Posted by Peggy Farber on 10/17/2018

Anyone can buy a home Ė all it takes is hard work and diligence to evaluate your home financing options. Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline the process of finding the financing that you'll need to pay for a residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine how you will afford a house.

1. Take a Look at Your Current Financial Situation

Put together a monthly budget that outlines your current spending patterns. This will enable you to review how much you earn, what you're paying for housing and other pertinent financial information.

After an in-depth review of your current financial situation, you'll be better equipped than ever before to determine how much you can pay for a house. Then, you can create a homebuying budget to help you move closer to acquiring your dream residence.

2. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report

In all likelihood, a lender will receive your credit score to determine whether you are a viable candidate for a mortgage. If you request a copy of your credit report today, you can learn about your credit score and take steps to improve it before you apply for a mortgage.

The three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) provide one free copy of a credit report annually. If you submit a request for your credit report, you can gain unprecedented credit insights in no time at all.

Furthermore, if you find errors on a credit report, don't hesitate to contact the reporting bureau. This will enable you to fix any credit report mistakes prior to applying for a mortgage.

3. Reach Out to Local Lenders

Banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you and discuss a variety of mortgage options. These lenders are available in cities and towns nationwide and can teach you everything you need to know about home financing.

Ultimately, lenders can explain the home financing process and ensure you can avoid any potential pitfalls along the way. And if you ever have mortgage concerns or questions, lenders are available to respond to them at any time.

If you need extra help prior to kicking off a home search, you may want to contact a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional understands the ins and outs of purchasing a house and can help you plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. This housing market professional then can ensure you won't have to break your budget to afford a terrific residence.

If you want to buy a home but have limited finances at your disposal, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. Or, if you are searching for a mortgage but don't know where to begin, a real estate agent can put you in touch with top lenders.

Work with a real estate agent, and you can improve your chances of acquiring a first-rate house at an affordable price.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 10/10/2018

Although clutter in your home may seem like an insignificant problem, it can actually have a negative impact on everything from your personal productivity to family relationships.

When dirty dishes pile up, clothes gather on the floor, and toys are scattered everywhere, it often creates a feeling of discouragement that can seep into every aspect of your life.

While most people view clutter as an annoyance or an eyesore, studies have shown that it can contribute to stress, feelings of guilt, and even depression. Books have been written on the topic and well-known websites have devoted countless pages to the connection between stress and clutter.

In addition to feeling embarrassed when guests drop over unexpectedly, household clutter makes it difficult to find important things, like car keys, homework assignments, or cell phones. A disorganized, messy home can also lead to bills being paid late, which can bring with it a whole separate set of problems, such as late payment fees, collection letters, and credit rating issues. For people planning on applying for a mortgage in the near future, a damaged credit score could adversely affect interest rates, loan terms, or even their chances of obtaining a mortgage.

Fortunately, there are ways to turn the tide on your battle with household clutter. The first step, of course, is to recognize that you have a problem. The second step is to begin writing a plan or set of goals for taking charge of the clutter. The third step is to begin taking action and to set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day for organizing your home and putting clutter in its place!

If you're considering putting your home on the market in the near future, you may need to bump up that time allotment! Cluttered closets, storage areas, and countertops are sure to send the wrong message to prospective home buyers. Living areas that contain too much furniture, stacks of magazines, or piles of unsorted mail will convey an unwanted image of chaos, messiness, and disarray. Clutter can also have the effect of making rooms look smaller and less appealing.

In addition to establishing new and better habits for keeping your home organized and looking its best, it's also important to enlist the cooperation of your family. When everyone does their part to keep your home looking presentable and well maintained, fewer things will get misplaced, moods will be lifted, and you'll no longer feel embarrassed when company drops by!

The best time to begin attacking the problem is now. If the project seems overwhelming, the solution is to start small, but stick with it on a daily basis. As the famous quote says, "The race does not always go to the swift, but to those who keep on running."





Posted by Peggy Farber on 10/3/2018

Moving day is an exciting day but itís also a lot of work and can even be a little stressful. Everything is boxed up and feels near impossible to find when you need it. Avoid scrambling through boxes to find a trash bag or paper towels.

Be prepared on moving day no matter what comes your way with a cleanup toolkit on hand.

Messes happen even on moving day. By packing a special box that is clearly labeled with these items inside youíll be ready for anything.

  • Ziplock bags

  • Permanent marker

  • Trash bags

Have ziplock bags on hand to wrangle up loose screws and other bits and bobs. Use a marker to write on the bag what the contents belong to. Trash bags are for the obvious: trash. No matter how much you clean out and clean up you will find you have some sort of trash on moving day. Have at least one ready and waiting.

  • Dustpan and brush

  • Paper towels

  • Window spray

  • All-purpose spray

  • Dusting clothes

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Spray bottle

For messes left behind by the previous owners and any spills that may happen. Dust items before putting them away on shelves or hanging back up on walls. Wipe down windows and mirrors. Run a dusting cloth over shelves and banisters. And always have a few paper towels at the ready - just in case.

  • Hand soap

  • Hand towels

  • Toilet paper

  • Plunger

Because the bathroom will be the first to be used so have the essentials in place. Letís be honest, these are not the things you want to dig to the bottom of a box for. Pull these out and set up the bathroom as soon as you first step into the new house.

  • Air freshener

  • Disinfecting wipes

Not necessities, but certainly nice-to-haves. Wipe down counters, doorknobs and switch plates with a disinfectant wipe. Air fresheners take care of any funky smells left behind from previous owners or from sitting vacant for a while.

Having a cleaning kit on hand and at the ready allows you to clean up as you go. You donít want to start cleaning up after youíve unpacked and put everything away. Do it beforehand for an easy, seamless moving experience.  

Tackles messes as they come up, proactively clean as you start moving items in and avoid digging through boxes to find disinfectant wipes or a trash bag. Clearly label your box in large print and/or color code it with a bright colored packing tape. This way youíll know exactly which box has your supplies and where it is at all times.

Make your new house your home by freshening it up before unpacking. It will feel so good to have a clean organized home from day one.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/26/2018

When youíre short on space, it can be difficult to see how you could ever possibly declutter your closet. It is, after all, a convenient hiding space for all of your items that you have no idea where to put! Thereís a few tips that can help you to get on the road to decluttering your closet and getting organized.


Make Things Accessible


One reason that clutter builds up is that things are not very accessible. As youíre trying to find something, items fall and become misplaced. By spreading out your organization system a bit within the closet, youíre able to see what you have and exactly where it is. 


Group Like Items Together


In the same light of being able to find things that you need, grouping like items together makes it easier to find what you need. If you know that all of your haircare items are in a certain bin, youíll be able to reach in the same spot without thinking.   



Find Places You Can ďDropĒ Things


Closets tend to be that kind of space where we just drop things and forget about them. We always think ďIíll deal with it later.Ē When later never comes, we end up with quite a cluttered closet. Keep baskets or trays handy in the closet in order to keep things that you may empty out of your pockets or put away at a later time. This way youíll only have to clean out one basket instead of the entire closet. 



Make Use Of Drawers


Drawers are incredibly useful in a closet space. You can place a dresser in the closet if space permits. If you donít have room for a dresser, you may want to create your own drawer units. For an alternative option of storing things, try installing shelving units and placing baskets across the shelves, giving the illusion of drawers.   


Encourage Tidiness


Everything that you do to organize your closet should have the goal of keeping tidiness in mind. If the closet is a walk-in, youíll organize it much differently than if you have a smaller space. No matter the size of the closet, youíll want to divide the space into zones of sorts. This way, youíll know where everything goes and how to keep it neat.   


Light The Space


Without adequate lightning in the closet, itís pretty difficult to find what youíre looking for, no matter how organized you are. If your closet doesnít have a lot of natural light, youíll need to install some lighting. Whether you put in overhead bulbs, or install touch- activated portable lights, the brighter the better when it comes to your closet. Be sure that thereís lights in key areas like darker corners where the main light source doesn't reach. 





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Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/19/2018

When youíre shopping for a home, itís essential to find a balance between being respectful of the ownerís privacy and being open enough that you ask the right questions and find out what you need to know about the home.

In todayís post, Iím going to cover all of the etiquette and best practices when it comes to viewing someoneís home that youíre interested in buying.

Basic etiquette

Before we get into the fine details of questions to ask and what areas are okay to explore, letís take a minute to discuss the basic etiquette of entering someoneís home.

First, make sure you arrive on time and ready to tour the home. Being late will give the seller and their agent the perception that you might not be a serious buyer if you arenít arriving at the showing on time.

Additionally, when you first enter the home, itís a good idea to ask if you should take off your shoes. Some homeowners have a no-shoes-in-the-house policy that they extend to guests as well as friends and family. But, at the very least, make sure that your shoes are clean so you donít track mud around the home.

In terms of cleanliness, make sure you dress appropriately for the showing and that you donít bring in food or drinks. You donít want to be dropping crumbs or spilling coffee in a home that is being kept meticulously clean for house showings.

Ask the right questions

As you are viewing the home, itís appropriate to ask questions that may come up. Feel free to ask about the age of the home and when repairs and renovations were made.

Itís also fine to ask questions about the neighborhood and town if youíre unfamiliar with the area. Traffic and noise levels are pertinent information for any serious buyer. And these are questions that will be vital to understanding the home better and whether itís a good fit for you at the moment.

Where can you snoop?

Itís a good idea to ask before opening cabinets, closets, and doors the first time. But these are all reasonable things to expect to be able to look inside of when buying a home.

Itís not a good idea, however, to look inside nightstands, dressers, and other compartments that are more private and personal.

If a homeowner or agent asks that you donít enter a room entirely, such as a bedroom, bathroom, or basement, this is a major red flag that thereís an issue with the room in question. Every room of the home should be in-bounds when it comes to viewing a home that you might someday buy.

At the end of the viewing

Once the viewing is over, itís best to simply compliment the home, offer your thanks for the tour, and head home to consider your experience.

Avoid making any sharp criticism of the home before leaving, and donít mention any negotiations or ask questions about the pricing at this point. Itís better to leave on a positive note and have these discussions in private with your family before taking your offers to the seller.




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