Hot water is a commodity that people need for many aspects of daily living. Having access to hot water is a necessity for cleaning, cooking, and plenty more. As a result, water heaters are a fixture in virtually every home these days. While this makes hot water an easy thing to get access to, it also leaves people with little experience shopping for a new water heater if one breaks down. To help fix that, let's go over how to choose a water heater for your home to find the best one for your needs.
Look at Different Types of Water Heaters
As one would expect, there are a variety of different water heaters you might want in your home. The main difference you'll have to decide on first will be whether to get a traditional tank model or a newer tankless heater. The most obvious difference between the two is the name. Tank heaters hold large amounts of water in a heated tank for use on-demand while tankless heat water as needed by passing it through super-hot coils. This means tank heaters have a finite amount of water you can use at a time before they run out while tankless heaters are technically unlimited, "technically" meaning that only so much water can pass through a tankless heater at a time and it is possible to use more water than can be heated at once. Additionally, according to Mother Earth News, you can also find solar tanks (those that heat water through the use of the sun), heat pumps (tanks that move heat from the ground or air into standing water), and more variations that may either use a tank or be tankless depending on a number of factors.
For water heaters with a tank versus ones without, the cost can be a major factor in your decision on what to buy. In terms of a basic cost for purchase, traditional heaters with tanks tend to be substantially less expensive. This is due in part to tankless heaters being fairly new and, like all cutting edge technology, costing more for consumers. In terms of being energy efficient, that's where the tankless model really shines. If you end up with a defective model, you can report defective products to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), according to Viles & Beckman. Tankless heaters tend to save a ton in heating given they aren't required to keep a large supply of water heated at all times, heating only when necessary.
Consider Energy Consumption
Energy consumption is also a factor in picking a water heater as not all heaters are created equal. As one would imagine, tankless heaters tend to be much cheaper given their on-demand heating process. However, the amount of energy necessary to use them can be a bit trickier as not all homes have the necessary electrical or natural gas lines to provide a sufficient amount of power at once, adding further costs associated with renovation. According to the Pembina Institute, accounting for whether you'll be using electricity or natural gas to heat your water is another factor you should think about. It's also worth mentioning that heat pump heaters tend to be fairly efficient in their own right by using natural heat.
Water heaters be tricky when it comes to purchasing, but are necessary for your home. Consider points like the ones above to help you decide which kind of water heater best fits your needs.
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The bigger down payment you put down, the less interest you will have to pay over the life of the loan. You will also not have to deal with private mortgage insurance if you can make a 20% down payment. However, getting into a mortgage with a lower down payment can still be a good deal.
If someone is willing to give you a portion of your down payment, congratulations! There are a few rules that will make this easy to track at closing time. First of all, the gift needs to come with a formal gift letter confirming it's not actually a loan in disguise. The gift can only be 6% of your down payment, so you will still need to come up with some savings.
Mortgages with Lower Down Payments
The larger your down payment, the more equity you have at purchase and you will be able to get lower interest rates. However, you can still get a great house with a smaller down payment. Some jumbo loans allow a 5% - 10% down payment instead of the commonly touted 20% requirement. Understand that this will mean making larger payments for a longer period of time and paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) until you can get the loan under 80% of the value of the house. However, if you can buy the least expensive house in the best neighborhood, it's likely your equity will increase quickly.
Plan to Refinance
Once you've found your house and qualified for your mortgage, it's a good idea to set some new financial goals. Oftentimes, buyers find that their expenses actually go down once they purchase and they are able to both save a bit more money and build up equity. Cautious optimism is a good financial habit to practice once you've purchased your home. Be diligent about saving for emergencies. If you find you are able to make a larger monthly mortgage payment, consider refinancing to a 15-year loan by simply refinancing the remaining debt without taking any cash out of the house. Making an additional payment on the principal every month is also a great way to reduce the term of your mortgage.
Home ownership is often a way to get your foot in the doorway of financial security. Once inside, you can build wealth by building equity in your purchase. A fully paid for house is one of the best gifts you can give yourself in the future.
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Natural disasters are a part of life, and earthquakes are no exception. When building a new house, it is definitely worth seeing if earthquakes may be an issue in your area. By planning ahead, it is possible to build your home in a manner that can reduce the risk of structural failure, home loss, and injury.
Consider Where You Live
When it comes to earthquakes, there are two major considerations regarding your location. The first will be your general location. Some areas are simply far more prone to dangerous quakes than others. In the United States, the risk of seismic activity can generally be obtained through governmental websites. However, California and the Western United States coast is the area most known for earthquakes—both in frequency and severity. Further inland, states such as Arizona, Utah, and Colorado may have more moderate, but still very real, risk. The secondary consideration is the specific location of your home, and what it will be resting on in terms of ground density. Hard rocky ground and very dense soils transmit earthquake energy better than soft or loose soils. If you are in an earthquake-prone area and planning to build on hard ground, you are at high risk for earthquake damage.
Risks vs. Benefits
Property damage is a common casualty of earthquakes. If and when an earthquake does hit, you will want to make sure your property is prepared. Unlike in pop culture, the main risk of earthquakes is not gaping chasms, but building collapse or breakage from the seismic waves and ground liquefaction. Major secondary risk comes from fires caused by property damage. The main issue with earthquake-proofing is the higher cost involved. In some areas, code requirements may make various earthquake-proof building and construction techniques a requirement. In this case, ensure that your contractors and builders are in full code compliance. If going above and beyond what the code mandates, you may increase the cost of your construction anywhere from 2 percent up to potentially 8 percent more than standard construction cost. While the initial cost may seem daunting, it can save a lot of money—and potentially lives—later down the line.
Basic Earthquake Proofing
There really is no such thing as a fully earthquake-proof home, but there are certainly many steps that can be taken to make the home as resistant to earthquakes and damage as possible. Since earthquakes are a ground-based event, your foundation will be key. Building the foundation on a looser soil instead of hard and using advanced engineering techniques can significantly reduce your risk. Avoid materials that lack elasticity, such as brick, stone or concrete. Instead, use wood, steel or steel-reinforced concrete. Lightweight materials in your flooring and shearing walls will help prevent collapse or home implosion. Lastly, make sure your belongings are secured and anchored as well as possible.
Earthquakes are extremely dangerous and must be taken seriously. Living in a zone with even moderate activity drastically increases the likelihood of your home experiencing a quake. By using earthquake-proof techniques and materials, under the eye of a knowledgeable builder, you can make your home much safer for you and your family.
Here at Absolute Construction, Inc., we are committed to building quality, safe homes. Contact us for a free quote today!