Karen Lawley's Blog
Selling a home is a big decision with far-flung ramifications. If you're on the fence about selling your house, there is no need to wait. In fact, there are many reasons why now may be the right time to list your residence, and these include:
1. You can upgrade or downgrade.
Although your current home has served you well for many years, now may be a good time for a change. Fortunately, you can sell your residence and move into a bigger or smaller home that will suit you perfectly.
It often won't take long to transition from one home to another. In many instances, individuals simultaneously sell their current house and search for a new home. This generally enables an individual to seamlessly relocate from his or her current house to a bigger or smaller residence.
2. You can move closer to family members and friends.
If you find your current home is far away from family members and friends, don't stress. For those who sell a home, it may be only a matter of time before you can enjoy convenient access to loved ones.
By selling your current home, you can explore houses in cities and towns where your loved ones reside. Then, if you purchase a house close to family members and friends, you can visit these loved ones without having to worry about a long commute.
3. You can receive plenty of support throughout the home selling journey.
Listing a home may seem virtually impossible, particularly for someone who previously has never embarked on the property selling journey. Lucky for you, help is available to ensure you can quickly and effortlessly sell your home and maximize its value.
Working with a real estate agent typically is a good idea for first-time and experienced home sellers alike. With a real estate agent at your side, you can get the assistance you need to achieve your property selling goals.
A real estate agent understands the assorted pitfalls that a home seller may encounter. As such, he or she works with a home seller to help this individual address potential problems before they escalate. A real estate agent will collaborate with a property seller to craft a house selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will put this plan into action and do everything possible to promote a house to prospective buyers. And if a seller receives an offer to purchase, a real estate agent will help this individual review his or her options and determine how to proceed.
In addition, a real estate agent provides a housing market resource unlike any other. He or she is available to respond to a seller's concerns and questions. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to provide home selling recommendations.
Take the guesswork out of selling your home – hire a real estate agent, and you can receive extensive support as you navigate the property selling journey.
If you enjoy eating a lot of chicken in your diet because it is easy on your budget, then it pays to have many ways to cook it. Chicken is an affordable meat that many people use in their daily meal planning. The problem with chicken is that creating new ways to prepare it could be difficult. Here are four ways to use the chicken thigh with the leg attached to make a tasty meal:
Roasted must be the easiest way to cook chicken. Just wash, pat dry, rub with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can cook with the lid on or off. Many people will cook and take the cover off three-quarters of the way to ensure that the skin gets brown and crisp. Add your one of favorite vegetables, and you have a meal prepared with little hassle.
If you are new to using a BBQ grill, take the skin off the chicken before you start cooking. Removing skin will significantly reduce the chances of a fire starting and burning your meat. Add any style of sauce near the end of cooking. Having 3-4 different sauces will allow you to change the flavor of the meat by using a different sauce. It goes excellently well with steamed rice, veggies and as a side to most dishes.
Breading is a quite fantastic way to cook your chicken. You can purchase different flavors at your local grocery store, or you can mix your own spices and add them to your coating. The best part of making your unique spice blend is that you can control how much sodium you use. Two popular coatings you can use are corn flakes and crackers. If you want to prepare a truly special meal, Japanese Panko bread crumbs will add a nice touch to your chicken.
The Slow Cooker
Another easy way to cook chicken is to add chicken pieces and bones to a slow cooker along with some water. Set it on low, add a couple of bay leaves, some salt, and then leave it to cook all day. An hour before cooking, take the chicken out of the slow cooker and let it cool. While the chicken is cooling, you can add noodles or rice. Pick all the meat off the bones and put it back into the slow cooker and you will have an amazing chicken noodle or rice soup.
Try out these super ways of cooking chicken and expand your cooking horizons today.
If you're currently renting an apartment or house, it makes good financial sense to consider becoming a homeowner in the foreseeable future. There are pros and cons to owning your own home -- and it's not for everyone -- but for most people, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
An exception would be if your job requires you to relocate frequently. In that scenario, the potential benefits of building up equity in a home would be greatly diminished.
On the other hand, if you plan on staying put for more than a few years, then the tax benefits and investment value of owning real estate could put you on a stronger financial track than if you continued shelling out your hard-earned money to a landlord. You've probably heard the argument before: "If you pay rent, you have nothing to show for it at the end of the year". However, when you buy a home, an increasing portion of your monthly payments is applied to your actual ownership of the property (as opposed to how much you owe the bank).
Tax Advantages of Home Ownership
In most cases, you can deduct all of your home mortgage interest from your federal tax returns, according to the IRS. More specifically: "The only costs you can deduct are real estate taxes actually paid to the taxing authority, interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest, and mortgage insurance premiums."
However, since everyone's financial situation is different and there is no "one size fits all" approach to financial management, it's always best to consult with an experienced CPA, enrolled agent, or knowledgeable tax preparer. There may be other tax benefits you could qualify for as a homeowner, too, including getting tax credits for installing a solar energy system. The government's Energy Star program says tax credits on new solar energy systems are available through the year 2021.
Getting the Process Underway
Two key steps to becoming a home owner are finding out your credit score and meeting with a mortgage lender to determine how much of a real estate loan you could qualify for. An experienced real estate agent can also provide you with a wealth of guidance and information on how to become a homeowner. They can fill you in on many of the exact steps, requirements, and advantages of buying your first home. A buyers' agent can also help you assess your readiness to take the plunge into home ownership.
In addition to finding out your credit score, which will impact your mortgage interest rate and the type of loan you may qualify for, other vital information can be gleaned from a detailed personal budget. Although the amount of rent you now pay will provide some insights into your potential house-buying budget, there are a lot of variables which will impact how much of a mortgage you could comfortably afford.
Ready to buy a condo? With help from an expert real estate agent, you can make your condo ownership dreams come true.
An expert real estate agent will go the extra mile to ensure you can purchase a top-notch condo at an unbeatable price. In addition, this real estate professional will make it easy to discover a superior condo without delay.
Ultimately, an expert real estate agent can make a world of difference during a condo search. But it is important to note that there are many factors to consider as you evaluate a real estate agentl.
Key factors that a condo buyer should consider when he or she assesses a real estate agent include:
1. Industry Experience
How many years has a real estate agent worked with condo buyers? Has a real estate agent been successful in his or her efforts to help condo buyers? And how will this housing market professional handle difficult negotiations with a condo seller? These are some of the questions to consider as you examine a real estate agent's industry experience.
When it comes to assessing a real estate agent, industry experience is key. A real estate professional who understands the ins and outs of buying a condo should have no trouble helping you purchase a superb property that matches or exceeds your expectations.
2. Communication Skills
How a real estate agent communicates with his or her clients says a lot about this professional.
If a real estate agent strives to stay in touch with clients via text, phone and email, this housing market professional likely will be able to keep a condo buyer informed at each stage of the property buying cycle.
On the other hand, a real estate agent who fails to prioritize effective communication may struggle to help a condo buyer. This housing market professional may be unavailable if a condo buyer has concerns or questions. As a result, a condo buyer is unlikely to get the support that he or she needs to make an informed property buying decision.
Meeting directly with a real estate agent can give you a better idea about his or her communication skills. If you feel comfortable with a real estate agent after a face-to-face discussion, you may want to consider moving forward with this housing market professional.
3. Client Referrals
What are previous condo buyers saying about a real estate agent? Request client referrals from a real estate agent, and you can find out how he or she has supported condo buyers in the past.
Client referrals enable you to understand what it's like to work with a real estate agent and can provide you with insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Moreover, client referrals can help you accelerate the process of choosing the right real estate agent to guide you along the condo buying journey.
For condo buyers, there is no need to worry as you prepare to enter the housing market. Instead, use these tips, and you can find a first-rate real estate agent who will ensure you can purchase your dream condo.
If your decor is feeling blah and drab after updating to a new home and bringing all of your old furniture with you don’t start hauling it to the dump just yet! You don’t have to toss everything out and start over to get a fresh new look.
Instead, incorporating a new trend or two can instantly change the look and feel of any room.
Here are the current top trends according to Pinterest:
Spa bathroom - Creating a spa-like atmosphere is at the top of everyone’s wish list, or so it seems. Items like cedarwood bath “mats”, rebottling products into beautiful bottles, and hanging eucalyptus and lavender are being pinned like crazy. Classics like wicker baskets, rolling up towels for display and bathtub caddies are still making their rounds. These are a great way to mix timeless elements with trending ones for a bathroom look that transcends time or at least not for the next year or two.
Sage - The color sage has won its standing in the neutral category. Use this shade to add tints of color to an otherwise neutral to the point of a sterile room. Kitchen cabinets, bathroom walls, living room walls are all popular canvases for this popular shade. Keep the trend modern by pairing it up with light pinks, taupes, creams, and denim blues. If you aren’t ready to commit to a paint color bring it in with accents via throw pillows, jars, and even the plant itself!
Big wall art - Big wall art is in and in a big way. Quickly replacing gallery walls canvases that stretch from floor to ceiling or a good ⅔ of the wall big art is taking over Pinner’s boards by storm. Abstract pieces primarily in black and white seem to be the most popular when placed against a wall painted with a pop of color. However, don’t let this stop you from reach for a piece you love that is full of color! The key to this look is to avoid generic prints. If you’d like to make it personal blow up a more artistic shot from your wedding or have the kiddos make you a custom piece for a craft project.
Patterned plants - Greenery that comes in stripes, spots and varying shades are cropping up on Pinner’s boards everywhere. Plants bring life and freshness to a room so why not also make them pull their weight be adding visual interest to boot? Popular varieties are prayer plants, calathea, snake plants, philodendron, and pothos. Mix and match varieties to make a true statement.
Colorful doors - Goodbye boring white doors! Colors like school bus yellow, blush pink, bright and cobalt blue are popping up on Pinterest boards everywhere. Go bold with yellow. Create a welcoming sanctuary with lavender. Create a home, sweet home with blush pink. And welcome guests with open arms with cobalt blue.