Homeownership: Could it be in Your Future?

Written by Lois A. Vitt

Continued from page 1

If that sounds easy, it's not. All major decisions, including our housing decisions, are fraught with emotional factors not often recognized.

In making your housing decisions, you employ your personal housing value system, including all that you value about where and how you live. This system incorporates personal, social and tangible factors as well as financial perceptions that are not necessarily objective views.

In addition, you have a housing history, made up ofrepparttar values, wants and needs associated with every place you've ever called "home", and that also influences your decisions; left unexamined, it can mire you inrepparttar 142785 past and undermine your goals.

If you decide that you too wish to be a home owner, it is important that you begin to accumulate savings while you are renting.

Begin observingrepparttar 142786 housing market to get a sense of what houses cost and where different houses are located. While doing this begin to develop a sense ofrepparttar 142787 importance of market timing - when is or isn't a good time to buy.

Make decisions aboutrepparttar 142788 living arrangement you want inrepparttar 142789 short term and in retirement, and set these as goals to work toward.

Modify your plan realistically throughrepparttar 142790 years, and live up to it.

Anchor your retirement planning withrepparttar 142791 home of your dreams, and save regularly to make your dreams come true.

And, finally, learn all you can about your housing history and value system to that you can makerepparttar 142792 right decisions as your plan unfolds.

If you follow all of these steps, a new home could very well be in your future.

Lois A. Vitt is a housing expert and financial sociologist. She founded and directs the Institute for Socio-Financial Studies, Middleburg, VA, and is the author of 10 Secrets to Successful Home Buying and Selling. To learn more about her approach to homeownership, visit her website at http://realtystudies.com.

Babies: How to Get Your Children Excited About the New Arrival

Written by Barbara Freedman-De Vito

Continued from page 1

As part of that preparation process, from time to time plan special activities with your kids that relate to babies. For example, they might draw pictures of babies or collect baby photos from magazines and create a collage. Sit down and go through photo albums of your kids' baby pictures and reminisce with them about their own arrivals intorepparttar world. Re-tell any family anecdotes surrounding their births. Teach your children lullabies that they can sing torepparttar 142784 baby, plus finger games and "peek-a-boo" games to entertain their new brother or sister.

Arts and crafts projects can furnish a special parent-child discussion and sharing time and may sometimes revolve around preparations forrepparttar 142785 new baby. Kids can make pictures to hang inrepparttar 142786 baby's room, or create a baby-safe mobile to hang overrepparttar 142787 baby's crib, or draw scenes in which they imagine their lives withrepparttar 142788 new baby - rockingrepparttar 142789 baby in their arms, and so forth.

Letrepparttar 142790 kids be involved in every facet ofrepparttar 142791 preparations that you yourself are making forrepparttar 142792 baby's arrival. Your kids can help you repaintrepparttar 142793 nursery or paint a mural onrepparttar 142794 nursery wall, and help you pick out baby furniture, bedding and nursery decorations. They can choose baby clothes that appeal to them. All of these things can later giverepparttar 142795 children pride and a sense of importance and inclusion inrepparttar 142796 baby's life. When grandma says "What a cute bibrepparttar 142797 baby's wearing," your preschooler can say "I picked it !"

In addition, make your children key members ofrepparttar 142798 family committee that chooses a name forrepparttar 142799 new baby. Keeprepparttar 142800 kids involved and actively participating and then, asrepparttar 142801 birth becomes imminent, dad andrepparttar 142802 kids may even conspire to prepare some extra, special, secret surprises for mom andrepparttar 142803 baby, like buying or creating a special keepsake item or putting together a "welcome home" party.

In short, it's always worthrepparttar 142804 effort to do as much as you can to get your kids involved in and excited aboutrepparttar 142805 arrival of a new baby. Include them in every step ofrepparttar 142806 process. The more they feel that it is THEIR baby, too,repparttar 142807 more positive their attitudes will be towardsrepparttar 142808 baby. In this way, you can try to minimizerepparttar 142809 natural insecurities and feelings of jealousy that go withrepparttar 142810 territory.

The suggestions mentioned in this article can help layrepparttar 142811 groundwork for good sibling relationships but, of course, you can't rest on your laurels oncerepparttar 142812 baby is born. Afterrepparttar 142813 baby arrives, try to do everything you can to set aside some special time each day that's just for you and each of your other children. Offer them special little treats or outings or surprises, and encourage grandma and grandpa to dorepparttar 142814 same. To reduce jealousy, give your kids pride inrepparttar 142815 things that they CAN do thatrepparttar 142816 baby can't do, like dressing themselves or enjoying a movie or reciting their ABCs. Continue alongrepparttar 142817 path that you started on months earlier - reassure your kids that each of them is just as important asrepparttar 142818 baby is, so that they won't feel that they must compete for your love and attention.

Good luck and oh, byrepparttar 142819 way, congratulations !

Visit Barbara Freedman-DeVito's website at http://www.childrensclothingbabyclothes.com for baby clothes, children's clothing and gift items decorated with her colorful and amusing artwork for kids. Barbara is a professional storyteller, teacher and artist.

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