• The Recovering Pessimist | My Favorite Home Depot Finds #HomeWithJoy | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #HomeWithJoy #HomeDepot #Lowes #Target #Homeowner #Homeownership #AtJoysHouse #HomeWithJoyFaves #WelcomeHome #homedecor #HomeMaintenance #Pinterest
    Home With Joy

    My Favorite Home Depot Finds #HomeWithJoy

    I love Home Depot. I treat the store like Target. I’ll go in, usually with no list, and just peruse the aisles for whatever may catch my eye. I’ll scan the item using the app and add it to the applicable wish list. It’s my 2nd happy place (I’m sure you can guess which one is my first happy place).

    Anyhoo, I wanted to share some of my favorite Home Depot Finds with you just in case you want to, you know, peruse the aisles😉

    Green Gobbler Bio-Flow Drain Strips (12-pack)

    Each month, I put a drain strip down my kitchen sink, shower drain, and bathroom sink to clear out the gunk that may develop. They’re great for septic systems and are non-corrosive.

    DampRid 10.5 Lavender Vanilla Refillable Moisture Absorber

    During the summer, my bathroom and master bedroom get pretty humid. It’s perfect for smaller spaces & comes in several scents including unscented. Heads up: The moisture absorber and the refill bags tend to go in and out of stock.

    Philips Color and Tunable White A19 LED 60-Watt Equivalent Dimmable Smart Wi-Fi Wiz Connected Wireless Light Bulb

    I brought the color-changing bulbs to work through Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It was easy to pair the bulbs with the Wiz app. You can also create schedules for your light bulbs, which is helpful.

    HDX 13 in. Extra Wide Angle Broom with Dustpan

    A broom?! Yes, a broom. All brooms are not the same. The dustpan has a rubber piece across the bottom that prevents everything from falling out. The angle of the broom is great for corners and tight spaces.

    I hope you find something new to check out. What are your favorite Home Depot finds? I’d love to hear about them.

    Happy perusing!

    Joy

     

     

     

     

  • The Recovering Pessimist | My Favorite Plant Tips #HomeWithJoy | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #HomeWithJoy #HomeDepot #Lowes #Target #Homeowner #Homeownership #AtJoysHouse #HomeWithJoyFaves #WelcomeHome #homedecor #HomeMaintenance #Pinterest #plants #greenery
    Home With Joy

    My Favorite Plant Tips #HomeWithJoy

    I love being a plant parent. My plant babies not only contribute to the decor, but they make me happy. You can never have enough happiness right? I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to my *mostly* green thumb. 

    Anyway, since sharing IS caring, I’m here to share my favorite plant tips with you. Ready? Here we go!

    Start slow

    I can’t stress this enough. Start slow. Get a plant that’s impossible to kill, like a Dracaena trifasciata or a pothos.

    Propagate

    Seriously the easiest (and cheapest) way to add more plants to your collection is to propagate them. I do this with my pothos and plants. I take a cutting, place it in a shot glass, and wait for the roots to develop. Once the roots develop, I transfer the cutting to another vessel so it can spread out.

    Grow in water solely

    Here’s a funny story. Last year, I purchased a Tradescantia zebrina that I planted in a pot. I couldn’t keep that plant alive despite moving it around my house to capture the best light. Before the whole plant died, I took a cutting to propagate hoping I could hold onto the plant. Well, that cutting developed roots quickly. That’s when the light bulb went off.

    Leave it in water.

    That plant has grown so much by leaving it in water. I now have another Tradescantia zebrina that I placed in water after I purchased it and several pothos plants. To find out which plants thrive in water, check Pinterest and Google.

    Reuse glass bottles

    I love using clear glass bottles for the plants I keep in water. I love seeing their roots forming at the bottom.  Make sure you switch out the water as needed. 

    Be mindful of the light

    Sunlight changes based on the season. It’s normal to have to move your plants during the cooler months to capture light. 

    Dust Them Off

    Dust those leaves off so the light can get to them. 

    Water Accordingly

    Google is your friend + watering schedules change as the seasons change. Li

    Get Chatty Cathy

    Plants are living things. Talk to them. 

    And finally, a tip I will forever swear by:

    If it’s thriving, LEAVE IT ALONE! 

    I hope you find these tips useful. Are there any plant tips you want to share? I’d love to hear about them.

    Until next time,

    Joy

     

     

     

  • The Recovering Pessimist | My Favorite Places to Buy Smell Goods #HomeWithJoy | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist
    Home With Joy

    My favorite places to buy smell goods #HomeWithJoy

    There’s something about walking into a room that smells soooo good! It’s an instant mood booster. While I love shopping for smell goods, I also don’t want to spend too much money.

     

    I wanted to share some of my favorite stores to find smell goods & some of the specific items I’ve purchased from these stores. Without further adieu, here we go!

    TJ Maxx & Home Goods

    The candle sections of TJ Maxx and Home Goods are outstanding! There’s a wide variety of candle sizes and scents that are so affordable. I have no problem spending $10 for a huge 3-wick candle. Oh, and both stores sell candles by DW Home & Sand + Fog. #notsponsored

    Target

    Over the years, Target has upped its candle game. Some of their scents are close to popular candle brands and much cheaper. Target also has a pretty impressive variety of wax melts, oil diffusers, and room sprays. Next time you’re in the store, take a walk down the home scents aisles.

    Walmart

    I buy a lot of incense from Target. It smells delightful and I get at least 20 incense sticks for less than $2.00. A steal! They also have a huge variety of candles and wax melts that smell lovely.

    Bath and Body Works

    I love the wallflowers from Bath and Body Works. I love the range of scents. They’re on sale often and last quite a long time.

    Kroger

    Kroger carries some good-smelling candles and oil plugin scents that go on sale often. If you have coupons, you can save even more money. Definitely worth checking out.

    Kohl’s

    Did you know Kohl’s sells Yankee Candles? Yep, they sure do and they’re on sale throughout the year. Plus Kohl’s always has a coupon.

    These are a few of my favorite places to buy smell goods. Where do you get your smell goods from? I’m always interested in finding new places.

    Until next time,

    Joy

     

     

  • The Recovering Pessimist | The Home Emergency Contact List #HomeWithJoy | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #HomeWithJoy #HomeDepot #Lowes #Target #Homeowner #Homeownership #AtJoysHouse #HomeWithJoyFaves #WelcomeHome #homedecor #HomeMaintenance #Pinterest
    Home With Joy

    The Home Emergency Contact List #HomeWithJoy

    No matter how much you prepare, a home emergency of some kind will happen. There’s a chance that a home emergency will occur while you aren’t home.

    Listen Season 2 GIF by American Gods - Find & Share on GIPHY

    I was supposed to be out with friends. I ended up staying at home. I was watching TV when I heard a loud POP followed by a burst of water.

    I jumped up and started looking at the ceiling in each room because the water heater is in my attic 🙄

    It wasn’t coming from the attic.

    I walked into my bathroom. and my heart sank. Water was pouring from under the sink. My house didn’t have a shutoff valve nor did I have a water key. I grabbed a bucket to collect the water to pour down the shower drain. In the midst of dumping water, I called a plumbing company to come over. The plumber came out about an hour after I called. Turns out one of the valves under the sink was incorrectly installed. It was fixed that night.

    If I wasn’t at home and couldn’t be reached, who would my neighbors call in an emergency (other than 911)? Not too long after the plumbing disaster, I created a document with the contacts’ names and numbers that someone would need in case of a home emergency.

    Here’s who I have listed on my home emergency contact list:

    • Neighbors (including their house numbers and/or house descriptions)
    • Plumber
    • Local power company
    • Contractor/Handyman
    • Exterminator
    • Home security provider
    • Home insurance provider
    • Realtor (she’s a human phone book)
    • Home warranty provider

    I printed that bad boy out and taped it to the fridge. There’s no way in hell that it can be overlooked, lol! I implore you to create a home emergency list and put it in a place that’s easy to find. Being a homeowner is stressful enough. If you can ease some stress, by all means, do so.

    Take care,

    Joy

  • The Recovering Pessimist | The Importance of Neighbors #HomeWithJoy | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #HomeWithJoy #HomeDepot #Lowes #Target #Homeowner #Homeownership #AtJoysHouse #HomeWithJoyFaves #WelcomeHome #homedecor #HomeMaintenance #Pinterest
    Home With Joy

    The Importance of Neighbors #HomeWithJoy

    When looking at homes there’s one thing you should absolutely do:

    Talk to the neighbors

    I know I may be asking a lot, but hear me out. Neighbors are a valuable asset in your homebuying journey. So helpful that I suggest that you have something on hand to take notes with.

    Neighbors Know Thing

    When I talked to the neighbors, I started with the same three questions:

    How’s the street noise?

    Are there any parking issues?

    Are there any issues/problems with other neighbors?

    Those questions often led to great conversations.

    Neighbors Look Out

    Something I appreciate about my neighbors is that they look out for you out of genuine concern.

    If I get packages while I’m not at home, one of my neighbors will call to let me know that I have a box at my door. She doesn’t have to do that and I don’t take that for granted.

    When we get ice/snow here, I and a couple of neighbors are out shoveling the walkways and vehicles of elderly neighbors on the block.

    If you think that homeownership is a solo journey, guess again.

    Until next time,

    Joy

  • The Recovering Pessimist | How Escrow Works #HomeWithJoy | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #HomeWithJoy #HomeDepot #Lowes #Target #Homeowner #Homeownership #AtJoysHouse #HomeWithJoyFaves #WelcomeHome #homedecor #HomeMaintenance #Pinterest
    Home With Joy

    How Escrow Works #HomeWithJoy

    What is escrow?

    Think of escrow as a piggy bank. A portion of your monthly mortgage payment goes into your escrow account to cover payments for your real estate taxes and insurance. When your real estate taxes and insurance are due, your mortgage provider will disburse those payments from the escrow account.

    Keep in mind that real estate taxes are based on the assessed value of your home and may change based on that assessment. Your mortgage provider will perform an escrow review at least once a year to make sure there’s enough money in the escrow account to cover your taxes and insurance.

    Did you know that state and federal laws & mortgage providers require that escrow accounts hold a minimum balance?

    The required balance, tax assessment, and recent disbursements are all considered during the escrow review. If the assessment reflects a surplus (more money in the escrow account than you need), your mortgage provider will notify you if a refund is due.

    If the assessment reflects a shortage, there are 2 options for paying the shortage:

    1. Pay the shortage in full.
    2. Spread the shortage over 12 months, which would increase the monthly mortgage payment.

    Sidenote: You can pad your escrow account throughout the year by making monthly escrow-only payments. I take the amount of my last escrow shortage and divide it by 12. That’s the minimum amount I put into my escrow account each month.

    I hope this provides some clarity regarding escrow. If you have any questions, let me know. I’ll try my best to answer them.

    Until next time,

    Joy

     

  • Home With Joy

    My Home Emergency Must-Haves #HomeWithJoy

    The Recovering Pessimist | My Home Emergency Must-Haves | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #HomeWithJoy #HomeDepot #Lowes #Target #Homeowner #Homeownership #AtJoysHouse #HomeWithJoyFaves #WelcomeHome #homedecor #HomeMaintenance #Pinterest

    When it comes to owning a home, my favorite quote comes to mind:

    If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.

    You hope that you won’t experience an emergency, but that’s damn near impossible. Emergencies WILL happen. The best thing you can do is to prepare as much as possible. If want to get an idea of what your emergency must-haves should include, check out my must-haves below:

    Supplies
    • Batteries
    • Flashlight(s)/LED lantern(s)
    • Non-perishable items
      • I keep canned/dry beans, canned fruit, rice, and canned tomatoes in my pantry.
    • Blanket(s)
    • Water
    • Tool kit
      • An easy way to get your basic tools (e.g., hammer, tape measure, level, wrench, pliers, screwdriver, etc.).
    Know where they are (and how to use them)
    • Water shut off valve
    • Circuit breaker box
    MISC
    • Home contact list
      • My list has the names and phone numbers of my neighbor, HVAC servicer, contractor, plumber, and home insurance provider.

    I hope you find this list helpful.

    Until next time,

    Joy

     

     

     

  • Home With Joy

    Things I considered while looking at homes #HomeWithJoy

    The Recovering Pessimist | I did these 2 things before buying my home | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #HomeWithJoy #HomeDepot #Lowes #Target #Homeowner #Homeownership #AtJoysHouse #HomeWithJoyFaves #WelcomeHome #homedecor #HomeMaintenance #Pinterest

    After I spoke with the mortgage officer, I started looking at houses. Bad idea. Why? Because I had no parameters in place. I saw houses I couldn’t afford, houses that were too big, etc. To prevent further overwhelm, I got realistic and wrote down a list of all the things I needed to consider when looking at homes.

    Monthly mortgage payment

    One of my non-negotiables was that I wanted to pay less than $1,000/month for my mortgage. The whole point of buying a home was to not continue dealing with the yearly rise in rent.

    Square footage

    I knew that I wanted to live in a smaller size house, no more than 1,000 square feet. Heating/Cooling a larger home would be expensive and I didn’t want to spend the money on that. Plus I was used to living comfortably in smaller apartments.

    Neighborhood

    There were some places in #RVA that I wasn’t going to be able to live in because the housing prices were beyond my budget.

    I also wanted to live close enough to my favorite shopping locations, restaurants, and bars.

    Exterior design

    I was interested in brick homes. I love the classic look, plus there’s practically no upkeep. I also knew that I didn’t want vinyl siding or stucco because of the maintenance.

    Heating/Cooking Source

    I wanted my home to only use electricity for heating and cooking. Gas (cooking/heating) and oil (heating) are both expensive and I didn’t want to make room in my budget for either of them.

    Condition of the windows

    When I was looking at houses in person, I paid close attention to the windows. If the seller was unwilling to pay for new windows or lower the sales price, I might have to pay for them myself (or wall away).

    Will my current furniture fit?

    When I was looking at houses, I considered the size of my current furniture. As a result, several houses didn’t make the cut.

  • Home With Joy

    I did these 2 things before buying my home #HomeWithJoy

    The Recovering Pessimist | I did these 2 things before buying my home | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #HomeWithJoy #HomeDepot #Lowes #Target #Homeowner #Homeownership #AtJoysHouse #HomeWithJoyFaves #WelcomeHome #homedecor #HomeMaintenance #Pinterest

    The process of buying a home was super stressful for me. When I was exploring the idea of buying a home, I made sure that I had a realistic idea of what was involved. To see if becoming a homeowner was possible, I did two things: 

    One: I attended a first-time homeowner seminar. 

    My credit union hosted the seminar. Realtors and mortgage loan officers from the credit union were in attendance. Some of the topics covered during the seminar were:

    • How much house can I afford?
    • Homebuying costs
    • Understanding Credit Scores
    • Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Grants & Gifts
    • What’s included in a house payment
     Two: I spoke with a mortgage loan officer 

    A few days after the seminar, I spoke with a mortgage loan officer from my credit union. I wanted to know if I had a realistic shot at becoming a homeowner, so I asked the following questions: 

    • Was I in good standing to buy a home?
      • If I wasn’t in good standing what steps do I need to take to get in good standing?
    • How much house can I comfortably afford?
      • I say comfortably because if you qualify for a higher amount than what you’re comfortable with, you don’t have to buy a home at that higher amount.
    • If I brought a home at an amount I’m comfortable with, roughly how much will closing costs be?
    • Are there any programs that help first-time homeowners with closing costs?
    • What are the costs involved with the homeownership process (e.g., application fee, earnest money, etc.).

    I didn’t have to provide any financial documents for this conversation. Instead, I provided the mortgage loan officer with financial figures that were accurate as of the day of the conversation. This helped me get a more realistic idea of what I was working with.

    You don’t have to speak with someone from your credit union. However, I would strongly suggest that you speak with a well-qualified individual that takes your needs/wants into consideration. Purchasing your home is one accomplishment. Keeping your home is another.

    Until next time,

    Joy

  • Home With Joy

    Preparing My Home for Fall/Winter #HomeWithJoy

    The Recovering Pessimist | Preparing My Home for Fall/Winter | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #HomeWithJoy #HomeDepot #Lowes #Target #Homeowner #Homeownership #AtJoysHouse #HomeWithJoyFaves #WelcomeHome #homedecor #HomeMaintenance #Pinterest

    This summer has been one for the books. With the evenings getting cooler, I’m starting to prepare myself and my home for the cold months ahead. I wasn’t too prepared last year and felt bleh.

    Lesson learned.

    I started thinking about what I want my home to look and feel like during the cooler months in July. I knew I wanted it to feel cozy all around. To get that coziness, I realized that I needed to enhance the senses.

    How do I enhance the senses?

    I’m a big fan of the “small change yields big results” mentality. Here are a few things I’ve done + plan to do:

    • I purchased these Philips color-changing Wi-fi light bulbs.
      • I brought these bulbs to add some color to my home. The Wiz app that operates these bulbs has a Schedules feature where I can put the bulbs on an alarm to wake me up with the bulb color of my choice. Much more gentle than waking up in darkness.
    • Add more texture.
      • I want to buy some faux sheepskin rugs like this one from IKEA.
      • I want to get some slipcovers for my sofa and loveseat in a velvet or velvet-like texture.
    • Bring nature inside.
      • I’ve been purchasing houseplants throughout the spring and summer. My favorite places to buy houseplants are Lowe’s, Home Depot, local greenhouses, and nurseries.
    • Smell goods
      • I’ve accumulated quite the stockpile of smell goods. As of this post I have fabric sprays, room sprays, oil plugins, and candles. I can’t wait to amp up the cozy factor.

    Do you prepare your home for the colder months? If yes, what do you do to get ready? I’d love to know.

    Until next time,

    Joy

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