Tidying Up for 2019

Jan 9
Category | General

Have you caught the tidy bug yet? A new year brings a great opportunity to tidy up your living space, especially if you are looking to make a move this year!

Dealing with clutter in your home can not only ease your mind and increase your enjoyment of your living space, but it is also critical if you’re making a transition in your living arrangement.

  • If you are moving in with someone and will be combining two households worth of items, decluttering beforehand will make the final unpacking that much easier
  • If you are putting your house on the market, decluttering could be a deal maker! Many people agree that an open house should have as few personal artifacts as possible, to allow the prospective buyer a clean slate to imagine living there
  • If you are downsizing to a smaller home, decluttering will ensure the new space is not crammed with ‘stuff’
  • If you are looking for a fresh change in your home, decluttering is the least expensive and most impactful change you can make before thinking about new paint colors or furniture


If you are in need of some inspiration, look no further than the new Netflix special, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. If you subscribe to her method of decluttering, you can soon find yourself ridding your life of belongings that no longer spark joy. Donate clothes that haven't been worn in years, books that will never be read, VHS tapes that have no way to be watched – you get the picture!

When you do feel inspired to organize throughout your home, you may find your space in need of new storage solutions. Many stores offer deals this time of year on bins, buckets, modular shelves, etc. Check out your local or online Michaels craft store, Target, Ikea, or the Container Store.

The Colors of 2019

Jan 3
Category | General

Pantone Living Coral makes for a beautiful and modern accent wall
















Whether you’re buying, selling, or staying put, the color in a home can be very important. Even the most neutral palettes need an accent to draw your eye, or a color to define a room as ‘serene’ or ‘energetic’. We love the 2019 Color of the Year picks. Here are some of our favorites:

PANTONE: Living Coral 16-1546 [Click Here]

"An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge."

BENJAMIN MOORE: Metropolitan AF-690 [Click Here]

"A stylish gray with cool undertones."

SHERWIN WILLIAMS: Cavern Clay SW 7701 [Click Here]

"A warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots, Cavern Clay is a nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together create the desert modern aesthetic.”

BEHR: Blueprint S470-5 [Click Here]

"An honest, approachable color that conjures up the blueprints builders rely on to bring architectural designs to life, Blueprint creates a space where you can build your own reimagined life—where awareness of what we want to build for ourselves can transform into action."

Once you’ve picked your favorite 2019 Color of the Year, venture over to the links we provided next to each color swatch to see the inspired pallets  from each of the vendors. They’ve done the hard part of picking colors to match, and your home will be so on trend!

If you are not ready to take the leap and paint an entire room in one of these color choices, here are several ways to incorporate some color in your home in 2019!Pops of blue and yellow transform a neutral room

  • Accent wall 
  • Blanket, area rug, or pillows
  • Apholstered furniture 
  • Hand-painted canvas or other artwork
  • Mugs or other ceramics
  • New towels in the bathroom
  • New phone case



Many homebuyers, both first-timers and experienced movers, have wondered whether buying an existing home or building one to their specifications is a better fit for their needs. Here’s what you need to know: 

The Upfront Costs 

Existing Home: The price of a home varies widely depending on location, square footage, condition, amenities, and other factors. 

Building a New Home: All things being equal, generally speaking, building a new home costs about $60-$70k more than buying an existing home with similar attributes. But that is not always the case. There are some instances where the cost per square foot comes out significantly less in a custom-built home than in an existing home. 

How is this possible, you ask? Consider when you build, you also have the advantage of paying for only what you want to put into the house. While an existing home may have additional perks, like hardwood floors, it may not be something that you want or are willing to pay for in a custom-build. 

Home Maintenance 

Existing Home: Older homes require more maintenance because they have more wear and tear. Some homes may even need a big-time overhaul! As with any home purchase, never skip the home inspection and understand that even with well-maintained homes, repairs are inevitable. 

Building a New Home: Maintenance on a new home is very little, and it's one of the central benefits of building a new home. Since everything from appliances to the HVAC system is new and under warranty, you'll enjoy several years of worry-free living. 


Existing Home: A mature garden with large trees and well-established landscaping is a big plus of buying an existing home. Mature trees and landscaping not only add value to the property but can even help to reduce energy costs by providing shade and efficient drainage. 

Building a New Home: Professional landscaping can cost thousands plus many years to come to fruition. The benefit, however, is that you'll be able to design your outdoor space precisely to your liking. Depending on the project, you can have a custom-designed yard in two weeks or less. 

Energy Efficiency 

Existing Home: Older homes that have had little-to-no updating use more energy. Appliances that are older than ten years, single-pane windows, and poor insulation are some updates you'll want to consider if you buy an existing home. 

Building a New Home: When it comes to energy efficiency, new construction can't be beat. On average, new homes use about 21% less energy than older homes. However, this savings comes mostly from high-efficiency appliances. Meaning that if you purchase new, HE appliances for an existing home, you can save just as much money on energy with an existing home as you would with new construction. 


Existing Home: With an existing home, you make your purchase with some context. You can see the home's previous sale prices, the cost of similar homes in the area, and have a good idea of what the market value of your home will be in the future. 

Building a New Home: New homes, especially those in up-and-coming neighborhoods, can be more of a gamble. Without any sale history or comparables to reference, you have very little to go on when thinking about the future value of your home. Of course, if this is your forever home, which is often the case with custom-built homes, then not having a history to predict the future may not matter. 

Whether you're buying an existing home or building a new one, they both begin the same way --getting pre-qualified. Reach out today to see which option is best-suited for you and your financial situation.

If you’re the host for the winter party year after year, we completely understand tiring of the same decorations and small-talk parties. If you’re on a budget or are in need a change of style while keeping the spirit of the season, we’ve put together some ideas to bring your friends and family together without breaking the bank, and maybe creating a new tradition! 

  • Boil orange and clove on the stove to give your home a nice scent. Use the money saved by not purchasing scented candles to get extra marshmallows for a gourmet hot chocolate bar. 

  • Plan for a gift exchange so that each guest has to buy only one gift within your group of friends. 

  • Simplify the evening with a potluck style dinner. Decide on a themed menu to get everyone’s creativity flowing, you provide the main dish, and have your guests bring a side dish or dessert. Everyone saves a little on the groceries, and maybe you’ll find a new holiday favorite! 

Sometimes, the best gift you can give over the holiday season is spending time together. Try hosting one of these types of parties to liven up your winter. 

  • A pie party – Each guest or family brings one ingredient of a pie: crust, fruit, or other filling. Everyone works together to peel apples, line pie tins with crust, and mix fillings on the stove. In between steps and while waiting for the final pies to bake, you have plenty of time to catch up and chat. Plus, at the end, everyone gets to take home a delicious, homemade pie! 

  • A tree trimming – Set up your tree prior to your guests’ arrival with the lights on, but don’t add any ornaments. Take turns putting up the decorations that you’ve collected over the years. This works especially well for families or friends with older children, as you can take turns and tell stories about each of the ornaments and where they were collected. 

  • A crafting party – There are so many options for holiday crafting, why not turn one of your favorites into the main event! You can make holiday cards, bake cookies, build gingerbread houses, or decorate ornaments. You can swap these items with other attendees to remember the fun evening or gift them to a friend or family member who will appreciate a handmade holiday gift. 

Even though the winter months bring longer nights, your family and friends will enjoy the light and warmth in your home with one of these new party traditions.

In a New Home for the Holidays?

Nov 29
Category | General

Did you move this year? The holiday season is an exciting time of year, but it can also bring unforeseen stresses, especially for new homeowners. Fear not, here are several tips to make your new house feel like home for the holidays. 

  1. Make new traditions and keep the best of the old ones.  

If you used to hang your stockings or place your menorah in the same spot in your apartment each year, find a way to recreate these sentimental feelings in your new space and start a new tradition! Other holiday traditions to maintain, like baking the same sweets, listening to the same songs or watching the same holiday movies, can really make you feel at home. 

  1. Get acquainted with your new home. 

Take note of your outdoor power outlets to see if a new famous, outdoor lighting extravaganza is in your future. Maybe your old apartment had low ceilings, but your new home allows for new heights! Double check the room dimensions of your new house before purchasing a Christmas tree or festive décor so you can fill the space, and finally get that 8-foot-tall tree like Grandma always had. 

  1.  Learn about holiday activities in your neighborhood. 

If you moved to a new city, keep an eye out on social media or event boards for local holiday celebrations and wintertime activities. This is a great way to get to know your neighbors and discover something great about your new town! 

  1. Pick out a new holiday decoration. 

If your holiday decorations are still packed in moving boxes or storage, don’t fret! Picking out one new decoration is a special way to commemorate your first holiday season in your new home. There’s always time to locate your delicately bubble-wrapped decorations for next year!  

  1. Make it cozy! 

Nothing makes a house feel more like a home than being cozy and warm. Unpack your fluffy blankets, candles, warm slippers or anything else that makes you love spending time in your new, comfortable space.

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