Tips & Advice tagged posts

A 3-Step Downsizing Plan

When it’s time to move to a smaller home, these tips will help you save the memories while minimizing clutter in your new place.

Moving into a new house is often bittersweet. You are excited for the change, but sad to leave a home so full of memories. Downsizing can be even harder — a smaller place means you don’t have room for all of your current possessions.

But downsizing is also an opportunity to refresh and start anew. If you get rid of the clutter, you can fill your new place with the things you really love, making it feel like home.

Here are three steps for downsizing without sacrificing your meaningful belongings.

1. Make a plan

Take a trip to your new place and measure the size of your rooms and storage areas. This will be your guide for how much you can take with you...

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Prepare for the Ultimate Staycation

Rule #1 of the best week off at home: Plan ahead.

You don’t need to stay in a hotel and play tourist to have a proper holiday. Look no further than your own home for a staycation that dreams are made of.

Make no mistake, an at-home staycation doesn’t just mean a lazy weekend on the couch. Turn your humble abode into a resort made for relaxation with a few days of planning and prep work.

Here’s your guide to creating the ultimate staycation.

Tackle chores in advance

Make a list of chores you want to tackle a few days before your staycation begins. At the very least, cover the basics like washing linens, dusting and vacuuming.

For an added level of sparkle, schedule time to clean your windows...

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Looking for a New Place? Use This Time to Create Your Wishlist

If your move is delayed, evaluate the features of your current home so you know just what you want in your next one.

Now that many of us have spent several weeks living inside, we’ve become quite familiar with our homes — in some cases, maybe too familiar. If you were planning to move before COVID-19, and still plan to do so when the timing is right, you might want to take this time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not in your current home. For instance, those stairs you’ve climbed 10 times a day may have kept you moving while you’ve stayed home, but maybe you’d like stair-free living in your next home. Or perhaps the yard you thought you could do without has now become a must-have.

We’ve come up with a list of questions to help you pinpoint what you like and don’t l...

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5 Ways to Make Your Home Office Work (Even if It’s Your Kitchen)

WFH is the new normal for many Americans. Here’s how to get your workspace functioning well — and looking great.

With social distancing mandates in effect across much of the country, many people working in industries deemed “non-essential” are doing their work from home. And while the constant stream of COVID-19 news, in addition to caretaking or homeschooling responsibilities, can make it hard to stay focused on work, modifying your space can help. An organized and visually appealing work area can help you feel more productive — and more relaxed. 

Here are five tips for elevating your home workspace.  

Commit to your space

For those of us who don’t have a home office — which is a lot of people — work-from-home routines can easily get derailed...

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Selling? Increase Your Home’s “Screen Appeal”

With home showings going online during COVID-19, learn how to make your listing stand out on screen.

If you were counting on crowded open houses (or any open houses, for that matter) to sell your home, you’ve probably been rethinking your strategy. Nearly the entire country is following public health orders to stay at home through April or May, traditionally the prime selling season. As a result, online for-sale listings have taken on more importance than ever, and it all starts with increasing your home’s screen appeal.  

Stage your space

The first step in staging your home is aggressive decluttering. Put away all the kids’ and pets’ toys, store or recycle loose magazines and box up your picture frames and mementos for now...

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Does Your Home Make You Happy?

7 easy tips for giving your space a morale makeover.

With the majority of Americans following stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of coronavirus, our homes are now working overtime to fulfill the roles of offices, classrooms, gyms and community centers — and it’s easy to feel dispirited after occupying the same space day in, day out. But all hope is not lost: There are simple and inexpensive ways to transform your home into a fresh and inspiring environment. 

Give your home some TLC with these seven tips from interior decorators, feng shui experts and design enthusiasts. 

Break it up

If you’re working at home, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by conflicting responsibilities. To help stay on track, designate different areas for specific activities...

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5 Tips for Moving During COVID-19

By taking extra safety precautions and minimizing social contact, you can still move safely.

Amid travel bans, widespread stay-at-home orders and social-distancing mandates, millions of Americans are learning to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19. Countless events have been rescheduled or cancelled, but for a few people — including those who already made plans to move this spring — staying put is simply not an option. 

If you are about to move, you can still pull it off with a little extra planning and a few precautionary steps.

Here are some tips for making your move as safe, seamless and stress-free as possible. 

DIY if possible

Even though most states have designated moving services as “essential” and therefore still able to operate, many smaller companies have reduced ...

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5 New Year’s Resolutions That Can Help You Buy a Home

New year, new home? Whip your financial resume into shape to improve your home-buying odds.

Thinking of buying a home this year? We compiled five New Year’s resolutions that can help you keep your financial resume in tiptop shape.

1. Avoid job hopping

Employment history and income are two of the biggest factors lenders look at when evaluating a mortgage application. A new job may be a good career move, but if you plan to buy a home in the new year, know that job hopping can be a red flag to some underwriters — especially if you’re moving to a different industry.

A steady job history and few or no gaps in employment over the past two years are ideal, as it helps lenders more easily forecast your future income.

If you do get a new job while home shopping, let your lender know as soon ...

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Buying a Home? Plan for These Hidden Costs

Get those rainy day funds in order — you’re going to need them.

You’re excited because you just found the perfect home. The neighborhood is great, the house is charming and the price is right.

But the asking price is just the beginning. Be prepared for additional — and often unexpected — home-buying costs that can catch buyers unaware and quickly leave you underwater on your new home.

Expect the unexpected

For almost every person who buys a home, the spending doesn’t stop with the down payment. Homeowners insurance and closing costs, like appraisal and lender fees, are typically easy to plan for because they’re lumped into the home-buying process, but most costs beyond those vary.

The previous owners of your home are the biggest factor affecting your move-in costs...

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5 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

The days may be getting shorter, but the list of home-shopping benefits is getting longer.

Real estate markets ebb and flow, just like the seasons. The spring market blooms right along with the flowers, but the fall market often dwindles with the leaves — and this slower pace could be good for buyers.

If you’re in the market for a home, here are five reasons why fall can be a great time to buy.

1. Old inventory may mean deals

Sellers tend to put their homes on the market in the spring, often listing their homes too high right out of the gate. This could result in price reductions throughout the spring and summer months.

These sellers have fewer chances to capture buyers after Labor Day. By October, you are likely to find desperate sellers and prices below a home’s market value.

2...

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