Turn Your Home Into A More Comfortable Space

Many homes lose energy because they are not insulated to the latest standards. Because of this, they can be uncomfortable and require higher costs for heat in winter or to keep cool in summer. With the energy-efficient technology available today, homeowners who properly insulate their homes can save up to 70% of the energy used to heat or cool them by reducing living costs, creating a more pleasant living space, even by increasing the value of their property.

Where do we start?

As the heat rises, the best starting point is the roof insulation. Often, this is the easiest space to insulate because the materials can be placed on the floor of a bridge or an attic space. If your home has a basement or an auxiliary space below ground level, it is very beneficial to insulate there, either at the top of the floor or under it.

Then check your walls. Some homes will be built with hollow walls, originally designed to protect against moisture. Newly built homes are often insulated, but many cavity walls remain uninsulated and this is an excellent opportunity to improve energy efficiency: insulation materials are simply inserted into the cavity. Otherwise, if you have solid walls, exterior or interior cladding will improve the energy performance of your home and can be very cost effective as part of a renovation or repair project.

Then fill in the blanks. This assumes that windows and doors are well insulated and that any gaps in the building envelope (for example, around pipes, cables and lighting fixtures) are airtight. Even small gaps can increase heating and cooling costs and can lead to damage due to humidity or discomfort.

Finally, as part of any insulation project, it is important to provide protection against condensation caused by the “cold deck”, which can happen when there are colder surfaces in a newly insulated interior. It is also essential to ensure good ventilation, either by using windows and window frames or by mechanical heat recovery systems, so that the interior space is as comfortable as possible.

If you live in a house that may have improved insulation, this is a great opportunity to make a home that is more comfortable and cost effective.

Read More

5 Myths About The Improvements You Can Make To A Home To Increase Its Value

Many homeowners who want to sell their home fall into the trap of improvements that should increase the value of the property, but instead make them spend a lot of money in vain.

When you want to do various renovation or modernization works, it is good to think twice before investing significant amounts in the hope that you will increase the price of the property, otherwise you will waste time and money. Remember that many buyers are still interested in arranging their new home according to their own preferences.

Here are 5 myths you hear most often when you are preparing to sell a home and want to make it more attractive to buyers.

Any improvement adds value to the home.

This is one of the most common mistakes made by homeowners. Some improvements are not welcomed by prospective buyers or may decrease the value of the property from their point of view. A concrete example would be the transformation of two smaller bedrooms into a more spacious one.

Another example would be the complete renovation of the kitchen. It can be considered by many as a necessary step to add value to the home before the sale. But it is not true most of the time because such a project is very expensive and you will end up paying more money than you will get in the end for all the work done. In addition, you do not know if the improvements will be to the liking of potential buyers.

But there are some improvements that are not very expensive and that will definitely help you make your home more attractive:

  • you can change the kitchen countertop if it is scratched or worn. If you have a larger budget dedicated to these improvements, try using a granite countertop. This is always a popular choice;
  • you can replace the faucet in the kitchen or bathroom sink with a more modern one;
  • you can replace the toilet bowl in the bathroom with a new one or the sink, especially if it is chipped or has traces of dirt or limescale that you can’t get rid of. If you have enough space you can replace it with a double sink;
  • you can change the bathroom mirror if it is broken;
  • you can paint the walls, but also the exterior if you want to sell a house. But be careful when choosing colors. It is good to opt for neutral colors and avoid strong ones.
  • you can get rid of old carpets or you can replace an old carpet with a new one, not necessarily very expensive.

If you use the best materials you will surely attract more buyers.

Wrong. Buyers who have a fixed budget or do their homework well before coming to watch will not be impressed by such improvements if they know that they can opt for a similar home, more affordable and located in the same neighborhood.

In addition, many who are looking for a new apartment or want to buy a house are already making plans for the renovation or modernization works they want to turn the house into their dream home.

It is better, if you have space, to add a bedroom than a bathroom.

If, for example, you have a two-bedroom home and a space available that you could turn into a new room, it would be better to add a bathroom than to make a smaller bedroom and the future owner to have three bedrooms. and one bathroom.

Washable paint hides wall defects.

This is not true, especially if they have serious problems such as mold.

The time it takes to find a buyer can be quite long, and the problem can recur. In addition, how would you feel if you bought a house and in a month you saw that the walls are full of mold and that you were lied to by the seller?

Make the improvements yourself and spend less.

It is much better to call a professional to deal with these improvements. In many cases you need special equipment for them and, if you have never done something similar, things will not be as simple as you would expect.

In addition, it is possible to make mistakes and spend more money because you will eventually have to call a specialist to solve them.

Read More

Prepare In Advance For A Return To Normalcy

The year 2021 will be divided in two. The first half will be marked by the launch of vaccination campaigns around the world, debates on this topic, news and information about the evolution of the epidemic.

Then, starting with the end of March, its intensity will begin to decrease, optimists will say that it can happen even earlier, and from April we will enter a period of transition to normal – with the relaxation of protection measures, travel, reopening shops, terraces, with family events, going to work, busy traffic and everything we lacked during this period.

It is very probable that at the end of spring there will be a great demand for developments and arrangements on the real estate market.

Deferred plans for more than a year will become possible, and many of you will want to start housing improvement projects, construction or purchase of new houses or apartments.

This will lead to a congestion that will come with a very high demand and high prices for housing, construction materials, furniture, but also a new labor crisis.

In order not to get into the tumult of returning to normal, one that will be as stressful as isolation, it is good to prepare.

Five tips to prepare your design project :

  1. Do not hesitate to use this period of peace to plan your steps in detail.
  2. Try talking to interior design specialists right now.
  3. Use the application developed by Interioronline and calculate your budget.
  4. You can now make online purchases of materials, furniture and other accessories to prepare for next year.
  5. Now you can find better prices and have a choice.

When it will return to normal, the demand will be very high, and in the first phase blockages may occur.

Planning is important. You can have access to the best experts, save money and resources.

2021 will be a year in which everyone will try to recover what they lost during the school pandemic, to money, career, housing and vacations. Be one step ahead of everyone!

Read More

How To Build A Healthy Financial Situation

I know, I know, only when I hear the word ” saving ” and you already feel your ears scratched. Unfortunately, people tend to spend way too much!

I’m glad, but I’ll be ruthless and I’ll tell you straight in the face that without the ability to save money, you lost the fight from the start. You will never reach a healthy financial situation.

The constant saving, month by month, is not miraculously achieved, but is the result of a process of planning, budgeting and keeping track of the money that comes in and out of your cards.

Learn About Finance And The History Of Finance, Respectively Its Cycles

I don’t know how to put it another way, but I just have to! After all, it is not at all useful to save money if you do not know what to do with them, respectively in what to invest them.

You don’t have to go into detail, but you should know what financial instruments are currently available on the market, how they work and what impact they have on your personal situation.

Will it help me predict the next crisis?

Of course not, but you will definitely know how to react in such a situation.

Learn About Taxes

I admit that for me this topic was the most boring and annoying, but I still ended up being a tax master.

Once you know what you could do with the money you save, you need to know exactly what taxes apply to your various investment vehicles. This will help you make the best investment decision because taxes as well as commissions can greatly erode your profits.

I admit that taxes are the least fun to study, especially for Europeans because each country has its own tax system and as soon as you go abroad, things get complicated. If, for example, you buy a bond, stock, ETF, fund, etc. from abroad, you should know how you are taxed as a foreign investor for the country where the financial instrument is domiciled. Here, agreements between countries play an essential role, as well as juggling scholarships to pass tax heavens.

Learn How To Detect Financial Spikes

Sometimes financial pitfalls are not so easy to spot because they take many forms . Often these financial pitfalls come from people or institutions that our intuition tells us we should trust.

These money-eating gremlins (your money!) Are extremely experienced and well trained in the art of concealment. They will throw in some golden phrases like “you will take advantage of the power of compound interest”, “you will have a higher pension”, “you will get higher returns than bank deposits” etc. to reinforce the idea that they know what they are talking about, doing- make you feel comfortable following their advice.

As I said, a financial stake can come both from a large institution, but unfortunately also from individuals, ” financial consultants ” or personal finance bloggers. It is a sensitive subject…

Read More

How Do We Calculate The Need For Retirement?

To calculate the need for retirement we need to think about what standard of living we currently have and what our needs will be at retirement age. For this we can make a plan in 4 steps to make it easier to carry it out.

Estimation of costs / expenses at retirement age

First of all, we need to think about what we want the retirement period to look like for us. Where will we live, if we will stay in the current home or if we want to move, what activities will we carry out, if we will travel or not, if we will want to dedicate more time to hobbies or if we will take care of raising and educating grandchildren . This means that we must set clear and measurable goals for the retirement period.

Another important aspect is the age at which we want to retire. Even if the public pension system imposes a minimum age at which we can retire, if we want to do this earlier we must see how we can achieve this.

Depending on the image we have of the retirement period, we can make some estimates of the financial needs we will have at that time. When we have reached an approximate amount, monthly or annual we can begin to think about how we will manage to accumulate that amount.

When making our calculations we must keep in mind that in general during retirement we will need about 80% of the value of the last salary in order to maintain our standard of living and at the same time we must be prepared to increase health spending. That is why it is good to inform ourselves and to consider different types of insurance that are more advantageous if we do it when we are young, such as life or health insurance.

Estimated guaranteed income at retirement age

How do we know the amount we can rely on from the state? For this there are some online computers, but we need to know what salary we had during the whole active period in order to be able to make an approximate calculation. Currently, the legislation is constantly changing and the pension point according to which pensions are calculated in the same way, which means that it is very difficult to approximate the amount of money we will receive from the state to the pension. One thing is for sure, if we are not a special case, it will not cover 80% of the value of the last salary, which means that it will have to be supplemented from other sources.

Read More