Samson Kimani's Blog
There are many state-of-the-art smart home devices at your disposal. At the same time, there is no shortage of vendors that sell smart home devices in cities and towns nationwide.
Ultimately, it is a good idea to shop around for a smart home device. If you evaluate a variety of smart home device vendors, you can boost the likelihood of finding gadgets that fall in line with your budget. Plus, you could lay the foundation for a partnership with a vendor that can fulfill your smart home device needs for years to come.
When it comes to choosing a smart home device vendor, challenges may arise. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to differentiate an exceptional smart house gadget vendor from an average one, such as:
1. Check Out Customer Reviews
Googling a vendor enables you to learn all about this business and its brand reputation. Perhaps best of all, it may allow you to assess customer reviews to help you understand what it is like to buy smart home devices from a particular vendor.
You should try to avoid developing your opinion of a vendor based on a single customer review. Instead, read multiple customer reviews, and you could gain the insights you need to determine if a vendor can help you acquire the best smart home gadgets at the lowest prices.
2. Browse a Vendor's Inventory Closely
New smart home devices are becoming available every day. Meanwhile, a vendor that fails to update its smart house gadget inventory accordingly may struggle to satisfy customer requests for the latest and greatest devices.
As you conduct a search for smart light bulbs, smart robot vacuums or other smart home devices, assess a vendor's inventory. This allows you to see if a vendor offers best-in-class smart home devices, basic models or a combination of the two. Furthermore, once you review a vendor's smart home device selection, you can find out if this business offers the right gadgets based on your individual needs.
3. Test a Vendor's Expertise
Let's face it – shopping for smart home devices may prove to be a long, arduous process. Differentiating one smart house gadget from another may be difficult. Also, if you fail to weigh the pros and cons of myriad smart house devices, you risk making a poor smart house gadget selection.
Generally, it helps to work with a vendor that employs smart home device experts. If you visit a vendor's brick-and-mortar location or shop online, you should be able to reach out to smart house device experts at your convenience.
If you find a vendor fails to offer sufficient client support, you may want to look elsewhere for smart home devices. Or, if a vendor employs first-rate smart house device experts, you may want to purchase a broad array of smart house gadgets from this business.
Conduct an in-depth search for smart home gadgets. That way, you can shop with a vendor that can help you acquire terrific smart home devices that may serve you well both now and in the future.
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Buying your first home is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life. But, it does come with its advantages. Among them are tax breaks and deductions that you can take advantage of to save money if you play your cards right.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover some of the tax breaks and deductions that first-time homeowners should seek out this tax season to help them lower their tax bill.
While earning points is a good thing on the basketball court, it can be a financial drain on a mortgage. Mortgage points are what buyers pay to the lender to secure their loan. They’re usually given as percentage points of the total loan amount.
If you pay these points with your closing costs, then they are deductible. Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their IRS Form 1040 can typically deduct all of the points they paid in a year, with the exception of some high-income taxpayers whose itemized deductions are limited.
If you’re one of the many people who made a down payment of less than 20% on your home, odds are that you’re going to be stuck with PMI, or private mortgage insurance, until you pay off at least 20% of the loan balance.
The good news is that homebuyers who purchased their home in the year 2007 and after can deduct their PMI premiums. However, the state on premium insurance deductibles is something that frequently comes up in Congress, so homeowners should ensure that these deductions are still valid when filing their taxes.
Mortgage interest accounts for the biggest deduction for the average homeowner. When you receive your Form 1098 from your lender, you can deduct the total amount of interest you’ve paid during the year.
Another deductible that shouldn’t be overlooked by first-time buyers is local property taxes. Save the records for any property taxes you pay so that you can deduct them during tax season.
Home energy tax credits
Some states are offering generous tax credits for homeowners who make home improvements that save energy. There are a number of improvements you might qualify for, including things like insulation and roofs, as well as photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.
Many first-time buyers withdraw from an IRA account to be able to make a larger down payment on their home or to pay for closing costs. In most other cases, withdrawing from an IRA will count as taxable income. However, if your IRA withdrawal is used toward a down payment or closing costs, the tax penalty is waived.
Keep these tax breaks and deductions in mind this tax season to help you save money and get a larger refund.
Sharing living expenses with your partner or roommates can be a difficult and confusing issue for many.
Life would be made much easier if there was just one bill to pay on your home that includes everything.
Recently there have been attempts to bring such a suction into fruition. Many homeowners and renters have turned to apps that help them split expenses, or have signed up for mortgage agreements that cover stray expenses like property tax and private mortgage insurance.
In this article, we're going to give you a few tips on splitting the bills in your home to make things easier for you, your spouse, and your roommates.
Who pays what?
Many young couples are often left wondering who should pay which bill, especially when you share so many services.
However, there's a big difference between sharing a Netflix account and sharing a car. One solution is to use the bills that report to credit agencies for whoever needs help building their credit score.
Putting credit cards under the person with the lowest score’s name can help them build credit even if they're simply listed as an “authorized user” which means you can take advantage of good interest rates and build credit at the same time.
Paying the mortgage
It can quickly become tiresome having to write two different checks each month for your mortgage or rent. To solve this problem, you can either alternate payments (you pay a full month’s rent or mortgage one month and your spouse pays the following month), or you can choose to pay bi-weekly, which will help you pay off your mortgage sooner.
The best apps to use
If you live with your spouse, you likely aren’t overly concerned with splitting all of your expenses 50/50. Chances are whoever has the higher income will foot the bill for the larger expenses.
However, if you have roommates there’s a bigger chance you’ll want things to be split evenly between you and the other members of the household. That’s where apps come in handy.
First, sit down with your roommates and go over all expenses. Write down each bill that you share: rent, heat, electricity, cable, internet, gas, insurance, and so on.
Then, decide who is responsible for making the payment on those bills. Even if you decide to split them all evenly, one person will have to be responsible for sending out the check each month.
Once you’ve determined which bills you have and who is going to pay them, it’s time to find out how you’re all going to contribute.
One way is to open up a shared account. Doing so can be messy, however, if you’re using that account for multiple bills. Some banks and services also charge a portion of the transfer, so you’ll each be losing money each month, and the amount depends on how many bills you have.
Some apps and services you can use to split bills and transfer money include Splitwise, Mint, PayPal, and Chase’s QuickPay. The benefit of apps that don’t transfer money is that they are often free and don’t collect transfer fees. So, if you’re comfortable with handling money by hand, you could save in the long run.