This is your friendly reminder to obtain a free copy of your credit report by going to AnnualCreditReport.com, the official website established through the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Other sites may have similar names, such as “FreeCreditReport.com,” but they actually come with a price!
Remember these tips:
Try to have credit account info handy before logging on. For security purposes, you will be asked to verify information that can include anything from existing loans to prior addresses. If you have your last credit report available, that’s ideal.
Get a report from all three repositories.: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion.
As soon as you’ve accessed each of the reports, print or save a copy. If you close the window with the report open, you’ll have to wait one year to return to that bureau’s report.
Review your reports carefully. If you find errors, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. We can talk about the potential impacts—good and bad—of credit disputes.
You may purchase your “credit score” as an option. If you opt for this, keep in mind these scores can differ from those typically used by creditors.
I highly recommend that you take advantage of AnnualCreditReport.com every year as one additional step in protecting yourself from identity theft and to make sure your credit is in good order for the next time you need to apply for new credit, insurance, or sometimes, even new employment.
As always, if you have any questions about this email, or just want to say "Hi," I'm here to serve you.
In 2021, designers are falling out of love with the industrial design aesthetic, favoring instead soft, lush interior landscapes.“The world is harsh and cold enough these days, so people are looking for spaces that nurture and envelope them,” designer Scot Meacham Wood told Elle Decor.
Industrial design isn’t the only feature that homeowners are dismissing. Vessel bathroom sinks-58%, open shelving in kitchens and bathrooms-52% , shabby-chic furniture-41% and floral furniture-39% are also on the way out. “Vessel sinks have outstayed their welcome in any bathroom” . “Not only are they awkward to use, but they can also potentially knock down the price of your home if the buyers want an updated bathroom. “Open shelving can look great when it’s first put up and everything looks neat and tidy on the shelves”. “But, inevitably over time, open shelving can look cluttered and untidy, and many buyers will notice this as they view your home. Open shelving doesn’t fit in with real, domestic life, so opt for covered storage.”
If you have already changed some rooms to an industrial design, AND you are looking to sell in 2021, make sure to stick to neutral palettes-especially when repainting- wherever you can when prepping your home prior to listing. “Bring in personality and the unexpected with vibrant art that provides a contrast to an otherwise more masculine industrial style decor.
The pandemic has shined a bright spotlight on housing in general. Residential real estate has become both more functional (move-in ready is critical to most buyers today..close the sale, get the keys, move in and start living!) and more emotional. Consumers aren’t just searching for a house; they’re seeking “home.”
While the pandemic has confined us to our homes to the point where we’ll do anything for a change of scenery, it has also pointed out how many things a home can be for us:
Home is shelter.
Home is safety.
Home is family.
Home is school, the gym, the movie theater, the best local restaurant.
Consumers appreciate “home” more than ever, and they have a more three-dimensional view of what they want their homes to be. Even with the low inventory levels, buyers do not want to compromise the picture they have of what they want in their next “home”.
...especially ones that eliminate some of the clutter that quietly becomes “a new normal”!
Use microwave minutes to stay organized
Disorganized homes are often the cause of constant procrastination. If you keep saying “I’ll deal with that later”, then you’ll end up with things dotted around the house, waiting (and waiting!) to be put away. Put an end to this by using “microwave minutes”. Microwave minutes refer to small pockets of time of around 5-10 minutes that can easily be squeezed into your day. These time blocks mean you can complete a few tasks that you would be able to fit in while waiting for your microwave to ding, or your kettle to boil. Some examples of tasks you can fit in during these time blocks include:
Identify danger zones
Every home has a hotspot for clutter, where things are most likely to dumped, ready to be sorted “later” (ALERT: “later” rarely comes around). Do you have a mass of mail, keys and bags dumped near your front door? Is there a spot on your kitchen worktop that has a permanent pile of items dumped on it? Take a walk around your home and look for clutter clusters. It can sometimes help to take a video on your phone that you can then watch back, as you’ll probably notice clutter that you’re normally oblivious to!
(excerpted from Wren Kitchens, Rhi- “Mummy of 4”!)
Inventory turnover – the total supply of homes for sale nationwide as a percentage of occupied residential inventory – was low prior to the pandemic, but began to drop precipitously starting in April, 2020. Since 1991, on average, 2.5% of the stock of homes are for sale in any single month. Throughout 2019 and preceding the pandemic, average inventory was 1.65%, but the pandemic-induced supply contraction further reduced average inventory to nearly 1.4% Since then, average inventory has steadily declined to 1.3%. That means only 130 homes in every 10,000 are for sale, compared with almost double that amount in normal times!
Existing-home sales make up approximately 90% of all home sales and in October the seasonally-adjusted months’ supply for existing homes hit a historic low of 2.5 months ( most recently described as 2.2-2.3 months of inventory). As existing homeowners have withdrawn supply, average tenure length – the amount of time someone lives in their home – has soared to a historic high of approximately 10.5 years. Ultimately, rising tenure length means there are fewer homes on the market and as demand has surged the competition among home buyers for the small amount of homes for sale drives prices up.
Excerpted from Mark Henry, Chief Economist for First American Title Company
Protect entryway flooring. With tracked-in wet from our rains and cold weather, entryway floors can really take a beating in the winter. Increase the longevity of your flooring by using floor mats both inside and outside each entrance to your home. Provide a boot scraper or brush outside for removing excess mud and debris, and a waterproof tray inside for placing wet shoes and boots.
Stop cold air from getting in. Feel a cold breeze? Take action as soon as you notice the problem. Boost your home’s energy efficiency and stop cold air in its tracks with these tips:
Remove window screens. Removing screens from windows can boost natural light and improve solar heat gain.
Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is especially important during winter, when we keep windows closed and use wood-burning stoves and fireplaces more often.
Have your fireplace cleaned. If you haven’t done so yet, have your fireplace cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. Regular cleaning is a necessary safety measure for wood-burning fireplaces and wood stoves, since buildup of creosote (from past fires) inside the chimney can potentially cause a house fire. Gas fireplaces should be checked too — even though gas is a clean-burning fuel, there could be an old nest or other debris blocking the chimney. (This one will probably have to wait until after the new year, but put it on your "Must Do List" for January!
Easy tips that can help you bring peace and joy back into the Season by Laura Gaskill Houzz Contributor.
The holiday season is often a mix of joy and stress, and due to the current challenges, this year may be more difficult than most. But with a few self-care routines in place, you can regain your center and enjoy a peaceful, joy-filled season. Here are 3 easy self-care ideas to try during the holidays.
Soothe Your Soul With an Aromatic Bath: Essential oils can completely transform a bath into a blissful sensory experience. Try a few drops of eucalyptus oil to open the lungs, or soothing lavender to relax before bedtime. Add the essential oils to your warm bath when it’s about half full, and the whole tub will be fragrant by the time you’re ready to get in. ( I did this last Sunday…not only did I feel refreshed, but so relaxed, too!)
Bundle Up and Get Outdoors: Even on a cold day, if the sun is shining…going outdoors can be a real mood booster. Find a neighborhood park or nature area. There are many choices in our area! Breathing the fresh air for 15 minutes can be a wonderful way to decompress and regain your center in the middle of a busy holiday season.
Warm Up by the Fire: If you have a fireplace or wood stove, now is the time to put it to use. Light a fire, pull a cozy throw over your lap, and settle in with a hot drink and a good book. It doesn’t get much more relaxing than this. AND you don’t have to wait until evening to do this. Create a space for this in the middle of the day!