How to Avoid the Top 3 Costliest Home Repairs [Infographics]

Most homeowners understand the risk that comes with buying a house. Something that could work fine one day could break the next. A fully-functioning roof could crumble under the weight of a tree branch, or your washer and dryer could break as soon as you start a load of laundry. However, many breaks are preventable with the right maintenance. Check out the infographic below to learn about the three costliest home repairs and how you can avoid needing them.

The worst thing that can happen to your home is water damage. Flooding can ruin your hardwood floors and carpets and even force you to replace your furniture. Even small drops of water can build up, causing black mold that’s hard to get rid of and rotting wood to the point of replacement. In fact, mold elimination can cost almost $3,500, but it costs only $1,200 for preventative maintenance. Oftentimes, homeowners face a saga against water and constantly battle to keep it out of their homes. This graphic breaks down common causes of water damage and the costs required to fix it.

Along with water damage, most homeowners work to keep their HVAC systems running. They call specialist for repairs the minute something is wrong with the air conditioning in the summer or heat in the winter. Not only are these emergency calls expensive, but the cost of replacing your unit can cost more than $7,000. When you consider that expense, setting up regular maintenance checks doesn’t seem so bad. Homeownership doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you invest in preventative measures. Use this guide to learn how you can keep your home functioning well for years to come.

New Moms Need To Take Care Of Themselves Too

Being a new mother is awesome; nobody can deny it. There is no feeling like it any way or anywhere else in the world. And as a new mom, you tend to want to sacrifice everything for baby, which is good and great and all, but you have to remember to take care of yourself too.

Many new mommies make that cardinal error of just living for and through their babies, and forgetting that they are still human beings too. And ultimately, the better you keep yourself, the more capable a mother you are going to be in the long run, in the grand scheme of things.

The first order of business for any new mother whatsoever should always be to get your support network set up. Obviously baby and you will be spending tons of time together, but it also can’t be 24/7. You need your own time, and it’s only natural that baby gets exposed to your own inner circle of people you trust right from the beginning, too.

How do you spend that time? Keep up with physical exercise, I’d say that’s an absolute number one priority. Visit friends with and also without baby in tow. Shop. Take walks. Eat out. And keep up your appearance; it’s a habit that there is no need to drop for any reason.

Let baby grow up proud of his or her momma still looking like a goddess no matter what. Keep dressing for beauty; it may feel counter-intuitive at first but in the end it will make you feel more positive about yourself and your life, and will give others an absolutely spectacular impression of you.

The other aspect is your mind. The better you take care of your alertness, the easier it is to keep up your appearance. A new trend are smart drugs. A new mom could think about what it would mean to buy modafinil and the benefits to the brain.

Don’t be afraid to lay down the necessary money on taking care of yourselves. For example, don’t start wearing trailer-trash makeup because you think you need to save money; save it some other way. Use good stuff. This line from Osmosis Skin Care for example, will keep you looking as fresh as you ever have before for years to come.

The bottom line is, if your child sees you staying strong and fighting to be the best version of yourself, he or she will invariably imitate you by doing the same. This is the most valuable lesson a child can ever learn from his mother. Children learn first and foremost through imitation. This is why when you are serious about yourself, you should never feel like you’re being selfish. Remember you are setting an example here.

How to Find Good Neighborhoods for Families With Children

Getting married, starting your family, moving into your first home — these are hallmarks of the American dream for many people who only want to do what they love while raising their families in a safe, welcoming environment. Finding a home you love is the fun part, but in addition to considering the square footage, the size of the backyard, and how many bedrooms it has, you also need to think about the neighborhood that it’s in. Safety is paramount, so here are some things to consider before you move into a new neighborhood.

Educate Yourself on the School District

Image via Flickr by Phillip Pessar

Needless to say, if you’re looking for a neighborhood that’s ideal for children, the school district is one of your first priorities. A simple Google search reveals almost everything you need to know, including quality of education, teacher-to-student ratios, as well as the triumphs or issues of the district and particular schools. You also should think about proximity, bus routes, and whether your child has to take public transportation.

In addition to researching the local schools online, talk to your potential neighbors, particularly those with children who are the same age as yours or older. In other words, speak frankly with people whose kids attend the schools in question. Ask about the teachers, academic programs, extracurricular activities, and graduation rates, for starters.

Research Your Neighbors

It’s essential to know who your neighbors are. Maybe you can’t study all of them by name, but you can discover who’s living in your area. Look up sex offender registries and similar services that reveal the presence of offenders in the vicinity. Uncovering such information about the people in the area may push you in another direction, but that’s all right; your family’s safety is your priority.

Brush up on Crime Stats

It’s critical to look into the crime statistics of any area before you move there. Not only does it affect your family’s safety, but a crime-ridden neighborhood also impacts your homeowner’s and automobile insurance. More to the point, you don’t want to live in an area with a high percentage of break-ins or violent crime. Even if your potential neighborhood has low crime, you should still research the local police departments and other emergency services to learn about their quality, quickness, and reputations.

Check Out the Water Quality

Water is the drink of life. It’s essential. You can buy all the bottled water you want, but you don’t want your spouse or children bathing in or brushing their teeth with sub-par water. You don’t even want the kids playing under the sprinklers if the water’s no good. At the same time, take a look at any information regarding sewage, as well as any past issues with water or other utilities.

A lot of considerations go into the purchase of a new home or the big move to a new neighborhood. Only you know what’s right for your family, but keeping them safe, secure, and happy is paramount. How will you decide on your next move?

Go Sexy for St. Patrick’s Day

This coming weekend, a whole lot of people are taking to the streets and bars of our great cities to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The liquor will flow as usual, and a whole bunch of craziness will happen.

But St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to be just about drinking yourself into a near-coma. For starters, why not make it sexier, and get real dressed up for the occasion?

A few of us here were looking at some of the options on the website 3wishes, which specializes in costumes, dressing up, sexy garments and the like. We were truly amazed at the wide array of options just on one site. There is no excuse for being mediocre and just throwing on some drab green t-shirt anymore.

To start off, why not look at getting a blatant green wig to really stand out in the crowd? It’s fun and fun is what this day is all about. Wigs allow you to even go out of yourself and get in character for the big day, so they are big winners for an occasion like this.

Then, you could get a very slinky and elegant pair of green satin gloves that go all the way up to your elbow. These are absolutely perfect for the occasion because they are sexy but elegant and classy at the same time. There’s nothing like being sexy and still looking like a million bucks while doing it.

Don’t forget the accessories. From getting a green ribbon or two in your hair (or wig), to getting a nice subtle pair of green clover earrings, no detail should go unnoticed. With the proper accessories you can be the envy of any party.

There is even a pair of Sexy Green Boot Warmers on the site. These would be great for anybody celebrating the holiday anywhere it may get just a tad bit cold. You want to stay warm and stay stylish while doing it.

And of course, for the intimate moments that may well occur after the festivities with Mr. Right or even just with Mr. Right Now, you’ll want some matching green lingerie. There are plenty of styles to choose from depending on your mood and your own personal level of cheekiness.

So let the luck of the Irish be yours this coming weekend with a splendid new look for the party.