Melissa Kaspern's Blog
Home improvement is something we all strive for, but many of us never really follow through with completing that goal. With the hectic lives that we live, it’s hard to find time to make those important upgrades to your home. However, home improvement doesn’t always have to be hard and time-consuming.
Add Some Fresh Paint
You won’t believe the kind of impact a fresh paint job can have. In fact, new paint could be just what your home needs to really come to life. And better yet, painting a room is relatively easy and inexpensive. It can have a huge effect on the look and feel of any room in your home, so be sure to be strategic as you’re choosing colors. Adding color to your walls can give your home the “pop” you’ve been looking for. And better yet, depending on how much paint you purchase, this home improvement tactic can cost you less than $200.
Install a Stair Runner
Wooden stairs can add a nice touch to any home, but they can be very slippery and dangerous. If your kids — and even your pets — are constantly slipping on your stairs, then you may be weighing the options when it comes to installing some grip. While you could always add carpet, this can be extremely expensive and the installation process can be time-consuming (then you’ll have to deal with stains and vacuuming). One easy and cost-effective method is to add a stair runner. These come in many different shapes, styles and sizes, and these can really add a nice touch. Instead of spending over $2,000 on carpet for your stairs, you can purchase a stair runner that should cost you under $300.
Upgrade Your Dishwasher
Are you and your family using too much water? Looking for ways to save? While those 20-minute showers could be a factor, the water use issue could be due to your dishwasher—or lack thereof. To the surprise of many, dishwashers can waste hundreds of gallons of water each year. And if you’re washing by hand, that can also waste a great deal of water. By upgrading this appliance to a new Energy Star-rated dishwasher, you save more than $30 per year on energy and nearly 500 gallons of water. If you want to complete this home upgrade, it’s very easy to do yourself. Just head on over to the nearest home improvement store, purchase a dishwasher, then follow a few simple steps to install it in no time.
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250 Winter St, Holliston, MA 01746
If you're considering getting into the world of real estate investing, there are some basic terms that are important to understand. Buying and selling property is, of course, one way to invest, but there are other investments that offer favorable returns. However, it can sometimes be difficult to master the confusing alphabet soup of investment opportunity.
Packaged investment products include the Asset-Backed Security (ABS) and a Collateral Debt Obligation (CDO). In some ways, they are similar; each is typically bundled as a group investment for marketing purposes. Financial return is realized as payments are made by the pool of consumers included in the group.
The ABS evolved historically, beginning in the 1980s, with the lender practice of bundling mortgage-backed securities for resale, primarily to other institutions. Today the practice continues, but mortgage debt is classified as a CDO, with specific real estate as the collateral. It is a specialty designation under the umbrella of asset-backed securities. The breakdown can be complex, and terms are sometimes confusing.
Financing that comprises CDO debt includes all the underlying characteristics of the ABS, in addition to the specialized assets of both commercial and residential Mortgage-Backed Security (MBS) or REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) debt. A unique type of CDO that only includes mortgages is known as a CMO, referring to Collateralized Mortgage Obligation.
Most investors really don't need to know more, but there are other designations that are commonly used:
- A CLO is the term for Collateralized (Bank) Loan Obligation;
- A CBO designates a Bond Obligation;
- Credit-backed debt is sometimes referred to as synthetic CDO to distinguish it from cash-backed debt.
Various types of CDO debt are batched into three (or more) classes, known as tranches, with varying degrees of risk and return. Although the maturity level may be the same, an Equity Tranch investment offers the highest potential return but bears the lowest credit rating. A less-risky Senior Tranch boasts a higher credit rating, and the Mezzanine Tranch is in the middle.
Typically, an ABS investment package comprises credit card debt, student loan debt, home equity loans, auto loans, and large sum debt-repayment contracts for other goods, with no mortgages in the package.
An investor in either an ABS or CDO earns a return, in part or in full, as the pool of debt is repaid by the individuals whose loans have been pooled. The risk of default is spread over the spectrum of loans, and investor risk is assessed, largely in proportion to the number and type of loans included in the package.
These various types of investment packages are usually marketed only to institutions, rather than to individual investors, however there are ways for individual investors to purchase shares through the investment firm.
Have you always dreamed of having a beautiful stately headboard at the head of your bed? Do you have an old door and wonder just what you can do with it? If you answered yes to both of those questions, boy, do we have the perfect project for you. Using your old door and a few more supplies, you can make your dreams a reality, creating a gorgeous headboard in seven easy steps. Here’s how.
1. Grab All Your Supplies
Before you get started, gather your materials and tools to breeze through this project with ease. The materials you will need include:
As for tools, you will need:
With those items in hand, you can get started on creating the headboard of your dreams out of an old door.
2. Remove the Old Hardware
Use your screwdriver to remove all the old hardware on the door, including the hinges and doorknob. Either toss out the old hardware or put it to the side for another project.
3. Give It Legs & a Frame
Cut the 2x4s down to size with the cut-off saw, making them small enough to frame around three sides of the back edge. You will screw these pieces along the sides and top edge of the back of the door to extend it out enough to accommodate the mantle edge. Then, measure your bed to determine how long the legs need to be. Cut the rest of the 2x4s to that length and screw them to the bottom of the door.
4. Dress It Up with Trim
Take the oak board and cut it to the length of the door. Secure to the top edge of the door with your nail gun. Cut two pieces of the crown molding to the length of the door and secure them just under the oak board to create a cohesive mantle edge. Then, do the same for the sides, cutting a small piece of crown molding and securing it with the nail gun.
5. Sand & Paint
While being careful to retain the edges of the molding and door details, sand everything down lightly to prep the area for paint. Then, use your brushes to paint the surface using your selected color. Allow the first coat to dry for at least four hours, then add a second. Allow the second coat to dry overnight before continuing with this project.
6. Install on the Frame
With the door painted, it is time to install it on the frame of your bed. You can do so by finding the height of the mounting point on your bedframe and measuring up the legs to mark that point. Then, use your drill to create holes large enough for your mounting hardware. Slide your hardware through the hole in the legs and the mounting plate, then tighten down with your ratchet and socket set.
7. Step Back & Admire
Once you reach this step, all that is left to do is step back and admire your hard work. Your efforts have not only saved an old door from the landfill, but also allowed you to create the headboard of your dreams. And that is definitely something to be proud of.