Home Sweet Home: The 3 Things That Make an Ideal Fixer-Upper House

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home with upper houseWith renovation TV shows gaining popularity in the past years, it’s not surprising that many aspiring homeowners are taking fixer-upper projects. But like any other major life decision, this comes with challenges.

You might be looking at a good deal in the purchase of the house, but your pocket will run empty easily if you don’t get the ideal house. So, what makes a good fixer-upper? Here are the things you should take into consideration:

Condition

Not all fixer-uppers are equal. There are some that only have ‘cosmetic’ problems, such as outdated floors, wall holes, or chipping paint.

Others, however, have structural damages that would need the help of house foundation repair companies. It’s best to have an experienced home inspector so you’ll know exactly what the issues are. From there, you can decide if the repairs the house needs will compensate for its estimated resale value.

Location

Similar to buying a home, considering location is vital to finding an ideal fixer-upper. You could fix up and beautify a run-down house, but you can’t change the fact that it’s in a bad neighborhood. If you’ll be using the house as your primary residence, this could affect your family’s lifestyle.

If you’ll take on the project to resell the house, it could affect the resale value. So, make sure to look for fixer-uppers located in good communities. These are the ones near schools and commercial establishments where crime rate and noise levels are low.

Layout

Ideal fixer uppers are those that have a good flow. A bad layout will require tearing down walls and putting up new ones, and that could be expensive. If you could find one that has an open floor plan, that would be the best choice.

You could keep it that way since that’s a design trend these days, or you could decide which places would need walls. If you’re planning to sell the house, take note of the number of bedrooms and baths, as well as the size of the kitchen. These are what most potential buyers, usually families, look at.

Taking on a fixer-upper is surely a promising project — that is, if you get the ideal property. Keep in mind these things as you visit houses.

3 Essential Traits and Practices for Passing Your Certification Exam

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Woman in a library reading a bookThe last obstacle that anyone who wants a CompTIA certification will face is the examination itself. Everyone who takes and wants to pass it needs to have the following traits as part of their system. Not only will these characteristics be useful during exam time, they can also be utilized in various other areas of your life so do read on.

1. Self-Discipline

You can’t take a CompTIA Network + N10-007 exam without studying for it thoroughly, and that takes a large amount of time and effort. Having the discipline to commit to your learning and review is necessary to succeed. This trait will also be helpful to you when you have already received your certification and are already working or have been promoted due to passing your test.

2. Willingness to Learn

If your brain tunes out what you’re trying to study or if your viewpoint is limited to your experience alone, then you’re not exactly going to remember or accept the lessons you try to take in. You need to have a hunger for knowledge and the willingness to change and improve in everything you do. Take notes, review them regularly, take practice exams, and have a go at applying what you’ve already learned in an actual setting.

3. Confidence and Composure

One of the reasons some people fail their certification exam is because they panic easily. The test not only serves to evaluate your knowledge but also your ability to think clearly under pressure. If you maintain stay calm, be confident about your skills and keep your common sense, you’ll be able to recall what you’ve learned a lot easier.

Last but not the least, a positive attitude can help make the weight of the study and examination period a little bit lighter on you. Fussing over every question won’t work as effectively as focusing on solving it. And don’t be discouraged if you fail. Just take note of the results and see where you will need to improve so you’re ready for it the next time.

3 Considerations When Buying a Motorcycle

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motorbike on the road with man ridingSo, you’ve always wanted a motorcycle and finally decided to get one. Before you do, consider several factors so that you can make an informed decision. Check out some of these factors.

Your Finances

First, you should consider your budget. A motorcycle can set you back anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 for a decent model. Your safety gear, such as the helmet, jacket, and gloves, must be included in your budget, too. Of course, you’ll also need motorcycle insurance, especially if you live in Chicago, IL where it’s required by law. Then, there are the fuel and maintenance costs that you must prepare for, as well.

Your Abilities

Next, you’ll need to assess your skills at competently and safely riding a motorcycle. Even if you already know how to ride one, it becomes a whole new game when a powerful engine comes into play. If you’re still a newbie, for example, try to stick to a less powerful engine, say 150cc, and just work your way up from there. Additionally, you should take into account your body size to ensure that the motorcycle is the right fit for you—not too tall, small, or heavy.

Your Needs

Finally, you must be clear on what purpose your motorcycle will primarily serve. Will you use it for your daily commute, a long drive on weekends, or your monthly off-road trip? If you’re going to ride it every day, for instance, the standard type or the roadster is a good option. Still, you should consider what you want—design, make, brand, etc.—for your motorbike so that you’ll be excited to ride it.

Before you buy a motorcycle, take the time to consider several factors, so you can choose the right model. Enjoy your ride and have a safe journey every time.

Which U.S. States Have the Best High Schools?

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Students walking down the hallwayMassachusetts ranked as the best state in the U.S. in terms of high school education for 2018, with 25.7% of its 354 eligible high schools earning gold and silver medal status.
U.S. News based its rankings on the number of schools with a calculated state performance index. California ranked second best with a 25.4% of 2,062 high schools having gold and silver medals, while 24.1% of high schools in Maryland achieved the same.

State of Education

Gold and silver medals serve as proof of the schools’ ability to prepare students for tertiary education. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate test results determine the capacity of high schools to produce college-ready students.

High graduation rates also reflect the standings. While California only ranked second, it had the most number of high schools with gold medals at 85. Texas and New York had 73 and 57, respectively. In Massachusetts, there were only 20 schools with gold medals. A higher tuition fee is often understood as a benchmark of quality education, but luckily for students, there are now cheaper yet equally good alternatives, such as online high school classes. Many schools, including The American Academy, offer these programs.

School Expenses

New York City’s private high schools charge the highest tuition costs among all cities in the country at more than $29,000 on average per year. On the other hand, private school education in Litchfield County, Connecticut, costs around $45,000 on average each year.

Public school education costs less, but many still look for cheaper alternatives, leading them to consider online classes. Some schools have integrated online learning to their curriculum in response to the changing needs.

High school tuition fees shouldn’t always cost a fortune to be seen as a factor for producing well-educated students. The broader availability of the Internet serves as one reason virtual courses can complement traditional classes, if not completely replace them.

Security Plus: A New Course for IT Pros

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Woman checking security plus for her courseBusinesses and individuals have become increasingly dependent on technology over the last 25 years. Laptops and mobile devices are now often used to order items and even pay for them. Such dependence on technology has increased the need to secure every channel used by businesses and customers with security measures.

Sensitive personal and financial information is being obtained by phishing and virus attacks. Security Plus is a new course which IT professionals can get certified for. CertBlaster cannot stress enough on how helpful it is to millions of IT professionals around the world. In fact, it is now seen as a global standard for security methodology and implementation.

There are quite a few Securities + practice tests that one can work on before taking the main exam. One of the best is Defining Security +.

Defining Security +

This certification lets vendors offer total security on all types of devices. This course addresses a range of topics. Being certified as a Security + consultant helps an IT employee work for any organization, anywhere in the world. This globally recognized certification lets a person use their expertise in the following areas:

  • Data, Host and Applied security
  • Operational Security
  • Compliance
  • Identity Management and Access Control
  • Cryptography
  • Identify and fix vulnerabilities and threats in Network Security

Who can get Qualified?

This certification is ideal for those interested in a cyberspace and computer security career. Completing this course will equip a student to install and ensure that devices, services and network devices, and traffic are all secure. Security + practice tests are purchasable online for use before appearing for the exam. The tests cover all the areas of study and tests a student’s knowledge

This new field in IT security is growing fast and expected to generate more jobs in the next decade. The Security + certification has a 3-year validity period and professionals expect to update their certification status. This is made possible with Continuing Education Units. Programmers can also update their knowledge and skill base by attending industry events and seminars.

Choosing Between an IT Degree and a Computer Science Degree

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Computer science students studying hard IT or information technology, in general, has recently become a broad brush, scoping across anything computer related. In some cases, it does not even have to be the computer hardware or software, it could be a typo or an image in a document, and you call the “IT team.”

Well, by explaining the differences between a graduate of computer science degree and that of an IT course, you will get to know who to call. And if you want to pursue either direction, you can get a part-time degree here in Singapore through an online portal.

Computer science and IT degrees have benefited immensely from technological advancements. While the disciplines have both contributed this, they have played categorically different roles. It would help you take your pick if you knew the differences.

As to function

The IT specialist applies technological solutions to business problems. These problems could be enterprise resources, hardware upgrades, network security and so forth.

The computer scientist, on the other hand, designs and develops computers and their systems, as well as code software.

As to curriculum

A degree in IT can range anywhere from two to four years of study, with topics ranging from computer applications and networking to an introduction to business systems.

While the IT degree will have an introduction to the fundamental parts of hardware and software development, it will hardly cover advanced programming topics.

Meanwhile, computer science programs have courses such as computer architecture and programming. It is more technical than IT.

As to employment and growth opportunities

IT professionals often take up their roles as systems analysts, network engineers, and tech support specialists. IT specialists are much more likely to get jobs faster after completing their degree programs as opposed to computer scientists.

A survey further reported a more than average career growth for IT specialists, as opposed to their counterparts.

In general, when you are trying to pursue a career in the technology industry, it ends up becoming a choice between the two, with good reason too. While the option is yours, in the end, it helps to have a comprehensive view of both. This allows you to have an informed, if not inspired, decision.

High-Quality Kindergarten Education for Your Child

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Preschool kids enjoying schoolChildhood is a very important stage of a person’s life. In fact, this just might be considered as the most important and critical stage. This is mainly because the childhood years are also known as the formative years of every individual, explains childhood programs specialists in Phoenix.

This means that this is the time when the person’s brain and body are developing and most efficiently absorbing all the pieces of information in their environment. More than what their elders teach them, children absorb and embody the different things they experience around them.

Their Surroundings

We can say that it is essential to be aware of what is going on in your child’s surroundings. This is important during the childhood or formative years more than at any other stage in a child or person’s life.

The first formal education that a child receives outside of the home is preschool education. Even though children still have a long way to go after preschool and kindergarten, it is a good idea to start being critical of the preschool that you choose for your child.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Preschool is already a major player in the shaping of a child’s mind. You might be under the impression that children do nothing but eat, sleep, and play during preschool. But, it actually teaches them a lot of things that they haven’t already learned at home.

As such, it is important to choose a preschool and kindergarten school that offers a pool of qualified teachers and instructors. With highly qualified instructors and teachers, you don’t have to be concerned about whether your child is getting the kindergarten education and care they deserve. The teachers and instructors will take good care of your children in a holistic manner.

Hallmarks of a Great Preschool to Look Out For

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Kids in preschool During their early years, children experience rapid development as they learn new skills. From sunrise to sunset, there are countless opportunities to acquire new skills that foster remarkable growth. There are plenty of preschools in Salt Lake City, Utah, and choosing the right one may be difficult. The men and women at Smart Kids Development Center presents the following guidelines to help separate the wheat from the chaff.

The Staff

Aside from a sound educational philosophy and learning approaches, parents would want to have someone with a genuine and natural affinity for children to take care of their kids. They would also want someone who is empathetic and patient in all situations that children present, as well as someone who communicates clearly and positively to both the kids and parents.

Children possess tons of energy, and the staff should be able to keep up with them. They should also have sufficient training on handling emergencies. Children run risks of getting into both minor and major accidents. The staff should be knowledgeable on first aid procedures.

Mealtime

With the current epidemic of childhood obesity, a well-balanced and nutritious meal ought to be the hallmark of a preschool worth its salt. Hygiene standards, nutrition principles and food safety laws are factors that all preschools should uphold. They should also have the right resources to address children with special nutritional needs or allergic reactions to certain foods.

Curriculum

It is important to provide your child with the most appropriate curriculum depending on their age. Preschool and daycare are not all about play. Children are always learning, and it is important for them to be at a preschool that focuses on their development, be it in counting, communicating, or in fine or gross motor skills.

Facilities

Since they have immature immune systems, children tend to catch infections quite easily. Therefore, a clean environment is also essential.

When your kids start preschool, make sure they’re spending their time in a safe, fun, and enriching environment. Take note of these tips when you hunt for a school for your kids!

3 Reasons You Should Learn a Foreign Language

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Man pointing to the learn a new language information Learning a new language, a foreign one at that, is not an easy task. You need not only months, but years of training to become fluent and bilingual. Learning a foreign language is more than just boosting your CV for employment or for the perks of travelling. Studying a foreign language opens new opportunities for you to grow as an individual and a professional.

The global competition is becoming tighter than ever. It is important to learn new languages to become globally competitive, competent, and approachable, especially if your work entails reaching out to other people. So here are the top reasons why you should learn a foreign language.

Learning a New Language Makes You Smarter

When you speak another language, the functionality of your brain is improved by challenging to recognise the meaning and communicate in various language systems. Moreover, many studies have shown that when you learn to speak and write another language, you become smarter overall.

Helps You Connect with Other People Overseas

Aside from English, many other languages can help you communicate with people from countries around the world. For instance, French is spoken in over 20 countries. Learning this language will make you more approachable even by other people from other nations. You can enrol at a French School in Dubai to learn the dynamics of the language and apply it in various facets of business, healthcare, and information technology, among others.

Increase Employment Potential

Aside from the perks of travelling to the countries that speak the language you’re learning, being bilingual or multilingual can help you land a better job overseas. Employers want employees who can communicate well with every customer.

Learning a foreign language has many advantages. You can interact with various people from all walks of life, boost your employment potential and travel with ease when you learn a foreign language.

University Life: Where You Live Matters

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University life with the students having funUniversity life is a one-of-a kind experience that requires different facets to make yours unique. Between studying a variety of subjects and balancing extracurricular activities and social life, college students face different aspects of university living. They can’t wait for the extraordinary episodes only university life can offer.

What most students do not realise, however, is that even the most basic of experiences—such as accommodations—have an impact in their school life.

Where you live during college will impact routines and schedules for years to come. Fortunately, you have plenty of options.

Your Type of Accommodation

Most campuses want students to live comfortably during the school year. James Cook University Singapore, a local university, believes organising student accommodation is an important step for students preparing for their year in school. To address the different needs of the student body, campuses arrange a variety of choices for accommodation on-campus or off-campus.

In most cases, the dorm depends on your deciding factors—primarily on your budget. Student accommodation in Singapore reviews the student’s needs first before offering the following choices: serviced apartments, off-campus hostels, shared rooms or private rentals.

The Perks: Off-Campus and On-Campus

What do you get for living on-campus? If you prefer short walks to and from classes, living near the school is your option. There is no need to worry about rushing from the dorm to your next class; living near the school also allows you to get an extra hour of sleep. Living with a room-mate (or two, depending on the arrangement) teaches you to get along with people from diverse backgrounds.

Off-campus living is ideal for students who want more selection of amenities. For example, they want to bring a pet. Some on-campus living arrangements do not encourage a pet in the dorms. Instead, they can search for pet-friendly communities outside the campus. It’s also perfect for students who wish to commit to short-term leases.

College life goes beyond the books and activities. Where you live also matters because that’s where you’ll experience more out of university life.