Blog Blog posts for Blog Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:16:30 +0100 FeedCreator 1.7.2 Essential Ways to Improve Water Quality in Your Home <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Feb 17, 2017</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Choosing a new home means your clients will want to scrutinize every detail, be it paint colors, bedroom sizes, appliances, and yes, water quality. Water quality is an essential part of any home, and it&rsquo;s important to maintain your water to keep your family healthy. Luckily for us, technology allows us to not only determine if there are any issues with the water in a home, but also ways to fix or improve the quality with home filtration systems.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Hard Water</h2> <p>Hard water is among the most common water problems for homeowners and is fairly simple to diagnose. Hard water is caused by an excess amount of calcium and magnesium salts in your water, causing white-ish spots on your dishes or soap scum build up on your shower curtain. Unfortunately, this also means that it can cause mineral deposit build up in your pipes, leading to long-term damage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Hard Water Treatment</h2> <p>Treating hard water is as simple as investing in a water softener. In simple terms, hard water is filtered through a container with beads that filter out calcium and magnesium minerals, then passes through an additional filter and into your home. This is the most comprehensive way to filter your water as it treats the point-of-entry causes of hard water, acting as a home filtration system.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Other Forms of Treatment</h2> <p>While hard water is common, it is not the only potential threat to your water system. There are the possibilities of excessive chlorination, industrial waste, or even a build up of organic matter that could cause odor and other potential bacteria in your drinking water. While a water softener may treat some water damage symptoms, there are other filtration systems that can help. Faucet mounted filters, inline filters that attach to the water supply line, or even pitcher filters that you fill yourself can all aid in ridding your water of unnecessary and potentially harmful effects.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Depending on the contamination you discover, choosing a home water filtration system to improve your water quality is always smart. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the safety of the water in your new home, contact your city water department.&nbsp;</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results Top 5 Tips to Protect Your Home While on Spring Vacation <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Feb 8, 2017</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether you are planning to vacation in sunny California, tour the foggy Scottish moors, or covertly tail your kids on their Florida &ldquo;SPRING BREAK&rdquo; adventure (no wet t-shirt contests, please), spring vacation is the perfect excuse to get away from your nose-to-the-grindstone lifestyle and experience some much-deserved R &amp; R.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While home safety concerns shouldn&rsquo;t prevent you from taking your trip, it is crucial to take precautions before you leave. If you are careful beforehand, you can more fully relax on vacation and avoid any <em>Home Alone</em> type situations. With minimal effort, you can keep your home safe while on vacation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <h2><br />1. Make a Neighbor Friend</h2> <p>Possibly the best way to protect your home while you&rsquo;re on vacation is to ask someone that you trust to lend a hand. It&rsquo;s easy enough to find a caregiver. Bribe a neighbor with cookies, promise to reciprocate with a friend, or hire a house sitter for the week.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This helpful individual can take care of common chores like feeding your pets, watering your plants, removing pesky flyers from your door knob, and taking in your mail. More importantly, they are there to keep a watchful eye on your house &mdash; making sure that there are no glaring red flags that you are away and looking out for any suspicious activity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;(Bonus Tip: Hold your mail while you are on vacation by going to <a href=""></a>.)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>2. Keep Quiet on Social Media</h2> <p>Unfortunately, your Facebook and Twitter accounts are remarkably public. While it might be fun to post about your upcoming trip, avoid sharing too many details about your plans, and never announce that your entire home will be vacant. Beware your answering machine as well. A cute outgoing message should never reveal that you are out for a month. That makes you easy prey for burglars and online predators.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <h2><br />3. Reach Out to Local Authorities</h2> <p>It is always a good idea to tip off the police, especially if your spring vacation will take you away for more than a week or two. They can do routine check-ups on your house and will be able to check up on anything that seems amiss.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For good measure, consider installing a security alarm and leave the alarm code with someone you trust. And, remove the spare key before you leave. That hide-a-key-rock isn&rsquo;t fooling anyone.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2><img src="" alt="" /></h2> <h2><br />4. Keep it Ordinary</h2> <p>Generally, your home is at most risk if it becomes apparent that you are not home. The best strategy to avoid this is to keep things running how they normally do. For instance, if your curtains are normally open, leave them open, but be sure to place any valuable possessions out of sight.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Set up automatic timers for your lights. While some homeowners consider leaving their lights on all day, this will also look fishy and will hugely spike your electricity bill. We recommend setting a varied schedule on your electronic light timers to mimic your normal usage. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, this may seem obvious but lock everything.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2><img src="" alt="" /></h2> <h2><br />5. Avoid Weather Obstacles</h2> <p>While snow is often not a worry come spring time, it&rsquo;s a different story in the Midwest. You are likely to get some snow or frost up until May. A fresh, untouched sheet of snow is an obvious indicator that you are not home. Avoid incriminating weather situations with the help of a neighbor. Ask if they would be willing to park in your driveway while you&rsquo;re away and to shovel snow if necessary. Give them a copy of your car key so that they can move your vehicle in case of a snow emergency.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(Bonus Tip: Pipes can freeze in the winter. Have your neighbor or house sitter regularly test your water taps if temperatures dip.)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are still feeling concerned about knowing how to protect your home while on vacation, we recommend watching <em>Home Alone</em> several times (for research purposes, of course) and setting an elaborate booby trap a la Kevin McCallister. Better safe than sorry. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Enjoy your spring break!</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results Extinguish Fire Risks: How to Prevent Home Fires <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Feb 3, 2017</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When a fire starts in a home, it can spread from room to room extremely quickly, so it&rsquo;s important to take steps towards preventing home fires and plan for the worst-case scenario. Moving to a new home is a busy time &mdash; but it&rsquo;s also one of the best times to consider fire safety. You never know what small mistake could spark disaster, or what you would do to escape a home in flames unless you&rsquo;re prepared. Beyond property damage, home fires can lead to injuries and even death. After all, our entire lives are contained inside these walls. Learn how to prevent home fires before your next move.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Home Inspection Tips</h2> <p>When you&rsquo;re moving into a new home, the initial home inspection can help you pinpoint risk areas of the home. Your inspector should check every outlet, look for exposed wiring and ensure that there are enough fire detectors in the home. If there are any other obvious fire risks, they should let you know exactly where they are and what should be done to fix them. Every home should have several fire extinguishers (one for the kitchen and one for a bedroom), to put out a blaze quickly. There is typically a home insurance discount for having them, which makes the decision a no-brainer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <h2>Keep an Eye on Your Heating</h2> <p>Moving into a new home gives you the opportunity to put all of your furniture exactly where you want it. Locate heat sources such as radiators, warm pipes and fireplaces and make sure any combustible items are at least 3 feet away from them. Ensure that your heat sources are in working order and free of debris. Furnaces, stoves and chimneys can easily become cracked or dirty, so clean and replace as necessary. Remember to replace your furnace filters every three months &mdash; it&rsquo;s a fire risk people tend to forget about.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Smokers: Take Extra Precautions</h2> <p>The majority of residential fire deaths in the US are caused by improper disposal of smoking materials. If you smoke, you should only do it outside with fire-safe cigarettes. These types of cigarettes have a reduced propensity to burn when left unattended, so they&rsquo;re a smarter choice for smokers. If you&rsquo;re under the influence of medications that make you drowsy, it&rsquo;s better to go without a cigarette than with the risk of a fire. Always extinguish your butts into a can filled with sand and soak in water to ensure they are completely out.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you must smoke in the house, be sure not to do so in bed while drowsy. Falling asleep could spell disaster.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Be Careful with Cords</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to forget about electrical cords because people tend to put them in places where they can&rsquo;t be seen. Unfortunately, what you don&rsquo;t know CAN hurt you, as frayed wires are a real fire threat. If you&rsquo;re moving, take some time to examine all of your cords before you plug them into outlets. All it takes is one small break in the rubber coating to start a fire, so invest in new cords if one is in bad condition. Be careful where you run your cords as well &mdash; it&rsquo;s best not to tuck them under rugs and furniture.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Teach Children About Fire Safety</h2> <p>If a child is curious about a lighter or set of matches, they might find them and play with them. If you&rsquo;re moving to a new home, look for storage space that is out of reach from children and keep your fire starting equipment secure. There are no guarantees that you&rsquo;ll always remember to put away dangerous materials, so talk to your children about fire dangers. It doesn&rsquo;t take much time to inform your kids, but it could save the lives of your family.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Have a Plan</h2> <p>Should a fire break out at your new home, having a plan could be the difference between life and death. Check to see that all of your smoke detectors are working correctly, and replace their batteries frequently. If your alarms are able to signal a house fire, the next step is escape. Go into each room of your home and think of two escape routes for each one. Agree on a meeting point outside the home where the family will go in the event of a fire. Even if the home burns down, knowing everyone made it out alive is what matters most.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Moving to a new home is big change of pace &mdash; as busy as you might be getting your furniture and other belongings in order, take some fire safety measures that could save your life. When your entire family is on the same page for fire safety, you greatly increase your chances of survival in the event of a blaze. Your new home is important, but your safety matters more. It&rsquo;s easier to keep your home safe if your items are organized, so check out our blog post &ldquo;<a href="">Home Organization Ideas for the New Year</a>&rdquo; to learn how to keep your belongings in order!</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results How To Move With Pets <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Jan 31, 2017</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Moving can be a stressful time, but there is someone that it can take an even bigger toll on: your pets. Pets can easily get anxious when there is an excessive amount of unexpected activity in their home, or when things start getting moved around or put in boxes. Additionally, introducing them to a new environment is a whole other issue to tackle. While there is no direct formula on how to move with pets or how to properly handle pet transport during your move, there are some things that you can consider that will make the experience better for everyone.</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Before You Move</h2> <p>Think of moving with your pet similar to moving with your child; you should plan far enough ahead of time to be prepared both for the actual moving day and a few days after while you unpack. If you&rsquo;re moving out of town, be sure to collect all of your vet records and any medications you may need for your new veterinarian. Prepare an overnight bag for your pet that contains enough food, treats, toys and any other tools you may need to sustain them for the first couple of days while you are organizing your new home.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>During the Move</h2> <p>Be sure to move all of your household items before you move your pet, and when you&rsquo;re taking them to your new home bring them in your vehicle so they can feel as at ease as possible. While you&rsquo;re moving, it is important to keep them in a quiet area to reduce as much as stress as you can. Consider keeping them kenneled or leaving them with a friend or a family member for the day so they are away from all the action. Additionally, try to keep their routine as normal as possible the day you move: walk them and feed them at the times they are accustomed to so they don&rsquo;t get over-anxious about the changing environment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>After the Move</h2> <p>As soon as you move, update their identification or microchip information to your new address. After everything is moved, try to unpack a little, even if it&rsquo;s only one room, before introducing your pet to their new surroundings. This will give them more of a semblance of home rather than a strange location. Consider giving them their own spot where they can have their dishes or bed so they can get used to the idea that this is a safe and happy place.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Moving can be stressful, but it certainly doesn&rsquo;t have to be. As long as you are prepared, your pets will be happy in their new home!</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results RE/MAX Results Foundation Set to Hold Annual Rock the Foundation Event in April <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Jan 30, 2017</p><p>Results Foundation, the nonprofit organization created by RE/MAX Results, is excited to announce its latest event, Rock the Foundation, occurring April 6<sup>th</sup> of 2017.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Set to be hosted at Minneapolis&rsquo;s Fine Line Music Caf&eacute;, this musical event will feature <a href="">GB Leighton</a>, a Minnesota music legend who has sold over 70 thousand albums, played numerous shows, and released 11 studio albums over his career. Leighton was named by as a Top 10 Artist to Watch in 2014.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Also playing will be Trout, a band featuring Results Foundation President John Collopy. Their music has been described as smoothly melodic with touches of both an acoustic guitar and a trumpet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Proceeds for the event will directly benefit Results Foundation, a nonprofit set up with the goal of bettering the local community by supporting education and health awareness. In particular, Results Foundation has partnered with the University of Minnesota to manage the Bill Saunders Memorial Scholarship, awarded to help academically gifted students in need of financial assistance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tickets will become available soon. For more information, please visit: <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>When:</strong> April 6, 2017</p> <p><strong>Where:&nbsp;</strong>Fine Line Music Caf&eacute; in Minneapolis, MN</p> <p><strong>Benefits:</strong> Bill Saunders Memorial Scholarship</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> To be determined</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results How to Make Your Home Green for 2017 <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Jan 30, 2017</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you own a home or are ready to move into a new one, it&rsquo;s important to consider your environmental footprint. Today&rsquo;s tax breaks, energy savings and other incentives make it an economically sound decision to make green decisions at home. Eco friendly home features can raise the value of a home because there are many buyers who want to live sustainably and also future-proof their homes against potential new regulations. Of course, the biggest reason to give your home a green makeover is to protect the environment for future generations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Wondering how to make your home green? It only takes a few small changes to make a big impact:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Switch Your Bulbs</h2> <p>How many homeowners does it take to change an inefficient light bulb? Just one, and it&rsquo;s completely worth investing in compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs to replace the energy-draining incandescent variety. Even if you think you&rsquo;ll miss the warm glow of the inefficient bulbs, many of today&rsquo;s CFL light bulbs can mimic that softer appearance. Even better &mdash; these types of lights prevent hundreds of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over time. There are many types of CFLs out there, and you can compare their energy savings with the <a href="">U.S. Department of Energy guide</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Improve HVAC Efficiency</h2> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>HVAC systems have become more efficient over time, but they still use a good deal of energy, which is costly to you <em>and</em> the environment. If you&rsquo;re looking to buy new HVAC equipment, look for a bright yellow EnergyGuide label that shows exactly how much energy the unit is expected to use over time. You can make improvements at the thermostat as well &mdash; modern smart thermostats allow users to program heating and cooling times to match their work schedules. Many of these products even allow you to adjust the temperature remotely with a mobile app. It&rsquo;s never been easier to limit your fossil fuel usage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Seal Your Windows</h2> <p>In the winter, you&rsquo;re likely to either love or hate your windows. You will love them if they are the energy efficient variety, which provide substantial insulation from the bitter cold outdoors. You will hate them if they are old and drafty, with a thin barrier between you and the elements. If your windows aren&rsquo;t energy efficient, you can either replace them or make adjustments to reduce your energy usage. If you&rsquo;re looking for a quick fix, buy some heavy-duty plastic window coverings to stop heat from escaping in the winter and entering the home in the summer. Storm windows provide an extra layer of protection from extreme temperatures and add efficiency to the home. Lastly, use caulking to close off any gaps around the window or frame.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Get Low Flow Toilets</h2> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 1995, the National Energy Policy Act was enacted in the U.S., which mandated that all new toilets sold must use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. This drastically cut down on home water usage, as new low flow toilets used less than half the water of the previous models. In their first few years of availability, low flow toilets had a reduced flush force, and people were slow to adopt the new units as a result. Over time, low flow toilets have become cheaper and more powerful, so replacing high flow toilets is a more affordable and attractive option. The water and cost savings are also reasons to switch. Low flow toilets can save a family of four up to 22,000 gallons of water and about $100 dollars per year on their water bill.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Wash with Less</h2> <p>The appliances in a utility room are one of the largest drains on an energy bill and the environment. Not all washers and dryers are created equal, so look for the Energy Star label on appliances if you&rsquo;re buying new ones. For washers, these types use about <a href="">25% less energy</a> and 45% less water than standard options. Be sure to use cold water as frequently as possible, because heating the water uses a majority of the energy when washing clothes. As for dryers, switching to hang drying whenever possible is your best bet. You will reduce carbon emissions and your clothes will last longer. If you rely on a dryer, use a low heat setting on Energy Star units &mdash; they use about 20% less energy than regular products.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Get Renewable Energy</h2> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to install a windmill on top of your home to break free from unsustainable energy resources. Xcel Energy&rsquo;s <a href="">Windsource</a> program gives homeowners the choice to receive their energy from renewable resources, in exchange for a slightly higher electricity bill. Customers choose how much of their energy (in 100 KWh blocks) they want to get from the Windsource program. This renewable energy program is more affordable than you might think. For the average home, it costs just $6.80 extra per month to cover 100% of its electricity usage. When you consider the price we all pay by damaging the environment, that&rsquo;s a bargain!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Going green at home is a responsible decision that comes with plenty of benefits. If you&rsquo;re in the market to sell your home, it&rsquo;s worth looking into sustainable products that can add value to potential buyers. Even if you don&rsquo;t decide to sell anytime soon, you will save money and prepare yourself for a sale down the road. Are you looking to purchase a green home in 2017? Don&rsquo;t be afraid to ask homeowners questions about their energy savings and utility bills. When it&rsquo;s time to move, you will feel better about your decision. Check out our blog post &ldquo;<a href="">How to Simplify Your Life When Moving</a>&rdquo; to make the process even easier.</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results The Basics and Benefits of VA Home Loans <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Jan 20, 2017</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Homeownership is a huge part of the &ldquo;American Dream,&rdquo; and few would argue that there is anyone more deserving of realizing that dream than the men and women who unselfishly serve to protect our country. The VA lending program is part of the original GI Bill that has enabled over 22 million military service members to secure loans and obtain home ownership since 1944.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here are some basics of VA home loans to understand in order to take advantage of this powerful and flexible program.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What Is a VA Loan?</h2> <p>VA loans are government-backed loans available to military service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses. These loans are not from the government. Just like with conventional loans, potential borrowers need to go to a qualified mortgage lender and apply for a loan. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) backs the loan with a guarantee to the lender that the VA will repay a portion of the loan amount in the event of borrower default. This helps borrowers to get lender approval and secure better loan terms and rates.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What Are the Benefits of a VA Loan?</h2> <p>There are some wonderful benefits that come with VA loans that make them very attractive to potential borrowers. Some of these benefits are:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>No down payment</li> <li>No mortgage insurance</li> <li>Low interest rates</li> <li>Lower closing costs</li> <li>No prepayment penalty</li> </ul> <p>Borrowers who have lower credit scores can still usually get approval for a VA loan, sometimes even if they have experienced a foreclosure or short sale in the past.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>How Do I Know if I&rsquo;m Eligible for a VA Loan?</h2> <p>Active service members, veterans, and surviving spouses are eligible for VA loans. A few caveats to keep in mind are: service members must be in good standing or discharged in good standing from the military, surviving spouses cannot be remarried when they apply, and the loans do not extend to other family members such as siblings or children.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The eligible borrower will need a COE (Certificate of Eligibility) or DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) showing character of service, as well as other documents traditionally needed for a loan application such as bank statements and employment information.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To be eligible for a VA loan the property must also be used as the eligible borrower&rsquo;s primary residence, not as a vacation home or investment property.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>How Much Can I Get Approved For?</h2> <p>Eligible service members can typically get approved for loans up to $417,000 with their full entitlement without needing to pay any down payment (sometimes more in more expensive areas of the country).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A VA entitlement is the amount of money the VA will guarantee in the event of borrower default; that is the limit you can borrow before you need to factor in a down payment out of pocket. It is possible to get a higher loan amount if you have money for a down payment and use that in addition to using your entitlement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Fees Associated with VA Loans</h2> <p>VA loans are subject to a mandatory VA funding fee of up to 3.3% of the loan amount that may be paid in cash or rolled into the loan amount. Veterans on 10% or greater VA disability compensation are exempt from the funding fee.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Other common loan fees such as appraisals, credit reports, title searches, and title insurance cannot be waived or rolled into the loan. However, there is a limit to how much borrowers can be charged for these fees. The seller may also pay these on behalf of the borrower, but this is not required of the seller; it would be negotiated by the real estate agent on the borrower&rsquo;s behalf.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For additional information or questions regarding VA loans you can check the <a href="">US Department of Veterans Affairs website</a> or call VA Benefits toll free at 1-800-827-1000.</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results Tips For Downsizing <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Jan 12, 2017</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the earlier stages of life, it often seems like no matter how hard you try you never have enough space. From your college dorm to your first apartment, all you dream of is that big house with a walk-in closet, an exercise room, and a storage room in the basement. However, a larger home comes with more financial and maintenance responsibilities than living in something more modest. While downsizing may seem like a step backwards, it is quite the contrary. The money and time you save can go towards travel, dining out, and many other fun things. But of course the first question that comes to mind before downsizing is, where do I start? Whether you&rsquo;re moving from a house to a condo or a trading in your two-bedroom apartment for a studio, there are some good first steps to consider.</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Start Thinning Out Your Belongings</h2> <p>Take a good, hard look at your possessions and ask yourself what you can&rsquo;t live without, and what you can get rid of. Take an extra look at places like the kitchen, the garage, and the attic or the basement. If you&rsquo;re going from a house to a condo, you most likely don&rsquo;t need multiple shovels or a ladder, and as much as we would like to keep our six mixing bowls they just aren&rsquo;t necessary. Go through each cupboard, shelf and closet and make a pile of things that you can donate, give to family members, or sell.&nbsp; Be sure to start this process at least a few months before you plan to move. If you are looking for places to donate to, <a href="">The Salvation Army</a> and <a href="">Bridging</a> are fantastic organizations that provide furniture, clothes and other household items to those in need and offer free pick up.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Measure Your New Home</h2> <p>Owning a larger home means you naturally have more furniture, and it&rsquo;s important to see what will or won&rsquo;t fit. Measure each room as well as your furniture, and consider where doors and windows are located to make the best choices on which furniture to keep. After you&rsquo;ve taken measurements, create a floor plan to prearrange furniture before moving in; this will prevent you from suddenly realizing two couches won&rsquo;t fit in your new living room. This goes for new storage areas as well &mdash; as much as you would like to keep your child&rsquo;s old crib, downsizing typically means saying goodbye to items that you really don&rsquo;t need anymore.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Organize, Organize, Organize</h2> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve gone through your belongings and your furniture, figure out a system for organizing all of your items. Whether you prefer color coding your boxes, using a numerical system, or labeling by room, keeping track of every single box will make unpacking and organizing your new home infinitely easier. Create separate boxes for storage, and move all of your large items first.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Downsizing doesn&rsquo;t have to be stressful, and the second you&rsquo;ve rid yourself of years of accumulated stuff you&rsquo;ll realize how much of a burden it can be to own so many things in such a large house. The time and money you will save on maintenance can now be used to enjoy life in so many different ways. Welcome to living more simply!</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results Home Organization Ideas for the New Year <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Jan 6, 2017</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If your house is starting to look more like an obstacle course than a living environment, getting things organized might feel like an epic task. On the other hand, if things are just starting to look a little cluttered, it&rsquo;s easy to put off cleaning and organization for another day. Whatever your situation, taking the time to make things more orderly is worth the effort. This is especially true if you are planning to sell the home in the near future, because first impressions matter to homebuyers. Getting organized may take a weekend to complete, but once things are neatly arranged maintenance becomes much easier. Make a New Year&rsquo;s resolution to get more organized at home, and you will feel more comfortable with your living environment. Read on to see our home organization ideas for 2017.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Toss the Junk</h2> <p>Many people overestimate the amount of things they need in their house. A purge is usually necessary to remove the things that are rarely used. Start by going around the home looking for items you may have forgotten about. Try to remember the last time you used each item, and toss the things that have been collecting dust (family heirlooms would be an exception). Once you start this process, you might be surprised with the items you&rsquo;re willing to axe! It&rsquo;s a uniquely satisfying feeling to get rid of the things that get in the way. Once you&rsquo;ve committed to throwing away the junk, break out the trash bin and start your Tour de &lsquo;Sposal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Get Storage</h2> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re going to reorganize the items lying around your house, you might as well invest in places to put them. One part of the home that is often overlooked for storage space is the walls. It&rsquo;s easy to install hooks, shelves and cubbies to these vertical surfaces and free up some room around the house. If items in your mudroom always seem to pile up, consider getting a bench that serves double duty as a storage chest. Put it right next to a coat rack to easily store everything you&rsquo;re likely to bring in from the great outdoors. In the bedroom, you can save plenty of space with shoe racks, bed frame drawers and headboard storage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Keep Up with Maintenance</h2> <p>After you put your items in their designated storage locations, it can be tempting to put off cleaning until things look disastrous once again. Do your future self a favor and spend a few minutes each day putting things back where they belong. There is no easier time to keep the home clean than when it&rsquo;s already relatively spotless. Once organizing your items becomes a habit, it will feel effortless. You can even time yourself by setting an alarm for exactly ten minutes of cleaning each day. When the alarm goes off, stop whatever you&rsquo;re doing and get back to your life. You can be surprisingly productive in a short amount of time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Find an Organization App</h2> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There&rsquo;s no better place to keep records of your organization tasks than on your smartphone. There are loads of apps that make home organization easier, so find one that fits best for your life. BrightNest simplifies the scheduling process and reminds users when it&rsquo;s time to clean the house. Even better, it will provide tips for these tasks to help you complete them more efficiently. If you want to get the whole family in on the cleaning action, check out Cozi, which syncs daily schedules for easy chore calendars. Want to take your organization a step further? Download HomeZada, which makes it easy to take inventory of the items around your home.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Every home looks its best without clutter, so make a plan to organize everything you own. There&rsquo;s something about walking into a well-organized room that makes it feel more inviting, and selling a home is much easier when it&rsquo;s clean. Keeping things clean is more difficult when you have children, so check out our blog post &ldquo;<a href="">8 Easy Ways to Baby Proof Your House</a>&rdquo; to learn how to keep things tidy and safe for your youngest family members. An orderly house provides peace of mind, and that feels good to come home to.</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results Tips for First Time Home Buyers <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Dec 28, 2016</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You&rsquo;re ready to take the plunge on purchasing a home. That&rsquo;s great news! Being a first time home buyer can be both exciting and stressful, but don&rsquo;t get overwhelmed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are quite a few things to consider before starting to look for a home, and if you do your research to make sure you&rsquo;re prepared before meeting with your RE/MAX Results real estate agent, you&rsquo;ll be one step ahead.</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Check Your Credit</h2> <p>Your credit score is one of the most important factors regarding your home loan. It affects the kind of loan you qualify for as well as the cost of the loan, so it is important to stay up-to-date on where your credit lies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Get a free copy of your report and thoroughly look it over for errors and unpaid or collection accounts that may negatively affect your credit. Ideally, first time home buyers will have a low debt-to-credit ratio with less than one third of it in use.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If your credit score has taken a hit over the years, don&rsquo;t panic. Repairing credit takes time, but not as much as you might think in most cases. If your credit needs work, start the process of repairing it at least six months before you start the home buying process.</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Start Researching Early</h2> <p>Purchasing a home isn&rsquo;t only about the finances. What kind of home are you looking for? What type of neighborhood do you want to live in? Since you&rsquo;ll be in this location for at least five years, as well as making a big investment, it&rsquo;s important to consider what type of area you want to live in. Start looking into areas that you&rsquo;re interested in and find out if they have homes available, if they fit into your price range, and if it is a fit for your lifestyle.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When you find a house that you&rsquo;re ready to look at, the investigation continues. Schedule a home inspection to make sure the house is in good condition and up to code. You don&rsquo;t want to purchase a home that is in seemingly good condition but turns into a money pit due to repairs.</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Buy the Best House for Your Money</h2> <p>Mortgage rates are continuing to improve, which means it&rsquo;s the perfect time to ask yourself, &ldquo;What is the best home I can get for what I can afford?&rdquo; Getting preapproved for a loan will give you a leg up before you go into the negotiation process. If you have your finances in order sellers will take you more seriously, and your agent will be able to find you more housing options.</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Evaluate Your Finances</h2> <p>Similar to buying a car, you&rsquo;ll want to consider more than just what the monthly mortgage payments are. Factor in closing costs, property taxes, maintenance costs, homeowner&rsquo;s fees, and a down payment when determining what you can afford. Consider making a ratio on the debt you currently have versus your income when factoring in a down payment; this will help you determine what you can afford on a monthly basis in addition to what you can afford upfront.</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Consult With A Qualified Realtor</h2> <p>Don&rsquo;t navigate the complex world of purchasing a home alone. Contact RE/MAX Results today and let us help you find the home of your dreams!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Photo: <a href=""></a></p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results