Friday, January 20, 2017

Pantone Color of the Year

The 2017 Pantone Color of the Year is "Greenery" - a yellow-green shade that brings the beauty of nature in.

Greenery is a color that can be used in all seasons and pairs well as a neutral.  For example, Pantone put together several palettes that can be used both indoor and out.Color of the Year 2017 - Color Pairings and Palettes

Color of the Year 2017 - Color Pairings and Palettes

Aren't ready to take the plunge and pull out the paint brushes?

Incorporate Greenery by using pillows, rugs, window treatments or accent chairs.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Selling Your Home?

Despite the above average temperatures it still is January here in the South.  If you need to sell your home, the dead grass, bare trees and dark evenings may have you concerned.  There is good news though!  Here are a few tips to help you sell quickly so you can move on to your dream home!

- Price Competitively:  Look at comparables and make a decision based on what has sold within the last 3 months.

- Curb Appeal: Brighten up your home's exterior with some winter friendly plants and landscaping.

- Declutter: Make sure any seasonal decorations are put away, remove too many personal items and create a clean, neutral palette in the home.

- Paint: If your home needs a new color scheme - choose a neutral such as an off-white to make the home feel brighter in the dark winter months.

- Interior Touches: Make sure your home is well lit and warm! Add a cozy blanket on the couch.  Focus on the rooms that you spend the most time in - kitchen and master bath especially.

Don't worry! There are buyers in the winter and now is the time to sell before it gets too competitive in the Spring.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Preparing for Winter Weather

The South is often a target of sarcasm when it comes to preparing for potential winter weather. And though there may or may not be actual snowflakes - it is always wise to be prepared for weather events of any kind. Including snow!

So how should you prepare?

Here are a few practical ways:

- Prevent pipes from bursting by wrapping exposed pipe with insulation or newspaper.
- Allow faucets to drip a little during extreme cold to prevent freezing
- Bring pets indoors and cover plants
- Limit travel when roadways may be icy
- Have emergency supplies for power outages such as candles, matches, blankets
- Fully charge phones or other electronic devices
- Never use an outdoor heating device or generator in an indoor space
- Have bottled water and canned goods in your pantry
- In case of loss of heat, have blankets and layered clothing easily available

The best thing to do is plan for a cozy day at home - off the roads and away from harm.

Enjoy the winter weather responsibly and safely!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Working Out in the New Year

One of the most common New Years Resolutions is to lose weight and get in shape after the Holiday splurges of cake, cookies and extravagant dinners!

You can do this without buying an expensive gym membership or even clearing out your office to make a home gym.

With just a few pieces of equipment you can effectively and efficiently work out at home.

1. Resistance Bands

2. Workout Mat (Yoga Mat)

3. Jump Rope

4. Adjustable Dumbbells

5. Kettle Ball

Store your equipment in an ottoman or with some dedicated shelves.  For hidden space stick it under the bed.

If you're looking for what to do with your equipment simply put on a YouTube video or go to the many fitness channels available on Roku or Apple TV.

What are your fitness goals for this year?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Quick Christmas Treats

Merry Christmas!  The shopping, get-togethers, travel, and holiday parties have arrived. With only a few days to go it may feel overwhelming - but no fear! We have quick festive treats you can put together without ever turning on an oven.

So relax and enjoy this wonderful time of year!

Take regular brownies and make them festive with green icing, sprinkles and candy cane accents!

For a sweet treat that's healthy too - use grapes, bananas, strawberries and marshmallows!

Snowmen liven up any party with donuts, mini chocolate chips and candy corn 

Roll up cranberrie, feta cheese and onion in a tortilla for a tangy treat

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Interest Rate Increases

According to the latest reports, the Federal Reserve is planning a series of gradual increases to its federal fund rate - a decision that will lead to an increase in interest rates for home mortgages.  While this has made for glaring headlines for some - the real concerns about this change are over rated.

The housing industry has been aware for years that the current interest rate levels were unsustainable and put into place only to assist a struggling housing market.  Housing is now back on its feet and will be able to weather gradual changes to the interest rates.

So what do you do as a buyer?  Plan.

Evaluate your budget in light of possible interest rate increases. A good rule of thumb is that for every .05% increase in interest rate, there is a $100 increase to the monthly mortgage payment cost on a 30 year mortgage - for a home that costs about $300,000.  This may help you plan for your monthly payments depending on what price home you are looking to buy.

Ensuring that your credit score is is in the best shape possible is one way to lower the cost of your mortgage.  Pay off any outstanding debts before looking to acquire a mortgage and don't make any other large purchases prior to buying a new home.

Save more!  Save more for a down payment to help offset any additional monthly payment costs due to increases in interest rates.

The best way to prepare for changes in the housing market is to understand your total financial picture and talk with financial companies and builders you trust.  Ask the experts for their opinion and learn from their experiences in the always changing housing industry!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Shopping for New Homeowners

Looking to shop for the new homeowners in your life? There are great ideas everywhere!  Finish off your Christmas shopping with this list of homeowner gift ideas.

1.  A Welcome Mat - Spruce up the entrance of their new home

2.  Return Address Stamp - A thoughtful way for them to send out "We've Moved" letters

3. Personalized Cutting Board - Personalize a common kitchen need - cutting boards!

4.  Garden Basket - Include necessities like work gloves, hand tools and watering can

5.  Throw Blanket - Nothing cozies up a new home like throw blankets - seasonal patterns welcome

6.  Homeowners Manual - Full of useful information on common warranty issues

7.  Basic Tool Set - Screwdrivers, a hammer, nails and pliers

8.  House Plant - Something low maintenance would be best

9.  Christmas Ornament - New homeowner ornament for the tree

10.  Movie Basket - Help them enjoy their new home with popcorn, a movie and favorite candy snacks