The weather’s heating up, and with it, the real estate market. Stay on top of things this year with six ways to build equity faster, some simple tips to meet your neighbors, and a few DIY projects that will benefit the whole family. Also, if you or someone you know is thinking about making a move, I’m here to help! Just give me a call.
5 DIY Projects for Active Summer Fun
With school out for the summer, it can be tempting to sit back, relax, and just enjoy a little downtime. However, when fall swings around, you’ll need a few good summer stories to share. These five fun DIY projects will get your family moving and might be just what you need to create some precious memories to share.
1. Build an obstacle course.
Obstacle courses can be constructed from a variety of items you have scattered around the house and are easily scalable for any age group. Create crawling tubes from cardboard boxes or old tires, balance beams from 2x4s, or stepping stones out of sawn off tree trunks. The only limit is your own imagination. Just remember to be safe!
2. Create your own version of active games.
If an obstacle course isn’t the right activity for you and your family, try building your own version of other popular games. Indoor skeeball with laundry baskets and a box, water balloon batting practice, and paper airplane target practice are just a few ideas for activities that can get your family moving!
3. Start a garden.
There are many different ways to start a garden - till some soil, build a raised bed, build or buy some planters - and many options to make it your own. Do you want ornamental plants or would you prefer more edible options? When you actually plant will also affect what plants will do the best for your family. Take a trip up to the local garden center and talk to someone. They should be able to point you in the right direction for your garden.
4. Make a family menu.
It’s easier to eat healthy when you plan ahead! Make a family menu board to pre-plan your meals each week and set up a cooking rotation that gives everyone a chance to pitch in with meal creation! To get the most from your menu board, make it easy to use over and over again. A chalkboard, white board, or even a picture frame with a class panel would work well. You’ll also want to display your menu board in an easily accessible location, like the kitchen.
5. Make outdoor activities more accessible.
It’s easy to let your bikes, basketballs, roller skates, and other outdoor items drift to the back of the garage over the cold winter months. Take time this summer to dig them all out and organize them for easy access. Consider designating a shelf or mounting a peg board specifically for your outdoor activities so you and the kids don’t have to dig for what you need.
3 Ways to Build Equity
Equity is the money you make from owning your home. It can be determined by subtracting the amount of principal you owe on your mortgage from your home’s value. When home prices rise, most homeowners gain equity. These three strategies reduce your mortgage principal, granting you an equity boost in your home.
1. Maximize your down payment.
Low down payment options make homeownership accessible for many families who can’t afford 20% down. But just because you’re approved for a 3% down payment loan doesn’t mean you can’t put down 5%, 10%, or 15%. A larger down payment helps you build equity faster and could end up saving you thousands of dollars in interest over the course of your mortgage.
2. Take out a shorter mortgage.
Most homeowners choose a 30 year mortgage to keep their monthly payments low. However, you’ll typically pay less interest and gain equity more quickly with a 15 year mortgage, making it a better overall investment. Also, just like the down payment, if you can’t go from a 30 year all the way down to a 15 year term, try 20 or 25 years instead.
3. Prepay your mortgage.
A lot can happen over the course of a 15 or 30 year mortgage. When your family earns raises or promotions that increase your income, funnel that money into your mortgage payments. Any extra money you put towards your home can go directly into your principal payment and reduce the overall interest you pay on your home. It will also lower the debt on your credit report and help build equity in your home.
How to Meet Your New Neighbors
Moving into a new home is a lot of work. There’s furniture to move, boxes to unpack, utilities and services to turn on, and on top of all that, you have new neighbors to meet. But even with all the work going on, getting to know your neighbors doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are three easy ways to reach out to your new neighbors.
1. Seize the moment!
The longer you put off meeting your neighbors, the more awkward things will be. Take a break after unloading your moving truck and before unpacking your boxes to introduce yourself.
2. Ask them some questions.
When you knock on your neighbor’s door, what do you say? Aside from explaining that you just moved in and wanted to introduce yourself, consider asking a bit about the neighborhood. If you’ve relocated into the area, you can ask about the city or even the state. What nearby comedy clubs or theaters do they recommend? Is there a DMV nearby? What restaurants deliver to your neighborhood?
3. Host a housewarming party.
If you’re new to the neighborhood but have ties in the general area, consider hosting a housewarming party. You can invite your friends and family as well as your new neighbors. It will be a great excuse to knock on their door. And when they show up, you can start building new friendships with them.
Before you meet your new neighbors, you have to find your new home. If you or someone you know is looking to make a move, let me know! I can answer questions about the area and help you find your family’s perfect fit!
Email : DustinPellegrino@DustinsEvolution.com
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