5 Tools That Help Save Lives

5 Tools That Help Save Lives

A home needs to be a place where people can relax and feel safe. Adding protection gives families the extra security they need. This is essential for both inside and outside the house to provide peace of mind. There are 5 emergency tools that save lives every day.

Security System

There are many dangers that homeowners may have to face at some point during their lifetime. When this happens, they need to be protected. A quality security system is a tool that offers round the clock surveillance for:

  • Fire
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Break ins
  • Floods
  • Natural disasters

The first step in any prevention plan should include a well-rounded monitored security system.

24/7 Monitoring

A monitored security system helps people stay safe. For example, ADT’s fast response will alert emergency responders at the first sign of danger. Choosing a service that offers 24/7 monitoring provides extra security. There are a wide array of tools that are available for many types of users.

Cellular Monitoring

Today’s technology has made security tools very user friendly. Systems can be armed or disarmed from remote locations along with prompt alerts via text or email. Homeowners use cellular monitoring to keep them in control of their own security.

Home Automation

Homeowners everywhere are becoming a part of the security management team with home automation. The future has arrived with smart intelligence. People can now take an active part in what is happening around their home when they are there or during an absence. Locking and unlocking the doors or controlling the temperature is all done remotely. Lights can be turned on at night to make it look like someone is home using automation products.

Detectors and Sensors

Doors and windows are often used by intruders when entering a house. Sensors are one of the first tools that should be installed. Digital keypads provide convenience as well as extra protection. Infrared motion detectors alert homeowners to the presence of uninvited guests. These features along with 24/7 monitoring are designed to protect the occupants of the home.

It is time that people stand up to crime and take control of their safety with the help of a security system. It provides the tools that are needed to maintain a high level of security. Professionals can recommend the package that best suits the client’s needs and budget. Now is the time to take advantage of a security system to help ensure a safe environment for the entire family.

I Smell A Rat: Detecting Predatory Loan Offers

I Smell A Rat: Detecting Predatory Loan Offers

If you’re planning on taking out a loan in the near future, you need to know how to detect predatory lending practices. Although extensive knowledge of the mortgage and finance industry is the best way to detect bad loan officers, it is not the only way, so don’t despair! There are several easy ways to spot seedy loan officers.

High-Pressure Tactics

When loan officers use high-pressure tactics to get you to agree to financing, you should immediately find another loan officer. It is a common practice for loan officers to prey on individuals whom they believe are vulnerable. The elderly are prime targets for mortgage loan officers since older generations often live in their homes for decades and have built up substantial equity.

One Deal-One Lender

One sign of predatory loan officers is when they tell you that financing is only available through one specific lender. In reality, many lenders offer deals that are readily available. However, if you have a low credit score, you must be extra careful. Some reputable lenders do offer financing to people with low scores, but the terms of the financing cost more than a loan with a good credit score. Loan officers will target people with low scores by offering a once-in-a-lifetime deal, only to inflate the interest rate and tack on unnecessary fees. Talk to multiple loan officers, especially if you have a low credit score.

I Smell A Rat: Detecting Predatory Loan Offers

Final Closing Costs/Terms

If the closing terms you agreed to with loan officer are not the same as the terms when you are ready to close the deal, do not sign the papers. Immediately inform the escrow company there are discrepancies in the final terms. Some people automatically assume the terms at closing are the same as what was agreed to with loan officers. Unfortunately, some loan officers will add on fees or tack on additional costs without the borrower’s knowledge. If you do sign the loan documents, and later learn there were discrepancies, you can use this as a foreclosure defense in the event you default on your mortgage.


Predatory lending practices involve lenders who are willing to approve you for financing that is not in your best interests. However, there are subprime lenders that will extend you financing if you have bad credit. Before you sign, understand that risk-based lenders charge more in interest and closing costs. And if despite your best efforts you get caught up in a predatory loan, foreclosure defense lawyers can help you get retribution.

Buying A Home? 5 Things To Watch For In The Purchasing Process

Buying A Home? 5 Things To Watch For In The Purchasing Process

Buying a house can be an exciting life event, but it can also be a stressful time. You can never be too sure if you’re getting the deal of a lifetime or getting hooked. Here are five things that will help you get ahead of the game and give you a better chance to finally get your dream home.

Sweet Smells Hide Sour Odors

Imagine you’re attending an open house. There are freshly baked cookies for the guests, plug-in air fresheners in every room, and scented candles burning in high traffic areas. Individually, these scents are pleasant and welcoming, but an overkill of flowery smells may indicate something unpleasant. The owner may be trying to hide a foul odor.

Has The Home Been Neglected?

When people browse through homes, they often focus on what they love about each place -hidden nooks, a kitchen stocked with state of the art appliances, or the perfect home office. A deeper look is often called for, however. Spotting signs that minimal home maintenance has been neglected can be a warning sign of deeper problems. Things to look for include burned out light bulbs, overgrown grass, chipped or peeling paint, and leaky faucets.

Check The Tiles

While you’re in the kitchen, look down at the floor. Poorly matched tiles or uneven edges indicate a do-it-yourself job. If the tiles were poorly installed, other repairs or renovations may have been done with equal haste.

A Room With A View

Check the windows throughout the house to make sure they were installed evenly and can be opened without extra effort. Problems in this area can be an early warning sign of foundation problems. Whatever the cause, replacing faulty windows can be a costly and stressful situation.

Poor Ventilation

A house with poor ventilation can lead to the development of mold and can wreak havoc with sufferers of seasonal allergies. Indications that the home has poor air circulation are condensation on the windows and peeling or bubbling paint near windows, doors, and vents.

These are just a few things you can spot on your own in an initial walk-through, even before you involve your home inspector. While there are many more signs to watch for, these tips will help you avoid a few of the common pitfalls in home buying. Keeping a watchful eye and knowing what to look for can save you headaches and financial nightmares down the road.

tenant eviction - house keys

How To Evict A Stubborn Tenant

Owning rental property can be lucrative, but it also comes with its own set of risks. Two of the most significant risks that you may face include dealing with tenants who do not pay their rent and tenants who damage the property. If you are thinking about evicting a tenant due to one or both of these issues, keep reading.

Review the Lease

The first thing you should do is review the lease to determine if you have a justified reason for evicting the tenant. The lease may dictate specific steps you must take before beginning the eviction process, such as providing the tenant with notice or billing the tenant for damages that he or she has caused. The lease will also help determine your best course of action from this point.

Discuss the Matter With the Tenant

An eviction can be time-consuming and expensive. Although it may seem easy enough to remove the tenant from the property, you may still face the expense of lost rental income and property repairs. Ideally, you will be able to reach an agreement with the tenant that is in both of your best interests, such as setting up a payment plan for the repair costs. However, eviction should still be an option that you consider if the tenant has violated the lease. This is especially true if you believe the tenant will continue to violate the lease in the future.

Understand the Eviction Process in Your State

Each state has unique eviction laws and processes. For example, you may not be able to start the eviction process in some states until you give a written notice or until the tenant is at least two or three weeks late on rent payments. You must follow the laws regarding eviction carefully to avoid being the target of legal action by the tenant if you violate his or her rights.

Seek Legal Guidance

There are various steps in the eviction process in most states. This may include posting notices, filing forms with the court, and more. This process can be time-consuming and confusing if you are not familiar with it. Consider hiring a lawyer to assist in this process and to ensure that your legal rights are protected.


While evicting a tenant can be expensive and stressful, it’s an inevitable gauntlet for every landlord. Thoroughly vetting new tenants by reviewing their income level, work history and tenant history can help reduce your risk of having to deal with this type of issue in the future.

What Makes A Home More Valuable?

What Makes A Home More Valuable?

When it comes to what contributes to the valuation of a home, the number one factor is location. Indeed, where your home is situated will play a key role in determining how great an investment opportunity it will be. But what actually makes a home more valuable? There are numerous things that can make a home more valuable, but some will result in a better return on investment than will others. What follows is a look at what some investments that can up the worth of your home.

Kitchen

A kitchen that is fit for a king or queen will definitely help to increase the value of your home. If you have the budget, you can renovate and remodel to create a more modern kitchen, but you can also get great results with the investment of a few thousands dollars to perhaps replace your appliances with stainless steel options, redo the flooring, replace the countertop, and upgrade the cabinetry. Redoing or upgrading your kitchen could perhaps increase the sale price of your home by between  3% and 7% or perhaps even more if you go all-out in your kitchen remodelling.

Energy Conservation

Making your home more energy efficient will go a long way towards increasing the valuation of your residence — after all, the cost for electricity, natural gas, and other energy sources can be cost prohibitive. While exchanging windows might not seem all that exciting, you can actually reduce your house’s energy bills to the tune of between 7% and 15% if you install Energy Star windows. Of course, it can cost thousands — and even tens of thousands — if you need to replace every one of your home’s windows. And while you might not be able to get back all you spend on this when you sell, you’re sure to drum up interest from buyers who are concerned about energy efficiency. You can boost your home’s energy efficiency by replacing things like your fridge, washing machine and dryer, hot water tank, and dish washing machine.

Paint

With a  coat or two of quality paint, you can go a long way towards increasing the value of your home. It probably doesn’t make sense to paint the entire residence, but you should consider repainting areas such as the kitchen, the living room, the den, and other areas that benefit from high foot traffic volume. Try to select the sort of colors that will go with just about anything. Consider that repainting your home can potentially boost the valuation by up to 2%. And it needn’t cost you much if you can do it yourself. Just buy the paint, brushes, and drop cloths.

What Makes A Home More Valuable?

Garden

While it’s hard to quantify just how much value a garden can bring to your home, there’s no denying that curb appeal is something that can make the difference as to whether prospective buyers decide to to view your home or decide to take a pass. A flower garden, in addition to a tidy lawn and well-maintained hedges or bushes, will demonstrate pride of homeownership. And this can make your home more appealing to prospective purchasers. It’s important to know that planting a garden is not a one-and-done event. You’ll need to invest time and effort to do it right, and the benefits to you can extend well beyond the traditional gardening season.

Location, location, location is the old adage in the real estate industry, and it makes sense since where your home is located will play a major role in determining its desirability and worth. Even so, there are things you can do, regardless of where you are, to boost the value of your home.