Monthly Archives: June 2015

Pet Trust: Giving Your Animal Friends a Good Home for Life

Pet Trust

Pet TrustThe American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reported in their Pet Ownership Statistics that about 71.5% of Americans own an animal companion. They see them as an important part of the family and sometimes, even more important than themselves. Many owners, however, aren’t aware what might happen to their companions in case they pass away or become physically unable to take care of them. This is where a pet trust comes in.

What is a Pet Trust?

A pet trust works when you leave a certain amount of money for your animal companion, which someone you put on charge can use to take care of their needs like food and veterinary visits. You have the power to set rules and instructions, so your loss won’t affect your pet drastically.

Law firms like The Baim Law Firm and information sites such as Nolo.com and AnimalLaw.info noted that pet trusts are valid as long as your animal companions are alive. All you need is to list and check the terms carefully, especially if they have a long lifespan—like parrots and horses. If the caretaker isn’t spending the money for its intended purpose, then anybody can report to the court and enforce the terms again.

How Does it Work?

The formation of a pet trust can take place when you’re still alive through an inter vivos (living trust) or when you die through trust provisions included in your will (testamentary trust). There are two types of pet trusts—traditional and statutory.

A traditional pet trust is when you assign a trustee to help the beneficiary—the person who will take care of your pet—by paying for the pet’s expenses according to your terms. This is effective in all states regardless if yours don’t have a pet trust statute. A statutory pet trust is a basic plan that doesn’t require you to leave terms for your pet, as the state law will fill in the gaps for you.

If you love your animal companions, you also have to plan for their future. Create a pet trust and decide which terms you should include to make sure your pet will still feel loved even when you’re gone.

Bride on a Budget: 4 Wedding Hacks to Cut Costs But Still Get the Same Elegance

wedding hacks

wedding hacksWeddings are both horrid and happy. No one knows this more than the bride herself. Did you know that some brides lose weight simply from the wedding stress? While this could always be a good thing for most brides, just imagine what other girls feel when the dress doesn’t fit and hangs loose?

Wedding hacks aren’t ways to cheapen your big day—they’re to make things easier and ease your mind. So if you’re planning a wedding, here are the top four hacks you should know:

1. Two wedding cakes

Wait, what?! How can having two wedding cakes cut costs and relieve stress? Essentially, you get a cake simply to look pretty for cutting and you have more afforable, sheet cakes to give to your guests. By doing this, you don’t have to pay for a large, pretty cake that can cost hundreds of dollars and instead get a small, beautiful cake to share with your partner after the ceremony while others have bigger slices during the reception.

2. Have a bra sewn into your gown

The best way to prevent wardrobe malfunctions or see anything peeking through your dress is to not wear underwear. Instead, ask your modiste to have your dress come with bra pads that are your size so you don’t have to worry about straps showing or pads moving.

3. Lose the extras

Don’t bother with keychains, magnets and small items you include in your invitations. These just add up to an expense that isn’t memorable since people throw away these small things. Concentrate on making the day more memorable instead of how hard the preparations were.

4. Rent something that doesn’t need a lot of decoration

If you’re looking to cut costs and stress, find somewhere that’s great for scenic wedding rentals. Minneapolis, MN has a lot of great places that don’t need a lot of décor since the environment is snazzy in itself.

Always keep in mind that your wedding should me memorable and produce enough happiness to last a lifetime. Spending too much can only cast a pall on a day that’s supposed to be the best day of your life.

While You’re Gone: Keep Your Home Safe While You’re on Vacation

House

HouseThieves and burglars see vacations and holidays as the perfect opportunity to target empty houses. This is why it is important to prepare your property adequately to make sure it stays protected. Taking necessary precautions will save you from irritating worry that prevents you from enjoying your vacation.

Advanced Lock & Key shares a few ways to keep your home safe on holidays.

Lock Doors and Windows

While locking up doors and windows seems so obvious, it is easy to forget. If you keep some windows unlocked to allow easy pet access, you are also inviting thieves to your home. Locking your home makes it less attractive to opportunistic thieves. Just make sure to invest in quality locks and deadbolts, as they can withstand twisting, prying and turning. Have a neighbour or a pet service take care of your little friend while you’re away.

Open Your Curtains

When you leave for vacation, you may think that it is best to close your curtain to keep people from peering inside your homes. Closed curtain or blinds, however, can also stop those who want to help such as friends, neighbours and police. It is best to leave curtains exactly as you normally keep them when you’re at home. Noticeable changes could also hint that you are not around.

Don’t Leave Lights On

Many vacationers leave the lights on throughout their vacation to make it look like someone is in the house. Don’t do this, as your electric bill will increase and lights shining throughout the day might seem strange. Purchase a light switch with a timer that can turn lights on and off automatically based on a programmed schedule. Burglars wanting to target your home will assume that someone is flipping the lights on and off.

Invest in Sturdy Doors

Entry doors and frames should be made of sturdy materials like solid hardwood. They should also be thick enough and fit the frame securely. Keep in mind that a strong lock will not deter burglars if it is installed in a weak door. It is also important to make sure that secondary entrances such as garage doors and back doors are strong and secured with quality locks.

Apart from these tips, you can also keep your home protected by asking a friend or a neighbour to keep an eye on your property. You can also hire a house sitter to keep your home safe and take care of your pets.

Pipe Works: Small Leaks Can Go a Long Way

plumberLeaking pipes are among the most common household problems. While most cases only involve small cracks in the pipes, these problems can become bigger if left unfixed. The worst thing that can happen is flooding, which can lead to extensive water damage in your home.

It is for these reasons that you should not ignore leaks in your home. If you live in Utah, you have to call in a plumber in Draper or Salt Lake City to check the source of the leak. Otherwise, you’ll have to face the following problems:

Small leaks that turn into huge cracks

Even if the leaks are extremely small, they can still cause inconvenience in your home—not to mention, additional expenses for wasted water. The longer you disregard these problems, the higher your potential expenses will turn out. If you notice that your water bills have gone higher than usual for the past months, check if your pipes have leaks.

Water everywhere

Once those small leaks turn into big cracks or holes, you’ll end up with water everywhere. Apart from causing damage to your home, this can also pose serious risks to your health and well-being. You may end up slipping, tripping, or falling because of the wet floor. Electrocution is also a possibility if the water has seeped into wall outlets. You need to find the source of the problem if you want to stop the flood in its tracks.

Structural damage

When ignored for a long time, leaks can affect the structural integrity of your home. Wooden materials will most likely deteriorate because of the water dripping or seeping into them. If you do not take care of the leaks right away, you’ll have to think about renovating some parts of your home.

The fastest, most efficient way to handle this type of household problem is to hire an experienced plumber. While you can apply quick remedies to your piping problems, plumbers can provide long-term solutions to prevent more damage.

Quick and Creative DIY Repair Tricks with Materials at Home

Lubricant

LubricantEvery time something breaks in the household, we think of calling for help and getting professional repair services. However, with enough patience and creativity, you can effectively repair your home furniture and fixtures without spending too much money.

Here are three DIY repair tips available along with the materials that you will need to get the job done.

Keep Oil and Lube Handy

Lubricant and oils such as WD-40 products are widely accessible in hardware stores. These types of lubricants help in loosening hinges, fixing faucets and in repairing tight doorknobs. However, if you do not have these specific products at home, you may opt to use cosmetic oils or petroleum jelly for the same effect.

Just remember that these are temporary solutions until you buy the real deal. Apply these in small amounts, just enough to get the desired effect.

Easy Patch up Jobs

It is quite common to perform patch up jobs in the house. Holes in the ceiling, dry walls, even the roof are very prevalent. Sealants are very useful in doing these patch jobs. If you do not have sealants at home, you may make a temporary sealant using craft glue. Keep patching materials such as wood and aluminium sheets handy at home. The trick here is to buy uncut sheets to accommodate various hole sizes.

Paint Tricks

The paint on your walls, furniture and other fixtures can easily chip off if you are not careful. Thankfully, you can remedy small areas of chipping with household items. If the material consists of plastic, you may use nail polish or permanent markers to do the job. In case the paint problem is in a wooden surface, scratching walnuts against the surface can help fix the problem.

These are the most common household problems and the DIY repair tricks to help solve them. Take note of the materials used herein and stock up on them for your emergency repairs.

It’s No Joke: Laughter is Indeed the Best Medicine

Laughter is best medicine

Laughter is best medicineYou may not believe it at first, but there may not be any medication as effective as laughter. For starters, it’s absolutely free. You don’t have to pay somebody to tickle your funny bone. Hearing a little joke or watching a funny YouTube video may just be the medicine you need.

True, it’s easy to sneer at laughter as a cure of sorts. How could something so mundane replace the exhaustive research of many billion-dollar pharmaceuticals which introduce the next go-to pills like Aspirin? But, new research reveals what many have been postulating all these years – Reader’s Digest including. It’s proven: Laughter is the best medicine.

Laughing Your Way to Wellness

Chances are, many would not take laughter seriously, and it’s understandable. After all, how can something anyone can have access to get to play such a vital role in one’s health? But, there’s more to laughter than just lifting your mood. Even top motivational speakers that focus on humor understand how laughter can make their jobs a lot easier.

Researchers at California’s Loma Linda University embarked on a mission to look into the merits of humor, and what they found out is truly astounding.

The study measured the stress levels and short-term memory of 20 healthy adults in their 60s and 70s. One group was asked to stay silent while the other watched funny videos.

The result: The humor group displayed lower levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone,” which means they experience less stress.

More Research

Another research from Vanderbilt University strengthened this claim. Their study revealed that 10-15 minutes of laughter every ,day can help trim those unwanted fats as it can burn up to 40 calories.

In addition, the University of Maryland went even further, detailing how a man’s sense of humor can be a protection against heart disease — one of the biggest causes of deaths.

Psychologist and Laugh Therapist Steve Wilson said, “The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar.” He adds, “Combining laughter and movement, like waving your arms, is a great way to boost your heart rate.”

Home and Land Packages: Your Way to Save Time and Money

Time

TimeHome sales in Australia are up by 4.4% this month, testifying to more people buying houses. Planning to buy a home usually involves inspection of the real estate together with the agent. Present homeowners will open their house for assessment and viewing purposes.

What if there is a better way to buy a piece of land and a house? Australian home developers currently offer the two in a package.

What can you get?

Choose from several architectural designs to find the one that suits your family the most. Whether you are a newlywed eager to start your life together or a family looking to relocate, find communities in the Melbourne suburbs with a shopping centre and recreational facilities near your house.

No worries at all

Imagine moving into the house of your dreams without the hassle. As Manor Lakes says, specialists help you determine the package that suits your specific needs. You are not limited to a single generic house design.

Home buyers who want an efficient house will be happy to know that house developers create properties with minimal environment impact. This gives you peace of mind that while you live comfortably, you are helping save Mother Nature as well.

Investor’s benefit

Buying a house is one of the greatest investments you will ever make. As a homeowner, enjoy the benefits of having a house to call your own. Since you can also buy display homes, make an investment out of it by renting it out to the developers.

Renting out display homes gives you a faster return on investment. After the developers are done, enjoy the benefits of living in a home with additional amenities and only high-quality materials used. Display homes also offer tax depreciation and deductions.

There are a lot of home packages for sale. Choose the right one that will suit your family.

Granny Flats: The Housing Option for All Ages

granny flatsSome Australians choose to share a room with a stranger because of housing affordability issues. This is ideal for younger people who live in Perth and other cities where renting a flat on your own can be costly. When you are older, however, you want to have some privacy.

By all means, go for the granny flat of your liking. Close the door on the traditional and open up to that stylish design. Granny flat prices in Perth are affordable and worth every penny. With or without your eyeglasses, look at these facts along with the cladding selections.

Awesome Designs for All Ages

You (and your partner, in case you have one) can enjoy your independence with the simple energy efficient designs. Find flats with two spacious bedrooms or one elegant room for single living purposes. Fashionable kitchens and restrooms complete the living quarters.

Though granny flats work for seniors wanting to keep their independence, developer Classicgrannyflatswa.com.au says that they can also fit younger occupants. Rent it out for additional income or let your teenage kids have their own space.

No Problem with Picking a Cladding

With several granny flat cladding choices, decide on the right one based on your preference and budget.

Though fibre cement sheeting is not that noise resistant, it is cheaper than concrete panels. Meanwhile, the light sandwich panel comes pre-painted. Let the experts set it up to get top-notch thermal functionalities.

In double brick, huge maintenance costs are not your concern. It is practically unbreakable, functioning as a major sound insulator as well. Optimize its benefits by installing it at the facade. Yourhome.gov.au explains that double brick consists of two leaves joined with ties.

No matter your age, enjoy your independence and privacy. Take a good look at those granny flats and choose one that you like—for a good price.

Decisions, Decisions: Your Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Car

used car

used carBuying a used car is not as easy as it may seem. It requires a thorough inspection of the car and even after a quick inspection, you may still end up wanting something better.

For many, buying a second hand car is the best option, however, since brand new cars are expensive. To make sure you actually save from the purchase, remember these things:

  • Do your research

Find information about the car model, features, reviews and common problems. A dealer can tell you all about the specs, but keep in mind that their goal is to sell the vehicle. Some disadvantages of the car might not come up—unless they want you to buy a more expensive model.

Take your time when buying a used car. Do not be an impulsive buyer.

  • Make sure the car is in good working condition

Car owners and auction companies sell used cars, but you should not buy a vehicle without inspecting it. Pickles Auction suggests inspecting the car before making a bid. Get help from a mechanic you know.

Mechanics can see the real condition of the used car, its lifespan and how long the engine will serve you. When buying cars or trucks, look at its engine capacity and safety features. Make sure there are no leaks or weird engine noise as well.

  • Look for the history report

Make sure the car has a history report, including details on ownership and problems. The history can help you narrow down options and negotiate for a good price. Sixteen per cent of used cars for sale have been in an accident, so make sure you read that history report thoroughly.

Even after an accident, a used car can still be repaired, so don’t take them off your list just yet. As long as it is in good working condition and the price is reasonable, consider it an option.

  • Find the VIN number

Investigate the car’s VIN information. This might take some effort, but it is worth it. You don’t want to spend your money on a scammer, so make sure the information matches the records.

In purchasing a car, make sure to look for any damages and problems. It always pays to read car reviews and get help from industry experts.

Why You’re Wrong about the Middle Floor

Middle Floor

Middle FloorWhen it comes to apartment hunting in Australia, everyone is eager to live in either the top or the bottom floor. The winning qualities of penthouses and ground-level units are simply hard to resist: The former offers maximum privacy and peacefulness, including the pleasure of waking up in the breath-taking cityscape of Bris Vegas; the latter, on the other hand, offers sheer convenience of accessibility of the street, as well as the ease of carrying groceries to your place with little trouble.

No one, however, seems to bother about the apartments in the middle. True enough, they don’t always give a pleasant view of the urban landscape, nor keep your blood pressure low whenever the elevator is down—but no building floor is perfect. If you see the beauty of living in a mid-level unit, then you’re most likely guilty of thinking:

Its Price Is No Different

You’re dead wrong on this one. The middle apartments for sale in Brisbane are usually the most affordable, primarily because only a few wants them. Everybody wants to either live high or lie low, overlooking the units in between. As the majority of living spaces in most buildings consist of mid-level apartments, the law of supply and demand, in effect, pulls down the prices.

It Has the Worst of Both Worlds

Top- and bottom-floor units sure have sought-after advantages, but they do have drawbacks. Penthouses are subject to seasonal breaks in cooling and heating costs, while ground-level apartments are susceptible to outdoor noises. Their benefits may be great, but so do their downsides.

You may experience a little bit of everything—good and bad—but that’s about it. No extremes, just right.

The best floor to live in an apartment building is relative. It ultimately depends on your budget constraints and preferences, but never count out the middle units.