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Fire Pit: a nice touch for your backyard

Fire Pit: a nice touch for your backyard

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:

  • Decorative Iron Fire Pit

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.

  • Campfire Fire Pit

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.

Haunted Houses on Long Island

Haunted Houses on Long Island

Long Island is often associated with plenty of scary folk tales, unusual myths and ancient folklore. Moreover, the city has a rich heritage and history as it was first populated by Native American Indians. It was in the 1600s that European immigrants started inhabiting the land.

As a result, the city has plenty of ancient sites and Native American burial grounds along with landmarks important to the Revolutionary War. Moreover, Long Island also has a slew of glamorous mansions and huge estates for added measure.

You already know how this sounds like – a good way to see some haunted mansions! If you are interested in having the fright of your life, mentioned below are some of the most haunted houses in Long Island.

The Amityville House 

When it comes to haunted houses, there is no way we couldn’t mention this popular haunted house in the city. Located in Amityville, many people know about story of the family that was straight up murdered in this house! It all started in 1974, when Ronal DeFeo slaughtered his family in the house.  A lot of people believed that the vile spirits haunting the house drove Ronald completely mad, and led him to murdering his entire family.

In 1975, the house was bought by George and Kathy Lutz. Just a year after the murders occurred, the couple spawned a series of ghastly tales about bizarre, paranormal activities that they “claimed” to experience. Their stories led to several movie productions soon after. However, their stores were later revealed to be nothing but a hoax. But there are still many people who believe ghosts haunt the Amityville house.

Winfield Hall

This former manor has seen plenty of death. However, as per local legends, there are some pretty colorful tales about the owner of the mansion, Frank Winfield Woolworth. But there are also some stories about bizarre occult activity as well. You see, just two years after Winfield had the former mansion built, which was in 1917, he passed away. Sadly, just a couple of years after Frank Winfield’s death, his daughter Edna, committed suicide.

Fast forward to the sixties and seventies, the Winfield mansion served as a home to Air Career School, where students were reported saying that Edna’s room was always kept locked and no one dared to go inside. Moreover, the students also stated that they could hear sounds of moving furniture coming from the room. But there was nobody in the room!

Morgan Hall

Located in Glen Cove, Morgan Hall was built by the famous millionaire J.P. Morgan back in 1910. However, today, Morgan Hall is said to be one of the most haunted and creepiest places in Long Island! People claim that the mansion is haunted by the ghost of the financial tycoon’s daughter, Alice who passed away in the house due to the yellow fever.

Before being transformed into a Catholic school back in the sixties, the former mansion also served as a Russian Embassy. After the school was built, people have claimed seeing the ghost of Alice roaming around the attic as well as the school’s numerous halls and corridors. According to eyewitness accounts, Alice is always dressed in a black gown. Dare to meet her?

Fire Island Lighthouse

Located on Fire Island, the Fire Island Lighthouse stands at 74-feet and was built in 1826. However, thirty-two years later, the original lighthouse was torn down and replaced by the current one. And this lighthouse is rumored to be one of the most haunted places in Long Island.

According to folklore, the lighthouse is haunted by the ghost of a curator, who committed suicide. He died inside the lighthouse. The curator committed suicide, grief stricken by the death of his daughter, who passed away during the construction of the lighthouse. People have been reported as saying they could hear the sound of eerie laughter coming out from the lighthouse. Many others have reported seeing a vague, shadowy figure of a man carrying rope.

So there you go, a list of some of the most haunted places in Long Island, perfect for a Halloween trip with your friends. Or basically any other night as well!

Simple & Delicious Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Simple & Delicious Pumpkin Cake Recipe

An amazing indoors way to celebrate the beautiful fall weather is to stop going for apple picking and just making a delicious, mouthwatering pumpkin pie. It’s just so much better than hayrides and roasting some s’mores. Moreover, you could not have a tastier treat for after dinner, enjoying some Sunday night football than this out-of-the-world recipe. And it’s simple, without any special ingredients, hassle-free, and it’s just perfect! This recipe is great for true pumpkin pie fans who want the very essence of the pumpkin flavor, the spice and a bit of tanginess without anything else getting in the way!

But Why is This Pumpkin Pie Recipe Great?

There are a couple of reasons why this pumpkin pie cake recipe will become an instant favorite and fall staple at your household. First of all, the pie will be packed with a concoction of wonderful flavors along with two big cups of pumpkin puree. In addition, you are going add all the best fall ingredients in your kitchen, such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger.

The cake will turn out super moist, like sticking to your fork! To make it even more delicious you are going to add a mouth watering, smooth and silky cream cheese frosting. Lastly, because the cake is single layer, you can easily pack it take to parties, game nights, tailgates etc.

The Pumpkin Cake Recipe

The recipe is quite straightforward and you can’t go wrong with it. If you have ever baked a spice cake before, the preparation is similar to that in terms of texture and taste. Plus you are not going to need more than two bowls! However, even if you haven’t baked in a while, this recipe is still easy than a ton of others!

Let’s go over the ingredients and then the method.

As mentioned, the ingredients are simple and easy, it’s a homemade cake after all.

 

Here is what you are going to need:

 

  • Flour – (Go with all-purpose flour) because the cake already as a thick and wet batter.

 

  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – Common household ingredients that help the batter rise

 

  • Cinnamon and Spice for the Pumpkin Pie – These are necessary ingredients to make the cake. You can prepare the spice at home by adding half a teaspoon of ground cloves, ground ginger, ground allspice and ground nutmeg. Don’t forget to add half a teaspoon of cinnamon.

 

  • Vanilla and Salt for Added Flavor – You can add salt as per taste and buy the vanilla extract from any local grocery store.

 

  • Cooking Oil – Layer the base of the baking pan with an even spread of cooking oil to make the base of the cake smooth and moist.

 

  • Eggs – Add 2-3 eggs for the structure of the cake.

 

  • Pumpkin – Along with 2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree, you will need to add 1 regular can of pumpkin. Use the entire content of the can to avoid waste.

 

  • Sugar – You can mix some brown and white sugar for taste

Instructions: 

  1. Take two bowls
  2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl
  3. Mix the wet ingredients in the other
  4. Mix both the dry and wet ingredients together
  5. Take a 9 x 13 baking or cake pan and pour the mix in, spreading evenly
  6. Bake it
  7. Let it cool down for five minutes and then make the cream cheese frosting
  8. Put the cake in your fridge for 30 minutes
  9. And voila, it’s ready for eating

 

There you go – everything you need to have and know about how to bake a wonderfully delightful pumpkin pie cake.

Downsizing Advice For Older Adults Who Need Something Smaller

Downsizing Advice For Older Adults Who Need Something Smaller

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.

Get organized

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

 

 

Yes, There is A Way Around Mortgage Insurance

Yes, There is A Way Around Mortgage Insurance

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.

Different Types of Fences

Different Types of Fences

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.

Conclusion
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.

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