All posts by Natalie Joshua

15Nov/18

Should You Buy a House with a Basement?

Should You Buy a House with a Basement?There are many decisions to make when you decide to buy a house. You have to decide on a one-story or a two-story house. You have to set a budget and try your hardest not to exceed it, not even for your dream home. Between all that, you also need to look at the basement question.

Not every homeowner needs a basement, and not every homeowner wants one, but they’re a great fit for some families. Here are three questions you’ll want to ask when you tackle the basement conundrum.

Is the basement unfinished or finished?

An unfinished basement is more likely to be used for storage. These are basements that homeowners don’t give much thought to unless they need to go below ground and check on the water heater or dig through an old photo album. There’s typically just concrete walls and the most basic type of flooring imaginable.

A finished basement is an entirely different matter. That means someone put a lot of time and energy into designing a basement space that would be used by people. Some men use them as “man caves” where they can go to watch football on weekends. Some women use them as crafting spots where they can go to get away from the hustle and bustle of life upstairs. Other families use them as playrooms for children.

There’s no rule that says you can’t turn an unfinished or half-finished basement into a fully finished one, but that’s going to cost more time and energy. Adding features like basement waterproofing will make your home safer and add value to it, but not everyone is up for an extended construction project right after they move into a new place.

How common are basements in your city?

There are some parts of the country where asking, “Can I see the basement?” is like asking, “Can I have that tea unsweetened?”

Take Oklahoma, for instance. The Sooner State’s soil quality has traditionally made basements a moot point there. It’s easier to build a basement now than it was 50 years ago, but many Oklahomans don’t know that, and so they don’t even think to ask about the possibility when they meet with contractors to discuss new home construction.

In coastal states, basements are more of a rumor than anything. Home buyers looking for mortgage loans in Louisiana won’t have to worry about taking out extra money to refurbish the basement area, because there isn’t going to be a basement area. Generally speaking, the farther north you go in America, the more likely you are to see houses with basements, though there are exceptions

 How extreme is the weather?

 A basement is a great place to retreat to if you get caught in a Midwestern heat wave. If the weather is 100 degrees and you can’t stand the thought of going outside, you can head underground instead to watch Netflix or play board games. If you need to work out without dying of heat exhaustion, an …

03Nov/18

4 Reasons to Move Down South

Some people live and die in the same job. Others are anxious to explore the world to try the next best thing. When you’re considering a move, take a look at the South. You might be surprised how many wonderful things are in this region.

4 Reasons to Move Down South

Aside from the fact that people are polite to you everywhere you go, the climate tends to be moderate (other than July and August), and housing is well-priced. You could easily work here without throwing all your money into the cost of living.

If you need a little convincing that the South is for you, here are a few common reasons that people choose to move to the area.

You can go to the beach more often.

The Deep South is a great location, namely because of the ability to head to the beach on a weekend. Going to the beach is difficult when you’re in the Midwest, but the South is the perfect place to enjoy clear blue waters and miles and miles of sand without traveling far. Some Southern locations are more landlocked than others, but most are only a few hours away from the coast.

Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina all touch the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, and the water is relatively warm and pleasant all year-round. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a coastal town, you know the joys of walking along the beach on any given afternoon or taking a pleasure cruise with your friends.

Florida is one of the most popular places to live in the South, thanks to the surrounding beach opportunities. Even if you live in the center of Florida, you’re only about an hour or two away from the closest beach.

When living in Florida, you’ll soon realize that there are thousands of places to see on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Miami, Clearwater, Destin, Siesta Key, Fort Walton, Pensacola, St. Pete’s, and Sarasota beaches are some of the most sought after travel destinations in the world.

St. George’s Island is also a very popular place to visit if you live in or near Florida. This pristine island is 28 miles worth of untouched natural beauty. You won’t find high rises like in Miami or chain restaurants cluttering the boardwalks. It’s just you, the sand, and water for miles.

St. George’s Island boasts some of the best kayaking, cycling, paddle boarding, and snorkeling in the Gulf Coast. You’ll never be bored on this family vacation destination, and if you live in the area, you can come back anytime you want!

You can go shopping for the latest fashions whenever you want.

Southern fashions have started to take over fashion brands, and you’ll be seeing more and more of these fabrics and patterns as time goes on. Why not live where all these great ideas started?

Unlike Midwestern states, the populations of Southern states tend to be high. This means that you’ll always find plenty of amenities, including nearby shopping. Even …

18Oct/18

New Jersey Landlord’s Guide to Renter’s Insurance

Owning rental property is a great investment. And dealing with tenants can be just as pleasant as long as you take some precautions when selecting them. It’s also best to protect yourself from frivolous lawsuits and misunderstandings by asking your renters to carry insurance. Here are some important things to know about renters insurance in New Jersey.

New Jersey Landlord’s Guide to Renter’s Insurance

What does renters insurance cover?

 There are various types of policies that cover various things. For example, if you live in cooperative housing, you can speak to your agent about co-op insurance in New Jersey. But most renters insurance in New Jersey covers the following:

  • Personal property: covers renter’s property if it is damaged, stolen, or destroyed.
  • Loss of use: covers renter’s cost of living if misplaced due to a disaster. These costs might include temporary housing, food, and other essentials.
  • Liability: covers court costs renters might incur if found legally liable for injuring someone else or damaging another person’s property.
  • Medical: covers certain medical costs of people injured on the insured’s property or residence. It could also cover things that happen off the property in some instances, such as if the renter’s dog happens to bite someone in the park.

Renters insurance caveats

 It’s important to note that not all insurance is the same. Policies and companies vary on what they will and will not cover, and some offer additional coverages for higher premiums. For example, some policies do not cover earthquake insurance but might offer it as an add-on to their regular premium. They also might not cover personal luxury items or non-essentials such as jewelry, artwork or fine furs, but again, may offer add-on endorsements for them. It’s important to let your renter know that they are responsible for finding out what their policy will and will not cover.

Why landlords should require their tenants to have renters insurance

 People often assume their security deposits will cover any damages, but in many cases, it’s not nearly enough. And as a landlord, you probably already have some type of coverage to protect your property, but most policies do not protect renters’ property. And even though you are usually not required by law to replace damaged items, you could still wind up in court if the renters try to fight it. If they have their own insurance, however, they will be able to replace any damaged or stolen possessions without any inconvenience to you. It will also help to give you peace of mind knowing that their insurance will help them pay for lodging should they be misplaced due to a natural disaster or fire.

Another good reason to require renters insurance is to weed out bad renters. Most landlords now use software which helps them advertise their properties online easily, thus increasing interest from potential tenants. Therefore, it’s best to include the requirement of renters insurance on your listings, to steer away those who refuse the charge from the start. If a potential tenant balks at having to pay …

10Sep/18

Exploring Options To Bring Shade and Style To Your Patio

Exploring Options To Bring Shade and Style To Your Patio

When you think about shade for your home’s exteriors, you may have a lot of open space. That’s something that is quite great, but what if there was something that was a bit more complex? Something that would allow you to reap a great deal of benefits? One such solution that you may not know about is that of shade. That’s right, you could bring about a great deal of shade that can help you with a great deal of options overall. There are several solutions that you will want to take into consideration, including the following options that are going to be great to explore, regardless of your budget.

Lattice Covers

The first solution that you are going to want to explore is that of lattice covers. These are covers that are simple, open, and allow for shade without compromising the sunlight that comes through. The sun will come through a bit, but you’ll be able to break up the rays, and allow for shade throughout. When you’re under this type of cover, you will have a cool area to stay outside in, and enjoy the fresh air all the same. These are often known as pergolas or gazebos, and they allow you to take advantage of your home’s exterior with relative ease.

Solid Patio Covers

Focusing on secondary solution, you will find that you could easily move forward with solid patio covers. These are flat or angled roofing options that let you have ultimate shade over a large or small area. This stops the sun from hitting certain areas, completely, and lets you get full shade from the sun. It gives you a great option to enjoy the fresh air, entertain others, and simply have a bit of fun overall. Solid patio covers can be made to fit the style and substance of your home’s exterior design. Either way, it will pay off dividends in terms of how to block the sun, and keep your patio or backyard looking amazing, all the same.

Sunrooms

One of the nicest solutions that you can look into is that of sunrooms. These are rooms that you can have framed as an addition to your home, and can allow you to have an enclosure, so that you can see outside, and get a little bit of fresh air, but could also close off elements that could be pouring in. This could be a reading room, a relaxation room, or a room where you could very well keep to yourself, or your friends. It can be a “man cave”, a sewing room, or a room that you put a pool table in, or maybe just solve jigsaw puzzles. Either way, a sunroom is a way to have additional square footage, and an area that can be equally fun for entertaining and to raise the value of your home.

At the end of the day, the above are just 3 options that can bring style and shade to your patio or backyard. It’s a …

27Aug/18

Exploring The Various Aquatic Exhibit Options Today

There’s a lot of beautiful things that you can fill your home with. You could have a lot of interior design solutions that are going to pay off dividends. There’s a beauty that comes with interiors, especially when you work with aquatic exhibits of different types. You may not immediately know what that is, or something that is going to help. But once you start to bring about a few options, you’ll see that a good fish tank could very well illuminate any major room. Exploring the various aquatic exhibit solutions that are available today are incredible, and you’ll find that exploring this on a deeper level can be very welcoming, and revealing in many ways. For instance, you’ll find that you can easily move forward with several exhibits that will stun you. Forget the old tanks that you can buy in stores, you can find magical options if you just seek out, titan aquatic exhibits, and see what glorious things can work well for your home or office.

Exploring The Various Aquatic Exhibit Options Today

Fit A Tank Anywhere

Ever looked at an empty space, and wonder if you could put something unique in its place? Whether it’s a square location, a round location, or just an area that you didn’t really know how to put into place, you will find that there’s beauty that can be explored on a lot of levels. Once you see what can be done with curved tanks, square tanks, cylinders, and so much more, you’re going to find that you can get fish and other wildlife in water that will stun you. There’s so much beauty in nature that you can get in your office or home, that you will find that the waters are nothing short of breath taking. You just need to fit a tank anywhere you may have open space.

Curved Solutions and Odd Shapes

Ever see a sea exhibit and wonder how they did it? Cylinders, circles, octagons, and any number of geometric shapes can be explored and created in so many different ways. The glory of modern solutions is that you can create simple things or you can go big and creative with ease. The most creative of solutions can be in your imagination, and with a professional edge, could be made into a reality that you will find to be nothing short of breath taking. Either way, curved solutions, odd shapes, and all the math in the world could create an illustrative tank of epic proportions.

The Cost Will Shock You Too

Did you know that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a customized aquatic exhibit? There are professionals that can work with any budget, create designs that you dream up, and so much more. You just have to look into options that speak to your sensibilities and that’s about it. You get to pick out how complex or simple something can become, and see the greater good that comes with aquatic tanks of any type. Saltwater, freshwater, and …