5 Harmful Homeowner Habits To Break

Being a homeowner is one of the biggest milestones in your life. You feel excited and proud to take care of your new house and truly turn it into a home for you and your family. To keep your house in the best shape possible, here are five bad homeowner habits to avoid.

Damaging doors. Slamming your doors can have a huge impact in the long run as it can slowly pull your doors out of alignment and potentially create gaps and cracks near your exterior doors, letting air seep in and boosting your utility bill.

Harmful humidity. Showers lasting over 10 to 12 minutes at high water temperatures can increase chances of mildew and mold growing in your bathroom. Over time, this can also cause the paint on your ceiling to bubble and peel from condensation.

Abusing appliances. Clean the lint tray in your dryer after every use, run the oven cleaning cycle at least once a month, and try to wipe down your stovetop and microwave down regularly to avoid grease and residue build up.

Soiling surfaces. After eating a meal, applying makeup, or working and playing outdoors, try to wash your hands before touching walls, cabinets, and doors. Plus, make it a house rule to remove shoes at the door to avoid tracking dirt onto carpets and rugs.

Punishing pipes. Although not the best of topics, a clog in your pipes or main drain can be a huge pain and costly to fix. Regularly clean hair out of your sink and shower drains and avoid flushing cleansing wipes, paper towels, or feminine products down the toilet.

Why You Should Invest In A Rental Property

Investing in real estate can be a great alternative to traditional investments and many owners choose to rent out their property. Here are some of the top benefits for getting into this line of business!

Increase over time. Money being put towards real estate investments has increased substantially over the past few years. This is due to an influx in demand of rental properties and an increase in rental rates. These continue to trend upwards, meaning your property’s value will continue to increase as well.

Security. Unlike investing in stocks, your investment growth is a lot steadier with a very minimal chance that you can lose it all overnight. Generally, experts can predict when the market will start to dip in advance, and you can adjust accordingly.

Create passive income. Investing in a rental property (or four!) can make you money while you sleep and the rent you collect can cover or exceed your mortgage payment and other expenses, allowing you to bring in extra cash flow.

Tax breaks. As a real estate investor, you can take advantage of several tax exemptions. Rental income is not subject to self-employment tax and government provides tax breaks on insurance, repairs, legal fees, and property taxes.

Inflation. Although normally a bad thing, people who own rental properties actually benefit from inflation because, as the cost of living increases, so does your income.

Flexibility to sell. Renting out a home allows the homeowner the opportunity to be selective about when and if they sell while the home is still appreciating. Once the market is in the right place and the lease is up, they can pull the trigger.

Dealing With Scratched Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes.

Hiding scratches: If you’ve got a good eye for matching colors, you can actually use crayons or markers or purchase wax sticks from the hardware store to fill-in scratches. Try to match the stain color on your floors, but don’t worry if it’s a little off. If the color is close, once the scratch is filled, it’ll look like a variation in the wood grain.

Polishing floors: You can make a polish solution for your floors from household ingredients. Mix olive oil and vinegar in equal parts, pour it directly into scratches, and then wipe it off after 24 hours. It may take several applications, but this homemade polish will fill and cover most scratches.

Clever decor: It’s not a long-term solution, but sometimes the most painless way to fix scratches in your floors is to cover them with a rug or furniture arrangement.

Spot sanding: For deeper scratches, you’ll need to spot sand with fine steel wool or sandpaper, use wood filler, and stain and seal the repaired area.

Reconsider These Choices When You’re Designing Your Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the areas of a home that sees the most wear and tear. All the water, heat, and food spills add up quickly, so it’s important to focus on quality and lasting appeal if you’re choosing materials for a kitchen remodel. Here are a few things you should avoid:

Cheap laminate counters: The bottom rung of laminate is extremely susceptible to wear and tear. It can melt if you forget to place a hot pad under a pan that’s fresh off the stove, and the edges can chip off from repeated exposure to moisture and heat.

Flat paint: A flat or matte finish is great in rooms with lower traffic, but it’s a bad idea in the kitchen, where the walls are regularly exposed to splatters and spills. You need paint that can withstand an occasional heavy scrubbing, so opt for gloss or semi-gloss finishes.

Trendy backsplash: If you watch any home remodeling shows, you’ve certainly seen kitchens with expensive, elaborate backsplash designs and materials. Those trends can be pricey to pursue, yet can look dated in a hurry. Subway tile is a cheaper, classic option that you’ll never regret—and you’ll have more room in your budget for quality materials elsewhere.

Cheap flooring: Just like the countertops, your kitchen floor needs to be strong enough to take some abuse. Cheap flooring easily scuffs and peels (especially from moisture). Quality flooring is worth the investment.