Your Home, Your Investment

When you purchase a home, don’t just think of it as a new place to live, think of it as an investment in your future. Real estate can be a solid, long-term investment for you and your family when you consider the pros and cons of your acquisition.

Market health

The real estate market has its ups and downs, but, generally, the health of a particular area is predictable by looking at trends over time. Do your research on the neighborhood before you buy.

Selling or renting

Buying a home with the intention to sell or even rent later can sometimes be a lucrative option for buyers. Research the property thoroughly, and make sure there aren’t any hidden factors or rules to negatively impact its value.

Little by little

There’s no need to completely renovate your home overnight. Investing your money back into the property little by little—through small changes over time—will keep you from going under financially.

Increasing value

Like the overall market, your home’s value will likely fluctuate over time. But there are plenty of simple ways to increase your home’s value such as adding environmentally friendly appliances and updating the floor plan.

How to Prevent Mold in Your Home

It’s hard enough trying to stay cool during the humid summer months without having to worry about mold in your home. With the added moisture in the air, our homes are more susceptible to mold growth. Luckily, we can prevent mold in the home before it even becomes a problem.

If you’re looking for big-picture actions you can take to prevent mold growth long-term…

Use mold-resistant products when setting up your home

If you’re in the process of building, renovating, or moving into your home, take advantage of this time to install mold-resistant products if you live in a particularly humid climate. Opt for plastic, metal, and glass items and surfaces rather than wood, which is susceptible to mold. You should also invest in moisture-resistant drywall, which has a core covered in fiberglass rather than paper to repel water. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even paint your home with paint that contains mildewcide to prevent mold growth.

Make sure water flows away from the home

This might be a more complex issue to tackle, but the ground area around your home should slope away from its foundation. If the ground tilts toward your house, water could flood into your basement. If you’re building a home, consider this issue before construction begins.

When you’re already settled in your home and looking for day-to-day maintenance to prevent mold

Keep the roof gutters clean

If you have a leaky roof, mold could start growing in your home. Make sure that you hire someone to clean out and inspect your gutters periodically. They should be replaced from time to time, as per a professional’s recommendations, to prevent mold growth. Check to see if there are stains on your gutters after a rainy day because this indicates leakage.

Ventilate  

Make sure you continuously ventilate your home. Turn on your air conditioner and use a dehumidifier during humid weather. You should also make sure that these objects are not creating humidity in your home, making sure to check and clean them as directed by the manufacturer. For improved ventilation, you can also open a window when you’re cooking or showering and run exhaust fans whenever you’re using a lot of water.

Keep condensation in check  

Check the areas of your home that could produce a large amount of condensation, like windows, metal pipes, and concrete walls. If your home doesn’t have proper insulation installed, now is the time to insulate your home, specifically the areas susceptible to condensation.

Dry all spills

If you spill water on the carpet or rain leaks into your basement, make sure to immediately take care of the problem. Dry up the floor and replace carpets, bedding, or furniture, if necessary. You should also avoid leaving wet clothes in the washing machine, opting to hang them outside to dry. Mold thrives in warm, dark areas like the inside of the washing machine.

Protect your plants

If you keep plants in your home, make sure you’re protecting them against mold growth. Mold often grows in your plants’ soil, and you can add Taheebo tea to the water you use on your house plants. The oil in the tree that makes Taheebo tea prevents mold growth, and you can find it in a natural food store.

Measure humidity

Go out to the hardware store and buy a moisture meter. You can use this to measure the indoor humidity in your home. Levels should stay between 30 and 60 percent. If you don’t want to purchase a tool to help you measure humidity, keep your eyes open for signs of high humidity. If you notice a lot of condensation on windows, pipes, and walls, make sure to dry these areas right away and try to find out where the moisture is coming from so that you can take care of it. Pay special attention to the exterior of your home after there’s been a storm or multiple rainy days.

Clean often  

Make sure to clean your home at regular intervals to keep mold from growing on household surfaces. You should make sure to frequently wash and disinfect plastic, metal, glass, stone, tile, and all other hard surfaces in your home. Dry these surfaces right after cleaning them. Also, dust and vacuum often to keep dust and dirt from building up on your furniture, carpets, and curtains, as household mold often grows on dust.

Take these steps to ensure that your home is protected from mold growth during the humid months of the year.

Should You Live in a Multigenerational Home?

At one time, it was a common goal for the American college student to graduate, move out of the family home, and find a home of their own. However, with the rising cost of living and debt, people have started opting to live with family members. College graduates are moving back in with their parents to save money, and older adults are moving in with their children and grandchildren rather than into retirement homes. Should you consider a multi-generational home for yourself?

What exactly is a multigenerational home?

Although children and their parents are members of two different generations, this combination does not qualify as a multigenerational home. These homes consist of more than two adult generations living together or grandparents who live with grandchildren who are younger than 25.

Why do people choose to live in multi-generational homes?

Many Americans used to consider moving out of their parents’ homes as a sign of independence and adulthood. However, sharing a home is now becoming a mark of intelligence and sensibility. As the cost of living has risen dramatically, it helps to live in a group of multiple employed adults who can share the home’s expenses.

It’s also helpful for members of older generations to have young people around. As you age, it becomes more and more difficult to do physically-demanding chores and attempting to do so could cause injury. If the younger people in the home handle the more challenging chores, the older family members can take on less taxing jobs, like packing school lunches or setting the table.

Some of the greatest parts of living in a multi-generational home are the social benefits that everyone experiences. Elderly people can become lonely once they’re retired, potentially living at home alone or with a partner. A sense of purpose is crucial during all stages of life, and grandparents feel responsible for helping take care of their grandchildren if they’re living together. Children also benefit from bonding with their grandparents and learning to connect with older generations.

Of course, living in a home with a bigger group of people than a single-family home enhances the safety of everyone involved. If one family member has an emergency or accident, chances are someone else will be home to help take care of the problem. This is especially helpful for the elderly, who can experience complications if they fall.

What about privacy?

Privacy is one of the biggest concerns people have about switching to a multi-generational home. If you’re used to living on your own or with a more immediate family unit, this is a valid worry. However, families are devising new and inventive ways to make their homes both shared and private spaces. Some work with architects who can design a family home containing both shared living space and private sections. For example, your bedroom might be on one end of the house and your parents could be on the other. Other homes even have different entryways for the private sections. If you’re not looking to build an entirely new home, you can consider putting an addition on your home, transforming your garage into a suite, or designating certain floors of your home, like a basement or top floor, as designated private living space for one person or group of people.

How can we make it work?

If you’re considering living in a multi-generational home, it’s important to set ground rules for yourself and others. First, everyone should commit to taking personal time for themselves. Just because you live in a home with multiple family members doesn’t mean your life has to become a never-ending visit. Everyone should continue going to school or work, spending time with friends, and engaging in hobbies. Also, although grandparents can help with the children, parents shouldn’t expect the grandparents to act as a constant childcare service. Members of the household have to agree to respect one another and not just assume people will pick up responsibilities without being asked. Most of all, it’s important to communicate openly so that issues don’t build up over time without resolution.

Whether you’re trying to save money, care for a parent, or establish a close family unit, a multigenerational home could be the right decision for you and your extended family.