Category Archives: Home & Lifestyle

Renting vs Owning a Home in Today’s Economy

Renting used to be a cost-effective approach, as opposed to owning a home.  Yet, in today’s economy, many people struggle to afford the cost of rent.  Today, there are more single-parent homes than ever before.  In turn, this results in only one income available for food, utilities, clothing, and rent.  Has the time come when it is cheaper to purchase a home than rent?

Renting is often touted as an affordable alternative to homeownership, but recent studies have revealed that renters are feeling the pressure of rising rents just as much as buyers are struggling to find reasonably priced homes. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s latest study, “Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing,” the average full-time worker must make $21.21 per hour to afford a basic, two-bedroom apartment and $17.14 per hour to afford a one bedroom.  Continue reading

Once you have made the decision to purchase a home, there are several more decisions to follow.  Are you interested in quickly grabbing a short sale home?  A short sale home is one in which the owner can no longer afford to make payments and the bank has agreed to let it go for less than the value of the home.  Contact a real estate agent that specialize in short sales, to help you find a home up for quick sale.

Another choice, to keep costs low, is to decide if a “fixer-upper” is an option you are able to entertain.  When considering a home that will need repairs, it is always best to consult with a  professional inspector, check structural issues, and decide which projects can be done on your own and what can be sub-contracted.  You would be surprised at all of the information available on YouTube to help a new homeowner complete a daunting repair.

How to Determine the True Cost of a Fixer-Upper

One of the problems with all those reality TV shows is that they don’t go into much detail about costs. They focus on the drama: discovering a hidden problem, finding a creative solution, and finally unveiling a beautiful, transformed space.

But in real life, numbers matter. Before you even start fixing walls or picking paint colors, you need to know whether you can really afford to buy this house and do the repairs on it. Working out just how much those repairs will cost is a complex process with several steps – and each one can have a big impact on the final sum.

Above is an excerpt from Amy Livingston on How to Buy a Fixer-Upper House…  In the full article, she explains in detail, the steps that a potential homeowner must take to determine if do-it-yourself repairs are an option.

There are many advantages to fixing up an older, worn out home.  One of the biggest advantages is profit.  According to research done by James Limbach for Consumer Affairs, home sales appear to be on the rise.  He provides us with the following information:

“Mortgage rates in April dipped back to their lowest level since November of last year, spurring home-buying activity,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Dr. Frank Nothaft. “In some metro areas, there has been a bidding frenzy as multiple contracts are placed on a single home. This has led home-price growth to outpace rent gains.”

Buying a home, is the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime.  Follow the tips in this article and the list below to make the best decision for your future.

Do You Live in One of the Safest—or Most Dangerous—States?

Millions of Young People Shut Out of the Housing Market

Apartments For Rent In DC

College graduation is coming up in May, which means that a lot of current students are looking for a place to live after they graduate. If you are lucky enough to have landed a job in Washington, DC, our nation’s capital, then you will likely be looking through numerous options for apartments for rent in DC. Washington, DC is a large city, which means that there are some different neighborhoods that you can choose from when picking your apartment in DC. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the areas within the city. It’s up to you to determine which attributes are most important when you search for apartments for rent in DC. Below are some key features to consider when you are doing your apartment hunting.



Location is Key

The city is large, so even though you live within the city boundaries, you could still live pretty far from where you work or where you want to hang out on nights and weekends. Public transportation within the city is okay, but it is not as good as the subway in New York. It may take you quite a while to get from one part of the city to another, especially if you use the public transportation system. Due to this, it’s important to look at the location of the apartments in the area of your office building and the hot spots in the city.

Some Neighborhoods are Unsafe

As with any big city, there are going to be some parts that are not particularly safe. Because of its size, DC has some largely unpopular areas that you will want to avoid. Keep in mind that not only should you want to avoid living in these less than safe neighborhoods, but you also want to avoid walking in them. When you’re searching for apartments to rent in DC, make sure to map the route to your office and to the best places for locals to hang out to make sure that you will not be entering any danger zones.


Does the Building Provide Parking?

Parking in DC can be tricky, so it is important to find an apartment that will provide you with safe, private parking. Especially if you want to have an easy way to get out of the city for the weekend or to visit home frequently, having a car and a valid parking space in the city is paramount.

Pricing and Budget

Apartments for rent in DC are not going to be the cheapest. One way to make expensive apartments fit inside your budget is to find a roommate. If you do not already have a roommate in mind, then you may need to look for one to make the costs of living in DC affordable. Of course, if you do not want to do this, then you can take a look at some apartments just outside of Washington, DC. This could help you live a little more luxurious life while still having a short commute to work.

Reach Out To Us For A Landscaping Estimate

When you want your business to thrive excellently, you need to keep in mind that it is about creating first impressions. This starts before people even set foot inside of your doors — make sure that you are on top of your landscaping needs. If this is what you are looking into, it will require you to hire a professional company that can serve you. We’re licensed and insured and able to provide you with a landscaping estimate on anything that you need. Take advantage of the points below so that you can hire us for the best service.

1: Figure Out What Kind Of Landscaping Service You Need

The sky is the limit when it comes to the type of landscaping service you can receive from a company. This is why it is so critical for you to take inventory of your business and figure out exactly what you need and want. For some people, this might be as simple as getting your grass cut every week. For other people, you might want rare plants installed throughout your landscape, creating an exuberant oasis for people to embrace as soon as they step foot onto the property. This is all a matter of choice and can be anything you want it to be. As you take inventory of your business and your landscaping needs, allow yourself to dream, while also considering what kind of budget you want to stick to. This way, you can then touch base with us and figure out what we can do for you and how much you are willing to pay for it.

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2: Get In Touch With Us To Begin Brainstorming Options

When you reach out to our business, we will be more than happy to look out for you so that you can brainstorm some options. We have high-quality software that you can use to plan out your landscaping needs. This opens your mind up and allows you to flow with creativity when you are going over these options. This will also let you know the possibilities, to make your dreams come to fruition and to make it a clear-cut reality when it comes to your landscaping needs.

3: Seek An Estimate And Sign The Contract

From here, you can finally get an estimate to see how much it will cost you to get this work done. Our company thrives based on providing people with excellent prices so that we remain competitive with other landscaping businesses in the local and surrounding area. Any time that you want to sign on the dotted line for a contract, start off by seeking a consultation with us so that you know exactly how much you will pay for these landscaping services.

Great Golf Gifts For The Golf Lover On Your List

Do you have a loved one or even someone who is just close to you that enjoys watching or playing the game of golf? Are you trying to figure out some golf gifts that you could choose from for the holidays, their birthday or some other special occasion? If so, there are many types of things that you can find either at your local retailers or through an online shopping venue – such as Amazon, that the recipient is certain to appreciate.

You will need to determine if you are going to purchase something that the individual can use while they are on their favorite golf course or a golf training aid to improve their game. Maybe some office decoration, fan related memorabilia or a different type of gift that is related to the sport, but not directly involved in the play. You may also choose to purchase one or more gift cards that are for retailers who have a great deal of golfing related items.


If you have the money, you can opt for a Myrtle Beach Golf Vacation and interest, you can also create your own gift basket for the person that is related to the sport of golf. This can be a great deal of fun, and allow you to include a wide range of items that the person will find appealing. Instead of using an actual basket, you may choose to use a cooler or something else that the person will find useful once they have removed the gift contents from it. After all, it is unlikely that the guy is going to want a pretty basket to put on display!

Inside of the basket, you can put a gift card to a sporting goods store, or even a gift of rounds at their favorite course as a great way to get your basket building underway. Of course, you can then add all types of things to the basket that will provide a truly personalized experience for the person lucky enough to be on your gift list this year.

You can peruse the Internet to find all types of golf gifts and golf training aids that you can include in a basket, or that are fine gifts on their own. There are many sites that have serious and humorous items alike so that you can appeal to what the person will most appreciate. For instance, you think about some of the ways that a person can practice their strokes while indoors or in their backyard, and provide them with the best golf trainer. Alternatively, there are stress relieving devices, alarm clocks, and virtually anything else that you can think of related to the world of golf that you can consider for those who love golf that are on your shopping list.

No matter what your budget or how close you are to the person, if they are a fan of the sport of golf, you cannot go wrong by finding gifts related to the beloved event. You and the recipient are sure to be pleased!