Thomas Beauchemin's Blog
Are you looking for some new and unique flooring options for your home? Check out this list of artistic, eye-catching and unique flooring options from around the globe.
Roman Tile Floor
The most luxurious homes during the Golden Age of Rome boasted floors that were a fantastic work of art. Tiny colored tiles were created with meticulous care to make beautiful mosaics. Animal motifs were common, but so were geometric patterns. Some Romans also enjoyed heated floors. In this present day, you can have a mosaic floor just as the Romans, and have it heated for some extra cash, too.
Bamboo Cane Floor
Over the years, bamboo has become popular as an eco-friendly choice to hardwood. Bamboo has the same shiny, grainy and smooth appearance of a typical wooden floor and the same durability, too. However, bamboo grows faster than regular trees, which makes it a renewable source. Bamboo is easy to clean and can last for many years.
Log End Floor
Log end floor is a different twist on the standard hardwood floor. With an amazingly rustic yet sophisticated appearance, the log-end floor is made of well-crafted log pieces to bring the feeling of a traditional log cabin and a splash of high-class.A log-end floor has a very flexible design and is superbly comfortable to walk on.
If you want to think out of the ordinary in regard to floors for your kitchen, a rubber floor is a beautiful, unique flooring choice. Typically, used in playroom and gyms, rubber is springy underfoot and soft, so it is excellent for standing for an extended period, such as when cooking or washing the dishes. A rubber floor is durable and requires low maintenance. It will provide a fresh and unique look for homeowners who want something different.
A fresh and exciting trend is known as a penny floor aka copper floor. Penny floor is just as the name implies: a layer of pennies makes up this unique floor, held firmly into place with a sealant. Even though it takes a considerable amount of time to lay down all the pennies, it is surprisingly affordable. If you want stylish flooring for your home without spending too much, the penny floor is a great choice.
When renovating your home, you should consider choosing a unique flooring option as it can boost the value and appeal of your home. Not sure what to pick? Ask your real estate agent what flooring types are the best return on investment in your market.
If you intend to sell your house, you'll need to put together an engaging home listing. By doing so, you can increase the likelihood that homebuyers will want to check out your residence in-person – something that eventually may lead to a home sale.
It is important to do everything possible to differentiate your home listing from others. This will boost your chances of a fast home sale, along with raise the possibility of receiving a home offer that matches or exceeds your initial expectations.
Ultimately, there are several things that separate an ordinary home listing from an exceptional one, and these include:
1. Home Location
All home listings include details about a home's address. However, only the best home listings highlight information about where a residence is located relative to popular landmarks and attractions.
For example, if your house is located near some of the state's top schools, you may want to include information in your home listing about your home's proximity to these high-quality schools. With this information, your home listing may stand out to parents.
On the other hand, if your residence is just minutes from an amusement park, gym or other popular local attractions, you should include this information in your listing as well.
2. Home Upgrades
If you upgraded your house's heating system or installed new windows only a few years ago, it may be worthwhile to incorporate this information into your home listing.
Remember, as a home seller, you'll want to provide homebuyers with as much information about your residence as you can. And if you include details about assorted home upgrades, you can show homebuyers that you've allocated significant time and resources to improve your residence.
3. Home Photographs
When it comes to home photographs, there is no need to settle for "basic" pictures. Instead, a home seller should look carefully at home photographs and incorporate only those that showcase the true beauty of a residence into a home listing.
In many instances, a homebuyer will examine home photographs before he or she decides whether to continue to read a home listing. If a homebuyer is turned off by home photos that make a residence look small or cramped, he or she may move on to other home listings.
For home sellers, it is paramount to clean and declutter a house before you take photos of it. This will ensure your residence looks pristine both inside and out and guarantees that your home photos can make a distinct impression on homebuyers who view your home listing.
Lastly, if you need help preparing a home listing, a real estate agent can provide expert assistance. This housing market professional can collaborate with you as you put together a home listing and offer plenty of tips and recommendations along the way.
Take the guesswork out of crafting an effective home listing – consider the aforementioned home listing items, and you can create a home listing that helps you stir up significant interest in your residence.
Your bathroom can be a considerable source of energy use in your home. The Department of Energy states that water heating accounts for up to 18 percent of energy bills, which is the second largest expense in your home after heating and cooling. Showers and baths aren’t the only reasons for high energy use in bathrooms, though. Lighting and exhaust fans also add to this amount. The good news is that you can make your bathrooms more energy-efficient with the following tips.
Limit Hot Water Use
Since water heating uses up so much energy, finding ways to use less hot water can add up to significant energy savings. You can do this by taking showers instead of baths, which use up more hot water. Taking shorter showers, such as limiting them to about 10 minutes or less, also helps reduce the amount of hot water you’re using on a daily basis. Installing a low-flow shower head and using cooler rather than hotter water can help you save even more energy.
Use Your Exhaust Fans Efficiently
Bathrooms have exhaust fans to help reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth from moisture. While it’s important to run these when you shower or bathe, keep in mind that they use up energy while they’re on. You can lower this energy usage by only keeping exhaust fans on for about 15 minutes after getting out of the shower. Switching to a more energy-efficient exhaust fan can also help you use less energy while still keeping your bathroom safe from mold and mildew.
Consider Your Bathroom Lighting
The lights in your bathroom can use up more energy if you’re using incandescent bulbs, especially if you have several vanity lights around or over your sink and mirror. Switching to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or LED bulbs cuts down on your energy usage when your bathroom lights are on. These bulbs also typically last longer than incandescent bulbs and produce less heat, making them safer and more cost-effective. Installing motion sensors for your bathroom lights can also save energy by ensuring that they’re not accidentally left on for long periods of time.
Unplug Curling Irons and Hair Dryers
Leaving curling irons and hair dryers plugged in when they’re not being used might not seem like a big source of energy use. However, these devices keep drawing small amounts of electricity the entire time they’re plugged in, even if they’re not turned on. You can save on your bathroom energy usage on a regular basis by getting into the habit of unplugging these devices when you’re not using them.
If you plan on selling your home or purchasing a new home, please contact us.
Finding financing for a home could be as simple as applying for a conforming FHA loan or it could be as difficult as having to locate a portfolio loan or even a combo loan. What you need depends on the real estate you are buying. Most people buying a primary residence get a conforming loan, whether it is conventional or government-backed.
Conforming vs. Non-Conforming
The first thing to determine is whether your loan is going to be conforming or not. A conforming loan for a single-family unit must be under $510,400 in most areas and $765,600 in other areas. The Federal Housing Finance Agency sets the rates. If you have to borrow more, you will need a jumbo loan or a piggyback loan. A common piggyback loan is where you pay 15 percent of the price, then take out two mortgages: one for 80 percent of the purchase price, then a second mortgage for 5 percent of the purchase price. You can work the percentages however you need them based on the purchase price. The piggyback loan keeps you from going into jumbo loan territory and possibly paying higher interest rates.
Conforming loans are conventional or government-backed loans. A conventional loan usually has a higher interest rate because it’s riskier to the lender. A government-backed loan, such as a VA or FHA loan is guaranteed by the federal government, thus it is less risky to lenders. Because of the lower risk, you get a better interest rate as long as your credit is good.
Adjustable vs. Fixed-Rate Loans
If interest rates are low and are projected to stay low, you can get an adjustable-rate loan to save a bit on the interest rate. As interest rates change, so does your mortgage payment. Adjustable rates are based on a certain index. For example, if your base interest rate is 4 percent, which means your interest rate will never go lower than that, and the Libor London rate is 1 percent, your rate is 5 percent. If the Libor London increases by a half percentage point, so will your loan. However, if it decreases by a point, your interest rate also lowers by a point.
Adjustable-rate loans are risky for the buyer because you don’t know if the rate will significantly increase over the life of the loan. If you plan on refinancing or selling the home after a few years, an adjustable-rate might be beneficial.
A fixed-rate loan means that your interest rate does not change over the life of the loan.
You might have a hard time finding a loan because you are self-employed, your credit isn’t the best, or you are buying a property that doesn’t conform to most lenders’ standards. A lender doesn’t sell the loan on the secondary market, but instead holds it in the bank’s portfolio. These loans are riskier for the lender and will often have a higher interest rate.
Deciding whether to accept a buyer's offer to purchase your house can be exceedingly difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you assess the pros and cons of a homebuying proposal and ensure you can make an informed decision.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine whether to accept an offer to buy your home.
1. Examine the Current Housing Market
The current housing market may play a role in your ability to stir up interest in your house. In addition, the real estate sector may impact whether you're able to receive multiple home offers at or above your residence's initial asking price.
To understand the present state of the housing market, you should look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. If houses are selling quickly, you may be operating in a seller's market. Or, if houses linger on the market for many weeks or months before they sell, you may be operating in a buyer's market.
Ultimately, a seller's market may lead to many offers on your house in the foreseeable future. If you receive an offer that fails to match your expectations when you're operating in this type of market, you may want to decline or counter the proposal in the hopes of receiving superior offers down the line.
On the other hand, it usually requires hard work and persistence to sell a house in a buyer's market. And if you receive a competitive homebuying proposal in a buyer's market, you may want to accept this offer.
2. Consider Your Home's Condition
The condition of your house may prove to be a critical factor as you debate whether to accept an offer. If you assess your house's condition closely, you may be better equipped than ever before to make the best-possible decision about a homebuying proposal.
If you feel a home offer is fair based on the current condition of your house, you may want to accept the proposal. Conversely, if you feel a buyer has submitted a "lowball" proposal based on your home's condition, you should not hesitate to reject or counter this offer.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to evaluating a homebuying proposal, it generally is a good idea to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of accepting an offer and determine the best course of action.
Typically, a real estate agent will present a buyer's offer to you and offer recommendations about how to proceed with this proposal. As you assess all of your options regarding a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will be able to respond to any concerns or questions that you may have too.
Ready to take the guesswork out of reviewing a homebuying proposal? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the process of deciding whether to accept an offer to purchase your home.