TURNING A BEDROOM INTO A LUXURY BEDROOM

TURN YOUR BEDROOM INTO A LUXURY BEDROOM

For most of us, our bedroom is little more than a place to sleep and relax. However, just because it’s always been that way doesn’t mean that we have to settle for drab and dreary.  One trend that’s gaining steam these days is converting your current bedroom into a luxury suite, or a luxury bedroom (or something comparable).  If you want to live like you’re renting a room at the Ritz, then you want to follow these tips.

Compartmentalize Your Activities:  Making your bedroom more functional is going to make it more luxurious. Add a gorgeous desk for working and a TV area for entertainment, and you’ll be living it up in no time.lux bedroom

Make it Chic:  Choose a color palette that is both luxurious and classy. Silver and gold can seem tacky, so choose muted shades that compliment each other.

lux headboardAlso, a brilliant and commanding headboard can instantly upgrade the look of your room without any other changes.

Light it Properly:  Finally, make sure that you have the right light to show off your designs. If it’s too washed out or yellow, then it will look drab and run down. Switch to brilliant LEDs and see the difference.lux bedroom 3

Choose Your Accents Wisely:  We already mentioned a headboard, but some elegant drapes can also make your room feel more royal. Being strategic with your furniture accessories is going to both keep you under budget and avoid doing too much with the space. very-luxury-bedroom

Are you ready to lux your bedroom? You’ll be impressed by the results, and the feeling of decadence will make you more confident in your surroundings.

HOME INSPECTIONS

home inspection

5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HOME INSPECTIONS

Home inspections are an important part of the home sale process, both for buyers and sellers. When it’s time for you to hire an inspector, here are five things you should be thinking about:

  1. It’s your choice:  You are not bound or obligated to use any particular inspector. Your real estate professional may have some recommendations, but it’s ultimately up to you. Ask around and choose wisely—better to pay a little more now for a highly-respected inspector than to be surprised by a problem that the inspection didn’t reveal.
  2. Looking for big problems:  The inspector will be focused on the integrity of the home—safety, electrical work, foundation, load-bearing walls, etc. The inspector is not there to point out problems with ugly paint colors or light fixtures.
  3. The report:  There are hundreds of items to inspect in a home, so the inspector’s report will focus on the basics: What’s damaged, what needs repaired, etc. The report should be easy to read and understand.
  4. Code of ethics:  Though the inspector is working for the party that pays the inspector’s fee, the inspector will not deliver a report that intentionally hides or omits damaging information about the home. The report is private between you and the inspector, but if you’re the seller, you’re required to disclose any problems that the inspection reveals.
  5. The inspector is not liable:  Even the best inspectors can’t find every single problem in a home. They can’t see inside the walls or through the floors, so there could still be problems lurking. If a problem is revealed down the road, the inspector can’t be held responsible.

5 TIPS FOR REDUCING CLUTTER

5 Things To Do To Get Ridclutter Of Your Unwanted Clutter.

It doesn’t take much time to go from a perfectly organized room to a cluttered, chaotic mess. Papers pile up on surfaces, coats and bags end up on furniture, shoe boxes and shopping bags get stuffed in the first place you can find. But if you’re proactive, you can avoid the common clutter traps. Here are five ideas for reducing clutter:

hall treeHave a place for the things you bring into the house each day:  Do what you can to create an easy place to put your outerwear, mail, keys, phone, and the other things you bring home each day. Coat racks, mail holders, and a catch-all basket give you an easy, consistent place to put your everyday items.

basketGet a basket for once-worn clothes:  There are some clothing items that may not need to be washed or put away immediately after one use, like sweaters or denim. These items often end up on the bedroom floor. Instead, put them in a specific basket for items that aren’t yet ready for the laundry room.

wall rackKeep kitchen tools off the counter:  It’s really easy to let items pile up on the kitchen counters, and all that clutter can be frustrating when it’s ready to make a meal. To reduce clutter, use wall racks to keep cooking utensils off the counter.

no clutterDesignate a no-clutter zone:  This one’s simple. Simply choose an important surface or space (like a coffee table), clear it of clutter, and focus on keeping that one area totally organized.

set tableKeep the dining room table set:  Not only is a set table pleasant to the eye, but it also makes it nearly impossible for the table to gather clutter. Thanks to the plates and silverware, there’s no room for your junk mail.

ROBOT VACUUM CLEANERS

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN YOU’RE BUYING A ROBOT VACUUM CLEANERS

vacuum cleaner

Technology is most helpful when it makes daily tasks easier and more efficient, and that’s most certainly the case with robot vacuum cleaners. It’s especially true if you’re in a climate that lends itself to lots of dust on your hard-surfaced floors or in your carpet.

Robot vacuum cleaners typically retail from $100 to about $700, and if you’re interested in having your home swept and vacuumed daily with little effort on your part, it’s a great investment. Here’s what to look for if you’re shopping for a robot vacuum cleaner.

Battery life
The best robot vacuums can run for two hours or longer. That’s particularly important if you have a big place—you don’t want to have to keep recharging your vacuum between cleanings. It’s especially convenient if you have a vacuum that can automatically dock and recharge between uses.

Cleaning patterns
Simpler, more inexpensive vacuums may only clean in a random or back-and-forth pattern, while more advanced vacuums can virtually map a room for more precise cleaning. It’s also better if the vacuum is capable of making multiple passes in its pattern, as it’ll lead to a more thorough cleaning job.

Size and design
Most robot vacuum cleaners are no more than four inches tall, so they can move under furniture. Still, pay attention to the height of your vacuum and the clearance of your furniture, so that you don’t end up with a vacuum that can’t get to important spots. Also, consider your floor type—some vacuums are better-suited for hardwood floors and tile, while others are better for carpeted floors.

HOW AN AGENT CAN HELP ALLEVIATE STRESS

3 WAYS AN AGENT CAN HELP ALLEVIATE STRESSstress

Purchasing a home can be a stressful experience, whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve been through the process before. But that’s one of the reasons that working with a real estate professional is so worthwhile. With your agent’s guidance, buying a home should be enjoyable, rather than stressful. Here are some of the more unique circumstances where your agent can make your life much easier.

Out-of-town buyers: If you’re looking for vacation homes or moving to a job in a new city, there’s a good chance that viewing homes will be difficult—you could be a long drive or even a plane ride away. With today’s video messaging apps like Skype or Facetime, your agent can walk you through a property virtually. It’s not the same as walking through in person, but it will at least give you an idea about whether a property is worth pursuing further.

When life is just too crazy: If you’re just getting too busy with everything else going on in your life, a good buyer’s agent should be able to recognize the situation and help you take a step back. They can suggest that you take a few weeks off from your home search to recharge, or only focus on properties that exactly fit your wants list.

Inspection issues: You’re dreaming about move-in day, and then some unforeseen issues turn up during inspection. A good agent can work out those issues by negotiating a lower offer—to cover costs of repairs—or by getting the seller to fix the problem.

DOES HOME STAGING MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

What is all the hullabaloo about Home Staging?after

before

It seems to be universally accepted that home staging will help your home sell faster or for the best price—it’s been the common practice in the real estate business for a long time, and on the surface it seems like a no-brainer. Of course potential buyers will be more interested if a home is properly decorated, right?

That’s not necessarily true, according to a recent academic study. The study surveyed 820 homebuyers by showing them one of six virtual tours of the same property. In some instances the home was decorated with traditional furniture and color schemes, while in others more eccentric furniture and colors were used. In other tours there was no furniture at all, just empty rooms.

The overall results of the study were that staging is unlikely to increase a home’s sale price, and that staging isn’t quite as important as everyone believes.  It does make the home feel inviting which may increase showing.

Of course, real estate trends vary greatly from market to market. If you have questions about staging, talk to your trusted real estate professional.

Securing Your Smartphone

5 TIPS FOR SECURING YOUR SMARTPHONE

smartphone security

Phones have come a long way in the last few years, and there’s a ton of sensitive information—email access, bank accounts, photos, contact lists—that are easily accessed if your phone falls into the wrong hands. Here are a few tips for keeping your smartphone secure.passcode

Use a passcode!  This is one of the easiest steps toward securing your phone, but research shows that 54 percent of smartphone users do not use a passcode. Whether it’s a four-character PIN or a pattern lock, set up the passcode on your phone so that only you can get past your lock screen.

 

bluetoothBe careful with WiFi:  Smartphones can be set to automatically connect to available WiFi networks, but this can lead to your phone being vulnerable over an untrusted network when you’re not aware of it. Turn off WiFi when you’re not knowingly using it—it’ll also help with battery life.

Careful with Bluetooth, too:  Bluetooth isn’t as vulnerable to security breaches as WiFi, but it’s still a good idea to have your Bluetooth set to undiscoverable.

 

Consider the downside of rooting:  Many cell phone users will root or “Jailbreak” their phones to open up new features, but this can override your phone’s security settings—and void your warranty.unlocked phone

And one of the Best tips around…..

Choose better passwords:  Definitely don’t use “password” or your name! Instead, make a passphrase—a short sequence of words that are easy for you to remember, but difficult for anyone else to guess.

INVESTMENT PROPERTIES

INVESTMENT PROPERTIES: HOW YOU CAN MAKE MONEY IN THE SHORT AND LONG TERM

You’re probably well aware that there’s more to real estate than just owning your home. There are countless success stories of people who made a fortune—or even just a comfortable extra income—by investing in real estate. Here’s an overview to get you thinking about an investment property.Investment properties

Improving a home
Quickly flipping a home is one way to make money off a real estate investment, but it can be risky. A safer play is to buy a fixer upper and carefully manage costs over a year or so as you improve the property. You’re likely to get a great return.

Rental properties
Instead of selling your investment property, you can rent it and make a good monthly profit if the rent exceeds your costs. Renting to a stable, reliable tenant can put extra money in your pocket every month for years on end. You can even hire a property manager to handle repairs, rent collection, and other administrative tasks. And if you’re ever ready to stop dealing with tenants, you can sell the home and profit on the improvements and appreciation of your asset.investment

Multi-family rental properties
Renting out a single family home is a good starting place for investment properties, but you can get an even better return once you learn the ropes and move on to multi-family homes. Buying an apartment building or dividing a larger home into several apartment units comes with some added complications with taxes and regulations, but it also comes with huge income potential.

5 INEXPENSIVE HOME IMPROVEMENTS

5 INEXPENSIVE HOME IMPROVEMENTS

The cost of some home renovations can seem daunting, but not every home improvement has to break the bank. Here are 5 simple improvements you can make that will have a major impact, but are still relatively inexpensive.

landscaping trees

Add some trees:  Want to add some curb appeal to your home and feel better when you’re pulling into the driveway after work? You won’t believe the difference a few trees can make. And compared to the cost (mature trees starts at around $1,000), they provide a great return on investment for you property value and can lower energy bills by providing shade.

 

 

Add Moldings:  Molding instantly adds a classy, sophisticated touch to any room, and if you do it yourself, it can cost less than $2 per foot. If you ever sell your home, buyers consistently say that molding is a big plus.molding

 

ceiling fanUpgrade your ceiling fans:  An efficient ceiling fan costs far less than air conditioning, and if your current ceiling fan is on its last legs, a replacement can totally change the look of a room.

 

 

 

 

energy efficiant

 

 

 

Energy efficient appliances:  Still using the appliances that came with the home? Upgrading your range, fridge, or dishwasher won’t just give your kitchen a sleeker appearance. Newer, more energy-efficient appliances will also lower your utility bills.

 

 

StorageInvest in storage:  One of the biggest ways to improve your home is to declutter. Throw out what you don’t need, and invest is some good storage solutions for what you keep.

Bluetooth Security

BLUETOOTH SECURITY:

BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR BLUETOOTH SETTINGS

phone

Most of us aren’t careful enough when it comes to Bluetooth security.  Bluetooth offers great wireless convenience for your smartphone, allowing you to connect to your headphones, car stereo, wireless speaker, and other devices without dealing with a tangle of cords and wires.

As a general rule, you should turn Bluetooth off on your phone whenever you’re not connected to a device.

Forgetting to turn it off will reduce your battery life because it continues to drain power even when there’s no device connected. But, there are even more serious concerns than that.

New hacker technologies, called “Blueborne” can scan for open Bluetooth connections and gain access to your device. Once a device has been hacked, it can then be used to gain access to additional devices. It’s not limited to one manufacturer either. Samsung, Google, Apple, and several car audio systems have all shown vulnerabilities.

So as a best practice, follow these two tips:

  1. Keep your phone updated. When Apple or Android releases an update, it’s not just for new operating system features—it also patches security issues.
  2. Make it a habit to turn off Bluetooth. As soon as you step out of your car or power down your headphones, you should turn off the Bluetooth on your phone. If nothing else, your battery will last a little longer.