6 Ways to Warm up Your Home This Winter

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It’s that time of year again–The cold hits and our electric bill takes a hit! Why not save that money for holiday gifts instead? Here are 6 ways to warm up your home this winter without blasting the heat!

 

1. Buy or make a draft snake to block draft coming in from underneath the door. Drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use.

2. Change your filters once a month to allow a good airflow. Keep your furnace clean and properly adjusted to avoid air restriction. You will save up to 5% of the heat cost.

3. Turn down your water heater. Most water heaters are set at 140 degrees, but they only need to be set to 120 degrees. This will reduce your water heating cost by 6%-10%.

PicMonkey Collage2 1024x341 6 Ways to Warm up Your Home This Winter 4. Consider getting your your windows insulated. The extra still air space gives your home the ability to hold heat.

5. Use caulking and weatherstripping to seal up gaps. Any leaks can sap home energy efficiency by 5% to 30% a year.

6. Invest in an energy monitor. This device measures your electrical usage and projecst your bill each month. You will save 15%-20% on each bill.

PicMonkey Collage3 1024x341 6 Ways to Warm up Your Home This Winter

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8 Holiday Decorations for Your Home

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Tis’ the season and it’s time to get your home holiday ready! Here are 8 holiday decorations for your home that will impress your guests, yet are easy on the wallet.

1. Frame Decor: Dress up your picture frames with some sprig and berries.

2. Eye Candy: Pull out your glass cups and put some peppermint candy for a beautiful centerpiece. Add a colored ribbon for the finishing touch.

3. Light the Way: Group votive candles on a silver tray and light them up. Guest will love this! It gives the room a warm and sultry feel.

4. White It out: Everyone loves a white Christmas so why not have a white Christmas tree? This monochromatic look against shimmery, silver ornaments is very captivating when it’s placed by fireplace.

Coll1 1024x1024 8 Holiday Decorations for Your Home 5. Berry Nice: Fill apothecary jars with cranberries and surround them with fruit and pine cones to give a warm glow to your home.

6. Game on: For a fun and clever element, bring out your Scrabble game board and use it as a holiday prop for the table. Display words that are holiday related to stick with the theme.

7. Beautiful in a Glass: Put your extra ornaments in glass jars and place them by the window for a high-impact display.

8. Winter in a Jar: Buy some mason jars with lids and make your own snow globes! All you need is a decorative piece, super glue, water and of course glitter.

Coll2 1024x1024 8 Holiday Decorations for Your Home

The holidays are the best time of the year, but we all know how expensive it can be. With these easy decoration ideas, you will give your home that “wow” factor without spending a lot! Happy Holidays!

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Real Estate Investment: Expectations vs Reality [Infographic]

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People have a lot of expectations when it comes to real estate investment. The 2014 survey of home buyers and sellers reveals, however, that those expectations often do not align with reality. Here’s a fun infographic to look at statistics about the home buying and selling process.

 

Real Estate Investment Expectations vs Reality Real Estate Investment: Expectations vs Reality [Infographic]

When to Sell

People often think they can sell whenever they decide it’s time to move; they’re probably sitting on a fortune! But the truth is that 17% of sellers have to delay the process because their home value is less than their mortgage.

Time on Market

Most sellers expect to sell within two weeks of listing the residence and offering a showing or open house. Clearly this happens sometimes, because the median time is 4 weeks. This stat certainly isn’t terrible. But remember a third of homes sit on the market for 17 weeks or more. The longer a home sits on the market, the more likely the seller is to lower the listing price, which leads us to…

Asking Price

You know what a gem your house is, but not everyone else knows that. The average home sells for 97% of the asking price. 45% of sellers reduce their listing price at least once during the process.

Home Search

You would think getting qualified and approved would be the difficult part of buying a home. You would be wrong! Most buyers agree the hardest part of the buying process is finding the right home. This usually takes about ten weeks at about one showing per week.

Time in House

Now that you’ finally have the house of your dreams (and have gotten rid of the old one), you’d expect to stay there for at least twelve years, right? That’s what most people surveyed believe. But in 2014, the average seller was moving after only ten years in their previous real estate purchase.

Then it was time to start the whole process over again…

 

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Does the Garage Interior Matter to Homebuyers?

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Is the garage interior an important part of your home when you list it for sale, or is this a safe area to stash everything as you de-clutter? The truth is, your garage, including its interior, matters. 86% of home-buyers say that the garage plays a “very important” role in their decision making.

When selling a house, the garage needs to be much more than just an afterthought. In the average house, the garage takes up around 400 square feet of space, and even more if it is a three- or four-car garage. This makes it, easily, the largest “room” in the house. If you want to stage your home, you need to stage all of it — including the garage. Here are some tips to ensure that the garage does not wreck the sale of your home.

Garage Interior Does the Garage Interior Matter to Homebuyers?

1. Get Organized

You know the hours you spend organizing your living room so it shows perfectly? You need to tackle these same steps in the garage as well. Clear out clutter, pack away items you won’t need until you move, give away or sell unwanted items, and make the space look large and spacious. If it has become a catchall, you will need to spend a little extra time.

 

2. Clear the Floor

Have you forgotten what the floor of your garage looks like because of all the bikes, scooters and toolboxes cluttering it up? Use storage, hooks and bins to clear the floor. Even bikes and ladders (items you normally would store on the floor) should be stored up and out of the way.

If you’re having trouble clearing the floor, consider building up. If the garage has high ceilings, create overhead storage that goes above your vehicles. You can stash a lot here, even some of the items you de-cluttered from other rooms of your home, without compromising the look of the garage.

Once the floor is cleared, take a good, hard look at it. Does it need to be re-finished? You can try to clean the concrete, but if too many stains from years of cars parked on the space have attacked the floor, you may need to grind it down and seal it to start over. Another option is to add PVC tiles, which can still have cars parked on them, but are easier to clean.

 

3. Finish the Walls

A garage is a functional space, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to look thrown together. Add some drywall and a coat of paint to the stud walls to dress up the space a bit. You’ll be surprised at the difference this can make in the overall look of the space.

If the walls are already finished, but look dingy, give them a fresh coat of paint. You can even install slat board on the walls to give yourself an easy storage option and a finished look to the space. Above all, make sure the walls look clean and fresh.

 

4. Show the Function of the Space

Does your garage have room for a workspace and your car? Then show this off! Make the space look as functional as possible, while keeping it tidy, to show potential buyers just what they are buying.

 

5. Don’t Neglect the Door

As you are going through the work to stage your garage, don’t neglect its door. You’ve probably already looked at the exterior of the garage door, but make sure that the interior is attractive and functional. As you are inspecting the door, make sure the garage door opener is fully operational. Your potential buyers are likely to try it, so make sure it will work when they do. Clean and lubricate the moving parts so you don’t have any unexpected problems.

 

6. Consider the Lighting

You may not use your garage for much other than storage, but your potential buyer may be eyeing it for a man cave. Make sure it has enough lighting, and that the light bulbs are fresh. A bright, welcoming space may be exactly what the buyer is looking for.

Remember, your goal is to help your house shine, and that means all of it, not just the inside. Take some time to set up and stage your garage, and it will not hinder your home’s sale. It’s just as much a part of the home as the rest of it, so give the garage a little attention in the home-selling process.

 

Author Bio:

Justin White currently serves as Marketing Director for Garage Door Repair, LLC, which proudly serves the greater Washington DC area, as well as Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania with door maintenance, installation and maintenance services.

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8 Kitchen Design Ideas [Infographic]

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We all know that the kitchen is the heart of the home, so why not perfect it and have it your way? In this infographic we share 8 kitchen design ideas that will warm up any home.

Kitchen windows for your home3 8 Kitchen Design Ideas [Infographic]

Create a Warm Feel to Your Home With These Designs

1. Timeless Traditional: Warm Metal Tones

2. Rustic: Brick Veneer

3. Simple, Classy & Sleek: Monochrome

4. Energetic/Uplifting: A Splash of Blue

5. Trendy and Infancy: Open Shelving

6. Bold: Copper Tones

7. Chic, Contemporary: White Cabinets

8. Earthy: Natural Wood

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