Rural Property Investment: The Pros & Cons Of Investing In Rural Locations

Rural Property Investment: The Pros & Cons Of Investing rural property

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Rural Property Investment – There are about 60 million people, or one in five Americans, who live in rural areas in 2017, according to the US Census.

These people opted to enjoy rural living by residing on farmhouses, ranches, lake houses, or in cottages within the forests or on top of the mountains for a variety of reasons.

But is it really better to invest in rural properties instead of choosing to stay in the city?

Rural Property Investment: The Pros & Cons

Here are the advantages and disadvantages that you must consider when thinking about owning or investing in a rural property.

Rural Property Investment: The Pros & Cons Of Investing rural property
Rural Property Investment: The Pros & Cons Of Investing In Rural Locations

Advantages Of Investing In Rural Properties

Those who are thinking of owning a rural property can have a lot of options since there are a lot of properties available in the country.

This is because the US is composed of 97 percent of rural mass land while only 19.3 percent of the country’s population chose to live there.

Because of the lack of competition in rural areas, property prices are lower compared to those sold in the urban areas.

Most of the time, investing in a rural property only requires you to pay less than half of the price of a home in big metropolitan cities.

Also, there are fewer restrictions in rural property development compared to urban properties.

Most importantly, you can consider buying a rural property for your long-term goals.

This is caused by the continuous growth in urban and suburban populations every year.

You may invest in a very cheap rural property then sell it in a much higher value in the future.

If you are thinking of a property in Austin, Texas, you can take advantage of offers from Paradisa Homes and other real estate development teams to help you plan and construct the rural property of your dreams.

Disadvantages Of Investing In Rural Properties

Since the population is scarce in rural areas, you might not enjoy the same quality of public services that one might get in the metropolitan cities.

This means that there will be fewer hospitals, shopping centers, or federal offices near your location.

Also, investing in rural properties can be a risky move due to the small property market in the area.

The economic opportunities could also be very limited because of the fewer demand in these parts of the country.

In fact, you might have to think twice if you are planning to loan a huge amount to buy a property in the rural area.

This is because it is not advisable to have the property rented and depend on its revenue to pay for the loan.

In addition, rural areas have limited tourist attractions compared to bigger urban cities.

This could be a disadvantage for those who are planning to invest in a property in these areas.

These advantages and disadvantages will allow you to have an idea about what it is like to own a rural property.

It will also let you decide if you want to push through with the plan to own a property in the rural areas or not.

But buying a rural property can still be a wise decision.

This will happen if you are willing to accept the fact that not all perks that you will enjoy the city are available in these areas.

But if you want the peace and quiet that comes with living in rural locations, then a property in this place will be the best choice for you.

Desert Wildlife Tucson Homesteading ~ Seeing desert wildlife

desert wildlife Tucson

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One of the benefits to rural living is seeing wildlife. When we set up our homestead in Tucson, Arizona, we didn’t expect to see desert wildlife on our property daily.

Mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians are right outside our window. Once there was a lizard in our kitchen sink.

We’ve seen a mountain lion snatch a rabbit. Another time, we watched a Gila monster amble by.

In addition, we’ve seen a variety of snakes, javelinas, bobcats, coyotes, roadrunners, packrats, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels, raccoons, a variety of toads and lizards, quail families, hawks, roadrunners, rabbits, bats, and owls. 

While Tucson is a thriving city, we live in an area of town very close to the base Mt. Lemmon. It’s northeast of downtown Tucson in an area called Tanque Verde.

There is abundant wildlife in this area of native desert habitat. We see fauna on our property, traveling through dry washes in search of prey, and when we are out driving or walking along the dirt roads and paved streets. 

We will continue to update this is pictures and videos of wildlife.

Desert wildlife Tucson

Many types of wildlife thrive in the desert. Here is some of what we’ve seen.

Tucson desert snakes rattlesnake
Just another snake in the road

snakes in Tucson

Snakes in Tucson

We’ve had our fair share of snakes on our property, including several western diamondback rattlesnakes. There was even a rattlesnake in our pool which we relocated to outside our pool wall with a snake grabber. 

No matter what, we keep a safe distance from all snakes. About half the time they’ve been western diamondback rattlesnakes. The other times they were the very similar-looking, non-venomous snakes. 

A few times we’ve seen (non-venomous) Sonoran Mountain Kingsnakes on the road. They resemble the Sonoran Coralsnake which is venomous. There are many varieties of snakes in the Sonoran Desert. 

Desert dwellers love having non-venomous snakes on their property. (More reptiles below.)

Mammals in the Sonoran Desert

Before moving to Tucson, we didn’t expect to see so many desert mammals. We see coyotes and bobcats regularly. 

Bobcats 

We see bobcats often, but there is one we see regularly taking the same path.

The bobcat comes out and walks under along the front of our shaded house to where we can no longer see it to hunt. We see it on his/her way back with something in its mouth.

We’re not sure if they are packrats, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats or other small mammals.

One time, we scrambled to video the baby bobcats when we saw a bobcat with her babies. They were so cute!

Coyotes

We see coyotes galore outside our front window and in our neighborhood.

Coyotes cross Catalina Highway, Tanque Verde Loop Road, and Soldier Trail at dusk. We see them in the washes and often trotting down the street. 

Once, when I was walking behind a residential neighborhood approximately two miles from my home, eight coyotes crossed the road. They were half a block ahead of me — they just kept coming, one after the other! They didn’t pay me any attention, however, I turned and walked back from where I came from!

desert wildlife deer
We see lots of deer in the spring.

White tailed deer and mule deer

deer eating barrel cactus

While we’ve seen deer within a mile radius of our home, this past spring and into early summer is the first time we saw them on our property. We saw them five different times. 

deer in Tucson

Sometimes they were just passing through and other times, they stayed awhile to eat from the tops of the barrel cactus and from some bushes.

Mountain lions

Twice we’ve seen mountain lions. Each time, there was just one of them.

While it was in different years, the mountain lion was in our property in June, before the monsoons.

Both times, at first we thought it was a very large bobcat. However, mountain lions stand taller and are larger. When we learned there were mountain lion sightings in the Tanque Verde area, we realized that’s what it was. There were several posts about mountain lions on the neighborhood NextDoor site.

Javelinas 

We see javelinas often around dusk. Homeowners know to keep their garbage cans secure so the javelinas don’t tip them over. 

Like with all wildlife, residents here know not to approach javelinas.

Sonoran Desert mammals: rabbits, badger, bats, raccoons, pack rats

Other desert mammals we’ve seen around are black-tailed jackrabbits, a badger, Harris’ antelope squirrels (we thought they were chipmunks), pack rats, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels, a coati, bats, and raccoons.

We saw raccoons with a toad. My husband shined a light on them to see them better. A few minutes later, the raccoons came back, stood on their hind legs, and peered into our window. They wanted to see what the light was! It was incredible to see how smart they were. 

So far we haven’t smelled or seen any skunks near our property though I did see one while camping at Molino Basin on Mt. Lemmon.

Arachnids in Tucson

Spiders in the Sonoran desert

Most of the spiders we’ve seen have been “good spiders.” These include wolf spiders and tarantulas. We leave these spiders alone — transport them outside — because they help with pest control. 

Tarantula
Tarantula in Tucson desert

We’ve had wolf spiders in our home — including our stove-top!

There are tarantulas as well. You will especially see them active at night. 

So far we haven’t seen brown recluse spiders or black widows. 

Scorpions 

We learned the more residential the area, the greater chance scorpions will be inside your home.

The more rural your property, the less likely you will find them inside. This has been the case with us and our Tucson scorpion experience.

Our first home in Tucson was in a gated community — not very rural — and we had scorpions in our pool, out on our patio, and inside our home frequently. Now that we live in a rural setting, we’ve only had them a few times inside our home.

We’ve seen bark scorpions and whip-tailed scorpions since living here.

Reptiles in Tucson

We’ve already written about desert-dwelling snakes. In addition, we see various types of lizards daily. 

greater short-horned lizard in a nearby wash
greater short-horned lizard in a nearby wash

Lizards

We see them so regularly we don’t think to take a picture. Soon we will add some pics. 

desert wildlife Tucson Gila monster
Gila monster outside our window

Gila monsters

We’ve seen Gila monsters along the side of the road several times, in different locations in our local area.

In addition, we’ve had three sightings on our property in different places in two years.

Turtles and tortoises

When we visit Agua Caliente Park, we are sure to see turtles in the ponds.

In addition, many people are custodians of Sonoran Desert Tortoises outside their homes. The Sonoran-Desert Museum has a Tortoise Adoption Program and offers a lot of information

Birds in the Sonoran Desert

Roadrunners, quail, hummingbirds, and hawks are a few of the birds we often see. We see cardinals, wrens, doves, and woodpeckers. There are other desert-loving birds as well.

We see woodpeckers on the high reaches of saguaro cactus. Hawks soar through the sky. At dusk, there are different bird species that swoop down by our pool.

Depending on the time of year, we see quail families — the adults quail shepherding their little baby quail. It’s common to see them crossing the road.

We see great horned owls also. Twice we’ve had mallard ducks in our pool.

quail eggs desert wildlife Tucson
We had quail eggs in one of our planters.

Nearby Agua Caliente Park has many bird-watching opportunities. They have a board outside which lists all the bird species common to the Tucson area. It lists which birds are present year round, which are present in the winter and summer, and which are migratory. It also lists if the birds are common, uncommon, or rare. 

Visitors and staff can mark off the birds they see in the park that month.

There are many bird species in Tucson. 

Amphibians in the desert

Frogs and toads

We see tadpoles in the washes in the spring. In the summer, we see frogs and toads galore — some big, some small.

Some are outside our patio doors at night and some we find swimming in our pool during the day.

Common Sonoran desert toads include the Colorado river toad. We see them often. They are harmful to dogs. We don’t touch any toads (or any other living thing).

Africanized killer bees
Africanized killer bees on our property

Insects in the desert

There are many types of insects in Tucson. What we see depends on the temperature, season and weather.

wildlife and insects in Tucson

A lot also depends on how much rain we did or didn’t get. We’ve seen so many different insects living here. 

After a rain, our pool will be filled with flying ants. When we turn on an outside light, we attract many different species, including many beetles.

There is always something interesting coming or going!

bee on desert bloom
bee on desert bloom

Desert wildlife in Tucson

There are many places to visit in Tucson to see wildlife.

If you enjoy seeing them in their desert habitats, you may get to see them when you visit Saguaro National Park, Sabino Canyon, or driving out to Redington Pass. 

In addition, the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum is 21 acres of desert in which you can see animals in a desert setting. You can also see the pollinator gardens, walk through the aviary, and see other animals such as the Mexican gray wolf, Black bear, Bighorn sheep, javelinas, and more.

Taking a drive up Mount Lemmon will take you to additional eco-systems, depending how far up you go. Starting off, there are opportunities to see wildlife in a desert setting. The higher up you go — it reaches 9,157 feet — you will see different wildlife.

There is also the Reid Park Zoo.

Tucson desert wildlife

Our property feels very rural. Over time, we’ve set up solar, a water harvesting system, gardens, a woodworking area, hydroponics, and more.

Our two-acre homestead affords us privacy. However, everything we are doing to have a more rural experience we could do with much less land. We love seeing the wildlife and try to keep as much of the property native desert so we can encourage wildlife habitats.

It’s important to note, we don’t feed any wildlife. We don’t have bird feeders. Also, our garbage cans are in a secured area so javelinas can’t get to them.

In addition, we don’t have pets. So there isn’t a barking dog to scare away wildlife. Animals come and go — able to pass by undisturbed. 

We had no idea there were so many species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and insects native to Tucson. On any given day, we can see 10+ different types of animals and other wildlife. It’s really an incredible experience. 

Desert fauna abounds here near the base of Mt. Lemmon. It’s truly the Sonoran desert wildlife experience. 

What No One Tells You About Selling a Home

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What No One Tells You About Selling a Home – If you are about to sell your first home, you’re likely to be in for a surprise with the many unexpected preparations that need to be made.

Something no one seems to tell you it, if you don’t do it right, is that it could linger on the market for quite a while.

What No One Tells You About Selling a Home

For example, houses for sale in Ottawa spend an average of 43 days, but in other places it could be much longer – the ones that seem to sell the fastest usually do so because they’ve followed these important tips. 

Hire a Professional Photographer

Curb appeal is no longer a potential buyer’s first impression, the Internet is.

How your home looks online can make a significant difference in how fast it sells.

In fact, analysis has shown that a home with professional real estate photography sells 32% faster.

If it doesn’t appeal online, those buyers will quickly move on.

Professional photos can show your home in the very best light to get those buyers through your door.

What No One Tells You About Selling a Home

You Will Need Storage Space

Once those buyers start coming to take a look at your home, you don’t want to have any clutter or junk hanging around.

In fact, the fewer personal things in it the better which means you may need to pack quite a bit and find a place to store those items.

Closets will need to be mostly empty and bulky furniture, which may make your home feel smaller than it is, will need to be stored.

You’ll want to take down family photos and other personal mementos down and store those too.

And you shouldn’t just stick it all in the garage so you may need to rent a storage unit. 

Show Ready at All Times

One of the hardest things about having your home up for sale is that your realtor will call you on a moment’s notice to tell you that a potential buyer would like to view your home.

That can mean that you have just an hour to clean up and leave the premises for the viewing so it will need to be in show-ready condition at all times, and ideally, you’ll need to be ready to leave so the buyer can feel comfortable thoroughly checking it out.

The bottom line is, plan on being flexible with your daily schedule and be extra diligent about keeping it clean.

Be Prepared to Negotiate Everything

Negotiations are usually part of the process – you’ll have to be ready to negotiate everything down to which appliances the buyer keeps to the closing costs.

Just because you’ve listed your home for a specific price, doesn’t mean that potential buyer won’t want to try to get it reduced.

They may want the refrigerator and other kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, and perhaps negotiate things like the inspection and other closing costs.

They might even ask you to throw a piece of furniture into the deal.

Anything and everything has a price but if you’re aware beforehand it will allow you to roll with the punches, be less stressed and more open for what might lie ahead.

Factors That Limit The Refinancing or Financing of Rural Properties

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Refinancing or Financing of Rural Properties – Despite 97% of America’s land area being rural, only 19.3% of the population lives there according to Census Bureau.

This can be attributed to several factors including desirable amenities in urban areas.

One major factor that, however, facilitates this phenomenon is the fact that financing or refinancing a rural property is way harder than an urban or suburban one.

Financing of Rural Properties

Even with federal programs such as the USDA loans that are aimed at encouraging home ownership in rural areas, getting money to buy a rural home is still hard.

Truth is, it takes a lot more to buy and develop a rural space or property compared to an urban one. Why?
Refinancing or Financing of Rural Properties

Absence of Standard Utilities

Most rural properties lack utilities that are considered basic such as electricity and safe drinking water.

A factor that might deter mortgage lenders.

One may encounter problems with financial institutions in cases where the rural home’s water supply is from a well, which occurs more often than not.

They may decide to completely refuse to finance the purchase or hold off a certain percentage of the agreed amount until the water is tested.

Luckily, taking a water potability test early on before approaching these rural property finance lenders should be able to help eliminate this challenge.

Once the test which is done by the municipality or county proves the well water meets the guidelines of drinking water quality, lenders will be more open to the idea of financing or refinancing the property in question.

Lenders Dislike Uncertainty

Purchasing a rural home is harder because the rural property market is not as predictable as the urban property market.

A factor that makes mortgage lenders more hesitant. Lenders dislike uncertainties.

Normally, an individual seeking a mortgage loan has to present the lender with an appraisal report.

Now, appraisal, which is a fancy term for determining the value of something, is usually based on using the values of at least 3 houses sold in the last 6 months within a mile of the subject property.

Rural areas are sparsely populated and there way fewer houses that can be used to draw the value of the property.

The uncertain estimates which may be far from the property’s true value make lenders more unlikely to grant loans since they like working with known quantities.

The Zoning, Size, and Use of Property In Question

Most rural properties are zoned into two categories; country residential and agricultural.

The first features small parcels of land say 1-3 acres.

Most property lenders prefer loaning cash for residential homes.

If the size of a property features a large land, a farm, livestock, a barn, etc., one is advised to seek the loan to finance the purchase from a local bank that finances farms or an agricultural lender.

Alternatively, the extra areas which are not inclusive of the garage, home, and 5-10 acres are not made part of the mortgage loan to value calculations. What No One Tells You About Selling a Home

Strict Loan Requirements When Refinancing or Financing of Rural Properties

Federal government programs that offer loans to support rural development have very strict requirements.

The United States Department of Agriculture, for example, does not issue loans.

Instead, it acts as a guarantor so one still has to find and convince the lending firm alone.

In cases where it does offer direct loans, not many can meet the set standards.

They only offer these direct loans to very low and low-income individuals whose income must be below 80% of the locality’s median salary.

If a property is far from a major city and therefore harder to get to or if the property is inaccessible due to bad roads, property lenders will most likely turn down a loan request.

Location, utilities, size, zoning, and challenges in establishing value are all factors that make it harder to get a lender to finance or refinance a rural home purchase.

This is however not to mean the venture is impossible.

All one has to do is find fair lenders available in the specific type of property they wish to buy and to take necessary precautions to ensure the loan is approved.

Air Conditioning Maintenance 101

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Air Conditioning Maintenance – By keeping your air conditioner well-maintained, not only will you avoid costly repair bills in the long term, but it can help reduce your energy costs right away.

When an air conditioner is in disrepair or even when there’s just dirt built upon the components, it has to work a lot harder to keep working.

Each year, air conditioners will cost homeowners $29 billion a year– and that’s in energy costs alone.

When you figure in maintenance and replacements, that number can quickly end up being more than half a trillion dollars a year.

Whether you’re looking for air conditioning installation in Aurora, CO, or want to ensure that your current system lasts another decade, these are maintenance steps you should keep in mind.

Air Conditioning Maintenance

The savings you get will probably be worth a small investment, too.

Below are the steps you may want to take to keep your air conditioner well-maintained all year.

Air Conditioning Maintenance
Air Conditioning Maintenance 101

Check, Clean, and Replace AC Filters

Having new, clean filters can reduce the energy consumption of your air conditioner by as much as 15%, according to the US Department of Energy.

Clean filters make it much easier for air to pass through them.

This allows the machine to work more efficiently.

Choosing the right filter may be a bit of a chore if you haven’t replaced your screens in a while.

However, once you know what you need, finding your next replacement will be a breeze.

Depending on the type of filter you purchase and your environment, how often you need to change your filters will vary.

However, most filters for home AC units will need to be replaced once a month or once every four weeks.

Air Conditioning Maintenance Clean Out Vents, Drains, and Coils

Your unit should be kept as clean as possible both inside and out…including portable air conditioners.

Any type of dirt on a coil, fin, and in a vent can block airflow and end up costing you more and more over time.

Pets, plants near an outdoor unit, or living in a rural area may mean you need to spend more time maintaining these types of things.

After cleaning, it’s a good idea to inspect any vents for leaks or damage.

Weather and wildlife can cause problems with any ventilation or air conditioning system.

Check to make sure vents are solid, airflow is steady, and all fins are in their original positions.

The condensation drain should also be maintained once in a while.

Doing so can help prevent the formation of clogs that may lead to necessary, costly repairs.

If a clog does occur, and you don’t catch it quickly, water damage may lead to more than a cosmetic imperfection.

You could end up with a weak or collapsed floor, mold, or worse.

Professional AC Maintenance

Every few years it’s a good idea to bring in a professional to take care of tasks like these as well as some maintenance tasks you may not be able, trained, or comfortable enough to do yourself.

For example, a professional can check refrigerant levels and replace it, if needed.

They can also perform several tests with specialized equipment that can quickly check the efficiency of your unit.

Clever Ways to Extend the Space of Your Rural Home

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Rural Home – Size of America’s homes are shrinking, according to Business Insider, with higher construction costs and higher wages charged by builders affecting both city and rural homeowners alike.

Even if you have a sizeable rural home, new additions to the family, a change on your home business, or even a new hobby can require an extension of space.

Clever Ways to Extend the Space of Your Rural Home

From glass extensions to a dedicated cabin for guests or your home business, there are many ways to create contrasting yet complementary spaces that fit into the natural surrounds.

Let in the Light

Glass has been touted a ‘modern’ material since the 1970s, yet if this material has one appealing quality, it is its ability to complement any style – from art deco to traditional brick, and of course, simple minimalistic constructions.

If you have enough space on either side of your home, adding a sunroom with glazed glass and an insulated roof and wall will enable you to enjoy floods of natural light while staying warm.

For inspiration on how glass can be used to increase space, check out work by Koichi Takada Architects, who recently topped traditional brick archways in Sydney with a stunning round glass tower.

Extending Outdoor Space

Building an al fresco terrace with the help of a remote control pergola or constructing a permanent flat roof to cover your terraced space will enable you to create various additional spaces in your home.

One terrace can house three or more spaces, including a resting area, dining room, and TV area.

Ideally, this space should have glass sliding doors or moveable crystal walls, to keep you safe from the elements in cold or hot weather.

Terraces can be pushed further forward through the use of decking.

Cedar, pine, and wood are some of the most popular choices for wooden decks.
Extend the Space of Your Rural Home

Investing in an Independent Log Cabin

Ample plots of lands can definitely benefit from a log cabin construction.

Depending on how you wish to use the space, your cabin can contain specific pictures that will enhance your working or living experience.

Understanding what goes into log cabin plans is key, as it will stop you from making mistakes that can be expensive to fix.

Important considerations to consider include the number of stories you need, how much light your cabin will need, and whether or not you will need a basement.

If your cabin will be used for anything other than storage, make natural light a priority.

Large windows, sliding doors, and atrium rooftop are just a few ways to up the appeal factor of your cabin.

Adding Height

High ceilings add major style to living areas, increasing volume considerably and relaxing the mind by opening up available space.

If you have an attic, you can probably raise the ceiling in the space beneath it.

If you have a stick roof, you may have to remove the existing roof and build a completely new one.

You should also inquire about any building regulations, since a permit may be necessary before you create more vertical space.

Most people who own rural homes have one luxury that urban dwellers crave: space.

By either extending your home or building an entirely new space on your land, you can create your own home office or guests house without breaking the bank.

To whiz your home into the future, vertical height is definitely the way to go, since it will significantly increase volume and create the airy, elegant look that is gracing luxury homes featured in home style magazines across the globe.

How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property

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The Right Fencing for your Property – At first glance, picking a fence may seem like a straightforward decision.

But a fence can make a huge difference to your house’s look and functionality.

Furthermore, picking the wrong fence for your area could end up in serious maintenance costs and possible issues later.

This is why it is not a decision to be taken lightly.

The best fencing for your land is…

With the variety of materials available today, it’s important to do your research and see which one will work best depending on your needs.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider before installing a new fence.

How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property
How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property

Royalty Free Photo

How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property

What’s your Priority?

There are many reasons why you may want to install a fence.

You may just need something utilitarian that will keep pets in and nuisances out.

Others will want something that looks good and enhances curb appeal, while some people care about privacy and security first.

All these options will end up affecting your choice.

If you need privacy, then you can rule out materials like wrought iron immediately.

But you could consider a wooden or vinyl fence, though the distance between panels doesn’t always make vinyl fences the best option.

You should also know that not everyone likes a closed-out backyard, so if you were thinking of selling the property any time soon, you’ll have to take that into consideration as well.

The best solution is to work with a contractor that is familiar with all sorts of fences, like Northland Fence, for instance.

They’ll be able to give you the best options depending on what you’re looking for and could spot potential issues with your initial choice.

What About Maintenance?

The type of fence you choose will also have an influence on how much time and money you’ll have to spend to maintain it.

When it comes to fence materials, wood takes the most care since you’ll have to stain and repaint it regularly.

But they’re also said to be the most aesthetically pleasing to a lot of buyers when cared for properly.

Vinyl and aluminum, on the other hand, require much less maintenance and are popular with many homeowners for that reason.

However, repairing a wooden fence is much simpler than repairing a metal one.

If there’s a storm, for instance, and you lose a few boards on a wooden fence, you can find new ones easily that will match and blend in with the rest.

But if we’re talking about a whole section on an aluminum or vinyl fence, you might not even be able to find the original manufacturer.

Some even had to replace their whole fence for a small section because they couldn’t find something that matched, so keep that in mind.

Make Sure you Have your HOA’s Approval after You have Found the Right Fencing for your Property

Last, but not least, you have to first know if your choice is even approved by your homeowner’s association.

Some will have restrictions on certain materials and others will obligate you to pick one type of fencing only.

So, make sure that the fence’s material and height are in accordance with your HOA’s rules before you do anything.

Choosing a fence is an important buying decision and one you’ll possibly have to live with for years to come.

Whatever you do, make sure that you choose the right contractor to install for fence and don’t be afraid to ask them for a second opinion, as they’ll be more than happy to help.

Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices You Need to Invest In

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Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices – Every day we make small efforts to make a smaller impact on the environment.

Whether you go for reusable coffee mugs, skip the plastic straw, or bring your own tote bag to the market.

Even with these attempts to not put more waste into the world, many who are serious about the environment don’t feel fully satisfied just doing this.

As smart homes and home automation devices become more and more common, we have more opportunities to make greener choices.

Environmentalists write about the negative impacts technology has on our environment pretty frequently, but there are also options out there that can help us use less energy.

Automated devices can be made to be conscious of how much energy we use, while we won’t be able to monitor our own behaviors as easily.

Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices

Looking for new ways to help make your smart home more eco-friendly?

Here are a few different green devices for you to try.

PUR Bluetooth Ultimate Faucet Filtration System

This filter system fits right on your kitchen filter and removes 99% of lead in your water and over 70 other contaminants.

Cleaner water from the tap means you can stop buying bottled water and switch over to a reusable water bottle to reduce the amount of plastic you use.

PUR’s water filter also comes with an app to let you track how much water you’re using.

Nest Thermostat

Nest makes a variety of different thermostats and other devices, including security cameras and motion sensor alarms, to help you build an eco-friendly smart home.

Their thermostat learns your daily habits to set the temperature exactly how you need it.

It also studies what time you need your house heated and cooled, and how your house heats and cools itself so that it only works when it needs to.

The Nest thermostat can help you reduce the amount of energy you use daily and save on bills, they claim the device pays for itself after the first two years.

Nest Thermostat Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices
Nest Thermostat Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices

WeMo Insight Smart Plug

Smart plugs allow you to track how much energy your appliances are using, even appliances that regular appliances like fans or lamps that aren’t automated.

You can also use the plugs to turn your appliances on or off with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Finding out which appliances use the most energy can help you use them sparingly if, you’re able to.

Hydrao Shower Aloe

By using LED lights, this shower head lights up with different colors as you shower to show you how much water you’ve used.

With an app, you’re also able to set a limit of how much water you want to use each shower and get information on your water consumption.

This shower head also uses the water flow from your shower to power itself with a mini-turbine.

Philips Hue

These smart light bulbs are controlled by a timer that allows you to turn them off from anywhere when you aren’t using them.

You also have the option to dim the light bulbs as much as you’d like so that a room can still be lit up, but without using more energy than you need.

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

It’s estimated that more than half of the water we use to take care of our lawns and gardens goes to waste, making it obvious that we’re in need of smart and eco-friendly watering systems.

The EPA WaterSense certified Rachio sprinkler system adjusts to the needs of your yard to accurately water it.

It takes into consideration your area, weather, and the types of plants you have to ensure that you’re only using as much water as you need.

Zera Food Recycler

This food composter lets you cut down on your food waste.

The Zera Food Recycler can reduce the amount of food scraps by up to two thirds in just 24 hours.

By composting your food, you’ll reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and also gives you a homemade fertilizer.

The food recycler is fully automated and you can control it through an app.

Ring Solar Panel and Camera

If you’re looking for a new security system, Ring has one that entirely solar powered.

The device only needs a few hours of sunlight per day to work and stick on to the wall for an easy installment.

Robot Vacuum Cleaner

In addition to other eco-friendly smart home devices, you can invest in a robot vacuum cleaner.

Robot vacuums confer a number of benefits.

Many can be controlled through your WiFi.

Rather than needing to vacuum manually, you set the robot to work, and it roves around your apartment or home picking up dirt, dust, and lint.

There’s a WiFi-connecting robot vacuum available for any budget.

It’s ideal for cleaning the floors of your entire house, including carpets and areas thick with pet hair.

The vacuum cleaner is battery powered rather than running on your electricity.

It has an energy-saving design that’s environmentally friendly, and it’s made in the USA, so it complies with all environmental guidelines laid down by the US.

The robot comes with LaserSmart Wireless Technology for navigation, which means that it’s able to navigate the nooks and crannies of even oddly-shaped rooms.

Unlike randomly roving robots, it cleans the home in an efficient manner rather than treading over already-cleaned areas.

The vacuum’s D-shaped design allows it to move into tight corners and hard-to-reach places.

With the accompanying smartphone app, you can control the vacuum cleaner whether you’re in the same room, on a different floor, or even outside of the house.

Since it’s battery-powered, it uses significantly less energy than a standard vacuum that plugs into the wall.

The lithium battery provides up to 90 minutes of use per single charge.

As for performance, the robot vacuum cleaner comes with multiple features that make it ideal.

It’s made to deliver power cleaning through its spin-flow technology.

There’s a combo brush that can dislodge dirt and dust that’s caked into crevices or carpeting.

A high-performance filter helps the vacuum sort through debris, while the extra large dirt bin means that it can clean for a long time without needing emptying.

4 Must Sees in Canada That Seasoned Travelers Love

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Must Sees in Canada – We all know that Canada is a land filled with polite and friendly people.

As a traveler, we are aware that it’s the people that make our traveling worthwhile and memorable.

But if you think this 9.3 million plus kilometer land is all about maples and politeness then think again.

They are blessed with magnificent landscape, alluring bodies of water, and exciting activities.

They have most of the terrain you can think of from glaciers to beaches, from rainforest to rocky mountains.

A country deserved by seasoned travelers.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the vastness of must-sees in Canada then let me help you out.

I’ll discuss four of my hand-picked destination in the beautiful Great White North.

Must Sees in Canada Travelers Love Lake Simcoe

Must Sees in Canada Travelers Love

Lake Simcoe

Around 50km or a 45-minute drive from the great city of Toronto, Lake Simcoe is a place to be when you think about water-related activities.

Known for its beautiful shores, clear water, and abundant fish, this lake needs to be on your must-see and visit list.

The lake covers about 52km of shoreline, perfect for swimming, boat riding, watersports, and fishing.

It is the perfect spot for anglers, from Canada even in the United States, due to its close proximity to nearby main cities and richness in variety of fish.

Only a handful of lakes in Canada have the same amount of abundance of fish species so remember to bring your trusty fishing gear if you want to encounter some trout, whitefish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, bowfin, northern pike and many more.

Banff

If you think experiencing a winter wonderland is all about visiting malls with white winter decorations or visiting a skating ring in downtown, then you need to know about Banff.

Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada, located in the province of Alberta.

It offers the most surreal winter wonderland experience anyone can wish for.

Its known for its icy landscape, breathtaking lakes, picturesque pine forest.

This national park has the best of the best the winter season can provide.

You can chill in the backcountry lodges and indulge yourself with some magnificent snowy mountain views or experience adrenaline in the chilling weather by playing activities such as hockey, skiing, ice skating or even dogsledding.

Remember to book your accommodation early because this park is considered one of the most visited national parks in North America with around three million visitors every year.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

It should be no surprise that the Niagara Falls fall into this list.

With its majestic height, powerful might and beautifully epic plunge, failing to miss this spot is like failing to see Canada at all.

Niagara Falls is actually composed of three falls and divides the border between Canada and USA.

One of the falls and its biggest and most renowned is called Horseshoes Falls, also known as Canadian falls.

Majority of this fall is located in the Canadian border.

Seeing, living and breathing from a distance to appreciate this God-given nature may be enough but you can actually explore it a little bit more intimately by hopping in on a boat tour that will take you underneath its plunging waters.

In addition to that thrilling experience, there are many nearby child-friendly activities around and some impressive light show at night.

Victoria and Vancouver Island

You will probably be tired by the time you are done with Lake Simcoe, Banff and Niagara Falls.

Now it’s time for you to chill, relax and get your piece of mind.

Thankfully, there is a place in Canada called the Garden City, the city of Victoria in Vancouver Island.

Around 76 miles in the southwest of the bustling city of Vancouver, Victoria and Vancouver island is a getaway from all the noise, hustle and stress of modern life.

Going to the island leaves you with a number of good options, you can take a 4-hour trip by car or bus and ferry; or a 35-minute flight.

This place is filled with colonial architecture, glorious heritage buildings, mesmerizing gardens, and scenic harbor.

The streets in this city are teeming with street vendors, cafes, and restaurants.

Perfect for a relaxing but interesting walk.

The best way to get around and do sightseeing on the island is by bicycle.

The city of Victoria prides itself with plenty of cycle routes that any city in the country.

Canada is a charming country no matter the season.

They have great population diversity, friendly and warm people, amazing nature and exhilarating outdoor activities.

A true haven for seasoned travelers.

Visiting Canada 4 Things You Need to Know

4 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Canada 

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Visiting Canada or are you traveling to Canada for the first time? Or perhaps want to visit Canada someday?

First-time visitors to any country should know how to travel safely and smartly – and travelers to Canada are no exception to this rule.

The foremost crucial thing you need to know for a hassle-free traveling experience to Canada is that you need to get the Electronic Travel Authorization (eta) to enter the country.

While some countries are exempted from this requirement, you would want to confirm your country is among the Canada eta eligible countries before taking the leap – more on this later in the article!

Canada has been one of the most popular tourist attractions for decades.

Here are some Must Sees in Canada

Lively vibrant cities, kind people, breathtaking scenic beauty, and advanced quality of education are some of the main reasons why people from all over the world travel to Canada, at least once in their lifetime.

Here are some tips that will ensure you have a great time in Canada.

4 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Canada 
4 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Canada

4 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Canada 

It Is a Huge Country

Canada comes under Russia on the list of world’s largest countries and covers an area of 9.9 million square kilometers.

The fact that it is surrounded by three oceans i.e. the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific means that you will require more time and money to travel around the country.   

While flying might be an easier and faster option, it is expensive.

Hence, the best way to enjoy your time in Canada without breaking your bank is to choose a region or two to explore in advance and spend your time there.

It Is Less Populated

Canada is large if we speak geographically but not many people live there.

The population density is only 3.7 people per square kilometer, which explains a lot of empty space around the country.

 The majority of people live in big cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

This is why these cities are the top choice of tourists who are traveling to Canada for the first time.

The Requirement of eta

The eta is a must for all visa-free nationals with the exception of Americans.

You would want to confirm that your country falls in the category of Canada eta eligible countries before planning your trip.

Once you are sure your country is among the Canada eta eligible countries, you can travel to Canada without a visa.

However, if not, you would have to get an eta even if you just plan to pass through Canada on your way to somewhere else.

An eta is a travel authorization and not a visa – hence, it is easy to apply for and faster.

With an eta, foreign nationals belonging to visa exempt countries can live in Canada for up to 6 months.

Its validity period is 5 years but if your passport expires before that, it is deemed invalid.

Be Prepared for the Weather

While the natural beauty and wonderful parks of Canada may excite you to your core, you need to be prepared for the cold weather.

Yes, winter never really leaves Canada.

Especially if you are visiting between December and March, you should consider packing up many layers of warm clothes.

Even during the summer season, you are likely to feel cold if you are not a native Canadian.

With these tips in your mind, your time in Canada will likely be the best time of your life. It is such a picturesque place, which with the friendly Canadians becomes even more lively and welcoming. It may well be a welcome change from the rural lifestyle you are accustomed to.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your visit to Canada and brace yourself for a wonderful experience!

Just if you are a foreign national from any of the Canada eta eligible countries, make sure you apply for an eta first.