What Every Millennial Homeowner Should Know

What Every Millennial Homeowner Should Know

Owning a home is a big responsibility, but also one that’s really rewarding.
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Being a homeowner is an investment that has its ups and downs. It’s important to have your own property, build equity and stop putting your hard-earned money toward rent, but it can be a challenge to keep up with home repairs and updates. You’ll also have to get used to the loss of a landlord in case the heat goes out in the middle of winter.

Of course, the good trumps the bad when it comes to owning a home versus renting. When you own your home, you can make it your own. Design and decorate however you’d like, with only the consideration of future buyers if you ever sell, which you likely will at some point. If you have pets, you will have a yard for them to run around in and a place to have wine night with your friends on summer days. Have a spare room you want to rent out to a friend for extra income? Now you can.

If you’re in the process of purchasing your first home or have recently become a new homeowner, read on for helpful tips every millennial homeowner should know.

There’s an App for That

If you have a smartphone (I know you do), download Jiffy, a home-maintenance dispatching app that’s connected to a network of trusted professionals who will come to your home for a variety of services. Whether you need your driveway plowed after a heavy snowfall, pest control or your plumbing fixed, Jiffy is at your service.

All companies and professionals linked to the app go through an in-depth approval process where they’re screened for proper certification, insurance coverage, licenses, etc. Breathe easily knowing that only four-and five-star professionals are available through the app, where you can also leave comments and provide your own feedback.

Learn How to Shut Off Your Gas, Water and Electricity

You’d be surprised at the number of homeowners who don’t know how to shut off their own gas, electricity and water. Locate your mainlines and electricity circuit box before you even move in, if possible. You’ll need to know in case of an emergency or when you perform repairs. When it comes to your electricity circuit box, make sure all your breakers are labeled properly and that you know where each switch goes.

Don’t Cut Corners

There’s cutting costs, and then there’s cutting corners. Know the difference. When you have work done on your home, hire top-notch professionals who know what they’re doing. If you’re having your roof replaced, do your research and hire an established contractor — don’t just hire someone based on their cheap price. There may be a reason they’re so cheap.

Two major ways homeowners cut corners is with insurance, home improvements and repairs. These things will cost money, so plan for them in your budget. If you do decide to take the cheap route on these things, it could come back to haunt you for years to come and cost you even more than you initially would have paid if you handled it properly. Don’t make this mistake.

Fix Your Own Dripping Faucet

A leaky faucet is not only an annoyance, but it can also raise water bills unnecessarily if you don’t address the problem. Before you call someone, try to resolve the issue yourself. Usually, the reason is simpler than you think — like worn-out seals or O-rings, a loose part, corrosion or a small buildup.

Take the time to do your research online or find a step-by-step YouTube video. Most everyone can at least fix a leak without calling a plumber, so assess before you act.

Learn How to Clean Your Gutters

It’s important to keep your gutters clear of any blockage because if you don’t, leaves and other things that fly into them can disrupt water flow and ultimately cause flooding. Stay on top of your gutters, and set a time to clean them out every few weeks. If you live in an area with lots of heavy rain and storms, you will need to do this more frequently.

Get yourself a pair of yard gloves — something with thick material that will protect your hands — then use a ladder to safely climb up to where your gutters are located. Pull out debris either with your hands or a garden trowel, but take your time to avoid hurting yourself or the gutter. Test out your skills once you’re finished by rinsing the gutter with a garden hose. If the water flows freely, you’ve successfully cleared them out.

Owning a home is a big responsibility, but also one that’s really rewarding. Plan ahead for repairs and improvements that will need to be made to keep your home in good shape, and also learn common homeowner tasks so you can save money in the future.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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21 Quotes From Twyla Tharp's 'The Creative Habit' That Will Fuel Your Artistic Self

Use your half-baked ideas for good!

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Twyla Tharp is a master dancer and choreographer. She's worked with the world's most prestigious artists to create works that will withstand the test of time. She published her book "The Creative Habit" as a viewing window for seeing into her creative process. Tharp offers both hard truths and gently encouraging words for both serious artists and everyday people just trying to expand their circle of knowledge about art. I compiled some quotations from the book that were profound, useful and to-the-point when it comes to examining artistic development.

1. "Creativity is not just for artists. It's for businesspeople looking for a new way to close a sale; it's for engineers trying to solve a problem; it's for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way."

You get some creativity! YOU get some creativity! Everyone gets creativity!

2. "If art is the bridge between what you see in your mind and what the world sees, then skill is how you build that bridge."

3. "Everything that happens in my day is a transaction between the external world and my internal world. Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable. Everything feeds into my creativity."

4. "In the end, there is no one ideal condition for creativity. What works for one person is useless for another. The only criterion is this: Make it easy on yourself. Find a working environment where the prospect of wrestling with your muse doesn't scare you, doesn't shut you down."

5. "Someone has done it before? Honey, it's all been done before. Nothing's really original. Not Homer or Shakespeare and certainly not you. Get over yourself."

Ouch. Toes stepped on.

6. "Metaphor is the lifeblood of all art, if it is not art itself. Metaphor is our vocabulary for connecting what we're experiencing to what we have experienced before."

"It's *literally* like this..."

7. "...get busy copying. Traveling the paths of greatness, even in someone else's footprints, is a vital means to acquiring skill."

Choose your muse wisely!

8. "You can't just dance or paint or write or sculpt. Those are just verbs. You need a tangible idea to get you going. The idea, however minuscule, is what turns the verb into a noun..."

9. "When you're in scratching mode, the tiniest microcell of an idea will get you going. Musicians know this because compositions rarely come to them whole and complete. They call their morsels of inspiration lines or riffs or hooks or licks. That's what they look for when they scratch for an idea."

You know you look crazy, but press on, baby ideas in hand!

10. "It doesn't matter if it's a book, magazine, newspaper, billboard, instruction manual, or cereal box -- reading generates ideas, because you're literally filling your head with ideas and letting your imagination filter them for something useful."

"Alexa, play the Reading Rainbow theme song."

11. "...there's a fine line between good planning and overplanning. You never want the planning to inhibit the natural evolution of your work."

Screw this global need for instant information. You gotta just let things run their course sometimes.

12. "Habitually creative people are, in E.B. white's phrase, 'prepared to be lucky.' You don't get lucky without preparation, and there's no sense in being prepared if you're not open to the possibility of a glorious accident. In creative endeavors luck is a skill."

Twyla Tharp is really just a more Type A version of Bob Ross.

13. "I know it's important to be prepared, but at the start of the process this type of perfectionism is more like procrastination. You've got to get in there and do."

14. "You're only kidding yourself if you put creativity before craft. Craft is where our best efforts begin. You should never worry that rote exercises aimed at developing skills will suffocate creativity."

15. "That's what the great ones do: They shelve the perfected skills for a while and concentrate on their imperfections."

16. "Without passion, all the skill in the world won't lift you above your craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering. combining the two is the essence of the creative life."

17. "My heroes are those who've prevailed over far greater losses than I've ever had to face."

18. "Part of the excitement of creativity is the headlong rush into action when we latch onto a new idea. Yet, in the excitement, we often forget to apply pressure to the idea, poke it, challenge it, push it around, see if it stands up. Without that challenge, you never know how far astray your assumptions may have taken you."

19. "...there's a lesson here about finding your groove. Yes, you can find it via a breakthrough in your craft. But you can also find it in other means -- in congenial material, in a perfect partner, in a favorite character or comfortable subject matter."

20. "A math professor at Williams College bases ten percent of his students' grades on failure. Mathematics is all about trying out new ideas -- new formulas, theorems, approaches -- and knowing that the vast majority of them will be dad ends. To encourage his students not to be afraid of testing their quirkiest ideas in public, he rewards rather than punishes them for coming up with wrong answers."

This approach would've been so helpful.

21. "I began as a dancer, and in those days of pain and shock I went back to where I started. Creating dance is the thing I know best. It is how I recognize myself. Even in the worst of times, such habits sustain, protect, and, in the most unlikely way, lift us up."

Take Twyla's knowledge and have fun exploring creativity in your personal life!

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