Rising interest rates and inflation may have you reconsidering your options regarding purchasing a new or used car.
You could have the option to buy out your leased car at a lower cost than what the car is actually worth. Although rare, it provides some options you may not have otherwise. For instance, you could buy out the lease and then sell the car privately, thus giving yourself some extra cash to put towards a new car. Consult your dealership to learn more about your options.
New Cars Are Hard to Come By, And Deals On Used Cars May Be Hard to Find
Your Checklist For Buying New and Used
Make Your Wish List
This is all going to depend on your lifestyle. Do you have a big family? You may want to refrain from buying that two-seater. Ask yourself these questions before making your purchase.
Do Your Research
At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, housing experts were predicting a crash in the market. That did not happen. Instead, home prices in the United States skyrocketed an incredible 37% in the two years between March 2020 and March 2022.
Home prices have been inflated by as much as 25%. Because of the dramatic increase in home values, you may be wondering if your current homeowners insurance policy is still sufficient enough to cover you in the event of a loss. This depends greatly on two factors, whether your home is insured using market value or replacement cost.
What is market value?
Market Value refers to the amount your house and land would sell for on the real estate market. Factors that may determine a homes market value include but are not limited to: your neighborhood, school district, crime rates, and values of others homes in your surrounding area.
What is the difference between market value and replacement cost?
As an example, let’s say that your home has a market value of $450,000. Current construction and materials costs are $500,000. This would mean that you would be left with a $50,000 coverage gap. Your options moving forward would be to build a smaller, less expensive home, or to pay the difference out of your own pocket. There is a way to avoid this. It is by obtaining Guaranteed Replacement Cost coverage.
What is replacement cost?
Replacement Cost refers to the estimated amount of money it would cost to repair or rebuild your home with the same or similar materials in the event of a total loss. The cost of building materials may fluctuate, so it is important to keep that in mind. Additionally, contractors hired to do the building may cost more or less depending on certain situations.
What is guaranteed replacement cost?
Guaranteed Replacement Cost is the best coverage you can have when it comes to protecting your home. By obtaining Guaranteed Replacement Cost coverage, you are guaranteed to be protected against a claim on your homeowners policy. If your house burns down, this coverage will guarantee that your home will be rebuilt back to its original state before the event occurred.
ALERT: If you have any improvements to your home that are valued at $5,000 or more, those need to be reported to insurance company within 90 days! This is extremely important to remember!Read more
There’s nothing quite like a freshly manicured lawn. Every homeowner dreams of enjoying such a majestic reality. However, do you know just how much goes into accomplishing this for yourself and your family? It takes a lot of time, work, and money.
Some of the steps you need to take for simple lawn care are to water, fertilize, mow, weed, trim, dethatch, aerate, and much more. It’s definitely a process. To make matters worse, once you start, if you don’t continue the process to completion, you are looking at something that might look like something similar to a gloomy, abandoned, beat down, unattractive plop of land. No one wants that. And if you are part of a homeowner’s association, forget about it. You will definitely be getting some phone calls. Many homeowners choose to go a different route with their lawn care, deferring from grass altogether.
Here are some of your options if you do not want to use grass for your lawn:
Clover: A low-grade grass alternative, clover is inexpensive, easy to plant, and stays green without the need to water. Another advantage to clover is it may only require mowing a few times a year.
Moss: Moss has the ability to grow in poor or rocky soil conditions. Also, its springy texture can feel like a carpet underneath your feet. While moss may require a more substantial investment upfront, it may afford you years of enjoyments without to need for maintenance. Consult a landscaping professional for the best advice on what type of species of moss fits your yard and climate best.
Ornamental grass: One of the greatest perks of ornamental grass is that it is drought-tolerant.
Gravel: Install a landscape fabric beneath the gravel to prevent weed growth, but using gravel is an excellent alternative to grass if you want rid yourself of yard work entirely. Everything from crushed granite to lava rock to recycled glass, you have a wide variety of options to choose from.
Artificial turf: Faux grass was once commonly used for sports stadiums, Today, it is making its way into home yards and landscapes. Manufacturers have become so good at creating surfaces that are nearly identical to real grass. Although artificial turf does not require watering, it does require the occasional raking as well as infill (a product used to weigh down the turf and provide a layer of cushion). Be mindful that this option is on the more expensive side, coming in at around $25 per square foot of material.
Wildflowers: If you want a more colorful landscape, wildflowers are a wonderful option for you to consider. Before starting your project, do some research to see which flowers are best suited to thrive in your particular climate. This type of landscaping may require annual maintenance.
Ground cover plants: These types of plants spread quickly and require very little maintenance. You will want to do a bit of research first if you choose this option because each plant may require different amount of sunlight to thrive.
When Should I Replant My Lawn?
Depending on the type of lawn you choose, you will need to consider the time of year you begin your project. If you choose something like artificial turf or gravel, you have nothing to worry about as far as timing is concerned. If you choose something that isn’t artificial, pay attention to the season in which you begin your work.
How Do I Remove The Grass I Currently Have?
Start digging: Use a flat shovel to slide under the grass, pulling it up by the roots.
Use a sod cutter: Go to one of your local home improvement stores and rent a sod cutter. This will help you cute your grass into neat, manageable strips. Once you do that, it’s as easy as rolling up a carpet.
Solarize it: Make sure you water your lawn and then cover it with a clear plastic sheet. The sun will do the rest of the work. After a few weeks of direct sunlight, your grass will be dead and ready to be removed.
Try sheet mulching: Cover your soil with a layer of compostable material, such as newspaper or cardboard. Add a compost of mulch of top of that. Since mulching takes several months, it is recommended that you start this process in the fall. Allow your lawn to decompose over the winter. When spring comes, you will be greeted with rich, nutrient-dense soil.Read more
Every year as a part of celebrating Halloween, many families participate in the age-old tradition of pumpkin carving. Sometimes, however, injuries can occur if proper caution and care are not taken when creating your spooky
Prepare your pumpkin and carving area
It’s important to keep your pumpkin dry, so it doesn’t slip out of your hands as you’re carving it. Be sure to place newspaper underneath your pumpkin and to have paper towels on hand. Finally, make sure that the area where you are carving has sufficient lighting.
Choose the appropriate tools
When it comes to carving your pumpkin, you shouldn’t necessarily think that sharper is better. Pumpkins have thick areas that a knife can potentially get stuck in. Attempting to force the knife out of the pumpkin could lead to serious injury. So, consider using plastic tools to minimize the risks of injury. They can still get the job done.
Leave carving to the adults
Allow your kids to trace the design they want for their pumpkin and then dig out the seeds from inside the pumpkin. Once ready to start carving, the adults should take over.
Have a first-aid kit nearby
In the event of an accident while carving, apply direct pressure to the injury with a clean, dry cloth. If the injury is severe and the bleeding doesn’t stop, seek professional medical attention.
Keep your options open
Instead of using sharp knives, you can elect to go the safer route by using such tools as cookie cutters or melon ballers. These items can help you create fun shapes and designs without risking injury. Painting your pumpkin is another option you can consider.
Be careful with the candle flame
Handling a flame always requires great care and caution. Any candle holds the risk of becoming a fire hazard that can spread quickly. Keep flames far out of reach of children.Read more