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Newly Weds Big Decision: Big Wedding or House?

Today's newly wed couples are faced with a big decision. Do they have a super awesome, and expensive wedding? Or do they get a house?
Whether you choose to have an elaborate celebration, or an intimate soiree, planning your wedding requires making a lot of adult decisions. These can often be quite expensive decisions too.
It all depends on the couple; some want an over-the-top day to remember forever, while some just want to live in a nice little start house for the first couple years.
Think of it like this. Two newly wed couples are gifted with $70,000. Couple A chooses to have a $60,000 wedding and can only put $10,000 towards their down payment.Yes, their wedding was awesome, but it was only one day of the rest of their lives they will never get back.
Couple B has elected to have a $6,000 wedding, leaving them with $64,000 to put towards a house. Not only are they that much closer to owning their house, but they still had a great time at their wedding,.
Often times Bridezillas want all the bells and whistles for their weddings, but they aren't thinking about the long-run, they're only thinking about the present.
Unless you come from, or are marrying into a ton of money, the choice is clear to me, but I digress.
Do what makes you happy, but be sure you have the means to do it. And most of all, be smart with whatever you do.
Good luck!
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Treating Your Summer Garden With Water Features

Thinking about putting some elegant fountain in your backyard, or a pond to give it a little life back there? Water features are always classy and aesthetically pleasing to the eye when you find the right one.

“Do we have room”, is usually the first question asked. The answer is probably yes since this doesn’t require acres of land. You don’t need the biggest or loudest fountain. Water features come in all shapes and sizes. They really aren’t hard to find, you just don’t notice them when you’re out. One unlikely spot is your local plant nursery. Every property looks better with a pond, but do you have to have one? No.

Keep in mind fountains can be expensive to maintain. For a larger scale example, Louisville’s waterfalls fountain was erected in 1988 but was only in operation for ten years. To thrust its 400+ foot jet of water into the air was quite expensive each time.

The Pant water Features

This feature is relatively popular, simple, easy to construct, and useable in almost any garden. How it was is there is a small pump at the bottom, and it sips water from the tray and pumps it back up to the top so it can trickle back down again.

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Smart Furniture to Make the Most of Your Space

In recent years there has been an upswing in the popularity of small space living, especially in the metropolitan cities, which is the result of the higher cost of housing. Even if you are one of those living in small quarters, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice functionality, and comfort in your home.

Here are a few tips to help you maximize the space in your home.

Room Dividers

If you live in an extremely small place like a studio apartment, you should use a room divider to increase the functionality of the living space. The most optimal way of sectioning a living space is to use a room divider that also doubles as a storage space. Example, you could use a bookshelf to separate the room while also helping to take clutter in the home.

Vertical Storage

One place to always find extra storage is above everything else and along the walls. Look above the kitchen cabinets or doors to check for a space that could hold a few extra shelves. You might find some wasted space in your closet, which is the prime example for potential extra storage space. Don’t overlook the high sports on walls to install wall hooks where you can hang shelves or other suspendable storage solutions.

Concealing Solutions

Small spaces appear smaller when you can see everything. To counter this, you can opt for concealing solutions such as other curtains or textiles, which can be mad to hang over shelving or across doorways. Boxes and baskets are also a viable way to hide loose objects. Some furniture comes smart, meaning it comes with built-in hiding features.

Double-duty Solutions

To help your home feel larger, try fitting multiple functions in one room in your home. For example, you can place an office desk in your dining room. This way it has multiple functions depending on the time of day. You can also have the space under the stairs as a big storage spot. Lastly, you can turn the walls in...

Spring Cleaning Tips: The Most Missed

Spring is just about here, so it’s time to start the season fresh with a fresh clean house. After this horribly long and gloomy winter, it’s time to bring out all the cleaning gear you’ve got and get to work. As important as spring cleaning is, don’t let it take up your entire weekend. Use these quick hacks to make it go by faster and more efficiently.

  1. Soak the oven racks in the tub: Never mind the self-cleaning oven. Lay a towel down in your bathtub and put the racks on it. Fill the water until the racks are submerged. Next, add one cup of dishwasher detergent or powdered laundry. Mix it up and let it soak overnight.
  2. Clean your bed with liquor: Vodka is good for more than just getting your buzz on. It can also eliminate and kill odor-causing bacteria and disinfect. Fill a spray bottle with a cheap bottle of vodka and lightly spray across your mattress. Let it air-dry before making your bed.
  3. Dust your ceiling fans with pillowcases: Ceilings aren’t easy to reach, and they can often cause a problem when cleaning them. A good way to make sure they don’t make a mess is to put a pillowcase over the blade and slide it down, trapping all the built up dust.
  4. Goodbye soap scum: Soap scum lines in bathtubs are disgusting, so rub baby oil over them and watch them disappear. A benefit of the baby oil is it will make future dirt and scum bead up and fall down, so no more rings!
  5. Give your pillows the fold-over test: You need to change your pillows every couple of years, so give them the test. If you can fold them in half and it springs back to normal, it’s still good to use. If it stays stuck in half, pitch that pillow and get yourself another one.
  6. Get streak free windows: The most effective way to clean your windows perfectly is to get a bucket of hot water, a teaspoon of dish soap, and a cup of white vinegar. Give them a good scrubbing, and use a squeegee to remove excess water. The...

A Costly Mistake for Millennials

Shockingly enough, a good portion of millennials claim they would rather rent than buy a home. This could end up costing them over $700,000 during their lifetime.

Six out of ten millennials say they’d rather rent than buy. One in four claim they are very likely to buy a home in the next five years. This survey was conducted with a sample size of 1,300 millennials by EliteDaily.com. This anti-buying a home trend is quite evident because their statistics show, one if four own a home, and back in the 70’s and 80’s it was one in three. This isn’t the best news for the real-estate industry.

There are plenty of reasons for this trend. One happens to be that they feel they cannot afford to buy a home. Millennials also are starting their families later in life. This generation also doesn’t like to feel they are trapped in one place. Whatever reasons they have, it will cost them in the long run. Most markets are still a better deal to buy than rent (monthly), even when you factor in all the insurance and tax costs.

When you have a plan to buy a house you plan on owning an asset as well. The median home in America is $190,000, and historic annual home price appreciation is roughly 3%. Depending on the price of the home you buy, and you do the math, carry the 2, your home could very well be worth much more than when you bought it after a decade or two. Rent can also appreciate over the course of a few decades! This being said, some millennials are likely to rent now and buy later, but waiting too long has its costs too.

Interest rates and home prices will likely rise in the future. If this is the occasion, and if you do the entire math correctly, you wouldn’t come out positive on your investment a year after the mortgage was paid off. There are also reasons to rent, like more flexibility, no mortgage payments, and very little maintenance.

 

Be smart though, if you cannot afford it, don’t buy it!...

Here Come the Drones!

Drone quad-copters are slowly making their way to the scene in real estate. The FAA has just allowed the first real estate company (Tierra Antigua Realty) to use drones commercially. They have specifically asked to use the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ to take aerial photos and videos of homes for sale. You may think you’ve already seen plenty of aerial photos in your neighborhood, but all those images and technically been illegal.

The FAA has been in a battle with these tech companies over the use and regulations of drones. There are specific laws regarding them, but they have not been enforcing them. Because of this new ruling though, we might see a bit more regulation.

There are strict rules for drone pilots currently, and the FAA intends to make it even stricter. They want a drone pilot to have an actual pilot’s license. That is bullcrap if you ask me. This is a 10 pound object, not a flying tank. A real pilot’s license can take years to acquire, and cost more than $10,000.

While the FAA has only granted 14 exemptions to certain companies, this real estate company is the first of its kind.  The US government has been delaying its ruling on these for months, but with so many players, bad incidents are bound to happen which isn’t helping. Clear guidelines are supposed to be in place by November of 2015.

In the meantime, check out what these little gadgets are capable of and see if they could benefit you!

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Natural Gas for Homes on the Rise

Environmentalists throughout the country and around the world are protesting the new popularity of hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking”. It is a process that forces an array of chemicals underground the break up geologic formations that contain fossil fuel deposits, ranging from natural gas to the “timeless” black oil.

Even though this practice began in 1947, its entire effect on the earth is unknown. We do know in the meantime it is quite hazardous and tearing up the earth. We are seeing more seismic activity and contamination of groundwater, as well as chemicals seeping to the surface.

While environmentalists protest the dangerous extraction practice, fracking has lent a hand to other green friendly campaigns, namely the mass exodus of power producers from coat to natural gas. Natural gas has a lot of reasons it’s just becoming more popular, one of the biggest ones is fracking.

Coal burning power plants were the main source of energy before the economic collapse in 2008. At this point in time natural gas was an extremely volatile commodity. It traded for multiple times what a comparable amount of coal would trade for.

Coal was going through a perfect storm at the time and the economic meltdown depressed all fuel prices and energy producers began looking at more economical ways to produce energy, thus we have fracking. This allowed oil and natural gas to be withdrawn from deposits. Natural gas has become a dominant source of energy as a result from an intricate web of political and environmental considerations.  

No one can ignore the debate on climate change, and it has become evident that natural gas produces half as much carbon dioxide as coal. Since we have begun heavily using natural gas, carbon emissions have decreased 3.8% from 2011 to 2012. This has led legislation to pass laws encouraging utility companies to replace their dirty coal with natural gas plants. Obama and the EPA are waging...