Posted by Mary Lou Buckley on 2/18/2018

Household clutter is an insidious problem in many homes because it happens gradually and you may not notice it until it actually infringes on your living space and begins degrading your quality of life. As is the case with many problems, the first step to solving it is to recognize that you need to do something about it.

Clutter can assume many different forms in your house, but the effects are always negative. Whether you need to eliminate clutter in one room or your entire house, tackling the problem always results in a feeling of relief and accomplishment. By taking it one step at a time and focusing on the benefits of reducing clutter, you'll be able to create a positive "ripple effect" in your mind, your family relationships, personal productivity, and other aspects of your life.

Improved efficiency: Everyone knows the frustration of not being able to find something you're looking for. It's problem that may happen with increasing frequency when you're surrounded by clutter. By taking the time to sort through a cluttered closet, cabinet, garage, basement, or bedroom, you'll be able to eliminate junk, regain lost storage space, and find useful things that you forgot you even owned! When you discover belongings that your family has outgrown or stopped using, you can free up valuable space by either selling, donating, or throwing away unwanted items.

Psychological benefits: A room or home that feels cramped, cluttered, or disorganized is not at all conducive to relaxation, smooth family relationships, and feelings of contentment. If you're even a little embarrassed about the way your home looks, for example, you'll be less likely to invite family and friends over to your house. One of the benefits of actually planning a family gathering or dinner party at your home is that you'll be motivated to organize, clean, and straighten up many areas of your home -- everything from your kitchen and bathrooms to your living room and family room. Also on the plus side: Having a feeling of pride about the appearance and decor of your home is not only personally satisfying, but it can also benefit your social life!

Inspiration: Once you've reorganized your furniture, where needed, and created a more spacious feeling in your home, you'll often feel more motivated to apply a fresh coat of paint to scuffed walls, organize bookshelves, or replace old draperies with new window treatments. One thing leads to another. When you see what a difference a few household improvements can make to the look and feel of your home, you'll be inspired to find more ways to enhance your living space. With any luck, other members of your family will also be inspired to help keep the house looking neat, well organized, and clutter free. While you shouldn't expect any miracles or sudden transformations, remember: Rome wasn't built in a day!





Posted by Mary Lou Buckley on 2/11/2018

If you plan to pursue a condo, it generally is a good idea to know exactly what to expect. That way, you can map out a successful condo buying journey, one that ensures you can avoid potential pitfalls along the way.

Ultimately, there are many factors to consider as you get ready to embark on the condo buying journey, and these include:

1. Where You Want to Live

The condos in a big city often are very different from those available in a small town. Thus, you should make a list of your condo must-haves prior to starting a condo search to boost the likelihood of a seamless condo buying experience.

Furthermore, think about where you want to live before you kick off your condo search – you'll be happy that you did. Because if you can narrow your condo search to properties in a group of cities or towns, you may be able to speed up your condo search.

2. Your Budget

If you intend to buy a condo, you'll likely need a mortgage. Thankfully, many banks and credit unions are available, and these lenders can teach you everything that you need to know to put together a successful budget.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. If you connect with these mortgage specialists, you can learn about a variety of mortgage options and make an informed mortgage selection.

Also, don't forget to plan ahead for potential condo dues. Most condos provide lawn care, snow removal and other amenities that are covered under monthly or annual condo fees. Although these fees may not be included in your mortgage, you'll need to put aside funds each month to cover them. Therefore, you'll want to account for potential condo fees as you craft your condo buying budget.

3. Condo Living

Living in a condo and residing in a house are not the same thing. As such, you should try to prepare for condo living as much as possible to ensure that the condo lifestyle is right for you.

For example, condo owners typically won't have to worry about performing lawn care thanks to their condo fees. At the same time, condo owners will need to comply with various regulations established by a community's homeowner's association (HOA). In fact, failure to comply with HOA rules could result in fines or other penalties.

If you want to get a better understanding about what it's like to live in a particular condo community, it may be beneficial to consult with a real estate agent with condo buying expertise. This housing market expert can offer insights into different condo communities in your city or town. Then, if you want to pursue a condo in a specific community, a real estate agent can help you purchase your ideal condo.

Ready to take the guesswork out of buying a condo? Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can streamline the process of going from condo buyer to condo owner.




Tags: Condo   buyer tips  
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Posted by Mary Lou Buckley on 2/4/2018

Having lived in several tiny apartments, I know firsthand the struggle of having a cluttered bedroom. The bedroom is the room of your home you'll probably spend the most time in. You sleep there, get dressed there, and it's where you go to unwind before bed. It also houses some large furniture items: your bed, your clothing storage, and maybe even a desk or television. However, there are ways to declutter your bedroom to make it feel more minimal, open, and spacious. In this article, we'll go over some of the ways you can arrange, paint, and decorate your bedroom to create space and build a more open and comfortable environment.

1. Colors are important

Interior decorators will tell you all about the need for light colors to make a room feel spacious. We naturally associate darkness with closed spaces--a shady patch of wood, a dark cave--whereas bright spaces tend to be much more spacious--a sprawling field or open body of water. To emulate this openness indoors, decorate your home like you would find in a field. Keep the darker colors lower to the ground like the dirt and grass in a field, and the lighter colors up higher on the walls and ceiling, like the sky above.

2. Mirrors make a difference

Most people know about the mirror trick to adding space in a room. However, the location and size of the mirror also matter. One tiny mirror in the corner of a room won't make much of a difference. However, grouping mirrors together, especially vertically from floor to ceiling, will make the bed room appear much larger, plus you'll be able to use the mirrors while getting dressed in the morning.

3. Use storage furniture

A bed frame, desk, or ottoman with storage space will allow you to keep objects out of sight and help declutter the room. For best results, use furniture items that are light in color or paint them a slightly different shade of the color of your walls.

4. Modular furniture

Modular furniture is minimal and can be built to fit your needs. With modular furniture you won't ever have more drawers in your dresser than you need. If you want a desk in your bedroom, you can buy a fold-up wall mounted desk that helps clear up room when not in use.

5. Store inside, not on top

Bedrooms tend to accumulate a lot of clutter. Before I got rid of my bedside table it was usually covered with any range of items--keys, water bottle, opened mail, pens, etc. However, now that I store everything in a bedroom drawer, I don't have to worry about those items being visible and making the room feel cluttered.

6. Ditch the big bed

Mattresses and bed frames have come a long way in recent years when it comes to minimalism. Since your bed is probably the largest item in your bedroom, it is the most important item to change if you really want to make the room more spacious. The obvious solution is to buy a smaller sized bed. However, if that isn't an option there are also many slim mattresses and bed frames with a sleek, minimalist look.





Posted by Mary Lou Buckley on 1/28/2018

Trying to choose colors for the inside and outside of your home can be awfully tricky. Finding which shades mix in order to decorate your rooms can seem dizzying. With a little confidence and some knowledge, you’ll be able to find colors that you’ll love for a long time to come. Here’s some tips to help you find the right mix for your home’s color scheme. 

Look For Inspiration


Whether you’re in your friend’s living room and see a color combo that you really love, or are looking in a magazine and see something unique, make note of it for your own uses.  


Find Colors That You Can Live With


While bright green and orange may look cool together, can you really live with these hues in a room? Discover what colors make you feel a certain way. If the room is meant to make you feel calm and collected, you’ll want to find colors that are soothing to you and your soul. If the room is meant to be more energizing, you’ll want to pick a more vibrant, energetic color. Keep in mind that the color in a room affects the mood of the room. 


Get Plenty Of Samples


From sample color swatches to small cans of paint samples, there’s plenty of resources at your local hardware store to get you started on finding the perfect colors for a room. Be sure to hold the swatches up in different lighting and see how they look in the space by going around the room from wall to wall. This will help you to see how the color will look once it’s actually painted on the walls in different lighting.


Find Matches


The next question that you’ll have once you get your paint up is what kind of colors will go well in this room. It’s good to have a few ideas in mind. If you already own a sofa, for example, start by working with that color. If the sofa is brown, for example, you may not want brown walls as well. Work with what you have first. If you’re buying new furniture and accessories, you may want to work with what you’re hoping to put in the room. The task of choosing colors for the interior of your home involves thinking about both design and function.           


Nature Has Some Answers For You


If you really love the beach, think of the colors that are present there. There’s tan colored sand along with blue skies, blue water, and touches of green from seagrass, trees, and other plants. Nature’s color palette is quite extensive and the good news is that all of the landscapes match! It you look around in nature, you can get a great idea for the beginnings of a fantastic color scheme for any room in your home.





Posted by Mary Lou Buckley on 1/21/2018

For first-time home sellers, promoting a residence to the right groups of homebuyers may prove to be a major challenge. Lucky for you, we're here to help first-time home sellers streamline the process of showcasing a house to prospective buyers and accelerating the property selling journey.

What does it take to promote a house effectively? Here are three tips to help first-time home sellers do just that.

1. Understand Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

A first-time home seller should evaluate a house's interior and exterior closely. By doing so, this property seller can identify any potential problem areas and work to address such issues accordingly.

Typically, a home appraisal offers a great starting point for home sellers. This appraisal ensures a property inspector can assess a house both inside and out and offer expert insights into a residence's strengths and weaknesses.

After a home appraisal is completed, a home seller can use the appraisal report findings to prioritize assorted home improvements. That way, a home seller can commit the necessary time and resources to transform various home weaknesses into strengths.

2. Improve Your House's Curb Appeal

It is paramount for a first-time home seller to consider the homebuyer's perspective. In fact, doing so may make it easy for a home seller to uncover ways to bolster a residence's curb appeal.

Consider what homebuyers will see when they view a house for the first time. This will enable a home seller to identify potential issues and work to resolve such problems without delay.

For example, a home with long, uncut grass or chipped paint on the exterior may be an eye sore. As a result, homebuyers might shy away from this residence after they see it for the first time.

On the other hand, a house with a pristine front lawn and a dazzling exterior may make a great first impression on homebuyers. This means a homebuyer probably will view this house in a positive light – something that may lead a property buyer to submit an offer.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to promoting a house, there may be no better option than hiring a real estate agent. Together, a real estate agent and a first-time home seller should have no trouble promoting a residence to the right homebuyers, at the right time, every time.

A real estate agent will teach a home seller about the housing market and help him or her plan ahead for any potential home selling pitfalls. Plus, this housing market professional will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to ensure a home seller can maximize the value of his or her residence.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will assist a home seller in any way possible. And if a home seller ever has housing market questions, a real estate agent will respond to these queries immediately.

Take the guesswork out of promoting your residence to homebuyers – use these tips, and a first-time home seller can stir up interest in his or her residence as soon as it becomes available.




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