10 Resolutions to Make for Your Home in 2014

2014As hard as it is to really fathom, 2013 is just about over, and 2014 will begin in less than 2 weeks! That means that you and many others around the nation will probably try to stick to different sorts of resolutions during 2014 – losing weight, saving more money, and taking better care of yourself.

But what about your home?

Our homes are typically the last thing on our minds when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, but in reality, our homes should be at the top of our priorities. Making your home run more smoothly typically leads to us leading smoother lives.

Here are 10 resolutions to make for you and your home for 2014!

Get Organized – Depending on how long you’ve let things go in your home, this can be quite a daunting task. Take it one room at a time to put everything in its proper place. Make a list of rooms to tackle, go through your belongings, and group them together. Put your scarves and mittens in one basket and your hats in another, and place your bills in folders and your paperwork in files. Organizing your home will lead to a cleaner, calmer home.

Make a List – Go room by room to create a list of all the things you want to change about that room. Create a master list to make it easier on you to see the work ahead of you. You may find that many things you’ve listed out are very doable right now! While painting or replacing your cabinets may have to wait for a while longer, painting trim in the kitchen or a different room can be an easy afternoon project for you to tackle soon!

Start a Project – Nothing quite makes a home feel more like yours than changing it to suit your wants and needs. Give new life to a room that you don’t use very often. Even a fresh coat of paint can change things up and make you want to be in that space more often. It may even get the ball rolling for future makeovers as well.

Make Your Home Safer – Perhaps one of the most important resolutions you should make for your home in 2014 is to make it safer for you, your family, and anyone who happens to visit you at your home. Make sure your smoke detectors are working. If you don’t have smoke detectors or a carbon monoxide detector, get one as soon as possible – they could save your life. Get your furnace inspected to avoid major safety issues, and create an escape route with your family in case of a fire.

Buy a Plant (or Two!) – Purchasing a plant that brings you joy is one of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest things you can do for your home. Bringing this life into your home will make your home brighter in an instant and will even elevate your mood. Also, some plants have air-cleaning qualities – an additional bonus for you and your home!

Be More Energy Efficient – Being more energy efficient in your home is easier than you might think! Start off by changing your light bulbs, unplugging your unused appliances, and turning off your lights are easy and efficient ways you can begin improving your energy resourcefulness. Go a step further by updating your appliances to more energy efficient models.

Finish What You Start – Checking items and projects off your to-do list is a wonderful feeling. Make it your goal to finish at least one big task a month on your to-do list. This could range anywhere from getting your family photos in order to organizing your movies and music or repainting a room that might desperately need a fresh coat of paint. These tasks become a lot less daunting when you aim to accomplish them on a month-to-month basis, and it might even give you more motivation to complete more tasks!

Make Extra Mortgage Payments – As much as you might not want to do so, putting extra money toward your mortgage payments can dramatically shorten how long you need to continue making payments. For example, the monthly principal and interest on a $150,000 mortgage with a 30-year-term and an interest rate 5.5% comes to be $852. Paying even an extra one-twelfth of that amount each month – in this case, $71 – would increase your payment to $923, but it will also shorten the term by 5 years and one month and will cut your interest expense by just a hair over $30,000. Remember, the more payments you make in a shorter period of time, the less you end up paying in the long term (and the less interest you’ll have to pay, too!).

Prepare a Household Emergency Kit – Disaster can strike when you least expect it (remember the New Year’s Eve tornado that happened in St. Louis just a few years ago?). Be prepared by assembling a household emergency kit for you and your family. If you’re ahead of the game and have an emergency kit already, check that it has sufficient supplies for your family’s needs.

Resolve to Enjoy Your Home Now – You might not be in your dream home at the moment. Maybe your kitchen has rickety cabinets and peeling floor tiles or the bathroom is too small. In spite of the things that might make you cringe in your home, learn to love the place you live in for what it is now, and remember that you can always make the changes that you want to see to make your home the house of your dreams.

Want more tips for the New Year? Resolved to find your dream home in 2014? Call the Metro East’s best real estate team to make your dreams come true – The Massey Team! Call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to learn more about us and to see our listings!

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The Pros and Cons in Buying a Resale Home Vs. a New Home

Dream homeTake a moment to envision the home you’d like to live in. Does it look like the home you grew up in, or does it look like a brand new place, tricked out with all of the great things you want in a home? Do you see yourself in a newer, more contemporary home with all the latest gadgets and amenities, or can you see yourself living in a cozy condominium or a preexisting home with great character?

When it comes to purchasing a home, one size most certainly does not fit all. Everyone is different and has different wants and needs. Additionally, it’s imperative to understand the differences between new homes and resale homes when you’re looking for a home to call your own.

See the pros and cons to both new homes and resale homes below!

New Home

Unless you’re planning on custom-building your home on your own individual lot, most new homes are going to look very similar in style. Built to the latest codes and standards, a new home will usually feature a contemporary style and be energy efficient. Here are the pros and cons of purchasing a brand new home:

Pros

*You’ll get a contemporary style that is easy to work with.

*You can have some flexibility on the design of the home during the construction phase.

*It will be cheaper to maintain as new appliances mean fewer breakdowns and repairs.

*It will also be cheaper to operate with energy-efficient construction.

*You can enjoy extended warranties.

*The neighborhood will more than likely be consistent and cohesive in its layout.

*You will probably have a homeowners association, which helps protect resale value.

*It’s brand new, and you’re the first to live in the home!

Cons

*Your home will be one of the many look-alikes on the block.

*You have limited negotiating room on the price.

*It’s likely that you will have to pay dues for the homeowner association.

*Your home might have less character since they are all constructed very similarly.

*The homeowners association that frequently comes with a brand new home can put limits on how you can use your property.

To determine if a new home is right for you, do the following:

*Check the builder’s track record and see if previous projects were completed on time and within the budget.

*Ask residents if the builder did quality work and lived up to expectations in their home.

*Keep in mind that you will have to pay extra for additional features most of the time including jetted tubs, surround-sound home theaters, and granite counters.

*Bring your own agent; don’t rely solely on the agent the builder hires for the site. Their best interests lie in the builder, not particularly you.

Existing or Resale Homes

While new construction homes are quite popular, many people do purchase resale homes, that is, they buy homes that someone else has lived in but has been put on the market again. Along with new homes, old homes also have many pros and cons, and even though prices can usually be more negotiable, old homes can come with many surprises.

Pros

*These homes usually feature more choices and more styles to choose from than new construction homes.

*The price of a resale home may be more negotiable.

*Issues about the home are typically revealed in disclosure documents.

*The home is usually nestled in an already established neighborhood.

*Resale homes typically boast more charm and character than new construction homes.

Cons

*Resale homes usually require more maintenance as things break or wear out.

*These homes can also be less energy-efficient and more costly to operate.

*The design is typically more dated and feature older appliances and amenities.

If you’re considering purchasing an existing home, be sure that you’re not purchasing someone else’s problems unless you know you can tackle the solutions.

The trick to buying a home, much like any other large purchase, is to find the one you like, consider its pros and cons objectively, and think about the compromises you’re willing to make. The more logically you approach buying a home, the more you’re going to enjoy it!

Ready to find your dream home? Call the best realtors in the Metro East – The Massey Team! You can reach us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com. With us by your side, you will find the home you’ve always wanted!