Hospitality often seems like a dying art thanks to our busy, go go go society.
Yet, hospitality is so important that the Bible is filled with sayings about it.
One of my favorites is:
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares – Hebrews 13:2”.
Even if you make the time to be hospitable, you may still be worried about the financial cost to do so. Making others feel welcome in your home, however, does not have to require a lot of additional money.
With some strategic planning on your part, you can welcome others into your home and be an accommodating host without damaging your budget.
have food on hand as teens are always hungry!
There are simply yet tasty foods you can stock for this purpose. A homemade loaf of bread along with butter, jam, and nut butter can go a long way and tastes delicious. Consider buying popcorn kernels so you can pop your own popcorn, perfect for study groups and movie night, plus, it’s so cheap!
Simple Drinks To Offer
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fruit drinks and soda pops.
If you want soda, stock up when it goes on sale, but for many parents, that strategy doesn’t work because their kids drink the soda all up when they see an abundance.
Instead, offer more healthful frugal drinks like sun tea, coffee, tea, and water.
Double Your Meals
When I was young, I had a best friend, Cindy. Cindy’s mom never, ever cooked. Cindy and her brother just lived off simple meals they could put together with canned and microwavable foods. Not surprisingly, Cindy often found ways to invite herself to Sunday dinners at my house. For several months, this drove my mom crazy as our money was tight, and she didn’t want to feed Cindy every week. However, after a few months, she automatically made our Sunday dinners a bit bigger to account for Cindy’s inevitable presence. She even took on a positive attitude by reminding herself that at least once a week Cindy got a nice, home cooked meal. After we grew up, Cindy told me how much she enjoyed having Sunday dinner with us.
Hospitality is something highly recommended and praised in the Bible, and it’s something that can make us feel good if we offer it with an open and giving heart. A tight budget doesn’t have to stop you from being hospitable.
How do you practice hospitality when your resources are limited?
When you mention taking a vacation, some people imagine long, luxurious trips to faraway, foreign places, eating local cuisine and embracing a new place. Others picture road trips to familiar places just a couple of hours away—be it a beach, a lakeside cabin, or a mountain house. No matter what you picture, we can all agree on one thing: vacations are a time to relax, unplug, and unwind from all the daily stressors going on in our lives.
As lovely and relaxing as vacations can be, they add up quickly. The average vacation costs almost $1,500 a person—or $4,500 for a family of four, and in the U.S., over $1.1 trillion was spent on travel in one year alone. Keeping those numbers in mind, it’s clear that not everyone can afford the bucket-list vacation of their dreams.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t afford to take a vacation, you might just need to take it a little closer to home. “Staycations” are just that—a budget stay-at-home vacation, visiting local attractions and turning your usual surroundings into something to explore.
Staycations are a great option for homebodies, those who don’t like flying, or just those who are curious about learning more about their hometowns. These following tips will help you plan a memorable staycation that’s just as relaxing as going to an all-inclusive resort and are much more wallet-friendly to boot.
Set Your Budget
Just because you aren’t going on a cruise doesn’t mean you can throw your budget out the window on a staycation. Sit down with the family or your significant other and decide what your budget is going to be for your non-trip, and what your limitations are. Decide on a few big-ticket items worth splurging in, like a couple’s trip to a local spa, a day trip to an amusement park, or a fancy dinner out.
From there, structure your budget around how much you want to spend on the rest of the trip. Don’t limit yourself too much (this is a vacation, after all!) but create a budget that you can reasonably stick to. Use this printable budget planner to have an easy place to track your expenses for the staycation, as well as see what your spending looks like.
Plan Your Stay
Once the budget is agreed upon, now comes the fun part—planning the itinerary! No matter if you like having every second of every day planned, or are more of a “go-with-the-flow” type of person, you can agree that having some sort of structure for a vacation is a good idea. Make sure everyone participating in the staycation is able to plan at least one thing they want to do, so they’re getting to take the staycation that they want.
Look into local free or cheap things to do for inspiration, and check online for local deals or coupons for group activities. This could be:
- Going to a fair a few towns over
- Exploring a new farmer’s market
- Hitting up a vineyard tour
- Taking a cooking class
- Hiking a new trail for a day
- Doing a museum tour
Staycations don’t have to just be in your house, so use this opportunity to explore! Don’t be afraid to plan some downtime, too. Half the fun of vacations is simply relaxing with your loved ones, so make sure you’re planning some time to just hang out with those you love.
Stay Somewhere New
The beauty of a staycation is experiencing where you live in a whole new light, almost as if you were a tourist in your own town. If your budget allows, really lean into being a tourist and stay somewhere new for part (or all!) of your staycation. This could be renting a hotel room in the heart of a nearby city for a night, using a home share app to find a cozy home for a few days, or staying with a friend for a night or two.
This way, you’re getting out of your home and treating your staycation like a real vacation. Make sure you’re making the most of your staycation by exploring all of the options your hometown has to offer, and you may find a new favorite spot or neighborhood.
Prep Your Meals
Just because you aren’t going on an exotic vacation with tons of local cuisine doesn’t mean you should stick to the same things you eat on a regular day. Splurge at the grocery store and switch up your staycation meals by planning different themed meal days: a Greek buffet one day with pita and falafel, or a South of the Border day with tacos and salsa. Use these culinary trips to “vacation” there for a day and learn what you can about their cultures—maybe that could be your next real vacation!
A vacation should be special, after all, and one of the most-loved parts of a trip is room service. If you want the little ones in your family to feel like they’re on a real trip, offer up “room service” and let them fill out a custom menu of their desired choices for the next morning. Considering that Americans spend an average of $33 on food a day during a vacation, you’re saving money while still offering up a treat saved for vacations and other special occasions.
Ditch Your Routine
Staying in the same place during a vacation that you live can tempt some people to stick to the same routine as they do daily. Switch up your daily routine by turning off your alarms, and embrace a week full of only doing things because you want to do them, not because you have to. Make sure you’re taking full advantage of your time off by mixing up what you do on a day-to-day basis—including cleaning.
Take care of any necessary chores before the start of your staycation so you don’t disrupt your relaxation by cleaning the tub when you’re supposed to be relaxing. A few days before, do your laundry, clean up, stock up on groceries, and ensure that you’re all set to forget about some of your responsibilities. If you want a true hotel feeling, consider hiring a housekeeper a day or two before your staycation. This way, you’re still getting a fresh and clean space without having to lift a finger, and for a fraction of the cost.
Put it on Hold
One of the best parts about taking some time off is just that—having time off. Even though you aren’t putting an ocean between you and your work, you should still take a break from all the stressors in your daily life. This means muting your email and other work communication (and deleting the apps!), putting your phone on Do Not Disturb, and letting yourself actually relax. You are on vacation, after all! Use the following template to craft your own automated vacation reminder for all email communication, so you can enjoy every second of your time off:
Thank you for your email! I will be out of the office from DATE to DATE and will not have access to email. If this is urgent, please contact NAME at EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER. I will do my best to respond promptly when I return on DATE.
Once your work has been silenced, relish in the ability to do what you please, uninterrupted, for the next couple days. If little ones or roommates tend to interrupt you, treat your home like a real hotel with a printable Do Not Disturb door hanger. Not only does this give everyone involved in the staycation a chance to relax alone, but it also transforms your bedroom into your very own hotel suite—the only thing missing is room service!
Decorate to Relax
If staycation HQ is your house, try switching up your surroundings to match your vacation state of mind. Getting away on a trip means getting to experience a new place with new things, and you shouldn’t give up that sense of newness just because you’re staying at home. Put all your at-home stressors, like the calendar or answering machine, away and focus on taking a well-deserved break from the real world. Here are some easy ways to upgrade your home to be the ultimate staycation relaxation zone:
- Hang a hammock
- Turn your bathroom into a spa
- Assemble an indoor oasis
- Invest in soothing candles
- Break out fuzzy blankets
- Create a garden getaway
With a little elbow grease, your home will be the perfect paradise to host the staycation of your dreams. Maybe these small changes will find a way to be integrated into your day-to-day life, so you can always have a little piece of paradise in your home—and a reminder of your blissful days off during your staycation.
Vacations and staycations alike involve making memories with the people you love most. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you go—it matters what you do, and who you do it with. Long after the staycation is over, you’ll be reminiscing on your adventures and all that you did to explore your local surroundings.
What better way to reminisce than with a scrapbook or photo album to look through with your staycation pals? Though everything is digital now, there’s nothing better than flipping through an album as a family or group of friends and revisiting all of your adventures—and this is much cheaper than a snowglobe from a museum. Be sure to take lots of photos to put in your album, and use these printable labels to note where you went and what you did. For years to come, this will serve as a tangible reminder of how much fun you can have by staying close to home.
No matter how you choose to spend your staycation, remember to enjoy it! When you look back on it, you want to remember the wonderful time you had exploring your surroundings with your loved ones. Vacations don’t have to be extravagant to be memorable and fun, and nothing proves that more than a budget-friendly staycation.
Sources: EveryDollar | Real Simple | Forbes | MoneyCrashers | U.S. Travel | Credit Donkey | ValuePenguin | Better Home and Gardens |
Actions have consequences — particularly when you’re behind the wheel.
Causing a little fender-bender will probably leave you with nothing more than an insurance headache, but more serious offenses come with heftier repercussions. Specifically, if you’re caught driving with a suspended license or you get cited with a DUI, you might be court-ordered to have a specific document filed on your behalf.
In most states, this is called an SR-22. It’s a document your insurance provider files with the state proving that you have enough liability coverage to mitigate the high risk you present out on the road. But if you commit a serious driving offense in Florida or Virginia, you might be required to show a different certificate of financial responsibility (CFR) called an FR-44.
What is FR-44 insurance? And how do you get it if you’re required by your state to do so? Floridians and Virginians need to know.
What is FR-44 insurance?
FR-44 insurance isn’t a separate insurance policy or a type of coverage. Instead, it’s a document that gets filed with your state proving you have enough liability coverage. Your insurance provider files it on your behalf, showing your state’s driving authority that you have sufficient amounts of the required liability insurance.
As a quick auto insurance refresher, liability coverage steps in if you cause damage on the road. Most states require two types of liability insurance: coverage to pay for any injuries you cause and coverage to pay for property damage.
When you need an FR-44, you’re required to have more of both types of liability coverage than other drivers in your state. It’s your state’s way of making sure you’re not a huge risk when they let you back behind the wheel. With a filed FR-44, you prove that you have enough insurance to protect others.
[ See: How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? ]
All this isn’t to say that Virginia and Florida don’t have SR-22s. They do — but they use FR-44s for their highest-risk drivers. FR-44s have higher liability coverage requirements than SR-22s.
Who needs FR-44 insurance and why?
When you live in Florida or Virginia, you could be required to get an FR-44 if you commit a major driving violation like:
- A DWI/DUI
- Driving without insurance
- Driving with a suspended license
You might find out you need an FR-44 while in court for a hearing about your driving violation. Alternatively, you could get a letter mailed to your house indicating that you now need FR-44 insurance.
Long story short, if you majorly messed up behind the wheel, keep an eye out. Odds are, you’ll be required to carry more liability insurance. And if you do need an FR-44, don’t wait. Talk to your insurance provider right away.
Most insurance providers offer FR-44s. But if yours doesn’t, you’ll need to switch to one that does. Make sure you get enough liability coverage to meet the now-required limits (more on that later) and that your new insurer will file the FR-44 for you ASAP.
What if I don’t own a car?
If you committed your violation while driving someone else’s car or you sold your car after the fact, you might be stumped by an FR-44 insurance requirement.
[ More: How Are Car Insurance Costs Determined? ]
In this case, your best bet is to get non-owner car insurance. This is liability coverage designed to cover your risk if you drive someone else’s vehicle and while doing so, cause property damage or injure someone.
Getting an FR-44 with non-owner car insurance can be tricky. Not all insurers offer non-owner car insurance, and not all insurers file FR-44s. You can use our list of the best non-owner car insurance to start exploring your options.
On a positive note, FR-44 insurance for non-owners is generally a lot more affordable than standard car insurance policies for FR-44 drivers.
How much does FR-44 insurance cost?
There’s good news and bad news here.
The good news is that the actual FR-44 is very affordable. Generally, you’ll pay a flat fee of $15 to $25 for your insurer to file the FR-44 for you.
The bad news is that once you require an FR-44, you’ll be seen by all insurers as a high-risk driver. And that means more expensive car insurance.
The exact amount you’ll pay will depend on your overall driving history, the vehicle you drive, your annual mileage and more. But generally, if you need an FR-44, you can expect to pay twice as much (or more, even) than the average driver because of your history of serious driving violations. For example, we’ve found that drivers with a DUI will see a 79% rate increase, on average, once their insurer learns of the violation.
Ultimately, if you need an FR-44, expect to pay significantly more for your auto insurance than your neighbors.
[ For You: Auto Insurance Quotes, Explained ]
Does FR-44 insurance require more coverage?
Yes. In fact, that’s the whole point of an FR-44.
Here are the minimum coverages needed for an FR-44:
- FR-44 insurance Florida requirements: $100,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person, $300,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident and $50,000 of property damage liability coverage
- FR-44 insurance Virginia requirements: $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person, $100,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident and $40,000 of property damage liability coverage
These limits are steep. Compare them against what all Florida drivers need: just $10,000 of bodily injury coverage (called personal injury protection [PIP] in this case) and $10,000 of property damage liability coverage.
Even more staggeringly, you can compare these limits against SR-22 requirements in Virginia. Virginians who need an FR-44 are required to carry twice as much liability coverage as Virginians who need an SR-22.
FR-44 insurance vs. SR-22 insurance
FR-44s and SR-22s are the same in many key ways: they’re both certificates of financial responsibility. They’re both state-required after a serious driving offense. They both get filed by your insurer to prove that you’ve purchased enough liability coverage to meet the extra liability limits to which you’re now subject.
But there are some major differences, too. For starters, every state uses SR-22s, while you’ll only find FR-44 insurance in Florida and Virginia. More importantly, FR-44s come with much higher liability coverage requirements than SR-22s.
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- Raise Credit Score
What’s a good credit score? Those four seemingly innocuous words can send a chill down anyone’s spine. It’s a number that many Americans know by heart, a number they check regularly, and one that brings them more jubilation and misery than the one they see in their bank account every day.
But your credit score means nothing if you don’t have anything to compare it against. Is it good, is it bad; are you below average, above average; do you need to make drastic improvements or are you on the right course? These are the questions we’ll help you answer in this guide, as we look at what constitutes a good credit score and discover what the average is for your location and age.
The FICO Scoring System
The FICO score was created by Fair, Isaac, and Company. It gathers user data relating to payment histories, credit accounts, late payments, credit card balances and more, and uses this to calculate a score. This is then shown to lenders, from credit card issuers checking to see whether you’re capable of meeting your monthly payment, to landlords, and employers.
There have been many versions of the FICO Score as the creators seek to improve it and account for the latest credit trends. However, there are really only two versions that you need to concern yourself with as a borrower:
- Base FICO
- Industry-Specific FICO
The Base FICO is what many people mean when they refer to your credit score and it’s calculated based on your credit report, accounting for credit card information, loan data, and everything else. The second is tailored forwards specific industries and may be used by credit card companies, home loan providers, and auto loan companies.
In any case, both these scores relate to your credit report, which in turn is based on your credit history. If you focus on meeting payments, not opening too many accounts, keeping limits high and debt low, then you’ll improve both these scores simultaneously.
For more advice, check with our guide to improving your credit score fast.
Credit Score Range
There are two ranges to consider here. The first concerns the score and determines whether it is Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, or Exceptional, the second concerns how this score is calculated:
- Under 579 = Poor
- 580 to 669 = Fair
- 670 to 739 – Good
- 740 to 799 = Very Good
- 800 or More = Exceptional
- Payment History = 35% – Whether you meet monthly payments and stay up to date with bills.
- Credit Utilization = 30% – How much debt you have accumulated compared with how much credit you have available.
- Account Age = 15% – The age of your accounts, with older accounts generating a higher score.
- Variety of Credit = 10% – How varied is your credit? Do you have an auto loan and home loan mixed in with all those cards, or do you just have stacks of credit card debt?
- New Accounts = 10% – Hard inquiries and newly opened accounts.
Average Credit Score in the United States
Although the US debt problem is growing, passing $14 trillion in 2019 and amassing more credit card, personal loan, and student loan debt than ever before, the average credit score is improving. It’s a contradiction, but a happy one nonetheless and it suggests that consumers are becoming better informed and more capable.
In the final quarter of 2019, the average credit score was between 703 and 706, which is considered “Good” and is only 54 to 57 points from “Excellent”.
However, this doesn’t paint a complete picture. The average credit score changes depending on who you ask, how they’re getting their information and which scoring system they are using. The average credit scores also change from state to state and from age to age, both of which we’ll cover in this guide.
The Average Credit Score by State
Minnesota, the Gopher State, has the highest average score across the US, coming in at 733 based on 2019 figures. This is a very slight improvement from the previous year and when you look at additional data, it’s not much of a surprise.
Minnesota has the third-lowest poverty rate in the country and the 11th highest household income. One of the few surprises is that Minnesota is a relatively young state, and we know that individuals above 75 are the least likely to have large amounts of debt. However, if that statistic had any significance then the oldest state, Florida, wouldn’t have one of the worst average scores (694).
Washington is often said to be one of the richest states by average household income and this is reflected in an average credit score of 724. Other high average states include:
- North Dakota (727)
- South Dakota (727)
- Vermont (726)
- Wisconsin (725)
- New Hampshire (724)
- Hawaii (723)
- Nebraska (723)
- Iowa (720)
On the flip side, the states with the lowest average credit score include:
- Mississippi (667)
- Louisiana (677)
- Alabama (680)
- Texas (680)
- South Carolina (681)
- Georgia (682)
- Oklahoma (682)
- Arkansas (683)
- Nevada (686)
- New Mexico (686)
This information was provided by Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus tasked with recording America’s debt.
What are Good Credit Scores for People in Their Twenties and Thirties?
The average credit score for someone in their 20s is 662, which you’ll recognize as being just short of “Good”. It’s not a bad credit score but combined with the individual’s age and the fact their payment history, debt-to-income ratio, and credit utilization ratio are likely to be low, it can become a problem.
So, what’s the issue here? Well, many young adults are burdened with student loan debt before they have a chance to build good credit. This student loan debt can hit their credit report hard, and if they follow it with a credit card, an auto loan, and even a personal loan, their score begins to suffer.
It doesn’t get much better for individuals in their thirties, as the average credit score for this age range is 673. Generally speaking, debt is quite low for people below 35, coming in at just $67,400 when compared to $133,100 for those aged 35-44.
But this accounts for the fact that someone in their thirties and forties is more likely to have a home loan and an auto loan, increasing the average quite significantly.
What are Good Credit Scores for People Over 40?
The older you get, the better your credit score becomes. The average score increases to 684 for individuals in their forties, 706 for those in their 50s, and an impressive 749 for those aged 60+.
- Aged 20 to 29: 662
- Aged 30 to 39: 673
- Aged 40 to 49: 684
- Aged 50 to 59: 706
- Aged 60+: 749
That may not sound like enough to increase the average across the whole country, especially when you consider that the average doesn’t even climb above 700 until aged 50. However, the US has an aging population, as do many developed nations, and there are currently close to 70 million people aged 60 or more.
Americans in their forties and fifties have the highest debt, with those aged 45 to 54 suffering more than any other age bracket. However, they also have better credit scores than anyone younger than them, suggesting this debt is more likely to be tied-up in home loans and other secured debts as opposed to credit cards and student loans.
Why Does Debt Decrease with Age?
Debt decreases with age for several reasons. Firstly, individuals aged 60 or over have lived through easier times, when unemployment was lower, opportunities were greater, and wages were higher. They bought their homes sooner and were less reliant on credit.
The main reason is that they are retiring now, their mortgages have been cleared or are close to clearing, and they have the experience of age and all the perks that come with it (more likely to have collected an inheritance or receive a windfall; more likely to have accumulated savings or investments).
It’s worth noting, however, that three-quarters of citizens die with some form of debt, so this is an issue that hangs over most Americans, albeit one that lessens with age.
What’s Considered a Good Credit Score for Getting Credit Cards?
A good score will make it easier to acquire a new credit card and will also allow you to improve your credit limit with relative ease. Many credit card companies will only look at borrowers with scores of 700 or higher, others will drop to the mid-600s.
If you are sub-650, or even sub-700, spend some time trying to improve your credit score as it could make a massive difference with regards to the rates you’re offered. If that’s out of the question, look into acquiring a secured credit card, whereby you only spend the cash that you add to the card.
What’s Considered a Good Credit Score for Buying or Renting?
You should be able to buy a house with a credit score of 600 or above. However, anything less than 660 is likely to have a significant impact on the rate you’re offered, while anything above 700 will greatly improve your interest rate.
Landlords maybe a little more receptive to low scores, but it depends on the total monthly cost, the type of house you’re renting, and your payment history. In either case, you won’t need a perfect score to get a great deal and can generally get the best rates with anything in or above the Very Good range.
How Can a Good Credit Score Save you Money?
If you improve your credit score from Poor to Very good, you will see a massive difference. Lenders that would otherwise reject you will now offer you premium rates and many more doors will be opened for you. You’ll also receive more credit card offers in the mail and may receive an automatic credit limit boost on your existing cards.
The biggest changes occur when you improve your credit score from the lowest ranks and edge towards those middling and high scores. This far down the scale, even an increase of 30 points can make a massive difference in terms of what you’re accepted for. Many lenders use automated systems to quickly vet applicants. If you fall below the range they consider acceptable, you’ll be rejected, even if you’re making great improvements and have a solid payment history.
You’re unlikely to see much of a difference when you go from Very Good to Excellent, but it can still provide you with more opportunities and will ensure that no one turns you away.
How Can a Bad Credit Score Affect Your Life and Finances?
A bad credit score can take away your safety net and reduce your opportunities. If you have a good score and very little debt, you know that if things turn ugly, you’ll always have loans, credit cards, and installment plans to fall back on. You also know that once you can afford the down payment, you can buy a house or a brand-new car.
These options are simply not available to you if you have bad credit. It can feel like your life is on pause because you’re not able to do the things that your peers might be doing.
There is no easy or quick fix for this but if you focus on changing your spending habits and taking a few of our hints on board (we have countless articles on debt management and budgeting) then it will improve in time.
I Have a Good Credit Report, why is my Score Bad?
All the information used to calculate your score is listed on your credit report, but if you’re seeing things that don’t necessarily synchronize, such as a low score that is connected to a clean account, then it may be the result of one of the following:
- Low credit limits
- Limited payment history
- Existing accounts are new
Summary: The Average Credit Score
To summarize, the average credit score falls between 703 and 706, but it differs greatly depending on age and location. What doesn’t change, however, is how lenders judge what constitutes a Good or Bad credit score. This is what you need to focus on. Stop comparing yourself to your peers and concentrate on increasing your score until you get to a range that is comfortable, secure, and provides you with the opportunities you need.
Adam Lambert, American Idol alum and current lead singer for legendary rock band Queen, has long been looking to part ways with his Hollywood Hills digs.
The singer recently re-listed his three-bedroom, 3,049-square-foot home nestled above the Sunset Strip for $3.35 million, after a failed previous attempt at selling the contemporary home. The house was first listed for sale back in 2017 for $3.995 million, with different representation.
But it wasn’t until The Agency’s Emil Hartoonian and Nicholas Siegfried took charge of the listing that the right buyer came in sight and Adam Lambert’s house finally sold for $2.92 million.
Granted, that’s $430,000 less than Lambert was asking — and $75k shy of what he paid for the home six years ago — but it’s worth noting that the artist has long moved on (he bough a $6.5 million house in a neighboring area back in 2018). But that doesn’t mean we won’t take a moment to soak in his former home’s beauty, and bid it a proper farewell.
From the outside, Lambert’s house oozes rock star coolness. The architecture of the Los Angeles home is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s clean-cut lines and geometric details. Most of the living spaces inside offer views of the outdoor swimming pool, and light flows in through massive, floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the house.
The 1947-built house looks fresh and modern, but it also has a timeless vibe. The main level houses a light-filled, spacious living room, perfect for entertaining guests, and it features a sliding glass wall connecting it to the outdoor pool area.
The lower level also houses a fab designer kitchen featuring a massive kitchen island, marble finishes, high-end appliances, and an intimate breakfast setting. The kitchen also offers views of the poolside area.
Upstairs, the master bedroom offers stunning views of the city lights and the glamorous Hollywood Hills. The suite also incorporates a gorgeous walk-in closet, a master spa, as well as a private terrace overlooking the pool.
Adam Lambert’s former home also includes an additional suite that comes with its own private entrance. This room could be used as a private studio, a home office, a gym or even a home theater.
The private gated estate is also perfect for entertaining guests or just relaxing after a long day. The poolside lounge area offers complete privacy, right in the heart of Los Angeles, incorporating comfy couches and offering views of the house and the Hollywood Hills.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lambert won’t be moving far, as he paid $6.5 million back in 2018 for a bigger home just a mile away, in Hollywood Hills West.
Adam Lambert first rose to fame in 2009 after finishing as runner-up on the eighth season of American Idol. Since then, he has sold over 3 million albums and 5 million singles worldwide, with his second studio album, Trespassing, released in 2012, premiering at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 — making Lambert the first openly gay artist to top the charts. He followed that success with the release of his third album, The Original High, in 2015.
On top of his successful solo career, Lambert has been collaborating — and going on several worldwide tours — with legendary rock band Queen as lead vocalist for Queen + Adam Lambert. A recent Netflix documentary called The Show Must Go On: the Queen + Adam Lambert story chronicled how Adam Lambert took over from the legendary Freddie Mercury as the frontman for the rock group.
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An opulent, yet extremely elegant mansion built way back in 1913 by Arts and Crafts movement developer Herbert J. Hapgood is up for sale in New Jersey. Located at 195 Boulevard in the planned community of Mountain Lakes, the house sits comfortably on 2.3 acres of lush, landscaped land, and offers all the modern-day commodities, while still maintaining its original Colonial charm.
The five-bedroom, five-bathroom home is being marketed by Susanne Sylvester of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, with an asking price of $1,895,000.
Seamlessly blending the classic Colonial Style with contemporary features, having been renovated in 2016, the property is a legitimate architectural gem.
Back in 1910, local Dutch engineer Lewis Van Duyne enlisted the help of developer Herbert J. Hapgood to turn his vision for the rural woodland of Mountain Lakes into reality, by building a planned community of homes, today known as ‘the Lakers.’ The community took just 10 years to build, and to this day it maintains what is probably the highest concentration of Craftsman-style houses in the country. It’s also been added to the National Registry of Historic Places.
The mansion at 195 Boulevard in Morris County, N.J., still boasts that Arts and Crafts, Dutch Colonial vibe, even though it underwent a renovation in 2016. The house offers plenty of open, airy spaces, inundated with natural light, and a cozy, warm ambiance due to the neutral color palette and the use of exquisite, rich materials and fabrics like wood and velvet.
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The home incorporates five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, as well as a three-car garage and an additional 12 uncovered parking spaces. The rooms are spacious but warm, airy but cozy, impeccably decorated and equipped with all the necessary modern amenities.
The living space is exquisite; there is a massive living room, a luxurious dining room, an elegant lounging area with an old-school, wooden bar and plenty of space for entertaining guests, as well as a laundry room, utilities room, mud room, sun room, pantry and storage room.
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There’s also a master bedroom, beautifully crafted with a walk-in closet, abundant natural light and a working fireplace. In fact, you’ll find fireplaces and old-school ceiling fans throughout the house, in most of the rooms and common areas. The house is equipped with all the modern-day sensors and security systems, as well.
The outdoor space that surrounds this luxurious estate is even more impressive, the house being completely secluded and protected by tall, luscious trees and vegetation. There’s a giant pool complete with enough poolside lounging space to entertain friends and family.
Next to the fabulous pool, there’s also a 1,000-square-foot cedar pool house addition that features soaring cathedral ceilings, window walls, a full bath, and a gourmet granite grillmaster’s kitchen.
If you’re interested and want to see more of this fab home for sale, check out this video to get a taste of what it might actually be like to live there.
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Mumbai: Cheaper home loans have helped buyers stay in the housing market despite a drop in general consumer confidence in a contracting economy. Developers believe that continued interest from banks in offering lower-cost mortgages through central bank interventions have helped boost real estate sales.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has lowered its repo rate by 115 basis points (bps) since last March in a bid to revive the flow of credit.
Banks have also cut lending rates in tandem with the central bank’s signalling, with the highest pass-through offered to fresh loans. On Monday, State Bank of India reduced its interest rate on home loans up to ₹75 lakh to a record low of 6.70%. That apart, Kotak Mahindra Bank also reduced its home loan rate to 6.65% on Monday.
Data from RBI showed that total outstanding home loans from the banking sector stood at ₹14.18 trillion as on 29 January. Mortgage growth has seen a rebound in the past few months, after a dull period till August 2020. In fact, between March-end and August 2020, a period that coincided with the RBI’s six-month moratorium on repayments, mortgage loan growth was flat at 0.78%. Since then, it has picked up to 5.04% (between August-end and January-end). On a year-to-date basis, bank home loans have grown 5.86%.
Anarock Property Consultants said rising home affordability is linked to a housing market recovery that started in the December quarter. Amid government-led incentives like lower stamp duties in Maharashtra and Karnataka and large discounts from developers, the top seven cities saw robust sales of 50,900 units in the quarter, rebounding to almost 86% of the corresponding period in 2019, when sales stood at 59,160 units. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune drove sales with both making up 53% of the total share.
“Lower interest rates are definitely a factor in boosting demand; I don’t think we have seen such low interest rates in the last 15-20 years,” said Farshid Cooper, MD, Spenta Corporation, a south Mumbai-based developer. “Buyers are more willing to borrow to fund homes and are choosing to commit free capital to other investments.”
Lenders have traditionally preferred secured assets over unsecured ones and home loans are one of the most sought-after businesses. With an immovable asset like a house as collateral, banks and non-banks have been quite bullish on mortgages. Bankers said post-pandemic, there has been a renewed demand for buying homes, leading to higher sanctions and disbursals of home loans.
SBI and ICICI Bank recently said they crossed major milestones in home loan portfolios. While SBI said last month that it reached ₹5 trillion in home loans, ICICI Bank crossed the ₹2-trillion mark in November 2020.
Interestingly, SBI is optimistic of doubling its portfolio in the next five years and the bank is hopeful that the trend of younger people buying houses will aid its cause. For SBI, 42% of its home loan customers are 40 years or younger, Dinesh Khara, chairman, SBI, said last month.
Who doesn’t want to be the hip kid on the block—living in the house with the edgy metal details, stone counters, and distressed everything that screams, “I’m too cool for school”?
But industrial decor looks can quickly veer off the rails; pulling off this design in the home can be tough. Too much steel can make your home feel like the International Space Station, while an overly dark palette just might give you a case of seasonal affective disorder. SAD!
Let there be light—and at least one material that’s not gritty brick! Just make sure not to let these industrial decor disasters cross your threshold.
1. Concrete everything
OK, we’ll give you the concrete countertop or a small sink in the half-bath. But when it comes to pulling your espresso from a cinder block, we have to draw the line.
Nothing about this piece says “cozy cup of joe” or “morning me time.” If anything, it’ll give you nightmares you just can’t shake.
2. Bizarre art
Photo by Shadow Creek Homes
We get it—black, charcoal gray, and silver are rough and tough colors that match the industrial aesthetic. But without a pop of color (floor tile, hand towels), your home risks feeling like a dungeon—or a dirty dive bar.
4. Gear accessories
Must we mount old iron faucet handles, railroad ties, and every other rusty bit found on the side of the road? Castoff gears in particular are sharp and scary-looking, and are bound to catch the head of any little tot who might zoom past.
5. Pipes for days
Sure, it’s kind of neat if your loft space has actual old pipes twisting and turning overhead, but bringing this material in as accents and hardware is a nonstarter for us. There’s nothing wrong with standard-issue towel racks from a big-box store, people.
6. Uncomfortable bar stools
Your kid will dig spinning these around and around—and then launching himself across the room onto the dog—but no one else will voluntarily sit on this perch. For the love of God, find a set of stools with a small back or some semblance of a cushion, lest you and your guests end up black and blue.
7. Rusty lockers
Do you really want to relive your tween years every day with metal lockers made into home storage? Industrial chic touches on vintage finds, especially utilitarian pieces like foot lockers and steamer trunks, but flashbacks to those angsty days isn’t fair. Haul this piece away in favor of a basic cabinet from Ikea.
8. Metal cages
The abundant use of metal is a key characteristic of industrial design, but a wire-grill partition doesn’t evoke a factory so much as it does a penitentiary. Yup—living in a bunch of cages will pretty much feel like jail if you go the route shown above. And when your kid realizes how much fun it is to drag a spoon across this metal mesh, you’ll be holding your head in pain.
9. Industrial spotlights
Whoa—get us some shades! Literally, you’ll be wearing your Ray-Bans just to get out of bed with this type of bedside lamp. Ditto for klieg lights in the home and other “schoolhouse” designs. Frankly, they’re overly bright and painful. Save your vision, and find a variety of lighting, both task and and ambient, to set a mood—unless you’re planning to hold interrogations after hours.
Laminated planks offer the look of wood or stone, but they provide greater durability and convenience. Looking to make a few renovations this winter? You can install flooring using these simple steps.
1. Allow flooring to acclimate to the room. It should sit for at least 48 hours prior to installation in order to contract or expand in relation to room’s temperature.
2. Remove existing base molding and flooring. Save molding to reinstall at the end of the project.
3. Install foam underlayment, ensuring the surface is clear of staples and nails from old flooring.
4. Plan your layout.
5. Measure and cut your first piece.
6. Install the first row with the tongue side facing the wall, cutting the tongue edge off of these planks.
7. Connect planks to each other using the tongue and groove.
8. Allow for expansion; leave a one-quarter-inch gap between the planks and the wall.
9. Cut the last plank to length.
10. Install additional rows, allowing at least 12 inches between the seams of adjoining rows.
11. Install the last row.
12. Cut around door casings using a jamb saw.
13. Reinstall base moldings. Install shoe moldings over expansion joints, caulking around the perimeter before installing if in a bathroom. Use transition strips to connect the laminate floor to adjoining surfaces, such as carpet.
Voila! Enjoy your new floor (and the fact that you saved money by doing it yourself)
Home Decor – Take a look at a five-bedroom Dallas home with three spaces for work or studying
This Dallas house might solve the modern-day problem of living, playing, working and learning in one location. It has a lot of space and plenty of privacy in each room.
While open floor plans have been popular in the last few years, the pandemic has changed buyers’ desires, said listing agent Marti Voorheis of Dave Perry-Miller. Now, people want to have their own space while our homes act as the command centers for our careers, education and so on.
She said the home has several rooms that could be “whatever a buyer needs them to be.”
The home at 5634 Caruth Blvd. offers just that. Within its 6,410 square feet, you’ll find five bedrooms, five bathrooms and two half-bathrooms. It also has two living spaces on each level and two laundry rooms. There are three areas great for working from home, with one in the closet beneath the stairs.
The home is on the market for $2,990,000.
“It has basically the best of what everyone is looking for today in Dallas,” Voorheis said.
LRO Residential built the home in 2015, and the seller has since outfitted the home with luxury add-ons like designer wallpaper, lighting and electric shades on every one of the windows. The seller also finished out the attic, which provides additional living space on the second floor.
The primary suite and a guest suite sit on the first floor of the home, and the remaining three bedrooms are on the second floor. All have en suite bathrooms.
On the first floor, the kitchen flows into a living room and dining area. There is a second living room on the first floor, along with an office and another dining area.
The two living spaces on the second floor include the finished-out attic and another living space with its own wet bar. Throughout the home, bright, light and airy elements are on display, from the home’s abundant natural light to the minimalist color palette that could be flexible for future buyers’ customization.
Outside, there is patio living space, a pool with a spa and additional green space. The home also features a 3-car garage.
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Home Decor – Take a look at a five-bedroom Dallas home with three spaces for work or studying