Television started entering American homes on a more widespread basis during the 1940s. At this same time in rural areas, television made its way into homes, retreated then was reintroduced into rural homes during the late 1940s through the mid to late-1950s. Today, more than 110 million American homes have a television.
Many homes have two or more televisions in them. It’s reached the point where it’s expected that you’ll have at least one television, and not just any television. It has to be a wide screen high definition television with surround sound.
Why it might be time to get rid of television
Television has replaced front porch conversations, board games and other indoor and outdoor social activities. It has also become a babysitter for developing children, including infants and toddlers. Although placing children in front of a television for one or more hours a day provides parents and caretakers with less distractions, it could hamper a child’s social skills. Additionally,when parents turn on educational programs, they might think that their child is learning simply because their child is watching and listening to programs that focus on reading, learning the alphabet and counting.
Until children are tested or parents ask children questions to measure how much they are actually learning, thinking that children are, in fact, learning because they are watching educational television shows is an assumption. But, children aren’t the only reason to turn off the television or consider taking television out of your home entirely. Other reasons to reduce or eliminate television usage in your home include:
Increased physical activity – Unless you’re running on a treadmill while you watch television, you’re probably sitting or lounging in bed. Less television could encourage you to be more physically active. You might get outdoors and soak up the benefits of more natural light.
Improved relationships – Remove television from your home and you may have little choice but to speak more often and more deeply with your relatives.You actually might have to actively listen to people while they speak with you.
Less isolation – Deeper conversations lead to improved relationships which can keep you from feeling isolated. Instead of turning to the television to watch other people engage in relationships on reality TV programs, you can focus on creating your own real life exciting and rewarding relationship experiences.
Better health – You and your children’s attention spans may increase after you take television out of your home. You could also reduce your risks of developing conditions and diseases like diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
Less than 60 years ago, it was normal for Americans to entertain themselves without watching television. That was a time when families gathered every evening around the dinner table. Neighbors interacted on a first name basis. People actually knew their neighbors’ children and grandchildren and treated them like extended family. Nearly every adult in a neighborhood looked out for children and teens. Face to face conversations were highly valued. Perhaps it’s time to return to that way of living, even if only for one to two days a week.
Buying a home is a complicated process with a lot of opportunities to make costly mistakes. There’s no high school class to prepare you for buying a home but there probably should be. If you’re a first time homebuyer and you came across this article looking for advice, congratulations--you’re already doing the most important thing you can when making a big financial decision: the research.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common mistakes that first time homebuyers make when entering the real estate market. We’ll break it down by the three main phases of home-buying: saving for a home, hunting for a home, and signing a mortgage.
Saving for a home
One of the first lessons that all first time homeowners quickly learn is that being able to afford your monthly mortgage payments doesn’t mean you can afford a home. Many first time buyers are often coming from living situations where certain utilities are included (water, heat, electricity, etc.). Aside from those obvious expenses, there are also things like property tax and home insurance to budget for, both of which may increase. Finally, when you’re living in an apartment and your faucet breaks, you simply call the landlord. When you own a home, especially an older home, be prepared to spend on repairs and to start learning basic maintenance skills that will save you money.
The hunt for your first home
Now that you’re aware of the costs, it might be tempting to jump in and start looking at homes. Another common mistake first time homebuyers make is to waste time looking at homes before they’ve met with a real estate agent or have gotten pre-approved for a loan. Start there, then once you know the scope of your home search, you’ll have a much more relaxing hunt for your new home.
Another mistake that first time homebuyers make is to underestimate the time and commitment it takes to find a home. When you work with a real estate agent, make sure you are available at all times. Keep your phone nearby, stick to your schedule for viewing homes, and keep a list of each home you’re considering. Showing initiative and dedication won’t just help you stay organized, it will also show your agent and the home seller that you are worth their time.
One of the most common mistakes that buyers make when it comes to their mortgage is to fail to shop around for a lender. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that only half of all buyers considered more than one lender for their home.
Buyers, first time and repeat, often think their credit report is set in stone. What they don’t realize is that the three main credit Bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) can all make mistakes on your credit. Check your detailed credit reports and fix any errors long before applying for a mortgage to increase your chances of getting a good rate.
If you avoid these common mistakes and continue to do your research along the way, you should be able to save yourself some headaches and some money in the long term.
There are few things for a home seller that are more stressful than the home inspection. You hope and pray that everything will come out a-OK in your house so that your buyers will want to continue with the sale without asking for too many contingencies. There’s a few simple things that you can do to make sure your home inspection goes smoothly. The good news is that these tasks won’t cost you a lot of time or money. A few simple actions can save you a lot of grief in unnecessary service calls. Check out these tips to help you get through the home inspection with flying colors:
Check Your Light Bulbs
If you have a light bulb that’s simply burnt out, that could prompt the need for a check of the entire electrical system in your home. Avoid a costly visit from an electrician just by checking your light bulbs and replacing them where necessary.
Check Your Air Filters
The air filters in your home can be easily neglected and be a big problem in the home inspection process. Even if a filter looks a little gray, take the time to replace it. You should check your air filters and furnace filters for any potential problems like tears or excess dirt. For bonus points, you may want to just replace the filters before the inspection no matter how little dirt they have on them. Otherwise, a clogged filter can be a sign that your furnace or heating and cooling system isn’t working properly.
Check Your Sinks
A few dollars spent on some drain unclogging chemicals is a few hundred dollars potentially saved on a plumber. Fill up your sinks with water and see how they drain. If they’re a bit slow, get the chemicals that you need to work on unclogging the drains (such as Drain-o). If there’s a funny smell coming from the drain, be sure to address it. Lemons also work wonders on everything from drains to garbage disposals. Even some baking soda and vinegar can help to clean a drain wonderfully.
Fix Major Repairs Before Your Home Goes On The Market
If you know something pressing needs to be fixed or replaced in your home, be sure to fix it before the home even goes on the market. It’s much easier to take care of things before a buyer’s contingency and a time limit is involved. Although you may be hesitant to spend the money, you should replace certain appliances, fix the roof, or address that creaky floor before the “For Sale” sign even goes out front.