Mortgage Rates Rising in 2014

92.jpg
You’ve likely seen the signs in your neighborhood of the market returning to stability. There are less for-sale houses, your neighbors are refinancing due to historically low interest rates, and some are even finally able to check items off renovation lists. While this apparent boom in activity seems fantastic, in reality, it’s not all positive. In June of 2013, the federal government announced intentions to eventually pull back on monetary easing, which caused an artificial spike in interest rates. While they are still “historically low” compared to 15 or even 10 years ago, over the past six months, interest rates have risen drastically—at times upwards of 1 percent. While this change will cause our economy to move in the right direction, it will only cause interest rates to increase.

Winter Wonderland Designs

13.jpg
We may not particularly like the cold temperatures, shoveling snow, and bundling up (okay, so maybe “hate” is a better word) – but you have to admit, wintertime can be so beautiful. If you’re a fan of cozying up from November to April, here are some design ideas for your home to make the most of the season. DIY Sweater Pillows. They may sound silly, but in the right room, they’re perfect. Check out these chic, preppy pillows from HGTV. All you need are unused sweaters or flannel shirts, an old pillow, and a needle and thread. Super easy.

New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

15.jpg
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2014? Planning to lose some weight? Perhaps visit family more often? Donate your time to charity? These are all great resolutions, but don’t forget about your home! A recent article on HGTV cited five great resolutions for your home, and we just had to share them: 1. Streamline the stuff. We all become subject to a little clutter, especially after the holiday months – so why not declutter your home in the New Year? By scheduling regular purgings of your cabinets, basement bins, and under the bed crevasses (don’t deny it!), you’ll be able to live a cleaner, more organized life. Imagine being able to find that thing you were looking for, without having to spend an hour looking for it.

Energy Efficient Winter Home

3.jpg
Even the most energy efficient home can still see higher electric and gas bills in the winter months – it’s inevitable. To keep your home running efficiently, try some tips from our quick list! 1. Replace your furnace filter. Seems like an easy one, but a clogged filter can restrict airflow and increase energy use in your home. Replacing the filter once a month can really reduce your winter heating costs.

Away for the Holidays

2.jpg
The holidays are busy times with many parties to go to, family members to see and even some vacations during the break. If you’re planning to leave your home for any longer than a day, here are some tips to make sure you come home to the same beautiful abode you left: Set your heat between 50 and 60 degrees. This will help keep the house warm and protect your pipes. Use random-access timers for lights to make it seem as if you are home. Try to avoid automated lamps, as these are more likely to cause a fire.

Winter Home Preparedness

1.jpg
It happens every year, and no matter how long you mentally prepare for it, it still catches you off-guard. You guessed it: the first snowfall. There could be just a dusting of snow on the ground and the kids are already grabbing their snow boots and gear. Before everyone heads out to enjoy the weather, though, make sure your home and family are prepared for Ol’ Man Winter with these top 10 tips: 1. Buy a snow shovel, or two – keep sidewalks and front steps clear so no one slips and falls. The more shovels you have the more help you can recruit to get the job done.