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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To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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Intimidation Isn't Always What It Seems

Always ask yourself this question when feeling intimidated...

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A few months ago, I read something online that really stuck with me. I don't remember who said it, or where it came from, so my apologies for not accurately crediting the genius who spoke these words, but it said this:

"Am I actually intimidating, or are you just intimidated?"

Growing up, you constantly find yourself in situations where you feel scared or uncomfortable. I don't think there's one person on the planet that can say that they didn't feel intimidated at one point or another growing up. Maybe it was by the "popular kids" or by a teacher or a supervisor. So many people can make you feel a certain way and it can be scary when you're a child growing up. Maybe you felt intimidated because they were bullies or they were a strong personality.

But after reading this quote, I started to think about every time in my life that I felt intimidated. Walking into a new job, taking a chance on writing, seeing a group of girls in the cafeteria - whatever it was, I thought of it. And my perspective completely changed.

It wasn't necessarily that the people who I was encountering or the situation I was entering was scary. In fact, most times, those people turned out to be incredibly welcoming and nice, or that situation was nothing but spectacular, but at that moment, I was completely intimidated. It was something new and the unknown can always be scary. But looking back, it wasn't that those situations and people were intimidating - it was that I was intimidated.

Being intimidated is completely natural. It'd be crazy to say 'hey, don't be intimidated' and expect people to actually feel comfortable. But it's something to think about moving forward when you find yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, anxious, or even scared. It's easy to get caught up in the moment and let that timidness get the best of you but think of that question and realize that it's not necessarily the situation - sometimes it's you letting the situation get the best of you.

At the end of the day, people are just people. Everyone has boogers and everyone had good and bad days and to be honest, the people who others find intimidating are usually the ones who are just better at putting up a front. They're the ones who find having a hard exterior is easier than being vulnerable and letting others in. Don't let those people scare you. They're usually fighting a battle that they're taking out on the people around them - and that shouldn't scare you.

"Am I actually intimidating, or are you just intimidated?"

Think about it, feel it, let it wash over you, and don't let those feelings get the best of you. Most of the best things in life are just past that line outside of your comfort zone.

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