12 January 2018

5 Questions You Need To Ask Before You Decide To Buy A Plot And Create Your Own Perfect Home

Are you sure about closing the deal on that plot?

A lot of couples who want to start a family are. And because of the costs of buying a house, many are opting to just buy a plot and start from there.

This actually puts pressure on you. Even the land you plan to build your home on can determine the long-term success of your project.

So, don’t write that check just yet! Here are five questions you have to ask BEFORE buying a plot for your perfect home

1. Is it located in a disaster-prone area?

Imagine the process of intricate planning to hiring a firm to build your dream house. Now, imagine it all washed away by a nasty flash flood.

What a waste, right?

No matter how beautiful and how sturdy you make your home, you might still need to cough up cash every once in a while if you put it in a disaster-prone area.

That money could have gone on upgrades or getting your kids to better schools.

But aside from storm windows and other preventive tools you can install in your house, there’s even a bigger concern: your family’s safety.

Disasters put people in the face of danger. And keeping the people you love as far away from danger as possible should be always your number one concern.

2. How much is the plot’s current market price?

Although there are a lot of fair dealers out there, it’s not going to hurt to be careful. There still are a lot of people who prey on ignorance and will squeeze as much money out of you as possible.

Instead of rushing into buying a piece of land that you think is cheaper to you, you should still make sure that you’re getting at least a fair deal for it. Who knows? It might even be a lot cheaper than what is being offered to you.

If you don’t know where to start, you can consult a real estate expert to do the works for you. That way, you won’t end up spending a lot more than you should.

3. Can I afford it?

The last thing you want to do is start building your beautiful home but stop the operation in the middle of it all due to the lack of budget.

You may want a big plot in the city, but you shouldn’t get bankrupt doing so. But at the same time, you shouldn’t pass on a great deal just because you don’t have the full amount right now.

And to make sure you get the right balance between quality and cost, consult commercial and private property experts. They’d be able to give you professional advice and make the entire process easier for you.

4. Does it fit the architectural design?

Many people make the mistake of buying first a land in a relatively good location and then worry about how incompatible it is to what they want their house to look like.

That could easily be avoided.

The thing is, the land SHOULD come first before any other aspect of the planning stage. The blueprints made and the materials used are all based on the land.

But if you really have a particular design in mind, make sure it’d work perfectly for your plot. Else, you’d have to cut corners and possibly end up having to deal with home renovations later on.

5 How close to work is it?

Aside from safety, location is also important when we’re talking about work. As of 2016, workers are spending an average of two hours commuting each day.

That’s just the average. So depending on your area, the daily commute can take an even larger chunk of your day.

Even then, experts saw that it was definitely going to be a bigger problem in the future. So, also consider that before buying a plot.

What good is a beautiful home if you’re hardly going to be there, right?

All families want the perfect house to go home to at the end of the day. But before you buy a plot and make your dream home a reality, ask those five questions first. Choosing among endless land prospects isn’t a walk in the park. And by going through those questions, it can be.

04 January 2018

Plants to Consider for Your Home

Plants make homes look pretty. They’re like natural home furniture. Not only that, but some are great air filters and humidifiers, which makes them especially good for cold winters when windows and doors are closed shut.

Royalty Free Photo

If you’ve been thinking about getting some plants for your home in the New Year, or you want to get some new ones, consider the following beauties.

Spider Plant

The spider plant, also known as Chlorophytum Comosum, is pretty easy to maintain, doesn’t need much to take care of it, and can hold its own in various conditions. You can also place it anywhere in the kitchen - the windowsill, the kitchen worktop or wherever else. It requires very little pruning and watering so is a pretty independent little thing. The plant is also a dab hand at removing odors and pollutants.

African Spear

The African spear plant, also known as the cylindrical snake plant or Sansevieria Cylindrica, has long green cylinder-like leaves, and is called a snake plant because the patterns on the leaves are snake-like. It doesn’t take much to look after one as it’s a succulent plant (its thick parts/leaves store water like aloe plants). These plants are great for cleaning the air and removing toxins.

English Ivy

English Ivy (Hedera helix) is a fairly easy vine plant to look after and grow. Make sure the soil it’s planted in stays moist and that it’s kept where the sunlight isn’t too bright. It can also grow in the shade. It’s apparently also good for removing mold spores in the air of one’s home. If you have pets, it can also decrease fecal matter in the air. It’s said to be good at absorbing formaldehyde, which can be found in certain cleaning products, for instance.

If you have a fence, such as the ones sold by Northland Fence, English Ivy would serve as a good climbing plant to create extra privacy.

Be warned: if you do buy this plant, ensure it’s kept well away from children as their berries and leaves are poisonous when consumed (symptoms include stomachache, a fever, breathing problems and diarrhea). Also be careful if you have sensitive skin (because of the sap). Ivy plants are also toxic for our four-legged pets.

Peace Lily

The gorgeous Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) is another plant that’s easy to maintain. Like the English Ivy, the Lily’s good for reducing mold spores in the home. It uses its leaves to absorb the spores, which its roots then use as a food source. The Peace Lily is also good for mildew prevention in the bathroom.

If you want it to bloom more of its beautiful white flowers over time, place it in the light more often.

These are just four house plants of the many to choose from. There are so many other plants you can grace your home with. And what’s great is some of them not only keep you and your home company, but they purify the air for you too, which can only be a good thing.

22 December 2017

How To Achieve Debt Relief After A Large Kitchen Renovation

Now that you’ve finished renovating your kitchen thanks to the kitchen remodel loan that you got, the problem you have to solve right now is, how to pay off that loan. A massive kitchen renovation potentially calls for hefty personal loans and of course paying them off, later on, could be very hard. Fortunately, though, there’s a way for you to be free from your large kitchen remodel loan if you are struggling to pay it off. And that is by achieving debt relief.

What is Debt Relief? 

Debt relief is a change in the terms of your debt or the amount that you owe that allows you to put the debt behind you more quickly.

Debt relief seems to be an excellent choice if you are drowning in debt, or if you are struggling to pay your debts (in this case your kitchen remodel loan). If that is the case, you should know how to achieve debt relief.

How to Achieve Debt Relief?

Here are the best ways to weather out your debt crisis:

1. Do-it-yourself or self-payment initiative. 

Know that you can get out of your debt crisis on your own.You have to make smart and tough decisions on how you can pay off your kitchen remodel loan by cutting down on your expenses. There are two ways for you to be able to repay your debts on your own and that includes:

  • Identify the expenses that are necessary
  • Get rid of anything that is really not needed, at least temporarily, or until all your debts are settled.

Managing your finances correctly will allow you to pay off your monthly payments while not having to compromise on the necessary expenses at home.

2. Consumer credit counselor

If you need help with managing your finances, perhaps talking to a consumer credit counselor will help ease your burden. The counselor will talk to you about all your finances. And then, come up with a debt management plan based on your current financial woes. A debt management plan is a debt solution that you can use to help pay off your debts at a more affordable rate.

  • Your counselor will first determine how much you are able to pay back and then try to negotiate with your creditors. Your counselor could try to extend the term or lower your monthly payments based on what payments you can afford to pay. 
  • There are also some cases where your consumer credit counselor can try to negotiate with your creditors to reduce the interest rate. This should ease up your monthly payments and be able to pay them consistently.

3. Debt consolidation programs

Another good way to achieve debt relief is by bringing together all your debts into one manageable account. There are main benefits of consolidating your debts into one account.

  • Get rid of the high interest rates.
  • Have lower monthly payments.
  • You can focus on making just one payment every month.

This method, however, does not affect or change your total debt. The total sum of your debt will still be the same, what you did was just bring together all your debts into one account so you can pay them off easily.

4. Debt settlement

Debt settlement was not really considered as a good way of achieving debt relief, at first. But it has lately gained prominence among people who are deep in debts. You can find more on debt settlement companies here.

  • In debt settlement, you will hire a debt relief company to negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. The goal here is to pay your creditors a portion of your debt after mutually agreeing to a sum which is less than what you originally owe. 
  • By paying off a portion of your debt, your creditor will agree to forgive the rest of your debts. 


Whether you’re struggling to pay off your kitchen remodel loan because of your poor money management skills or because you’ve lost your source of income, you’ll surely love to get rid of them by achieving debt relief.

How To Repair Your Credit For A Kitchen Remodel Loan

If you are asking if you can still get a kitchen remodel loan for your home even though you have a bad credit score or poor credit history. The answer is yes. Yes, you are still entitled for a kitchen remodel loan or any kind home improvement loan even if you have a bad or poor credit history. You just need to repair your credit first before you can secure a loan.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Take a look your credit score or history.

You can’t start repairing your credit score if  you don’t check your credit report first. Remember that you have the right to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months. If you haven’t receive your credit report, be sure to get a copy of it and check it for errors.

Your credit report includes all the data used to calculate your credit score and it may contain errors like:

  • Identity errors - errors concerning with your identity
  • Incorrect reporting of account status - these are errors concerning about the current status of your account. 
  • Data management errors - these are errors where incorrect information are being used on your credit report.
  • Balance errors - errors that concerns about your current balance.

You have to check your credit report for any of these errors. If you find an error on your report, you need to dispute them with the credit bureau. Just make sure to bring all the documents needed to support your claim once you go to a credit bureau. These documents will help confirm the errors on your credit report.

2. Start repairing your credit.

Once you’ve dealt with any errors on your credit report, it’s time that you start repairing your credit. Now, there are three main ways to repair your credit and these are:

  • Pay all your payments on time.
  • Pay any unpaid or overdue debt.
  • Avoid getting new credit until your credit score is back up where it needs to be.

To do these things, you need to make some tough, smart decisions with your budget. You have to make sure that you are not spending more than you earn. You can do this by being smart with your budget like:

  • List out your regular monthly expenses like rent or mortgage, car payments, and home, care, and health insurance, and subtract it from your current monthly income. 
  • Next, list out also all of your other expenses at home like groceries , entertainment, food, and gas expenses. 
  • After that, you should create a budget limit for each of your expenses based on your income. Say, your family spends $400 a month for groceries, try limiting that to $300 a month.

This way you should be able to pay all your credit payments consistently while not compromising your other expenses at the same time.

3. Make payments on time.

Your bad credit score could be caused by your late credit payments. Know that your payment history affects your credit score more than any factor. It can affect your credit score by up to 35%. Making credit payments on time is the best way to improve your credit score.

This will also help you to be qualified for a home improvement loan like a kitchen remodel loan. Creditors will be looking at how you’ve made your credit payments recently and base their decision to whether give you the loan or not.


You need to repair your credit and your credit report first, before you can be qualified for a kitchen remodel loan or for any kind of loan. Just keep in mind though, that your credit score will not improve overnight. It will take months or, years even, before it starts to climb back up.

How To Refinance Your Home Ready For Your New Renovations

The best way to get the funds you need for your big home renovation project is to refinance your home. Homeowners can use the money they get from refinancing their home to fund any kind of home renovation. Here’s how to refinance your home and get your finances in order before meeting a lender.

1. Determine what’s the purpose of refinancing your home.

Know that refinancing your home can give you a couple of benefits. These benefits include:

  • Allows you to get a lower interest rate. Refinancing your home allows you to lower the interest rate of your mortgage loan. Lower interest rates means lower payments. This should allow you to pay less for your home overall. By having lower payments for your mortgages, you will be able save up more money every month or use the extra cash for your other expenses.
  • Allows you to pay your mortgage debt in a shorter time. Say, your mortgage loan has a 30-year term, refinancing your home for 10-15 years means that you’ll get to own your home and be free from your mortgage debt that much sooner. 
  • Allows you to consolidate your debts. Refinancing your home allows you to consolidate all of your other debts into one account. Your personal loan, credit card loan, or car loan are merged into one account, making it easier for you to pay them off and manage your finances.
  • Allows you to unlock the equity in your home. Another benefit of refinancing your home is that it grants you access to your home’s equity. You can a loan based on the current value of your home and the amount you’ve already paid for your mortgage. This is one of the most cost-effective way for financing your home renovations. 

The most important step on how to refinance your home is to run the numbers first. You should have a clear purpose for refinancing your home. Take a good look at all your finances and then decide if refinance is right for you.

2. Check your credit report. 

Check your credit history and then get your current score. Remember that, the better your credit score, the better home refinance rates you can get.

3. Get a good estimate of your home’s value.

To refinance your home, you must owe no more than 80% of your home’s value. Knowing the value of your home, will let you know where you stand. Check for for any recent sales on your neighborhood to get an estimate of your home’s value.

4. Look for the best refinance rates.

You should research lenders and find the best refinance rate for your home. You can start by comparing different refinance rates online. Lenders wants to keep your home, so they are likely to match the lowest available rates. Compare as many rates as you can from several lenders until you can find the best deal for you.

5. Know all about refinance fees.

Remember that refinancing your home incurs several fees. These fees can include:

  • application fees
  • the cost of an appraisal
  • origination fees
  • document processing fee
  • underwriting fee
  • credit report charge
  • title research and insurance
  • recording fees
  • tax transfer fees

These fees are usually included in the provided refinance estimate from the lenders that you consider. Don’t jump into those “no-refinance costs” pitch because they are most likely to have higher refinance interest rates.

6. Prepare all the paperwork.

Gathering all the paperwork will require some legwork. It’s even harder these days to gather the paperwork because we usually do our financial transactions online. But you still have to gather and prepare all the documents that your lender requires.


Once you followed the other tips on how to refinance your home and you have all the paperwork in your hand, you are now ready to meet with your lender and discuss the terms of your refinance.