10 Things to Know Before Becoming a Homeowner

homeowner

Becoming a homeowner is a very exciting time.  The freedom of having your own home and being able to make any changes you want is very fulfilling. With this freedom comes a whole lot of responsibility.

  1. You have to put the trash out on trash day. Unlike apartment living where there is always a dumpster to throw your trash, neighborhoods have trash picked up once per week. If you miss it, you will have to store your trash an extra week which quickly piles up.
  2. You need to own fire extinguishers. Granted, you should also own a fire extinguisher if you live in apartment. I never thought of it before owning a home though. I have two fire extinguishers in my home. One on each floor.
  3. You need to maintain the lawn. This is a big one for me. Many of my neighbors do a horrible job at maintaining their lawn which makes the neighborhood not as pleasant to live in. Nobody wants to be going on a walk and have to climb over your grass and duck under your trees that are impeding the sidewalks.
  4. You need to shovel the driveway in a timely fashion – be sure to own a shovel before the winter season starts is you are in an area that gets snow. In many cities it is mandatory to remove the snow from the sidewalk in front of your house within 24 hours of the snowfall ending.  This is for the safety of everyone walking. It is typically not required to shovel your driveway but it does make your home look more presentable and helps avoid slipping on the ice.
  5. You need to change the filter in the furnace monthly – You should change the filter in the furnace each month. I have to admit, this has probably been the one thing that I still struggle with remembering to do.  But, it is very important because it helps provide clean air for your home and can prevent fires.
  6. You may need to blow out your sprinklers – If you live in an area with freezing temperatures in the winter, you need to blow out your sprinklers and exterior pipes for the cold season. Otherwise, the water in your pipes will freeze and expand causing the pipes to burst.  But, you won’t know they’ve burst until it’s warm again and you go to use the pipes.  Then you are in for potentially a huge mess and the pain of repairing the pipes.
  7. You may need to disconnect hoses in the winter – This is for the exact same reason as blowing out the sprinkler. If you leave a hose connected to the spout, the pipes are more likely to freeze.
  8. You need to trim the trees – As a neighbor, this is one of the things you can do not only for yourself but for your neighbors. Of course, a trimmed tree always looks better than a tree that hasn’t been maintained but have you walked around your tree and noticed if it’s covering anything?  Is it going over your neighbors fence or hanging onto their driveway?  Does it hang over the sidewalk blocking the path or making your neighbors duck?  Nothing is more annoying than being on a peaceful walk and having to duck or maneuver to avoid a tree that hasn’t been maintained.  Well, mosquitoes are more annoying but this is still pretty high on my list.
  9. Neighbors can still hear your loud music – Just because you live in a house does not mean your neighbors can’t hear your music. Yes, we can still hear your loud music even if you live down the street and our windows and doors are all closed.  Please be considerate and keep the music at an acceptable level during acceptable hours.
  10. Having two fridges makes it easier – This one is very helpful! I’ve had two fridges most of the time that I’ve owned my house but for a majority of the time I only used one of them.  Now, it’s a habit to use both and it is so helpful!  No more freezer Tetris!

What tips do you have people who want to become homeowners?

Social Sharing Tips

 

social-sharing

Hello again and Happy New Year!  Like you, my last post was all about my New Year’s Resolutions and how I want to grow my blog in 2016.  With this, I took to the blogging networks and asked other bloggers a few questions about Social Sharing.

I asked each blogger how many monthly views they have, their top three referring sites, and any tips they would like to share about social sharing.

I am very pleased to say that I gathered quite a bit of information from fellow bloggers and would like to share it with you all here.

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Keep it Simple, DIYThis is currently my third active blogging month and I have around 4.5k views for the month of December

My top three referring sites are StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Facebook.

My tip: “Try a few different things at a time and use what sticks.  What works for one person may not be what will work for you”

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Suzi WhiStart a Mom Blogtford  of startamomblog.com  has been blogging for 3 months and has around 4.2k views for the month of December.

Her top three referring sites are catholicnewsagency.com,  carrotsformichaelmas.com, and Facebook/search engines.

Her tip: “My #1 tip so far is to be nice to others – favors are often times returned.”

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Anthony D. GreeneAnthony D. Greene of tonygreene113.com has been using WP for little over 9 years and has around 200k views for the month of December.

His top referring sites are Facebook, Google, and Pinterest.

His tip: “To get the widest dispersion and saturation I use viralcontentbuzz.com and the sharing groups here on FB. G+ has a much better SEO and google saturation. Join communities there with people in the same niche or two.”

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Because I'm Cheap's Profile PhotoJennifer Peters of BecauseImCheap.com has around 30k views per month.

Her top referring sites are Google Search Engine (SEO), Facebook, and StumbleUpon.

Her tip: “Make sure your SEO optimized. If people can’t find you, they can’t read your fantastic content.”

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Jay Gray of jaydgray.blog.com has around 250k views per month.

His top referring sites are Google, Twitter, and Instagram.

His tip: “Work harder and invest in yourself any way you can!!”

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Now What, Bananas?

now-what-bananas

Do you often find your bananas looking like this before you can get to eating them?  I definitely do.  The old trick is just to throw the bananas in the freezer to use for baking at a later date.  I’ve added a small but helpful spin to this old trick by slicing the bananas prior to putting them in the freezer.  More specifically, I use one sandwich bag per banana to help manage quantities for recipes and avoid having multiple a big frozen banana ball.  Not only does this make storing the bananas more compact, it also alleviates the need to try to un-peel an overly ripe frozen banana. 

Bananas have so many uses from ice cream to baked goods.  Here are my three favorite ways to use the overly ripe bananas. 

1. Pancakes – I thaw and mash the banana in my mixing bowl then in the same bowl add the all of the standard pancake ingredients.  Once mixed, I’ll add a bit of syrup to the batter then bake in muffin tins.  This allows the pancakes to stay moist and even be used as breakfast on the go. 

2. Smoothies – This is where the slices really come in handy.  Rather than grabbing a handful of ice cubes or a couple scoops of ice cream, I just grab a baggy of banana and add to the mixer then fill with my favorite ingredients.  It makes me feel a like I’m drinking something healthy even if my smoothie is loaded with chocolate syrup.

3. Banana Bread – Yes, the old favorite.  Banana bread.  For me, I end up with so many bananas throughout the year that I just can’t stomach that much banana bread.  On the off chance that I have so many bananas that I can’t find anything else to do with, I will make banana bread, but with a twist.  Last year, I made some coconut (coconut milk) pineapple (extract) banana bread in the summer and just recently, I added cocoa powder and chocolate chips to my recipe to make a delicious chocolate banana bread.  

I made a double recipe because I had that many bananas available and realized that I didn’t have two bread pans.  So, I used the taco bowl tortilla pans that I have and it worked out great!