How to Introduce Yourself to New Neighbors After Moving

Just because you have an opportunity to meet your new neighbors after you move into the neighborhood doesn't necessarily make it easier to do. But getting to know your neighbors will help you feel like your at home and settled into your new space. Careful Observation Check out your neighborhood. Note those who seem to have kids, (toys out front, loud screams from the backyard, and parents frantically trying to get small people into a van along with sports equipment.) Those who are elderly, those who seem to be always in the garden, or even those who only seem to come out at night. (Although they're more difficult to meet unless you are also a night owl). If you can find some common interest

How To Choose A Neighborhood

If houses are like spouses, a neighborhood is like the extended family. But while you can have a good marriage and still dread holidays with the in-laws, you'll never love a house if you don't like your neighborhood. How can you choose the right community? Become a neighborhood detective. Figure out what you're looking for, do research and find a neighborhood that fits your description. You don't even have to wear a trench coat -- but it probably wouldn't hurt. Step 1: Profile Your Perfect Neighborhood Before you start scrutinizing neighborhoods, turn the magnifying glass back on yourself. Think about what you're really looking for in a new neighborhood. Remember, you'll probably have to mak

The Essentials Checklist for Newly Married Homeowners

After a beautiful wedding celebration and exotic honeymoon, you and your loved one are ready to settle in and enjoy your newly married bliss, especially in a new home. Although putting together a house can seem like an everlasting project, you can make it your home right away with the following new-home essentials. Drapes Create a color scheme for your home by starting with your window treatments. The interior-design theme of your home can be a long-term project, and hanging curtains is a great starting point. Colorful curtains and stylish blinds can eliminate a room's drab aura and create interior warmth, even without other complementary furnishings. Go for eye-catching, rich hues, such as

The Best Must-Have Smart Home Gadgets Available Today

Have you ever been grocery shopping only to find yourself wondering if you still have butter in your fridge? This conundrum might be a thing of the past in the smart home of the future. Smart refrigerators allow you to check out the contents of your fridge by viewing it from your phone no matter where you are. Smart refrigerators and other smart devices are showing us the possibilities of a smart home. And analysts predict the smart home devices industry will reach $107.4 billion by 2023 globally as people accelerate their adoption of smart home devices in the coming years. To give you an idea of the smart home of the future, we pulled together a list of our favorite gadgets that are availab

7 Simple Steps to Creating a Room Just for Your Dog

Leaving your dog home alone is hard on both of you. It’s tough to leave that sweet face behind! But the truth is, your dog can handle short periods of alone time just fine, especially if you set up a “dog-safe zone” to keep them comfortable and entertained. Whether it’s a well-appointed crate or an entire spare room, read on to learn everything you need to create the perfect dog zone for your best friend. 1. The room itself A dog zone doesn’t have to be huge. In fact, many dogs prefer smaller spaces. Quiet, comfortable, enclosed spaces remind them of their ancestral dens. In addition, limiting your dog’s access to the rest of the house may prevent unwanted behaviors like chewing, barking, a

8 Unbeatable Benefits of VA Home Loans

The VA home loan program is more important today than ever before and is one of the most powerful loan options on the market for active military and veterans. It’s increasingly difficult for many military borrowers to build the credit and assets necessary to move forward with conventional home financing. The VA loan program’s advantages over other loan types are a big reason why VA loan volume has continually grown over the last five years. VA financing comes with significant financial benefits for those who’ve served our country, and the requirements to secure them are often looser than what veterans would need for a conventional or even FHA loan. For a lot of active military and veterans,

10 Quick Tips To Create A Home Office You’ll Actually Want To Work In

Working from home has a lot of upsides— better work-life balance, no commute, but the ability to design an office you love is an upside too. We reached out to Linda Varone, author of The Smarter Home Office, and Michael Chauliac, VP of Marketing at Poppin, the online office supply and furniture retailer, for advice on creating the ultimate home office: one that makes you crazy productive, and happy too. 1. USE PINTEREST RESPONSIBLY. Browse for inspiration, but remember that offices in design magazines may not be set up to accommodate a 50-hour work week. Upholstered dining room chairs look amazing, but they won’t support your back. Tiny vintage desks won’t accommodate your project files, and

14 Reasons to Stage Your House

Staging a house for sale can be a time-consuming process. According to some experts, it may cost you anywhere from $200 – $2,000, depending on how much work is needed. But is it really worth the time and expense? Does it really make a difference? In a word … yes! Here are 14 reasons why you should stage your house before you try to sell it. 1. You’ll Increase the Likelihood of a Sale When selling your home, the goal is to sell it fast and for the highest possible price. You can increase your chances for success if you stage your house before listing it. That’s the whole point of home staging in the first place — to present your home in the best possible light. If you do this, buyers will be

Preparing Your Child For A Move

Sooner or later, many families face the prospect of moving. Disruptive as moving can be for parents, the experience can be even more traumatic for kids, who may not be a part of the decision to move and might not understand it. Kids can need some time and special attention during the transition. Try these tips to make the process less stressful for everyone. Making the Decision to Move Many kids thrive on familiarity and routine. So as you consider a move, weigh the benefits of that change against the comfort that established surroundings, school, and social life give your kids. If your family has recently dealt with a major life change, such as divorce or death, you may want to postpone a m

4 Signs You’re a Great VA Loan Candidate

VA loans offer a host of huge benefits, from $0 down payment and no mortgage insurance to limits on what buyers can pay in closing costs. It’s part of a benefit program that’s helped millions of veterans and military members purchase a home since World War II. But this is also a specialized mortgage option with some unique requirements: VA loans may not be the right fit for every military buyer. Here’s a look at four signs you’re a good candidate: 1. You’re eligible Veterans and active military need to meet certain service requirements in order to be eligible for a VA-backed mortgage. The VA ultimately determines who has access to this program, but in most cases, buyers are eligible if they

Don't Let Your Home Search Break Your Heart

For those who are house-hunting, it can be a whirlwind romance that's hot from the minute you see the home's curb appeal. But don't let the seduction of a good-looking landscape make you want to tie the knot without a bit of courtship. House-hunting for the "perfect" home in many ways is like looking for that perfect romance - very seldom does everything about your proposed mate match your desires. Things you love at first may later get on your nerves and become what you don't like so much later on. Does that mean the house is wrong for you? Not necessarily. It could be, but if you understand your tolerance level–what's most important to you in a home, and what you can't deal with at all - y

10 Little Things To Do for Houseguests

[By Faith Durand, Kitchn] Depending on where you live and your proximity to a popular summer travel destination (the Grand Canyon? Disney World? New York City?) you may find yourself deep in houseguest season. I don't live in a particularly touristy city, but I host houseguests frequently, and I think it's part of the fun of having a house with room to share. In fact, in just a few weeks my husband's brother and sister-in-law will be piling in with their three kids for a sleepover. If you're expecting a guest (or two, or five!), here are a few little ways I prep for them. All are small, and most help me as much as they help my guests! In the Kitchen First, let's talk food, because what's mor

How to Throw a Housewarming Party on a Budget

You’ve just moved in, your boxes are unpacked, and you’re ready to show off your new home. What better way to do it than with a housewarming party? Whether you go casual or fancy, open invite or exclusive guest list, a housewarming party is an excellent way to celebrate your exciting new digs and take a breather after the stress of moving. And good news: you can totally throw an awesome housewarming party on a budget. Moving costs money, so it makes sense that you might not want to splurge on a big party right away. Fortunately, you can throw a great housewarming party without spending a ton of money. There aren’t a lot of rules when it comes to a new home party—just do what makes the most s

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