Tuesday, August 14, 2018 / by Sheri Roundy
Think you're not ready to unlock home ownership yet? That the financial hurdles are too high? You may be short-changing yourself. Many of the things renters believe about home-buying are myths.
Here's the real deal.
Myth: I Have to Put Down 20%. :(
Saving 20% of the price of a home in many places isn't just a challenge; it's a roadblock. And it's not a must-do. Roughly 60% of home buyers put down less than 6%. How can you become part of the "less-than-20 club"?
FHA Loans: The Federal Housing Association (FHA) is an old friend to first-time buyers and others who are ready to become homeowners with less than a 20% down payment. If you qualify, you may be able to get a loan with as little as 3.5% down.
DownpaymentResource.com and NeighborWorks: Some local and state agencies sponsor down-payment assistance programs that help prospective home buyers in different ways. Follow the links to find out if any are available near you.
Friday, August 3, 2018 / by Sheri Roundy
Here’s how to organize kids’ rooms from cradle to college.
Transformer cribs. An ordinary crib accommodates baby for two to three years -- until he learns how to escape over the rail. Boost storage with a convertible crib with storage drawers ($145 to $350) that’ll convert and adapt to your toddler’s needs and beyond.
Some convertible cribs change into toddler beds, daybeds, or full-size headboards, giving you options as your youngster gets older. If you can’t find a crib with storage below, use the space between the legs for stowing bins or baskets for diapers, toys, and more.
Pimping the closet. Remove the door on the nursery closet for easy access, and install a variety of cool storage features. Drawers, bins, and shelves can round up onesies, booties, baby towels, diapers, and toiletries. A simple wire rack storage system is $90 to $350 at home improvement centers.
Install lower rods so baby, as he grows. ...
Monday, July 30, 2018 / by Sheri Roundy
Updating your home to be more chic - without looking cheap - is completely doable on a budget.
If you're looking to add more class to your home, taking on a DIY project can give your house that extra sense of style while saving you money. No need to cringe at those three little words: "do it yourself." There really are fast, easy and affordable projects you can do on your own. Here are five relatively easy ways to enhance your home.
1. Replace Your Light Fixtures
Switching out an old or basic light fixture for a more elegant one is an easy way to shift the ambiance of a room. By adding a sophisticated light fixture, you can control the intensity of the light and character of your room. And you don't need to pay a pretty penny for expensive new fixtures - you can buy used fixtures online.
2. Add Floating Shelves
Installing floating shelves in your home combines the functionality of extra storage space with a bit of style and personal flair. Floatin; ...
Friday, July 13, 2018 / by Sheri Roundy
There is really only one reason to try to increase the value of your home: if you’re trying to sell it. If you’re not, deliberately increasing your home’s value most likely will increase your tax bill as well. There are ways to increase your home’s value for resale that range from the very expensive (major remodels and additions) to free (tidying up the front yard). We’ll look at the whole range, noting how much value is added when possible.
Before you begin any of these projects, it is important that you do them with the following in mind: you do not want to raise the value of your property too far above others in the neighborhood. Why? Because people who want expensive homes will shop exclusively in higher-value neighborhoods. If you own the “best house” in the neighborhood, it is unlikely you will recoup whatever investment you’ve made. A good rule of thumb: keep the value of your property within 15 to 20 percent of your neighbors&r ...
Friday, July 13, 2018 / by Sheri Roundy
A lot of people are downsizing these days, whether by choice or necessity. Having a smaller space presents decorating and design challenges, about which misconceptions abound. The number one misconception? That using white will make your space look larger. Not so, say experts. Another mistaken belief is that less and smaller furniture is the only option open to small-space owners. But decorating limited space is more about placement of furnishings and careful color usage.
Let’s start with color. It may seem counterintuitive, but sharp, bright colors work best in smaller spaces, with plenty of negative space between. Experts also advise using splashes color in unexpected places like the insides of bookcases, windowsills and radiators. Try picking one wall in every room as your focal or accent wall and paint it a deeper color than the other three. This brings depth to a room the way solid color can’t. Use color to tie accents together, such as throw pillows and lampshades. ...