Entries in Homes (45)

Friday
Mar202015

3 Easy Steps to Create a DIY Wreath That Looks Great Year-Round

If your front door or fireplace mantle looks bare after you take down holiday decorations, a DIY wreath is a quick and easy way to add a personal and welcoming touch. Follow these three steps to design to craft a wreath to dress up your home.

After the holidays are over, and the ornaments and lights have been packed away, your house may need more nonseasonal decorations to freshen up your decor. If your front door or fireplace mantle looks bare, a DIY wreath is one quick and easy way to add a personal and welcoming touch to your home. Follow these three steps to design to craft a wreath guaranteed to dress up your home year round.

Step 1: Choose Your Base

Wreath-making begins with a base to give proper form and shape to your decoration. Most wreaths are round, but square wire wreaths or heart-shaped foam also works well. Foam bases can be wrapped with colorful fabric or ribbon. Grapevine coils are a standard found preformed into a circular base in most craft stores. Grapevines work especially well as a base for a floral wreath or one using greenery to create a natural look.

Heart Wreath

Image Source: Flickr/Selena N. B. H.

Step 2: Choose Your Decorations

Once you’ve decided on a base, select the color scheme and style of the wreath that fits best in your home. If you’d like to add a colorful focal point to neutral walls, choose bright fabrics or felt. To personalize a wreath for your front door, add wooden monogrammed initials that can be purchased at a local craft store. Other fun decorations include sea shells, felt flowers, and curled paper or ribbon. And, of course, in Philadelphia, sports related themes incorporating Eagles’ green or the Phillies’ red and white are popular. If you’re looking for a DIY wreath to create with your kids, consider using something edible, such as gumdrops or marshmallows attached to a foam base using toothpicks.

Step 3: Assembly

Depending on your chosen wreath materials, you may need to employ a few assembly techniques to complete your craft project. A hot glue gun works well for foam or grapevine bases. Wreath ties or floral wire will allow you to attach flowers or other ornaments to wire wreaths and can be easily disguised. If you’re using foam, spray-on adhesive is also worth a try for a fast way to attach a number of items.

A DIY Wreaths is a quick and inexpensive way to personalize your home decor after taking down the holiday decorations. 

Main Image Source: Flickr/Karen Cox

Jennifer DiGiovanni is a freelance writer and a partner in a real estate investment firm focusing on residential properties. She previously worked in the financial services industry and has earned an MBA from Villanova University. Jennifer enjoys writing about real estate, home improvement and small business.

Tuesday
Feb102015

The 5 Latest ‘Must-Have’ Amenities of Home Shoppers

Posted in Home Trends, by  on February 9, 2015


By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Besides an upscale kitchen and plenty of space, what are new-home buyers’ looking for when house hunting? Surveys by the National Association of Home Builders and homebuilder PulteGroup shed some light on a few of the latest in-demand amenities.

1. Walk-in closets: Large closets, particularly in the master bedroom, is among one of home shoppers’ top priorities, according to the NAHB survey of builders and remodelers. Indeed, 31 percent of 1,000 home owners recently surveyed by PulteGroup said they’d sacrifice another household feature in order to have his-and-hers closets in the master bedroom.

2. Luxurious laundry rooms: Buyers are looking for more than just a place to stick their washer and dryer. They want upgraded laundry rooms – complete with skylights, built-in ironing boards, space for folding clothes, extra storage, and upgraded appliances, according to the NAHB survey.

3. Energy efficiency: Home buyers are looking to cut utility costs, and energy efficiency appliances and products can be one way to do that. Low e-windows, Energy Star appliances, and programmable thermostats are more in demand among home shoppers.

4. Great rooms: These large open spaces that often merge dining rooms, living rooms, and kitchens continue to be in high-demand among home shoppers, according to NAHB’s poll of builders. “Great rooms are wonderful places where everyone in the family can sit around, or where the kids can do their homework while you get dinner ready,” Stephen Melman of NAHB told MainStreet. “Today’s great rooms are large, bright and just make you feel good being there.”

5. Taller first-floor ceilings: More home buyers want the first floor to stretch beyond the typical eight-foot ceiling. They’re asking builders for nine-foot ceiling heights. The taller ceilings can open up living rooms, dining rooms, and other spaces on the first floor. But home shoppers say they can do without the cathedral ceiling in the family room, which can be too costly to heat and cool. Also, they aren’t preferring the higher ceilings on the second floor, which many home buyers say they want to feel more cozy, Melman says.

Tuesday
Dec162014

Tips for Selling Your Home in Today's Market

Resources for Sellers

GET STARTED ON THE RIGHT FOOT!

  • Why Hire an Agent?

    Studies show that sellers who use a real estate agent generally get a better price than those who choose to sell the home themselves. As an agent it is my job to stay up to date on the latest market trends and fluctuations. Utilizing an agent means no surprises during the selling process, as you will have latest information at critical junctures in the process. Let me put my experience to work for you to ensure you get the best price for your home!

  • Before Your Home is Listed

    Prior to listing your home, you'll want to ensure everything is in good showing condition before buyers start to tour the home. Here are some important things to consider:

    • Start Packing

      Now is the time to put things in storage, clean out the basement and garage and start preparing to show your home. Remove any family photos or personal items. Remember, you want buyers to see themselves in your home!

    • Spot Paint

      Touch up both interior and exterior paint.

    • Update Carpet

      Clean or replace carpet in areas with heavy wear.

    • Extra Cleaning

      Keep the interior and exterior clean and odor free.

    • Curb Appeal

      Trim any overgrown bushes, mow the lawn and keep it free of leaves or snow. Make sure the front of the home is clean and appealing. You want to make a strong first impression!

    • Find Potential Problems Early

      Once you've completed these steps you may want to hire someone to perform a pre-listing inspection. Buyers will be hiring professional inspectors too; this is your chance to find and address problems before it's time to sell.

  • Professional Staging

    Consider hiring a professional stager to help give buyers the appeal they're looking for.

  • During the Listing Period

    You'll need to plan to have something to do during the times potential buyers visit your home. If initial offers don't meet your expectations, don't dismiss them immediately. You may need to consider lowering your asking price if months go by with few or no offers. However, by working with your agent you will be able to arrive a price that works for all parties.

Tuesday
Dec162014

You Found the Perfect Home-Now What?

Resources for Buyers

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A HOME

  • Check Your Credit

    Your credit is crucial when applying for a loan; the better your score, the lower your interest rates will be. Be sure to check all three major credit reporting companies: ExperianEquifax, and TransUnion as the information in each report may vary slightly. Make sure you make copies of your credit report as well, and check your score well in advance of applying for loans.

  • Find a Lender

    Most people need to take out a loan when buying a home, and you'll want to be prepared to make an offer when you find that perfect home. It's important to be sure that you're approved for a loan before you start looking at homes so you don't miss out on any opportunities. If you need help finding a lender, I can recommend trusted lenders near you.

  • Price Range

    Calculate what's realistic for you before considering different areas to live in to be sure things stay within your budget. Once you know your range, I can help you make the most out of your money.

  • Research

    Finding the right home can be time consuming, but it's important to consider everything before you decide. What's the commute like to work? If you have kids, what are the schools like in the area? How many bed and bathrooms will you need? Do you prefer or newer or older styled home? All are important factors to take into account during the home finding process.

    I am dedicated to helping you through the entire home buying process. Once we find that perfect home, I will prepare a written offer. With my experience in the market, I can help you arrive at an offer that both fits your budget and has the best chance of being accepted.

  • Once Your Offer is Accepted

    After your offer is accepted, you'll have a grace period to have the house professionally inspected and request repairs or counter offer if the situation arises. Once this step is complete, we will verify the terms and conditions of your loan, and assist you in signing your papers. I'm here to assist you with any questions you may have during the process.

  • Moving Time!

    Now that you've found your perfect home it's time to make moving arrangements. If you plan on utilizing a professional moving company, I can recommend reputable, local movers. Don't forget to fill out your change of address forms and inform the utility company of your move!

Sunday
Nov162014

What if Your Teenager Doesn’t Want to Move To Your New [City] Home?

 By My Smart Blog



You’ve got a new job offer across the country and you are planning to pack your things, buy a home and make the big move. However, when you tell your 17 year old daughter your plans, she lets out a mournful wail and cries that it is not fair. How can you possibly take her away from all of her friends, her favorite hangout spots and the cute boy she just started seeing? 

Moving house is a difficult transition and it is even more traumatic for teenagers. The teenage years are an important stage where young adults establish their individuality and independence and during this time their social circle is extremely important to them. Being removed from that against their will can make any teen feel sad, confused, angry and resentful. Also, fitting into a new social scene in a different location can be a challenge for a teen that might be singled out as the “new kid”. 

How can you help your teen during this transition so that the experience will be easier on them?

How to Help Your Teen Move

Here are some tips that will make the experience of moving house a little bit easier on your teenager:

  • Give them as much notice as possible so that they have time to adjust to the idea of moving. They will feel like they have enough time to say goodbye to their friends and close a chapter of their lives.
  • Try to schedule the move around the school calendar, as moving in the summer is much less disruptive to your teen’s life than relocating in the middle of the school year.
  • Make sure that they have ample time to spend with their close friends before they leave and once you arrive, understand that they might go through a grieving process of missing their old pals.
  • When you get to your new home, make sure that your teen has plenty of ways to keep in touch with their old friends, such as an internet connection and a cell phone plan.
  • Encourage your teen to get involved in the community of your new hometown, such as joining sports clubs or attending events. This can help them to [make new friends][2].

Can They Stay Behind?

In some situations, the better option might be to let your teenager stay behind. If they are in their older teens, they will have finished high school, maybe have a job and be independent people of their own. Perhaps they could stay with a family member or parents of a friend for a while until they are old enough to move out on their own. This might make them a lot happier in the long run, rather than taking them along with you if they really don’t want to move.

For more advice on moving to your new home, feel free to contact me at lalexandroff@cbpref.com or phone me at 856-685-5692.

Links:

Angry: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/talk-angry-teen-5913.html

make new friends: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-to-make-a-bunch-of-new-friends-in-any-new-city.html

have a job: http://voices.yahoo.com/5-reasons-why-teenagers-after-school-331714.html?cat=25

[2]: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-to-make-a-bunch-of-new-friends-in-any-new- city.html

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