Remortgaging Your Home – Easier Than Ever?

For the majority of people, their home loan is their greatest financial responsibility. What’s more, streamlining the biggest debt can create a huge saving. When you choose to remortgage you are shifting from one home loan offer onto the next and will be paying off your old home loan with the new one, utilizing your property as security.

Whether you are moving mortgage providers or staying with the same bank and getting a new deal, it’s still categorized as remortgaging. There are numerous reasons people decide to remortgage –  some of these include:

To Raise Cash

If your salary has grown since taking out your home loan, then you will usually have the option to take out a bigger mortgage than before. You can then utilize this opportunity to raise money, which can be used to redecorate, buy a car or fund another major purchase.

Merge Debts

On the off chance that you have a few debts and are attempting to pay them off, you can remortgage your property to help clear those debts. Mortgage financing costs are, for the most part, far less expensive than credit cards or personal loans. By remortgaging you can reduce the interest payments on any existing debts you may have. You can use an online calculator for mortgage repayments to compare interest rates with personal loan rates.

Equity Release

If the estimation of your home has risen then you may have the option to get some of its value released to spend on something else. This could be another major purchase, such as a holiday, or to reinvest in a buy to let property or a business.

Remortgaging can be advantageous for many reasons, but it’s not always the right thing to do. Like any lending, a remortgage comes with a set of risks which should be taken into consideration.

Cost of Switching

If you decide that you’d like to go with a new lender for your mortgage, there’s a chance that you’ll have to pay certain fees to your existing lender. This is usually an early repayment fee, the cost of which will vary from place to place.

There may also be set up fees involved when you transfer to the new lender. Ideally the new rate you’re being offered should more than cover these expenses, but it’s something to be aware of if you decide to change. It’s also worth checking with your current lender to see if they’re willing to match the deal you’re being offered elsewhere. They may be keen to retain your business, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Change in Circumstances

When you consider the average repayment term for a mortgage, it’s normal for people to experience a change in their financial circumstances. This can be positive, such as an increase in salary, or negative, such as losing employment or poor money management.

The potential for a change in circumstances is something which should always be considered before committing to a long term financial arrangement like a mortgage. Is your job secure? Are you likely to command the same salary if you move elsewhere? Do you expect to be earning significantly more money in the near future? All these questions should be asked before you commit to a new mortgage.

How Houseplants Can Improve Air Quality in Condos

When you live in a condo with views of another condo or building, things can get a little depressing. Add a little color to your space and breath (literally) new air by introducing houseplants. Plants add an instant wow factor, and they’re good at keeping the air fresh. If you live alone, having another living thing in the house to care for is a huge plus.

However, if you don’t have a green thumb or if you don’t know how to properly maintain a plant, you can’t just pick and choose whatever it is you find beautiful. Just like people, some plants are tough and hardy, while others are weak and sensitive to slight changes. You should go with the tough bunch if you’re horticulturally challenged.

Time for Some Plants

The EPA warns homeowners that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The use of chemical cleaners, insecticides, wood polish, disinfectant spray and others leave trace amounts on surfaces. Varnish, paint, building materials, the heating of oil for cooking and fumes from gas also contributes to the negative air quality.

According to NASA, houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in a 24-hour period, and research from Washington State University found that people who have indoor plants have lower stress levels than those who don’t. Indoor plants have been proven to improve mood, well-being and increase the feelings of calm and serenity.

So not only do plants help improve air quality in a condo, but they can also help improve mood and reduce stress, which are two legit consequences of living in a small space. NASA suggests that to improve air quality in your home, there must be a plant for every 10 square feet.

Here are a few hardy plants you can place in your condo to instantly change the mood and improve air quality:

Chinese Evergreen  – Also known as Silver Green, this indoor plant is very easy to take care of. It requires minimal water and can survive in low light conditions. Chinese Evergreens can potentially last you years, making it a great low-cost improvement to your condo.

Ficus – The ficus is another low maintenance plant that can survive with moderate watering and bright, indirect sunlight. Place this in a corner that gets a lot of sunlight and leave it to thrive. Ficus plants tend to grow tall, so keep that in mind if you have low a ceiling.

Cacti – Cacti can survive in extreme desert environments, with very little water and the sun bearing down on them. If it can take all that abuse, it’ll thrive in a condo. Just place it in a windowsill or a place that gets a lot of sunlight. As for water, the rule of thumb is every 4 weeks or when the soil is bone dry.

Aloe – Aloe plants are great at absorbing toxic air pollutants, so place a few in the kitchen. It’s also great for minor cuts, so keep some around if you have kids.

Succulent = Succulents are low maintenance plants that are built like tanks. They’re virtually indestructible. All you need is to water them once or twice a week and make sure they are exposed to bright sunlight.

Areca Palm – If you want your space to look a little more tropical, the Areca Palm is just what the doctor ordered. It requires little water and dry soil, making it one of the easiest indoor plants to take care of. These can grow up to seven feet tall, so choose a smaller pot to keep growth under control.

You Still Need Windows

Windows are a luxury in condos, especially if you’re stuck in a middle unit. Look for condo sites like Onessy that let you view unit floor plans, so you’ll know where the windows are situated. By investing in a little greenery, you can improve your mood and breathe healthier air that’s free of toxins.

Make sure that you choose the plants listed above, or any other plant species that require little maintenance. Just like any living thing, once you have plants in your home, it’s your responsibility to care for them. Always provide ample water and sunlight, change the soil every year and add a little organic fertilizer when needed.