Brooke Caron's Blog
Starting a new renovation project can be overwhelming. Of course, there are tons of details to consider, so you might find yourself at a loss when it comes to visualizing your end product. Before you begin your remodeling project, you need to have an idea of how you want the result to look. To make it easy for you to articulate your vision for your project, here are some remodeling questions to ask yourself.
What do I want to change about the space?
Start by thinking about pain points in the room as it is presently. Perhaps you don't have enough storage in your bathroom to handle your belongings, or there isn't enough counter space in your kitchen when you bake cookies. Then try to visualize what you would love to see instead. Maybe you’ve always wished for built-in cabinets to store your grooming products or a kitchen island to cook and entertain the family.
What do I love about my space?
Next, you will need to think about what you like about your current space. Some people believe this is not important, but it is. It gives you an idea of what can stay during your renovation. It will also give you an idea of your overall budget. For example, the price for a bathroom renovation with modern fixtures in a new layout will be different from simply replacing the vanity.
How much can I truly afford?
Now to the finance aspect. Start by determining how you intend to pay for the project. Are you using your savings? Will you be financing the project through a home equity loan? Next, develop a budget based on your available funds. Sticking to your budget gives you and your contractor a clear picture of what you want and what materials to purchase.
What colors do I like?
Ensure that your designer knows about your color preferences from the beginning. Do you like a warm palette or muted tones? Are you more comfortable with bold and bright hues? Do you want the furniture to speak louder than the walls, or do you enjoy seeing a lot of color on each surface?
What style do I like?
The last box to check is your taste. There are tons of options to choose from when it comes to interior design. Do you love transitional, traditional, or modern? Browse the Internet or home magazines to get design inspiration or request a photo book from your interior designer.
Need a design professional? Contact me for a few recommendations!
If you recently purchased a home in a new city or town, you may need to act quickly to ensure cable services are installed immediately following your move. Lucky for you, we're here to help you assess cable services providers so that you can find one that exceeds your expectations.
Now, let's take a look at three best practices as you evaluate cable services providers.
1. Think About the Services That You Will Need
Many cable services providers are available, and no two services providers are exactly alike. As such, you'll want to examine which cable services that you need, along with which services that you can live without.
For example, a hardcore football fan likely will need a cable services package that makes it easy to watch plenty of pigskin action. On the other hand, a political news follower may want a cable services package that delivers up-to-the-minute Capitol Hill news coverage.
Ask each cable services provider about the packages that it provides, along with which channels are included in each package. That way, you'll be better equipped than ever before to make an informed cable services purchase decision.
2. Consider Your Budget
Cable services packages may vary from basic packages that include a handful of channels to complete bundles that feature thousands of channels. Meanwhile, cable services providers offer packages at different price points, and you'll want to find a package that guarantees you won't have to break your monthly budget to afford cable services.
In some instances, cable services providers offer discounts to customers who sign multi-year agreements. Keep in mind, however, that if you sign a multi-year agreement, you're committed to the terms of this pact for a few years. And if you need to break the agreement, you may be hit with a cancellation fee.
Furthermore, many cable services providers offer internet and phone services. If you decide to combine your cable services with internet and phone offerings, you may be able to receive a discounted bundle rate.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Separating one cable services provider from another can be difficult, particularly for those with limited time and resources at their disposal. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can gain expert insights into different cable services companies and boost your chances of making the best possible selection.
A real estate agent is happy to connect you with top cable services providers in various cities and towns. By doing so, this housing market professional can ensure you can seamlessly set up cable services at any address, at any time.
Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can schedule home showings, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and much more.
There is no need to worry about getting the best cable services at your new home. Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can should have no trouble finding a top-notch cable services provider prior to moving day.
The sky's the limit for cloud-based documents and files. Remote working is on the rise. The ranks of independent entrepreneurs are growing. For many, home is a place to live and work.
Here are three elements to consider for your work-from-home space.
1. Choose Your Workspace
Pick a bright spot. Daylight inspires!
Will you be having clients drop in? Aim to choose a spot near an entrance way, apart from your intimate living spaces.
For tax purposes, this spot can be a dedicated room, or a section of a room—as long as there's a clear division between your working and living space. Other storage areas in the home, or partitioned-off space that's fully dedicated to keeping business items, is also square footage to count in the deduction.
Take pictures each year that clearly show the partitions and the business use of the space. Keep your photos with your tax documents.
2. Furnish the Space
Decorate mainly as you would if your work space were in a corporate building. Keep your desk, professional items, and office-appropriate décor in the space. Don't have a playpen (unless your business is daycare) or a dining table in your designated office space.
Bookcases, wall hangings, mirrors, and framed art all look good, and dampen noise from outside your work space. Succulents or crocus bulbs can make excellent office plants and uplift the mood of your work area.
Protect your health while working at home by using an adjustable (sit-stand) desk. Does that sound too industrial for the look you demand at home? Never fear. Gorgeous, adjustable desks that complement your existing furniture do exist on the market. With a little searching, you'll find yours.
3. Declare Your Tax Deduction
Calculate your home office percentage. If your home amounts to 2,000 square feet and your office space covers 500, declare 25% as the percentage. The deduction may not exceed your year's net business profit.
For smaller home office spaces, the IRS has a simplified standard deduction. Take $5 per square foot, up to 300 square feet.
Speak with your tax pro about deducting a home business percentage from your homeowner's insurance, mortgage interest, utilities, and property taxes. Read the instructions, so you know how to plan your tax return.
Putting It All Together
For a tax deduction, your home office must serve as the core of your business affairs, or the place you do the bulk of your work. Whether you already have a home office, or are thinking of creating one, design your space so it fits the IRS tax deduction requirements—even while it uplifts your home, delights your senses, and inspires your best work.
Applying for a mortgage may seem like a long, stressful process at first. Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of submitting a mortgage application.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline the mortgage application process.
1. Ask Questions
A bank or credit union likely will ask you to provide a wide range of information as part of the mortgage application cycle. And as you complete a mortgage application, you may have questions along the way too.
Remember, a lender is happy to help you in any way possible. If you ever have concerns or questions as you complete a mortgage application, you should reach out to a lender for expert support. That way, you can reduce the risk of potential problems down the line that otherwise could slow down the mortgage application process.
Even a single mistake on a mortgage application may prevent you from getting a mortgage. Perhaps even worse, a delayed mortgage application may force you to miss out on an opportunity to acquire your dream house. But if you reach out to a lender as you complete your mortgage application, you can gain the insights you need to quickly and effortlessly finalize the necessary documentation to obtain a mortgage.
2. Be Thorough
A mortgage application may require you to look back at your financial and employment histories and provide information that a lender will use to determine whether to approve or deny your submission. Meanwhile, you should be ready to provide a lender with any requested information to ensure a seamless application process.
As a homebuyer, it is your responsibility to include accurate information on your mortgage application. In fact, failure to do so may cause a lender to reject your mortgage application. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to dot every I and cross every T on your mortgage application, you can boost the likelihood of a fast approval.
3. Shop Around
For homebuyers, it is crucial to check out all of the mortgage options that are available. If you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you can review myriad mortgage options and select a mortgage that complements your finances.
Banks and credit unions generally provide a broad array of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. If you learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can find one that enables you to purchase your dream house without breaking your budget.
Of course, once you are approved for a mortgage and are ready to launch your house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent will offer plenty of guidance at each stage of the homebuying journey. In addition, a real estate agent can make it easy for you to find a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price in any housing market, at any time.
Start the mortgage application process today, and you can move one step closer to acquiring your dream residence.
For homebuyers who want to do everything possible to discover their dream residences, it generally is a good idea to attend open houses. These events make it simple to analyze residences and determine whether they match or surpass your expectations.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to attend an open house, and these include:
1. You can get a first-hand look at a home.
A home listing often provides a great starting point for homebuyers. However, a listing alone fails to empower buyers with the information that they need to fully analyze a house.
By attending an open house, you can get an up-close look at a residence. An open house allows you to walk around a home and view each section of a residence at your convenience. Plus, an open house usually is stress-free, and if you don't like a residence after the event, you can simply continue your search for your dream home.
2. You can receive comprehensive home insights.
During an open house, you can gain home insights that you may struggle to obtain in a home listing. Therefore, homebuyers may want to prepare a list of questions before they attend an open house to ensure they can obtain deep insights into a home's condition.
Moreover, an open house may help you determine whether there is substantial or minimal interest in a residence. If an open house is attended by dozens of potential buyers, you may need to act quickly to submit an offer to secure this residence. Comparatively, if you are the only person to attend an open house, you may be better equipped than ever before to negotiate a home's price with a seller.
3. You can envision what life might be like if you purchase a residence.
When it comes to deciding whether a home is right for you, attending an open house is paramount. In fact, an open house enables you to envision what life may be like if you purchase a residence. And if you feel comfortable with a home after you attend an open house, you can always submit an offer to help transform your homeownership dream into a reality.
If you plan to attend open houses in the foreseeable future, there is no reason to attend these events alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you prepare for open houses and ensure you can discover your dream residence.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who can teach you everything you need to know about buying a home. This housing market professional first will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy. Then, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about open houses, offer homebuying insights and do everything possible to help you find a home that you can enjoy for years to come.
Reach out to a real estate agent today. By doing so, you can start attending open houses and boost the likelihood of a successful homebuying experience.