What’s a Renovation Home Loan?

Thinking of buying a home that needs some work and turning it into the home you’ve always wanted after some much-needed repairs or remodeling? That’s a smart idea!

renovation home loan Whats a Renovation Home Loan?

If you’re one of those homebuyers who can spot a residential diamond in the rough and envision everything that home could become, you may be surprised at the financial advantages of buying a home with a renovation home loan. This type of home loan enables you to roll the cost of repairs and/or upgrades into your mortgage for one loan and one monthly payment.

Here are some of the benefits of buying a home with a renovation home loan:

  • You may get a bargain by paying less than market price
  • Bargain prices can get you into a more expensive area than you could otherwise purchase
  • You may be able to buy a larger home than you imagined
  • Improvements you make can increase the fair market value of your home
  • The renovated property will be done just the way you want it, reflecting your tastes and serving your needs

With a renovation home loan, you finance the home purchase price plus the cost of repairs and/or updates. You can also refinance your existing mortgage plus the cost of repairs. With both of these options, you only have one application, one approval process, one loan closing and one mortgage payment.

A renovation home loan enables you to make repairs and/or improvements right after closing, and the renovation costs are spread throughout the mortgage term. This type of financing is usually a better option than financing repairs and updates with a personal loan or credit card, which could feature higher interest rates.


All loans subject to credit approval. Rates and fees subject to change. Mortgage financing provided by PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company (NMLS: 13649). Equal Housing Lender. © 2014 PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company. For full licensing and disclosure information, visit www.primelending.com/legal.


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DIY Organizing Ideas for the Bedroom


The bedroom is probably the one room in the house we often don’t think to keep clean, but in reality, the bedroom should be the most organized room. It’s the place where we start and end our day, therefore it should be relaxing and mostly importantly neat and tidy! Here are some quick and fun DIY organizing ideas to help you maximize the space in your bedroom!


From the Kitchen

Use a silverware tray to keep your jewelry in. A good tip is to buy some adhesive hooks so you can hang your necklaces and bracelets. This nifty idea prevents your jewelry from getting tangled and it’s visually appealing!

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The Cottage Market

It’s in the Bag

Have you ever made a purchase and noticed the shopping bag you received was really pretty and you didn’t want to toss it?  Well, why throw it away when you can reuse it to place you belongings in? Keep those pretty bags, pin them on a bulletin board and use them to place small items, such as cards, pens or receipts.

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Lezo Musings


Keep it Poppin’

I know we all have the issue of trying to find that one top that goes with that particular skirt or pants you own. So what other way to keep your outfits together than to use a pop tab! Remove the tab from your pop can, hook it on to your hanger and then place the corresponding clothing item (that is on separate hanger) to it. This will clearly make your life easier by keeping your closet simplified and creating more space.

double size your closet using soda tab hangers.w654 250x187 DIY Organizing Ideas for the Bedroom

Wonder How To

For the Scarf Lovers

We often have the tendency to toss our scarves in the closet or bundle it up in a drawer. That just causes a mess! Now there’s away to prevent that just by using some shower curtain rings and a clothing hanger.

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ReFab Diaries

 Rack Them Up!

When it comes to shoes, there is nothing more frustrating than having to look for that missing pair. A crown molding shoe rack will keep your shoes in one place and have them looking in tip-top shape every time.

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Fashion Love Affairs

Lock it in the Pocket

 For all the little items that usually get misplaced and make a mess, compartments are essential. Using a hanging shoe rack is perfect for those items. Creating labels for each pocket will have you even more organized.

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These simple and creative DIY ideas will eliminate any clutter you may have and the best part is, they are all under 20 dollars!

What other DIY secrets do you know of to keep your bedroom organized?

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Top 5 Qualities in a Real Estate Agent


We always hear about real estate agents that don’t quite do their job. You know, the ones that list your a home on MLS and have you look for your new home? As a home buyer you need to remember that you are technically “hiring” a professional to sell and/or buy a home, therefore you need to make sure that your agent is the right one.

Super Agent1 Top 5 Qualities in a Real Estate Agent

  1. Experience

It’s all about the resume. Treat this as an interview—ask all the questions that you feel are necessary to insure that your agent is experienced. Find out if real estate is their full-time job, if not, most likely they are unreliable. Ask about their transactions and their contacts. Numbers say a lot!


  1. Listens

Makes sure your agent listens to you. He/she should get to know you, your lifestyle and what you are looking for. From the time frame to budget, your agent needs to ask you a lot of questions in order for he/she to find your “dream home.” An agent should not talk you out of what you want, unless he/she has a valid point. Think of your agent as a “matchmaker.” He/she should understand what you want and find you a home that is best suitable for you.


  1. Communication 

Your agent should educate you and most importantly follow-up with you. Selling and buying a home is a process, your agent needs to walk you through each step and update you with the latest news. A great agent should always stay in-touch with you and be responsive at all times.


  1. Motivated

Agents need to be hungry and constantly proactive. A motivated agent should make it all about you; he/she should meet all of your needs as a home buyer. He/she should always be prospecting and have a strong passion for what they do.


  1. Confident

Ever heard of the elevator speech? If an agent has 30 seconds to a minute to sell himself/herself, he/she needs to prove to their potential client that they are worth it and it all comes down to confidence. Their confidence should engage you. It should be authentic, not just some sales pitch that sounds rehearsed or robotic.

Selling and buying a home is not easy! It can be very stressful, but your agent should take some of that stress off of you and actually make it fun and enjoyable. Do your homework! Look-up the agent and see if there are any written testimonials. Ask around. We always believe that the best agent is the one that is referred to you. Some agents are so successful just by word of mouth.

It’s all about getting to know your agent, the more you know about him/her the easier the process will be!

According to consumers, 31% said they want an agent that is trustworthy. 23% said they want an agent with a good reputation and 16% said they want their agent to be someone they know.

What other qualities in a real estate agent do YOU look for?


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7 Steps to Writing an Offer for a House


It’s time to make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse! When you’re looking to buy a home, nothing is of more paramount importance than writing an effective offer.

Obviously you will have your handy dandy Realtor on hand for every step of the process, making sure everything is being communicated properly. However, there are a lot of decisions you need to think through before sitting down with your Realtor to discuss details.

Here’s a step by step run-down of how to write an offer on an effective home so that you know what to expect when your perfect real estate is on the line.

7 Steps to Write an Offer on a Home 7 Steps to Writing an Offer for a House

Step #1 – Make Sure It’s the House You Want

This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people feel the pressure of a ticking clock and wind up making an offer that they immediately second guess. You don’t want to go through the hassle of writing an offer only to decide the floor plan isn’t open enough and you need an excuse to back out.

Step #2 – Come Up With That Magic Number

A good real estate agent will not tell you what to offer on a home; they will simply talk through the pros and cons of some of the numbers you’re considering. Most states don’t allow clauses like, “I will pay $1,000 more than your best offer,” so you’ll need to go with your gut on this one.

Depending on the market, the best you can do may be to simply pay the asking price and have enough other factors and contingencies to make your offer stand out.

Step #3 – What’s the Down Payment?

You will need to make a good faith deposit, or earnest money deposit, and disclose it with your intended down payment.

The old rule of thumb is 20% of the purchase price should be made in an all cash down payment. It’s perfectly normal to not pay that much up front, but the rest of your offer (not to mention your mortgage!) could be an uphill battle.

Step #4 – Terms of Financing

Now that you’ve told the seller how much you’re willing to pay, they need to know how you’re going to do it. This is another portion that your Realtor will be a valuable asset for, but the items you need to consider beforehand include: maximum interest rate you’re willing to pay, the type of loan you plan to obtain, and pre-approval documents.

Step #5 – List Your Contingencies

Contingency offers exist to protect you, the buyer. This is where can be balance out the factors you don’t like. For example, a home inspection contingency gives you permission to back out of the offer if the final home inspection finds something wrong that isn’t promptly fixed.

Here are the most common contingencies:

  • Home Inspection
  • Appraisal
  • Mortgage/Loan funding

Step #6 – Who Pays Fees?

Here’s a little secret for you: the seller usually pays all the miscellaneous fees. They’re the ones trying to sell a house, they can handle the little charges.  In some cases, though, it may behoove you to take some of the fees upon yourself to make your offer more appealing.

The party paying for services also choose the provider. So if you have an escrow company you really want to work with, you may have to bite the bullet on those charges.

Here are the most common fees:

  • Title
  • Escrow
  • Transfer Tax
  • Home Inspection

Step #7 – Set Some Deadlines

The end of your offer will include a bunch of dates. These are obviously still negotiable after presenting your offer, but it’s best to supply the seller with your ideal timeline. Here are the dates in order of how they should appear in your offer:

  • Expiration on said offer
  • Possession date (usually the day after closing, to give the seller time to move last minute things, but can be immediately upon closing)
  • Terms if the possession date and closing date are farther apart than one day

If you know what to expect going into writing an offer for a house, then you can ensure maximum effectiveness when you work out the details with your Realtor. We hope this helps you in securing the house of your dreams!

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Top 20 Home Décor Trends of 2014


The great thing about home décor and interior design is that there’s always a fresh, new idea to try that will liven up your abode. Below we outline 20 home décor trends that are quite the rage in 2014, and how you can implement them in your own home.

20 Home Decor Trends of 2014 Picmonkey Top 20 Home Décor Trends of 2014

1. Interchangeable Accents

 Think a hodge podge of chameleon décor. Instead of focusing on one “look,” try out a neutral base and then use impactful accents. By using this technique, you can easily change up your décor by keeping the essentials and refreshing the flourishes.


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2. Bedazzled Kitchens

Give the heart of your home a stylish facelift. Show your kitchen some love by installing custom cabinetry painted in rich gemstone colors. Add some spark by incorporating an unusual lighting fixture, and accent with gleaming chrome or brass. If you want to bedazzle your countertops and backsplashes, use exotic, semi-precious stones.

3. Merging the Indoors and Outdoors

Try incorporating some outdoor pieces and designs in the interior of your home. Go low budget by using stones and pebbles in your décor, or invest in finished stone or wood coffee tables and other statement pieces.

4. Wallpaper

Wallpaper is coming back with a vengeance; so if you’re sick of tired paint, why not pick out a bold, funky paper to take its place? Today’s wallpaper is not your grandmother’s wallpaper. In fact, there are styles featuring reflective flowers, LED lights, and even Warhol-inspired wallpaper.

5. Black Paint

People are trending away from gray and towards classic black paint. According to a Houzz poll, 74 percent of homeowners said they were fans of black rooms and using black paint, including in the kitchen and bathroom and on exterior siding and interior doors. If you do decide to go black, make sure to use bold, bright, and metallic fixtures to brighten up the space.

6. Window Sheers 

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window sheers

The focus is moving away from heavy drapes and towards sheer window dressings. Most homeowners want more transparency and light, meaning less fabric. Sheers in linen and wool look rich while giving you the natural light you need and want. Try sewing the fabric into inverted box pleats for a more tailored, masculine look.

7.  Vintage Pieces

Hit up your local antique shops, thrift stores, and swap meets to seek out some unique vintage pieces. Trends come and go, but beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces are always fashionable and serve as great conversation pieces.

8. Light-Colored Wood

Light, honey-colored woods such as oak, walnut, and cherry are fresh and lively. Maybe it’s the beach dweller in all of us, or the way a light-colored wood table brightens up a room that is putting this trend on the map.

9. Ethnic Prints

If your drab pad needs a pick-me-up with an exotic touch, ethnic prints may be for you. Popular as upholstery, fabrics, and prints, ethnic prints can break up boring interiors.

10. Rope Lighting

If you’re interested in nautical décor or simply want an unexpected touch, rope lighting may be a perfect fit for your home. Drape long lengths of rope over exposed beams or other ceiling fixtures and let the bulbs hanging from the ends light up the room.

11. Metal Backsplashes

People are getting more and more creative with their kitchen backsplashesthese days. Although the most popular backsplash material still remains tile, people are increasingly selecting metal tiles and other sheet materials like glass, stainless steel, and stone slab for their kitchens. Metal backsplashes are great because not only do they look sleek, they’re easy to clean!

12. Macramé Wall Hangings

Add texture to your walls with macramé and fiber art wall hangings. This will give the room an extra flourish and can easily take the place of expensive fine art. If you’re not into using these materials as wall art, incorporate texture by making a macramé curtain to separate rooms.

13. Floral Prints

Bold floral prints are very popular this year. Much like ethnic prints, they can make a big statement in a neutral room. For a modern look, mix your floral and chintz prints with other graphic patterns.


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14. Turquoise

Turquoise paint and accents are definitely trending this year. If you’re not ready to commit to an entire room painted this fun color, incorporate some turquoise into your home in the form of throw pillows, blankets, area rugs, or upholstery.

15. Bye Bye Beige

Given the current trend to opt for more bright and bold colors, beige is the enemy. It’s safe and works well as a base color, but it doesn’t have the edge or make a statement like other popular colors do. Say goodbye to beige and don’t be afraid of color!

16. Wood Grain

People are beginning to skip the paint and opt for natural beauty instead. More live-edge (natural edged) wood is increasingly in popularity for countertops and furniture.

17. Corduroy Upholstery 

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A casual alternative to velvet and the preppy version of chenille, corduroy is a hit in 2014. Try it out on formal chairs, or choose a wider wale for more of a statement. An added bonus of using corduroy is that it’s very durable and can withstand long-term wear and tear.

18. Hair, Fur & Hide

Don’t be afraid to pet the furniture. Hair, fur, and hide throws, upholstery, and coverings are very popular this year. Sofas and chairs now boast a touchable surface, and some companies even offer upholstery in a shorter, summer fur or a longer, curlier, winter hide.

19. Brass

If done right, brass can add class to any room. Brass is timeless, and the trend of implementing it into a home’s décor has been gaining steam. Brass works particularly well in the kitchen, bathroom, and for ornamental pieces. Actually, metallic pieces of all kinds, especially a mix of silver and gold, are also very popular this year.

20. Navy

Navy has also proven to be a popular color this year. Perfect for nautical themed rooms, home libraries, home offices, and studies, navy is a deep, sophisticated color that can work well in many environments. In fact, a range of shades of blue, from indigo to peacock and cobalt blue, are trending in 2014.


Have you noticed any other home décor trends in 2014? Please let us know in the comments below!


Sources: Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Freshome, Wall Street Journal, Houzz and Details.

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