Jena Khabazeh's Blog
Technologies for home theater audio are rapidly changing. At one time if you wanted a good listening experience in your living room you have to spend hundreds on surround sound speakers, subwoofers, and receivers. Then, you had to run wires throughout the room and try programming your remote to make it all work.
While surround sound speakers are still a good option, there are other ways to experience quality audio in your home. In this article, we’re giving you a guide to choosing a home audio system that fits your needs and, more importantly, your budget.
The latest addition to home theater audio is the sound bar. These are slim, sleek speakers that usually come with a small subwoofer.
Sound bars come in several varieties. Some are plug-and-play, meaning you don’t need to worry about purchasing amplifiers or devices, you just plug them into your television via an HDMI cable or connect to your TV through Bluetooth and you’re done.
Other sound bars are more like bases that your TV sits on top of. Sound bases aren’t as popular as they once were, so there are limited options. Furthermore, they typically don’t include a separate subwoofer so they can lack deep bass.
The other benefit of sound bars is just how simple they are to use. Even the cheapest sound bars often come with Bluetooth, so you only have to worry about one outlet spot for the power cord.
For most homeowners who want sound quality far better than their television’s internal speakers can provide, sound bars are an easy way to vastly improve your audio experience without breaking your wallet.
Before buying a sound bar, try them out at a local electronics store to gauge what quality you need. You also might want to measure your television to find one that matches its width.
The classic home theater experience is a bit more complicated. However, you can often buy a “home theater in a box” which includes everything you need for an audio system.
Most commonly, you’ll find 5.1-channel surround sound. This means there are five speakers and one subwoofer included in the box. These systems have one central speaker, two speakers that are placed to the left and right side of the television, and two rear speakers. However, you can also find 7.1-channel systems which include two extra speakers.
Many “home theater in a box” packages include an audio receiver. However, if you already have one, your money will be better spent on buying a higher quality speaker system than replacing your receiver.
The downfall of buying a speaker/receiver package is that their quality is often only marginally better than a (much simpler and easier to set up) sound bar. To get the optimal experience out of a surround sound system, you’ll need to spend more and do your research.
So, if you have a high budget and want a dynamic, high-quality surround sound system, your best bet is to buy a quality receiver (usually somewhere in the $600 range) and then spend the bulk of your budget on speakers.
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Buying a home should be an unforgettable journey, one that enables you to purchase a high-quality house at a budget-friendly price. If you start planning for the homebuying journey today, you may be able to reduce the risk of encountering homebuying hurdles as you attempt to acquire a first-rate house.
Ultimately, there are many important decisions for homebuyers to make before they enter the real estate market, including:
1. Where Do I Want to Live?
As a homebuyer, you'll want to know where you want to go so you can map out your property buying journey.
Consider your current and future plans before you enter the housing market – you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to consider where you'll be in the next few months and years and plan accordingly.
For example, if you currently work in the city and intend to stay at your present job, you may want to search for a home that makes it easy to commute to work.
On the other hand, if you plan to start a family in the foreseeable future, you may want to consider purchasing a home near various top-notch parks and schools.
2. How Much Can I Spend on a House?
You know that you'd like to become a homeowner, but how much can you afford to pay for a residence? Meet with several banks and credit unions, and you can start budgeting for a home.
Banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, with a mortgage in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a good idea about how much you can spend on a residence.
Many banks and credit unions are available, and they are happy to teach you about the ins and outs of numerous mortgage options. Plus, lenders will respond to your mortgage concerns and queries and help you make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Will I Need to Hire a Real Estate Agent?
If you're on the lookout for your dream home, why not hire an expert to guide you along the homebuying journey? With a real estate agent at your side, you can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing your ideal residence.
A real estate agent will provide expert support at each stage of the homebuying journey. As such, he or she will help you set realistic expectations before you begin your search for your dream house.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new properties as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. This housing market professional will even offer expert real estate insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
When it comes to purchasing a house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to help you along the homebuying journey and simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
If you want to buy a house, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. That way, you can increase the likelihood of a fast, seamless homebuying journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare to enter the housing market, and ultimately, ensure that you can enjoy a speedy homebuying experience.
1. Focus on Specific Cities and Towns
Consider what you want to find in your dream house. Then, you can fine-tune your dream home criteria and narrow your house search.
For example, if you prefer small town living to life in the big city, you may want to search for houses in various towns in your state of choice. Or, if you want to buy a house near your office in the city, you can browse residences in or near the city itself.
Differentiating your dream home must-haves and wants can make a world of difference too. Because if you know exactly what you want to find in your ideal residence, you can streamline your house search and accelerate the homebuying journey.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
The process of filling out a mortgage application and getting approval from a bank or credit union can be long and arduous. And if you submit an offer a house without financing in hand, you may face a time crunch to get a mortgage as well.
When it comes to home financing, it pays to be proactive. If you start searching for a mortgage today, you may be able to save time down the line.
For instance, if you meet with a bank or credit union, you can learn about a variety of mortgage options. Next, you can select a mortgage that matches your needs, and this mortgage will allow you to enter the housing market with a budget. With this budget at your disposal, you can narrow your search to houses that fall within your price range.
3. Employ a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – few homebuyers have the necessary time and resources to conduct a comprehensive home search. Luckily, real estate agents are available to help you discover your dream house in no time at all.
A real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and find out what you want from your dream house. With this information, a real estate agent can provide you with details about houses that fulfill your criteria.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is a housing market expert who will do everything possible to help you buy a high-quality residence. He or she will teach you about the housing market and provide extensive insights into real estate patterns and trends. Also, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions at any time.
For those who want to buy a house, there is no need to wait to enter the housing market. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can reap the benefits of a quick, stress-free homebuying experience.
Harvesting rain water has become a common practice among environmentally-conscious homeowners. While it might sound like a lot of work, it's actually very easy to get started. Not only will harvesting rain water help you conserve water, but it also can help you transform your home into a healthy place to live. When you harvest and reuse rain water, you can actually generate fresh air inside your home.
How to Harvest Rain Water
For many people who are new to rain water harvesting, the best way to begin is with a rain barrel. Rain barrels can be purchased in a variety of sizes, allowing you to select the rain barrel system that will be best for you and your needs. Once you have purchased a rain barrel all you need to do is install it below your gutter downspout. This allows you to easily collect the rain water runoff from your roof.
Of course, those who are very serious about rain water harvesting may be interested in a more advanced or complex system. There are both wet and dry systems that are available, and the type that you select will depend on the amount of money that you want to invest in your system and the amount of water that you need to harvest.
Using Rain Water to Generate Fresh Air Inside Your Home
Once you have started harvesting rain water, you can begin to use the water you have collected to help freshen the air inside of your home. Here are a few ways to create a healthy home environment using fresh rain water:
- You can use the rain water that you collect in order to hydrate your indoor plants. When you keep your plants watered with rain water compared to tap water you might notice them grow faster and healthier. Your indoor houseplants will generate oxygen for your home, ultimately purifying the air inside your house.
- You can use the rain water that you collect in order to refill any water features that you have in your home or garden like decorative fountains. These water features are peaceful and relaxing, and you can feel good knowing that you are using water that has been sustainably sourced to maintain them. For an extra dose of fresh air, you can consider purchasing a fishbowl that is also a water garden. These innovative items allow you to grow fresh plants and herbs inside your home while utilizing the water from the fishbowl. It's a beautiful decorative item that also helps you freshen the air inside your home.
In addition to keeping the air inside your home fresh and clean, you also will enjoy other benefits when you harvest rain water. You can use the rain water you collect to store water in your toilets or you can filter this water in order to have sustainable drinking water available in your home. Rain water is a resource that is plentiful and it is easy to begin collecting rain water in order to transform your house into a healthy home.