02 AM | 12 Oct

Top 5 Common Mortgage Mistakes to Avoid as a First Time Home Buyer

Buying A Home in Utah

Buying A Home in UtahAs a first time homebuyer, obtaining the right financing can be more straightforward and simpler if you are prepared. However, with the excitement that comes with owning a first home, a lot of people are bound to make mistakes.

Nevertheless, some of these pitfalls are avoidable with preparation and informed advice, as City Creek Mortgage outlines below.

1. Going for a product that doesn’t suit your situation

Unknown to many, there are different types of loans available to home buyers. There are variable rate products, fixed rates, term options, no-frill mortgages and more. Without expert advice from a professional real estate mortgage firm in St. George, making a good choice can be overwhelming.

While your neighbor may be suited to a variable rate product, you may be better off with a fixed rate product. Before settling on any mortgage, it is vital to explain your current situation and future goals to your mortgage broker. This ensures that you only get a product that meets both your short-and long-term needs.

2. Signing documents without reading them

When signing on some documents, you’re the one agreeing to the set terms and conditions. If you happen to violate the stated conditions, you may end up incurring huge losses. Never sign documents without properly going through them and seeking clarification.

3. Failure to plan ahead

Before beginning your property search, you have to figure out how much you can afford. While trying to secure your mortgage, you don’t want your debt-income ratio to rise by making unnecessary purchases. Plan so that your credit is in order. Having an expert assess your financial situation ensures that you’re not setting yourself up for huge disappointments later in life.

4. Assuming that interest rates will remain low

While signing up for a mortgage, it’s tempting to believe that these rates will always remain low. Nonetheless, this is never the case. The economy has recession and boom periods. Having a contingency in place will prevent any financial difficulties in the future.

5. Being caught in hidden costs

The mortgage fee and interest rates are just a part of the total costs involved in home building. Unfortunately, most people do not realize that there are other costs like council rates, stamp duty, body corporate fee and property maintenance fee involved. In most cases, people resort to credit cards and personal loans and this leads to financial pressure.

Avoiding the mistakes above will get you a sweet mortgage deal. It’s high time to make your finances work for you, instead of the other way around.

12 AM | 12 Oct

Fact from Fiction: Debunking Myths about AC Systems

Air Condition

Air ConditionMyths are part of a culture. As some people think too much of these myths, they have defined how people live. Sometimes, though, these myths only make you inefficient and ineffective. Even with furnace duct cleaning, myths abound.

There are duct cleaning myths that you need to debunk because they do not contribute to how people should do things properly. Instead of helping in the maintenance of the cooling system, these myths do nothing but confuse people.

One of these myths is the air duct remains clean when the air conditioning system is running. The truth is the AC unit will accumulate dirt and debris over time. Thus, you should clean your AC whenever possible.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the effectiveness of duct cleaning when it comes to removing indoor air pollutants may not be evident. More surprisingly, the amount of post-cleaning contaminants may even be higher than the pollutants that duct cleaning was supposed to remove.

Another myth involves the frequency of cleaning furnace ducts. As LarsenHeatingandAir.com says, some people believe that they only have to clean the duct occasionally. Once these parts accumulate dirt, the debris may clog the duct and affect the performance of the unit.

You might have also heard about mold. The truth is these mold and bacteria form in damp and dirty places. If the AC unit is moist all the time and you do not clean it regularly, mold may start to form.

As you will be giving furnace duct cleaners access to your home, you should be extra careful when hiring them. Only hire experienced HVAC technicians, preferably those that come with solid references.

Rumors will always be rumors. If you let these AC myths take over real facts, you might only end up with more problems at hand. Keep an open mind, especially when it comes to your maintenance needs.

02 AM | 10 Oct

Eco-Friendly Decisions Make Homes More Comfortable

house

Making your home comfortable without putting more stress on the environment is achievable, as long as you make eco-friendly decisions. As a bonus, many of these home improvements also help reduce energy costs, while improving the value of your home.

Replace old or dated equipment

houseToday, you will find household appliances, devices, equipment, and lighting products that run on less energy. These also generate lower emissions, which are great for the environment.

Although these come with slightly higher upfront costs, they are worthy replacements for the old and dated ones you have, since you can get savings in the long run. It doesn’t take long for them to start paying back what you have invested in them. According to Kennedy Air Conditioning, installation and repair companies may even offer an option to personalize the heating and cooling system, should you want this replaced.

Allow only enough sunlight and heat in, as needed

The sun’s heat is one of the biggest factors that can lower or raise your energy consumption. Take advantage of daylighting, and use as much natural light as possible. Keep in mind, though, that too much sun can make the indoor temperature uncomfortable, so use blinds or adjustable window treatments for greater control over the amount of light and heat.

Routine tune-ups of air conditioners

Air conditioning systems can develop refrigerant leaks, which cause Freon exposure, poor unit performance, and harm to the environment. These problems are also some of the primary causes of inefficient cooling, as well as early equipment failure, especially if not fixed right away.

To help ensure that you’re not contributing to pollution, while also keeping your air conditioner efficient, have it checked and serviced at least once a year.

Improving the energy efficiency of your home doesn’t take much. Clean and maintain your appliances, use window treatments, and take advantage of natural light sources.

02 AM | 08 Oct

How Healthy is the Air Inside Your Home?

Home

HomeYour home should be a safe and healthy place for you and your loved ones. To keep your family safe, know the quality of air indoors. Remember, lack of cleaning, improper maintenance and lifestyle habits can affect indoor air quality.

Indoor air pollution can bring about different types of health problems. Know the most common contaminants and keep them from permeating your home.

Biological Pollutants

Some of the most common forms of biological pollutants are moulds, pollen, bacteria, viruses, animal dander, dust mite and cockroach particles. Exposure to these pollutants is associated with various types of infection. People who are allergic or have asthma are at greater risk.

Steps to prevent health-related problems include deep carpet cleaning, and washing of beddings and linen to eradicate dust mites. Superior Steam & Dry suggests choosing carpet cleaning companies that use environmentally friendly solutions, so that there are no harmful chemicals used. Moisture control is also critical, as moulds thrive in damp areas.

Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco smoke, particularly second-hand smoke, is one of the primary causes of poor indoor air. Among the toxic compounds found in it, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde are two of the most detrimental.

The smoke may put your family at risk of lung cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, respiratory tract infections and ear infections. It may also lead to asthma, trigger attacks or make them more severe.

Other Types of Indoor Air Pollutants

Airborne particles from kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves are also common causes of indoor air pollution. The use of air fresheners, pesticides and cleaners also do you more harm than good. Particularly, air fresheners may aggravate asthma, shares the Worldwatch Institute.

Moulds, animal dander, vermin droppings and bacteria may also spread biological contaminants. Household cleaning chemicals, particularly those used to stain-proof upholstery and carpets, contribute to poor indoor air quality, too.

There are several factors that make the air inside your home unsafe and dangerous to your health. Routine cleaning of your home, avoiding tobacco cigarette smoking and ensuring that there is no excess moisture are the most effective ways to improve indoor air quality.

01 AM | 07 Oct

When Your AC Fails You: Signs Your Unit is Up for Repairs

AC Repair in Utah

AC Repair in UtahIt is not that hard to tell when an air conditioning system is due for repairs. Nonetheless, some homeowners don’t even know there is something wrong until it is too late and the unit already needs major repairs.

Before your home’s cooling system stops working permanently, watch out for these signs:

Unit is on full blast, but not producing cool air

One strong indication of a problem is when your air conditioning system is not producing cool air, or the temperature is not that cool even when the unit is on full blast. A failed compressor and low refrigerant levels are most likely the culprits. As this is a serious problem, calling a Riverton AC service provider may help minimize the risks of permanent unit failure.

The unit produces inadequate airflow

Weak airflow coming out of the air conditioner’s vents is another symptom of a damaged compressor. Poor duct work can also cause this problem. Whichever of the two may be the cause, you need to call professionals for prompt repairs. Delays will only cause sudden breakdown on your unit.

The unit has a faulty thermostat

Thermostat issues can be easily detected in homes equipped with multi-split or ducted air conditioners. All you need to do is check if there is any temperature difference in the zones. If you start to notice that one room is hotter or colder than the others are, your need to have your thermostat checked and repaired.

Don’t let your AC trouble stretch out for too long. Once you notice any of these signs, call professional AC service providers. In most cases, AC units exhibiting these symptoms are still salvageable. A quick fix can dramatically reduce the possibility of premature failure.

02 AM | 06 Oct

Tricks to Keep Your Home Warm with Overusing the Heating

Interior

InteriorWith the chilly days of winter just around the corner, many New Zealanders can expect their utility bills to go up, as most of them are sure to rely on their heating systems more. Since heating costs can be quite expensive, but is a must during the snowy season, it pays to make some changes now in preparation for the cold days.

These upgrades will keep your home warm and comfy throughout the coming season without putting too much stress on both your heater and your wallet.

Draw your window furnishings before night comes.

Shut your windows and window coverings (curtains, drapes, blinds, shutters, etc.) before it gets dark, Auckland Glass suggests. This way, the heat that entered your home during the day will be trapped inside. Replace thin curtains or drapes with thicker materials, and make sure they fit well and can cover your windows completely.

Glaze your windows.

Invest in glazing services. Well-glazed windows work great during both the winter and summer seasons. In the winter, it can retain as much as fifty per cent of heat inside homes, making it easier to keep it warm. In the summer, it helps cut heat gains just as effectively, allowing you to cool your home faster.

Rid your home of old and damaged windows.

Conduct a careful examination of all the windows in your home. Those that no longer fit perfectly into their frames should undergo window replacement. These loose-fitting windows allow draughts into your home, making it feel colder than necessary. Besides, new windows are a great investment, as they now incorporate energy-efficient features.

Keeping your home draught-free, comfortable, and energy-efficient can start through these simple and quick changes. Carry these out before winter arrives, so you do not have to be shocked by really high bills caused by the extended use of your heating system.

02 AM | 05 Oct

Maximising Comfort in Your Bedroom

Bedroom

BedroomA comfortable room is spacious, well lighted and has great breathing spaces. A small room can be arranged to be spacious and comfortable. The important thing is you find the furniture pieces to make it work.

Your bedroom the place where you rest. Each piece of furniture should be comfortable and carefully selected. Look for high quality beds and mattresses as it could last for years. Find well-made yet inexpensive bedroom furniture in Auckland that will suit the theme of your room. Forest Furniture recommends choosing wood furniture for a classic appeal.

Using colours

Light colours will give the impression of bigger spaces. They are also cool to the eyes, making the room seem cleaner and cooler than it actually is. Choose simple patterns. You can create an illusion of larger space by using plain prints or solid cool colours. Common favourites range from shades of light green, sky blue, pink, coral to plain white.

Maximising the space

Pay attention to the circulation of the room. There should be enough space for movement. Arrange the furniture and the items according to the order of their usage. You can also choose minimalist bedroom furniture.

Playing with light

A well lit room is comfortable. Darker spaces seem stuffier than they actually are. It’s also difficult to breathe in dark places. Proper light placement sets the mood. It also expands space. Choose between white light for a polished look or yellow light for a more elegant finish.

Placing breathing spaces

Accentuate your windows. Have larger windows that allow air and light if you are renovating. If you are only rearranging your room, place your bed across or beside the window to let the light in as you wake up. Pay attention to how your windows are decorated and arranged. Arrange the room in a way which gives you a view of the nice scenery outside. Do not clutter the area with large, overbearing curtain. Choose light curtain or blinds to maximise space.

Space is irrelevant in arranging a comfortable bedroom. Maximize the space that you have and play with key pieces to keep the room spacious, well lit and airy. Choose only furniture that fits and is made well.

11 PM | 04 Oct

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint In Three Simple Ways

Recycle

RecycleIt no longer just happens in the movies. You may have already started seeing and experiencing the effects of climate change in the world today. The heat is becoming unbearable, floods drowning houses in the metropolis, and snow falling in places that don’t normally have the winter season.

It’s a truth that everyone should know by now — a truth that everyone should start acting on. Some people may be too skeptic about it, but it’s never too late to do things that will help reduce your carbon footprint for the sake of the environment. Whether you’re in Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch, here are some solutions you can do to help the world stay green:

Recycle

This is probably the most common and easiest way to do Mother Nature a favor. As everyone knows, there are a couple of fabricated materials that do not rot and cannot be broken down — making it a disposal problem. That’s where recycling comes in. There are lots of methods behind it as well. Those include paper, plastic, and metal recycling, just to name a few. If you know how to do any of those, you will be helping the environment a lot. A recycling company like Metal Salvage Services Ltd can assist you.

Mind your car use

WWF-New Zealand says “transport is a major contributor” to the country’s emissions. The organization is even suggesting that you go car-free for at least one day, as it could “save up to 114,000 tons of CO2 equivalents per year”. Now that would be a major difference! You know an even better solution? Go carpooling, if you really need a car to go to work or to school. Other options include cycling and walking.

Bring your own bag

This applies especially if you go to your local butcher and green grocer. It’s essential that you do this to save on paper or plastic bag usage. Most of those are often wasted, so it’s better to just bring your own bag whenever you do the shopping.

When it comes to helping the environment, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing something as major as planting trees or as simple as going paperless in the office. What’s important is that if these things add up, they will make a huge difference for Mother Nature.

01 AM | 02 Oct

Wise Moves When Purchasing Floor Coatings

Flooring

FlooringAre you tired of your old flooring and do you want to replace it with a new concrete one? Or does your concrete floor need to be sealed again because it has loosened up through the years? Whichever your situation is, you need to select the best coating for your floor. How do you determine the best among your choices of concrete coatings? Melbourne has a number of shops that sell flooring products. Feel free to make a visit.

Choosing Quality Floor Coating

Your flooring is a very important part of your home. Make a wise choice in choosing products to install. Below are important tips to help you decide:

  1. Ask for the assistance of knowledgeable people.

Look for an experienced flooring specialist, and allow them to guide you. Because flooring is an essential part of your home, it is important for owners to acquire enough knowledge about it.

  1. Consider all the aspects of the product.

These aspects include quality, performance and aesthetics. Choose a coating brand that is known for its quality. Pick one that can make your house flooring last longer. Go for the brand that can enhance the beauty of your concrete floor.

  1. Compare prices.

From your prospective brands, choose one with the most reasonable price. Compare the prices and the materials of concrete coatings in Melbourne and pick one which is right for your budget.

Whatever choice you make, consider its availability on the market and your purpose for its application. Be careful when purchasing anything that concerns your home. Don’t be too anxious about how long you have to decide. What’s important is the assurance of having a beautiful and safe home. The wrong choice of coating may lead to accidents. Surely you don’t want to experience any mishap in your own home.

06 AM | 01 Oct

Smart Ways to Unclog the Drain Naturally

Drains

DrainsYou noticed that it takes some time before the water in your sink totally drains. Or maybe, each time you take a shower, water on the floor just wouldn’t go down the drain faster. Stop for a minute! These are just some of the telltale signs that you have a clogged drain.

Unclogging the Drain Naturally

Do not go reaching for that chemical declogger just yet. This contains harsh ingredients that produce vapours in the air. If you do not have the proper protective gear to use while applying the chemical, you put your health at risk.

  • Boil some water and pour it down your clogged drain, making sure to pour it slowly. Allow the water to go down the drain first before pouring some more.
  • Add a handful of dish detergent into your drain if pouring hot water alone does not do the trick. You can then add hot water to aid the unclogging process.
  • Use a bent wire hanger to try and hook out whatever is blocking your drain. An ordinary wire clothes hanger can be straightened out and its end bent to create a small hook. If you think you have already taken out the debris, then do the hot water or detergent trick.
  • Mix a solution of one part baking soda and one part vinegar, and immediately pour it down your clogged drain. Let the solution sit for at least an hour, the longer the better. Once done, flush your drain with hot water or detergent plus hot water.
  • Get some plumbing tools such as an adjustable wrench and disassemble the whole plumbing system in your kitchen sink. More often than not, goo and other debris may have accumulated in the U-tube that connects your sink to the rest of the piping system. Don’t forget to place a bucket under the sink as it will be messy.

You do not necessarily need harsh chemicals to unclog your drain. Some household items work effectively in unclogging the drain which is blocked by goo, grease and food debris. However, when the problem is difficult to handle on your own, it is safer to get drain unblockers. Auckland has many service providers to help you. They have the tools  and skills ideal for the job.

Keep your house in excellent condition. Find immediate solution to clogged drains. You can do it yourself if the problem is simple. But if it’s complicated, remember that there are professionals who can handle the job.