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If you have pumpkins or winter and summer squash in your garden, there is a chance that squash bugs will find their ways into your planter beds. Squash bugs are pests that can wreak havoc on your vegetables, especially winter squash and pumpkin. Their attacks are not limited to gourds, they also target cucumbers and melons. You can keep your vegetables safe from squash bugs if you prepare early.
How Do Squash Bugs Cause Damage?
When they feed, squash bugs pierce the tissue of the vegetable and drain the nutrients of the plant. They feast on vines, leaves, and fruit. Because the pierce plants in many places, it leads to the collapse of leaves and vines as they consume the sap inside.
Their saliva also contains bacteria that are harmful to plants. The bacteria can cause the affected leaves to wilt and die. Additionally, adult squash bugs and nymphs sometimes carry the bacteria that cause the yellow vine disease.
How to Control Squash Bugs
Regularly inspect leaves. If you find eggs, remove them immediately.
Use companion planting strategies. Pairing squash plants with another crop can keep the bugs away from your vegetables without introducing chemicals.
Squash bugs gather under objects like tarps and boards. You can set these objects as bait in your garden, place them close to crops you want to protect. Remove them once they congregate under these objects.
Mulch provides a hiding place for the squash bugs, especially during the colder months. Consider removing it and reduce the likelihood of an invasion next season.
Insecticides can also be effective, check with a pest control professional or your local garden center for guidance on formulas and application procedures. The advantage of insecticides is that they can also control other pests.
Are you seeking a permanent way to rid of squash bugs in your garden? Consult a professional pest control company for comprehensive and lasting solutions in addition to these DIY options.
If this is your first time buying a home, you might feel a bit intimidated by the purchase contract. Contracts are often filled with industry and legal jargon, making them difficult to understand for the average buyer and seller.
Contingencies in particular give some buyers cause for concern because their contract depends on the contingencies being fulfilled. However, in most cases contingencies are pretty standard and only serve to protect the interests of both the buyer and seller during a real estate transaction.
In today’s post, I’m going to give you an introduction to contingency clauses and break down some of the most common contingencies you’ll find in today’s real estate purchase contract.
Contingency clause definition
Simply stated, a contingency clause is a statement within a contract that requires a certain event takes place before the contract is considered legally valid. As a result, contingency clauses are used to cancel or invalidate a contract if certain conditions aren’t met before the sale is made final. So, if one party fails to meet the obligation of the contingency, the other party is no longer bound by the contract (or required to buy or sell the house).
Contingencies can get confusing when they are vaguely worded in the contract, making them difficult to interpret. In these cases, a court may decide the specific meaning of the clause or determine that it is too vague to be legally upheld.
The other instance in which contingency clauses can be confusing is when a party includes a contingency that is atypical for a real estate purchase contract. Buyers and sellers alike should be wary of unusual contingencies.
The main contingencies
Appraisal contingency. Designed to protect the buyer, appraisal contingencies require that a home is appraised at a minimum amount, which is stated in the contract.
Financing contingency. Another contingency geared toward protecting buyers is the financing contingency. It states the number of days that a buyer has to secure financing for the home. This allows the buyer to cancel the contract (and offer) if they’re unable to secure suitable financing for the home.
Inspection contingency. One of the most important and most common contingencies is the inspection contingency. It allows the buyer to have the house inspected by a licensed professional within a certain number of days. This protects the buyer against unforeseen expenses and repairs that will need to be made in the near future.
House sale and kick-out contingencies. A house sale contingency gives the buyer a certain number of days to sell their home before financing a new one. However, since this can be a risky clause for sellers, a kick-out clause is often included. This contingency allows the seller to keep the home on the market and entertain other offers while the buyer secures financing and sells their other home or homes.
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Applying for a mortgage can be a lengthy and difficult process. Lenders want to know that they are going to get a return on their investment.
To ensure that they’ll see that positive return they will take a number of things into consideration, such as your income, credit score, employment history, and financial capital.
First-time homeowners often struggle when it comes to these prerequisites since they have fewer years of numbers for lenders to consider. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry--you can still purchase a home.
First-time homeowner loans, which are guaranteed by the U.S. government, and a number of private loans enable people to borrow money for a home without paying a huge down payment or having a vast credit history.
One downfall of said loans is private mortgage insurance, or “PMI.”
In this article, we’re going to talk about what private mortgage insurance is, how to avoid it, and how to get rid of it.
What is PMI?
If you make a down payment on a mortgage that is less than 20% of the loan amount, you will most likely have to pay private mortgage insurance.
PMI exists as a way for lenders to help guarantee they won’t lose money off of your loan. If you make a down payment of 20% or more, then lenders are typically satisfied that they won’t lose money from doing business with you.
PMI is not to be confused with home insurance, which protects you against damage and theft. Rather, it is an additional fee you’ll pay to your lender each month that is added to your mortgage payment.
PMI is calculated based on a few considerations. Lenders will take into account your down payment amount, the value of the mortgage, and your credit score.
In terms of costs, PMI typically costs between .5 and 1% of the total mortgage amount each year.
Naturally, it’s best to avoid paying private mortgage insurance altogether. Private mortgage insurance has no future value for you and your family since it doesn’t count towards building equity and doesn’t protect you from any potential financial harm (your lender is the sole beneficiary of PMI).
Saving for a down payment can take time, and sometimes you’ll need to rent or cut costs while you save. However, if you do take on a loan with PMI, you can still cancel it at a later point.
Canceling your private mortgage insurance
The first thing you should know about canceling PMI is that it usually isn’t easy. You’ll need pay off at least 20% of the home, write a letter to your lender, and wait for an appraisal of the home. Once you’ve done this, you still have to wait while your lender considers your request. In all, this process could take months--months that you’re still required to pay PMI.
Once common way to get out of PMI is to refinance. If the value of your home has increased since the time of you taking on the loan, the new lender likely won’t require PMI. However, you’ll want to make sure that refinancing will get you a lower interest rate and cover the costs of refinancing.
A struggle that everyone faces is keeping priorities straight. As careers advance, families grow, and financial responsibilities increase, some priorities fall by the wayside.
One example of how that can happen is with home security. When you have your mind on twenty other things that need to be taken care of this week, it's easy to forget about consistently locking doors, turning on security lights at night, and being observant of suspicious activity or people in your neighborhood.
There are dozens of home security mistakes people make every day, most of which are the result of complacency or a lack of awareness. Probably one of the biggest security blunders many homeowners and renters make is broadcasting the fact that they're away from home, traveling, or planning to leave the house for any period of time.
In many cases, you may be unaware of security breaches you're creating. In an era in which nearly everyone has a social media presence, it's very common to let your guard down and announce on Facebook or another platform that you're planning to go to a high school reunion, a wedding, or a week-long vacation at a Florida theme park.
While sharing personal information on social media or blogs may be one way to keep in touch with friends and family, it's often safer to be a little vague about exact dates and times you're away from home. Once you've returned, there's certainly no harm in providing a full account of your travel adventures, but doing so beforehand can be a little risky -- especially if you haven't set your social media account settings to private
Forgetting to have your mail or newspaper delivery suspended for the duration of your absence is another way people inadvertently advertise the fact that their house is unoccupied. The ideal scenario is to have a trusted neighbor keep an eye on your home while you're gone. That enables them to report any trespassers or other suspicious activity to the police.
Even if you don't have mail or unread newspapers piling up in your mailbox, driveway, or front steps, there's still the chance that an unexpected package will be delivered and left out in the open for passersby to see. You can't always predict when a box, a catalog, or an advertisement is going to be left at your home, so it pays to have a friend, relative, or neighbor check on your house daily to remove any telltale signs that no one's home.
Perhaps the ultimate in home security is to have closed circuit cameras, monitored alarms, and/or a wireless security system installed in your home. Once you get the hang of it, being able to monitor and control different aspects of your home environment remotely can enhance your security, your safety, and your sense of well-being.