Category Archives: Home

Choosing the right Real Estate Agent

Buying a house isn’t a task to be taken lightly. The house you decide to live in and its location have an enormous effect on your life. Your house does more than protect you from the elements; it’s where you raise a family and go to relax after a long day’s work. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or have lived in several houses, it’s daunting to search the housing market to find a home for your family.

Buying a house through a real estate agent offers many benefits that make the process simpler. It’s a realtor’s job to know about the houses available on the market. If your family needs a room for every kid, a pool, or a small yard, realtors can find houses that meet your wants and needs. Finding that right house for your family is largely dependent on hiring the right real estate agent.

Where ever you’re looking for a home, the area is bound to have multiple real estate companies each with several agents. Finding the right agent to work with can be trickier than you think. The first thing to look for in an agent is whether or not they are a realtor. The difference between realtors and real estate agents is that the former is licensed through the National Association of Realtors. Realtor licensing requires additional professional and ethical training. Not to say that all realtors are better than real estate agents, but it’s a first step in finding the right one.

Whether you go with a real estate agent or realtor, be sure to check the validity of their license. The status of a license can be verified online through a state’s Bureau of Real Estate. In addition to checking that a license is valid, you can find out if the agent has complaints against them or if they’ve received awards.

Once you’ve found potential agents, give them a call. Interviewing real estate agents is the only way to come to your own decision. You might ask questions about how long they’ve been in business, the type of homes they work with, and how they prefer to communicate. With a bit of research, you can find a real estate agent who works hard rather than one that’s hard to work with. Finding an agent who is honest and dedicated to your needs is the first step in buying the right family home.

6 Pitfalls Of Hiring Your Own Removal Truck

6 Pitfalls Of Hiring Your Own Removal Truck

Most people want to save as much money as they can during the moving process and are tempted to hire their own moving truck.

However, while the DIY removal route might seem like a cheaper option on paper, there are many pitfalls that come with moving on your own.

Before you decide whether to use a professional Brisbane removalist service or pack your own truck, consider these common pitfalls that come with the self-moving trend.

You’ll need money on a credit card for a deposit: If you’re strapped for cash, hiring a truck is not going to be inexpensive in the short-term. Most truck hire companies require anything from a $200 to $500 deposit paid before you pick the vehicle up, and you’ll usually need to pay this with a credit card owned by the designated driver.

There are rigid hire time requirements: Moving trucks are usually only available for 24 hour hire periods – not the half or quarter day increments that professionals offer. If you’re super organised this won’t necessarily be a problem, but don’t expect to return your truck half an hour late without having to pay for an entire extra day.

Vehicle inspections waste valuable time: You know you’re going to be busy from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed on moving day. But, most people don’t factor in the time needed to properly inspect a removal vehicle and fill out the condition report before and after their move. Online reviews of truck hire companies are littered with cautionary tales of time-poor movers who rushed this process, didn’t notice a defect in their hire vehicle, and were then stung for repair costs later on.

It’s hard to collect your truck without help: Even if you’re confident that you can pack and move all of your possessions by yourself, a major roadblock that solo movers often don’t consider is the logistics of picking up their hire truck. Many hire places do not have anywhere for you to park your vehicle for the day while using your hire truck, so you’ll need to get a friend to drop you off or to hire a taxi on the day.

Don’t expect accessories to be included: Few truck hire companies include removalist trolleys, blankets and ropes in their standard packages. While these items can usually be rented, you’ll often find that the cost of hiring these essentials can come close to the cost of buying them new.

Your possessions aren’t insured: Everyone knows that when you rent a car you have to purchase basic insurance. But when you insure your hire truck you’re only covering the truck, not any of your possessions inside. Unlike professional movers who offer break-free guarantees, when you move goods yourself you have no safety net for potential damages.

Tips on Buying and Selling Residential Properties

Home buying and selling can be a very fast-paced industry – a house can sell within hours or even minutes. With the right tools at your fingertips you will be able to outwit and win good deals.

If You’re Buying

If you are a buyer, then you will want to take these things into consideration.

Find a lender. Before you start working with a bank, mortgage banker, mortgage broker or credit union, get as much information about them as you can. Check their backgrounds carefully. Also, get an estimate of all possible fees.

Don’t over commit yourself. There are some things that you can take care of for the buyer, but others that you cannot. Learn to be flexible and to negotiate.

Stay within your financial reach. Make sure you never go for something that is so high or right around your income level, but rather something that is 25–30% lower than your income, so that if there is ever a draw back on your financial status you’ll still be able to afford it.

Get pre-approved. If you have problems getting pre-approved because of your bad credit rating, then one good thing to do is to get your own credit report online and review it. Determine if anything on the report is inaccurate or over seven years old, which means it must be removed.

Know what you’re looking for. Whether you are going to open houses on your own or using a real estate broker, make up a list of what you would most like to see in the property and prioritize it so you can determine which items are most important and which ones you are comfortable sacrificing.

Always keep a cool head. Simple problems can become a burden when you have many details to take care or you hit a few snags on the way to closing. Work with the people who are helping you through the transaction to resolve any issues that pop up.

If you’re selling

If you are on selling the side, here are some things you should be thinking of right now.

Know when to sell. Besides spring, the best time to put your property on the market if you plan on buying another home is when interest rates are low. Low rates benefit both buyers and sellers, and you’ll be both.

Understand the process. Learn about the home selling process and about negotiating. Knowing as much as you can could save you thousands of dollars.

Decide whether to go it alone. If you decide to sell your home on your own, keep in mind that it may take longer than if you’re using a real estate agent, especially in a buyers’ market. When there are more sellers than buyers, real estate agents have the advantage of using multiple listings when it comes to getting their homes in front of buyers.

Be realistic. About your asking price, the time it takes to sell a house, the process and the market. If you go in thinking it will take only a week and you’ll get exactly your asking price, you’ll probably be disappointed.

Think improvements. While you don’t necessarily have to add on a new room or two, making some basic improvements can increase the value of the property dramatically, and can also make a significant difference in the eyes of buyers. If the house needs a paint job, use neutral colors. The same with new carpeting. If there are hardwood floors, consider having them professionally refinished. Landscaping also adds curb appeal and increases the value of the property.

Price at market value. When you do, you open your home up to more buyers who can afford the price. Listing at a high price in the hope that you’ll find the one purchaser who will pay it, often discourages many potential purchasers who could have afforded the price. If you need to sell quickly, consider advertising owner financing to draw in a wider range of buyers.

Keeping these things in mind will surely help you sell at the right price and land on your dream home. Be real and you’ll have a much better experience.

Four Strategies to Buy Rentals With No Down Payment

Tips to Prepare for Moving

“Traveling is easy if you use a GPS or road map to reach your destination”. You should also organise before moving to keep your move well planned, easy, and less time consuming.

Here are some basic tips to prepare before moving:

Make a Moving To-Do List

You should be prepared one month before the move and plan accordingly. The moving to do list must include finding a local mover to unpack and organise at the new place.

Find top 5 local movers and packers

It’s good enough to search for 5 top leading movers in the location to get a free estimate. You can search the web or take reviews from people on the movers and their reputation.

Prefer moving companies that supply materials

Based on the quote estimate, make an agreement with a moving company that provides packing materials.

Prepare a Moving check-list

It’s important to have a printed check-list to categorise the things to move on preference. Get a list of all the items that should be packed by the movers and sort it. Mention the heavy items and outdoor items separately.

Organise utilities like TVs and Gas Connections

Make sure to disconnect your TV cable, gas connections and other similar utilities 2 weeks before the day you move.

Discover local resources

It is necessary to find local resources like supermarkets, water & cable services and other resources nearby the new place before the move. Find the necessary Organisations

Two to three weeks before the move, you must inform the organizations you are a part of, that you are moving. You also have to clear all dues with them.

Give Prior Membership Applications

Be ready a week before to fill out forms and applications for getting new residential, church memberships and more

Pack Your Essentials

You should pack valuable items like jewels and bank documents. Clear your wardrobe/closet of clothes and self pack them in bags. Its good not good to use cardboard boxes for this. Free your kitchen of perishable items

Clean your kitchen out of perishable items like soaked and frozen items and vegetables. On moving day, defrost your freezer for easy handling.

Get rid of garbage and unwanted things.

Avoid carrying unwanted things to the new place by donating or throwing them away.

Home Buyer Tips In a Sellers’ Market, How To Increase Your Odds

In a sellers’ market, its best for buyers to be educated about the specific area they would like to purchase. In a sellers’ market, sellers usually like to view as much offers as possible to maximize their profits thus creating a bidding war with buyers, much different from when the market is slow and considered a buyers’ market. Knowing how to present the offer or what to ask, will help you in finding the best property in a sellers’ market. Below are a few tips for buyers:

Ask how many offers seller currently has. If no offers have been submitted, that might indicate property is possibly overpriced or is fairly new on the market. It also lets you negotiate differently and perhaps getting a lower price.

Have your agent do comps in the area and submit with the offer. Sending comps with your offer shows sellers the reason for your offer price on their property. Sometimes sellers set their own price even if their agent provides them comps .

Send a full offer package, not an incomplete one. Since it is a sellers’ market and very competitive, do not send offers without proof of funds or approval letter. The offer will most probably be over looked decreasing your odds. You want to increase your odds of getting the property in a sellers’ market, not reasons why the offer should not be considered.

Do not ask for closing cost. Though many buyers need it or would just like to receive some funds for closing, in a sellers’ market, they will most likely move to an offer that is not requesting closing cost.

Offer as much as you are willing to pay. In a sellers’ market, there is not much time to negotiate on the property much like when it is a buyers’ market. Offering as much as you are willing to pay will increase your chances.

Close as quickly as possible. Some sellers’ are looking to close as quickly as possible due to job transfers or other personal reasons. Some buyers request a closing date 60 days from offer due to various reasons. If your offer looks good enough with a quicker closing, you increase the chances of getting offer accepted.

Communicate with the seller when viewing the property. Buyers should not speak with sellers about price when they go and view the property; the agent does this with the listing agent. A good conversation about the history of the home instead can influence the seller to take your offer. Sellers’ are attached to their homes and sometimes prefer selling their home to buyers who will take care of and love the home.

These are some great starter tip to help buyers in a sellers’ market. There are many more ways to increase odds of purchasing your dream home in a sellers’ market. Buyers should always understand that sellers’ always try to maximize their profits when the market is on their side. With great negotiating skills and some time, you can find the right home at the right price even in a sellers’ market.

Creating a Feature Wall in Your Home

With all the many ways we can add appeal and interest to a room, creating a feature wall is probably one of the more attractive options. Simply choose a wall that will hold the heaviest piece of furniture such as your sofa or bed and make it stand out. Browse the Internet or use your great imagination to change the look and feel of your room. If there is already a great feature in the room such as a fireplace, add some drama to that wall, or choose the opposite wall if you wish. A feature wall is usually the wall that visitors will see the moment they enter. It should completely draw their attention.

There are lots of ways to do this. Painting it a bolder, contrasting color than you paint the other walls of the room is just one way to make a bold statement. There are lots of painting techniques that can be used as well, such as ragging, color washing, combing, stamping, sponging on, and sponging off. I used a large stencil design in my bedroom to create a feature wall behind my bed and it looks phenomenal.

Wallpaper is another great option and you can find some really beautiful patterns. If you do decide on wall paper make sure you buy strippable paper, it will make things easier if you decide you want to take it down at some point in the future. Always use a wallpaper primer before you apply the paper. Don’t buy a pattern that will make it harder for you to incorporate your existing room colors, furniture, and accessories. You could divide the wall up behind a bed by putting up a wall treatment of some kind directly behind the wall and use wood trim pieces along the edges. This will really add drama and appeal to the room. If you’re someone who changes your furniture around, this would not be a good idea.

Wood flooring planks hung horizontally make for an interesting and attractive look as well. You could also find some old door panels and repaint them or use them as is for a rustic look. Shutter doors work great too. Simply hang them side by side. I’ve also seen people use wood planks that are stained and hung in various heights side by side. You could even finish them in different shades of stain finishes. Bead board and shiplap are some more great wood options for your walls.

Faux brick or rock wall designs are great for bringing in the outdoors. Although they are usually used for the fireplace, they are becoming a wonderful addition for making a statement in any room. Many people use them for bar or recreation areas in their homes but they would make for a really nice rustic feature wall as well in a living room, kitchen, or family room.

If your room is small, use various size mirrors, or one very large mirror to make the room look larger. These mirrors can be yard sale finds or store bought, and can make for some real fun when you’re searching for your ideal pieces. Don’t get too hung up on finishes. You can mix and match different frame finishes to make the look a lot more interesting. You could also have mirrors made to fit the entire wall if you wish. A collage of family photos or art work can add appeal and interest to a large wall as well.

If you’re an avid reader and like to actually hold a printed book in your hand and keep it afterward, think about a wall of book cases. They are great for displaying your nick knacks and family pictures and add a great amount of extra space for your collections.

It’s all a matter of taste. Just remember that the feature wall should contain colors or items that really stand out and draw the attention of visitors as soon as they enter the room. Have fun with your ideas and you’ll find that creating a feature wall in your rooms can be anything from dramatic, to calming, depending on your choices.

Seven Fast Home Decor Tips

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of professional interior decorators don’t have a degree–at least not in design or decorating–unlike interior designers which must have a degree, decorators do what they do more off of instinct. A good eye for colors, patterns, and textures, and you can create your own great interior spaces without having to pay out for a pro. Here are a few fast tips.

Start with color palette

Don’t make the mistake of trying to pick out pieces without an over-arching plan. It’s best if you start out with a
color palette (two or three colors) and try to match things to that. If you’re planning to repaint the walls, start with that. Then match your larger pieces like sofas or recliners. Finally fill in with your smaller furnishings and accessories. It’s best to have a more subdued tone for your paint and large pieces and let your smaller pieces add the pops of color.

Select a few statement pieces

Instead of spending a lot of money to purchase many inexpensive, small accessories and pieces of artwork, splurge on a handful of statement pieces–larger works of art or furniture with a more bold design. You can fill in around these with less expensive, less showy pieces but let the items you’ve splurged on take center stage.

Create ceiling height

Unless you’re lucky enough to have vaulted ceilings, you should try to create the illusion of higher ceilings. A great way to do this is to make the most of the vertical space you do have. Instead of hanging curtains so they’re just above the top of the window, hang them so they’re right up to the ceiling and hang down to the floor. Crown molding and floor-to-ceiling furniture such as book cases can also create the illusion of higher ceilings.

Add color with window treatments

Your window treatments need to be both functional and beautiful. So even if you already have a good set of blinds that lighten and darken the space or grant privacy, you also need some curtains or drapes. They’re a great way to introduce textiles into a space. A high quality set of curtains can function as art and create visual where there was none before.

Create space

Many people push all the furniture up against the walls to maximize the amount of available space in the center of the room. This actually makes the room feel smaller. Instead “float” your furniture a few feet away from the walls. Don’t try to trick the eye into seeing a smaller room by purchasing too-small furniture. Furniture should be comfortably sized for your needs. Instead, purchase fewer pieces of furniture. Mount TVs on the walls so there’s no need for an entertainment center. Instead of an ottoman and coffee table, have one oversized ottoman, etc… Hanging a few mirrors to reflect light around is another way to create the illusion of more space.

More mix and less match

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that everything needs to match up perfectly. Good interior design includes contrast as well as symmetry and uniformity. Worry more about pieces going well with each other and don’t concern yourself with whether or not pieces match.

Make use of baseboard heater covers

Baseboard heater covers are a quick and easy way to update the look of baseboard heaters that are looking old and really dating your home. Use them instead of trying to replace or repaint them.

The 5 Types Of Refrigerator To Choose From

If you are looking for a new refrigerator, you may be wondering which type to select. There are five main types that you will notice in the stores. Consider which one is right for your usage. If you need any repairs, send for the Appliance Doctor anywhere in NYC. Here are descriptions of the five kinds of refrigerators to help you with your decision.

Follow the Appliance Doctor’s Refrigerator Buying Guide

You may be most familiar with the top-freezer refrigerators. It’s a classic look that has been popular for some years. It provides ample space to accommodate platters or pizza boxes. This ensures functional space in this useful appliance. However, it isn’t practical if you have any injuries or restrictions. The crisper tends to be at the bottom, so you will spend a lot of time bending to access your groceries. If this isn’t an issue, then this is the most cost-effective option particularly if you are a limited budget.

Alternatively, you could consider the bottom-freezer refrigerators. It hasn’t been around for as long as the top-freezer models, however, has more practicalities. It ensures your daily items are at eye-level. While all your freezer items are at the bottom, the drawer makes it easy to access your frozen goods. These tend to be slightly more expensive than top-freezer options, yet you can still get a great deal.

Choose an Expert Technician for Your Refrigerator Repairs in NYC

Side-by-side refrigerators are another option that divides your appliance vertically. This is beneficial if you are limited with space, particularly for door clearance. It has gained popularity due to visual appeal and the optional extra features. These include ice makers and dispensers, water dispensers and TV screens. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to store wide items due to the narrow shelves. Regardless of which style you choose, the Appliance Doctor can repair your unit.

If you are looking for something custom, then you can opt for a built-in refrigerator. Perhaps you have an awkward space to accommodate, or you just want to create a particular look. Choosing an integrated design ensures you get what you want. This unique option provides you with a high-quality appliance to meet your specifications. However, they are more expensive than the other options mentioned.

NYC Residents Prefer the Appliance Doctor for Repairs

Refrigerator drawers also provide a way to work around your kitchen space without the hefty price tag of a custom unit. They are functional and can be installed under your counters for easy access. Unfortunately, they don’t offer the same amount of space other models have, however, this may suit your needs.

Consider your budget and needs when selecting from the above types of refrigerator units. Different styles suit different spaces, so it’s important to think about all of your options. If you encounter any issues with your unit, then it’s time to give the Appliance Doctor a call in NYC.

Eco Friendly Carpet Cleaning Services

Carpet Cleaning Specialists to Take Care Of Your Needs

Carpets are popular for a vast array of reasons. For starters, they are a safe surface. There’s a huge difference between landing on a hard floor and a soft carpet. The material of the carpet absorbs the impact and cushions the fall- whether it’s on the staircases when there are elderly residents in the premises, or on the living room floor as your toddler crawls about and tries to walk. Even the items that occasionally get dropped, such as your valuables and artefacts around the premises have the force with which the surface is struck with reduced, meaning that the risk of breakages is cut down. The carpet also lessen the noise levels in your home or workplace. As it absorbs the sounds from shuffling feet, phone conversations, plus other noises bouncing off the surfaces, you get to have a much quieter space that enables you to concentrate on your tasks. Then there’s the warmth. It’s both visual and literal. The thick nature of the carpets, plus the air that is trapped in between the fibres, gives it a high insulation factor, enabling it to prevent heat from escaping the premises. The reduced heat loss enables you to save on costs that are associated with temperature regulation, such as electrical or natural gas. Even standing or walking around is easier, as you’re not having the heat flowing out of you into the hard flooring. The comfort of the carpet is also incomparable to the hard surfaces that leave you sore and achy. It’s not a wonder that people even enjoy sitting on the carpet as they hang out with their friends, play video games or wrestle around. The icing on the cake is the aesthetic appeal that they add to the interior space. Whether you want a luxurious setting, bold patterns that give your premises the wow factor, or a casual and calm setting, you get to obtain your preferred ambience due to the wide array of designs and carpeting styles to choose from. Since you’ll have spent loads of funds to get the carpet, you don’t want to watch it get ruined. Hence, proper maintenance is required, from the regular vacuuming to the occasional deep carpet cleaning.

The carpet is a grime haven. Over time, it builds up soiling, from dirt tracked into the building, pet fur and dander, dead skin cells together with the dust mites feeding on them, insect faeces and husks, volatile organic compounds and other pollutants that stick to its fibres. In fact, the carpet can hold up to 4 times its weight in dirt- and in some cases more, depending on its material. Those who drop snacks to the carpet and still pick them up and eat them could be putting all kinds of dirt into their stomach. This also includes the hordes of bacteria thriving in the carpet. Don’t forget the stains that end up ruining the colouration of the carpet, from beverage spills to urine stains from your furry friend. You can’t just let things keep deteriorating. Moving furniture around to cover the stains also doesn’t solve the problem. Call in the professional carpet cleaning Dublin team to get rid of them all.

Why You Should Hire Professional Carpet Cleaning Dublin Services

· Quality machinery

The goal is to get rid of the dirt and grime, not push it deeper into the fibres. You want the stains to be removed, not get set into the carpet. Our personnel come with the machinery to deliver a thorough wash that will bring back your carpet’s elegance. Hot water systems are used, which get deep into the carpet, forcing the soiling to the surface, where powerful suction is used to remove it. This is more efficient compared to shampooing that leaves behind residue which increases the rate of resoiling, or even steam cleaning that makes it difficult to rinse the carpet, and actually risks setting the stains into the material. The high-powered vacuuming equipment that is used leaves the carpet slightly damp to the touch, and it will dry off completely in just a couple of hours. This means that you won’t need to fret about relocating, or sealing off section of your enterprise for days, or even fungi getting a chance to develop on the carpet. You get to have your carpet’s grandiose look and feel restored, enhancing the ambience of the establishment.

· We clean all carpets

We handle different types of carpet fibres, from the natural ones like the gorgeous and luxurious wool, to the hardwearing and contemporary sisal, and even synthetic carpets made out of the durable and stain-resistant polypropylene, and the tough and soft nylon. Whether you have cut piles like the tuft and dense Saxony, the popular textured carpets, to the Frieze kind, with its short and resilient twisted pile, or perhaps your carpet has a loop pile yarn like Berber with its natural-tone fibres or the level loop that sets up a smooth surface- we’ve got you sorted. Our carpet cleaning team applies the required products and systems that are tough on the dirt and grime, but soft on your carpet’s material. They get rid of those set-in stains while protecting the structural integrity of the yarn.

· Enhance health standards

Since plenty of time is spent indoors, it has a huge impact on your living and working conditions. Dirt in the carpet creates an unhealthy indoor environment. Young children crawling around and playing on the floor at home, persons moving about in your business premises kicking up dust in the carpet into the atmosphere, are all at risk. Germs can easily be picked up, and even pests like fleas that are hiding out in the carpet. Your pets are also at risk. While the fur and dander they leave behind in the fibres of the carpet cause allergic reactions to humans, the pets themselves can also pick up bacteria like Salmonella, and end up sick. You don’t want unnecessary medical bills or to keep rushing to the vet. Calling in the professional carpet cleaning Dublin company will enable you to make sure your household members and the persons in your business premises are safe, including the pets themselves.

5 common mistakes when setting up outdoor furniture

Now that the sun is shining and the weather is beautiful, people would want to enjoy the outdoors. For this, hospitality businesses have to build comfortable living spaces by setting up their gardens and terraces with outdoor furniture. However, to create a unique experience, hotels, restaurants and resorts need to avoid making these common mistakes when installing outdoor furniture.

Poorly matching furniture and decoration
When buying outdoor furniture for a hospitality business, many things must be taken into consideration. One of the most important points to keep in mind, is to follow the hospitality outdoor furniture trends. Years ago, we would have recommended to have all the furniture and its surrounding match. Today, it is more about perfectly joining different styles and materials together, while maintaining the luxury aspect of the business.

Exploiting a single color or too much colors
Either using one or several colors is a common mistake when furnishing the outdoor spaces. Therefore, diversifying the colors by using cushions in neutral colors (white, gray, beige..) can create a living atmosphere without being dull.
On another hand, having too much colors can be exhausting for the visitors as they will be distracted by the multitude of colors. So the perfect solution would be to add different colors that match together and create a dynamic space.

Not having a focus point
Usually, all the furniture in the living room are focused on one point…the television. Following the same logic, the garden furniture should also have a focal point. It can be the beach, the pool, the plants, or any other decoration. Not having a focus point shows imbalance in the outdoor area which puts visitors unease.

Using poor lighting:
Just like the indoor spaces, gardens and patios need to be lighting up at night. Either to clearing up paths or for decoration, solar lighting can be a unique addition to improve the guests’ experience. One of the main advantages of outdoor solar lights is that they can be placed anywhere to create the ambience needed. (Here are some tips to install outdoor solar lighting in a hospitality business)

Forgetting the decoration
Furnishing the garden or patio, can’t just depend on the outdoor living and dining furniture alone, or else, it will make the space boring. In order to avoid boredom, wall or trees decorations, statues, and plantations are assets for any area.

Creating a unique and comfortable space in a hospitality business starts with a proper planning. This doesn’t only involve the type of outdoor furniture to get or what are the different areas to build. It also includes materials, colors, products choice, decorations and others. Therefore, the best way to plan ahead is to contact professionals like interior designers and hospitality outdoor furniture suppliers.