Blog. Valuable Tips and Advice: Home Owner Tips

Creative Storage Solutions for Small Spaces

Depending on the size of your home, you probably feel like you will never have enough storage space. This is an extremely common complaint when you are looking at houses but there are many things you can do to maximize the storage space you have. Where should you start?

  • Floating shelves can go almost anywhere. Use one in a bathroom to hold your toiletries, picture frames in the living room or in the kitchen for cookbooks. Don’t go overboard but they are a great way to hold things without using floor space for a piece of furniture.
  • Under the bed storage is essential. While this may not be where you want to store the things you use every day, this is a perfect place for clothes that are out of season and other things that you don’t need as often. There are many for under bed bins so you can easily pull things out without having to crawl under the bed when you need something.
  • Many pieces of furniture are made with built-in storage. Consider an ottoman that opens to store extra linens, a coffee table with room for games or a dining table with space for your plates and utensils. Empty space is wasted space. Make the most of what you have.
  • Consider adding built-ins to your home when you are making updates next. Including a desk or bookcase within your home will add more space and keep furniture to a minimum and often adds value to your home as well when it comes time to sell.
  • Take the time to properly organize your closet and have a closet system installed. A well organized closet can more than double your storage space so make this investment in your home.
  • No matter how small your space is, you must have a door. Add hooks or bars to the back of the door and even a shelf above the door to store extra things. Here are even more .
  • Are the kids rooms overflowing with stuffed animals or your house is missing a linen closet? Fill these with soft items so you have extra storage and a cushy place to sit.

The key to living comfortably in any space is to not have more of anything than you need but some spaces really are small even if you are diligent about purging what you don’t need but with a little creativity, you can still make space for everything you need.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

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Selecting Your Mortgage Term: 15 or 30 Years

For most people, your home will be the largest purchase you ever make and depending on the terms of the mortgage you choose to pay for your home, you could spend more than double the actual price of your home by the time you pay for it (if you ever pay it off.)

Selecting a mortgage is almost like picking shoes….it can be really hard to make a decision and there seems to be new choices all the time. There are tons of different mortgage options available and every different choice has both pros and cons. With so many choices, how will you ever decide which mortgage is best for you. Today, let’s just focus on the length of your mortgage term. While 30 years is probably the most common because it makes your home more affordable, there are some distinct advantages to selecting a 15-year term. To make the best choice for you, you will need to do your research, talk to a professional and weigh the pros and cons of both to make a decision.

A 30-year mortgage offers more flexibility over a 15-year term. Your monthly payments are lower, because they are spread out over more time. If you become ill, lose your job, or have some other financial trouble, you are less likely to get into trouble with your mortgage since you will owe less each month meaning you will be able to cover your monthly mortgage payment out of your savings for a longer period of time. If you want to pay off your mortgage early, you can choose to pay extra each month toward your loan principal and there is rarely a penalty for paying extra. A 30-year mortgage will carry a higher interest rate since the lender is taking a greater risk by allowing you longer to pay the loan off. The higher interest rate will result in a higher overall cost when compared to a 15-year mortgage even if you pay off your loan early.

Now for the shorter counterpart, a 15-year mortgage will save you money with a lower interest rate and save you thousands and thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. You will also be forced to pay off your loan earlier unless you want to incur a penalty. If you can afford the higher monthly payments but don’t have the self-discipline to make extra payments yourself, this might be the right option for you.

There is a downside to a 15-year mortgage and that is the lack of flexibility. If you do face a financial hardship at any point you are still obligated to pay your mortgage and because of the shorter term, your monthly payment will be much larger and may be difficult to continue if your income changes.

How do you decide which mortgage is right for you? Get preapproved for a mortgage before you start shopping for a home, and talk to your loan officer (or call me if you need a recommendation.) Compare both options and what the monthly payments would be for each one. Plug those figures into your monthly budget to determine which will work best for you. When you’re ready to pick the house to go with your new mortgage, contact me and let’s find your dream home.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Warm Weather Lawn Care

When the extremely warm weather hits this time of year, you may feel like you want to give up on your landscaping as it gets harder and harder to keep it looking healthy. If keeping your yard and landscaping growing strong this time of year is important to you, you will likely need to put some extra effort into making it beautiful.  

One of the worst things you can do to cause damage to your lawn is to cut it too short. This causes stress to your grass and makes it harder for it to withstand the hot temperatures and dry climate. So raise the blades on your lawn mower and give your grass a better chance to resist the impacts of the heat.  

If you are watering your lawn and landscaping, make sure you aren’t breaking any restrictions your town may have put in place and always water at night when the temperatures are cooler so your lawn will have the best chance to absorb as much of the water as it can before the sun comes up and evaporates the excess water.  

Another option if you want to keep your lawn looking lush is to install drought resistant landscaping that will need much less water to stay healthy. Even if your grass looks brown and dead this time of year, don’t be tempted to add fertilizer to your lawn. Applying fertilizer during hot weather can cause your grass to burn and make it look even worse.  

Save yourself the effort of bagging your lawn clippings when you mow the grass as they will act as natural fertilizer for your lawn as they decompose. It is also important to take good care of your lawn in the cooler months as well. Property fertilization, aeration and seeing at the appropriate times will increase the overall health of your lawn so it is better able to withstand the stress of the hottest weather.  

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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RE/MAX Unlimited 5205 Stilesboro Road #110 Kennesaw, GA 30152 | 770.419.1986