Renters: 5 Must-Do Tasks to Handle Before You Move

With these key tasks on your to-do list, your move can be a light lift.

When Barry Blanton moved with his wife from Eugene, OR into a rented unit in a high-rise residential tower in downtown Seattle, he thought he had his bases covered.

He had measured the size of his new living room, and knew that his furniture would fit perfectly. Once the movers got his couch through the new entryway, however, they faced an insurmountable problem: The couch was too big to maneuver past two curves in the hallway.

“It sat in the hallway for a week before my wife rented a van to move it,” says Blanton. “We had to crawl over it to get into the bathroom.”

The fact that Blanton is the principal at Seattle-based property management and development consulting firm Blanton Turner — and has worked in the industry for most of his adult life — only underscores how easy it is for renters to make mistakes when moving.

Measure — then measure again

Despite best planning efforts, such logistical issues are surprisingly common when people are moving familiar belongings into an unfamiliar space, says Blanton.

Knowing the dimensions of a room and the things being moved into it isn’t enough. “Think about the bottlenecks,” Blanton advises. “Not just where something’s going to go, but how it’s going to get there.”

He recalls a situation in which a young man moving into an apartment was able to get his loaded moving truck into a building’s garage, but found that once all his furniture was unloaded, the now-lighter truck was too tall to get back out without hitting overhead ductwork and sprinkler heads (more on this later).

The man and his friends spent hours filling the truck with weights from the property’s exercise room just to lower it enough to safely exit.

Make reservations

When moving into any multi-story building — especially one in a crowded downtown neighborhood — it’s important to make arrangements ahead of time with the building’s management team. More than likely, you’ll need to reserve the elevator.

“This isn’t something you tell them that morning,” warns Blanton. “If you’re moving on a Saturday at the end of the month, there could be four or five other people moving that day.” (Don’t forget to schedule use of the elevator at the building you’re moving from, as well.)

And if you’re bringing a moving pod or parking a moving truck on the street, make sure you have the proper permits. Most multi-family properties will be able to help with this, as will moving companies. “Moving companies do earn their money, especially in an urban environment,” says Blanton.

Document your environment

In the age of ubiquitous technology, it’s easier than ever to take photos of any pre-existing damage in your rental.

Before you get settled, pull out your phone and snap pictures of any damage such as scuffed floors, chipped countertops or bent window blinds — then send the photos to yourself so they’re date-stamped.

It’s easier to refer to the photos at move-out than argue with the building manager about who cracked the Formica and when.

Prepare to clean

When it’s time to move, few renters look forward to the deep cleaning that’s required upon vacating a unit. If you plan to use a cleaning service, Blanton suggest hiring the same company that your building uses — that way there won’t be a gap in expectations.

“There’s nothing worse than spending the entire day cleaning your apartment, then having someone come in and point out all the things you missed,” notes Blanton.

If you want to save money and do it yourself, keep in mind some of the things renters often forget to clean: window tracks, underneath the stovetop burner pans, beneath the crisper drawers in the fridge, the rim around the dishwasher door, and behind the toilet.

Stay insured

Most renters know that protecting their property with renters insurance is important, but many forget to update their policy when they move to a new residence.

Renters insurance doesn’t just protect your belongings, it also covers damage you may inadvertently do to the building itself.

Remember that overhead sprinkler mentioned earlier? Accidentally breaking that off with a moving truck could cause flooding — and a great deal of damage. Depending on the building’s insurance policy — and temperament of the manager — you could be on the hook for the building’s insurance deductible, if not more.

Contact your insurance company before you move. It’s an easy call to make, and it could help you avoid costly penalties later.

Get more advice about renting in our Renters Guide.

Related:

Source: zillow.com

Your Essential Moving Checklist

Map out everything you need to do, week by week, until the big day.

When it comes to moving, proper organization is the defining difference between ultimate success and complete failure.

Even if you’re already an excellent organizer, you might still feel overwhelmed by the number of relocation-related tasks you have to complete before moving day — unless you find a way to bring order to the chaos.

Here’s a moving timeline that will do the trick. It will help you organize your time, prioritize your tasks, track your progress, and reduce moving stress. What’s more, you’ll never forget anything important, because your week-by-week moving checklist will remind you of what to do every single day until moving day.

Eight weeks before moving day

Organizing a safe, efficient, and trouble-free relocation requires about two months of careful planning and hard work. So, start your moving preparations about eight weeks before the big day:

  • Start looking for an appropriate new home in your future area (you may have to start sooner if you’re moving to a particularly hot real estate market).
  • Inventory your possessions and decide what you’re going to take to your new home.
  • Research your moving options and decide if you’re going to move on your own or use professional moving services.

Six weeks before moving day

  • Contact a few trustworthy movers and request an in-house estimation of your relocation costs. If you’ve decided on a DIY move, contact several truck rental companies and compare their rates and conditions.
  • Review your finances and designate your moving budget.
  • Notify all the relevant people and institutions of your move: your landlord (if you’re a renter), employer, family physician, children’s school (if applicable), and bank, for starters.
  • Start looking for a trustworthy health provider and a good school for your kids in your new city.
  • Schedule your move and book your chosen moving company (or book a rental truck of appropriate size for the day of your move).

Four weeks before moving day

  • Obtain your and your family’s medical records and your children’s school records.
  • Take your pet to the vet for a complete checkup and get all the necessary papers: vaccination records, health certificates, etc.
  • Get rid of unwanted items. Organize a moving sale, sell items online, donate them to charity, or give them away to relatives and friends.
  • Obtain packing supplies and start packing the items you won’t need before moving day. Make sure you don’t pack any nonallowable items.
  • Cancel subscriptions to delivery services and memberships to clubs and organizations.

Two weeks before moving day

  • If you’re driving to your new home, have your car serviced to make sure your road trip will go as smoothly as possible. If you’re flying to your new city, book your ticket and find a trustworthy auto transporter to ship your car.
  • Change your address with the United States Postal Service.
  • Transfer utilities — arrange for services in your old home to be disconnected the day after your move. Contact service providers in your new city to have utilities running in your new home on move-in day.
  • Reserve a parking place for the moving truck (directly in front of the entrance to your home) and an elevator for the time of your move (if applicable).

One week before moving day

  • Contact your moving company and confirm that everything is going according to plan.
  • Say your goodbyes — organize a farewell party, spend some quality time with your closest friends, visit your favorite places in town, etc.
  • Check on your packing progress. Most of your belongings should be packed up and labeled by this point.
  • Prepare an “open first” box that contains all the essentials you’re going to need as soon as you arrive in your new home.
  • Hire a sitter to look after your children and/or pets on moving day (if necessary).
  • Check if you’ve paid all the bills, picked up your clothes from the dry cleaners, returned library books and borrowed items, etc.

Two days before moving day

  • Finish packing — leave out only a few items you can’t do without during the last couple of days in your old home, and the cleaning supplies you’re going to need to clean the place before leaving it for the last time.
  • Defrost and clean your fridge and get all your household appliances ready to move — empty them, clean them, and make sure they’re fully dry and safely wrapped for transportation.
  • Disassemble large furniture pieces and pack them for shipment.
  • Make sure you have all valuables and important documents with you.

Moving day

  • Have a good night’s rest and get up early in the morning to have enough time for last-minute moving tasks.
  • Double-check your home for forgotten items.
  • Meet your hired movers and provide them with all the information they need to perform a quick and efficient move.
  • Keep kids and pets away from the hectic moving procedures.
  • Carefully read all the paperwork you need to sign.
  • Prepare some refreshments for your movers and have some cash ready to tip them if you’re satisfied with their work.
  • Give the truck driver your exact new address and your phone number.
  • Clean your old home, lock it safely, and bid it farewell. The time has come to set foot on the road to your new life!

Even though most moving tasks are common for all residential moves, you can modify them to meet your personal needs and requirements. Certain aspects of your move will be unique and will require a different approach, so personalize this moving timeline checklist and make it work perfectly for you.

Related:

Source: zillow.com

The Rise of the Boomerang Generation + How to Manage Finances in a Multi-Generational Household

For the last several decades, parents have been welcoming their adult children home after moving out for college. It’s become an accepted way for young adults to save up and start their lives off with a little less financial burden, and we’re currently seeing that trend rise as more young adults join the boomerang generation.

The boomerang generation is a generation of young adults who return to live with their parents. This group has continued to grow over the last decade, but the trend isn’t totally unique to the current generation of recent grads. In 1985, 54 percent of 18–24-year-olds and 11 percent of 25–34-year-olds lived with their parents. While the rate of 18–24-year-olds living with their parents has stayed relatively consistent, the U.S. has seen a steady rise in 25–34-year-olds living with their parents, reaching 17 percent in 2019.

The rise of the boomerang generation really began following the 2008 great recession, with 13 percent of 25–34 year-olds living at home in 2010 — a new high according to the census data available beginning in 1960. Since 2011, this number has grown to 17 percent of 25–34 year-olds looking to save money at home. This can be an awkward situation for families to maneuver, but with a proper budget and honest financial conversations, it can be a positive move for everyone. 

Learn more about the boomerang generation and how to manage your household with adult children, or check out our infographic for fast facts and tips to improve job prospects after graduation.

Why Are Young Adults Moving Back Home?

Rising unemployment and record-high student loan debt are leaving many recent graduates without resources to cover the cost of living in major metropolitan areas. Some young adults join the over 3 million U.S. households living with roommates, which has risen in popularity by 19 percent since 2007, while others choose to save money by moving back in with their parents, which has grown in popularity by 46 percent since 2009.

Poor Job Prospects

The national unemployment rate in April 2020 reached 14.4 percent, up 3.3 percent from the previous year, so recent grads are entering a tough job market. Entry-level salary projections have dropped 9 percent to $54,585 as competition for these positions rises. Additionally, 15 percent of employers plan to decrease their hiring of recent grads, and nearly five percent of college seniors who had received a job offer had their offers revoked following the COVID-19 crisis. Meanwhile, 22 percent of students and graduates looking to gain experience through an internship had their offers revoked.

boomerang generation and unemployment

Cost of Living Increase

The cost of living and inflation have increased over the last 20 years, meaning the buying power of a dollar isn’t what it used to be. The average cost of a new home in 1999 was $194,800. Considering inflation, that cost should be $297,705 in 2020, but that total is actually $402,400 — indicating a 35 percent increase in the cost of living. 

The cost of living in popular cities for recent grads contributes to the boomerang generation

Where Does the Boomerang Generation Live?

Of the 13 most populous metropolitan areas, Riverside and Los Angeles, California have the highest representation of the boomerang generation, with 25 percent and 24 percent of homeowners reporting that their adult offspring live in their household. New York City reports the highest total number of households housing adult children at 1,438, or 19.3 percent of, New York City households.

Of the top 13 metro areas, Seattle has the lowest representation of adults living at home at 13 percent, which is also the lowest representation across 2017 city housing data — tying Oklahoma City and Las Vegas. 

Cities with the highest and lowest representation fo the boomerang generation

1. Riverside, CA

Riverside has the lowest number of households housing adult children of the top five cities but just beats out Los Angeles as the most representative city. The average age of Riverside residents is 30 years old, under the California average of 36. Riverside’s median rent is $1,352, which is 66 percent of the estimated individual income at $24,733 and double the recommended spending for housing. 

2. Los Angeles, CA

The city of angels is a top destination for recent graduates, but the cost of living deters many would-be movers at an index of 145.8 — nearly 50 percent higher than the U.S. average of 100. The estimated per capita income in L.A. is significantly higher than what Riverside offers at $33,496, while the median gross rent is comparable at $1,397. The pay may be the highest of the three cities, but the job market is highly competitive with an unemployment rate of 18.5 percent. 

3. Houston, TX

Houston offers the best deal on rent of the three cities, with a median cost of $986. Meanwhile, the average income is still higher than Riverside’s at $31,175 and the overall cost of living is just below the U.S. average at an index of 93.5. Still, Houston’s poverty rate is striking with 20.6 percent of residents living below the poverty line. 

While metropolitan areas can offer the highest salaries, they’re also significantly more competitive and it’s not common to make six-figures as a recent graduate. So the boomerang generation is choosing to skip roommates and live with their parents. It’s a comfortable and supportive environment that can help young adults save a significant amount of money, and begin paying their student loans.

How to Handle Finances in a Multi-Generational Household

There’s no doubt welcoming grown children back home can be difficult. Both the parent and child’s needs within the relationship and socially have changed, and the relationship has grown significantly. To help you navigate this potentially awkward situation and prevent conflicts, you need to work together to establish boundaries and expectations.

Discuss Rent and Housing Responsibilities

Financial conversations may be the toughest, but it’s important that everyone knows the plan from the beginning. If your child is working, then it’s totally fair to ask them to help contribute to rent. If you don’t expect financial contributions, then consider chores and other household responsibilities to reduce your workload and help your child feel like this is their home, too. 

It’s important to keep in mind that over 80 percent of young adults live with their parents to save money, and that’s likely the case in your situation. Calculate how much it will cost for you to welcome your child back home and have a discussion with them about what they feel comfortable paying to find an agreeable amount. This is a great time to discuss financial responsibility and make sure that they’re paying down their student debt and saving appropriately. 

Determine Boundaries

You probably both enter this housing arrangement expecting it to be temporary, but you likely have different ideas of what temporary is. Make sure there is a timeline for your child’s stay and figure out a goal or date for when it’s time to say goodbye. For many, this is a savings goal, a new job opportunity, or just knowing they can afford to move out

Otherwise, it’s important to find a balance between “your house, your rules” and recognizing that your child is an adult and paying rent. You may let them know it’s disruptive to come home late on the weekdays, but you can agree together that weekends are more flexible.

Set Financial Goals

While you can’t control your adult child’s spending, you can set expectations that they won’t be taking on new debt or planning lavish vacations while living at home. The intention is for them to start their life on the right track, and ultimately you’re being generous by letting them stay at home to save when their room could be your new at-home gym. Take time to help them learn more about how to set an accurate budget so they can manage their finances when they do leave the nest.

There’s no doubt prospects for recent graduates are tough and may get tougher. With student debt reaching all-time highs, inflation, and rising unemployment rates, moving out is not an easy option for many young adults. The boomerang generation is embracing the comforts of home to plan for their financial futures and wait out the College Pulse | Statista | Move | City Data | Investopedia | Bureau of Labor and Statistics | NACE | ICIMS | Census Housing Data | Federal Reserve | New York Federal Reserve | Apartment List

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Source: mint.intuit.com

3 Things No One Tells You About Buying a House

This past November, my boyfriend and I were lucky enough to buy our first home — even with student loans and an ongoing pandemic. 

Not even COVID-19 could dull the thrill of buying a home, though it did make it an incredibly sterile process (pun intended). Even though I write about mortgages and buying a home for a living, the process still came with many learnings. Now, this might seem obvious for seasoned home buyers, but for my first-time home buyers, this one’s for you. 

1. Be prepared to feel financial anxiety

Millennials grow up thinking that they’ll never be able to afford anything — or at least I did. Because of that, I thought my days of buying a house were years away. But after a frank conversation about just how much we were paying in rent, we realized that buying a house was a much better investment of our money.

[ Read: How Do You Know You’re Ready to Buy Your First Home? ]

That said, your mortgage isn’t the only number that you need to think about when you’re deciding to buy. Don’t forget about things like closing costs or your down payment.

So, when the full-blown “no way I can afford this” panic set in, we sat down and evaluated our finances — and not just how much money we each had in the bank. We took into account our bills, student loan payments and potential monthly mortgage payments in a simple excel spreadsheet. Seeing it all laid out in front of us made things doable. 

It’s important to compare your financial obligations to how much you make and consider how much you could afford if you lost your job. 

2. With purchasing power, comes great responsibility

I chose where I went to college and what I do for a living, but I’ve never felt more in control of things in my life. Which admittedly was pretty terrifying because I had no idea what I was doing.

Our realtor was helpful, but when it came down to it, he could only suggest things. Ultimately every decision landed on us. Not all choices were complicated  — deciding on which house to pick was easy enough. After we shopped around for rates and compared who was going to give us the best terms, we chose our lender. But everything after putting an offer in was where things got tricky. 

[ Read: Best Mortgage Rates for February 2021 ]

From what inspections you want to which lawyer you want to use, you have to decide, even when you have no idea if you made the right choice. 

You also have to decide how much house you should buy, not just how much you can “afford.” I can’t explain the flurry of utter shock when we were pre-approved for a $600,000 mortgage. There was no chance we could actually afford that price. Even if a pre-approval doesn’t guarantee a mortgage, don’t let a high number like that lead you to take on more than your finances truly allow. 

3. The lessons will never end

There is no such thing as perfection when it comes to purchasing a home. There will be repairs to be made, and budgets to reevaluate. But with an open mindset, the inconveniences can become learnings. Here are my top three.

Everyone may know the word appraisal, but not what it really means

I happened to be buying a home at the same time as a friend, and it was interesting to see the noticeable differences between our journeys. They ran into trouble with their appraisal, which at the time I thought was a very obvious process. However, their experience makes me realize that knowing something topically doesn’t mean you understand the implications. 

A home appraisal is required and will be coordinated by your lender. But if the offer accepted by the seller was for $300,000 and the appraisal values the home at only $290,000, your lender is only going to give you what the home is worth.

If you don’t have an extra $10,000 lying around to cover that gap, you’ll have to check if the seller will come down. Thankfully it all worked out for my friend, however, had it not, they would have lost money when they would have been forced to walk. 

In this article

Really think about what to spend money on

Given that the coronavirus is still very much around, we thought it best to forgo movers or painters to keep our bubble as small as possible. Not to mention the added benefit of saving a significant amount of money. 

[ Read: 7 Crucial Steps to Buying a Home in 2021 ]

If I could go back, I would pay for one, if not both. It was a ton of added stress and time that could’ve been saved. That said, the money saved cannot be ignored. The thing about buying a house is that you need a million things right from the start, especially if you’re moving out from an apartment, as I did. 

Most people likely cannot afford to pay painters, movers and all the things you need right from the start at the same time. Think about what your priorities are. For me, it was painting. If you’re fine with the walls’ colors, save that expense for later and focus on movers or the work your house needs. 

COVID-19 made for a memorable experience

In response to the pandemic, lenders have added extra employment verification steps to the process. If you lose your job, you may have to stop the process and reapply later. Yet, the pandemic’s reach went beyond just the underwriting process. 

If I saw my realtor on the street post-pandemic, I would not recognize him. We wore masks for the entire process, and even the official closing was done outside in the cold, with two pairs of sterile gloves and masks. It was not an exciting event like many people describe. The most exciting part of closing was getting to keep the pen at the end. 

We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Image credit: Bibadash / Shutterstock

Source: thesimpledollar.com

Using a Moving Company: FAQs We’ve Got You Covered On

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Moving to a new home is an exciting yet stressful endeavor. A lot of different factors go into a move, and it can be difficult to keep everything straight. A major question that we find comes up a lot: should I use a moving company? And with that question, many other questions can come up. How much will it cost? Do they pack my things? The list goes on. We’ve broken things down for you below, and have tackled some major questions that could come up when deciding to use a moving company. The key to a stress-free move is being prepared, and we are here to help you with that. 

How much should you tip the movers?

We know, paying for a moving company is expensive enough as it is, and to throw a tip on top of it all may feel like you’re breaking the bank. That being said, your movers are working very hard to make sure your items get from point A to point B safely, so tips are much appreciated. The amount you should tip is up to you based on your experience, the service you received, and the complexity of your move. A good rule of thumb to follow is to tip anywhere between 5-10% of the total cost, which will then be split amongst the moving team. If you are feeling tight on money, providing water, snacks, or meals for your movers is another great way to show your gratitude during the move.

Do movers cost more on weekends?

Peak times for moving include the weekends, summer, holidays, and both the first and last few days of the month. Because of the high demand during these times, you can expect the rates to be higher. Regardless of the time of year, moving during the week will always be the more affordable option. While this isn’t always the most convenient option for everyone, scheduling a mid-week move will definitely save you some cash.

When is the best time to move?

May through September, the beginning and end of the month, and weekends are the most popular times people choose to move. If you can be flexible with your move, choosing any off times will not only be cost-effective, but your movers will be considerably less busy and therefore, more attentive. Choosing the best date and time for your move will make things a lot easier and a lot less stressful when the day finally comes.

Is it worth having movers pack my things?

This really depends. Do you have a lot of large or hard to move items or a lot of breakable items? Do you have a lot of friends or family help you pack? If you are confident that you can handle the packing on your own, or have plenty of people to help you with it, it may not be worth having the extra money to have the movers pack your things. That being said, if you can afford the splurge, we do think it is worth it. There are a lot of factors that go into moving, and a million things to worry about on moving day. Having someone else handle the packing for you is a huge stress relief, and well worth it in our opinion.

How do I make my move cost less?

In our opinion, planning your move as far in advance as you can be the best way to cut down on costs. As we just mentioned, choosing your move date wisely will be a huge help in terms of cost savings. October through March are your best bet for lower costs. Opting out of having your moving crew pack everything up for you is another great way to cut costs as well. Grab a few friends and pack up your place together rather than paying someone else to do it for you. Another tip: don’t pay for boxes. While one box seems cheap, it adds up when you have a whole home to move out of. We like to head to our local liquor store to load up on boxes when we are getting ready for a move.

Do I need insurance while my belongings are being moved? 

Insurance is a great thing to consider having for your belongings while they are being moved, especially if you are moving far. Established moving companies will typically offer liability insurance for an additional fee, and there are typically different levels to choose from. Another important thing to note: if you have homeowner’s insurance, it may cover any damage to your belongings in the event that something happens. While paying for insurance may feel like an additional unnecessary cost, it is worth it for the peace of mind.

What if they charge me more than the quote?

We’ve said it already, and we will say it again. Moving can get very pricey. Make sure you are paying attention each step of the way when utilizing a moving company. If moving companies offer you quotes, make sure they are firm. On top of that, make sure you are asking the right questions when you are examining the costs behind your moving company. Are there any additional fees that may be added on to this quote? What about cancellation fees? How much more will it cost if things take longer than expected? These are all important things to know and address at the beginning to avoid being charged more than you are expecting.

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

MBS RECAP: Surprisingly Swift Selling in The Bond Market; What’s Next?

This week has been one of the most surprising selling sprees in bonds in the post-covid era.  Just when you think we’ve surely seen enough selling to bring buyers in, it’s right back to new long-term high yields and significantly lower MBS prices.  That bounce is coming, to be sure, but it’s a risky proposition to bet on it.  Moreover, when it happens, it changes nothing about the broader trend toward higher yields that’s been intact for more than 6 months.  This week just happens to offer a more abrupt adjustment to the pace of that trend.

Econ Data / Events

  • Fed MBS Buying 10am, 1130am, 1pm

  • Markit PMI Composite 58.8 vs 58.7 prev

  • Existing Home Sales 6.69m vs 6.61m f’cast, 6.65m prev

Market Movement Recap

08:28 AM

Treasuries opened modestly stronger in Asia, but 10yr yields failed at 1.28% again.  Steady-to-stronger data in Europe pushed yields higher heading into the domestic session.  10yr is up 1.4bps at 1.311% and 2.0 UMBS are down nearly an eighth.

10:25 AM

After an underwhelming attempt at a friendly bounce after 9:30am, bonds are on the back foot again and MBS are quickly down to new lows (and 10yr up to new highs of 1.336+).  There are no new market movers in play in terms of data or headlines (but big trades hit TSY futures at 10:08am and added to the weakness).

12:23 PM

1.338 ceiling held up against multiple breakout attempts but finally gave way a short while ago.  Yields are doing what yields do after a technical breakout (moving higher).  Currently over 1.35%.  MBS aren’t happy about it.  2.0 coupons are down 3/8ths and the increasingly relevant 2.5 coupons are down almost a quarter point.

02:51 PM

More minutes on the clock, more bond selling.  Highest highs of the day shortly after the last update with 10yr hitting 1.36+.  UMBS 2.0 coupons were as low as 101-16 (101.5) briefly.  Both have bounced modestly since then, but the damage is done as far as rate sheets and reprice potential are concerned.


MBS Pricing Snapshot

Pricing shown below is delayed, please note the timestamp at the bottom. Real time pricing is available via MBS Live.

MBS

UMBS 2.0

101-20 : -0-11

Treasuries

10 YR

1.3480 : +0.0610

Pricing as of 2/19/21 3:20PMEST

Today’s Reprice Alerts and Updates

1:18PM  :  ALERT ISSUED: If You Haven’t Seen a Reprice Yet, You Probably Will

12:10PM  :  ALERT ISSUED: Negative Reprice Risk Increasing

10:17AM  :  ALERT ISSUED: Negative Reprices Already A Possibility

8:35AM  :  Slightly Weaker After Another Failure at 1.28% 10yr Floor


MBS Live Chat Highlights

David Gaffin  :  “For what its worth it is doing serious damage to MY agenda”

Matt Graham  :  “but if they see rates doing damage to their agenda, then things could easily change”

Matt Graham  :  “Good question, but they don’t seem too concerned about rising rates for now. Moreover, they were exceptionally cool on the idea of YCC based on comments over the past few months”

David Gaffin  :  “MG- may have missed this discussion, but will the rapid rise in rates add ammunition for the Fed to use yield curve control in buying?”


Economic Calendar

Time Event Period Actual Forecast Prior
Friday, Feb 19
9:45 PMI-Manufacturing (Markit) * Feb 58.5 58.5 59.2
10:00 Exist. home sales % chg (%)* Jan +0.6 -1.5 0.7
10:00 Existing home sales (ml)* Jan 6.69 6.61 6.76

Source: mortgagenewsdaily.com

14 Business Networking Tips & Tricks to Build Great Work Relationships

“It’s all about who you know” — you’ve heard this expression before but does it really matter who you know in the professional world? The short answer is yes. Although the qualifications and experience you have in your field are essential when it comes to your career path, they aren’t always the catalysts that open doors and spark new opportunities. What can help you is networking.

The industry contacts you have allow you to cast a wider net when looking for a new job, business partner, or even a mentor. When you have a good relationship with fellow professionals, they can extend their networks to you, substantially expanding your reach.

But networking can be tricky. It requires tact, good social etiquette, and excellent communication skills. Here are some networking tips, tricks, and best practices to help you get the most out of your professional circles.

Networking Tips to Help You Build Great Relationships

Networking can seem simple enough on the surface. After all, you just need to show up at a networking event and shake as many hands as possible, right? Not exactly. Everything from your business cards to your attire, your body language, and your goals will impact how successful your networking has been once the event is over.

Here are some of the best tips and tricks you can use to ensure that your business networking efforts are fruitful.

1. Dress Appropriately

Whether a networking event takes place online or in person, you still need to dress to impress. That doesn’t always mean business formal though. Some networking events, like mastermind groups or casual meetups, don’t call for any specific attire at all.

Base what you choose to wear on the type of event that you plan to attend. When in doubt, opt for a business casual outfit.

2. Bring Great Business Cards

It goes without saying that for any in-person networking event, you should bring along a healthy stack of business cards to hand out.

Have you ever been handed a particularly attractive or unusual business card? Chances are that it caught your attention right away. Whether it was the quality of the paper or a unique design, something about it made you take notice. If you want your business cards to stand out, don’t go for the boring basics. Try something with a creative design, an unconventional cut, or a nontraditional format. Don’t feel like you need to hire some expensive graphic designer either. You can create a great business card yourself with Canva.

At events where business cards are being exchanged like there’s no tomorrow, you need to do everything you can to make an impression.

3. Be Aware of Body Language

We say a lot with our words, but we say even more with our expressions, posture, and eye contact. Be aware of your own body language at professional events, but also the body language of those you interact with. Smile, stand up straight, make eye contact, and pay attention to your tone to make sure that your body language doesn’t conflict with what you’re trying to say.

Different people will respond to energy levels in different ways, so approach each new person from an individual perspective. For example, extroverts may be comfortable in a boisterous group setting, while introverts may prefer a more subdued, one-on-one approach.

4. Have a Goal

Before you attend a networking event, have a goal in mind. That way, you can communicate what you’re looking for to others and have a better chance at meeting the right people. Some common networking goals include:

The goal you set will influence how you communicate with people and the connections you choose to pursue, so consider how it will affect your networking strategy at a conference or seminar.

5. Have a Mentor

Experienced, well-connected professionals often have large business networks, which is why mentors can be a great resource for meeting new people. Mentors can make introductions, get you into exclusive business networking events, and expand your professional circle exponentially.

Plus, many mentors have already established a solid reputation within their industry and profession, so having a vote of confidence from them can boost your chances of making viable and successful connections that help you to meet your networking goals.

6. Become a Mentor

If you’re not looking for a mentor yourself, consider becoming one. Growing your reputation as a mentor can open your professional network to new connections and events. Not only will it get your name out there, but it will also help you to build relationships with peers and emerging professionals. This is an excellent way to stay on top of new trends and to meet people with fresh perspectives.

It also means that you can start attending new networking events and seminars designed specifically for mentors, opening up your professional circle even more.

7. Meet New People

The whole purpose of networking is to meet new people, but many professionals find it hard to break away from their existing social groups. In group settings, try not to talk only to people you know, like colleagues and old classmates. Make a point of introducing yourself to new contacts. Sticking to who you know will keep your professional circle stagnant while meeting new people will help it to grow.

8. Prepare an Elevator Pitch

Before a networking event, you should prepare an elevator or sales pitch to summarize who you are, what you do, and the goal you’re hoping to achieve. Whether you’re looking to make sales or simply to meet other business owners, you should have a clear idea of how you want to introduce yourself and what you want to communicate to others.

This will help you to keep conversations on track and to deliver a clear, direct message from the get-go.

9. Focus on a Soft Sell

Hard sells can sometimes do more harm than good in networking settings. Don’t be pushy or overly assertive when meeting people for the first time. Your goal shouldn’t necessarily be to close a deal after you first meet someone, but rather to make a new connection that you can leverage and build a relationship with in the future. Essentially, it’s about playing the long game.

If you start off with an aggressive approach, you risk making a poor first impression, potentially ruining your chances of building a good relationship with a new contact.

10. Take Notes

Sometimes networking events lead to you meeting so many people you can barely remember any of them. That’s where taking notes can come in handy. But don’t take notes while people are talking. Instead, after each conversation is finished, take a few moments to write down key information like:

  • The person’s name
  • Their profession
  • Where they work
  • Whether they freelance, are employed, or own their own business
  • What their goals are
  • Anything you found interesting or noteworthy during the conversation

After the event, you can review your notes. This will help you remember each new contact and what you talked about when you follow up and if you meet them again later on.

11. Build Relationships

Don’t just focus on your goal and ignore the other benefits that networking has to offer. Building relationships with other business owners and professionals can lead to business partnerships, friendships, collaborations, and other meaningful connections. But only if you work toward making a legitimate connection with someone.

Networkers aren’t always clients or customers, but they may know people who are. If you put time and effort into building a relationship with them, you may become someone they’re happy to recommend to their own connections.

12. Provide Value

Everyone at a networking event is there for a reason. Just like you, they have goals in mind too. Pay attention to what they’re looking to achieve, and think about whether you can help them in any way.

For example, can you introduce them to a new connection with a similar goal? Or is there an opening at your company they could be a fit for?

Referrals are extremely helpful when it comes to building business relationships and landing new roles.

Whenever possible, use your connections and experience to provide value to others. The people you help will be more likely to do the same for you when an opportunity presents itself.

13. Reach Out Through Your Network

If you’re looking to meet a specific professional, receive an invitation to a coveted networking event, or get a referral for a meet-and-greet at a new company, explore your existing connections first. When you’re recommended to someone through a trusted mutual connection, you have a much better chance of getting your foot in the door compared to a cold call or email.

Reach out to anyone in your network who may have a connection or an in with the person, company, or event you’re interested in. It never hurts to ask whether someone happens to know someone — the worst they can say is no.

14. Follow Up

After a networking event, you need to follow up with your new acquaintances to solidify a connection. Whether you send a personal email, touch base with a phone call, or simply add them on LinkedIn, it’s important to reach out within a few days or you risk losing your new contact.

However you choose to check in, try to make it personal. Recall a detail your new connection mentioned when you met or ask what they thought about the event. Keep your initial message or conversation short, friendly, and professional. If they have questions about what you do or how you can work together, they’ll let you know.


Where to Find Networking Opportunities

Finding networking opportunities isn’t limited to traditional conferences and events. There are a number of different ways you can find and join professional groups online and in person.

1. Join Professional Organizations

Professional organizations like groups and clubs are the perfect way to meet other pros within your area of expertise. Most cities have a variety of specialized professional organizations, from advertising clubs and small-business groups to engineering networks and programmer meetups.

Another option is to look for online professional organizations if you can’t find any locally. Many host online and virtual meetups open to participants from across the globe.

2. Join a Mastermind Group

Mastermind groups are peer mentorship groups that focus on helping attendees to grow their careers and meet their professional goals, which makes them an ideal place to network. You’ll meet like-minded individuals who want to further their careers and pursue new opportunities. This can lead to collaborative projects, strategic partnerships, and an accelerated career path.

3. Attend Conferences and Professional Events

Conferences and other professional events are the most tried-and-true method of networking. After all, it’s almost impossible not to network when you’re at an event with a few hundred other industry experts who have similar skill sets, backgrounds, and interests. You’ll also have a chance to meet bigwigs in your industry, connecting you to some of the best and brightest your field has to offer.

4. Join Social Media Groups

Networking groups don’t always have to be in-person. Several social media platforms can be used to create and participate in networking groups. Some of the most popular ways to use social media to meet new professionals include:

  • Joining professional networking groups on LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Participating in professional chats and hashtags on Twitter
  • Finding public Slack groups specific to your profession, industry, or location

Social networking can be a great option for introverts or for people who are unable to attend in-person events on a regular basis.

5. Participate in Charity Events and Fundraisers

Local charity events and fundraisers often encourage all different kinds of community members to come together. Often, small businesses and professionals get involved in charities as a way to build their reputation and use their products or services for good.

If you want to give back while creating a name for yourself and meeting other movers and shakers in your area, charity events and fundraisers are an excellent choice.

6. Volunteer

Volunteering your time isn’t only personally rewarding, it can be professionally rewarding as well. Not only does it provide you with an opportunity to make new contacts, but it also unites you with others who share a common cause. This enables you to grow a strong network of like-minded people who share similar passions and beliefs to you.


Final Word

Networking plays an important role in the life of any ambitious and goal-oriented professional. From making new contacts and rubbing shoulders with industry leaders to finding investors and business partners, networking comes with a variety of career benefits.

By communicating clearly, planning ahead, and exploring different networking opportunities, you can be sure to get the most out of the professional events you attend and the business organizations you join.

Source: moneycrashers.com

15 Simple Ideas to Make a House a Home – Redfin

Your house should make you feel welcomed as soon as you step through the door, but this feeling isn’t something that always happens on its own. Once the movers have left, and the chaos of moving has calmed down, it’s time to start focusing on putting down roots in your new space to help make your new house a home.

There are many ways to invoke the cozy, warm feeling that makes a house a home without a complete remodel or shopping spree. So, whether you just moved into your new home in Boston, MA, or need to personalize your studio in Albany, NY, here are 15 simple ideas you can use so your house can start feeling like a proper home.

Entryway

Entryway

1) Create an inviting entryway 

The front door and entryway can set the mood of your entire home. After all, it’s the first thing you see when you and your guests first step into your space. Make your front entrance more inviting by keeping it clear of leaves and debris and accessorize with a welcome mat and a few potted plants. Adding a bench or a clothes rack will also help keep your entryway neat and tidy, plus it makes a great first impression. Equally, painting the front door can give your house a fresh, new look in one afternoon. Feel free to choose a fun, contrasting color that aligns with your style.

2) Make your home more zen

Turning your house into a home starts with ensuring that you feel instantly at peace when you enter a room. But if you’re having difficulty feeling relaxed, there may be particular reasons why. If the sight of a messy, disorganized room is causing you stress, you might want to start decluttering and letting go of items that don’t bring you joy. Choosing random decor items to fill up empty spaces in your home can make a space feel cramped, and can add too many contrasts between your wall colors or furnishings. When choosing decor, artwork, or pictures, be sure to pick items that have special meaning to you. By identifying the areas in your home causing you stress, you can begin making your home a more zen space.

Brightly lit kitchen

Brightly lit kitchen

3) Improve your living space with home upgrades

Upgrading spaces in your home can go a long way in making you feel more settled. Bathrooms and kitchens are high-traffic areas in a home, so prioritizing home upgrades in these areas can ensure that you’re tackling the places that make the biggest impact. Installing new appliances can give your kitchen a facelift, but if you’re working with a smaller budget, select the most outdated or worn-looking one and replace it. Likewise, swapping out an old showerhead with one that has better water pressure can instantly elevate space and improve the quality of life in your home.

4) Use cozy area rugs to help make a house feel like home

An area rug can instantly warm up a space and make it more inviting. Area rugs can help ground furniture, and an artistically designed rug can also add more interest to a space. When selecting a rug, take the room’s size and arrangement into account. Ensure all of your furniture is on the area rug or at least touching a portion of the rug to give the space a cohesive look.

5) Dressing up empty walls with artwork

Blank walls can add an unfinished element to your house, preventing your house from feeling truly lived in. Displaying your favorite pieces of art can act as the finishing element to pull a space together and make a house a home. And the best part is that it’s a budget-friendly way to complete a room. When selecting your artwork, keep the room’s function, size, and decor style in mind. After that, you have the freedom to choose artwork that you love and will be happily displayed in your home.

For living rooms and areas where guests spend the most time, choose a large-scale piece as a focal point or incorporate multiple art pieces into a gallery wall. Pieces with soothing, cool-toned colors and abstract prints are great additions for areas for relaxation like a den or bedroom.

Dining area

Dining area

6) Bring nature inside with indoor plants

Indoor plants don’t just add a pop of greenery to a space, they can also breathe life into a dull room. Houseplants help us feel more relaxed and can even improve our home’s indoor air quality. They come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, so if you live in a shady studio in Portland, OR with only a few windows, or a home with lots of natural light in Seattle, Washington, you can still find ways to incorporate plants into your decor.  

For home offices or areas with low light in your home, stick to low-maintenance plants like lucky bamboo or succulents. These plants are compact enough to keep on a desk or side table and thrive in shaded areas. To add drama to larger rooms, such as living or dining rooms, money trees or fiddle leaf figs are great statement plant options. Plus, the right planter can add another design element to your home.

7) Keep the clutter to a minimum

Identifying the key areas in your space that you’ll keep tidy will make life in your home more pleasant. It’s easy to believe in the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when decluttering, but actively keeping your living area clean will allow you to fully relax in your space without being constantly stressed by the sight of messy areas. Instead of stowing items that are no longer used in designated “junk drawers,” take the time to go through and pick out items that no longer have sentimental value, use, or have similar functions to items you already have. And if the thought of decluttering your home is too daunting, consider hiring a professional organizing service to help you get your space in order.

8) Add scented candles or diffusers

A house filled with inviting smells can instantly make a house feel like home. With various candles, diffusers, and scent plug-ins available on the market, there’s no shortage of ways to make your home smell good. Choose your favorite and fill your home with the aroma of sweet vanilla, sharp citrus, or fresh linens in minutes. For more natural smelling scents, you can opt for essential oils, such as lavender or jasmine, which comes with the benefits of being natural stress relievers.

Layer lighting

Layer lighting

9) Make a house a home by layering the lighting

Lighting plays a significant role in affecting a room’s mood and is an essential design element when making a house feel like a home. If your house feels dark and cramped, you can switch up your lighting by adding and layering light sources to make it feel more warm and welcoming. While brighter lights are needed to illuminate kitchens and workspaces, using fluorescent overhead lighting in living rooms or dens can make the space appear harsh. Instead, opt for ambient light sources that use mellower, warmer lighting. Wall sconces, table, or floor lamps are excellent ambient lighting sources that can cast a warm, cozy glow on any room. 

10) Frame your windows with curtains

Window curtains are great accent pieces in a room. Replacing them is an easy way to switch up the room’s look and add a lived-in look to any space in one easy step. Personalize your windows by adding new window dressings to instantly warm up your home and showcase your style. Not only does adding beautiful curtains or shades improve your home’s appearance, they can also decorate blank walls, separate a room into sections, or even create fun little reading nooks in children’s bedrooms.

11) Showcase family mementos or antiques

Make your house feel like home by incorporating sentimental pieces in your decor, such as family mementos or antiques, to personalize your space. As you plan the display locations for your keepsakes, group related items together to help create a cohesive look in your home design. Items such as wedding photos, important documents, or certificates can be grouped in a gallery wall, while trophies or souvenirs can be displayed on a shelf together.

When displaying sentimental photos, pick frames that can protect the paper from damage or fading from ultraviolet (UV) rays over time. If you’re planning on including antiques or other precious items as decor, consider purchasing shadow boxes or display cases for them. Cases will protect the objects from harm and prevent dust or grime from settling on the fragile objects.

Dining room

Dining room

12) Freshen up your home with a coat of paint

Painting your walls can give your space an instant facelift and can go a long way in refreshing a home. Plus, it’s a great way to customize your home and make it your own. If you’re not ready to undertake an entire painting project, you can pick smaller areas in your home, like a bedroom or powder room. You can even opt to paint a few accent walls throughout your home to warm up the space and give it pops of color.

Living room bookshelf

Living room bookshelf

13) Personalize your shelves with books

A stack of well-loved paperbacks or a decorative coffee table book is a great way to bring personal touches into your home. Books are an easy and budget-friendly way to embellish your decor and can be used as statement accessories to pull a space together. And, the sight of a filled bookshelf can instantly give a room a homey feel. If you have an extensive book collection, use a blank wall in your home to create a book wall by displaying them in a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. You can also choose books with decorative covers or colorful spines to brighten up your decor.

Bedroom

Bedroom

14) Add warmth with comfy bedding

The right bedding can instantly make your room look decorated and homey if you can’t decorate the whole room right away. If your room has a bold paint color, using neutral-colored bedding can add texture while also creating depth and interest to your space. Alternatively, if your room has a neutral color palette, you can play around with different colors or patterns in your bedding.

When creating the ultimate comfy bedroom, one can’t forget the textiles to transform a bare bedroom. Adorning your bedroom with soft throws- chenille or faux fur are great options – and fluffy pillows can instantly add a cozy touch to any space, making your bedroom feel more welcoming.

15) Finally, make a house a home by setting up a hobby area

Whether your hobby is painting, reading, or even solving puzzles, make room for it. Dedicating a space in your home, like a nook or bonus room, for your hobbies will not only make it easier to do what you love, but it allows your personality and interests to shine throughout your home. Not to mention, having an area to yourself can allow you to concentrate on doing what you love all while making your house feel more like a home. 

Source: redfin.com

15 Simple Ideas to Make a House a Home

Your house should make you feel welcomed as soon as you step through the door, but this feeling isn’t something that always happens on its own. Once the movers have left, and the chaos of moving has calmed down, it’s time to start focusing on putting down roots in your new space to help make your new house a home.

There are many ways to invoke the cozy, warm feeling that makes a house a home without a complete remodel or shopping spree. So, whether you just moved into your new home in Boston, MA, or need to personalize your studio in Albany, NY, here are 15 simple ideas you can use so your house can start feeling like a proper home.

Entryway

Entryway

1) Create an inviting entryway 

The front door and entryway can set the mood of your entire home. After all, it’s the first thing you see when you and your guests first step into your space. Make your front entrance more inviting by keeping it clear of leaves and debris and accessorize with a welcome mat and a few potted plants. Adding a bench or a clothes rack will also help keep your entryway neat and tidy, plus it makes a great first impression. Equally, painting the front door can give your house a fresh, new look in one afternoon. Feel free to choose a fun, contrasting color that aligns with your style.

2) Make your home more zen

Turning your house into a home starts with ensuring that you feel instantly at peace when you enter a room. But if you’re having difficulty feeling relaxed, there may be particular reasons why. If the sight of a messy, disorganized room is causing you stress, you might want to start decluttering and letting go of items that don’t bring you joy. Choosing random decor items to fill up empty spaces in your home can make a space feel cramped, and can add too many contrasts between your wall colors or furnishings. When choosing decor, artwork, or pictures, be sure to pick items that have special meaning to you. By identifying the areas in your home causing you stress, you can begin making your home a more zen space.

Brightly lit kitchen

Brightly lit kitchen

3) Improve your living space with home upgrades

Upgrading spaces in your home can go a long way in making you feel more settled. Bathrooms and kitchens are high-traffic areas in a home, so prioritizing home upgrades in these areas can ensure that you’re tackling the places that make the biggest impact. Installing new appliances can give your kitchen a facelift, but if you’re working with a smaller budget, select the most outdated or worn-looking one and replace it. Likewise, swapping out an old showerhead with one that has better water pressure can instantly elevate space and improve the quality of life in your home.

4) Use cozy area rugs to help make a house feel like home

An area rug can instantly warm up a space and make it more inviting. Area rugs can help ground furniture, and an artistically designed rug can also add more interest to a space. When selecting a rug, take the room’s size and arrangement into account. Ensure all of your furniture is on the area rug or at least touching a portion of the rug to give the space a cohesive look.

5) Dressing up empty walls with artwork

Blank walls can add an unfinished element to your house, preventing your house from feeling truly lived in. Displaying your favorite pieces of art can act as the finishing element to pull a space together and make a house a home. And the best part is that it’s a budget-friendly way to complete a room. When selecting your artwork, keep the room’s function, size, and decor style in mind. After that, you have the freedom to choose artwork that you love and will be happily displayed in your home.

For living rooms and areas where guests spend the most time, choose a large-scale piece as a focal point or incorporate multiple art pieces into a gallery wall. Pieces with soothing, cool-toned colors and abstract prints are great additions for areas for relaxation like a den or bedroom.

Dining area

Dining area

6) Bring nature inside with indoor plants

Indoor plants don’t just add a pop of greenery to a space, they can also breathe life into a dull room. Houseplants help us feel more relaxed and can even improve our home’s indoor air quality. They come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, so if you live in a shady studio in Portland, OR with only a few windows, or a home with lots of natural light in Seattle, Washington, you can still find ways to incorporate plants into your decor.  

For home offices or areas with low light in your home, stick to low-maintenance plants like lucky bamboo or succulents. These plants are compact enough to keep on a desk or side table and thrive in shaded areas. To add drama to larger rooms, such as living or dining rooms, money trees or fiddle leaf figs are great statement plant options. Plus, the right planter can add another design element to your home.

7) Keep the clutter to a minimum

Identifying the key areas in your space that you’ll keep tidy will make life in your home more pleasant. It’s easy to believe in the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when decluttering, but actively keeping your living area clean will allow you to fully relax in your space without being constantly stressed by the sight of messy areas. Instead of stowing items that are no longer used in designated “junk drawers,” take the time to go through and pick out items that no longer have sentimental value, use, or have similar functions to items you already have. And if the thought of decluttering your home is too daunting, consider hiring a professional organizing service to help you get your space in order.

8) Add scented candles or diffusers

A house filled with inviting smells can instantly make a house feel like home. With various candles, diffusers, and scent plug-ins available on the market, there’s no shortage of ways to make your home smell good. Choose your favorite and fill your home with the aroma of sweet vanilla, sharp citrus, or fresh linens in minutes. For more natural smelling scents, you can opt for essential oils, such as lavender or jasmine, which comes with the benefits of being natural stress relievers.

Layer lighting

Layer lighting

9) Make a house a home by layering the lighting

Lighting plays a significant role in affecting a room’s mood and is an essential design element when making a house feel like a home. If your house feels dark and cramped, you can switch up your lighting by adding and layering light sources to make it feel more warm and welcoming. While brighter lights are needed to illuminate kitchens and workspaces, using fluorescent overhead lighting in living rooms or dens can make the space appear harsh. Instead, opt for ambient light sources that use mellower, warmer lighting. Wall sconces, table, or floor lamps are excellent ambient lighting sources that can cast a warm, cozy glow on any room. 

10) Frame your windows with curtains

Window curtains are great accent pieces in a room. Replacing them is an easy way to switch up the room’s look and add a lived-in look to any space in one easy step. Personalize your windows by adding new window dressings to instantly warm up your home and showcase your style. Not only does adding beautiful curtains or shades improve your home’s appearance, they can also decorate blank walls, separate a room into sections, or even create fun little reading nooks in children’s bedrooms.

11) Showcase family mementos or antiques

Make your house feel like home by incorporating sentimental pieces in your decor, such as family mementos or antiques, to personalize your space. As you plan the display locations for your keepsakes, group related items together to help create a cohesive look in your home design. Items such as wedding photos, important documents, or certificates can be grouped in a gallery wall, while trophies or souvenirs can be displayed on a shelf together.

When displaying sentimental photos, pick frames that can protect the paper from damage or fading from ultraviolet (UV) rays over time. If you’re planning on including antiques or other precious items as decor, consider purchasing shadow boxes or display cases for them. Cases will protect the objects from harm and prevent dust or grime from settling on the fragile objects.

Dining room

Dining room

12) Freshen up your home with a coat of paint

Painting your walls can give your space an instant facelift and can go a long way in refreshing a home. Plus, it’s a great way to customize your home and make it your own. If you’re not ready to undertake an entire painting project, you can pick smaller areas in your home, like a bedroom or powder room. You can even opt to paint a few accent walls throughout your home to warm up the space and give it pops of color.

Living room bookshelf

Living room bookshelf

13) Personalize your shelves with books

A stack of well-loved paperbacks or a decorative coffee table book is a great way to bring personal touches into your home. Books are an easy and budget-friendly way to embellish your decor and can be used as statement accessories to pull a space together. And, the sight of a filled bookshelf can instantly give a room a homey feel. If you have an extensive book collection, use a blank wall in your home to create a book wall by displaying them in a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. You can also choose books with decorative covers or colorful spines to brighten up your decor.

Bedroom

Bedroom

14) Add warmth with comfy bedding

The right bedding can instantly make your room look decorated and homey if you can’t decorate the whole room right away. If your room has a bold paint color, using neutral-colored bedding can add texture while also creating depth and interest to your space. Alternatively, if your room has a neutral color palette, you can play around with different colors or patterns in your bedding.

When creating the ultimate comfy bedroom, one can’t forget the textiles to transform a bare bedroom. Adorning your bedroom with soft throws- chenille or faux fur are great options – and fluffy pillows can instantly add a cozy touch to any space, making your bedroom feel more welcoming.

15) Finally, make a house a home by setting up a hobby area

Whether your hobby is painting, reading, or even solving puzzles, make room for it. Dedicating a space in your home, like a nook or bonus room, for your hobbies will not only make it easier to do what you love, but it allows your personality and interests to shine throughout your home. Not to mention, having an area to yourself can allow you to concentrate on doing what you love all while making your house feel more like a home. 

Source: redfin.com