10 Home Amenities Contractors Love

Rising numbers of creative artists, freelancers and contractors are working from home.The numbers are expected to increase. Leasing agents, employers and manufacturers of home amenities aren’t the only people who have to accommodate for shifts that America’s changing workforce will bring. Real estate agents,home builders, mortgage lenders and home buyers may also have to adjust to the changes.

Home amenities must keep up with changing times

The shifts that may have far reaching impact are expected to see half of America’s workforce earning income from the contractor and freelancer ranks. According to Forbes, 53 million workers in the United States already freelance. By 2020, that number is expected to double.Many of these workers will work from home.

Add in telecommuters, and don’t be surprised if members of the gig and freelance economy start looking for home amenities and home floor layouts that fit their work-from-home needs. Following are 10 home amenities that contractors may start looking for more and more in home designs.

  1. Open floor plan – Houses that are designed with an open floor plan make it easier for contractors to multi-task. Whether they are working from their home office, the living room or the kitchen island, contractors can keep an eye on young children, pets or a meal that’s cooking in the oven while they work.
  2. Solar energy – Homes built with solar energy panels help to cut down on utility expenses for work-at-home professionals, and who doesn’t love opening a utility bill and seeing that the costs has dropped?
  3. Great outdoor views – Of all home amenities,this one is tops. Great views can keep freelancers from feeling isolated. Outdoor views help contractors feel connected to the world around them, even as contractors work for 8 or more hours a day from home.
  4. Built-in bookcases – Apartment management companies are already designing apartment units with built-in bookcases. Not only are built-in-bookcases visually attractive, they are space savers.
  5. Large home office – A large home office is a contractor’s bread and butter. Contractors may start asking real estate agents to only show them houses that have a large home office. These rooms need to be big enough to fit a desk, chair, two filing cabinets, a printer and computer inside. The space shouldn’t be cramped.
  6. Indoor exercise space – A large extra room or a basement could serve as an indoor exercise space. Because contractors tend to be independent thinkers, they value and take care of their health.
  7. Wifi access – This is a must when it comes to home amenities. Even houses in the country may need Wifi access to land a sell with freelancers.
  8. Stylish home lighting – Task, accent and general or natural lighting are winners. Home offices should be designed with at least task and general lighting.
  9. Wall computer stands and monitor stands – Similar to built-in bookcases, these home amenities computer and monitor stands are attractive space savers. Houses designed with these two home amenities also keep contractors from having to spend money on separate computer and monitor stands.
  10. Finished basement – Documents, videotapes,artist equipment and supplies and additional filing cabinets can be stored in a finished basement. A portion of a finished basement could also serve as a home office, especially if both people buying the same house are contractors.

Location is also important to contractors and freelancers. Homes that these workers,particularly full-time contractors, live in come with real advantages if the homes are located within walking distance of public train and bus stations. If the houses are not within walking distance, contractors should not have to drive more than 10 to 15 minutes to reach public transportation facilities.

Until the shifts change, these home amenities may seem far fetched. Manufacturers,home builders and real estate agents who see and prepare for these shifts now,may find themselves ahead of the curve now and in the future.

Does a Dog Make Sense for Your Home?

Many new homeowners see getting a dog as a rite of passage to homeownership. Oftentimes, they’re moving from apartment buildings that didn’t allow dogs or parents who didn’t want pets and having their own home finally seems like their chance at having a dog. However, it’s important to take into consideration several factors before buying or adopting a dog.

In this article, we’ll talk about what it means to be both a dog owner and a homeowner, and discuss how to tell if buying a dog is a good move for you in your new home.

Time management

It has been said that having a dog is like having a two-year-old child who stays that difficult age for ten years. Depending on the dog’s breed, temperament, and trainability, there’s a chance you could be in for a handful of a dog.

The first factor in deciding whether or not to get a dog in your new home is to determine if you have the time to take care of it. If you work long hours or have to travel for work, these are obvious signals that you might not have time to spend with a pet who needs care and attention.

However, you should also consider whether you have an extra hour each morning and evening to feed and play with your dog who will need exercise to stay healthy. You’ll also need to set aside time each week for things like training, socializing, bathing, trimming their nails, and so on.

All of these commitments add up, so it’s important to consider how much time you have before going down to the shelter to or kennel to pick up a new dog.

Dogs are expensive

Most people who don’t own a dog do not realize how expensive they are. Food is just the tip of the iceberg, and if you’re planning on getting a large dog, food can cost you well over $100 each month. On top of food, you’ll need to be prepared to spend up to $200 for each visit to the vet and for necessary medications for things like heartworm, fleas, and ticks.

Dog training is also highly recommended to ensure that you and your dog both have a better understanding of what’s expected of one another. Training will help with things like obedience, but also will improve your dog’s behavior by giving them a job to focus their energy on (rather than on tearing up your furniture).

Dogs need space

It may seem like you have all the space in the world in your new home, especially if you moved from a small apartment. However, many dog breeds require room to run freely. If you want to get a sporting dog, you’ll either need to take them somewhere they can run each day, or have a yard large enough for them to run in.

If you choose the latter, you’ll need to make sure your dog is safe from traffic if you live on a busy street. That could mean spending hundreds of dollars to erect a fence.

Ultimately, having a dog can be a highly rewarding experience for you and your pet. But now that you know some of the fine print to dog ownership, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision on whether or not getting a dog is right for you.

What You Need To Know About Titles And Mortgages

There’s numerous reasons why the name on a title to a home may not be the same as the name that’s on the mortgage loan. These reasons include:

  • Only one buyer had stable credit
  • Only one person was on the loan application
  • One person was released from the mortgage

No matter why this is the case, having your name on the mortgage but not on the title to a home can affect you and people residing in the home in different ways. 

Why Would Only One Name Be On The Mortgage?

If people are looking to get a home or refinance a home, but only one person has good credit a decision must be made. For the best possible mortgage rates, you’ll want to person with the best credit to be the primary loan holder. This may mean that you need additional legal documents in the process.  

The person with lower credit may still be able to have their name placed on the title to the home. Anyone who plans to contribute financially to a home, even if not on the mortgage, should place their name on the title. This would be one instance when a name would be on the title to a home and not on the mortgage loan. In this case, a person has property rights, but no legal-financial responsibility to the home. It’s important to agree on the home arrangement that you’re considering. This would be done through a will or a legal contract. This way, all parties are protected in regards to the ownership of the home should something happen to the individual whose name is on the mortgage.

Legal Things To Consider

Those who are listed on the mortgage are the people who are responsible for house payments. If a person’s name isn’t on the mortgage, it doesn’t release them from complete responsibility from the home. If your name is on the title to the home but not on the mortgage, the bank generally has first dibs on the home if there’s a lapse in payments. If you want to keep living in the house, you’ll have to keep making payments on the home. If you can’t make the mortgage payments, you’ll risk going into foreclosure. 

Taxes

An issue that can come up if your name is not on the mortgage is that you cannot use the home you’re living in as a tax deduction. Even if you make payments on the home, in order for you to get tax benefits, your name must be on the mortgage stating that you’re legally responsible for the home. If you are paying for the mortgage because your name appears on the title to the home, you aren’t legally entitled to pay, giving away your rights to tax benefits. If you’re married, filing jointly, and only one name appears on the mortgage, however, you can use this as a tax deduction. This becomes an issue if two unmarried people buy a home together.  

Ask For Legal Assistance

Whenever you have an issue with the title of your home or with names on the mortgage, it’s good to consult legal counsel. The attorney can assist you in determining who is legally responsible for the home and if the people listed on the title of the home are correct. This can help save you from trouble at a future date.

Since credit scores and loans can get messy at times during the home buying process, it’s good to understand all the implications of home mortgages and titles.

Kitchen Remodel for Any Budget

Kitchens are often the hub of the home and when it comes time to put your home on the market it is often said that kitchens and baths sell homes. A kitchen remodel can be expensive and time consuming. There are things you can do to give your kitchen a new look without spending a lot of money or time. Here are some inexpensive tips to get your kitchen in tip top shape in no time.

-Upgrade your appliances
Updating or upgrading your appliances will give your kitchen a fresh new look. You can start by ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer. If new appliances are in order you can find great deals at at discount stores. Many stores have scratch and dent appliances that may only have a small imperfection on the back of the appliance or in a place where no one would see it. This is a great way to save lots of money for more expensive appliances.

-Pretty it up with paint
New paint makes everything look clean and bright again. Choose a semigloss latex paint, which is easier to clean and holds up better in kitchens. Don’t forget to paint the trim too. Clean and wash all the walls and trim before painting. This will ensure the paint adheres to the surfaces properly.

-Get organized
Even if you have the newest cabinets and appliances a messy kitchen is never attractive. Keep clutter at bay with drawer organizer for utensils, pot racks and pull out trays for cabinets. If you need more room in your kitchen, utilize empty walls. Add open shelves with some neatly placed bowls for a great decorative and storage alternative

-Use the right lighting
Replace flood lights with a brighter and cleaner looking halogen bulbs. Install under cabinet lighting for a new look. Use decorative lights over the kitchen table or island to set the mood.
Older chandeliers can get an easy upgrade by placing small shades over the bulbs.

-Refurbish the cabinets
If your cabinets need a new look consider either refinishing them or giving them a lot of elbow grease. Cabinets easily build up with grease and dust. Use a cleaner with orange oil to get rid of the grime. Test a spot first before cleaning the whole kitchen. If the cabinets are worn, consider refinishing or repainting the doors and frames. Adding new drawer pulls, hinges and handles can also make a big impact.

-Fix the floor
An affordable way to have a do it yourself new floor is to install vinyl tiles. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and durable. At less than $2 per square foot, you can put a vinyl floor in just about any kitchen for $500.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little money to achieve big results. Most minor kitchen renovations will recoup at least 83% of the cost and may even add value to your home.