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Buying A Home? Here are 8 Things You Should Consider

Buying A Home? Here are 8 Things You Should Consider

Buying a new home is always an exciting project. Our experience closely matches the experiences of almost every single family we’ve encountered over the years. During our forays into the real estate market, we’ve heard not only many horror stories, but also many stories of the wonderful little things some home sellers and real estate agents have done.

To be fair, I believe that many of the ugly awakenings that arise after purchase of a home are not necessarily the fault of dishonest sellers or disinterested agents. Most homeowners are honest hard-working people, and most will already have poured a lot of money into their residence; money we can’t always see at first glance. But we’re all human. Sometimes even the most observant are blind to defects that to another person might leap out at them, and of course, vice versa.

When I mention things we should consider, I’m looking beyond a home inspection. We normally get a home inspection, but we should always remember that a typical home inspection can go only so far. Even an experienced home inspector cannot see behind the walls. Surface indications may only give him/her hints. Of course a competent inspector will get up and look at the roof, get down and check beneath the house for signs of termites or other deterioration. A good home inspector will probably check a lot of little details that may not have occurred to us.

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But there are a few things we should do ourselves, and through our many years of having to move from time to time, we’ve learned to give particular notice to the following:

1. The floors

Of course they should be solid, but are they going to work for our needs? Are they hardwood? If so, what kind of floor maintenance does it need? Are they going to need frequent work or are they durable? Are they really wood, or just a laminate? Floors take a lot of beating over time, so it’s important to get down and make sure that our floor is going to be a good match for us.

2. The Walls

Carefully wander around giving close scrutiny to the walls. Any signs of patches? If patches are ever made for whatever reason, a professional will repair them in a way that we’ll never know. If we can see the patch, it was done in some DIY fix and we may find out to our regret one day why that repair was put there in the first place. Check with the seller on these things.

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3. Insulation and AC

Today nearly every home has air conditioning. Or has it? We’ve encountered some very nice homes, and although the furnace and blower were upstairs or even in the attic, we found to our dismay that with the air on, the first floor was just perfect while the upstair rooms remained suffocating. The best is of course, to have separate air conditioners for the upstairs and downstairs, but that isn’t always possible.

4. The Windows

We’ve learned to make certain all the windows open, close and lock properly. They should be double pane as well, although in some older homes, we may accept the single pane window.

5. Plumbing system

It pays to get down and carefully examine the floor around the toilet. The slightest sign of leakage can be a warning of ongoing problems. Not a big fix, but still not something you want to walk into with your eyes closed. You may probably need a help from a plumbing expert before it will become worse.

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6. Appliances

Appliances should be checked. I don’t mean just to turn them on and see if they light up. Many appliances, be it a range, refrigerator, microwave or whatever, turn off and on, but do all their particular functions work properly? This can take a little time, but dealing with any such problems later on will cost not only more time, but more money as well.

7. Its Layout

We should really give some thought to the floor plan of the house. Sometimes we don’t at first stop to consider this, but later on, will there be bottlenecks as a busy family scurries about the house in preparation for the new day? Can we open the refrigerator without bumping into the dishwasher? Can we open the bathroom door without slamming it into the toilet, or perhaps its current occupant?

8. And Its Exterior

We had the roof examined and also took the pain to have a licensed roofer give us a certificate certifying that the roof had at least five more years of useful life, but what about the overall exterior? I’m not talking about work we didn’t notice before, but about the general color scheme and landscaping? Are we going to be satisfied with these for some time or is repainting the house going to be job number one? Are we happy with the landscaping? Can we live with it for a few years?

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These are only eight of the many considerations we’ve encountered over the years when we’ve had to go out and look for a new home. A home is a major purchase and aside from that, unless we’re buying rentals or something, we have to live in it. Being comfortable and satisfied is what owning a home is all about.

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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