Should You Buy a Home In Your 20s?

A couple shows the keys to a home.

Being in your 20s usually means having an entry-level salary, college loans to manage, and a desire to have the freedom to enjoy life while you are young. Does that make it the best time to buy your first home? Depending on your circumstance, this stage of life may be the absolute best time to buy your first home. The following questions will help determine your best path forward.

  • What are the benefits of purchasing a home in your 20s?
    • Annual rent hikes will be a thing of the past when you own your own home. Consistent, reliable payments come with homeownership.
    • Think of all the home customization you can do when you own your own home. You want your home to match your personality, and owning means you can integrate the things you love into the decor and design of your new home by painting, upgrading, and renovating.
    • Successfully navigating a mortgage at a young age can help you establish a solid credit history leading to more significant financial opportunities later on.
    • Homeownership can come with several significant tax advantages that can help you lower your tax burden
  • Are you financially secure? Most financial planners recommend that homeowners make a down payment amounting to 20% of the sale price. Depending on the market and the home you choose, this could be a large sum of money. Of course, there are ways around this by paying private mortgage insurance or applying for down payment assistance. Some types of loans only require anywhere between 3-5% down. There are also closing costs to consider, and they typically range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Closing costs are paid in addition to your down payment at the close of the sale.

Additionally, owning a home means planning for unexpected home expenses. Unless you buy new construction, an emergency fund to pay for home repairs such as roof damage or water leaks will be needed. Using a mortgage calculator to see how much your mortgage will likely cost is a beneficial tool. Make sure you factor in the costs of maintenance/repairs and your regular monthly expenses like utilities, food, phone, car payment, and more to determine your budget.

  • How is your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio? Your ability to get a mortgage depends on your credit score, your debts, your income, and the home you’re looking to purchase. Mortgage companies will look to see that you have stable employment, solid income, and the funds to cover the mortgage for which you are applying. Mortgage lenders usually require borrowers to have a minimum credit score, and they look at your credit utilization ratio.
  • Do you plan on staying in the area for a few years? Even if you are unsure if your current location is where you want to live permanently, it still may be financially beneficial to purchase a home. There are waves in the housing market, but most properties will appreciate over time, even a short amount of time. You need to be willing to stay in the property long enough to cover your closing costs and any upgrades you make after a resell. You can also plan to rent out your first home for some passive income if life necessitates that you make a move.

Just remember to do your research, and your first home purchase does not have to be your “forever home.” If you have a move coming up this fall, give Zippy Shell a call. We would love to explain how our moving and storage services can help you achieve a smooth and stress-free move. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Have a Stylish Home As a Minimalist

A living and dining room view.

Are you a minimalist? Many people are under the impression that minimalism is only about decluttering and owning less, but that is not a complete picture. Brian Gardner, founder of No Sidebar says, “I’ve learned that minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.” There is no single set of rules that you must follow to be a minimalist. So, of course, minimalism and style can go hand in hand in your home. Here are some great ways to have a stylish home as a minimalist.

  • Light, neutral colors lay the foundation of a minimalist home. These colors are clean, fresh-looking, and inspire a sense of calm. Add small splashes of bold color or pattern for some extra eye-catching style. When set against a white or neutral backdrop, even simple objects can stand out.
  • Choose timeless furniture. Always needing to be up on the latest style trends is one thing minimalism is not. Shop deliberately for high-quality, well-made, built to last, essential furniture items with a timeless style to anchor your design.
  • Use texture to add some style to a monochrome color palette. Texture can be added through materials and fabrics. Think of a chunky cable-knit throw, a sheepskin rug, or a soft crushed velvet pillow to bring comfort and style to your space.
  • Bring life and style to any room with plants. They are a fantastic and inexpensive way to add color and life to a room. From tall leafy plants to fragrant flowers, experiment with different plants to bring life to your rooms and make them more inviting. Plants are a beautiful minimalist decorating tool, but they also balance humidity and clean household air.
  • Let in as much natural light as possible. Natural light instantly warms up a space without adding any visual clutter. Plus, natural light can positively affect our mood by making us feel more alive and vibrant. Use large, simple mirrors to reflect and increase the light coming from the window into any room.
  • Invest in stylish storage options. Attractive storage allows you to hold on to personal items while still maintaining the clear surfaces and clean lines of minimalism. Everything should have a home, and if it doesn’t, a true minimalist would ask if you actually need it at all.

In a world full of excess, many people feel the need to reduce clutter or downsize both physically and emotionally. So many people have found happiness living with less. There are other advantages of minimalism, like having time to focus on areas of your life that are more important to you, easier upkeep, and the visual appeal of showcasing your unique artwork or prized possessions in a space with fewer distractions. If you are not already a minimalist, why not start slowly on the road to minimalism and see how it goes!

Looking to downsize during a move or need storage while you decide how to organize your home? Zippy Shell is ready to serve your moving and storage needs in the safest way possible. Call today or click here to get a quote and see how we can make your moving and storage needs simple.

How to Puppy Proof Your New Home

A Corgi puppy walks through a backyard

Is your new home ready to welcome a puppy? Puppies are cuddly, adorable, and will add immense happiness to your life, but they don’t come without a unique set of challenges. Let’s talk about how you can puppy-proof your new home to provide the best environment for you and your new best friend. Puppy proofing a home is a lot like childproofing a home! You will want to have all the supplies you will need on hand for a new puppy while also taking measures to protect them from any dangers around your home.

Provide Puppy Supplies

  • Pet Crate – Enclosed spaces create a shelter for your puppy to rest and relax. Dogs instinctively seek small spaces to create protective shelters for themselves. A pet crate is also a major tool to help you housetrain your puppy. Dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping quarters, so they learn to hold their bladder while they’re in their crate. The crates will also keep your curious puppy safe when you’re not able to supervise them. Just be sure to include a pet bed or padding in the crate for more comfort. 
  • Pet Gate –  A gate can section off an entire room dedicated to your puppy. This will give your puppy more room to exercise and explore without compromising your whole home. It is better than closing the door in the room where your puppy is playing because it lets you to supervise them and allows airflow between rooms. Choose a room with dog-friendly flooring and minimal furniture to chew on or scratch.
  • Pet Camera – If you are spending time away from your puppy while at work, it can give you peace of mind to invest in a pet camera. Some even allow you to talk to your pets or dispense treats for good behavior while you are away.

Provide Protection

  • Keep exterior doors and windows closed and locked to prevent your puppy from escaping.
  • Make sure all electrical cords are taped down or out of reach. There is a risk of electrocution for puppies that chew on an electrical cord. A playful puppy might be able to pull a heavy item on top of themselves when playing with or getting caught in a dangling cord.
  • Watch out for choking hazards. Small items like batteries, jewelry, toys, office supplies, and more can cause your puppy to choke if they chew on them. Keep these items high enough where your pet can’t reach them or store them in a secure container.
  • The trash can is an area of temptation for curious puppies, so it is vital to keep your trash secure. Pets can find all sorts of dangerous objects in the trash can, such as raw or spoiled food, household chemicals, or choking hazards. 
  • Store cleaning supplies and other chemicals locked away or out of reach. Antifreeze is a particular danger because it smells sweet to pets and is deadly to them.
  • Keep over-the-counter medicines, prescriptions medicines, and vitamins up and away from your puppy. Plus, keep all medications in their original child-resistant containers relocking safety caps after each use.
  • Update your pet tag or pet chip with your contact information as soon as possible. If your puppy gets lost, you will want to be able to be contacted right away.

We hope these tips help you and your new furry friend get off to a great start in your new home! If you are planning a make a move soon, give Zippy Shell a call today! We can service moves of many sizes and even offer storage options during the course of your move. Contact us today for a free quote and see how we can make moving and storage simple for you!

8 Little Touches to Personalize Your New Home

A dog is on a couch in a home's living room

How do you turn a new apartment, condo, or house into a home? You personalize and put your stamp on your new place! So now that the boxes are unpacked, it is time for the fun part. Use this list of little touches to personalize your new place and turn it into a home.

  • Decorate your home to reflect your personality and style. Find a way to integrate the things you love in the design of your new home, and you will see how quickly the space will gain personality and warmth. You want your house to match your personality.
  • The entry door is artistically referred to as “The Portal to the Soul of Your House.”  Changing out the front door or painting it a bright color door is a great way to express yourself. Check out the inspiration found here to help your front door stand out from the crowd. If you update the front door with paint, don’t neglect the hardware. A new knocker and doorknob in a matching finish will complete the look.
  • Consider adding vibrant accessories like flowers, planters, or door decorations to your entry point. Welcome signs, welcome mats, and porch furniture are also a great way to incorporate pops of color and make the space feel personal and welcoming.
  • Put your personal photos on display. While artwork you adore certainly has its place, photographs will give your home a personal touch. Hallways and stairwells can be ideal for photo galleries making it easier to stop and get a closer look.
  • Don’t hold back on using a big, expressive color for your new home if that is what appeals to you. Any color can look good as long as it truly suits your style. Of course, you can always paint an accent wall to introduce a pop of color without going all out. Choose a wall that is seen the moment you enter the space for the most impact.
  • If painting is not your style, consider using a fun wallpaper for an accent wall. Wallpaper is making a comeback, and current styles are fashionable and easier to apply/remove than ever. Help a small bathroom or the laundry room feel more cozy and personal with a bold wallpaper.
  • Adding different textures to your home decor is a simple trick to make your home more personal and welcoming. Surrounding yourself and guests with items like fluffy carpet, textured rugs, smooth wooden furniture, faux fur pillows, and other cozy items will make everyone feel comfortable.
  • Incorporate some live greenery. Plants are a fantastic and inexpensive way to add color and life to a room. From tall leafy plants to fragrant flowers, experiment with different plants to bring life to your rooms and make them more inviting. Plants are not only a beautiful decorating tool but are proven to balance humidity and clean household air as well.

Enjoy your new home and the new adventure it brings. Zippy Shell will always be here to help you with any future moves or provide storage as you are getting set up in your new life!

A List of Must-Haves For Your New Home

A couple stands and admires their home

After your belongings are unloaded and unpacked, it is time to enjoy that new home feeling fully, but don’t get too comfortable just yet. We have a list of must-haves for your new home that will set you up for success. Check it out and see how you can start improving your new home by making it safer and more energy-efficient.

  • Make Your New Home Smarter
    • Smart Thermostat – If the current thermostat in your new home is manual, you may be spending a lot of time adjusting the temperature to balance comfort and energy efficiency. Upgrading to a smart thermostat allows you to see how much energy you’re actively using and use the tools provided to plot out how much more you can save if you adjust the temperature by a few degrees here or there.
    • Smart Doorbells/Door Locks – These nifty tools are synced with your phone or tablet and can be monitored from anywhere. They can also offer the convenience of remote access. If you are not ready for the smart device option, at the very least, you should always change the cylinder of your locks and get a new key after moving into a new home. Who knows how many people have a copy of the key or if it is hidden somewhere nearby?
  • HVAC Filters – Dirty filters are the fastest way to create a problem with your HVAC system. The dirtier your air filter, the harder the system has to work to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Since there may be no way of knowing when the filters were last changed, now is the time to change them and set a reminder to keep up with this task regularly.
  • Batteries – To keep everyone safe, install new batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home. Test each device after replacing the batteries.
  • Ceiling Fan – Did you know a ceiling fan can make you feel about six degrees cooler via the wind-chill effect? So if your new home does not come equipped with a ceiling fan in the bedroom and living room, this is a wise investment. For ceiling fans to reduce your energy bills, you have to set the thermostat to a higher temperature. And remember, it’s a waste of energy to run the ceiling fan in a room that is not occupied. Running a ceiling fan doesn’t make the air in a room cooler; it only cools the occupants.
  • Whole House Surge Protector – This device can protect the electronics in your entire home from voltage surges caused by lightning strikes or other electrical issues. This is especially important to protect high-priced appliances with electronic circuit boards.
  • Houseplants – In addition to the color and life houseplants bring to a home, there are many health benefits. Studies have shown indoor plants boost mood, productivity, creativity, and they can clean indoor air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen.
  • Storage Solutions – There is never a better time to get organized than when you are setting up a new home. You probably already purged your excess belongings before moving, so now you are ready to set up only those things essential to you and the items you love. Take the time to make sure you have enough storage and the correct kind of storage to hold what you are unpacking. Be intentional about purchasing storage solutions that work with your space and the size and quantity of the items it needs to hold.

If you need extra storage space to work on home improvement projects for your new home, Zippy Shell has onsite and portable storage solutions perfect for the job. A portable storage container is like having your very own storage facility located right on your property. Learn more and receive a free, no-obligation quote by visiting us online today.

Top 4 Decorating Hacks for Small Spaces

An image of a living room with a modern furniture set

Bigger is not always better, and that is true when it comes to your home! Less space means fewer belongings, which means less cleaning and maintenance, giving you more time to enjoy life. Smaller spaces can be a challenge to decorate, but with a bit of planning and a lot of creativity, you can make it work. Follow these tips for decoration inspiration.

  • Give the illusion of more space with your color palette. A monochromatic color scheme or even varying shades of the same color can make the area feel larger. Soft, pale, neutral colors on the walls and floor will give the biggest illusion of space.  An abundance of dark colors or contrasting colors in a small space can feel overwhelming and like the room is closing in on you.
  • Use reflective surfaces like glass and mirrors. Mirrors are a must-have decorating tool for small spaces. Large mirrors will bounce light from windows and create the illusion of more square footage. Mirrors reflect light and reflect the view, thereby tricking the eye into the perception of more space. Just remember that you don’t want the mirror to reflect a cluttered or cornered space, as that will defeat the purpose.
  • Think vertically. Create storage where there once was none by adding floating shelves to your walls utilizing the vertical space. Mounted storage cabinets are also a great space saver and will give you more storage options. Desks, TVs, and lamps are other items that can be mounted on the wall to help turn wall space into floor space. You can also think vertically by drawing the eye upward with a fun light fixture, crown molding, tall window treatments, or high shelves.
  • Illuminate your small space with good lighting. Small spaces often end up feeling dark due to having small windows or a lack of windows. The first step is to pull in as much natural light from your windows as possible. Make sure light coming in from your windows is not being blocked by furniture or other stacked objects. In areas of your home where you might need a light-blocking option, such as the bedroom, consider a layered window treatment approach. Having one layer to block the light and one to allow it in will offer flexibility without compromising the natural light. When making plans to light the rest of the room, use multiple sources of light rather than just one. Try vertical floor lamps in the corners of the room for an expansive open feeling.

Zippy Shell is the perfect solution for those looking to downsize or move into a small space. With portable storage, you can forego the hassle of having to drive your extra belongings to a storage location, as a storage unit can be delivered to your home where you can load your belongings into it directly. You can cut your work in half by only loading and unloading one time into portable storage containers versus multiple times with self-storage. Check us out today for answers to any questions you may have!

6 Best Tips for Achieving an Organized Home

A woman is organizing her home closet

No matter what stage you are in, life can get busy. Having an organized home can help you to quickly find what you need, allowing you to stay focused on the important things in life. Being organized and getting rid of clutter also helps to reduce the time it takes to keep your home clean, and who doesn’t want that! Here are our best tips for maintaining an organized home that you enjoy.

  1. Start small and only tackle one space at a time. Break organization tasks into small, manageable chunks. Setting out to organize your entire home in one swoop can lead to becoming overwhelmed and giving up before the job is complete. Set aside 30-45 minute chunks of time to dedicate to organizing with no distractions and only focus on one area at a time.
  2. Take an inventory of everything of value in your home. Inventory lists can be categorized by room, type of item, collection, or other relevant criteria. It can be a digital or a hard copy. This sounds like a lot of work, but the benefits outweigh the time it will take. An inventory list can eliminate much of the time spent looking for items around your home or purchasing items you already have. It can also be a lifesaver if you’re ever in a situation where you need to replace your personal property after a loss.
  3. Have a designated area near the entrance you most use for all your family’s “stuff.” You know the stuff we are talking about – keys, shoes, jackets, bags, hats, mail, all the things on your body or in your hand when you walk in the door. Without a designated area to store these items near the entrance, they will just be trailed throughout the house.
  4. If you have kids, create a toy storage system and stick to it. Quite often, toy clutter is caused by simply not having enough storage or not having the correct type of storage. Whether you choose to store toys in a basket or bin, on a shelf or in a cabinet, out in the open, or hidden, toy storage needs to be practical and easy. Using cut-out pictures taped to the appropriate box, bin, or shelf will help children who can’t read yet identify where items belong. The ultimate goal is to have your kids put their toys away!
  5. Have a designated donation box. Place a large container out of the way in your garage, attic, or an extra closet. When an item is no longer needed, immediately place it in the box. When the box gets full, immediately take it to the donation center. This system will keep unused items from piling up and taking up space in your home.
  6. Change your mindset. Don’t put items down; put them away. Once you have everything organized, be mindful of what led to the clutter in the first place. Instead of setting stuff down on the nearest surface, take a moment to put your items back in their designated spot. Live by the saying, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”

In your quest for an organized home, you might find that your best option is to store some of your lesser-used items. Zippy Shell provides simple, climate-controlled storage solutions, and our contact-free delivery will give you one less thing to worry about. Learn more by visiting www.zippyshell.com today!

6 Home Maintenance Tasks You Should Not Skip

A nice home front in a neighborhood

It is essential to keep up with the maintenance around your home and property to keep everything in good repair. There is nothing worse than an ill-timed breakdown when some simple maintenance could have prevented it. We have listed six commonly skipped maintenance tasks that we think are too important to forget. Take a look!

Have your HVAC unit serviced

If you have your HVAC unit serviced at least once a year, you will find that you maintain peak energy efficiency and prolong the life of the unit. Just like with your vehicle, regular maintenance helps prevent breakdowns that could potentially end with you needing to replace the whole unit.

Check your sump pump

If you have a sump pump, you know how vital it is to be in good working condition. If it stops working, you want to know about it before a big rainstorm, not after! You should consult the owner’s manual for your sump pump and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance. You can also have your sump pump professionally inspected if you prefer.

Clean your refrigerator condenser coils

The condenser coils on your refrigerator are located at the bottom of the back of the fridge. They work to cool and condense the refrigerant. If they get covered with dirt, dust, debris, and pet hair, they will not be able to release heat efficiently and will make your fridge work harder and harder until it eventually gives out. It’s a relatively easy job to clean them. You can purchase a coil cleaning brush to scrub off the coils, vacuuming as you go. Be sure you unplug your fridge anytime you work on it.

Clean your exhaust fans

Your bathroom exhaust fans are important for making sure that condensation doesn’t build up in your bathroom, causing mildew and mold. If it gets full of dust, it can stop working efficiently. You should make sure to clean it once a year. This task requires a little more effort but will be worth it. First, turn the power off to the fan at the circuit box. Remove the grate covering the fan and wash it with a gentle dishwashing liquid and warm water. You can then remove the dust on the fan assembly with compressed air or a vacuum attachment. Once everything is clean and dry, you can replace the grate and turn the power back on.

Clean your dryer vents

If you have ever noticed that your clothes are taking longer and longer to dry, they are coming out of the dryer hot (not warm) to the touch, or you smell something burning, it is time to clean out the vents to your dryer. This is an easy task, but you may need to visit your local home improvement store to purchase a dryer vent cleaning kit. It usually will include a long brush and vacuum attachment that can fit into the vent.

Check for dead limbs and trees around your home

Dead limbs and trees near your home present a real danger. It would be best to do regular checks on the trees close to the home or hire an arborist to do an evaluation.

We hope these tips help as you make your home maintenance list this year. If you have a move coming up, feel free to give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. Our portable storage options are perfect for any move or storage needs you may have.

We look forward to hearing from you!

5 Reasons to Have Houseplants in Your Home

Some plants sit in the sun on a home window sill

Live houseplants are becoming more and more sought after since the global pandemic began. Plants are a great way of bringing the outside in and giving your home a boost of nature. If you haven’t jumped on the houseplant trend, take a look at 5 other reasons we think you need plants in your home.

#1 They can be functional

Not all houseplants are meant to be looked at. You can choose houseplants that are functional to you as well. Aloe vera, eucalyptus, lavender, dwarf lemon trees, and various windowsill herbs are popular choices for people who want houseplants that can also be used in everyday life.

#2 Plants are great for mental health

Studies are showing that houseplants can provide benefits to our mental health. They can lower stress, increase happiness, and even improve our concentration and productivity. In fact, there are even some reports of medical practitioners prescribing potted plants to patients who are experiencing anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

#3 Plants can be an inexpensive way to interior decorate

If you open any interior decorating magazine, you are going to see houseplants. That is because they are a beautiful and inexpensive way to add dimension, color, and life to practically any room. According to the size and type of lighting you have, you can use large trees or even a succulent garden. No matter which direction you go, we know it will add character and color to your space.

#4 Certain plants can help purify the air

In the 1980’s, NASA published a study that indicated plants could have a positive effect on indoor air quality. There have been mixed results on this topic ever since—with some studies showing they do help filter the air, while others say you would need a room full of plants to achieve positive results. But with some careful selection, they couldn’t hurt! Spider plants, English ivies, ferns, snake plants, peace lilies, Chinese evergreens, aloe vera, and pothos are some of the most common varieties of houseplants said to filter different harmful toxins in the air.

#5 Caring for houseplants can become a relaxing hobby

Keeping live houseplants can become a satisfying hobby. The daily act of checking on them, watering, pruning, and inspecting can be very cathartic for some people. Just be sure to not overwhelm yourself with more than you can realistically care for or it may have the opposite effect and become a source of stress.

We hope this helps inspire you to try your hand at keeping houseplants this year! If you have a local or long-distance move coming up, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation estimate. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about our portable storage containers or how the process works and help make moving and storage simple for you!

How to Cope with Relocation Depression After a Big Move

A couple sits next to the moving boxes in their new home

Everyone knows a big move can be one of life’s most challenging events, both physically and emotionally. So if you feel stressed or anxious during a move, that is perfectly normal. Many times just the sheer physical exhaustion of moving is enough to throw you into a temporary funk. Making a move can indicate a positive change in our life, like a new job or a new relationship. Still, no matter how positive you expect the move to be, there can be pre-existing depression or even a new feeling of depression that moves with us. It can also happen to anyone, so there is no shame if you begin to feel down during a big move. If you have recognized and determined that you are suffering from relocation depression, here are some things to focus on.

  • Feelings of depression or anxiety are often heightened when you are rushed or forced to move quicker than comfortable. Allow plenty of time to prepare for your move and start the process as early as you can. Expect to need time after the move to get back to normal. If you can, book some time off work to unpack and recover from the physical and mental effort. It will give you space to adjust to the changes.
  • Try to carve out space in your new home that will automatically “feel like home.” Set up a favorite rug, blanket, or pictures that make you feel like you are home. Having this little bit of comfort can help your new home feel safer and more settled. Find a way to integrate the things you love in your new home’s design, and you will see how quickly the space will gain personality and warmth.
  • Recreate some of your old routines. You may have a big desire to push ahead with unpacking, but it might be better for your mental health to stay on an established schedule. Little things such as familiar meals, regular exercise routines, reaching out to friends and family that you usually talk to can go a long way towards easing the transition. In other words, do the things that made you happy in your old place, even if you have to do them in a new way.
  • Find something to be excited about in your new city. Put on your tourist hat and head out and do all the touristy things your new city has to offer. This has the added benefit of giving you a chance to familiarize yourself with the city. Walking increases calmness, so explore the walkable sections of your new city on foot!
  • Try to make relationships in your new city by getting involved with local interest groups, taking a class, volunteering, or extending invitations to neighbors and coworkers to hang out. Just be sure to set realistic expectations about the amount of time it takes to foster new relationships; it can be tricky!
  • Above all else, if your relocation depression or anxiety is debilitating or lingers longer than you think it should, speak with a professional. You may need additional help. 

Moving is stressful, and we want to make sure that we go above and beyond what the competition does to ensure your satisfaction. Zippy Shell is here to take the stress out of your move allowing you to focus on your physical and emotional health during this exciting time. Give us a call today to see how we can help make your move simple.