Can You Sell a House and Buy Another at the Same Time? We Explore Your Options

When you are in the process of moving, the process of buying your new home and selling your old one usually involves choosing which one comes first—to buy or to sell. Selling your old home first is often a more sensible option, as this ensures you have the needed down payment to cover your new property. But if you sell and don’t have a new home waiting for you, you might end up scrambling for a place to stay and someplace to store your belongings. For a family with kids or with pets, that can be especially inconvenient.

Buying before selling is an alternative, but when market demand is low and you can’t sell your old home quickly, you might end up with a lot more obligations than you can handle. You now have two homes to maintain and two mortgages to pay. If you’re on a tight budget, this could put you in hot water. 

What if you decide to buy and sell at the same time? This strategy can work well if you have reserves or some investments to sell to come up with the needed amounts to buy your new home if that occurs before your sell your old one. But if you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of extra cash to spare, you need to develop some ideas to push through. 

Selling and buying simultaneously will require some ingenuity on your part as this strategy calls for thoughtful planning to time your sales and purchases. While you may not control the entire housing market, there are steps you can take to make sure you pull off both transactions. 

We’ll fill you in on some of the options to make sure you succeed in selling your current property and seal the deal to your new home at the same time. We’ll also cover some contingencies just in case you encounter a gap between selling and buying so that you won’t end up homeless at the very least.  

Options for Buying and Selling at the Same Time 

As mentioned, there are several options you can explore when you plan to buy and sell at the same time. These alternatives can help you manage not only the buying-while-selling process, but it can also keep your stress levels at a minimum.

#1 Find a Cash Buyer for Your Home 

Selling your house requires exact timing and demand from the market. Some markets, like the Florida housing market, are quite in demand right now, but others may not be, so plan out your timeline accordingly and take that extra time you may need to sell into account. You can sell your house fast in areas with high demand if you partner with an instant home buyer or a real estate investment company that offers to pay in cash rather than waiting for buyers to have their mortgages approved. 

This way, selling your house gives you the needed resources to fund your next move when you’ve already closed the deal. If ever you’re still looking, accessible funds ensure you can find temporary arrangements until you’re ready to find a new home.

#2 Talk to a Lender 

In case market demands are low and you can’t sell your house quickly, you would need to consider if owning two homes are feasible for your budget. While cash reserves can get you as far as a few months of the double mortgage, you may need to sell a few of your assets to maintain both properties. 

If you find your savings or income insufficient, you can consider talking to a lender to generate some funding. They can provide you with several loan offers that use your home’s equity as a down payment for your purchase. 

One of them is a bridging loan, short-term financing that can work great when you’ve already chosen your new property and acquiring it is in the works. You can even add a contingency clause that your purchase will only go through if your bridging loan gets approved so you can walk away without any additional obligations.

Another option is to take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) that gives you greater flexibility to repay only the amount you use for buying your home. A HELOC uses your home’s equity as a basis to issue amounts you can use based on agreed terms that will help you get by until you sell your former home.

However, while these loans can give you access to immediate funds, they often come with considerable interests and lengths. It would be best to give it some careful thought before you take out any of these loans

#3 Make Attractive Offers 

Part of a successful strategy is to make attractive offers for the home that you want and the one you’re selling. Contingency offers help secure your intentions without you having to pay for unnecessary obligations. You can include a condition for the upcoming purchase if your current house sells. This can work to your advantage when you’re in a buyer’s market. It can also work if there is less demand for the home you desire. 

While having a contingency clause may at times weaken your offer, you counter this by offering a higher bid so the seller can wait until you’ve sold your house. You can even add in non-refundable earnest money to win the deal on your next dream home. 

#4 Make Gaps Work to Your Advantage

Sometimes circumstances do not work as planned, but don’t get disheartened. These are just momentary setbacks that may even give you time to improve your current home and increase its current market value. 

If you find yourself in your new home and stressing how to manage the former, you can consider renting it out to cover maintenance and mortgage costs. You can use Airbnb and other similar platforms to gain additional income from your property while the market is on a low. Once the conditions are right, you can sell your house for the price you want. 

If you take out a home equity loan, you can use it to renovate your old home and increase your home value. Some key features to spend on that have high ROIs include enhancing your curb appeal, taking care of house repairs early on, and updating your kitchen to give it a modern look. Spending considerable time and effort on your former property will surely enhance its chances of getting sold in the coming days. 

Conclusion 

Selling and buying are some of the less-traveled paths for homeowners because of their inherent risks. Taking on two mortgages when you do not have sufficient funds can be too much to handle, and taking out loans can add stress. 

You can make this strategy work to your advantage if you find the right tools to help you pull off both transactions simultaneously. Partnering with an instant house buyer can give you cash for your next purchase, while loans can provide you enough leeway to facilitate your move. Adding contingency offers allows you to address gaps as they happen without having to take on additional burdens or leaving you homeless at the very least.

Keep reading

Do You Pay Taxes When Selling Your House?
Great Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home: the 3 Areas with the Biggest ROI
Considering Buying a Home with a Crawl Space? Here’s What You Need to Know
A Brief Guide to Buying Real Estate: The Main Players in Your Next Home Search

Source: fancypantshomes.com

8 Steps to Buying a Vacation Home

If you’re like many Americans, you dream of having a beach house, a desert escape, or a mountain hideaway. Perhaps you’re tired of staying at hotels and want the comforts of home at your fingertips.

You’re ready to make this dream a reality. Before you do, consider these steps.

How to Buy a Vacation Home

1. Choose a Home That Fits Your Needs

As you begin your search for a vacation home, carefully consider your goals and needs. Start with the location. Do you prefer an urban or rural area? Lots of property or a townhouse with just a small yard to care for?

Consider what amenities are important to be close to. Where is the nearest grocery store? Is a hospital accessible?

Consider your goals for the property. Is this a place that only you and your family will use? Do you plan to rent it out from time to time? Or maybe you plan to be there only a couple of weeks out of the year, using it as a rental property the rest of the time.

The answers to these questions will have a cascade effect on the other factors you’ll need to consider, from financing to taxes and other costs.

2. Figure Out Financing

Next, consider what kind of mortgage works best for you, if you’re not paying cash. You may want to engage a mortgage broker or direct lender to help with this process.

If you have a primary residence, you may be in the market for a second mortgage. The key question: Are you purchasing a second home or an investment property?

Second home. A second home is one that you, family members, or friends plan to live in for a certain period of time every year and not rent it out. Second-home loans have the same rates as primary residences. The down payment could be as low as 10%, though 20% is typical.

Investment property. If you plan on using your vacation home to generate rental income, expect a down payment of 25% or 30% and a higher rate for a non-owner- occupied loan. If you need the rental income in order to qualify for the additional home purchase, you may need to identify a renter and have a lease. A lender still may only consider a percentage of the rental income toward your qualifying income.

Some people may choose to tap equity in their primary home to buy the vacation home. One popular option is a cash-out refinance, in which you borrow more than you owe on your primary home and take the extra money as cash.

3. Consider Costs

While you consider the goals you’re hoping to accomplish by acquiring a vacation home, try to avoid home buying mistakes.

A mortgage lender can delineate the down payment, monthly mortgage payment, and closing costs. But remember that there are other costs to consider, including maintenance of the home and landscape, utilities, furnishings, insurance, property taxes, and travel to and from the home.

If you’re planning on renting out the house, determine frequency and expected rental income. Be prepared to take a financial hit if you are unable to rent the property out as much as you planned. For a full picture of cost, check out our home affordability calculator.

4. Learn About Taxes

Taxes will be an ongoing consideration if you buy a vacation home.

A second home qualifies for mortgage interest and property tax deductions as long as the home is for personal use. And if you rent out the home for 14 or fewer days during the year, you can pocket the rental income tax-free.

If you rent out the home for more than 14 days, you must report all rental income to the IRS. You also can deduct rental expenses.

The mortgage interest deduction is available on total mortgages up to $750,000. If you already have a mortgage equal to the amount you on primary residence, your second home will not qualify.

The bottom line: Tax rules vary greatly, depending on personal or rental use.

5. Research Alternatives

There are a number of options to owning a vacation home. For example, you may consider buying a home with friends or family members, or purchasing a timeshare. But before you pursue an option, carefully weigh the pros and cons.

If you’re considering purchasing a home with other people, beware the potential challenges. Owning a home together requires a lot of compromise and cooperation.

You also must decide what will happen if one party is having trouble paying the mortgage. Are the others willing to cover it?

In addition to second home and investment properties, you may be tempted by timeshares, vacation clubs, fractional ownership, and condo hotels. Be aware that it may be hard to resell these, and the property may not retain its value over time.

6. Make It Easy to Rent

If you do decide to use your vacation home as a rental property, you have to take other people’s concerns and desires into account. Be sure to consider the factors that will make it easy to rent. A home near tourist hot spots, amenities, and a beach or lake may be more desirable.

Consider, too, factors that will make the house less desirable. Is there planned construction nearby that will make it unpleasant to stay at the house?

How far the house is from your main residence takes on increased significance when you’re a rental property owner. Will you have to engage a property manager to maintain the house and address renters’ concerns? Doing so will increase your costs.

7. Pay Attention to Local Rules

Local laws or homeowners association rules may limit who you can rent to and when.

For example, a homeowners association might limit how often you can rent your vacation home, whether renters can have pets, where they can park, and how much noise they can make.

Be aware that these rules can be put in place after you’ve purchased your vacation home.

8. Tap Local Expertise

It’s a good idea to enlist the help of local real estate agents and lenders.

Vacation homes tend to exist in specialized markets, and these experts can help you navigate local taxes, transaction fees, zoning, and rental ordinances. They can also help you determine the best time to buy a house in the area you’re interested in.

Because they are familiar with the local market and comparable properties, they are also likely to be more comfortable with appraisals, especially in low-population areas where there may be fewer houses to compare.

The Takeaway

Buying a vacation home can be a ticket to relaxation or a rough trip. It’s imperative to know the rules governing a second home vs. a rental property, how to finance a vacation house, tax considerations, and more.

Ready to buy? SoFi offers mortgages for second homes and investment properties, including single-family homes, two-unit buildings, condos, and planned unit developments.

SoFi also offers a cash-out refinance, all at competitive rates.

Got two minutes to spare? That’s how long it takes to check your rate for a mortgage with SoFi.



SoFi Home Loans
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. SoFi Home Loans are not available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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Source: sofi.com

How to Prevent Identity Theft (From Someone Who’s Been Through It)

My name is Tiffani Sherman. The real Tiffani Sherman. Not the one who recently applied for unemployment benefits, an SBA COVID loan, five credit cards, a payday advance, two loans, and opened two bank accounts.

That wasn’t me.

It also wasn’t me back in early 2019 who ordered a bunch of expensive stuff online and then changed the shipping addresses, drained rewards points accounts to buy gift cards, hijacked Amazon and eBay accounts, and monitored and deleted emails for weeks.

For the second time in two years, I’m dealing with the fallout of identity theft.

Trust me, it isn’t fun.

I’m having to prove I didn’t apply for all of these things and that is taking a lot of my time and energy.

I’m not alone, which doesn’t make me feel all that much better.

Identity Theft Is Down, but the Damage Is Worse Than Ever

According to the The 2020 Identity Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy & Research released in May 2020, losses from identity fraud totaled $16.9 billion, which was up 15% from the year before.

According to the report, instances of fraud are falling but the damage they are doing is increasing. Thieves are shifting from fraudulent credit card changes to account takeovers. This kind of thing yields more, is more complex to prevent, and takes longer to fix.

Most of the damage happens within a short period of time. The Javelin research says 40% of the activity usually happens within a day.

With my latest go-around, all of the applications were completed within less than 72 hours.

“It’s a very rapid period of time because eventually they’re going to experience some friction,” said John Buzzard, fraud and security analyst for Javelin Strategy & Research. “They have a small working window of time to really do that total takeover.”

How Did Scammers Get My Data?

Almost everyone who heard about my ID theft problems asked me how people got my data.

I honestly don’t know. I do know I was part of several high profile data breaches, but who knows if that was it or not.

Scamicide founder Steven Weisman, a nationally recognized expert on identity theft, scams and cybersecurity, says most identity theft happens in one of two ways.

The first is when we accidentally give out our data. “We may have clicked on a link in a text message or an email that had keystroke logging malware that stole the information from our phone or our computer or we may have been tricked into giving personal information over the phone to someone,” he said.

We all get those calls and emails where the person says they work for a computer giant and noticed a problem with your computer, or they’re from the government and they need your Social Security number. Some of them can sound pretty ominous, so it’s easy to fall for them.

Also, think about how many places ask for information like your Social Security number and date of birth.

“Just because somebody asks you for information, that doesn’t mean you have to give it to them and that’s just something people don’t understand,” Buzzard said.

Recently, a grocery store employee asked for his Social Security number when he applied for a store rewards card. “I said, no, I’m sorry. You can have my cell phone number if you need an identifier. If you need a Social, we’re done here. You’re a grocery store, not exactly a high level security operation. The person folded, put in my cell, and off I went with my rewards card.”

The other way scammers get your data is through hackers.

“No matter how good you are at protecting your personal information we’re only as safe as the places with the weakest security,” Weisman said. “With so many people working remotely these days, people are going to be hacked at home and then through them, [hackers] will get at the networks of the companies for which they work. I think we’re going to have a massive amount of major data breaches.”

Then the information becomes like pieces of a puzzle.

“It’s like a patchwork quilt,” Buzzard said. “You pop somebody’s information in and you play around with it.”

A woman stands in her backyard with green plants around her and a white fence behind her.
Sherman doesn’t know how scammers got her data. Recommended ways to protect yourself from identity theft include setting up alerts, checking your monthly billing statements and using digital wallets. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

7 Ways to Make It Hard for Scammers to Use Your Data

Since much of this is basically out of our control, there are some things you can do to make it a bit more difficult for a scammer to use your data if and when they get it.

1. Protect Your Credit

Thieves make easy money with your credit either by charging things on existing cards or opening new credit cards. Either way, they charge a bunch and leave the unsuspecting victim with the bill and damage to their credit.

Even though you’re not responsible for fraudulent charges on your credit cards, the hassle you go through to remove the charges is worth taking steps to prevent it.

  • Check your bills: Look at monthly statements and report any charges you do not recognize.
  • Set up alerts: Most credit card companies let you set up text or email alerts whenever your card is used. If an alert every time is too much, you can often change the settings to let you know if a card is used without the physical card being present, or if a charge is higher than a certain amount. I’ve received several notifications that have let me know someone was up to no good, and I was able to quickly report it and cancel the cards.
  • Remove saved payment methods: I know it’s convenient to not have to type in your credit card every time you order something, but having a saved payment method makes it easy for someone who gains access to an online account to do a lot of damage very quickly. This is what burned me in 2019 when someone gained access to my Amazon, eBay and other accounts and bought several things using my card.
  • Use digital wallets: This type of technology uses encrypted and tokenized data so if someone steals it, it is worthless to them.

2. Freeze Your Credit

Both Weisman and Buzzard said the most important thing to do is freeze your credit. Doing this should stop anyone from opening credit accounts using your information.

When someone wants to open a credit card or get a loan, the institution needs to check the applicant’s credit history to know if they are worth the risk or not.

When you have a credit freeze, nobody can access your credit history, so financial institutions will not be able to get the information they need to open an account. This becomes important when a scammer tries to use your personal information to open a fraudulent account. The freeze will automatically stop the account from being opened.

If you want to legitimately open a line of credit, all you need to do is temporarily unfreeze your credit. Just remember to freeze it again.

Each bureau operates separately, so freezing one does not freeze them all, as I found out the hard way. After my issues in 2019, I thought I had frozen all of my credit, but it turns out everything was not frozen. That’s how the scammers were able to do so much damage this go-around.

I think it should be easier to freeze your credit and protect yourself from identity theft. Weisman agrees. However, the bureaus make money by gathering your information and selling it to lenders.

“If you freeze your credit, [the bureaus] can’t sell the access to your credit,” Weisman said. “Freezing your credit makes you less valuable to the credit reporting agencies.”

Since Equifax had a huge breach a few years ago, freezing and unfreezing credit is free.

Everyone’s credit is separate, so a couple needs to each freeze their credit individually. Freezing one does not freeze the other’s. Also, parents can freeze the credit of their minor children.

Even with your credit frozen, check each bureau’s credit reports periodically to make sure nothing has gotten through. Also, check to make sure everything is still frozen.

This illustration shows a woman typing in her saved password.
Getty Images

3. Protect Passwords and Personal Information

Part of my problem in 2019 was that someone got hold of several of my passwords, including the email account I used for most of my logins and online commerce. I admit, at the time I was less than vigilant about having a different password for anything and everything. Trust me, that has changed.

As I said, lots of my information including several website and password combinations were part of several well-known data breaches that have happened during the past few years. During these breaches, fraudsters hacked into databases and got the info.

Then they sold that information on the dark web or in other ways. One of those other methods is something called a combolist service (CaaS), which is increasing in popularity. People pay a monthly fee for lists of updated and stolen credentials and personal information that is accessible in the cloud.

I looked and lots of my information is unfortunately part of these combolists.

Once the information is out there, it’s impossible to remove it, so all you can really do is change your passwords and keep changing them regularly.

If you forget a password, you can usually reset it by answering some security questions. These present their own set of problems because often the answers are things people can easily find out about you.

“The easy way around this is there is absolutely no rule that says you have to answer your security questions honestly,” Weisman said. “You can have really what seems like vulnerable security question like my banks, which is what’s my mother’s maiden name, but I can put down that my mother’s maiden name was firetruck or grapefruit, or something equally ridiculous. And the good thing there is, you will remember that security question, because it’s just so ridiculous and no one is ever going to be able to crack that.”

As for those password vaults, security experts are mixed about them. One remediation expert I talked with to help me with my issues said she doesn’t like them because if someone breaches the vault, they have access to everything. Other people say they are a good way to make sure you have strong passwords for everything.

4. Don’t Give Out Information on Social Media

I just saw a post on a friend’s social media page saying the song that was most popular the week you turned 14 defines who you are. It also defines the year you were born to any online scammer who is looking for that important piece of information.

The same goes for quizzes that talk about favorite pets, first cars, favorite teachers, school mascots, etc. Seeing those types of things now makes me cringe. Many people are making it way too easy for scammers.

5. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Enabling two-factor authentication is also important. If someone tries to log into your account, the vendor will send a one-time code either to the email address or phone number on file.

“Data breaches will happen,” Weisman said. “People will make mistakes and fall for a spear phishing email and suddenly they may have had their usernames and passwords turned over. So you always want to have dual factor authentication whenever you can so even if someone has your username and password, they can’t access your account.”

Just make sure you protect your phone also by enabling its security features.

To save you the hassle of having to receive a code each time you want to log into your own accounts, some websites will allow you to save devices so the next time you log in, it will remember that device’s IP address and allow the login without the extra security.

Be wary of any email, phone call, or text you receive saying something has been compromised and to click on a link or call a number to reset it. Instead of clicking on the link, go to the website or app itself and reset the password directly from there.

A man uses face recondition to get into his phone.
Getty Images

6. Secure Devices

We live for our devices. They’re our constant companion and contain our whole lives. Protect them.

  • Update operating systems and security software: Companies issue updates once they identify a vulnerability a hacker could exploit. Sadly, this isn’t always foolproof. “Even if you get the most up to date security software, it’s always going to be about a month behind the latest what we call zero date defects,” Weisman said.
  • Install malware protection: Malware is short for malicious software and it is basically anything that can harm or exploit a device. There are many different kinds. Often, it finds its way on to our devices because we click on a malicious link or open an attachment that unleashes the software. Don’t forget to protect your phone.
  • Secure Wi-Fi connections: Make sure you secure your wireless router and change the password on it.
  • Secure IoT items: It’s true. Your refrigerator may be spying on you. Many things in your home connect to the internet and can provide access to your network and other items on it which can contain personal information.

Weisman suggests taking one more step to secure your phone which is locking your number. This way, a scammer can’t transfer your phone number to another carrier.

Think about it. With many two-factor authentication codes coming to your phone, if someone had your personal information AND took control of your phone number, you wouldn’t get your codes. They would.

Locking my number was easy to do from my provider’s app. If I ever want to change cell providers, I can use the app to create a temporary  PIN to allow the change.

7. Don’t Rely on Protection Services

There are many services out there that say they will protect you from identity theft.

Weisman is not a huge fan because they don’t usually protect you. They just alert you sooner.

“I liken them to crossing a street and I get hit by a bus and someone runs out into the street and tells me, ‘Hey you just got hit by a bus,’” Weisman said. “That’s what the identity theft protection services are doing. They’re telling you sooner that you’ve been victimized. They don’t do anything to protect you from becoming a victim.”

Since most of the personal information out there comes from data breaches, phishing emails, etc., it isn’t possible to totally prevent the theft of personal information. The best we can do is attempt to control what the scammers can do once they get it.

My friends keep asking me if I stopped everything. Sadly, I cannot answer that question. The flurry of attempts to open new accounts seems to have calmed for now, but I’m waiting for the next round.

It’s a helpless feeling.

Tiffani Sherman is a Florida-based freelance reporter with more than 25 years of experience writing about finance, health, travel and other topics.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

6 Non-Phone Work at Home Options

non-phone-msm

Guest post from Anna of Real Ways to Earn

Let’s face it — phone jobs are fairly common in the work-from-home world. A quick “work-from-home” keyword search on any popular job site will likely bring you pages and pages of results for phone-oriented work.

The obvious downside to phone jobs is that many people have legit reasons for not being able to do them. Maybe you have a loud background at home due to kids or pets. Maybe you’re hearing impaired. Maybe you don’t have a land line phone — or any phone — and can’t get one. Maybe you simply aren’t a people person and the idea of talking to strangers on the phone all day doesn’t appeal to you. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of the above!

Gratefully, there are quite a few non-phone options out there if a work-at-home phone job just isn’t in the cards for you. Here are 6 different options:

1. Chat Support

Chat-based customer support is the same as phone support, the obvious difference being that instead of helping customers via live conversation, you’re doing so via chat and email so it is completely non-phone.

Apple and Needle are two reputable companies that are frequently hiring chat agents to work at home.

2. Search Engine Evaluation

This type of work is also referred to as “Google Rating.” The work is more complex than I can explain in a few sentences, but to sum up, you are basically helping to ensure that major search engines like Google and Bing are providing the absolute best results possible for every search query typed in.

People who tend to excel at search engine evaluation are usually very internet savvy, good at doing online research, and well-versed in popular culture.

Some reputable companies to consider for search evaluation include Leapforce, Lionbridge, and Appen.

3. Freelance Writing

Freelance writers take on writing assignments from either personal clients or through content sites, blogs, and so forth. The great thing about freelance writing is that it’s one of the most flexible non-phone jobs out there. You can work any time of the day or night and take as many breaks as you need provided that deadlines are met.

Two companies that are almost always accepting new writers are Textbroker and Demand Media. However, you’ll earn the most money as a writer if you work to find private clients so you can set your own rates.

4. Transcription

Transcribers listen to audio files and type what they hear. While this may sound easy enough, it actually requires a lot of patience and concentration. Simply put, not everyone is cut out for it. It’s one of those things you just have to try out and see if it’s a fit for you.

The three most common types of transcription are general, medical, and legal. General is the easiest type of transcription to break into as a beginner because many companies will consider you with no past experience.

Verbal Ink, Focus Forward, and Quicktate are a few reputable companies with regular openings.

5. Test Scoring

As a remote test scorer, you’ll be scoring student’s standardized tests and essays. This is usually project-based work. In most cases, you’ll need at minimum a college degree to qualify. Some companies may require that you have a teaching degree, too.

Reputable companies that frequently have home-based scoring openings include Pearson and ETS.

6. Virtual Assisting

Virtual assistants have clients who need help with day to day things and provide that help — virtually. While it’s true that there are many virtual assistants who do phone work, not all do.

Most virtual assistants have different skill sets and the work they do will revolve around these skills, such as writing, graphic design, or social media management.

Some well-known companies that regularly hire virtual assistants include Fancy Hands and Worldwide 101. You can also go into business for yourself as a VA and get some private clients. That’s usually the most lucrative route.

As you can see, there are plenty of non-phone options in the work from home world! Hopefully these suggestions will have you doing some serious thinking about which industry you should pursue for non-phone work and be well on your way to getting started.

What about you? Do you have a non-phone work at home job you love?

Anna Thurman is a work at home mom and blogger. She’s been researching and writing about work from home jobs since 2010. Her findings are published via her website, Real Ways to Earn.

Source: moneysavingmom.com

Renters, Here’s How to Save Money on Your Heating Bill This Winter

I’ve had to leave reviews more than once, and conveniently, the landlords took care of the issues the very next day.
It’s a minor cost (again, something you can buy for under 15 bucks) but it could save you big-time on heating bills.
You can temporarily improve the situation by rolling up a towel and blocking the bottom of the door.
Timothy Moore is a market research editor and freelance writer covering topics on personal finance, careers, education, pet care and automotive. He has worked in the field since 2012 and has been featured on sites like The Penny Hoarder, Debt.com, Ladders, Glassdoor and The News Wheel.

8 Inexpensive Ways Renters Can Lower Their Heating Bills

1. Close Off Unused Rooms

Before buying a house, I rented several apartments in southwestern Ohio, which gets so cold in the winter (and fall and sometimes spring) that I may as well have lived in Alaska.
Obviously, you need to keep your apartment warm enough to prevent your pipes from freezing, but if you can stand the chill, turn down the thermostat to the low- to mid-60s. Bundle up in sweatshirts, thick socks and blankets to stay warm — and don’t forget to cover up your pets, too.

A person turns down the heat in their home.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

2. Turn Down the Heat

If it is your first time installing, ask someone who’s done it for help. When incorrectly installed, your window will look like it’s been covered in shrink wrap.
Source: thepennyhoarder.com

A woman turns on a space heater in her home.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

3. Use a Space Heater

Luckily, the house I purchased has great new windows, excellent insulation and doors that actually close properly.
When you cook in your oven and on the stove top, heat emanates into your kitchen and surrounding rooms. Crack the oven open after turning it off to let the remaining heat filter out into your home.

A person waters a plant next to a window.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

4. Insulate Your Windows

If you live in a two- or three-bedroom apartment but use one of the rooms for storage, exercise or guests, close the door and shut the vents in that room when it is not in use. Otherwise, you will unnecessarily be heating an unused space.
If you encounter a landlord who dodges your requests, tell them in writing that you will be replacing the weather stripping yourself. Do not make it a question.
An easy way to lower your heating bill in the winter is to run your heat at a lower temperature.

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5. Stop Eating Out

And if the space is so infrequently used, consider downsizing to a smaller apartment the next time your lease is up. If you stay within the same apartment complex, you often will not have to pay new deposits.
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6. Block Out Drafts From Your Door

It’s much more challenging to combat these issues in apartments because, as a renter, you can’t just invest in new windows or redo the insulation. In my eight years of renting, however, I discovered a number of ways to cut back on my apartment heating bills.
Weather stripping for doors and windows is key to retaining heat in the winter (and keeping it out in the summer). If your windows and doors are letting too much heat out, ask your landlord to replace the weather stripping.

A window is photographed.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

7. Weather Strip Like Crazy

Of course you can save money on meals by eating at home instead of dining out, but in the winter, baking and cooking can have the added benefit of reducing your heating bill.
You can do this by hanging thick curtains in front of the windows, but an even better solution (or a solution to combine with the curtains) is purchasing a window insulation film kit. You can get a kit to insulate 10 windows for under .
One apartment I lived in shortly after college had a living room with one wall that was entirely windows, overlooking a quaint pond. I toured the apartment in the springtime and was immediately sold. Little did I know that these single-pane windows would be the bane of my existence just nine months later when frost began forming on the inside.

8. Leave a Review

The problem with every single apartment I lived in was the same: It was exorbitantly expensive to heat them in the winter due to old systems, ancient windows and poor insulation.
Since renters can’t control whether their landlords install replacement windows (though I spent at least an hour a week in the office demanding that mine do so, to no avail), finding temporary ways to keep heat from leaking out is crucial.
The bottoms of exterior doors are a major culprit for heat loss in the winter. If you can see daylight creeping in from beneath your door or feel a cool breeze, speak to your landlord about addressing this issue.
Before you know it, winter will come and go. Reduce energy consumption year-round by also reading our tips for reducing utility bills in the summer. <!–

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OK, so you’ve turned the heat down, closed off unused rooms and bundled up in blankets, but you’re still feeling chilly. A small space heater might do the trick — and you can purchase one for less than .

10 Wild Home Inspection Photos That’ll Make You Go ‘WTF?’

Instagram is an endless trove of eye candy in the form of celeb selfies, cute pets, and cool home design ideas—but who would have thought that shocking home inspection photos of rusty toilets or electrical hazards would become Insta-famous, too?

That’s the kind of fare you’ll find on the unlikely but addictive account @bostonhomeinspectors, which boasts 13,600 followers and counting. Home inspector James Brock started this account five years ago at the urging of his teenage daughter.

Every day, Brock posts a new photo from his home inspections as a warning to home buyers on what they might encounter—but also just for laughs.

“I look for the humor,” he says. “I really love when people share their own funny captions for my pictures in the comments.”

Brace yourself for the 10 most memorable scenarios Brock has ever encountered during a day’s work.

1. A too tiny closet

“You can’t call a room a bedroom in a listing if it doesn’t have a closet,” Brock explains, “which might explain how this crazy sliver of a closet came to be.”

2. A bathtub that could fall to the basement

“I was standing in the basement, looking up at the bottom of the bathtub a floor above,” Brock recalls.

What he saw there “is really dangerous,” he says. “Someone cut out the framing and joists underneath the tub. The weight of the tub, water, and a person in it could send this plummeting. The buyer negotiated money off the sale price to fix this.”

3. An ‘in-law door’

Brock nicknamed this second-story door—with no stairs—”an in-law door,” he jokes. “It’s obviously very dangerous. It looks as if there was once a deck, or someone intended to add one. This needs a very good lock, at least, to protect, say, a child who might live inside that house.”

4. World’s wonkiest staircase

“These stairs were built to go up to a roof deck,” Brock says. “They are structurally sound, but completely not to code—there’s only a rail on one side. Imagine someone coming down from the roof, a little drunk. Very dangerous. This needed an architect or engineer to rebuild it.”

5. A toilet in the kitchen

“This is wrong in so many ways—completely illegal in terms of the sanitary code,” Brock says.

So why would anyone put their commode in the kitchen?

Brock says the toilet was there first, and in an effort to turn this basement into its own apartment, “someone had just built a kitchen around it. This was listed as a two-family house.”

6. Shocking hookups

“I don’t know if it was the electrician or plumber who did this, but these are way too close together,” Brock says. “What went through the mind of the tradesmen who did this, I don’t know, but it’s an electrocution risk, and the buyers got a credit to repair it.”

7. Loose ladder

“I don’t know what was going on with this—was it a fire escape from the deck?—but it’s a death trap,” Brock says. “Too tall, not secure, not anchored. It’s got to go!”

8. Fuzzy filter

“This is the air filter that was installed when this house was built five years ago,” Brock explains.

The reason it looks so gunked up? “Air filters are supposed to be replaced twice a year. Look what the sellers have been breathing in,” he adds. “This needs a professional cleaning, and the buyers shouldn’t pay for it.”

9. A ridiculously tiny ‘deck’

“This house was listed as having a deck,” Brock says. “And the ledger board shows you where the deck used to be. It must have been rotten, so they built that little thing.”

10. A toilet too close to the door

“Obviously, someone replaced a smaller toilet with a new one that’s way too big,” Brock says. “You can either swap in a smaller model, or notch the door.”

Source: realtor.com

What to Look for During a Self-Guided Apartment Tour

White and light wood L-shaped decorated kitchenA self-guided apartment tour allows you to explore a space at your leisure, taking your time to check out all the features or amenities the apartment has to offer. Learn how to make the most out of one of these self-guided tours, and ensure you cover all your bases before you sign a lease or make a deposit!

What to look for on a self-guided apartment tour

There’s really nothing that beats the in-person experience of walking through an available unit. A self-guided apartment tour is a flexible option that works with your schedule by allowing you to select a time to see the rental all on your own. But with this solo venture comes a bit more responsibility since you won’t have an agent or property manager there by your side.

Fortunately, we’ve come up with a list of five things to look for during your self-guided tour, so you can feel prepared to make the right decision for you.

1.The condition of the appliances

Appearances can be deceiving, especially when you’re looking at expertly-retouched photos taken for the sole purpose of renting a unit. As you’re doing research online, it may be hard to tell how updated the oven is or how well that fridge has been cleaned.

When you take the tour for yourself, be sure to inspect each appliance’s condition, even opening the door or cabinets to see what’s inside. If anything looks like it’s coming up at the end of its lifecycle, it may be worth asking about getting a replacement before you move in.

Additionally, before you even start the tour, ensure that you’re looking at the available unit rather than a model. If the property manager only allows you to walk through the model, take all the glam features with a grain of salt — models are often decked out with better finishes, appliances, and views than available units.

2. The closet and storage space

If a place is listed as a two-bedroom apartment, you can probably expect it to have two closets — but are there any extra drawers, linen closets, or shelves in the hallway or bathroom? Depending on how much stuff you’re moving in with you, the amount of storage space might be a make-or-break factor in your decision-making process.

During your self-guided tour, be sure to check out the dimensions of each closet. Consider whether your belongings will fit comfortably or whether you’ll need an apartment with additional storage potential.

3. The safety or security measures

Regardless of if you’re living alone, with a romantic partner, or with a group of friends, you’ll want to feel safe inside your home and within your apartment complex. Online listings often leave out information regarding the security measures around the property, which means it’ll be up to you to make some mental notes on your tour.

Is the building located behind a gate, with a special code to get in? Does the door to your apartment lead directly outside, or is there an exterior front door you enter to access each unit? Does the unit you’re renting face the street or the apartment courtyard? Everyone’s requirements for what puts them at ease will vary, so just make sure you feel comfortable with the situation as you envision yourself living there.

4. The neighbors

It’s easy to look at a picture of a beautifully furnished model apartment and get your hopes up without seeing it in-person. But what a photo can’t tell you is what kind of activity that residence brings with it. When you’re taking a self-guided apartment tour, listen for any loud noises in the hallways or stairwells, as well as the noise from neighboring buildings or businesses.

It could be that everything is quiet and respectful, but if you hear excess commotion, it’s something to think about (especially if you work from home or tend to spend the majority of your time there).

5. The parking arrangement

If and where there’s parking available will have a significant impact on your quality of life. After all, ease of parking makes it easier to walk to your apartment on dark nights, stormy days, or whenever you’re toting six bags worth of groceries in one trip! So when you’re touring a new complex, pay attention to where the cars are parked in relation to each building.

Is there a covered garage where you’re protected from the elements, or is there a private lot for residents to use? Where can overnight guests park? And can you pay a little extra to opt-in for a closer space? If these questions can’t be answered through your own observations, you’re smart to ask the property manager for additional clarity.

What to ask when searching for an apartment

Knowing which questions to ask before signing a lease is vital to finding an apartment you’ll thrive in. The following are just a handful of things you can bring up, but of course, feel free to ask whatever applies to your unique situation.

  • Are the lease terms negotiable (length of commitment, adding a roommate, etc.)?
  • Is the available unit a different layout than the model apartment you toured?
  • Are furnished apartments available?
  • Who do you contact for maintenance issues or repairs?
  • What are the consequences for a missed (or late) rent payment?
  • Are pets allowed, and if so, are there guidelines as to their size/weight?
  • Are there any group activities or outings for tenants in this building?
  • Do they offer any discounts for signing a long-term contract?
  • What do tenants say they love most about living here?

Love where you live!

Finding a new apartment can be a real challenge, especially if the space you rent turns out to look nothing like the model you toured a few months back. Next time, skip the unpleasant surprises by vetting your rental options with ApartmentSearch!

ApartmentSearch can help you secure your next place with ease, so you can focus on all the fun that comes with settling in. Check out our list of city guides and apartment resources today, and start planning your move in no time!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

7 Reasons to Hire A Cleaning Service: Your Home Will Thank You – Redfin

February 9, 2021 February 11, 2021 by Hannah Tan

Updated on February 11th, 2021

Sooner or later, dust, dirt, crumbs, dander, hair, and other nameless debris builds up on the surfaces of your furniture and begin to linger in the air of your home, requiring a deep and thorough clean. While many home cleaning projects can be addressed using standard supplies and a little elbow grease, others can be a more substantial undertaking that requires the need to hire a cleaning service. 

Bigger projects, like roof and exterior window cleaning, can require equipment, time, and safety precautions better left to professional cleaners. Likewise, delicate or valued items such as antique rugs or draperies, which may seem like easy cleaning tasks to undertake, can easily result in damage or fading if cleaned improperly. Whether you’re looking to get a jump-start on some spring cleaning or increase your home value by tackling these general home maintenance projects, here are 7 reasons why you should hire a cleaning service for these household items.

Home exterior

Home exterior

1) Black or green areas are overpowering your roof’s appearance

Have you noticed dark stains or green areas appearing on your roof? These substances are more than likely caused by algae, fungus, lichen, or moss, which can lead to shingle deterioration and wood rot if left unattended. Roofing generally doesn’t need regular cleaning, but when mold, algae, or soot residue starts to build up, it’s best to call in a professional. Proper cleaning extends the lifespan of your roofing materials or shingles and can even improve your home’s curb appeal

However, spending time on a roof can be very dangerous without the right safety equipment. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, the chemicals used to clean these substances off your roof can be caustic, meaning they can cause burns. Most roof cleaners contain sodium hypochlorite and occasionally zinc sulfate, so this is a job best left to the pros. Roofs should be cleaned as needed, generally once every few years. However, homes in areas with a harsher climate may need more regular attention.

2) Rainwater is overflowing from your gutters

Gutters are often forgotten in our maintenance routines, but they play a crucial role in preventing water damage in a home, and neglecting them could have serious – and costly – effects in the long run. Efficient gutters will collect and divert rainwater or melted snow, preventing it from damaging walls and the foundation. However, leaves, sticks, dirt, and even birds nests can quickly clog gutters, compromising their functionality. One of the reasons to hire a cleaning service is that a professional cleaner has the necessary equipment to prevent the outlet from getting clogged by clearing leaves, soil, or organic debris that frequently collects in gutters. 

Standing and climbing up and down a ladder while rooting around in the gutters can also be a dangerous task for a homeowner, especially on larger homes with substantial gutter systems. Professional cleaners have the industrial-strength equipment needed to effectively clear out clogs and inspect your gutters to ensure no repairs are required. Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year and potentially more frequently for homes under large trees or in seasons with heavy rainfall and high winds.

Large windows

Large windows

3) There’s a lack of natural light coming through your windows

Windows are easy enough to clean on the inside, but outside can be another story. This is especially true for exterior windows in larger homes with multiple stories or condos that are part of a larger building. It might seem like a relatively simple job to clean your home’s exterior windows on your own, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Using too much detergent or not rinsing that detergent off properly after washing can cause more dust and grime to stick to windows over time, making the glass dirtier than before. 

Moreover, if you live in an area with frequent rainfall like Seattle, WA, or New Orleans, LA, getting your windows professionally cleaned before a rainstorm prevents dirt and dust residue from scratching up and sticking to the glass. In these cases, hiring a professional is the best way to guarantee clean windows. Regular cleaning of your home’s exterior windows will not only keep them looking their best it also protects the window glass from long-term damage. Exterior windows should be cleaned annually at a minimum, but ideally, twice a year in parts of the country with high pollen counts.

4) A whistling sound is coming from your furnace

A furnace system is ultimately best left to the professionals, from installation to cleaning. Dust and dirt can accumulate on any surface over time, and furnaces are no exception. A definite reason to hire a cleaning service is that the average homeowner might miss places where grime and dirt can build up and may not have the proper tools to give furnace systems the thorough cleaning they need. High pitched whistling or scraping noises are signs that dust, dirt, hair, or, if you have pets, dander could be clogging your furnace, indicating that it’s due for a filter change or cleaning. 

A dusty furnace can also cause breakdowns in your heating system by restricting airflow and lead to higher energy bills even when you’re not using your furnace more than usual. Furnace cleaning, which includes cleaning the combustion chamber and replacing the oil filter, should be performed at least once a year and is best handled by a pro. Getting a professional to clean and maintain your furnace annually will not only save you money on expensive repairs in the long run but also remove the dust and debris that will inevitably build up throughout the year.

5) You start to notice the high traffic areas in your carpets

Carpets are a major component in your home and are subjected to heavy use daily, so we naturally want them to look as pristine as possible. While vacuuming is a good intermediary to remove loose particles on the carpet’s surface, it may not be enough to keep carpets truly clean. Soil that is inevitably tracked in and left in the carpet for too long can work its way into the fibers, making their removal highly difficult. And, over time, carpets and area rugs can become perfect traps for bacteria, allergens, pollens, and other pollutants that are naturally in the air. A professional carpet cleaner extracts the hidden particles from your carpet, from caked-in stains to debris, and goes above and beyond what even at-home carpet cleaners can do. Plus, regular cleaning prolongs your carpet’s performance and is key to maintaining a tidy home. 

High traffic areas may need cleaning as often as twice a year, while lesser-used areas of a home may need cleaning once a year or whenever stains or spots are visible.

Area rug for cleaning services

Area rug for cleaning services

6) Your antique or expensive rugs are beginning to show some wear

Antique or luxe rugs, such as Persian or oriental rugs, aren’t a good fit for a DIY carpet cleaner. In most cases, these rugs are delicate and easily destroyed, making their care a reason to hire a cleaning service. Plus, improper drying could result in a moldy rug. Pros know how to best clean fibers without causing damage, altering color, or leaving stains. Plus, you’ll be extending the lifespan of your rugs by ensuring it’s getting the necessary care by a professional rug cleaner. 

Since antique rugs don’t need regular cleaning – every year or two is fine – you can maintain your rugs with regular vacuuming unless spills or other messes occur.

7) Your drapery appears discolored

Decorating with drapery is a great way to quickly add visual interest to your space and block out sunlight. However, over time, drapes naturally start to collect dust, odors, and allergens and may pose a health issue for people with allergies. Simple curtains, like those made of cotton or polyester, can go in the washer, but others made of sensitive fabric, such as silk or linen, might require more significant attention. At a minimum, dry cleaning may be necessary to clean without causing damage. Another reason to hire a cleaning service is that if the proper treatment method isn’t listed clearly, a professional cleaner can provide guidance on the appropriate cleaning required to remove dust, dirt, mold, or mildew.

Lighter drapes more prone to dirt should be cleaned every six months, while heavier window treatments need care at least once a year to remove dust or dirt. In between professional cleaning, you can keep your drapery clean by regularly dusting them. 

Source: redfin.com

7 Reasons To Hire A Cleaning Service: Your Home Will Thank You

February 9, 2021 February 11, 2021 by Hannah Tan

Updated on February 11th, 2021

Sooner or later, dust, dirt, crumbs, dander, hair, and other nameless debris builds up on the surfaces of your furniture and begin to linger in the air of your home, requiring a deep and thorough clean. While many home cleaning projects can be addressed using standard supplies and a little elbow grease, others can be a more substantial undertaking that requires the need to hire a cleaning service. 

Bigger projects, like roof and exterior window cleaning, can require equipment, time, and safety precautions better left to professional cleaners. Likewise, delicate or valued items such as antique rugs or draperies, which may seem like easy cleaning tasks to undertake, can easily result in damage or fading if cleaned improperly. Whether you’re looking to get a jump-start on some spring cleaning or increase your home value by tackling these general home maintenance projects, here are 7 reasons why you should hire a cleaning service for these household items.

Home exterior

Home exterior

1) Black or green areas are overpowering your roof’s appearance

Have you noticed dark stains or green areas appearing on your roof? These substances are more than likely caused by algae, fungus, lichen, or moss, which can lead to shingle deterioration and wood rot if left unattended. Roofing generally doesn’t need regular cleaning, but when mold, algae, or soot residue starts to build up, it’s best to call in a professional. Proper cleaning extends the lifespan of your roofing materials or shingles and can even improve your home’s curb appeal

However, spending time on a roof can be very dangerous without the right safety equipment. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, the chemicals used to clean these substances off your roof can be caustic, meaning they can cause burns. Most roof cleaners contain sodium hypochlorite and occasionally zinc sulfate, so this is a job best left to the pros. Roofs should be cleaned as needed, generally once every few years. However, homes in areas with a harsher climate may need more regular attention.

2) Rainwater is overflowing from your gutters

Gutters are often forgotten in our maintenance routines, but they play a crucial role in preventing water damage in a home, and neglecting them could have serious – and costly – effects in the long run. Efficient gutters will collect and divert rainwater or melted snow, preventing it from damaging walls and the foundation. However, leaves, sticks, dirt, and even birds nests can quickly clog gutters, compromising their functionality. One of the reasons to hire a cleaning service is that a professional cleaner has the necessary equipment to prevent the outlet from getting clogged by clearing leaves, soil, or organic debris that frequently collects in gutters. 

Standing and climbing up and down a ladder while rooting around in the gutters can also be a dangerous task for a homeowner, especially on larger homes with substantial gutter systems. Professional cleaners have the industrial-strength equipment needed to effectively clear out clogs and inspect your gutters to ensure no repairs are required. Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year and potentially more frequently for homes under large trees or in seasons with heavy rainfall and high winds.

Large windows

Large windows

3) There’s a lack of natural light coming through your windows

Windows are easy enough to clean on the inside, but outside can be another story. This is especially true for exterior windows in larger homes with multiple stories or condos that are part of a larger building. It might seem like a relatively simple job to clean your home’s exterior windows on your own, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Using too much detergent or not rinsing that detergent off properly after washing can cause more dust and grime to stick to windows over time, making the glass dirtier than before. 

Moreover, if you live in an area with frequent rainfall like Seattle, WA, or New Orleans, LA, getting your windows professionally cleaned before a rainstorm prevents dirt and dust residue from scratching up and sticking to the glass. In these cases, hiring a professional is the best way to guarantee clean windows. Regular cleaning of your home’s exterior windows will not only keep them looking their best it also protects the window glass from long-term damage. Exterior windows should be cleaned annually at a minimum, but ideally, twice a year in parts of the country with high pollen counts.

4) A whistling sound is coming from your furnace

A furnace system is ultimately best left to the professionals, from installation to cleaning. Dust and dirt can accumulate on any surface over time, and furnaces are no exception. A definite reason to hire a cleaning service is that the average homeowner might miss places where grime and dirt can build up and may not have the proper tools to give furnace systems the thorough cleaning they need. High pitched whistling or scraping noises are signs that dust, dirt, hair, or, if you have pets, dander could be clogging your furnace, indicating that it’s due for a filter change or cleaning. 

A dusty furnace can also cause breakdowns in your heating system by restricting airflow and lead to higher energy bills even when you’re not using your furnace more than usual. Furnace cleaning, which includes cleaning the combustion chamber and replacing the oil filter, should be performed at least once a year and is best handled by a pro. Getting a professional to clean and maintain your furnace annually will not only save you money on expensive repairs in the long run but also remove the dust and debris that will inevitably build up throughout the year.

5) You start to notice the high traffic areas in your carpets

Carpets are a major component in your home and are subjected to heavy use daily, so we naturally want them to look as pristine as possible. While vacuuming is a good intermediary to remove loose particles on the carpet’s surface, it may not be enough to keep carpets truly clean. Soil that is inevitably tracked in and left in the carpet for too long can work its way into the fibers, making their removal highly difficult. And, over time, carpets and area rugs can become perfect traps for bacteria, allergens, pollens, and other pollutants that are naturally in the air. A professional carpet cleaner extracts the hidden particles from your carpet, from caked-in stains to debris, and goes above and beyond what even at-home carpet cleaners can do. Plus, regular cleaning prolongs your carpet’s performance and is key to maintaining a tidy home. 

High traffic areas may need cleaning as often as twice a year, while lesser-used areas of a home may need cleaning once a year or whenever stains or spots are visible.

Area rug for cleaning services

Area rug for cleaning services

6) Your antique or expensive rugs are beginning to show some wear

Antique or luxe rugs, such as Persian or oriental rugs, aren’t a good fit for a DIY carpet cleaner. In most cases, these rugs are delicate and easily destroyed, making their care a reason to hire a cleaning service. Plus, improper drying could result in a moldy rug. Pros know how to best clean fibers without causing damage, altering color, or leaving stains. Plus, you’ll be extending the lifespan of your rugs by ensuring it’s getting the necessary care by a professional rug cleaner. 

Since antique rugs don’t need regular cleaning – every year or two is fine – you can maintain your rugs with regular vacuuming unless spills or other messes occur.

7) Your drapery appears discolored

Decorating with drapery is a great way to quickly add visual interest to your space and block out sunlight. However, over time, drapes naturally start to collect dust, odors, and allergens and may pose a health issue for people with allergies. Simple curtains, like those made of cotton or polyester, can go in the washer, but others made of sensitive fabric, such as silk or linen, might require more significant attention. At a minimum, dry cleaning may be necessary to clean without causing damage. Another reason to hire a cleaning service is that if the proper treatment method isn’t listed clearly, a professional cleaner can provide guidance on the appropriate cleaning required to remove dust, dirt, mold, or mildew.

Lighter drapes more prone to dirt should be cleaned every six months, while heavier window treatments need care at least once a year to remove dust or dirt. In between professional cleaning, you can keep your drapery clean by regularly dusting them. 

Source: redfin.com