Great Pets for Small Lofts

25 Nov 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Great Pets for Small HomesDo you have dreams of bringing home a new best friend, but you think your place is just too small? Do you wish you could have a Saint Bernard, but know that he might not fit in your 500 square foot Loft? Is your son begging you for a pet boa constrictor, but you’re just not sure you can sleep in your own room, knowing that snake is in the next room?

If you’ve been wishing for a pet to call your own, but afraid your Loft is too small, we’re here to put your fears to rest. These pets are perfect for those of you who are big on love but short on square footage.

Hermit Crabs

If you long to revisit your childhood days at the shore, why not get yourself a hermit crab? Sold as living reminders of your vacation from many a seaside souvenir shop, hermit crabs actually make great pets, as they’re quite social. They do require just the right environment and the appropriate diet, but are otherwise low maintenance. Treat them right, and they could become a lifelong companion, as evidenced by this 40-year-old hermit crab known as Jonathan Livingston Crab.

Fancy Rodents

Longing for something cute and furry? How about a fancy rodent like a hamster, guinea pig or rat? Before you curl your lips in revulsion at the thought of having a pet rat, they are highly intelligent and can be taught tricks, which could be really fun to demonstrate at your next party. If you live alone and tend to get a little lonely, guinea pigs are known to be talkative, with a large vocabulary of whines, squeaks and clicks. They make great conservation partners.

Pygmy Hedgehogs

If you’re looking to increase your followers on Instagram, then a photogenic pygmy hedgehog is just the ticket. Purchase a hedgehog from a reputable breeder and handle them regularly while they’re still young so they get used to it. They also don’t seem to mind being alone, which is a bonus.


Rabbits can make a great alternative to a cat or dog, if you want something fluffy to love. Rabbits are friendly and social and can be great companions to humans, with lifespans of up to 10 years. Rabbits do require far more care than some of the pets mentioned above, and aren’t a great match for families with young children. It’s also important to remember the time commitment – far too many rabbits end up in shelters after being given as gifts during Easter.


Small birds, such as parakeets, finches and cockatiels can make excellent, if noisy, pets with minimal needs outside of a cage, toys and human interaction. Large birds, like parrots and macaws, are undeniably fabulous, but require expert care. If you decide to adopt a feathered friend, it’s best to get a small one unless you are an experienced bird keeper.

So there you have it! If you’d like to welcome a pet into your life, but traditional pets like dogs or cats won’t work in your space, try one of the suggestions above. You never know what kind of creature may end up stealing your heart and working perfectly in your small Loft.

Understanding the Stages of Remodeling

18 Nov 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Understanding the Stages of Remodeling

Are you thinking about buying a fixer-upper? Or maybe you’re finally ready to move forward with a Loft remodeling project? Whatever your plans, it’s good to know what to expect before you begin.

Loft remodeling projects can be complex and sometimes its seems the end is never in sight. But if you go into the process armed with knowledge, it will be much less stressful for you and your family. Here are the major stages you can expect to move through on your way to a completed project.

Stage 1 –Planning

The key to a successful remodeling project is to stay organized. This means having a firm plan in place before you begin. Planning includes:

  • Design – Make decisions before you begin about what your project is going to be and what the details of the design are. If you are hiring professionals, they will provide architectural plans. If you are completing the project by yourself, you should at least try to sketch out your ideas onto paper so that everyone involved is on the same page before you begin.
  • Budget – Before you begin tearing down walls, decide what your budget for the project will be, and how you will stay within that budget. Be sure to include all the appropriate costs, such as new appliances and construction materials, and even new paint or wallpaper.
  • Prepare – If you’re hiring professionals, research and interview contractors. Apply for and secure any permits that are needed to complete the renovation.

Stage 2 – Demolition

Once your preparations are complete, it’s time to move on to the next phase – demolition. During this stage, you or your contractors will be ripping out anything that needs to be removed and replaced. This can include walls, ceilings, cabinets and floors. If you feel comfortable doing this yourself, you can save some money. If not, leave it to the pros – especially if any areas being demolished contain asbestos or lead-based paint.

Stage 3 – Construction

Depending on how large your project is, you may need to temporarily relocate during this phase of the remodel, especially if you’ll be without water or electricity for any length of time. Some of the work that is completed during this stage can include:

  • Creating framing for new walls
  • Putting in new doors
  • Installing electrical, plumbing and HVAC
  • Adding finish work such as paint, wallpaper and other finishes

Stage 4 – Cleaning Up

Once construction is complete, you may think you’re finished. But wait! There’s one more important step before you’re done and that’s cleaning up. You can expect the contractors you hire to do some basic cleaning, but to make your Loft truly livable and beautiful again, you’ll need to get in there and really clean. This includes removing all the dust and debris that has accumulated.

Once your cleaning is complete, it’s time to move back in. This is the fun part, where the renovations you’ve been dreaming about are finally a reality. Enjoy unpacking and moving into your freshly remodeled space!

Big Luxury on a Small Budget

11 Nov 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Big Luxury on a Small Budget

You don’t have to be a billionaire to enjoy a little luxury. With some smart choices and a bit of imagination, you can live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. Here are some strategies to maximize the luxuriousness of your Loft and life while minimizing the amount of money you spend.

Focus on quality, not quantity

Living a minimal lifestyle has been popular in the media lately, whether it’s following Marie Kondo’s advice about tidying your Loft, or transforming your closet into a capsule wardrobe. What each of these concepts stresses is prioritizing quality over quantity. Instead of purchasing 12 trendy, discount Loft décor pieces that you kind of like, why not save that money and splurge on one quality, timeless piece that you really love and that you’ll use for years?

Brighten a room with fresh flowers

Ever notice when you walk into a room that has a vase of fresh flowers, it just feels a little more special? There’s no reason you can’t have that feeling all the time. Fresh flowers can be very inexpensive – you can even gather some from your own yard. For an added bit of luxury, put them in a special pitcher or vase that you might normally only use on special occasions. There’s no reason every day can’t be a special occasion!

Buy vintage furniture

You can make your Loft look fabulous for far less money if you’re willing to buy some of your furniture secondhand. Not only will you save, you’ll likely get a higher quality item with unique character than if you spent the same amount of money in one of today’s big box retailers. Check local thrift shops, online classifieds and yard sales to score some great deals.

Splurge on good sheets

One place in your Loft where luxury really counts is the bedroom. But instead of splurging on a fancy duvet or bedroom furniture, use your money to invest in a good set of sheets. There’s nothing quite like slipping into bed every night wrapped up in luxurious fabric. And think of how much better you’ll sleep and feel in the morning!

Use those fancy soaps and candles

If you’re like many people, you’ve probably amassed a collection of fragrant soaps and candles during the years. And like most people, you’re probably saving them for company or for a special occasion. But there’s no reason to wait! Bust out those wonderful soaps and candles and use them around your Loft. You deserve it.

Take advantage of free local events

Communities across America host free events all the time. Have you ever actually attended any of them? There are so many fun activities to enjoy, from free outdoor movie nights at the park to the book club at the library. Search for free events in your area using Google and check the websites of your local library, parks and schools for fun activities happening in your area.

So there you have it! You don’t have to be rolling in cash to enjoy a little luxury in your life. Try one of these tips and you’ll be well on your way to living a more pampered and luxurious lifestyle!

Credit Score No-Nos

4 Nov 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Credit Score No-Nos

An important part of buying a Loft is getting your financial life in order. One reason is that the higher your credit score, the better rate you’ll secure for your mortgage. Mortgage lenders look at your credit score to determine how smart and diligent you are about managing your debt, which could indicate how disciplined you’ll be about making your mortgage payments on time.

If you’re preparing to buy a Loft, here are some things you’ll want to avoid that can negatively impact your credit score.

Not checking your credit report

Preparing to buy a Loft means you need to check your credit report. Around 25 percent of credit reports contain errors, which can negatively impact your credit score. You can check your report for free every year. If you find any mistakes, including an address or credit card that isn’t yours, you should take the necessary steps to have the error corrected.

Making late payments

Think it doesn’t matter whether or not you pay your bills on time? Think again. Your payment history is a significant factor in determining your credit score. The more often you make late payments, the lower your score will be. If you find yourself behind on a payment, call the customer service department. In some cases they will give you a goodwill adjustment or delete the incident from your history if it was the first time.

Closing an old account

While paying off and closing an old credit card seems like it would be a good idea, it’s not advisable to do it before you apply for a mortgage. Closing old accounts can decrease your credit history while increasing how much of your available credit you’re using. Avoid closing your oldest card if at all possible.

Not paying your taxes

If you rack up unpaid state and federal taxes, it can damage your credit for up to 15 years – not a great idea if you’re hoping to buy a Loft. In addition, tax liens that are paid remain on your report for seven years. Pay those taxes, folks.

Financing a major purchase

If you’re getting your finances in order to buy a Loft, avoid using credit to finance a major purchase such as a car, appliance or vacation. Up to a third of your credit score is influenced by how much debt you carry and affects your debt-to-income utilization ratio. The more debt you take on, the lower your credit score will be.

Not paying parking tickets or library fines

This may come as a shock, but that $4.25 you owe the library can actually harm your credit score. And if you’re sitting on parking tickets, get those paid off as well. More and more local governments are reporting these types of unpaid fees to collection agencies, which will then show up on your credit report, negatively affecting your score.

In the end, being responsible about your purchases, making your payments on time, settling debts and being diligent about spotting errors are the best ways to make sure your credit score is as high as it can be.