The decision to purchase a rental property is as big a step as buying a residential property. You should pay attention to some significant differences, but buying an investment property is still one of the best ways to generate passive income. However, before you make such an important decision, it's a good idea to find out more about the process, risks, and rewards. Learning the basics of the process will help you decide whether this kind of investment is right for you. These tips will enable you to learn the ropes and make informed decisions.
Choosing the right property and location
Buying an investment property can easily turn into a cash cow or a money pit, depending on what property you decide to buy. Therefore, if you want your investment to become a reliable source of income for you, there are a few things you should take into account:
●The property itself - the safest bet for a new investor is to stay in the middle. You shouldn't go for the best property available because it might cause you to stretch your finances too thin. It would be a good idea to gain some experience first. On the other hand, you should avoid fixer-uppers. The price may seem attractive, but it may cost you much more than you are ready to spend unless you are handy with house repairs and renovations.
●Location - choose an area that is stable or, even better, where the value of the real estate is on the rise. Get yourself acquainted with the market, investigate the rental trends and indicators and vacancy rates. Choose a location with low property taxes, low crime rates, and a growing job market. Take your time and be thorough. It will enable you to make sure your new property is profitable.
●Tenants - keep in mind what kind of renters you want to attract. You want reliable tenants who take care of your property and pay their rent on time. Before investing in a property, it's a good idea to drive around and check the neighborhood. Plentiful amenities such as good schools, restaurants, malls, and parks will appeal to the sort of tenants you need.
Buying an investment property by yourself or with a partner
Investing in real estate can prove challenging even for experienced investors. To achieve the goal of gaining profit from your investment, it's necessary to have sufficient financial assets. So, what is the best way to purchase a rental property? It all depends on your financial situation as well as your preferences. If you are financially stable and have enough cash to account for all expected and unexpected expenses, you may well decide to go on your own.
On the other hand, more and more people opt for co-buying, especially beginners in the real estate market. Co-buying enables you to team up with a family member, a friend, or even an agency. In that way, you can start a real estate business with less money. Of course, issues may arise when you have a partner - different incomes or disagreements on who pays for what and when is the best time to sell. Therefore, it's best to find a reliable partner, discuss all the terms with them and make sure that you have all the necessary contracts and agreements ready.
Managing finances - how to start?
In order to start a real estate business, you should be financially stable. It's best to avoid carrying any debts into new investments, especially if you don't possess the vast experience of market-savvy investors. Therefore, if you have student loans, unpaid medical bills, or kids at college, assess your finances carefully before you decide to begin.
In addition to that, you shouldn't invest all the money you have in buying an investment property. The minimal down payment for a rental property is 15-20%, which is significantly higher than residential property. Make sure to have a safety margin. Leave a sufficient amount of money aside, so you can use it for maintaining the property and all unexpected situations.
Also, before scouting for an ideal property, get approved by the bank. That way, you'll know exactly what amount of money you have at your disposal. What's more, you'll be able to jump at the perfect deal as soon as you find it, instead of missing an excellent opportunity while waiting for bank approval.
Calculate the costs and return on the investment (ROI)
Renting your own property or several units of your apartments is a useful way to practice and see whether buying an investment property is the right decision for you. In that case, you should consider removing all the things your tenants won't need. Emptying your apartment isn't as easy as it may sound. You might need some help with the transfer of items, so don’t hesitate to reach out to your local movers. Finally, it will probably be smart to find a reliable storage solution.
If you are ready for the next step, you should consider mortgages and other costs that come with buying an investment property. After you've secured down payment money, choose a property with low-interest rates. Operating expenses include homeowner's fees, property taxes, and annual maintenance costs. Be sure to have a safety net in case of any unexpected costs such as roof damage, plumbing issues, or lack of tenants.
When you assess all the expenses and calculate your safety margin, the next step is to determine your return on investment. First, calculate your property's net annual income. That is the rent money you have after paying all the fees, taxes, and repairs. When you divide your annual income by the amount of money spent on property, you've determined your ROI. If your ROI is 8% or more (10.5% is an average), you have made an excellent investment.
Final tips: are you ready to be a landlord?
The last, or maybe the first, matter to consider is whether you're cut out to be a landlord. This task will demand a lot of time and effort on your part. Being skillful around the house repairs is undoubtedly a plus. Taking care of the maintenance yourself can save you a lot of money. Before buying an investment property, think about the location, potential partners, and finances. Carefully assess all the variables, and be sure to make a decision that's best for you.
For most people, aging brings a new set of challenges. New health problems may affect your ability to live independently, financial challenges make it tougher to maintain your lifestyle and adult children moving to faraway places may make you feel less connected to your home.
Some people move every few years or even more frequently, while others remain rooted in the same location for decades. But for many people, there comes a time in old age when it becomes necessary to move.
While relocating is never easy, moving as a senior carries its own difficulties. If you or a loved one is moving into an assisted living or memory care facility due to declining health, the very reason for the move will likely make the process even more difficult. A lifetime of accumulated possessions might be squirreled away in your home. And if the move is due to financial stress, moving itself can be expensive.
There are many ways to make a move go more smoothly. Knowing when to move, making the right choices about having a family member move in with you and doing a little advanced planning for a new home and reducing the load beforehand can significantly reduce the stress involved. Read on to learn about downsizing and senior moving so you can make the best choice for your family.
Signs It’s Time to Downsize Your Home
Over the years, you may have felt like your home’s footprint just wasn’t big enough. Whether the closets were too small or the number of cabinets too few, you may have dreamed of relocating to a larger space. But as a senior, that once-too-small abode might be more space than you need or want.
At the same time, the sentiment of moving away from the home where you raised your family or planted and cared for a garden for decades pulls at your heartstrings, leaving you unsure about whether or not downsizing is the right decision.
Anytime safety or physical limitations like the inability to use stairs exists, it’s time to consider relocating. But there are a few other less obvious indicators that seniors should downsize, too.
1. There are unused rooms
Jamie Novak, a professional organizer and author of “Keep This, Toss That,” says having rooms you rarely—or never—enter unless it’s to air them out or vacuum now and then is a sure sign it’s time to downsize. Sure, having a bit of extra space to stash trinkets and holiday décor is handy. But maintaining a large house with multiple unused bedrooms goes beyond having an extra closet or cubby.
“All that unused space is room you’re paying to heat or cool, paying taxes on and have to clean and maintain,” says Novak. “And that can be a lot of resources spent for nothing.”
2. There is too much maintenance work
“It shouldn’t be difficult to keep up with the maintenance of the home,” says Novak. Granted, no one expects you to look forward to tasks like mowing the lawn or giving the fence a fresh coat of paint. But if these and similar projects are becoming physically difficult to complete, it’s probably time to discuss options that require less upkeep.
“Additionally, having to pay for help to accomplish the tasks is another indicator that it might be time for a smaller space,” says Novak.
3. You’re too far from family
Not able to take in as many of your grandkids’ soccer games or dance recitals as you want? “If you feel isolated in your home, are too far from family or assistance, or all your friends have moved away, then you might want to downsize and move closer to loved ones,” suggests Novak.
4. Your home is cluttered
If you’re constantly hunting down gadgets, gizmos and more that you’ve stashed in the basement, attic or back of a closet, Novak says you might have too much stuff. “It’s tempting to hang on to every piece of memorabilia or want to fill up all the empty corners of a large home to make it feel less open.”
But having too many odds and ends is a clear sign you’ve got too much space to fill. “And downsizing will force you to pare down and prioritize what you actually need to hang on to,” adds Novak.
5. Your home has increased in value
Your home’s value may have appreciated to the point where it’s more profitable to cash it in than hang onto it. Novak suggests consulting two to three realtors to have a market analysis performed and explore both your selling and buying power.
What to Look for In a New Home
Once you’ve made the decision to downsize, you should consider many factors in choosing a new place to live, including safety features, convenience, and whether your abilities may decrease and care needs increase over time.
But no matter what amount of space you downsize to, the feel is what’s most important, says Rob Krohn, the franchise marketing manager at Epcon Communities, a builder of 55-plus communities. He cautions against settling for a property that doesn’t feel comfortable.
“You want your new, downsized space to feel like home, even if it’s smaller than what you’ve be used to for years,” he says.
Below, we outline some of the top things you should consider when looking for a new downsized home for yourself or an elderly loved one.
Of course, you want to be near family members or reliable friends. But you also want to look for a new neighborhood that, if possible, is close to amenities and services like physicians, shopping and restaurants.
Opportunities to build your social network near your new home is another important consideration. A community that promotes a more active lifestyle is a bonus, says Krohn. When you have walking trails, a park, a pool or a community center, you’re more likely to get out and enjoy life in your area.
Krohn notes that even if they’re not a problem today, having to navigate stairs can become a burden as you age.
“Even an entryway with a few stairs should be avoided when you’re looking for a long-term home,” he says. “Look for the opportunity to choose or add a no-step entry that is level, so there is no uphill climb.”
As you walk through any home you’re considering, imagine trying to navigate the spaces in a wheelchair. Are there thresholds to cross? Wheelchairs require a minimum of 32 inches but 36 inches is recommended. Hallways should be at least 36 inches wide. If possible, there should be extra floor space so a wheelchair can turn around. It takes about 60 inches of space for someone in a wheelchair to make a 180-degree turn.
If you’re in a home with stairs at the entrance, you may need to put in a ramp. They start at about $400 for a 4-foot ramp that’s 36 inches wide; an 8-foot ramp is about $800. If your home does have stairs, a chair lift is another option, which would generally cost between $1,500 and $4,000, or a home elevator, which could cost $15,000 or more.
Think about the personal care needs of your bathroom. Even though you may have no trouble walking right now, could you get into the shower or on the toilet from a wheelchair or with the aid of a walker? “A roll-in shower and an elevated toilet — both with grab bars — provide a long-term solution,” says Krohn.
Consider the height of the countertop for today and tomorrow. “If down the line you or your spouse require a wheelchair-accessible home, vanities with a lower sink and room for the chair to fit underneath might be options to consider if building a new home or remodeling a space,” says Krohn.
Grab bars in the tub or shower and beside the toilet are inexpensive ($40 to $140) and potential lifesavers. Likewise, low-cost no-slip adhesive strips decrease the risk of slippery bathroom areas and steps.
Also consider a walk-in bathtub, with a door that opens so you don’t have to step over the side to get into the tub, or a bath lift, where a tub-level chair lowers you into the tub.
An anti-scalding device could also be useful for preventing accidents. These inexpensive devices (about $40) automatically turn off the water if it gets too hot. They can easily be installed in the bathroom sink, shower, tub, or kitchen sink. An alternative solution: Turn down the thermostat on your hot-water heater so the water never gets above 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
A hospital bed or adjustable bed could make you much more comfortable. These enable you to raise or lower the head and knee area of the bed, as well as the level of the entire bed, either electronically or through the use of hand cranks. The flexibility of these beds makes life easier and more comfortable for someone who’s ailing. They generally cost $500 and up.
A walk-in closet with no threshold is essential, but you should also be able to adjust storage space — like shelves that can be moved to a lower position, if necessary. You’ll also want light switches that you can reach from your bed.
What to Consider Before Moving an Aging Loved One into Your Home
For some seniors who need to downsize, it may not make sense for them to move to another home by themselves. If you decide to move an elderly parent or another aging relative in with you, you won’t be alone. An increasing number of older adults are moving in with their children for a myriad of reasons, including safety, finances, and comfort.
This arrangement can have many positives. If your parent or other loved one is still relatively healthy, they may be able to babysit or otherwise help around the house, contribute financially, and get to know your children in a way that would never be possible with only occasional visits.
But it’s not right for everyone. It may be cheaper than putting the person in a nursing home (which costs about $93,000 per year on average) or an assisted living facility (about $51,000 per year on average), but you could pay a heavy price in terms of time, stress, fatigue, and strained relations.
Take the time to consider the following questions when deciding whether to have a loved one live with you.
1. What kind of care will your loved one need?
The first questions you need to answer relate to your loved one’s health and needs. If they are still relatively healthy and independent, this may be the ideal time to move them in. They can become accustomed to their new surroundings and will initially require little care from you or other family members. Your kids will get to know them while they’re still healthy.
Most people don’t consider caring for an elderly parent in their own home until they have some sort of health setback or crisis. In that case, it’s very likely you’ll be coping with the person’s chronic illness. “Know the illness very well,” says Donna Schempp, the program director for the Family Caregiver Alliance in San Francisco. “And not just the illness here and now. Where’s this illness going to be six months, a year, two years, and five years from now? What are his care needs going to be now and in the future? You need that information.”
Even if an aging family member is just slowing down and there’s no specific illness such as Alzheimer’s or cancer to deal with, you still need to anticipate their future condition based on family history or personal history. Bringing someone to your home as an interim solution is also viable. It may be that they can live with you until their condition deteriorates to a point where they need assisted living or memory care.
Start with a medical consultation. Before you make any major decisions about home care, the person’s doctor should weigh in. The doctor can tell you what kind of care they will need and whether it’s practical for them to live at home.
2. Do you have enough room?
If you’re moving someone in you’ll need a bedroom, or at least a comfortable place for them to sleep or rest. If you don’t have a spare room, can you move family members or furniture around to make space? Is it feasible to build an extra room or an in-law apartment? Talk with them beforehand about what the arrangements would be.
Consider space for equipment or supplies. Do you have room for a hospital bed (which is bulkier than a regular bed), commode, oxygen tank, or other medical equipment if needed?
Think about accessibility issues. Do stairs and narrow hallways make maneuvering a wheelchair or walker difficult or impossible?
3. How much assistance and supervision can you provide?
Realize that the level of assistance your loved one needs will most likely increase over time. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do.
Know your limits. If the person needs help with bathing, dressing, or going to the bathroom, are you comfortable helping? If they’re incontinent and the idea of changing a diaper makes you uncomfortable, you may need to find an in-home aide. On the other hand, maybe they’re just becoming more forgetful, and you’re really good at organizing their medications and helping them make sure to take them. Or perhaps you’re good at paperwork and can cut through red tape and help with their Medicare or health insurance forms.
Consider your schedule. If you have a full-time job and young kids at home, consider the impact of taking in someone who needs a lot of assistance. If, for example, they need help getting to the bathroom several times every night, you could soon be suffering from a major case of sleep deprivation. You may be reacting to a health crisis they recently had, or thinking about the move as a preventive measure because they’re slowly losing the ability to take care of themselves. In either case, think about whether you have the time and energy to take this on.
4. How well do you get along?
Look at the history of your relationship with your family member. If you enjoy each other’s company and can successfully resolve your differences, that’s a real plus. That doesn’t mean you can never argue or you have to be best friends.
All families have some conflict, and if both of you can get over it quickly or simply agree to disagree, then you’ve already done much of the groundwork. You may also be able to bond with them in a new way and forge a happier new relationship as an adult. Your children will have the opportunity to get to know their grandparent or other family member better, or perhaps for the first time.
If the two of you have never really gotten along, don’t expect the relationship to change magically now. When they visit you, if you’re grinding your teeth after an hour and feel like running out the door, then having them move in may not be a good idea. You may feel you’re doing the right thing, but if you’re both going to be uncomfortable, it’s probably wiser to pursue other options first.
5. Does caregiving fit your daily routine?
Consider your work and leisure activities. Do you have wiggle room in your schedule? Are you OK with cutting back on your activities if necessary, including volunteer work or what you do for fun?
Will you be able to manage getting your loved one to medical appointments, to the senior center, or to visit friends and relatives? Will you need to drive them everywhere or can they use public transportation or paratransit? Are there reliable senior transportation or paratransit services your area?
It’s important to remember that there’s rarely one perfect solution for providing daily care. For every family it boils down to weighing and balancing many factors to settle on the best option. Most families adjust to change over time.
6. Will your family member contribute financially?
There’s no single right or wrong way to handle finances. Your family needs to decide what will work best for everyone. Come to a financial agreement with your family member before making the decision to have them move in. This won’t necessarily be easy, because money is an emotionally charged subject in most families. To avoid problems or resentments later, have open discussions about this upfront.
By pooling your resources, you might come up with a better living arrangement for everybody. Using the financial resources of both of you, you may be able to get a home that’s much more comfortable than either of you could afford alone.
Will you have to cut back on your work hours or other commitments? In some cases, providing home care is only possible if you, your spouse, or another family member leaves a job, works reduced hours, or gives up other commitments. Can your family afford that?
Consider paid caregivers. Caring for someone in your home is sometimes only possible with the help of paid caregivers, which can be expensive. Factor this into your budget or the budget of the person you’re caring for.
Find out if you can get paid for the care you provide. Is your parent eligible for Medicaid? If so, you may be able to get a paycheck for the care you provide to them. Most states have a Cash and Counseling program that allows eligible elderly adults to “hire” a caregiver, which could include an adult child or other relative, for the care they are provided. The chosen caregiver usually receives an hourly rate that is less than the state’s hourly average for home care.
7. Will you and your family be able to adjust?
Think about meals, noise levels in the house, what’s on the stereo. Will everyone’s preferences and styles be compatible?
If you have a teenager who’s used to making noise and playing loud music but Grandpa needs quiet at night, perhaps your teen can adjust by using headphones after a certain hour.
If quarters are cramped, it may take a while to adjust to the loss of privacy and personal space. On the other hand, if you’re able to pool your resources and move everyone to a new, larger home, it can be a win-win situation for everyone.
Your family may have to put off some vacations and leisure activities to take care of your parent or relative. If so, this is a chance for your kids to learn the importance of making sacrifices, however difficult, for the greater good of the family.
8. Will your elderly relative have a social network available?
If they’re moving a long distance to live with you, they’re leaving their social network and friends. Most caregivers drastically underestimate how hard it is and how long it takes for someone to adjust to a new environment in a new town.
If you and your spouse are at work and the kids are at school, that could mean a lot of alone time for your elderly parent. Rather than have them sit at home alone all day, you’ll want to find out whether there’s a senior center or adult day care facility nearby. These places may offer personal care such as exercise and even transportation, and provide cultural activities such as art or photography classes or trips to museums. Likewise, senior centers can provide a great social network and generally are free or have very low annual membership fees.
Safety Considerations and Home Modifications
If your loved one is moving in with you or into a new independent space, it’s a smart move to “elder-proof” the house to make it safer for an aging adult. Not only can taking these steps and making modifications prevent nasty accidents, it will also make life a lot easier and more comfortable for them.
Some fixes are easy and inexpensive — grab bars in the bathroom and nonslip mats under throw rugs, for example. If they’re less mobile and your home has stairs, you may decide to put in a more expensive ramp or stair-lift. And all sorts of devices — from easy-opening door handles to walk-in bathtubs — are available to make their life in your home much more manageable.
Here are some other safety and comfort improvements you may want to consider:
Modification or Device
How It Helps
Personal Emergency Response System
If you’re going to be out a lot and worry about your loved one being alone, you can sign them up for a personal emergency response system, or PERS. These medical alert systems enable an older adult to summon emergency help with the push of a button. A live operator at an emergency response center will respond to the call, sending a paramedic or ambulance, if necessary, or, if it’s a minor problem, contacting you or a neighbor to check in on them.
Walk-In Tubs or Showers
The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house for seniors due to its hard, slick surfaces. Showers and bathtubs that require a high step to get in or out can increase the risk of falls for seniors. Consider installing a walk-in tub or walk-in shower that make it easier for your loved one to get in and out safely.
Door and Window Sensors
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease and tends to wander off, you may need either special door locks that will keep doors shut or chimes to alert you to their attempts to leave the house. Window sensors with remote alarms are also available.
As people get older, the simple act of bending down or reaching up can become an ordeal. If possible, put extra shelves in closets, pantries, or cabinets at heights an older adult can reach without a struggle. If they’re in a wheelchair, or you anticipate they may be soon, adjustable brackets will enable you to change the height as needed.
For older adults with hearing problems, this device automatically mutes the TV, stereo, or DVD player whenever the phone rings, so they won’t miss important calls.
Tips for a Low-Stress Senior Move
Over the past two decades, increasing attention has been paid to relocation stress syndrome (RSS), which is also known as transfer trauma. RSS is a formal nursing diagnosis characterized by a combination of physiologic and psychologic disturbances that occur as a result of transferring a person from one environment to another.
Symptoms of relocation stress syndrome include exhaustion, sleep disturbances, anxiety, grief and loss, depression and disorientation. In seniors, these symptoms are exacerbated by dementia, mild cognitive impairment, poor physical health, frailty, lack of a support system, and sensory impairment. For these seniors in particular, the resulting confusion, depression and agitation have led to increased falls, undesirable weight loss and self-care deficits.
Although initial studies on RSS focused on outcomes of individuals moved to nursing homes and assisted living facilities without their involvement or consent, it is now generally understood that RSS can affect those who have chosen to move, been involuntarily relocated, or been placed in a care facility for mental or medical needs.
Studies have shown that certain actions are successful in minimizing RSS. These actions, which can be undertaken by family members, are all hallmarks of senior move management.
Tips for a successful senior move include:
Involving the senior in the decision and planning process.
Providing the senior with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss his or her concerns.
Honoring the individual’s preferences and allowing him or her to maintain control.
Paying attention to details and maintain the senior’s daily routine as much as possible.
Safeguarding the senior’s personal possessions.
Involving the senior in setting up the new room or apartment.
Making the new home resemble (as much as possible) the old home.
Get Help From Senior Move Managers
Senior move managers help plan and manage a move of any distance, such as from a longtime home to a communal living situation. They hire and supervise movers, help sort and pack belongings, and unpack at the new home.
Senior move managers don’t just handle the time-consuming (and often backbreaking) logistics; they have expertise in navigating the tricky emotional terrain that’s involved with someone who has accumulated a lifetime of possessions. Caregivers who work or whose older loved ones live far away find such services especially useful. You can also hire a senior move manager to help downsize possessions if a loved one is moving in with you (or vice versa) to accommodate multiple generations under one roof.
They’re especially useful for those who have decades’ worth of accumulated belongings, whose health is frail, or who don’t have adult children nearby.
Prices vary widely. Some senior move managers charge by the hour (usually $25 to $75, depending on the region) or by the job; a full-service move can cost as much as $2,500.Visit the National Association of Senior Move Managers to find a move manager near you.
Senior Moving Checklist
Download the checklist below and use it as you plan for your or your loved one’s next move.
If you care about the environment and sustainability, you need to make home improvements first. To help you do just that, here are some ideas for eco-friendly upgrades to make your home more sustainable!
The amazing sustainability benefits of solar panels
Adding solar panels is the first eco-friendly upgrade you should consider if you want to make your home more sustainable. Once you have managed to secure your ideal home, this is one of the best upgrades, even if you're not concerned with sustainability. This is because of just how useful solar panels are if you live in even a slightly sunny area. For starters, they can help cut down your electricity bills. At best, you will start actively making money through the power your panels generate.
It is relatively easy to afford solar panels nowadays, too. Their base price has fallen, and government subsidies and tax breaks have increased. This is because even the government wants people to install more solar panels and benefit from their sustainability improvements. You will very quickly earn back the money you invest into installing them!
Proper home insulation goes a long way
Many invest in improved appliances and climate control methods that use less power and work more efficiently. And yet, few people think to make the job of those appliances easier by improving their home's insulation. If your home is not adequately insulated, it takes much more power to keep it climate controlled. And, in turn, your appliances will work harder, losing a ton of their effectiveness and supposed energy efficiency. There are eco-friendly insulation materials on the market now, too. So, it isn't like you are doing something horrible for the environment by using insulation in your home. However, as the experts from PortaBox Storage like to note, the renovation process for insulation is often messy, and you will need a storage unit to safeguard your belongings. But that's the only downside, so plan accordingly, and things will go swimmingly!
Window and door treatments for even greater energy efficiency
Another thing that makes your home's temperature harder to control is drafty windows and doors. This is one of those annoying things that can ruin your efforts to stay warm during winter! Thankfully, it is very easy to prevent the problem, and you don't need to replace anything. There are easily accessible eco-friendly window and doorframe treatments that block the draft and make it a breeze to warm up your home. So, the solution to this problem is not expensive or challenging to install.
A smart home thermostat to help you out
If you are not at home for extended periods during the day, you often have to leave the heating or AC running or come back to a miserably warm or cold house. This naturally wastes a ton of power against sustainability principles. But it is also more demanding on your wallet. A smart home thermostat can fix this problem wonderfully, which is why it is one of the best eco-friendly upgrades to make your home more sustainable. You can either program it or use it to turn your home's climate control system on and off from work! Which naturally means it will only run when absolutely necessary.
Smart lighting for your home
Just think about how much power you waste daily because the lights stay on even when you're not in the room. In fact, with traditional lights, it is downright impossible to avoid waste. You pop in and out of rooms all the time, so it's frequently easier to leave the lights on. Well, installing smart lights in your home might just be the solution for you! They automatically turn on and off when someone enters or leaves a room, meaning there's no power waste. This eco-friendly improvement is easy to spot in businesses, too. For example, if you are looking for eco-friendly storage to make your unit more green, smart lights of this type are always a good sign that the storage company aims to be sustainable.
Start up your garden
Nothing makes your home more sustainable and delightful than a garden! A garden does not have to be something that just looks pretty. Of course, landscaping can affect home value, so there is a good reason to dedicate time and money to tending to your yard anyway. But you can make your vegetable garden and truly increase your home's sustainability! On top of that, you would be eating healthier, and you would even be saving a ton of money in the long term. Fresh veggies can get pretty expensive sometimes, after all.
Look into eco-friendly paints
If you want to freshen up your home, then eco-friendly paint is the perfect solution for you! In the past, most paint options on the market were very harmful to the environment. Now, however, there are many paint options to pick from. And some of them can even serve as an additional layer of insulation, making your home even more sustainable than it already is!
Low-flow home fixtures
The final eco-friendly upgrade to make your home more sustainable we can recommend is low-flow home fixtures. These fixtures limit the power of your home's water flow, which, in turn, reduces waste. Most of these fixtures do come with the option to adjust the flow volume, which means that if you are unhappy with the default you can find a nice middle ground between wasting a ton of water and not being able to shower properly due to poor water pressure, for example. The nicest part about this upgrade is that you can install it in your home whether you rent or own your house.
Working on your home's sustainability one step and improvement at a time
Our list can seem overwhelming even if you are interested in eco-friendly upgrades to make your home more sustainable. Keep in mind there's no rush to do it all at once! Take your time, and make your home more eco-friendly and sustainable, one step and improvement at a time!
Hundreds of exhibits, including a showcase of tiny homes, plus dozens of informative seminars will be featured at the 2023 Seattle Home & Garden Show. The event runs from February 25 through March 5 at the Lumen Field Event Center.
Builders and remodelers will be joined by exhibitors of the latest appliances and fixtures, along with specialists in decorating and landscaping.
Tickets range in price from $3 for juniors to $15 for adults, with discounts offered to seniors (60+) and military. Purchasers of E-tickets may park for $5 at two locations. Ticket purchasers also receive a one-year subscription to Better Homes & Gardens magazine and can register to return a second day for free.
Visitors to the 2023 show will be able to tour three tiny homes, a 500 square foot home, and view a vintage 1960s camping trailer that was redone as a portable home. Elsewhere at the show, adult attendees can enjoy wine tasting.
Seattle’s family-owned home show – the Northwest’s largest consumer home show — has its fourth generation at the helm. Its inaugural show, held in the old Civic Auditorium (now the site of Marion Oliver McCaw Hall), was opened in 1939 by Eleanor Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst.
Sponsors for the 2023 show are the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties and The Seattle Times. BECU and Aqua Quip are sponsoring the E-tickets.
Information Provided By: https://www.nwmls.com/seattles-2023-home-garden-show-returns-for-nine-day-run-starting-february-25/
This Episode of Selling Seattle we Tour Downtown Seattle's Waterfront & Get a Glimpse of Downtown Living at the Waterfront Landings Condos! Watch the Segment Below or Check Out the Full Episode on the The American Dream Network TV App on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Roku.
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There’s always debate on what’s the better option between renting and buying. So, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of buying vs. renting in Seattle, so you can make an informed decision!
The pros of buying in Seattle
Control over the property
When you own a home, you are free to alter it in any way you wish to suit your needs. This is a freedom that people living in a rental often yearn for. Especially when their landlords get in the way of practical renovation projects, they seem to refuse on no basis! If you are wavering between buying vs. renting in Seattle and know exactly what you want from your future home, then buying is the better choice.
An investment into your future
Buying a home anywhere is a solid investment in your future. If you plan on making a forever home in Seattle, then buying is the best choice you can make. You won’t need to worry about housing and the changes to the housing market. And when your kids are ready to start making their own lives, they’ll always have the option to fall back on!
No worries about rising rent prices
When discussing buying vs. renting in Seattle, we can’t miss mentioning one thing: rising rent prices. After all, it is hard to miss the overall rise in both rent and general housing costs. As such, it may be in your best interest to simply make an upfront payment and sign onto a mortgage with a fixed repayment amount and schedule rather than take risks with rent!
The cons of buying in Seattle
The upfront expenses
Now, Seattle is no New York, so housing prices are not as ridiculous here as in that city. However, Seattle is still a large city with a well-developed economy and a high standard of living. This naturally means that the cost of purchasing a home is higher than in most other towns and cities in the state. As such, an outright home purchase is expensive. If you have a home already in another city or want to upgrade, consider ways to boost your home value before selling to overcome this!
Home maintenance costs
Many people are unprepared for home maintenance costs when they leave renting behind. These costs can also be pretty high if you purchase an old property. Even in a brand-new building, you would likely be surprised by how much money goes into keeping everything in top condition.
Hidden costs of home ownership
Maintenance is not the only cost of home ownership to worry about. On top of that and the expenses when buying a home in Seattle in the first place, there’s a lot to account for. There are heating costs once winter hits, which your landlord might have handled in the past. There are the taxes you need to pay to own a home. And then there’s insurance to consider, too! For a new homeowner, it can be a lot.
The pros of renting in Seattle
Much greater lifestyle flexibility
When renting a place to live, you have much more freedom. While homeowners are locked down to their location, you can move whenever your lease runs out if you wish. Even if you are moving to Washington from another state and looking for interstate movers to let pros help you out, you can rent a good place first and then look for better accommodation later.
No worries about maintenance
One of the most significant factors when discussing buying vs. renting in Seattle in favor of the latter is not having to worry about maintenance. We already mention the costs, but there’s so much besides that to consider. Finding a reliable professional to work on repairs and renovations. Organizing things so the work can be pulled off. Or having to secure storage for things while the work is ongoing! It is so much easier to let your landlord handle it.
An easily accessible housing option
There is also the fact that renting is much more accessible. Young professionals and young couples just starting a family don’t have a lot of money on hand. They don’t have a long credit history that lets them easily take out a mortgage, either. These factors mean that even if you want to commit to a home purchase, you might not be able to!
The cons of renting in Seattle
The fear of ‘wasting’ money
Money spent on rent is, relatively speaking, ‘wasted.’ They might even match up to monthly mortgage payments, except you own the place when a mortgage is paid off. On the other hand, even if you have lived in a rental for decades, it is ultimately not your home.
The cost of utilities
If your rent does not cover utilities, then you are just dealing with an annoying aspect of home ownership without actually owning the place. The cost of utilities can spike, too, especially considering the fact that living costs in Seattle are not low and the state of global economics. So, you can find yourself in a situation where you suddenly can’t afford to keep living in your rental.
The limitations of living in a rental
The final thing we need to mention when discussing buying vs. renting in Seattle is the limitations of living in a rental. And we are not just talking about not being able to properly decorate or renovate the place. There are also things such as not being able to have pets or maybe even having a limit on how many people are living in the rental. The restrictions are likely to get in your way eventually and make you want to get your own home.
Deciding on what you want out of your future
Knowing all the pros and cons of buying vs. renting in Seattle, you can decide which arrangement is better for you! All we can advise is to make your decision with your future in mind.