The Essentials Checklist for Newly Married Homeowners

Life does not end right after the wedding. In fact, it’s when the marriage life begins. Moving to a new home with your partner sounds exciting and fun. At the same time though, this chapter opens up to a whole new array of responsibilities and worries. Don’t fret too quickly as you are not alone to fulfill these. In this article, we will list down five essentials that newly married homeowners should keep in mind.

1. Set Up Electricity Line

A home may not be functional without electricity. At least this is considering that we live in a modern day’s world. When moving to a new home, do not forget to check your electricity connection and billing. This should be under your name and not anybody else’s. Otherwise, you might be connected to illegal electricity lines. Also check indoor and outdoor electric cables and make sure they are all safe and organized.

2. Check Water Pipes

Peek under the basins. Water faucets must be clean and unclogged. The water pipes must not be rusty and dirty, whether the house is new or abandoned for quite a long time. Newly wed homeowners must also check the water pumps and the disaster recovery solutions to keep water running. There must be no leaks in machineries to prevent high costs and conserve water diligently. A wise move is to ask around and survey about plumbing before finally settling in.

3. Move Important Appliances In

For most couples, watching TV or movies is one of the common bonding activities together. The television set must be an essential part of the home. You can have more units depending on the necessity. The washing machine, refrigerator, oven, water heater, clothes dryer, and food processors are some of the other examples.

Apart from those, there are appliances that you might not want to share. For instance, sharing an only computer or only one telephone may be the cause of a dispute. In this case, buying another one of the same appliance would be most ideal.

4. Kill and Prevent Bugs

Bugs and pesky insects are troublesome in any home. They are the least a newlywed couple wants to distract them in their honeymoon stage. To be sure, knowing ways on how to kill these unfriendly tiny organisms is to set up ways on baiting them. For example, a good way for termite control is to install baiting and monitoring stations to have them hooked and never come back.

5. Be Accountable

There should be a separate list of chores for the wife and the husband to avoid disputes. For sure, there are a lot of things to do and manage in a new home. As well, misunderstandings might arise when these chores are not designated and delegated properly. It is very important to be held accountable to certain tasks as this will impact every decision to be made at home. Familiarize yourself with each other’s moods. As people say, you don’t really know the person you are marrying into unless you stay with the person under one roof. Establish commitments and be accountable for them.

Conclusion:

When moving to your home as newly married homeowners, there are a countless number of tips that are essential to living together peacefully. These five things are only basic. Keep in mind that changing of door locks should be the first thing to do when you get inside the house. Also be reminded to taxes to file for real estate and consistently check for house maintenance to prevent high costs to pay later on.

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Source:  Julianne Hernandez @RealtyTimes

How to Make Your House a Smart Home

One way to build out a smart home is to buy lots of components—sensors, smart bulbs, security cameras, speakers, and whatnot—and connect them all to a hub that helps them communicate with each other and with you, via your smartphone. But let’s be real: That can involve spending a lot of money and investing a lot of time. And for some people, it’s just overkill. If your wants and needs are simpler, just a few relatively inexpensive products will deliver most of the conveniences a high-end smart home can deliver, and on a much more modest budget.

And if you make sure those smart home products are compatible with each other, you’ll build a solid foundation that you can expand over time. The key is knowing which smart home products don’t depend on a smart home hub to operate. While hubs offer advantages—the most important of which is having a single user interface to control everything—they’re not always essential. One thing you must have, however, is a good wireless router—ideally one that can reach all corners of your home.

Here some of the a few common ways you can build a hub-free smart home system.

Smart lighting

For most people interested in living in a smart home, lighting is the entry point. Many smart lighting systems work perfectly well without a central hub and are still capable of interacting with other smart home elements. Some bulbs communicate over Wi-Fi, while some others communicate via the Bluetooth radio in your smartphone. You can control any of these smart bulbs with an app on your smartphone or tablet, which you can also use to program lighting scenes and schedules.

If most of your home’s lighting is in the ceiling and controlled by a switch on the wall, you might be better served by replacing those dumb switches with smart switches and dimmers, instead. That’s because a smart bulb becomes dumb the instant you turn off the switch controlling it.

If you use lamps for most of your lighting, a smart plug such as the Wemo Mini will enable you to turn the lamp on and off—and dim its dumb light bulb—with a smartphone app.

Smart speakers

What’s more convenient than pulling out your smartphone to dim the lights on movie night? Saying “dim the lights” and having a smart speaker linked to your smart lighting do it for you. The Amazon Echo series and Google Home series are the market leaders in this space. And while Amazon has held the lead for the past few years—it has a much larger installed base, has enjoyed much broader support, and had the only smart speakers with displays for a time—Google is coming on very strong. You’ll increasingly find the two companies’ digital assistants—Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant—in unique third-party products as well.

Smart thermostats

Few smart home devices can match a smart thermostat ability to deliver both comfort and cost/energy savings. These devices go far beyond establishing a heating and cooling schedule based on when you anticipate being home to enjoy those benefits. They can detect when you’re home and when you’re away, so that your HVAC system operates only when it’s needed.

The latest trend on this front is to equip thermostats with sensors that you can put in the rooms you occupy most frequently, so that the thermostat operates on the basis of where you are in the house, instead of triggering heating and cooling cycles based on the thermostat’s location, which is typically in a hallway you only ever pass through.

Home security cameras

A quality home security camera will enable you to keep a watchful eye on your home, especially while you’re away. Indoor models can help you monitor your children and pets, while outdoor models can catch prowlers in the act—and hopefully discourage them from coming around in the first place.

Some models incorporate lights that can illuminate your way. Cameras incorporated into doorbells can monitor your front porch and let you interact with visitors without needing to approach the door—or even be home at the time.

 

 

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Source: TechHive.com

6 Scary Things to Avoid If You’re Trying to Sell Your Home at Halloween

It may sound surprising, but doing Halloween décor right may actually help you sell your home. Doing it wrong—well, we’re terrified just thinking about it. Here’s what not to do when decking out your house for the spooky holiday.

Don’t overdo the exterior
Your home is strung with witch lights, gravestone markers dot your front yard and Casper the Ghost greets visitors at the door? How will potential buyers take your home seriously when your kids insisted on decorating for the holiday.

Don’t go crazy with blood and gore
You may pride yourself on your intricate displays of horror and mayhem, but it’s best to save that for your new place. Sure, your very realistic zombie playground may be a hit with the neighbors every year, but selling your home will require you to keep your professionalism—after all, you’re trying to sell your house, not spook people away from your front lawn. Avoid any cringe-worthy Halloween décor like bloody handprints, tombstones, or morbid scenes.

Don’t lack self-control with the pumpkins
You don’t need your front porch to look like a grocery store display. A tasteful mix of pumpkins and gourds can be inviting. Keep the “tasteful” thing in mind when you’re carving, as well.
Keep an eye on the kids’ carved pumpkins, too. If you don’t want to offend them by hiding the less-than-perfect pumpkins during an open house, you can simply turn the faces toward the wall for showings.

Don’t pack every inch of your interior with Halloween-themed décor
If buyers can’t take their eyes off your (admittedly impressive) skeleton collection, they’re not paying enough attention to your floor plan and features. You want buyers to notice the home, not what’s in it.

Don’t fail to decorate
If you’re in a neighborhood in which every home decorates for Halloween, you don’t want to be the one party pooper—this could make your home stick out for the wrong reason. Save the hanging witches and inflatable Dracula for another time and go for something elegant that speaks to the design sense buyers might find inside.

Don’t price your home too high
This is problematic regardless of the time of year, but fall can be eye-opening for buyers who incorrectly assume that they may be able to command spring or summer home prices without the same competitive conditions. Our competitive market analysis should serve as a guide.

 

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Source: Jaymi Naciri Realty Times

How to Say Goodbye to Renting and Hello to Home Ownership

Becoming a first-time homeowner takes a lot more than a desire to buy a house. It takes a lot of effort on your part to save up a down payment — which is usually a pretty good sized chunk of change — research neighborhoods, get pre-approved for a loan and other steps. Fortunately, it is quite possible to say goodbye to renting and hello to homeownership, especially when homeowners-to-be consider the following tips:

Focus on the Down Payment

In order to leave the land of rent, you are going to need a down payment — plain and simple. While it is common to put down 20 percent, some lenders now allow a much smaller amount, and first-time home buyer programs may go as low as 3 percent. While a smaller down payment may sound enticing, a 5 percent down payment on a $200K home is still $10,000 — not exactly a small sum. If saving money does not come naturally for you, don’t worry. With some relatively minor lifestyle changes you can speed up the down payment savings process. Come up with a savings plan to determine how much you need to set aside every week or month and then find ways to “find” that money in your budget. Using the $10,000 example from before, if you are determined to buy a home in two years, you’ll have to come up with about $415 a month to stash into your down payment account. Take a close look at your monthly bills and determine what you can pare down or eliminate — maybe you are paying $75 a month for a gym membership you rarely use, or you pay $40 extra for premium satellite channels that no one watches. These services can be cancelled and the money can go directly into your savings account. Eat out less, have Starbucks twice a week instead of every day and if you need to, consider a side hustle on the weekends to reach this magical monthly amount of $415.

Avoid Identity Theft

Unfortunately, the chances of becoming a victim of identity theft increase when you are buying and moving into a new home. The stacks of documents that are part of buying a home and that are filled with your personal information may accidentally fall into the wrong hands, and once you move, mail may not be routed correctly and thieves may steal your mail and your identity from your old mailbox. Prevent this situation from happening by purchasing an identity theft protection program; find a trusted company that will help safeguard your personal data. In addition to letting you know when a bank pulls your credit report and asking if you have authorized this inquiry, certain services will monitor your financial activity and alert you if anything is amiss.

Check Your Credit Report

When you start the pre-approval process for a loan and then move on to the Big Kahuna of applying for an actual mortgage, your credit report will be pulled numerous times. Your credit score will then be used to determine if you are approved for a loan, and what type of interest rate you will get. Please do not wait until you have the down payment saved and you are champing at the bit to go look at houses to check your FICO score — check your credit as early in the process as you can. If you have a credit card that has been issued through your bank, give them a call and see if they can run your report for you for free; in the cases of some credit cards, they also offer a free monthly FICO score check. Read through the report and check for any errors; this includes credit lines you never opened and delinquent payments that you know were made on time. Dispute any mistakes that you find and look for ways to boost your credit score, like paying down credit card bills and setting up automatic bill pay so you are never late with your payments.

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Source: Realty Times

Pros and Cons of Buying a Tiny Home

What was once written off as a short-term trend has proven to have staying power. And, tiny homes are no longer being associated primarily with millennials, either. There are plenty of stories of families choosing to live leaner. Tiny homes are now increasingly the choice of seniors, as well. Today’s average tiny house costs about $23,000, and as a result, 68% of all little house owners aren’t tied to a mortgage. Tiny houses can be built on site, or they can be easily shipped to the buyer, thanks to the fact that they will usually fit on a flat-bed truck. More companies that specialize in compact houses are popping up across the country, making it much easier for anyone to go small.

But is the tiny house movement really all it appears to be? As with any new trend, it’s important to seriously consider the pros and cons.

Pro: Yes, they’re affordable

The price is right for tiny homes regardless of location. A tiny house costs a lot less to build than a full-sized one. Cutting back on housing expenses enables tiny house owners to put more money toward other luxuries, save for retirement, or simply work less. A tiny home also often means no mortgage, which, if the buyer can swing it, means they don’t have to pay interest and can own their home outright.

Con: It’s almost impossible to get a mortgage for a tiny home

If you don’t have the money to just pay for a tiny house, getting a loan is challenging. Properties valued at less than $100,000 aren’t generally going to sit well with traditional lenders. Plus, if your tiny house is on wheels, you’ll probably be rejected outright, as homes that aren’t anchored to a foundation aren’t considered real estate.There are alternate routes of financing to explore, like taking out a personal loan or raising all of the capital to build the tiny home yourself, but those can prove more than a little tricky.

If you do succeed in obtaining a personal loan, be aware that the interest rates associated with that loan can be pretty steep, with some as high as 10% to 11% or more. Another option: you might just qualify for an RV loan, if your tiny home is on wheels.

Pro: They’re portable

If you buy a traditional house, you’re not likely going to load it up on a truck and move it somewhere else when you desire a change of scenery. But, with a tiny home, that’s part of the allure. A tiny house can easily be fitted on a flatbed truck, which makes not only delivering them to buyers easy, but also the future resettling as well. Whether you have a lot of wanderlust, seek new job opportunities, or just want to spend a season living close to a beach…it’s easy to appreciate the fact that you can simply pack-up your house and go on your way.

Con: Yes, they’re small!

Technically, this could also be a “pro” for those keen on tightening up their footprint, but, for most people, the idea of living in 100 to 400 square feet (the average size of a tiny home), is a deal-breaker. Living in a tiny home means you’ll have to do a lot of sacrificing in order to downsize, more often than not you’ll have to give up your private office, man cave or home gym. Your washer and dryer will more than likely end up in your bathroom or kitchen and you’ll have to do some serious compromising when it comes to what you bring into the home. There are ways to remedy these ‘sacrifices,’ but you’ll still be giving up your privacy and downsizing no matter how creative you get with storage.”

Pro: It can be anything you want it to be

A tiny house doesn’t have to be a full-time dwelling. Some choose to use a tiny house as a home office, or keep a tidy little place ready for when the in-laws come to visit. Even the federal government knows the value of a tiny home: Dwellings of 308 square feet served as a welcome alternative to FEMA trailers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

 

Con: Lack of personal space

Forget about that art studio or even a she shed. If you need a little space to yourself, that’s going to be hard to achieve in a tiny home. Living in a tiny home by yourself might be easy, but sharing a small space with one or more people can be a challenge, because there’s no personal space to spend time alone or even roll out an exercise mat and get in a workout. Those of you that are extroverts may have no problem being in tight quarters with others, but introverts may miss the alone time that a larger house can offer.

Pro: They’re clever

You think you have some smart storage solutions in your home? Imagine what you’d need to fashion if you lived in 200 square feet! Look at some uber smart storage under the stairs here and the cabinet walls here.

Con: They still lack storage because they lack space

No matter how many witty ideas you come up with, you’re never going to have an ample walk-in closet and tons of kitchen cabinets—both of which are ingrained in the “typical” vision of the American dream.

Pro: They’re greener

Tiny homes are, by their very essence, more environmentally friendly simply because, it requires substantially fewer building materials to construct, which makes it viable to use more expensive, eco-friendly components and still keep costs down overall. In addition to that solar energy for heating and electricity is something tiny homes are more likely to use than the standard house option.

Buying a tiny house has lots of advantages for free-spirited people with a limited housing budget. But living in a very small sized house is not for everyone. Whatever may be the case, understanding the pros and cons of living in a tiny house can help you make important choices. Here’s to living large — no matter what type of house you choose!

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Source: Realty Times

How to Avoid Disaster on Moving Day

Just like weddings, even a well-planned move can have some hiccups. It can be difficult trying to coordinate the timing of everything: moving help, truck or trailer rental, wait times. Here are four hair-pulling frustrations and solutions on how to avoid these potential moving day disasters.

1. Getting scammed by a moving company

Failed to research your moving company beforehand? You could end up with rogue movers (read: scam artists) and a major moving disaster on your hands. These movers are known for their fraudulent practices, including the lack of a license or insurance. They may also damage or break items, fail to show up on time, and of course (the worst) steal a truckful of your belongings. 

How to avoid: With a growing number of complaints filed against moving companies these days, it’s more important than ever to properly protect yourself and your belongings during a move. So before entrusting your household items to a moving company, be sure to do your homework. To check a moving company’s credibility, make sure they are properly licensed and insured and check for any official complaints filed with the FMCSA.

2. Broken and damaged belongings

Your belongings finally show up at your house – the only problem is they’re broken. Yikes. Unfortunately, this is the fate for many who fail to properly pack their belongings for a move. From shattered glass to damaged furniture, it’s not uncommon for belongings to get banged up during a move – especially when transporting them a long distance.

How to avoid: The best way to avoid ending up with broken belongings is to properly pack your things. For starters, be sure to use appropriate moving boxes and supplies. Don’t use boxes that are damaged or falling apart. For TVs, artwork and mirrors, try using telescope boxes to ensure that they are properly protected. Breakables should be wrapped in bubble wrap, newspaper or foam. Heavy items should be placed in smaller boxes – not larger boxes. It’s important to not place multiple heavy items in one box. Important documents and records should be placed inside file folders before moving. Also, be sure to use waterproof bins and/or plastic baggies to pack electronics and cords.

3. Not being able to fit your couch through the door

Moving day has finally arrived! The only problem is your couch won’t fit through the door. Unfortunately, those with oversized couches and/or a small front door may run into this moving day disaster. Keep in mind, if you have other large furnishings, such as a wide chair, a dining room table or a tall armoire, you could run into a similar problem.

How to avoid: To avoid this frustrating debacle, I highly recommend measuring your couch and doorways prior to the move. If you do have an oversized couch or tiny doorway, try taking the hinges off the door, removing the legs from the couch, or searching your home for another door or window large enough to handle the furniture. Of course, if you hire professional movers for the job, they should be able to handle this sticky situation for you.

4. Your movers refuse to transport your item

You’ve boxed everything up, and you’re ready for the move. Unfortunately, your movers are not allowed to transport your belongings. Why? Because your boxed up things happen to be on their list of “non-allowables.” Uh oh. This means you’ll end up having to find another way to transport your things, and/or you’ll need dispose of them responsibly before moving day.

How to avoid: While most non-allowables are fairly obvious (think: hazardous chemicals), others may not be (think: nail polish and scuba tanks). Other non-allowables include fertilizer, loaded guns, paint, paint thinner, gasoline, propane tanks, and perishable food items – among other things. Be sure to check with your moving company and ask for their full list of non-allowables before packing your belongings.

Overall:

  • Give yourself as much advance time as you can to plan and prepare, especially if you’re doing it yourself. Major moving companies have a lot of useful information on their websites, even for do-it-yourselfers. You’ll also find blogs and books on the subject.

  • Use the most well-recommended company that you can find. This might require some research online and especially through the network of people you know.

Do you need some recommendations for great moving companies? Give us a call at 480-359-6789 and we can hook you up!

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Source: Moving.com

Do You Need a Special Insurance For Your Vacation Home?

Owning a second home or vacation rental property is an extension of the American dream. But just as your primary home has costs, upkeep and liability concerns, the same goes for your vacation rental property. Do these second or seasonal homes need special or heightened types of insurance protection?

According to the Selective Insurance Group, there are a few things to take into consideration to properly protect your vacation home.

Property crime – If your vacation property is only used during certain parts of the year, and you don’t rent it out, periods when it is unoccupied leave it susceptible to break-ins. Although property crime—including burglary—fell between 2016 to 2017, it’s still cause for concern. Burglary still accounted for almost two of every 10 of the estimated 7.9 million property crimes in 2016.

Single-family or condo? If you own a condominium versus a single-family residence, your condo association may already have coverage—but does the association insurance only protect the physical structure of the condo, not your belongings? Selective advises condo owners to look into this with their insurance agent.

What about flood insurance? Flooding can happen in a wide range of regions, no matter the time of year or local weather patterns. While some areas are more likely to see flooding than others, many regions can experience devastating flooding. Are you as protected as you should be?

Amenities – With various amenities from swimming pools or hot tubs to trampolines, accidents are possible, so consider reviewing the liability portion of your insurance policy and your liability limit to ensure assets are adequately protected in the event someone is injured on your property and files a lawsuit.

Value it right – Property insurance premiums are determined by how much it would cost to rebuild your residence from scratch should it be destroyed. Your independent agent and insurance carrier can work with you to determine the appropriate amount of coverage you might need for a vacation home.

If you want to protect yourself and your home away from home, consult with a certified insurance professional before another vacation season exposes you to an unnecessary loss.

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Rismedia

How to Remake Your Garage

Is your garage a one-trick pony or cluttered with miscellaneous items? Then it’s time to streamline the space to increase the efficiency of your garage. Besides adding shelves to the garage, painting and cleaning the garage, you can re-design and add more functionality to your garage with the following gear:

Purchase a Workbench

A garage is incomplete without a proper workbench. A sturdy workbench will not only store tools, but also create space to complete those do-it-yourself projects. Most come with built-in-drawers and are equipped with a light to tackle projects after the kids have gone to bed. There are many options available, ranging from the sophisticated to simple.

Install Lighting

To take full advantage of your space, your garage must come equipped with plenty of lighting in order to allow you to work at convenient times in your busy schedule. Poor lighting hurts the quality of the work you are trying to accomplish and if a project requires small parts you don’t want to spend your time searching for tiny items on your hands and knees. If you prefer not to install a mounted light on your ceiling, invest in a portable light, a less-expensive option to create the lighting you need.

Buy a Tool Chest

A garage with tools on the floor and scattered across different surfaces isn’t the best for productivity. This haphazard approach leads to buying multiples of the same tool because you keep losing them in the clutter. A tool chest will keep items organized and save time whether you are working on a small repair or a long-term DIY project.

Purchase Spare Tires

How many times have you realized you have a flat tire and need an immediate replacement? For convenience, always keep a set of spare tires in your garage. Order a reliable tire brand from Tire Buyer to ensure your backup set of tires is of the highest quality. With a little preparation, a flat tire will no longer have to be a major setback in your day.

Add Garage Storage

Is your rake and broom in one corner and your bike on the ground? A functional garage needs proper storage options, like a peg board affixed to the wall. This storage option will accommodate your small tools, larger items and any miscellaneous tools unable to fit in drawers. If you prefer not to splurge on this expense, at least add sturdy hooks on the wall to store a garden hose, lawn equipment or other tools. With items hung up out of the way, your garage will appear clean and neat.

Invest in Proper Safety Gear

If you like home improvement projects, keep appropriate safety gear in your garage. Invest in protective goggles, gloves and masks to protect your face. Keep a small first aid kit handy for minor emergencies.

Upgrade Your Flooring

To give your garage a polished looked, consider adding an upgraded finish to your floors. Coat the cement with epoxy or tile – this will give your garage an instant face-lift and make it look more appealing.

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Source: Realty Times

Signs of Mold in House?

Mold: four letters, one syllable, a world of anxiety and stress. It’s such a simple word with the potential to cause so many problems. Why is mold so troubling and what should you do if you find mold in your house or discover it while you’re house hunting?

There are five facts that you should know about mold:

Mold grows quickly: It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to grow and spread in wet, warm conditions.

Mold is undetectable: Excessive moisture behind walls, under floors or in cabinets or closets are perfect breeding grounds for mold. This is mold that you often can’t see or smell but it can make you and your family very sick.

Mold issues are expensive: Mold damage can cost as much as $10,000, and most insurance carriers will not cover the cost of mold removal.

Know the symptoms of mold exposure: They include severe body aches, joint pain, nausea and chronic, sometimes serious respiratory issues. These symptoms can develop quickly or over time.

Know the people at risk: The very young, the very old and people with compromised immune systems are most likely to be affected by mold. Mold can even be deadly among these groups of people.

How do you know if mold is present in your home? Mold usually has a green or black color and it smells musty or earthy. While you might be able to fix small mold spots, it is best to have mold remediated by a professional.  When you come across mold in a home, it should be understood that you have a moisture issue first and a mold issue second. You need to address the problem and not just a symptom of the problem. Scrubbing surface mold with mold killer will not be effective if you do not address the moisture issue.

Mold can be tricky and dangerous. More often than not, the mold is either from a small plumbing leak or from a roof leak, so that issue needs to be fixed first. If the mold is located under a bathroom or kitchen sink where there could be a plumbing leak, call a plumber to investigate. Similarly, have a roofer inspect and seal any gaps in the roof if you see that’s the cause of the mold. Even if there has been no water damage to a property, mold can come from something as simple as a leaky window because moisture and mold go hand-in-hand.

If you are planning to go house hunting, you should know where to look for mold. Check dark, damp places for mold, like under cabinets and in basements, crawl spaces and attics. If you didn’t find mold, but your home inspector sees that mold is present during your inspection contingency period, this issue should be addressed prior to closing. If mold is discovered within this time period, mold removal can either be negotiated or you can cancel the contract and walk away from the home.

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Source: https://freshome.com

 

 

How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Interior Designer?

Home décor is a top priority for many new homeowners. Most newly married couples want the interior style of their home to closely match their personalities. Most interior decorators evaluate their clients’ needs and expectations, and set their prices to cover the expected costs to purchase the materials and complete the job.

Interior Decorator vs. Designer

Do you need an interior decorator or an interior designer? They may seem like interchangeable terms, but they actually describe two different professions. Before you start shopping for quotes, you need to know your project requirements and what services you actually need. Understanding the different skill sets decorators and designers bring to a project makes it easier to make the best choice for your needs.

Decorators don’t design or build spaces, but they dress them stylishly, introducing new color schemes and decorative elements. Interior designers are qualified professionals who become involved with projects at the construction stage. They often work with architects, using their skills and knowledge to create functional, quality interiors that match a homeowner’s requirements. Designers have knowledge of building codes and regulations. Their level of training and their ability to help plan, schedule, and execute a project make their services more expensive than those of a decorator.

How Much Does an Interior Designer Charge?

Designers may have just one method of charging for their services (such as an hourly rate), but more often they’ll have multiple ways they bill. When you’re considering a few different professionals to work with, be sure you understand the details so you can make an apples-to-apples comparison of their fees. Generally, designers use one of four ways to charge for their services: cost plus, fixed rate, hourly rate, or square foot. There may also be additional charges, such as retainers (usually a percentage of the project cost) or consultation fees (a flat fee for the designer to visit the property ranging from approximately $200 to $300).

Cost Plus

Designers using the cost plus method purchase necessary products and then bill you for the total, including a markup you agree to when drawing up the contracts. The markup is usually around 20 percent and pays for the designer’s services. So, if the work costs $10,000, the designer bills for $12,000.

Fixed Rate

A fixed rate, or flat rate, is a single price that covers all of the work, materials, and other expenses. This is the simplest way to cost up larger jobs, and it’s helpful for you as the customer because you know exactly what you need to pay.

Hourly Rate

Some designers charge by the hour, with rates ranging from $50 to $200. Because the total fee depends on the amount of time the project takes to complete, designers often reserve this method for small projects where there is less risk of complications and spiraling costs.

By the Square Foot

Commercial designers often charge by the square foot. This is effectively a flat rate based on the size of the property. Some designers implement a minimum charge to cover the amount of work involved for a small room, so you pay the minimum fee, or the fee based on the actual room size (whichever is greater).

No matter how great the person you are hiring is, remember to stay in charge: Designers are trained professionals with a keen eye for detail, but only you know what you love. If a designer is coming up with suggestions that don’t match your tastes, say something. It’s a good idea to express any strong opinions you have on sustainable and organic materials, animal skins, “Made in America” products, upcycling, and child safety features.

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Source: Houzz.com