Things You Must-Know Before Buying a Home

Congratulations on having the opportunity to purchase your first home. This is an exhilarating time in your life. You will hear a lot of advice from a lot of different people, and we want to share ours with you before you buy. Here are seven things we want you to know before you buy your first home:

1. Make a List of Wants.

Realistically, you will not be able to get a home with everything on your want list, but you will definitely want to have a list of things that are important to you. Make a list of your wants and use it while you search for a home. 

2. Set a Budget.

When searching for a home, it is essential to set a realistic budget, and you will want to stick to that budget. Try to check off your needs before you check off your wants, and you may find something that fits well into your budget.

3. Get a Trusted Real Estate Agent.

Your real estate agent will be your best friend during the house hunt. Be sure to find a trustworthy and reliable agent. Ask family and friends for their referral to find the best agent.

4. Understand Your Mortgage.

You will want to find a mortgage with reasonable rates, and you will also want to apply for pre-approval before you start. Just keep in mind that your pre-approval is not you committing but it is imperative to have in order to put down an offer.

5. Gage The Competition.

It is essential to know who you are going up against during a bid. You will want to be aware that other buyers are looking at the place and you will want to be assertive when the right house comes along.

6. Have a Professional Inspection Done.

We always recommend that buyers have a professional inspection done before purchasing their home. It can be an essential factor to the house hunt. 

7. Explore Various Options and Stay Updated.

Be sure to keep your eye out for potential buys. You will want to be constantly updated with the newest homes for sale. Ask your agent to send you listings to make sure that you make a well-informed choice at the end.

We hope you enjoyed these tips. Be sure to check back weekly for more expert advice. Thanks for reading!

How to Design Your Home Office

Whether you work from home, are studying for school, or just like a room to get away and read, a home office is an excellent addition for your home. Designing a room for functionality, low distractions, and a classy look can be a bit challenging at first, but we gathered a couple of great pointers to keep in mind while designing your office or study to keep your design theme on track. Let’s take a look!

Simple Yet Entertaining

You want your room to be simple so that you can focus on your work at hand, yet entertaining enough in design to keep the space lively. Finding a balance between comfortable to work but not too cozy that you want to sleep is essential. Try adding plants to give the room a more exciting atmosphere. Pictures are also great to add as well to add character and charisma to your design theme.

Let There Be Light

Lighting is essential in all forms of room design. Consider mirrors and a well-lit task area. Task lighting can be a lamp at a desk or a focal light that helps your mind stay on task. Natural light is ideal for making your space feel big and more open. If you are easily distracted, consider putting blinds that allow lighting in but are more visually impairing to keep you from looking outside the whole time.

Make It Attractive

Your room should make you want to return to it. If you make your room a dreary dungeon, you will never want to go there to get your work done. Add colors that attract you to the room. If you have a design theme that you love, try incorporating it into your room’s theme; however, be cognitive to keep the space functional and purpose-driven as its main priority. You do not want a room that is more distracting than useful.

Make sure you optimize your space. If you are using an extra bedroom or spare room, chances are it may not be the largest room in your home, but it will work. Be aware of the amount of space furniture may take up in the room. You want to have a comfortable amount of room to work and not feel clutter or stuffy. For more great tips and tricks, visit us at From The Floors Up. Thanks for reading!

Professional Organizational Advice for Your Home Office

If you tend to bring your work home, you understand the importance of having a fully-functioning home office. Even homeowners who work from home, enjoy the luxuries of having an office space right there. Having a home office to work from can be great, but what if your office is underused. There is a desk, sure, but you have not been able to use your office in quite some time. We totally get it and that is why we have created four organizational tips to help make your office fully-functioning by this weekend. Let’s take a look!

Four Office Organization Tips:

Systemize. Your office may be a mess when it comes to the filing systems you have created. Using an efficient filing system will change your life. A good tip is to create a color-coded system for filing. You will want to divide each personal record into a different colored category for example:

Red: Medical
Orange: Dental
Yellow: School
Green: Home
Blue: Personal
Purple: Finances

Computerize. Just imagine all the space you could save by getting rid of the physical paper copies you own. Transfer all of your paper records onto your computer by scanning the documents onto your computer. Generally, it is a good idea to keep the physical copies of significant documents, but you could have two copies just in case. After you put all of your records on your computer, you can color-code your folders to match the color categories you previously used in your filing system.

Minimize & Categorize. Try to minimize the clutter by placing your office supplies in bins inside your desk. While you are sorting through your office supplies, it is a good idea to sort through the items that you want to keep and the items you can donate. After you have placed items inside a box, you can label each box with the category of contents inside of the box (I.e., writing utensils, crafting paper, etc).

Centralize. Your home office can be at the forefront for all of your household needs. Since mail will need sorted and potentially filed, it is a good idea to create a mail station in your home office. Just place a bin on your desk for the mail that needs to be read and sorted.

We hope that these four tips will help you organize your office space quickly and efficiently. We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section.

How to Personalize Your Rental Space

Rental properties can be a little tricky when it comes to making it personal and geared toward your taste. With very little wiggle room, homeowners may feel trapped in a lifeless design. Fear not, we have eight genius hacks for you to make your rental property feel like home. Let’s take a look!

How to Personalize a Rental:

Graphic.

Removable wallpaper can be a total game changer in rental properties. With the option to add a graphic pattern at a moment’s notice, you can completely transform the look of your dull space.

Brighten.

Depending on your lease, you may not have the option to switch out the paint or light fixtures to a more personalized choice. When you do not have a lot of wiggle room, you have to work with what you are given. Incorporating stylish, removable light fixtures can help make the space feel more like home without breaking your contract.

Cozy.

Coziness is key. Without a comfortable environment, you will be counting the days until your lease ends. Instead, you can take advantage of the temporary space by cozying up to the idea. Incorporating soft textures like blankets, rugs, and pillows can help you enjoy your space.

Dec’d.

Decorations can make or break your space’s uniqueness. To help add personality, incorporate decor pieces that are special to you. Pictures, memorabilia, travel goods, and gifts can be stylish, unique pieces that add to your overall decor.

Fabricate.

Do not leave your windows bare this season. Instead, spruce them up with some beautiful curtains. You can even use sheer curtains to help bring more natural light into your space and open up the room.

Nature.

Bring the outdoors, indoors with beautiful plants and flowers. Fill your space with gorgeous greenery to help create a more serene, relaxing environment.

New.

Sometimes, something new will help make you feel more comfortable in the space. If you do not love your rental property yet, try finding an item that you always wanted to have. Once you incorporate it into the design, you may begin to warm up to the space.

Store.

If you are living in an apartment or studio, you may be tight on space. Help make your rental property feel more feasible by incorporating stylish organizational pieces. Dressers, cubbies, and shelving will help you find a home for all of your items while creating a clutter-free environment.

Do you have any tips of your own that you would like to share with other readers? We would love to hear your ideas below in the comment section.

Why Blue?

Interior designers are always looking for ways to change how a room feels and flows. With so many outlets for themes and styles, there are endless possibilities for designing your space. Colors are one of the most powerful influencers when it comes to setting the tone and mood for a room. One primary color that designers love to incorporate is blue. This tranquil color can really give a room a relaxed, passive vibe throughout it. Here are our top three reasons why you should consider using blue in your next room design:
 
  • Relaxed Atmosphere
Blue is the perfect color to use to set the mood for a peaceful environment. This color has a calm nature which can help the room feel more opened and tranquil. With so many shades available, such as sapphire, royal blue, navy, robin’s egg, Prussian blue, azure, and more, this color has a broad spectrum of tones and hues to choose from for your room. 
  • Cool Tone
This calming tone is perfect for transforming a room into a cooler toned atmosphere. Using blue with other cool tones or neutral colors can help obtain a more secure feeling atmosphere as well. This color can go great in a boy’s room, living room, or any room that you are looking to make a relaxing environment. Blue does not have to be used in only boy’s rooms though because it has an equal appeal to both genders. Using blue in a girl’s room as well can add character to the overall atmosphere.
  • Trustworthy
Blue is used in many commercial and residential designs today. This trustworthy color has passed the test of time and proved itself loyal in enhancing homes. Blue is known as the color of loyalty, belonging, generosity, and passivity. Using this color is a robust way to help make a powerful statement in your space and create the vibe you want. 
 
Adding blue to your space would make a significant home improvement. Blue is one of the primary colors that always stands out and transforms the design of a room. If you feel like life is too fast-paced, and you need a place to relax, add blue to help you reconnect with your home and unwind. For more great tips and tricks, visit us at From The Floors Up

Tips for Beginning The House Hunt

Buying and owning a home is an enormous responsibility. You may wish that there was just a rulebook filled with specific guidelines on how to be a homeowner. Sadly, there may not be a book that tells you everything you need to know in order to never suffer loses, but we want to help home buyers. Buying a home is a monumental step for investing in your future. We want to help you gather more information before you begin the search. Do not panic, you may currently be stressed out, but that is natural. Here is our guide to starting the house hunt:  

Step One: Get to know your finances.

It may come as a surprise, but down payments are not necessary for home buyers. Granted, putting down a down payment will reduce the amount you borrow, but it is not required. You will need to figure out your financial situation before you begin house hunting. It is essential that you have enough to pay your mortgage but also enough to pay for other bills and items. Transitioning from renting to owning is like playing a different sport. You will have all the new expenses that you did not have while renting. For example, you will have homeowners insurance, property taxes, homeowner’s association fees, etc. 

Step Two: Understand mortgage loans.

Loans, they seem great, but you end up owing money to someone so be careful. Your pre-qualification is your standard, basic financial information. You will need to understand though that they are not including your monthly expenses (gas, food, household items, savings, etc.). You will need to understand your limit because they are qualifying you from what they can see. Also, the amount you are eligible for does not mean you have to apply for that entire amount. Stick to the budget you know that you can handle. 

Step Three: There will be additional fees.

Before you can own the home, you will have to pay earnest money and closing costs. The earnest money is paid when you make an offer on the home. This money shows that you are genuine about buying the house. The earnest money is there to help the seller if you back out of the sale. If you back out, the money goes to the seller. If you buy the house, the money is deducted from your house purchase. Lastly, closing costs are approximately two-five percent of the purchasing price. 

We hope that this information helped before you begin your house hunt. For more expert advice and tips, please visit From The Floors Up.

5 Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

 

 

Remodeling your home can be an exciting process for homeowners. They get to create their dream oasis and remodel it into something that they have always imagined. With the highs of remodeling, there are also some lows. To avoid being trapped in an unwanted predicament, we have created a guide for the top five mistakes you want to avoid. Let us take a look!

5 Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid:

Mistake #1: Not Being Ready. 

You may be thinking, “I am definitely ready for a remodel, what are they talking about?” We mean that there is a lot of planning, saving and waiting that goes into a room remodel. First, you want to plan out everything. You want to create a desirable timeline and plan for all of your materials to be delivered before you start. Next, you want to make sure that you are within the budget that set for yourself. If it goes over budget, you may want to try finding different materials that help you stay within your set price range. Lastly, you will want to wait for all of your materials to arrive onsite. This part is key because without everything being onsite, you will not be able to begin your remodel. This will help the construction go smoothly and help avoid any hold-ups.

 

Mistake #2: Having an Impractical Budget. 

When creating your budget, you want to be sure that you set aside some extra money. Allow yourself some “wiggle” room for unforeseen events.

 

Mistake #3: Selecting The “Cheapest” Option. 

We do not like to throw around the word “cheap” very often, but in this circumstance, we will make an exception. Some homeowners will make the decision to go with the most inexpensive materials on the market just to save extra money. We do not recommend doing something like this. If you take a look at all of your options, you will notice that a lot of the “cheaper” items are only a little bit less money than the middle zone, more high-quality items. Just be sure to do your research and know all of your options before you commit to something.

 

Mistake #4: Standing Out. 

If you are remodeling the exterior of your home, you will want to keep it congruent with the overall look of the entire neighborhood. The last thing you want to do is clash with your neighbors and affect the resale value of your home. Now, we are not saying that you cannot be original and unique, but you want to make sure that you do not overwhelm or engulf your surrounding houses.

 

Mistake #5: Always Changing Your Mind. 

The reason that we recommend planning out your project beforehand is to help you not change the plans after construction begins. The issue with changing your plans is that it can get really expensive for the homeowner. To help save yourself time and money, try and stick to the original plan whenever possible.

An easy mistake to avoid is choosing the wrong flooring retailer. Set your mind at ease! With award-winning service, expert advice, and quality products, we are sure to please you with our services during your remodel.

Incorporating a Foyer

Many homes do not have a foyer built in and that factor can be a downside for many homeowners. The foyer marks the entrance of the home and gives household members a place to put coats, shoes, and backpacks. If you do not have a foyer in your home, all you need is a little imagination and some extra space. Incorporating a foyer will be perfect for storing your belongings and welcoming your guests.

 

How to incorporate a foyer in your home:

  • Add stylish organization. A foyer’s purpose can be best served when it is organized well. Optimize the area’s space by including stylish furniture pieces to help keep everything organized. Small dressers, chests, or tables can be functional and stylish in the foyer of your home.
  • Involve your walls. Walls are not only great for decor, but they are also perfect for storage! Homeowners should take advantage of this space by including coat hooks, wall cubbies, and a mail bin.
  • Provide a space for each family member. There is nothing more frustrating than not having a specific place to put all of your belongings. Everyone has their own coats, shoes, and mail so why not give them a particular place to put it all? Dividers can be the perfect solution for storing everyone’s belongings all in one place.
  • Make it functional. Make sure to provide a place to hang your car keys, place your shoes and put your coats. A foyer can be decorative, but its best purpose is storing items. Make sure to use this space that you create and not only place decorations around it.
  • Decorate with a passion. This is your chance to add your personal touch to the foyer. Add pictures, plants and props to spice up the area and add charm to your space. Remember, decorations should come after you have a place to put all of your essential items.
  • Provide warmth. A foyer is the first part of your home that guests will see; therefore, you should make the foyer cozy. Add candles and a small rug to incorporate warmth and style into the small space.

Peaceful Remodeling

Are you in the middle of remodeling your home? No doubt, whether your remodeling project is large or small, the process can be overwhelming. Working within a budget while trying to bring your dream to life is challenging. However, a renovation project can go smoothly by following these simple tips.

 

Plan Before the Project Begins

Before you begin any remodeling project, it’s always best to plan. To prevent delays and avoid spending unnecessary money try making product selections early on. By doing so, you’ll be aware of the associated costs and the decision-making process will go much faster.

 

Consider Long Term Costs

Keep in mind long-term maintenance costs such as potential repair expenses and energy costs. Such costs can increase rather quickly. Be sure to include these costs in your calculations and work them into your set budget.

 

A Detailed Contract

Avoid jumping into a remodeling project without a contract. The project should include all the details including the start date, completion date, the correct address and any additional details. Failing to form an airtight contract can lead to a host of trouble.

 

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

While exciting, you will experience both highs and lows during the remodeling process. Expect to experience delays, unforeseen snags and the inconvenience of living in a home that’s under renovation. When your expectations are realistic, you’ll be better able to handle drawbacks.

 

Find A Healthy Outlet

It’s easy for your life to become consumed with renovations during the remodeling. It’s important to take a step back and spend some time on other tasks. Find a healthy outlet, whether it’s the gym or the movies to go when you began to get overly stressed about the renovation process.

Curating Your Space—Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of Curating Your Space! First, read Part 1 for our thoughts about Art Selections, Furniture and Textiles. Today we’ll talk about Lighting, Accessories, Finishes and Flooring.

If you think of your home as a carefully curated space, not solely for the purpose of being appealing to other people, but for the purpose of offering you rest and peace, this will help guide you as you decorate. Whether decorating is a one-time project for you, or an ongoing hobby, carefully choose the furniture, finishes, art, and items that fill your rooms, based on what is meaningful to you.

 

Lighting:

Don’t forget that lighting plays a big role in the atmosphere of your space. A room lit only from above has a different feeling than one lit with a few lamps in various parts of the room.

TIP: Instead of buying new lamps, think about repurposing the ones you already own in different rooms. Play with different locations and test out how the light feels in the room in different arrangements.

 

Accessories:

Accessories can be the most fun and dynamic part of decorating. Change up the arrangement of things as often as you want, add new items here and there as you find them. Pile on, or go minimal! Your selection of accessories is one of the easiest and most flexible ways to express your unique style.

TIP: Look online for styles of vignette arrangements you like to maximize the aesthetic appeal of your décor.

 

Finishes & Floors:

Just the opposite of accessories, the floors and hard finishes in your home are not changed often, so decision making can be harder here. Sometimes visiting a wide variety of places that inspire you, and looking at their finishes, can help direct your choice. They carefully curate their spaces so their locations look as appealing as possible—just as you want your home—appealing to you and your family for the purpose of rest and retreat.

TIP: Work with a designer if you’re not confident about the style you want, and they can help you find something you’ll like for years to come.