Know the Values of Homeownership

You’ve never owned your own home and your thinking about buying. Transitioning mentally from renter to owner can be confusing at times. As a renter, you haven’t had to deal with the ins and outs of owning your own home, and as you examine the reality of ownership, it can seem like it involves more cons than pros. You have to take care of all maintenance, repairs, insurance, upgrades and more. With all the added work to maintain only to one day resell your home, it might not seem worth it. So why is buying a good idea? Here’s why!

Consistent monthly payments

As a renter, you constantly are subject to rent increases. Depending on your city or neighborhood, this might be a small percentage annually (if your rental unit is under rent control), or an annual increase determined in your rental agreement. In many cases, your rent is subject to your landlord’s discretion at the end of each term of your lease, and if the property value and quality of living go up in your neighborhood (as you hope it does), it could price you out of your favorite living space. When you choose to purchase a home, you make a longer commitment, but your monthly payments are guaranteed to be the same throughout the repayment of your fixed-rate mortgage. Living with no surprise changes allows you to set budgetary and lifestyle goals further into the future, and the certainty to achieve them.

Equity and future cash flow

Yes, you will likely need to take out a loan to purchase your own home. The upside to ownership is that every mortgage payment you make increases the percentage of equity you have in your home. When you rent, you are only paying toward the term of your lease and the owner of the rental property gains all the equity. Investing in your own property helps your financial stability for the future. The more equity you have, the better your net worth and the more you can invest in other properties or goods. The more stake you have in your home, the more valuable it becomes to you when you want to sell your property in the future—to create cash flow, or to invest in a new home, other property, or your retirement lifestyle.

Apart from the personal value of owning your own home—taking care of it, raising a family there, or starting a new life in your place—the investment can add even more value to your life. If you’re considering your first home purchase and aren’t sure about the commitment or investment value, speak with your local real estate agent for the best advice for you. Review your current means, your interests and abilities, and your life goals and let them help you make the right decision.


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 8:28 pm
Andrew Torosian | Posted in Uncategorized |

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

If you have walked into your kitchen at midnight, put on the lights and watched an army of cockroaches scatter into the dark crevices of your cabinets, then you know you have a bad situation on your hand. Cockroaches are not just terrible insects, but they can contaminate food and spread germs around the home. Follow these simple processes to get rid of cockroaches in your home once and for all.

  • Eliminate food and water sources. Cockroaches need stores of food and water to survive, so the first step in getting rid of them involves cutting them off from food and water. Always clean up spilled or leftover food or use sealed containers to store them. Your kitchen appliances, cabinets and even behind the refrigerator should be cleaned thoroughly every night to remove grease and spilled food. Their water sources include leaky pipes and wet drains, so they should be fixed and dried respectively. Place wet items like sponges and toothbrushes in an airtight bag to dry.
  • Eliminate hiding places. Roaches love hiding in dark and damp places during the day, so you should focus on ridding your home of spaces like these. Clean up any clutter you have around such as cardboard boxes. You should also seal up cracks and holes in your walls with caulk to prevent entry. Make sure your under-cabinets are not damp and inviting for them.
  • Use bait. Applying cockroach bait is also a simple and effective way of getting rid of cockroaches. While pesticides are not always advisable because of their likelihood of contaminating surfaces like countertops and appliances, baits are more straightforward and safer to use. Place bait in the areas of the highest cockroach traffic such as behind cabinets and countertops, around the sink and bathroom fixtures and pipes that come into the home.
  • Use Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs). Insect Growth Regulators are synthetic chemicals that work to disrupt the natural life cycle of insects, functioning as a form of birth control for them, the idea being that if an insect cannot reach adulthood, then it becomes impossible for it to reproduce.

When finished with all these, there is the need for patience in waiting for results to become complete. Always bear in mind that getting rid of cockroaches is a constant process that has to be carried out regularly. Not sure of what kind of bait or IGR to buy, ask for recommendations at your local supermarket.


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 8:23 pm
Andrew Torosian | Posted in Uncategorized |

5 Ways to Boost Your Self Improvement Goals

Personal development goals require practical efforts to achieve. While it may seem as if these activities are insignificant, they quickly add up to just what you need to grow. Take the time to practice these few tips that are sure to strengthen your stand on the personal growth front.

Start with a New Hobby 

An excellent way to up your game in the personal development front is to learn something new at every chance you get. Go out of your comfort zone and find up a new hobby. Try something demanding that will compel you to go beyond your comfort zone. Any hobby that stretches you further to your breaking point will do just fine. Keep learning!

Endeavor to Read Every Day

Learning is the key to personal growth. And not just education but continuous learning. As you eat daily to grow, you should read daily to develop too. The more books you read, the denser your knowledge bank. Get good books aimed at growth and be sure to read every day.

Face Your Fears

Fear is like a roadblock that keeps you from crossing to the other side. It represents things you have never tried or things you gave up trying to accomplish. Either way, it prevents you from climbing to the next level of your growth. It is time to face your fears. Pick up those things you thought you could never do. Try again at the things that proved extremely difficult the last time. Make a list of your fears and check the boxes as you overcome them.

Explore with a New Language

Personal growth requires active efforts to learn something new. Remember to keep searching for something new to learn. You could try learning a new language. It is both entertaining and educative. Make sure you take every chance as they come. Don’t stop learning. Don’t stop growing.

Get a Workout Plan

Getting in shape boosts your confidence, which has a significant pull on your personal growth. It doesn’t have to be a daily routine. A weekly routine will do just fine as long as you get things going. Improving your health removes the mental block that stops you from growing. Give it a try!

Self-growth is a decision you have to make at some point in life. It has never been an easy task for anyone. Yet, it is a task that is worth taking on. You should consider these tips as you set out on your journey toward self-growth. You will be happy you did.


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Andrew Torosian | Posted in Uncategorized |

How to Hit Your Eclectic Sweet Spot

Sometimes you just can’t decide if you like modern, traditional, antiques, or transitional. The decision to choose one over the others is even more difficult if you’ve inherited family heirlooms with which you simply can’t part. So, what do you do? Make a mashup that expresses all your styles!

Mix and match

Avoid the confining idea that furnishings need to match in order to “go.” A traditional sofa, Mid-Century Modern chair, an Art Deco table, and antique lamps can fit together as long as you remember and practice some of these “rules”—actually, they’re more like suggestions since everything depends on what you own and want to keep.

  • Size matters. You can blend nearly any style together in your eclectic home as long as each piece is of similar “weight” in the overall scheme of things. What is weight? The thickness of the wood, height of the chairs, balance of the materials, all contribute to how a piece dominates the room. A heavy traditional leather sofa might overshadow a fine antique table, so perhaps they belong in different places.
  • Composition communicates. When everything in the room is modern except that one piece, it might seem out of place. Compose a balanced creation that has a few items from each era to make your design purposeful.
  • Texture transforms. When mixing several wood types or finishes, find a unifying texture to tie the pieces together. Make your sofa pillows of a similar feel to your throw and tablecloths so that it pulls the look together. Or utilize disparate textures in similar hues to drive the narrative of the room.
  • Metals magnify. Mixing metallics such as a metal and glass side table with natural wooden chairs and painted bookshelves makes layers in light and crisp, reflective and matte, to give your room depth and dimension.
  • Color calms. As mentioned above, utilizing a similar hue or range of shades from the same palette pulls the look together while deliberate splashes of a contrasting color provide interest and draw the eye.
  • Frame it up. To create equivalent mass to wall art, balance a large modern piece on one wall with a collage of smaller art in a variety of frames opposite. Spotlight a large framed mirror above a fireplace to add drama, or set it atop a Mid-Century Modern credenza to juxtapose eras.

Ultimately, your style is all about what makes you happy. If your pieces don’t yet lend themselves to an utterly eclectic look, keep adding to your collection until they do. And if you’re looking for an especially unique home, let your property specialist know what’s on your mind.


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 8:16 pm
Andrew Torosian | Posted in Uncategorized |

Tips for Buyers: Score a Great Deal on a Home

Believe it or not, you don’t need to be a homebuying expert to score a great deal on your dream residence. In fact, there are many things you can do to find and acquire a house that won’t force you to break your budget, and these include:

1. Shop Around

When it comes to conducting a home search, it generally is a good idea to be thorough. If you search for residences in a variety of cities and towns, you can boost the likelihood of finding a home that you can afford.

Also, it is important to remember that scoring a great deal on a residence usually requires hard work and patience. If you perform lots of housing market research, you can gain deep insights into the real estate sector. You then may be able to use housing market insights to find ways to speed up the process of locating and purchasing your ideal home.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

If you have a mortgage in hand when you start your home search, you will be better equipped than other buyers to pounce at the opportunity to acquire a budget-friendly home.

Typically, it won’t take long to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you meet with myriad banks and credit unions, you can explore all of your home financing options. Then, you can select a mortgage and perform a home search with a budget at your disposal.

If you have questions about a mortgage, there is no need to worry, either. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to respond to your home financing queries. Therefore, these specialists can help you make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a homebuying professional who will help you find a terrific house at an affordable price – without exception. He or she knows what it takes to perform an in-depth home search, and as such, will take the guesswork out of acquiring your dream residence.

In addition, a real estate agent offers comprehensive homebuying insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. If you are unsure about where to search for a home, for example, a real estate agent can help you hone your homebuying criteria. Or, if you are uncertain about how much to offer to acquire your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive homebuying proposal.

A real estate agent is available to assist you in any way possible as you navigate the homebuying journey, too. That way, you can get the help you need to seamlessly go from homebuyer to homeowner.

For those who want to purchase a first-rate house at an economical price, it helps to prepare for the homebuying journey. By using the aforementioned tips, you can move quickly to find a home that falls in line with your finances. As a result, you could accelerate your home search and acquire your ideal residence in no time at all.


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 8:11 pm
Andrew Torosian | Posted in Uncategorized |

A Common-Sense Approach to House Hunting

When buying a house, especially your first home, it’s all too easy to make impulsive decisions and fail to “see the forest for the trees.”

Although it’s impossible to ignore your emotional reactions to a house for sale, it’s vital to look at the big picture and make sure there are no red flags being ignored or glossed over.

For example, if the foundation of the house looks unstable or the surrounding neighborhood is showing signs of deterioration, it’s ultimately not going to matter how much you love the layout of the kitchen or the convenience of a first-floor laundry room. Major problems can overshadow the desirable features of a home and have long-term implications on your finances (and sanity).

Even though the future marketability of a house may be the last thing on your mind when you’re searching for your next home, it’s a factor worth giving some serious thought to. When that aspect of homeownership is overlooked, it could result in headaches and possible financial loss down the road. While real estate generally has a tendency to appreciate in value over time, there are exceptions.

The good news is that many potential problems can be prevented by combining common sense with the advice of qualified professionals, such as an experienced, certified property inspector. If you’re wondering what’s covered in a typical home inspection, the American Society of Home Inspectors offers this overview: “The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors; the foundation, basement, and structural components.”

So while inspectors can’t look behind every wall or accurately predict the remaining lifespan of an existing HVAC system, they can provide you with a lot of valuable tips, recommendations, and insights into the condition of a house for sale. Working with a top-notch real estate (buyer’s) agent will also help you avoid many of the potential pitfalls of buying a home.

While nobody wants to move into a “money pit,” the likelihood of finding a home that’s absolutely perfect and doesn’t need any repairs, updates, or improvements is extremely low. Homebuyers who are too focused on perfection may eventually realize that their standards are unattainable. A successful search for a new home hinges on the ability to distinguish between a minor cosmetic problem, such as an unappealing paint color, and a major problem, like a basement that floods regularly or a roof that’s been compromised by storms, falling branches, or long-term neglect.

Although home buyers have different expectations when it comes to repairs, remodeling, decorating, and renovations, one thing’s for sure: Everyone wants to add their own personal touches to a new home and make it feel and look like their own!


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 8:06 pm
Andrew Torosian | Posted in Uncategorized |

Taking the Pare Down Challenge

Minimalism has taken hold of a generation of new homeowners. Many young families may move multiple times before finding a forever home. Throughout the sorting, packing, loading, moving, and unloading they realize that much of what they carry with them is not necessary for comfortable living. Many folks have accepted the challenge to pare unused and cluttering items from their lives. Whether you are planning to move soon, just moved into your forever home, or are somewhere in-between, you can benefit from paring down and decluttering your life.

Discover freedom

Proponents of decluttering from Marie Kondo, star of Netflix’s hit show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” to Genevieve Parker Hill, author of Minimalist Living: Decluttering for Joy, Health, and Creativity, believe that reducing your home’s clutter, overflow, and disorganization help to free up your time, energy, and happiness. The concept of removing disorganization from your life sets you up to more effortless living.

You can join an online challenge ranging anywhere from three days to six weeks to fit your schedule. Alternatively, you can make a pact with friends or siblings to cheer each other through it or challenge yourself to carry out a list of decluttering items in one day or over several days. If you take on the challenge by yourself, create a suitable reward for your efforts.

Clear your mind first

Before you try to clear your home of clutter, take some time to organize your thoughts first.

  • Write down what you hope to achieve by decluttering: more space? More peace? Better time management?
  • Note where you want to start. You may be able to declutter your entire home, but before you bite off that enormous chunk, create an order of priority. Is the hall closet most important? The pantry? Perhaps your biggest headache is your closet, attic, or garage. Start with that one place. If you try to do too many spaces at once, you may end up discouraged before you start.
  • Set aside the day or days for your challenge. Block off your schedule. Putting it off got you into this position in the first place and any interrupted to your challenge dates might tempt you to indulge in procrastination once again.

Once you have determined the room you will start with, prepare four boxes for sorting:

  • Discard – items too used or useless to give to a charity or thrift store need tossing. Do not donate anything beyond its useful life. At the end of each day, you will discard these items so that you avoid the temptation to put them back in your house.
  • Recycle – if you no longer use it for its original purpose, but you know you could use it someplace else, put it in the “recycle” box.
  • Give – items you no longer use, but that someone else could go in the “give” box. You can donate these to a charity or thrift store or give them to family members or friends that want them and will use them. Immediately place this box in your car to give away as soon as possible.
  • Keep – this is what goes back in this location, or into another place. Once you clean out the area, return to it only the items that belong there. If you have other keep items, move them to the room or location they belong in so that they no longer clutter up your space.

When you finish, reward yourself. Then, set up the next challenge. If you plan to put your home on the market, to give a deadline to your challenge, have your real estate agent set an open house date.


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 7:58 pm
Andrew Torosian | Posted in Uncategorized |

Housekeeping Millennial-Style

Yes, mom’s house always seemed magically clean, so you may have missed some of her little tricks and tips. Here are a few to add to your cleaning repertoire and simplify your life.

Housekeeping hacks

  • Repurpose your orange peels: Place orange, lemon, or lime peels in your garbage disposal and run with plenty of water to clean out nasty residue and make your sink smell citrusy fresh. Alternatively, run a little bit of distilled vinegar in the disposal and follow with lots of water. The vinegar odor dissipates within a couple of hours leaving your drains with a pleasant neutral odor.
  • Keep your brew flowing: Run distilled white vinegar, not apple cider vinegar, through your coffee machine every few weeks. Just add a half-cup to one full pot of water, pour it in and press “brew” to clean out the calcium and lime deposits that build up in the coffee maker and wipe out any mold or bacteria hiding in the works. Make sure to follow up with a pot or two of clean, clear water so that your coffee maker is morning ready.
  • Dump the dryer lint: Ever wonder why it takes you longer to dry your clothes than it took your mom? Clean the dryer lint between each load. The filter that collects the fuzz is also the place that damp air leaves the dryer so clearing out that build-up makes the dryer more efficient. At least every two or three months, carefully pull the dryer out from the wall and clean the lint caught in the hose and vent too.
  • Freshen the bed: Clean your sheets every week. If you’re like a lot of millennials and don’t use a top sheet, then clean your comforter or duvet cover at the same time. Your sheets gather sweat, oils, and dead skin cells that attract dust mites and other pests. Remember the mattress pad too. Wash it every other sheet change or so. And while you have it off, vacuum your mattress. If it has collected odors, sprinkle a little baking soda on it, let it sit while you do the laundry and then vacuum it off before you make up the bed.
  • Be friendly to your mattress: You sleep on it every night, so for your mattress to hold up, flip it end for end at least twice a year. If it is reversible, flip it over too. That way it wears more evenly and lasts longer.
  • Detail the dishwasher: In the same way that water deposits build up in your coffee maker, they can clog up the dishwasher’s tiny drain holes. Run an empty load with a cup of distilled white vinegar every couple of months to keep it running smoothly.
  • Ditch the dust: If you always see the dust on your bookcase, it might be because you have a dirty HVAC filter. Change your filter once a month for best results and use a HEPA filter if you have allergies. While you’re at it, dust off that ceiling fan.

Add these actions into your routine, and your home will feel more, well, homey! When you move into your new house, have your agent show you where the furnace vents are so you can get started on a clean foot.


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 7:52 pm
Andrew Torosian | Posted in Uncategorized |

Saving for a Down Payment

When considering becoming a homeowner, one of the decisions you can make that will be beneficial to you is to deposit down payment. However, the question is how do you save up that hefty down payment?

One of the biggest roadblocks for prospective home buyers is securing a down payment. Fortunately, though, technology seems to be playing a huge factor in shrinking the burden of down payment. The whole saving process has become quite a bit less rigorous.

Below is a list of how you can overcome the down payment hurdle and ensure you have enough money when it’s time for you to buy.

Save A Fixed Amount Every Month

Saving a fixed amount is the simplest and most convenient way to save money. Open a savings account and discipline yourself to pay in a certain sum into the account every month. Discipline yourself not to use the money for any other purpose aside for your down payment.

Reduce Expenses

Save a lot more than you spend, review your expenses and cut down on items that are not necessary. Whatever money generated as a result of this should be added to your down payment account.

Skip Vacations for A Year

I know going for a vacation during the year is something you are looking forward to and you have it all planned out. However, if you are looking to save up enough money for your down payment, then you should consider scrapping out vacation until you have enough money for your down payment.

Reduce Your Debt

Having a credit card with a high-interest rate can limit your ability to save. Pay off your interest debt starting with the highest; after that, you can close off that card while you proceed to pay off the next.

Borrow from Your Retirement Plan

You can ask human resources or your payroll officer if it’s possible to borrow against your savings to buy a home. Many profit sharing setups make provisions for employees to loan a certain amount from their retirement plan to become a homeowner.

Borrow from A Relative

When it comes to getting a home of your own, most family members and relatives would be willing to help; they can grant you loans without interest, gifts and other non-monetary items that will help you in your down payment quest.

Get Another Source of Income

Getting a second job would mean you would probably be working round the clock, but in the long run, it would pay off. Getting another job means another source of income and more money to save into your down payment accounting.


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 7:46 pm
Andrew Torosian | Posted in Uncategorized |

What to Consider Before Flipping A House

You can make money by investing in real estate. One way you can do this is by flipping houses. Flipping a property refers to when you buy a house to sell it for profit. The purchase is a short-term investment that requires much planning as it could be quite dicey. Buying a home to sell is a great way to make money, but it requires skill, careful consideration, research, and sometimes pure luck. No matter what kind of property you decide to invest in, there are many things to consider when you are getting ready to start flipping houses.

There are two main types of house flipping:

– A real estate investor purchases a house that could potentially increase in value if repaired and updated. After completing the renovation, the investor makes money from selling the home for a higher price than the total cost of the purchase and improvements.

– A real estate investor identifies an undervalued property in the market in a neighborhood with fast-rising home values and holds the property for some time until the house has a higher value. They then resell the house profitably.

Common types of property to flip

– Single-family houses: These are the most common types of homes to flip. These include bungalows, semi-detached houses, townhouses, and freestanding homes. They are the easiest to buy and sell as they are most readily available.>

– Multi-family residences: You can renovate the existing units or add more units to the property to make it more attractive to buyers.

– Retail properties: You can buy a property and restore it to make it suitable for specific use as a restaurant, bar, or store.

– Land: This is the most difficult as there are more processes involved and building on a new property is more expensive than renovating an existing one.

Benefits of house flipping

– You have a significant level of control over many elements of the project through research and analysis

– You can flip any house as long as it fits your needs and requirements.

– The team you hire can significantly influence the success of your flips like an experienced real estate agent, an interior decorator, and a reputable contractor.

Disadvantages of house flipping

– You might lose your money if you don’t get all the expenses right or you run into unexpected costs

– Sometimes you have to pay capital gains taxes when you sell a house.

– You may end up spending more than you should own a home if you misjudge the neighborhood.

If you are looking to start investing in real estate, flipping houses is a great way to start. Speak to a real estate agent and an experienced contractor to begin.


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 7:42 pm
Andrew Torosian | Posted in Uncategorized |

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