Life is tough when your credit score stinks, so let’s fix it

 

Whether it was a foreclosure, short sale, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, a job loss or just plain irresponsibility, there are some steps you can take to get your credit score back into the range where it is attractive to mortgage lenders and you can finally buy that house.

Where does my credit score come from?

Credit scores range from 300 (the worst) to 850. Although a score of 700 will get you lower rates and more credit opportunities than lower scores, 760 and above is considered prime.

If you’ve ever ordered your credit report you did so from one or all of what are commonly known as “the big three” credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

These agencies compile massive amounts of financial information obtained from companies from which Americans have obtained credit in the past. From this, they determine each person’s payment history, the length of the person’s credit history, the various types of credit he or she has and the amount of credit debt held.

When the big three agencies turn their information over to Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) or, in some cases, Vantage, it’s fed into a complicated formula and out pops a three-digit number that pretty much rules your financial life. Thankfully, your credit score adjusts, according to how risky you appear.

Pay on time

The best way to repair your credit score is by paying your bills on time, every month. Yes, it sounds simple and it is the responsible thing to do, but it’s also one of the quickest ways to pump your score into a more acceptable range. Don’t believe us? According to a study conducted by Experian,100 percent of super prime consumers and 97 percent of those with prime credit have no late payments on their credit reports.

Furthermore, The Raleigh Area Development Authority says that a person with a 707 credit score can raise it 20 points, just by paying bills on time for one month.

Manage the plastic

Your use of credit cards may be the culprit when your score is at rock bottom.

First, credit scoring agencies look at the age of your credit. New credit, such as opening new credit card or department store accounts, makes them leery. Just what will you do with all this new-found credit? Since they don’t know, you become a higher credit risk and take a 10 point ding on your score.

High balances make you appear risky as well. If your cards are maxed out you may lose up to 70 points on your credit score.

Don’t close your credit card accounts, just pay them on time. Consumers with no credit cards or installment loans look risky (it’s that fear of the unknown again) and tend to be penalized with lower scores. Besides, closed accounts still show up on your credit reports and may still affect your score.

If you have the money in your budget, another quick way to raise your score is to pay down high credit card balances. Try doubling your payments for a few months or at least pay a payment and a half.

If you build it, you can buy it

Many Americans didn’t do anything to deserve a low score other than to have never used credit. To credit scoring agencies, these people are, again, unknown entities. How they will use credit when they receive it is a mystery and therefore makes them a credit risk in the eyes of the agencies.

Unlike the folks that need to slow down on their credit card usage, you need to obtain a card, use it and pay the balance on time. Ensure that you obtain a card from an institution that will report your responsible use of credit.

To make it easy on you, we’ve compiled this handy, fix-your-credit checklist:

  • Order your credit reports from each of the big three agencies to determine where you stand
  • Dispute any errors you find on your credit report. Some shady credit counseling companies may suggest you dispute everything on the reports, which may do way more harm than good. The Federal Trade Commission offers advice on how to file disputes on its website.
  • Pay all your bills on time, every month
  • Pay down your credit card balances. If you can only afford to pay one at a time, pay department store cards first, if you have them, otherwise, pay off the one with the highest balance first. Aim to get the balances within 30 percent of your credit limit.
  • Use old credit cards that you haven’t used lately to keep their histories active. Remember, old credit is worth more than new credit when it comes to your score.
  • Obtain a secured credit card if you have no credit history. Use the card for small purchases and pay the balance on or before the due date.
  • Consider obtaining a small loan if your credit report lacks an installment loan history. Ensure that the lender reports to all three agencies.
  • Ask creditors to re-age your accounts. This might be challenging but if even one creditor agrees to do so your score may improve dramatically.
  • Ask the credit card companies to increase your credit limit

4 Tips To Get That Home Sold ASAP

 

When homeowners ask how to get a home sold, there is typically more to the question. For instance, some really want to know how to get it sold quickly, some are wondering how to sell a home to get more money out of it while others have a home languishing on the market and just want to know how to get the thing sold.

There’s no mystery to getting a home sold; it all starts with basic real estate principles and practices.

Timing

It’s important to know the current trends in your local real estate market before putting your home up for sale. Is it a buyer’s market – where there are more homes available than buyers? Or is it a seller’s market, with few homes available and lots of buyers?

Your local newspaper most likely covers your regional real estate market but this is also information you can obtain by asking your real estate agent.

This information is important for several reasons:

• If you can afford to wait to sell your home, the current market may be the deciding factor as to whether you sell it now or wait.

• It helps you price your home appropriately.

• It gives you an idea of what to expect during the time the home is on the market.
Another aspect of timing the sale of your home is the season. Home sales are seasonal and the ideal time to sell the home is in spring. This doesn’t mean, however, that homes don’t sell at other times during the year, even in the dead of winter.
In fact, although fewer homes are listed and sold in winter than in spring, the likelihood that you’ll sell your home is higher in the former than in the latter.

Price

The number one reason a home sits on the market and doesn’t sell is price. To make matters worse, sellers of overpriced homes typically reject initial offers because they think they are too low, when, in reality, they are most likely close to the market value of the home.

In a buyer’s market, it’s even more important to price your home competitively. If you choose the right real estate agent, your list price should be very close to the home’s true market value. It’s up to you, then, to either lower it a bit to create more interest or to overprice the home and risk eventually having to drop the price.

Condition

It almost sounds trite in today’s real estate market to mention that a home needs to be cleaned and decluttered before putting it on the market. While the advice is common, it’s still very good. A clean home with maximum curb appeal will put your house above the competition.

Make repairs to anything that obviously needs it. This means dripping faucets, loose banisters, cracked windows – anything that a buyer will notice. These little things make it appear that the home hasn’t been maintained – something no buyer wants to take on.

We can discuss larger repairs and whether or not they should be tackled.

Realtor

Your Realtor can make or break the deal. Keep that in mind when determining who to hire to assist you in the sale of your home. This is not the time to hire that friend of a friend or your Aunt Martha.

Choose your agent carefully and then work as a team, following up with one another frequently throughout the process.

Getting your home sold requires, overall, patience. Take your time with each step in the process, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. Listen to the advice of your real estate agent and you’ll soon be on your way to the next phase of your life.

The 2 Things You Must Do Before Closing On That Home

Once upon a time, in a sleepy little town in Minnesota, a man with big ideas and lots of vacant land decided to build a subdivision. The problem he faced was that his parcel was zoned for commercial development. City leaders, however, were more than accommodating when he asked for a zoning change on enough of the land to build 170 houses. The rest of the parcel retained the commercial zoning designation.

 

The subdivision was developed, homes were built and families moved in. It became one of the more in-demand neighborhoods because of the majestic and natural beauty of the heavily wooded acreage that fronted it.

 

Almost 30 years later, the original landowner’s son, who inherited the vacant parcel when his father died, decided to sell it and a major big-box retailer decided to purchase it. The plan is for a 24-hour, 180,000 square-foot superstore, directly across the street from the sleepy little neighborhood.

 

Environmental impact studies show that traffic in the area will go from 2,000 vehicles per day to a whopping 14,000. The back of the superstore will face the neighborhood. The back of the store is where huge diesel trucks make their deliveries in the middle of the night – big trucks that beep when they back up and idle while they unload.

 

Homeowners are upset, to say the least. Although hundreds attended each city council meeting in which the subject of the new commercial development was discussed, voicing their concerns over the noise, the traffic and the decimation of their home’s value, the city council finally granted the store’s developers their conditional use permit.

 

The Moral of the Story

 

Homes surrounded by open space are attractive to many home buyers. For these people, you just can’t put a price on the seclusion and serenity such a location offers. Vacant land near a residential area, however, should raise a red flag. After all, if it’s vacant, it’s buildable.

 

The only way to find out for certain if anything is planned for the vacant land is to consult with the local city government.

 

Zoning

 

A northern California real estate agent represented Jack, who owned a 5-acre ranchette that he wanted to sell. Situated on a prime piece of Wine Country real estate Jack purchased the property several years ago and paid a hefty price.

 

Because he didn’t bother checking the zoning in the area, Jack lost about half of the value of his home when the property fronting his was purchased by someone who then used the land to slaughter and butcher pigs.

 

Zoning rules also affect how you can use your own property. If you plan on operating a business out of your home, remodel the house or add structures, park a boat or RV in your driveway, or even cut down trees you will need to check your area’s zoning rules.

 

Check the zoning of nearby vacant land or the property you want to purchase by going to your county’s courthouse or planning department. Don’t forget to ask for the long-term plan for the area as well.

 

Taxes

 

It’s hard to think of doing a background check when you’re in love with a house, but it’s critical to do so. One of the checks that most homebuyers fail to run is the property’s tax history. Real estate taxes go up – that’s a given. But knowing how quickly and how high the taxes on the home of your dreams have moved in the past is important information.

 

This is especially pertinent if you’re purchasing in a new development where there is a greater need for services. Excessively high property taxes make a huge impact on your monthly payment.

 

Known as “tax traps” by Bankrate.com’s Marcie Geffner, they include unexpected reassessments and rate hikes, among other unanticipated surprises. She suggests that you check with the local tax assessor to determine the following:

 

  • How the assessor calculates taxes
  • If the home will be reassessed when you purchase it
  • The date of the next reassessment
  • Which exemptions, if any, apply

 

There is much to consider when purchasing a home. Don’t allow your emotions to get the best of you, do your research and that home may just turn out to be one of the best investments you’ll make.

 

4 Reasons To Live In A New Home Before Renovating

It’s no secret that we all love our homes, and buying a new one can be an exciting investment. We put great effort into personalizing that home so that it represents who we are.

Now the big question here is; should you live in a new home before renovation or renovate it before you move in? 

Basically, if it’s lighting or plumbing repairs that you need to make the house habitable before you move, there’s no problem at all. Proceed with those minor renovations. However, if this is a big project it will require a lot of thought, planning, and resources to complete. Therefore, recommend you live in your newly acquired home for some months before knocking down its walls.

In this article, you’ll read four good reasons you should consider living in your home before you dive right into major improvements or renovations.

1. You may change your mind

You may have great ideas for the kind of improvements you would like to make on a new home as soon as you become the owner. However, until you live there for a while, it is difficult to know whether its current condition is right for you and your family.

For instance, you may have immediate plans to expand the available space by demolishing a certain wall. While these plans may seem great at the first, you may not know the benefits of that initial layout to your family without actually living in the house for a few months

Your day-to-day experiences in that new house could make you change your mind about your early ideas for major renovations. So be patient and give it a little time before you do anything major.

2. Immediate renovations can add significant stress

Buying a home is not a straightforward task. It’s a huge undertaking that can require a lot of thought, planning, and dedication. All these can be stressful. However, If you have successfully overcome all these hurdles, carrying out major renovations right away can add unforeseen stress and deny you the happiness that comes with remodeling a home.

Instead of rushing into carrying out major renovations, move in right away and start to experience life in your new home and its immediate surroundings. After you have settled in, you’ll find you’re more relaxed and focused on the task at hand.

3. Give yourself time to carefully plan

Home renovations can not be done without careful planning. No matter the size of the project, they are time-consuming and should be planned well in advance. This means contacting multiple contractors to get their take on what you really want and to give you an estimate. Once you have settled on a contractor, discuss the duration of the project and oversee it carefully with patience.

In some cases, a contractor may not know your desired wants and needs. The only true way to become familiar with these problems yourself is to become well versed with daily life in your new home.

 

4. Waiting allows you to save for your dream project

Waiting for at least a year before you dive into major home improvements and renovations will help you set a budget and save the required amount needed to complete the projects successfully.

The cost of major projects such as bathroom renovation, second-storey addition or kitchen renovation varies considerably depending existing parameters, scope, size, and goals. Your budget will ultimately determine the kind of renovation projects you can carry out right away and what will have to wait.

 

Bottom lines

While you should be open to updating a new home that doesn’t fulfill your needs, don’t feel stressed about getting all that work done right away. Move into that new house and stay there for at least six months. You may be surprised at how your priorities and decisions change once you settle in.

 

6 Signs Your Bathroom Needs An Update

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The bathroom is arguably one of the most important rooms in the house, and among the most frequently used. However, it is easy for homeowners to overlook this space when it’s time to renovate or update. Updating the bathroom is a worthwhile investment which not only adds value to the home but also increases the overall quality of your day to day life. If you are not sure if you really need to make a change, here are the top signs that it is time to update your bathroom.

1. The Bathroom Has Mold

If you happen to notice dark spots sprouting up in the corners, parts of the ceiling, directly above the bathtub, or shower, it’s time to update your bathroom. Keep in mind that not all leaks/drips are visible, so make sure you look for mildew and mold near the edges and corners of your shower and bathtub. Sometimes mildew and mold problems can arise from minor issues like drips, leaks, faulty pipes, or improper ventilation which can be easily fixed by doing some minor repairs. However, in case you have a serious mildew or mold problem even after you have done the minor repairs, chances are that you have a much bigger problem to deal with. Make sure you deal with that problem immediately, before it gets worse. If the water gets into your bathroom floor, it could eventually end up compromising its’ structural integrity.

2. There are Cracked, Chipped, Stained or Broken Glass in the Bathroom

As mentioned earlier, the bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in the house. This means that the shower tiles, sink faucets, light fixtures, and ceiling fans are all in frequent use, therefore when they start breaking down, it is time to consider updating your bathroom. If the ceiling starts crumbling, you notice discolored tile grout, the mirror is broken, or there’s cracked linoleum and tile floor, you need to consider how you can repair the damaged materials while updating your bathroom at the same time.

3. It’s No Longer Big Enough

When brushing your teeth or taking a shower, you should feel like you’ve room to move around. Many homes have a standard 8’ by 5’ bathroom; this size does not allow for a variety of layout or design options. If your family has grown and the bathroom feels somewhat cramped, it is time to consider updating the current space with new features that optimize the function and storage.

4. It’s Out of Date

Design trends come and go. If you have a pink bathtub, avocado floors, a brightly colored toilet, or gold fixtures, it might be time to update your bathroom. These are simply out of style and can greatly hurt your chances of resale. Moreover, an outdated bathroom might actually be hiding a number of unseen problems which need to be addressed. You should consider updating by using neutral colors on the bathroom walls, and then accenting with a color. Some other simple tricks can include swapping your outdated flooring, fixtures, lighting, and handles.

5. There are Leaks in Your Bathroom

Leaks are common in many bathrooms. Depending on the particular situation, a leak can be because of a minor problem that’s easy to repair or can be a major problem which has to be addressed immediately. In case the leak is a result of rust or corrosion which has been present for quite some time, it might be causing serious water damage which can weaken the structural elements of your house, and might end up costing you thousands of dollars in repairs. If you notice serious leaks, you should really consider updating your bathroom; not only will it save you on your water bill, it will prevent structural damage.

6. You are Looking to Sell Your House Soon

If you’re contemplating on selling your home in the near future, you should consider updating your bathroom. If your bathroom doesn’t look high class, you need to upgrade it. Also, if you’ve an older house, updating the bathroom is crucial. When the bathroom is updated, it can be a major selling point, and might even position your house for a much quicker sale.

The Summer 2016 Refi Boom – Crunching The Numbers

According to a recent survey from bls.gov, the United States has created over 250,000 new non-farm jobs as of July, 2016. This, in effect, overshadowed the previous prediction of 180,000 that had been speculated by various economic tabloids. While to the average citizen this might sound like great economic news, that’s not necessarily the case for those eyeing fresh mortgages as the rates are now expected to skyrocket. So, does this necessarily mean that the 2016 refi window has already closed?

 

How Rate Markets Work

 

Before we even jump to conclusions, let’s address how the rate markets made their way to where they are now.

 

Keep in mind that individual mortgages are often packaged into separate mortgage bonds – also known as MBS ( Mortgage Backed Securities ). These bonds, in turn, impact rates on a daily basis. If you’re wondering how, then remember that bonds often pay a rate of return to the respective investors every year and that rate in question is always inverse to a specific bond price. (Bonds are often traded on a daily basis.)

 

So, in light of the positive economic news, more bonds will be sold, which as a consequence, makes the prices per bond drop and the rates climb higher. The opposite remains true. And this explains why the rates rose momentarily after the release of a blowout of jobs report at the beginning of August.

 

How the Rates are Expected to Perform in Fall 2016

 

From the analysis in the above paragraph, one may be tempted to believe that the chance to jump on the refinance bandwagon is long and gone. However, this couldn’t be any further from the truth! This is because rate markets are often volatile and throughout the better part of 2016 we have seen the repeated rise of refinancing opportunities albeit, with looming economic uncertainty.

 

Take, for instance, in January and February of this year, the Mortgage rates in the U.S dropped to their all-time lowest level in three years. According to economic gurus and analysts, this could be associated with the concern over the economic instability of other countries outside of the United States.

 

Later in June, around the same time when the U.K voted to exit the larger European Union, the rates dropped even lower, which confirmed the concern of non-U.S territories economic volatility.

 

Now, the coming months usher even more hectic and unpredictable times. There’s a presidential election and, not just one, but three Federal Reserve meetings in the not so distant future. All these will be factors that will influence the rate markets whether we choose to acknowledge them or not.

 

This is coming from an informed perspective that the three remaining fed policy-setting meetings that are scheduled in September, November and December have a high likelihood of introducing or raising the current bank-to-bank lending rates. Which, of course, will, in turn, have an impact on the mortgage rates and bond markets.

 

But before you jump the gun and blame it all on the Fed rate, consider that at times the volatility of the rate markets is affected by the bond market anticipating an impending Fed rate way of ahead of time. A good example is how last year investors dumped their bonds ahead of the annual Fed meeting in December.

 

Far from this, it is general knowledge that the Fed often tries to remain as politically neutral as possible. So this year, the bond market is somewhat split on trying to guess when the next hike is likely to occur. While some think it will be introduced in September, others argue that it will most likely be seen during the December 14th meeting – after the presidential elections.

 

So When is the Best Period To Lock a Refi Rate?

 

Given the unpredictability of the rate market dynamics, it is inevitable that at one time or another you will have to ask yourself this tentative question. One thing is certain, however – rate dips are always coming and going ever so quickly. Therefore, it is always a great idea to keep checking the rates regularly. Remember that as soon as the rates drop, the affected lenders tend to spring into action almost immediately.

It’s still best to inquire about the rate lock. The rate lock is simply the number of days or months when a given rate remains fixed. Normally, the long the rate lock, the higher the rate is likely to be.

Why Overpricing Your House Will Always Be a Bad Idea

Setting your home’s selling price above its actual market value may seem like a great idea…right?

You have room to deal with buyers who like to bargain aggressively. Plus, your agent can comfortably take his or her percentage without compromising what you’ll receive from the sale. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?

Well, the process of property-selling goes deeper than that. A well-maintained house that has been priced competitively from the get-go is more likely to sell within the higher end of its value scale. It is also expected to get off the market in a relatively shorter period of time.

Conversely, an overpriced house is more likely to stay on the market longer than expected. However, the longer it stays on the market, the lower its final selling price ends up. This has been observed in homes that typically lingered on the market for more than two months- they tend to sell for at least five percent less than its initial selling price.
Of course, there are a number of things that contribute to the time a house spends on the market. However, the initial pricing structure has proven the be one of the most influential factors in determing the time to closing.

When it comes to pricing, agents know best. 

As a homeowner, your house is your first and foremost concern. As such, this could result in you having limited knowledge of the world beyond the borders of your own home- which, in this case, is the real estate industry at large. It is because of this limited view of the market that some homeowners have a tendency to overvalue their property- they are just that attached to it. 

There is a common misconception that real estate agents severely undervalue houses to sell and get them off the market as quickly as possible. While unscrupulous agents do exist, the majority of them are more concerned with making sure that your house is accurately priced according to current market conditions.

With this in mind, it’s important to be receptive to your agent’s advice on how to prep up your home for a sale. Potential buyers often respond to a listing within a couple of weeks after posting, so making it attractive right from the start (especially when it comes to pricing) increases your chances of having a favorable sale.

As the popular saying goes, “First impressions, last.” The same rings true for your house listing. 

Take advantage of the early momentum when you first put up your house for sale. An overpriced listing that stays inactive for weeks often ends up having its price reduced eventually until it reaches a price point that is more in tune to what the market perceives its value to be.

Buyers are more likely to strike if the listing reaches around five percent of their desired price. However, if the house takes too long to go down to its ideal price range, potential buyers get disinterested. There is a chance that they would come up with offers that are far below than what one would get had the listing been priced correctly in the first place.
If you have any more questions regarding appropriate pricing feel free to leave your contact info in one of the available forms on the page. Or if you need you can reach out to me directly and I’ll be in touch asap. If you’re looking for more tips tricks and information to help make your buying or selling experience easier check out the rest of my real estate blog! Or if you’re interested in a free home valuation then check out the sellers tab at the top of the page.

Why You Should Wait Before Making Those Home Renovations

There has been tremendous growth in the real estate sector in recent years. This has led to an increase in opportunities for home buyers with all kinds of budgets. More homes are becoming available in top-end locations. A large number of such homes are those that are in less-than-stellar condition and need some degree of work.

As the real estate market becomes more and more competitive, these homes are becoming a smart investment choice for savvy home buyers. One of the main advantages of such homes is that you can modify them according to your personal preferences and increase the value of your investment in the process. However, it is often recommended that as a home buyer, you take your time and actually live in your newly purchased home before conducting any renovations and costly house improvements.

It is okay and even advisable to make some minor changes such as plumbing and lighting repairs but major remodelling work should be saved for later dates. Below are several reasons why it is a good idea to keep sizable home improvements on hold until you have properly settled into your new home.

1. CHANGE OF MIND

Living in your newly purchased home before making permanent upgrades places you in a better position to make informed decisions on any changes. Even if you have internally visualised how you would want the home to be based on its state at the time of the purchase, you will never be able to conclusively tell if the new house will serve you well until you have experienced it first-hand.

Waiting provides you will vital information on certain aspects that will or will not work in your favour or according to your preferences. The daily experiences you have will greatly influence your eventual decision on updates you want to make.

2. BREAK FROM THE NUANCES OF HOME BUYING

For many people, purchasing a home is one of the most important investments they will ever make in their entire lives. So, it goes without saying that home buyers go through a stressful period when closing on homes. You will most likely have made some huge changes in your lifestyle in order to get the home of your dreams. As such, you need ample time to rest and recover from the financial impact associated with home buying. Home improvements are not exactly cheap or easy to complete.

It is a very important process that requires considerable investment in terms of energy, time and money- all of which you may have exhausted in the earlier home buying process. You do not want to put yourself through these stresses in a short period of time. Therefore, it is wise to wait for a while before undertaking any home modifications or improvements.

3. ROOM FOR PROPER PLANNING

For any home improvements to be successful, it requires proper planning and prior arrangements on your part. It does not matter how small it may be. Remodelling your home will take a lot of time as it will require consultation with several contractors, architects as well as interior and exterior designers.

These parties will offer you professional opinions on the many aspects involved in renovating a house. Enlisting the services of the best contractors will ensure that you are satisfied with the end results. This also may end up saving you some money in the long run.

There are very many listed contractors on the market nowadays. This means that getting the right one can be a daunting task in itself. You do not want to hire a contractor under time constraints.

One of the reasons many homeowners want to conduct renovations as soon as possible is to avoid feeling like their home is incomplete. They also state the inconvenience of paying for the improvements down the line, in addition to other expenses such as rent and mortgages.

At the moment this may make financial sense. However, in the long-term, it can cause certain problems. Therefore, it is very important to allocate some time to properly plan and arrange for the renovations.

No matter which home you buy, there is some degree of work that you will have to put in afterwards. While it all boils down to individual preferences and choices, it is recommended that you avoid trying to do all of these activities at once.

5 Easy Tips To Infuse A Retro Look Into Your Home

Retro home decor is making a comeback, and it’s doing it with style as many homeowners are now turning to the older days to give a new look to their house. When you think about retro decoration, what’s the first thing that crosses your mind? Is it the kitchen walls of avocado color? Or is it the classic shag carpets in front of the fireplace? Well, whatever your idea of retro may be, know that vintage pieces not only bring much-needed refreshment in your home but also don’t cost you a fortune.

So how do you add bits and pieces of retro without completely changing the theme of your home? Keep reading this guide to find out.

5 easy tips to infuse a look of retro in your home

1. Use saturated colors

Home decor in the 60’s and 70’s placed a lot of focus on color, which lent almost every house a distinct look of its own. You don’t need to redo your entire home, all you have to do is use punchy hues in certain areas of your house to give it a classic look from the bygone era. While bold colors that go slightly over the top may bring a look of retro to a room, remember that the same color won’t suit everywhere.

As a general rule of thumb, use pale colors in a small room and darker colors in rooms that are larger in size. If your room is small, paint the walls with a lighter color and complement the look by throwing in more saturated accessories.

2. Use vintage furniture and accessories

The best part about going retro is perhaps the fact that you don’t need to match everything to the last possible detail. To bring a feeling of nostalgia all you may have to do is introduce a retro style table, few classic chairs, or a 70’s inspired sofa set. As more people are experimenting with retro visuals, many companies have dedicated themselves to offering specialized services to reimagining and recreating all things retro.

Accessories like a rotary phone, lava lamp, a stacked record of albums placed in a corner, or a few retro posters can significantly boost the overall appeal without burning a hole in your pocket. If you can manage to find old retro posters of your favorite band or films, just frame and hang them on the wall to create a fabulous centerpiece.

3. Make the best use of lighting

Similar to furniture, lighting has a tremendous impact on how your room looks and feels. To fully capture the essence of a bygone era, you may use industrial pendants of vintage style to imbue a rustic kitchen -like feel or bring in few circular mod chandeliers for a quick retro fix. If you are yet not ready to invest in getting permanent fixtures, try out Edison light bulbs that come in a broad range of shapes and sizes. Do not ignore the aspect of lighting if you want to complete the retro look of your house.

4. Change up the beadboard and paneling

Try out some designs of the Victorian era with beadboard or paneling that should be readily available in any of your neighborhood hardware stores. This can be an excellent way to accentuate the retro look of any home as it adds the required character and texture to reflect fully on the older days. Concentrate on overlooked spaces like laundry rooms, hallways, entryways, and other small areas to add an immediate spark to the visual aesthetics.

5. Make the most of the flea market items

There’s always one thing in every home that defines its character. When you’re going for a retro look, the best way you can find a one-of-a-kind piece without burning through the dollars is by checking the flea market or a reputed online auction site. You can bring in an antique steamer trunk and use as a coffee table or use old fabric ladders to hang linens or for stacking potted plants. Whatever you do, be prepared to see a look of astonishment on the faces of your guests.

Bringing a look of retro into your home is easy if you know how to change a few things here and there and are willing to spend some time researching and experimenting. We hope these tips help you get the retro home of your dreams.

What You Need To Know Before Selling Your Home


Are you ready to put your property on the market? You might want to double check this list first!

When you decide you’re ready to sell your home, you will have to dedicate some time and effort to ensure that the carpets are clean, the garden is well kept, and that your home is optimized to make the best possible impression on potential buyers. But you should save some time to take care of this crucial yet easily forgotten, task: contact your local government to ensure that it has the correct information about your property.

Whether your home is a three story suburban mansion or a one bedroom apartment, local government records will have additional details and documents on it. Problems with municipality records on your home can stall the progress of a sale going through, or even derail a deal completely. So make sure everything is accurate and up to date before you decide to list your home on the market.

The building department

Your local town or borough retains records on every building permit that has been issued as well as details of every building that has been constructed within its municipality. The lead building inspector is tasked with ensuring that any modifications that are made to a property meet the current building codes and that any work undertaken is completed by licensed contractors.

The building department is primarily interested in ensuring your property meets health and safety regulations. Whenever somebody makes an application for a permit, the building department will send out an inspector to physically inspect the work that has been completed and signed it off.

How does this affect home sellers?

Once an offer has been made and a deal has been agreed upon by the buyer and seller, the buyer will contact the building department to complete their due diligence. If they discover any issues, such as an open permit that was applied for by a contractor but was never inspected and officially signed off by an inspector, they could possibly abandon the proposed deal with the seller.

It is quite common for sellers to discover that at some point during their property’s lifetime a mistake has been made, permits can certainly fly under the radar with relative ease. The mistake could belong to the contractor that completed the work, the previous owner of the property, or even an administrative error made by the building department itself.

Issues like these can cause a big headache for owners wanting to sell their home. Once a property is sold, the new owner is responsible for any illegal construction or unregulated work, something that is very off-putting to potential buyers.

Assessor records

The town assessor observes the local real estate market and, for the purpose of property tax, can identify if your property’s assessed value is in line with the market.

If the market slows down, the assessor will not automatically lower the estimated value of your property and lower your property taxes. However, they will regularly go through recent permits issued by the building department and increase the assessed value of your home if any recent improvements or renovations have been completed that could increase the market value of your property. This would mean higher property taxes.

Your property could be either over or under assessed. If it’s over, you should make a grievance to your assessor with any records or information that would support your case for decreased market value. Every local government has a system in place to deal with assessment grievances.

Stay one step ahead

Before listing the home, check the available government records on your property. Some issues, such as an open permit, can be easily fixed. If it’s a more serious issue, you should delay listing your property until it is resolved. Solving any of type of problems with government records ahead of time saves prevents any surprises from coming up later that could derail a sale.