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    Wednesday, September 20, 2017   /   by Sophia Hernandez

    FROM DECORATING TO STAGING

    Once you've decided to put your home on the market, you're looking to sell quickly for the best possible price. One tactic that can help sell your home faster is staging. At first, staging may seem like a real estate term that doesn't actually mean anything. Isn't staging just decorating? Well, not exactly…


    Appeal to the masses


    Your home is likely decorated to your tastes. It could be colorful and eclectic, or rugged and industrial. But when you're staging your home, rather than appealing to a specific decorating sense, you want to furnish your home in a way that appeals to everyone-and more importantly, doesn't turn anyone off who just isn't into your personal style.


    Tone down the personal flourishes


    Buyers want to be able see themselves in a home and imagine how they'd make it their own. Unfortunately, that means less of your own style as you're preparing for your move. Cut down on family photos, bold artwork, and unusual furniture. Do some major declutteri ...

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    Monday, September 18, 2017   /   by Sophia Hernandez

    FIVE MONEY-SAVING GREEN UPGRADES

    Going green is great for the environment, but that's not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings.





    Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity.






    Wood furnace: Wood-burning furnaces are relatively inexpensive, and though the yearly savings aren't as dramatic (about 10% on heating bills), it adds up over the long run.






    Insulation: There's a good chance your insulation isn't very efficient, especially in older homes. Look into installing floor, cavity, wall, and loft insulation to reduce your heating bills.






    Rain barrels: Rain barrels are extremely inexpensive, and provide gallons of free water to use when you wash your car or water your garden. ...

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    Thursday, July 27, 2017   /   by Sophia Hernandez

    BATHROOM TRENDS FOR 2017

    Staying on top of the latest trends in home decor isn’t for everyone, but even for traditionalists, it can be fun to incorporate some new ideas. Here are five bathroom decor trends that are appearing in 2017.





    Geometric Patterns: Many homeowners are selecting bold patterns in geometric shapes, like chevrons, triangles, or hexagons. These patterns can add intrigue and continuity to your tile or shower curtain.






    Plants: Even the best-designed bathrooms can benefit from some small plants. If you have a windowless bathroom, there are some low-light options that can survive with little maintenance.






    Dark Colors: This can be tricky to achieve, but it comes with a big pay off. While traditional bathrooms are often painted with brighter whites and greys, opting for darker colors can make a bathroom seem more luxurious and relaxing. Imagine sinking into a deep bath with dim lighting—that might convey the appeal of a darker palette.






    Bras ...

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    Friday, July 21, 2017   /   by Sophia Hernandez

    AVOID THESE TWO BIG MORTGAGE MISTAKES

    We all know that searching for and viewing potential homes is the fun part of the home-buying process. The not-so-fun part? The mortgage.


    But if you don't pay attention to the details, your mortgage can end up dragging down the enjoyment of your new home and cause some major regrets. Here are a few mistakes to avoid to ensure that you love your mortgage terms as much as your hew home.


    Don't find your home first: Shopping around for the best mortgage rate should be the first step in the home buying process. You may even want to talk to a mortgage broker a full year before you plan to buy. It'll give you time to get your affairs in order to qualify for the best rate, could save you thousands of dollars in the long run, and you won't feel rushed to accept an unattractive loan because you're worried you'll miss out on your dream home.


    Don't forget your real budget: There's often a big difference between what a lender says you can afford and what you can actually af ...

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    Monday, July 17, 2017   /   by Sophia Hernandez

    RECONSIDER THESE CHOICES WHEN YOU’RE DESIGNING YOUR KITCHEN

    The kitchen is one area of the home that sees the most wear and tear. All the water, heat, and food spills add up quickly so it’s important to focus on quality and lasting appeal when you’re choosing materials for a kitchen remodel. Here are a few things you should avoid:


    Cheap Laminate Countertops: The bottom rung of laminate is extremely susceptible to wear and tear. It can melt if you forget to place a hot pad under a pan that’s fresh out of the oven and the edges can chip off from repeated exposure to moisture and heat.


    Flat Paint: A flat or matte finish is great in rooms with lower traffic, but it’s a bad idea in the kitchen where the walls are regularly exposed to splatters and spills. You need paint that can withstand an occasional heavy scrubbing, so opt for gloss or semi-gloss finishes.


    Trendy Backsplash: If you watch any home remodeling show, you’ll certainly see kitchens with expensive, elaborate backsplash designs and m ...

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