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  • 8 in 10 homeowners expect the value of their homes to go up either "a little" (55 percent) or "a lot" (26 percent) in the future.
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    November 20, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Tips For Designing A Botanical Themed Room

    Great tips on bringing foliage and plant life into your room to brighten things up!

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    November 19, 2015
    How To Make Friends After A Move

    Making friends as 1. An introvert and 2. An adult is extremely difficult! Most friends I have now are ones that I met in college, high school, or through mutual friends. I can’t imagine what it would be like to move to a completely new area and meet new people. But, if you are looking to buy a house in another state (or country!), it’s a reality for you already. Military families know what I’m talking about. Anyway, despite enjoying my time alone, having a good friend group is extremely important to my happiness. That’s why I love this post by Kate Reimann at Military Spouse! Here’s her advice for making new friends anywhere:

    -Say YES! If someone invites you out, take them up on it even if it makes you feel awkward! Chances are, you’ll have a great time!

    -Get uncomfortable- You will be in new situations with new people, particularly if moving to another country with different customs. Just roll with it.

    -Say “hello”- This is super hard for us shy ones, but sometimes you really have to make the first move. Simply go up to people and say hi- maybe a conversation will spark, maybe not. The worst thing they can do is say “go away”.

    Photo Credit: Tony Alter 

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    November 18, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Living Room With A View

    Photo from Freshome

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    November 17, 2015
    How To Save Big On Your Home Insurance

    Insurance: it’s something no one wants to pay for, but that we’re all grateful to have when we need it. But, it can be a serious headache month after month if you are overpaying for your home insurance. However, there are ways to cut back! Check out this post by David Leonhardt at The Happy Guy for frugal ways to save:

    -Shop around

    -Increase your deductible- it will save you in the long run.

    -Remove unnecessary/ gimmicky coverage- use common sense.

    -Combine with auto/business insurance

    -Take advantage of loyalty programs, referrals, and pay online discounts!

    Photo Credit: Pictures of Money 

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    November 16, 2015
    What To Ask Before You Offer

    If you are in the house hunting process and think you have found your dream home, it’s best not to hesitate when making an offer, so it doesn’t get sold to someone faster. However, that doesn’t mean you should jump into the decision without thinking. A Realtor will help you make the best offer you can. It will also help if you read this article by Samantha Reeves at Veterans United. Here are questions that every buyer should ask before putting their money on the line:

    -Does the home fit into my budget? Make sure you are preapproved and that your monthly payment is affordable.

    -Am I paying for more than the home is worth? Again, an agent will help you with this.

    -How is the location?

    -How much work is needed on the home?

    -What is your gut telling you?

    Photo Credit: Chris Potter 

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    November 13, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Anyone Want To Give Me $159M?

    That’d be great. (PS, imagine being the Realtor who SELLS this!)

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    November 12, 2015
    One Habit To Always Have A Clean Home

    We all have that friend who always has the perpetually clean home. Even though she and her spouse work full time jobs, and they have kids and pets, their house always looks like a showroom. Then, you wonder what sort of arcane magic she knows to keep it in such tip-top shape. Well, just like with any good habit, it takes practice. Fit people don’t get that way over night: they go to the gym and eat healthy every day. It’s the same thing with keeping a clean home. Check out Tina M.’s trick for always keeping her home clean here at Mother’s Niche. It’s called the “one touch rule”:

    Let’s say you come in from outside and take off your jacket.  You then conveniently drape your jacket across the back of the couch and go about your next activity.  Next, someone comes over and wants to sit on our couch so you quickly move it to the counter.  Later you are making dinner so you finally move your jacket to your closet.  How many times did you touch the jacket before you put it away?  3 Touches.  Let’s say you come home, take your jacket off and put it straight in your closet…how many touches would that be? One touch!

    Photo Credit: Maegan Tintari 

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    November 11, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Tiny House…With Pool!

    Small house, living large.

    Photo from Tiny House Talk

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    November 10, 2015
    How Much Should You Save For A Down Payment?

    I know I’ve written a lot on the subject of HOW to save more for a down payment, but never exactly how much you need. While it’s true that sometimes you could have as little as 5% of the home price for the down payment (or even less), more is always better. 20% is the ideal number; having 20% of the home already paid for will greatly reduce your monthly payment, and sometimes even secure you a lower interest rate. For more, check out this post by Ginna at My Pretty Pennies. Here’s why she saved 20% for a home deposit, and why the extra work is worth it:

    -We avoided having to pay for PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)

    -Lower monthly payments

    -Get a lower interest rate

    -Instantly build equity: you already own 20% of your home!

    Photo Credit: Images of Money 

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    November 9, 2015
    Sell Your Home In A Snap With These Tips

    Fall is a wonderful time to sell your home, as long as you’re doing it right. The cool weather makes it easier to take on DIY curb appeal projects, plus many people are looking forward to moving in and getting settled before the holidays. To get your home sold before the market freezes in the winter, check out these great tips for first time sellers by Brendon Disimone at the Zillow blog:

    -Find yourself a good real estate agent

    -You’ve got to be ready to sell- you may have someone visit your home the day after you list it. Make sure the home is ready and that you are emotionally prepared.

    -If you get an offer, be ready to move. Pack up all nonessentials before you even list; it will make your life easier and your home less cluttered.

    Photo Credit: Diana Parkhouse 

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