Karen Adelson - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty



Posted by Karen Adelson on 12/12/2017

If youíre a newer homeowner, odds are you donít really ďownĒ your home outright. Rather, you likely have equity in your home.

In this article, weíre going to talk about what home equity is, how to use it to your advantage, and things you should avoid using your home equity toward.

 What is home equity?

Unless youíre one of the lucky few who paid for their homes in cash, you probably took out a mortgage. As you pay off that mortgage you build equity.

Home equity is essentially the value of a property that a homeowner has at their disposal due to paying back part or all of their mortgage.

However, thereís another factor at play in home equity, and thatís market value.

Since the housing market fluctuates, the value of your home does as well, and as a result, your home equity changes with the market value of a house. That might sound worrying, but the good news is that due to something called appreciation.

In the same way that the cost of living tends to rise each year with inflation, so do housing prices. However, appreciation isnít the only factor at play in the valuation of your house. As your home ages, it will likely need some renovations, which could decrease the home value.

Generally speaking, however, your equity achieves a net gain as you pay your mortgage and the value appreciates.

Increasing equity

Now that we know why equity can be so beneficial as an asset, letís talk about ways to build it.

The best way to build home equity is to repay your home loan. However, more than simply repaying, youíll want to repay in the fewest number of years to avoid paying more in interest. The longer you take to pay your mortgage, the more interest accrues that could have been used toward other investments.

The second way to increase equity is one we mentioned before--market fluctuation--namely appreciation. To improve the chances of getting a high appraisal of your home, itís important to keep up with maintenance and make smart renovation choices that will have a high return on investment.

Using home equity

The best use of home equity is to leave it be and increase its value over time. However, that isnít always possible for all of us. Since many of us need to move before repaying our full mortgage, equity allows homebuyers to use their equity toward their next mortgage.

Another option is to take out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. Ideally, youíll only use these loans if youíre planning on using the loan money to increase the value of the home via home improvement projects.

Borrowing against your home equity does come with risks. Since you are putting your share of your home on the line, there is a chance of your home being foreclosed on if you donít repay the home equity loan. However, lenders typically seek other methods of repayment or settlement before foreclosure.





Posted by Karen Adelson on 12/5/2017

Itís difficult to tackle so many projects throughout your home without feeling overwhelmed. This is why itís a great idea to take each part of the house piece by piece. Thereís plenty of quick updates that you can make to your bedroom without breaking a sweat. The idea is to make little changes that have a big impact. Here, weíll show you some easy updates that will make a big difference in your bedroom. Use Color To Your Advantage Adding bursts of color is the easiest, yet the most often overlooked decorating technique. You can add bits of color all over your bedroom. From small accents like picture frames and vases, itís simple to add some color here and there. It will make a huge impact on the room. Feel Your Way Around The Room The textures you use in your bedroom is important to how comfortable the room feels. You can mix and match the linens in your bedroom from the type of throw you use to the type of rug thatís present on the floor. Youíll want to consider changing these a few times a year to match with the seasons. Warmer, fuzzier linens are best for the winter whereas lighter linens are perfect for summer. Suit Your Style Thereís different textures and different items that match up with certain styles and themes. If youíre going for a more romantic feel, consider using velvets and cozy looking throws. Leather gives a more rustic feel whereas blown glass and antique-finished woods provide the feel of country living. If youíre looking for more of a modern bedroom, try teak wood, smooth leather and even plastic touches to achieve your look. Change Your Accent Pillows And Shams Thereís something to be said for simply changing the pillows in your bedroom. Any throw pillows or pillow shams that are present in your bedroom could use a change each season or two. This will give you a fresh perspective instead of the same old tired bedding and accents. These simple changes can make a noticeable difference in your bedroom. Making these changes will also give you something to look forward to each and every season. Change Your Window Treatments Changing your curtains along with the seasons is a great idea as well. In the colder months, you may want to hang more insulated curtains to hold the heat in your room. In the summer months, light and airy curtains will help you to beat the heat. Make It Personal Your bedroom is the perfect place to hang your treasured photographs and artwork. Change up the pictures in your frames and the artwork on the walls every so often so that you can keep your memories flowing with goodness. Youíll get tired of staring at the same artwork day after day. By mixing it up, youíll be able to showcase all of your favorite things throughout the year!





Posted by Karen Adelson on 11/28/2017

If you like the outdoors, fresh air, and exercise, it might be well worth your while to look for a house near a public park.

Some communities also offer bike paths, walking trails, and town swimming pools, all of which can provide an endless source of recreation for you and your family.

Like any desirable feature of a neighborhood or community, some parks are better than others. While access to a nice park may not be uppermost in your mind when house hunting, here are some solid reasons for including it on your wish list:

  • Exercise benefits: Many of the larger parks offer extensive walking trails, public tennis courts, and paddle boat rentals. Parks can also provide space for jogging, roller blading, bicycling, and Frisbee tossing. For families with younger children, a nearby playground can be a priceless resource for keeping the kids physically active and entertained. It can also be a convenient location for play dates, birthday parties, and picnics.
  • Stress relief: Whether it's related to work, finances, or family issues, just about everyone experiences stress at one time or another. Having easy access to a peaceful place to walk, read a book, or fly a kite with the kids can provide a welcome distraction to the trials and tribulations of everyday life. When you need a change of scenery or a chance to commune with nature, a short jaunt to your neighborhood park can provide the ideal environment for relaxing and unwinding.
  • Convenient meeting location: If you're considering hosting a family picnic, but your yard won't accommodate everyone on your guest list, reserving a pavilion at a local park can be the perfect solution. Public parks can also be conducive to volleyball matches, badminton tournaments, and football games. A park can often be a nice setting for events like family reunions, club meetings, and graduation parties.
  • Easy access to special events: Most parks offer special events to local residents, ranging from free concerts to farmers' markets. Living just a short walk from a festival site, music event, or theatrical performance can enhance your enjoyment of a chosen neighborhood. Whether you're a fan of Shakespeare in the Park or flower shows and food festivals, living near a public park can provide you and your family with fun cultural events and weekend entertainment.
If you're currently in the process of house hunting or are considering relocating in the near future, one feature to include on your wish list might be proximity to entertainment, culture, and recreational facilities. When those resources are far away or inconveniently located, it's all too easy to dismiss the idea and settle for a humdrum day at home. However, when you have entertainment options that are literally around the corner, there's no excuse for not taking advantage of them -- especially when they're free!





Posted by Karen Adelson on 11/21/2017

If you plan to sell your house in the foreseeable future, it often helps to declutter. That way, you can eliminate excess items from your house and make it easy for buyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.

Before you start to declutter, there are several steps that you should follow to achieve the best-possible results, and these are:

1. Consider Which Items That You Want to Keep

One homeowner's treasure is another's clutter, and vice-versa. Thus, you'll want to take a close look at your personal belongings and determine which items are keepers and which items are clutter.

If you find that you have lots of clutter, there is no need to worry. Remember, you can always sell excess items at a yard sale or online. You also may be able to donate various excess items to charity or give them to family members or friends.

2. Examine Clutter in Each Room of Your Home

Clutter rarely is confined to one room of a house. As such, you'll want to closely examine each room of your home and identify all clutter before you list your residence.

Oftentimes, it helps to make a home decluttering checklist that includes each area of your home. This checklist will enable you to take a room-by-room approach to remove clutter and may help you streamline the decluttering process.

3. Evaluate Your Storage Options

Although you likely will find plenty of clutter in your home, you may identify a wide range of items that you want to keep too. At the same time, you probably want to remove as many items from your house to show off the true size and beauty of your home to potential buyers.

Ultimately, it helps to evaluate storage options prior to decluttering. This will ensure that you have plans in place to store myriad items as you start to remove clutter from your house.

Many home sellers choose to rent storage units for their personal belongings. These units generally can be rented on a monthly basis and enable home sellers to keep their belongings safe until their houses are sold. Furthermore, it may be beneficial to pick up storage bins to temporarily store myriad belongings in your house's attic or basement.

If you need extra assistance as you prepare to declutter your house, it frequently helps to reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert decluttering tips, as well as guide you along the home selling journey.

A real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events, negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf and much more. Therefore, with a real estate agent on your side, you can increase the likelihood of a quick, profitable home selling experience.

Ready to declutter and list your residence? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can eliminate clutter and move closer to selling your house.





Posted by Karen Adelson on 11/14/2017

Americans spend hundreds of dollars each month on take out and restaurant food. Think of all the things you could spend your money on if you werenít buying all of that food? Stay home and cook dinner with friends or family and save that money. Here are six essential spices to have in the home to cook flavorful dinner each night. Garlic Powder: Garlic powder is a kitchen staple. It is not the same as using fresh garlic but it still does the trick. Garlic powder pairs well with all foods that you are looking to add that garlicky flavor to including chicken, pasta, steak, rice, potatoes, and much more. Use it alone or add it with other spices and sauces to create rubs and marinades. Ground Cumin: Cumin has an intense flavor that is both nutty and earthy but also slightly spicy. It pairs well with chicken, potatoes, beans, etc. Cumin also pairs well with other spices such as garlic powder, which can be used as a dry rub or added to a marinade. Onion Powder: Onion powder provides the flavor of onion without the actual onion. It goes well with anything that you are trying to add onion flavor to. Itís best used with other seasonings rather then as a standalone seasoning such as in sauces and spice blends. Cajun Seasoning: Cajun seasoning has a bit of heat with bold flavor. Itís a combination of paprika, black pepper, onion, cayenne, thyme, white pepper, garlic and sage. Itís often used in jambalaya, gumbo, dirty rice, and Andouille, but can also be used in much less intricate dishes. This includes fish, chicken, and steak. Red Pepper Flakes: Red pepper flakes are perfect for adding heat to dishes before, during and after being cooked. Red pepper flakes go great on pizza, pasta, chicken, and anything else youíd like to add heat to. Italian Seasoning: Italian seasoning is a combination of multiple spices including rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme. Adding Italian seasoning to dishes is a simple way to add flavor. It goes well with chicken, potatoes, green beans, and much more. These are just a few of the essential spices and spices blends that you should have in your home. You can create simple or intricate dishes and endless of flavor with these different spices.




Tags: Cooking   spices  
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