Posted by Amanda Bruen on 9/19/2017

Saturday morning is the time of week when many Americans wake, eat a hurried breakfast then head into the closet or basement for a bucket, broom and a rag. Depending on your family house cleaning traditions, when you were a kid you might not have been allowed to go outside and play with your friends until after the house was clean.

It's time to take another look at long standing house cleaning traditions

It was the only thing that put a damper on your Saturday, the one day of the week when kids generally spend all day doing fun things. Of all house cleaning traditions, this one may have been one of the most effective at teaching you and your young brothers and sisters responsibility.

Taking the load of handling every house cleaning chore solo off your mother was another positive takeaway gained from this house cleaning tradition. Years of practicing this house cleaning strategy may have caused you to believe that there was no other way to keep a house clean.

Waiting until the day after Friday to do all of your house cleaning could also start to take the vibrancy out of Saturday. Add in grocery shopping, other household errands, clothes shopping and potentially taking in a movie and Saturday could pass without you sitting and relaxing for 15 minutes.

How cleaning your house in five days could work

You could clean faster to get back more relaxation time. Another approach that you could take is to extend house cleaning chores across five days. For example, you could:

  • Toss out expired food and items that you don't use, items that merely clutter your home on Monday.
  • Dust furniture on Tuesday evening. If you operate a business from home, dusting furniture could become part of your early morning routine.
  • Vacuum carpet and sweep and mop hardwood and tile floors on Wednesday. You could wait until the last day of the month to wax hardwood floors.
  • Toss in a load of laundry on Thursday.
  • Hit the grocery store on Friday just before you come home from work. You might beat crowds.

Limit the time that you spend performing each house cleaning chore to an hour. Teach everyone at your house to pick up after him or herself every day and your house might stay presentable. Give each person living at your house a cleaning responsibility and each person might only clean one to two hours a week. You'd also get your Saturday back.

Everything doesn't have to be done at once

Clean your house in five days and you'll only have two days to completely forget about house cleaning. On the other hand, you won't have to spend more than an hour in a single day doing any house cleaning chore. It's like washing dishes and pots and pans as you finish preparing a cuisine rather than waiting until after all dishes have been prepared and everyone has eaten.

That olddish washing tradition leaves you with a sink full of dirty dishes to wash after you've spent hours entertaining guests. It seems like a win until you enter your kitchen and stare at two full sinks of dirty pots, pans and dishes.

Breaking house cleaning chores into small chunks can add more fun and relaxation time to your weekday and weekends. It may also give you ideas on how you can break down other household traditions that might not be serving you well.




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Posted by Amanda Bruen on 9/12/2017

If you were to look at a photo of a suburban neighborhood from the 1950s and one from today, you would notice many similarities. The houses have gotten much larger, but they still have perfectly manicured lawns and milky white fences. American culture has come a long way since the days of nuclear families. An emphasis on conservation and environmentalism has added recycling bins to many of our homes. But by and large our backyards†remain mostly unchanged. Some people are electing to deviate from those norms to make their homes and yard more eco-friendly. Part of that change has been to adapt natural landscaping techniques that make your backyard seem less chiseled-out and more a part of its natural environment. With proper planning and care, natural landscaping can give your yard both a modern and natural look, and it won't look messy or overgrown. Here are some tips to get you started on natural landscaping in your backyard.

Native planting

A big part of natural landscaping is understanding your local plant life. Planting flora that is native to your area is not only helping your yard look more natural but also helping your local plant and wildlife. Often we bring in "exotic" plants and flowers without understanding the ecological issues that can arise from invasive species, both on other plants as well as on the local animals. So what†are some ways you could alter your yard to house more local plant life? That depends entirely on your taste and on your local flora. If you live in a coastal, warm area, you might choose a sand or shell path in†your yard that leads through tall grasses. If you live inland it might make more sense to choose stones or pebbles for your walkway and a variety of shrubs, flowers, and grasses for around the yard.

Lawn dividers

You won't find any white picket fences naturally occurring in the woods. But nature has its own barriers that can be adapted for use around your property. Vines, trees, bushes, and even rocks can all be used as natural barriers. People have used rock walls to mark of their property for centuries, and for good reason: they last forever (with some occasional maintenance) and they compliment the natural environment of your yard.

Make your lawn livable

Your lawn should be hospitable†for your plants, your local wildlife, and for you. Using natural wooden benches, tree swings, and maintained paths will make your backyard look like the walkthrough gardens that we see in old English manor houses. But you should also keep in mind the birds, bugs, and other animals that will frequent your yard. By not using chemical insecticides or weed killers you're already helping your local wildlife thrive. But you can attract even more birds by setting inconspicuous feeders in the trees around your yard.

What's to gain from natural landscaping?

Aside from looking nice, natural landscaping has countless other benefits. When you're growing plants native to your area you know the plants are predisposed to grow well in your yard. That means less maintenance, watering, and less money spent buying replacements for dead plants. You'll be helping the local wildlife fit in, and you'll be helping yourself†by giving your yard a refreshing, natural look.





Posted by Amanda Bruen on 9/9/2017

This beautiful home is located in a country setting on a dead-end street boasting a large, new, eat in kitchen with custom cabinetry, granite counter tops and hardwood floors. This home also features a bright living room with fireplace, 3 large bedrooms, 2 remodeled baths, as well as a newly remodeled and reinforced 4 season room. The huge, newly carpeted family room with wood stove in the lower level was previously a 4th bedroom and could be turned back into a bedroom, mudroom or utility bay!! Beautifully landscaped large yard perfect for entertaining with patio, extensive vegetable and herb garden, plus an outdoor fireplace that is great for grilling. This wonderful property is also located close to major routes, local area shopping, and restaurants.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts





Posted by Amanda Bruen on 9/5/2017

Selling a home may seem exceedingly difficult, particularly for a first-time property seller. However, if you receive an offer on your residence that falls just short of your initial expectations, you may be able to negotiate with a homebuyer.

How you handle a negotiation with a homebuyer may dictate how quickly you sell your residence.

If you're unwilling to understand a homebuyer's point of view, you risk missing out on an opportunity to get the best results from your home sale.

On the other hand, if you stay calm throughout a home selling negotiation, you may be better equipped to understand a homebuyer's perspective. This may help you find common ground with a homebuyer and ensure you can speed up the home selling cycle.

What does it take to remain calm during a home selling negotiation? Here are three tips to help home sellers maintain their composure throughout a negotiation.

1. Keep Your Emotions in Check

A home selling negotiation can be stressful. But home sellers who manage to keep their emotions in check can boost their chances of a quick home sale.

If you feel stressed during a home selling negotiation, don't hesitate to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Remember, your ultimate goal is to sell your residence. With the lines of communication open, you and a homebuyer can work together to ensure all parties involved in a negotiation are satisfied with the end results.

2. Look at All of the Options at Your Disposal

If a home selling negotiation goes south, there is no need to panic. Instead, consider all of the options at your disposal, and you'll be able to determine how to proceed from here.

For home sellers, it is essential to note that many homebuyers are on the lookout for high-quality residences in cities and towns around the country. Thus, if a negotiation with a homebuyer fails to work out, you can continue to promote your house on the real estate market.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have for many home sellers, and for good reason. This housing market professional will handle a home selling negotiation and ensure you can seamlessly navigate the entire home selling journey.

Typically, a real estate agent can negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf. He or she will keep you up to date about any homebuyer requests and offer honest, unbiased home selling suggestions. As a result, you can receive expert home selling guidance and make informed decisions at each stage of a home selling negotiation.

A real estate agent also will respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time. That way, this housing market professional will make it simple for you to alleviate stress in a high-pressure home selling negotiation.

When it comes to handling a home selling negotiation, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble remaining calm, cool and collected during a negotiation with a homebuyer.





Posted by Amanda Bruen on 8/29/2017

Thereís numerous reasons why the name on a title to a home may not be the same as the name thatís on the mortgage loan. These reasons include:


  • Only one buyer had stable credit
  • Only one person was on the loan application
  • One person was released from the mortgage


No matter why this is the case, having your name on the mortgage but not on the title to a home can affect you and people residing in the home in different ways. 


Why Would Only One Name Be On The Mortgage?


If people are looking to get a home or refinance a home, but only one person has good credit a decision must be made. For the best possible mortgage rates, youíll want to person with the best credit to be the primary loan holder. This may mean that you need additional legal documents in the process.  


The person with lower credit may still be able to have their name placed on the title to the home. Anyone who plans to contribute financially to a home, even if not on the mortgage, should place their name on the title. This would be one instance when a name would be on the title to a home and not on the mortgage loan. In this case, a person has property rights, but no legal-financial responsibility to the home. Itís important to agree on the home arrangement that youíre considering. This would be done through a will or a legal contract. This way, all parties are protected in regards to the ownership of the home should something happen to the individual whose name is on the mortgage.


Legal Things To Consider


Those who are listed on the mortgage are the people who are responsible for house payments. If a personís name isnít on the mortgage, it doesnít release them from complete responsibility from the home. If your name is on the title to the home but not on the mortgage, the bank generally has first dibs on the home if thereís a lapse in payments. If you want to keep living in the house, youíll have to keep making payments on the home. If you canít make the mortgage payments, youíll risk going into foreclosure. 


Taxes


An issue that can come up if your name is not on the mortgage is that you cannot use the home youíre living in as a tax deduction. Even if you make payments on the home, in order for you to get tax benefits, your name must be on the mortgage stating that youíre legally responsible for the home. If you are paying for the mortgage because your name appears on the title to the home, you arenít legally entitled to pay, giving away your rights to tax benefits. If youíre married, filing jointly, and only one name appears on the mortgage, however, you can use this as a tax deduction. This becomes an issue if two unmarried people buy a home together.  


Ask For Legal Assistance


Whenever you have an issue with the title of your home or with names on the mortgage, itís good to consult legal counsel. The attorney can assist you in determining who is legally responsible for the home and if the people listed on the title of the home are correct. This can help save you from trouble at a future date.


Since credit scores and loans can get messy at times during the home buying process, itís good to understand all the implications of home mortgages and titles.




Tags: Mortgage   Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  




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