March 23, 2019

ADD A SPRING TOUCH TO YOUR HOME

 

Spring is on the way! Cheering up your home with some spring decor is the perfect way to prepare for warmer days and more sunshine. Here are some options to prepare your home for the next season!

ADD AN HERB GARDEN

While they may not last outdoors with the sporadic weather of spring, bringing potted herbs into your home and letting them soak up sunlight in a kitchen window is the perfect way to add life to your home and have access to fresh herbs while you’re cooking. 

THINK SPRING 

If you are all about DIY-ing, creating simple decorations can add a pop of seasonal color to your home. Take that pair of rain boots you don’t wear anymore and turn them into planters - add bright floral arrangements and use your new decor item as an inviting piece by your front door.

POPS OF COLOR

Neutral and sleek is all the rage right now, but adding a pop of color in your normal decor can add a cheerful touch to your home. Swap out your kitchen napkins or tablecloth with something a little bit more colorful, like soft blues or pinks. Small changes can do enough to make your home feel different without being overwhelming.

FLORALS ARE ALWAYS THE ANSWER

Whether or not you already include florals in your home decor, take the time to swap out or add something new that feels like spring. While fresh flowers are a great choice, consider picking up some faux florals for the majority of your decor and saving the fresh flowers for a centerpiece. Don’t be afraid to add pops of color, specifically yellows and pinks, to create a focal point for the room. 

TOUCH UP TIME

Is there a room in your home that is just feeling drab? Maybe it is dark and uninviting, or maybe it has white walls that have started to fade. While you are spring cleaning, consider adding a fresh coat of paint to a place in your home that needs a boost of light. Spring is all about being fresh and new, so your home should feel that way too!

Posted in Homeowner Tips
March 20, 2019

HOW TO SAVE UP FOR A HOUSE

 

Are you thinking about buying a home and just don’t know where to start? Before you even begin looking at homes, consider how much you may need to save to make the process as smooth as possible for you, especially in the long run. While there are situations where you don’t need a large down payment for a home, having one can save you money down the road. 

Saving for a down payment is slightly different than other large savings, like retirement. With those savings, you can set aside smaller amounts or invest the money. Because you will need your down payment sooner rather than later, those saving methods won’t be beneficial to you. Here are some steps to take to save up for your dream home!

1. Determine How Much You Need

There is a general rule of thumb in real estate, the rule of 28, that says your maximum mortgage payment should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. Sitting down with a mortgage lender will help you find out how much of a mortgage you qualify for based on that income. They will be able to tell you the recommended amount needed for a 20% down payment. Whether or not that is a requirement, a 20% down payment can get you a great price deal and reduce your monthly mortgage rate. 

2. Decide When You Want To Buy

The next step will be deciding when you want to buy. This will give you either a monthly or annual goal of how much money you need to be setting aside to reach that down payment goal.

3. Choose A Savings Plan

It it usually best to avoid stocks or other risky investments when it comes to saving for a home. Consider opening a regular savings account specifically for your down payment, and make sure it is an account you use for deposit-only purposes until you’re ready to make your down payment.

4. Check Your Budget

Saving a few dollars here and there can be easy, but saving thousands of dollars may take a little more practice. First, consider cutting back on your expenses. Check your budget for things you can go without. This may be difficult, but think about what you are saving up for! If you have the chance to earn additional income, devote that extra cash directly to your savings account. These saving strategies will not only help you to buy your new home, but can create life-long habits to help you continue to save money down the road.

5. Consider An Automated Savings Plan

Even after you have adjusted your budget, pulling that money out of your checking account and putting it into a savings isn’t always easy. Once you’ve determined how much of your budget will be going into savings, consider adding a savings plan to your bank account so that the money will automatically be sent to your savings. This can remove the temptation of spending what may look like extra money in your account and ensuring that it goes where it needs to. 

6. Save Your Big Deposits

Have you received a large sum of money lately? Maybe you just got married, or got a bonus at work, or that tax-return was especially big this year. Instead of spending that cash, deposit it directly into your savings account. This can reduce your savings timeframe and might have you ready to buy sooner than you thought.

Saving up for a home isn't always easy, but it is always worth it! When you are ready to buy, give us a call and we will get you that home you've been dreaming of!

Posted in Buyer Tips
March 20, 2019

WHAT YOUR CARPET IS HIDING FROM YOU

 

How many carpeted rooms in your home appear clean at a glance? Even if you think they all look clean, those carpets may not be very sanitary. Spring is here which means if you have snow, it has likely started to melt - exposing dirt and pollen that can now be easily tracked into your house.  Carpets trap dust and odors and can attract mold when they absorb moisture. So often, we forget what our carpet could be hiding because it just doesn't look dirty. You want to make your carpet last as long as possible, and the only way to ensure that is by keeping your carpets cleaned and sanitized. Here are some steps to take to keep that carpet in the best shape possible, and as clean as ever.

1. Vacuum Weekly

Make a habit of vacuuming once a week, even twice a week in high traffic areas. While it is easy to rush through vacuuming, try taking it slowly to ensure your vacuum is pulling up as much dirt and dust as possible.

2. Use Door Mats

Door mats can help reduce the amount of dirt and dust being brought into your home in the first place. Use both indoor and outdoor mats and be sure to clean them when you vacuum each week. 

3. No Shoes, No Problem

It probably isn’t hard to believe that 80% of the dirt in your house is carried inside on people’s shoes. Ensuring that your family members and guests remove their shoes before entering your home will help to greatly reduce the amount of dirt and dust.

4. Treat Spots and Spills ASAP

To avoid permanent damage, make sure you are always cleaning up messes as soon as they happen. It can be easy to quickly wipe up a spill without really cleaning it, but spot treating to remove any residual mess is the best choice. It is much harder to remove a stain once it has set!

5. Vacuum Under Furniture & Rugs

It is easy to forget about the dirt and dust that collects under rugs and furniture. Aim to clean in those hidden spots monthly or bi-monthly.

6. Deep-Clean Your Carpets

If you don’t own a carpet steam cleaner, consider renting one for a deep-clean twice a year. The high-powered water extraction system will clean, disinfect, and sanitize your rugs and carpets to remove anything that regular vacuuming leaves behind. 

Keeping your carpet clean is a great investment for your home. By following these steps, you can prevent the need for carpet replacement for many years to come.

Posted in Homeowner Tips
March 20, 2019

TOP 5 HOMESTAGING PROPS

1. ORCHIDS & HIGH QUALITY FLORALS

Orchids are an incredibly versatile prop. They are beautiful, elegant, and add class into any interior, regardless of the style of home. They will pair well with just about any room. You can add them into a bathroom for a spa-like feel, group them into containers for a grand entryway centerpiece, or make them the highlight of the dining room. Adding high quality florals can be the perfect way to decorate any space, and the variety of flower types and arrangements can blend into any decorating theme.

2. BOOKS

Books are wonderful space fillers and can introduce subtle pops of color into your living space. They can also be used as risers to add dimension to your room by propping other decorative pieces. 

3. BOWLS, TRAYS, & VASES

Ceramic containers can add a calming and organic effect to a decorative scene. They are beautifully subtle, and can be just the right touch to bring a room together. Using vases, trays, and bowls allow a lot of versatility. Vases can be used as a creative way to hold utensils in a kitchen and bowls can be used for small plants. The right container, paired with the right filler, can set the scene and create a warm and inviting space.

4. FILLERS

Fillers are the perfect addition to the types of containers noted above. Fillers can be wicker balls, moss balls, faux lemons or other fruits, bread, flowers, and just about anything else you can think of. Fillers can bring a lived-in look to any space, warming up what could otherwise feel like a bare room. 

5. LIFESTYLE ELEMENTS

Having lifestyle elements in your home can really set the stage for the theme you want to incorporate. Lifestyle elements are things that breathe life into any room, and help to prevent it from feeling too staged. These can be things such as a teapot on a night stand, a bowl of fruit on a dining room table, little figurines on nightstands, books on a coffee table, etc. You can even add a breakfast tray on a set bed. Use lifestyle scenery sparingly so it doesn't come off as too cheesy and over-done.

Posted in Seller Tips