Home Buying: Five Things to Know As a First Time Homebuyer

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“The ache for a home lives in all of us, the safe place where we go as we are and not be questioned.”-Maya Angelou

 

The prospect of buying your first home can be rather exciting, albeit a little daunting.

However, this endeavor is often fraught with difficulties if you are unaware of what it entails and what you should prepare for. Undoubtedly, the process will likely be overwhelming, however, when done right, you would not only be putting your money down on an excellent investment but you would also end up with a home you will be happy to live in for quite a long while. Furthermore, knowing what you want mitigates the likelihood of buyer’s remorse which is why it is always wise to review your options before pushing through with a deal.

In any case, if you are prepared to find the home of your dreams—whether that may be a unit in the East Gallery Place or a residential place elsewhere, here are some of the things you ought to know to minimize the likelihood of surprises when you do finally affix your signature on that contract:

 

Make sure to have room in your budget for transitional costs

Before you even shop around for homes, it is recommended that you set a budget of how much you are willing to pay for in a home. However, apart from budgeting for the property itself, you would also need to prepare for the transitional costs it entails. Remember, you still have expenses to cover on top of your mortgage so you need to adequately budget for that as well. Set a budget for the unexpected and have a plan for the allocation of the same. The earlier you plan, the less likely you will have any financial snags on top of your big investment so if you are already planning on shopping for homes, start creating your budget plan today.

Working with a good agent is paramount

Many homeowners think that home buying is an endeavor they can pull off by themselves. While they are right, going on about the house hunt and deal by yourself tends to slow down your pace and would take you a lot longer to find a place of your own at the price you can afford. Working with an agent who would be able to assist and guide you throughout the entire process would ensure that not only would you find the property you want but at the right price as well. In this time and age, the internet is at your disposal so use it to your advantage and find an agent who you think can work best to fit your needs. However, do not just arbitrarily go with anyone. Do not risk it and only select the best agent who has the expertise and comes highly recommended as well.

Determine if the price is right

More often than not, the prospect of living in our dream homes can cloud our judgment insomuch that we are willing to go beyond our budget because we are very much taken by a beautiful home. However, take the sparkles off of your eyes and check if your finances are in order before making an offer. Calculate your debt to income ratio and make sure that is manageable and is within rich. At the time, you might feel like you can make it work and that buying a home out of your budget would ultimately pay off. But, remember, paying a mortgage that is too high might end up being a financial encumbrance and would ruin your overall satisfaction and happiness in your investment. After all, just because you can borrow a certain amount to buy a more expensive home does not mean that you should.

Know the potential

First-time home buyers tend to go into the endeavor without managing their expectations which means they would likely disqualify homes that do not tick off all the boxes in their needs and wants list. However, these unrealistic expectations can deter you in the long run as demanding too much of your first home would often mean missing out on the subtle charms it already has as well as its hidden potential. For the littlest and tiniest imperfections, look for ways on how you can improve it instead of dismissing it right away.

Research the neighborhood

More often than not, a home’s location is so much more important than the home itself. In this regard, you ought to find a home that is located in a safe neighborhood that is in proximity to educational institutions as well as commercial establishments and shopping centers. Do not zero your focus on the home alone and look for one that is located in a great neighborhood as well. Choose a neighborhood with a strong sense of community and is safe and secure.

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Four Things You Should Know About Your Partner before Moving in Together

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“Marriage is a framework to preserve friendship. It is valuable because it gives much more room to develop than just living together. It provides a base from which a person can work at understanding himself and another person.” –Robertson Davies

 

Moving in together is a relationship milestone only second to marriage.

With this in mind, it would be no wonder why so many long-term couples would quickly adapt to the idea and start living together under one roof. After all, sleeping and waking up next to your partner would certainly present a myriad of romantic possibilities. However, quixotic fantasies aside, living together would also solve a myriad of pecuniary difficulties through the unified defrayment of mortgage, rent and utility bills. Unfortunately, just because living together presents fantastic opportunities for the both of you (both practical and idealistic) does not mean that you should.

Arguably, you can view living together as a trial run for what your life would be like when you do become a married couple and see what your long-term partner is really like. But you also have to consider the possibility that moving in together might strain your relationship and cause it to progressively deteriorate. After all, there is much truth to the maxim that says “familiarity breeds contempt”. This is not to say that you should never live together before marriage, but it does encourage you to weigh your options and give your decision a little forethought. Do not go into this possibility without exploring all the outcomes and possibilities. Contemplate and consult with your partner and see if this is the right move for you. Furthermore, try to find out if you and your partner are in sync and if your lifestyles match as this would be a paramount consideration when it comes to deciding whether or not you should live together. Ask yourself if you truly know your partner and if you can see yourself living with them for the long haul as sharing an address is a significant decision to make.

So, before you start scouring for condominium units in the East Gallery Place or elsewhere, here are some of the things you should definitely know about your partner before moving in with them:

 

 

How they maintain their space

More often than not, the primary cause of outbursts and domestic arguments would stem from one partner’s refusal to clean up after himself or herself. While you were still living separately, these might seem like a fun quirk about them. However, if you have to deal with it daily, your partner’s inability to clean up after themselves would quickly escalate into an infuriating trait insomuch that you might find yourselves rubbing each other the wrong way. It might be that your partner has an affinity for clutter while you wish for the place to be as immaculate and pristine as possible. In any case, your lifestyles should match and you would need to iron out any deal-breakers before you decide to move in with them.

Their oddities and pet peeves

Everyone has their own fair share of idiosyncrasies and your partner will likely have them too. In this regard, you should know what their pet peeves are as they should with yours. Cohabitation means that you would be living in proximity to each other for most of the time and they might have little peculiarities that send you into a blind rage. Having your partner know what they are would enable them to manage their behavior in the same way you would do yours. Settle it before you move in together so that pet peeves would not become a cause for arguments in the future.

What their routine is like

Most individuals have a daily morning routine without even realizing it. Being a night owl or a morning person contributes to how you go about your day. In this regard, know how your partner generally behaves in the morning before you even consider living under one room. Know what their sleeping habits are and what their daily morning routine is. They might expect you to adapt to your schedule or they might choose to adapt to yours. In any case, this should be discussed so that you can have a lifestyle that would match.

How they handle money

Money is a sensitive issue that calls for difficult discussions when it comes to relationships. How your partner handles his or her finances would ultimately contribute to how well they would settle monthly bills. When you move in together, you would likely share your finances which is why it would be a wise move to know whether your partner has a blasé attitude as regards their finances or not. Furthermore, while it might be awkward, it is vital to have a heart-to-heart talk about how you intend to share the living and household expenses and how you can save for the future. Remember, these are pivotal things that need to be discussed in order to avoid snarky arguments about money in the long haul.

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12 Life Tips to Help You Fake It Till You Make It

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It’s not fun to be broke. Hell, no one wants the feeling of being broke. No one relishes in the fact that they don’t have money. No one wants to admit they can’t afford to go clubbing every Friday night, go shop for designer clothes at the 30th Mall or grab some bite at the fancy organic restaurant that opened last week. It’s sad, but it’s the truth. Not everyone has a six-figure paycheck or something like that.

These people are regular people. They are the hard-workers in the office who don’t get as much as they’d hope to have. They might have manicured lawns, by they don’t have anything on their savings account. These people are the kind of people who need to save up to celebrate the holidays.

If you are one of those people, there’s no shame in admitting it. Most of the population belong to this economic bracket. In reality, they fake it. They fake it until they make it. You can do the same too, and this is how to do it.

1. Don’t quit your job

If you don’t have a backup plan, you shouldn’t pass a resignation letter. You shouldn’t leave your job when you don’t have a fallback. It’s risky. There isn’t any assurance you’ll get a source of income as soon as you leave your company.

2. Become productive

Don’t spend your time on trivial things. Spend it on things that help you grow as a person and thrive as a professional. Take online classes. Most of them are free and readily available. Learn a new skill. You can find a lot of tutorials and instructions on the Internet. Find something to do that helps you earn money.

3. Don’t be a time waster

Don’t ever waste someone’s time. Time is a valuable resource. It’s also something no one can ever take back. If you’re running late, give them a call or leave a message. If there’s a conflict of interest, you should inform them ahead of time.

4. Be honest about your finances

It pays to be truthful to yourself and those around you. Don’t keep secrets to your partner. Don’t cover up your spending habits or mistakes. Most couples end up in divorce because they choose to keep things to themselves. Open up about the thing you do to build trust.

5. Save up for rainy days

You never know when you’ll run into emergencies. Eventually, someone gets sick. Other times, it’s your home that needs repairs. You should always be prepared for the things that might come your way.

6. Don’t waste water and electricity

If you’re low on budget, then you must consider how you consume these two. Remember, you have control over how you use these two things. Don’t leave the tap running. Limit turning on the water heater. You should also think about using surge protectors. You can save a lot of money when you become cautious about how you use water and electricity.

7. Limit expenses

Try not to undertake new financial responsibilities especially when you can’t handle them anymore. It only attracts problems in the household. It also places additional pressure on you.

8. Walk

Use your feet. Don’t drive the car when you can walk towards the place you need to be. It helps you save money on gas. Moreover, it reduces traffic and pollution. Last but not least, you get fresh air and exercise.

9. Don’t go on expensive dates

There are plenty of cheap date ideas you should try. Instead of ordering a salad and a steak, you should try visiting the library or the local museum. You can also set up tables and tents in each other’s backyard instead of going to the movies and consuming overpriced popcorn. Being picky about your activities doesn’t mean you’re a cheapskate. It only shows you’re being smart about your choices.

10. Do the cleaning yourself

Don’t be lazy. Don’t hire a housekeeper to wash the dishes or scrub your bathroom tiles. Teach yourself to do them. It can some work, but you’ll manage as long as you have patience. You should also try cleaning the car and tending the grass yourself. You’ll learn to take better care of your things when you tidy up by yourself.

11. Don’t shop for expensive gifts

Holidays, birthdays and special occasions often call for gifts. But, it doesn’t mean you have to purchase the most expensive ones on the shelf. Before you go shopping, you should put your budget to mind. You shouldn’t get things that go beyond your limit.

12. Don’t take frequent trips to the salon and spa

It feels nice to pamper yourself, but you don’t need someone else to do it for you. You do your nails at home or try DIY facial treatments without heading to the spa. Frequent pampering sessions are a must, but they bloat your expenses.

Faking it doesn’t mean you’re trying to be someone else. It just means you’re doing your best to get by when your income isn’t enough to cover your needs. These are the things that can help you do it. Practice them until they become part of your routine. That way, it feels natural and fits your life like a glove.

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8 Movie Theater Secrets That Affects Your Movie Experience

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A trip to the movie theater is exciting especially when you’re favorite movies are on the silver screen. Buying your tickets days before the movie screening is a life hack everyone is well aware. However, a lot of people are still in the dark of the secrets of movie theaters. For one, some people aren’t aware that cinema schedules are available online. They also don’t know that ticket reservation is possible. Sureseats, for instance, allows you to purchase and reserve seats on selected movie theaters.

Get your ticket early can affect your overall experience. But that’s only one part of your movie trip. There are also other things that can affect your movie experience and movie theaters are hiding them from you.

Below are the movie theater secrets that can affect your movie experience.

1. The best seat in the house

If you want the best sound and wish to enjoy the film, then you should choose a seat somewhere way back. Your seat must be two-thirds of the back seat. This is the same spot where engineers sit to fix the sound system. The best seat in the house is in the center of the screen.

2. Dirty floors

If you drop your food, don’t pick it up. Ever. Workers do not properly clean the movie halls. The tight time shifts between movies don’t give them enough time to go through the whole theater. With a few minutes to spare, they can only sweep the floor or pick up discarded trash. If someone spilled their Coke earlier, you are sure to find the floor sticky.

3. Trash

Wrappers and other trash is not always the movie theater’s fault. This one goes to the moviegoers. It’s best to throw out the garbage yourself. But if you decide to leave them on your seat, do not leave them on the floor. It’s better if you place them on your seat. That way, cleaners can quickly collect your popcorn box, bottles, cans or empty cans.

4. Volume

Movie theaters must follow an audio system standard and volume requirements. However, they often neglect to follow these and regulate the volume levels that suit themselves. High volume levels are dangerous to hearing. Bombings and actions scenes can exceed the approved level so beware of them.

5. Snack prices and secret ingredients

Popcorn prices sold at theaters costs twice as much as those sold in supermarkets and popcorn stands. Incidentally, popcorns sold in theaters smell great for a reason. They have a secret recipe to create to create an alluring scent. Some popcorn makers mix coconut and canola oil to cook their popcorn. Others add food additives to enhance the flavor.

The prices of combo deals are also more expensive compared to individually bought food and drink. If you check the individual prices of the combo components and add them up, you will see that the amount you saved is not all that big. You will save more when you order the small variant.

6. Popcorn freshness

Popcorn doesn’t get spoiled or rotten even when you store it for days. Movie theater workers pack up leftovers at night and store them in plastic bags. They heat them and sell them again the next day. It might take two days before management decides to throw it out.

7. Cameras

Theaters are equipped with cameras to catch those who illegally record the movie. If you plan to cuddle and make out in the dark, you should be aware that cameras capture your action even in the dark. Once a worker catches you, they can give you a warning or kick you out of the theater. It’s best to cuddle in at home to prevent embarrassing yourselves and the people around you.

8. Commercials and previews

Movie theaters are raking their revenue from previews advertising. Revenue from ads increases from ten to fifteen percent per year as it becomes common and popular. The commercials push the movies behind their schedule.

Meanwhile, some movie theater can show the wrong previews. Since the rise of automated digital projectors, there’s rarely anyone on the projection booth.

Now that you know the things that can affect your movie experience, you will know how to act and decide accordingly. You become aware of what movie theaters are hiding from you and choose if it’s still worth to purchase a ticket. If you do, be sure to get them early and keep these details in mind to get the best viewing experience.