Tip of the Week
You’ve probably heard the saying: “Your home is your castle.” But if your current home - or the home you’re thinking of buying - feels more like the servant’s quarters than the royal palace, you may need to plan a renovation. At times like these it’s easy to give in to your excitement and get the project moving forward, but take a moment to plan your overall strategy. You’ll find that, much like your future castle, your renovation project will benefit from a solid foundation.
You can build your foundation by accomplishing these important tasks.
- Talk to a renovation specialist. Acquiring a renovation loan allows you to finance your new home mortgage and your renovation plans into a single loan. And an important aspect of the renovation loan to remember is that it’s a product in which the loan is based on the value of the home after it’s been improved. If you are renovating your existing home, you can use the loan to refinance your existing mortgage and make the renovation updates.
- Shop around for the right contractor. If you plan to use a contractor for your project, it’s important to select the right one. But how do you decide on a contractor? Research is important. Many contractors will provide you with a couple of references but this isn’t always a fool-proof solution. These references could be relatives or friends of the contractor. References can be helpful, but don’t rely on it exclusively. Dig deeper by traveling to the site of the contractor’s current job. Are the clients happy? Has the contractor’s work met expectations and budget? Has the contractor finished benchmarks on time? These are all important questions to ask. You can also inquire about the contractor’s work on social media and professional referral websites.
- Finalize your vision. Selecting the proper renovation specialist and contractor are key to your project, but both of these professionals will be able to provide you better service if you have a vision for what the project entails. You may not know exactly how much the project will cost, but you should have a budget in mind. If your contractor asks questions about layout or wall preferences, be ready to make the decisions and guide him or her toward your goals. Approaching the project with a plan will eliminate miscommunication and regrets later.
Family Movie Night
“They Came Together”
Length: 83 minutes
Synopsis: When Joel and Molly meet, it’s hate at first sight: His big Corporate Candy Company threatens to shut down her quirky indie shop. Plus, Joel is hung up on his sexy ex. But amazingly, they fall in love, until they break up about two-thirds of the way through, and Molly starts dating her accountant. But then right at the end … well you’ll just have to see. (Hint: Joel makes a big speech and they get back together.) - Lionsgate
Violence/scary rating: 3
Sexual-content rating: 4.5
Profanity rating: 4
Drugs/alcohol rating: 3
Family Time rating: 4. This is definitely an R movie. Proceed with caution.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“The Boundless,” by Kenneth Oppel
Synopsis: The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life! When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past. In order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will’s father and save The Boundless before someone winds up dead? - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Did You Know
A recent statement from the FDA warns against using oral viscous lidocaine for teething children: “Oral viscous lidocaine solution is not approved to treat teething pain, and use in infants and young children can cause serious harm, including death.”
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Family Time: Renovating? Laying a good foundation for home improvement success
Tip of the Week