What I Learned From My First Time As A Homeowner

My first time as a homeowner, I made plenty of mistakes. For one thing, I thought that I could do my own interior decoration. Spoiler alert: I have terrible taste. For another, I thought owning a home was a passive endeavour. I had found my dream home and gotten a mortgage and assumed that was it.

It took less than a year for me to realize I had made a terrible mistake. Even though the home I had bought was fairly new, I had to spend a couple thousand dollars on maintenance and repairs. And there were things I simply could not afford to take care of due to a lack of funds.

It turns out that homeowning can be very expensive. Maintenance and repairs are a matter of when, not if. Since you're probably going to own your house for many years, if you don't regularly take care of these things, you will be left with a broken monolith that will be too expensive to fix.

One way of ensuring you can stay on top of repairs and maintenance is to get a home warranty. Let's take a brief look at what a home warranty has to offer.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty works as a kind of insurance for your home and its contents. You pay a monthly premium, and when something breaks, the company sends someone to fix it. Instead of waiting until you have the money for repairs, everything gets taken care of immediately and without you having to pay out of pocket.

Most of us simply don't have money left over at the end of the month, unless we choose to dip into our savings. A home warranty circumvents that issue.

But is a home warranty worth it?

A home warranty "by the numbers"

There are a number of things you need to take into account when you are deciding whether a home warranty is worth it. Of course, you are going to start with the cost of the premium.

Different home warranty companies offer plans at various premiums. The cheapest might be a dud, but don't make your choice by how expensive a plan is.

Then you need to figure out how much you can expect to spend on maintenance over the years. This will depend on your home – its value, age, and contents.

You also need to think about deductibles and co-payments. Many home warranty companies cap how much they will pay for certain services through "limits", so be sure to look into the fine print for these numbers.

To assist you in coming up with the numbers, you can use this in-depth home warranty calculator.


Ultimately, whether getting a home warranty is worth it depends on a number of personal factors. However, as a general rule, it will save you money. Not only that, but it will ensure you have the funds available when you need them, without having to keep a separate savings account for this purpose.

Getting a home warranty will ensure your home is in a good condition for years to come. Rather than waiting years to get maintenance done, you can fix issues as they come along.

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.


When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.


Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.


If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.