they are making sound financial investments. Mechanical repairs must also be done to ensure that common property systems, such as drainage, and electrical installations are working at peak condition.
- Setting the Right Asking Price
The property must reflect the dynamics of market demand, meaning that the house should not be overpriced or under priced. Overpricing the property tends to dissuade willing buyers while at the same time, under pricing, also deters buyers because there is an element of suspicion tied to why the house is so cheap compared to prevailing market rates. The property value must consider a range of factors, including the average price of a similar home in the same neighborhood, aesthetics, proximity to social amenities, and attraction of the area.
- Accepting an Offer
To determine the best offer, the property owner must evaluate the offered price against the current property value, and if the suggested amount includes surcharges such as land rates, legal fees, property valuation, and transfer of ownership. It is also prudent for the homeowner to consider whether the house is paid for in cash or installments. Buying through a purchase plan is risky because a buyer can default, while an aspect such as inflation affects, the final amount.
- What happens after you accept an Offer?
Immediately after accepting an offer, the property owner is mandated to prepare legal documentation outlining terms and conditions for disposing of the house. During this particular phase, forms are prepared and legal agreements signed in the presence of a property attorney. Each party in the transaction maintains a copy of the agreement, and the same document must also be deposited at the lawyer’s office.
- What to Expect on the Closing Day
On the final day of the home transaction, the cash is deposited into the bank account, and the property is transferred to the new homeowner. During this particular day, all the negotiations are concluded, legal agreements finalized, and the house is handed over to the new owner. Selling a home is a delicate process, and property owners must follow the proper channels to make the best out of a transaction. Legal and environmental regulations must be strictly adhered to, in order to prevent future disputes from occurring. The seller must be honest with the prospective home buyer on any discrepancy related to the property. However, if the seller is not a seasoned property dealer, the best thing to do is procure the services of a professional realtor, who can advise on the intricacies involved in disposing of property.