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Figuring Out Reverse Mortgages

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If you are at least 62 years of age or quickly approaching that age, you may be looking forward to or just starting to enjoy your retirement. On the other hand, you may be struggling to figure out how to support yourself on a reduced retirement income. A reverse mortgage may help you, but you may not understand exactly how it works. Figuring out such reverse loans can be difficult due to all the unusual definitions and procedures associated with them. Here is what you need to know when wading through the unique reverse mortgage application process.

Reverse Mortgages Versus Home Equity Conversion Mortgages

One thing that may confuse you is the phrase “home equity conversion mortgage.” What makes it different from a reverse mortgage? The answer is not much. The big difference is an HECM, as it is more commonly called, is offered by a government organization, like the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). Such a loan is government ensured, while a loan offered by a public reverse mortgage lender is only government regulated.

Total Reverse Mortgage Home Equity Versus Available Home Equity

The next thing you need to understand is the difference between total reverse mortgage home equity and available home equity. The total home equity is what your home is currently worth. A reverse mortgage calculator is used to determine the available home equity you can borrow, which is only a certain portion of the total. The reason for the difference is government regulations designed to protect you and your reverse mortgage lender.

Reverse Mortgage Borrowing Terms to Pick From

There are many ways to borrow reverse mortgage money. They all begin with using the reverse mortgage calculator to see how much equity is accessible. Once you have that figure, you can set the terms by which you want to receive it. One common choice is long-term regular installment payments. Receiving those payments at scheduled times can help you pay predictable ongoing bills, such as utility costs.

Another reverse mortgage borrowing term you can select is one large payment. Often, such a choice is best when you have a sudden large expense to pay. For example, if a medical bill puts you in debt during retirement, a lump sum can relieve that financial pressure. Alternatively, you can choose a third borrowing option, which is a home equity line of credit. Similar to a credit card, it allows you to borrow money up to a certain amount only when retirement expenses pop up that your fixed income cannot cover.

What Makes a Reverse Mortgage Great for Retirees

A reverse mortgage is a retiree-only loan you cannot get until you reach the retirement age of 62. It is perfect when you retire because you do not have to pay any part of it back for an extended period. A standard home mortgage requires ongoing partial repayments starting almost from the moment you borrow the money. Without that stress, you can spend reverse mortgage funds as you see fit to make your retirement more comfortable, or even more fun.

Ways to Spend Reverse Mortgage Funds

You have to spend part of your reverse mortgage funds paying the fees associated with the loan, but those fees are typically taken off the top before your lender gives you the rest of the money. Similarly, the funds needed to pay any existing home loan you have are immediately designated for that purpose. After such fees are removed, the funds left over are yours to spend. You can use them for bills, essential purposes or non-essentials. You can even use such funds to pay for vacations or home repairs. There are no limitations on the purposes for which you may use the money.

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Moving Into a New House? Remember These Steps to Make It Feel Like Home

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For anyone who knows the value of caring for a family, there’s nothing quite like buying their first home. There’s just something about having your own place that makes the experience of being a homeowner seem surreal. 

This elation gets even more profound when you take the sole responsibility to decorate your new abode. From planning to design wallpaper to putting together furniture, every activity seems brings about a certain sense of joy with it. But even under all the excitement, the one goal that you have is to make the new house feel like a home – somewhere where your family can feel safe, warm, and happy even during the challenges that life may hold in the future.

While the goal is simple, achieving it can be a little tricky. Keeping this in mind, we have put together a list of tips which can help you turn your new real estate into a place you could call home without any hesitation. 

Pay Attention to the Kitchen

It is not a secret that the kitchen is one of the most popular rooms to renovate for any homeowner. 

Whether you already have kids of your own or if it’s just you and your partner for the time being, investing in a roomy, warm kitchen should be at the top of your list as well. 

It’s because the kitchen is simply one of the busiest rooms in any American household. As the area where your family spends the most time together, your kitchen has to have a certain character that instantly evokes a sense of familial bonding. 

To achieve this goal, make sure that you are not only spending your money on fixtures, cabinets and flooring that is welcoming and cozy, but you are also looking into little decorative touches that really bring out the character for your kitchen. 

Decorating your fridge, making a photo collage on the wall, and keeping everyone’s favorite snacks ready is a great way to make your family comfortable in the new kitchen. If you are tech savvy, then you could go ahead with installing a built-in music system into the room that would keep your family entertained at all times and save them from getting tensed in the new environment. 

Don’t Forget the Living Room

Apart from the kitchen, it’s the living room that should get your attention to feel like home next. And it’s not only because you need to make an impression upon your guests. 

Since the living room is where you would be having movie and game nights with your family, it has to be spacious while also holding comfortable furnishings in it. 

Working with some floor space while having things like cushions to lean on or a large coffee table to place your devices on is the ideal setting for a modern yet inviting living room. With it, you could use a plush rug just under the coffee table to make sure you have seating space for everyone even during large gatherings. 

And of course, having a large screen TV would be a must if your family takes its entertainment seriously. If you like video games as much as board games, then investing in a console would automatically translate to plenty of fun times.

Remember the Bedroom

While you pay attention to rooms where your family would be spending most of their time together, don’t forget the individual space where you will be going at the end of the day to catch some sleep. 

As compared to the kitchen and living room which can benefit from general decorative ideas, the bedroom for each of your family members has to be in line with their character. 

While your own bedroom could be a cozy castle with lots of pillows and a luxury comforter, you have to make sure that you are paying attention to things that make you feel relaxed at night. Mood lighting fixtures and your favorite books could do that quite easily. 

On the other hand, when it comes to kids, you will need to do a little more than that to make them feel at home. Make sure that you are paying attention to their favorite cartoon, comic book, or movie memorabilia and set it up just the way it was in your previous home. Ensuring that you are not lading them with a lot of change at once is the way to help your kids settle in. 

Remember, calling your new house a home might take some time. But by keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure to make the process a lot easier for yourself and your family.

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How To Protect Your Kids From Potential Electrical Hazards

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For most parents, there is nothing more important than the safety of their children. The reason why parents put the effort into making their entire home child-proof especially when their toddlers are already crawling and learning how to walk. These are the times where these little cuties discover things around the house. Their curiosity pushes them to reach out for every little thing that they see. Therefore, parents have more reasons to keep hazardous household chemicals away from their children’s reach.

Remember that child-proofing does not end with harmful chemicals. It is more than just blocking the staircases and using play mats in every room. Parents must also be mindful of potential electrical dangers that their kids may encounter. This article will discuss some tips on how to protect your kids from potential electrical hazards.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)

A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a device designed to protect people against electric shock from an electrical system. This device monitors an electrical circuit constantly. Once it detects even a bit of electricity flow to a grounded item, it will immediately shut down the flow of electricity. This device is suitable for areas that have a water source such as a kitchen and bathroom. Installing this device around the house can protect your family especially your children from experiencing electrical shock. If you are not familiar with this, it is best to seek advice or hire a professional for installation.

Electrical Outlet Caps

Babies are somewhat attracted to different things including electrical outlets. It seems like these outlets invite them to stick any objects that can fit through the holes and that make electrical outlets seriously dangerous to children. The most affordable solution for this case is to purchase electrical outlet caps. Use it by plugging the caps directly into the electrical outlets around your house. Its flat front will make it difficult for a child to play to remove it and this prevents your children from poking your electrical outlet making them safe from being electrocuted.

Extension Cords

Though using extension cords are needed sometimes, parents must avoid using them especially in their child’s room. Kids love to play everything. Some toddlers even love to chew whatever things they have on their hands. Can you imagine your children holding the cord and putting it inside their mouth? That would be a disaster, especially when the appliance that is plugged into it would possibly fall on them too.

Teach Them A Lesson About Safety

Children’s curiosity can be helpful at times but it is a big no when it is about electricity. Depending on their age, it is best to educate them about electrical safety. Of course, you do not have to be as detailed as teaching them how power resistor works. It can be as simple as telling them how dangerous it would be if they play with electrical wires, older kids may already be capable of understanding the importance of unplugging devices or appliances that are not in use. Parents do not have to be overly anxious if their kids are aware of their electrical safety at home.

These are just a few of the tips on how to protect your kids from electrical dangers. Make it a habit to ask a licensed electrician to check your home’s electrical system regularly. This will not just make your kids safe but your entire family as well.

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How to Make the Most of a Home Movie Night

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Movie nights are so popular these days, especially now that the days of paying for every film you watch are gone and instead you now have a choice of hundreds at your fingertips for a small monthly payment, with services like Netflix or even free films on apps like BBC iPlayer. Nights like this are a great way to unwind and have fun with family and friends, or even just with a partner or by yourself. Whoever you’re sharing your movie night with, make sure it’s one to remember by following these few simple steps.

The Scene

The key to a great movie night is creating the perfect environment. First things first, make sure there is plenty of comfortable seating as you and your guests are going to be sitting for a couple of hours; bring in some extra cushions and footrests from elsewhere in the house. Light some scented candles too add to the atmosphere, and you need to make sure the temperature is just right too. You can also provide blankets just in case anyone gets cold. If you’re having a few people over, crack a window so it doesn’t get too stuffy.

When it comes to snacks and drinks, a glass of wine or a beer are perfect for relaxing but make sure you provide non-alcoholic options too. There are so many easy movie night recipes you could try. Most people will go for the traditional popcorn, but you could also try some savoury options like garlic dough balls or pretzels. Try to avoid snacks that make a mess as it’s easy to not pay attention when you’re engrossed in a brilliant film. For the ultimate in convenience, invest in a mini fridge to keep your drinks cool, as it also means you don’t have to miss any of the film.

The Tech

The right technology is crucial when it comes to movie night. You will of course need a screen big enough for everyone to see and if you really want to go all out, take a look at this Home Cinema Design. Your lights need to be dimmed to create an exciting atmosphere and to enable everyone to be able to see the screen clearly, so make sure you have a few lamps dotted around the room if you don’t have a dimmer switch. Try to make sure there is no light directed onto the screen too. The position of your speakers needs to create a balanced stereo sound experience to enhance viewing pleasure, so make sure they are placed on each side of the room and close to where people will be sitting. And lastly, choose your film wisely. Think carefully about your audience and read reviews first to make sure you don’t end up disappointed.

The Company

To ensure a relaxing, disruption free movie night, try to avoid inviting chatter boxes or young children (unless you’re having a child-friendly evening). You’ll probably need to stick to a certain age group in order to be able to choose a film that suits everyone, and to avoid people becoming restless and distracted. Depending on the film and the company, you may want to take regular breaks from the film to discuss certain scenes but clarify this before the film starts to avoid breaking the flow of the film for those who prefer to watch it all the way through. And lastly, have a designated remote-control operator to avoid arguing over things like pausing and volume, which can disrupt the atmosphere.

If you prepare the perfect environment, organise your technology, prepare food and drink and choose your company carefully, you can have the perfect move night. For more entertainment ideas, whether it’s for you and the kids or just you, take a look at chaosandkiddos.com.

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