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Beni Restea - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

A Tenant’s Guide to Feeling More at Home in a Rented Property

In today’s housing market, many of us simply are not able to buy a home. Exorbitant list prices and stringent credit requirements are among the things that make owning a place of your own nigh-impossible, even if you have the help of a good real estate agent. Nevertheless, we still need a place to sleep, eat and call home. So what do we do? We rent. 

Make no mistake, renting has its fair share of pitfalls and drawbacks. Not the least of these is the feeling of impermanence and fragility that can come with renting; at the end of the day, your home is still someone else’s property. So how do you remedy this? Glad you asked! 

There are a lot of ways to make a rental feel more like your home, some of them quick and easy, others requiring a bit more time and effort. Regardless how much commitment they require, each of these suggestions will help you feel a bit more at home in your rental. Let’s get into it! 

Redecorate

A great place to start is with the decor of your rental, whether it’s a rented home or apartment. Decor can be a huge factor in making you feel comfortable in your home and can help you express your individuality more than almost anything else. 

The great thing about redecorating is that you are the one who decides how far you want to go in giving your living space a makeover. It can be as simple as hanging a few pictures and decorations on the wall to completely changing the look of everything in your home. 

Another great thing about redecorating is that it can be done gradually, and at very little cost if you’re creative. You don’t have to tackle the whole task at once, and if you’re strapped for cash you can simply buy one or two decor items every time that paycheck comes in. It’s easy, it feels great and it can make your home feel way, way more lived in! 

Repaint a wall or room 

One of the biggest and most common barriers to feeling at home in your rental is unappealing or dated paint schemes and wallpaper. Nothing really kills the vibe like a fading, peeling coat of drab beige paint or wallpaper that was considered ugly in the 70s. The good news is, you might just be able to remedy this problem! 

If your landlord approves, you can repaint a wall or room in your rental and instantly improve the aesthetic appeal of your living space and make it feel more warm and welcoming. If you choose the right colors for each space, you can vastly improve the atmosphere And best of all? It’s not even that difficult! 

Of course, this isn’t to say it will be easy, per se, but it’s not nearly as hard as many people think. There are plenty of great guides to DIY home painting, and entire rooms can be painted for very reasonable prices. Sure, you might make a mistake here and there, but those mistakes will just make your rental feel all the more like home. 

Upgrade your lighting 

Of all the things that make a home seem dingy and uninviting, perhaps the most ubiquitous is bad lighting. The sight of a cheap, dilapidated fixture hanging precariously from the ceiling and struggling to illuminate the room with its cold, blue glow is all too common in many apartments. Strangely enough, fixing bad lighting is actually really easy; it’s a wonder more people don’t! 

The best place to start when it comes to fixing bad lighting is changing out the lightbulbs. Lightbulbs that are cool in color are very common and can be appealing in the right fixture and room, but if not used properly often have the effect of making a room seem uninviting, especially if they aren’t bright enough. 

To fix this, you can simply invest in brighter, warmer light bulbs! These bulbs can have a huge impact on the way a room feels, and can make a huge difference in any room you place them in. What’s more, outdated light bulbs also consume a lot more energy than modern LED bulbs, so changing them out can make your house more like a home and lower your energy bill! 

If light bulbs won’t cut it, you may want to install some new fixtures. While this initially may seem a bit daunting if you’ve never done anything similar, it’s actually quite easy and simple. Just go to the hardware supply store, pick out some appropriate fixtures, and follow the instructions in the box! 

If you live in a home with outdoor areas, you can also up your outdoor lighting game! The options here are virtually endless. From solar powered lawn lamps to oil burning tiki torches and atmospheric string lights, the only limit is your imagination! 

Conclusion 

We really hope that these suggestions have given you some inspiration for making your rental property feel more like at home. These are just a few of the many ways you can go about doing this, but these ideas are a great place to start, and they aren’t too time consuming or expensive. So what are you waiting for? Go make that house a home!  

 

Did you enjoy this article? Want to ask a question, or leave some feedback on how we can improve? Be sure to contact us and let us know! Our readers are our top priority, and we do our best to make sure you have an optimal experience on our platform, so we value your input highly. We wish you luck in your home makeover endeavor!

 

 

Publish Date: January 22, 2021 3:25 PM


Best Museums in Houston Texas

Houston Texas is a city of culture that is renowned for many things. It is the place where space exploration took off and became what we see today. It is a sprawling metropolis with a strong urban feel where everything comes to life and it feels like anything is possible. Houston is a continuously growing city that ranks as the 4th most populous city in the US and the numbers are still rising.

Not to mention the fact that the city of Houston TX has a thriving job market where anyone can follow their dream career path and a booming housing market where you can surf through a variety of home options in order to find the perfect fit for yourself. There is no question that this city has so much in store for you and we are just as excited as you to explore the possibilities and see what it has to offer.

One great thing about such a vast city is the fact that you have endless means of entertainment for couples, families, friends, and anyone really. When you have a city such as Houston TX, which is a major contributor to both the scientific and art community, then you can expect to find plenty of attractions around the city that boldly highlight these facts. 

One way to find out about the great impact that the city is having over these communities is through their world-renowned museums. Here is a list with some of the best Museums in Houston Texas that you absolutely have to see.

Space Center Houston

We are starting off with what is the leading science and space learning institution in the US. The museum is the official visitor center of NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and space control where you can expect to have an amazing learning experience. The Space Center offers an in-depth look into the largest space program in the world.

If you always loved learning about space and about the ways in which man managed to explore its infinity, then this is definitely a place you need to visit. The Starship Gallery at Space Center Houston is an exhibition where you can see multiple spacecrafts that were flown in the past and other national treasures. On the other hand you have the Astronaut Gallery which holds a collection of spacesuits worn by men and women during their space exploration missions.

You have the opportunity to go inside a replica Independence that has been mounted on an original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft. Mission Mars offers you a detailed explanation of how we can get to Mars and how one day we might be able to live there. A cinema place situated at the museum offers you an educational experience where you get to hear Mission briefings, and see the life of an astronaut at the International Space Center. The museum offers you such a unique and complex experience and it is by far one of the best museums in Houston Texas.

The Contemporary Art Museum

Dedicated to presenting some of the best and most exciting regional and international art, the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston is one of the places you should visit if you are an art enthusiast who loves contemporary works of art. With an impressive collection of art from the last 40 years, the museum does an amazing job of presenting new art and highlighting its importance in modern life.

Through exhibitions, lectures, original publications, educational programs, and events, the Contemporary Art Museum excels in providing a complete experience for any art enthusiast. Even if you are not so much into art, you will still fall in love with this place. The museum is located in the heart of Houston Museum District, in the famous stainless steel building designed by Gunnar Birkerts, an award-winning architect in 1972.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

If you love to see some of the prehistoric beasts that surfed across the world, millions of years ago, you are more than welcome to visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Located in Hermann Park, this top-rated museum is a high-quality complex that boasts an incredible array of ancient artifacts, fossils, bones, interactive exhibits, and stuffed creatures. The time frame covered by this exhibit dates from the dinosaur age up until the space age, so hop on this time machine and explore some of the most impressive creatures that ever lived on Earth.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is also one of the most visited museums in the country, and for good reason. The exhibits here are truly impressive, and you get to walk through the towering rows of dinosaur skeletons, and exhibits that hold rare insects. On the other hand, the Butterfly Garden is a stunning rainforest habitat that houses hundreds of specimens of butterflies. You can literally see all shapes, sizes, and colors of butterflies and it truly is a pleasant sight.

Holocaust Museum Houston

Some of the museums from Houston take you a step back in time in order to show some of the most important moments in history. One such place is the Holocaust Museum Houston located in the Museum District. This impactful museum walks you through hundreds of permanent exhibits and artifacts that document the Holocaust. The museum also holds special exhibitions and short films with Holocaust survivors from the Houston area sharing their stories.

It is one of the darkest periods in our history and the Holocaust Museum takes you a step back in time in order to document, commemorate, and honor all the lives that were lost. It serves as a powerful message as well as a reminder for generations to come about the dangers that might occur because of prejudice, marginalization, and apathy. All the exhibits, photographs, archival footage, and even the architecture of the building is telling the story of the six million Holocaust victims.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, some of the best museums in Houston serve as a powerful statement about the culture, history, and art surrounding this area. These museums are just a glimpse into what this amazing city has to offer. Having the opportunity to properly explore the area is a privilege reserved for residents and if you want to be one just contact any local realtors in Houston Texas so you can settle in no time and be part of its amazing culture.

Also, if you like our article don’t hesitate to share it with your friends on your social media accounts and let everyone know about the best museums in Houston TX.

Publish Date: October 13, 2020 2:27 PM


Best neighborhoods in Franklin TN

Looking for a good place to live is something we all have to do at some point in our lives, whether it is for ourselves or for our loved ones. We do want what’s best for us and for our children so finding a great community where you can integrate and feel like home is not an easy task. However, things are made a lot easier if you are looking for such a place in the state of Tennessee.

With a simple search, the city of Franklin Tennessee comes out as one of the best communities to live in Tennessee. Why is it so you might wonder? There are plenty of things that make this town so exciting and amazing in every possible way. First, you have a city with a rich historical and cultural background, that is hard to describe in words how many fragments of history can be found within the city's boundaries.

On the other hand, you have some of the most breathtaking natural sceneries right at your doorstep. In Franklin Tennessee, you will be surrounded by wooded areas and green spaces which makes it feel like a lively and vibrant city. Along with its freshness, you have a community that provides family-friendly amenities making it a wonderful place to raise your children.

Let’s get more in-depth and find out what are the best neighborhoods in Franklin Tennessee and why?

 

Cool Springs

If you are looking for a safe community with a family-friendly environment, Cool Springs is the place for you. Major shopping along with a business district are just some of the things you can expect to find in this neighborhood. The area started thriving especially with the opening of the Cool Springs Galleria. This mall contains five department stores, more than 165 specialty stores along with the Oasis Food Court which is able to seat 500 people.

Homebuyers have become particularly interested in the neighborhood thanks to business development. Companies such as Nissan, who decided to move here from California had a great impact on the local economy and the desirability of the place. Close to the Galleria you have Carronbridge community that comes equipped with a clubhouse, pool, fitness center, and tennis courts.

In terms of home prices, you will have a hard time finding homes priced below $500,000 because the area has plenty of luxury homes for sale. Ask around for the top local real estate agents in Franklin TN who can help you find the right home for you.

 

Downtown Franklin

The downtown area of any city is probably one of the most exciting places to live. Living here puts you close to all the action and yet you can really enjoy the peacefulness and the perks of suburban living. Downtown Franklin is located just 21 miles away from Nashville if you plan an escape for the weekend to the capital city.

The iconic shops and eateries in downtown Franklin is something to look forward to. Also, everything is within walking distance and with so much history awaiting at every corner it is quite a pleasant experience to be in the middle of everything within walking distance. This is because the streets of downtown Franklin are very welcoming and the cute and quaint homes that line the streets make the district a very desirable place.

The Brownstone-style homes provide quite a fine design to the rest of the historic downtown area. In terms of home prices, the average listing price is around $750,000, and the prices for the brownstone range anywhere between $850,000 to $2.5 million. More affordable home prices can be found on Chestnut Road which is just within walking distance to downtown, but without a doubt, it is one of the best neighborhoods in Franklin TN.

 

Bingham / Parry

Bingham / Parry is one of Franklin’s upper-class neighborhoods where the majority of adults that live here are wealthy and educated executives. Residents occupy most of their time with their upper-class careers which keeps them busy and allows them to live comfortably. If you find yourself desiring a similar neighborhood and have the salary to afford it then, by all means, relocate to Bingham / Parry.

Bingham / Parry is considered to be amongst the 15% of the wealthiest neighborhoods in America with residents having a higher income than almost 90% of the neighborhoods in America. This also justifies the high real estate median price of $630,000 which again is more expensive than 97% of other neighborhoods in Tennessee.

 

Legends Ridge

Legends Ridge is another upscale neighborhood that is well known for its masterfully-crafted custom homes and breathtaking views over the forest and the gently rolling hills. This quaint suburban retreat features lakes, tennis courts, and a pool which for sure drives the prices for homes in these neighborhoods quite high.

With mansions and luxury homes surrounding the area, there are not many listings available but whatever you can find is priced way above $1M. The average price per square foot is about $237 and base listings come with at least 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and at least 7,000 square feet of living space.

 

Fieldstone Farms

This neighborhood is comprised of a vast collection of subdivisions, 26 to be more precise and it almost feels like these subdivisions form individual neighborhoods. With more than 2,100 quality crafted homes, Fieldstone Farms is another popular neighborhood located on the north side of Franklin. 

Residents living in this master-planned community enjoy a vast array of amenities within the neighborhood’s boundaries. Pools for swimming and tennis courts are some of the amenities that members of Fieldstone Farm & Tennis club enjoy. Four community parks equipped with playgrounds are more than enough if you plan on bringing your kids along to play, and the walking trails will satisfy your outdoor needs.

This is also one of the more affordable neighborhoods in Franklin TN and there is plenty of variety in terms of housing. Surrounded by nature, the community gives you a sense of solitude and seclusion that you can expect to find in homes with prices ranging anywhere between $200,000 to $600,000.

Conclusion

The city of Franklin Tennessee is like the masterpiece of a talented artist, it never fails to impress with its scenery and beauty. You have some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes that surround the stylish homes of Franklin’s neighborhoods. On top of that, there is no shortage of things to do in Franklin. Either you are exploring its history and culture or just going on a shopping spree and stopping by one of their delicious eateries, you are winning if you plan to relocate to one of the best neighborhoods of Franklin TN.

Don’t forget to share this article on your social media account if you like what you read and let everyone know how amazing Franklin Tennessee really is.

Publish Date: August 6, 2020 9:07 PM


Places To Visit In Severna Park, MD

As the old saying goes “strong essences come in small bottles”, and the same is true for the state of Maryland. Even though it is one of the smallest states in the USA, the abundance of shorelines and waterways along with its prosperous economy and family-friendly environment make it one of the most desirable places to live in the USA. 

 

A testimony for this is the rapid population growth witnessed in the past years and the fact that it is a densely populated state. In 2015 it was declared as the state with the highest average median household income in the country. It’s prosperous economy and the diversity in its job market pushed many people from other states to relocate here.

 

One of the most important Metropolitan areas is the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. Having the privilege of living in this area is something very few get to enjoy, also because of the high costs of living. Part of the same metropolitan area is Severna Park, MD one of the cities that is not actually a city, but a CDP (census-designated place) that mirrors what the area is all about. 

 

Luxurious estate in some of the best waterfront communities in Severna Park, MD, as well as an environment that suits both families and seniors are just a few examples of what it is like to live in Severna Park, MD. Just strolling down the streets of Severna Park, MD is a unique experience because of the beautiful natural landscape and the green area lined with impressive cypress trees. 

 

If you are a tourist visiting Severna Park, MD, you should know which are the best places to visit in Severna Park, MD. Without further ado, here is a list with some of the places you absolutely have to visit if you are in the area.

Sandy Point State Park

 

South Beach in Maryland? Who would’ve thought? It is not as known as South Beach back in Miami but it definitely is close to what the one in Miami has to offer. To be more accurate, Sandy Point State Park has a South Beach where you can rejoice in some of your favorite water sports and beach-related activities. 

 

Visitors have the unique opportunity to swim in the Chesapeake Bay’s northwestern shore and other water activities include fishing as well as crabbing for the famous Chesapeake Bay blue crab. Boating is also common since the park holds 22 launching ramps. The park covers a total of 786-acres and some other outdoor activities that you can experience here includes, hiking, biking in the beautiful natural environment which extends for about four miles around the park.

 

The fee for getting in Sandy Point State Park is a modest $5 per resident and $6 for out of state citizens. The park’s headquarters is located in Annapolis which is just a 15-minute drive from Severna Park, MD and it is definitely worth visiting.

 

Theater and spectacles in Severna Park, MD

 

If you like live theater and acting performances we got you covered. The Pasadena Theatre Company is well known throughout the state of Maryland for offering quality entertainment for people of all ages. Pasadena Theatre Company performs shows throughout Anne Arundel County to ensure you won't miss any shows when they are around.

 

Some of the Venues where the performances are held are Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park, which is about 13 miles north of Severna Park, Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, four miles southeast of Severna Park as well as Kerr Center for the Arts in Severn, located 13 miles northwest. The Baltimore’s Catonsville Dinner Theatre is also a common venue where some of their performances take place.

 

Their repertoire includes Godspell, Charlotte’s Web, Twelve Angry Men, Camelot, Treasure Island, and many more. Make sure you buy tickets in advance since they tend to sell out quickly and to secure a seat in time.

 

Museums to visit in Severna Park, MD

 

The rich history surrounding the beautiful state of Maryland is showcased in most of the museums that are located in the area. For example, the U.S. Naval Academy Museum depicts the history of the academy as well as the Navy. You can expect to see here some of the artifacts that take you back in 1812 to the Battle of Lake Erie, such as the flag of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. The blue flag has a quote written on it saying “don’t give up the ship” and the author of it is Captain James Lawrence who gave his life early in the war.

 

Another, well known Museum is the National Electronics Museum, which was founded as a way to celebrate the technological advancements that protected the country. There are about 12 exhibits that showcase the history of radars and SONAR devices used underwater by submarines. This museum is located in Linthicum which is about 15 miles northwest of Severna Park, so you will have no trouble getting there and exploring some of the technological history surrounding our country.

 

The general admission for the National Electronics Museum is about $7 with an exception for senior citizens who pay only $5. The US Naval Academy museum doesn’t require an admission fee, however, you need to have a valid picture ID and be 21 years of age, otherwise, you need to be escorted by an adult with a valid picture ID.

 

Conclusion

The beautiful city of Severna Park, MD, has a combination of beautiful waterfront estates and shorelines along with green areas that make this city lively and vibrant. The lucky residents of Severna Park, get to enjoy all the attractions and the amenities that this city has to offer on a daily basis. However, it is quite expensive to live here, especially in terms of the housing market so you would need to find real estate agents in Severna Park MD to help you out in that regard.

 

If you are a lucky homeowner in the city of Severna Park then you have the privilege of seeing some of the places mentioned above as often as you like. However, if you're just a tourist to the new city make sure you don’t miss out on some of the best places to visit in Severna Park, MD.

 

If you like this article make sure you share it with some of your friends on your social media accounts.

 

Publish Date: May 19, 2020 4:47 PM


Selling a house after a wildfire

Wildfires are a frequent threat to both human life and properties that occur in areas where the climate is sufficiently moist to allow for trees to grow, but feature extensively dry periods of time. The destructive and uncontrolled fire, created by human negligence or a natural phenomenon like lightning, poses a threat to houses and agricultural resources, and although we tend to consider wildfires in terms of the amount of damage it produces, there are many ecosystems that rely on them for renewal and maintenance.  

       In the US there are over 44 million houses in forested areas. The highest figure of households prone to high or extremely high risk from wildfire, are found, according to the 2019 Verisk Wildfire Risk Analysis, in the following states: California, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Idaho. Withal, Texas, California, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida have the highest number of acres burned in 2018 according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Many Americans living in forested areas, if such an event occurs, are left wondering what to do when confronted with the risk of selling a fire damaged property and what are their options. Either they want to sell because of the unsafe conditions in which they live, or the ignition takes place after the decision was made, it's worth noting some opportunities such events can create. A territory affected by a wildfire can produce the development and extension of urban areas and can lead to a better environmental awareness. This will introduce estates with a lower risk of exposure to fire damage and for homeowners will be the occasion to rebuild a more valuable and sustainable property. Also, the market value for districts in the vicinity of an ecosystem prone to wildfires, is likely to increase.

What do you do after your house burns down?

    The desire to protect your property, as a homeowner, can leave you feeling powerless in the face of the destructive force of a wildfire and its aftermath. Being part of the statistics is time and money consuming and rebuilding a house after a fire in order to sell it, might overwhelm you. But instead of focusing on the prejudices, try to adapt and take advantage of what you can do with your property value after a wildfire. Just like the jack pine drops its seeds into the ash enriched soil to ensure new ones will grow in its place after it burns down during a fire, you can assess how to rehab your fire damaged house in a manner that protects its market value. In order to accomplish this, you need to know who to call and which option is best suited for you: selling with or without renovation. 

          The first thing you must do in both cases, after your home was damaged by a wildfire, is to contact your insurance company to learn the value of your home.

          Decide if it's more profitable for you to sell the house as is. It's easier and saves you the consumptive process of hiring contractors or the exhaustion of participating and living (if the affected house is your residence) during the rehab of a fire damaged house. Take into account that it will cost you when marketing the property as it must get discounted in order to be sold, while investors usually steer clear of fire damaged houses, thus the buyers pool is very small. You can consider selling a house after a fire without renovation when a very small portion was affected (but not the bathroom or kitchen) or when the cost of rebuilding a house after a fire might leave you unable to pay the mortgage. If you want the best return of your property, reparation is your best option, especially if you have insurance to cover it. If you choose to sell your house after a fire by first renovating it, you need to know which are the steps to follow. 

Is it safe to stay in a house after a fire? 

         The moment when the fire is extinguished and the situation is no longer life threatening, does not eliminate the risks created by such an event to your health. The most important reason to rehab a fire damaged house, in case you are willing to return to your house, is the fact that smoke lingers in your home and can pose further menace to you and your belongings. Smoke contains, among other chemicals, ash, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and soot (particles of impure carbon), the effect of fuel remnants that fed the fire. It can cause pulmonary irritation, headaches and can worsen pre-existing heart conditions. You must know how to clean up after a fire in order to avoid health hazards created by smoke that can coat objects in soot and odor, penetrate the walls of your house, furnishings, light fixtures and electrical sockets. DIY techniques are not efficient, thus it is essential to contact your insurance firm and ask for recommendations of a fire restoration company to do a complete thorough cleaning and decontamination of the entire property. Most of the time, the insurance pays for these services. An experienced restoration contractor is able to address the health problems put forward by such an event and knows how to clean up after a fire that damaged your house. 

How much would it cost to repair a fire damaged house?

     Be ready to make investments. Repair and reconstruction costs add-up fast. Take into consideration all the problems and solutions and spend your money wisely because expert renovation services might be expensive, demand time and can be overwhelming. Rebuilding a house after a fire entails knowing the most vital reparations you must do in order to maintain or even increase the value of your property. When someone is buying a house renovated after a fire, they must first know everything they can about the incident and would normally call a professional to do an inspection and evaluate the property. Some reparations might be covered by your insurance company so keep all the receipts. If you don't have insurance, you can contact public agencies and associations such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army for some help and guidance. If the area is avowed by the government to be a territory affected by a great calamity, you should ask for a professional opinion to see if there is any policy regarding financial recovery that might be beneficial for you. Verify with an accountant or with the IRS directly. Regarding the rehab of a fire damaged house, you must know which technicians are fundamental to the renovation process. 

Who to call when rebuilding a house after a fire

       Buying a house renovated after a fire makes people prone to pay a closer look to details that otherwise are easily overlooked, so you need to know and call some key professionals to help and guide you during this process.

Professional mold removal and remediation services: before selling your house after a fire take into account that the wildfire is extinguished using water and chemicals that might leave damp basement walls and interior wood surfaces, a source of mold. This will also take extra renovation time as the walls need time to dry. 

A structural engineer: buying a house renovated after a fire can often imply additional expenses to cover structural integrity. If you do not want to lose property value after a wildfire, you must first check if there is extensive structural damage and if the house might need framing, floor joists and roof truss reconstruction. 

An experienced plumber: extreme heat damages soldering on copper, plumbing and can melt PVC pipes. They show up as damp spots, stains and mold on drywall. 

A licensed electrician: take into account electrical wiring, fuse boxes, circuit burn and any short outs when you rehab a fire damaged house, because extreme temperatures scorch switches and plug outlets. 

A professional duct cleaner: when ductwork is contaminated by compounds found in the chemicals used to extinguish the fire, interior air quality is compromised. Property values after a wildfire are higher if there are no health hazards surrounding or inside the estate. 

An experienced restoration contractor: to remove soot, smoke, stains and odors. Exposure to such substances are even more  dangerous because they are not easily detected and the effects are noticeable only with the passing of time. 

A certified mold remediation specialist: selling a fire damaged property means you need to check for water damage that creates the ideal conditions for a mold outbreak. Any type of fungus spreads rapidly in humid environments. Toxic fungi are able to produce eye, throat or even skin irritation to the residents. To maintain or increase property values after wildfire, owners must first and foremost eliminate any health threatening conditions.

An asbestos abatement technician: only if you rehab a fire damaged house built before 1980.

Living or leaving after a wildfire?

     Rebuilding a house after a fire might be an expensive and exhausting process and property values after a fire tend to experience, from a historical perspective, a decrease from 3% to 23% due to the fact that the surroundings were affected too. And you should definitely take that into account. Not only your house will be evaluated with an increased perception of the hazardous conditions but also the area in which the land is located, which, within a couple of years (from 2 to 5 years) undergo a complete rebound of the market according to the studies of Shawn McCoy and Randall Walsh, economists at the University of Las Vegas and the University of Pittsburgh, due to the fact that everything is rebuilt adapted to the environment and to protect properties from further exposure to wildfire risk, while new and modern structures replace the old ones. Your house can also be reconstructed, with the aid of the insurance settlement, larger and safer.

        Try to evaluate the damage and make sure you make the best decisions when you're selling a house after a fire. Make sure to keep track of your insurance claims, police reports, and any repairs you've made, and be aware that each state has a property disclosure statement of which you must describe any prejudices that your estate suffered and the steps made to repair it.

Publish Date: April 7, 2020 5:44 PM


Things to do in Alpharetta GA

Starting from Atlanta and going north for 22 miles on the way towards the North Georgia Mountains, there is a town that has it all and does not shy away from bringing its A-game when it comes to interesting activities. Here you can find more mouth-watering restaurants that you can eat at and every activity that you could possibly imagine. Enough sleep is the only necessary requirement because things to do in Alpharetta, GA are in abundance.

An active family will not be disappointed by this city’s ability to keep you busy and entertained. If you like music, outdoors or indoors activities, nature, and adrenaline, Alpharetta will make sure that your life would be active and filled with excitement. When the day is over, however, whenever that might be, because life does not end when sunsets here, you can then go to your peaceful neighborhood and have a well-deserved sleep. Because you’re going to need it.

The great outdoors

There is no simple way of putting this. Yes, the Greater Atlanta area offers an amazing variety of public parks and picnic areas, but the pearl is hidden in the suburbs. One of the best things to do in Alpharetta is to get lost in nature. Well, not literally lost, but lost in the sense that you forget yourself, your troubles and cares and just enjoy life in the lovely Alpharetta weather.

Wills Park

If you want an easy day in nature with your family, you can find pretty much anything here. If your family is active, or, better said, if your children are hyperactive and you want to give them a few hours of carefree tiresome activities you can try it once, and once will be enough. Some things to do in Alpharetta’s best park are swimming, tennis, baseball and even horseback riding just to entertain you while you’re here. You can walk your dog in a safe manner as Wills Park has two dog areas, one for small dogs, the other for large dogs. 

The park is in perfect condition at all times, the walking paths are clean and well-maintained while, for example, in the dog park, the only man-made structure is the water fountain. Clean bathrooms and facilities, and in this park are some of the best public pools available.

Chukkar Farm

As the day isn’t over until the music stops, don’t miss out on the live music available only 20 minutes away by car from downtown Alpharetta. Set on over 100 acres of pastures, woods, and river crossings, and a 26-acre lake, Chukkar Farm offers live shows from April till October that you can enjoy under a pavilion or under the stars with your friends and family. If you like horse-back riding, you can dip your finger in some Polo lessons with a Polo Professional. 

However, aside from comfortable dates, family activities and other exciting things to do in Alpharetta, the Farm is very famous for one more thing. You can take your better half and tie the knot in this pastoral and traditional setting with green landscapes all around and have a complete country experience.

Motorcycle Safety Foundation

For those seeking the adrenalin rush and want to also learn something new, or maybe you are used to riding in the city and never ventured in nature, either way, here you can have fun, feel alive with excitement rushing through your veins. These guys can teach even a 6-year-old to ride a dirt-bike, so I guarantee you that you, your family, friends and, why not, work buddies will not constitute a problem. 

They offer street bike driving lessons to those who have a driver’s license or dirt bike riding for those who want to get dirty. A few things to do in Alpharetta to help you get more excitement in your life.

Georgia Farm and Garden Tour

Created by a wonderful founder who wants to share her love of farming, gardening, wineries and the beautiful places the State of Georgia has to offer, these tours are designed in the perfect way for a day off. All you have to do is get there, or they can come and get you because everything else is organized, planned, and paid for in full. Your only job will be to enjoy, relax, learn and experience things that you might not be able to in your day-to-day life. 

You will feel enriched and rebranded as they also have Spa, Yoga, and Hiking involved in their tours. What better things to do in Alpharetta than invest in yourself on someone else’s program.

Big Creek Greenway

The Big Creek River offered the natural elements that are now encompassed in the Big Creek Greenway. Here you can have an easy walk, jog, run, bike, skate or picnic with your family, friends and even by yourself if you feel you’re running out of things to do in Alpharetta. It is a safe place in the natural beauty granted by Georgia’s wildlife. Here you can spot a passing deer or a green Heron on your walk so make sure you bring a camera with you. 

The paths are wide enough for couples or more, but tight enough for privacy. It has many exits and parking areas where you can leave your car and take the picnic basket with you and it is literally in the middle of the woods so you’ll feel detached from work, stress, and other problems here. Just take a stroll and forget responsibilities for a few hours and you will feel recharged. The best part, it’s just an 8-minute drive from downtown Alpharetta.

The excitement indoors

Make sure you get there with an empty stomach and a joy for life because there is too much to try and not enough time. But, you can always come back the next day because this city rests only enough so it can start again tomorrow. Whether it’s a pub, restaurant or shopping that got you walking around downtown, the most vibrant things to do in Alpharetta will keep you busy.

Jekyll Brewing

Hop Dang Diggity, Nard Dog or Mama Pajama. Take your pick because they have it all. The first brewery opened in Alpharetta does not need liquid courage to win your heart. The vast selection available will give you a few things to do in Alpharetta, and the history behind every brew is enough to make you ask a refill. Add some Crawfish Hushpuppies or some Brewery Steak on the side and you have yourself a fine brew and dine night out. There’s plenty of both indoor and outdoor space provided by the terrace, and the staff is fantastic.

Avalon

You want a Gigabit community because that’s what Avalon can offer. Called a “Fiberhood” by Tripadvisor.com, this 86-acre development has 570,000 square feet of retail, full-service hotel, all premium theater, and single-family homes. This continuously connected community has an internet speed 100 times faster than what’s currently available and is the first Gigabit community of Georgia. There is resort-level hospitality here that combines the luxury of the modern South with art and culture in the middle of restaurants, shops, and entertainment centers. Everyone will find something to do here and enjoy themselves to the fullest.

American Girl

Located in the North Point Mall, you can bring your daughter here for her birthday if you want her to feel like a princess. The staff will offer the royal treatment and the tea party will go in full swing with the other guests that can be brought to the table. Melody and Julie can sit respectfully as they are served their cakes and tea and, if you wish, the dolls are available. Like that the tea party doesn’t have to end. If you want a doll that looks like you or your daughter, that’s also an option.

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre

Getting your groove on while you enjoy heritage trees and beautiful landscapes is expected during a concert here. During its April to October season, you can enjoy Alanis Morissette or Kesha in this state-of-the-art venue. You can take a seat in one of the 7,000 covered seats or just crash on the lawn (if you forgot your lawn chair, you can also rent one) and be amazed by world-class entertainment. There are burgers to eat, drinks to enjoy and great music for the music-lover in you.

Golf

Welcome to Golf County and in Alpharetta, if you really run out of things to do, start golfing if you haven’t yet. Make it a family outing and teach your children about patience and respect. There are more than enough golf clubs around Alpharetta, maybe even in your community, where you can learn and respect a beautiful sport by watching professionals play or be taught by professionals. You can try Topgolf Alpharetta for a good competition among friends and family and the service is excellent.

So take your boots on, your picnic basket, roller-blades or bike and get ready because this city is not for the passive dwellers. You can jump head-first in the excitable city or make a plan of it and contact the realtors in Alpharetta GA, whichever suits you better, but don’t forget to ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY because there’s plenty to and nothing should stop you. The beauty of this suburb rests in the people that live there, their way of life and experiences that you are invited to share amongst them and for your benefit.

Publish Date: February 19, 2020 6:32 PM


Are we due for another real estate recession

The crash of the Stock Exchange and the bank runs led to the Great Depression. Less than a century later, the unquenchable greed of the banking system was the root of the 2008 economic recession. So, where should we look for the signs of a new recession? There’s no doubt that the love of money is the root of all evil. For years, the market has been going up and down but nobody could really predict the next inflection point. So, how can we tell that we are due for another real estate recession?

Formulating the next housing crash prediction

Every economic recession has a domino effect. And usually, the cause has something to do with money. It must come from the financial sector like a snowball, affecting everything it touches, from big businesses to individuals. Let’s not look further than the last recession. The banking system indulged in hedge fund trading, demanding mortgages of all types, regardless of the credit risk. So, they ended up with a lot of subprime borrowers who soon defaulted on their home loans and the real estate market crashed. With no purchase-power, the economy slowed down and many businesses closed their doors. Unemployment skyrocketed and the market was flooded with so many homes for sale or in foreclosure, that prices plummeted to the ground. Banks were also reluctant to grant loans and some of them were right on the verge of bankruptcy. The game was over. But the US crisis was felt globally. 

 

Unfortunately, as long as politicians will enact laws that regulate the economy and don’t allow the market to balance itself, the threat of a new economic recession won’t give us peace. Regulations and deregulations are both dangerous. And the outcome of most economic measures is unpredictable. So, a new economic crisis might be in the making or might have already begun. On top of these, the media shapes public opinion too and can manipulate us into believing anything. On December 31, 1999, the media fueled the generalized fear that the End of the World had arrived and that nobody would be alive on the first day of the new millennium. Since then, the End of the World has been predicted several times. The same goes for economic recessions. Every now and then, a louder voice scares the hell out of us announcing a new crisis. Should we believe it?

The macroeconomics and microeconomics of a recession

In formulating the next housing crash prediction, we have to interpret a few macroeconomic and microeconomic indicators. It may be more comfortable to take everything for granted, but when we do our own research, we are able to make better decisions. The National Bureau of Economic Research defines an economic recession as a notable drop in economic activity spread over a few months which is also reflected in the real GDP, the median income and the unemployment rate. Indeed, if we analyze the real GDP in the US, during every recession, a steep decline can be seen, albeit for a short period of time. Simultaneously, the unemployment rate spiked. At the moment, the real GDP per capita in the US is $57,797. According to the data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the standard of living is almost four times higher than it was in 1950. We are producing more things, of a higher quality. But we have also learned a lot from the past, which is why economic recessions are quite rare. 

At the microeconomic level, it seems that too much regulation in a market paves the path to disaster. And the truth is that the financial sector is probably the most supervised and politically controlled sector of our economy. Although it’s hard to acknowledge, the banking system alters the economy with every loan it releases. A building that didn’t exist yesterday, today is listed for sale by one of the real estate agents on RealEstateAgent.com and must be turned into cash to pay off the loan granted to the developer. But the buyer doesn’t have the full amount in cash either and so, a new home loan is generated. And so on. There’s always a shortage of cash that keeps people in debt. As long as people use their credit cards to support other small businesses, the lack of hard cash does not become visible, nor does the uneven distribution of wealth. Even our education system fails to prepare us for adulthood by avoiding any serious debates regarding money, keeping it a mystery for all of us. 

In fact, the next real estate recession is more likely to be generated by a small number of people. Don’t you find it strange that only a handful of people know everything about money and are able to make money out of thin air? So, as the banking system continues to sack its employees to make room for new automatic teller machines while moving most transactions on mobile devices, the entire banking system is controlled by very few people. And they can make errors anytime.  

Other micro- and macroeconomic indicators worth analyzing are the foreclosure rate, the homelessness, the US treasury bond yield curve, the Institute for Supply Management index and the consumer sentiment.

Real estate market forecast

One tough lesson from the past is that the economy cannot grow forever. The economic downturn is the price we have to pay for the good times. There are so many variables involved that it’s almost impossible to predict it. Even the whereabouts of our economy are hard to guess. Who knows whether we are on the verge of a huge depression or not? Probably only the force of our hope for the better keeps the graph going up. 

 

According to a Pew Research study, most Americans have a positive feeling about how the country will look like in 2050, but many fear income inequality and a diminished quality of life. When it comes to retirement, 72% of all adults think that those over 65 will be less prepared to retire. Americans also keep postponing their retirement as they age and very few attempt to retire early. Six years ago, 50% of Americans thought of themselves as optimists saying that the glass is half full. However, a Gallup survey also revealed that 61% of Americans think that the next generation is very likely to have a better life than their parents. So, overall, we are optimistic and in a good mindset. 

 

When it comes to housing, the US has three major problems that could lead to significant distress in the real estate market, if not already. 

  • First, there are more people ready to buy a house than the inventory up for sale.  
  • Secondly, the lack of affordable housing in the range of $100,000-200,000 is forcing many to rent and postpone a home purchase. 
  • In the third place, the level of personal debt is astonishing and could threaten the ability to repay credit cards and loans, not to mention the fact that student debt is often the reason why many postpone their wedding, their first home, and, sadly, their first baby. 

 

All these might be enough to make the next housing crash prediction. But let’s not jump to the wrong conclusion so fast. Taking all these into consideration, the first thing we need to do is to protect teenagers from unnecessary debt that could stay in the way of a home purchase. We have to help them build their credit scores and secure a mortgage while their credit scores are still high. Real estate developers also have to build more homes at decent prices especially in the states that experience a high influx of new residents. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, these states are Vermont, Oregon, and Idaho. The top three states that Americans chose to flee from in 2018 were New Jersey, Illinois, and Connecticut. 


While the most expensive cities in the US will continue to lure young entrepreneurs and young professionals in, the USDA loans will revive many rural areas in the future that will become new poles of economic development. As the living costs become unbearable in some parts of the country, people will move towards less expensive areas, especially as they approach retirement. So, we cannot consider these moves as signs of a real estate recession. They are rather a natural behavior influenced by prices.

What would a real estate recession look like?

For a real estate recession to happen, a huge number of homes must enter the market and that can happen due to a high number of defaults and foreclosures. Let’s not forget though that foreclosures are not the end and many people managed to rebuild their lives after a foreclosure. In another scenario, there would be very few buyers in the market willing to buy a home, and that can happen due to an increase in the interest rates that restrict consumer’s access to loans. We must not exclude the possibility to face a surge in the number of unemployed people due to the introduction of artificial intelligence, robots, or even due to the relocation of businesses to third-world countries. Since real estate is the most precious asset, with low incomes, people will hardly be able to afford a home of their own. 

But every recession has its winners. A decade ago, the winners were the real estate investors with a lot of cash who could afford to buy properties at bargain prices. If you’re thinking about becoming a real estate investor, it’s nothing wrong to wonder whether we are due for another real estate recession or not. For the past decade, the US economy has been recovering pretty well and in most cities, real estate has appreciated in value. But it doesn’t mean that you have to wait for a new recession in order to invest in real estate. You can buy right now and apply our strategies for paying little to no interest on your loan. So, find local real estate agents in the cities where people are more likely to rent than buy and explore their listings, including REOs and foreclosures. Whether you buy during a recession or not, do your homework and perform a SWOT analysis on each property you’re interested in. 

Real estate recessions are strange. They are impossible to predict at large scale, yet here and there we can see them happening. But luckily, they don’t last long.

Publish Date: December 19, 2019 3:38 PM

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