home insurance

Home Insurance

Home insurance, often called property insurance, is one of the most rational decisions, which you can make in your lifetime. Home insurance ensures that you and your family members will not have to pay big amount of money in the case of some unpleasant accident. If you live in a restless area, it will protect your savings and will cover expenses resulting from an accident. Let’s see the reasons why we should choose the home insurance and the situations which are usually covered by policy of home insurance.

Why to insure?

Simple – for the sake of your heart peace. For example, if you plan to leave your home for longer period of time, an insurance policy will make your absence much tolerable. And if your home is located in unfavourable location, you can not worry about your financial crash, if, for example, your house is damaged by falling tree or powerful wind casts off the roof. Home insurance will help you to live without worries.

What does home insurance policy cover?

Nowadays there are a lot of different insurance companies, and no one of them have identical conditions, therefore, it is very important to find out, what does each insurance policy cover, choosing your insurance company. Also prices of each insurance company differs – in summers offers often are more favourable, as people insure their properties for some period of time while they are leaving their homes for summer recreation, encouraging insurers to compete for their seasonal clients.

In most cases home insurance includes:

  • Insurance against natural conditions – rain, hail, snow, lightning, wind as well as other extreme natural conditions that can harm the housing;
  • Insurance against abuse – theft, arson or other types of damage to property;
  • Insurance against fire – accidentally or maliciously caused fires, which are the main reason of complete loss of housing;
  • Insurance against house troubles – flooded ceilings, fires caused by electricity.

When insuring the property, also equipment, valuables, and other things that are located in the house are insured. There are also policies, which include insurance of temporary residence if it is impossible to live in your house after an accident. Some policies include also building or purchasing of new house. In the case of home insurance, like in cases of other types of insurance, including OCTA insurance, you protect yourself and your relatives against unplanned expenses in the case of some accident.

room design

Basic Principles of Room Decoration

To decorate the room, you can rely on your own competences, hire some professional, or follow some simple basic principles of room decoration.

Choose the colour as a last

As it is known, there are hundreds and thousands of colours, tones and undertones. Taking into account that every house has different lightning, the same colours in different houses can look differently. In order to find the most appropriate colour of walls and ceilings, it has to be chosen only then, when the furniture, carpets, and decorations are in the room.

Let your furniture breath

Avoid overloaded rooms, where it is difficult to move and find some empty corner. In this case a small budget is an advantage, therefore choose less furniture and prefer higher quality furniture.

Works of art in the correct height

In art galleries and museums works of art are exposed in the height of 150 centimetres from the floor, which is a little bit lower than an average height of human eyes. You have to take into account this principle as well, hanging your works of art on the wall at your home.

The location of furniture and carpet

If the carpet is large enough, you can fully place the furniture on it. This solution will look sophisticated, but remember to leave approximately 30 – 45 centimetres of carpet edges empty. If your room is small, leave the carpet empty, placing the furniture around of it. It does not mean that you have to buy very small carpet – a model of average size will be appropriate. The furniture have to be located around of it, almost touching the carpet. In order to create a visually connected arrangement, only the front part of furniture has to be placed on the carpet – it will create a logical solution and will exempt the centre of carpet.

Choose the central element

The central element can differ in each room. In the kitchen it can be, for example, powerful cooker hood, in the living room it can be a fireplace or some work of art, but in the bedroom it can be a bed. Regardless of what it is, the central element has to be noticeable and attracting.

Set your feeling as a priority

Principles like these help to think in one direction and avoid bigger and smaller mistakes, but remember that the main principle is your feeling. You have to arrange your rooms so that you can feel comfortable and nice there. If you can get that feeling, ignoring all of mentioned principles, create your own conditions and the right model of room arrangement.

If you do not have money for some furniture or repairs, you can use online loans (either without a job – “paskolos bedarbiams
or even without collateral – “paskolos be uzstato” ), which are meant for situations like this, namely, for situations when people need money for some urgent purchases or payments, but they do not have their own money at that moment. Online loans are known as fast loans as well, as they are issued within 10 – 15 minutes so that the borrower can resolve its financial issue immediately.

hammer

Where to get money for home improvements?

Our home is the place where we spend the most amount of time and that is why we want it to be as close to perfect as possible. But because according to murphy’s law everything in your home that can go wrong will do so eventually then we need to constantly fix things as well as make improvements.

When we think about all the things that can go wrong inside our home then it is apparent that it is inevitable that some repairs will be needed and you need to think about ways how to finance those repairs. That is why I usually advise my clients to create a Murphy’s savings fund where they transfer some amount of money every month and keep at least 1 to 3 month worth of salary in there. That kind of savings fund can be used for a multitude of situations starting from simple emergency expenses to some crucial home repairs and every buying some home appliances. I have calculated that each ear at least one or two months salaries go into various home repairs and upgrades and comparing to some of my friends that is a small number. You can repair your home only when something really breaks down or you can try to periodically check and upgrade the oldest appliances when you get some spare cash to do so.

But if you have no emergency fund created for these kind of situations then the only option for you is to take out a short term loan so you could cover those unexpected expenses and later pay back your lender. Of course online loans are not the best option to take out because their annual percentage rates are huge and penalty interest is even worst. But in some situations they are the only option that you can use. For example, in the Country Georgia that is just coming out of poverty the banking sector is not that stable and that means the only place where Georgians can get their money is trough non-bank lenders that supply short term loans (onlain sesxebi) and credit lines (ონლინ კრედიტი).

Home improvements are not cheap and you have to constantly think about how to save money and buy things cheaper. But if you own a flat or a house you won’t be able to escape these expenses so be prepared for that!

hardwood flooring

A Schedule for Hardwood Floor Cleaning

If you have wooden floors in your house, you probably know that wooden floors require more attention and care than any other type of floors. Only those wooden floors which are regularly cleaned look nice and shiny – it is insufficient to care about wooden floors just couple of times a year. The best way to clean wooden floors is according to schedule. Follow the schedule below and let your floors shine!

  • Daily dust your floors. Dusting is one of the most easy and underestimated work in the process. Daily dusting keeps your floors clean from dust and dirt. Dusting prevents your floors from scratching, thereby extending the beauty and life of it. Daily mopping is essential, because it reduces allergens at home. If you want to mop your floors more effectively, use microfiber material with static charge which attracts more allergens and dust. Microfiber material has smaller fibers which are able to reach into floor pores, lifting dirt more effectively.
  • Clean your floors weekly. It seems that there is no wrong way to clean floors, but there is. For example, using too much liquid can damage floors. To clean your floors correctly, look for cleaner which is pH-neutral, non-toxic and biodegradable. Also natural cleaners can clean floors effectively and keep your home safe, without harming the environment. It is recommended to use a washable microfiber pad which is able to remove bacteria and keep surfaces clean.
  • Polish your floors quarterly. To restore luster and shine of your floors use water-based polishes every 2 to 3 months. Water-based polishes do not leave residues or harmful toxins, as well as prevent over-cleaning and stripping of your floors. Nowadays polishes have fast drying time, no-waxy buildup and protective layer which fills micro-scratches and improves the appearance of floors.
  • Do not use soap-based cleaners, vinegar, water, wax, as well as steam cleaners on your wooden floors, because they can permanently damage them. Vinegar and water gradually dull the floor’s finish, soap and wax leave residues, but steam cleaner puts heat and excessive water on floors.
    In the entry ways or high-traffic areas use carpets and rugs.
  • Use felt floor protectors on your furniture, as well as avoid high heels which extremely damages floors. Also pet nails have to be trimmed regularly.
  • It is important to use proper tools – for dusting and cleaning use a mop with machine-washable microfiber. Do not use string mops which put excessive water on floors and push dirt around.
  • All spills have to be wiped up immediately to avoid permanent stains.
    Maintain a comfortable temperature, preventing humidity.
home repair

10 Reasons Why You Should Repair Your House Before Selling

If you are planning to sell your house, it is time to take all the necessary repairs. Many sellers do not want to invest money and repair their house, but some repairs save money in the long term – today money which is spent on house improvements is far less than the price of house while it is on the market. If you try to sell a non-repaired house, potential buyers may ask you for concessions or credits for items which are not fixed, but quotes from experts are certainly higher than your own costs for repairs. If you still need convincing, read our 10 reasons why you should make repairs before selling your house.

1. You will have to choose – repairs or concessions

Every buyer does an inspection, where inspector identifies all the issues and suggests necessary repairs. You cannot avoid this process, therefore, fix any problems in your house, otherwise you will have to drop your price to compensate buyer’s expenses or credit money back to the buyer.

2. Paradoxically, but repairs will save your money

The majority of common repairs are inexpensive and easy to solve in couple of days. Usually these are those things which are already on our to do lists for the past year. If these problems bother you, they will also bother a buyer. Cracked ceilings, leaky faucets, ripped window frames – these problems may seem inessential, but if your house is full of problems like these, the actual price of your house drops.

3. Your home will be the focus

If you eliminate all the flaws, your home, not its flaws, is the focus. Repaired house allows buyers to focus on its positive, not negative, features, creating positive impression and experience.

4. The better is condition of house, the better are offers

If your house is completely prepared and ready for selling, its value in the market increases, because your house is well-maintained.

5. You will be able to stick to your price

If you resolve all the issues, you are able to stick to your price, namely, you do not have to do a price reduction to compensate costs of repairs.

6. Last-minute works cost more

Works which are done in the last moment are always more costly, because you do not have time to shop around for estimates and tradespeople charge higher rush fees for squeezing their work into shorter period of time.

7. Estimate and actual costs do not always match

Actual costs to fix items always are less than buyer’s estimate after inspection, but if you do not fix everything before house selling and do not agree to the estimate, you risk losing the sale.

8. You will prevent a risk of losing the deal

By resolving all the problems you avoid credits back to the buyer for flaws which are identified during inspection. Bargaining for a price when your house is full of defects can cost you the deal. It is silly to stick to your price, standing beneath a cracked ceiling.

9. You will attract more potential buyers

It is not a secret, that not only buyers, but also real estate agents love impeccable houses. There is no doubt that repaired houses bring more potential buyers, providing more chances of finding the right one which will pay original price.

10. You will be able to sell your house faster

Impeccable houses are sold not only faster, but also for higher prices.

boost house price

Home Improvements Which Boost Its Selling Price

Seems that everyone knows the saying “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”. Once potential buyers are inside of your house, you want to be sure that your house is at its best condition. To get this confidence, start with cleaning and tidying. These are two improvements which do not cost anything, but provide a big return. When cleaning and tidying are done, focus on low-cost improvements like painting, using neutral tones which are appropriate for everyone. Devote your money and time to renovations which can bring you a return, not to improvements which you have always wanted to do. If you are one of those sellers, who have a limited budged, we have prepared for you a list of home improvements which can help you to sell your house at the best price.

  • Improve a landscape by putting down a fresh sod, replacing tired bushes with new ones and adding some color with flowers in beds and pots.
  • Tidy up an entryway by painting an old front door or buying a new one. Also replacing of old numbers and mailboxes can give a fresh look.
  • Change light and plumbing fixtures by replacing outdated fixtures, thereby giving your home a modern touch for minimal investments.
  • Do only partial renovations, for example, rather than renovate an old bathroom, get a new bath or reface the existing one, but in the kitchen replace the hardware, instead of cabinets.
  • Remove popcorn ceilings which may contain asbestos. Taking into account that asbestos is toxic, removing of popcorn ceiling is far from DIY project – you need a licensed specialist who can remove it. If your ceilings are high enough, you can drywall over and create new ceilings.
  • If your windows have some coverage, remove it, because potential buyers may not share your taste and uncovered windows also let more light into the house.
  • Return rooms to their original uses, for example, if you are using your bedroom as an office, turn it back into a bedroom.
  • Replace carpets which are dirty or worn. Of course, you can try to clean them at first, but it is clear, that worn carpets will not become clean. If there are hardwood floors underneath your carpets, better remove them.
  • Depersonalize your rooms by packing away family photos and children drawings.
  • Clean all rooms, using deep cleaning, so everything shines like new. Do not forget about windows!
  • Paint all rooms, using neutral tones which are appropriate for everyone. You may love bright tones, but potential buyer may not. A fresh paint coat also makes rooms look more modern and new.

10 Tips for Home Maintenance in Spring

It seems everyone would agree that spring’s bright sunlight and warm winds are like breath of fresh air, especially after long and dark winter which seemed endless. It seems that life is more beautiful when the spring comes, but there are a lot of lacks as well, especially if you live in the house. Gutters are full with leaves, sidewalks are cracked and plants in last year’s flower beds are dead. Of course, it is not all – everyone who lives in the house knows it. To cope with these endless challenges on the occurrence of spring see our checklist. This list will help you to target areas which need maintenance, so you can act quickly, so you can get done them faster, leaving free time for going outside and playing in the sunshine.

1. Check your gutters to see whether they are not loose or leaky. It is important, because improper drainage in gutters can lead to water floods in the basement or rooms. Make sure that downspouts are clear and free of debris, as well as drain the water away from the foundation.

2. Fill areas in the yard which are low or are next to the foundation with compacted soil. It is important because intense spring rains can cause flooding of yard. Yard flooding can lead to flooding and damaging of foundation.

3. Screw the wood trim which is around windows, doors, railing and decks to prevent damages to exposed wood from spring rains.

4. Examine the roof to see whether roof shingles are not damaged or lost during winter. Not only winter, but also summer can damage roof shingles, so shingles which are cracked, buckled or loose have to be replaced with new ones. It is recommended to call a qualified roofer who can check and repair the flashing around chimneys, skylights and plumbing vents.

5. Do not forget to examine the exterior of chimney to see signs of damages. It is important to inspect and clean a flue as well. To be more safe and sure that everything is okay, call a certified chimney sweep.

6. Examine concrete slabs to see some signs of cracks. It should be noted that all exterior slabs have to drain away from the foundation of house. If there are cracks in slabs fill them with a concrete crack filler of silicone caulk.

7. Remove a firewood which is stored near the house, because firewood have to be stored at least 18” off the ground.

8. Examine the garden hose for rot, as well as outside hose faucets for freeze damage. To check them quickly and easily turn the water on and place a finger over the opening – if you can stop the water flow, it means that the pipe inside the house is damaged and have to be replaced with the new one.

9. Call a qualified cooling and heating contractor who can clean and service the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, performing system’s functions more completely. Do not forget about other interior filters as well – clean and change them regularly.

10. Check an equipment which is powered by gas, battery or other energy to make sure it is ready for summer works. Remember that clean and sharp equipment makes the yardwork easier, so clean it and sharp its cutting blades.

10 Things to Consider Before Buying a House

Before you buy a house you should take a little time to investigate the house and the neighborhood to understand whether it is the best house what you are going to buy. Do not use services of real estate specialists or brokers, but be proactive and do some of your own research by answering following questions.

1. Neighborhood information

If you already live in the community, you can skip this step, but it is always worth it to search an information in local newspapers or websites to find out an information about upcoming development and other issues connected with your dream house.

2. Crime report

The local police station has statistics on crime which can be found in special websites, as well as in local newspapers or websites. If you want to be aware and feel safe in your house, you have to do some research on this topic.

3. Schools

Buying a house in a good school district is one of ways to make sure that your house maintains its value.

4. Local amenities

One of ways to find out local amenities is going to Google Maps for a Street View of a community where you will be able to see all amenities nearby your house. If you want to find out what is within walking distance of your house, visit www.walkscore.com. If you have some hobby, it is important to find out whether this community offers such options, as well as how far you will have to go to get in certain place.

5. Neighborhood amenities

The best way to find out an information about community’s activities is searching for it in the internet. Nowadays everything you want to know can be found online.

6. The house at different times of day

To find out what it will be like to live somewhere, visit your house at different times of day and week, for example, on a weekday, on a weeknight, as well as on a weekend to see how active or quiet your area is.

7. Testing with a car

If you are visiting your house only on a weekend, you have no idea what the traffic is during rush hour. You have to find out it as soon as possible, otherwise it can has a huge impact on your enjoyment of house.

8. Home inspection

Good purchase offer has to include a home inspection which helps to find out what repairs have to be done and how much it may cost. Remember, that it is always better to go into a house, knowing about its condition and avoiding unpleasant surprises.

9. Conversation with seller

Sellers are the best resource to learn about the house and the community, because they can tell you about renovations they have done to the house, as well as whether your plans for the house are feasible.

10. Taxes, insurance and utility bills

One of most important things which you have to find out is amount of taxes, insurance and utility bills. Make sure that these payments fit into your budget. Often the house has an attractive price, but costs of its maintenance are unreasonably high.

wall painting

How to Paint Interior Walls Properly?

Interior painting is the most popular DIY home improvement activity, because painting of walls is one of the easiest ways to freshen up our place. There is no better and more affordable way to improve the appearance of room – just one coat of paint and room looks like new. Another plus of painting is that it is not difficult and does not require special practicing. It is believed that anyone can paint – all that is needed is a little patience, practice and some advice. But, unfortunately, is not that simple. Everyone, who has ever painted walls, knows that this project can turn into a nightmare of endless coats and spotted surface. By following tips below you will get great-looking walls without stress and effort. We guarantee that these painting tips will help to achieve professional-quality results.

Prepare the surface

If you want to gain a qualitative result, you have to properly prepare the surface you are going to paint. Scrape, sand and patch it and then fill all holes, cracks and dents to eliminate all imperfections. Of course, it is not the most exciting part of painting, but it is definitely the most important part. There is no paint which could hide a rough surface, regardless of its cost, manufacturer, consistency or color.

Apply the primer

Any surface has to be primed, regardless of whether you are painting a new wall or a previously colored wall. Prime a surface every time you paint! Primer serves three functions – it blocks stains from bleeding through, it allows one-coat coverage and it improves paint attachment, reducing peeling and blisters. Professional painters tint the primer on the last layer of paint, mixing topcoat paint into the primer. Nowadays we can buy paints which contain primers, but none of them coats and improves attachment as good as a dedicated primer.

Prefer canvas rather than plastic

Usage of plastic dropcloths is an inexpensive way to protect floors and furnishing from paint spatters, but better investment is canvas which are extremely durable and lay flat, preventing tripping hazard. Canvas unlike plastic dropcloths absorb paint drops, not becoming slippery. Canvas unlike plastic dropcloths can be easily folded around corners. Another advantage of canvas is that canvas dropcloths last a lifetime unlike plastic dropcloths which must be thrown out after usage.

Get an extension pole

Stop using the stepladder and get a telescopic extension pole which can be connected with your paint roller. Extension poles are available in different lengths, so you can purchase the one which is suitable for the height of your ceiling. To connect an extension pole and a paint roller the handle of your paint roller must have a threaded hole in the end, so it can be twisted onto the extension pole. Look for an extension pole which has a soft and nonslip grip, and metal core, because plastic handles are too flexible and uncontrollable.

Use a paint grid instead of tray

It is not a secret that usage of paint tray is an annoying and messy process. Much better alternative of paint tray is a paint grid. A paint grid is a rectangular, metal or plastic screen which hooks onto the rim of the paint bucket. A paint grid helps to remove an excess paint, preventing paint flows on walls.

Overnight storage

If you have not finished painting in one day, you do not have to clean your paintbrushes and paint rollers. All you have to do is brush or roll off an excess paint and wrap them in some plastic bag or film to seal out any air. When brushes and rollers are wrapped, place them in the refrigerator which will keep them fresh. It may seem weird, but it really works – the paint does not dry and the equipment stays usable.

home maintenance

The Checklist for Home Maintenance

We have prepared a to-do list for home maintenance which will be helpful for everyone who cares about its house – it will help to find out how often each task of home maintenance should be done. By following this list your home will be in tip-top shape.

Daily

During showering use a bathroom fan which will protect your bathroom’s surfaces against mold and mildew. Do not forget to wipe all surfaces in kitchen, bathroom and laundry rooms. Also floors in kitchen, bathroom and in other hard-floored rooms have to be swept.

Weekly

Every week vacuum carpets and mop floors in all rooms. Do not forget about scrubbing of toilets, sinks, showers and tubs. Clear debris and leaves from the foundation of your house.

Monthly

Check whether there are water leaks somewhere in the house which may be caused my intense rain, snow or ice. Once a month dust curtains and other surfaces in your home. Remember to clean mirrors and wipe such places as lamps, switch plates and door knobs.

Seasonally

Winter

Clean your drain gutters, as well as kitchen exhaust fan and filter. If it is necessary, change your air filter. It is useful to tighten any knobs, handles, shelves or anything else which can become loose. Do not forget to check and repair all locks and deadbolts of doors and windows. Winter is perfect time for inspect and deep clean of basement.

Spring

Clear drain gutters and change the air filter if needed. Taking into account that summer is coming, check the air conditioner. Check your inspect screens and replace those which have holes to protect your house against uninvited guests – insects. Also inspect your roof for leaks, cracks or broken tiles. Do not forget to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Spring is the best time for washing of windows inside and out, as well as for changing of seasonal bedding. Spring is known as spring-cleaning time, so remember to clean your kitchen and bathroom like never before, cleaning your kitchen exhaust fan and filter as well. It is recommended to re-caulk sinks, showers and tubs to prevent water damages to walls.

Summer

Clear drain gutters and if it is necessary change the air filter. Make sure that your house is clean from seasonal insects. Summer when there is less moisture in the air is perfect time for cleaning of carpets. Also kitchen appliances must be cleaned inside and out, as well as kitchen exhaust fan and filter.

Autumn

Decalcify all faucets and aerators to clear any mineral build-up. As in previous seasons clear drain gutters and change the air filter. Also kitchen exhaust fan and filter must be cleaned. Make sure your heater works to be prepared for winter season. It is important to update fire extinguishers and seal any exterior cracks in the house. Test and repair indoor faucets, toilets and showers for proper water flow. If your house has chimney, clean it out, as well as change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If your house is equipped with hot-water system, check the water pressure and drain the expansion tank. To protect your walls against water damage, re-caulk sinks, showers and tubs. Also roof must be inspected for any leaks, cracks or broken tiles.