Danny Resendes' Blog
Everyone covets the annual HGTV Dream Home that's given away each year as part of a sweepstake. But the sad reality is that few winners are ever really able to take possession of their grand home and actually live out their happily-ever-after. There are, however, ways to pick and choose which features of these elegant, over-the-top homes you'd like to try for yourself. That's why we've compiled a list of four luxury home features inspired by HGTV's 2020 Dream Home Sweepstakes. Which one will you try?
1. Golf-Cart Parking Bay
Because it's located on Hilton Head Island, this year's dream home includes an extra bay built on to the detached garage. It's the perfect size and space to park a golf cart, which the locals use to get from place to place. According to Homeguide, the average cost to build garage space is $49 per square foot. To comfortably park a golf cart, plan on building a space that's at least 7-feet wide by 15-feet long. This should cost somewhere in the vicinity of $5,145.
2. Industrial-Sized Ceiling Fan
The dream home features a ceiling fan that's 10-feet wide to help keep the air circulating in a living space that features comfortable seating around a coffee table and fireplace. To purchase your own industrial-sized ceiling fan, you may first need to fortify your ceiling support and your wallet. Even a lightweight, aluminum version weighs a whopping 77 pounds and costs around $4,400.
3. Multiple Porches on Each Level
Like outdoor space? Have you considered adding multiple porches to your existing home? This year's dream home has a porch that runs the length of a single level, completely screened in. There's a porch on the floor above, too. Each features dreamy sliding glass doors that allow guests to transition easily from inside to out. According to Improvenet, expect to spend around $30,000 to construct a wrap-around porch with full screening.
4. Carriage House Garage Doors
They're made of insulated steel, but the double garage doors on the dream home are crafted to look like wooden carriage house doors of old. They're a perfect blend of beauty and energy-efficient construction that you're going to love if you value architectural appeal but don't want to sacrifice your energy bills. Doors such as these start at around $2,000.
Small investments add up to big home improvements. And, over time, you can design your own dream home, using just the best and most functional features of this year's TV version -- features that work for you and your family to save you time or money. And if they also bring you joy and relaxation, that's a bonus.
Having a high credit score is one of the most important and helpful things you can achieve before buying a home. A solid credit history will give you a better chance of being approved for the home loan you want and getting a lower interest rate so that you know you’re getting a good deal on your first home.
But, as any renter can tell you, it can sometimes be difficult to lift your credit score when you’ve got so many other things to worry about.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover the best ways to build credit while renting an apartment so you can lift your score to an amount that will help you achieve your goal of homeownership.
1. Take over the bills
If you live with roommates or with your family, one good way to start building your credit score is to simply put more bills in your name.
If you’re certain that you’ll be able to make on-time payments on them each month, this can be a way to boost your score without much thought.
Keep in mind, however, that not all utility companies report your payments to credit bureaus, so it’s a good idea to check that yours does before putting the bills in your name.
2. Become an authorized user
If taking out new credit isn’t an option for you, becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit account can help you increase your score.
Be sure to find out whether the credit issuer reports payments for authorized users before taking this step. And, once you’re sure that they do, you can be added to the account without changing anything about your spending.
3. Convince your landlord to report your rental payments
In most cases, rental payments aren’t reported to the credit bureaus. However, it is becoming more common. Check to see if your landlord uses a service like PayYourRent or RentTrack. If not, consider asking them to try it out.
4. Solving the “no credit” problem
Since we all start off with a blank slate in terms of credit history, some renters have the issues of not having enough credit information to start building their score.
If this is the case, it might be a good idea to open your first credit account. But, wait! Before you start racking up debt on your first credit card, take a minute to make a wise plan.
First, don’t change your spending habits just because you have credit. Pick a card that offers rewards in the form of cash back, and only use your card for things like gas and groceries that will help you earn points.
Then, set your card to auto-pay in full each month so that you never start accruing interest. This way, you’ll build your credit score and earn money (in the form of rewards or cash back), making it a win-win.
When spring arrives it brings everyone out to the backyard for games, cookouts, picnics, and a number of other fun, fair weather activities. It also brings yardwork.
With the busy schedules that most homeowners have, it can be difficult to find time to spend hours working in the yard each weekend. Depending on where you live and the size of your backyard, there are many options for making it a bit easier to take care of your lawn and garden.
In this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to make caring for your backyard a lot simpler so that you can spend your time outside enjoying the weather rather than working up a sweat.
In most suburban and rural neighborhoods, lawncare seems like a competition. Everyone wants their grass to look as green as their neighbor’s. But keeping a meticulous lawn can be difficult if you have kids, pets, or just don’t have the time to spend manicuring and fertilizing your lawn. What’s more, lawncare can get expensive quickly and can go wrong just as quickly in the case of droughts and pests.
There are many ways you can simplify your lawn care. If you love having a lawn, but mowing is a pain, it can be easier to remove some obstacles from your yard. Bird baths and other decorations can be a nice accept, but sometimes they make mowing more difficult than it needs to be.
If you don’t want to deal with grass at all, or want a smaller area to mow, you have a few options.
You could make your yard more of a natural meadow by planting wildflowers and encouraging long grasses. Laying a brick path down the middle creates the air of a walkthrough garden where you can view the many florae that will be ever-changing in your yard.
If you like your yard to look neat and tidy, creating a patio and placing a few choice potted plants and trees on it will save you a lot of time pushing the lawnmower.
Choose the right plants
Many people plant bushes, trees, and flowers based solely on the fact that they like them. It makes more sense in the long run, though, to choose your plants based on their hardiness, and your ability to care for them.
Some plants are marketed as being impossible to kill. However, you should still read the care requirements to make sure they’ll work with your yard’s climate, light, and water conditions.
In warmer climates, cacti and succulents are a good choice and will likely fit the scenery. For colder climates, there are a number of conifers, shrubs, and bushes that will stay green throughout the winter, adding a bit of color to the dreary season.
A good way to make sure your yard will be low maintenance year-round is to use plants and trees that are native to your area. Since they’re in their natural habitat, they’ll likely require less work on your part.
As a homeowner you know there is a lot of upkeep that goes into maintaining a nice home. From weekly cleaning to monthly home maintenance, you put in time, money and effort to give yourself the home life experience you desire. The best living environment to come home to is one that is clean and smells fresh. Try these three easy products to help your home on a daily basis.
Maintaining a home that smells good can be tough. Especially if you live with a family or housemates. There are a lot of different scents, messes, cleaning products and more going on at the same time. Scent diffusers come in all different styles and sizes and can be used throughout the house to give your home consistently fresh and odor-free air. Try a refillable spraying deodorizer in areas of high traffic, or in the mudroom where you leave all the shoes. Use melted wax diffusers in living rooms and bedrooms to add a touch of décor while emitting scent.
Finally, use oil diffusers in the bathroom to fight odors.TIP: If you can purchase different styles of diffusers that can support scents by the same brand(s) you can use the same smells throughout the house, or at least in adjacent rooms where two conflicting smells might overlap and combine poorly.
Toilet Tank Tabs
One of the biggest pains in keeping a house clean is the toilet. It is an area that always needs attention, especially if you live with others. While you’ll never be able to skip the weekly bathroom cleaning, using cleaning tabs in the toilet tank will help immensely on a daily basis. These tabs contain chemicals to combat bacteria, hard water and stains.
You can normally buy a small pack that lasts a couple months or get great deals on bulk packs that will last you all year. Simply drop the tab in the back of the tank, and the toilet gets a little extra cleaning help with every flush. This will help keep the bathroom cleaner and smelling better every day.
Robot Vacuum Cleaner
While this purchase can drastically vary in price, it is an excellent investment that saves you time while helping maintain the home. You can spring for an expensive robot vacuum, but there are plenty of affordable options as well. Having a device that cleans the house while you’re gone or working on other projects is a huge help.
If you have children, pets or housemates it cuts down drastically on the dirt, debris and hair floating around the place. With the help of a robot vacuum you can reduce your sweeping, vacuuming and mopping needs without sacrificing cleanliness.
By making smart home purchases, you can increase your quality of living without breaking the budget or your back cleaning. Ask your real estate agent for advice on the best purchases to keep your home beautiful for your next showing.