Are you looking for ways to improve the curb appeal of your home without taking a big chunk out of your wallet? Here are 9 ways to do just that:
- Add mulch: Mulch goes a long way in instantly giving your yard a face lift. The darker the mulch, the bigger the effect is. Not only does new mulch look nice, it saves water by cutting down on runoff.
- Improve the front door: Upgrading to new and modern hardware really improves the look of the door. You also want to make sure your front entrance is free of cob webs and other debris. Replacing the door bell, the door’s kick plate, and the outdoor light fixtures can also really amp up your home’s style.
- Fence: Fix any discolor or wear by using a semitransparent stain on your fence. This will improve the look of your yard by giving it an all-over fresh feel.
- Pressure clean: Rent a pressure washer to clean up your home’s exterior, driveway, walkways, patio, deck, stairs, porch, etc. Don’t forget about your front door and mailbox; be sure to clean those by hand if they need some attention.
- Accent color: Consider adding an accent color to your home’s window casements, shutters, or front door. If you are unsure as to how to choose a good color, head to your local home improvement store and look at the color accent cards that large manufacturers provide.
- Fill in your yard: Look for spaces in beds and borders and put in annual flowers.
- Cool-colored plants: It is a good idea to stick to plants in cool colors such as blue, purple, light pink, and white as people usually react in an emotional way to hot colors such as reds or yellows. Also, stick with either one color or one color with an accent color in order to create a polished and organized look. Planting flowers of many different colors may look too busy.
- Mow and weed: Ensure your lawn is taken care of by mowing the grass and pulling out the weeds. A well taken care of lawn translates that the homeowner takes pride in their residence.
- Light it up: Add lights to walkways and near plants/trees that you want to highlight. Illuminating your yard looks great at night and you never know when a potential buyer will drive by.
Your credit score plays a large role in the type of financing you will be offered when looking to buy a home. Banks usually decide on the terms of a loan based on the credit score category that you fall in to. It is important to check into your credit score and to ensure that you take any necessary steps to improving your score as much as possible before deciding to finance a home. Here is a quick summary of how banks view your credit score in relation to financing:
- The lower the credit score, the more difficult it is to become approved for a loan and the loans that are obtained with a lower score will typically have a higher interest rate
- In order to qualify for conventional financing, a borrower must have a minimum score of 620; some lenders have raised the minimum score needed for conventional loans through overlays (rule overrides)
- The national average FICO score is 689
Below are the credit tiers according to Fannie/Freddie:
– 760 Plus New Tier 1 A
– 740-759 Old Tier 1 A
– 720-739 Fair Sub A
– 700-719 Fair
– 680-699 Average
– 660-670 Below Average
1. Using cheap applicators: In order to do a nice job, it’s important to invest in quality rollers and brushes.
2. Not preparing: Repair work needs to be done to the walls prior to painting in order to ensure your painting surface is clean, dry, and free of loose debris.
3. Overextending each dip of the brush or roller: Many painting novices will not dip the brush or roller frequently enough. When you don’t dip enough, the paint can dry in the brush bristles and the roller material can mat down which makes for uneven application. As soon as you notice the paint breaking up, it’s time to re-dip.
4. Breathing mistakes: When you are trying to be precise, such as when cutting in a corner, breathe out or hold your breath. When you breathe in your hands are not as steady.
5. Dried out touch up paint: In order to make water-based paint last longer, place clear plastic wrap directly onto the top of the paint and then reseal the container. For oil based, add a half inch of water to the top of the container before resealing.
Booking a summer vacation? Check out these tips!
- Look at websites that deal with vacation rentals. Often times, hotels or conference centers that deal primarily with business travelers have lower rates on the weekends. If renting a property, always read the entire listing and agreement before committing; don’t miss any details or fine print.
- It is usually cheaper to rent in a less central location with a smaller company. Rent the cheapest car you can find and choose early morning pickup; it’s very likely that yesterday’s cars won’t be returned yet so the company will have to offer you a larger car for the same price.
- Look over your existing insurance policy to see if you already have the right coverage for a rental car; if you do, think about skipping the rental company’s policy.
- Don’t rent a vehicle that is too small
- Follow major airlines on social media and make sure to join their rewards programs. Discounts can be earned over time and you will be able to keep up with promotions and sales.
- Invest in available package deals; these are a way for both airlines and hotels to book empty seats and rooms using low prices.
- Don’t check air fares for just one day; if possible, be flexible and look around for a deal.
- Consider local destinations and attractions. There are many national and state parks that may only be a few hours away that can provide a wonderful family getaway experience.
- Don’t put a trip on a credit card if you can’t truly afford it. Once interest payments start being made, that trip will end up costing a lot more than you originally planned on.