Tips On Selling

Expensive Mistakes That Home Sellers Need to Know About

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Selling your home can be an expensive process if you’re not careful. Fortunately, we’re here to help you maximize the value of your home and ensure that you’re able to avoid costly mistakes throughout the home selling process.Here’s a closer look at three costly mistakes that every home seller needs to know about, along with ways to avoid such issues altogether:1. Selling Your Home Before You Are Qualified to Buy a New OneAlthough you had no trouble buying your current home, the same won’t necessarily hold true when you look to purchase a new residence.For example, your financial circumstances may have changed between the time that you purchased your current home and now. This means that you may struggle to qualify for a home loan in the current economic climate.As such, you’ll want to get pre-approved by a lender before you sell your current house. You also should conduct plenty of research into areas where you may want to live in the future; that way, you’ll be better equipped to buy another house and relocate quickly if a homebuyer wants to purchase your current residence.2. Guessing the Sale Price of Your HomeIt is unlikely that what you initially paid for your residence is what it’s worth now. As a result, you’ll want to understand the true value of your home before you add it to the real estate market to optimize the value of your residence.Getting a fair market appraisal will ensure that you can better understand what your home currently is worth. Furthermore, you should consider the upgrades that you’ve made across your home, as these improvements likely will boost your residence’s value.When it comes to the sale price of your home, why should you be forced to leave anything to chance? Instead, do your homework so you can determine the optimal sale price, i.e. a sale price that highlights your home’s true worth and will make your residence an attractive option for homebuyers.3. Understanding the Stress Associated with the Home Selling ProcessA calm, cool and collected approach to selling your home often is ideal, particularly as the stresses commonly associated with the home selling process start to add up.For instance, a homebuyer may submit an offer and follow it up with a home inspection. But during the inspection, this homebuyer could find issues with your home that lead him or her to reconsider the initial offer and could put a potential home sale in jeopardy.Conversely, with the right real estate agent at your disposal, you’ll be able to minimize many of the stresses of the home selling process. This professional will possess the necessary skills and know-how to guide you during the home selling process, and ultimately, improve your chances of a fast, successful home sale.Costly home selling mistakes can put a dent in your wallet or pocketbook and cause your stress levels to rise. But home sellers who work with a dedicated real estate agent can benefit from the support of an experienced professional who can simplify the home selling process.

CoockingHerbsRecipesSpices

How to Cook with Spices

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One of the most useful skills to have as a beginner chef is to know how to use herbs and spices to compliment the flavor of your food. In today’s supermarkets most food comes pre-seasoned. Unfortunately that often means going overboard on salt or overpowering the natural flavors of the food. One way to avoid this is to buy fresh food and spice it up yourself.Knowing which herbs and spices and how much to use can be difficult. But this beginner’s guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to include various herbs and spices into your meals.

Why spice it yourself?

If you can buy a frozen stir-fry–spices included–at the grocery store why even bother learning how to use herbs and spices properly? As mentioned earlier, those pre-seasoned foods probably amount to added salt and sugar into your meals. This will tantalize your tastebuds, but it’s also not so great for you health-wise. Seasoning yourself allows you to take control of the food you consume.Using your own herbs and spices will also help you discover new flavor combinations, allowing you to make more meals with fewer items. If you take advantage of buying certain items in bulk–like rice and beans–you will be amazed at how many meals you can pull off with just a few variations in the spices you use.Oftentimes people will buy pre-made “spice packets” at the grocery store for making various meals (Swedish meatballs, sloppy joes, taco seasoning, etc). While these are handy, if you take a look at the ingredients on the back you might find you already have most of these herbs and spices in your cabinet, minus all of the un-pronounceable additives.

Herbs, spices, and their uses

Basil. Basil is a staple for many sauces. Pair it with meals that include tomatoes and soft, mild cheeses (mozzarella, for example). Fresh basil leaves are miles above the dried ones in terms of taste and texture. Fresh basil is a must for pizza, pesto, and pasta and you’ll want to use a good amount. Buying fresh basil can be expensive, but growing it yourself is not. A well-maintained basil plant on a sunny windowsill will provide plenty of leaves.Pairings: parsley, oregano, garlic, lemongrassCayenne pepper. If you like your spices spicy, cayenne pepper will be your new best friend. No need to douse all of your food in hot sauce to get your fix of spicy foods. Adding hot pepper powder is a great way to compliment certain dishes. Add cayenne to chicken, beef, or fish and also vegetable medleys like zucchini, corn, and bell peppers.Pairings: lemon zest, paprika, cinnamon, cuminGinger. Many people avoid ginger unless it’s in candy or herbal tea to help them get over a cold. You might not even notice, for example, that ginger is in many of your favorite Asian dishes. Ginger also works with dishes involving beef, chicken and fish, and pairs well with sweet potato, carrots, and nuts.Pairings: garlic, mint, chilli Garlic. Just like with basil, having fresh garlic on hand always pays off. Fortunately, garlic has quite a long shelf life. It’s more difficult to find a dish that wouldn’t be improved by adding garlic, but it works especially well in tomato sauces, beef, beans, chicken, and potatoes.Pairings: basil, parsley, ginger, oregano, dill, turmeric

Home Improvements

A Wine Cellar Of Your Own

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What longtime wine enthusiast does not dream of a private wine cellar, complete with an opulent tasting room and an elegant table for tasting comfort? If you love wine like I do, likely you have a lot of wine bottles consuming much-needed space in your kitchen. If you are really “into” wine and plan to stash a few bottles away to enjoy at its peak in five to ten years, then you are talking about a cellaring project. So, when you think about it, adding a wine cellar just makes good sense.The majority of the country’s fine private wine cellars are admittedly on the luxury side, constructed to satisfy whimsy and the most sophisticated taste. However, it doesn’t take to big a bite out of the budget to turn unused basement or garage space into a wine cellar. Upon close examination, you will note that some of the most elaborate, and expensive wine storage racks are not that expensive to have built by a cabinetmaker or to build yourself. WineCoolerDirect.com/wine-cellar-on-a budget features a wealth of plans and construction tips.Simply line the walls with shelving and racks, add a small table and a couple of bar stools and you have your wine cellar. If you are not into frugality and simplicity, of course, you can spend tens of thousands of dollars just to build the room complete with lighting, insulation and climate control. Its wise to remember that it is crucial to the safety and security of your wine inventory to provide a backup power source such as a generator that will kick in automatically in the event of a power outage. Then you will still need to allocate funds to stock it with wines that may cost several thousand dollars more.HomeStratosphere.com offers a diverse array of over 40 unique and innovative luxury wine cellars to inspire and motivate you to get started on a wine cellar project. Why not make it into the ultimate “man cave” complete with wrap around stereo, an entertainment center, a state-of-the-art pool table and a built in cigar humidor right beside your super-comfy leather recliner?Who said it isn’t fun to dream?Stocking Your Wine Cellar WiselyIdeally, your wine cellar will be stocked with all you favorite vintages to share with family and friends, a few special bottles put away to celebrate a life milestone event, and then an eclectic selection of wines chosen for both their impressive flavor and unusual characteristics as well as their investment potential.Remember The BasicsIf you are purchasing wine to drink later, you want to store it at approximately 55 degrees F. with someway to control temperature fluctuations. Maintaining adequate humidity is just as important to keep corks moist.If you have scant experience savoring wines that have aged in the bottle, enlist the assistance of wine loving friends or a knowledge wine shop proprietor to provide some sound advice on wines worthy of aging.A personal wine cellar is all about aging wine. Sommelier Courtney Humiston of Charlier Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, CA. advises, “The joy of aging wine is discovering how the fruit from a single year can continue to evolve for decades. If you prefer the fresh, juicy flavor of wines that have been recently released, then it could be that you should devote your resources elsewhere.”

PaintPainting Tips

3 Bedroom Painting Tips

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Ready to transform an ordinary bedroom into a dazzling space? Paint your bedroom, and you should have no trouble enhancing the setting’s appearance in no time at all.

As a home seller, you may want to consider painting your bedroom to give it a neat, clean look. With a fresh coat of paint, you may be able to make your home more attractive to prospective homebuyers. As such, a stunning bedroom could help you speed up the home selling process and boost your chances of maximizing the value of your residence.

Although painting a bedroom may seem like a time-consuming task, there are many easy ways to ensure you can revamp your bedroom’s appearance quickly.

Here are three tips to help you take the guesswork out of painting your bedroom.

1. Choose Your Paint Color Carefully

Ultimately, you’ll want to do everything possible to ensure your bedroom remains a serene setting where an individual can rest easy night after night. But if you select the wrong paint color, an individual may have trouble feeling comfortable in your bedroom. And as a result, this person may struggle to get the rest needed to maximize his or her daily productivity.

Many paint colors are available, and you should evaluate all of the options at your disposal. By doing so, you can find the right color to match your home’s décor perfectly.

Also, pick up primer and other painting supplies when you purchase your paint. This will ensure you’ll be ready to get started on your bedroom painting project immediately.

2. Paint in Long, Continuous Strokes

For a consistent paint coat, you’ll want to use long, continuous strokes when you paint your bedroom. Also, if you use a roller, be sure to paint in sections to ensure you can apply sufficient amounts of paint to your bedroom’s walls and ceiling.

When it comes to painting your bedroom, you may want to consider multiple coats of paint too. Although your bedroom may look good after you apply a single coat of paint, using a second coat will further enhance your bedroom’s appearance.

3. Clean Up and Put the Room Back Together

After you finish painting your bedroom, you’ll want to set aside a few hours to ensure the paint dries properly and you are fully satisfied with the paint job. At this point, you’ll want to clean up your painting supplies and put your room back together.

Remove any painter’s tape in your bedroom as soon as the paint is dry. Furthermore, clean your brushes with dish soap and a brush comb, smooth the brushes back into shape and let them sit out until they dry completely.

Spend some time putting your bedroom back together as well. Now that your bedroom features a fresh paint job, you may want to rearrange your bed, dresser and other bedroom items to optimize the amount of bedroom space that is available.

Use the aforementioned bedroom painting tips, and you can improve your bedroom’s appearance instantly.

home safetyFlood DamageHome Repairprevent water damage

Water Damage: Prevention and Clean Up

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It’s many homeowners’ worst fear to come home to a water disaster in their home. Water damage can cost thousands to repair and will include a lengthy process in order to adhere to safety standards, potentially disrupting your home life for weeks. In this article we’ll give you tips on how to avoid water damage and what to do when you discover it.

Water damage vs. flood damage

Many people are unaware of the difference between water damage and flood damage. Water damage can occur when you have plumbing issues such as a leaking pipe or overflowing bath tub. Flood damage, on the other hand, is defined by FEMA as an “overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters,” or even mudflow. Flood damage tends to be the more costly and the more dangerous of the two, as it puts home inhabitants at serious health risk. Part of the stipulation in differing between the two types of damage is insurance coverage; water damage is often covered by homeowner’s insurance whereas flood damage is not.

Avoiding water damage

To avoid costly and time-consuming repairs, follow these steps to prevent water damage from occurring in your home:

  • Keep your gutters clean to avoid backups and drainage issues
  • divert rain water away from your house with downspouts
  • Disconnect hoses and turn off their water supply when temperatures drop to freezing overnight
  • Don’t leave water using appliances running while you are away from home for extended periods of time
  • Keep up with maintenance on your dishwasher, washing machine, toilets, and tubs
  • Turn off your water main when you go away on vacations
  • Check the water pressure to your home. High water pressure can be nice in the shower, but pressures too high can cause your plumbing to fail
  • Check regularly for leaks. Some water damage may go unnoticed for weeks or months, which subjects you to another danger: mold

What to do if you have water damage in your home

If it’s too late for prevention and you’ve discovered water damage in your home there are several steps you’ll need to take to ensure the safety of your home.

  • Turn off electronics in the affected area. If possible switch off power to whole the whole section of your home at the circuit breaker. This first step is to ensure your own safety. Once you’ve turned off power to all potentially dangerous electronics, you can move on to the next step.
  • Remove electronics and other perishable items from the area. If you remove the items soon enough you might be able to salvage them by drying them out.
  • Soak up the bulk of the water. You can do this the old fashion way by using towels and buckets. Or you can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck up the water from rugs, carpets, and other surfaces.
  • Dry the area completely. To avoid mold, use fans and a dehumidifier to fully dry out the area.
  • Disinfect. Spray the area to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated due to moisture.
  • Contact the professionals. A contractor will be able to tell you the full extent of the damage and whether any serious repairs will need to me made.