COMMONLY OVERLOOKED FEATURES WHEN BUYING A HOME

Fri, 10 Aug by realtyexecutivesnw

A few of the most common features that buyers look for when buying a house include the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, and whether or not the home has a garage. Then, there are the few important features that often get pushed to the bottom of the list. Don’t forget the following important features when choosing the right home for you and your family.

Neighborhood

Many home buyers will walk through the interior of a potential house numerous times before deciding if it is the right home for them. Yet, very few will take a walk around the local neighborhood. When you buy a home, you are buying more than the four surrounding walls and everything in between them. You are also buying a section of a neighborhood. This is the same neighborhood where you will have your morning jog. It is the same neighborhood that your children will play in and make lifelong friends.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to evaluate a potential neighborhood. You can check past and current crime reports, which can give you insight into the overall safety of the neighborhood. It can also be useful to get out into the neighborhood. If you enjoy biking, bike the neighborhood. If you and your children enjoy going to the local park, spend an afternoon at the nearest park. You can also learn a lot about a neighborhood by speaking to neighbors.

Walkability Score

A high walkability score might not apply to every home buyer, but it is an important one to consider in some areas. If you live in larger cities like New York or Toronto, a neighborhood with a high walkability score is crucial.

Get to know the local public transportation routes and how easy or difficult it will be to navigate them. Most cities are also assigned a walkability score which is based on the ease of navigating a city and its amenities on foot.

Outdoor Space

Your yard is an extension of your home. You will use your outdoor space to entertain, relax, and engage in hobbies like gardening. Although you can make outdoor improvements to the space after you move in, it is important to evaluate the potential.

Having a dream of a large outdoor entertainment area might not be possible if the backyard is too small. Alternatively, large yards require a lot of upkeep and maintenance. If you don’t want to bother with landscaping chores, a smaller yard might be better.

Nearby Amenities

A lot of home buyers wait until they have moved in to find the nearest coffee shop or grocery store. Having access to the amenities that are the most important to you can really affect how happy you are with your current living situation.

Consider which amenities are the most important to you and then map them out. If you enjoy dining out, research what types of restaurants are available nearby. If you have a preferred grocery store, check the distance. While the lack of one or two important amenities might not stop you from purchasing a home, it is important to evaluate your overall accessibility to preferred amenities.

School Ratings

School ratings are an important feature to consider whether or not you have children. If you have children, you want to send them to a school that will give them the academic and life skills they need to be successful. If you don’t have children and never intend on having them, a nearby quality school is still important. Buying a home in an area with a good school can affect your home’s value and appeal to families when it comes time to sell.

It is important to consider more than the schools’ ratings. You can learn a lot about a school by taking a tour through the local school. Get to know the school personnel. Look at the after-school programs and activities the school offers. If possible, talk with other parents and consider their satisfaction with the school.

Homeowner/Condo Amenities

Living in a condominium community or homeowner’s association often comes with many useful amenities including a community pool, doorman, outdoor maintenance, etc. These shared amenities, however, come with an additional price. Most homeowner’s associations have rules and regulations that all members must follow. The association can dictate changes you make to your home, as well as parking requirements and landscaping additions.

If you are considering buying in a condo or homeowner’s association, you will want to evaluate the included amenities and then weigh them against the added costs. Also, get to know the specific homeowner’s rules to prevent any surprises later on.

Buying a home is a big decision. By evaluating the neighborhood and accessibility to local amenities, you can truly get to know an area and choose a home that is right for you.
This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International.
This post was written for Realty Executives by Heather Hardy. Heather is an avid writer who has contributed to numerous blogs and internet news sources. While she writes on a variety of topics, her specialties include real estate, home improvement, and travel. After obtaining two degrees, Heather has found her passion in writing content that improves both readability and knowledge.

HOME STAGING HACKS TO GET YOUR HOME SOLD FAST

Fri, 03 Aug by realtyexecutivesnw

A well-staged home can make the difference between a quick sale or a long, drawn-out one. If you don’t declutter and present your property in its best possible light, a prospective buyer might not be able to picture the home as their own. Here are some hacks to get you on the right track:

First Impressions Are Everything

Sure, the inside of the house is extremely important, but don’t forget about curb appeal. How does the house look from the street? Easy ways to spruce up your property: mow the lawn, trim the hedges, add a new welcome mat, clean the front door, and wash the windows. Consider adding a tree or a tall plant. What about the backyard? Is it raked and neat? Free of branches? Take the time to take care of any needed yard work.

The Entryway

Once the outside of the house is covered, concentrate on what a potential buyer will see when they walk through the door. Remove family portraits and other personal touches. Get rid of knick-knacks and reduce the number of wall hangings. Replace bold furniture and accessories with more neutral ones.

Portable Storage Is Your Friend

If you have too much furniture and accessories and don’t want to get rid of anything, portable containers are a great solution, as they allow you the flexibility to load at your own pace and store for as long as you need while your home is on the market. Also, all the driving is included, so you don’t have to worry about renting a truck or dealing with the hassle of loading and unloading your belongings multiple times. Although on-site storage is an option, we recommend having your container picked up and stored in a storage facility to make your property appear more spacious.

As a bonus, you can have the portable container company move your container directly to your next home so you can store and move with one solution. Even if you’re moving long distance, the provider may be able to accommodate your move. For instance, PODS offers a large national network, so they can move you across the country if needed, and even to Hawaii and Canada.

Convert Extra Rooms into Meaningful Spaces

Make sure not to leave any unused rooms empty. Empty rooms looks smaller and can turn off potential buyers. If you don’t want to rent new furniture for these rooms, consider asking friends or family if they’ll let you borrow some. One easy fix is to add a desk and a chair to an empty room so potential buyers will picture it as an office or a study.

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This guest post was written by PODS®. PODS® makes moving and storage more convenient and less stressful through its innovative solution of delivering a level container and providing the customer all the time they need to load and unload their container.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK YOUR CONTRACTOR

Sat, 14 Jul by realtyexecutivesnw

Getting construction work done is always an exciting prospect, but it can also get very stressful . What could lessen the stress, however, is if you hire a good contractor for your project. To make sure you’re hiring the right contractor, you will need to ask certain essential questions. Here are a few:

Do you have a license?

There are many contractors out there, but some of them don’t have a license to do the contracting work in which they specialize. To make sure that your project will go smoothly, hire only licensed contractors.

Can I see your past work?

You would want to see a contractor’s work samples before hiring him or her. That way, you can determine for yourself if that contractor’s quality of work would be up to your standards. It will be even better if you are able to get references. You can try to reach those references and see the work he or she hired the contractor to do for yourself. You can also call those references and ask about their experience having that contractor do work for them. Satisfied customers will always sing their praises, while disgruntled ones will not hesitate to be entirely candid.

Are you willing to work where I want the project done?

You need to be sure that your contractor will have no problems working in the same area where you need the contracting work done. You wouldn’t want a contractor who will say yes to working in a specific area only to find out that he or she has hired other contractors to do the work because of an unwillingness or inability to go to a location.

Do you have insurance?

For your own protection, any contractor you’re hiring for a job should have, at the very least, liability insurance. Any damage or injury the contractor or any of his or her personnel might cause while working for you would be properly covered. If possible, ask your contractor to show certificates of insurance.

There are so many questions that you can ask a potential contractor, but the ones above should be helpful enough in finding the right contractor for your project.

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International.

This post was written for Realty Executives by Rachel Porter is the content specialist at Custom Contractors Insurance. Since 2011, Custom Contractors Insurance has helped contractors of all kinds find affordable insurance across the country. Their goal is to provide a policy that will protect you, your business, and your clients at an affordable price.

WAYS TO ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME ON A BUDGET

Fri, 06 Jul by realtyexecutivesnw

It’s no secret every homeowner eventually wants to add value to their home. Not only does it boost the resale price, but it can create a more inviting and cozy space. When you stop and think about a home renovation, an overwhelming wave of stress overcomes you because all you can think about is the price tag. Well you’re in luck; adding value to your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

One good option to pay for your home updates would be to take out a low-rate personal loan. Since the duration of a personal loan is anywhere from 3 to 7 years, compared to a home equity loan which ranges from 20 to 30 years, you’ll end up paying way less in interest. Another alternative would be to apply for a 0% interest credit card to finance some of the smaller projects. Be wary, as it can be very easy to overspend when using a credit card. Set up automatic payments each month to chip away at the balance.

We’re not here to talk about a $40,000 kitchen remodel. Most people don’t have that kind of cash laying around. There are many inexpensive projects you can do around your home that will boost the financial worth of your home. Expect to spend around $300-$3,000 to complete some decent projects. Here are some great ideas for how to increase the value of your home at a smaller cost:

Give the Kitchen a Facelift

With a kitchen update, it can be very easy to get carried away. Before you know it, you blink and suddenly you’re $40,000 in the hole. While a full kitchen renovation is not going to be easy on your wallet, there are some small upgrades you can make to give your kitchen a facelift.

The kitchen is the heart of the house, and a house with a nice heart will generally sell faster than one with an outdated heart. One of the first things buyers tend to see when they step into your kitchen is the cabinets. While replacing the cabinets will run you a premium, there are several ways to give old cabinets some TLC and have them looking brand new. Hardware stores have kits ranging from $50-$100 that make it really easy to refinish your cabinets. After you re-paint or stain them, grab some new hardware and you instantly have a completely different feel to your kitchen.

Update the Bathroom

Just like a full kitchen remodel, a full bathroom reno can put a pretty big dent in your bank account. An updated bathroom can entice buyers and help sell your home quickly. A fresh coat of paint and some new accessories such as towels and other small décor items will improve the look and feel without costing a fortune. If you need to put in a little more work, changing out the vanity and toilet can be inexpensive options if you shop around at discount stores or the clearance section at your local Lowes or Home Depot.

Let There be Light

Outdated light fixtures can draw attention to certain parts of your house in a negative light. An easy way to add value to your home is to upgrade the main fixtures in your home. Like with many other home upgrades, you can easily get caught up in the excitement of redesign and end up choosing a $3,000 chandelier. However, if you shop around and browse online and in stores, these updates can only cost you a few hundred bucks. Much friendlier on the wallet.

Leave No Door Closed

If the doors in your home are in rough shape, replacing them is recommended. A new set of doors can run you a pretty penny, but if your current doors are salvageable, painting them would be sufficient. Replacing the door handles and a fresh coat of paint can give off a great first impression. If you can’t swing the cash to replace all of the doors in your home, a new front door can increase the overall value of your home since it’s the first thing that buyers see.

Freshen Up Curb Appeal

One of the most common mistakes sellers make is neglecting the curb appeal. Aside from the other improvements mentioned in this article, the outside of your house is going the be the first thing buyers see when they pull up to the property. With summer approaching, now would be a great time to shop around for new shrubbery and flowers. Simple things like mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and a few bags of fresh mulch can spruce up the appearance while staying within budget.

Making simple, inexpensive improvements to your home can reap some big rewards in the end. Investing a few hundred dollars can make the world of difference between selling your home quickly versus spending months on the market. What are your tips for home improvements on a budget?

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This post was written for Realty Executives by Jamie Wharton. Jamie loves to write about personal finance and enjoys educating others on financial management. She has a goal of making budgeting fun for everyone and loves a good thriller novel while enjoying an iced coffee.

HOME AND APPLIANCE UPGRADES THAT CAN SAVE YOU MONEY

Fri, 22 Jun by realtyexecutivesnw

Home and appliance upgrades can lighten your wallet. However, in the long run, you can actually pad your wallet with money you save by investing in certain upgrades.

Not all home upgrades are created equal in terms of saving money. Explore some of the smartest home upgrades you can invest your money in to save some green.

Smart Thermostat

Programmable thermostats electronically control the temperature and heating system in your house. Smart thermostats make it easy to stay energy efficient and properly control the temperature in your home.

These thermostats make your home more energy efficient and will significantly reduce the energy you use on heating and cooling your home.

While some of these thermostats can start as high as $500, you’ll easily make this and more back in the long term. Smart thermostats can save you almost $150 per year. In Canada, studies show up to almost $100 savings per year.

Upgraded Dishwasher

Older models of dishwashers are extremely inefficient. They can use up to 10 gallons of water per cycle, which may make your utility bills skyrocket. Newer models of dishwashers can run cycles with half that amount of water to save you money on your utilities.

Compared to non-certified dishwashers, Energy Star certified dishwashers save 30% more water and are 12% more energy efficient. A new dishwasher can be pricey, but the energy (and money) you’ll save with a new model will pay off.

Ceiling Fans

With summer approaching, most people are getting ready to shut the windows, crank up the air conditioner, and bliss out while eating popsicles.

However, blasting your air conditioner all summer is a surefire way to have ridiculously high bills and use up a ton of energy. Supplementing air conditioner use with ceiling and house fans will reduce the amount of energy you use when using an air conditioner by itself.

Fans work to reduce the temperature in your home using less energy than an AC system. Certain days and nights may be bearable with fans alone, allowing you to turn off your AC.

Buying and installing ceiling fans can cost anywhere from $300-$400 dollars. But, they will likely reduce your energy bills and save you money each year, quickly making up for your initial investment.

Solar Panels

Solar energy is only becoming more popular with over 1.3 million solar installations in the U.S in 2016, a number which doubled since 2015. In Canada, solar isn’t as popular as other renewable fuel options but, the number of panels are growing significantly, specifically in Ontario.

Solar panel installation will save you on energy bills by converting the sun’s rays into usable energy.

Not only will your energy bills be reduced with the addition of solar panels to your home, but you can also get some tax credits and rebates if you’re a U.S resident. These credits can amount to thousands of dollars that will go right in your pocket.

Overall, the lifetime savings you’ll get from solar panels can range from $10,000 to approximately $45,000 depending on where you’re living. That doesn’t include the fact that solar panels can add an estimated $15,000 to the value of your home in both the U.S and Canada.

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This post was written for Realty Executives by Elliot Walsh. Elliot is a dual-degree graduate from the University of Rochester with a B.S in Cell Biology and a B.A in English Literature. He is a full-time freelance writer from Boston, specializing in veganism, humor, and health. His articles have appeared in The Rival Rochester and his work experience can be found here: www.linkedin.com/in/ewalsh17.

FAVORITE PACKING HACKS

Fri, 15 Jun by realtyexecutivesnw

Packing can be the most time-consuming part of moving, but doing it right can mean the difference between a successful move or a disaster, especially if you’re moving belongings that are fragile or of sentimental value. Here are some pack hacks to ease the process.

Preparations Make Perfect

Before you start the packing process, throw away or donate items you don’t need. Decluttering will help you make sure you’re only taking the essentials, which can significantly cut down on packing time and help you save on costs. Toss or donate clothes you haven’t worn in a year or more. Take dimensions of your new house and get rid of excess furniture now. Think of your move as a fresh start and use it as an opportunity to part with items from the past that are no longer useful or meaningful to you at this juncture in your life. Enlist a friend to help you be thorough and honest during this process.

The Clothes Trick

Want to pack your clothes easily and cost-effectively? Instead of packing them one by one, group them together in bunches on hangers and cover them with garbage bags. Use a rubber band, elastic, or string to keep the hangers together. Now you can move them from your current home right into your new closet.

Shoes

The easy and obvious way to pack shoes is to throw them into a box and see what happens. When you do this, however, you leave your footwear vulnerable to mold, and they may come out shabbier than when they went in. Before packing them, wipe your shoes clean, wrap them individually in paper, and tie them together so they’ll be paired up when it’s time to unpack.

The Right Box

Did you know there are different types of boxes for moving specific items? Some boxes are built stronger (such as those designed for dishes) for heavier items, and some are appliance-specific. Getting the right box for the right item can help prevent damage and loss. This is especially true when moving a flat-screen TV. Many moving companies and hardware stores have flat-screen boxes specifically made for moving a TV, if you haven’t saved your old one.

The Vertical Dish Trick

When packing dishes, instead of stacking them on top of each other, place them vertically side by side, after you wrap them in packing paper. This trick also works with books and picture frames, and it saves a lot of space. Remember to label your dish boxes “fragile” in large, red lettering.

Watch Your Weight

Place heavier objects into smaller boxes so they’re easier to lift, and make sure to reinforce them with extra tape. Lighter items, such as linens or children’s toys, can be packed in larger boxes.

Fill to Capacity

Use all the space available in each box so there aren’t any gaps or spaces. You can fill in empty spots with bubble wrap, towels, or paper as needed. This will reduce the likelihood of boxes crumpling or caving in.

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This guest post was written by PODS®. PODS® makes moving and storage more convenient and less stressful through its innovative solution of delivering a level container and providing the customer all the time they need to load and unload their container.

6 LANDSCAPING RENOVATIONS TO SELL YOUR HOME

Fri, 08 Jun by realtyexecutivesnw

Your home’s landscape and exterior space is the first thing that potential buyers notice. As they pull up to view your home, it is important that you are giving them a great first impression. These are a few great landscaping renovations that you can make to improve the chances of selling your home.

Power Wash Exterior Surfaces

A thorough, deep cleaning can go a long way in terms of improving the value and appeal of your home. Not only does power washing improve your home’s curb appeal, but it also can prevent mold from growing and keep your gutters in good working condition.

The National Association of REALTORS® estimates that power washing the exterior of your house can add between $10,000 and $15,000 to your home’s value, making it a great improvement choice. The most important exterior features to focus on include the siding, sidewalks, driveways, and any patios or decks.

Maintain Outdoor Greenery

Overgrown bushes and trees not only block the exterior of the house that you have worked so hard to improve, but they can also reduce outdoor views from the inside. Planting new trees can also appeal to homebuyers. Large trees tend to be low maintenance, yet they provide many home advantages including reduced energy bills, outdoor shade, and improved air quality.

Keeping your grass green and trimmed is another great practice for landscaping maintenance. It might be useful to consider the services of a local professional landscaping company while your home is active on the market.

Create an Outdoor Entertainment Space

Outdoor entertainment spaces can increase demand, thus increasing the resale value of your home. Even designing a small patio space with seating is a great “Do It Yourself” project that can increase your home’s appeal to potential buyers. There are outdoor space projects available for all budgets, with many housing trends using concrete and colored staining methods.

An outdoor entertainment space with shade or a screened covering is also likely to be a popular trend this year. The National Association of Landscape Professionals lists climate cognizant landscaping, such as pergolas and retractable outdoor spaces as one of the top resale trends of 2018.

Clean Up Flower Beds

Bright and clean flower beds encourage people to feel at home. When people feel comfortable, they are better able to imagine themselves living there. When flower beds are messy and unmaintained, potential homeowners may be reminded how much work they will have to do upon moving in.

Freshen up the mulch, plant some brightly colored flowers, and remove any sprouting weeds. Colorful flower gardens are also expected to be a top 2018 landscaping trend. Even better are low maintenance flowers like Old Gold Junipers and black-eyed Susan’s. Sunfinity sunflowers are a popular choice as a brightly colored flower that is easy to maintain year-round.

Upgrade Irrigation

Upgrading a home’s irrigation system is often overlooked, but, may improve resale value. It is important to maintain and sustain your landscaping improvements. An upgraded irrigation system can help you do just that. Irrigation systems also get the most water efficiency, which can be a huge selling point saving buyers both money and time when it comes to yard maintenance.

Install Exterior Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting illuminates the exterior of your home. It can improve curb appeal, functionality, and the safety of your home. Use your exterior landscape lighting to highlight the most important features of the home including the front door, windows, and walkways. Consider things like the light’s color temperature, effects, and wattages when choosing your exterior landscape lighting.

Your home’s landscaping affects its curb appeal. The first impression that you give potential buyers will influence their desire to purchase and the offer amount that they are willing to make. Upgrades that improve the landscape can increase your resale value and sell your home faster in the market.

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International.
This post was written for Realty Executives by Heather Hardy. Heather is an avid writer who has contributed to numerous blogs and internet news sources. While she writes on a variety of topics, her specialties include real estate, home improvement, and travel. After obtaining two degrees, Heather has found her passion in writing content that improves both readability and knowledge.

GARDENING WITH CHILDREN: GARDENING TIPS AND WHAT TO PLANT

Fri, 04 May by realtyexecutivesnw

Cultivating a home garden is a great way to teach your children where their food comes from while fostering a sense of independence and a healthy respect for the environment. Most of all, it’s a fun activity the whole family can enjoy. Keeping their dexterity and attention span in mind, here are some tips on gardening with children that will get you growing in no time.

Location, Location, Location. The most important consideration when deciding what you want to grow is where you want to grow it. Are you planting indoors or out? In summer or fall? How much sun exposure will you have each day, and how extreme are the temperatures? Checking a hardiness map for your area will help you decide what, when, and where to grow, and involving your child in the research makes for a fun geography lesson.

Dig Up Some Dirt. To grow a successful garden, you need good soil. In an outdoor garden, you’ll want to till the soil to loosen it for planting. For indoor or container planting, a good potting soil right out of the bag will do. Get your little helper involved in this step by giving them a small trowel, or even a spoon, and encourage them to sift away. Use this opportunity to teach your child the correlation between organic soil and healthy food.

Big Seeds for Small Hands. Small children will feel a sense of accomplishment at being able to plant seeds all by themselves. Beans, corn, squash, and cucumbers have larger seeds that are easy to handle, making them great options for your child’s edible garden. If your child prefers flowers, nasturtiums and sweet peas are perfect for little green thumbs. Seedlings (that is, small starter plants) are also a great choice for children as they are easy to handle and provide the instant gratification of seeing green in the ground. Radishes and lettuce seeds sprout quickly, but are smaller, which may require more assistance.

Go in Depth. Just as important as what you plant is how you plant it. Carefully read the planting instructions on your seed packets and explain to your child how planting at the right depth and distance will help the plants grow strong. If you’re using seedlings, simply plant them at the same depth as they come out of the pot. If you’re planting a large outdoor garden, make sure to leave plenty of room between rows for you and your child to walk.

How Does Your Garden Grow? When you’ve finished planting, have your child help you label what you’ve planted, along with the date. Make this a fun project by painting stakes or popsicle sticks and marking them with permanent ink that won’t wear off in the elements. Your plant packages should state how long it takes your plants to germinate, so mark your calendar and tick down the days with your child to prolong the fun and build excitement.

A Meaningful Harvest. When your first vegetables or flowers are ready to pick, make a celebration of it. Have a special meal or family party incorporating the fruits of your child’s labor and congratulate your child on a job well done. Seeing tangible results from hard work is a great lesson for your child that will translate from the garden to the rest of their life pursuits while making wonderful memories along the way.

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This post was written for Realty Executives by Estelle Weber, a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. You can read more of her work here.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR BUYING A MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOME

Fri, 23 Mar by realtyexecutivesnw

According to Forbes, multi-generational living is on the rise and an estimated 60.6 million Americans are currently living in a multi-generational household. In Canada, recent census studies show households of three or more generations all living under one roof represent the fastest-growing household type. There are many economical and familial advantages to multi-generational living. It is important, however, to find a home that is well-suited for every member of the household. Keep these important considerations in mind when buying a multi-generational home.

Organizing Everyone’s Wants and Needs

It can be hard enough for couples to agree on their top priorities when shopping for a home. Shopping for a multi-generational home can prove to be even more difficult, because you have to take multiple families’ wants and needs into account. This is a process of negotiation and compromise. Start the discussion in a neutral location, where everyone feels like they have a say, regardless of age or position in the family.

Make a list of the most important features and then create a separate list of ‘want’ items that are not necessarily a requirement. Compile these needs into a single list and establish how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces are required for your multi-generational home. This will make the home shopping process easier and will help you communicate exactly what you are looking for to your real estate agent.

Multi-Generational Layout

Living in a multi-generational household often means you will spend a lot of time with your family members. But, there will be times when you will desire privacy. Make sure you choose a layout that gives family member’s sufficient individual space.

For many, the ideal multi-generational house includes different living quarters and more than one family space. A large enough kitchen to hold every family’s groceries is also a great addition. You will also want to consider the parking situation. When you have multiple families living under one roof, it is also likely that you will have numerous vehicles. Make sure you have a large enough driveway or enough garage parking spaces that allow for easy entrance and exit.

Unique Financing

Talk to your real estate and mortgage professionals to discuss your multi-generational home financing options. Typically, there is one primary mortgagor and additional adult’s incomes, credit histories, and assets will be factored under that mortgage. Fortunately, there are programs such as the Fannie Mae HomeReady program that allow additional adults to submit their household income, without officially being on the mortgage.

Insurance

While insurance policies vary from state to state, it is important to consider your home insurance needs for a multi-generational house. In most cases, families’ relative’s belongings are covered under another family member’s home insurance policy. But, the coverage policy can get tricky if anyone living in the household is not legally a family member. The standard liability coverage also might not be sufficient to handle a multi-generational claim. Always be clear with the insurance provider about your living situation to ensure you have proper homeowner coverage.

Keep Resale Value in Mind

You want to keep resale value in mind when purchasing any type of real estate. Fortunately, there is a high demand for multi-generational homes and with baby boomers reaching retirement age over the next decade, this demand is likely to stay consistent. The common layout of multi-generational homes has many functionality purposes which also gives them a higher resale value. A few of the most popular designs include open access rooms, suite additions, and private family spaces.

Decades ago, it was the norm for families to live together. Today, that trend is making a comeback and multi-generational households are on the rise. Keep these considerations in mind as you search for your family’s multi-generational home.

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International.
This post was written for Realty Executives by Heather Hardy. Heather is an avid writer who has contributed to numerous blogs and internet news sources. While she writes on a variety of topics, her specialties include real estate, home improvement, and travel. After obtaining two degrees, Heather has found her passion in writing content that improves both readability and knowledge.

CREATING THE PERFECT INDOOR GARDEN FOR THE HOME CHEF

Fri, 16 Mar by realtyexecutivesnw

A good chef knows that herbs and spices can make or break a dish. Growing your own plants in a garden will supply you with fresh ingredients that can take your home cooked meals to the next level.

If it’s chilly outside where you are, or if you don’t have enough space for an outdoor garden, don’t fret. You can create an indoor garden for all your cooking needs.

Popular Plant Options

The sheer number of plant options you have can be overwhelming. But for the home chef, it’s best to stick to plants and herbs that can be used for a variety of dishes.

Basil

You can buy potted basil at the grocery store, or you can choose to start from seed.

This herb is used in everything from pasta sauce to fancy cocktails, and it can be easily grown indoors. Basil loves a lot of sun, so be sure to position the pot or the container close to a sunny window.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves have a complex flavor that is both sweet and bitter. They’re often used in dishes that have long cook-times, like in stews, soups, and sauces. Steeping bay leaves in warm dishes for long periods help release the amazing flavor.

Bay plants are shrub-like perennials that grow well in containers. The plants may need to be pruned as they can get quite large and overcrowded. Overcrowding is bad for the bay plant, as it needs plenty of air to grow healthily.

Oregano

The smell and taste of oregano brings back great memories of pizza, pasta, and comfort food. Oregano is aromatic, delicious, and an easy addition to your indoor garden.

It’s recommended to begin your indoor oregano plant with a tip you cut from an outdoor plant. Once planted, oregano does well in a south-facing window.

Parsley

You can start a parsley plant from either seeds or from an existing plant. If you start from seed, it’s a good idea to soak them in warm water first.

Parsley is another herb that can be implemented in a great variety of dishes so that your indoor garden will be put to good use. You can use it in meat marinades, in a pasta sauce, in hummus or other spreads, and even just as a garnish.

Rosemary

Rosemary is a strong smelling, fresh, and pungent-flavored herb. Wherever you grow it, it will fill the whole room with a fresh smell that will have you dying to cook with it. You don’t need to grow as much rosemary as some other herbs because of its strong flavor.

Rosemary does best in a south-facing window and can be used in many different dishes: try it with garlic and olive oil to give fish and other meat great flavor. Or you could go classic and throw it in sauce, pasta dishes, and pizza.

Mint

Many indoor herbs are used primarily in savory dishes. Mint, on the other hand, is able to be used in both sweet and savory dishes. You can make mint chocolate chip ice cream, mint cocktails, mint marinades for meat, and you can even throw it in a smoothie for a refreshing kick.

Many have better luck growing mint indoors versus outdoors. Mint grows quickly and can spread throughout your outdoor space, taking over every spot in the garden. Growing it indoors allows you to tame it to a single container.

Indoor Gardening Tips

Once you’ve selected the plants you want to include in your indoor garden, it’s time to focus on how you can keep those plants healthy and alive.

Pay Attention to Positioning

Some plants prefer direct sunlight, some like south-facing windows, and some don’t like sun at all. The positioning of the plant will significantly affect its growth and health. Be sure to do your research and position your plants so they can thrive.

Keep the Plants Away from Drafts

Drafts from your heater, from the air conditioner, or even from a door or window can be bad for your indoor garden. Fluctuating temperatures can damage the plants, and even kill them if you’re not careful.

Don’t Over Water Your Plants

In your desire to keep your plant healthy and take good care of your garden, it can be tempting to water your plants constantly. A little extra water can’t hurt, right?

Actually, it can hurt a lot. Over-watering can over-saturate the soil and the roots of the plant, which blocks it from getting nutrients and oxygen. Over-watering is one of the top causes of plant death for indoor gardeners, so be aware of how much you’re watering.

To test whether the plant needs water, touch your finger to the soil. If you lift your finger and there’s no soil stuck to it, then it’s time to water. If there’s soil on your finger, that means the soil is moist and has enough water already.

 

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International.
This post was written for Realty Executives by Elliot Walsh. Elliot is a dual-degree graduate from the University of Rochester with a B.S in Cell Biology and a B.A in English Literature. He is a full-time freelance writer from Boston, specializing in veganism, humor, and health. His articles have appeared in The Rival Rochester and his work experience can be found here: www.linkedin.com/in/ewalsh17.
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