5 Steps to Protecting Yourself Against Hurricanes

Hurricane window

If you live in an area that frequently has hurricanes, you probably already know how important is it to keep yourself and your family safe during the storms. Hurricanes can reach very high levels of destruction and are not to be thought of as a normal thunder storm. You should always be prepared for a hurricane, even before they announce that one is on the way. If you follow these simple tips to prepare your home’s doors and windows and other areas for a hurricane then it could result in big savings later on.

  1. The first thing you want to do is check your insurance in order to ensure that it is up to date with the current status of your home. Floor insurance can help to cover living expenses if your home becomes flooded during a storm, which often happens. It is always better to be over prepared for Continue reading
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8 Steps to Finding the Perfect Vacation Home

beach real estATEFinding a nice vacation home can be a fun project or a fairly stressful endeavor. In the current economy, we are all trying to save a little where we can, so dishing out on beach real estate might not seem ideal.

However, there are a few things you can do to get your dream vacation without breaking the bank. If you are thinking of buying a place for the first time, you are in good company. In 2014 alone, 33% of buyers were first time buyers, anywhere from 31- to 53-years-old. Here are some tips that will hopefully help you in choosing the perfect vacation spot, whether it be a pool side condominiums or a nice stretch of beach property.

    1. Choose a touristy area
      The cheapest vacation rentals on the market are usually in places that attract a lot of tourists. This makes vacation home prices competitive. Many places will have beach real estate, but the most inexpensive way to find it is to look into popular vacation destinations. One thing to remember about areas like this is that while vacation rentals may be cheaper, hotels will probably be more expensive. You could either stay a night at a hotel or for the same price, stay a week in a vacation home.
    1. Compare
      Before settling down on a specific vacation home, make sure you comparison shop. It’s very easy to find all kinds of different rental home listings online without having to commit to any single one. Some places may seem expensive, but will have discounts or group rates available so make sure to look into all of those kinds of perks as well.
    1. Never send money first
      Say you find the best beach real estate in the area and you want to prepare it before anyone else grabs it. The danger with this is that there are a number of scams that you want to be careful of. If the beach real estate owner is requiring money before signing paperwork, this is a good indicator that something could be wrong. You want to read all of the details, see the fine print, check references and find out any details that you might need before signing the paperwork. Once this is done and you’re confident that the company is legitimate, then you can make your payment.
    1. Emergency contacts
      Make sure that your rental contract informs you of who to call should something in the vacation home breakdown while you’re there. They should already have it in the paperwork. If possible, get the information of a backup emergency contact, just in case you cannot get a hold of the first person.
    1. Pets
      Many vacation homes do not accept pets, but some do. There may be an extra fee for your furry friend, but isn’t it worth it? Find out before signing the paperwork if it will be a deal breaker for you.
    1. What is the refund policy?
      If you need to check out early, will you be refunded a portion? What if you have to cancel the trip last minute? This is something else that you need to find out. It should be in your paperwork or contract.
    1. Early reservations
      Since you will be looking into popular areas, they will fill up fast, so you’ll want to try to plan and reserve as early as six months out. That way, you can get the best deal available, as well as the home that you want.

With the 115 million housing units available in the U.S., there is bound to be something that will work for you.

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You Need a New HVAC Unit, and Here’s How to Choose

St. pete ac repair

Did you know that about 20% of homes that were built during the 1980s still have their original air conditioning units — which are in many cases, now either 30 years old or quickly approaching?

Although the years pass by before we know it, an important thing to keep in mind is that HVAC technology has made important jumps forward in the last several decades. Imagine if you were still using a computer from the 1980s — not pretty! So why are you dealing with your old HVAC? Just because you don?t have to look at it, doesn?t mean an upgrade isn?t worth your time.

The important thing to note, of course, is that current models are far more energy efficient on average than older models. Their design is intended to save you money. This time around, you should also learn everything you need to k Continue reading

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Alternative Housing Options Why You Don’t Need to Be a Homeowner to Have a Place to Call Home

Real estate in cape coral

A roof over your head and a place to call home, a house is a quintessential part of the American dream. Unfortunately, with the burst of the housing market bubble back in 2008, many Americans are still rightfully skeptical about purchasing a home only to see its value depreciate all over again. Furthermore, some people may not want the responsibility of owning a home or having to take out a mortgage. As we delve further into the 21st century, many Americans are contributing to what some could call a housing market revolution as more and more Americans are searching for alternative living arrangements that contractors are only too happy to satisfy.

Alternative Housing Options

There are a number of options available to those who just don’t want to take the plunge into ho Continue reading

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5 Secrets for Extending the Lifespan of Your Air Conditioner

Ac repair

Air conditioners are expensive. Getting a reliable air conditioner installed in your home can easily cost you a number to the tune of $10,000 to $20,000! Even air conditioning repair services can be expensive, but far cheaper than buying a whole new unit. You have the best chance of extending the life of your air conditioning, as well as avoiding outrageous costs for air conditioning repair services if you follow these simple suggestions for AC maintenance plans:

  1. Give your condenser room to breathe. The air conditioning condenser is the part of the Continue reading
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Treat Your Windows Right To Boost Your Energy Efficiency

Window treatment trends

If you are looking to improve your home’s energy efficiency, a good place to start is with your windows. If you have old windows, you may be better off replacing them. But if your windows aren’t ancient, there are some things you can do to improve their efficiency without having to go to the full expense of getting new ones.

Simple window treatments can make a big difference in how well your windows fare against the cold and the heat. Blinds or curtains can be used to keep out the light and heat in the summertime and then to let it in during the winter. Window treatments provide insulation, and without them, your home can lose as much as 50% of its heating and cooling, which can make Continue reading

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You May Make a Better Door Than a Window, But Rest Assured Some Doors are Better Than Others!

Hot rolled steel windows and doors

A building, in its most basic form, should be comprised of three things: walls, windows, and doors. Minus a roof, those three components are arguably some of the most basic and most important! But when it comes time to install windows and doors in your building, what are your options? Of course, safety and durability are two of the biggest factors, but what kind of doors and windows can provide that to the highest degree possible?

Fire rated windows and doors are not only one of the safest options available to you, they are often among the highest quality windows and doors on the market. in 2013, over one million fires were reported in the United States. And to top that, at least one structure fire was reported every 85 seconds that year. That amounts to a number of fires that is alarmingl Continue reading

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4 Tips for Keeping Your HVAC System Happy and Healthy

St louis furnace repair

Making heating and cooling repairs is an unfortunate part of being a homeowner. Depending on the climate you live in, you most likely cannot survive without an air conditioning throughout the summer in hot areas, or a heating during the winter in cold areas, or both heating and cooling. Only a very few lucky homeowners live in an area that is so temperate it doesn’t require either a heating or cooling system.
Even the best heating and cooling systems will give you issues eventually, especially if they aren’t m Continue reading

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