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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 February 12, 2019

12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid

12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid

I’m a hypochondriac. Always have been since I was a child. One of my biggest fears as an adult is getting breast cancer. I visited my gynecologist a few months ago and asked what I could do to help prevent getting breast cancer. You know what she said? Nothing. According to this recommended OB/GYN doctor, besides regular check-ups to see if I already had breast cancer, there was nothing I could do to prevent a cancer that impacts 1 in 8 U.S. women.

BS.

After heavily researching breast cancer, I found out that I was making quite a few mistakes with my everyday activities. Here are 12 things that may cause breast cancer that you should avoid.

Buying Deodorant Without Checking the Label

I actually have a good friend who is more of a hypochondriac than I am, so I went to her with my concerns about breast cancer. She took me into the bathroom and thrust her deodorant at me. While at first I was confused and slightly offended, she explained that I should start using a different deodorant because the mass-produced ones at the store have ingredients (ie aluminum –based compounds) I can’t afford to put under my armpits and so close to my breasts. Luckily, she had an extra Tom’s natural deodorant to give me.

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There might not be any “conclusive” research that links antiperspirants to breast cancer but better safe than sorry.

Using Chemical Hair Dye

I know so many people who dye their hair every few months using the cheap boxed dyes you can buy at the store. Sure, it can be fun but it’s like playing Russian Roulette because the dyes you use most likely contain carcinogens. The National Cancer Institute even warns against the practice of just picking out a hair dye willy-nilly. So the next time you do it, go to a health foods market and find the most naturally-based hair dye you can.

Smoking

Regarding my visit to the gynecologist, she did come back after our conversation a few minutes later and asked if I smoked or drank a lot of alcohol. I said no (I don’t think any true hypochondriac can do either of those things). “You’ll be fine then,” she said. But she forgot about second-hand smoke, which can be just as dangerous. Now, I won’t go near anyone if they’re lighting up, including my BFF’s boyfriend. He can get as mad as he wants; my health is more important!

Wearing the Wrong Bra Size

When an organization devoted to protecting women against breast cancer suggests you get fitted with the right bra, you take notice. Bras that are too small or big might pose a risk because they just aren’t supportive on the breast tissue or if they are too tight they will cut off drainage of the lymph fluid. Hey, it was a great excuse to head to Victoria’s Secret to get measured.

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If I had my choice though, I would go all-natural and join the bra burners of the 60s (however, my mom was a bra burner, so that might make it a little awkward).

Using Chemical Household Cleaners

If the cabinet under your kitchen sink looks like most, there are enough chemicals to make all sorts of crazy things. And yes, as you and I suspected, those chemicals are REALLY bad. Not only are they connected with breast cancer, they are connected with other kinds of cancers, as well as chronic conditions like migraines, allergies and more. So from now on, clean with vinegar, baking soda and other materials that aren’t going to give you a medical nightmare.

Using Mothballs

When I was a little kid, I learned to use mothballs. They actually remind me of my grandmother, bless her heart. Little did I know that they are filled with chemicals that have been connected with breast cancer development. Looks like I’ll be looking for an alternative, like cedar chips. Sorry, Grammy!

Putting Non-Organic Make-Up on My Face

I won’t tell you the foundation I use, but I will tell you that after I read the ingredients, I promptly threw it away. It was chock full of all sorts of nasty things like parabens, which have been found en masse in tissue samples that came from breast cancer patients. I can still wear make-up, though. A trip to my local whole foods store was all it took to come up with organic-based, paraben-free cover-up.

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Neglecting My Physical Health

In my research, I discovered losing weight is a good way to ward off breast cancer since there have been indications of a link between being overweight and being diagnosed with this type of cancer. That’s all the motivation I need to get off the couch and head to the gym.

Drinking Alcohol

Like I mentioned above, alcohol has never been my drink of choice but basically everyone else I know highly enjoys their beer. Yet alcohol is super problematic if you want to avoid breast cancer, liver cancer and heart cancer. In a global study, over 21 percent of alcohol related deaths were because of cancer. I’m hoping for a soon-to-be revolution that swaps alcohol for tea (healthier and less expensive) when it comes to social drinking. Tea time anyone?

De-Odorizing My House With Air Fresheners

I love a clean-smelling house and car, but the air fresheners I’ve been using contain phthalates, a type of plasticizing chemical. Phthalates have been found in air fresheners because they help create a long-lasting fragrance. Unfortunately, that fragrance could be deadly. Looks like I’ll be boiling some water, cinnamon sticks and cloves on the stovetop to make my house smell really amazing!

Storing Everything in Plastic Containers

I have a habit of collecting those plastic containers. Whenever I get a coupon for them, I just go hog-wild and buy a bunch. But they have a connection to breast cancer, which I didn’t know before. It’s especially bad when you use them to reheat food in the microwave. I’m going to suck it up, throw them out and use glass containers instead.

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Buying the Wrong Food

I figured that pesticides were trouble from the get-go, and I was right. They get into your foods and, in some cases, seem to foster an environment where cancerous cells feel compelled to grow within the organs and tissues, including the breasts. It’s one more reason to buy from local farmers, as long as they don’t use pesticides. You’ll have to ask them, by the way; most local food market stands don’t have signs up about the whole pesticides topic.

While everyone still makes fun of me for being a hypochondriac, I know in my heart that I’m actually just protecting myself, and maybe educating some people on the health dangers that lurk in everyday items. My wellbeing is worth being the butt of a few jokes. Yours is, too.

Featured photo credit: NA via istockphoto.com

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