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Did your New Year’s resolution include saving money in 2019? We think it’s possible to buy things you need or want while paying less money for them. All it takes is some planning and knowledge of sales cycles. If you maximize holiday and seasonal sales by knowing what time of year is best for some of your larger purchases, you may just be able to keep that New Year’s resolution throughout 2019.  

WINTER 

The frosty months at the beginning of the year set the stage for excellent sale prices. In addition to decorative items, you can also look for electronics, fitness accessories, and items to make your home feel cozier: 

  • Christmas decorations: In the few days before and for a while after Christmas, shop sales for deep discounts — often upward of 50% — on decorations, wrapping paper, ornaments, artificial trees and similar seasonal fixings. 

  • Toys: Since toys are a popular Christmas gift, stores generally host big toy sales as the holiday season draws to a close to thin out their inventory for the next year. 

  • Bedding, linens, and home goods: Department stores hold “white sales” in January with deep discounts on sheets and towels. You can also expect retailers to have home and apparel sales on Presidents Day Feb. 18th and the weekend preceding the holiday. 

  • Fitness equipment: Retailers know you want to focus on fitness during the colder months. You can expect fitness equipment and apparel sales at sporting goods stores. 

  • TVs and electronics: Just before Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3rd), retailers normally discount TVs and other home-theater essentials to ensure you have the best sports and commercial-viewing experience. 

SPRING 

Everyone looks forward to the snow melting and flowers blooming with the onset of warmer weather. When you can open your windows and start your spring cleaning, look for these sales to freshen up your style, living space, and save a little during that pesky tax season: 

  • Grills: Buy your summer grilling necessities in March to avoid the spike in prices when summer arrives, and the items are more in-demand. 

  • Vacuums: Buying a vacuum isn’t the most exciting purchase, but it’ll be less painful if you take advantage of a spring-cleaning sale. Look for markdowns at department stores as well as manufacturers like Dyson. 

  • Tax-related items: Retailers like to discount tax-prep items in March ahead of Tax Day in April. Pay attention in mid-April for those thoughtful retailers and restaurants trying to lighten the burden of Tax Day with discounts and freebies on services like paper shredding. 

  • Spring apparel: By May, retailers will move spring clothing to discount racks since the items have been on display for a month or two. 

  • Household items: Memorial Day in May is one of the biggest blowout shopping days, so look for furniture, small kitchen appliances, and home-decor discounts from big-box stores. Some items, such as coffee makers and blenders are normally included in Memorial Day sales and make great wedding gifts if you have any coming up! 

SUMMER 

Ah, summer is finally here! In between planning weekend trips or scheduling summer camps, don’t forget to look for some unique summer deals: 

  • Gym memberships: Consider buying a gym membership at the beginning of summer, when gyms may be looking for new sign-ups after the New Year’s Resolutioners have dropped their attendance. 

  • Movie tickets: During the summer months, look out for specials on cheap movie tickets, often for matinée screenings or children’s movies. 

  • Personal electronics: Did you know many retailers now offer a “Black Friday in July” sale? Look out for deals, especially on smaller electronics, at big box stores and online retailers (including Amazon’s Prime Day). 

  • Swimsuits: Both brick and mortar and online retailers will be clearing their 2019 inventory, which makes August a great time to purchase a bathing suit. 

  • Winter Travel: It is often recommended that the prime time to book air fare is 2-4 months before your trip. If you are planning on wintertime travel, start looking for the best fares in the summer! 

FALL 

As the seasons change, so do the sales. School starts, the leaves begin to change color, the days get cooler, but the sales are just warming up! And of course, fall has one of the biggest sale days of them all, Black Friday: 

  • Mattresses: If your sleep is no longer restful, September is the time to invest in a new mattress. Expect sales at department stores and mattress centers, often around Labor Day (Sept. 2nd). 

  • Appliances: Labor Day famously brings deals on home appliances, big and small. And if you don’t find what you are looking for, check back in November on Black Friday! 

  • Outdoor items: When the temperature drops, it is a great time to find discounted outdoor items, such as lawnmowers and patio furniture. 

  • Electronics: Black Friday notoriously offers the best deals on electronics such tablets, laptops and gaming systems. Look for discounts on smartphones and wearable technology as well. 

  • Tools: While it might not be exciting for all you savvy, stylish shoppers, home improvement stores discount tools and other building supplies during Black Friday promotions.


5 Secrets to Buying a Home You'll Love

Jan 17
10:20
AM
Category | General

Most tips for buying a home start with figuring out how much you can afford. But what else is there? Are there other tips for buying a home that can make a big impact? Yes! From our own experiences and those of our real estate colleagues, here are the top little-known secrets for buying a home you’ll love. 

  1. Know Your Borders 

There have been situations where the previous owners of the property “blurred” the legal property lines, taking a bit more space than was theirs. Rather than discover that you need to move your fence three feet inward or possibly remodel your garage because it extended too far past the property line, get a surveyor to map out the legal property lines. 

  1. Bigger Isn’t Always Better 

It’s the American dream to own a big home. Indeed, we often measure our success by how big or expensive our home is, and it’s only natural to want the nicest house on the block. But consider this: if you plan to re-sell your home, the best house on the block will appreciate less than others. Home values are based not only on the individual home but also on the surrounding homes - essentially placing a cap as to how much houses go for in that area. 

  1. Don’t Buy Solely on Emotion 

Some people make the mistake of falling in love with a home so fast that it fogs their ability to see potential problems. For example, buying a home because it has a custom-built treehouse and playset for the kids but overlooking that it will add 20 minutes to your work commute, could be a problem. Focus on logic and instinct to choose your new home, and don’t rely too much on emotion. 

  1. Understand the Neighborhood Nuances 

To get a real feel for what it’s like to live in a new neighborhood, you should visit during various times of day and night. For example, all may seem quiet on a Tuesday afternoon, but what you don’t know is that your future neighbor likes to work on his car Saturday afternoons with loud music. Is that okay with you? Just like dating someone before you commit, date your neighborhood before you say yes. 

  1. Check with the Town Planning Committee  

Is there a brand-new commercial development in the works that will be located across the street from your potential home? Decide if that is something you want to deal with over the next few years, and potentially forever.


Tidying Up for 2019

Jan 9
3:10
PM
Category | General

Have you caught the tidy bug yet? A new year brings a great opportunity to tidy up your living space, especially if you are looking to make a move this year!

Dealing with clutter in your home can not only ease your mind and increase your enjoyment of your living space, but it is also critical if you’re making a transition in your living arrangement.

  • If you are moving in with someone and will be combining two households worth of items, decluttering beforehand will make the final unpacking that much easier
  • If you are putting your house on the market, decluttering could be a deal maker! Many people agree that an open house should have as few personal artifacts as possible, to allow the prospective buyer a clean slate to imagine living there
  • If you are downsizing to a smaller home, decluttering will ensure the new space is not crammed with ‘stuff’
  • If you are looking for a fresh change in your home, decluttering is the least expensive and most impactful change you can make before thinking about new paint colors or furniture

 

If you are in need of some inspiration, look no further than the new Netflix special, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. If you subscribe to her method of decluttering, you can soon find yourself ridding your life of belongings that no longer spark joy. Donate clothes that haven't been worn in years, books that will never be read, VHS tapes that have no way to be watched – you get the picture!

When you do feel inspired to organize throughout your home, you may find your space in need of new storage solutions. Many stores offer deals this time of year on bins, buckets, modular shelves, etc. Check out your local or online Michaels craft store, Target, Ikea, or the Container Store.


The Colors of 2019

Jan 3
11:17
AM
Category | General

Pantone Living Coral makes for a beautiful and modern accent wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Whether you’re buying, selling, or staying put, the color in a home can be very important. Even the most neutral palettes need an accent to draw your eye, or a color to define a room as ‘serene’ or ‘energetic’. We love the 2019 Color of the Year picks. Here are some of our favorites:

PANTONE: Living Coral 16-1546 [Click Here]

"An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge."

BENJAMIN MOORE: Metropolitan AF-690 [Click Here]

"A stylish gray with cool undertones."

SHERWIN WILLIAMS: Cavern Clay SW 7701 [Click Here]

"A warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots, Cavern Clay is a nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together create the desert modern aesthetic.”

BEHR: Blueprint S470-5 [Click Here]

"An honest, approachable color that conjures up the blueprints builders rely on to bring architectural designs to life, Blueprint creates a space where you can build your own reimagined life—where awareness of what we want to build for ourselves can transform into action."

Once you’ve picked your favorite 2019 Color of the Year, venture over to the links we provided next to each color swatch to see the inspired pallets  from each of the vendors. They’ve done the hard part of picking colors to match, and your home will be so on trend!

If you are not ready to take the leap and paint an entire room in one of these color choices, here are several ways to incorporate some color in your home in 2019!Pops of blue and yellow transform a neutral room

  • Accent wall 
  • Blanket, area rug, or pillows
  • Apholstered furniture 
  • Hand-painted canvas or other artwork
  • Mugs or other ceramics
  • New towels in the bathroom
  • New phone case

 

 


Many homebuyers, both first-timers and experienced movers, have wondered whether buying an existing home or building one to their specifications is a better fit for their needs. Here’s what you need to know: 

The Upfront Costs 

Existing Home: The price of a home varies widely depending on location, square footage, condition, amenities, and other factors. 

Building a New Home: All things being equal, generally speaking, building a new home costs about $60-$70k more than buying an existing home with similar attributes. But that is not always the case. There are some instances where the cost per square foot comes out significantly less in a custom-built home than in an existing home. 

How is this possible, you ask? Consider when you build, you also have the advantage of paying for only what you want to put into the house. While an existing home may have additional perks, like hardwood floors, it may not be something that you want or are willing to pay for in a custom-build. 

Home Maintenance 

Existing Home: Older homes require more maintenance because they have more wear and tear. Some homes may even need a big-time overhaul! As with any home purchase, never skip the home inspection and understand that even with well-maintained homes, repairs are inevitable. 

Building a New Home: Maintenance on a new home is very little, and it's one of the central benefits of building a new home. Since everything from appliances to the HVAC system is new and under warranty, you'll enjoy several years of worry-free living. 

Outdoors 

Existing Home: A mature garden with large trees and well-established landscaping is a big plus of buying an existing home. Mature trees and landscaping not only add value to the property but can even help to reduce energy costs by providing shade and efficient drainage. 

Building a New Home: Professional landscaping can cost thousands plus many years to come to fruition. The benefit, however, is that you'll be able to design your outdoor space precisely to your liking. Depending on the project, you can have a custom-designed yard in two weeks or less. 

Energy Efficiency 

Existing Home: Older homes that have had little-to-no updating use more energy. Appliances that are older than ten years, single-pane windows, and poor insulation are some updates you'll want to consider if you buy an existing home. 

Building a New Home: When it comes to energy efficiency, new construction can't be beat. On average, new homes use about 21% less energy than older homes. However, this savings comes mostly from high-efficiency appliances. Meaning that if you purchase new, HE appliances for an existing home, you can save just as much money on energy with an existing home as you would with new construction. 

Appreciation 

Existing Home: With an existing home, you make your purchase with some context. You can see the home's previous sale prices, the cost of similar homes in the area, and have a good idea of what the market value of your home will be in the future. 

Building a New Home: New homes, especially those in up-and-coming neighborhoods, can be more of a gamble. Without any sale history or comparables to reference, you have very little to go on when thinking about the future value of your home. Of course, if this is your forever home, which is often the case with custom-built homes, then not having a history to predict the future may not matter. 

Whether you're buying an existing home or building a new one, they both begin the same way --getting pre-qualified. Reach out today to see which option is best-suited for you and your financial situation.


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