Melissa Cournoyer Hilli's Blog
One very important, yet often overlooked aspect of setting up a home is that of lighting. We often take lighting for granted. We turn on a light in order to see something better, but there’s so much more to a well-lit room than placing a light anywhere in the space. Lighting should be done in layers. These layers include:
- Ambient lighting
- Accent lighting
- Task lighting
- Decorative lighting
For well-balanced lighting in a room, you should mix and match the types of lighting from these layers. Let’s break down the different layers of lighting:
This kind of lighting includes natural light sources such as windows and doors. Ambient lighting would also include pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures like a combination light/ ceiling fan.
Task lighting is exactly as the name denotes. You use this type of lighting when you want to complete some kind of task. These fixtures could include under the counter lighting, desk lamps, and reading lamps.
Accent lighting provides additional brightness to a room. These fixtures include adjustable lights and recessed lighting features.
Decorative lighting accents a room in a different way. These types of fixtures would be something like chandeliers, different colored light bulbs, and other lights that can be used for decoration.
The great thing about the right kind of lighting is that it will feature the best parts of a room. Do you have a painting that you love? Use lighting to bring it out. Is there a statue that you want to make stand out? Use a soft spotlight. You can even highlight your crown molding and ceiling features with some mounted sconces or rope lights along the edge of your ceiling for an added effect.
Spread It Out
One of the worst mistakes that people make when lighting a room is forgetting to spread out their light sources. All of the light in the room is concentrated in one spot, leaving dark patches in the space. This can be a decorator’s nightmare. This is why the layering method works so well. The lighting is spread out around the room and even. There won’t be any spots in the room where the lighting is overwhelming or on the flip side, not enough.
Use Your Windows
One of the other big mistakes in lighting is that people often forget to make use of the natural daylight. While you may need some lighting in a room that’s used often at night, there should be some great resources coming from right outside your windows. Don’t block this light! Use creative ways to direct the light accordingly like curtains and blinds. Don’t be afraid to leave some window space open as well to let the light shine in. While you don’t want to sacrifice your privacy, you do not want to live with your windows darkened all day, every day!
Downsizing appears to be a common theme among Baby Boomers as they transition from family life and professional pursuits to retirement. Not all members of this generation are willing to give up the spacious and beautiful homes to which they've grown accustomed, however. As some downsize, others are on the hunt for upgrades that will make their lives more convenient while also infusing every day with additional elements of luxury. Whether these upgrades are incorporated in existing homes undergoing renovation or sought out in new purchases, they can make a real difference in the lives of active Baby Boomers. The following are among the most commonly pursued upgrades:
Clever Storage And Shelving Solutions
Aging homeowners are not particularly enthused about straining or bending over to reach essentials in kitchens or other practical spaces. The storage solutions they were willing to abide by in the past may no longer cut it. Thankfully, modern storage options now take limited mobility and other concerns into account.
Solutions such as slide-out shelving allow for easier access. Likewise, the Lazy Susan is in the midst of a much-deserved revival. Adjustments to cabinet and counter height can also make a huge difference in the lives of senior homeowners.
Walk-In Showers or Tubs
Bathroom layouts that once seemed reasonable now strike many Baby Boomers as highly impractical. Many hope that this space will serve as a peaceful retreat, in which they can enjoy their own personal oasis. This spa-like feeling is impossible to accomplish if the mere act of getting in and out of the shower requires extensive effort. Hence, the current popularity of accessible showers and tubs, which remove steps or curbs that might otherwise get in the way.
Modern tubs and showers often include non-slip flooring, railing, or built-in seats. Even if not currently needed, these features provide valuable peace of mind to Baby Boomers who worry about navigating their homes in the event of illness or injury.
Some Baby Boomers prefer to trade in their large family homes for smaller residences. Others, however, recognize that they can still make use of extra space — and that their need for several rooms may return in the near future.
Flex spaces allow Boomers to use extra rooms as they see fit, while also providing the possibility of a swift change, should the need arise. Homeowners may use these rooms to pursue hobbies or kick back with friends, but they also enjoy the solace of knowing that such spaces can become guest rooms, offices, or other essentials when warranted.
While Baby Boomers appreciate sleek and sophisticated finishes, they are most interested in the convenient arrangements that will allow them to make the most of homeownership in years to come. Those who think beyond traditional retirement housing solutions can enjoy a wonderful way of life during their golden years.
Let's face it – if you plan to relocate, you may need to reserve a moving truck. However, many moving truck providers are available, and finding the right one may prove to be a long, arduous process.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of evaluating moving truck companies so that you can make the best possible decision.
Now, let's take a look at three questions to consider before you book a moving truck.
1. How much stuff do I need to move?
If you own a wide range of antiques, books, DVDs and other items, you may need a medium or large moving truck to transport all of your belongings from Point A to Point B. Comparatively, if you rent a studio apartment, you may only need a small moving truck to help you bring your items to your new house.
Take a look at all of your belongings and put together an inventory. Then, you'll be better equipped than ever before to select a moving truck company that provides a vehicle that matches your moving needs.
2. How far do I need to go?
Distance is an important factor to consider as you evaluate moving truck providers, as most of these companies will require you to pay for the fuel costs associated with a moving vehicle.
For example, if you need to move out of state, you may need to account for the cost of renting a moving truck, along with several hundred dollars in fuel charges. Or, if you are moving just down the road from your current address, the fuel costs associated with a moving truck probably will be minimal.
When it comes to determining which moving truck company to use, it pays to look at how these businesses account for fuel expenses. By doing so, you can budget accordingly.
3. How long will it take to complete my move?
In many instances, a moving truck provider will bill you based on how long you keep a vehicle. This means someone who needs a moving truck for just a few hours may pay significantly less than someone who requires a moving vehicle for several days.
Plan ahead for moving day as much as possible. That way, you can find ways to streamline the moving cycle and cut down on the amount of time that you will need a moving truck.
Lastly, if you need help finding the right moving truck company, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional is happy to provide recommendations about various moving truck companies in your area. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can take the guesswork out of buying or selling a house and ensure you can enjoy a seamless move.
Make an informed decision about a moving truck provider – use the aforementioned tips, and you can select a moving truck company that will meet or exceed your expectations.
Of course, you want to stay within your budget when buying a house. You certainly want value for your dollar. But a buyer should never lose sight of the fact what they truly desire is getting the home they want and that fits their needs. To that end, potential buyers may put in a “low-ball” offer on a house they truly want. They may risk losing a home that meets all of their qualifications by placing an offer that is five or ten thousand dollars less than a price the seller is willing to accept. What can be even more frustrating is that even if a buyer's offer is accepted by a seller, the buyer may just waste that money, or more, on the mortgage they acquire.
Buyers may be surprised to learn how much even a half of one-percent difference in a mortgage rate can make.
In our first example, after a down payment, a buyer gets a mortgage for $250,000 over 30 years at 4.5% interest. The monthly payment would be about $1,267 monthly. Over the course of 30 years, those payments would total $456,120. The net cost of the loan is $206,120.
In our second example, we take that same $250,000 mortgage over 30 years, but the buyer compared mortgage rates and was able to find a lender offering that same loan at 4.0% interest, one-half of one-percent less. The monthly payment would now be $1,194, totaling $429,840. The net cost of this loan is $179,840. The difference between the two loans is $26,280. All because of a .5% interest rate difference.
The Best Way to Save Money on a Home
Rather than chancing to lose a home you really like by making an offer that is too low, consider instead performing due diligence on mortgage rates. Seeking out a lower rate can be critical in saving you five, ten or twenty thousand dollars or more. That's a far better solution than losing a home you really wanted.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining loan rates for mortgages. These include the buyer's credit rating, work history, income to debt ratio and loan to value ratio. The bottom line is the better your credit the more options you will have in securing a mortgage loan.
One of the best ways to save money on buying a home is saving money on your mortgage rates. The best way to do that is by monitoring your credit rating and working to build it. When it comes time to buy a home, get pre-qualified and compare mortgage rates. You can even use an online calculator to compare rates on your own. Need further assistance in determining how to find the right mortgage for you? Feel free to reach out, and we can embark on your mortgage and home journey together.