Things To Know Before Refinancing Your Home

If you are locked in a high-rate mortgage that is affecting your finances, you might have considered refinancing your house However, it is not a miracle solution for everyone. A common misconception is that refinancing your home essentially consists in updating the terms of your real estate loan. It is not: refinancing your mortgage comes down to taking down a new mortgage entirely. 

To know if it is the right choice for you, here are a few things you must consider before taking the plunge. 


1. How does the terms of your current mortgage compare to your new terms?

Unlike a personal or auto loan, refinancing your mortgage is not free: it comes with closing fees, usually equivalent to 1 to 5% of your new loan amount. For a new mortgage to be worth it, you must consider the difference in interest rate between your new and your old mortgage. How long will it take you to recoup the impact of your closing costs with your new loan? 

A rule of thumb is that your new mortgage interest rate should be at least one point lower than your previous rate to be worth it.

How does the terms of your new mortgage will affect your private mortgage insurance? If your house equity has increased during the life of your previous loan, you might not need to pay PMI anymore. However, if the value of your house has decreased, you might need to start paying for a PMI. 

Another thing to consider is how far from the break-even point you are in your current mortgage: if you are planning to move at short to medium term, but that you have been paying your current mortgage long enough that your payments go towards the principal of your loan rather than the interest, refinancing might not be an interesting option. 

Refinancing can also be an interesting option if you want to change the type of mortgage on your real estate property entirely. If you started with an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, you might qualify for a lower fixed-rate mortgage. 


2. Can you qualify for a new loan with better terms than your previous one?

Like for any new real estate loan, your lender will consider several factors before granting you a new mortgage. Don’t hesitate to shop around to see which lender might be willing to offer you more interesting terms. 

If your credit score has gone up since you got your old loan, refinancing with better terms might be interesting for you. However, if you have fallen on some hard time and your credit score has taken a hit, refinancing might cost you more. If that is the case, spending some time working on improving your credit score before refinancing will save you money in the long run.

How much equity you have in your house will also be crucial for your lender to decide on the terms of your loan: if the house values in your neighborhood are going down, now might not be a good time to refinance. To qualify for more advantageous terms, you should have at least 20% of equity in your house. 

Lenders will also consider your debt-to-income ratio before granting you new terms to your real estate loan, so pay off whichever debt you can before applying for refinancing. 


3. What is your goal for your house?

Before refinancing your home, you must ask yourself why you want to apply for a new loan. Getting a lower down payment is only the short answer to a more complex question.

If you are planning to move in the semi-near future, refinancing probably will not save you any money.

Refinancing can be an interesting option if you are trying to pay off your real estate property sooner than later, before retiring for example, refinancing your mortgage from a 30-years term to a 15-years term can raise your monthly payments but will save you money in the long run since you will not spend as much on interest.

Refinancing might also allow you to cash-out on your house equity. However, consider this option carefully before spending this money on your dream vacation, and use it to improve your equity on your house instead. 

In conclusion, there is no one-fits-all solution when it comes to refinancing. The best thing you can do before taking this decision one way or another is to meet with a financial advisor who will be able to help you figure out what is the best course of action in your particular circumstances.

How To Install Tile Floor in Your Home on a Small Budget

You must have recently looked down at the floor and realized you need to do some renovating. Well, we’re here to support you in your renovating adventure when it comes to installing tile floors. Tile flooring is really affordable for any budget and is a breeze to clean. Let’s go step by step so you can eventually sell your home.


Measure The Floor

For square rooms, multiply the length of the room by the width and round all your measurements up to the nearest foot always. For any other sized room cut the room into a triangle or square sections and add it together. 


Buy The Tile

It’s time to find the tile that is right for your floor. Using the information above find out how much of your dream tile you will need and then buy 15% more just in case there are any accidents. When laying tile it’s almost guaranteed you’ll break one. 

Be sure to explore any options online. People may be giving old tiles away for cheap or free! The great thing about tiles is that no matter what you spend the tiles look more expensive than they actually are. Keep in mind not to buy anything too slippery if you know the floor will get wet. 


Tools & Materials 

Check the list before starting the project.

  • Level
  • Goggles
  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Grout
  • Tile
  • Tile Adhesive
  • Silicone Chaulk
  • Silicone Grout Sealer
  • Cleaning Cloth
  • Bucket
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Knee Pads
  • Hammer
  • Tile Cutter
  • Floor Preparation


Time to get your hands dirty! To begin, let’s remove the existing flooring. Scrape off any remaining adhesives and then rigorously clean the floor.

Check to see that the subfloor is level and be sure to fill any low spots or cracks in the concrete with concrete patching compound. For wood framing, make sure the subfloor is dry, rigid, and securely attached to the joists. Never apply tile directly to plywood or a wood subfloor. 


Consider the Layout

Start experimenting and seeing how the tile can be laid out that is aesthetically pleasing to you and compliments the room. 


Start Laying Tile

Mix up a thin-set mortar in a 5-gallon bucket by using a mixing paddle and be sure to use the correct ratio of water to mortar mix. Make sure you only create 15 minutes worth of mix each time. Keep a bucket of clean water near you with a sponge handy to wipe off any mix before it drys to clean tools. 

Use a notched trowel to spread the mortar evenly on a small area where you will start laying the tile. Position the tile in the mortar along the guidelines and press into place.

  • Use plastic spacers to create joints in the tiles
  • Constantly check the level and alignment of tiles

Let the tile sit for 24 hours before you put any weight on top. 


Cutting Tile

Let’s get that tile to fit the wall. 

  • Measure the distance to the wall
  • Mark the distance on the tile
  • Mark any tile curves 

Here you’ll but using a tile cutter or an equivalent to create any of the cuts. 


Finishing the Edges

Here you will install tile 4” up the wall using thin-set or construction adhesive. Make sure you line up the joints in the baseboard tile with the floor for a continuous look. If you don’t it’s going to look pretty wonky for guests.


Grout Time

Un-sanded grout may be used on joints less than 1/8” while larger joints require sanded grout. Clean the joints to remove any dust and debris before filling.

Follow the mixing instructions labeled on your grout and apply the grout with a rubber float. After the grout has set for a couple of minutes begin to wipe off any excess grout with a wet sponge and clean water. Once the grout has hardened you can then apply sealer to the joints using a foam brush or applicator bottle.


Brand New Floors

Behold! Your brand new floors that you spent the time and effort to make. It doesn’t take much time or money to create something amazing, just commitment. Now anytime something spills on the floor you might see that mess differently and clean it up faster. 

The Updates Your House Needs Every 10 Years

Has your house started losing its beautiful face? Is your house deteriorating already? Are you noticing any leakage or fade in the paint you use? If that yes, then you need to remodel your house or do some repairs. 

Just like every other thing, houses to have a lifespan expectancy after which they start to deteriorate and fall apart in the long run. This is why you need to update your house regularly at one point or the other through a home update. Home update or home remodeling is an act of improving your houses to prevent them from deteriorating after some time. 

You do not need to wait till your house start deteriorating before you do the necessary home updates. Every 10 year is okay for your house to look as sleek as you always want it.


1. Repaint Your House

Ten years is a long period for a paint to stay on your house. If the last time you painted your house was ten years ago, you might need to get it repainted. This will not only increase its attractiveness but will increase its worth. Your guests will be impressed with the consistent beauty of your house. You should always remember that when your house painting starts fading; your house will be losing its beauty gradually. You can keep your house beautiful by making sure that the paint is always intact.


2. Windows and Doors Update

While faulty windows and doors might make the occupant uncomfortable, old ones will make your house unpleasant. You wouldn’t want to sleep in a house that with little or no security because of an old/broken window or door. How will you also feel if your house leaks during winter because of your old door? Well, it depends on you but as for me, changing my doors and windows every ten years is non-negotiable. This does not mean I wouldn’t change it if it is faulty. 


3. Update the Kitchen

What is more annoying than a rusty cabinet handle or knob? Ten years is enough for you to continue using your cabinet and some other things in your kitchen. They also get old! Change or repair them. Please don’t wait for them to get rust before you do so. The dishwasher and sink also need some update. You might also need to change the outlook of your kitchen to make it alive once again. To me, a comfortable cooking experience would make food more delicious. 


4. Refurbish your Bathroom

Within a space of ten years, your bathroom might have amassed much dirt that you might imagine. The thing you can do is to bring some tools in to help with the repair and cleaning of your bathroom facilities. You can hire a cleaner to help you with the cleanup while a professional plumber can fix the bathroom facility. The bathroom curtain and other outdated items could be also be changed if possible.


5. Buy a New Carpet

Regarding quality, a medium-grade carpet cannot last for a period of 10 years, though this depends on many factors. Nevertheless, it is expedient that you buy another carpet when the one in your house has lasted for up to ten years because by then, it probably will have lost it shine and comfortability. There tend to be a lot of stains, odor, and tears on it. A new carpet will also give your house a sense of newness and your house wouldn’t feel or look so old. 


6. Replace Your Washer and Dryer

Consider yourself lucky if your washer and dryer have lasted ten years and are still working. This is because the average washer and dryer last for around 8 years. Therefore, consider this the perfect time to purchase both of these appliances. You’ll likely get better functionality, and of course, you’ll get an updated house.

Though it might seem stressful, home remodeling pays off in the end. You never can tell how far these little updates can go. So, stop wondering! Go for the updates and get right to it. You’ll be amazed at how much your house will change.

How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors are a classic addition to any home. They add warmth and depth to your space, plus they’re easy to maintain compared to other flooring options. Even better, because hardwood floors are popular, they’re almost guaranteed to increase the value and style appeal of your home.

What does it mean to refinish your hardwood? Even the best quality floors need maintenance. While hardwood floors will look great for years, they need to be cared for and refinished. If you take good care of your floors, you’ll only need to refinish them every 10+ years.


When do you need to refinish your floors? Here are some signs that it’s time:

  • Your floors have uneven coloring
  • The wood appears dull even after polishing
  • There are visible scratches
  • It’s been 20+ years since your last refinishing


As far as home improvements go, refinishing your hardwood floors is one of the more affordable options. Most homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $1,072 to $2,374 according to Home Advisor. In this guide, we’ll break down the various costs associated with refinishing your floors so you’ll know if you’re getting the best price for your home improvement.


The Average Costs

Like all home projects, the price will depend on a number of factors such as the size of your home and whether you use a professional. There might also be some costly variations that might increase the overall expense. For a basic restoration, the price ranges from $970 to $1,250 per 300 square feet.

When can you expect to pay more? If your floors are in particularly bad condition, you might need to replace them altogether. This would be the most expensive scenario. Otherwise, it will depend on the quality of finish you plan to use, how many coats are required, and how accessible your floors are.


Hardwood Floor Refinishing Process

Now that you know the average costs, let’s break down the hardwood refinishing process so you know what to expect. As always, do your research when hiring a professional to work in your home. You want to make sure they know what they’re doing to ensure your floors last as long as possible and look their best.

  1. Clear your space. Your first step will be to completely clear each room you plan to refinish. You’ll also want to tape plastic bags over any vents in these rooms since dust can easily clog your filters.
  2. Sand the floors. First, use a professional sander with a dust bag to sand down the floors. This is usually the most time-consuming process, and you’ll have a lot of dust and shavings to clean up.
  3. Apply any stains. If you plan to use a wood stain, now is the time. The stain will need at least 20 hours to dry, and heat can help speed up this process.
  4. Coat the floor – Several coats of polyurethane will need to be applied in order to lock in the stain and give your floors that long-lasting shine. There will be 2-3 coats, and each coat needs a day to dry.
  5. Wait 48 hours – Finally, avoid walking on the floors for up to 48 hours to ensure everything is dry. Then, it’s time to move your furniture back.


That’s a comprehensive, step-by-step breakdown for what you can expect during the refinishing process. Your hardwood floors should come away looking shiny, healthy, and gorgeous. This process will keep your floors looking their best for the next 10 years or more as long as you maintain them with proper care. Refinishing your hardwood floors is an inexpensive way to bring them back to life and increase the value of your home.

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