Hope you’ve had a great October! With Halloween fast approaching, I’ve put together a list of last-minute Halloween decorations you’ll love. So what are you waiting for? Pull out those art supplies and let’s get decorating!
If you’ve already finished your Halloween preparations, there’s something for you too. Read on to discover the three things you need to know before submitting an offer on a house, as well as the best investment you can make during the first five years in your home.
Last Minute Halloween Decorations
Creating festive Halloween decorations doesn’t have to be super spooky or take a whole lot of time. Find fun, family-friendly ways to get your home ready for trick-or-treaters in record time below!
Carving pumpkins takes a lot of time and preparation. This year, skip a few steps and apply a coat of chalkboard paint to the outside of your pumpkins instead. Chalkboard paint comes in classic black as well as plenty other fun colors, giving you room to be unique. After you’ve coated the pumpkin, wait until the paint dries then write a fun Halloween message or draw a pumpkin face on the surface with chalk. Make a mistake? Just erase it and try again.
Bring in the Great Outdoors
Fallen leaves, acorns, pinecones, and straw can all add a fun, festive air to your home. Check for bugs, then spread your finds across accent tables, put them in a decorative bowl, or make a wreath from them.
While you’ve got an armful of leaves, paint a few of the larger, stronger leaves white. Once the paint dries, use a black marker to draw a spooky face for a quick, easy ghost!
Mummify Your Door
Don’t wait for someone else to start the “trick” part of trick or treat. Start the season off a step ahead by TP-ing your front door! A few strips of toilet paper going from side to side on your door plus a couple of construction-paper pupils are all it takes to create a fun, mummy affect on your front door.
3 Things to Know Before You Make an Offer on a House
Buying a home is a goal most people share – it’s a great investment, a chance to build equity, and it offers a certain amount of stability that you don’t get as a renter. However, you have to find the right house first.
Set a Realistic Budget
Buying a home is a very long-term commitment. So before you start scrolling through listings or popping into open houses, you need to determine how much house you can realistically afford. Think about expenses that could come up in the next five to seven years and account for them in your housing budget. Your pets may need surgeries, your air conditioning unit may break down, and any number of other expenses may pop up. Set yourself up for success by setting a realistic housing budget for yourself – one that doesn’t exceed 28% of your gross income.
Get Your Money in Order
It takes years of work to get your credit and finances ready to buy a house. The buying process itself can go by in a flash. Be sure to have your money in order before you put in an offer. This will help prevent last minute disappointments caused by insufficient funds. Some things you may need to fund include inspections, earnest money, closing costs, and of course your down payment.
Don’t Skip Inspections
A common misconception people have is that putting in an offer means you’re going to buy the house. In reality, submitting an offer is usually just the first step toward deciding if you’ll buy. Before buying, you’ll still need to go through a lengthy inspections period to check for unseen problems. Although it can be tempting to speed up your sale by skipping inspections, it’s important to play it safe. Your inspectors will check for mold and pests, inspect the condition of the foundation and crawl spaces they’ll even tell you if the slope of the yard could cause problems with flooding and erosion.
Best Investments for the First 5 Years in Your Home
Whether you plan to live in your house for the next 15-30 years or just the next 5-7 years, you’ll want it to feel like home. Some upgrades, remodels, and refurbishes with great bang for your buck are below!
Because the kitchen is the heart of the home, it’s one of the most important rooms for both you, and, if you ever sell, your future buyers. Remodeling your kitchen can make the whole house better. Some things you may consider updating include the cabinet doors, countertops, wallpaper/paint, and appliances.
Making your home and yard look appealing is a great step to take in your first five years. You’ll be happier with your house, and when you eventually sell, buyers will get a positive first impression of your property. Pressure washing, adding a fresh coat of paint, or putting up new siding can make a huge difference to the house overall. Planting some greenery on either side of a freshly painted door can also add to your curb appeal.
Go with Energy-Saving Options
Your washer, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, toilet, and even light bulbs can cause a higher than necessary power bill. Replacing non-energy-efficient appliances early will save you money down the road. You may also want to look into energy-efficient windows.
Before you can start investing in your home, you have to find it. If you or someone you know is ready to find their next home, give me a call!
License #: 8935976Heritage House Sotheby’s International Realty
848 Broad Street, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702