My New Blog

 

Splitting chores, figuring out parking spaces, claiming closets & letting your significant other down easy on their bad taste in décor. 

 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017, more than 7.3 million homes were inhabited by unmarried partners. Combined with the astounding 61 million married households in the U.S. in 2018, well, there are plenty of people living together with their significant other. The process of combining 2 worlds into 1 is much harder than you think, whether you are a boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé or spouse. The minimum requires ENDLESS patience and planning and of course an open mind. 

 Here are 7 tips to help make moving in together a success. 

 


1 – Talk TOGETHER about location and cost.
There are tons of options for living arrangements - live in the current house or apartment, move into the others place or find a new place to call ‘home’. There are plenty of aspects that come into play here. Make sure you and your partner are on the same or similar pages regarding proximity to work locations & even distance from frequent or popular spots. 

Often times, people find it best for both sides to move into a completely new home or apartment in order for both partners to start with a clean slate. This way the decorating can be done by both partners & also new memories are able to be made + shared together. It’s important to feel equal ownership to the place you inhabit so that there is a strong identity between your lives together and your home together. 

 

2 - ESTABLISH FORMAL RESIDENCY
Okay obviously not everyone can afford to buy a home early on in a relationship, so renting a home is a fabulous option too. 
In whichever case you choose, it is important to establish residency for future endeavors.
Check out this link for requirements in establishing residency:
https://www.wikihow.com/Establish-Residency
If you’re renting a home, make sure both names are on the lease agreement (which is usually a priority from the rental company anyway). A good way to stay on track with utilities or rent Is to have a set date for each month that money is deposited or collected to put towards those payments. 

 

3 - WHAT YOU HAVE VS. WHAT YOU NEED

Make sure to discuss what you need vs. what you already have. When combining two households into one, you’ll soon realize there wasn’t as much space as you thought. With 2 of many things, don’t feel the need to hang on to things that aren’t a necessity. And with things you don’t have but need (like a small dining table for example) try using Facebook Marketplace or some other second-hand app to buy what you need until you save up for something new. You would be surprised of the great deals you can find on already used items!


4 - STORE OR GIVE AWAY DUPLICATES & UNEEDED ITEMS

There are bound to be items you and your partner won’t want anymore…like that old shower curtain that doesn’t match the new bathroom or that floor mat that now has hair all over it and smells like wet dog. SO either donate it to Goodwill or you can always sell your things if they are in decent condition. Here is a list of Apps that you can sell your items on:

POSHMARK – clothes, shoes & accessories 

FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE - anything 

LET GO – anything       

MERCARI – clothes, shoes & accessories

5 MILES – (local) anything 

CAROUSELL – anything 

OFFERUP – anything 

VINTED – clothes 

DEPOP – clothing, accessories & similar items

NEXTDOOR – this app is mainly for keeping up with your community, but you can also sell pretty much anything on it

If you have items you simply don’t have space for but absolutely don’t want to give them away, rent a storage unit! They really aren’t as expensive as you think. Just do your research and compare quotes to find the best space.

5 - COMPROMISE ON DÉCOR 

“Sorry honey, but that couch from the Frat days has got to go.” 
 

Often times, couples can get a little heated with their preferred ‘design aesthetic’. Keep communication open and also have an open mind for your new space together. Maybe one partner takes more control of the living spaces and the other is able to put their taste into the bedroom or the game room. There is always a solution to every problem. Even when that problem is that your partner has not-that-great taste. With compromise you both will be able to design your home together and ultimately be satisfied with the decisions. 

6 - DIVIDE CLEANING & MAINTENENACE 

It’s all fun and games until you actually have to vacuum, mop and take out the trash. It’s not exactly the first thing couples think about, but once you finally move in together, choirs become super relevant super fast. To keep smooth sailing, try having a conversation beforehand regarding which choirs you don’t mind vs. which one’s your partner prefers. For example, I actually sort of kind of like cleaning the bathrooms (or shall I say don’t mind it that much) and my partner feels the same about vacuuming & mopping… which works perfect. 

  

One thing that is very important is to make sure the division of labor is split evenly. It is critical to have clear conversations in dialogue of which jobs each partner is doing and how much of a toll it takes from your free time. For example, one partner may work from home and the other may work a 60-hour week and have to commute. It’s healthy at this point to rebalance tasks so both people are pulling the similar weight and also have the ability to relax at home after work as well. 

7 - REMEMBER ITS OKAY TO HIRE PROFESSIONAL HELP

I know this isn’t the most popular or inexpensive option, but it can really help if there is a constant struggle in the living arrangements. If you and your partner feel you could genuinely benefit from a 3rd party’s unbiased opinion in order to help make living together a success, go for it!

Even a financial advisor could really help counsel you and your partner to make smart decisions. According to Joyce Marter, licensed psychotherapist with Refresh Mental Health in the Chicago area, “The two main reasons people come into couple’s counseling are issues about finances and issues about communication.” This is so true. 

Efficient communication is imperative for success in any and all relationships. This includes financial talk. Sometimes it isn’t the funnest conversation, especially if one side is struggling more than the other… but just communicate and make goals with each other so you can be successful as one in your financial situation and ultimately your relationship living together. 

 

Source:
https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/how-to-make-moving-in-together-a-success


Posted in:General
Posted by Katelyn Mountjoy on February 22nd, 2019 11:09 AM

Everyone (almost),
gets the idea in their head at some point that they can take on a home improvement project by themselves. I know I have… and I also know that I can be a bit over-confident sometimes. In some cases, fixing something yourself can honestly be a great way to cut costs on a project. BUT, often times, this over-confidence can just lead to putting yourself in a dangerous situation or even setting you back further than when starting. No matter how many YouTube videos you watch on ‘DIY how to’ do this or that, there are some home projects that are just a “DIY Don’t.”

 

DON’T SKIP THE PERMIT PART

Did you know that there are permit regulations when conducting electrical, heating, air work or plumbing? Depending on the location, there are requirements needing to be met about standards of quality, according to Michael Flanagan- heating, ventilation, and air conditioning manager for Michael & Son Services in Richmond, VA. Typically to get the permits there is a fee, but it is worth the small price rather than risking getting caught doing it without a permit or even doing the work wrong (which is something I would do). 
______________________________________________________________


EXPOSED WIRES = NOT GOOD

Obviously, exposed wires are not a good thing. At all. At my home we recently had an issue with our dryer – it stopped working unexpectedly. We had no idea how old it was or why it wasn’t working so we scheduled a professional to come look at it just in case. You would be amazed at what was found underneath the machine! Apparently, the people that lived there before tried to solve a dryer issue themselves (most likely) & had an issue with the duct connection so LEFT it unconnected to the base of the dryer underneath. Not only that, but once inside the bottom of the machine, there were tons of exposed wires, lint & dirt all over. It was filthy, and we were shocked at how nasty it was. The man taking it apart literally stopped during this process, looked up and said, “You are SO lucky this hasn’t caught on fire… I don’t know HOW it hasn’t caught fire…” Wow… that’s settling. Do yourself and the next person a favor and get your improvement projects done right! It’s worth it. Especially ones involving wires.

_______________________________________________________________
 

  
ELECTRICAL FIXES ARE HARDER THAN YOU THINK

When I have seen people come put light fixtures up in our home, I remember thinking… ‘that looks kinda easy I bet I could of done it.’ HA. There are so many dangers to working with circuits. The main worry being blowing a fuse. Dave Geradine, the owner of Expert Home Repairs in Hollywood, FL, says electrical work is most sensitive because of all the variations a connection can have. The flaws may not be apparent until it’s too late. He says, “If you don’t make your connections properly, you can have…an electrical fire caused by an arcing of the two wires that aren’t tightly connected.”
_____________________________________________________________________

 
DON’T CLOSE THE VENTS

Okay am I the only one that has closed vents in my house to make the air go to a different room? Oops. Apparently this is a huge No-No. Closing vents to force more air to a different part of the house actually slowly but surely destroys the efficiency and shortens the life of the equipment dramatically. 
_______________________________________________________________

 

NEW FLOORING ON-TOP OF THE OLD ONE

I love a brand spankin’ new floor. It’s a fabulous way to freshen up a room and make it feel new again. However, you should always always remove the old material, such as linoleum or tile, before starting on the new flooring. If you choose not to, you will most likely run into problems like an uneven surface, or problems under the original flooring that will be even more difficult to get to. Then you will have to go through the process and replace it yet again. “You always want to go down to the bare wood or concrete surface when you do new flooring,” says Geradine… and if you don’t, “What’s underneath your new flooring fails, & then your tile comes up.” 
__________________________________________________

PLACING OUTLETS NEAR A SINK OR TUB

You don’t have to be a genius to know that water and electricity don’t mix. When you are remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, it is crucial to use the ground-fault circuit interrupter near any area with water. A GFCI is that funky outlet with the buttons on it that you have to press in order to make your blow-dryer turn back on when it’s not working. If your appliance is plugged into the GFCI outlet and falls into water, the outlet will trip the electricity, so it cuts off. This is such a great invention. I’m all for preventing electrocution so I highly recommend these outlets. 
________________________________________________________________


USING TAPES AND ‘ALL PURPOSE’ GLUES

Unfortunately, duct tape isn’t as effective as most people think it is, and neither are the fancy glues and tapes that supposedly will make your boat still float when its cracked in half (yeah right). Flanagan claims that when it comes to gluing or taping something together, there’s typically a specific adhesive needed that will be most effective and least likely to cause problems in the future. For example, he says air and heating professionals use foil tape. 
_________________________________________________________________


NAILS ON DECK 

Did you know that when you are building a deck, you are supposed to use sturdier & bigger bolts depending on how many people the deck will be holding? Home inspectors frequently see decks attached to homes with nails, when the builder SHOULD have secured the wood with specific bolts. Frank Lesh, the executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors, claims “every year a deck collapses because a guy just used a whole bunch of nails to attach it to the house."
______________________________________________

PAINTING WALLS PREVIOUSLY PAINTED OR WALL PAPERED

If you take on this project at home, you surely want to take all the right steps. It is a popular idea that simply painting several coats of paint over a wall can have it looking brand new, but it is super important to get the surface clean and smooth before starting these steps. This is especially for getting rid of old wallpaper or chipped paint. If wallpaper is left on the wall before a paint job, the wallpaper will moisten and start to bubble. Then you will have to deal with this whole other issue of popping bubbles on your wall and I don’t think anyone wants to do that. Instead of having to re-trace your steps, just take the extra time to do it right and get the surface smooth and clean first. 

_____________________________________________
 

REPLACING OLD PIPES WITHOUT HAVING THEM CHECKED FIRST

Okay this one was a shocker for me. TLC is greatly needed for many older homes out there, but it is super critical to be on your toes about the dangers lurking beneath the surface. Especially with piping. There is a chance that old plumbing materials could contain asbestos. Obviously, that’s not good. You don’t want asbestos to get into the air because it could contain hazardous material. And no, a dust mask won’t help. The fibers are microscopic and can SERIOUSLY injure you long term. With this job, you should seek an experienced professional to make sure particles aren’t left in the air when the job is finished. 

________________________

In summary, if you are *at all* unsure about a project, don’t hesitate to just call a professional for advice, if not to do the job for you. “With the trades- plumbing, heating, air and electrical – there may be five ways to do it right, but there’s a thousand ways to do it wrong. And people tend to find those thousand ways before they find the five ways. So if you’re not quite confident and competent in what you’re doing, you should just call a professional.” Flanagan says. 

 

Source:

https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/slideshows/12-home-improvement-shortcuts-that-are-a-bad-idea?slide=14

Posted in:General
Posted by Katelyn Mountjoy on February 4th, 2019 11:07 AM

If you own a home, you surely know the overwhelming commitment it takes to keep it in good shape. There is ALWAYS a never-ending list of home improvement projects… I constantly find myself saying “It’s always something!” in frustration while cleaning up paint chips coming off the windows or finding a tiny leak coming from who-knows-where onto the kitchen floor.  Not only is it difficult keeping up with everything that needs fixing up but knowing when to do it usually ends up being the lingering question. 

Ultimately, the best time to start a home improvement project is when you actually have the time. But if you want to set yourself up for success by planning ahead, read on for some great timing tips. 

1 | PAINTING INTERIORS
Best time: Winter

The nice thing about painting interiors is that you have heating and air conditioning. The main concern in this environment however, is the humidity. Moisture in the air will cause the paint to dry slower and also effect the texture of how it dries (It won’t be even). This means summer probably isn’t the best time to start a paint job on the interior of your home. Save that project for the winter when the air is at its driest. 

  

2 | ELECTRICAL UPDATES:
Best time: Winter

Obviously electrical work isn’t recommended around rain or thunderstorms… but honestly, this type of project can really happen just about any time of the year. BUT, according to Dennis Burke, owner of Mr. Electric of Southeast New Hampshire, doing these updates in the winter will actually help you avoid the influx of homeowners doing the same thing during late spring and early summer. He claims “Labor Day to Thanksgiving is also really busy.” 

  

3 | BUILDING A DECK
Best time: Winter

Okay okay… I know winter doesn’t seem like the BEST time of year to be outside building a deck, but it’s actually the best time of year for the wood! It is reported by deck builders and contractors that “pressure-treated wood” (best for deck building), stabilizes the best when humidity is super low. Plus, don’t forget about how easily that scorching sun can either crack the wood or make it bend with added moisture in the air.
  


4 | BATHROOM REMODEL
Best time: Winter or Spring

Bathroom remodeling can occur successfully during any month. But if you want to avoid the other 48% of homeowners apparently wanting to do the same thing, avoid the rush during summer and start this project earlier in the year. HomeAdvisor reports that the busiest month for bathroom remodel requests is in July!


5 | CLEANING OUT GUTTERS
Best time: Early Spring & Fall

The gutters are easily forgotten about. These babies can really do some damage to a house if they aren’t properly attended to. They collect leaves and whatever else draining off your roof, and if they get too full without being cleaned out, the drains can clog and ultimately lead to the gunk soaking into your house. The best time to clean them out is in the fall when most leaves are being collected, then again in early spring before April showers begin. 

Remember: you always have the option of hiring professionals to properly clean your gutters if you simply don’t feel comfortable with high roof lines or ladders! 

 


6 | NEW FLOORING
Best time: Spring or Fall

Least extreme conditions = best time to install wood flooring. If you take this project on during fall or spring, you will avoid dry air & peak humidity which are both harmful to wood. Also, you are able to open windows with some fresh cool air to help ventilate the smells of adhesive or wood stain. Ew.



7 | EXTERIOR PAINT
Best time: Later Spring, Summer, Early Fall

It takes a decent chunk of the year to fully repaint a house, but it’s totally doable! You would be amazed at how a simple new coat of paint can completely transform the look of your home. It’s important for temperatures to stay above 35 degrees for exterior painting. If you are planning on doing it during spring or fall, be prepared for delays due to rain and temperature decreases.



8 | HOME ADDITION
Best time: Late Spring, Summer, Early Fall

For obvious reasons, when doing exterior work, it is recommended avoiding seasons that bring about inclement weather which delay projects. Plan the beginning to start after all snow chances pass for your region and make it a goal to get it completed before the frost comes back the next fall. This will more than help reduce chances of delays! *remember to schedule all professionals well in advance*

 

9 | ROOF REPLACEMENT/REPAIRS
Best time: Summer, Early Fall

People working on a rooftop in icy or wet conditions is just a disaster waiting to happen. This project is definitely for the time of year with the best weather, which unfortunately is also the busiest time for the professionals. Make sure to schedule at least a month or two in advance for this project. 

 

10 | NEW APPLIANCES
Best time: Fall

Who doesn’t love fall deals?!?! Leading up to the holidays, there are soooo many discounts going on, it’s definitely worth buying an expensive item on sale even if you aren’t going to use it for 6 more months. Stores that sell appliances like Lowe’s, Home Depot and Sears are known to offer holiday weekend deals regularly, so keep an eye out for that new washer and dryer you have been dying to get!
 



sources: https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/slideshows/the-best-time-of-year-for-every-home-improvement-project

 

Posted in:Home Improvement and tagged: DIYhomeprojects
Posted by Katelyn Mountjoy on January 17th, 2019 3:32 PM
Get This

Remodel spending on homes is expected to grow to more than $350 billion in the 3
rd quarter of 2019 (compared to the $331 billion of 3rd quarter in ’18) according to the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. WOW. There are so many different ways to go about updating the look of your space… whether you are just updating the colors in the apartment you rent, or completely renovating your home – there are some new trendy designs to strive for & others that are turning into ‘last years look’. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

First off, trends are supposedly getting a ‘longer shelf life’. By definition in my own words, an interior design trend is the popularity of an approach to décor as of the style, color, or pattern that is typically temporary. The past few years, the idea of simply updating your home has gone from easily do-able to I don’t think I can afford that for another year or so. Ultimately, the cost of homes and renovation increasing has led to trends being able to stick around longer. 

I’m pretty happy this is becoming a ‘thing’ because let’s be real, nobody can afford (nor has the time) to redecorate every 6 months. Unless of course you have no kids, no budget, and a lot of spare time on your hands. HA!



Hello Hygge!

The next trend is actually quite interesting. The past few years in the U.S., the Danish concept of Hygge (being cozy and content) has become increasingly popular - mainly in the cold winter months when people feel the need to bundle up and stay warm. Anna Starmer, U.K. based author of Love Color: Choosing Colors to Live With, suggests that people are low-key being encouraged to make their home a comfortable safe haven of sorts due to the current political and social moods. She states, “(I)t is no surprise that in recent times of uncertainties in the world, we are all starting to favour comforting shades and warming colours in the home.” This also includes rich comforting scents like citrus or cinnamon & softer textures in blankets, furniture and pillows. All in all – a setup that highly encourages you to R E L A X. 

Be Bold. 

Not everyone has a bold, energetic personality. And not everyone has the same interests in design. BUT, if you are willing, you should totally embrace your bold side and strive for an eclectic look for your home. You can do this in many ways. With a bright and happening wallpaper, or even some accented blue or orange pillows. Look for jewel tones and colors that contrast. If you aren’t the type to get bold wallpaper or do anything too drastic, but still want to make a statement, try painting an accent wall and getting other elements to match. Or simply adding some layers with throw pillows and blankets that have contrasting colors in order to create a new focal point in the room. 

Green is Happening. Apparently. 

Nature is becoming more and more influential every year. In 2019, expect even more inspiration from the lovely greens of the world. According to author Anna Starmer mentioned earlier, different shades of green are predicted to be much more prevalent this year in interior design AND fashion. Although, you do need to keep in mind that when you choose a color to help bring a space to life, be conscious of the textures and light in that space because it can alter the look indefinitely. 

Neutrals Are Getting Even Hotter.

Everyone knows the neutrals. And if you don’t, you should! Stark white, greys, and the “greige” gray-beige combo have always been a way to play it safe with interiors. This year people are actually looking to these colors as more of a warm shade to evoke the feeling of being in a more natural setting. In relation to these colors, décor like real stones, wood, ceramic pieces and even glass help counteract / mix the colors, shapes and textures. 

‘Natural’ is Even Inspiring Floor Color. 

Dark wood floors have been decreasing popularity in 2018 according to Lee Crowder, design gallery and model branding manager for Darling Homes based in DFW, TX. In 2019, the wood floors will continue to stay more on the lighter side and even increase in the ‘matte finish’ style which is quickly gaining popularity because of its naturalistic look. Manufacturers have even increased their product spectrum including varieties of vinyl or tile floors that look super close to real wood. Food for thought – engineered and recycled wood still remain a more sustainable alternative to the usual wooden floor. 

Mixed Metals Have Made Their Mark.

A few years ago, people would have thought you had slight to no taste having different metal finishes in one room. Especially a kitchen. But it’s actually becoming such a catchy trend. Mainly because finding every piece of hardware to match ‘exactly’ is difficult and a bit over-rated. Not only is it convenient, but mixing metals with the right balance can really give the space a glamourous, rich look. Feeling of metals can even be portrayed with wall colors and geometric shapes which can also be tied into other parts of the room. 

 


 


 
 Comfort
     is
    Key.

In a grand overview, it seems trends  are becoming extremely focused and influenced by comfort levels. It can  definitely vary however, depending on the person. From soft, romantic  pastels, to textured palettes, or even bold jewel tones/ metals. 2019 will also greatly be influenced by people’s state of ‘being different’. Acceptance of uniqueness has widely increased and gained popularity in 2018 and in 2019 it will become even more popular. This gives you a perfect platform of having the opportunity to express yourself in your interior designs. Embrace what works for you instead of focusing on one widely excepted trend. If you aren’t even sure what that is, go take a look in your closet! Your wardrobe can really say a lot about you and help influence your approach to design. For example, if you are really into wearing solids and natural colors, implementing that same natural feel into your interior design can really make you feel at home. 

 

Sources

Anna Starmer, U.K.- based author of “Love Color: Choosing Colors to Live With”

https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/slideshows/interior-design-trends-to-look-out-for

 


Posted in:General
Posted by Katelyn Mountjoy on January 3rd, 2019 11:44 AM

One in 3 people have had a package stolen. 
The amount of American’s that have had a package stolen off their front porch is astonishing. According to an analysis done by InsuranceQuotes in 2017, 25.9 million Americans have had their package stolen from their doorstep or front porch JUST during the holiday season. And that’s an increase from the 23.5 million during the holidays in a 2015 study. With online shopping rising, so is the amount of theft.


 

I don’t know about you, but package thieves really irk me to a degree that nothing else can match. People work their butts off ALL year round to be able to afford gifts (especially for their children) and these porch pirates think it’s okay to just walk up and take these hard-earned gifts…with no remorse I might ad. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict when the thieves will come sneaking up your door steps, BUT there are many ways to prevent it. 

 

In the past few years, in order to combat package confusion and theft, delivery services and startups have been working to find and create alternative ways to prevent porch pirates from getting packages and to help make the delivery process safer. 

 

For example, UPS has created the My Choice program. With this feature that was created in 2011, customers are offered updates on their packages and are able to view estimated delivery times & even CHANGE the delivery address prior to the scheduled drop off time to prevent the package sitting outside. 

However, if alternate delivery addresses aren’t relevant to help protect your package, UPS Access Point is another free feature allowing customers to choose a local public location for delivery (like a local bank or drugstore). 

 

If you live in an apartment or condo, there is another system available called Package Concierge that is a system of lockers which are typically installed near resident mailboxes. When the packages get delivered to the locker, the residents are notified via the app or email code and use this to unlock the right locker.
Cool right? 

They even snap dated, time-stamped photos of each retrieval and delivery!

 

Here are a few key tips for helping protect your beloved holiday packages:

 

1 – Get some cameras!

My family and I recently bought Nest Cameras for our driveway and front door and let me tell you…I think they are the best investments we have made this year. Not only do you feel the safety of knowing your property is under surveillance, but you also will have proof if anything bad were to ever happen. AKA a package pirate. If a thief is smart enough, they will see the camera and hopefully be scared off (not that any thief is smart…).

Can’t afford the nice ones?? Get a fake one! We had this camera for a while too and it looks SO real it’s unbelievable. (& cheap)!


https://www.amazon.com/WALI-Surveillance-Security-Outdoor-Warning-x/dp/B01940JPLQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1544642367&sr=1-3&keywords=fake+camera

 

Or this one is a goody too >


 

https://www.amazon.com/Security-Realistic-Recording-Business-Armo/dp/B07F2XC89F/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1544642367&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=fake+camera&psc=1

These are so easy to set up - all you do is put some batteries in and pin them on a wall. The lights continuously blink making it look like it is capturing film... quite impressive. 

 

2 - Porch coverage to block the packages.

What better way to lure in a porch pirate than to have a pretty fresh package sitting on your porch in the wide open. Get smart about your receiving tactics and put something on or around your front porch to hide deliveries. This can include a chair, a planter, a thick column, or a decorative ceramic piece. Simply leave a small note for the courier to leave the package wherever you prefer. 

 

3 – Have packages delivered to a different location.

If you have a package being delivered with valuable items, or just don’t want it waiting on your porch regardless, you can always request it to be held at the delivery facility until you are able to pick it up yourself. Or you can have it delivered to a secure location via UPS Access Point, Amazon Locker Delivery & Package Concierge. This helps with not having to travel super far out of your way to pick it up. Many online retailers actually offer free shipping to close-by stores, so customers can pick them up safely. 

 

Keep in mind – the best way to protect your packages is to simply stay proactive about its delivery (time and place)!

 

 

 

Sources:

 

https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/can-you-prevent-porch-pirates-from-stealing-your-packages

 

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171129005930/en/Study-26-Million-Americans-Holiday-Packages-Stolen

 

https://www.insurancequotes.com/home/porch-pirates-package-thieves-house-fires-holiday-120117

Posted in:General
Posted by Katelyn Mountjoy on December 13th, 2018 9:35 AM

"Fall is more than a season – it's a smell, it's a feeling, and it’s nostalgic." - Mojgan Jordan

It’s a comforting cozy sensation you get every time you step out into the crisp, cool air to smell the scent of fire burning, and see the beautiful rainbow-colored leaves. Well, guess what? You can also get that feeling inside your own home with this DIY guide to fall decor. 

Just like every other season, fall has its specific & unique scents, color palettes and styles that you are able to incorporate all over your home! 

Here’s how to do it:

 

Start with the Colors >

When the fall weather finally hits, it really does evoke fuzzy warm feelings (at least for most people unless you aren’t human) jk. But seriously, who doesn’t like fall?!

These fuzzy feels are mostly represented or reflected with fall’s signature colors - burgundy, tan, orange, yellow, rust, brown, gold, reds.. basically warm tones that create that inviting & toasty feeling. 

When thinking about the interiors of your home… the color integration is limitless. Think of simple changes first - like adding a few burnt orange colored feather pillows on the sofa or adding a tan throw across an ottoman. One thing we like to do in our office is add a few small pumpkins and even a trendy vase full of wheat, which I am typing by right now as I drink my under-rated Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte - (pictured below). 

 

You could even add some gold colored tins in the kitchen along with some burgundy or maroon towels on handles of drawers/dishwasher or oven. 

Always remember, just a few changes, additions or adjustments go a long way!
If you are the type of person that just wants the fall feels ALL year round, well why not just give a room in your home an updated coat of paint?! This could ultimately create a fantastic fall feel all year round - like this one! Check out Sherwin William's 2019 color of the year that is sure to get your fall-ish gears going >
It's called 

CAVERN CLAY 
SW 7701 (290-C6)

visit this link to check out more >
https://www.swcolorforecast.com/coty/2019/


Next is the Scents >

I believe the sense of smell can sometimes be the strongest trigger of nostalgia. What better way to enhance these great memories than with some fun fall candles?! Like burgundy or evergreen colored ones smelling of cinnamon (or whatever fall specifically smells like to you). Check out this link for some AMAZING smelling fall candles from one of our favorite brands, Wood Wick (duh.) - Some of the favorites are pine & fireside… but theres TONS to choose from!

https://www.candlestomydoor.com/woodwick-new-fall-fragrances.html

Or you could take the more difficult route and just bake a pumpkin pie every day to leave your house smelling warm and sweet… ha! If only I had all the time in the world…. Here’s a to DIE FOR semi-simple Pumpkin Pie recipe from the delicious Preppy Kitchen. Let’s get cookin’! 

https://preppykitchen.com/pumpkin-pie-2/

 

 

Final Touch of Simple Accents >

Pumpkins are so handy. I mean between Halloween and Thanksgiving, they are a perfect decorating tool because they apply to both holidays. They look fabulous when done right & especially when using varying colors. For example, the white pumpkins add an elegant touch to front entry ways, the porch and even the fireplace mantle as shown below:

( via Pinterest )

The traditional orange ones (especially ones that look a bit worn or rustic) give really nice fall feels when placed on the dining room table, or even in the kitchen tucked in a corner or on the island right smack in the center:

 
 ( both via Pinterest )

 

The idea however, is not to overwhelm a room or space with too many pumpkins. Use them more as a subtle addition to a room with other decor like candles, leaves or wheat vases. Many people wander… ‘how early is it to start decorating my house for the season?’… okay first of all, it's your home! Do what you want! Second.. did you know it’s scientifically proven that decorating your home for a season makes you happier?! Yep. It’s true. Especially for Christmas time! Check out this link to read about it!!

https://www.kare11.com/article/news/the-why-decorating-early-makes-you-happy/89-614105956

We think its never too early to start prepping your home for your favorite season. 

Bring out the decor! And most importantly, have FUN with it. 


Posted in:General
Posted by Katelyn Mountjoy on November 14th, 2018 12:23 PM

Selling your home can be super stressful regardless of it being in a buyer’s or seller’s market. “To sell a home quickly, it needs to show well, be marketed well, and priced correctly”, according to Goran Forss, broker at Allison James Estates & Homes located in Temecula, CA. Preferably, when putting your house on the market, you will want that puppy sold ASAP…. And these tips and tricks will help you get closer to accomplishing that goal!

FIRST THINGS FIRST...

  1. Rent a storage unit while putting house on the market
  • Decluttering your home can be done in two ways… either shoving everything ‘clutter’ worthy into cabinets, under beds, behind couches, OR you can simply rent a storage unit to put everything in so you don’t have to even worry about it. We highly recommend this route because it will also force you to get rid of things you don’t need or use. (Holiday decor, seasonal items, baby clothes, that new mini fridge that just sits in the corner with nothing in it). ALSO, if you choose a portable unit, that will make moving that much easier in the long run. 

 

  1. Hire professional real estate agents that DO IT ALL
  • There aren’t many real estate companies that have more than 50 years of combined experience with buying, selling, leasing, property management, home staging AND connections to the best professional photography & home care. The first impression buyers get from your home are the listing photos & curb appeal. We know how to make those look fabulous. Many people don’t have the money to pay for staging however, so an alternate route to take on that is having a friend or relative walking through with fresh eyes to offer some opinions on moving things around, & setting areas up to look bright & inviting. The goal is to first draw the buyer in, then make it not only desirable for them to live there, but possible for them to imagine themselves in it. That is done by….

 

  1. Decluttering & de-personalizing your home
  • A key to helping buyers be able to desire & imagine themselves living in your home is to firstly remove personalized items. This will also help draw the buyers attention to unique features of the house.. like the stone fireplace, or the skylights in the kitchen. Having too much going on interferes with the natural beauty of the home. Just always think..”how could I make this look more bright & inviting?” 

 

  1. Make small upgrades to your home
  • It isn’t necessary to go over-board on major remodels. In most cases, you probably won’t get your money back. Instead, focus on the smaller upgrades, preferably in the kitchen & bathrooms. For example- new light fixtures, new sink/cabinet hardware in kitchen, new shower curtains & hand towels in bathroom. All of these small improvements are more on the inexpensive side but can really help persuade the buyers to fall in love with the spaces. Remember - small upgrades can have a huge impact!

 

  1. Brighten IT UP!
  • Let’s be real… majority of people want a home that is bright, has spacious rooms, & looks clean. Start by increasing the use of natural & artificial light - that alone can help with brightening the mood. If you have many rooms without windows, try putting more lamps in corners or on tables using the highest wattage lightbulb you can find & that will definitely do the trick. Also, a fresh coat of paint, mirrors, and a simple deep cleaning can really help accentuate spaces. Try to stick with neutral paint palettes unless you are painting a wall as a focal point and want it to pop. Great colors would be anything providing a soft & bright feel, like beige or light grays. 

 

  1. Amp up that curb appeal
  • When someone drives by your house, can they even see it? Are there trees blocking the house? Is the paint color worn or does your driveway need pressure washing? These are all things to consider when thinking of the curb appeal. Remember that the outside of the house is what people see first… it’s like going on your first date and dressing up with your most dressy outfit and using your nicest cologne or perfume.. go big or go home baby. In order to draw people in, you really want the exteriors to look clean and inviting. Easily transform your front yard by clipping/trimming shrubs and bushes, trimming tree branches, adding a fresh coat of paint to the front door or shutters, and even pressure-washing the sidewalk & driveway. Everything matters! Even things as small as the door handle or numbers to your house.. polish them up… clear cobwebs & bird droppings… add some flowers! We know it’s easier said than done, but just remember, the better it looks on the outside the more people are going to want to see the inside!

 

  1. Sell your house at the right time
  • Selling your house, picking a price and also making sure it’s in tip top shape can be overwhelming. That is why real estate companies like ours are here to help! Trust someone with the right qualifications and experience and that knows how to read the housing market in order to properly list your home.

 

 

Hope our advice helps! 

Check out these before & after pictures of our newest listing 'for sale'... they really prove the above to be true, don't they?! ;) 






Posted in:General
Posted by Katelyn Mountjoy on November 6th, 2018 12:18 PM
Well, for starters.. let's look at the difference between a Seller's Market & a Buyer's Market.

Buyer's market definition: A buyer's market occurs when the properties for sale outnumber the amount of buyers actually shopping for a home... thus giving buyers the upper hand. In this circumstance, listings/homes will be on the market for awhile (months), before a buyer comes along and when they do, the seller is more inclined to give in to the buyers requests in order to get them to the closing table. (Just think > Buyers market = sellers crying).

Seller's market definition: A seller's market occurs when the buyers outnumber the properties available. This creates huge competition among buyers leading to bidding wars, offers placed on properties unseen and even buyers going over listing price to get the attention of the seller before the property is gone. (Sellers market = Buyers crying).

LOCAL VS. NATIONAL HOUSING MARKET:
As a highly localized industry, real estate has laws & economic statuses that differ state to state as well as wide variations among property values. For example, the housing market in Manhattan functions very differently from the market in Greensboro, NC....which is exactly why it is crucial to pay attention to factors that will make the biggest impact on your real estate deal according to YOUR local housing market.

When looking at the national housing market, you will definitely always see common or underlying trends taking place all over the U.S. as well as commonalities among more popular parts of the country. However, if you are just focussing on understanding relative value of your home, you should focus more on researching your local market. 

>>  Check out this link for more super helpful info on North Carolina's Market Trends!!!  <<


Posted in:Real Estate and tagged: NorthCarolinaRealEstate
Posted by Katelyn Mountjoy on October 11th, 2018 11:31 AM




In real estate there’s really no such thing as a ‘typical day’. If you fancy the phrase “changing it up” well, then this is your place because your schedule won’t be referred to as “ordinary”. 

Real estate agents are nothing short of busy. Managing marketing campaigns, scheduling open houses, submitting legal documents, and responding to client inquiries is a little under-rated sometimes. Even sleep becomes the last priority many days!

One day can be in the office all day long and another day could be appointments/showings all day long. Oh and don’t forget managing family time, time for self, keeping interested clients updated, keeping properties spick and span, being on time at listing/buyer appointments, bathing….GEEZ. I want to just sit down, eat pizza and watch Family Feud already. 

Part of the craziness of real estate is the busy schedule but it also can be the fun. Many of the clients that have come through our company have become great friends and that is another perk about real estate… the networking. 

In a typical day an agent, seller or buyer (you name it) speaks to or gets insight from another real estate professional in some type of way. In this process you are always learning new information, techniques and even cool lingo like,
“lets get you to the CLOSING TABLE!” 

FYI, that’s an exciting phrase. 

There’s so many real estate agents & companies out there… but each one has their different style and authority. That’s the fun of it too though… getting to be creative in your spectrum of techniques >> like this attractive blog post. ;) 

Remember, ultimately it's all about balance and what really just works best for you!

 

Next we will be blogging about the comparison of the local housing market to the national market… interesting stuff!

Stay tuned! – The Palmetto Team

 

Posted by Katelyn Mountjoy on September 24th, 2018 12:14 PM