If you work from home part or all of the time, chances are you have a specific place in your house where you go to work to be free from distraction.
Many people spend a lot of time thinking about the decor of their home office. They decide how much light they want to let in, what they need on their desk, and which distractions to keep out of the room entirely.
Surprisingly few people, however, consider the ergonomics of their home office.
What is ergonomics?
Simply stated, ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in the workplace. When it comes to office work or working at home, that means studying things like posture, desk height, eye strain, and much more.
In this article, we’ll talk about some ways you can improve the ergonomics of your home office to prevent injury and to make your office a more productive and less stressful place to work.
Choosing a desk chair
Let’s begin with one of the most common complaints in offices and home offices around the world: chairs.
You could spend several hundred dollars on an ergonomic office chair. But in reality it only needs to meet a few criteria that you can often find in inexpensive computer chairs. When buying a chair, look for the following:
Lower back support what will help you keep a straight spine
Adjustable heights for the chair, the backrest, and the arm rests
A firm, but comfortable cushion that you won’t slide down on
Picking the right desk
The most important ergonomic factor of a desk is that you can easily fit your legs under it and don’t have to crane over it to write.
Regardless of where you keep your keyboard, it will help if your arms can fall on it naturally and at a close to ninety-degree angle.
Screen height and distance
The vast majority of work performed at home is done with the use of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.
Ideally, the height of your screen should be adjusted so that you can view it straight on, and not have to look down or up at it. This will help protect your neck from strain.
For eye strain, it’s a good idea to keep the monitor a couple feet from your eyes and to adjust the brightness so that it’s easy to read but not too bright.
The best thing you can do to avoid headaches and eye strain is to set reminders for yourself to look away from the screen every twenty minutes or so or get up and go for a walk.
Take more breaks
Speaking of taking breaks; sitting in one position for too long can contribute to muscle and joint pain. If you’re working at home, it should be easy to get up and stretch or move around every half hour or so.
You don’t have to take a long break; even a minute or two is sufficient enough to help take the strain off of your tired eyes and stiff back and neck.
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Home prices may vary greatly throughout the country. But, buying a home is most likely the largest purchase you will make in your life.
Deciding just how much to spend on your home isn’t just a matter of numbers--it also depends on your lifestyle and long-term goals.
In today’s post, I’m going to give you a few ways you can help determine how much is a safe amount to spend on your home so that you’ll feel confident moving into the home buying process that you’re making the best decision for you and your family.
Mortgage as a percent of your income
Like most large purchases, buying a home typically isn’t dependent on the amount you have in the bank. Rather, it depends on several factors including your income, credit score, and the type of lifestyle you want to maintain.
One of the simplest ways to determine how much house you can afford is to figure out what percent of your monthly income your mortgage and insurance will be.
For most homeowners, a mortgage payment that is 25% of their income or less is ideal. So, if you earn $6,000 per month, you don’t want your monthly mortgage payment to exceed $1,500.
This “25% rule” does have one flaw, however, and that does not--and cannot--account for each individual’s financial circumstances.
Let’s say, for example, that you earn $6,000 per month, but that you have a large monthly car payment and are trying to aggressively pay off your student loans. You might find that paying another $1,500 toward a mortgage on top of your current bills is bringing you over budget, especially when combined with your other monthly expenses and retirement contributions.
Plan for homeowner expenses
Another caveat to determining how much to spend on a home is that the home itself will require a budget for maintenance. When renting an apartment, repairs are mostly the responsibility of the landlord or property manager.
Homeownership, on the other hand, requires you to make the repairs yourself or hire a professional. And, if you neglect these repairs, you might find that they cost you even more in the long run or drive down the value of your home.
Create a comprehensive budget
Throughout a given person’s life, they’ll experience raises, promotions, layoffs, medical expenses, childcare costs, and any other number of financial changes. While it isn’t possible to foresee all of the financial fluctuations you’ll experience in life, it is always helpful to have a comprehensive budget.
What do I mean by “comprehensive budget”? The goal of a good budget is to know where each dollar of your income is currently going and to have a plan for each cent that you make. This is a proactive approach to budgeting that will give you an exact number for the amount you can afford when it comes to a mortgage payment.
Within your budget, it’s vital to account for things like an emergency fund, retirement, savings for vacations, and so on.
If you take this due diligence, not only will you have a better sense of where your money goes, but you’ll also be confident in knowing exactly how much you can spend on a home.
Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should! However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.
Contingencies on the purchase contract
A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.
There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.
The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.
Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.
This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.
The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.
If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.
Walkthrough and closing
Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.
Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.
While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.
Let's face it – after you buy or sell a home, moving can be a major hassle. Lucky for you, moving companies are available to help you streamline the process of transporting your personal belongings from Point A to Point B.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to hire a moving company to assist you with your upcoming move, including:
1. A moving company can help you transport heavy items to your new address.
When it comes time to move, there is no reason to put a strain on your body. Fortunately, a moving company employs moving professionals who are happy to take heavy items to your new address.
A moving company hires only the best moving professionals to provide day-to-day support. As such, these professionals will take care of your belongings to ensure they can reach your new home quickly and safely.
Furthermore, a moving company may even be able to help you pack your belongings. This will ensure you can speed up the process of getting your belongings ready to take to your new residence.
2. A moving company can help you save time.
The time it takes to pack up all of your belongings, place them in your car, drive them to your new address and unpack your items can add up quickly. However, with support from a moving company, you may be able to reduce the time it takes to get settled at a new location.
A moving company will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can get your belongings to the right location, at the right time. In fact, this business will work with you to fulfill your moving requests without delay.
3. A moving company can help you alleviate stress.
Moving to a new residence may seem like a long, arduous and complex process at first. Conversely, a moving company can help you take the guesswork out of getting your belongings to your new house.
A moving company is available to help you transport your belongings to a new location at your convenience. This business will do whatever it takes to help you enjoy a fast, seamless move.
Typically, a moving company will offer tips to help you prep for moving day and will assist you as you get your items ready for your upcoming move. Moreover, this company employs friendly, knowledgeable moving professionals who are readily available to respond to your moving concerns and questions.
If you're unsure about whether a moving company is right for you, don't hesitate to consult with your real estate agent.
Your real estate agent is committed to helping you in any way possible. Therefore, he or she may be able to provide moving company recommendations to ensure you can work with the best professional movers in your area.
Ready to transport your belongings to your new address? Employ a moving company – you'll be happy you did. If you hire a moving company today, you can get plenty of support to help you complete a successful move.