There are a lot of things you can do to raise the security of your home from installing better locks to defensive landscaping.  A more active approach is to install an alarm system.  There are a few companies that offer an actively monitored home security systems such ADT.

The real benefit is the piece of mind with a security system.  You have to remember that an alarm system will not keep someone out of your home, but it does act as a deterrent.  The signs and stickers that are provided with the systems actually can help deter a break in passively.  This is a viable option for those who do not want to spend the monthly fee.  The job of the alarm system is to do one thing: alert.  When on vacation, a business trip, at work, or even out to the store your home gains a certain level of protection.  You can be alerted while away by a phone call from the provider or by the alarm when you are sleeping at night.  Sounds pretty good so far right?

The cost should be the next topic then.  You have to pay for a service, after all there has to be someone to call you 24/7 /365 and they have to gather information from you very quickly when needed.  Outside of any one time installation fees if they apply, the monthly cost is around $30-50 and the price can go higher.   There is one more thing to keep in mind while in consideration of this purchase, a discount on homeowners insurance.  You can save to the upwards of 20%.  Assuming insurance is around $800 a year, you could save $160 of that and bring a $360 a year security bill closer to a $200 annual piece of mind.

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One may wonder, what does “Eating for good health” mean?  Eating for good health means to consume the right quantities of food, from all the food groups, in order to maintain a healthy and balanced life. A balanced diet is a crucial part of healthy eating.

Here are some rules that should not be taken for granted with respect to eating well.

  • Never Skip Breakfast.   Although mornings are usually rushed and chaotic, it is best to take the time to eat a healthy breakfast for many reasons.  Did you know skipping breakfast may be linked to increasing a woman’s risk of diabetes? Eating a healthy breakfast is also connected with a lower incidence of heart disease in men. Eating breakfast helps to keep your metabolism going because your blood sugar levels drop in the morning and your body needs fuel to help keep your energy levels up. Eating breakfast just helps you perform better and helps to keep you from being irritable and grumpy.
  • Eat More Fruits and Vegetables.  People tend to underestimate the benefits that eating more vegetables and fruits can provide for the body. It is recommended that you consume at least five portions of different types of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.  Eating an assortment of vegetables and fruits can help you avert many ailments like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke and even prevent some types of cancer.
  • Reduce Saturated Fat. Everyone needs to reduce the amount of fat consumed on a daily basis. Fat comes in two forms, saturated and unsaturated. Excess saturated fat can increase the cholesterol levels in the blood leading to an increased risk of heart disease.  Try to cut down on foods like cakes, biscuits, butter, pies and processed foods and increase your intake of vegetables and fruits.
  • Drink Plenty Of Water. Drinking a sufficient amount of water is an essential part of eating healthy. Do not wait until you are thirsty before you drink water. Human’s need to drink about 1.2 liters of water on a daily basis.  Drinking plenty of water helps the kidneys to flush out toxins and can help the body increase energy and relieve fatigue. Did you also know that water is a natural appetite suppressant?  Drinking water before a meal helps to fill you up and raises your metabolism. So drink up, but make sure it’s zero calorie water:  wine, fruit juices and other beverages do not off the same benefits as good old water.
  • Remain Active. In addition to a healthy diet, engaging in daily exercise is beneficial in boosting your metabolism.  Regular physical activity helps the body to function better, reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease and promotes weight loss.  For individuals that live a sedentary lifestyle, it is important to introduce physical activity gently into their daily routine.  Even engaging in light physical activity can get your muscles working and stimulate healthy blood flow. As always, an individual’s physician should be consulted prior to introducing a new exercise routine.

The benefits of a healthy diet are many, even simple changes can produce noticeable results. Embracing a healthy diet will have you feeling great and full of energy in no time.

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What is your dream home? It is a water-front home, a cabin in the woods, a city apartment or a home on a cul de sac in a suburb? The phrase “dream home” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Here are some things to consider when looking for your dream home:

Square Footage

Consider how much room you need in your home. Do you need a media room or a finished basement? Three decades ago the average home size was 1,645 square feet. Now the average home size has gone up to 2,195. Recent trends have shown house sizes again decreasing as buyers evaluate what they truly need.

Floorplan

Think about how you will use your home, will you be entertaining? Do you like your home with rooms that are intimate and have a traditional feel? Or do you prefer an open floor plan? The way you use your home will dictate the type of floor plan you ultimately choose.

Extras

What kind of extras are you looking for in a home? Do you want granite counter tops, high-end appliances, or other extras?  That will also affect price. Decide what you want and make sure it fits your budget.

Landscaping

The bigger the better may not be the case when it comes to a lawn. A big lawn means lots of landscaping. If you are willing to perform the necessary upkeep you may opt for a large yard; if not, your dream home may be a home with a smaller yard or even a condo.

Location

Choosing a neighborhood is important when picking your dream home. If you have a family or are planning one in the future you most likely will want to look at school systems.  Other considerations are commute time to work, location to stores, highways, the ability to walk to venues and public transportation.

 

 

To buy or not to buy that is the question. There are reasons for or against homeownership on both sides of the fence. So here are the pros and cons of buying a home. You decide…

Pros:

1. It Costs Less- With record low interest rates, and low home prices a mortgage payment on a house can be less than a rental payments.

2. Equity -If you own a home rather than rent you are building equity. If you pay rent you have nothing to show for it. If you own a home you are building equity. Even if housing prices stay flat part of your mortgage payment goes towards the principal balance and eventually you will own the home.

Cons:

1. You Could Get a Better Money Return-A home may not be the best return on your money. You may find a better return on capital in the stock market. If you are just looking at it in a strictly financial way there are better investment strategies. Historically, the S&P 500 has returned an average of 13.4% — 4.8% higher than the 8.6% average return on housing.

2. It is a Big Commitment-You can’t just sell your house and move quickly. It is a long term decision. If you job requires frequent moves this can be a significant consideration.

Now that you have seen some of the pros and cons the decision is ultimately up to you and what is best in your circumstance. The pros cannot be disputed. Low rates and prices almost make buying a no-brainer if it fits within your financial situation.

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