Winter Projects

Gone are the days of enjoying a light breeze and 60 degree temperatures. It’s officially winter, and you know what that means – it’s going to get even colder.

 

But just because you can’t be outside as much doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good time to complete home improvement projects. Checking things off your list before spring could save you time and money. According to HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey, 91% of agents believe builders and contractors are busiest in spring and summer and 67% say that building materials and labor for home renovations are cheapest during October and March.

 

So, with that in mind, here are four affordable projects that make sense to get started on now:

 

Seal up any cracks around your house. Take a walk around the inside of your house and inspect windows and doors to see if you can feel a draft. Then once it is dark outside, turn the lights on and look for gaps around your windows and doors. Insulating spray foam is very affordable and could end up saving you an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs.

 

Apply a fresh coat of paint to your rooms or cabinetry. Did you know that manufacturers offer the best deals on paint during the late fall and winter? Plus, professional painters have more bandwidth and there’s less humidity in the air – which means paint adheres better and dries quicker. That’s a win, win, win!

 

Install a smart thermostat. There are plenty of brand options out there – Google Nest, Emerson Sensi, or Ecobee that use Wi-Fi for their systems. By adding a programmable thermostat in your home – you will make your heat usage more efficient and on-demand.

 

Update your laundry room. Ah, the room that gets the least amount of love (usually), but it doesn’t have to be that way. A few simple tasks like adding shelves and bins for laundry baskets and detergent can make the space more usable. As an added bonus, appliances usually go back on sale in January!

Preparing For The Holiday Season

With the world slowly getting back to a new normal after Covid-19, this year’s holiday season might reflect the past holiday seasons, which for many is hectic. If you’re hosting dinner at your house this year, your mind is probably going through every detail before guests arrive. Here are a few pointers to help you stay on track and have a (hopefully) stress-free holiday season!

Focus

There’s no time to clean every inch of your home the day before your guests arrive, so prioritize cleaning efforts by taking care of what’s needed most. Start by getting rid of clutter from the main living areas and guest bedrooms. Clean the tops of your counters and coffee tables, removing anything unnecessary that takes up space or appears unorganized. If you’re down to the wire, store the clutter in the basement, unused closets, or car trunks. If it’s out of sight, it will be out of mind. You can always reorganize after your guests leave.

Guest Bathroom

If there’s one place you shouldn’t skimp on cleaning, it’s the bathroom. Even if the rest of the house can’t be spotless, pay extra attention to the bathrooms your guests will use. Provide extra toilet paper, fresh towels, clean bathmats, and toiletries (in case someone forgets). Empty your trash bins and remove personal bathroom belongings from the counters. This especially is important if you are hosting overnight guests.

Safety

Candles, cooking, and crowded rooms can mean disaster during the holidays. Make sure there are no decorations that could be considered a fire hazard, such as tall uncovered candles. Check your fireplace to see if it’s clean and the door is working properly. Smoke detectors should have fresh batteries and it’s always best to keep a fire extinguisher handy. If there will be children in the home, hide matches and lighters as well as any toxic cleaners.

Comfort

Consider the number of guests and sitting space available. Bring in more chairs or ottomans and arrange seats so all the guests can move and engage freely. Also, consider the room temperature – a lot of people in one house can get stuffy, so don’t crank up the heat too much. Provide fresh sheets and extra blankets in the guest rooms in case anyone gets cold at night.

Space

Since a home’s foyer has the most traffic, make sure it’s clear of any luggage or shoes. Have a designated place where everyone can place their belongings as soon as they enter. Provide extra hooks and coat hangs when needed. If possible, clear out a closet entirely for guests as well as drawers if they need to unpack.

Kitchen Zone

The kitchen will be the headquarters during the holidays, so make sure it’s ready. Clear your kitchen sink, drying rack, and counter space. Count all of your plates and utensils so you can provide enough for guests. Perform a quick scan of your fridge and create space by tossing what needs to go. Have containers ready for leftovers – for you and for guests to take home. If people tend to visit while you cook, place extra stools or chairs around or within the kitchen along with some drinks and snacks.

In the end, the most important thing to remember is to enjoy your family and friends. Make sure to find the time to relax and be thankful for the memories you’ll make at home!

Adding Value to Your Home This Fall

For most homeowners, fall is the season you adorn the house with harvest decorations and take in the colorful foliage. The new season can also be the perfect time to tackle some home improvement projects you have on your to-do list. The cooler weather makes outside DIY tasks more bearable, or if you decide to hire help, there may be more available contractors during the “off” season.

By making a few minor updates you can increase the curb appeal and overall value of your home. So, if you’re a homeowner planning to sell in the spring or you’re just looking to gain sweat equity, it might be time to roll up your sleeves and invest in a few simple improvements:

Paint the front door.
One of the most effective, yet simple, ways to spruce up your home’s exterior is by painting the front door. Applying a fresh coat of paint instantly gives your home a more polished look and the cooler weather is optimal for exterior painting. Repainting the shutters to match is also a nice touch!

Repair the deck or patio.
Having a deck or patio is something that home buyers value enormously. However, if the wood is warped, splintering, or faded, it becomes more of a problem than a benefit. The sight of a deck in poor condition can reflect badly on the overall aesthetic of the backyard. If your deck needs to be repaired, simply power washing or applying a new finish can do the trick. However, if the overall structure needs work, it’s probably worth the investment to hire outside help.

Power-wash the exterior.
The amount of value this adds to your home depends on the level of cleaning needed. Taking care of a few minor stains will help a home sell and it’s a moderately easy DIY project for the homeowner. However, if most of the exterior needs washing, hiring a professional could add phenomenal value when the job is finished. Although the cost of using outside help might be intimidating, having your home look like new will be worth it.

Replace the windows.
Windows can be a costly investment, so it’s wise to hold off on complete replacement unless there is serious damage, or the insulation is so poor it racks up utility bills. If you have large bay windows, periodic washing of the interior and exterior will help retain your home’s look and value.

Update your HVAC.
If your HVAC system is more than 15 years old, it might be worth it to upgrade. It’s not a major highlight on a buyers list, but if they point out the system is old, it could be a way for them to negotiate a lower price.

Clean the gutters.
Cleaning the gutters probably seems like a less exciting task on the home improvement list, but regular maintenance prevents larger problems down the road. Overlooked rain gutters could amount to foundation damage, which would mean substantial costs and devaluation of a home. To prevent future damage, make sure you stay on track with this chore and give your home the care it needs to last a lifetime.

Understanding Property Taxes

When buying a home, most of us know to expect costs associated with homeownership such as closing fees and utility payments, but what about property taxes? Property taxes are an unavoidable aspect of owning a home. Read on to learn more about property taxes and how it’s decided how much you have to pay.

What Are Property Taxes?

Property owners will have to pay property taxes. Like other taxes, they are used by the government to cover the costs of infrastructure and services in a community. Property taxes are placed on the value of your home, land, or business property. They are sometimes referred to as an ad valorem tax, which is a tax type where how much you pay is based on something’s value—in this case, the value of your real estate. Property taxes are only collected by local governments such as cities, counties, and states; the federal government does not levy any property taxes. The rate of property taxes widely varies from place to place.

How Are Property Taxes Determined?

Basically, the formula for figuring out how much you will have to pay is Property Tax x Assessed Value of a Property = Property Tax Owed. The first step in determining how much you owe in property taxes is establishing the value of your property including both the land you own and any buildings on it. This is called the assessed value. Assessors hired by your local tax authority are tasked with establishing your property’s worth when it comes to taxing. Your property’s assessed value is not necessarily the same as your home’s market or actual value. Some jurisdictions use an assessment ratio for tax assessments which is when only a fraction of your home’s actual value is ultimately taxed. For example, if your home is found to have a value of $350,000 and your city, county, or state uses an assessment ratio of 60%, your home’s assessed value would be $210,000 ($350,000 x 60%). Therefore, you would apply the tax rate to $210,000 instead of $350,000. How often your property is assessed depends on where you live. In one place, it might be yearly, while somewhere else, it may be every 3 years.

Once your assessed value has been decided, it’s time to apply the tax rate. Property tax rates are often expressed as millage or mill rates. One mill is equivalent to one-tenth of one cent; in other words, one mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of home value. For example, let’s say your local jurisdiction has a millage rate of 10. You would divide that by 1,000 which equals $0.01. That means you pay $0.01 for every $1,000 of property value. So if your assessed value is $210,000, you would multiply that by $0.01 to get a total property tax payment of $2,100.

Are you thinking about buying a home? Consult one of our experienced Loan Officers today to explore your home loan options!

How to Stage Your Home for Sale

When selling your home, you want it to look its best for potential buyers. Staging is a great way to accomplish this. Staging your home is the process of preparing a property for sale. In doing so, you want to show off the home’s best features and entice buyers to ensure a quick sale. Read on for some home staging tips!

Depersonalize and Declutter

When selling your home, you want prospective buyers to see it as a clean slate where they can imagine themselves and turn the house into a home. The less personalized décor you have, the better. It is harder for a buyer to connect with a property when there are lots of reminders that someone else currently calls it home. Avoid family photos and monograms as much as possible. Similarly, you should aim to minimize clutter as it can distract buyers from the main fixtures and character of your home and can even make it appear smaller. Get rid of things you don’t need (which can help you get a leg up on downsizing and packing when the time comes for you to move) and store away anything else taking up unnecessary space. When storing those additional items, try not to stuff your closet as many buyers like to look at a home’s storage space.

Make Updates

Whether you’ve lived in your home for 5 years or 35 years, odds are it could use some sprucing up to make it more desirable to potential buyers. Take this opportunity to make some updates. It could be as simple as moving around the placement of your furniture or adding some new décor. A few new coats of paint can work wonders in refreshing a space. You may even want to consider replacing outdated appliances and fixtures. For example, upgrading to stainless steel kitchen appliances and installing granite countertops can really increase the value of your home in the eyes of house-hunters.

Don’t Forget About Outside

The outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers see, so you want to make a good first impression. Make sure your yard and landscaping have been tended to and are not overgrown. Think about power washing your siding and maybe even updating your shutters or front door. Make sure your windows are clean and if you have a garage, declutter that, too.

Consider Consulting a Professional

If you are busy and feel overwhelmed by the staging process, it may be in your best interest to hire a professional stager. Professional stagers have experience staging homes and know what works and what doesn’t. With an eye for detail, they may pick up on things that would have otherwise been overlooked if you were taking a fully DIY approach. The cost of professional staging depends on what services you want and how in depth they go, but the money you spend could be worth it in the time and stress it saves you.

Go Virtual

These days, most buyers’ first look at a home online before they do in person. This is even more true now in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. You want to make sure photos taken of your home are crisp and clear with proper lighting and do not mislead the buyer with added filters. You should be thorough and include images of all spaces in and around your home from varying angles. Beyond typical online listings, you can even do 360 virtual walkthroughs.

Are you considering selling your home and buying a new home? Contact one of our Loan Officers today to explore your home loan options!

What to Know About Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

A mortgage is a large, long-term expense and the prospect of taking on that kind of debt for years to come can be daunting. Just because you start out with a set repayment term for your loan doesn’t mean you can’t pay it off ahead of schedule. It is possible to pay off your mortgage early, but whether it’s the right decision for you depends on a variety of factors. Read on to learn more about paying off your mortgage early.

Pros

The obvious pro of paying off your mortgage early is that you will eliminate that outstanding debt. You can say goodbye to monthly payments. Paying off your loan ahead of schedule saves you money on interest as well; the faster you pay it off, the less interest you will have to pay on top of the principal. Once your mortgage is paid off, you own your home outright and do not have to worry about foreclosure. By no longer needing to pay for your home, you can allocate that money elsewhere and do things like saving for retirement, starting or adding to a college fund, bulking up your emergency savings, invest, or simply enjoying the new disposable income you have each month without a mortgage payment.

Cons

There are some potential downsides to paying off your home loan early. Once your mortgage is paid off, you are no longer able to claim the mortgage interest tax deduction which uses the amount you pay in interest to reduce your taxable income. Some lenders charge a prepayment fee if you refinance, sell your home, or pay off your mortgage within a certain period of time following closing. You should check to see if your lender does charge this kind of fee and, if so, determine whether the cost incurred is worth it versus waiting to pay off your loan until the stated time range has passed. Something to bear in mind when paying off any kind of loan is that it can actually hurt your credit score. This is mostly important to think about if you are trying to secure some other kind of loan at the time you are thinking about paying off your mortgage. However, your credit score can always be improved upon, so this should not necessarily deter you from paying off the loan if it is beneficial to you in other ways.

Things to Consider

In some cases, pursuing other investments can bring in more money than paying off your mortgage early. It may be worth looking into alternative investment opportunities that you can put the money towards rather than paying your mortgage off ahead of schedule. This is more likely to be the case when you have a lower interest rate and therefore are not accruing as much interest on top of your principal. This is a nuanced issue, and one worth discussing with a financial professional or your lender. When it comes to debt, you should generally focus on paying off higher-interest debt ahead of lower-interest debt, so if you have loans with an interest rate higher than that of your mortgage, you may want to prioritize that. You also want to make sure that paying your mortgage off early doesn’t deplete your cash reserves or savings. Paying off your loan early may be beneficial in some ways, but if it leaves you without any money for paying bills or emergency expenses that come up, it can cause more problems than it solves.

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Arguably the most common way to pay off your mortgage early is to make extra payments, usually by going from monthly to biweekly payments or making an extra monthly payment. Biweekly payments break up your monthly mortgage in half and result in you making what equates to 13 months of payments in a given year rather than 12. An extra monthly payment is when you pay more each month. When you do this, it is important that you specify that the payment go towards principal, not interest. Alternatively, you can refinance your mortgage to secure a lower rate which may enable you to make additional payments by spending less on interest. You can also refinance to a shorter term (e.g. from 30-year to 15-year), thereby setting you up to pay off your mortgage earlier. If you find yourself with extra money to spend at once, you could also contribute lump-sum payments outside of your monthly payments in order to chip away at the principal. There are a variety of options for paying off your loan early, and you should consult your lender to determine the best course of action for your unique situation.

Are you thinking about paying off your mortgage or buying a new home? Contact one of our skilled Loan Officers today to learn more about your options!

Tips for Relocating

Whether you’re relocating to a new city or a different state, moving somewhere new can be a big adjustment. While it can be exciting, it can feel a bit daunting. Here are some things you can do to make the transition easier and put your best foot forward in a new place.

Research the Area

Whether you are moving somewhere you are already familiar with or somewhere brand new, you’ll want to do your due diligence in learning more about the area. Research things like the population, climate, crime statistics, culture, schools, and history of the new place you will be living. The more you know, the less drastic the adjustment will feel.

Budget for the Move

There are quite a few costs associated with relocating, especially if you are moving somewhere far from where you currently live. Be aware of potential expenses that may come up, such as hiring movers, lease termination fees if you are breaking your lease, utility closure and set up fees, and moving supplies. You’ll also want to consider any cost-of-living changes. Understand that if you are moving from a small town to a big city, goods and services may be more expensive. Be prepared for costs to be different when living somewhere new.

Get Help as Needed

Don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own (though you certainly can if you want to take a DIY approach). The extra cost of hiring cleaners, packers, or movers can be well worth it in the time and stress it can save you.

Make Arrangements and Adjustments

Don’t wait until you’ve actually moved to start updating your accounts. Set up a change of address with the post office so any mail sent to your old address gets forwarded to your new one. Update your shipping address in any of your online shopping accounts. If you take any prescriptions, make sure they are forwarded to a new pharmacy in your new city or town. And start researching new doctors and other healthcare practices if it is too far away to continue to see your current providers. The more prepared you are, the smoother the transition will be once you’re settling in somewhere new.

Consider Tax Implications

Moving can impact your taxes in several ways. Odds are many of the taxes you can expect to pay—such as property taxes, sales tax, income tax, etc.—will change after a move, especially if you are moving to a new state. Be aware of these new tax rates so you are prepared when it’s time to pay them, particularly if they are higher than what you are used to. Additionally, if you are moving to a new state, unless it is a state without income tax (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming), you will have to file state tax returns in both your new and old state for the tax year you are moving.

Find Ways to Get Involved

Moving to a new place can be scary, especially when it is far from your friends and family or you do not know anyone else living there. Look into ways you can get involved in your community, whether it’s through sports, social groups, or volunteering. This will help you meet people and get to know the area better. Before you know it, you’ll be able to hold your own among locals!

Are you considering making a move? Contact one of our experienced Loan Officers at First Home Mortgage to learn more about buying your dream home in a new area!

Protecting Your Home While Out of Town

Whether it is for business or pleasure, we all have to go out of town sometimes. As a homeowner, it is important that you take steps to safeguard your home and possessions while you are away. Doing what you can to protect your home before you leave and during the time you are gone will give you the peace of mind you need to focus on your trip. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe when you travel.

Remember the Basics

Lock all doors and windows. Make sure you have turned off or unplugged any non-essential electronics, especially anything that could be a fire hazard. Keep your valuables locked away or at least in a secured place. If you have a garage and are leaving a vehicle behind, park the car in the garage (which should also be locked). Make sure all smoke detectors and other alarms have fresh batteries.

Utilize a Security System

Using a security system is a great way to protect your home and family both when home and away. With so many advances in technology in the past decade, you don’t necessarily have to have a professionally installed and monitored system; many people utilize cameras and security systems that they can install and monitor themselves. If you do use a monitoring company, let them know you are going to be away. If you use a camera or system you control and monitor yourself, such as a Ring or SimpliSafe system, be sure to check in on things while you’re away. In either case, ensure you have properly set the alarm before you leave.

Take Advantage of Smart Home Technology

As previously mentioned, there are many options for cameras and security systems that you can check while on the go. Beyond that, there are other smart home devices that can come in handy when you are away. Set lighting timers to turn some lights on in the evenings so it appears someone is home. Control your thermostat while you are away; you generally want to keep your thermostat a bit warmer in the summer or cooler in the winter when you are away, but be mindful of any pets or house sitters still in the house so it isn’t too uncomfortable.

Have Someone You Trust Stop By

When you are going to be out of town, you should either get a house sitter or have someone you can trust drop in and check on your home. This is especially important if you have pets you are leaving behind, but should be done regardless to ensure your home is still secure and no issues need to be addressed. You should have someone bring in your mail so it doesn’t build up in your mailbox which can not only inconvenience your mail carrier but can also signal to people that no one is home. If you do not feel it is necessary to have someone check in, you may want to at least tell a neighbor you trust that you are going to be away so they know to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.

Take Care of the Outside

Make sure your lawn is mowed and there are not excessive weeds. If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, you should consider having someone mow your lawn while you are away. If your yard appears overgrown and unkempt, it can look as though no one has been living in your home. Do not leave any spare keys around your home. If you are going to have someone drop in, either give them the key directly beforehand or keep it in a secure lockbox which they can access. If you have outdoor lights, try using timers for them as well to keep the area well-lit as though you were home.

Reconsider Sharing on Social Media

As tempting as it can be, you might want to think twice before posting that you are away from home on social media during your trip, especially if your profiles are public. Showing that you are out of town can entice those with bad intentions to vandalize or break into your home because they know there is a good chance no one is home.

If you are interested in refinancing your home or buying a new home, contact one of our Loan Officers today to learn more about the mortgage process!

Home Maintenance Tasks for the Summer

While there are things you can—and should—do to maintain your home year-round, summer can be a great time to tackle some outstanding tasks around the house. Here are some things you can do to maintain the upkeep of your home during summertime.

Replace Air Filters

How often you should clean or change your air filters depends on what kind of filter you have and the specifics of your household (how large, do you have pets, does anyone have allergies, etc.) but in most cases, you should be changing it out during the summer. Ideally you should replace it at the start of the season before the hottest weather kicks in, but you may even want to monitor it throughout the summer as your air conditioning usage is likely at its highest. Changing the filter helps you get the best possible air flow, the cleanest air, and can extend the life of your unit in the long run.

Clean Your Grill

Nothing says summer quite like grilling, but it is important your grill is clean and properly maintained. If you have a gas grill, shut the lid, crank the heat, and leave it on for a bit—at least a half hour. Let it cool down before scrubbing it with a grill brush. Clean out the drip trays to prevent fires and wipe down the outside of the grill itself. If you have a charcoal grill, empty it out and wipe down both the inside and outside before letting it dry and re-adding charcoal. Try cleaning your grill after each use to keep it in tip top shape throughout the summer. If you store it outdoors, be sure to cover it to protect from the elements.

Tend to Your Garden

Properly maintaining your garden not only makes it nicer to look at but can improve the life of your plants and ward off unwanted pests. Trim back bushes and plants. Add a new layer of mulch to minimize weeds and retain moisture. It’s not too late to do some planting. Marigolds, asters, black-eyed Susans, hibiscus, and zinnias are just a few of the flowers that do well when planted during the summer. If you have a veggie garden, consider planting cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and peppers which also thrive in the summertime.

Monitor Humidity

Things tend to get rather humid during the summer, especially in certain parts of the country. Make sure you are monitoring the humidity inside your home. Excess humidity and moisture can cause hardwood damage and lead to mold growth. Consider using a dehumidifier to combat humidity indoors; if you already have one, make sure it is clean and functioning properly.

Pressure Wash

Pressure washing is a great way to combat dirt and tough stains around the outside of your home. Some areas you may want to wash include your home’s siding, sidewalk, porch, and deck. Inspect these areas prior to power washing to ensure there isn’t any mold, cracks, or weeds and if there are, tend to these issues before hitting the area with the power washer. If you have a deck, you may want to reseal it following power washing to extend its life and appearance.

Check Your Ceiling Fans

Many of us get the most use out of our ceiling fans during the summertime. Make sure they are properly aligned and clear any dust from the blades which can actually cause them to be unbalanced. If you switched the rotation of your fan during the colder months, be sure to switch it to spin counterclockwise which pushes the air down and keeps you cool.

Have Your HVAC System Serviced

Even if your heating and air conditioning units seem to be functioning properly, they should be regularly serviced to ensure they are operating correctly and efficiently. A technician may be able to spot a potential problem before it happens which can save you money, time, and stress down the line. On top of verifying that you A/C is working as it should, which is so important during the dog days of summer, they can also take a preemptive look at your heating so you are prepared for colder weather just a few months away.

Clean and Inspect Your Windows

With longer days and more sunlight, you are more likely to notice issues with your windows. Take this opportunity to thoroughly clean all windows inside and out to remove any dirt or streaks. Inspect all screens and repair or replace any that have rips or other damages. While you are looking at your windows and screens, make sure they are properly sealed; this helps regulate the temperature inside your home, improves energy efficiency, and can even help reduce your utility bills.

Looking to find a home to call your own or refinance your current home? Contact one of our experienced Loan Officers today to learn more about your home financing options!

Home Trend Do’s and Don’ts

Home decorating trends are constantly changing and it is hard to keep up with every new fad that emerges. Floral prints may be popping up everywhere now and those bright colored kitchen appliances may not stand the test of time. So, which trends should you follow and which should you leave behind? The lists below showcase a few timeless home trends that will never go out of style and a few short-lived trends that may only be popular for a short period of time. So, which trends will you risk it for? Or will you stick with timeless, classic design choices?

Timeless Classics

Neutral paint colors. It is always a safe bet to choose a neutral color palette for your home. Neutral wall colors and floors will allow you to decorate more boldly and add personality to each room. You can incorporate trendy pieces into the room without going overboard, and you can easily switch it out for something new once you no longer love it. A neutral setting with bold accents is always a good choice.

Clawfoot tub. Relaxation, elegance and luxury are what come to mind when you hear this term, and those are some reasons the clawfoot tub hasn’t gone out of style. This type of bathtub has a classic design and will fit with any type of décor, making it a lasting piece in your home.

Open concept. An open concept living space has become increasingly popular over the last decade or so, and it seems to have staying power; more homebuyers are searching for homes that give an open floor plan. This type of floor plan can make a small space feel larger, and it is also a convenient layout for entertaining.

Subway Tile. If you are renovating now and want to make decisions that you will still love in 5 or 10 years, subway tiles are likely to be that. With their clean, fresh look it is a timeless option. No matter what style cabinets or colors on the wall, subway tile is likely to always match. If you wanted a spin on this classic you could arrange the tiles in a basket weave or herringbone pattern!

 

Short Lived

Statement floors. Gone are the days with “Plain-Jane” beige carpet and simple hardwood floors. A new trend has recently emerged and it is daring! Statement floors have become popular in the last few years, and for good reason; it can add adventure and a fun twist to any room. Unfortunately, a bold floor doesn’t work for everyone, so try not to get swept up in this trend.

Velvet furnishings. Another trend that screams luxury and comfort, but like so many other home design fads, this one likely will not last. Household items such as couches and curtains have followed the velvet craze, but have started to vanish recently. Fashion and style are big components of this trend, but opting for a more traditional look may save you from a design faux-pas.

Bold Wallpaper. It is everywhere these days! Flip through a home design magazine or scroll through Pinterest and you will see bright, bold wallpaper. It can add so much drama and excitement to a space, but if it is overdone, it can be overwhelming. While this trend can be a thrilling addition to your home, it’s best to stick with the neutral colors since some prints and colors will go out of style soon.

Peel and Stick. In theory this quick and easy design choice seems like a great solution. Maybe you want new countertops, backsplash, or tile – there’s a peel and stick for that! However, in the long run, you may find that this cheap fix may not stand the test of time. Over time, corners may begin to pop up and the heat from appliances may cause the adhesive to loosen.

Decorating your home can be a lot of fun, and a lot of work. There is no need to rush redecorating when the next big trend surfaces, so be sure to take your time and only include items in your home that work for you. Just because something is on trend doesn’t mean it’s your style! You can only make your house a home if it is filled with the things you love.

Are you looking to purchase a new home or refinance your current home? Reach out to one of our skilled loan officers in your area today!

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