Home security systems are protecting more than just your home these days. In addition to keeping an eye on your TV, jewelry and family, your home security system can also safeguard your bank account. Unbeknownst to many homeowners, insurance companies go above and beyond by providing incentives to homeowners who get a security system.
Your insurance company’s enthusiasm shouldn’t be a surprise. It has a financial investment tied to keeping your home safe. Check out how home insurance companies can help you save money when you install a security system.
15 Minutes Can Save You 15 Percent Or More
A security system can save you money on your monthly home insurance payment. While the amount varies from company to company, most insurance companies offer a 15 percent to 25 percent discount on protective devices, including fire alarms, smoke detectors and security systems.
According to a ValuePenguin.com report, the average annual home insurance premium is $952. Take your 15 percent to 25 percent discount for the security system and you could save $143 to $238 a year on insurance. If your primary reason for installing a security system is to protect your belongings and the people you love, a financial incentive is the cherry on top of the sundae.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
While the home insurance savings are nice, the elephant in the room for those who don’t have a security system is the monthly cost to monitor the system, which can be as much as $100 per month. Your home insurance provider can help you there, too.
USAA, State Farm and many other providers have partnered with the security companies to discount monitoring fees as well as installation to help keep costs low.
Another way to trim costs is to use the new wave of technology rocking the home-security industry. Smartphones and Wi-Fi make it easy for homeowners to keep an eye on their abodes when they are away. A lot of new technology companies have moved into the home security industry, which makes the rates very competitive.
Canary offers a full year of service for only $99. On top of the price, insurance companies are offering incentives for signing up for the innovative security company’s services. State Farm offers its customers a $20 Visa card and a month of free service when they install Canary. American Family Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance companies offer monthly discounts and cover the cost of the $99 Nest Protect smoke detector.
Protect And Save
If you were ever interested in getting a home security system, there’s no better time than right now to schedule an appointment for installation. You can get discounts for the installation of a security system, the monthly monitoring fees and monthly home insurance costs. Take advantage of the discounts and check with your insurance company to find out what savings are available today.
Do you ever notice how some rooms seem appealing and relaxing while others make you feel tense?
Color. We sense it as much as see it – in fact, color is responsible for more than 60 percent of our response to a place.
So when homeowners start thinking about renovating, paint color – no surprise – is first on their minds. The color has to be right because it creates the ambiance for the entire room.
But deciding on a color to pull the trigger — or paintbrush — on requires some serious consideration.
Start Off Right
So you’re ready to begin your room renovation process. Whoo hoo! First things first: pick out a paint color, right?
Putting the paint color before the décor is a common homeowner mistake. You not only limit your design options, you, ahem, paint yourself into a corner because you’ll have trouble finding accent pieces and accessories to match or coordinate with your walls.
Start by deciding on furniture and accents first, then move on to paint selection. For instance, try finding a piece of art you love and sculpting a color palette around it.
Setting the Mood
When pondering all those paint chips, consider what the room will be used for and how you want it to feel. Are you aiming for a subtle, relaxing and soothing ambiance for a nursery or bedroom? Or perhaps a warm and intimate atmosphere for a living or entertaining space? You may have different answers for different rooms throughout the house.
Many homeowners think their favorite color would be an excellent paint choice. Makes sense, right? You love yellow and therefore the walls of your bedroom would look great in that sunny hue. Not so fast. While yellow symbolizes happiness and energy, it also can evoke anxiety and uneasiness – not at all what you want in your most personal space. Remember that the room’s purpose, as well as your color preference, is important.
Hit The Lights
Colors look different under different lighting. Many homeowners paint sample patches on their wall so they can see how a color changes throughout the day. Morning sunlight, afternoon radiance, dusk and nightfall will affect the color differently..
Also consider other lighting in the room. Natural daylight reveals the truest nature of the color. Warmer, yellow tones come out with incandescent lighting and blue tones appear in fluorescent lighting. Be sure to consider where your windows are placed as well, since they are the primary source of lighting during the day.
Another common mistake is giving each room a wildly different look – or, conversely, painting every room the same color. While you should avoid redundancy, the colors should mesh well together and generate a décor that is welcoming and synchronized without being mundane. Try choosing complimentary colors for rooms close to each other and take the whole house into consideration for the best results.
Show Us Your Colors!
Have you recently taken on a renovation project that included a new color scheme? We would love to see. Also, tell us some of the techniques you used to pick out the perfect hues! Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
[Note: Historic homes are a tangible link to times gone by, showing us how people lived and what they considered the height of fashion in architecture and furnishings. In celebration of our Midwestern roots, we’re showcasing notable historic structures and the people who care about them.]
In the late 1860s, young Ida Saxton was a clerk at the Stark County Bank in Canton, OH – a shocking occupation for a woman at the time. In the absence of her father, the bank’s founder and president, she was even entrusted with managing the institution.
Her father, James Saxton, believed women should be educated, active in civic life and able to earn a living so they wouldn’t have to marry for money.
So in 1871, Ida married for love. Popular myth holds that she met her husband-to-be at the bank, though they originally crossed paths at a picnic in 1868. Ida didn’t experience love at first sight, but she was intrigued by the handsome prosecuting attorney who had been a Union officer in the Civil War.
Her beau was fellow Ohioan William McKinley, who went on to become a congressman, Ohio governor and the 25th president of the United States. And when they weren’t in Columbus or Washington D.C., they lived in the Canton house in which Ida had grown up.
Home Sweet Canton Home
Built by Ida’s maternal grandparents, George and Christiana Dewalt, the building now known as the Saxton McKinley Home is the only residence with direct ties to President McKinley still standing in his hometown of Canton. It also is the centerpiece of the First Ladies National Historic Site, a partnership between the National Park Service and the National First Ladies’ Library (NFLL), a non-profit organization that restored the building and opened it to the public in the 1990s.
“It is important to have a site dedicated to first ladies because they (along with women in general) have been largely ignored in history and very little is taught about them in school,” said Patricia Krider, Executive Director of the NFLL “These are intelligent, capable women who have made extensive contributions to our nation’s history; our site is dedicated to making sure that people know about their impact.”
First begun in 1841, the building is a two- and three-story brick structure of irregular massing. The earliest section, now the rear of the house, had two stories and a gable roof. Ida’s father added on to the house significantly in the mid-1860s, Krider said. In addition to changing the width of the house, he also moved the front entrance from Fourth Street to Market Street, an important thoroughfare that offered a more prestigious address.
His renovations included adding a ballroom on the third floor where Ida and her younger sister Mary would throw parties. It also was the site of Ida and William’s wedding reception. Ida’s father bought the newlyweds a house several blocks north, but a couple of years later, they and their 2-year-old daughter moved back to the family home, staying in third-floor rooms near the ballroom. Sister Mary – by this time married to Marshall Barber – would come over to help with childcare and eventually moved her family in as well. She and Marshall raised seven children in the home.
In all, the McKinleys would stay at the house for 13 years, even when William served in Congress, making it their primary residence for the majority of their married life. They moved to Columbus when he was governor and, in 1897, to the White House after he was sworn in as president. After McKinley’s assassination on Sept. 9, 1901, Ida moved back to the house in Canton to be with her sister. She died in 1907.
The Saxton-McKinley House may be the only home in the United States passed down in one family through four generations of women. Ida’s maternal grandmother, Christiana Dewalt, inherited the home after the death of her husband. She passed it to her daughter – Ida’s mother – Kate Dewalt Saxton. When Kate died in 1873, her husband continued to live there, but legally it became the property of Ida, Mary and their brother George. Mary inherited the house after the deaths of her siblings, neither of whom had surviving children. When Mary Barber died in 1917, the house went to her youngest child, Kate Barber Belden. She and her husband and children were the last to live in the home and eventually sold it out of the family.
Subsequent years and owners were not kind to the house. “An ugly commercial storefront was put on,” Krider said, and the building was, at various times, used as a bar, a restaurant, a boardinghouse and possibly a brothel.
As a result, she said, “it was torn up completely on the inside.”
The building became an eyesore. The city, looking to spruce up downtown, wanted to demolish it. A younger member of the Belden family managed to halt the wrecking ball, then poured a lot of money into rehabbing the exterior. But his plans to sell the building fell through and, within a few years, the NFLL was able to take responsibility for the house and turn it into the historical treasure it is today.
Public rooms – particularly the ballroom, the formal parlor and McKinley’s study – have been restored to their Victorian splendor. Great care was taken with the fixtures and period furniture, Krider said, and all design elements, including the patterns for the ornate wallpaper, carpets and area rugs, are authentic or historically accurate reproductions.
Details of the extensive and meticulous restoration process can be found on the NFLL website.
Spotlight On First Ladies
The National First Ladies’ Library is dedicated to educating the public about the contributions of first ladies and other notable women in history. The first and only facility of its kind, the NFLL is a monument to the influence of first ladies on the nation – and on presidents. In addition to the Saxton McKinley House, the NFLL operates a research library and educational center, housed in the nearby 1895 City National Bank Building.
First Lady Michelle Obama, along with former First Ladies Laura Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barbara Bush, the late Nancy Reagan, Rosalynn Carter and the late Betty Ford serve or have served as honorary chairs of the NFLL.
The organization also is keeping an eye on the upcoming presidential election.
“It will be a historic occasion, particularly for us, if a former first lady becomes president,” Krider said.
“It will be the ultimate validation of our contention that first ladies have a substantial impact on our nation’s history. We will closely follow, examine and explore the effect that this might have on future first ladies (might more of them aspire to the presidency?) and also the effect having a man in the supporting role will have on the role of first ladies in the future.”
Guided tours of the Ida Saxton McKinley Home and the Education and Research Center are offered Tuesday through Saturday. Tour sizes are limited and reservations are strongly recommended. More information about the organization, as well as hours, prices and other tour details, can be found on the First Ladies National Historic Site website.
[Note: Sherriff-Goslin is neither involved in nor connected to the renovations of this building.]
You briskly walk through your front yard and pause just long enough to drive a “For Sale” sign into the ground. Without skipping a beat, you turn around to head back in the house when a car comes screeching to a halt just inches from your driveway. The driver immediately hops out of the car and makes an offer. You accept, attach the “Sold” sign to the post, shake hands and smile. Quick and easy is how you would like the selling process to go – but unfortunately, things are never that simple.
Before you can sell your home, you have to make sure it has plenty of curb appeal. Prepping your home to sell can be tricky, much like getting ready for a blind date. You need to dress your home up to highlight its best features and hide the traits you might not want a stranger to see in the very first meeting.
Most importantly, you have to know what needs to be fixed right away (broken a/c units or windows) and items you don’t need to bother with (don’t go building a pool; they never add enough value). A great place to start is the front lawn and exterior – the first things potential buyers will see – because, as the saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.”
Leave Everything To The Professionals
Hiring a lawn care service to spruce up your front yard professionally should be at the top of your to-do list. A fresh mow, quick trim and a much-needed edging are definitely in order, no matter how well you keep your yard. Don’t forget to add a bed or two of fresh flowers. You could do these chores yourself, but the $150 to $200 is well worth the money, as an attractive outside will help you draw buyers in for a quick tour.
Up To The Pressure
Potential buyers are very aware of the big purchase they are about to make, so they are looking for any and every problem they can find. Don’t help them out. Get a pressure washer and make sure your home looks good. You need to wash off any algae, cobwebs or wasps nests in sight. The buyer will most likely assume the inside of your house is just as clean (or dirty) as the outside.
You can rent a pressure washer for as little as $26 at your local Home Depot. Just don’t attempt to clean your roof with the pressure washer (you could wash off the granules, and damage your shingles). By quickly cleaning off the dirt and grime your home will look brand new.
A Brand New View
After you clean your home’s exterior, you can accurately evaluate the paint job. You might find that a little touching up might make a big difference. Downloading a free color app lets you view your home in different colors and make a decision without opening a single can of paint.
Redesigning your home’s exterior to boost the curb appeal is simple – and typically produces a high return on your investment. Focus on the front yard, the area the buyer will see first, if you want to mesmerize without spending a lot of cash. For more quick home improvement tips, visit http://www.sherriffgoslin.com/blog.
Designing your home’s interior can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to decide on new color schemes, furniture, flooring and remodeling. Luckily, you can find some apps to help you out. Dozens of mobile apps are available – some show you how much space you need for a piece of furniture, others let you “hang” a piece of art and a few even let you “paint” the walls before you choose a color scheme. Having the home you dream of is possible and the tools are quite literally at your fingertips.
Buying furniture can be tricky because you have to measure things – and you have to be right. If you’re off by even a few inches, you — and your new couch — could be stuck outside the doorway. Another hassle is accurately estimating a room’s square footage so you can request estimates for or order flooring materials. Enter MagicPlan. Designed for iPhone and iPad, Magic Plan quickly creates professional floor plans from the photos you take of the room. You save time and money because you don’t have to measure the whole room yourself, buy any measuring tools or hire a professional to do the work for you.
Furniture is a big investment. HomeStyler Interior Design lets you see what furniture and other decor pieces would look like before you shell out big bucks. Simply upload a photo of your room. Using 3-D models, the app places potential pieces of furniture inside your home. Think of it as a virtual fitting room!
3.) LikeThat Decor
Shopping for furniture but want to be sure you are getting the best deal? LikeThat Décor is perfect for you. Free on iOS and Android, LikeThat Décor lets you upload a picture of furniture that you like and then provides links to similar products at other stores. You can have your very own personal shopper right in your pocket.
Attention art lovers: this app is for you. You understand the difficulty of picking out the perfect piece of art for a wall in desperate need of vibrancy. Curate takes the guesswork out of placing art. Upload a photo of any blank wall and the app lets you virtually display the painting or art piece you are considering. You’re welcome.
5.) Project Color
The stress of deciding on the perfect color has just been alleviated. No more having to paint a bunch of color swatches onto your wall. Project Color by Home Depot lets you see, match and find the color you need to create your dream home or living space while saving you time and money and easing your painting frustrations.
What Are Your Favorites?
Did we miss any great apps? What home design apps are your favorites? Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to let us know!