Testosterone Cypionate Injection – A knowhow

Testosterone cypionate is the common medication when it comes to injections. The medication is available in many forms like creams, gels, transdermal patches, and injections. It is available in 200 mg per millimeter and 100 mg per millimeter of androgenic hormone solutions. Depo testosterone is the very popular brand and it is expensive too.

Based on the deficiency and therapy the indications of use are decided. Deficiency may be natural testosterone or endogenous testosterone. It is mainly used in the treatment of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and primary hypogonadism eithey it is congenital or acquired. The injuries of hypothalamus and pituitary glands caused due to tumors, trauma, and radiation can also be treated with this steroid.

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Side effects of using testosterone cypionate injections:

When there is need for boost in testosterone levels in men, testosterone cypionate injections are the commonly recommended therapies. But before starting the dose or before deciding to take this one should clearly understand its effect on the body.

Monitoring the adequate dosage of the steroid testosterone cypionate must be done by a physician. One of the side effects experienced by men is enlargement of breast or gynecomastia. Some may also experience issues related to prostate like prostate cancer or prostate hypertrophy.

If an individual is already suffering from prostate gland cancer or breast cancer then they should avoid this drug. It is better to be avoided by people having serious cardiac conditions, hepatic disease, and renal disease.

Side effects may not be experienced by everyone taking testosterone cypionate injection. The common side effects reported are edema or swelling around the ankles, skin color changes, nausea, and prolonged or frequent erection.

There is chance that testosterone cypionate, the exogenous androgen injections injection may interact with other drugs and medicines which the individual is taking along with this. Mainly one should be careful about oral anticoagulants. If the individual has diabetes then he may experience side effects related to metabolism like more insulin requirements and reduced blood glucose levels. So, before going for TRTs one should explain their medical condition to the physician clearly to avoid severe side effects in future.

One should always understand the dosage of this steroid clearly and the effects that will be caused by this should be discussed with physicians well in advance. The testosterone cypionate injection affects the body in several ways. It affects nervous system and caused depression, headache, anxiety, and decreased libido. It even has urogenital effects. It affects endocrine that leads to variations and duration in frequency of erections. Its integumentary effects can lead to baldness, acne, and seborrhea. Jaundice and nausea are the results of testosterone cypionate’s effects on gastrointestinal system.

Because of its potential misuse and abuse, testosterone is considered as a controlled substance and classified into Schedule III class. One must also use proper needle size when taking testosterone cypionate and it must be injected to intramuscular. The dosage must be decided based on patient’s response to the drug, his age, the disorder for which it is prescribed, and his medical condition.

Pycnogenol – For Cardiovascular Health – Anti Aging and Its Uses

Many people look for supplements for anti-aging and for improving the health. Pycnogenol is one popular supplement. This supplement is extracted from maritime pine trees.

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Can be obtained without prescription

Pycnogenol is available in UK and this can be obtained without any prescription and this can also be obtained online or at a supplement store. This has many medical properties as well as biological benefits which help in improving health. It helps in improving the cardiovascular health, and acts as anti-oxidant. Pycnogenol also improves the lipid profile and enhances the sexual abilities and also boosts the immune system. Many people used this supplement and it is safe. The dosage between 50mg and 450mg per day and for twelve months is safe and it is observed that there are no side effects. Few people experienced mild stomach upset and the urination has increased. Pycnogenol usage has increased due to its anti-obesity effects.

Supplement for Cardiovascular health

Pycnogenol was tested in people with coronary artery diseases and after four weeks, it was seen that there was an increase of 32% in the blood circulation. This is because of the oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes which are present in this supplement. This supplement has 70% proanthocyanidin and is an effective vasorelaxant agent. Pycnogenol helps in dilate the blood vessels and this does not increase the blood pressure. Pycnogenol also helps in reducing the LDL cholesterol levels as well as the total cholesterol levels. It also increases the Nitric Oxide synthesis in the person who uses this supplement. Nitric Oxide is vasodilator and helps in enhancing the lipid profile. Vasodilation helps in relaxing the cardiovascular lining and with this the blood will be delivered with less work and improves the overall health conditions.

Uses and where to purchase

Pycnogenol, which is an extra of pine bark has the potential for therapeutic action. The person may experience alleviating symptoms of menopause. It also helps in strengthening as well as enhancing the sex drive. It treats the erectile dysfunction.  The usage of this supplement helps in improving the liver function in patients who are suffering with cirrhosis. It also helps in protecting the kidneys and helps in empowering the function of kidneys. It helps in decreasing the free radical attacks. It helps in reducing the aging and its symptoms. Pycnogenol also helps in improving the health. It also improves the immune system and decreases the inflammation. Pycnogenol is an extract from pine bark and this ingredient is used for several purposes which include antiaging, this is sold a single ingredient. The supplement Pycnogenol is available without prescription in UK, but it is better to consult a doctor before using it. When a person is using medicines for hypertension, diabetes and any other complaints for immune system, they should not use it with Pycnogenol without an expert’s suggestion. This Pine bark extract is not suggested for pregnant women and patients who may be undergoing surgery soon. This Pycnogenol is found in any nutrition and health stores or from any online vendors. Go through the Pycnogenol review on Nootriment website.

How To Make A Mole Michelada

Hasta la vista, Bloody Marys. It seems that the day of the Michelada has finally come, and if you take a look around, you’ll see that it has conquered.

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How could it not? You can stack a bunch of jalapeno poppers on a skewer and use it to stir your Bloody Mary any day. But a Michelada made with delicious Mexican mole?That is definitely something you don’t see every day.

We teamed up with one of our most paletted pals in the history of the universe, Chef Linh Nguyen, to create this custom Mole Michelada. Made with Modelo Negra, chipotle “morita” chile peppers, chocolate bitters, coffee dust, and garnished with chocolate covered bacon and orange supreme—this drink is dark.

It’s the darkest of dark horses and will be the dark horse that ultimately earns the Michelada the throne over the Bloody Mary. In this Michelada’s case, that darkness can be attributed its beautiful, flavorful combination of the chocolate and mole flavors, as well as the Modelo Negra—essential.

Let freedom ring, let Micheladas reign supreme, keep calm and make a Modelo Mole Michelada.

Bon Appetit’s Controversial ‘Pho Is New Ramen’ Video Removed After Massive Backlash

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A video launched on Bon Appetit that left the Asian community livid. Tyler Akin, owner of Stocked. in Philadelphia, was featured in Bon Appetite Magazine’s latest food video. The nearly two-minute video was an interview with Akin explaining the “proper” technique to eat the popular Vietnamese noodle dish pho, which he believes is on atrendy rise.

After a little more than 24 hours on the website Bon Appetit removed the video altogether, both from their Facebook and YouTube channels.

While we’re scrambling to find some footage for you guys, here’s the deets:

The chef claims that adding hoisin sauce or Sriracha, two staples iconic to the dish, would ruin the broth and that he doesn’t mess around with it. Patrons are supposed to try spoonfuls of the broth first before thinking of reaching for the black and red bottles. Ironically, the chef soon adds that he’ll drown that broth in as much lime juice as he can get his hands on.

Still, as someone who grew up eating Pho for nearly three decades, there’s really no wrong way to eat it. The beauty of the dish is that it’s just broth and noodles, with toppings and condiments served on the side. This lets the you create a dish that’s best for you and your taste buds.

Akin also calls pho the new ramen pretty early into the video. Never mind that the dishes are completely different and from two separate cultures. We can’t help but think of this scene from the King of the Hill:

We’re sure Bon Appetit’s intentions were well, but the Facebook video drew some heated comments from Asian followers regarding the cultural insensitivity of the content. Some of them were just savage, with Facebook users threatening to come into Akin’s restaurant and dousing his establishment with hoisin and sriracha.

With more than one million views, the video went viral, forcing Bon Appetit to go back and clarify the meaning of their article, before just removing it altogether hours later.

Going Solar? What Washington, D.C., Homeowners Should Know

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If you take a drive through the District of Columbia metro area, you might notice an increasing number of solar panels adorning roofs on colonials, ranches and even charming Victorians.

Solar panels have definitely gained popularity in the area over the last five to 10 years, says David Bediz of the Bediz Group, LLC. Environmental awareness may be one reason, but it helps that more people in the area can afford them, too. “Solar panels can be expensive, so it’s not surprising that you see them installed on homes in the D.C. area, where incomes are higher than other parts of the country,” he says.

In the spirit of going green while reducing energy costs, solar panels give people a renewed sense of responsibility. However, there are things prospective buyers or leasers should know before investing in this technology. We asked theDistrict’s top real estate agents listed by real estate data company OpenHouse Realty (a U.S. News partner) and solar panel experts for some guidance on getting a good return on investment with solar energy.

Energy trends drive usage. Solar use and its desirability often go up when gas prices rise. Tom Faison, an associate broker with RealEstateInDC, LLC, says he’s actually seen a dip in solar sales recently “because gas and electric are cheaper.” Once those prices go up, people will start investing in solar energy and fireplaces once more.

For the long haul, Faison sees solar energy continuing to grow in use, due to its reputation as a money-saver and “because state-of-the-art solar technology is getting better.”

Dan Whitten, vice president of communications with the Solar Energy Industries Association, agrees. “Solar [photovoltaic] systems can last a very long time,” he says. “Because they have no moving parts, they’re reliable and require very little maintenance. There are solar systems that have been running without incident for decades and with continued innovation we expect that to only improve.”

Most homes can accommodate solar. Just about any house with a roof that has southern or western exposure is a good candidate for solar. Many houses in the District of Columbia have flat roofs, however, so to get the best results from your panels, you often have to mount them at an angle. For townhouses with smaller roofs, solar panel installation can pose a challenge, Bediz says. In some instances, “there’s just not enough room to put them on,” he explains.

Also, make sure you understand what standards and requirements yourhomeowners association may have in place for solar panels before you install them. “Historic regulations in most cities, and the rules for most homeowners associations, will likely prohibit panel installations where the panels can be seen from the street,” Bediz says.

Future buyers may not be impressed. Solar panels will change the appearance of your house, and potential buyers may not like them.

“I think most people like the idea of solar for financial and environmental reasons, but homeowners should also keep in mind how the panels affect their home’s curb appeal,” Bediz says. “Since they’re not particularly attractive, they may also negatively affect resale value.”

Be careful what you sign. Different companies have different policies, so read the contract carefully. “These contracts are not always about saving the environment or reducing energy burdens,” says Bediz.

At times they might be structured to lock you into a deal that’s not to your financial advantage. One of Bediz’s clients tried to get out of a contract after they found out that they didn’t actually own the panels – and it ended up costing them a lot of money. “As with anything, be careful what you sign and read the entire contract so that you understand the issue.”

Numerous resources are available to educate consumers about solar, says Whitten. “At SEIA, we advise consumers to always do their homework so that they find a system that is the best fit for them.” SEIA offers resources such as theSEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power, which outlines financing options and guides consumers on what to ask before entering into a solar agreement.

Different purchasing options are available. Solar panel systems can be purchased with cash or a loan. You “own both the system and all the power it produces,” Whitten says. Another option is to lease a system for a certain period of time. In this arrangement, the solar company owns the system and leases it to you to use it and benefit from the electricity it produces.

Before you decide to buy or rent solar panels, shop around and get bids from multiple solar companies. To find out if a company has a good reputation, check if it’s licensed and ask for references in your area.

“Make sure you fully understand what you’re getting and what you will be paying for,” Whitten says.

Yes, you can get a tax break. Homeowners who purchase solar systems are eligible for a residential solar investment federal tax credit of 30 percent of the cost of the system, meaning a dollar-for-dollar reduction in one’s income taxes. The credit is in effect through 2019, but drops to 26 percent in 2020 and once again to 22 percent in 2021. “Depending on where you live, other state and local incentives may be available, as well as programs from your utility,” Whitten says.

7 Questions to Ask Your Agent Before Selling Your Los Angeles Home

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A home is often a person’s largest asset, and selling it is one of the most detailed and important transactions they’ll face. Potential sellers in Los Angeles need to be able to put their trust in the knowledge of a real estate agent who is skilled at making these complicated transactions, and knows the answers to common questions typical home sellers have.

According to real estate agents Tracy Do and Mark Mullin, both with Tracy Do Real Estate and Compass, “It’s important to ask how active your agent is in today’s market, because there are constant changes and nuances going on all the time.” They note that an experienced agent will know how to navigate changes in the market, which is a huge part of managing the transaction.

For potential home sellers, asking the right questions and finding an agent who can answer them is key.

We contacted some of Los Angeles’ top real estate agents, as identified by Open House Realty, an agent referral company (and a U.S. News partner), to find out which questions are necessary for sellers to ask their agents, and why.

What are some red flags I should look for in a potential offer? Many times, sellers expect to get multiple offers and want to immediately go with the highest price. But Adam Bray-Ali, a real estate agent with Podley Properties, advises sellers to ask their agents if they see any red flags.

“One of the major red flags is [the] incomplete presentation of information,” Bray-Ali says. “If a buyer has not completed the loan application with a lender, that is already a bad sign.”

Of course, other signs are more subtle. If an agent picks up on some little things that, together, become a big red flag, it is important for a client to listen and trust the agent’s expert advice – no matter how good the offer may be.

What does a typical escrow look like? Based on the current market conditions in Los Angeles – as well as seller and buyer conditions – terms of escrow are variable.

“We look at transactions we’ve recently closed to give clients an indication of the pricing and escrow elements that [they] can expect, but yesterday doesn’t exactly reflect today,” Do says.

As the flipside to looking for red flags, sellers should also ask what a typical escrow looks like at this moment. Some sellers need to stay in their current home for a specific length of time, which may be longer than it takes to sell the house. While that’s usually a tough sell in a buyer’s market, it’s easier to include the condition in the escrow agreement in a competitive area like Los Angeles, which is something a good agent will know how to negotiate.

In addition to negotiating a favorable escrow agreement, a selling agent should also be able to answer follow-up questions like ” How long should you remain in escrow?

What are the tax implications? Getting into the weeds of California ‘s unique property tax system can be dicey, but a good real estate agent should be able to tell you key details that could be game-changers for your sale. One example, Bray-Ali says, is a law that tiesproperty taxes to the purchase price of a house. That means that over time, long-term homeowners get a tax discount.

But there are other implications for some buyers over 55, too. “Property tax appreciates slowly, at a fixed rate, which is always much slower than the typical market value of a property – especially in Los Angeles,” Bray-Ali notes. “If you’re an owner over 55, in some cases you can transfer that slowly appreciating property tax from the home you’re selling to a new home that you’re buying, which is a really powerful tool for someone who is downsizing or retiring.”

What will buyers object to? Homeowners want to highlight the most positive elements of their property, but even when a seller puts their best foot forward, buyers won’t be shy about pointing out what they don’t like about a house. When an agent or agent team has a lot of experience, they will be able to pinpoint potential buyer objections and give the seller advice on how to mitigate those objections, either by offering staging solutions or providing neighborhood research.

“We get feedback every time we hold an open house, and we know the things sellers like and don’t like,” Do says. Sellers need to ask for this valuable feedback to increase their chances of a better price for the property.

What can I do to get the best price for my house? To get the best price for your home, as a seller you will often need to make some upgrades, but you should also be smart about how you spend.

A common mistake Los Angeles sellers make is not taking care of termite control before putting their houses up for sale, Bray-Ali says. Taking care of this ahead of time will give the buyer one less piece of leverage to negotiate in escrow.

He also recommends using the same title insurance and escrow company, which can ultimately save sellers money during the sale. Consolidating these fees is something many sellers don’t realize they can do until they break down all of the costs that go into the sale.

How much will it cost me to sell my house? Sellers are often unaware of how much it costs to complete a home sale. At the beginning of the process, Bray-Ali recommends sellers ask their agents to carefully review the Seller Net Sheet with them. The Seller Net Sheet is a comprehensive cost breakdown, usually created by the agent and the escrow company, which provides detailed estimates of all the costs that go into selling the home, including transfer taxes, escrow costs, loan payoff, termite control, agent and other company fees.

“It’s a much more nuanced way to look at the price,” Bray-Ali explains. “While the sale price is usually a point of great pride for the seller, the Seller Net Sheet is the more accurate description of the sale.”

Is there anything you want to ask me? Do, Mullin and Bray-Ali all agree that a seller’s most important strategy is to go with an agent who asks plenty of questions of his or her own. “Every individual has a unique way of looking at things, and my responses to all their questions are based on what I see their perspectives and their priorities are,” Bray-Ali says.

Mullin agrees: “A good listing agent is going to, first, listen to the buyer’s needs. If you’re interviewing an agent who is doing all of the talking and not asking you any questions, I’d be worried.”

11 Foods That Kill Your Sex Drive

Food and sex have had a complicated relationship over the years, almost as complicated as your own love life. Taking someone out to dinner is a fail-safe date, and makingdinner at your own place is that much more impressive. There are even foods meant to boost your libido, like shellfish and avocados.

But, as with every relationship, food and sex have their disagreements, too.

Yep, there are foods that do a pretty good job of turning you and your partner off, rather than on. And if that’s not really the mood you’re looking to set for your big date Saturday night, then you’ll want to avoid eating these 11 foods that will kill your sex drive.

CHEESE

Cheese Platter

While cheese platters might be a classy way to impress your date, they’re also a one-way ticket to abstinence-ville. Population: You. The multitudes of hormones in dairy products, like cheese, might mess with your hormone levels, including estrogen and testosterone.

And when your hormones are askew, it’s likely that your sex drive won’t be at its strongest.

MINT

Mint

Skip the pre-kiss gum, guys; the menthol in mint lowers testosterone, which in turn depletes your sex drive. Try a fruitier flavor to keep your breath and your libido fresh.

CORNFLAKES

Corn Flakes

Good advice for that early breakfast date? (Hey, there are weirder things.) If you and your date are meeting in the morning (or maybe you’re still together from the night before…) skip this bland breakfast cereal. Otherwise, you’ll have a much less enjoyable, uh, morning grind.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who invented corn flakes, believed that sweet or spicy foods inflamed the passions, and sought to depress the libido with a bland, sugarless cereal. The reasoning behind his diabolical experiment is unknown. However, it’s unlikely that Kellogg created a cereal so bland that it makes sex unappealing; more likely, it’s the carbs and grains in this cereal that kill your drive.

COFFEE

Coffee Cup

Planning on, uh, pulling an all-nighter? Not with coffee, you’re not. If coffee makes you jittery, then you should not be drinking it before having sex. Your increased anxiety from the caffeine intake will lower your sex drive, as people with caffeine sensitivity have most likely experiences.

CHOCOLATE

Chocolates

This one might seem surprising, considering that chocolate has been well-known as an aphrodisiac for years. While this may hold true for women, men are singing a different tune when it comes to chocolate and sex; chocolate actually lowers testosterone levels, lowering male sex drive dramatically.

Sorry dudes, leave the boxes of chocolate to the ladies.

MICROWAVABLE POPCORN

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Having your date over to Netflix and chill? Skip the microwavable popcorn. Definitely for the sake of your sex drive, but also for some more serious health reasons. Chemicals like perfluorooctanoic acid found in the bag’s lining can not only kill your libido, but over the long term even cause prostate problems in men.

Switch to stove top corn, fellas. Still romantic and delicious, minus the unpronounceable chemical that’s slowly killing your prostate.

SOY

Smaller Soy

This one isn’t all bad — for women, at least. Soy has high levels of estrogen, which means that ingesting soy products prior to sex will boost a woman’s libido significantly.

However, for men, the opposite can be said. Eating soy boosts a man’s estrogen levels, doing a pretty good job of ending his sex drive pretty much on the spot.

FRIED FOOD

Fried Food

We’d like to think that Mickey D’s is not your go-to dinner date spot. If, for whatever reason, it is, you’re essentially sabotaging your love life. Fried foods and foods that are high in fat (which, yes, means fast food in most cases) leave you feeling tired and sluggish. Shockingly, that’s not very sexy.

Even worse, hydrogenated fats and oils suppress male testosterone levels. That double whammy is not worth that double cheeseburger.

ALCOHOL

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While bars may be a prime place for meeting people, they’re also a prime place for embarrassing sexual encounters. Of the limp kind. Sure, that last tequila shot gave you the confidence to ask someone to come home with you, but it will also reduce testosterone levels and limit sexual function in both men and women.

LICORICE 

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Skip this snack at your next movie date. Due to a natural ingredient in the candy called glycyrrhizin, eating a high amount of licorice can suppress your libido and lower testosterone levels. Granted, you would have to eat a lot of licorice for this to be a serious issue — but do you really want to risk it?

DIET SODA

Diet soda

At this point, we all know that drinking diet soda is almost worse than drinking regular sodas. Staying fit and trim is usually good for your sex drive, but eating and drinking products with artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, directly affect your serotonin levels, a vital hormone for the libido in both men or women.

Behold, The Return Of CANDY CORN OREOS

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There’s a great divide within the office right around this time of year. No, this split isn’t because of team rivalries that come with the football season. What separates the office has nothing to do with the upcoming election, either. Rather, it’s candy corn.

The Halloween candy has a devoted following in our hallways as well as a contingent that despise the bi-colored confectionary. So imagine the resulting cheers and eye rolls when I brought a bag of Candy Corn Oreos to the office earlier today.

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Found at Target, the returning Oreo variant is only available for a limited time. Oreos’ candy corn flavor features two vanilla cookies sandwiching a half yellow and half orange creme.

Here’s what a few fellow Foodbeasts had to say about the fall cookie:

Brayden

I thought they were pretty good. Better than the Swedish fish ones.

Geoff

For a non-candy corn guy, I think the taste is good. But I don’t think it tastes like candy corn.

Molly

It made me think they should try out a circus peanut flavor.

Reach

Candy Corn Oreos taste like Birthday Cake Oreos dressed up for Halloween.

You can find the pack in at the cookie aisle at Target for $2.99.

10 Ways You Can Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Premium

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As a homeowner, you probably have more bills to pay than you’d like to think about. On top of your mortgage payment, you have utilities such as electric, water and gas, as well as maintenance and repairs that pop up and possibly HOA dues, not to mention your homeowners insurance.

Being a service you pay for to protect against the unthinkable, homeowners insurance might seem like a less important payment than the rest. But when one of those unthinkable moments happens – like a fire or hurricane – you’ll be glad you have it.

Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce your homeowners insurance premium, which costs the average U.S. homeowner $952 per year, according to personal finance website ValuePenguin. There are a number of strategies and upgrades you can make to your home that will not only make it safer from disaster, but also lead to well-deserved rewards for your efforts.

But first, homeowners insurance professionals stress it’s important to make sure your home is properly covered – and you’re not paying too much or too little to begin with.

You and an insurance agent must determine how much it would cost to rebuild your home if a disaster occurred, which is more significant for homeowners insurance purposes than assessing your home’s market value.

“If you have a home that it’s going to cost half a million dollars to rebuild it, that’s what you’re going to need to insure for,” says Bill Fitzgerald, vice president of sales and client services at Amica Mutual Insurance Company. “It could be a lot more expensive in the long run if you don’t.”

When you purchase a new home, your lender will often require you to take out a homeowners insurance policy for the amount you paid for your home, explains Marty Agather, senior vice president of client development at independent insurance network Trusted Choice. Since the requirement is not based on the cost to rebuild but the market value, it can be easy for homebuyers to insure their homes for the incorrect amount.

Whether you paid $150,000 or $800,000 for your home, if the insurance provider determines it will cost $250,000 to rebuild, being over or under that amount could prove costly. Agather notes that buying a $150,000 insurance policy on that home will leave you scrounging for $100,000 to cover out of pocket, whereas with an $800,000 policy, “the insurance company will never pay more than $250,000 to rebuild your home.” In that case, you’ve drastically overpaid.

An insurance agent should be able to provide you with insight into upgrades and preventive measures you can take to reduce your premium without being underinsured. Here are 10 things that may qualify you for a discount on your homeowners insurance premium.

Opt for a higher deductible. Most people only consider using homeowners insurance for major disasters, so there’s no need to have a deductible of less than $1,000 if you can afford to cover less-expensive claims with money from your bank account. “The more that a consumer can afford to pay out of pocket, the more money they will save,” says Fitzgerald, who notes deductibles can be as high as $5,000 or $10,000 if you are capable of covering those costs.

Bundle your insurance policies. Many insurance providers with a variety of policies covering auto, life or home will offer a discount for bringing them together under the same company. “It’s completely in the customer’s control. If they want to come to the carrier for both their lines of business, it’s a great way to get a discount,” says Pete Ducich, assistant vice president of home product management at Farmers Insurance.

Avoid making small claims. If damage occurs that you can easily cover without your insurer’s help, it will benefit your premium down the line if you handle it without making a claim. Agather notes many insurance companies pay to access a large database with notes on customer claims, so changing providers may not help wipe a slate clean from making excessive claims. “Even if you switch insurance companies, your insurance company may have access to that data, and your insurance will go up anyway,” Agather says.

Choose paperless billing. Like many other companies you pay monthly bills to, most insurers are looking to cut billing costs by switching to electronic invoices and payments. Fitzgerald says opting out of paper billing can be an easy way to get a small discount.

Pay annually instead of monthly. Premium payments often include a low processing fee, but many insurance companies offer the option of paying in larger amounts to reduce the total owed toward bill processing. Depending on the processing fees from your provider, you could be saving as much as $50 or more each year.

Install central station alarm system. Insurance companies want to prevent as much damage or loss to a home as possible, so a central station alarm system – which is monitored by a company that will notify first responders if any alarms go off – is a great way to demonstrate proactive steps toward safety while potentially earning a discount, Agather says.

Update your old home. If you own an older home, maybe a century old or more, completely replacing the electrical and plumbing systems can lower your premium, largely because you’re removing antiquated wiring or pipes that are more likely to lead to damage as they age.

Have a professional install storm shutters and doors. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or major storms, your insurance provider will likely look favorably on installing storm shutters and doors to protect your home. But Fitzgerald notes professional installation is key, as nailing plywood over openings doesn’t have the same lasting effect because “they’re not professionally anchored.” Like with any other updates that can earn you a discount, your insurance provider may request receipts or proof of the professional work to lower your premium.

Set up an automatic generator. Power outages are never fun, but they can be disastrous in many parts of the country during winter. “If you lose your boiler, pipes can freeze and you’ve got a whole other problem on your hands,” Fitzgerald says. Having an automatic generator wired to the home’s electrical system that kicks on when the power goes out ensures the most important appliances remain running – and insurance providers will likely reward you for it with a discount on your premium.

Be a loyal customer. Many companies love to reward loyalty, and insurance providers are no different. Farmers Insurance, for example, will lower your homeowners deductible by $50 for every year you’ve been a customer without increasing your premium. “It rewards you for staying with the company by essentially lowering your premium – you don’t have to pay for that lower deductible,” Ducich says.

7 Must-Change Accessories to Update a Room

luxury lamp and books on bedside table in bedroom

Every room has four walls, a ceiling, floor and some furniture – but it’s what a homeowner uses as home decor that can create a warm, welcoming look that captures your personality. It’s easy to refresh a home’s rooms from season to season with accents that bring a new take on style.

When choosing home decorations, try to stick to a general style theme and color palette. This way, pieces can be picked with different shapes, textures and sizes in mind to create a cohesive feel.

Want to perk up the color palette or personality of your home but don’t want to redecorate the entire space? Here are ideas on how a few little touches can yield big results.

Make a statement on your wall. There are a few different ways to use artwork in a home. The main goal of wall art, though, is to make sure your focal point in the room stands out. Try using a large piece of art to lure the eye, or group smaller pieces together to create one large display.

Be repetitive when grouping objects together by using the same material frames or the same color in the art. Pay attention to size, balance, color and texture of wall art being used around the room.

Try a mirror. A mirror is a strategic accessory to use in a room. By placing a mirror on the opposite wall of a window it instantly reflects the natural light and easily doubles the amount of it in a room. A mirror can also make a room look larger than it actually is, and should be a must-have accessory in a small space.

Personalize the floor. Let’s move down to the floor; many designers start by choosing an area rug to help determine the rest of the room. A rug can pull a room together quickly because of its colors and textures. It’s important to use a rug to anchor furniture or to break up a large open space.

A rug will make a room feel warm and inviting, so use them to your advantage when selling, but don’t use a bunch of random small rugs around your home – that just creates clutter.

Use a rug about halfway under the bed to connect the bed and rug together in a space. Your furniture’s front legs or the entire piece of furniture can rest on the rug in the living room. A rug can create contrast as well with a white rug on a dark wood floor, for instance, and you can create interest by using a textured rug or even adding a patterned rug on top of a solid carpet to define a seating area.

Light up the room. A floor lamp is an easy product to use to add light just about anywhere and the best part is they can fit in a space where a table would not. But beware of placement to avoid showing cords or having guests or potential buyers trip over wires.

Table lamps are extremely versatile. There are many styles to choose from, so consider your current home decor. The most important thing to remember when purchasing a table lamp is to make sure it’s proportionate to other items in the room. Too big or too small will just be an eyesore for buyers. You can also consider simply swapping out a lampshade to revive the room’s appearance.

Take a curtain call. Leaving windows naked in a home is a missed opportunity. Many homeowners struggle with window treatments because they don’t exactly know what to do, especially when on a tight budget. Window treatments can get expensive, but you can find affordable curtain panels that can instantly change the look of a room. Figure out if you need a window treatment for privacy, light or both.

When hanging curtains, aim to solve a problem, such as making narrow windows wider, balancing out different-sized windows, fix a low ceiling or even cover up a bad view.

Make the bed. The bedroom is an escape from the daily grind for a homeowner, who should take pride in their sanctuary when slipping into bed. A bed is the focal point of the bedroom and should be dressed to impress. Make sure to have all the bedding essentials: a slipcover, sheet set, at least two pillows per person and a comforter or duvet to snuggle up with. Nothing livens up a space like colorful accent pillows on the bed. Swap them out seasonally to completely change the look of your bedroom without breaking the bank.

Throw ’em on. Speaking of throw pillows, don’t just use them in your bedroom. Add them on a couch, chair or even use them in a main room in the form of a pouf for kids to lounge on the floor with. Mix and match pillows by using different colors, sizes and textures to create a unique, one-of-a-kind look. On a budget, buy only new pillow covers and reuse the inserts to continue to freshen up the space.