Why Having a Community Solar Farm Is a Great Idea

Between physical obstructions, rental agreements, and geography, up to 80% of US households might not have access to a rooftop or ground-based solar solution.

Even more disturbing, of those that do, communities are presenting a large ethnic and racial disparity in solar installation. Why this is happening comes down to a number of historical, economic, and social factors.

One solution that can benefit all is to get into a community solar farm. What are community solar farms? How do they work?

Keep reading to find out how they might be the best idea for you and your neighbors!

What Is a Community Solar Farm?

There are many kinds of ways to access solar energy savings and help the environment at the same time. If solar isn’t an option for your location but you still want to benefit, then community solar farms are the way to go.

First off, you can save a ton of money by deciding how you’re going to access solar energy — if you do have options. To find out how much, check out https://blueravensolar.com/blog/how-much-do-solar-panels-save/ for in-depth details.

A community solar farm is a field of solar panels that are taken care of by their owner. The solar farm feeds electricity into the power grid, producing solar credits for the company. They often use the best technologies available and get round-the-clock maintenance.

They’re high-tech and produce more electricity more efficiently than you would get on your roof. They also constantly upgrade their equipment to be on the leading edge of solar technology.

They’re privately owned solar farms that sell off their energy to people who otherwise can’t install their own systems. This helps to level the playing field and help all involved.

How Does a Community Solar Farm Make Money?

They often sell those credits at a discount to the price of electricity from your utility. For example, if you show them your electric bill, they may be willing to sell you credits at up to 10% off your normal kWh rate.

Those credits will be used against your utility bill, even though you are not the one producing the electricity. A community solar farm is not a utility, but they do work with utilities in a mutually beneficial arrangement for all.

Utilities can focus on power generation at times solar isn’t viable. Solar feeds the grid with clean, environmentally friendly energy during sun exposure. Regular US homeowners don’t need to invest in solar installation and design and still benefit by purchasing the solar farm’s credits.

Bridging the Socio-Economic Gaps

Let’s face it: the United States has some serious socio-economic gaps. From ethnic and racial injustices to gender debates, the nation is in a moment of extreme flux.

One of the ways to bridge those gaps is to take advantage of what a community solar farm can offer. Lower rates without home installation benefit renters and apartment owners alike, no matter the gender, race, ethnicity, or economic position.

Did this help you understand your options for going solar? Keep browsing our articles for more nuggets of solar power wisdom!

Author: Steffy Alen

How to Do Business with a Contractor without Frustration

Whether you are looking to renovate one room or working on the entire property, renovation is a large project. As experts in remodeling and building, contractors can deal with all the required inspections, permits, materials, and equipment to ensure the smooth completion of the project.

However, failure to choose the contractors wisely may result in frustrations such as project delays, quality compromise, and wastages. Doing business with a contractor requires finding a reliable, reputable and efficient one to avoid such frustrations.

Conduct background checks

Whether you have received recommendations from a relative or a friend, it is important to establish the minimum credentials of the contractor before hiring. Obtain the full name and address of the company and ensure that enough insurance coverage and a state license are available.

Obtain policy and license numbers and verify their validity. Establish whether the company has any pending legal cases or has received complaints from customers in the past. If the potential contractor does not have any pending issues that may affect their work, you will avoid problems when the project is ongoing.

Plan on how to resolve differences

Many homeowners are coming up with diverse property renovation ideas, especially with the current housing boom. With a rush to create a home office, for instance, you may be tempted to ignore conflict resolution strategies.

Hiring a contractor means that you will work with them until the project is complete. Hire someone trustworthy and easy to communicate with. If, for instance, the contractor is setting up office space and something goes wrong, you should have a strategy to resolve conflicts beforehand.

A good contractor will facilitate written agreements to safeguard the interests of both parties. Before the start of the project, enquire how differences and unexpected issues may be handled.

Investigate the work habits and history of the contractor

Contractors may be general or specialists and so you need to ensure that they can handle the project appropriately. Investigate their work habits and the projects they have completed in the past. Look out for quality materials, some similar issues to your project, client satisfaction, and workmanship.

You may also track minor indicators of lack of professionalism. Establish whether the contractor returns calls promptly, whether they keep appointment times and whether their dress code tells something about their ability to be organized. Carelessness in small matters may lead to frustrations as a result of compromising the quality of work.

Have a smart payment schedule

Reliable and reputable contractors often request some upfront payment before they start working. In some states, asking for a down payment exceeding 10% is considered illegal, especially for large projects.

Smaller property upgrades with tailor-made specifications may require between 30% and 50% deposit. You should pay the balance after the completion of the project. Ensure that the payment schedule is clearly stated in the project contract and that it is updated on need.

Find a contractor from reputable sources

Getting recommendations from family members and friends about the contractor’s experiences is a good way to find a company to do business with. However, if you are new in the industry or are uncertain about available options, use online services to find a good contractor.

Most online services review recommendations from users. Your goal should be to ensure that the reviewers have experience working with a contractor you want to hire. Getting accurate information regarding online reviews will guarantee proper project completion.

Interview several contractors before hiring

It is possible to find a reliable contractor online, but online reviews should not substitute meetings in person with the contractor. If you don’t have a specific contractor in mind, you have some options.

Interview several candidates to gather insights into the kind of person you want to hire to undertake the project. Every contractor may have a unique approach, timeline, budget, and connections with subcontractors around your area.

Gathering estimates from several contractors will help you to have a clear perspective on appropriate project costs. You may also understand the kind of work each contractor is likely to provide.

Understand the contract details

Understanding the contract details is one of the best ways to avoid frustrations when doing business with a contractor. A contract should have information regarding fees and building permits and the commencement and completion dates of the project.

It should also have the details of payment terms, products and services to be provided by your contractor and the subcontractor issues. It should define the consequences of failure to honor the terms of the agreement, such as failure to compensate subcontractors.

If anyone needs to modify the contract to adapt to something new, request to sign an addendum and be clear about the updated project estimate. Understanding the contract details will help to minimize possible disputes that may amount to frustrations.

Request for a project estimate

Signing a construction agreement should start by having a formal estimate of the cost of the project. If you have multiple contractors to evaluate, consider a bidding process to narrow down the options. Apart from the timeline and budget, talk to the prospective contractors about your preferred materials and if there is a need to engage subcontractors.

It is also important to know if the contractor has completed similar projects. They could be good in one area of construction or renovation and not good in another. The home contractor should be willing to discuss material recommendations, previous projects similar to yours, and any questions you may raise during bidding.

Getting the project estimate will ensure timeliness and cost-effectiveness of project completion. A contractor who provides project estimates understands the project’s structure and how to integrate various design options. Therefore, it may guarantee a better outcome and minimize possible frustrations.


Construction projects are critical no matter their size and so it is important to take initiatives when hiring a contractor to ensure a smooth flow of work. With the above tips, you should be able to do business with a contractor without frustration. It will ensure the success of a project in terms of scope, time, quality and cost.

Author Bio

Leon Collier is a blogger and one of the best academic essay writers from the UK who works with essay writing service UK. He likes to take on challenges and is always keen to prove his writing prowess with his work, which is always high-quality and unique. His hobbies are reading books and playing tabletop games with his friends. You can reach him via Twitter @LeonCollier12.

Photo by Fakurian Design on Unsplash

Top 5 Tips for Building Your Own Home in Portugal

When you are planning to build your own home in Portugal, you need to be aware of the documents and procedures that you need to undertake. The following will help you understand what documents you will need for construction permits to build your own home in Portugal.

There may be some cases where an application for construction permits is not required, such as when building with temporary materials or when reconstructing existing buildings.

1. Find the right location

Portugal is a small country and it may be more difficult to find a suitable location than you imagine. if you are thinking to be building your own home in Portugal you may already have a nice region in mind that you like most. But don’t overlook the hidden jems Portugal has to offer.

There are some regions that are more affordable than others, some are actually not far from the beach and mountains.

2. Apply for a planning permission

This is absolutely mandatory and will save you from potential problems later on. But don’t worry there is offices out there who are specialized in helping you in this process, such as an architectural office. Hiring an architect in Portugal is not as expensive as you might think. Depending on the size of your project it can cost you as little as 10 € per square metre.

3. Find and hire an architect

It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but it will make your life much easier in the long run by ensuring that everything gets done correctly, within budget and on time. Also, the architect in Portugal can design your home in a way that will actually save you money, in the end you probably pay the same that you would have without an architect.

4. Consider buying land

If you are only looking to build a home for yourself in Portugal, then make sure you look in the area that is right for you and have everything nearby that you will need. Also, it is important to check if the land is suitable for construction. If you buy a land in Portugal that is located in an estate make sure to check the estate rules – sometimes there are rules regarding colours of the house or windows or the roof needs to have a certain colour and angle… etc.

5. Speak to a solicitor

Better safe than sorry. Getting legal advice will help you to understand the procedure involved and be aware of potential pitfalls.

Conclusion: Building Your Own Home in Portugal

With these few simple steps you can be building your own home in Portugal and invest in the healthy and growing housing market of sunny Portugal.

Image by Steffen Zimmermann on Pixabay 

5 Tips for Painting Your Home’s Exterior

Are you looking to give your home a fresh coat of paint before you put it on the market? Have you noticed recently that your property’s exterior paint job is looking a little worse for the wear? If so, then you need to learn a few tricks for painting your home’s exterior to perfection.

Doing so can give your home an aesthetic with precision and a beautiful coat. Anyone that walks/drives past it will be forced to do a double-take.

See below for an in-depth guide on different tips you should follow while painting a house. You’ll be glad that you did!

1. Know the Signs

Did you know that there are telltale signs that your home needs a fresh exterior paint job? Contrary to popular belief, exterior paint serves more of a purpose than improving the looks of your home. It’s also used for benefits such as:

  • Protecting your home from the elements
  • Extending the lifespan of your home’s siding material
  • Preventing rot
  • Boost the value of your home

You must understand the reasons to repaint your home so that you can make the proper call on what paint brand to use, which exterior painting company to hire, whether or not you need to make a few repairs before you paint, and so on.

Too many homeowners ignore these signs and are forced to deal with the consequences. The value of their home ends up suffering in the long run.

2. Search for Rot

For those of you that have a wooden exterior on your home, you’ll want to take this project as an opportunity to search for signs of rot. After all, if you’re going to go to the effort of painting your home’s exterior, you want to make sure you won’t have to replace certain pieces down the line.

You’ll want to take the time to inspect for rotting on your wood siding, any wooden doors, wooden door frames, wooden window frames, and any other wooden feature on the outside of your home. 

This can be done by simply going around and tapping on the wood. Does it sound strong and dense or weak and hollow? If it’s the latter, then it’s generally a sign of rot. You’ll want to replace that piece before you start painting.

Rot can start in a wooden feature of your home’s exterior for a few reasons. It could be due to the moisture the wood was exposed to during a storm, the effect of usual wear and tear, or a sign of a termite infestation problem. 

Whatever the reasoning, make sure that all of your features are a-okay before you begin prepping for the paint job.

3. Prepare the Home Exterior for Paint

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when painting your home’s exterior is walking right up to the siding and painting over it without any other form of preparation.

Think of it this way: if you don’t prepare the siding for a new coat of paint, you’re simply painting over all the dirt, debris, and germs that have piled upon it. Therefore, placing a new coat over it will trap the grime inside, which can cause bubbling or running paint. 

To get the results that you want, you’re going to need to get it in paint-ready condition. Be sure to rent or purchase a pressure washer to clean the outside of your home. For optimum results, you’ll want to find one that fits the siding of your house.

For example, homes with soft siding (like stucco or wood) should only use one with anywhere between 1,200 to 1,500 psi. However, a home with vinyl siding will require something a bit stronger, such as a pressure washer with anywhere between 2,500 to 3,000 psi.

After you’ve pressure washed the house, make sure to provide a covering for all the plants near the side of your house, as well as remove any statues or figures that risk getting paint on them.

4. Scrap off Lead Paint

Perhaps you were prompted to inquire about exterior painting when you noticed the paint outside your home is starting to crack and peel off. This could be a sign that your home was previously painted with lead paint. 

Regardless of what type of paint it is, that cracked paint has to be removed before you put on a fresh coat. Otherwise, it could cause the new paint to bubble or drip.

Grab as many friends, relatives, and neighbors as you can, then get them all to help you scrape off the paint from the side of your house.

5. Hire a Professional Painting Company

Is painting your home’s exterior more overwhelming than you originally thought? Perhaps you didn’t realize that repainting your home’s exterior would include things like pressure washing, scraping, and sanding.

If so, then you should hire a professional exterior painting company to do the work. That way, this project is put in the hands of experienced professionals with the manpower and equipment for the job.

The result will be a high-quality paint job that will make interested buyers salivate. It’s sure to up the curb appeal of your entire house.

Paint Your Home’s Exterior Today

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on how to paint your home’s exterior and all the steps it requires to do it right, be sure to use this information to your advantage.

Start by browsing our website for more articles on painting the inside and outside of your home, as well as many other helpful topics that you will enjoy.

Eight Things You Should Know About Before Buying A Home In Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of the most popular places to buy a home in. Every year, the worldwide population visits the most expensive city in the US and has a great time doing the things they love. If settling in Vegas has been your dream too, then there is a list of Henderson Las Vegas home for sale. But, before buying a home, consider reading these things that can be important for you to know.

1. You get a variety to select from

Before you decide anything, you have to settle on a budget. There are a variety of places available for you to settle down but, you should be aware that the hottest real estate place in the market has to come at a greater price. So, decide on a budget and start searching for a place that suits you the best. The type of home you are looking for also depends on your budget as they all have different prices. If you are looking for a villa, you are expected to keep your budget higher than an apartment.

2. You should go through the requirements of buying a home in Vegas

Once you are through in successfully selecting the home of your dreams, the next thing in line is looking at the requirements to buy a home in the area of your choice. You might need a pre-approved home loan before settling down at one residence. Make sure that the approval is not from anyone but a decent lender. You have to keep other things in mind, and for that, it’s best to consult someone with experience. If you can’t find a home yet, try the list of Henderson Las Vegas homes for sale. We are sure something will come up!

3. Have you heard about the green neighborhood?

If you are a planet lover and want to find a place that saves the environment, look for a green neighborhood house. Such sites are environmentally friendly but come at an expensive rate. These days more and more people are trying to look for a place here. It not only helps save the environment but makes sure you are safe too!

4. Living away from the strip is always a better idea

Looking for the best property in Las Vegas, then you should avoid the area near the strip. This is because you will have to research a lot when finding a school or amenities like a gym nearby. Going here on vacation purposes does make sense, but why take a home that is not family-friendly and involves many struggles? Shifting to a new home should always be convenient and easy.

5. It might be expensive so negotiating is a must

Negotiating on small things like a pen or a notebook might not make sense but negotiating on the house does! Wouldn’t it be good if you save some dollars while hunting for the best home in the town? Real estate being hotter in Las Vegas makes the property dealer more accountable in asking for a higher price. Helping yourself might get you a better deal, and there is nothing harmful in trying, right?

6. You have to decide early as houses are selling soon

Construction in Las Vegas is catching up speed because of which moderately priced properties are selling at a faster rate. So, acting fast is one option you have! Making a decision ASAP is an important step as you never know next day you will find the same house at the same price or not! Try to negotiate to an extent where the seller does not get tempted by someone who is paying a little more than you.

7. It won’t be that easy to buy a house in the hottest market

Just like you, there are a lot of people looking for a place to settle in L. A. It is not impossible, but it might not be easy for you to settle on a property because the demand and supply are running together. While the legal process can be easy and fast, you have to make sure that your decision-making power is one the same rate as well. You might love a few houses, and by the time you decide on one, all your choices are sold! As the market is on fire, it is not a smooth task to buy the home of your dreams.

8. Try creative offers to impress buyers

Creativity is one of the best ways to impress someone uniquely. While all the buyers are approaching in an ordinary fashion, you can make a difference and get the house with your creativity to pitch differently. Tr y taking a homebuyer education course to learn all the details. A few tips from us include, try making an offer before they speak about the price. Try to work with experienced men who know the field and will help you in the best way possible.

Buying a place in Las Vegas might not be a daunting task if you have the right people behind you. It is the hottest market globally, and things might work on a priority basis, but if you try and work it out, you can get what you are looking for without much of a problem.

10 Technology Trends Disrupting Real Estate Today

The evolution of technology has branched out into different spheres of society, impacting it both positively and negatively. From our means of communication to even the manufacturing of food has been affected by technology. Similarly, the effects can also be seen in real estate.

Technological impact on real estate has increased significantly over the years, and it is accurate to say that it’s causing fundamental change. In this article, we will be discussing ten technology trends that are disrupting real estate today. Some of these trends are:

1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence has evolved over the years, and it is now being used in the real estate market. Artificial intelligence involves the conversion of collected data into action. It helps in making smarter decisions because certain pattern recognition will be built into the system. Along this line, artificial intelligence in real estate algorithms and other technological-related frameworks will facilitate high-quality property management, including better lighting and security, among other important features. For instance, instead of searching for properties manually with a real estate agent, you can use an online real estate marketplace. An online real estate marketplace helps its users to streamline the home search process with artificial intelligence. According to the requests put in by the users, the AI brings out the best possible options.

2. Blockchain.

Blockchain is a relatively new development in the tech industry. Blockchain technology can be referred to as a decentralized, distributed ledger that records the provenance of a digital asset. In other words, blockchain makes digital assets transparent through the use of cryptographic hashing. Blockchain is significantly affecting real estate in terms of its record and information. Blockchain, through its processes, will significantly decrease fraudulent activities and property prices.  Also, cryptocurrencies and their constant evolution will affect the real estate industry sooner or later.

3. Real Estate robots

Over the years, it has been a constant thought on the minds of technology developers to see if robotics can replicate the functions of humans. Although there hasn’t been any sign of its perfection, effective robots that perform crucial tasks have been created.  For instance, real estate robots assist real estate agents in the performance of specific duties. Virtual assistants, robots, voice bots, or chatbots help consumers get quick answers to all their complaints on time. This enables good communication for both parties, thereby creating an effective business relationship. Pro-active real estate companies make use of these bots for the effective rendering of services.

4. Drones

Drones technology is also disrupting the whole process of real estate. They provide efficient aerial photography that helps create a fantastic virtual experience that can display how a certain property looks like. An additional function of drones that further proves their usefulness is the fact that they can provide visuals of areas that are inaccessible. This means that you can decide to purchase a property without even visiting the location, which enhances the comfortability of users. Also, drones can be used as a marketing strategy by real estate firms. By using features such as geolocation with drones, real estate agents can measure the quality of a property and the areas surrounding it.

5. Data automation

Various tasks in real estate that was usually performed manually can now be automated for ease of the process. For instance, processes like data collection, data scraping, data processing, and other tasks can now be automated to increase efficiency, i.e., making things done easier and quicker. As a part of real estate, marketing automation is already enabling real estate firms to deliver real-time messages to prospective buyers during the sales process, automatically boosting their efficiency level.

6. Big data

The whole concept behind ‘big data’ is to accumulate all possible information in a particular field and use relevant to answer requests. Big data, essentially, is the study and extraction of information from vast amounts of data. As it relates to real estate, big data helps in the collection or acquisition of data from customers, which is in the form of requests. These requests will be used to examine their behavioural patterns, which will be used to predict a user’s behaviour. Through these predictions, the best and appropriate options in terms of the user’s preferences will be matched.

7. Virtual reality

This aspect of technology has affected so many areas, which includes gaming and now real estate. Virtual reality makes the whole process of searching and buying properties exciting because interested or prospective buyers can get a virtual tour of the properties they are interested in remotely. An interested customer can now get a visible virtual tour of what they want before they make their decision. A crucial factor that triggered this process is the COVID19 era which further pushed virtual reality acceptance.

8. Mobile applications

From the start of the 21st century, the development of applications has been evolving, becoming crucial to society. You can order food, clothes and even equipment through apps that are specifically designed for such purposes. These same developments also apply to the real estate industry. There are various apps you can now use to buy, sell or rent properties and even contact agents that will put you through the whole process. It enhances convenience, and it ultimately saves time and stress. Due to the conveniences it brings, it is becoming a growing area in the real estate industry.

9. Safer buildings

Due to the COVID19 pandemic, properties will now be constructed with the occupants’ health benefits in mind. Technology has now become intertwined in the construction of most houses, thereby giving it a different outlook that would affect the real estate market. The new process spans a variety of means. Some of them include HEPA filters with UV lights and technological-related sanitization measures. This technology area will be important in updating existing real estate, and it will cause significant changes.

10. 5G

With the establishment of 5G technology, the whole process of communication can be more secure and consistent. With higher bandwidth, virtual tours of properties to remote buyers can go smoothly and effectively, ensuring stability in business. Furthermore, security, surveillance and maintenance will be optimized through the use of 5G technology in the real estate industry.

Final thoughts

For years, real estate and its intricacies have been growing along a certain line. However, with the addition and improvement of technology, a significant and irreparable effect has been made on the real estate industry.

About the author

Charlie Svensson is a skillful and engaging freelance and online essay writer. He is skilled in content writing, blogging and also in providing the best essay services. His contents usually center around education, social media, marketing, SEO, motivation blogging and self-growth, and he posts some of his works on college-paper.org review.

Image by FunkyFocus on Pixabay 

The Importance of Estate Planning at Any Age

You plan for a lot of things in life, like vacations, choosing which car to buy and even buying a house. However, many people don’t consider estate planning. Estate planning decides who will inherit your assets after you pass away, and holds a lot of value. It might not be as fun to think about as your next vacation, but estate planning is necessary to ensure your belongings go to the right people or places. 

Estate planning may sound like it’s just for the wealthy, but everyone should have an estate plan. Without settling your affairs, your loved ones can be negatively impacted after you pass away. Here’s why estate planning is important at any age. 

Protects Beneficiaries 

End of life planning is necessary for all people, especially those with families. It’s not just about who gets what, but helps create a plan to decide who will be in charge of everything from typical household activities, to paying taxes. Even if you’re not leaving much behind, if you don’t decide who receives what you do have, you won’t have any control over what happens to it. 

For example, you can’t just assume that your home will be handed down to your children if you pass away. An estate plan is the only way to guarantee that everything you leave behind is left to your loved ones, and allows you to ensure their protection.

The main component of end of life planning is choosing the heirs for your assets, whether it’s your house or your favorite vase. Without this plan, the courts will decide who gets your assets, which can be a long and ugly process that can hurt your loved ones and their relationships with one another.

A will specifically names who gets your assets, so it’s important that you create one as soon as possible to make sure your family gets everything they need. 

Protects Young Children

While you don’t want to consider what will happen if you die young, you need to think about the future. If you’re the parent of an underage child, you need to prepare yourself and them for what’s to come if you pass away. To ensure that your children are cared for the way you want them to be, you will name guardians who will take over custody if both parents were to pass away before the children are over the age of 18. Without naming these individuals, the courts will determine who will raise your children. 

If you have anyone specific in mind who you think would be a good guardian to your children, talk to them about it to make sure that it’s something they are comfortable with. Many parents choose to name godparents for their children within their extended family, but this can also extend to friends or other loved ones. However, unless these individuals are specifically mentioned in your estate plan, then you cannot guarantee that these will be the people to take care of your children if you pass away. 

Prevents Heirs From Paying Hefty Taxes

Estate planning is all about ensuring the protection of your loved ones, which can mean helping them save money. When you transfer assets to heirs, there will be a tax burden on them. However, with the right planning, you can lessen the amount they’ll pay on taxes when transferring your assets. To help with your taxes, you can use an easy-to-use, professional tax software

Eliminates Family Drama

We’ve all watched the horror stories unfold on our favorite soap operas, but nobody wants to experience family drama due to a lack of an estate plan in real life. When someone with money or assets dies, family members typically start a war between one another. One sibling may believe that they are entitled to more than everyone, while another believes they should be the one in charge of the finances. 

This type of fighting can get ugly quickly and end up in court with your family members pitted against each other, forced to choose sides. 

An estate plan enables you to stop the fighting before it even begins. You are the one in control of where your finances and assets go if you become incapacitated or pass away. This can help you avoid family drama and keep your loved ones from fighting. 

Saves Time and Money

If you pass away without an estate plan, the laws where you live will determine what happens to your estate. Probate court will name a representative to make sure your assets are distributed. This job typically goes to the surviving spouse, but if you don’t have one and no family member is willing to take on the task, the court will name a public trustee.

During this period, no one will be able to touch your assets or carry out any of your directives. Everything is essentially frozen until the court figures everything out. This probate process involves paperwork and court appearances, which means your loved ones will be spending valuable time away from their jobs and families to make sure your affairs are settled.

Estate Planning Ensures Your Safety

Estate planning doesn’t just mean drafting a will for after you pass away. In fact, it can take care of you while you’re still alive. An estate plan can include a power of attorney (POA) and healthcare proxy that ensure your wishes are fulfilled if you become incapable of fulfilling them yourself. Power of attorney designates someone who is authorized to handle your legal and financial affairs when you can’t, while a healthcare proxy is someone who can make healthcare decisions for you.

Without this living will, determining who among your family members can take care of these important duties can get difficult. The court might have to appoint someone who is unfamiliar with your wishes to make decisions for you. 


While you may be young now, you never know what the future holds. If you have young children, you should at least have a will drafted to ensure their safety and protection. Whether you’re married or single, having an estate plan can help you and your loved ones in the future. 

Estate planning also gives you a sense of control over your property, which can be taken by the state if there’s no one to give your assets to. As someone who might be single, an estate plan gives you the power to give your assets to a friend or charity instead of the government.

Matt Casadona

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music. 

7 Steps to Convert Your Attic into a Bedroom

Your growing family needs more space, and you may quickly consider converting your basement or garage into a bedroom. But are you aware that your attic has more potential to become a unique room?

You may think that it is a daunting task to plan an attic conversion because you need money and time to make it happen. However, with proper planning, you can have your new bedroom with minimal stress. Here are some steps to help you:

1.      Building Code and Permits

An attic conversation may require a building permit during the planning stages. A building code has several safety standards that ensure the stability and safety of your house. It includes considerations about the ceiling height, width, and total square footage of the room. Your proposed bedroom must meet the building code requirements, especially if you plan to lease or sell it later in the future.

You can check with your local government unit to know if your attic conversion needs a permit. You must bring the completed plans for a quick and accurate answer. If you are adding windows or changing the roofline, you will need to obtain a permit first. 

2.      Angled Ceilings

The steep slope ceiling can be a problem when you decide to convert your attic into a bedroom because it limits the usable space and blocks any headroom. You can solve this issue by putting a unique piece of architecture to highlight the elements, such as using ceiling treatments. You may add a design by painting it using an eye-catching color or use paneling on the angles with molding. You can prefer to create a textured wall by painting over the molding to add visual interest.

3.      Walls

Your attic bedroom will not have more wall space than your other rooms because of the steep ceiling angle. You may try using wall treatments by adding an extra interior wall. If you have a smaller space, you may try light colors to make the room look larger and more open. A more polished finish is also feasible by having faux panels with molding.

You can build shorter closets to maximize small areas and gain valuable square footage. Taller walls can match the angle and meet the ceiling, but it can be challenging to find furniture that will fit. You may prefer to have custom-made storage to correspond to the unconventional space. You can add shelving units into the walls to keep clutter off the floor.

4.      Windows

Your window design must fit your space because a standard small window may not be enough for it to reach its full potential and make the space livable. You may opt for an easily accessible larger window that meets the building code. It has to be accessible and serve as an emergency exit in case of fire.

Windows also offer natural light, which helps your room look larger and brighter. You may prefer skylights because they provide a natural fit into a roofline and provide added headroom. The Dormer window extends from a sloped roofline for small nooks. It creates a dynamic element to the exterior, and you can add a desk or bench that also serves as a storage unit.

5.      Floors

Flooring is essential in your bedroom conversion, but you must check that your floor has a structurally sound and robust surface. You can consider the amount of weight and movement that your flooring must accommodate when you transform the attic into a bedroom. Reinforcing the floor joists can make the flooring safe.

Hardwood floors may be suitable for other rooms in your house, but for the attic bedroom, a carpet can be your best bet because of its soundproofing benefits. You don’t want to create a lot of noise below that will disturb other family members. Carpets absorb sound and require an additional layer of subflooring to eliminate the noise from below.

6.      Stairs

Many attics have ladders because their original intention is for storage areas. If you convert it to a bedroom, you may need to build a staircase because ladders are not stable and unsafe for everyday use. A conventional stair is more reliable than a ladder but occupies more floor space below. You may opt for a spiral stair as it has wide steps but does not occupy a lot of space.

7.      Utilities

More often than not, your attic’s design is strictly for storage; thus, it does not have the appropriate utilities such as temperature control and electricity.

  • Temperature Control

The attic is hotter than the rest of your house during the winter and summer. You must install temperature control to ensure that you are comfortable in your planned bedroom. You may place a ceiling fan to cut down on your cooling and heating bills. However, it will not solve all your temperature control issues.

You may also invest in spray foam insulation to fill the crevices. It reduces your utility bills and helps soundproof your room. You can install insulation in your ceiling, walls, or floor to control the temperature. If your attic has an HVAC system, you may still prefer to add more temperature control because you will have someone moving in the room full time.

  • Electric

Your attic may already have electrical wiring, but you need more light fixtures and outlets if you wish to convert it into a bedroom. You can select light fixture designs that do not give off a lot of heat. You may prefer recessed lights because they provide light without heating the space. You can tuck them into the ceiling.

Your dream to convert your attic into a livable space is exciting, but you must ensure that you do it right to save on time and costs. You may consider the steps listed to add value to your home and have more bedrooms for your growing family.

About the Author

Leon Collier is the UK’s prolific academic writer and blogger with vast experience working as one of the essay writers providing college essay papers. He is someone you will love to collaborate with because he loves challenges and delivers outstanding work regularly. He is a voracious book reader and enjoys playing tabletop games when he is not busy with work. You can follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12.

Photo by Antonio Caverzan on Unsplash

Cheap Houses: What You Should Know

Houses are expensive. Especially in densely populated urban areas. But there are some houses on the market that only cost a few thousand dollars.

Where can you find those dirt-cheap houses? One place we found for example is Bulgaria where you can get affordable houses, even some that are close to the beach.

Example: Cheap Houses in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a country in the Balkans, Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north and the Republic of Macedonia to the east. The country has a population of 7,6 million people and is one of the oldest countries in Europe.

Bulgaria offers beauty and history for all types of travellers willing to explore it. It is very affordable as well. For instance, a meal in a restaurant will cost you around 2 euros maximum, while accommodation will cost you anything from 10 euros per night for an apartment up to 50 euros per night for a hotel room with 4 stars. Bulgaria also has some remarkable festivals that are worth checking out – like the folk festival “Kukeri” during which participants dress up as masked characters with colourful outfits and dance around bonfires!

There are also many other reasons why you might want to consider property investment in Bulgaria such as:

– The country has a low crime rate

– There are plenty of opportunities for owning businesses

– Land prices are very low

4 Factors Affecting the Cost of a House

The cost of a house can vary in four main ways.

1) Location: the cost of a house will depend on where it is located. For example, a house right at the beach will cost you more than one in the middle of nowhere.

2) Size: the size of the property will also affect the price. For example, properties with a bigger backyard or more rooms might be more expensive than other homes with less space to offer.

3) Age: this factor is closely related to size and features but it also includes things like how old are the pipes? Or how new are the appliances? This is important because older homes might need lots of repairs and upgrades.

4) Amenities: another thing that affects housing prices is what kind of amenities, such as a pool or a gym, come with the property.

3 Ways to Make Your Home More Affordable

There are many simple ways to make your home more affordable. Here are 3 of them:

– Consider downsizing

– Look for a mortgage with a lower interest rate

– Consider walking away from your mortgage

– Consider to move to the Countryside

Downsizing is the most common way to make your home more affordable. The truth is that the size and space of your home can have an impact on its value. You could also look for a mortgage with a lower interest rate, which would help decrease the amount of money you spend each month. Lastly, it may be time to consider walking away from your mortgage if you have reached the end of what you can afford or if you are struggling to come up with additional funds.


Don’t look for a house that is bigger than you actually need it. Know what you can comfortably afford and then be flexible about the location as well as be ready to do some repair works yourself. Like that you will find cheap houses in no time.


Our Property under 20k team are the founders of www.all-real-estate.com and www.listproperty4free.com with the goal to search the cheapest real estate in the world and make it easy for others to find. The team is made up of landlords, real estate investors, architects and builders from several different countries.  We just love to have a good strong cup of coffee while we write our experiences in this blog.

Image by Martin Winkler on Pixabay 

3 Ways To Power Your Tiny Home

When you build your home from scratch, you will be able to design it in a way that suits your needs perfectly. This is the case for tiny houses. When you plan your tiny home, you make sure to utilize every part of it maximally so you don’t have an inch of space left unused. However, to live in and adequately enjoy your tiny home, you need to power it sufficiently, whether you’re on the grid or off the grid. 

It may be easier to focus more on the fun activities involved in the design of your tiny home, such as picking out your furniture or choosing the exterior paint color. However, some decisions are more urgent and need to be sorted before others. One such decision is how to power your tiny home. This is essential as it can affect your construction process. So you must sort it out as soon as possible. For instance, some of the things you have to consider during your design are electrical panels, light switches placement, necessary connections for solar, etc., depending on which method or power source you go for. 

You need intended parking locations and available budget as major components while you plan the building to establish your power. There are three different options that you may consider:

1. External power generators

You may decide to live on-grid and hook your home up to an electricity provider. However, this is not an option that most tiny homeowners resort to. One of the most typical ways for tiny homeowners to power their home is by using power generators. With a power generator, you don’t have to live on-grid to power your home. You can be off-grid, so this allows you to build your tiny home anywhere you desire without fear of powering it. Getting a portable external power generator gives you the level of flexibility that you need to power your home on the go, and it doesn’t require wiring. 

While many of these generators use gasoline-style or propane fuel, there are several other options that you can settle for. Thankfully, the market is now ridden with more clean energy generators. This allows you to build your tiny home in line with environmental-friendly standards and also get a portable clean energy generator to power it. 

If your tiny home is built on wheels, then you are better off getting portable solar generators that allow you to move freely whenever you want to. However, it is more cost-effective to use this as a backup option than the primary power source because of the recharge time and limited capacity. 

You should note, though, that it may be more costly to power your home with a generator if you want to live off-grid. This is because you have to rely on fuels, and if you are always indoors, the monies add up pretty quickly. 

2. Solar power 

Using solar energy to power your house is an excellent idea for a tiny house. This enables you to be self-sufficient and gives you more off-grid flexibility. However, solar power doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution for tiny houses. Each one would have a unique solution based on the daily energy usage in each house. 

Thankfully, several companies offer this service, letting you leverage sunshine to provide power to your tiny home, especially in an environmentally friendly manner. However, you may need to get specialist advice to be well-informed about everything you should know about this power source. Also, you have to keep yourself informed about the most budget-friendly products that you need for installing a solar power system in your tiny home.

You don’t have to panic if you are living in a place where there isn’t much fun. Solar power allows you to generate energy under rainy or cloudy climates still. So, there’s no reason to miss out on this sustainable power source in your home, wherever you are. 

Another thing that you should know is that using solar energy is not necessarily a big commitment or a big project like covering your roof with solar panels. You don’t have to commit yourself that much. You could start small, but you need to get appliances that can run on the available solar energy.

The placement of your home is another thing that you should pay attention to if you are going to power it through solar energy. It would be more helpful if you paid more attention to your home’s exposure to the sky. If you are going to make the most of the sunlight, then it makes sense that your tiny house is built directly under the sky where your panels have clear access to the sun and can leverage on it. 

3. Wind power

Wind power is another excellent option for you if you are looking to live sustainably and away from the use of fossil fuels. You could get small turbines that can fit into the top of your tiny home. Using wind power doesn’t have the limitations of needing a large property or space. It can work well for your tiny house too. However, these small turbines may not have enough in them to generate the amount of electricity that you need to power your home entirely. So, it makes more sense to have this energy source as a backup or second option while you use additional sources such as power generators and solar panels to power your tiny house. 

If you can go for the giant wind turbine and mount it on a tower, then you will be able to use it fully to power your home. However, you must be living in a region with a windy climate. Otherwise, you won’t be able to generate enough electricity to power your house still. 

Whether you are building or buying a tiny home, if your preferred source of energy is wind power, then you must be sure that you are located in an area where there’s enough wind to generate the needed power. A microturbine mounted on a tower needs an approximate 36-foot diameter footprint before it can be installed. This makes it better suited for homesteads. 


An advantage of living in a tiny home is that it allows you to stay off-grid if that’s your preference. However, you need alternative means to power your home, which have been discussed in this article. Additionally, the power source that you choose will affect your daily lifestyle.

Author Bio

Charlie Svensson is a fast, engaging, freelance writer and dissertation writer providing essay writing services reviews for EssayAssistant. He is skilled in content writing and blogging. The favorite topics of his posts are education, social media, marketing, SEO, motivation blogging, and self-growth. Excellent adaptability of skills to reach diverse audiences. 

Image by Milada Vigerova on Pixabay