Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 10/13/2019

Magazine styled homes are gorgeous but theyíre not quite practical. Especially when youíve got little ones running about. But that doesnít mean you canít still have a stylish home. Iíve got a few tricks for you to today to integrate kid-friendly decor with a grown up touch. 

When house shopping keep those with open floor plans at the top of your list. Open floor plans help your family to stay social and connected with each other. Itís also a whole lot easier to keep your eye on your little ones in the living room while youíre making dinner. Additionally, an eat-in kitchen creates a welcoming atmosphere for older kids to hang out around after school while eating snacks or working on homework.

When it comes to furnishing your new home opt for furniture that doubles as storage to tuck away toys. This helps to keep a tidy home while maintaining a welcoming room for children to pull out a few toys and spend time with the family. If you choose to have wall to wall carpeting be sure to choose one designed to withstand heavy traffic. Alternatively, for a statement rug using an outdoor carpet inside adds visual interest and makes for easy cleaning.

Furnishings in heavy duty fabrics like microfiber, acrylics or distressed leather can withstand messes and frequent cleaning. For existing furniture, slip covers are another way to protect sofas while being able to easily wash messes from kiddos and pets. Round shaped tables eliminate sharp corners and the bumps and bruises they create.

It may be tempting to choose dark colors to hide inevitable messes and stains however itís best to opt for mid-tone colors to keep a bright, welcoming room. Add pops of color with pillow covers in lighter colors. Pillow covers are ideal since not only can they easily be swapped out to give a room a fresh new look but they can also easily be cleaned by throwing them in the wash.

Install shelves that allow books to be propped up with their covers viewable. Children will be more likely to grab them to read and they will also double as an evolving art display in your home. Another great way to add child-friendly art is to frame the paintings and drawings your children bring home. Youíll have a unique one of a kind piece to rival Pollock and Rothko.

A guest bedroom with one or two bunk beds will make your home the sleepover favorite among your childís friends. Youíll maximize space and provide a much more comfortable sleeping space than a sleeping bag on the floor. Storing snacks in baskets and see through jars out in the open makes it easy for kids to grab and go throughout the day. Youíll have peace of mind visitors arenít going hungry while creating a welcoming, homey space for all.

When decorating most put their own taste and style first. However, when raising a family the difference between a house and a home is that everyone living under its roof feels at comfortable in its space. Creating a family friendly home doesnít mean sacrificing style but it does mean a few tweaks that bring everyone closer together.  





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 10/6/2019

Pets are a reasonably common sight in a lot of houses today, with a wide variety of options that can include dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and goldfish. However, these warm and friendly animal companions often come with their own odors, which if left unmanaged may become a tough challenge. However, by following some of the ideas and suggestions listed, you should be able to get rid of pet odors from your home entirely

  • Vacuum Thoroughly. The elimination of any odors must involve the process of vacuuming. It's not uncommon to find pet fur trapped in carpets and furniture around the house, and they need to be gotten rid. Take all the furniture apart, beddings, chair covers, cushion seats, etc., and then vacuum thoroughly. Sprinkle a surplus of baking soda over all the furniture and let them sit for a few hours, and then vacuum once again. The baking soda absorbs all the trapped odor for you.
  • Take Your Stuff Out To The Sunlight. Leave all your furniture, upholstery rugs and any other material that you have got tainted with pet odor, outside in the sunlight. Sunlight is an excellent natural bleaching agent and will help remove any smell trapped within the fibers that the vacuum cleaner couldn't get. It's also a great idea to air out your house for a few days Ė open up all doors and windows so fresh air and sunlight can make its way home.
  • Find the source of the odors. Before the odors came, the cause of the odors arrived, so find them and get rid of them. Often, the scent may already be worked up into the floors or any other part of the house that cannot be aired. If its dog pee, you'll need to dry it up with paper towels or a mop. When done, you will need to use either a vinegar solution or an enzymatic cleaner to break down the odors. You may also decide you want to go with a professional stain and odor remover to finish the job. Whatever you do, make sure you get a cleaner that is not toxic to the health of your pets to prevent accidents.

Getting rid of pet odors doesn't have to be a big deal, you can easily carry out all these suggestions and have your house selling as good as new. Ask your local pet store for nontoxic cleaners to use at your home.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 9/29/2019

Buying a home may seem like a smart financial move. However, it may not always be the right time or the right move for you. While buying a home is a great investment, you may not be ready to buy a home of your own. The following questions should help you to determine whether or not you are fully ready to buy a house in the near future.


How Much Money Do You Make? How Much Have You Saved?


buying a home is a significant expense. First, youíll need quite a large sum of money for a downpayment and closing costs on the home. Second, to get approved for a mortgage, the lender will look at every part of your finances from your income to your assets. Once the home is purchased, youíll also need quite a bit of capital for expenses including insurance, taxes, HOA fees, emergency funds, utilities, and furniture. You donít want to buy a home only to be overwhelmed with costs. You want enough of a financial cushion to enable you to furnish your home, decorate your home, and not have a completely empty bank account. Thatís why you should make sure that you do make enough money to buy a home.



How Much Debt Do You Have?


If you have established that your income is enough to buy a home, the next thing that you need to establish is that your debt isnít too high. Before you enter into the adventure of homeownership, youíll need to make sure that your bills are under control. These expenses include things like car loans, student loans, and credit card bills. Your lender will put your debt into consideration as a part of your entire financial picture. Your debt (including your proposed mortgage payment) should be less than around 36% of your gross income. Before you take the leap into buying a home, youíll need to make sure that your debt is under control. If you need to take a step back and pay your bills down before you start house hunting, you should as it will make buying a home easier for you.


Are You Seasoned At Your Job?


In order to secure a mortgage for a home, youíll need to show that you have been at the same job for a certain period of time. Your average income will probably be calculated based on how long you have been at the company and your job history. You should be able to explain any income gaps, changes in positions or companies. Otherwise, youíll appear to be an unstable person to lend to. Lenders want to know that youíll have a steady, stable income.


How Is Your Credit?


In order to secure a mortgage, youíll need to have a good credit score. Check on your credit report when you begin thinking about buying a home. If your credit is on the low side, youíll want to work on bringing that score up. 


     




Tags: Buying a home   finances  
Categories: Mortgage  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 9/22/2019

When selecting an area rug, several factors will go into determining the size, shape, material, and even the thickness you want. Just like buying a home, it is all about location, location, location. Ask yourself these questions:

- Where will you use the rug?

- How much traffic does that room get?

- Must it hold up to wet shoes and outdoor debris?

- Will there be food in the room?

- Are pets likely to sleep on the rug?

- Will your children play on the rug?

- Do you like to sit or lie down on the rug?

Location

If your rug is in a formal living room, a hand-tufted silk or wool rug might work, but if the carpet graces your family room, where the kids and pets will play on it, nylon or viscose are more durable fabrics. Also, some family members might find the wool in a rug scratchy on bare legs and arms.

High traffic areas such as an entry or hallway, or a busy family room might benefit from sisal or jute if no one wants to sit on them. Moreover, either sisal or jute under a table where crumbs can filter between the spaces in the weave is probably not useful.

Size and shape

In the case of rugs, size matters and bigger is better. If a rug is too small, it chops up your design. The perfect size can pull everything together into a cozy space. When sizing up your carpet needs, consider the roomís orientation. If the room is a rectangle, but you want your sitting area to be a square with a walkway behind the sofa, opt for a square rug. In breakfast nooks, use a round or octagonal rug under a round or octagonal table. Use square under a pub table too. If your dinette is oblong or oval, a rectangular rug is best.

- In the dining room, choose a rug size with at least two or three feet beyond each side of the table to allow for pulling out chairs. Most formal dining tables need a rug that is eight feet wide or wider to accommodate the larger chairs.

- In your living room, leave at least a one-foot space between the edge of the rug and the walls. Your carpet should be large enough that at least the front feet of your main furniture pieces can rest on the rug.

Pile or thickness

When determining the thickness or pile, consider whether a piece of furniture will fit entirely on the rug or be partially off it. If the pile leaves the front feet higher than the back, seating might feel awkward. 

If you need help deciding which rug will best fit in your new home, talk to a design specialist at a local carpet store.




Tags: how to   home decoration   carpet  
Categories: how to   carpet   home decoration  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 9/15/2019

A home is one of the biggest purchases that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. It also may prove to be expensive, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead for the property buying journey.

There is no need to break your budget to acquire your dream residence. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to guarantee you can keep you finances in check and avoid the risk of spending too much to purchase your ideal house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can buy a quality house at a budget-friendly price.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

You want to buy a home, but you still have no idea how much you can spend on a residence. Thankfully, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. As a result, you will know exactly how much you can spend on a house and can plan accordingly.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to meet with you. These mortgage specialists can review your income, credit score and other relevant financial data. Then, they can provide you with mortgage options based on your finances.

2. Narrow Your Home Search

Although most people want to buy a mansion, it is important to establish realistic homebuying expectations. Because if you narrow your home search to properties that fall within your price range, you can speed up the property buying journey. Perhaps most important, you can shop around to find a terrific home that corresponds to your budget.

Don't forget to consider homes in a variety of cities and towns too. In some instances, it may prove to be more cost-effective to purchase a house in a small town than a residence in a big city.

3. Evaluate Your Short- and Long-Term Plans

Think about your short- and long-term plans, and you may be better equipped than ever before to map out your home finances for the foreseeable future.

For instance, if you plan to raise a family in the years to come, you may want to consider the costs associated with childcare and other child expenses. This will allow you to budget properly as you search for your dream home.

On the other hand, if you recently accepted a work promotion, your income soon may rise. In this situation, you may be able to increase your homebuying budget due to the fact that extra income will be coming your way.

Lastly, as you get ready to search for a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. In addition to helping you find a home that matches your budget, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance throughout the property buying journey. He or she will help you prepare for a home inspection, closing and other important steps during the homebuying process. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey and achieve the optimal results.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips