Category Archives: Kaya Wittenburg

5 Expensive Countertops That Are Worth the Cost

The average kitchen remodels will cost homeowners around $25,000. This includes things like cabinetry, appliances, labor, paint, and any materials used to rebuild.

Another contributing cost is countertops. If you’re doing a complete gut and remodel, new countertops are a must because they complement the look of your entire kitchen.

So, what are some of the most expensive countertops on the market today? And are they worth it?

If you’re in the middle of a kitchen renovation and need new countertops, keep reading this guide to understand which countertops are worth the expense.

How to Choose A Countertop

Choosing a countertop is not an easy decision. Before we explore expensive kitchen countertops, let’s review the basic steps in selecting the right countertop for you.

Determine your budget. Are countertops going to be a splurge for you, or are you putting your money elsewhere? Without a clearly defined number to spend on countertops, you could blow your budget easily, leaving no money for other expenses.

Know your square footage and the cut-to-size kitchen countertops. Do some measuring and see how much countertop you need. This will play a factor in budgeting as well.

Get some samples! Many home improvement stores are more than accomodating when it comes to samples. Take some home and do some comparison against your choice of cabinet and pain hues.

Do you want flat or rounded edges? Either of these will depend on your personal preference.

Thick or thin? Thicker countertops may look grand and sturdy, but they will likely be more pricey.

7 Of The Most Expensive Countertops to Put in Your Kitchen

Now that you know how to choose a countertop, there’s plenty of materials to choose from, and many that are expensive. Here are some of the most expensive countertops that could be a part of your kitchen.

1. Marble

Marble is a beautiful and luxurious choice, especially for an elegant and traditional kitchen. Many people love the gleaming look of marble, but it does come with a hefty price tag.

Marble starts at $75 per square foot and even more for complete slabs. Marble tiles might be cheaper. One of the benefits of marble is its good looks, but it’s not exactly able to hold up under heavy use and may be prone to chipping and cracking.

2. Granite

Granite is one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops. It’s solid, durable, and when well-maintained can last for years to come. While it’s look may not be as glamorous as marble, there are still plenty of colors and patterns to fit your kitchen style.

The cost for granite countertops can range from $35 per square foot and upwards making it one of the more affordable choices. You’ll also need to make sure the countertop is sealed tightly to repel stains and keep it in good shape.

3. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel countertop can handle even the toughest cooks and preparations. Most commercial kitchens use stainless steel due to so much kitchen activity, and even combats bacteria. It provides your kitchen with a very distinct and industrial look.

Stainless steel starts at around $35 per square foot and will need to be custom made, and for this reason, prices are likely to skyrocket for larger spaces. Be aware that stainless steel shows all the fingerprints and scratches!

4. Concrete

If you spend nearly every waking hour in the kitchen and love a more modern look, concrete is for you. Concrete is extremely durable, making it a perfect choice for those who do considerable work in the kitchen.

Concrete will cost you about $75 or more per square foot. Because it’s heavy, you may be spending much more on support. Concreate will need to be sealed as well to avoid staining.

5. Quartz

Quartz is another popular choice for the kitchen because of its strength. It’s engineered with quartz as well as resins and comes in a variety of different colors and patterns that fit in almost any kitchen, and it’s fairly easy to care for.

Quartz may cost around $40 or more per square foot and can end up being quite pricey. Quartz also needs to be sealed for protection.

6. Cement

Cement countertops? Yes! Cement countertops provide a unique and rustic look to your kitchen because of its incredible strength and have been quite trendy in the last few years since the farmhouse theme arose.

Cement countertops can cost $65 per square foot as a starting price. They do tend to crack, create stains, or even harbor bacteria if it’s not sealed.

7. Paper Composite

Paper composite might not sound like it’s durable or long-lasting, but it’s composed of many natural elements like wood fibers, so it makes it very environmentally-friendly and surprisingly stable. To make paper composite countertops, the materials are heated to a high temperature and then emerge as an extremely reliable countertop.

Paper composite countertops start at $45 per square foot and can increase from there. Paper composite can be a challenge to clean and will need a sealant to prevent scratching.

Countertop Choices

When considering a countertop, you’ll need to take into account how much time you spend in your kitchen cooking and preparing food and other activities. Will you need a strong, sturdy countertop to handle the job? If the answer is yes, then it might be wise to invest in one of the most expensive countertops.

Are you looking for more information on homes in Miami? Let us help you! Visit our blog today to learn more.

10 Inexpensive Home Upgrades That Offer Huge Returns and Value

Real estate matters can be time-consuming and expensive. You want your house to reflect your own style and personality. You also want to make sure that, when it comes time to look for a new house, you can sell your current one and make a profit.

How do you do that, though? More importantly, how do you make sure that you make the highest possible profit?

Here are our suggestions for the 10 best inexpensive home upgrades you can make to maximize your resale value. This includes those beautiful looking wood walls that you will want to think about upgrading to.

1. Tear Down Those Walls

Open floorplans are the current trend with houses, and it’s easy to see why. They enable homeowners to see their whole space from a single location. They make it easier to travel from room to room. They also make the space seem larger.

Before you can start tearing down walls, it’s important to determine which ones are load-bearing. As the name implies, load-bearing walls are ones that support the structural integrity of the building. It’s possible to remove load-bearing walls, but it’s difficult, expensive, and incredibly dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Non-load-bearing walls are free game, though. Get rid of that nonessential wall between the kitchen and living room. Knock out a wall for an unused closet to expand a bedroom. Go crazy making your home bigger and brighter.

Price Range: $450 to $1000

2. Upgrade Your Paint Job

Chipped paint and clashing colors are instant turnoffs to potential buyers. The best way to avoid these problems is to give your walls a fresh coat of paint before you list your house for sale.

You can keep the current color scheme if you think it will attract viewers, but the best bet is to select brand new neutral colors. Neutral colors can be made homey, but their true value is their ability to showcase a customizable home. Every buyer likes the idea of a blank slate they can make their own.

Price Range: $75 to $1000

3. Add Stone or Brick Siding

Whether or not they should, people begin judging a house as soon as they see the exterior. Vinyl and wood walls aren’t a turnoff as long as they’re well-maintained, but they aren’t the biggest sellers, either. If you really want to maximize your home’s potential, you should look into adding stone or brick siding.

The cost to cover your entire house with bricks or stones can get expensive quickly. Adding them sparingly and strategically, however, is much more cost-effective. It’s also a great way to cover problem areas of your house’s exterior.

Price Range: $1000 to $3000

4. Finish the Basement

If you have a basement, the quickest way to increase your home’s resale value is to finish it. The term “finished basement” might seem scary because it implies a separate living space, but that isn’t necessarily true. All a basement must have to be considered “finished” is sheetrock or painted cinderblock walls, a floor covering over the cement, total heating/air, and a fully accessible route to the rest of the house.

Price Range: $5000 to $10,000

5. Change Your Doors

This improvement appeals to both appearance and security. A nice front door can really bring a home’s design together. More importantly, though, it ensures that the new buyers feel safe. Even in high-end neighborhoods, home security is a serious concern.

Solid steel doors are typically sought after for the highest security, but they aren’t necessarily that attractive. Thankfully, door companies have developed hardwood alternatives that are just as safe. Check out this company’s visit page for ideas.

Price Range: $300 to $700

6. Let Some Light In

Open floorplans aren’t the only way to maximize your home’s lighting potential. You can also update your lighting fixtures. Eye-straining fluorescent lights can make even the best space seem hideous. Change them out with softer, energy-efficient alternatives to appeal to both the style sense and wallets of potential buyers.

Price Range: $50 to $300

7. Update Your Appliances

If you intend to leave your appliances behind, a great idea is to update them before you sell. This may seem like a waste of time and money considering that you won’t get to reap their benefits, but you’d be amazed by how easily buyers can be swayed by the addition of fancy appliances.

Change to a wall-in oven. Get a fridge with dual doors and an icemaker. Choose a stainless steel finish to promise durability and style.

Price Range: $300 to $4000

8. Hire a Landscaper

Like we mentioned earlier, potential buyers begin judging a house as soon as they see the outside. This includes the yard and surrounding landscape as much as the exterior walls.

A mowed yard isn’t enough to guarantee a good first impression. To really optimize the space, you should hire a landscaper. Professional landscapers naturally understand where to put flowers, trees, and other decorative plants to emphasize your home’s features.

Price Range: $1000 to $5000

9. Recaulk Your Bathrooms

This is, by far, one of the cheapest home upgrades you can make. The caulk itself costs an average of $15 depending on quality, and you won’t have to hire anyone to apply it. You can easily recaulk your home yourself. Even if you think you’re out of your depth, you can check out this handy guide for recaulking a shower, sink, or tub.

Best of all, you don’t have to go to a specialty hardware store. Caulk is available at most major retailers, including Wal-Mart and Kroger.

Price Range: $5 to $30

10. Replace Your Carpet

Shabby, stained carpet is an instant turnoff to anyone entering a home. This is especially true for prospective buyers. You can steam clean carpets that are <5 years old, but older carpets can be more difficult.

To avoid future disdain, your best bet is to have your carpet replaced. The three key factors to look for in new carpet are color, texture, and durability. You want to select a neutral color that will work well with most wall colors and decor options. You also want a soft carpet that holds up well to pets, children, and dirt.

Another option is to remove your carpets altogether and replace them with hardwood. Real hardwood floors have always been a popular option, but they’re experiencing a serious surge. Tearing out your carpets and placing movable rugs over your hardwood could be the best option for maximizing your home value.

Price Range: $750 to $3000

More Info on Inexpensive Home Upgrades and Selling Tips

Skyfive Properties is the leading real estate company for the Miami area. They specialize in high-end luxuries, affordable properties, and everything in-between.

Check out the rest of our site for everything you need to know about inexpensive home upgrades to optimize your home’s resale value.

Homeowners Insurance Coverage 101: What Is and Isn’t Covered

Did you know that in 2017, 6% of insured homes filed a homeowners insurance claim? If you own a home or are a new homeowner you are familiar with having homeowners insurance but you might be confused with all the terminology. Insurance policies are sometimes complicated to understand. This is why we are going to go into more details on homeowners insurance coverage.

And while we are at it, vehicle insurance is an important item to think about as well.

Keep reading to learn about what is and isn’t covered to make sure you are not left with a surprise bill because you are not covered for something you thought you were covered for.

Homeowners Insurance Coverage 101

Most people are pretty familiar with what their health and vehicle insurance cover but when it comes to their homeowners insurance coverage – they are left knowing little to nothing and just assuming that it covers everything. That is until something happens and they realize they are not covered.

The following list is a typical list of what is covered – keep in mind that this is a general list and your policy may not cover some of these perils:

  • Vandalism
  • Fire Damage
  • Smoke Damage
  • Water Damage (not from flooding but internal sources)
  • Wind or Hail Damage
  • Gas Explosions
  • Aircraft Damage
  • Vehicle Damage
  • Personal Property Theft
  • Snow or Ice Damage on Roof
  • Civil Disturbance Damage

This list is not all-inclusive and depending on your policy you might or might not be covered. Make sure to check your roof damage and insurance coverage if you don’t live in an area where you have rough winters and won’t have to deal with snow or ice.

If you live in a flood or earthquake-prone area make sure that you have coverage in case one of these natural disasters occur. Most policies do not cover floods and earthquakes, which means you will have to take out a separate policy to make sure you are covered in case of an event.

Maximum Coverage Limits

This is something else you will want to double-check with your policy. Just because you have the coverage doesn’t mean it is unlimited. There might be a cap on how much they will cover. For example, if your jewelry, cash, or art collection was stolen, they might not cover the entire worth amount.

If you have valuable items make sure you are aware of how much you would be covered for and if there is a maximum cap.


Some homeowners insurance policies will provide liability coverage if you or someone else is injured on your property. For example, if your dog bites someone and they are injured, your policy might cover the person’s medical bills. Again make sure to ask if your policy includes liability coverage in that event that there is an injury while on your property.

Don’t Assume You Are Covered for Everything

The last thing you want is to find out that your home has damages that your homeowners insurance coverage does not cover. This rude awakening can quickly disrupt your lifestyle and your finances. Now that you are more aware of what is typically covered it’s time to do your part and contact your current insurance provider and ask specific questions.

If you live in an area where you have a high risk of flooding, fires, tornadoes, etc make sure you are covered.

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Great Home Renovation Tricks Every Flipper Should Know

Flipping houses is quickly becoming one of the most popular entrepreneurial career choices for investment-savvy individuals as well as those skilled in home improvement. However, it’s not as simple as buying an old house, fixing it up, and selling it for profit.

There are a lot of rules and guidelines to follow when it comes to flipping houses, including learning the most efficient home renovation tricks to give you the best return on your investment. The goal is to maximize your profit and minimize expenditures while simultaneously providing high-quality renovated homes to buyers.

If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, take a look at some of the top home renovation tricks and tips to ensure a successful (and lucrative) project.

1. DIY Where You Can

First, the best way to save money when it comes to home improvement is by doing as much of the work yourself as you can. However, that doesn’t override legalities or providing proper home improvements.

For example, if you’ve never built a deck before, now probably isn’t the time to learn, unless you are working side-by-side with an experienced contractor. Additionally, unless you have the proper education and certifications, you should leave critical work such as electrical and plumbing repairs to the professionals.

However, when it comes to things like patching drywall, adding trim, painting, and other simpler jobs, you can save thousands of dollars by doing the work yourself. We recommend learning and perfecting as many of these skills as possible for your future work in house flipping. It’s also essential to have convenient access to dumpster rental locations to manage waste effectively during your projects

2. Find the Right Contractors for Each Job

For the jobs, you need to hire out, make sure you’re shopping around for the best and most fairly-priced in town. For example, if you’re looking for a quality roofing company, do some research about the local roofers and figure out which is the best fit for your project.

A new roof with a guaranteed lifespan of 15 to 25 years is a huge selling point for potential buyers and a great way to add some value to the home.

This rule applies to plumbers, electricians, roofers, and everyone in between. Take your time, ask around, and do your due diligence to find the best people to work on the house.

3. Make a Good First Impression with Curb Appeal

One of the best home renovation tricks to pull buyers in and boost the value of the home is to perfect the curb appeal. The more attractive the outdoor space is, the more people will want to look inside.

We recommend putting a fresh coat of paint on the exterior, especially if the current paint is faded, chipping, peeling, or otherwise in poor condition. Alternatively, you may need to repaint it to give it a more neutral and appealing color.

Next, focus on the yard and vegetation around the home. Get rid of all trash, clutter, and debris. Then, cut the grass, pull the weeds, and trim the trees and bushes.

Finally, take care of the little things such as old hardware and fixtures, such as door handles, sconces, shudders. Finish by adding some flowers and other decorative plants around the outside.

4. Think Big in Terms of Storage Space

One of the most desired things home buyers look for is plenty of storage space. People love their stuff and want ample room for it in their own homes. After all, what’s the point of buying a new home if it doesn’t have room for all your possessions?

Therefore, think big in terms of storage space. However, also focus on creative storage solutions. Buyers will appreciate hidden storage spaces and innovative storage design.

5. Maximize Your Effort in the Kitchen and Bathrooms

Next, two of the most commonly used spaces in a home are the kitchen and bathroom.

The kitchen serves as the heart of the home, where meals are prepared and families gather. An updated kitchen is one of the most highly demanded features of a home. This includes high-quality appliances, modern cabinets, and plenty of space for cooking.

On the other hand, bathrooms are a necessity of any home and the nicer they are, the more the home will appeal to potential buyers. Focus on a clean and simple look. Additionally, you can never go wrong with a double vanity in the master bathroom.

6. Optimize Flexible Living Space

Another home renovation trick to boost value and motivate buyers is creating a home with flexible living spaces. People love having options, especially when it comes to what to do with their own homes.

By integrating a large, open floor plan, you give potential homeowners the option to choose how to layout their home and how to live in it.

7. Give Every Space Fresh Paint

We spoke earlier about giving the exterior of the home a fresh coat of paint. You should follow suit on the inside. You might be surprised how much effect a simple paint job can have in a room or inside an entire home.

Focus on neutral colors with accent walls, color pops, and a general appeal to the masses. You may love hot pink walls in your child’s room, but it won’t appeal to buyers. Don’t allow your personal design style to play too large of a role, your goal is to remain relatively neutral.

8. Add or Accentuate Outdoor Living Areas

Finally, try to take advantage of peoples’ love of the great outdoors. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the city or out in the country, homeowners want outdoor living spaces.

If there isn’t currently a deck or patio, especially in the back yard, build one. People truly enjoy entertaining their friends and family with barbeques, fire pits, and pools. Granted, you can let them decide on the pool and fire pit.

Looking for More Home Renovation Tricks?

If you like what you’ve read so far but are looking for even more home renovation tricks, be sure to check out some of the other articles in our blog. We have plenty of more advice when it comes to sprucing up homes and selling them fast!


Plumbing Help: Troubleshooting the Most Common Issues

A small plumbing leak can lead to the average family wasting up to 180 gallons of water a week. Instead of dealing with the increased costs and problems plumbing issues can cause, you need to address them immediately.

In most cases, you will be presented with a number of warning signs when plumbing problems are present. As soon as these warning signs surface, your main goal needs to be troubleshooting these issues. Reaching out for plumbing help from professionals is a great way to avoid mistakes during this process. If you start to notice a sudden decline in your water pressure, then you need to call in a plumber immediately or look up plumbing aurora for the best service.

The following are some of the things you need to know about troubleshooting common plumbing issues.

Getting to the Root Cause of a Clogged Drain

Using the drains and toilets in a home is something people do without much thought daily. There may come a time when you are unable to use your home’s drains due to clogs. One of the biggest mistakes most people make when faced with a clog is reaching for chemicals.

Not only are many chemical drain cleaners ineffective, they can also do damage to your septic system. These chemicals may cause the good bacteria in your septic system to get eliminated. This means it will have problems breaking down solid waste.

Using a plunger or seeking out help from a plumbing professional is essential when confronted with a clog. A plumber will have the time and the tools needed to free this clog and restore functionality to your drains.

It is best to reach out to find a list of 24/7 plumbers in Eastern Suburbs for handling any of these specific issues.

Addressing Issues With Low Water Pressure

Whether you are washing the dishes or taking a shower, you probably expect a certain degree of water pressure. Without the right amount of water pressure, it will be hard to get the shampoo out of your hair or the food particles off of your dishes.

If you start to notice a sudden decline in your water pressure, then you need to call in a plumber immediately. Usually, this problem is an indication that a leak is present somewhere in the plumbing system.

Hiring a plumber to find the source of this leak is a good idea. They have state-of-the-art equipment like septic inspection cameras they can use to pinpoint the location of the leak. The money paid to local Deerfield plumbers will be worth it considering the damage they can help you prevent.

Rust-Colored Water is Never a Good Thing

Has the water coming out of your faucets gone from crystal clear to rust-colored? If so, you are probably in the midst of a water heater crisis.

As time goes by, the inside of a water heater will begin to rust. If this rust breaks free, it can make its way into your water supply.

While a plumber can flush your water heater to remove some of the rust, you will have to replace it to remedy this problem completely.

In Need of Professional Plumbing Help?

Making mistakes during the plumbing troubleshooting and repair process can lead to more damage being done. This is why paying for professional plumbing help is a good idea. Check this guide from Dagmar Marketing to give your plumbing business an online boost.

Are you looking for more advice on how to repair and maintain your plumbing system? If so, be sure to check out the rest of the blogs on our website.


How Real Estate Consulting Firms Utilize Market Trends for Success

Navigating through the complex landscape of real estate can be a daunting task. This is where real estate consulting firms come in handy.

These firms guide you toward making informed decisions. Be it purchasing a new property, selling an existing one, or making long-term investments, they will be there to guide you.

Wanna learn more about them? Then read on. In this article, we will delve into how real estate consulting firms utilize market trends for their success.

Increase in Demand

The real estate market is constantly evolving and is influenced by numerous factors. From economic conditions to demographic shifts, there are many variables that can impact the real estate industry. Consulting firms make it their business to be on top of these trends.

One of the key market trends that consulting firms keep an eye out for is the increase in demand for certain types of properties. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as changing lifestyles, job opportunities, or even government policies. By analyzing these trends, consulting firms are able to advise their clients on the best investments that can yield high returns.

Emerging Markets

Real estate consulting firms also keep a close watch on emerging markets. These are areas that are experiencing growth and development. So they are prime for investment opportunities.

Additionally, they also stay updated on emerging markets. This means that firms are able to provide valuable insights and recommendations to their clients. This helps them stay ahead of the curve and make smart investment decisions.

Technology Advancements

In today’s digital age, technology advancements have greatly impacted the real estate industry. There are now virtual tours and online property listings. Technology has made it easier for both buyers and sellers to navigate through the market.

Real estate consulting firms use these technological advancements to their advantage. They are able to gather and analyze data more efficiently. This makes their recommendations and insights more accurate and precise. It also allows them to provide their clients with a more seamless and convenient experience.

Changing Consumer Preferences

Consumer preferences are constantly evolving. Consulting firms understand the impact this has on the market.

Realtors keep up-to-date with changing consumer preferences. These firms can guide their clients towards making smart investments that align with current trends.

For example, there is now a rise of eco-consciousness. Consulting firms have seen an increase in demand for sustainable and energy-efficient properties.

Firms understand these industry trends. They can advise their clients to invest in properties that align with these preferences.

Connections and Networks

Real estate consulting firms have a wide network of connections in the industry. They have strong relationships with developers, realtors, and other key players.

These connections give them access to exclusive opportunities that may not be available to the general public. This can include off-market properties or pre-construction deals.

For example, if you want to sell a house fast, they can direct you to sites like They can help you find the right buyer through their extensive network.

Real Estate Consulting Firms: The Key to Your Success

Real estate consulting firms are essential for navigating through the complex world of real estate. They provide valuable insights based on market trends and market analysis. They can help you make smart investment decisions.

Partnering with a consulting firm can greatly benefit you and ensure your success in the real estate market. Whether your a first-time buyer or an investor, why not take the leap with them?

Did you find this article helpful? If so, check out the rest of our site for more.

6 Ways to Find Real Estate Investors for Your Property

Selling a property can be a daunting task, especially if you are looking to do it online. You want to make sure that you find the right buyers who will offer competitive prices for your property. One way to ensure this is by finding real estate investors who are actively looking for new properties to add to their portfolios.

Read on to learn about the six ways you can find real estate investors to buy your property:

1. Utilize Social Media Platforms

In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become a powerful tool for marketing and networking. Use this tool to your advantage by joining groups or pages that cater specifically to real estate investors.

These groups are usually filled with individuals who are actively looking to invest in properties. Additionally, you can also use hashtags related to real estate investment to reach a broader audience on social media.

2. Network at Real Estate Events

Attending real estate events, seminars or conferences is an excellent way to connect with potential investors. These events are usually filled with like-minded individuals who are looking to buy and sell properties. It’s also a great opportunity to learn more about the current market trends and get valuable insights from experienced investors.

3. Join Real Estate Investment Clubs

Another way to network with real estate investors is by joining local or online investment clubs. These investing clubs are specifically designed for individuals interested in buying and selling properties.

Being a part of these clubs can give you access to a pool of potential investors. They can also provide valuable resources and knowledge about the industry.

4. Leverage Online Platforms

There are many online platforms specifically designed for real estate investors. These platforms connect property sellers with investors looking to invest in real estate.

You can list your property on these platforms and reach a larger audience of potential buyers. If you’re looking to sell your house online, go there now and explore these platforms to find real estate investors.

5. Work with a Real Estate Agent or Broker

Real estate agents and brokers have a vast network of contacts. This includes potential investors. They can help you market your property to the right audience and connect you with interested buyers. Additionally, they can also provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the selling process.

6. Ask for Referrals

Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth referrals. Reach out to your family, friends, colleagues, or acquaintances who may know someone looking to invest in real estate. You never know, they may have a connection to an interested investor or can refer you to someone who does.

Find Real Estate Investors With These Tips

As you can see, there are various ways to find real estate investors for your property. Utilizing these methods and being proactive in your approach can help you sell your property faster and at a competitive price. Remember to do your due diligence and thoroughly vet any potential investors before finalizing a deal. Good luck!

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5 Sustainable Ideas: Eco Friendly Roofing Tips for Homeowners

Do you want to do your part to take care of Mother Earth? There are oodles of things you can do to make your home more eco-friendly.

Sustainability ideas come in all forms, from using a toaster oven for baking more minor things to sustainable roofing material options for your home.

Sustainable roof replacements do their part to lower your home’s energy consumption and are environmentally friendly.

The cheapest roof isn’t always the one that comes with the lowest price tag. These five sustainable ideas show you eco-friendly materials and savings for your roof.

1. Recycled Shingles

Recycled shingles are just that…shingles made from recycled materials like plastic and wood fiber. They look like regular shingles but don’t pose the environmental threat that petroleum-based asphalt roof shingles do.

2. Cool Roof

One of the more popular roofing ideas is also one of the least expensive eco-friendly roofing choices. White glue and gravel are combined to help reflect the sun, keeping heat from penetrating your home. Lower air conditioning and electric bills are the payoffs here.

They work best in areas where there is a lot of heat and sun exposure. High humidity can cause problems with mold, so take that into consideration.

3. Metal Roof

A metal roof is very durable and long-lasting. They benefit the environment two-fold. They are often made from recycled metal and can be recycled when you decide to change your roof decades later. Moreover, metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular for residential roofing due to their durability and longevity. In addition, metal roofing systems can help reduce energy bills, as they reflect the sun’s rays. Furthermore, metal roofing materials are eco-friendly, often made from recycled metal, and can be recycled when you switch to a new roof decades later.

4. Reclaimed Clay or Slate Tile Roof

Clay and slate are natural materials that have been used for roofing for centuries. You can expect the same durability and longevity using recycled clay or slate tiles.

Clay doesn’t last quite as long as slate, but clay is a very eco-friendly material. They are both more expensive than other roofing materials, but the number of years you’ll get out of them is worth it.

5. Solar Roof

Solar roofing comes in two options. You can add solar panels to an existing roof or use solar tiles that make up the roof. These are on the expensive side to install but save you money in the long run.

Because the panels are designed to absorb the sun and turn it into usable energy, you will save thousands on your electric bill. Your solar roof may also afford you a tax break.

Looking for a Roofing Company? Check us out. We have an A+ rating with the BBB and treat every customer like family.

Eco-Friendly Roofing

With all of the sustainable ideas available for your roof, which one will work best for you? Eco-friendly roofs are affordable and contribute to a healthier world.

Whether you’re renovating, moving, or building, visit our blog for other valuable information. We’ll help you with things like questions to ask your realtor or advice on whether to change your home to make it what you want or move or build a new home, and more. Check out our blog today.

What Is Passive Investing? A Guide for Beginners

More and more Americans are learning how to gain financial independence and retire early. This community, also known as FIRE, earn wealth by relying on the principles of passive investing.

Passive investing can work wonders for your portfolio goals if you have a sound strategy in place. Check out this guide to getting started as a passive investor.

What Is Passive Investing?

Passive investing is the strategy of buying and holding an investment over the long term. The term ‘passive’ refers to the fact that investors don’t buy and sell often, but it also can mean that there’s no active fund manager.

Passive stock investors use what’s called a buy and hold strategy to gradually build their portfolios. They’re different than active traders who track stock prices to decide when to buy or sell.

Short term investors usually make trades daily, weekly, or when stocks hit certain price points. While this method works for some, passive investors aim toward a more conservative way to make money.

The principle behind letting your money grow untouched comes from the idea that no one can ever outperform the market. Another common investor rule is that no one should ever try to time the market.

You can never really know whether stock prices will go up or down because stock pricing is irrational. Investors decide to buy and sell for many emotional reasons including fear, greed or sensational news stories.

The financial independence community looks for the cheapest way to earn money for an early retirement. There is a range of passive investing products that help investors reach this goal.

Types of Passive Investments

One of the most common types of passive investments is an index fund. Index funds track specific markets like the S&P 500 or sometimes the total U.S. stock market.

They are a kind of mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF). Choose an index fund to get the best deal on fees while still getting the same market returns as traditional mutual funds.

Unlike traditional mutual funds, index funds aren’t managed by a person. This is how investors avoid paying high operating expenses on their brokerage accounts.

No active manager means less overhead. But this does put the burden on the investor to decide which markets they want to track.

The broader your investment mix, the less likely you are to lose money long term. But this can also mean missing out on large gains made by trendy industries like tech.

How Much Do I Need to Invest?

Index funds are very low-cost investments. Some brokerage houses allow you to buy fractional shares or partial shares in the fund.

This makes index fund investing affordable for everyone no matter the amount you have starting out. But there are minimum investing amounts set by certain brokerage accounts.

Similar to bank accounts, brokerage accounts come with perks for people who open accounts and deposit large balances right away. You might qualify for a cash trading bonus or have fees waived for a certain period of time.

There are options for accounts with no minimum opening or trading balance. The upside to index investing is that even if you don’t qualify to invest in a popular fund, there’s usually another similar fund available that’s within your price range.

Can I Invest Passively in Real Estate?

Passive investments don’t just apply to stocks. You can invest in property using services like Delaware Statutory Trust and avoid the terrible T’s–tenants, taxes, trash, and termites.

Passive real estate investing is attractive especially once you get closer to retirement. You’ll want less people management and more financial rewards.

Another way to become a passive real estate investor is to get accredited. Accredited investors have access to large investments or property syndication.

As an accredited investor, you receive offers to partner with other investors on large scale projects like oil rigs or shopping centers. Accredited investors must meet certain criteria in order to participate in these kinds of deals.

Here are the requirements set by the SEC for becoming an accredited investor:

  • Have a Net worth of $1-million or more
  • Have more than $200,000 in earned income for the year
  • Have more than $300,000 in earned income if combined with a spouse

Even if you meet one or all of these requirements, you must be able to prove you can continue to meet them for at least three years. This rule is to protect investors from deals that can potentially bankrupt them.

If you choose to pursue smaller real estate investment deals, it’s possible to have partially passive investments that require less effort than being a landlord. One possibility is hiring a property manager.

You’ll need to manage the property manager, but it keeps you at arm’s length from the day to day concerns of your tenants.

Is Passive Investing Right for Me?

Passive investing is best to pursue once you have clear investment goals in mind. Not every strategy will make sense for every income level.

It’s also important to keep in mind that passive investing is only passive after you’ve educated yourself on the process. For example, you need to learn the rules of real estate syndication before getting started with your first investment.

Making the wrong move with the SEC could result in hefty fines, or in extreme cases, prison time. Since passive investing is a long game, you have time to get your strategies in place in a way that’s legal and lucrative.

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Signs of Termites: 5 Key Signs You Have a Termite Problem

Did you know that termites can cause more than $5 billion in damage every year in the United States alone? These nasty insects can chew on wood and leave your precious furniture items partially damaged or even completely ruined. They can even deteriorate wooden pillars and compromise the entire structure of your house.

To prevent that, you need to look for the most basic signs of termites. The sooner you react, the better it will be for your house and your peace of mind. Conducting termite inspections in Huntsville, AL is very common, for example. Keep reading to find out the most popular signs of termite problem.

Hollow Wood

Since termites eat primarily wood, they can make regular furniture items appear hollow at the touch. That’s because termites chew the wood from the inside, making the whole structure more fragile and prone to deterioration.

If you tap on various wooden pieces in your house and they sound hollow, chances are that you might have to deal with a pest infestation.

Maze-Like Patterns

Multiple termites can eat away at the wood in various directions. That’s why you will see maze-like patterns in your furniture items, drywall, and even hardwood flooring. These are surefire signs of a termite infestation and you need professional pest control services to solve this problem.

These patterns formed in the wood can cause water infiltration, mold development, and other issues that compromise your safety and wellbeing.

Squeaky Floors

If you step on your hardwood floor and it makes a noise, chances are that the boards have been poorly installed. At the same time, this can also signify a termite problem. These insects feast on wood, making it more fragile and easy to break.

After a while, the joints that keep floorboards together will simply give up. This is why you hear unpleasant squeaky sounds and it can be a sign of termites ruining your property.

Termite Droppings and Wings

Termites usually stick together in large groups. These groups are usually called swarms and they can overwhelm a house if the situation gets out of control. Many of these termites have wings and you will be able to see some of these wings left behind as termites move around.

You can also stumble upon a lot of termite droppings and pellets. This can be an unpleasant sight and you should do something about it immediately such as calling the experts.

Weird Noises at Night

When hundreds of termites eat at wood during the night, chances are that you might hear some of these weird sounds. It might be a sign of rodent infestation, but termites are usually the ones to blame. The situation needs to be inspected immediately by a professional to see how many termites are living in your house. If you live in or around Baltimore and suspect you have a termite infestation, don’t hesitate to contact Rosenbloom Termite Control in Baltimore; the sooner you address the issue, the less harm will be done.

Now You Know the Most Popular Signs of Termites

These are the most commonly encountered signs of termites, but there are plenty of others. Remember that a pest control problem doesn’t go away on its own. You need to do something to get rid of the pests before they multiply by the thousands. Calling the exterminators seems like the most reasonable thing to do in this case.

For more useful information about pests and how to get rid of them, make sure that you check out the other articles on our website.