Fire Pits 101

ronfeir

It’s easy to enjoy your backyard deck on a sunny Sunday afternoon in 75 degree weather, but how about at dusk when the sun and temperature goes down? It’s times like these that a backyard fire pit would come in handy. Consider building one during a backyard renovation or when you have a gas line installed. While those are both great design ideas to consider during a landscape project, don’t feel like those are the only available options in order to get a little flame into your yard. 

Should I buy a gas fire pit?

Gas fire pits are quickly becoming one of the most common options for outdoor fire pits. They are more environmentally friendly since they don’t release smoke into the atmosphere as is the case with traditional wood burning fire pits. Not only is this beneficial to overall air quality, but it also makes the outdoor experience…

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Cable, Power, & Cord Management 101

ronfeir

There’s nothing more unsightly and frustrating than seeing a perfectly arranged desk and home office with a mess of cords and cables sprawled around the floor. Whether it’s a laptop, computer, cell phone or iPod, everything these days seems to need to be plugged in — and there are plenty of cords to show for it. 

How do you tackle this mess of home electronics? It’s time to get organized at home, with the smallest things getting resolved and tidied up first — in comes cord and cable management systems to save the day. 

Corral cords and cables.

For cords and cables that are used infrequently or need to be easily portable, consider cable spools or corrals to keep them organized and accessible for the next time you need them. There is nothing worse than rummaging around for a digital camera connector just to see that it has been shoved…

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Home Office Design 101

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No matter if the home office is simply a place to organize your paperwork, or will be the base of your new company, you can achieve the best layout and style with a little bit of forward planning.  After all, you are the boss.

Budget

Work out how much you can afford.  You will need to buy the basics, a desk, some lighting, stationary, maybe even a new laptop and printer.  You may need some extra specialized equipment for your business.  Make sure you have enough money and do not cut corners on the things you need, in favor of a fancy design.

 

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Space

You have to be smart when organizing your space. You may be restricted to a corner of a room, or maybe you have managed to free up a bedroom your new office space. Draw up a floor plan and take some measurements. Study the plan carefully to make certain you are on the right track. Don’t be hasty.

Design

Now the fun bit.  What sort of look do you want in your office?  You want the area to be an inspiring place to work.  A great place for inspiration is the internet, try Pintrest or Houzz for contemporary modern styling ideas.

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Colors & Textures

What colors do you want on the wall?  For example, corporate offices will have light bright colors ; they will also usually  have some inspiring frames on the wall.  A design company may have more unusual prints but if you’re on a tight budget, you could try an abstract style poster print in a clip frame.  Colors have a direct effect on your moods- bright colors can invigorate or light colors can create the feeling of extra space and have a calming effect.

Lighting

Do you have access to a window in your room?  You can choose some professional blinds over curtains to help with the sun or maybe you would like some extra large floor lamps, or spotlights.  Consider installing a large skylight to make the most of the natural daylight, but at the very least make sure that you have adequate lighting, such as desk lamps near the place where you are working.

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Storage

Invest in matching storage cabinets/ cabinet files, or give a lick of paint to existing ones.  Utilize a bookcase or get shelves on the wall.  Arrange box files on shelves, and have everything matching and to hand.  You need to get rid of all clutter, and planning storage is the best way to do this.

Furniture

What sort of boss are you going to be?  Are you going for the corporate boss look with the oak and glass dining table that can double up as a boardroom table, or maybe something simple like metal chairs that can be folded away to help with space issues? Whatever style you select, make certain the the chair design is ergonomically friendly and comfortable so your body doesn’t get sore.

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Plants

Plants are a great addition to any office.  They promote clean air. They also fight fatigue, stress, dry throat and headache.  Choose a plant that will match your new office style. Make sure to have a water catch basin under the pot.

Power up

Make sure that you have enough power points in the room.  If any of your sockets are malfunctioning, get a qualified electrician in to have a look at them.  Invest in some power leads for hard to reach corners if your working space is a little small. Don’t forget the all-important power strip to protect your expensive equipment from a power surge.

Whichever look you go for, choose colors, fabrics and designs which inspire you to be the best boss that you can be!   If you have any more design tips for the perfect home office, share in comments below.

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About Me

A Realtor in Southern Nevada, rated one of the top real estate agents in the world utilizing social media, according to http://www.mondinion.com #mondREA.

To learn more, go to Linkedin.com and enter “Ron Feir” in the search bar. Cell (702) 358-7075, RonFeir@aol.com, RonaldSellsVegas@gmail.com. Follow on Twitter @ronfeir and Ronald Feir on Facebook. Blogs on WordPress.com and Tumblr.com. Boards and pins at Pinterest.com.

Home Appraisal 101

Lenders rely on appraisals. So, if the appraisal on your dream home comes in lower than expected, it may kill your deal. But there are solutions.

Low appraisals happen for many reasons. A low appraisal may have nothing to do with your property – it may be all about the market: In a buyers’ market, a low appraisal may reflect high inventories due to market conditions; in a sellers’ market, particularly in hot areas with low inventory, multiple offers may push up prices artificially. Both can skew the data used by the appraiser to value the property.

Whatever the reason, you’d be wise to consult with your lender, who really does want your business, and your local real estate agent, to request a second appraisal. Even though you have to pay for it, the second appraisal often does come in higher; this may happen if the appraiser is inexperienced or not local and may have made the appraisal based on incorrect sales data.

Here are other options:

  • As the buyer, you can make up the difference between the low appraisal and the selling price in cash to the seller.
  • If you’re the seller, you can lower the price to be consistent with the appraisal.
  • The seller also can offer to hold a second mortgage on the property.
  • As the buyer, you can walk away from the transaction.

That said, if this is your dream house, chances are you’ll find it worth the effort and extra cost to make your deal work.

About Me

A Realtor in Southern Nevada, rated one of the top real estate agents in the world utilizing social media, according to http://www.mondinion.com #mondREA.

To learn more, go to Linkedin.com and enter “Ron Feir” in the search bar. Cell (702) 358-7075, RonFeir@aol.com, RonaldSellsVegas@gmail.com. Follow on Twitter @ronfeir and Ronald Feir on Facebook. Blogs on WordPress.com and Tumblr.com. Boards and pins at Pinterest.com.

Bulletin Boards 101

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Bulletin boards are a great place to pin up a quick note and create a collage of your kid’s awards and artwork. Survey the amount of space you have for your chalkboard, and also think about what you plan to place on it before purchasing. Also, be sure to consider how you plan to hang it to best protect your walls. 

If you’re in the market for a bulletin board, read below to help with your search. 

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What size cork board should I consider?

Think about where you’ll be placing it as well as what all you’ll need it for. Are you going to place it in the kitchen for the occasional grocery list or sports schedule? Then you probably don’t need one that’s especially large. Or do you want it to act as an inspiration display in your office? Perhaps in that case you want one that covers a significant amount of wall space. 

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What style bulletin board will work best for me?

It’s hard to go wrong with the classic cork board, but if you desire more style, today’s bulletin board also comes in different colors and patterns that may better suit your space. For a more contemporary look, you may want to consider a magnetic board. This option is helpful for avoiding the deterioration of cork board after a lot of pinning over the years. Decide whether you want to go traditional, complement your décor or use your chalkboard as a décor element before making a purchase. 

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How should I hang my bulletin boards?

This depends on the size and weight of your pin board. Also be sure to take into consideration the items you plan to pin to it. Also consider the wall you’re hanging it on to make sure it stays in tact. If it’s a smaller display and not especially heavy, adhesives may do the trick and will prevent nail holes. However, they may leave a residue behind when you take the tackboard down, or worse, pull off the paint or paper. The sturdiest option is to hang it with some sort of anchored screw or bolt system.

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About Me

A Realtor in Southern Nevada, rated one of the top real estate agents in the world utilizing social media, according to http://www.mondinion.com #mondREA.

To learn more, go to Linkedin.com and enter “Ron Feir” in the search bar. Cell (702) 358-7075, RonFeir@aol.com, RonaldSellsVegas@gmail.com. Follow on Twitter @ronfeir and Ronald Feir on Facebook. Blogs on WordPress.com and Tumblr.com. Boards and pins at Pinterest.com.

French Style Interior Design, Room by Room – the Shabby Chic Lounge

Chichi Furniture

Well, its back to work today after a lovely bank holiday weekend. Problem is when you have a few days off, you get used to it!!!

Having finished Chichi’s A-Z of French Style, Shabby Chic Furniture, I introduce to you our new theme;

‘French Interior Design Room by Room’

Today I am going to start with the lounge and the Shabby Chic look – where furniture is often worn/distressed, achieving an aged/romantic look of soft opulence.

French Furniture can often be curvaceous and highly detailed, so be careful not to create a room that appears chaotic. A few choice pieces to define the space may be best. You want your eye to be drawn in and able to take in the scheme and not be darting around all over the place. Decide what is important and necessary in the room and what the focal point will be. For instance, If its…

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Real Estate Listing Security 101

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When you’re selling your home, your agent doesn’t just put up a sign: There are procedures involved in showing your home. And that means both sellers and agents have responsibilities.

While it’s the real estate professional’s responsibility to ensure the safety and privacy of the home, it’s the seller’s responsibility to make it easy for agents to show it. The lock box (also called key box) facilitates this.

The lock box is an indispensable tool that makes it easier to show the home and affords access whether or not the seller is present.

That means that when the seller agrees to allow a lock box on the residence, he or she is not only trusting their agent, but agents from other offices who are members of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and who will be showing the home to their clients.

Through MLS instructions, the listing agent should tell “cooperating” or “buyer” agents how to enter and show the property. It’s up to these cooperating agents to be courteous to the sellers by following the instructions. As well, the high-tech lock box enables the homeowner to know when the home has been accessed, so both agent and seller will be able to follow up should the rules not be followed.

Occasionally, the listing agent fails to include showing instructions and, since the key box is not an open invitation to inspect the property without first checking these instructions, it’s essential that the “cooperating agent” contact the listing office broker for permission and instructions.

About Me

A Realtor in Southern Nevada, rated one of the top real estate agents in the world utilizing social media, according to http://www.mondinion.com #mondREA.

To learn more, go to Linkedin.com and enter “Ron Feir” in the search bar. Cell (702) 358-7075, RonFeir@aol.com, RonaldSellsVegas@gmail.com. Follow on Twitter @ronfeir and Ronald Feir on Facebook. Blogs on WordPress.com and Tumblr.com. Boards and pins at Pinterest.com.

Home Equity 101

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As a homeowner, you probably think you know all about what your home is worth, what your interest rate really means, what you are paying out every month, and how to access your equity if you needed to.

But do you really? If your home is worth $20,000 more today that it was when you purchased it, does that mean you are entitled to all 20,000 of those dollars? Does having equity in your home automatically mean you can sell for a profit? Would you know what your best option was if you needed some equity in a pinch? Check out the scenarios below for a quick equity tune-up.

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Scenario One

Your neighbors just sold their home for a pretty decent amount. That must mean your house is worth at least as much as theirs. I mean, your kitchen hasn’t been redone like theirs, but your exterior is prettier, so that’s probably a wash. Score! Honey, call the bank and get us some cash. We’re going on vacation!

Realty Check

Not so fast. Your neighbor’s home sale might give you an idea of what your house is worth, but there’s a lot more to it. Your home’s age and condition, the square footage, the location on the street—all of this factors in to determining your sales price. And don’t forget to add in closing costs and Realtor fees and the price of moving. You also have to take into account your credit and payment history. Straight equity is only one part of a more complicated equation. Before you book that African safari, you might want to check your credit and talk to your lender.

And, by the way, your “prettier” exterior will probably not wipe away the memory of your ugly kitchen if you do go to sell. The old adage about kitchens and bathrooms selling home: still true.

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Scenario Two

You’ve been living in your house and paying the mortgage for 15 years without refinancing. You must be sitting on a goldmine! Time for a cash-out refinance. First you’ll pay off your credit card bills and then you’ll buy all-new living room furniture. Then there’s this yacht you’ve had your eye on…

Reality Check

A cash-out refinance, which allows you to “refinance your mortgage for more than you currently owe, then pocket the difference,” said Bankrate, can be a great option, depending on your financial condition and what you plan to do with the money. “Remember the Mother Goose rhyme about the old woman who lived in a shoe? That is so 18th century. Today, she would live in a piggy bank, and so would her neighbors. Homeowners today treat their houses like piggy banks, readily transforming their equity into cash and credit.”

Different from a home equity loan, a cash-out refinance replaces your existing first mortgage. You may have lower rates than with a home equity loan but you pay closing costs, just like you would on any refinance, and you’ll have to pay private mortgage insurance “if you end up borrowing more than 80 percent of your home’s value.” If your interest rate is much higher than going rates and you know you have a good amount of equity, it might make sense to go for it. But if you have terrible credit, your rate might not get much better. And, you’ll have to determine whether refinancing and going back to square one with a mortgage is worth it.

“If you’re going to make payments for 15 or 30 years, it makes sense to spend the money on something enduring: an addition to the house that will increase its value, potentially lifesaving experimental medical treatment that your health insurance won’t pay for or to start a business,” said Bankrate. “Do you want to spend 15 years paying for your month-long dream vacation? Do you want to spend 30 years paying for that Porsche? The car might be on the junk heap by the time it’s paid for.”

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Scenario Three

It’s hot outside. And it’s hot in the real estate market. It’s time to take advantage of both and build that pool you’ve always wanted. You’ll just get a home equity loan or a line of credit. What’s another couple bucks a month?

Reality Check

A home equity loan is a separate loan on top of your first mortgage that’s paid out in a lump-sum and is paid back in fixed monthly installments. An equity line of credit is a specific amount you can borrow against your home. Both will require you to have sufficient equity in the home, which will be determined by the bank.

The home equity loan is a fixed rate, while a home equity line of credit “typically fluctuates with the prime rate,” said US News. “Remember that with a home equity loan, you are paying interest on the entire amount of the loan, whether or not you are using the proceeds. With a home equity line of credit, you only pay interest on the amount you borrow.”

The loan usually has higher rates than a cash-out refinance, but interest is a tax write off and may be a good option for someone whose “current mortgage is at a lower interest rate than you could get now by refinancing,” said Bankrate.

And if the money loaned is being used to improve the home and not improve your wardrobe, your passport stamps, and your close personal knowledge of caviars of the world, all the better. “The best use for home equity is to buy things that will contribute to your home’s value, like a needed remodel, or your family’s future income, like a college education,”said Houselogic. “Consider carefully before you cash in home equity to spend on consumer goods like clothing, furniture, or vacations.

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Scenario Four

You check Zillow and see that houses in your area have appreciated by 20 percent in the past year. You are ROLLIN’ IN IT! Time to take that money and go buy a house to flip. You’re gonna be a mogul!

Realty Check

Before you quit your job and start researching property auctions in your area, take a beat. In many states, home sales are not reported. That means online real estate sites may be using limited listing info and sometimes even outdated tax records to determine home values. The only way to get a true picture of your home’s value is to have an agent prepare a competitive market analysis or hire an appraiser. Armed with this information, you can act on those real estate mogul dreams.

About Me

A Realtor in Southern Nevada, rated one of the top real estate agents in the world utilizing social media, according to http://www.mondinion.com #mondREA.

To learn more, go to Linkedin.com and enter “Ron Feir” in the search bar. Cell (702) 358-7075, RonFeir@aol.com, RonaldSellsVegas@gmail.com. Follow on Twitter @ronfeir and Ronald Feir on Facebook. Blogs on WordPress.com and Tumblr.com. Boards and pins at Pinterest.com.

Hallway Designing 101

Back by popular demand!

ronfeir

By now, you’ve probably realized that my blog postings highlight every space in the home. I’m preparing a “white paper” in which all topics are consolidate and posted. So here we go with hallways. An important and confounding space that creates more domestic arguments, in my opinion, than any other space in the home. If you think about it, this is a key space, in your home, for egress and ingress.

Even though halls are primarily pathways between spaces, they can be much more, if decorated and designed correctly. With some built-in bookcases, a hallway can display books you love or interesting knickknacks you’ve collected during your travels. A photo wall collage, my favorite, can turn it into a daily reminder of good times with those you love, while some well-picked art can transform it into a respectable art gallery. With just a little effort, and maybe a couple built-ins…

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