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Six Home Buying Tips That Every Buyer Needs to Know

Six Home Buying Tips That Every Buyer Needs to Know

Buying a home can be scary. There is a lot of money at stake and you are staking your reputation on your ability to make payments on that home. A simple mistake or bad choice can costs thousands of dollars in the long, or even the short run. After many mistakes that I have made, here is a list of the six tips that I think are most important to a new homebuyer

1. Know what you are looking for

Too often people start looking for a home without a really good idea of exactly what they want. They start to discover what they are looking for as they search for a home, but often end up purchasing a home that they didn’t necessarily want under the guise that “it is pretty nice”.

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A few things to think about are the number of bathrooms, a family room, the size of the kitchen, the size of the yard, and really the size of every single room. You can find what you are looking for by looking online at what is available. There are many for sale by owner sites that you can go on to look at homes for free in this stage.

2. Know your landscaping

A lot of people purchase a home because they are sold by the beautiful landscaping that has been done. They don’t realize that in order for the home to be landscaped that beautifully, it likely has had a lot of work put into it. After owning the home for a year or so, the landscaping starts to deteriorate. The grass dies, flowers don’t get planted, and weeds takeover.

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If the home has good landscaping, take time to figure out how much would need to be done to maintain that landscape.

3. Don’t settle

This home is where you will spend a majority of your time for the next few years at least. Many homebuyers get frustrated while looking and assume that they just need to settle for something less. While this is true for some people with high expectations, oftentimes you can get nearly exactly what you want if you wait. There are thousands of homes going on the market every single day and they all are a little different. Take your time and you will likely find one that excites you.

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4. Look in the outskirts

The outskirts of most cities are much cheaper than the main city. Many people buy an old, small home in the city but don’t ever realize that 15 minutes outside of the city there is a nicer, newer home. If you are willing to drive a little further for work, school, etc. then a home just outside of the city may be the best option for you.

5. Don’t feel bad making offers

Making offers on homes is the name of the game. If you think a home may have potential, make an offer and test it out. You are not locking yourself in if you make an offer, and you usually have a couple of weeks at least to back out. If you think the home has potential and could see yourself living in it, make the offer. If something better comes along, it is easy to cancel.

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6. Look at utility costs

Many people do not realize that utility costs vary from city to city. Just because your total utility bill was $200 in one city, does not mean you will pay similar expenses in the next city. Oftentimes newer cities have more expensive utilities because they are trying to pay off debts that they took on to build the necessary infrastructure. Your home may also be bigger, meaning utilities will cost more.

While this list is not everything a new homebuyer needs to know, the advice here would have saved me a lot of heartache in many of my home purchases. Good luck!

Featured photo credit: publicdomainpictures.net via publicdomainpictures.net

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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