Deborah McLaughlin's Blog
Online courses are gaining popularity as a way to learn new skills and subjects without enrolling in expensive certificate or degree programs. They’re also great for working adults and parents who don’t have time to leave the house every night to go to a class after work. Better yet, many online courses are free (or come with a free trial), so you don’t have to worry about losing money if you don’t like the course.
You might be wondering, “What can I really learn from an online course that will benefit me as a homeowner?” There are a number of courses relevant to homeowners when it comes to things like the home buying process, budgeting, interior design, and more.
In this article, we’re going to introduce you to some of those courses in case you have some free hours in the evenings and want to learn something new. Read on for our list of the best free online courses for homeowners (or soon-to be homeowners).
Buying a home
Unfortunately, many of us go into the home-buying process knowing little about what to expect. This can be cause for stress and anxiety as you navigate the complicated steps of building credit, getting preapproved, and making an offer.
Udemy offers a one-hour course on home buying that can help you with this process. First, A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Home will help you prepare for a down payment, understand the housing market, and teach you about things like home inspections and appraisals.
I often wish that kids were taught more practical finance and budgeting skills in high school so they have an idea of what to expect once they graduate and enter the workforce or apply to college.
Making financial decisions is stressful at any time of your life, whether it’s taking out student loans, buying your first home, or deciding when is the right time to retire. Fortunately, edX has you covered with this free personal finance course from Purdue University.
You’ll learn about retirement savings, the different types of investments, how insurance works, and the role credit plays in your ability to make healthy financial decisions.
Decorating and designing the layout of your furniture is often something that we just guess at. Maybe you saw layouts and colors that you liked on Pinterest and tried to emulate them, or perhaps you just buy decorations and furniture just because you like them and not because they fit the style of your home.
If you want to gain a better understanding of basic interior design and decorating, this series of video lectures from Howcast is a great place to start. With 53 short videos you can watch whenever and wherever you want, you can browse and learn at your leisure, then try some of these methods in your own home.
There is no set amount that a homeowner should spend on a smart house device. In fact, depending on the smart gadgets you purchase, you may wind up spending only a few dollars, or hundreds, on these devices. But if you understand how to shop for smart home gadgets, you may be better equipped than other property owners to find high-quality and budget-friendly smart devices for your residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get the most out of your smart home device spending.
1. Choose Only the Smart Home Devices You Need
Although there are many smart home devices available, it is paramount to select only the ones you need for your house. That way, you can keep your smart home device spending in check. Plus, you can avoid the risk of buying smart home gadgets you ultimately won't need.
As you try to sort between smart device wants from needs, consider your day-to-day activities. For instance, if you require energy-efficient and economical lighting for your house, you may want to invest in smart light bulbs. Or, if you are concerned about security, a smart home security system may be an ideal investment.
2. Shop Online and at Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
Smart home devices are available both online and at brick-and-mortar stores. If you shop for smart house gadgets from a variety of retailers, you may find some that offer the optimal combination of affordability, convenience, and quality.
Don't hesitate to ask questions as you shop for smart home devices either. Remember, your goal as a homeowner is to find smart gadgets that can serve you well for an extended period of time. If you ask questions about smart home devices, you can gain the insights you need to make informed purchase decisions.
3. Consider Pre-Owned Smart Home Devices
Smart home device models are constantly evolving, and multiple generations of different gadgets may be available. Keep in mind, however, that an old smart home device model may suit you perfectly at a fraction of the cost of a new version.
Sometimes, you may find pre-owned smart home devices that work great and won't break your budget. If you search smart home device listings on Craigslist and other online marketplaces, for instance, you may find lots of terrific pre-owned smart house gadgets. If you browse these gadgets closely, you may discover a pre-owned smart home device that corresponds to your budget.
For those who want to buy a smart home device, it often helps to remain flexible, too. If you are open to shopping for smart house gadgets from a wide range of manufacturers, you may quickly find a smart home device that is both expertly constructed and affordable.
Ready to purchase one or more smart home devices? Take advantage of the tips above to shop for smart house gadgets, and find devices that fall in line with your finances.
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Moving into a new home can be overwhelming. Once you have gone through the long process of buying a home, when the keys are your hand, your mind could be swirling with tons of ideas for what you should do in your new space. There are a few important things that you need to complete before you get into painting those walls or buying a new sofa. Read on for tips.
Look At Your Things
In the excitement of moving, you may forget about all of the stuff that you actually moved into the home. If you hired movers, check your boxes. Make sure that nothing is broken or damaged from the move. If there is anything wrong, you can file a complaint with your moving company.
Turn The Utilities On
The utilities need to be turned over to you from the previous owner. In many cases, you’ll need to contact the local utility companies in order to get the bills switched to your name and the services started. This is important for you to have a completely functioning household. Cable and Internet is a choice provider that you’ll also need to set up ahead of time before your move.
Unpack Your Stuff
Rome wasn’t built in a day but you need certain things like clothes and coffee makers as soon as you move into a space. Find the boxes that have the most important things in them like sheets, blankets, clothing, and important appliances. Work your way out. You don’t want your new home to stay a complete disaster zone forever.
Organize Your Stuff
Moving into a new home gives you a new opportunity to get organized. Get everything in order the first time. This will keep you from needing to clean up constantly at a later date. When you start off with good organization you’ll be a lot happier in your new home.
Make sure that your new home is secure for your family. Think of everything from accidents to crime. Install an alarm system. Change the locks. Inspect the property for any hazards. All of these activities can help to make your new home a more secure place to live.
Learn About Your New Surroundings
When you move into a new neighborhood, you should take the time to get to know the area. This includes meeting your neighbors and taking a stroll around your neighborhood to see the area more closely. Discover the highlights of the area like restaurants, shops, and other activities. Enjoy the new place that you call home to the fullest!