19 August 2019

Things To Consider When Moving

There Are A Number Of Things That Should Be Consider When Planning A Move

Whether you are moving across town or you have to move across the country, the prospect of moving is always a daunting task. Utilizing the services of a site such as Moving Local can make the process easier by helping to find a moving company to match your needs. There are, however, still a number of things that must be decided upon to make the transition as seamless as possible. Let's take a look at a few.

Start Planning As Soon As Possible

Moving everything that you own is a difficult task, to say the least. To avoid some of the stress that this can cause, it is best to start planning for the move as soon as the decision to move has been made. Approaching the move in this manner allows you to establish a schedule and timetable where necessary things get done and nothing is forgotten. Completing tasks in bite-sized portions helps to negate being overwhelmed by everything involved with moving.

Downsize As Much As You Can

Moving is also a great time to take stock of what you have and to get rid of what you need. It is a natural thing to collect items as we go about the tasks of living. If you look around your home, however, then you are bound to discover many things that you have collected but no longer use. Taking the time to pack these things, transport them to your new home, and just storing them again to never be used is a waste of time and effort. As you pack, you should make a point to discard the thing that you no longer need. Donating these items to charity or having a yard sale to gather some extra money are good options for these things.

Organize and Prioritize The Things As You Pack

Two things that you should focus on doing while packing is organizing and prioritizing your items. Unpacking once you arrive at your new home will be faster and easier if you didn't pack things at random. Boxes should be pack with items going to the same room and more specifically by area. For instance, one box could be filled with all of the things that you keep on your nightstand or dresser. You may also want to come up with an inventory list that matches the items in a box with a particular number. This will help you easily identify it.
Prioritizing items is something else that you'll want to do as you pack. Once you arrive at your new destination, certain items will be needed before others. This can include a few items for cooking, bedding and towels that will be readily available for use before putting everything in its proper place is completed in the new house. These items should stay with you instead of being loaded onto the moving truck.

Hire A Moving Company That You Can Trust

One of the most important facets of your move will be deciding on the right moving company. You will want to properly vet the moving company that you choose to ensure that they are insured and to determine their reputation. They will transport most of your worldly items, so it is important to make sure that they are professional and trustworthy. Services such as those at Moving Local will help you locate local moving companies, learn about there history, and determine what services they provide.

Let The Professionals Do There Job

It may seem like you are being helpful by attempting to aid the movers in loading the truck. While this is a nice sentiment, most times you are probably just getting in the way. These professionals have plenty of experience in how to load the truck efficiently and quickly. If you find yourself short on time or you simply would rather not do it, many moving companies are also well equipped to actually pack your house up as well. You simply have to decide what you are comfortable doing and then allow the hired professionals to do the rest.

Moving can be an overwhelming and stressful endeavor to get through for many. There are, however, things that you can do to make the process easier. Planning early and sticking to the set objectives is the best way to find yourself in your new home in the easiest way possible.

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7 August 2019

Four Reasons to Have a Heater Tune-Up Before Winter Comes

While the summer is still heating up outside, the winter months aren’t far off. It may seem counterintuitive to have your heating system checked while the sun bakes the land outside. However, the summer time is a great time to have your heating system maintained before you actually need it. You have plenty of time if you need to repair it to have those repairs done before the first cold front blows through.

Maintain Warranty

One thing few homeowners realize when they own a system is that many manufacturer warranties require regular maintenance on the unit in order to stay valid. Schedule your regular tune-up with a Tampa heating repair company to keep your ac/heating warranty going strong. Replacing or repairing a part of the unit covered by warranty because you failed to maintain it is no fun.

Longer Life

The life of the system is longer when you have regular system check-ups. A technician can spot troublesome problems often before they become larger and more costly. Fixing a small leak is easier and less expensive than waiting until the unit stops working completely. The last thing you want is to need heat and not have it. Early replacement of the HVAC unit is often due to a lack of maintenance. A longer-lasting system saves you money on replacing the unit and makes sure you have the cool or warm air you want through your home.

Improved Function

One of the best reasons to have your HVAC checked regularly is that it improves the function of the unit. The technician inspects the entire unit. Improved efficiency costs you less to use the system whether cold or hot outside. Those savings extend to your utility bill lowering the amount you pay monthly to heat the home. Dust and debris can block vents preventing the air flowing. Cleaning the system removes any obstructing objects so the air circulates properly increasing the efficiency of the system.

Breathe Better

Another perk of having your HVAC system maintained before you turn on the heat the first time this winter is helping you breathe better. The winter months often bring colds through with the kids back in school and people spending more time indoors. Breathing clean air when at home can help you stay healthier. Dirty air only contributes to your breathing problems whether you have a cold or not. The technician can also give you tips to help maintain your system between tune-ups including when to replace your air filters.

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11 June 2019

How to Make Your Small Home Feel Larger

We all want the best of both worlds: a living space that is large and accommodating and something small enough to clean easily. Settling for a smaller living space makes a lot of economic sense. Here are four tricks to make your small home appear larger than it is.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Image via Flickr by Bellafaye Garden

Mirrors are great decorating props that have multiple purposes. People have been using mirrors to create illusions in decorating for centuries. Not only can mirrors make a dark room appear brighter, but they can also make the room appear larger. Strategically placed mirrors can add depth to a room and make it seem more spacious. If you can't afford a large floor-to-ceiling mirror, you can invest in several smaller mirrors and group them together. It will not only produce the desired effect but add an artistic looking focal point to the room. 

Color is Everything
One of the biggest decorating mistakes people make in their home is choosing dark colors because they are fashionable. Dark colors will only make small rooms appear even smaller. If you really are determined to use dark colors, use them on the ceiling. The dark colors will give depth to the room and make the room appear taller. Painting the walls of your home in light colors, such as white or light beige, will help create the illusion of space while the light reflecting off the walls will make the room seem brighter.

Remodeling for Maximum Space
Sometimes you need to call in the professionals to help you reclaim some space. If you're living in an older home, you might want to consider consulting with a plumber who can assess your plumbing. Many times, they can replace the larger pipes with smaller, more cost-effective pipes. 

As a homeowner, this is a win-win for you. You get newly updated plumbing in an older home and an opportunity to reclaim some unutilized area in your home. This might seem like a drastic move, but it is one of the few ways to add actual square footage to your home rather than mimicking the appearance of it.

Clever Storage Ideas
You know the old saying, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and there is no end to the number of clever storage ideas that people have come up with. The first place to start is with multi-functioning furniture. Purchasing pieces of furniture that have hidden storage will save you space and fulfill a purpose. 

Bookshelves are great space makers. Even small bookshelves can add to the amount of area you can utilize. An ingenious trick is to place them closer to the ceiling to make the room seem taller. There are lots of gadgets you can buy that allow you to use the backs of cabinets, closets, or room doors for storage for things like shoes, hair appliances, and cooking utensils. 

It can be a challenge to make a small home go from feeling cramped to feeling cozy. With some ingenuity and using some of these tips, you can makes your home feel bigger than it actually is. 

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4 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to a Ductless AC System

If you're looking for a better way to cool your home, a ductless air conditioning system may be the answer. This efficient system offers an innovative alternative to the more traditional duct-based central air conditioner that many homeowners are used to. Consider some of the following prime benefits to moving to a ductless system either for supplemental cooling or for a whole-home comfort solution.

Add Custom Cooling Where You Need It

A ductless AC system provides customized cooling for your home. You can connect a single outdoor unit to multiple indoor units and place these interior installations where you need the added air most. Do you have a finicky family member who wants more cooling in a bedroom? Perhaps your kitchen is perpetually warm, or perhaps your finished basement doesn't get the efficient temperature management that you'd like. You can position ductless units in any room, and customize the height and location of their placement within that space, to direct air exactly where you want it.

Installing a ductless AC system is quick and simple, requiring no more than a small hole in the wall between the interior and exterior units. This quick and easy installation adds zoned temperature control to your home without the need to install zoning within your ductwork.

Trim Your Utility Bills
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the air in a duct-based system is lost through leaky ductwork. A ductless system naturally eliminates this loss by pulling air directly into the home from outside. This directional pattern can help you dramatically reduce your energy bills. While you may choose to continue using your duct-based central cooling system for the height of the summer heat, you can transition to working with ductless units only during the shoulder seasons and use ductless systems for efficient supplemental cooling.

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Your ductwork can harbor a number of allergens and irritants including dust, dander, and pollen. A ductless system eliminates this problem for you. As fresh air comes into the home through your ductless unit, it passes through an ionizer field which removes potentially hazardous particles and helps keep the air clean and healthy. 

Create a Greener Home
Duct-based cooling systems can be hard on the environment. The air losses mentioned above translate to an unnecessary use of energy. Running independent units with a ductless system will help you eliminate excess energy use in a variety of ways. You won't have to use electricity to cool unoccupied rooms with a ductless system: You can simply turn off the units that are located in those areas. This versatility helps shrink your carbon footprint and ultimately provides you with a greener, more environmentally friendly living space.

If you're interested in trimming your bills and customizing your comfort, a ductless AC system may offer the smart, affordable answer that you seek. Installation is simple, whether you have an existing duct-based system or not. Start exploring your options for more innovative and affordable home cooling with your local HVAC contractor.

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25 May 2019

The Downfalls Of DIY Plumbing Projects & Why You Need A Professional

There is a lot of content online for people to consume, most of which has empowered individuals to be able to handle some tasks by themselves. This has also contributed to a rise in more Do It Yourself (DIY) projects. Some of the very common DIY projects that people undertake revolve around plumbing.

It’s important to state that it is absolutely okay for anyone to carry out DIY projects and there is a lot of benefit to it. In plumbing, for instance, there are simple tasks that you can easily do by yourself such as unclogging a drain. Undertaking such DIY projects serves as a good learning experience and an avenue to acquire new skills.

With that said, however, there are many things that could, and in most cases do go wrong when people undertake DIY plumbing projects. Plumbing problems differ. Some are really easy to handle while some are extremely complex and require a high level of expertise to do.

There is a big difference between what you see online on DIY videos where people walk you through how to handle a certain plumbing project versus you taking up the project and doing it by yourself. It’s not always simple and straightforward as they portray it to be.

Even though the project may be the same, the issue at hand may differ from one project to another. Your plumbing project is unique in its own way. Some plumbing projects also require you to have a license showing that you are fully certified to be able to undertake them.

Some other downfalls of performing DIY projects include:

1. You being uninformed Of Some Of The Dangers Involved 
DIY plumbing projects can be somewhat risky to undertake. You could easily get hurt if you are not aware of the potential dangers at hand. A simple project could turn disastrous if you are not cautious enough or are oblivious of the hazard at hand.

2. Things Could Get Worse Than They Already Are 
While your intention of undertaking a DIY plumbing project is to build or to restore and make things better, you could end up damaging things, leaving the entire thing worse than you found it. The cost implication after this is high as you may be required to replace broken parts.

3. Inability To Correctly Assess The Problem 
You may be willing and ready to undertake a DIY plumbing project but lack the essential knowledge of assessing the problem at hand and formulating a viable solution for it. This sets you up for disaster because the problem at hand may not be solved.

Why You Need To Hire A Professional 
Hiring a plumbing professional is more beneficial. Here are a few reasons why:
1. The professional has the knowledge and skill set needed to be able to accurately assess and identify the main problem at hand.
2. He holds a license along with insurance that allows him to work without violating the set legal rules and regulations.
 3. He will minimize the risks involved such as unnecessary accidents because he is fully aware of the safety hazards at hand.

Why struggle to Do It Yourself when you can hire a professional? Get one today. Our recommendation of a company with excellent plumbing professionals ready to serve you is Wheaton-based Ferrari Plumbing. Check them out today.

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23 May 2019

6 Tips for Reducing Home Allergens

Do you sniffle, cough, and sneeze when you spend time in your home? You may be one of the more than 50 million Americans that suffer from allergies. There are simple things you can do to help yourself feel better. Try these easy ideas to reduce allergens in your home all year long.

Try a Dehumidifier 
Ample rain and humid weather add moisture to the air, creating a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and dust mites. If you see beads of moisture on your windows and doors, take action before harmful pathogens aggravate your family's allergies. Ask a professional to install a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of water in the air. You can set a dehumidifier to run until a certain humidity level is reached to keep the air dry and comfortable.

Dust and Vacuum at Least Weekly

Image via Flickr

Mites can live in dust and trigger allergy symptoms. Using dry dusting cloths can spread dust and pet dander through the air. Instead, use a treated or damp cloth to help trap the dust in the fabric, and change or clean your dust rags after each use.

HEPA filters also help remove dust mites, animal hair and dander, dirt, and other allergens from the air. Clean your carpets regularly using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. You can also alleviate allergies by running an air purifier that includes a HEPA filter. Trapping allergens in a HEPA filter will help stop your heating and cooling system from circulating contaminated air.

Clean Vents and Change Filters 
Help your HVAC system work more efficiently by changing air intake filters and cleaning the vents throughout the home. When dirt and dust get trapped in the filters and vents, the system has to work harder to keep conditioned air circulating through each room. Don't forget to clean the dryer lint trap and exhaust hose as well.

Wash Bedding and Bath Linens 
Fabrics in your home create a comfy spot for allergens to live. Make sure to wash your bed linens and towels in hot water often to kill dust mites. You can also choose allergen-resistant pillowcases and sheets. Wash your throw rugs and bathroom mats each week as well.

Choose Green Cleaning Products 
When you clean, you may be adding allergens to the air. Cleaning solutions that include harsh chemicals can leave residue and odors in the air that trigger allergic reactions. If you're affected by traditional soap and cleansers, try organic options.

Going green doesn't have to be expensive, though. You can make organic cleaning solutions with household staples like vinegar and lemons.

Keep Pollen Outside 
You love the smell of fresh air throughout your home. Be mindful of when you open your windows if you're allergic to pollen, however. Pollen comes in on the wind, especially in the early morning hours. Keep the windows closed during this time. In addition, use your clothes dryer instead of handing your clothes outside to dry.

Take these simple steps to reduce allergens in your home year-round. Keeping the air and surfaces in your home free of dust, dirt, and pet dander can help alleviate allergy symptoms.

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4 Reasons Why It's Worth Considering Installing Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is heat from the earth being used to heat or cool homes. In the winter, the home is heated by pumping water through long loops of underground pipes to a section of the ground much warmer than the Earth's surface. The hot water is then returned for use in the home. In the summer, the process is reversed. Cool water is used in the home to absorb heat and then disperses it into the ground. There are a number of benefits to homeowners who install a geothermal HVAC in their home.

Environmentally Friendly

Image via Flickr by Christian Collins

Geothermal energy is environmentally friendly. Geothermal energy heats your home by moving heat that already exists below the Earth's surface, rather than using energy to create heat. There is no combustion in the process of heating or cooling your home, and it produces little to no greenhouse gasses. It has the smallest carbon footprint of any of the available heating and cooling options for homeowners.

For homeowners concerned about the appearance or space requirements of the geothermal system in the yard, much of the system is underground. Because the geothermal HVAC system is dependent on pumping water, there's no need for a loud fan to move air through compressor coils. Your yard stays quiet and clear of machinery. Geothermal energy is also a completely renewable resource. Earth continuously generates heat below the surface; it seems as though there will continue to be geothermal energy for as long as the Earth exists.

Energy Efficient 
Geothermal energy is very efficient, ranging up to 400 percent efficiency. Even the best furnaces average about 90 percent efficiency. Because of its high efficiency, a geothermal HVAC system will start saving you money from the very first time you use it. While the initial investment might be costly, a geothermal HVAC system can reduce the monthly costs of heating your home by half, and reduce cooling costs by almost the same.

Geothermal units can be put inside the home, away from the exposure to the elements, leading to longer lifespans. The components of the system kept inside the home often come with 10-year warranties but can last over 25 years. The components of the geothermal energy system that are below ground can last over 50 years. Because the system also has fewer moving parts overall, there are fewer components to break down or need repair.

Unlike other natural power sources like wind or solar energy, geothermal energy is not dependent on the weather. Geothermal HVAC systems can be relied upon regardless of the season or day-to-day weather. Because there is no fuel to purchase, the costs associated with operating your geothermal HVAC remain roughly the same. The fluctuation of fuel costs frustrating other homeowners has no impact on the cost of operating a geothermal HVAC system.

A geothermal HVAC system offers these benefits to almost any home. Wondering about installing a geothermal HVAC in your home? A professional HVAC technician can visit your home and evaluate for an installation.

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22 May 2019

Three Easy Steps to Find a Reliable Service Provider

How strong is your “adulting” game? If you’re like most women, you might still struggle with certain aspects of running a household, raising a family — and remaining calm, cool, and collected all at the same time! It isn’t easy to juggle the demands of parenting, working either part- or full-time, keeping your relationship healthy, and devoting the occasional hour to self care.

One of the least fun aspects of being a grown-up is having to deal with things like plumbing problems, HVAC maintenance, or pest control. However, they are part and parcel of adulthood. You can at least make things a little easier on yourself by reading our quick guide to finding a reliable service provider!

Get Recommendations from Friends 
The best way to find a provider of just about any service — whether it’s related to home maintenance or on a more personal scale, like a stylist or massage therapist — is to ask your friends and family. After all, you trust their opinion, and they won’t steer you wrong.

If you work outside the home, your coworkers are another good resource. And if you are looking for someone to perform tasks around your home, like landscaping or painting, consider asking your neighbors. They might have the scoop on local providers.

“We get most of our business through word-of-mouth advertising, as old fashioned as that may seem,” explains Shenae Barnes of Fix-It Right Plumbing in Melbourne. “So we’re tickled pink when a satisfied customer tells their friends about us.”

These folks can tell you which companies or individuals they’ve hired in the past and give you an idea of the costs or fees. They can also tell you if there are any particular providers to avoid like the plague — and sometimes that’s more valuable information than a glowing review for someone good!

Turn to the Internet 
Once you have gathered a few names, you’ll probably fire up your laptop or smartphone to check these providers out online. In addition to visiting their website and/or social media profiles, head over to review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google to read others customers’ or clients’ reviews.

Are online reviews really reliable? Experts say that they can be — but also that they should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. Fake reviews are still fairly commonplace. And it’s possible for the business owner to delete negative reviews. Forewarned is forearmed, however, and when you know what to look for, it’s not hard to suss out which reviews are for-real and which are as fake as a Real Housewife’s breasts.

Even more important than the reviews themselves, according to savvy shoppers, are the responses to those reviews from the company in question. You can tell a lot about a business from its customer service, especially when tht customer service is front and center in a very public forum. Any responses should always address reviewers with respect and offer to rectify any problems. They should never be argumentative, point fingers at or blame the customer, or otherwise air their dirty laundry.

Contacting the Company Directly 
Checking out the online reviews will likely help you narrow down the list of choices. Now it’s time to contact them directly and see for yourself how professional they are.

If you use an online contact form to get in touch, they should get back to you quickly — within 24 hours. The same goes for emailing and leaving a voice message. If you call them and get connected to a rep immediately, that person should be considerate, polite, professional, and helpful.

In the event that you get a rude or less-than-helpful response, it’s perfectly OK to cross that company off your list and move on. Of course, you may wish to give them a second chance — everyone has an off day — but the service provider’s communication skills should reflect the pride they take in their work.

Throughout the experience, from first contact to completion of the job, you deserve to be treated with respect and consideration. That’s just good business!

Final Thoughts 
When you find a good mechanic, plumber, landscaper, roofer, HVAC tech, or any other type of service provider, hang on to them! They are worth their weight in gold, and who knows, maybe one day soon someone will ask you for a recommendation!

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20 May 2019

5 Things to Know About Sports Nutrition

If you are really serious about any form of sports, you need to ensure that your body has everything it needs to undertake the involved activities, lest you find yourself having broken down. Remember that you consume more energy and perhaps, need a higher level of endurance as compared to people who don’t participate in sports. Therefore, your diet should be different from an ordinary person’s and for diet supplementation, sport dietary supplements like Wilson Supplements can be of great help. On that note, here are five things you need to know about sports nutrition.

The right supplements can put you ahead of the competition 
If you are determined to gain a serious edge over your sports competitors, you can take top-quality sports supplements such as Wilson Supplements, in addition to taking a nutritious diet, to improve the strength and metabolism body and/or increase your muscle mass. However, you should ensure that you buy the right supplement according to your sports goals and buy from reputable sources to avoid falling for fakes.

Enough fruit and vegetable intake improves food breakdown 
Your body has microorganisms which not only protect you from germs but also break down food to release energy. Sufficient intake of fruits and vegetables goes a long way to keeping these bacteria alive and in their optimal performance. On the other hand, if you don’t take enough fruits and veggies, the effectiveness of the microorganisms will reduce and some of them will even die. Therefore, ensure that you include at least a piece of fruit and some vegetables in each of your three daily meals. Also, eating vegetables low- fiber vegetables like tomatoes or fresh fruits like melons or any other fruit that’s friendly to your body one to two hours before exercise will boost your energy and endurance capability during for better performance in your sports activity.

You can’t perform well on an empty stomach 
A car can’t function without fuel. Similarly, you should expect to perform well in any sport if you are doing it when your stomach is empty. In case you haven’t eaten anything within two hours before the exercise, you should eat something light, preferably an easy to-digest fruit like bananas or take an electrolyte drink to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Proper hydration is an essential 
Dehydration is a threat to the well-being of any person. Although anyone can be dehydrated if he/she doesn’t take enough water, sportspeople are more vulnerable because of their higher body fluid discharge through sweating. When you engage in sports with a dehydrated body, you’re likely to experience performance and even worse, you might collapse and die if the dehydration is severe. Therefore, it is important that you drink plenty of fluids (preferably sports drinks or water) prior, in the course and after a sports exercise to ensure that you’re well hydrated.

There is no perfect food 
No food contains all the nutrients that your body needs. In as much as your favorite food is tasty and is seemingly well-balanced, eating is over and over without introducing something else in your diet can put you at nutritional risk. The best way to maintain healthy nutrition is to ensure that you eat an array of foods, with each meal having a distinct set of protein, carbs and vitamin foods.

As a sportsperson, your diet can make or break you. Observe proper nutrition to see your performance improve tremendously and extend your lifespan.

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18 May 2019

How to Become Pre-Approved for Your First Mortgage

The spring season is one of the most popular times to buy a house. If you are thinking about making your first home purchase, one of your initial steps will be to contact a mortgage lender to get pre-approved for a loan. To get ready for the process, gather some information and make some calculations.

Calculate Your Income 
Before contacting a mortgage lender, get together at least two weeks worth of pay stubs or income information. The figure you need to work with is your gross monthly income, the figure before taxes are deducted. If you are self-employed or work as a contractor, you will need the returns from your last two years' tax filing.

Determine Your Debt Load 
The less debt you have, the larger mortgage you can afford. Add up your recurring monthly payments to determine the amount you owe and divide it by your income. If this ratio is under fifty percent, you should qualify for a loan, but the lower the ratio the better. If it is over fifty percent, consider paying off some of your debts before looking into home financing.

Examine Your Credit Score 
Another important number in these calculations is your credit score. Contact one of the credit reporting companies to get a credit history and a report of your score. Carefully check over the credit history to determine if there are any errors or problems that may need to be fixed before you apply for a home loan. Next, look at your credit score. If it is 700 or above, you should have no trouble getting pre-approved for a mortgage. If it is under 600, you can still get home financing, but you will need to apply to a special program like FHA. The experienced professionals at Sun West Mortgage Company can help you find a lender for special circumstances.

Figure Out Your Down Payment 
A down payment on a home is typically ten to twenty percent of the sale price. It is a good idea to make a larger down payment on a less expensive home than a smaller down payment on a more expensive home in case the real estate market goes down instead of up.

Decide What You Are Looking For 
Your final decision is how much house you can afford. When you calculate your monthly mortgage payment, include taxes and insurance in the figure. These can add up and leave you strapped for cash if you don't take them into initial consideration.

 Starting the mortgage approval process can be scary, but it is your first step to owning your very own home. Finding a professional you can trust will set your mind at ease.

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