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6 Steps to Take the Day You Buy Your First Home

6 Steps to Take the Day You Buy Your First Home

Buying a home is a big responsibility, financially and for many other easons. It is easily the single biggest expense in life for most people, and it may not be the only home you ever own. There are scores of things that you need to get done in order to prepare a down payment, secure a mortgage, and purchase the home of your dreams, but the work is not done the day you sign on the dotted line or get handed the keys. Here are six things you should get done the day you buy your first home.

1. Take pictures.

You will want them to remember what your house looked like the day you took ownership, and you may need them for an insurance claim later on. Digital cameras mean you can take a lot of pictures without having to worry about the cost of developing film. However, you may want to print out an 8 by 10 of how your house looked the day you bought it.

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Store the rest of the images in the cloud or on digital media. Realize that even flash drives do not hold data forever. Degradation of the digital data on a flash drive takes years, but it does happen. Shooting some video of the inside and outside of your home with a narrative will be fun to view years from now too.

2. Confirm your insurance.

Look over the fine print of policies. Contact your insurance agent to make sure all paperwork has been filled. Buying a house is a hectic time. Make sure your actual coverage is in step with the market value of the house as well as what is owed on the mortgage. Reassess the coverage after moving in with your possessions. Do you have too little, too much, or just the right coverage for the contents? You want adequate insurance coverage, but you do not want to pay excessive premiums.

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3. Change the locks.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a locksmith, make sure the door locks on your home are changed the day you take possession of it. You have no idea who the previous owner has given copies of the keys to. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to home security. The home is now yours. No one who was granted access before has that right now, and the best way to control access is to change the locks. Do not forget to have the locks changed on outbuildings too. New door locks can all be keyed to open with one key. Specialty keyed locks may offer more security than mass-produced models.

4. Get a security system.

The FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics indicate that there were 1,729,806 burglaries in the United States for 2014. That is about one burglary every two seconds of homes and businesses. Home security systems act as an early warning system and a deterrent. Criminals do not want to get caught, and they choose easier targets than homes with alarm systems. Plus, fire and carbon monoxide detection tied to a central monitoring station can send help whether you are home or away, and also if you or your family is incapacitated.

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5. Check your utilities.

It is easy to tell if the electricity is on, but it is more difficult in some homes to determine if the natural gas is on or if propane is available. Also, it is important to check your water heater. It may have been turned off or turned to its lowest setting to save energy while the house is unoccupied.

If you do not have a gas stove but have gas heat, turn the furnace on and listen for the flame to start. Check the temperature setting on the water heater. If you do not know how to check for a lit pilot light on a tank water heater, just run the hot water for five minutes and listen for the flame to start at the water tank. If it does not, have it checked.

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6. Look over home guarantee policies.

Within a few days of living in your new home, you may discover things that need fixed that neither you nor your home inspection expert noticed. Homes that have been unoccupied for a time may develop slow drain issues. The sewer systems of unoccupied homes dry out. Sludge in the drains can harden to a plaster-like consistency. As you begin to flush solids down the dry drains, build up may cause slow drains or clogs. This can especially be a problem in homes that have terracotta drains.

After a few months, a lot of homeowners start to develop a nervousness as they realize that something could break and cost them a lot of money that they simply don’t have. I use a home warranty in order to better budget and not have to worry about large repairs breaking the bank around the holidays.

Your new home is going to quickly become your castle and family place of comfort, safety, and refuge. However, it is practically inevitable that there will be some issues, quirks, and other things you notice about your new home after you move in. Every home has its own sounds and peculiarities that can be irritating or endearing. Some have never forgotten the sound of a noisy water pipe, a cozy sunny spot, or even that cold drafty spot in a home they have lived in. Enjoy your new home and all it has to offer.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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