Stay Safe at Home

Practice home safety as a family and you could prevent home invasions, serious accidents and the need for costly home repairs. Home safety habits also help your family to know how to respond should emergencies occur. Organizations like the American Red Cross encourage Americans to practice home safety. They also encourage adults to teach teens and children what to do in the event of an emergency.

Home safety lessons

Knowing who to contact is only the start when it comes to practicing home safety. Yet, this beginning step is one of the most important. Regardless of where you live, 911 should be the first number to call during an actual emergency.

But, 911 isn’t the only number your children need to know. Teach your children, including young children, their grandparents, aunts and uncles telephone numbers. Also, teach them your work and cell phone numbers. Your children should know at least three of these telephone numbers by heart. Write important telephone numbers down for children to keep in their address books and book bags.

Familiarize yourself with how to respond to a fire, tornado, floor and earthquake. For example, you stay near the floor in the case of a fire. Also, gently touch doors and door knobs before exiting rooms. Seek higher ground during a flood.

Stay away from windows during earthquakes and tornadoes. Depending on where you live, teach children how to respond to hurricanes and dust storms. These are minimal emergency response steps. Makes sure that you know how to respond to emergency situations from A to Z.

Responding to non-weather related home emergencies

Install and test smoke alarms. Replace batteries in alarms. Don’t assume that house alarm systems are functioning. Check them. Also, test your home for asbestos, mold and carbon monoxide. Let these three spread and your home could become unsafe for everyone who enters it.

To practice home safety, keep a ladder in the basement, make sure that windows open and close throughout your house, including basement and attic windows. Place flashlights in easily accessible storage areas like kitchen drawers, bedroom nightstands and bathroom cabinets.

Other items to keep on hand include non-perishable food and bottles of water. Also, keep blankets, an extra pair of clothes for each family member and coats, gloves and hats in a safe area. In addition to keeping these items at home, you should also have similar items in at least one of your vehicles.

Teach children not to open the door to strangers, including utility workers. Also, teach children not to play with electrical outlets and household chemicals. Consider installing home security systems. If you have young children or elderly relatives living with you, security systems that allow you to visually check on your home could be a plus.

Mapping out home safety plans forces you to think about the layout of your house, nearby exits and how long it will take your entire family to escape an emergency situation. It also motivates you to educate yourself on how to respond to different types of emergencies. Run regular emergency response and evacuation drills at home and you could have the confidence that your children will know how to respond should an emergency occur while you’re away. Most of all,developing and practicing home safety habits could keep your entire family safe.

Give Your Adult Children Wings to Soar from Home

Youth long for independence. They want to feel as if they have ultimate freedom to spread their wings and soar. Like everyone else, youth also want comfort, consistency and security. Give them too much of the latter and they might not allow themselves to become independent enough to ever spread their wings and leave home.

How your home could be sending your adult children mixed messages

Face it. A finished basement that has seen enough interior design skill to make it feel like a luxury apartment is hard to walk away from, especially when there’s no rent required to live in the space. This is just one way that you could be making it hard for your adult children to leave home.

Allowing your adult children to set their own house rules is another way that you might be making it easier to stay at home. Cleaning up after your adult children,doing their laundry and washing their dirty dishes can also motivate your children to stay at home, even after they have graduated from college.

These additional ways that you might be using your house to keep your adult children put could provide you emotional support that you might benefit more from getting from friends. For example, extended at home comforts can come thru:

  • Designing rooms that adult children live or sleep in so that the space feels like a separate dwelling area
  • Adding one or more rooms onto your house solely so that adult children can occupy these rooms
  • Babysitting grandchildren for free absent prior notice, even if you had other plans
  • Including adult children on your cell phone service and not asking your children to pay any portion of the bill
  • Buying adult children groceries and clothes
  • Never making any interior or exterior design decisions without thinking of how it will impact your adult children lives on adaily basis (not as if they are merely visiting)
  • Doing chores around the house instead of asking your adult children to take on more household maintenance responsibilities

There’s so much to gain when adult children gain confidence to leave home

If you find it hard to stop supporting your adult children financially, part of the reason why you’re making your home increasingly comfortable for your adult children may be because you want to avoid seeing your children as adults. You might feel unprepared to live at home without your children. You may have tied your identity into being the parent of children who still live at home.

This is understandable. You spent years raising and caring for your children, teaching them academic basics and teaching them about the world. But, now it’s time to let go. What you do with and inside your home could propel or encourage your adult children to embark on their own. It’s this choice that can help your adult children to become confident in their own abilities so that they can live rich, rewarding lives, the same as you did when you were near their age and left your parents’ nest.

4 Reasons to Buy a House

It may be time to buy a new house. In fact, you may have known that it’s time for you to move for a while. The first few months that you literally reached over your spouse or children for your tooth brush, clothes or cooking utensils was upsetting but bearable.

When you’ve done all that you can with your current house

It may have irritated you. But, you didn’t find it so unnerving that you want to flee your house. But, it’s been over a year now and you really are fed up with the layout and maybe even the size of your home. You’ve already turned your basement into another bedroom and your attic is brimming with seasonal products and clothes that you only wear on special occasions.

Need for more space is just one reason to buy a house. Three other major reasons to buy a house are:

  • Safer neighborhood – Multiple home invasions and eroding properties are a reason to buy a new house. Wait too late to buy a house under these circumstances and you might take a loss when you sell your current home.
  • Construction – Should government agencies move to build a highway directly in the path of your house, you may have no choice except to move. You can fight the construction. But, you may not win the battle. As soon as an announcement goes out that construction will take place directly in the path of your current house, it may be a good idea to start house shopping. It’s also a time to ask the government agency that is doing the construction how much financial support they will give you. Try to see if you can get the cost of a new house covered.
  • House care – Health issues, including growing older, can cause the time and energy that it takes to maintain your house become too much. For example, you might suffer a stroke or another health condition that requires you to move to a house that has a wheelchair ramp. You may also move to a new house to be on a bus line. This type of move could keep you in your own home and out of a public assistance facility.

Moving is one of the biggest choices that you may make. That applies whether you move to a new house or into an apartment. Reason being is that by making a move, you invite a lot of newness into your life. You’ll live around different neighbors. Your commute to and from work will change. You may also live closer or further away from your in-laws, if you’re married. That alone can cause a great deal of change.

Yet, even with the changes that moving to a new home brings, there are times when you have to move. If you improve your finances, keep your house free of unused furniture and unnecessary storage items, you could make moving to a new home a lot easier. You could also increase your chances of landing a good mortgage deal.

3 Inexpensive Home Staging Ideas

For home sellers, staging a house can help you transform an ordinary residence into a stellar one. And even though it may seem like an expensive process to stage your property, there are many cost-effective ways to do just that.

Here are three cheap house staging ideas that every home seller needs to know.

1. Put Away Your Personal Belongings

Although you may display many treasured antiques and photographs throughout your home, you’ll want to put these items in storage before you show your property to potential homebuyers.

Remember, your goal as a home seller is stir up significant interest in your residence. If you keep personal mementos on display in your house, it may be tough for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they purchased your home.

When it comes to home staging, putting away your personal belongings is a must. Lucky for you, if you place your personal items in storage, you can boost your chances of a quick home sale. Plus, you may even be able to speed up the process of relocating to a new address, as many of your personal belongings will already be packed up and ready to go.

2. Remove Clutter

Let’s face it – clutter is an eyesore that most homeowners can live without. However, many home sellers may have large book, CD or toy collections that can take up a lot of space.

Removing clutter is essential for home sellers who want to stage their residences properly. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to eliminate clutter with ease.

For example, you may want to host a yard sale before you add your house to the real estate market. A yard sale enables you to get rid of excess items as well as earn extra cash.

Or, if you are desperate to get rid of clutter quickly, you may be able to donate various items to local charities or dispose of these items altogether.

3. Clean and Deodorize Your Home

Pet odors and other unpleasant smells won’t do you any favors, especially if you want your home to make a positive first impression on prospective homebuyers.

Cleaning and deodorizing your residence usually requires hard work and patience. On the other hand, you likely won’t have to worry about breaking your budget to keep your property neat and tidy.

With a fresh, clean home, your residence may stand out from others in a crowded real estate market. The pleasant aromas that fill your house also can bolster your house’s chances of making a positive first impression on potential homebuyers.

Staging your home may seem difficult at first, but expert real estate agents are able to help you prepare your residence for the housing market. Real estate agents can offer recommendations about how you can enhance your property quickly and effortlessly and ensure that you can stir up plenty of interest in your home as soon as it hits the real estate market.

Collaborate with a real estate agent, and ultimately, you should have no trouble staging and selling your house.