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7 Landscaping Tips to Witness a Drastic Increase in the Value of Your Property

There are a number of projects that can improve the quality of a home. One of the most effective ones is landscaping. Tidying and greening the surrounding of your property is a good way to keep it attractive and increase its value.

Whether the property is currently a blank slate, or it is already landscaped but has been neglected, or you just think it is time to retouch it, there are some areas you have to pay better attention to in order to achieve value addition. Here are 7 tips that can guide you towards that end.

1. Create defined lawn edges

lawn edge

As much as a garden can add value to your property, a lawn that looks unkempt can be a turn-off to many. One of the ways to make your garden appear nice and easy to maintain is to create defined edges. This is attractive to homeowners and it will take you very little to do it.

2. Add potted plants

plant pots

Potted plants have a lot of advantages that will help to add value to your property. They are generally easy to care for, portable, and will add variety to your garden. Another good thing about potted plants is that they are not as costly as they appear and you can be smart by opting for resin planters instead of concrete and ceramic.

3. Mulch and weed

Weeding makes your garden look neat and a neat garden is attractive to every normal human being. A utility mulch such as pine bark or forest fines can also turn a tired, dull-looking yard into a good looking and inviting one that will improve the value of your home greatly.

4. Cut down on the number of plant species

ecology

Variety is a good thing, but for a garden, too much of everything can have negative effects. Too much species will make the impression of a high-maintenance garden and you don’t want any of that.

5. Plant shrubs and trees

Shrubs and trees add a lush and inviting quality to your home. At the same time, trees can be a good way to improve privacy in your property and this is a good selling point. This project may not be as costly as it will appear.

6. Prune regularly but conservatively

prune

Pruning is a good way to keep a garden and the entire landscape neat and inviting. Nobody wants to be in a bushy garden. Tidying up plants and trees in your garden doesn’t take much and it is recommended that you don’t take it too far.

7. Add lighting

This is an innovative way to make your garden extraordinary. There are a number of outdoor lighting options and you can easily choose one from the options depending on what is allowed in your area. A landscaping lighting system can also serve security purposes.

Landscaping is obviously a great way to add value to your property but you have to be careful with it in order to achieve the desired effect. With the tips above, your garden will look much better and this will definitely improve the quality of the property.

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7 Locksmith Tips and Tricks For Better & Improved Security

If you want to keep burglars out of your house and secure your property, the locksmith is the person to see. While there are a lot of things you can do to improve security in your home, the locks are the major factors that you have to look at. Whether you are a new home-owner or an old hand, there are always new things to learn about keeping your home secure. In this article, we will consider some locksmith tips and tricks that can improve the security of your property.

1. Review The Exterior Of Your House

broken window

This is the first place to start if you really want to improve the security of your home. Ensure that there are no broken windows. Also, lock away any ladder or item that can be used to gain access to your property. Secure garages and conservatories too.

2. Replace Locks In New Homes

key

If you are moving into a new home, it is highly advisable that you change all the locks on the property. It doesn’t really matter if the former occupants of the building handed over the keys, they or some other people may have access to the home and you don’t have to take chances.

3. Buy Quality Locks

Locksets come in different forms and brands and there are reasons locksmith recommend some particular ones and discourage the use of others. You can contact a locksmith to know the type of lock you can buy for better security. Insist on quality locks.

4. Use Deadbolts

For an extra level of security against burglary, it is important that you use deadlocks. This will deny burglars entrance into your house even when doorknob is damaged. It is really effective and will be very useful if you stay in areas prone to robbery.

5. Protect Windows With Security Grilles Or Bars

window grilles

There are thieves who can smash windows to gain entrance into a locked house. If your neighborhood has the problem of break-ins, you can use security grilles or bars to protect windows.

6. Use Sensor Lights

Sensor lights are very helpful in a number of ways. They can help you, as a homeowner, to gain access to your home in the dark. On a security level, sensor lights have been reported to be really effective in deterring potential thieves from attempting to break into homes.

7. Do Not Do The Obvious

There are certain practices that people are popular among many people. One of such practices is leaving keys under the foot mats in front of their homes or in flower vases in front of the house. If indeed this habit is to grant access to persons who know where the key should be, there is no need to keep keys in such obvious places. You can hide keys in other places that cannot be easily guessed. You can use a dog-house, a tree branch or other such places than the doormat.

Securing your house is very essential and while you may need a locksmith to help you with it, there are some things you can do on your own. The 7 tips discussed above can help to a reasonable extent.

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Top 10 Websites with the Best Deals on Clothing for College Students

Are you in college and can’t quite seem to get the time to shop for clothing? Why not ditch that plan to go to the mall that you keep postponing and get everything you need online? Online shopping is fast and convenient, and you can get some really fashionable pieces for unbelievable prices. Below is a list of the best online shopping sites for clothes for both men and women.

  1. Forever 21

Credit: Forever 21

If you want trendy clothing for cheap (who doesn’t?), Forever 21 is the place for you.  You will find all sorts of clothing in your size, which is rare for a clothes shop. If you are a bit bulky and only shop on the plus size section, then you’ll be blown away by the wide selection of clothes available. Men can also get some tasteful pieces, both casual and formal, at unbeatable prices.

  1. Clothing Under 10

Credit: Clothing Under 10

If you’re looking for clothes under $10, then you can’t go wrong with this website. Everything is super affordable and you can find a few reviews on YouTube for some of the clothing items they sell. The checkout process is a breeze and you can actually pay with Paypal.  Better yet, you get a discount on your first purchase.

  1. Styles for Less

Credit: Styles For Less

While you can always walk into one of their stores, you will get an even better experience shopping from their website since it’s so convenient. You can get women’s footwear and clothing at amazing prices. They usually have sales and deals on a variety of clothing items. Check it out.

  1. Deb

Credit: Deb

Deb specializes in women’s clothing that’s perfect for college students. There are plenty of outfits for plus-size women for which you can get great discounts of up to 40%.

  1. Necessary Clothing

Credit: Necessary Clothing

Here, you will find fashionable clothing items for women. If you spend more than $125, you qualify for free shipping within the US.

  1. Charlotte Russe

Credit: Charlotte Russe

The target market for this site is young women. Charlotte Russe has physical stores and a website for those who don’t have a store near them. They have great deals on skirts and dresses. If you buy a pair of shoes, you can get a second one for only $5.

  1. Rue 21

Credit: Rue 21

Rue 21 has clothing for both men and women. You can get stylish graphic tees, fragrances, accessories, skirts and so much more. There’s always a sale going on at Rue 21 so makes sure to check out their website regularly.

  1. ASOS

Credit: ASOS

ASOS is quite popular and probably one of the largest clothing retailers in the world. They stock different types of clothing for both men and women. As a college student, you get a great deal right off the bat since they give a standard 10% off on all purchases.

  1. Sammy Dress

Credit: Sammy Dress

This is one of the cheapest online clothing store available. Shipping is fast and you can even get free shipping deals based on the amount you’ve spent. Make sure to check out the trendy pieces they have on their website.

  1. Urban Original

Credit: Urban Original

This is one of the best online shopping sites for clothes. You will only find women’s clothing on this site, but they have a very wide selection of items. They also have great deals that are available all year round. You’re likely to get a buy-one-get-one for 50% off if you check out their website every once in a while.

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How to Protect Your House from a Hurricane

If you are all about security, you should definitely read our article that deals with protecting your house from a hurricane. There are many other things that you should protect your house from, including burglars, fire, flood, etc. However, one of the most complex issues may definitely be provoked by a hurricane, being the reason why it’s not very easy to protect from it. For example, if you are afraid of burglary, you should simply install an alarm system or call an experienced locksmith to deal with and improve your locks. On the other side, if you want to protect your house from a fire or flood that may be caused from the inside, there are also some regular measures to undertake. But, is it easy to protect your house from a hurricane. We guess it’s not, but it is not impossible. It is why we bring you this article with great tips on how to protect your house from a hurricane, and we took some of the greatest ideas from Forbes.

  1. Protect your windows and doors

This seems to be one of the most obvious things to do, no matter what do you want to protect your house from, but it seems to be an imperative especially when it comes to hurricane protection. If you live in the area where hurricanes are likely to happen, make sure to install doors and windows that are wind or debris proof.

Photo by Breno Machado on Unsplash

  1. Keep your landscape free of debris

Well, even though you install doors and windows that may protect you from flying debris, you should definitely make sure to free your landscape of it, as it may cause a great harm. For example, debris such as prune trees or dead branches, including some patio furniture and other loose items may be quite harmful during the hurricane.

Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash

  1. Mind the garage door

When protecting all other doors and windows, don’t forget to protect the garage doors, as they may be the weakest spots for hurricane-force winds. You are aware of the fact that the strength of a hurricane is enormous, and if it enters the house through the garage door, it can cause the roof to be torn off.

Photo by Loren Gu on Unsplash

  1. Keep the power on

The first thing you lose when the strong hurricane occurs is definitely the electricity, and this can be a great suffering once the bad weather is done. It is why you should definitely consider having a standby generator to produce electrical power, just for the purpose of keeping the essentials on, which can make the whole situation easier.

Pixabay/Public Domain

  1. Keep basic supplies on hand

The technology has developed much, and thanks to it, we may be ready in advance for weather disasters such as hurricanes. The same way you protect your house, you should definitely protect yourself by providing supplies of things such as water, food, candles, batteries, and other essential items that will get you through for some days. Additionally, you should also have an emergency kit, as recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Pixabay/Public Domain

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5 Things to Consider Before Moving to A New Apartment

Have you found the perfect furnished apartments for rent and are considering moving in? You must be worried about all the little details that will have an impact of your transition to this new world. This seemingly harmless exercise affects your career, your kids and their education, and even your social life. For this reason, moving should be a considered decision that’s well planned out. Below we explore some of the things you should do before moving to a new apartment.

  1. The Cost of Living

Credit: Pixabay

The cost of living in an area can negatively affect your lifestyle. Therefore, it is important to find out well in advance about the cost of living in the area where the apartment is located. This enables you to determine whether your financial position is on par with the new area. You don’t want to move into a new apartment and have to relocate to a cheaper location shortly after.

  1. Safety

Credit: Pixabay

How safe is the new neighborhood? You want to move into a place with a certain level of security to have peace of mind. Find out about the security situation in the new neighborhood before moving your family.  You can do a web search with the name of the area followed by “police”, “disturbance”, “crime”, “killings”, or “burglaries”.

  1. Schools

Credit: Pixabay

If you have kids, then you want to find out if there are good schools in the area. Generally, more expensive areas tend to have better quality schools. Having a good school in the area reduces the cost of transporting your kids to school every day. Its also good for your kids if they go to school with other kids in the neighborhood. They will be able to make friends and adapt to the new environment faster.

  1. Amenities

Credit: Pixabay

Apartment features vary widely even within the same neighborhood. For this reason, it is important to distinguish what you want from what you need. Have a list of all the amenities that are a must-have, and then have another for those that are nice-to-have. For example, if you have a dog, then you want an apartment that allows pets and won’t settle for anything less.

  1. Job Market

Credit: Pixabay

Will you or your spouse need a new job after you have moved? If so, then you need to move to a place where there’s job availability. Some areas are better for job seekers than other with unemployment rates varying widely across states. You will also need to take your industry of interest into account before moving into the new apartment. Find out if there are jobs available in your area of interest to avoid going for too long without getting a job.

  1. Daily Commute

Credit: Pixabay

You need to figure out how you will be getting to work every day. How is traffic in the area and how long does it take you to get to work every day? It the commute is too long or it becomes too much of a hustle to get to work, then you would be better off getting a more convenient location even if you think the apartment is perfect for you.

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5 Tricks for Better Apartment Living

Living in an apartment may have both positive and negative sides, but believe it or not, there are certain hacks that may help you improve your living conditions in such circumstances. It is why this list will bring you some of the tricks for better apartment living, so make sure to read it until the end. There are many things that you need to be aware of before moving to the apartment, and the most important thing to remember is that you no longer live alone, as you will share the building with hundreds of people. As you expect them to respect your common space and to respect your privacy, you will have to do all of that yourself.

Depending on whether you live in a loft or at the first or second floor, you will need to adjust your needs to what your space can handle. If you moved from a house to the apartment, make sure not to bother yourself thinking that you can never have what you had previously.

With this list, you will learn that the apartment life can be equally good as living in the house. Learn these tricks and live like a boss!

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How to Save Money When Buying NFL Tickets

Americans love their football, and for this reason tickets don’t come cheap. If you’re an ardent fan who goes for many games, ticket prices can easily put a dent in your wallet. Below are some tips on the best place to buy NFL tickets and how you can save money in the process.

  1. Legitimate Sources

Credit: ticketmasters

Always make sure to get your tickets from a legitimate source. They should have a money back guarantee in the event that the game is cancelled. Some of the go-to places for genuine NFL tickets are Ticket Masters and SeatGeek. Avoid becoming a victim of ticket scams by doing your due diligence before making a purchase. Frontier sources, for instance individuals on Craigslist, tend to mark up the prices of their tickets to attain considerable profit margins. Buying from Craigslist will definitely be more expensive than from a genuine reseller.

  1. Timing Is Key

Credit: Pixabay

Ticket prices usually fall when it is a few hours to the game. The reason for this drop is straightforward. It is in the interest of the vendor to dispose of as many tickets as possible before a game. This means that the tickets remaining with the vendor a few hours to a game could be disposed of at discounted prices that are a considerable fraction of their original value. However, you run the risk of missing out on tickets if you do this. If you’re really strapped for cash, it is worth a shot.

  1. Purchase Tickets by Value as Opposed to Price

Credit: Pixabay

If you are operating on a tight budget, you can purchase a ticket based on its value as opposed to its price. What this means is that you purchase a ticket that costs way less than its going price based on your seat number. For instance, by paying $20 less you get to seat on the upper bleacher seats, distant from the field of play, but you ultimately get to watch the game.

  1. Who Is the Opponent?

Credit: Pixabay

If you don’t care too much about who is playing, then you can save money by watching games by less popular teams. Ordinarily, games that feature teams that have a national following such as the Dallas Cowboys or teams that are successful such as the New England Patriots will attract higher viewership. This naturally tends to drive up ticket prices. The best way to save money, if you want to watch your team, is by purchasing tickets where your team is playing against a less popular team.

  1. Purchase Tickets in Bulk

Credit: Pixabay

Bulk purchases can be leveraged to get discounts on the listed price. This applies to all sorts of purchases including purchasing NFL tickets. If you approach a vendor as a group of alumni, friends, or even workmates, you might be able to negotiate a discount on the listed price. The vendor might also merge your order with an existing group order. The effect of this is that you get to purchase listed tickets at sub-market rates.

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6 Best Security Apps for iPhone

We live in the world where everything valuable and important that we have we actually keep on our phones. These valuable things can be significant pictures, documents, and even important bank account codes and cards. It is therefore important to protect your phone, not only from potential thieves and hackers but also from your children who can, with only one clumsy click, delete everything you have. To protect your phone, there are many different applications that can help you with this, in addition to the standard settings that your phone offers and this list will present some of them. You can never be protected enough, and you should therefore carefully examine each application from the list, and decide which one will suit you best. On the other side, if you deal with security protection in general, or if you run a business related to it, you might truly benefit from checking out the field service management software, so don’t forget it. The world we live in is definitely a “Brave New World”, described in the dystopian novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley. No more privacy, no more security, and no more freedom. But, let us not go that far; check out some of the best security apps for your iPhone.

  1. ProtonMail

If you communicate a lot using emails, and if you tend to share some of the important information that way, maybe you should think about securing those emails. Proton mail is probably the best way to do it.

Pixabay/Public Domain

  1. Lookout

If you decide for a Lookout version that is free and basic, it will track your phone when it comes to suspicious activity, help you locate it, with a built-in backup service. The premium version will cost you around $10 per month, but the identity theft protection comes with it, as well as the alert of the possible fraudulent activity.

Pixabay/Public Domain

  1. Keeply

If you keep many valuable things on your phone, such as pins, credit cards, notes, photos and videos, Keeply is probably one of the best apps you may have. It functions on the principle of the fake pin, so even if someone knows it, cannot do anything with it!

Pixabay/Public Domain

  1. Tor Messenger

If you like communicating a lot using messengers, you should definitely start using Tor Messenger, as it is one of the best ways to make your conversations safe. It allows you establish the encrypted way to have private conversations over Tor’s network.

Pixabay/Public Domain

  1. Signal

Signal is the additional messaging and voice calling app for people who like communicating this way, and it offers end-to-end encryption to secure all communications. However, this is not everything, as this app also has the possibility to verify the identity of people you are messaging and the integrity of the channel you are using.

Pixabay/Public Domain

  1. Onion Browser

If you want a browser that you will be able to use without the fear that everything will be remembered, check out the Onion Browser.  The best thing is, when browsing the Internet with this browser, websites cannot see your actual IP address and therefore, cannot determine your location and ISPs cannot see your browsing history.

Pixabay/Public Domain

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10 Best Online Payment Methods

It seems that in the future our children and grandchildren will have no idea how does the real money look like, as the online cash is likely to replace it fully. It has been some time since people decided to replace the money with bank cards, but the systems that provide you with the possibility to pay for everything online are expanding and are becoming more and more popular among people of all ages. The online payment services are actually convenient for both; paying or receiving money and this is especially convenient for people who work for clients who are abroad, as online payment services usually take fewer fees than bank accounts and transactions. If you are still suspicious, don’t forget that modern internet transactions are very safe and there is little chance that anyone will cheat you. Customers who use these online payment services in cases when they want to buy something, for example, are completely protected in case they don’t get the desired item or the item is not as described online. All of this should make you a little bit less sceptical when it comes to online cash and online payment, and as the list will deal with best online payment methods, make sure to pick the one that is most suitable for you! Check it out!

  1. PayPal

PayPal is definitely one of the most famous online payment methods, and it is used for simple online payments. It does not require a monthly plan, and the transaction fee is around 2.9%.

paypal.com

  1. Amazon Payments

If you use Amazon a lot when it comes to buying things, make sure to check out the Amazon payment created exclusively for Amazon accounts. The transaction fee, in this case, is 2.9% as well.

cardfellow.com

  1. Square

Square is not that popular, but it is definitely worth trying. It is very convenient in terms of accepting credit card payments in person, and the transaction fee is the same as in previous two cases – 2.9%.

squareup.com

  1. Stripe

If you download the Stripe app, you will see that it accepts payments of any type in your app, with the fixed transaction fee of 2.9%.

stripe.com

  1. Dwolla

Dwolla accepts bank transfer payments in your app, and it does not have a transaction fee, but it has a monthly plan of $25/month, which is also a great deal.

about-payments.com

  1. Braintree

Braintree accepts payments directly in international currencies, and it does not have a monthly plan, but it has a transaction fee of 2.9%.

braintreepayments.com

  1. Payline

Payline is one of the most convenient services for payments based on interchange fees. It does not have a monthly plan, but it has a 0.35% + interchange fee, which is not too much at all.

paylinedata.com

  1. Google Checkout

This is a Google’s service that is almost the same as PayPal. The transaction fees start at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for sales less than $3,000.

wallet.google.com

  1. WePay

This is a service that allows Internet merchants to accept credit cards and bank account payments online. It has a 3.5% transaction fee (for credit card transactions and $0.50 for bank payments.

go.wepay.com

  1. 2Checkout

This is a service that combines a merchant account and payment gateway into one, allowing customers to receive credit card payments as well as PayPal payments. It has a $10.99 monthly service fee and $0.45 transaction fee.

shopify.com

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5 Nifty Tips for Getting Your Bank Loan Approved

How can I get a loan?

This is a question many people ask when they need to buy a car, do some renovations at home, or consolidate their debt. Whatever the reason you have for getting a loan, you have to go through an application process and thereafter an approval. You’re unlikely to walk into a bank and get money thrown at you without demonstrating that you’ll be able to pay it back. Here are some tips for getting your loans approved every time.

  1. Work on Your Credit Rating

Credit: Pixabay

Today, banks can easily access your credit information from credit reference agencies. Therefore, it is important for you to ensure that you have a good credit score if you want to increase your chances of having your personal loan approved. Go through your credit file to ensure that your details are correct and that the information is up to date. Check that all the accounts listed therein are yours and are current. Having accurate data on your credit report will improve your chances of getting your loan approved.

  1. Managing Your Finances

Credit: Pixabay

Personal finance management can be done in two phases – managing your regular income and managing the way you make use of your credit once you have access to it.  All banks will want to know how you spend your money and how you intend to spend the money they lend to you. Therefore, as you prepare to apply for your loan, start managing your money better. It is a good idea to keep records showing how you use your money.

  1. Know If You Are Eligible

Credit: Pixabay

Different banks have different eligibility criteria. When deciding on where to get a personal loan, you need to find out if you meet the prospective bank’s eligibility criteria. If you find that there are areas you do not qualify, try and work on them to ensure you pass the eligibility test.

  1. Avoid Applying for More Than You Need

Credit: Pixabay

It is a good idea to only apply for what you need. A bank is more likely to loan you $5000 than it is $25000. This is because the latter posses a higher financial risk to the bank should you default. Therefore, while you may want to apply for more than you need, it is better to stick to applying for what you need.

  1. Honesty Is the Best Policy

Credit: Pixabay

Your honesty plays a big role when it comes to getting your loan approval. Ensure that you are completely honest in your application. Even the least bit of dishonest information can cause your loan application to be rejected. It also damages your chances of getting credit in the future with the same bank.

Final Tip

Before you walk into a bank, it is advisable to check online for loan packages. This gives you a good idea of what different providers are offering. Before doing your search, you need to be sure of how much you need for your personal loan and what you are able to pay back within the time frame required.