We all know one of the major benefits of owning a home is the freedom to have pets and welcome them as part of your family in a space all your own. Whether moving into your first home, or relocating to a new one, it’s important to make sure your pets are comfortable and adjust to their new surroundings. A move might induce confusion or fear for our furry friends, so here are some things to consider:
Make the Move Comfortable
Be it a dog, cat, horse, or even snake, the ride to the new house should be comfortable, and if at all possible, should be done with you by their side. Make sure to include soothing objects like favorite toys, blankets, beds, or other pet companions. Even if you have to transport pets via plane or tailer, giving them comfort items will help them feel familiar and less anxious.
Set Up a Special Space
Before you even welcome your pet into the new home, try to create a special area for them that will remind them of their old surroundings. If your dog always slept in the master bedroom, for example, then get his bed all set in the same space.
Keep Consistent Rules
As tempting as it may be to let your pet get away with special treatment during a move, try to maintain the same rules of your previous home to instill a sense of control and calm.
Whether you are new to the mortgage process or a veteran of the industry, the terms used in the initial steps of getting a loan can at times be confusing and misleading. Understanding the difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval helps determine how much house you can afford, and if you are qualified to get a loan. Below, we break down the difference between two very similar and equally important terms:
The pre-qualification is a less involved process than the pre-approval and can be done over the phone or online. As the borrower, you provide the lender your overall financial picture including debt, income, and assets. It does not involve an analysis of your credit report or a close look at your ability to purchase a home. The pre-qualification letter allows you to explore your mortgage options with a lender and ask any initial questions.
A pre-approval letter comes from the mortgage company you are working with and is essentially a commitment that you have a loan approved for a certain amount of money. This letter is required before a full mortgage loan approval and includes the following:
- Credit check
- Income/employment verification
- Financial obligations such as credit card balances
- Copies of W-2s and bank statements
Once you are pre-approved, you can move forward with looking for a home knowing you have a conditional commitment. This gives you leg up on an offer from somebody who has not been pre-approved.
If you recently bought a new home, there are several things you can do immediately to set yourself up for low energy costs, even before you unpack your boxes. Getting a head start on this small list can save you a lot of money in years to come.
1.) Immediately replace the air filters.
This task takes only seconds and is often times forgotten by new homeowners. By replacing the air filter, your HVAC or air-handling system will not overwork at minimal efficiency. Stock up on a few extra filters so you are always prepared. The average home with no pets should have a new filter every 6-12 months, and a average home with a pet, every 60 days or so.
2.) Lower the hot water temperature.
120 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for your hot water heater as most people never use water any hotter than that, and it can be dangerous to human skin. Any energy used to keep water above 120 degrees is not being used efficiently and lowering the temperature will save you money on your energy bill.
3.) Clear all vents.
From dirt and dust, to any furniture or structural obstructions, make sure all of your vents are clean and clear. If a vent is blocked, the heating and cooling units work overtime. Cleaning vents of dust and debris enhance clean air flow and makes for a healthier home.
4.) Check for leaks.
Make sure all toilets and plumbing is running efficiently and there are no leaks. Replace and repair any running toilets or dripping faucets to ensure you aren’t wasting water and throwing away money.
5.) Install new lighting.
By now, we all know that LED bulbs save us a lot when it comes to money and energy. While they are a bit more expensive than other bulbs, they last much longer and are a worthwhile investment. Consider replacing all of the old lighting in your new home with an LED option and you’ll be saving immediately.
A lot can change between buying your first home and downsizing to a home you’ll enjoy during retirement. Chances are it will be your last big move and you want to make sure you get it right. Consider the following tips for finding a retirement home that best fits your needs:
Location For Years to Come:
There’s a good chance you want to stay near your family and friends, but you should also consider a location that will allow you easy access to amenities. Finding a home near grocery stores, shopping malls, or public transportation options will serve as a convenience in later years when mobility becomes more of a challenge. You might also have a certain hobby you enjoy, like playing golf or going to the beach; consider the time it will take to get to these places when choosing your home for retirement.
Omit the Stairs:
Even if the idea of struggling to climb a flight of stairs seems years away, you might look for single-story homes to eliminate this inevitable nuisance. If you are thinking of new construction, then take the opportunity to implement features like wide doorways and walk-in showers so you are guaranteed a smooth transition into your later years.
How Much Space Do You Need:
This applies both inside and outside. Do you need or want a large yard that is going to require continued maintenance down the road? Even if you enjoy yard work, make sure you find a home with manageable outdoor space that won’t become a hassle later on. For inside, consider the amount of rooms and square footage you’ll be cleaning and taking care of. Do you still need extra guest rooms and a formal dining room?
Plan for Financing:
At this stage of your life, you might be able to afford a large down payment, or even pay off a mortgage outright and eliminate your expenses. Even though nobody wants to have a mortgage, sometimes it is necessary to give yourself the flexibility to live the life you want and have worked so hard for in retirement. No matter your current circumstance, always be sure to plan for the unexpected.
By considering these helpful tips, hopefully you will have a thorough understanding of just what kind of house you need to enjoy your retirement years and beyond.
By Day: Kim is new to the Norcom team and has been with us for a few months acting as Sales Manager in our Glastonbury, CT office. Her daily goal is to reach at least five contacts through calls, emails, and getting out on the road to visit referral sources and find new business opportunities. Being new, Kim has found the support of the IT and Marketing Departments invaluable and she learns the ropes. She loves the collaborative community at Norcom and finds it refreshing that if she needs help working through a loan scenario, she can simply walk over to speak with the Underwriting Department who is always more than willing to help. You can often find Kim at any number of networking events as she is constantly working to get out and make new business connections.
By Night: Kim recently bought a new home so she is currently occupied with decorating it and exploring the new surroundings with her two dogs, Meaty and Kali. Her two children bring her the most joy in life. Her son is a US Marine Vet and her daughter had an exciting amateur Motocross career which took the family on extensive travel. Kim spends her free time supporting military families through a variety of online communities, serves as the Deputy Treasurer for Eastford, CT, and enjoys riding motorcycles. She loves going to live concerts and spending time at any beach she can get to, including a recent trip to Hawaii. Most people don’t know that while she does not actually fish, she hosts a huge open house party for family and friends on opening day of fishing seasons and considers it one of her favorite traditions.