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Kitchen trends that are here to stay

Thursday December 31, 2015

Home design is like any other type of design. It follows shifts in ideas, preferences, and innovation. The kitchen is perhaps the most important room in the home—certainly the one with the most traffic—so this space has seen many changes over the decades.

Of course, it will continue to evolve with new technology, but here are some kitchen design trends that are here to stay (or seem to be!).

Everyone knows about spring cleaning. You throw open the windows and let the fresh air in. Then you clean and purge your home as you welcome the season of new growth.

Flip the calendar around. What do you do about your winter cleaning? As you get ready to stay indoors for the next few months, make sure you clean a few spaces that hold dust, dirt, and germs that you could be inhaling. Here’s a winter cleaning checklist to guide you.

The job of your home’s gutters is to drain the water from the roof to the downspouts. When the gutter is clogged or sagging, the water collects there, where it can rust a metal gutter or degrade a wooden one. If there’s too much, that water can feed back to the fascia boards, causing more costly damage to your home.

Transform your bathroom with a simple project of layered lighting. Layered lighting is using multiple lighting sources to create the perception of more space and depth in your bathroom.

Homeowners are looking for sunnier brightness in their bathrooms, but they also want the sense of calm when relaxing in the tub. Layering the lighting in your bathroom creates a pleasant blend of light and shadow, with enough brightness for the task, but adding the softer lighting where you want it.

A first-time homebuyer has it easy in some ways. They don’t have a home they need to sell before purchasing one. If you’re in your own home and thinking about building a new home, you have a big question to ponder.

“Should I sell my home before I build a new one?”

The answer will depend on many things—most importantly, your personality. Are you a worrier or a risk-taker? Do you need a safety net or can you walk the tightrope supported by your confidence that you’re not going to fall?

Every year, Thanksgiving creeps up, bringing thoughts of the family seated around an elegantly festooned table and the aromas of home-cooking. Or maybe you’re recalling nightmares of Thanksgivings past. The turkey fryer that seemed like a clever idea at the time but started a fire that almost burned down your garage. The inevitable family squabbles that arise every year. You somehow once neglected to get the right kind of cranberry sauce and your uncle reminds you every year. The dog ate the pies, and they didn’t sit well with him.

Thanksgiving brings people together, and that’s a good thing. It won’t always go smoothly, but some basic preparation can guide you toward greater success. So, for your holiday planning, here’s how to give thanks without getting stressed—well, not TOO stressed.

Building a new home, versus buying a resale, gives you many advantages. You can customize the layout to your personal taste, incorporate energy-efficient throughout, and move into a home that is fully warrantied.

Another distinct advantage of choosing a new home is that you can incorporate universal design. Also known as “barrier-free design”, this thoughtful approach accommodates details that make your home accessible to anyone. Households with elderly or disabled family members experience challenges that others haven’t considered. Whether you need extra space to maneuver a wheelchair or single-story living to avoid climbing stairs, there are many details that can be easily built into your new home, like wider hallways and doorways, lower countertops and sinks, and ramp access.

How to Select Your Mortgage Lender

Thursday October 29, 2015

Before you start searching for your new home, make sure you know how much you are qualified to borrow. Not only will this knowledge help you focus your house hunting on the right properties, but pre-qualifying gives you more leverage when a seller knows you can get the mortgage to buy their home.

The first step is to select the right institution. Here are some tips on how to select your mortgage lender. You might be tempted by the lure of low interest rates and no closing costs, but protect yourself by ensuring you work with a reputable, responsive, and experienced lender.

Thrifting has become a popular trend. People are looking for used items that still have value. Some will re-purpose them, others will do a makeover, and some will use as is.

When it comes to homebuying, does this approach deliver the same value? You’re making a huge investment—probably the biggest financial one of your life. What do you expect in return?

A resale or older home is often perceived as a better deal, because you can buy more house for less money—or so it seems. Whether you’re looking a buying a new home or a resale, it’s what you can’t see that matters.

Nothing warms up a room like a crackling fire in the fireplace—both in heat and ambiance, Gas has replaced the wood-burning fireplace mode in new homes, and for good reason. A gas fireplace is easy to maintain. You turn the fire off and on with a switch, instead of messing with kindling and babysitting the flames. Plus, you have no wood to buy and stack. With gas, you also avoid messy ashes to clean up, glowing embers to worry about when you leave, and the cost of a chimney sweep.

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