June is National Homeowner Month. Here’s An Interesting Take On It

Are you aware that June is National Homeownership month?

Probably not. Because you’re too busy working to afford the home you live in, whether you rent it or own it.

Why should you care?

If you poke around and read anything you can find about it, you’re being urged to recognize and celebrate the benefits of homeownership.

That seems kind of a weird thing to ask you to do. Do you really have the time or care? What’re you supposed to do, throw a party? Sit alone and contemplate it? Invite some friends out for coffee and chat about it?

You’ve got to figure that the people who actively promote it probably have their reasons and motives for pushing it. (You know, like real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and the government.)

It makes you wonder…

Why do they push it, other than to make money?

Is it really the “American Dream”? Or is it just a packaged ploy?

Is it all it’s cracked up to be? What about all the people who were recently hurt by the housing market and getting in over their heads?

What about the economy and jobs? What about making enough money to even afford a house?

And, what about all the headaches and worries that come with homeownership?

Are you being sold on something unachievable, or not even all that desirable?

Maybe you shouldn’t own a home

OK, first off…

Homeownership is not for everyone.

There always seems to be this push to increase the percentage of homeowners. It gets wrapped in reasons why it’s good for you, your community, the country as a whole…maybe even the whole universe.

Pushing to increase the percentage of homeownership for the sake of statistics and percentages is wrong.

Lots of people shouldn’t own a home. Maybe some people shouldn’t even be allowed to own a home even if they qualify financially. That’s what leads to problems, because it’s a responsibility not everyone can handle.

Besides, if everyone owned property it wouldn’t be as special. As coveted. As much of a dream.

So, if you do question whether homeownership is “worth it”, maybe it isn’t the worst thing. Maybe you shouldn’t own a home.

It’s easy enough to let the people who really want to own property, and believe in the value of it, own all of the real estate.

Just don’t buy any…

Let them enjoy the “pride”

One of the catch phrases you’ve probably heard is, “There’s pride in homeownership.”

That’s kind of the cover-all reason given as to why more and more people should own their own homes.

You can’t entirely diminish the fact that there is pride and value in owning real estate. There is.

Nor can you entirely diminish the actual benefits of ownership, like building wealth, tax incentives, and not throwing money out the window and building someone else’s wealth.

But there’s certainly an inability for some people to buy real estate. Some people will never achieve homeownership.

And there’s certainly risk and worry involved. Not everyone can handle that.

It’s certainly understandable that lots of people shy away from buying real estate so soon after the real estate bubble burst, and the slow recovery. Some people are still recovering financially. Some people watched their parents struggle and worry, only to lose their home.

But for those who can and do own real estate, there is pride. And there’s appreciation.

Because while not everyone should own real estate…at least now everyone can.

You get to choose, not be chosen to own land

It used to be only a select few who could own land.

Now almost everyone has the right to own property…if they want to and have the ability.

This isn’t the feudal system where there are only a handful of Lords who’ve been granted a piece of land to look after by a King. (Side note: Do you think any Lords ever questioned the value of owning land?)

You can choose to be the lord of some land. You just have to want to, and be financially qualified to.

While you don’t have to be “chosen”…nobody’s giving it to you either.

So, if you can financially afford to, there should be some pride and appreciation in owning a little (or large) piece of this planet, with a “castle” to call your own.

So, when you do decide to buy some real estate, you should enjoy the pride, appreciation, and respect for the right and privilege to do so. You are essentially choosing to be your own land Lord.

There are places in this world you still can’t. So, imagine that. Imagine not having the choice.

Is it worth you recognizing and celebrating?

With all that in mind, is National Homeownership Month more meaningful to you?

Does it put homeownership in an objective light? Is it appealing to you? Does it make you want to own real estate? Does it make you want to own more real estate if you already own some?

Don’t get swept up in the hype of homeownership month, or anyone just trying to persuade you of the benefits of homeownership, no matter what month it is.

The best way to figure out if you should be a homeowner is to speak with a serious, objective real estate agent. One who takes counseling clients more seriously than pushing the pride of homeownership, just so they can make a sale.

Give me a ring if you’re looking for some good, objective counsel. I’d love to be part of that round table.

6 Organizational Hacks For a Clean Streamlined Home

It’s inevitable: the longer you live in your home, the more things you accumulate – and the faster those things get completely disorganized.

It can be a challenge to keep your home organized, but a well-organized home is worth the effort: living in a clean, streamlined home can help lower stress and anxiety, and knowing exactly where everything is in your house can save you time and headaches when you need to find something in a pinch.

But getting your home in shape doesn’t have to be difficult – no matter how much stuff you’re dealing with. Here are 6 organizational hacks for a clean, streamlined home:

1. Repurpose shoeboxes as drawer dividers

If the interior of your dresser looks like a bomb exploded, with stray socks and t-shirts strewn haphazardly, you’ll love this DIY hack.

Cut a variety of shoeboxes by length and width, and then insert the appropriate sizes into drawers to separate sections and better organize your clothing. You can use your homemade shoe dividers to separate your socks and intimates, your sleep shirts for your everyday shirts, or your casual leggings from your exercise leggings.

2. Use kitchen tools to organize your beauty collection

If you’re a person with a large assortment of beauty products, you know they can quickly take over your bathroom or vanity. But you can easily borrow some tools and storage units from the kitchen and use them to organize a variety of beauty products.

Buy stackable Tupperware and use them to store your beauty products; skin care products in one container, facial makeup in another, and lip glosses on top. Grab your favorite colorful coffee mug and use it as storage for your makeup brushes. Fill glass cookie jars with your eyeshadow or nail polish collection – not only does it help you get your products organized, but it makes a fun piece of decor to pull some color into your bathroom or vanity area.

3. Use shower hooks to whip your closet into shape

While the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “shower hooks” is likely to be shower curtain, if you’re using them solely for that purpose, you’re missing out on some serious closet organizational potential.

Shower hooks are the secret ingredient to a streamlined and well-organized closet. Hang them directly on your curtain rod to organize your belts and purses, or add them to the bottom of a hangar to better organize your scarves.

If you have a sports fan in the house, shower hooks are also a great way to keep hats nice and organized – add them to the bottom of a hanger to keep them all in one place.

4. Use shoe organizers for shoes and more

Shoe organizers are a great way to get your shoes off the floor and maximize space in your closet. But who says you have to stop at shoes? Shoe organizers are handy tools for dealing with clutter that happens above the ankles as well. You can use them to store everything from sweaters to jeans – to maximize the space even more, roll your clothing before storing.

5. Use a tension rod to organize your cleaning products

If you have a thousand and one cleaning products underneath your sink – but can never seem to find the right one when you need it – try this organizational hack to bring some order back to your cabinets.

Measure your cabinet and then purchase and install the appropriately sized tension rod. Hang all of your spray-nozzle cleaning products on the tension rod; this will give you easy access to the cleaning products you need and clear up space on the bottom of the cabinet for your non-spray-nozzle products and other essentials.

6. Use CD cases or magazine files to organize your mail

While most things get done via email these days, there’s still plenty of paper mail to deal with. And since it comes every day, if you don’t have a system for organizing it, it can quickly get out of control.

Repurpose that old CD case into a mail organizer by flipping it on its side and labeling each section with the appropriate category, like bills, school papers, and coupons. Or, if you’re dealing with a ton of mail, use one magazine file per category and line them up on your desk.

Organizing your home takes a bit of time and effort, but with these hacks, you’ll have your home feeling cleaner, more streamlined, and more organized before you know it. And that time and effort? Totally worth it for the peace you’ll feel when enjoying your new, organized home.

5 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Warmer Weather

Spring is in full swing, and you know what that means: the days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising, and in just a few short weeks we’ll be heading into the warmer months of summer.

Summer is one of the best times of year; children are out of school, it’s the perfect time to explore the great outdoors, and of course, everyone’s favorite: good ol’ summer vacation.

After the freezing temperatures of winter and the unpredictability of spring, you and your family are probably more than ready for the warm, summer weather. But the question is: is your home?

Here are 5 tips to get your home ready for warmer weather:

1. Get your A/C checked

The summer heat is great for beach days and splashing in the pool. But when you’re done enjoying the sunshine, you’ll want to open the door to a nice, cool interior. But if your air conditioner isn’t working properly, you can quickly find yourself with no escape from the rising temperatures.

The best time to get your air conditioning in working order is before summer hits. Start by changing out the filters. Dirty filters make it harder for your A/C unit to do its job, lower the efficiency of your air conditioning system and waste energy. After you replace the filters, let your air conditioning system run for an hour or so to see how its cooling; a test run will give you insight into any potential problems you need to have serviced.

You should have an HVAC professional service your air conditioning system once a year. Even if you don’t notice any obvious problems, servicing your A/C annually will keep it running better for longer. Spring is the best time of year to get your A/C service; once summer hits, most HVAC companies are booked solid through the summer months, and the last thing you want is to find yourself in the thick of summer with a broken air conditioning system and no relief from the heat.

2. Switch out your gear

Each season required a completely different set of tools, gear, furniture, and decor. To avoid clutter, it’s best to store these items when they’re not in use. If you’re storing your seasonal items, you’ll need to switch everything out as summer approaches so you have everything on hand you need to enjoy the season.

Put your patio furniture out in the backyard so it’s ready for when you entertain guests. Check your grill to make sure it’s in working order and ready for summer BBQs. Switch out those heavy winter comforters with lightweight quilting that’s more appropriate for summer weather.

3. Get your lawn up to speed

One of the best parts of summer is getting to enjoy time outside, often in your own backyard. But if you’re like most people, your lawn could probably use a bit of TLC after the cooler months.

Survey your property for any visible damage caused by winter weather. Check all playground equipment to make sure it’s in good shape before the kids get out of school. Add a few new plants or flowers to add visual interest to the landscape.

Your backyard will play host to many celebrations, playdates, and lazy evenings with your family this summer. In order to enjoy all the fun of summer fully, you want to make sure your lawn is in the best shape possible.

4. Plant a garden

Speaking of the backyard, there’s no better time than summer to plant a garden. The warmer weather is the ideal time for a rainbow of vegetables to flourish, including beets, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and squash. If you’re new to gardening, pick up a few raised garden beds and plant your seeds now. Before summer hits its peak, you’ll be enjoying fresh vegetables straight from your garden – perfect for a refreshing summer salad.

5. Get painting out of the way

If you’ve been thinking about painting the interior of your home, now is the time to do it. Painting only gets more challenging as the temperature rises; since you’ll need to have your windows open while you paint, A/C isn’t an option. Not only will the heat make painting feel more physically demanding, but humid weather can make the paint fumes feel more overwhelming.

If you do decide to paint, consider some seasonally appropriate hues, like gold or sky blue, to bring the feeling of summer indoors.

Summer will be here before you know it. And with these tips, your home will be ready for it.