Money in wallet

6 of My Favorite Spending Habits

There are so many great, accessible budgeting tools nowadays that can help with savings. Perhaps more rarely addressed is how to take those practical everyday steps that allow you to save, follow a budget, or understand your spending habits/ patterns and maintain them. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite smart spending habits that help me manage my money, in hopes that it can help you.

  1. Scheduling – I use my calendar as a guide to purchases. I use it to plan out holidays, birthdays, entertaining, vacations etc. in advance so I know what I’ll need to spend for each month, and I can budget out how much to spend. This is a great way not to be surprised by events, while also getting to be thoughtful about them in advance. I’m a big planner, so I love this habit. 
  2. Setting a goal or intention – Before I go shopping online or in-person, I always set an intention. I have a list, I know what I need to get, and I know around how much I can spend. This is a good habit to practice, as it helps keep me from impulse spending and encourages me to have a reason to shop instead of just for fun or out of boredom.
  3. Direct deposit into a savings account/ separate account that you only use in emergencies – Sometimes saving money is so hard to do manually, I just have to make it automatic. If you’re able to set up your direct deposit into different accounts – it can be a great way to save. Even if I only have 10 dollars from your pay going into a savings – that adds up. This also helps me be less likely to touch the money because it’s automatically accumulating without me doing anything.
  4. Have planned times of check ins – It’s easy to veer from my goals. Everyone needs that time of realigning. Checking in with my finances helps me see where I’m spending money the most, how much I’m spending, and see what my tendencies are. Check ins make all the difference because I can make small adjustments to help reach my saving goals.
  5. Cancel + update subscriptions – Subscriptions can be convenient; however, they can get out of control quickly. Regulating them helps me enjoy them for a while – then get rid of them at some point. There are always promotions on subscriptions, but they usually only last one month and then roll you into automatic payments. Beware of these and keep an eye out that they don’t enroll you.
  6. Think about big purchases for a while – Adding time to my purchase decisions can help me save money. Picking a price ceiling according to my budget helps me set the intention. Then I that number along with an amount of time. For example, maybe the ceiling is $150 dollars on non-necessities, and I think about the purchase for 4 days. This adds some logic to my purchase and helps me think out all the options before making an impact purchase.

Try These Saving Strategies!

I hope that the spending habits I practice can help inspire your own or keep going with the ones you’re already practicing well! Keep at it! 

Gardening tools

Spring Yard Prep: Pruning Plants and Weeding

Spring is here, and I couldn’t be more ready to watch some things grow! In the next couple of weeks, depending on where you live – last frosts will mark the perfect time to plant outdoors. Whether you’ve already got seedlings going that are ready for transplant, or you’re ready to put some new plants in the ground – there’s going to be a bit of prep work. I’m going to talk about pruning plants and how to take care of those pesky weeds. Hopefully, this can help you prep your yard/garden for the year and new plants.

Pruning:

According to the Spruce, early spring – in between the time plants drop old growth and before they grow new ones is the best time to prune. You’ll need some small or large pruning shears, depending on what you’ve got in your yard. Then, you’ll need some gloves and a bag or compost area to put your trimmings. If you‘re unsure if your plant is ready to be pruned, just try to evaluate how it’s doing: Is it bare? Does it have some immature growth? It’s probably okay to prune. Has it already started new blooms? Is it full? It may be best to leave it alone this pruning season.

When pruning trees and shrubs, select areas that look dead or possibly diseased and remove them. It is suggested to cut them at a bit of an angle like a diagonal cut. You can also use this time to shape them a bit, too. When dealing with perennials, you can pinch off flowers and trim areas that aren’t growing. Be sure on both to check the bottom of the plant, not just the blooms or ends.

Get those flowers ready for another year of growth!

Weed Maintenance:

The Farmer’s Almanac is an amazing resource for anything gardening related, and weeds are no exception. There are three kind of steps for weeds: prevention, identification, and maintenance.

Prevention is tedious, but worth it. Try:

  • Weeding new growth and cut them below the soil line
  • Clean tools as they may spread seeds
  • Keep up with mowing
  • Add more mulch

There are plenty of other ideas, these are just a few.

Did you know there are perennial weeds?

Identification of weeds is not something I ever thought of, but it’s an important thing to do, especially when dealing with persistent weeds. There tons of different types of weeds and species within those types. The Farmer’s Almanac identifies 13 common ones and tells you how they act and how to control them.

Maintenance is a bit of trial and error. Some weeds can just be pulled out by hand, while others require a tiller or shovel to get deep into the roots. Many of the things used to prevent weeds can also be used to get rid of them. Trying to prevent seeds from spreading is a big help, too. Weeds love shaded areas. If you can free up more light or seed an area with grass seed it may help. Wood chips can help as well. You can try covering in plant fabrics, as well as landscaping an area that is waterlogged for better water flow and less weeds. You can also use chemicals, but these can harm good growth and may not be the best for your families’ or pets’ health.

More Spring Maintenance!

I hope that this gives you motivation to get out into your yard an get everything in order for the new growing season. May you make way for new growth and love all the blooms of Spring!

Mobile Home Types Listed on Vmfhomes.com

If you’ve spent any time on our website then you’ve seen that we as VMFHOMES.com we categorize mobile home types as land and home and home only. While those titles are somewhat self-explanatory there are some details about them that may not be. So, I’m going to explain what each type is made up of and what you can expect from that property type.

Land and Home

A land and home option is just how it sounds – it’s a sale of the home and land together. This could be a home on a permanent foundation, but it doesn’t have to be, as it just depends on the specific listing. Some customers like this option because it can save you the step of coordinating the moving and placing of the home. It’s also usually move-in ready, too! No two land and home listings are the same.  Acreage may also vary. 

This can be a perfect option for someone looking for their forever home and to settle in with family!

Home Only

  • Home only listings can be a little less cut and dry. This options is just the home and it does not include any land in the sale price. Also, VMF doesn’t deliver, move, install or set up the home, which means it is the responsibility of  the customer to find and coordinate this aspect of the process. Fortunately, we usually can help with finding a licensed professional in most areas. We ask customers to keep this extra cost in mind when purchasing as well.
We have more homes that can be moved to your land!
  • Home only listings are typically on another piece of land and have to be legally moved to the land you plan to place the home on. Or the homes are located at a local home center. 
  • Sometimes the home will be located in a mobile home community/ park. In these situations, it is typically up to the park and the property manager to decide if the home can be moved because there was most likely an existing agreement in place. Sometimes the park might work with the new owner and negotiate the terms under which the home may stay (or leave), but this really depends on each specific situation.
Mobile home communities are a great option for affordable housing!
  • There are also other potential situations, but I’ve mentioned the most likely scenarios. If you have a question about a home only listing you can request more info on the website, send us a message, or give us a call.

This can be a perfect option for someone with family land, land of their own, or someone with a flexible situation.


Understanding how we list these options can help you better navigate our site. I hope that this helps answer some of your questions and lets you know what to expect when you are searching for a Vanderbilt preowned home. Please let us know if you have further questions or need clarification on a specific home.

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How to Apply for a VMF Home

Applying for a mortgage can feel overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before. Vanderbilt Mortgage offers financing* on select homes on VMFHomes.com inventory. VMF has 3 main user-friendly application options that can help you feel at ease: over the phone, online; or paper/by mail. I want you to feel ready and prepared when filling out an application. Before you get started, here are some things you will need to have on hand for you and anyone else applying with you:

  • Social Security Number(s)
  • Current Email Address(es)
  • Gross Monthly Income(s) (generally the amount of money you have earned before your taxes and other deductions are taken out)

Over the Phone
Doing an application over the phone can help you feel more comfortable as you start the process. It can be helpful to have someone who is a licensed loan specialist to answer your questions as you go through the application. This option can also feel more convenient for some applicants.

You can call 1-866-701-0467 or when you are speaking with our sales team, you can request to have a licensed loan specialist take your application over the phone. Typically, we schedule these application times so that you can be prepared and know when to expect our call.

Online
If VMF offers financing for a listing on VMFhomes.com, you’ll see a green button in the lower right-hard corner that says, “Apply Now.” If you click that button it will take you to an online application. Make sure you have some time before starting and that you have access to your important documents. Remember, among other things, you’ll need social security numbers, email addresses, and gross monthly income for all applicants.

As you begin the application, you’ll notice that you were directed to VMF.com. You are now filling out an online application specifically for the home you were viewing. However, if you change your mind about that specific home, the application may be converted to use for another home. This is a simple process called a relook that does not impact your credit a second time. You may also fill out a general application that isn’t towards a specific home. Both a home specific and non-specific home application will give you the same results — a max loan amount you could qualify for.

Our online application is user friendly as possible so it can help you apply with confidence.

Paper Application by Mail
You can use paper applications to apply for any home listed on VMFHomes.com that Vanderbilt Mortgage offers financing on. One difference in the paper option versus the phone or online option is the increased time it takes to submit an application because of the time it takes the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the application via regular mail. Therefore, if you aren’t in a rush, or you simply prefer a paper application that you can physically write on – this might be the option for you.

Learn More About Mortgages

I hope this explains the different options you have for applying to Vanderbilt for a loan. If you have questions or want to make an appointment to fill out a phone application call 1 -866-701-0467.

*All loans subject to credit approval

How to Make an Offer with Vmfhomes.com

There are three main ways you can make an offer to purchase a Vanderbilt preowned home: on the phone, through the form on our website, and through certain messaging platforms.

It can feel intimidating if you don’t know about the process. Some offer processes are quite formal and may require paperwork. However, our process is not, it is relaxed and laid back. It’s a verbal commitment so you don’t have to feel pressure about your offer. We will work with you throughout the entire process.

Before making an offer, we highly recommend that you have visited the home in person. There are many things you can’t get a feel for until you see the home in person – such as the area around the home, the condition of the home, etc. If you’re wanting to make an offer, but haven’t yet visited the home, feel free to give us a call to schedule a viewing.

Making an offer by phone

All you have to do is call up one of our sales representatives with your offer. You will then work with them until you find a price you can agree on (or in some cases you may not). Sometimes there can be a little back and forth, but your sales representative will work hard to try and get back to you quickly each time. Call us at 855 – 215 – 5564!

Making an offer on our website

For homes that are eligible for online offers, making an offer on our website is easy. The following are required:

  1. Offer amount;
  2. Full name;
  3. Phone #; and
  4. Email address

You will also have the option to provide additional information if you so choose, which may allow us to better serve you. Your offer will then go to one of our sales representatives to review. Keep in mind that some of our homes listings are cash only transactions, depending on the property.

Find all the tools you need on our website!

Making an offer through messaging platforms

Making an offer through online chat (on vmfhomes.com), VMF Homes Facebook, or email (facebook@vmf.com) follows a similar process. You can send us a message with your offer, and a sales representative will review it.

Your sales representative will communicate the next steps with you if they want to accept or talk to you about your offer, and they will help you through the rest of the process.

I hope this has helped you better understand how to buy a Vanderbilt preowned home. Please feel free to call one our representatives to get more info or to ask any questions.


Why You Should View Our Homes!

Some of My Favorite Mobile Home Features and Décor Ideas

I’ve seen a lot of mobile home listings and interiors in my time here. It’s fun to look through the various layouts and see the styles/models throughout the years. Mobile homes really do have so much personality and can fit a variety of lifestyles and preferences.

With that in mind, I want to share some of my favorite features and décor within mobile homes, similar to those that can be found in our inventory.

Check Out Our Inventory!

Features:

Built-ins are always one of my favorite features. They add practical storage to any space and can save you money on furniture by keeping you from needing it. They are also great for organization and make beautiful focal points in your home. You can fill them photos and memories to display for your company.  


built-in
Built-ins are such a powerful organization tool.

Modern, rectangular tubs – Garden tubs are traditional in mobile homes that are a bit older, but these tubs are the new trend, and I’m here for it. I like how they have their own nook, complete with shelves and room for candles. Plus, that ledge is perfect to prop up your phone, watch your favorite show and enjoy a few snacks to unwind for a bit.

bathtub
Make some time for yourself to take it slow.

Command central kitchen islands – Mobile home kitchens are super practical, spacious, and have efficient counterspace. This feature is no different. I love these huge islands that let everyone cook together with the sink and dishwasher accessible. Of course this space is made complete with the built-in chalk board!  

kitchen with island
This kitchen layout is an entertainers’ dream!

Décor ideas:

A colored accent wall – Paint changes everything, and a striking wall or pop of color when you walk into a mobile home is the best welcome. It’s an easy project that adds an interesting element.

mobile home accent wall
This accent wall draws the eye in and creates character for the room.

A nautical touch – Maybe it’s just the part of me that is landlocked, but I love a bit of the ocean in a house. This big whale art piece and rug, are the perfect touch to make you relax into the ebb and flow of the ocean you can imagine while enjoying this room.

nautical themed room
A nautical room is a great way to incorporate fun and whimsy to your décor.

Glass Jar Pantry – The trend of glass or clear containers in your kitchen is so tasteful to me. It’s much more appealing than the branding on a ton of different boxes. To be honest, maintaining the effort to keep everything in a container or buying in a bulk, would be hard for me, but it is pretty and could be worth the time!

glass jars of food
These glass jars make for a beautiful, ecofriendly alternative.

What’s your favorite feature in your mobile home, or your potential home? What about décor ideas? What trend do you fall for old or new? While you are dreaming, visit vmfhomes.com today and make that dream come true in your home.

Mobile Home Skirting Measurement and Ventilation

There are many components to mobile home skirting. I’d like to stress the importance of skirting in this article. It’s not merely a decorative part of the home, but rather a protector of your home’s pipes/temp control, underbelly, and keeps the area clear of critters. Let’s check out how to get the right amount of skirting for your home.

To measure your mobile home, you’ll need two things:

  1. The linear feet
  2. Skirting height measurements

According to this great mobile home repair site, here’s one of the easiest strategies to measuring your mobile home for skirting:

Measuring the linear feet is easy – you just need to add up all the feet around your home. So, if you have a 52 x 32’ you’ll multiply that by 2 or could add it this way 52 + 32 + 52+ 32.

The skirting height measurements are a little more confusing, but not bad. Here, you’ll be measuring the length from the ground to the corners of your mobile home. Because the ground your home is on may be unlevel, it is recommended to measure the front, back and middle of your home as well. The site I mentioned above, says to add 2 inches to each length. Then you add the 6 sides together and divide them by 6 for the average. This will give you the length for the height of the skirting.

With these measurements I would suggest to get a little extra material. You can always return product, but if you get too little, it can be extra work to return to the store or purchase more online. The product you need could be sold out or you may have to wait for an order to be delivered and you wont be able to complete your project.  

Further, ventilation plays an important role, but it’s often forgotten in the process or deemed optional.

There are plenty of reasons why ventilation is necessary, a skirting company explains them as:

  • Can prevent mold/moisture buildup.
  • Can improve energy efficiency by trapping in hot/cold air.
  • Safely releases potential hazardous gases from plumbing and soil.
  • Lessens odors + promotes healthy airflow and proper use for gas appliances.

According to a mobile home site, vents should be placed at every 150 to 250 feet of flooring. There should be about a foot of venting at every 150 ft section. It’s important to take notice of where you place the vents so that things like pipes; which are the very thing you hope to protect from outside air don’t end up freezing because they are right next to a vent opening.

You can find vents online or at a mobile home parts store locally. They generally range from about 7 – 20 dollars give or take. You can measure your home and decide the number of vents you’d need for the size of your mobile home. You can also add in an access door you choose one you can fit through. There are some that an arm can fit though as well. These are just what they sound like- doors to access underneath the home. You may need to access the underbelly for repairs, to apply heat tape to your pipes, to replace your moisture barrier, etc.

Explore Skirting Options!

I hope that this helps you get the perfect amount of skirting and protect your home well.


Replacing the Tub Faucet in Your Mobile Home

Whether you’re looking for a simple update to your bathtub, a better functioning faucet, or just want something different – changing your faucet can improve your bathroom experience. Mobile homes tend to have easier access to the hardware. However, it’s still a bit of a project so make sure you’re well equipped for this project or ask a friend with knowledge on the subject to help.

List of materials:

  • Tarp or towel
  • A helper
  • Wrench
  • Replacement faucet
  • Rubber gasket

First, you’ll need to find an access panel for your bathtub faucet which will usually be located behind it. Most times the panel will be inside a closet. The panel can most often be opened with screws or it may be spring loaded.

If there’s not a panel, then more than likely you’ll have to cut an access point yourself. We recommend a professional in this situation (unless you have a good understanding of mobile homes and how pipes are placed). Also, consider contacting your manufacturer and/or manual to ensure you know the layout and how to cut without hitting anything.

Before you begin to work on removing the faucet, lay a towel or tarp down inside the tub to prevent damage.You may also want to have a second person to hold a flashlight and your tools as you work.

Once you’ve removed the panel and you can see the pipes and everything for the shower – you should see the shut off valve for the water. Make sure that you turn the water off before starting to remove the faucet unit. Turn the knobs and release the excess water before removal.

Then you’ll need to use the wrench to loosen the nuts attached to the water supply lines that connect to the faucet stem(s). Next, you’ll loosen the lock nut that attaches the faucet to the tub. This should free the faucet. Be sure to check for the cone washer (usually a rubber yellow or black washer that has a slight curve to it) and be sure it doesn’t get stuck as you move the faucet – if it does just put it back into place so it can continue to prevent leaks. You may need to tap the wall some for the faucet to come free.

Make sure that you’ve got a replacement part that will fit your mobile home tub. There are plenty of mobile home part stores that specialize in kits or all the necessary pieces you’ll need to replace. You could also find them at most large home improvement stores. You’ll need a rubber gasket between the tub and faucet. Once you’re ready, place the new unit in correctly and make sure that it’s a good fit and the faucet is level.

Lastly, you can tighten the nuts and lock nut onto the new stems by hand and then use the wrench to finish. Then you can attach the water lines back for the corresponding hot and cold side and to the shower. Next, turn on the water and check for leaks in the connection. If you don’t see any issues, then you’re ready to put the panel back into place and enjoy your new faucet.

Show Your Bathroom Some Love!

This is just an overview. Be sure that you get more info and get comfortable with the steps involved before beginning the project. We also recommend that you contact a professional if you feel unsure about doing it yourself.


References:

https://www.thespruce.com/mobile-home-tub-faucet-2718631

https://www.hunker.com/12001444/how-to-replace-shower-faucets-in-a-mobile-home

The Hidden Benefits of Houseplants

Houseplants probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind for most when it comes to home maintenance. Surprisingly, these little plants add more than aesthetics to anyone’s decor. So, what are the benefits of having them and how can they aide in home maintenance?

Houseplants have been found to reduce dust and mold in your environment, which means less dusting for you and better air quality! Speaking of air quality, house plants can purify and add moisture to your air.

Your home’s environment and air aren’t the only receivers of the benefits, you are too! Adding plants to your space can boost your mood, relieve stress, and help provide restful sleep. Adding plants to a variety of rooms in your home will expand the benefits you can receive.

If you are a beginner at caring for plants, you may need to do some research to find the right ones for you. It’s a good idea to factor in the time you have to care for a plant. For example, a plant that doesn’t need a lot of watering, like a cactus, would be ideal if you are busy, travel often, or tend to forget about plants. A snake plant would be a good option if your home doesn’t get much natural light.

Some great plants to consider for beginners and are easy to care for are:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Lucky Bamboo
  • Succulents
  • Snake Plant
  • Spider Plant
  • Cacti

Certain plants can provide added benefits compared to others. For example, you can use the aloe plant to help with skin issues and sunburns. Be sure to research which plants work best for what benefit you are looking for!

All in all, incorporating plants into your space can offer more than just decoration by providing health benefits and improving your home’s environment. Who knew bringing a little outside to the inside of your home could provide such an array of benefits!

Keep Going Green!

Sources:

https://www.swansonsnursery.com/blog/health-benefits-of-houseplants

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/indoor-plants-can-instantly-boost-your-health-happiness-ncna781806

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-houseplants