Pet-friendly tips for a cleaner home

We love them. Our four-legged furry bundles of joy mean the world to us.

All pet owners agree that caring for their pets is both a joy and challenge, especially if your pet does a lot of shedding or is still in training.

With a little work, you can hold together a well-kept home no matter how many legs are running around with these easy-to-follow and pet-friendly cleaning hacks.

Wipe paws

Just like you use a door mat to wipe your shoes or put away shoes in an entryway shoe rack, have something for your pets to use too. It’s as easy as wiping off their paws after outdoor play or going on a walk.

Pet owners can keep a pet-friendly wipe handy or use a baking sheet filled with water near the door. Your pet simply needs to step into the container to wash away any unwanted debris.

Fresher cat litter

The first step to eliminating or reducing odors from a kitty litter container is baking soda. After each change of litter, make sure to place a layer of baking soda at the bottom of the container.

For extra freshness, go ahead and sprinkle in some baking soda after each scoop. The absorbing powers of baking soda work wonders in removing odor and keeping any room with a kitty litter box smelling fresh all day long.

Cleaner eating area

Your pets should enjoy a dedicated area for eating that’s designed to keep things neat.

A silicone mat underneath your pet’s water and food bowls is all you really need. The mat will catch spills and ensure water stays off the floor for extended periods of time, which could cause damage.

The mat is also convenient because it’s easy to wipe clean quickly and in time for your pet’s next meal.

Cleaning solution

There are lots of products out there that promise odor- and stain-removing miracles. Save the money.

When your pet has an indoor accident, you can use your own cleaning solution at home to clean up the mess. The solution is simple: just mix in eight ounces of hydrogen peroxide, three tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dish soap. Put the solution in a spray bottle and use it for spot cleaning on flooring and carpeting.

Declutter pet area

A dedicated pet box where you can store toys, accessories and other pet essentials can keep your pet area clean.

Foods, cleaners and other pet goods should also be stored out of sight if you want to keep the pet areas as tidy as possible.

A spare cabinet, pantry shelf or a basket with your pet’s name are all perfect storage solutions. And when you get organized in this way, you’ll never forget where you put your pet’s wire brush or flea medicine again.

Get vacuum robot

Sometimes, it’s hard getting a volunteer to sweep or vacuum. All that endless supply of pet hair can make it seem like an impossible task to finish.

That’s where a vacuum robot can step in to save the day, every day. Today’s techie robot vacuum cleaners are programmable and will do a great job lifting up all that unwanted pet hair so you don’t have to. In addition to saving time, as it maneuvers around the room with special sensors, it will bring you peace of mind that the floor is being carefully cleaned.

How VA loan homebuyers can maximize investment

Given today’s market realities, buying a home will not be without its challenges or unexpected surprises.

If you’re a veteran and plan on purchasing a home through the VA mortgage loan program, there are some common missteps you should know about before moving ahead.

With a little prep work, you can manage the variety of risks, challenges and opportunities to your advantage and make the most out of your homebuying experience.

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid.

Fail to budget for the now and later

Buying a home today is very different than buying a home six months ago.

The changing landscape means you must be as diligent as ever with your financial planning. Because of this, homebuyers must not be tempted by pushing the limits to purchase a budget-bending home and then overlook the costs of actually owning a home.

The bit of wisdom homebuyers should keep in mind is that they should understand limits and put a lot of thought into their budgets with careful consideration for every step.

Hire a real estate agent who doesn’t quite fit

You will make a lot of decisions through the course of buying a home. Selecting the right real estate agent to work alongside you is one of the more consequential decisions you’ll make. So, you really need to get it right.

As a rule of thumb, you should interview a few real estate agents before choosing who to work with. You can also rely on online reviews and recommendations from your family and friends when deciding.

The strategy should be to work with someone who clicks with you, and above all else, it’s important to work with someone who’s familiar with the market and has a proven track record of success on both selling and buying real estate.

Take their word for it

A verbal commitment from a seller that you will be selected to purchase the home isn’t firm.

If you count on verbal agreements throughout the homebuying process, then you should also prepare to be let down.

As soon as you strike a deal, work with your team to get everything in writing and in contract so you can move swiftly to the next steps of buying a home. Do not rest easy until all the appropriate forms are signed and executed.

Not thinking big picture

Right now, and for some time, home prices have skyrocketed. But, will that always be the case?

As a homebuyer, you are challenged to consider both today’s price and what the future might hold. Because of this reality, you should take into account what it would be like to sell your home in the future. You will want to make financial decisions that protect your investment for as long as possible.

As future value is a major consideration, you will want to think about various neighborhoods, possible home improvement projects and the home’s layout and features. They will all have a say in how much the home will be worth down the road.

Buying a home with a VA loan program offers applicants a number of benefits to make the most out of buying a home. Nevertheless, there will be some potential pitfalls to avoid. As you move ahead with your dreams of buying a home, make sure to take every precaution possible to avoid mistakes that can take away value from your investment.

Premier Mortgage Resources is not affiliated with or an agency of the federal government. Please consult your tax advisor. All opinions expressed by Loan Officer, are Loan Officer’s opinions and do not reflect the opinions of PMR.