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Meet Gabby Luoma, CPA and visionary for her company GMLCPA, offering accounting services that leverage online financial tools. Gabby is a busy mom, who shares parenting with her husband Dwayne. They have two daughters, Rebecca who's away at college, and Brooke who loves competing with her gymnastics team which involves lots of driving for Gabby. Women and their homes are all about making good use of their time so protecting the house, are poodle Sophie and schnauzer Max.
Most homeowners wait until all the kids leave home before downsizing. Gabby and her husband decided not to wait. They moved a year ago to cut down on home maintenance, so they can enjoy family time and relaxing when not at work. Gabby feels this was a really smart decision. Their new 1,800 square foot home (compared to 3,000 sq ft), takes fifty percent less time to maintain, and they no longer need a housekeeper.
Women and Their Homes, A Chat with Gabby Luoma
We're so busy these days, wondering why because technology was supposed to give us more time? The challenge as a homeowner is one of protecting the investment you've made, and picking the right home improvement projects to enhance your lifestyle while building financial equity. So this series of interviews about women and their homes, will help us learn how we can better serve you.
What are your biggest concerns about your home?”
Gabby: I'm worried about the fuse that keeps popping, worried that it might start a fire.
Tina: What have you done to try and identify what's causing the fuse to trip?
Gabby: Nothing really, but so far we've lost the food in the freezer.
Tina: That doesn't sound right because your refrigerator should be on a dedicated circuit, so there might be a problem with your freezer.
Gabby: Oh, this is a stand-alone freezer in the garage.
Tina: Then you're overloading the circuit, probably when you use something else like a power drill, that's on the same circuit. I had a similar problem recently. When running the space heater in my home office, if my husband turned on the Keurig coffee maker, the fuse blew. We thought we knew how to manage the problem until the morning the fuse blew before my husband woke up. It was time to find a better solution so …
Acton: Guess it's time for an article on what to do when you keep blowing the same fuse.
What gives you the most joy in your home?
Gabby: I love coming home and relaxing … in the living room.
Tina: That's great, as it's important to have a place in your home where you can forget about the rest of the world, and focus on what you need. What do you do to relax?
Gabby: Sometimes I watch TV or read a book. Depending on who's home, I'll spend time talking to my husband or daughter, and we love watching movies together … and yes, sometimes I'll do some work there too.
What's the next project you have planned for your house?
Gabby: We're going to add can lights in the kitchen ceiling. I love my kitchen but it's not light enough. We've been saving up and finally have the money for this project.
Tina: That's great and I'm sure you're going to use a licensed electrician, and then you can also resolve the problem with the fuse that keeps popping. (Read: Smart Kitchen Lighting Tips)
Gabby: Absolutely and that makes perfect sense, to do a repair and home improvement at the same time.
Tina: When talking to your electrician, ask for recommendations on the best cans for your ceiling. The important thing is spending a little more for insulated can lights to minimize any loss of conditioned (heated/cooled) air from your home into the attic (here's a video that explains this visually).
Tina: If you don't have an electrician, take time to interview several as it's important to build long term relationships with an electrician, plumber, HVAC company and handyman, here's my eBook, Finding and Hiring Home Contractors.
When you need help planning a project, where do you get help?
Gabby: Well the easiest place is Google, because I'm online already.
Tina: How many links to you review to get your information?
Gabby: Probably average about 10 links.
Tina: Wow, that's impressive and feels like your training as a CPA influences how you deal with problems. Do you look anywhere else for input, like magazines?
Gabby: No, I don't use magazines but I will ask people who work at Lowe's for help
Tina: I'm glad you're doing so much research. It's never enough to read one article or talk to one person. When I write articles, I read at least 3 to 5 other articles to make sure I'm not missing anything, even when I know the topic. For example, half the videos I watched about fixing a garbage disposal skipped step #1, trying the reset button.