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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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    December 17, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: The Most Perfect Family Room Ever

    Photo from Toll Brothers 

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    December 16, 2014
    Making Your Dream Home A Reality

    My ultimate financial goal in life is to buy my dream house, decorate it how I want, and get it paid off as fast as possible. The idea of living in a home that is completely personalized to my tastes, and not making mortgage payments every month just sounds likes my version of paradise. And I’m not alone- buying the perfect home is a dream of most Americans. But it doesn’t have to remain just a dream! The path to your dream house doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Check out this post by Jamie Lyn at the blog for tips on how to make your perfect home affordable and realistic, without compromising on your must-haves:

    -Figure out what your “perfect home” looks like- get out a piece of paper and write it all down. A Realtor will help find homes that fit your description.

    -Always stay in budget

    -Bigger isn’t always better- figure out how many rooms your family needs to live comfortably, and don’t go over that number.

    -Always consider remodeling- this is a great way to customize your pre-owned home

    -Location is key!

    Photo Credit: 

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    December 15, 2014
    Taking The Next Step

    If you’re getting married to someone, it’s pretty much a given that you’re going to be living together. Living together can be the best time of your life (it’s like having a sleep over with your best friend every night!) but it can also be difficult. You see a side of your spouse that you’ve probably never seen before. Plus, the home buying process can also be challenging. But, by working together, you will strengthen your relationship even more! If you and your spouse are taking the plunge and buying a house, check out this article by Jessi Hall at Veterans United for some great tips:

    -Shop together and often- to get an idea of what you both want

    -Consider credit issues for the BOTH of you- and get it worked out before you apply for a mortgage

    -Don’t overspend- create a budget and stick to it!

    -Have fun!

    Photo Credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin 

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    December 12, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Tree Decorating Inspiration

    I am obsessed with white Christmas trees! I think they just look extra magical, and I love the idea of decking them out in gorgeous silver ornaments.

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    December 11, 2014
    For Realtors: Increasing Your Online Presence

    The other day, I wrote about how important it is as a real estate agent to have a strong online presence. Without one, it will look like At the click of a button or two, any potential client should be able to find your contact information and details. There are plenty of ways to grow your online visibility– if you need help thinking of ideas, check out this post by Melissa Culbertson at Blog Clarity:

    -Use the same profile picture across all social networks- get your face seen!

    -Keep your LinkedIn profile fresh.

    -Really interact online- write posts, share, comment, respond!

    -Create a simple personal website- that showcases your work, and turns up in a search engine result.

    Photo Credit: Official GDC 

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    December 10, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Elegant Holiday Hearth

    Photo from Verigris Vie

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    December 9, 2014
    Did You Pick The Right Realtor?

    First of all, I would argue that having ANY Realtor is better than having no Realtor at all! Though some may disagree, I believe that having a real estate agent is absolutely essential to both the home buying and home selling processes. It helps immensely to have someone with your best interests in mind, and will usually pay for their own commission with the money they save you on your home. That being said, finding the right Realtor for you is important as well! Hiring a Realtor with sufficient experience, as well as one that gets along well with you and can meet your needs is key! So did you hire the wrong one? Check out this list of red flags by Bill Gassett at Max Real Estate Exposure:

    -Lack of confidence-do the seem to know what they’re doing? If not, they may not have enough experience. Be sure to interview potential agents before hiring them.

    -Failure to use all resources/ Lack of web presence

    -Folds easily in negotiations OR is too pushy- You want someone who has your back! Not someone who will cave under pressure or force you into decisions you’re not comfortable with.

    -Failure to communicate- This is probably the most important quality of a Realtor. If your agent is not communicating with you, then what is the point? That’s the bulk of their job.

    So, is your agent working for you? If not, you may be considering canceling your contract. To find out how to do that-if you are able to-, read on through for the full article.

    Photo Credit: Samuel Mann 

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    December 8, 2014
    Basic Home Decorating: Layout Ideas

    I’ll be the first one to admit it: I’m pretty clueless about home decorating when it comes to layouts. I have certain styles and color schemes that I like, but no idea how to put it all together without it looking like a jumbled mess. Yeah, I’ve seen lots of tips on Pinterest and such (like, mount curtains at the ceiling instead of just above the window), but no clue how to combine them to create a well designed home layout. Then, I found this article by Kelly at View Along The Way that really helped! She gives some very general layout tips that you can apply to almost any room. Check out some of her advice:

    -Analyze the function of the room, design for that: Are you going to be watching TV in the room? Having conversations? Reading? Incorporate elements in your layout that facilitate these activities.

    -Create “zones” in larger, longer, or skinnier rooms to break up the space.

    -Measure EVERYTHING, and try anything. Move stuff around! If you need help, try out

    -Use symmetry.

    -Orient towards the focal point- Fireplace? TV? Dining table? Bam! Easy Peasy.

    Photo Credit: Jinkazamah 

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    December 5, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: An EXTREME Home Selling Solution!

    A seller in the Netherlands has installed a rollercoaster through their home to give buyers the tour of a lifetime. I would buy this home in a heartbeat if they left the coaster and I had an extra $700k lying around!

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    December 4, 2014
    Home For The Holidays?

    It’s no secret: home sales slow down during the holidays. People don’t want to be moving around in the middle of December: they want to stay home, be with family, and not add any additional stress to their pile! However, if you are trying to buy, December may be your month to strike. With the low home inventory and the tight competition happening now, it may pay off to go through with it when no one else is looking. Check out this post by Vera Gibbons at Zillow for more reasons to buy a home for the holidays:

    -Bargain prices- prices are lower in December than any other month

    -Mortgage rates are very low right now

    -Motivated sellers- If sellers are listing their home for sale this time of year, this likely means they’re serious about shedding the weight of their residences.

    Photo Credit: thebarrowboy 

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