Owning a house is a mark of reaching adulthood for some people. It’s a sign of financial independence. Having a house to call your own also alerts people to the fact that you trust yourself. After all, you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.

Just because you want a house badly doesn’t mean you’ll get one

And a lot could happen. Job changes, relationship additions and subtractions and personal goal changes are just a few shifts that could occur after you buy a house. You really do need to trust yourself to take on the type of expense that can easily take 30 years to pay off.

It takes courage to own and care for a house, to keep a house in good functioning condition. Another thing that it takes courage to do is to walk away from the chance to own a house. If your finances aren’t in good condition, it may very well be hard for you to own a house.

Find a lender who will approve your mortgage and you might struggle to make your loan payments each month. Worse, you might pay your mortgage for five to seven years only to lose the house, tossing away the money that you invested in closing costs, mortgage insurance and homeowner’s association fees.

Why paying mortgages could be hard

Risks of losing your house or struggling every month to make mortgage payments is one of the leading reasons why poor finances is the top thing that could make it hard to own a house. Emotion is another major thing that could make it hard to own a house. Besides emotion, there are other key factors that could cause you to struggle with a mortgage. These factors are:

  • Divorce – A contentious divorce could easily leave you in a financial bind. You might be responsible for paying your ex-spouse’s housing expenses, making it hard to own a house of your own.
  • Lifestyle – Frequent travel, a love for loud music and a strong social appetite could make it hard to own a house. Your lifestyle could make it hard to comply with homeowner’s association rules. It could also create problems with people you live near.
  • Neighbors – Although money is the leading thing that could make it hard to own a house, neighbors might be the second thing that could keep you from home ownership. Disruptive neighbors, hateful neighbors and contentious neighbors could drag you in and out of court so much that you spend years paying legal fees. Because you’re dealing with the legal issues, you might not pass a lender’s mortgage qualification guidelines.

Money isn’t the only thing that makes owning a house hard

Money, emotion, social habits and relationships could make it hard to own a house. They could cause you to hold onto bad habits. These four things could also cause you to develop destructive relationships with neighbors.

Develop destructive relationships with neighbors and you could be forced out of your house even if you make your mortgage payments on time. Upset neighbors won’t hesitate to pick up the telephone and call law enforcement. They also can make living next to them so uncomfortable that you choose to move just so you can have peace.

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Many people outgrow the home they’re living in rather quickly. On the flip side, the home you’re currently in could be too big for you, and you need to downsize. Whatever your situation is, when it comes time to sell your home you want to get the most money you can for your sale. There’s so many easy and affordable home upgrades that you can make that will add immense value to your home. Even if you’re not looking to move in the near future, you’ll be glad you made these upgrades in order to make the most out of your home.

Make A Move With Your Countertops

There are so many different kinds of kitchen countertops that you can get these days. It isn’t all about granite anymore. There’s a few popular materials that can be used including recycled glass or quartz. You can even upgrade your backsplash tile to something a bit more modern to easily transform your kitchen. 

Upgrade The Fireplace

If your fireplace could use some TLC, make repairs to it and refinish it. You may even consider using a different kind of stone or brick than was on the original unit. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, you may want to consider installing a freestanding one. These units are ventilated through a pipe in your home. A fireplace is so cozy and gives your home an attractive feature.

Add Some Outdoor Living Space

Adding a deck, patio, or some sort of outdoor living pace like a 3 season room can add a lot of value to your home. People love to make the most use of the outdoors so whether you add an outdoor kitchen, or a small patio space, it will be beneficial. Plus, you and your family will be able to use the brand new space once it’s completed!

Adding outdoor lighting is also another positive addition to your home. This allows for seamless use of outdoor spaces both day and night. Lighting also adds an important safety and security feature to your home. Installing timers along with these outdoor lights can help to deter burglars.

Do A Once Over On Your Home’s Exterior

Simply having the outside of your home power-washed can make a big difference. Replace your mailbox. Repair shutters and siding that may need some attention. Take some time to care for your landscaping. All of these little projects will make an impact on the appearance of your home. If you’re getting ready to sell, your motivation may be lacking in these areas. The better your house looks on the outside, the more people you’ll get to come inside when there’s a for sale sign out front.

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You’re getting ready to list your home on the real estate market but are finding that there are many unnecessary items that fill your garage, attic and basement. Fortunately, you know exactly what to do to get rid of these items quickly – host a yard sale!

A yard sale likely will prove to be a valuable option for a home seller who wants to earn some extra cash and eliminate clutter from his or her home instantly. In addition, hosting a yard sale may help you spread the news that you’re preparing to sell your home, and ultimately, generate interest in your residence.

So what does it take to host a successful yard sale? Here are three things you need to know:

1. Advertise As Much As Possible.

From good, old-fashioned posters that are strategically scattered throughout your neighborhood to online postings on social networks, you can advertise your yard sale to generate plenty of interest.

If you use posters, be sure to indicate where your yard sale will take place, the exact date and the starting and end times. You also may want to indicate what types of items you may be selling – like clothing, furniture and toys – to garner interest in your yard sale.

On the other hand, advertising online provides you with a vast array of options. In fact, you may be able to use images that show some of the items that you’ll be selling, provide directions to your yard sale and make it easier for interested buyers to understand what your yard sale is all about.

2. Get Organized.

Consider how you’ll want to lay out all of your yard sale items before you host the big event.

For example, it usually makes sense to place similar categories of items together. That way, you’ll make it easier for buyers to find all of the toys in one spot, all of the furniture in another spot and so forth.

Plus, getting organized before your yard sale enables you to take a close look at the clutter that fills your house and determine what can be sold and what should be thrown away.

If an item is unusable to you, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a buyer for it at your yard sale. Therefore, you may want to dispose of broken items before your yard sale, as this will help you free up space in your home.

3. Set Realistic Prices.

The Internet is a valuable resource for those who want to establish realistic prices for items they intend to sell at a yard sale. By doing some online research, you can find out what many of your items are worth and price them accordingly.

Of course, you should try to avoid the temptation to overprice and remain flexible throughout your yard sale, particularly if your primary goal is to get rid of items before you sell your house.

Plan out your yard sale, and you may find that you’re able to sell off a broad range of items and eliminate clutter from your house immediately.

Live in an apartment with a small balcony, patio or deck? A home in a thickly settled area with little backyard or space between other homes? Or just a home that has a small, raised deck? Small spaces may seem like a tough makeover/renovation tackle. You want the space to be functional but you also want it to be unique to your style. Check out the tips below for creating an outdoor oasis where you enjoy spending time, regardless of it’s small size.

Furniture

First things first: furniture. The type of furniture you will want in your outdoor space will depend its size and your lifestyle.

Table and Chairs: If you enjoy eating meals outdoors, it is best to go with a table and chairs set. The size of your set with depend on the size of your outdoor space. A deck or patio that is only 5×5 would have room for a two-person table and chairs. Consider looking into collapsible table and chair sets that transform your space as needed. A 10×10 area could have space for a four-person set and some room to spare. Adding extra collapsible chairs is also a great way to create additional seating when it’s needed, but allowing for them to be folded up and placed out of site when not in use.

Outdoor Couch & Coffee Table: This idea will fair well better with a space that is larger than 5×5. It is great for a lifestyle that includes entertaining and also relaxing. Outdoor couches are very trendy and come in many sizes and styles.

Porch Swing/Swinging Chair: A porch swing or swinging chair is a great option for a compact front porch, balcony or patio. Typical porch swings need to attach to something above so are best suited for porches. However, swinging chairs are more mobile and are generally smaller. Depending on your space, either of these are great additions!

Privacy Screen: Creating a bit of privacy can help create the ideal outdoor retreat. There are so many options for different shapes, sizes and materials for privacy screens to help accomplish the exact atmosphere you’re looking for.

Landscaping & Garden

Adding life to your small space will enhance its appeal and your likeliness to enjoy it.

Landscaping: Regardless of the size of your outdoor area, landscaping is essential. This is easier to achieve if your space is on ground level, but not impossible for balconies and decks. And a little landscaping goes a long way from small areas of grass to stone and mulch to plants and flowers.

Garden: Adding a small garden into your outdoor space isn’t out of reach even if you only have a balcony. Use planting buckets or rail-mounted baskets for growing things like herbs and small vegetables. As long as you have sun, water and soil, you can create a garden that suits you. A green thumb always helps, too.

Accessories

Homey touches are important components to your outdoor sanctuary. Of course, these pieces will need to be weather resistant. Try these simple pieces to add another level of personality to your space.

Outdoor Rug & Accent Pillows: Add an outdoor rug and pillows to bring coziness and color to your outdoor space.

Small Accent Pieces: Add accent pieces like decorative candleholders and candles and hanging lights and/or lantern type lights to give the space ambient lighting.

Water feature: Add a serene water feature such as a fountain or waterfall feature to create a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere.

There are a myriad of ways to add something special to your outdoor space, regardless of it’s size with water features, pops of color with area rugs and pillows, unique seating, herb gardens and so much more. Choose a budget that works for you to update this space and get to work on your outdoor oasis.

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