What to Look For During a Home Showing

A home showing represents a great opportunity for prospective homebuyers, as it enables homebuyers to get an up-close look at a residence and determine whether to make an offer on it.

As such, it is important to prep for a home showing; otherwise, a homebuyer could miss out on a golden opportunity to find the right residence at the right time.

So what should you look for during a home showing? Here are three factors that every homebuyer needs to consider:

1. A Home’s Exterior

Although the home you’re visiting caught your eye as you drove past it in your car, you may notice problems when you take a closer look at the residence’s exterior.

For instance, cracks or chips in the driveway or along the front steps may need to be repaired and may impact the amount that you offer for a residence – or whether you decide to submit an offer at all.

Of course, no home showing would be complete without checking out the condition of the house’s siding and roof, either.

If you’re uncertain about the condition of these areas, be sure to ask the home seller’s real estate agent for more information. By doing so, you can make a more informed decision about whether a particular residence is right for you.

2. A Home’s Heating and Cooling System

Ideally, you’ll want a house that stays warm in winter and cool in summer. But in many cases, an old heating or cooling system may prevent a homeowner from maintaining comfortable temperatures inside a house at all times.

Ask about the age of a heating and cooling system during a home showing. This will allow you to find out if this system will need to be replaced or repaired in the immediate future.

Find out about the efficiency rating of a house’s heating and cooling system as well. Remember, the higher a heating or cooling system’s efficiency rating, the more this unit will be able to save a homeowner on his or her monthly energy costs. And if you find a home that boasts a high-efficiency heating and cooling system, you may be able to save money on your energy bills down the line.

3. A Home’s Doors and Windows

Do a home’s doors and windows open freely? If not, they may be in need of serious repair, which ultimately could put a major dent in your wallet if you decide to purchase a particular residence.

The costs to repair or replace defective doors and windows can add up quickly. Thus, you’ll want to ensure that all of a house’s doors and windows are in great condition before you purchase a residence, and you can learn more about their condition during a home showing.

When it comes to finding the right house, you’ll always want to consult with a reliable real estate agent, too. Your real estate agent is readily available to assist you in any way possible, and he or she will be able to help you discover a top-notch house that meets all of your needs.

Spend some time getting ready for home showings, and you’ll be prepared to find an excellent home that you can enjoy for years to come.

House Training Rules for Your New Dog

Getting a new dog is every child’s dream. But dogs aren’t just great for the kids, they can be a great companion for an individual or a couple in their new home, or as a way to cope with empty nest syndrome when the kids leave.

Whether you buy a puppy or adopt a dog in need of a good home, you’ll need to do a lot of training. One of the first mistakes dog owners make is to think that training is something you only need to do until your dog learns the rules. However, training is an ongoing process that will help build your relationship with your dog and keep you both happy.

If you’re thinking about bringing home a new dog, follow these home training tips to make sure your dog understands the rules of the house and can stay out of trouble.

Have a house meeting

Before bringing your new dog home you’re going to want everyone in your home to be on the same page about rules for the dog. Dogs are very intelligent and malleable creatures, but they will learn best and be less confused if everyone is teaching them the same behavior. That means if there’s a “no dogs on the couch” rule, everyone needs to enforce it.

Similarly, the commands you use for your dog should all be the same within the house. If one member of the family calls the dog by saying “come” and another says “here, boy” they will probably eventually get the idea, but the best approach is for everyone to use the same words, especially when the dog is first learning.

Setting some rules

So you have your new dog… congratulations! Now comes the hard part: not babying them and letting them have their way all the time. You need to teach your dog to respect you and your home.

That does not mean your dog should fear you. In fact, having a dog that is afraid of you can lead to many problems including disobedience and aggression towards you and other people. To build trust and respect with your dog it will talk a lot of work (and treats) on your part. Here are some important training tips for training a dog in your home.

FOOD
As a dog’s most important resource, food and water routines are central to training your dog. Dogs are creatures of habit and should be fed at the same time every day. To build good habits, make your dog sit while to give them their food and ten call them over to eat. This will teach them that you are in control and that you can be trusted with their food source.

When it comes to table food, avoid getting in the habit of letting your dog eat food that was on your plate. It may seem like a waste, but it is in the best interest of you and your dog to stick to just dog food for the pup.

FURNITURE 
You may be tempted to let your dog jump up on the couch or bed with you, but by doing so you’re giving them permission to show dominance. Get a comfy dog bed or crate for your dog where they will feel at home. This will teach them that you’re the boss and help save your furniture from messes.

BED TIME
It’s tempting to let your dog hop up on your bed with you at night to sleep like a cat might. But in doing so, you might be setting yourself up for having a dog who is overprotective of you and pushy when it comes to where he can be. Your dog’s crate or dog bed are both safer places for him to be and will help lessen separation anxiety overnight.