Ever have one of those random mornings that everything goes wrong? Worst of all, everyone in the house managed to get ahead of you into the shower and now there's no more hot water. Ugh!
You demand hot water! At least, you'd like to. And you can make demands with an on-demand hot water system.
On-demand Tankless Water Heater
Long used in Europe and other parts of the world, on-demand water heating units typically heat water at that the time the tap turns on rather than heating a tank full of water. According to Energy.gov, an instantaneous-type water heater avoids standby energy losses associated with tank storage water heaters. That can save you money on utilities over time.
Here’s how it works: Tankless water heaters heat the cold water running through the pipe and into the unit. Either electric or gas, the units supply constant hot water as long as the tap is open. And since you don’t need to wait for a tank to fill up, the last person to get in the shower receives the same amount of hot water as the first person.
There are limitations, however, that have to do with the rate of flow. A typical tankless unit will provide between two and five gallons per minute, so if you're used to more water pressure, you might be disappointed. Also, if you install one central until to heat water for the entire home, you'll find this limitation is problematic when running both the dishwasher and the shower or filling a tub at the same time you're washing a load of clothes on hot. To overcome this limitation, install more than one unit in parallel or install several at the point of use: so, place one in each bathroom, one in the laundry room and one in the kitchen.
Point of Use Water Heaters Tank
Another option that works for small amounts of instant hot water, such as to fill a kitchen sink for dishes, is a point-of-use water tank. These are small tanks that hold between two and five gallons, placed on the hot water line near to where you might use them. A two-gallon might work under the kitchen sink so that water for rinsing is available immediately. A larger version, say a five-gallon unit, might go inline to your washer in the laundry room if you need to wash in hot water on a consistent basis.
An advantage of these tanks is that the water is available in the location you need it most, while still being in-line with your main household water tank. The distinct disadvantage is that if you need more hot water than the tank holds, you must wait for it to arrive from the household unit anyway.
Either one might be just the perfect solution for you. Contact a certified installer to give you an idea of your options. And check with your local real estate professional to see how adding one of these units can increase your home’s value.
Most adults go through a series of predictable life stages, which include the eventual desire to be a home owner. Some people take the plunge sooner than others, but that decision is typically set in motion by changing circumstances, such as financial readiness, additions to the family, or career advancement.
Owning your own home certainly has a different "feel" to it than being a renter. Not only do you tend to feel more established and successful, but home ownership gives you more control over your environment. When you no longer have to answer to a landlord, you don't have to concern yourself with unannounced visits, inspections, restrictions, rent increases, or even lease terminations.
Renting an apartment, condo, or duplex may make the most sense when you're getting your first taste of independence as a recent college graduate or a young newlywed couple. However, as maturity settles in, buying a house becomes the next logical step. In addition to the investment value of real estate, most people also gravitate toward the idea of more privacy, more control over their lives, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from owning your own home.
Parenthood brings changes. Once children come into your life, your whole perspective undergoes a seismic shift! New priorities come to the forefront, such as relocating to a better school district, living closer to relatives or a recommended child care facility, and having a spacious yard where your kids can play. Owning property with a private, grassy space for a sandbox, a swing set, or backyard birthday parties are also among the reasons home ownership appeals to young parents.
Gardening becomes an option. With few exceptions, the joy of backyard gardening is a pastime that's only available to home owners. Whether your interest lies in growing your own vegetables, herbs, or wildflowers, cultivating a garden can be a very satisfying aspect of home ownership. While there is definitely more work involved in landscaping, maintaining property, and keeping your lawn looking manicured, the pride of ownership that comes from beautifying your own yard makes it all worthwhile!
Building equity: While deluxe townhouse rentals and luxury apartments may offer some temporary appeal, there comes a time in life when you want your monthly payments to begin feathering your own nest, rather than helping your landlord retire comfortably! Although your rented living space may provide you with immediate comfort, ample storage, and a place to entertain friends, it's your landlord, not you, who's receiving the tax advantages and investment value of the property you're living in.
Even though apartment living or townhouse renting may have suited your purposes up until now, you can't help but wonder whether it's time for a change -- specifically, a change that can strengthen your financial security and provide you with a resource you can leverage and enjoy for years to come.
If you've set a goal of buying your first home within the next year, there are several things you can begin doing now to set the stage for a positive experience.
While it pays to familiarize yourself with everything from your credit score to mortgage options, choosing a good real estate agent will prove to be an invaluable advantage when navigating through the process of buying a home. An experienced, knowledgeable agent will help keep you on track, prepare necessary documents for you, and answer the myriad of questions that will occur to you.
Should you choose the first real estate agent you talk to? People occasionally find a perfect fit right off the bat, but it's often a good idea to interview a couple agents before you make your final decision. Having one or two points of comparison can provide you with a wider perspective of available choices.
Not only would you want to work with a professional who has a successful track record in helping first-time home buyers, but you also want to make sure your personality is compatible with your agent's communication style and energy level. Unless you stumble on the home of your dreams on the first day, you're probably going to be spending a lot of time with them. Most real estate agents do tend to be knowledgeable, resourceful, and service oriented, but your journey will be a lot smoother and more satisfying if you sign on with an agent who's a good match for your individual needs and personality.
One of the most effective ways to prepare yourself for a real estate search is to create lists of things you need to do, have, and schedule. It's also helpful to prioritize what you want in your ideal house. By identifying and reminding yourself of the features that are most important to you, you'll have a greater tendency to recognize what you want when you see it. You'll also find yourself communicating your needs and wants more clearly to your real estate agent. As is the case with any professional or personal relationship, good quality communication usually yields the best possible results.
As a home buyer, there are many property features and priorities you'll want to ponder and discuss with your significant other. In addition to your future home's square footage, bedroom space, and number of bathrooms, you may also be interested in the reputation of school districts, the character of neighborhoods you're considering, and the amount of privacy each property affords.
Another list worth compiling before you get too far into the house hunting process is a personal budget. By seeing how your income stacks up against your monthly expenses, you'll be in a stronger position to determine a realistic price range for your next home.
There are few things for a home seller that are more stressful than the home inspection. You hope and pray that everything will come out a-OK in your house so that your buyers will want to continue with the sale without asking for too many contingencies. There’s a few simple things that you can do to make sure your home inspection goes smoothly. The good news is that these tasks won’t cost you a lot of time or money. A few simple actions can save you a lot of grief in unnecessary service calls. Check out these tips to help you get through the home inspection with flying colors:
Check Your Light Bulbs
If you have a light bulb that’s simply burnt out, that could prompt the need for a check of the entire electrical system in your home. Avoid a costly visit from an electrician just by checking your light bulbs and replacing them where necessary.
Check Your Air Filters
The air filters in your home can be easily neglected and be a big problem in the home inspection process. Even if a filter looks a little gray, take the time to replace it. You should check your air filters and furnace filters for any potential problems like tears or excess dirt. For bonus points, you may want to just replace the filters before the inspection no matter how little dirt they have on them. Otherwise, a clogged filter can be a sign that your furnace or heating and cooling system isn’t working properly.
Check Your Sinks
A few dollars spent on some drain unclogging chemicals is a few hundred dollars potentially saved on a plumber. Fill up your sinks with water and see how they drain. If they’re a bit slow, get the chemicals that you need to work on unclogging the drains (such as Drain-o). If there’s a funny smell coming from the drain, be sure to address it. Lemons also work wonders on everything from drains to garbage disposals. Even some baking soda and vinegar can help to clean a drain wonderfully.
Fix Major Repairs Before Your Home Goes On The Market
If you know something pressing needs to be fixed or replaced in your home, be sure to fix it before the home even goes on the market. It’s much easier to take care of things before a buyer’s contingency and a time limit is involved. Although you may be hesitant to spend the money, you should replace certain appliances, fix the roof, or address that creaky floor before the “For Sale” sign even goes out front.
If you don’t have a lot of cash on hand to secure a home with a sizable downpayment, you might feel stuck. It’s quite a feat to be able to save up the 20 percent cost of a home that is generally required to purchase a home. Your options may seem limited when you want to own a home. There is one option that could be a good idea to consider when you’re in this situation. That’s the idea of finding a rent-to-own property.
How Does A Rent-To-Own Property Work?
First, know that these properties are hard to find. That’s why you may not have thought of it as a first option. When you do find a property like this that suits your needs, you should know all of the ins and outs before you commit to the home. The agreement works just as it sounds, but there are always a few bits of extra text that can make the difference in any agreement in a rent-to-own property.
Lease With A Purchase Option
With this type of agreement, you’ll need to pay what is called an option fee in order to give you the right to purchase the property at a later date. The seller is then required to sell the property to you as a tenant and apply the option fee to the price of purchase. If for some reason you have paid the option fee and decide to walk away from the property after a time, the money that you have paid as an option is simply lost. The option fee is usually a percentage of the purchase price ranging anywhere from 2-7 percent of the home’s price.
Lease And Purchase Agreement Rolled Into One
In this type of rent-to-own agreement, both the tenant and the seller agree on fixed purchase price for the home, or agree that a purchase price will be determined at a later date through an appraisal. Everything is set up from the beginning including the closing date for the home.
This type of deal in a rent-to-own situation is often considered the better choice. Know that a fixed price option may put you in a better financial position than an appraisal option. You’ll have instant equity in the property when you buy it. This is especially helpful in high competition markets. In any other types of market, you may be better off with an appraisal. This ensures that you don’t overpay for the house.
How Your Rent Payments Apply
Rent-to-own gives you an advantage in that you get the added benefit of rent credits. This is where a percentage of your monthly rent payment is applied to the purchase price of the home. The amount of percentage that’s applied will be agreed upon with your landlord ahead of time.
While a rent-to-own option to purchase a property can be a bit more complicated than other ways of purchasing a home, it can be a great way for people different financial situations to become home owners. Make sure you go over everything carefully before you sign anything so that you fully understand the agreement you’re entering into.