Joe Duggan, BROKER/OWNER's Blog
Pinterest is a beautiful thing. Giving us a truly endless supply of crafts, hacks, tips, and recipes for our homes. But as infamous as Pinterest is for its helpfulness is the plethora of “Pinterest Fails” it leaves in its wake. Here’s how to avoid making your home look like a giant craft project instead of the stylish, chic abode you’re dreaming of.
The most important thing to keep in mind is “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. Okay, that might sound mean but let me explain.
Just as you’d carefully select high-end pieces for your home you should carefully select your projects. It can be tempting to do #allthethings since they are cheap, easy and let’s be honest, fun. However, overloading on craft projects or any form of decor quickly crowds out style.
So be as strategic with which projects fit your current surroundings as you would if investing a large chunk of change into a piece. Select projects that are cohesive with the current design of your room and home. If your home is sleek and modern but you add a country chic style piece it’s going to look out of place and throw off your whole room.
Go neutral. This doesn’t mean your whole room needs to be beige (boring!) but reaching for neutral colors more often than not will keep your home looking classy and stylish. If you pull out any home decorating magazine you’ll notice that most of the room is neutral. This allows for the pieces you do choose to pull in color with to really pop and take the spotlight.
One strength of crafts is bringing in a variety of furniture and decor. Again, looking at home decor magazines you’ll notice many rooms don’t have full matching sets. Mix feminine with masculine pieces and soft, smooth fabrics with rich, textures. This brings dimension and interest to your room while scratching the itch to go hunting for great fixer-upper finds.
Less is more. To create a stylish home space is key. This also means you might want to do some decluttering in your home. Stuff has a knack for building up. But by creating lots of breathing space between items you create more room for the items you create to be put on display and admired.
Limit trends. I know this one is hard! Limit the number of trendy items you create to prevent your decor from becoming quickly outdated. And overdoing a trend can make a room feel uncomfortable and stiff. For example, one pallet board craft can be fun. But having several in every room of your house will quickly have your home feeling like a giant craft project. Some other trends pushing their welcome? Chevron and copper everything.
Have you ever wondered how some folks always seem to get the big breaks, or they always seem successful no matter what comes their way? Why do some people seem to “go with the flow” and handle situations without seemingly any hard work?
The Answer is Reading
Reading, you know that thing you said you would not do once you got out of school. If you look back since you left school most of the books you have read may have been fantasy, romance, or spy novels. Such books are not the type of reading that can help you be more successful. You see those successful executives and wonder how they got there, or you see those rich and wealthy people and wonder how they did it. They have one thing in common: they have created a habit of reading.
What to Read?
Reading puts fresh information into your mind. If you read biographies or autobiographies, you save time by learning from someone else’s experience. Now, when a similar situation crosses your path, you know what they did and have a plan in mind. Building on their wisdom lets you act in a way that looks like you are just “going with the flow” to those around you, but you get the most successful outcome and leave them wondering how you did it. A human being cannot act in a way that he or she has not learned by seeing or hearing. Unfortunately, you usually don’t have the option of following around a successful playwright, business person, financial tycoon, or a couple that has been married for 50 years and has successful kids. That leaves reading as the fastest way to access all of that information.
Begin to create the habit of reading 15-30 minutes each day. One of the great things about twenty-first-century reading is that you don’t have to carry around a book all the time. All you have to do is locate a copy of the book online or get an e-reader app and buy the digital copy of the book of your choice. Just like with old school books, you can even check out these digital e-books from your local library. Now instead of just merely sitting on a metro, waiting at the doctor’s office, or even taking that 15-minute break in the restroom, you can read.
As you read you grow, and you will find some incredible things start coming out of your mouth during conversation that you will wonder who is talking. Now you begin to attract people and situations that you never thought would happen. Why? You expanded who you are and what you think about, and that makes you more attractive to others. Lives change as a result of reading.
So figure out your goal, then visit your local library, bookstore, or ebook website and get reading!
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AI (artificial intelligence) is moving in on the homefront. And at the head of the pack is Amazon’s Echo with its assistant, Alexa. Echo comes in 3 options: a minimal hockey-puck-shaped device, a sleek tube in fashionable shades that make it a natural addition to your home decor, and a square-shaped device with a video screen, camera and mic capabilities.
Many are eager to bring home Alexa and make it the newest addition to their home but are left wondering what exactly does it do?
First, you need to teach Alexa which commands to recognize and perform. These commands are called “skills” And there is a whole library jam-packed with them. So where to start?
Create a Flash Briefing. Create your own daily update feed with the Flash Briefing option. You choose which sources you want Alexa to pull from and which time to report in. Get the weather, news and other updated while you get ready every day.
Use as an alarm in the morning - wake up to music, a radio station, the news, etc. If it’s available via Amazon Music it’s fair game.
Order a ride via Lyft or Uber. You can ask how much the trip will be and have it automatically billed to your account. Speed up getting ready to go out by coordinating your ride while you put on your final touches.
With multiple devices, you can sync music to play throughout your house. The app allows you to group all of your devices together into one cohesive house-wide system. Whether you want to listen to music, the news, a podcast or an audible book you can hear it no matter where you go - perfect for cleaning days.
Order pizza from Domino’s or Pizza Hut. Who doesn’t want pizza to arrive at their beck and call?
Tune your guitar. With this skill, Alexa plays a song for you to match and listens in until you match up perfectly. Which means you don’t need another device, app or website to keep track of.
Sync up to your Fitbit to ask for updates on your latest activity and step progress for the day. In fact, you can even get more steps in while you ask since you don’t have to sit down at the computer.
With a Wemo Smart Plug, you can enable Alexa to turn devices on and off with a simple voice command. And with their light switches, you can turn lights on, off and change the brightness to match your mood.
If you have a Hyundai, Mercedes or Ford with the right capabilities you can have Alexa start your car for you. Giving you five more minutes to grab breakfast for once.
Meditate with the Stop, Breathe, & Think meditation skill for Alexa. Just say how long you want to meditate for and settle in to clear your mind. Who said technology keeps us distracted?
And then there is always the option to ask Alexa which skills to enable. So meta!
Summertime brings plenty of sunshine and lots of heat. Meanwhile, for those who plan to sell a house in the near future, it may be beneficial to list your home before summer arrives.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to consider listing your home before summer, and these include:
1. Homebuyers typically are active in the weeks leading up to summer.
Winter usually represents a slow period for homebuyers. But when spring arrives, homebuyers frequently jump at the opportunity to pursue their dream residences. As such, spring may prove to be the perfect time to add your house to the real estate market.
Often, it helps to perform home repairs in winter. This will ensure your residence is ready to add to the housing market in spring, which could increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.
You may want to conduct a home inspection in winter as well. If you hire a home inspector to evaluate your house, you can receive extensive insights into your home's condition. Then, you can prioritize home repairs and upgrade your residence before you list it.
2. You can avoid moving in hot weather.
Let's face it – summer brings extreme heat that can make it tough for those who are moving from one address to another. Lucky for you, selling your house prior to summer ensures you can avoid moving large, heavy personal belongings in hot weather.
Of course, if you need help with moving, it may be beneficial to hire a moving company. This business will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can enjoy a seamless move, regardless of whether you sell your home in winter, spring or any other season.
3. There is no shortage of real estate agents at your disposal.
Selling a house can be difficult, particularly if you try to list your residence and promote it to potential buyers by yourself. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts are happy to assist you at any time.
For those who want to find a top real estate agent, selling a house before summer may be ideal. Real estate agents will do everything possible to showcase your residence to as many prospective buyers as possible in the weeks and days leading up to summer. As a result, you could reap the benefits of a successful home selling experience.
Let's not forget about the guidance that a real estate agent offers a home seller, either. A real estate agent will provide recommendations and suggestions as the home selling journey progresses. Thus, if you're unsure about how to price your house, a real estate agent will help you determine a competitive initial asking price. On the other hand, if you're uncertain about how to respond to an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you weigh a homebuying proposal's pros and cons.
Take the first step to list your residence before summer – contact a local real estate agent today, and you can receive comprehensive assistance throughout the home selling journey.