Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 2/18/2019

If you donít have a dedicated playroom space in your home, you may feel as though toys and children have taken over. Toys, games, stuffed animals, coloring books, and crayons may be all over the house if children donít have their own space to play. 


It doesnít have to be this way. There are a few options that you can use to let your kids have their space, and the adults have theirs. You donít need to move just to find a home that has an area for kids to play. Read on for some ideas to help you stay stylish yet kid-friendly in your home.    


Versatile Furniture


Buying furniture that has a couple of purposes can be handy when you have kids. A coffee table with storage drawers can turn into a great place to store board games. An ottoman that has a storage component built in is a fantastic place to fantastic place to keep stuffed animals or action figures. When you have kids, finding ways to keep your style but allow children to play freely can be done easily with these types of furniture.   


Turn An Ordinary Shed Into A Magical Place


No matter what part of the country you live in, you can buy a small outdoor storage shed and turn it into a playroom. You can install portable heaters or fans in the shed for comfort. This space can become your childís playroom detached from the house with all the comforts of home. You might even consider a treehouse, but that may afford slightly less storage or possibilities than a storage shed.    


Use The Corner Of A Room


Kids donít have to take up the whole of a room. Consider giving little ones a corner of a room dedicated to their stuff. A small chair with a bookshelf and a few baskets of toys is all they need for a play space without fuss. Depending on the size of the room, you can even put a toy chest there for the playroom effect without the space.   


Use Baskets


Baskets are the next best things to furniture that has hidden storage. Baskets look pretty, and the contents are colorful, fun toys. Thereís not too much wrong with this solution! You can even give the dog a basket for his toys.   


Find Ways To Incorporate Kids Into The Rooms Of Your Home


You can get creative when it comes to living with children. Chalkboard walls. Tiny furniture and more items are available to make your kids comfortable yet creative and keep your home stylish. Consider a chalkboard wall that allows kids to change their artwork on the daily.

With a little creativity, your kids can feel at home without a playroom and without taking over the whole house.  




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 2/11/2019

If thereís one room in the house most people long to be high end, itís the bathroom. A room of relaxation and rest. The one place everyone can find time to themselves within, even if itís two minutes. The bathroom is our sanctuary. And you donít need to break the bank to create a luxe environment. 

Frame a flat bathroom mirror with molding for a classic and one-of-a-kind look. Detailed millwork is synonymous with an upscale home because more time and effort has been put into the fine details. Pick a style of molding that matches your unique preferences and a wood stain or paint color to match the rest of your decor.

A new shower head isnít immediately visible so itís not a style upgrade. However, itís an upscale lifestyle upgrade to be certain. A rain shower head provides a steady, even flow of water while covering more surface space.

Update the light fixture(s) in your bathroom to change the aesthetics and light quality. There are many sleek, minimalist vanity light fixtures on the market if you are looking to keep up with trends. For a dramatic change look for sconce shapes that differ from those already installed. If you have bell-shaped sconces look for a square or rectangular option. If you have bulbs try ovaluar or sleek coned shape sconce.

Install matching metal finishings from the faucet to drawer pulls. Sometimes as we update our homes feature by feature mismatched hardware happens. Take the opportunity to create a cohesive harmony throughout the room by matching knobs, faucets and light fixture finishes. Knobs being the most budget friendly and easiest to swap, try to match these to your existing hardware and not the other way around.

A new coat of paint can make the world of difference in any room. Bathrooms seem to seldom get the same playful attention to color as other rooms do. And a color from years past can dramatically date a room despite more classic pieces within it. Donít be afraid to make a bold statement with a pop of color. Or cover up tired blue walls with a neutral shade for a high-end look.

Invest in a towel warmer for a luxe after-bathing experience. With many styles to choose from youíll be sure to find one in a style that fits your current decor without a problem. Towel warmers come as drawers or as a rack. Racks either install on the wall or come as a stand-alone piece. All three options can utilize an outlet without having to be installed as a part of your electrical work like a light fixture would.

One surprising way to upgrade your bathroom is with plants. Look for varieties that thrive off of humidity to create a lush, paradise. Plants have a soothing effect and will have your bathroom feeling like a true oasis. If you donít have a natural green thumb consult an expert at your local gardening center to find those that will do best in the lighting and air conditions of your bathroom.




Tags: bathroom   upscale   high-end  
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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 2/4/2019

A "lowball" homebuying proposal is unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to acquire your dream residence as quickly as possible. In fact, after you submit a lowball offer, it may be only a matter of time before you receive a "No" from a home seller.

When it comes to buying a house, it helps to prepare a competitive offer. That way, you can increase the likelihood of getting a seller to accept your home offer and speed up the homebuying journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid the risk of submitting a lowball offer on your dream residence.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

Are you searching for a house in a buyer's or seller's market? Are homes selling quickly in the current real estate market? And are houses selling at, above or below their initial asking prices? These are just some of the questions that homebuyers need to consider as they assess the real estate sector.

With a diligent approach to buying a house, a homebuyer can become a real estate market expert. This buyer can assess a wide assortment of housing market data, and by doing so, gain the insights that he or she needs to submit a competitive offer on any residence.

2. Understand a Home's Condition

A home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that an individual will complete over the course of his or her lifetime. As such, the decision to submit an offer on a house should not be taken lightly.

To make the best-possible choice, it helps to look at all of the available information about a residence. You should review a home listing closely and attend a home showing. In many instances, it may be beneficial to check out a house a few times to get an up-close look at it before you submit an offer.

The condition of a home will play a major role in how much you are willing to offer to acquire a residence. Therefore, you should learn as much as possible about a house's condition. And if you feel comfortable with a home, you should be ready to submit an offer that will match a seller's expectations.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent generally is a good idea, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to reduce the risk of submitting a lowball offer on a house. A real estate agent can help a homebuyer prepare a competitive offer, as well as ensure that a buyer can enjoy a seamless home transaction.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you analyze a house. He or she will even offer homebuying recommendations and teach you everything you need to know about the homebuying cycle.

Avoid the temptation to submit a lowball offer on a house Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can submit a competitive proposal to acquire your dream residence.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 1/28/2019

If youíre in the market to buy a home soon, you probably have a long list of things to look for. You also are most likely focused on savings and shopping around for the best mortgage rates. You may know everything that you should do when youíre buying a home, but has anyone told you what you shouldnít do? Read on to discover some of the worst practices of people searching for a home. 


Lack Of Research


You need to search for a home before you even set out to look at properties in person. While youíll want to work with a realtor, you should know what you want before you start working with him. Your agent will be able to set up alerts for you that enable you to see properties put on the market as soon as they become available. This search will be tailored to your wants such as a large yard, master bathroom, or separate dining area. If you understand what your needs will cost you in relation to your budget ahead of time, working with a real estate agent will be a more fruitful experience.


Not Letting Your Real Estate Agent Do Their Job


Real estate agents are experts in the housing market. Your agent will research prices and help you to understand what a reasonable offer on a property will be. Your agent has the tools to get you the information you need to make an informed offer on a property. Sellers get insulted if an offer is well below the asking price. Trust that your agent knows what heís talking about. 


Youíll have a close relationship with your agent throughout the house hunting process. Youíll need to make arrangements with your agent to go to open houses and home showings. Your agent will accommodate you to the best of his ability. All you need to do is communicate with them. 


Not Looking Beyond The Online Search


If you are out and about and see a property for sale that interests you, donít assume that itís out of your reach. Sometimes the online searches miss things. A property may include (or not include) something that youíre looking for. You can take down the address where you saw the ďfor saleĒ sign and speak with your real estate agent about it.


Skimming Over Properties


When you have the opportunity to look at a property, really take the time to view it. You can miss a lot of details by quickly going over a property due to your first impression. Thereís a lot of things that you may not see if you donít look at the details of a home as you walk through it.       





Tags: house hunting  
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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 1/21/2019

When you hire a house cleaner or maid service, you expect that your house will be neater and cleaner. There are certain rules that you should follow to keep your house maid happy. Your maid is not there to clean up after you for absolutely everything you do in your home. You need to give your cleaning person the tools to do his or her job well. 


Hereís What You Should Do Before Your Cleaning Service Arrives


Pre-cleaning before you are paying someone to clean your house may seem counter intuitive. They are there to clean for you, right? The problem is that the more your cleaning service has to clean, the longer that it will take. This means that the messier your house is, the more expensive that it will be for you to have your home cleaned. Hereís what you should do before the maid service gets to the home:          


Clean Up Your Dirty Dishes


You should take the time to load your dishwasher and clean up your sink a bit. It can take a lot of time for your house keeper to take care of these small things that should be a part of your daily tasks. 


Do Your Own Laundry


It is advisable for you to take care of your own laundry if you have the time to do it yourself. Doing laundry could take your house keeper hours of time. They could use that time to do other things like dust, scrub, and deep clean your home. 


Put Away Your Own Things


Do you have leftovers in the kitchen that need to be put away? Are there clothes on the floor of your bedroom? Do the kidsĎ toys need to be put away? Some of these tasks can be done simply by you in a matter of minutes instead of by your house keeper.


The bottom line is that you donít want your house keeper to see you as a slob. While they are more than happy to clean your home, they arenít your personal servant. Also, your house cleaner probably isnít showing up to your home daily. You want to keep up your clean home in between professional cleanings. 


What You Should Let The Housecleaner Do


Your house cleaner is there to help you complete certain tasks around your home. In fact they really want to do certain things in your home to help you get a deep clean that you wouldnít otherwise have. Your housekeeper wants to help you with:

 

  • Vacuuming
  • Scrubbing
  • Deep cleaning your bathroom sink
  • Cleaning your toilet
  • Deep cleaning your kitchen
  • Mopping the floors  

How To Assist Your House Keeper


There are a few things that you should do to help your housekeeper do their job well. These tasks include:


  • Keep pets out of the way
  • Tell your housekeeper exactly what you need
  • Make the maid aware of any special tasks you need to be completed 


If you cooperate with the housekeeper, hiring a cleaning service can be one of the best time-saving decisions for you for a cleaner home.  




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