Blog Blog posts for Blog Tue, 24 Jan 2017 19:27:38 +0100 FeedCreator 1.7.2 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 The Advantages of Buying a Home in Winter <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Dec 20, 2016</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Homebuyers always want to get the best deal for a new property, and one strategy for finding lower prices is to wait until winter to look for a new home. It might seem strange, but different seasons have an effect on the real estate market. Throughout the year, the average selling prices for homes in a neighborhood fluctuate, and you can use this fact to your advantage. As the colder winter months approach, it&rsquo;s the ideal time for buyers to increase their home search efforts &ndash; the conditions are perfect for a great price. The real estate market slows down in winter, which means less competition, more desperate sellers, and real estate agents who want to keep sales moving.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Extra Motivation. Extra Opportunity.</h2> <p>There is a clear downward shift in the demand for homes during the winter. It makes sense when you think about it &ndash; people are more likely to focus their attention on things like the holidays during the dead of winter. Additionally, parents who have school-age children most likely don&rsquo;t want to make them transfer to a new district during the middle of the year. If neither of these factors are a concern to you as a homebuyer, you&rsquo;re already at an advantage. When you&rsquo;re willing to brave the cold temperatures, snow, and sleet to find your dream home, it&rsquo;s often well worth the effort.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>The Right Price</h2> <p>After Labor Day, home prices begin to fall and they don&rsquo;t stop until around February. There is a <a href="">15% decrease</a> in the national inventory of homes, and the ones that are available go for less money. The sellers who remain during the winter months are the ones who are more motivated to sell &ndash; they often want to sell by a certain date, which can work to your advantage. Compare these types of sellers to the ones you&rsquo;ll find in the summer, who are more focused on profit, and it&rsquo;s easy to see why you can find a great bargain. So while there is less home inventory to choose from, buyers still have more leverage when negotiating things like purchase price, closing costs, and payment timelines.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Choosing When to Buy</h2> <p>While there are many advantages to buying a home in the winter, whether you actually go through with a purchase comes down to your motivations. Do you want to see the maximum amount of properties you can before making a purchase? It might be worth waiting until the summer as home inventories rise, even though prices may be slightly higher. On the other hand, if you have a general idea of your ideal home and want to find the best deal, there is no better time than the winter. You will get to see the property in an (arguably) less flattering light, so you can see past most of the staging tricks sellers sometimes utilize in warm weather. If you&rsquo;ve never considered purchasing a home during the winter, consider the advantages before writing it off entirely.&nbsp;</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results What is a Limited Warranty Deed? <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Dec 13, 2016</p><p>You&rsquo;re in the process of buying a piece of real estate, and you are informed that the seller is offering you a &ldquo;limited warranty deed.&rdquo; The buying process can sometimes get confusing with all the paperwork and terminology involved, especially for new buyers. If you find yourself wondering, &ldquo;Just what <em>is</em> a limited warranty deed?&rdquo; you&rsquo;re not alone.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Titles and Deeds: A Primer</h2> <p>When purchasing real estate, the seller (&ldquo;granter&rdquo;) will transfer the title to the property to the buyer (&ldquo;grantee&rdquo;) using a legal document called a deed. Title is a legal term representing your rights to a property, including rights to own, use, and sell or dispose of the property. Both parties must sign the deed to complete the title transfer. There are different types of deed, but the two most common types are:</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>General Warranty Deed</li> <li>Limited Warranty Deed</li> </ul> <p>Warranty means guarantee, and these two types of deed guarantee different things to the buyer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>General Warranty Deed</h3> <p>This type of deed is the most comprehensive. It guarantees that the seller actually owns the property and all rights to it, that there are no encumbrances against the property that aren&rsquo;t listed on the deed, and that they will defend the title against any claims.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Limited Warranty Deed</h3> <p>Just like the name sounds, a limited warranty deed, sometimes also called a special warranty deed, is more limited than a general warranty deed. This deed essentially only guarantees that the seller hasn&rsquo;t done anything to the title that they received and that they will defend it against any claims for the period of time that they owned it. In other words, the title is only guaranteed against the seller&rsquo;s own actions and doesn&rsquo;t extend to previous owners.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What Sort of Problems Could a Limited Warranty Cause?</h2> <p>If the title is free and clear from any encumbrances, then it shouldn&rsquo;t matter if you get a general or limited warranty deed. However, if a problem does arise it could make a huge difference. If one of the previous owners of the property didn&rsquo;t pay all the property taxes for the property, you could be liable to pay them. Worse, if it turns out that one of the previous owners didn&rsquo;t have full rights to the property, you might not legally own the property.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Should I Even Consider a Limited Warranty Deed?</h2> <p>There may be legitimate reasons a seller offers a limited warranty deed, and it doesn&rsquo;t necessarily mean you should walk away from the property. But you should proceed with caution to protect yourself. Here are a few things you can do:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol> <li>Work with a knowledgeable, licensed realtor to help you navigate the process.</li> <li>Seek the help of an attorney to carefully look over your paperwork. Even a general warranty deed might contain other language that reduces its protections.</li> <li>Do a title exam (also commonly called a title search) to check for liens, judgements, or any other type of encumbrance against the property.</li> <li>Consider getting title insurance to protect yourself against unknown risks. Title insurance doesn&rsquo;t guarantee your title will have no problems, but it will help pay to fix the problem or compensate you if it can&rsquo;t be fixed.</li> </ol> <p>Understanding the different types of deeds and your rights regarding them can help you make a more informed and financially sound decision as a potential buyer, and RE/MAX Results is here to help. Contact us today.</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results Smart Home Technology: Is It For You? <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Dec 7, 2016</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Wouldn&rsquo;t it be nice to be able to preheat the oven for dinner before you leave work? Or make sure your kids got home safely from school, right from your smart phone? With the technology offered through smart home appliances and applications you can manage your home directly from the device of your choosing. In addition to making life simpler, smart home applications offer the opportunity to increase the value of your home and make them more attractive to potential buyers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What is a smart home?</h2> <p>Smart homes are all about convenience. &nbsp;Your appliances and devices are controlled from one automation system that allows them to be run either in home or from afar. There are a variety of smart home products on the market and more being added every day. Whether you desire automated thermostats, smart lighting or smart security systems, a smart home can provide not only convenience but efficiency as well.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You can set schedules for your appliances, and some have the capability to learn your schedule and can adjust accordingly, radically reducing the effort it can take to manage your home. No longer will you be lying in bed wondering whether you turned the porch light off, you can check right from your phone!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Smart Home Options</h2> <p>Smart home technology offers a variety of options based on your desires and needs. This could include security, climate control, and even energy saving options. As with any technology that handles personal information, there are concerns regarding hackers, bugs, or glitches that could put your information at risk. &nbsp;Although the concern for hackers can be very real, rest assured that any smart technology you choose provides a support team that makes your security and protection their top priority.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Security</h3> <p>Knowing you can keep an eye on your children, your home, and even the dog regardless of your location is extremely comforting. Whether you&rsquo;re at work, on vacation, or out on the town, there are a variety of security camera options that allow you to check on your home right from your device. Other options include remote window control, door locks, and fire alarms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These options make your security more customized and provide more in-depth possibilities to protect your family from harm. Take the fire alarm for example&mdash;smart home technology can notify your family there is a fire, dial the fire department, unlock doors, and light up a path to safety.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Climate Control</h3> <p>Smart thermostats are one of the most popular products in smart home technology. They have capabilities to learn your preferences for heating and cooling your home and adjust accordingly so you don&rsquo;t have to lift a finger. They also can go into &ldquo;away&rdquo; mode when you&rsquo;re not home, keeping your energy expenses low.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Energy Saving</h3> <p>In addition to a smart thermostat, there are a number of ways to optimize the rest of your home&rsquo;s energy use. The smart lamp allows you to program your lights to turn off and on according to a set schedule, or to be able to turn them off from your phone without having to get off the couch. There are also smart &ldquo;switch&rdquo; devices you can install that enable you to turn power off and on in any outlet in your home.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This area of technology is still developing, but if you are looking for ways to increase your home value, consider adding smart home technology. In the ever-changing market of real estate, it always helps to stay ahead of the curve.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;Photo:</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results How to Decorate for the Holidays on a Budget <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Dec 1, 2016</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are well on our way to the holiday season, and now is the time to begin to think about decorating your home. If you&rsquo;re thinking about selling your home during this wonderful time of year, it&rsquo;s worth decking the halls to make it look attractive to potential homebuyers. Sounds expensive, right? The thing is, it doesn&rsquo;t have to be. You can make your home look extremely festive and attractive to guests and visitors without breaking the bank. You can take a frugal approach to the holidays, without anyone knowing the difference. Here&rsquo;s how to get started:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Find a Bargain on Trees</h2> <p>You know what they say, &ldquo;If you want something done right, do it yourself.&rdquo; That&rsquo;s certainly true if you want to save money on a real tree for Christmas. It&rsquo;s easy to find a local tree farm that gives people access to nearly a forest of options. Of course, it is a little more work to chop down your own tree, but it can make for a fun family outing. If you want to stick to a Christmas tree lot, look for coupons from sites like Groupon to score a great deal. Looking to save money in the long run? Go with an artificial tree that never requires replacement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Bake Your Own Treats</h2> <p>Nothing sparks the holiday spirit quite like a plate full of gingerbread or sugar cookies. Sure, it&rsquo;s easy to hit the bakery and load up on delicious Christmas treats, but you pay a premium for that convenience. You might not be the best baker in town, but Christmas gives you the opportunity to improve your skills and serve something delicious to people at your home. If you&rsquo;re selling your home and having an open house, serving your visitors mouthwatering treats probably won&rsquo;t seal the deal, but it sure won&rsquo;t hurt it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Make Use of Candles</h2> <p>What better decoration to use around the holidays than one you probably already own? Candles are great to have around the house year-round, but they add some festive cheer to your home around the holidays. There are many scents that evoke thoughts of the holiday season as soon as they hit your nose: think cinnamon, baked goods, and pine scents. If you don&rsquo;t happen to have any candles around the house, they aren&rsquo;t too expensive to pick up. Most dollar stores sell a wide variety of candles for a price that you can&rsquo;t pass up.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Create Your Own Wreaths</h2> <p>A wreath is a wonderful thing during the holiday season. Not only does it inspire holiday cheer, but you can build one with just about anything. That&rsquo;s right &ndash; a wreath doesn&rsquo;t just have to be made from evergreen twigs, you can get even more creative with your materials. Buying a package of bows to put on your presents? Use the extra ones to serve as a decorative part of a wreath. All you need is a wire coat hanger (to serve as a circular base) and some glue to connect the bows. That&rsquo;s just one idea, but the possibilities are endless: candy canes, flowers, pine cones and much more can form a wreath with a little bit of effort. Bring out your crafty side for this beautiful Christmas decoration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The holidays are supposed to bring out the best in everyone, and if you take some time to decorate, they can bring out the best in your home, too. If you want to sell your house, there&rsquo;s no better way to stage it than to set up some holiday decorations. It doesn&rsquo;t matter which holidays your family celebrates, so long as you create a festive mood that everyone can enjoy. Get creative to get the most out of your home this holiday season.&nbsp;</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results New Home Construction Trends: Considerations for the Latest Home Designs <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Nov 29, 2016</p><p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When contemplating a new home, it&rsquo;s important to be forward thinking. Whether it&rsquo;s considering the features you&rsquo;ll need for a growing family, or looking for ways to keep your home from becoming dated and requiring renovation, it&rsquo;s smart to think ahead. In many of the latest home designs we see an emphasis on efficiency, technology, and functionality, in conjunction with uncompromising style. Here are some trends to look out for when beginning your search for a new home, or deciding what you need in a custom build:</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Guest Space</h2> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re an empty-nester who may or may not have a college student looking to move back in after graduation, have aging parents who will be needing more care, or simply host a lot of guests, having first floor guest space is essential. As one of the top new home construction trends, this additional bedroom/bathroom suite can serve a variety of purposes, making it easy to host family members and friends for short &ndash; or long &ndash; periods of time without feeling like you&rsquo;re on top of each other. If you are looking for a two-story home, having this space on the first floor is a must. In this location in the home, the space provides more separation between you and your guests, plus it&rsquo;s easily accessible for older generations.</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Intelligent Features</h2> <p>Technology is changing just about every aspect of our lives, including what we find essential in our homes. Smart home technology ranges from smartphone controlled <a href="">blinds</a>, to self-programming <a href="">thermostats</a>, to <a href="">refrigerators</a> that have a camera that you can check while away to see if you&rsquo;re out of milk, and everything in-between. These features are becoming in-home staples, providing homeowners with a way to control their houses from afar.</p> <h3>&nbsp;</h3> <h3>Think Small, Intelligently</h3> <p>Another facet of the intelligent home design trend comes from the tiny house movement. Many of those searching for new homes are looking for space saving, multi-use features that provide the most &ldquo;bang&rdquo; for your square footage. Whether you&rsquo;re looking for a 200-sq. ft. tiny house, or a 1,800-sq. ft. or larger home, features like storage under the stairs provide you with the most livable space possible.</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Going Greener</h2> <p>For just about all homebuyers and custom home designers, efficiency is an absolute must. From having solar panels mounted on roofs, to future homes that <a href="">create more energy than they use</a>, the new home construction trend of creating homes that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly appears to have no end in sight &ndash; which is definitely a good thing. No one wants to overpay on utilities or live in an overly cold or warm home. If you&rsquo;re buying a home, look for newer windows, fully insulated attic spaces, and pipes and solar panels where possible. If you&rsquo;re building, talk to your contractor about how you can ensure the efficiency of your new home.</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>Your Future Home</h2> <p>When searching for a home, it&rsquo;s easy to get wrapped up in the stylish tile or fine finishes, but just because a home may feature some bells and whistles, it might not be equipped for your specific needs. Remember to consider how intelligently the space is laid out, the efficiency of the structure and appliances, and of course, if it gives you enough room to grow. If you do that, you should be able to find (or build) a home that will suit you and your needs for years to come.</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results 8 Easy Ways to Baby Proof Your House <p>Posted by RE/MAX Results Results on Nov 22, 2016</p><p>It seems like just yesterday you were bringing your newborn baby home, but now you realize your baby isn&rsquo;t so new anymore. One day you look up and away they go &ndash; he&rsquo;s mobile! It&rsquo;s an exciting milestone when your baby starts crawling, but it&rsquo;s also a time to make your home safe from anything that could cause your child harm.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>Where to Begin?</h2> <p>While it may sound silly, the best way to baby proof is to imagine what your baby will see. As a tall adult, you don&rsquo;t always consider what could be closer to the ground that could be dangerous. Take a tour around your home and notice all the areas that are low to the ground that pose a hazard. Things like outlets, blind cords, drawers, even furniture can be dangerous. But don&rsquo;t worry! Here are some potential hazards to consider:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Crib</h3> <p>This is the one safe place you&rsquo;re comfortable leaving your baby for a bit, so make sure that it is new if you can. Older cribs tend usually wear over time, and don&rsquo;t typically follow today&rsquo;s <a href="">safety guidelines</a>. In addition, you should move your crib mattress to the lowest setting, and remove anything that could help your child climb out on his or her own.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Furniture</h3> <p>Consider adding anti-tip guards to tall furniture so that items like bookshelves or dressers won&rsquo;t fall if your baby tries to climb on them or is learning to walk. Today, most new furniture pieces include some kind of security/stability accessories, so keep an eye out for those.</p> <h3><img src="" alt="" /></h3> <h3>Windows</h3> <p>There may be a time where your baby learns to climb onto the window ledge, and a regular screen is not enough to keep them from falling out. Consider installing window guards or another type of secure system that keeps windows from opening more than a few inches.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Toilets</h3> <h3>While potty training might be further off than you hope, children can be very curious about toilets even if they don&rsquo;t know how to use them. Install a toilet lock that will prevent your children from opening the lid &ndash; at least until it&rsquo;s time to start potty training.</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Electrical Cords and Outlets</h3> <p>Infants might chew on electrical cords or pull on them, potentially bringing down lamps or other heavy electrical objects on top of them. Move cords well out of reach or secure them in a way your baby can&rsquo;t easily undo. Electrical outlets are also dangerous if babies poke their fingers or other objects into them. Be sure to close them off with safety plugs or covers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Sharp-edge Tables</h3> <p>Consider getting cushioned strips or padded guards to keep your baby from banging into a sharp corner of a table. Luckily, there are options available today so you can avoid wrapping your table in pillows and halved water noodles (though both are effective). If you are actively shopping for furniture, keep baby&rsquo;s safety in mind and look for tables with rounded edges.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Stoves</h3> <p>Only use back burners, and look into knob covers or even removing stove knobs when you&rsquo;re not using your stove. If the budget allows, you can also invest in an induction stovetop &ndash; they are never hot to the touch.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h3>Cabinets</h3> <p>Babies love to explore cabinets, potentially exposing them to poisonous or dangerous items &ndash; especially in the kitchen or bathroom. There&rsquo;s also a possibility of them pinching their little fingers in the doors. Purchase childproof safety latches for your cabinets, and consider moving poisonous or dangerous items to higher cabinets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Knick-Knacks</h3> <p>You may have some fun, decorative knick-knacks around the house, but baby might see &ldquo;decorative&rdquo; as &ldquo;delicious,&rdquo; and try to put it in his or her mouth. Be sure to keep them out of reach or locked away until you can convince your child that actual food tastes much better.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Garbage Cans</h3> <p>Garbage cans tend to be filled with objects that are extremely hazardous from broken glass to plastic bags. Find a garbage can that has a method to secure the lid. Another option is to hide away the receptacle in a cabinet or pantry.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Tablecloths/Drapes/Dish Towels</h3> <p>Toddlers have a tendency to yank things that hang, such as drapes, tablecloths or dish towels, which can cause heavier objects surrounding them to tumble. Be sure to keep these out of reach.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Stairs</h3> <p>Last but certainly not least, fasten gates with vertical slats or plastic meshwork at the top and bottom of a staircase to keep your little one from tumbling down.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Baby proofing is a rough business, and it requires constant vigilance to keep your little one out of harm&rsquo;s way. But don&rsquo;t forget, let your new crawler explore. Not everything they can get into will hurt them, and this is a good time for them to learn about their newfound freedom</p><p></p> RE/MAX Results Results