Your Mobile Home Summer Social Calendar

Ready. set. summer. The weather gets warmer and the days get longer, so make sure to look at the ultimate summer social calendar to give you and your family a fun filled season. Summer time is the sweetest time. More time with your kids, more things to do, and more things to see.  With this calendar guide, you won’t miss a beat. Were here to help you kick start summer the right way and continue to have a good time!

Father’s Day Weekend: Most dads love spending time outside and time with family. Dedicate this weekend to doing something dad really wants to do! Whether its going on a hike, hitting the water, or a weekend trip, make sure to dedicate the weekend to him and all he does for your family! It won’t go unnoticed.

Forth of July: The Fourth of July is the biggest social event of summer. Who does love celebrating freedom and our country? Plan your fourth of July accordingly, because it will be the best! The perfect 4th of July party is spent full of games and activities, followed by a cookout and firework show. This year have the neighborhood party at your place! All the kids, parents, and neighbors can come over and enjoy the holiday together.

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Make small, healthy snack cups for kids to grab!

Back to School Party: Once summer starts to dwindle down and school is right around the corner, throw your kids a party to celebrate an awesome summer and school year to come. While this celebration is bittersweet, it’s always best to end summer on a BANG! Create a day full of slip and slide, water games, ice cream and sweet treats!

Ice Cream Social: After the first day of school, throw an ice cream social to let to neighborhood kids socialize all together one last time! Celebrating the first day of the new school year is perfect. Kids can mingle with there new and old classmates, all awhile creating the ultimate Sundae. Feeling competitive? Have a ice cream Sunday competition and base the ranting on looks, flavor, and creativity! Give out a fun prize at the end.

Get Your Deck Ready For Summer!

How to Plan for the Expense of a Home/Yard Project

You know those home improvement shows where the person gets their home totally renovated for free? That’s the dream, right? For the rest of us though, we need a practical alternative. Say you want to add a fire pit to your backyard, update your kitchen cabinets, or install new doors throughout your entire home. All of these are great ideas and can add some serious flair to your home for years to come. Yet, most of us  simply cannot afford to do these things without putting together a financial plan to pay for the improvements.

Planning for the expense of a home improvement project is a little different even if you are already budgeting for expenses.  So, how can you plan to pay for an improvement sooner instead of  later? Time to jump in!

Set the budget. Do your research to get a good estimate on the cost of materials, labor, and future maintenance. If you  want to cut some cost and you have the ability and knowledge about how to complete the project,  save the cost of labor and do it yourself. Search the internet and talk to people at your local home improvement store to find out more about your project and decide if it is something that you should tackle yourself, or if you need to hire a professional.

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Schedule your savings!

Save 10 percent more than your budget number. There are always unexpected additional project expenses. Plan for it and your plan can go off without a hitch.

Skim off the top. Ideally, with every paycheck you can set aside an amount that you are comfortable with that will be used for your project. This requires you to know how much of your paycheck you need for everyday expenses and  bills. So if you don’t budget, wait until all of your expenses and bills are paid and then transfer part of what is left over from your paycheck to savings.

Cut or reduce unnecessary expenses for a few months. Whether it’s coffee, classes, or some other non-necessity – stop paying for it for a bit and put the money you saved toward your project budget.

Thrift/scrap/used parts. Look at discount stores for parts you need for your project that may cost less than at other stores. Keep your eyes on local garage sales and and scrap yards for pieces you can use. You may also already have something you could re-purpose to fit the task as well. Think creatively and you can cut some of your cost.

If you are receiving a tax refund, use part or all of it toward your project. This is always helpful.

Ask for it. Is your birthday soon? Mother’s day? Father’s day? You get the point. Ask for part of your project budget as a gift if people ask you what you’d like. Revamping your kitchen? Ask for a bit of back splash.  Materials adds up when gifted or donated in smaller quantities and as a bonus friends or family know they are giving you something you’ll both use and enjoy.

We hope these ideas help you make your next project happen! Depending on how much your project will cost and how quickly you can save,  we suggest planning on saving for at least 6 months to a year for your project.  This may not always be enough time to save, but it should be enough time if you utilize as many  of our saving strategies as possible.

Help Me Start A Fire Pit!

 

8 Must-Have Yard Tools for the New Mobile Homeowner

New homeowners need a lot of items to keep up with home maintenance and to save on things they can labor themselves. The upfront cost can be a lot on a new buyer. Consider saving up for each item and purchasing as you have funds and as it’s needed. As warmer weather is coming, we think about our yards and the help they need to stay kept. Let’s look at some items that will help you conquer your yard!

Check Your Yard Before You Start!

  1. Garden hose. This is a must for cleaning driveways, watering plants/landscaping, and with the proper attachments – cleaning your vinyl siding. Plus, it’s great, cheap fun for those long summer days at home for the kiddos!
  2. Rain garden/ long drain spouts. It’s quite important to be sure your yard drains well. Especially if your mobile home is not on a permanent foundation. If you notice pooling in your yard or slushy spots after rain consider redistribution ideas. Rain gardens use rocks and or absorbent plants to keep your yard healthy. Long drain spouts carry water farther from your home and foundation to keep puddles at a minimum.
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Make your yard the place for the weekend! 
  1. Lawn mower. This one is obvious. It’s so much cheaper in the long run to mow your own yard than to pay someone.
  2. Hedge shears. These handy little gadgets are good for all the in-between work. Keep your landscaping under control and deal with little issues in a snap! Operate carefully and use safety precautions.
  3. Rake. Whether your yard is covered in leaves or sticks you really can’t clear your yard without a rake. Leaving all that debris in your yard is bad for it, too.
  4. Solar powered path lights. These are a lifesaver, especially if you live in a rural setting. From getting home, to spending time outside, to friends visiting. These lights can guide your cars safely to your home.
  5. Skirting guard. If you’re weed eating or moving near your skirting, you need a skirting guard to protect your siding from holes and dings. Torn skirting is bad news for your home as critters and cold/warm air has direct access to piping.
  6. Weed eater. These are great for those annoying, hard to reach areas, edging, and carefully maneuvering around landscaping. Please follow all safety instructions and familiarize yourself with the machine.

As you spend more time in your home you’ll realize other items you need. You may also start to do gardening which will require some extras. Please be sure to use all tools with care, learn how to use them, ask a trusted individual to help with tools you’ve never used. Safety first!

8 Tips to Create and Keep a Tidy Home

Sometimes it’s easy to see organization as the preference of the type A, or the perfectionist, just wanting everything to have a place. But organization is so much more. Organization is a time saver, a structure that allows our minds to feel less cluttered and allow more than one person to easily navigate and clean a room. Creating and starting a plan is the hardest, most time-consuming part, yet it yields great reward.

Let’s talk ideas!

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When everything is organized, everything is easily found.
  1. The weekly check. The best organization is maintained often. By checking in weekly and realigning everything you save yourself from having to take a huge amount of time and start your system all over. Doing a little over time is a far better use of your time.
  2. Use height. This one is rather popular these days. If you lack good storage, install shelves, hooks over doors, or try bookcases. These keep clutter off your floor and they create a great look.
  3. Sometimes seeing things fit in a bin is just calming to the mind. I honestly don’t think it makes much of a difference, but it’s quite helpful to visual folks. So, if that’s you – dive in and try it!
  4. The transition bin/table. Organization often gets undermined at a specific point – when new things enter the home. Having a table for transitioning items is so helpful. It helps you see if you have enough space, allows you to clear out old items to make space for the new, and it helps you properly introduce it into the perfect place.
  5. Communicate your method and use signage. The best organization is shared. If you know where it goes but no one else does, that’s not as efficient as it could be. Communicating with your family and showing them all the organization stations and how they function before using them is so helpful. You can help kiddos succeed by using signs on your bins or color systems, so they can help and keep their own space organized as well.
  6. Have a laundry day. I must be joking, right? No, this is so helpful. It’s hard sometimes to have enough time to set aside to do all the household laundry but it really impacts your organization. Also, make it a point to put everything away the same day if possible. Enlist some help and you’ll notice a big difference in your organization.
  7. Have a mail station. Having a place to sort your mail keeps you paying bills on time and saves you from papers piling up. It also keeps everything in one place instead of having it strewn about everywhere.
  8. Have a monthly donation sweep. Clearing out is so beneficial for your organization. Plus it frees up space!

More Organizing Tips!

How to Have a Low-Stress, Organized Yard Sale

Whether you’re moving, trying to downsize, or just want less stuff – a yard sale is a great way to get rid of items without so much hassle. Yard sales are a perfect solution if you need some cash in a pinch or can only make so many donations. It’s important though to be organized, throwing together a yard sale can create a lot of stress and keep you from selling what you need to.

Let’s look at some strategies and ideas that will help your yard sale be both organized and efficient.

Before you start gathering items, set a date and time. Be sure to see if you need a permit to have a sale and take care of that if needed. That way you know what you’re shooting for and you can begin advertising.

Secondly, start advertising. Use social media, local papers, fliers in your neighborhood/church/work, and use word of mouth by telling all your friends. A lot of these items are quite cheap or free. Don’t spend too much money on advertising, just use smart outlets. Unless you live in a perfect, busy spot – advertising is the most important thing to helping you to achieve a great sale.

Next, filter through your items and organize by category if you haven’t already. You decide the category: room of the house, cost, use, whatever works best for your mind. Think about how you will display these categories and what tables and other items you’ll need to set up.

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Going through closets is a good way to find the perfect items for your yard sale!

Then you can price items. Pricing to sell is your best bet, but don’t feel like you must give things away per say. Especially, on items you spent a lot on and that are in pristine condition. Usually, buyers will pay more for furniture, but everything else you should expect buyers to haggle with quite a bit. Label things well! Color coding pricing is super-efficient, and you don’t have to write prices a million times. Think all $5-dollar items have pink tags, etc.

Lastly, prepare the area. Placement and organization of your items allows shoppers to see them and imagine using them. Tables, bookshelves, and ladders are great ways to display your items. If you can hang clothes up somehow that also is a lot better than a pile that everyone will undo by looking through.

Another nice touch is to have water or cookies/snacks for shoppers. Especially if it’s a hot day! A comfortable shopper lingers, and lingering shoppers buy more! You could sell can sodas for 50 cents and make a little more, too! Just make sure you have water or something for free.

We hope these items help you have a great sale!

More In-depth Tips Here!

How Well do Manufactured Homes Stand Up to Storms?

Storm season is on it’s way and you might be wondering, ‘how will a mobile home hold up’? It’s a common question, and not one that can be answered out right as there are a variety of storms and many types of manufactured homes. However, we can take a moment to look at preventative measures you can take as a homeowner and how mobile homes have been built to withstand storms.

Manufactured homes are built with the elements in mind

To begin, we need to look at the HUD Code for manufactured housing, which was implemented in 1976, and how it impacted how these homes are built. Mobile homes are built to comply with certain wind zones, thermal zones, and roof load requirements. These are all standards that help homes withstand certain forces. Wind zone requirements help your mobile home withstand hurricane force winds and are based on the location of the home. Thermal zones have to do with heat leakage in the home, and roof loads are based on how many pounds of snow a roof can withstand per square foot.  Roof load requirements also determine the build of the roof such as flat or pitched, etc.

Manufactured homes and their ability to withstand the elements

The Manufactured Housing Institute has provided information regarding the ability of manufactured homes to perform as well as site-built homes when it comes to storms and harsh weather.  According to the information, this attribution is said to be connected to the fact that manufactured homes in wind zones 2 and 3 are built to withstand the equivalent building code requirements as site-built homes.

Preventing damage to your mobile home

There are a couple ways you can actually prepare your mobile home for severe weather. One is ensuring your home has the appropriate tie-downs and anchors. Then you’ll need to be sure they are installed correctly and fix any that are broken or not properly placed. It’s also advised to have storm shutters, or heavy-duty shutters to protect your home. Another good way to prepare for storms is to make sure than any structures that are attached to the home are improperly installed as carports and patio roofs are likely to be the cause of home damage in high winds.  If you live in a place prone to tornadoes you could also consider building an underground shelter. Don’t forget to be sure your home is protected by your mobile home insurance. Most plans don’t include flood coverage – this is quite important if you live in a moderate storm area.

Storms cannot always be predicted and the level of threat from a storm is not always understood or appreciated. We aren’t meteorologists, so we would never advise you to remain in your home during a life-threatening storm.  We are saying, however, that you may come back to your home after a storm and find that your home survived much better than you thought it would. Manufactured homes may surprise you in their ability to withstand storm damage until you know that they are built with the elements in mind.

Learn More About Mobile Homes!

Delicious Veggies and Herbs You Can Plant in Your Garden this Spring

Spring is quickly approaching. Though flowers are usually planted in fall, and you might think spring is a time of blooming only, there are some items you can plant starting in March! You can plant a good deal of your summer veggies and herbs in spring. Roll up your sleeves and we’ll explore what you can plant. Don’t have tons of space for a garden? These ideas lend themselves perfectly to container gardens as well.

The best place to start is to find out when the last frost in your area occurs, or the average temps in your area. The USDA and The Old Farmer’s Almanac usually have maps that portray this info and will help you find the best time to plant based on where you live. Some plants can handle certain temps, and others can’t.

A consumer-help magazine recommends planting veggies that don’t have to be repotted – so the hardy varieties. Get started with:

  • Beans
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Asparagus (come back)
  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Kale
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Herbs are beautiful, fragrant, and easy to care for!

These are the major players and the most low-maintenance veggies you can add to your garden in spring. Let’s see what herbs the best are:

  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Basil (late spring)
  • Chives
  • Sage

We hope your kitchen is filled with fresh ingredients now, due to spring planting. Now go on and check out some recipes to use up those herbs and veggies! Make some marinades, dressing, and sauces to share with your friends.

Learn More!

Beat the Winter Blues and Get Ahead with These 5 Ideas

Winter is hard for a lot of people. While I personally love it, I know myself to be in the minority. Winter is a time of sickness, being stuck in the house, and early nights for many people. Many experience seasonal depression, weight gain, or overall feelings of boredom and sadness. To remedy this, or perhaps in spite of this – let’s focus our efforts on warmer days, literally and metaphorically.

While you’re getting snowed in and relaxing, start doing these things and see how much easier the rest of your year runs.

  1. Plan and decide what you’re doing with your potential tax return. If you’ve got debt, say a medical bill, loans, etc. Why not put it towards those, or paying off one with the most interest? Sounds like getting ahead to me! At a different place financially? What about splitting it up between your kids for future education expenses? You get the idea.
  2. Donate and organize. It’s too cold outside to do much so work up a sweat inside! After Christmas it’s good to replace old with new and also get rid of things you don’t use or you’re not going to use. Organizing is a great way to take inventory of what you have. You might realize you can donate half your clutter and have more space and better efficiency.
  3. Try a new hobby. Hobbies can be hard to start because we’re always looking for the time to learn about them initially. Now is the perfect time to research, go to workshops, and get comfortable with a new hobby before the business starts back up.
  4. Plan a summer vacation that will cost way less. If you book things far in advance they are usually cheaper. Plus, if you plan what you’re doing, rental cars, and the like early you can look around for deals and do the best research for the cheapest rate. All of this will also help you get excited for sunshine! P. S. if you love winter you could also plan a vacation now and save because it’s off season!
  5. Start a fitness plan from home! There are so many video tutorials online you hardly have to go to a gym or have equipment anymore. As long as you have a little space that’s all you need. Burn some calories, get fit, and enjoy the extra energy. Then you can enter the warmer days already fired up!

We hope these ideas help you bust the blues and give you less to do during the busy times! Remember, down time is the best time to get ahead. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed each summer, try these things today. That way you’ll be ready, and you won’t be bored in the winter!

Get Ahead With Your Finances!

7 Easy Ways to Protect Your Mobile Home During the Holidays

It’s a true, but unfortunate thing – the brightness of the holidays can also mean elevated theft in many areas across the country. With people leaving their homes to see loved ones and new items entering the home it opens up opportunity for theft.  The good news is you can do a few things without spending any more money to make your home less of a target. Nothing is guaranteed, but why not do your best to protect the place you call home? Below are some smart ways to keep your home looking lived in and help keep burglars away.

  1. If you’re an online shopper you want to be sure your packages are delivered to you and not to someone walking by. Have mail delivery place packages on a closed in porch, at a back door, or somewhere more concealed than your front stoop if possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a stuffed snowman in the box, thieves will just grab the package and find out what’s in it later.
  2. Keep trash and recycling concealed. If you just got a flat screen, don’t put the box by the road. Empty boxes let people know what you’ve got or that you’re moving in. Break down boxes and throw them in the recycling or trash bin.
  3. Leave some lights on or the tv when you’re gone during the day or evening. With apps or timers, this can be automatic. Leaving an interior overhead light on and outdoor lights on is a good way to ward off burglars. Having your tv on is also a good theft deterrent because potential burglars will assume you’re home and that may thwart them from breaking in.
  4. Keep windows locked. This seems easy, but you’d be amazed how many windows you “thought you had locked” but didn’t. Burglars don’t want to leave a mess or a trace – they’ll always look for the simplest way in. If it’s hard to enter your home, it may scare off thieves.
  5. Maintain your yard/exterior. Nothing tells an outsider you’re out of town or inattentive like a yard left in a mess. Keep up with seasonal maintenance and don’t leave broken items to rot. Give your home some love and attention.
  6. Don’t share your travel plans on social, or wait till you get back home to share. Sharing that you’re on vacation on social media is an easy way for someone to plan to steal from your home. They don’t have to be your friend or follow you either – the internet is an open place. Think before you post.
  7. Befriend your neighbors. A good neighbor will watch out for your home and you can return the favor.  Neighbors can be great people to help get your mail or turn lights on and off at your home while you’re gone. It may be smart to start a neighborhood watch or participate in it.

Don’t just protect your home, protect your finances, too! We’ll help you get started!

 

Protect Your Finances!