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Effective tips to pack light for a vacation

When you are told to pack light, it doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on your overall comfort and style. However, as far as basics are concerned, a bit of rethinking is required. When you pack for a vacation, sacrificing a half-pound here and an ounce there can make a huge difference.

So, do some math, and you will understand why this is so important. If you carry luggage that is too heavy or big, you’ll have to incur an additional fee from almost every airline.

Moreover, if you are carrying a suitcase, the weight is all the more important as you’ll be carrying this huge bag of yours too many times during the transit, right from in and out of the car to the staircase, and during the security screening.

After having a decade long experience of traveling by myself, I have concluded that when you travel with only a carry-on, you’ll experience a lot of benefits. Some of these are:

1. You don’t have to incur any additional fees.

2. When you navigate a new place, you’ll be encumbered by less baggage.

3. While the other travelers wait at the conveyer belt, you can quickly catch a cab and reach your hotel.

So, whether you wish to avoid the baggage fee or you wish to be less bothered by the luggage, the important thing is to pack light. To help you with the same, we have come up with a few tips that’ll be incredibly helpful for you.

The Basics 

Firstly, you have to start by separating everything that you need under categories. So, this is how you do it:

  • Category 1 – Luggage

Mark, who works with TAE where you can ask for finance homework helpsays that to pack light, you need to have a lighter suitcase. A roller suitcase that is of 22-inch is lightweight luggage. However, irrespective of the suitcase you pick, do ensure that it has a couple of pockets or compartments. It will be helpful to keep everything organized. 

  • Category 2 – Clothes

Now, as far as clothing is concerned, only pack items that are made of lighter fabrics. Fleece and wool are going to keep you warm, but they are bulky and heavy. You can pack clothes made from fabrics like synthetic and silk. Though linen, cotton, or cotton blends tend to a bit heavier, they still fall on the lighter end of the spectrum.

  • Category 3 – Shoes

As far as shoes are considered, packing light can be a bit tricky. You should try to strike a balance between comfort, style, and weight. Lily, who offers online accounting homework help at TFTHsays that while traveling, she wears the heaviest pair of shoes that she intends to carry and pack the rest in the suitcase.

  • Category 4 – Toiletries

The best way to reduce the weight of toiletries is to not carry them at all. Mostly, you will find a shampoo, conditioner, moisture, and soap in your hotel. However, if you still want to carry your own, buy a travel-sized bottle to save up space.

  • Category 5- Electronics

You are going for a fun vacation, so only carry electronics that you need. If you love reading, carry a tablet, rather than tons of books to save some space. 

Tips for keeping it light

There isn’t any set standard that applies to every trip. However, there are certain tips that I have compiled after a bit of trial and error and a lot of traveling. So, let’s introduce you to some of them.

  • Know that every bit of space counts

Get rid of all those just in case items, fill up the nooks of your bag with smaller items such as socks, mittens, underwear, or shoes, and replace the books with an e-reader. All of this will give you extra space to pack essentials.

  • Pack only clothing that would last you a week

Gigi, who liked the post on best data science certification online at TrumpLearningsays that no matter how many days she’s traveling for, she never carries clothes for over a week. Now, to keep these clothes fresh, you can carry with you a dryer sheet. Also, to get rid of the wrinkles, you can keep with you a travel-sized wrinkle releaser. If you are going on a longer trip, do your laundry simultaneously.

  • Pack things or outfits that can be mixed and matched

Always pack things that you can color-coordinate with other things in your wardrobe. If a particular item doesn’t work with other clothing pieces, it is better to leave it at home. It is best to carry more tops and fewer pants or jeans. Pick shoes that will go with almost every outfit.

  • Maximize the personal items

In airlines, you can always carry a carry-on bag, like a laptop bag or a purse. Jessica, who likes the best data science certification list at EduWorldUSA, says that she carries a huge handbag that can accommodate her wallet, perfume, makeup, tissues, first-aid, and a few other handy things.

 

So, use these tips, and you’ll be able to pack light for your travel.

 

Building vs Buying: How to Tell What’s Best for Your Next Home

Have you always imagined living in your dream home?

Whether you’re day-dreaming of a marble-floored mansion or a quaint cabin, everyone has an idea of where they’d love to live someday. But, it’s turning those dreams into reality that can be a little more difficult.

If you’re looking to move, there are a lot of decisions you have to make to get as close to your dream home as possible. One of these decisions is whether to build or buy and if you’re not sure which can lead to a few sleepless nights.

To help you make the choice quickly, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide looking at building vs buying.

Cost Comparison

Unless money isn’t an issue for you, it’s probably going to be a big deciding factor in the buying vs building a home debate. It’s easy to look up houses that are in your budget, but it’s a bit more tricky to work out how much it would cost to buy a house that you’d love to live in.

To help you out, the average cost of building a home in the US is around $315,000, with a normal range between around $167,000 and $482,000.

An average home costs between $100 to $200 per square foot, whilst a luxury home costs $200 to $500 per square foot. Factor these costs into the size of the homes you’re looking for to get a rough idea of the blow your bank balance should expect. Of course, these prices vary across states, so try and get more information locally for a better estimate. 

In comparison, the average house on the market costs $226,800. Again, this varies in different states, but as you can see it’s quite a lot cheaper to buy than to build.

Why is it More Expensive to Build?

If you’re looking at whether to buy or build a home, you might be surprised that buying is cheaper. But, when you break it down, it does make sense. Here are some of the reasons why building could cost you more:

Building vs Buying: How to Tell What's Best for Your Next Home

Paying for Builder Profits

Unless you do most of the construction work yourself, you’re going to be paying a fair bit for your construction workers. They need to profit from the work they do, which means you’ll be paying more for their time.

Premiums to Buy Land

Buying land will instantly take a huge chunk of your budget. If you want a prime location, a sea view, or anything else that makes your lot nicer, this is only going to make it more expensive.

Necessities Aren’t Included

When you buy a house, it comes with all the essentials. It has fencing, some appliances, and other home features. When you build a house, you create an empty shell that needs to be filled with absolutely everything, and that costs a lot!

Time Constraints

Another factor you have to consider when deciding whether to buy or build is, of course, time. When you buy a house there are some time constraints, including the time it takes to sell your current home and the time it takes for sales to be finalized. But, building a house is likely to take a whole lot longer!

Once plans are made and the building is underway, you can expect it to take around one year until your home is ready to move into. If you decide to build the project without the help of construction workers, add an additional year onto your schedule. You can also expect extra time for research and planning, which could take anywhere from 6 months to a year to complete.

If you have the time then, of course, this isn’t a problem. But if you need to move quickly then building might not be a viable option for you. If you do need a new home fast, check out this article on we-heart.com for great advice on finding a house that’s right for you.

Building vs Buying: How to Tell What's Best for Your Next Home

Customization or Convenience?

When it comes to comparing the pros and cons of moving to the pros and cons of building a house if you have no real constraints it comes down to one decision; customization or convenience?

When you design your own home, you have the freedom to build it however you want. You can create a layout that works for you, plan how much of a ratio you’d like between home and garden, and choose every detail down to the material for your skirting boards. Rather than hunting for a close copy of your dream home, you can design it from the ground up.

But, this takes time, money, and a lot of hard work. By buying a house, a lot of the hard work is already done, but it does take away some of your freedom. Whilst you can change the paint color and put in a new kitchen, it’s much harder to add another floor or create more garden space.

Realistically, you need to decide whether you’ll be happy to compromise on certain aspects of the home you’ve dreamt up in your head to get around the tough work, or whether that work is worth it to one day kick back in the home of your dreams.

Building vs Buying

Deciding what to pick in the building vs buying debate is always hard. The idea of designing your own home is incredibly appealing, but can you afford all the costs that come with it? Weigh up the pros and cons of each to get your answer.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out more for great home improvement tips, helping you create your perfect space whether you build or buy.

How To Choose Flat For College Time

While in college, your room becomes the go-to-place after a tough day. It is also the place you will retreat to when working on personal projects to boost your career or finances. A flat is also a place where you will spend several years of your life, meaning that it must be at its best. While living here and studying, you need to feel comfortable yourself. Hire professional college essay writers for the best homework writing services for any topic or subject.

 

The choice of a flat is so crucial that it also affects your academic performance. Other factors like finances and the quality of the company you want while in college must also be considered. Here are a few tips on how to choose the best college flat and enhance your experience while on campus.

  • Inside Or Outside Campus

Do you want to live on campus or outside? The decision to live will spill over to many other aspects of your college life because each decision comes with unique advantages. For instance, campus hostels are always cheaper and keep you within the school compound, unlike living outside where you are considered an ordinary citizen.

Living outside campus comes with more freedom, but you have to bear the cost. Other factors like security and expense of travelling to campus each day have to be considered. Further, you might miss the company of fellow students and the escapades that come with it if you are living too far away from campus. Still, living away from campus helps you to build your independence early and acclimatize with ease once you graduate.

How To Choose Flat For College Time

  • Proximity

How close do you want to be to your campus? While it appears natural for students to enjoy the convenience of living in the proximity of campus, the idea might not appeal to everyone. Personal preference and availability of the room at your chosen location will affect your decision.

Living near campus reduces your transport cost. It is also convenient since you get to college within a short time, especially when running on a tight schedule. Proximity is one of the significant considerations for college students when choosing a flat to live. It has a direct impact on your college experience.

  • Cost

A student must consider the price of renting an apartment before making a choice. The primary consideration is the rent you will be paying to live in the flat. It should be within a range that you can afford. Least terms should also be favourable so that you are not forced to pay during the months when you are away from school.

The cost of renting an apartment should also consider amenities like water and electricity. Transport to and from the flat as you attend classes will also add to the price. Choose a location that reduces your expenses so that the little you have while in college can fund entrepreneurial ventures or be used to enhance your college experience.

  • Roommate

Do you want roommates, and where would they want to live? A flat within campus may come with the condition of living with three or four other students. If you are comfortable with such an arrangement, a lot of such flats are available. Consider the choice of roommate because it will define your college experience. You might end up with a noisy one who distracts you while studying or denies you the opportunity to rest.

If you need a room to live alone, you might have to choose a flat outside campus. While it is available, it comes at a higher cost. However, you have the chance to enjoy privacy and personal space to engage in all the projects you envisage. It will be expensive to rent such a room. You might also suffer from loneliness or miss opportunities to interact with people from diverse social backgrounds.

How To Choose Flat For College Time

  • Surrounding Environment

In what environment do you want to live? Campus life with thousands of students might not be your ideal environment. Based on the projects you might be running, the best choice could be a quiet place away from campus. Consider the serenity of the surrounding, hygiene, and social life around the area you have rented. The surrounding should support your personality and the desired college experience.

  • Personal Preference

In what kind of flat do you want to spend your college years? Some want time in town, around other students, or alone. You might also want to live alone or with peers away from campus. The decision could be informed by social considerations like race, religion, and indulgences or interests that you enjoy as peers.

Choose a flat where you are comfortable spending endless months. It should enhance your academic life, giving you a more enjoyable experience. Avoid any area whose environment is detrimental to your social and personal life.

  • Aesthetics

It is enjoyable to live in a beautiful area. Identify a flat with exquisite finishing, manicured compound, excellent aeration, a relaxation space, and such amenities. The view from your room should be relaxing and enjoyable. The address should elicit pride every time you invite friends or family. Furthermore, a beautiful place is cosy. Choose a beautiful place to create your college memories.

  • Privacy

The flat should offer the perfect level of privacy you desire in your life. It begins with the presence of roommates as well as the opportunity to conduct personal business without people’s eve-dropping. Privacy also comes with a quiet and serene place where you can focus more on your projects or classwork. It helps you to work faster and deliver personal projects on time.

  • Furnished Or Unfurnished

Do you want a furnished apartment or one where you can customize the fittings? Furnished apartments are many and more comfortable to move into, but they come with restrictions. That is a choice you have to make, and it will affect your finances and comfort while in college.

A flat means comfort and the ability to work on personal projects with ease. It also means convenience to attend school as well as personal projects. Make the right choice, and your college experience will be memorable.

How Long Does It Take To Buy A House in 2020?

Buying a house is the American dream that most people start saving for not long after they graduate. How long does it take to buy a house? Looking for the perfect place to call a house can take anywhere from a day to several years. That is mainly due to personal taste, logistics, and finding a house up for sale that matches your requirements. The real timeline of buying a house starts from when you have your dream location picked out, and you are ready to make an offer.

There are several steps in the house buying process; a few are more complicated than others. So if you are curious about how long it takes to buy a house, we will break down the timeline to answer.

Creating A House Buying Plan

Time to complete: 3-10 days

Knowing you want to buy a house and turning your desire into a reality are two different things. It is essential to do your research before you start looking for a property. Documenting your process will help you stay on track and stay on budget when looking for a new house. Write down how much you can afford to pay each month, how much you plan to provide as a down payment, and what amenities you must have in your new house. If you really like that beautiful house with a pool, but having trouble with saving money, here is a great article on how to save up money for a house.

The last thing you want to do is find the perfect house close to your workplace or your kid’s school to realize it out of your budget. Additionally, you need to factor in commuting and other amenities when sorting out your account. Getting a cheaper house won’t be such a bargain if you end up paying that all back in transportation cost or HOA fees.

How much of a loan are you likely to be approved? Getting a pre-qualification letter from your bank is the best way to get a general idea.

Hire A Real Estate Agent

How Long Does It Take To Buy A House 2

Time to complete: 3-5 days

Hiring the right real estate agent is critical to your house buying process. They are the ones that will hold the key to your dreams, so choose with care. It is essential to find a real estate agent licensed in the state where you plan to purchase your house. Otherwise, the process may take longer to complete. They should listen to your wants and needs and help you find a house that meets your expectations. Opt for an agent that has been in the business for several years. He is knowledgeable about the houses in this particular area. They should fight to get you the best deal possible and help you walk away from a bad deal if you happen to come across one.

Secure a Loan Pre-Approval

Time to complete: 3-8 days

Securing a pre-approval for a mortgage loan lets your agent and those listing their homes know you are serious about making an offer. If you don’t have a pre-approval already, your real estate agent can suggest some reliable lenders or mortgage companies who can help you. A pre-approval is much different than a pre-qualification. You will need to submit your income statements, credit report, and other documents for the process to move forward. Ask your agent or the mortgage brokerage for a list of documents you will need to submit. That will make your appointment and approval more efficient. Check the rates from a couple of different lenders to see who has the best offer. Just check them all within the same two weeks, so the credit inquires will all be counted as one on your credit report.

Find Your Dream House

how long does it take to buy a house1

Time to complete: Varies

We suggest looking for your dream house or at least deciding which neighborhood you want to live in well before you start the house buying process. A lot of variables can make searching for a house take a very long time. Most new house searches take anywhere from 10 weeks to a year before settling on “the one”.

Make an Offer and Sign the Contract

Time to complete: 3 – 10 days

Once you find a house you like, you will need to work with your real estate agent to offer. Let them know your final price and your contingency price. If there are other terms that you want to be included in the deal, make sure your agent is aware of them before placing an offer.

When making your offer, send your lender a pre-approval letter and a 3% fee proposal. The standard is 1%, but if you have your heart set on the location, you can always offer more than average. If the seller sends you a counteroffer, respond to it as soon as you can. Sellers are under no obligation to accept your offer over another seller if you take too long. At the same time, don’t feel pressured to buy a counteroffer you are not comfortable with or won’t afford long term.

Secure Your Final Mortgage Approval

Time to complete: 3 – 24 days

Being pre-approved for a mortgage shows how much a lender is willing to offer you, but doesn’t mean that your loan is secured. Also, some lenders may not want to loan money for a particular property. The lender will send their inspectors and appraisers to the property to ensure that it is a sound investment and that the property is worth the price that the seller is asking. You will also need to provide more documentation to secure your loan. The next few steps will take place simultaneously as opposed to one after the other, so keep that in mind for your timeline.

Complete The House Inspection

Time to complete: 2 – 6 days

After the seller accepts your offer and the mortgage company approves your loan, the house will undergo some inspections. That usually takes a few days to get scheduled, but the actual review only takes a couple of hours. Once the assessment has been completed, the inspector will send the report to your lender and a copy to you (if requested). Depending on how busy the inspector is around the time of your inspection, it may take a few days. If issues have been noted, either the parties will renegotiate to take the needed repairs into account, or in the case of FHA loans, it may be delayed longer.

Complete the House Appraisal

Time to complete: 3 – 9 days

The appraisal is what will make or break a mortgage loan. If the house is appraised for less than the selling price, the buyer will need to put more money down. Alternatively, the contract can be renegotiated to match the appraisal price instead. It is best to have an appraiser on hand as soon as you place an offer. Scheduling usually takes 4-5 days, with an equal amount of time needed to generate the report. That will also go directly to the lender. However, you can request a copy as well.

Secure Title Insurance

Time to complete: 2 weeks

No house can go to closing without a title check. This step ensures that when you buy the house, you won’t be inheriting liens or debts attached to the house. This process takes about two days. The insurance certificate takes two weeks to be prepared, which is generally plenty of time to closing quickly.

Secure Homeowners Insurance

Time to complete: 3 – 14 days

Homeowners’ insurance is just like car insurance. Different companies will offer different rates. Make sure you get the best quality for your house to save money over time. Every state insurance department publishes a list of premiums in the state so you can compare easily. Sometimes the insurance company will send their agent to check the location for potential risk. Also, some lenders may require additional protections, such as flood or fire insurance, depending on your area.

Prepare Your Funds For Closing

Time to complete: 1 – 3 days

Ask your real estate agent what type of payment method to use for the closing. Usually, it will be a certified check, bank wire, or a cashier’s check. Gather your funds in one place so that you can complete this step when required. If the payment information was sent to you via email, confirm the details with your real estate agent over the phone or in person.

 how long does it take to buy a house2

Complete Final Walk-Through

Time to complete: 1 day

That is your last chance to double-check the house to make sure any repairs requested were completed. It is also your chance to double-check that everything is in order as you last saw it.

Close on Your House

Time to complete: 1-2 months

Signing the paperwork and walking away with the keys to your castle only takes about an hour. The actual process from submitting an offer to the closing will take, on average, 40-50 days. There are plenty of instances where this process is completed much quicker, but knowing the average will allow you to plan your house purchase.

 

How long does it take to buy a house: Final words

I hope now you know every step of house buying and how much time each step takes. When you finally will close a deal, please share your story here in the comments or as an anonymous person on the website of our partner.

 


Bought Your Dream House? Get the Essentials in This New Home Guide

5 Awesome Benefits of Living in a Gated Community

As a future homeowner, you have several choices. For example, there are new homes, pre-owned homes, condos, and more. However, one of the more important questions you need to consider is whether or not you want to live in a gated community.

If you’re like most people, it’s possible you’ve never lived in a gated community before. The costs are a little higher and there are HOA fees. However, people who live in gated communities wouldn’t have it any other way.

That’s because there are important benefits to living in a gated community. Keep reading to find out what they are.

1. Safety and Security

One of the biggest advantages of a gated community is the added layer of security. Only the residents of the community and their guests are granted access through the gate. This can significantly reduce crime and other forms of antisocial behavior and activities.

This can put your mind at rest when allowing your kids to play at the community park. It can also provide peace of mind when you leave for a few weeks on vacation. Your home will be at a lower risk of being broken into and burglarized.

2. HOA Benefits

Through homeowner’s associations are sometimes regarded as negative entities because of their fees, they can provide a lot of luxuries and services. HOA benefits are one of the best reasons to invest in gated homes.

HOA benefits can include things like:

  • Access to pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, etc.
  • Shoveling and plowing services
  • Better maintenance and upkeep of the community
  • High property values
  • Community events
  • And more

HOAs are part of what maintains the high standards of gated community living.

3. Higher Community Standards

Speaking of high standards, gated communities have some of the best. Homeowners are held accountable for upkeeping their homes and properties. You won’t see clutter building on people’s properties or neglected and overgrown lawns.

This helps keep the neighborhood looking beautiful and creates higher home values. Furthermore, gated communities also take better care of common areas like roads, sidewalks, parks, etc.

4. Less Traffic

gated community1

One of the best advantages of a gated community is the decrease in general neighborhood traffic. Your neighborhood won’t provide through-streets for people outside the neighborhood. The only traffic in the community will be those who live there.

This makes it much safer for kids to play outside your gated home. As noted above, less traffic also means more security. You don’t have to worry about strangers driving by your home.

5. Greater Home Values

Finally, buying gated community homes is a wise investment, as they are more likely to hold their value. Most people who live in gated communities have somewhat higher incomes. This puts them in a better position to take care of regular home maintenance and updates.

Additionally, because HOA policies mandate certain home standards, you can trust that your neighborhood will always be desirable for home buyers.

Thinking About Living in a Gated Community?

If you’re thinking about buying a new home soon, we highly recommend looking into a gated community. Yes, you’ll be paying more for a home, but the benefits are absolutely worth it.

And if you’re looking for more advice, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go. Our blog is dedicated to helping homeowners (and future homeowners) like you make the best decisions.