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Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 9/4/2017

A bedroom is one of the main rooms that people pay attention to when they go house hunting. So much time is spent in this cozy room. Besides your work location, your bedroom is probably the place where you spend the most time. But, two or more bedrooms also makes up a lot of the square footage at a house.

A relaxing mind leads to a goodnight sleep, not simply laying down in a bedroom

If you turn just one to two bedrooms at your house into an all-purpose room, the house that you currently live in could end up meeting your needs. Just as people are downsizing out of traditional homes into small houses, it might be time to consider living without a separate bedroom.

Think about it. You may not need a bedroom if you don't have children. You also might not need a bedroom if your children are grown and have moved out. Other times when you don't need a bedroom include:

  • Your living room is large enough to accommodate a daybed. If you have a Murphy bed or a pull down wall bed in your den or family room, you may not need a bedroom.
  • The basement at your house is large enough to not only fit an entertainment center, but is also big enough to fit a home office and a twin or queen size bed and one to two dressers.
  • The insulation and air flow in your attic is so good that you can't tell the difference between the air in your living room and the air flow in your attic. In this situation, you could use your attic as a bedroom.
  • Because of your back, you prefer to sleep on the floor. Sleeping on the floor could offer you more support than sleeping in a bed. In fact, some people choose to sleep on the floor even if they have a bed and a bedroom.
  • There's an in-law unit attached to the main part of your house. When guests visit, you could offer them a private sleeping space in the in-law unit. During guest free times, you could sleep at the in-law unit yourself.
  • A busy travel schedule keeps you away from home so much that you rarely spend more than two to three months a year at your house.
  • After your adult children left home, your house started to feel too large. If you redesign one or more of your adult children's bedrooms into a home office, entertainment room or hobby area, you might appreciate all of the space at your house instead of regretting that your children have grown up, making your house feel too big.

There are instances when you may not need a bedroom. Give yourself more house space by honestly assessing whether you really need a bedroom. If you're hesitant to consider situations when you can scrap bedrooms, think about great things that you could use one or more bedrooms for. This could motivate you to redesign your bedroom, allowing your house to fill more of your entertainment, work or relaxing needs.




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Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 8/28/2017

Behind your doors and windows lies everything you hold dear. Your family, pets, important documents, expensive laptops and televisions, and any number of things rely on the hope that no one will break into your home. In spite of this, many people choose not to take the best safety precautions available, whether it is because they feel safe in their neighborhood or they think they can't afford a security system. As home security technologies advance, homeowners and renters get a growing selection of security systems. Finding a security system that works with your budget while still keeping you safer is possible. However, learning about the various systems and choosing one that works best for your needs is the hard part. In this article, we'll cover the basic types of security systems and what they offer so you can make the best decision for your home and family.

Monitored or unmonitored

One way of dividing up security systems is monitored and unmonitored. Monitored systems depend on landline, cellular, or broadband connection to communicate with the security provider who will call your home and alert authorities in case of a break-in. Unmonitored systems, on the other hand, rely only on alarms such as sirens and flashing lights. Monitored systems that are connected via landline have the disadvantage of being cut or by losing connections due to power outages. Cellular-based systems (a.k.a. wireless monitoring) have the advantage of staying up even if your telephone line is cut. One disadvantage of monitored systems is that they often come with monitoring fees. The disadvantage of unmonitored systems is that it relies on your neighbors to call the police in case of an emergency. The problem with this is that not all neighbors are going to go see if everything is okay until it's potentially too late.

Contracts and Installation

Depending on whether you rent or own your house and how long you plan to stay in your house, you'll want to read over contracts before signing away. If you plan on moving or are only leasing your apartment, it might be a better option to buy a system outright that you can set up yourself at your next home. Systems that rely on technicians for installs may charge you fees for having to relocate or uninstall your system.

Added features

Home security and home automation are two separate industries that have become one due to similarities in the way they function. Many home security companies now offer automation technologies that allow you to control various items in your home remotely. If you can't remember if you locked your door or if you need to unlock it for a house guest, there's no need to leave work--just hit a button on your smart phone to unlock the door. Other systems even allow you to answer your doorbell remotely from your smartphone in the same way that you would have a conversation on your phone. If you are paranoid about checking up on your house, you could go with a system that allows you to view your security cameras live feed right from your phone or computer.   Now that you know the basics of home security systems, go check out some of the top rated providers and compare prices. You'll soon be on your way to making your home an even safer place for you and your family.  





Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 8/21/2017

When you buy a home, you may wonder what the benefits of having your own realtor to represent you are. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you probably will have a lot of questions. If you’re a second-time homebuyer you may still have a lot of questions! Buying a home can be a long, tedious process. It’s very helpful to know that you have a knowledgable realtor by your side to represent you and help you through the home buying process. If you’re looking to buy a home in a tough market, hiring your own realtor to represent you as a buyer is especially important. 


First, you should consider interviewing some prospective buyers agents in your area. Maybe you can get recommendations from friends and family as well. Learn what you can expect from a top realtor who will represent you as a buyer. 


Honesty Is The Best Policy


Your agent should be completely honest with you. While they can’t tell you what you personally want in a home, they should give you every last disclosure. No agent should put a home value or their own commission above their clients. This means that there’s strict documentation that realtors must follow including a code of ethics and standards for practice. A realtor must uphold these promises.  


Judging honesty in a realtor can be difficult. An honest real estate agent will help you through the home search process, for example. This is a good place to start. If the realtor points out some of the potential issues that you may have as a buyer in a home, you can see that honesty is one of their main policies.


Good Communicator


A realtor should be in frequent communication with you. Even if your home search isn’t active, they will check in, and see where you’re at in the process and if your needs have changed. 

Your realtor should alert you if offers have been made on properties that you’re interested in as well. Your buyer’s agent should reply to texts, e-mails, or calls within a short time frame of receiving them. Having a realtor that’s on top of things for you is important when it comes to buying a home since, without their help and information, the perfect home could slip through the cracks for you.                  


Knowledge Of Rules, Regulations, And Best Practices


Your buyer’s agent should have extensive knowledge of the real estate rules and regulations that are within your state. Each state has different practices when it comes to buying a home. Hiring a buyer’s agent is especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with a state or city. Your agent will be well-informed on all of your responsibilities as a buyer, as well as how and when you should complete these tasks and signings throughout the entire home buying process.





Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 8/14/2017

What is it about cabinets that make them so difficult to keep organized? Despite our best efforts storage containers always seem to take over while baking ware get lost in the far back depths of corner cabinets. I’m here with X tips to keep your kitchen cabinets neat and tidy once and for all.

  1. Start with a major clear out to eliminate any unnecessary clutter. The kitchen is the easiest room in the house to build up excess stuff as it all seems so useful. However, in truth all those specialized gadgets and extra plates simply collect dust and make organizing more difficult.

  2. Give everything a place. By assigning each and every item in your kitchen cabinets a “home” you will be less likely to shove things away into drawers or into the back of cabinets. You will also be able to more effectively put the following tips to use as you will know exactly which solutions will work best for your belongings.

  3. Adding stacking shelves for plates and bowls adds extra storage to tall cabinets. Stacking shelves make the most of empty space without stacking plates a mile high and prevents having to pull from the bottom of a pile to grab a dinner plate.

  4. Add slide out organization to cabinets to create easy to reach access to the depths of cabinets without requiring a step ladder. They are easy to find at your local hardware or home goods store and easy to install on your own.

  5. Keep similar pantry items together in easy to grab bins. Think baking items together in one bin and spices in another. Matching bins placed on open shelves add a stylish touch to your home while clear containers allow you to see what is in each bin at a glance.

  6. Drawer dividers avoid the classic jumbled drawer of kitchen gadgets. Just as with pantry bins keeping like items in each section allows to easily find utensils at a glance. When shopping for dividers be sure to keep your utensils sizes and shapes in mind to find appropriately proportioned containers that will make the most of drawer space.

  7. Lazy susans in cabinets make it easy to find spices, canned goods and cooking oils with a quick spin of the fingertips. Keeping a lazy susan in the cabinet nearest your stove makes cooking an easier process.

  8. Alternatively, a spice rack on the inside of a cabinet adds storage space while putting cooking spices within arm's reach and puts the whole array at an eye’s glance. Again, this makes the most of vertical space to free up shelf space for other items.

  9. Hang mugs up on a spinning mug tree, mug rack or hooks under upper cabinets to make the most of vertical kitchen space, again, to free up precious shelf space. So often homeowners stuff their cabinets with mugs, unnecessarily monopolizing cabinet space.

  10. Invest in a matching food storage set that can nest easily. Better yet, look for the type where the lids snap together for an even easier storage solution. This also allows your food storage containers to be tucked away into one of the organizational bins from tip number four.

By making the most of vertical space and thinking outside the box when it comes to adding storage space to cabinets you can finally have organized cabinets that stay organized. To get the most out of these tips be sure to follow through on tip number one. Happy organizing!




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Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 8/7/2017

A larger kitchen might be on your wish list if you're always hunting for a place to store several bags of groceries. Despite how vigorously you push and shove cereal boxes, canned vegetables and paper towels inside your kitchen cabinets, there's never enough space in your kitchen.

It's easy to gain more kitchen space with a pantry

It's reached the point where you're starting to leave desserts, canned goods, rice and macaroni and cheese on the kitchen counter. This is causing you to feel cramped whenever you pull out your cutting board and start preparing meat for large dinners, including holiday meals. You could knock out a wall and expand your kitchen. But, that could easily cost more than $15,000.

Another solution is to install a kitchen pantry. Specialty shops and home goods stores sell removable kitchen pantries. You may get more space with a double door kitchen pantry. Some pantries have storage drawers and swing open doors. Opt for pantries that give you more shelf space and no storage drawers if your standard  kitchen drawers give you enough space to store silverware.

Looking for style? Choose a kitchen pantry that is topped with a glass storage area. As a tip, you could use stackable storage units to build your pantry. Stackable storage units may offer you more style options. To get the look you want, pay attention to color. You won't have much choice when it comes to the texture that pantries are built with, as most pantries are wood.

Kitchen pantry types that offer lots of style

Modular kitchen pantries have a door at the top and a open bottom space. For style,check out a modular pantry that's designed with a glass door. To save space and expand on style, you could line three to four pantries next to each other. For example, you could place three four-drawer kitchen pantries side-by-side, creating a look similar to what you find in a library.

This kitchen pantry option might surprise you. If you're crunched for space and short on cash, use a bookcase as a pantry. There won't be a door to conceal your food items. What you will have is extra space.

To save on cost, shop at outlet stores and industrial supply stores. This way, you can get a pantry at the same price that restaurant owners pay for the furniture. Buying a cabinet that serves as a pantry will also save you money. Just make sure that the cabinet is large enough to keep you from running out of kitchen space.

The easiest way to get more space with a kitchen pantry is to buy a house that is built with a permanent pantry. Go with a house that has a door in front of the pantry and you'll get a clean look. A pantry door will keep you, your family and guests from staring at the extra food and supplies that you stock on your pantry shelves. Just make sure that you seal food before you place them in the pantry. Doing so, could keep pests away. It could also keep food from losing its freshness.




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