Diane Stone - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Diane Stone on 1/28/2018

When choosing a color scheme for the rooms of your home, you may put a lot of thought into what color combinations look good together. There are actually many colors that go together. The bigger question is, will these color combinations stand the test of time? There are certain color combinations that always look good and stand the test of time. 


Shades Of Blue


Blue has become thought of as a neutral color. It looks good in many different rooms of the house. Accents of other neutral colors can easily be added to the room and look great. You can mix and match shades of blue. Dark blues look great with lighter shades of turquoise or sky blue.  


Black And White


This seemingly simple color combination comes with a lot of class. Because of the high contrast of the two colors, it looks quite sophisticated. It works in many different rooms. Accents of silver, wood, and even some warmer colors like shades of red that pop can add definition to a room with a black and white base.  


Tan With Blue Or Green


Shades of tan or beige go along really well with blues and greens. With a beige base, itís possible to really make accents of other earthy tones stand out in a room. 


Gray With Blue Or Green


Just as tans go along really well with blue and green shades, so to do shades of gray. The gray base provides a soothing palette for earthy tones to shine through.


Gray And Shades Of White


Just like black and white shades of gray (usually darker tones) go along well with many different shades of white. With these two very neutral colors at the base of a room, it allows other colors to shine through. You donít even need to focus on earth tones. Allow your imagination to flow and choose from a variety of colors of the rainbow.



Green And Brown


With touches of white mixed in- even a white wall, you can really make green and brown work well together without making a room seem like a jungle. You can give the room touches of other earth-toned accents in order to bring depth in the space.  

 


Blue Shades And Gray With White


These colors may all look kind of bland on their own, but when you put them together, they shine. The 3 colors together make a usually cool color scheme seem warmer and more inviting. Just remember if youíre using a shade of deep blue not to overdo it in any room as it can be overpowering.  

 

When you choose your colors wisely, your home will never go out of style. As you can see, thereís plenty of workable color combinations that allow you to keep your home looking stylish.




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Posted by Diane Stone on 1/21/2018

If youíre planning to stay in your home as you age, or "age in place", itís wise to begin planning to renovate your home for your future self sooner rather than later. This will save you money and headaches down the road. I know itís not an exciting topic of conversation to discuss aging and how to make your home more accessible. However, itís certainly an important one. And even if you never use these features yourself, they are great to have in a home even if just for visitors, such as your parents.

Renovating before retirement ensures you have the cash flow to fund each change you make to your home. By making these changes now when you donít need them, instead of as you go, allows you time to do research on best pricing and how to add features that will look seamless in your home. Just because you are ďsenior proofingĒ your home doesnít mean it has to look like an assisted living facility.

The best, and arguably most important, place to start is in the bathroom. This is also a room that accommodations can double as accessible and chic. For example, a lipless walk-in shower, also known as the European Wet Room, eliminates the need to step up which can result in tripping. But it also opens up the room to appear more spacious and allow natural lighting to reach every corner. When renovating choose dimensions that leave enough room for a wheelchair to enter.

You may also want to consider adding a built-in shower bench. This could be a seamless tiled addition styled like a window seat or a chic wooden seat that folds up and out of the way. Grab bars donít need to be an eyesore either. There are so many options on the market for bars that integrate with your bathroomís style instead of looking like an afterthought.

When house hunting for a new home, look for one-level open floor plans. Open floor plans are very on trend and a feature many buyers are looking for anyways. They come with the added bonus of having plenty of room for someone in a wheelchair or walker to get around. If a home you are looking at has any hallways measure them to make sure they are wide enough to be accessible for these kinds of mobility aids.

Choosing a home that is a one-floor plan is another subtle way you can ďsenior proofĒ your home. Stairs can become troublesome when mobility becomes limited due to arthritis for example. A lack of a staircase to climb also means never having to buy a chairlift down the line. Potentially saving your future self-money and the integrity of your homeís decor.





Posted by Diane Stone on 1/14/2018

When you move into a home that you worked so hard to buy, itís an exciting and overwhelming time. The biggest problem with a new place is that you donít know your surroundings very well. Even if you have just moved down the street, thereís a lot of new things to be discovered from new neighbors to new places to explore. 


One thing that many new homeowners overlook is the way in which their new home functions. Do you know where the circuit breakers are? What about that switch in the corner of the living room that doesnít seem to do anything? While the seller's disclosure and your home inspector will give you a wealth of information, you can gain a lot of knowledge just by asking questions. 


Sellers may not be eager to answer too many questions at first for fear that their answers could jeopardize the sale of their home. You can safely ask a lot of questions at the final walk-through or at closing since the seller will know that theyíre secure in the transaction.         



Whatís Strange About This House?


While you wouldnít word a question to a seller in this exact way, you do want to know if thereís anything unique or anything that you should anticipate about the home. Remember that you should be subtle, yet curious in your question asking. 


What Type Of Repairs Have Been Made?


While you expect that most repairs will be on the disclosure statement, anything that has been done in the past is noteworthy as well. Itís helpful to know whatís been done in the house in the past so you have an idea of what to keep an eye out for.


Where Are The Important Utility Boxes In The Home?


Not all home inspectors are created equal. Your inspector may not be great at educating you as to where things are in the home like the circuit box, the water switches, the pump, or the controls for the furnace. The seller can often show you the location of these items in the house. This will prevent you from a lot of confusion starting at the time you move into the home. 


Have You Enjoyed Living In This Neighborhood?


You can discover a lot about a neighborhood if you just start a conversation about the sellerís own experiences. You can learn a lot through this simple question. Are there any crazy dogs in the neighborhood? Where are the best places to eat in the area? While you may not ask these questions directly, you can gain some powerful information just by being curious and conversational.

Gaining a good rapport with your seller can get you places. Youíll know a bit more about the home and the seller will even feel more friendly towards you. The seller could even leave some cool stuff behind that they donít need like a microwave, a piece of furniture, or a patio set. All you need to do is be friendly and curious and youíll be off to a great start in your new home.




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Posted by Diane Stone on 1/7/2018

Vacationing is a time to relax and enjoy time with your loved ones, friends or even yourself. Avoid the stresses of trying to remember whether or not you did everything you needed to do before you leave by being proactive. Leave the house to board the plane to paradiseÖor your in-laws for the holidays worry-free. Here is a list of things to do before you go away to make sure your house is all set while youíre gone:

  1. Ask for a Friend: If you are going to be gone for longer than a few days, itís probably wise to ask a friend, neighbor or family member to stop by and check on your house. They can grab the mail and newspaper, water plants, and make sure the house is still standing. Consider paying someone to stay at your home full-time to take care of your pets. Generally, it will be cheaper than boarding them and you wonít be displacing them while youíre away.
  2. Do NOT post on social media: Social media is a staple for many to share their life, but itís best not to post on social media that you will be heading off to the Caribbean for a week≠ó unless you have someone staying at your house full-time. This gives burglars the perfect opportunity to break into your home.
  3. Remove spare keys: Itís best to give the person watching your home the spare key and have them hold onto it and remove additional spares key. There are rarely any creative spots to hide spare keys and leaving it under your welcome mat is asking for someone unwanted to enter your home.
  4. Timer lights: Invest in a timer for your lights. If your lights turn on periodically, it will look like someone is at home. It will also save you money compared to if you were to leave your lights on constantly while away.
  5. Unplug appliances/electronics: Unplug anything that will not be used while you are on vacation. This includes toasters, computers, printers, television, etc. Even though they are not on they could still be using up energy.
  6. Close windows/lock doors: Remembering to close your windows and lock your doors sounds like it would be easy, but itís probably not the first thing on your mind when going on vacation. Set a reminder on your phone to check all of your windows, making sure they are locked if low to the ground, and locking the doors that you are not exiting from.
  7. Use a safe: If you have a safe or locked drawer, itís very wise to place important things into it while youíre gone. Important paperwork, jewelry, and emergency money that you leave around the house are all items that you should be putting a safe place, such as a safe or locked drawer.
Some other things to do before leaving for a vacation are to contact your credit card company to let them know youíll be traveling, turn off water if traveling for a significant amount of time (but be careful of freezing pipes), and to, of course, remember your wallet and I.D. Ensure you have a worry-free vacation follow the steps below and have fun!




Tags: home safety  
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Posted by Diane Stone on 12/31/2017

Obtaining a mortgage can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of analyzing various mortgage options and choosing one that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help first-time homebuyers secure the ideal mortgage.

1. Assess All of the Mortgage Options at Your Disposal

Both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are available, and homebuyers who understand the pros and cons of these mortgage options may be better equipped than others to make the right mortgage decision.

A fixed-rate mortgage ensures a homebuyer will pay the same amount each month. For example, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage enables a homebuyer to budget for monthly home payments over the course of three decades. And in many instances, a homebuyer may be able to pay off a fixed-rate mortgage early without penalty.

On the other hand, an adjustable-rate mortgage may start out with a lower monthly payment that escalates over the course of a few years. An adjustable-rate mortgage, for instance, may allow a homebuyer to acquire a home that surpasses his or her initial budget thanks to a lower initial monthly payment. However, after the first few years, the monthly mortgage payment may increase, and a homebuyer will need to plan accordingly.

Assess your mortgage options closely Ė you'll be glad you did. By doing so, you can boost your chances of selecting a mortgage that works well based on your current and future financial needs.

2. Evaluate Your Credit Score

Believe it or not, a first-time homebuyer's credit score may impact his or her ability to get the right mortgage. Fortunately, a first-time homebuyer can analyze his or her credit score without delay.

You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Then, with your credit report in hand, you can better understand how potential lenders may view your mortgage application.

Of course, if you receive a copy of your credit report and find glaring errors, be sure to let the credit bureau know immediately. This will enable you to get any mistakes corrected and ensure these problems won't slow you down as you pursue your dream residence.

3. Consult with Potential Lenders

Although getting a mortgage may seem like an uphill climb at first, consulting with potential lenders may prove to be exceedingly valuable, especially for a first-time homebuyer.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable staff who are happy to educate you about assorted mortgage options. These lenders can teach you about the ins and outs of various mortgage options at your convenience.

Lastly, if you need extra help in your search for the perfect mortgage, real estate agents may be able to offer assistance. These housing market professionals can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about lenders in your area so you can move one step closer to securing your ideal mortgage.

Ready to get a mortgage for the first time? Use these tips, and you can accelerate the process of obtaining a mortgage that suits you perfectly.




Tags: Buying a home   Mortgage  
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