Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group



Posted by Donna Coffin on 3/22/2019

Pinterest is a beautiful thing. Giving us a truly endless supply of crafts, hacks, tips, and recipes for our homes. But as infamous as Pinterest is for its helpfulness is the plethora of “Pinterest Fails” it leaves in its wake. Here’s how to avoid making your home look like a giant craft project instead of the stylish, chic abode you’re dreaming of.

The most important thing to keep in mind is “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. Okay, that might sound mean but let me explain.

Just as you’d carefully select high-end pieces for your home you should carefully select your projects. It can be tempting to do #allthethings since they are cheap, easy and let’s be honest, fun. However, overloading on craft projects or any form of decor quickly crowds out style.

So be as strategic with which projects fit your current surroundings as you would if investing a large chunk of change into a piece. Select projects that are cohesive with the current design of your room and home. If your home is sleek and modern but you add a country chic style piece it’s going to look out of place and throw off your whole room.

Go neutral. This doesn’t mean your whole room needs to be beige (boring!) but reaching for neutral colors more often than not will keep your home looking classy and stylish. If you pull out any home decorating magazine you’ll notice that most of the room is neutral. This allows for the pieces you do choose to pull in color with to really pop and take the spotlight.

One strength of crafts is bringing in a variety of furniture and decor. Again, looking at home decor magazines you’ll notice many rooms don’t have full matching sets. Mix feminine with masculine pieces and soft, smooth fabrics with rich, textures. This brings dimension and interest to your room while scratching the itch to go hunting for great fixer-upper finds.

Less is more. To create a stylish home space is key. This also means you might want to do some decluttering in your home. Stuff has a knack for building up. But by creating lots of breathing space between items you create more room for the items you create to be put on display and admired.

Limit trends. I know this one is hard! Limit the number of trendy items you create to prevent your decor from becoming quickly outdated. And overdoing a trend can make a room feel uncomfortable and stiff. For example, one pallet board craft can be fun. But having several in every room of your house will quickly have your home feeling like a giant craft project. Some other trends pushing their welcome? Chevron and copper everything.




Tags: decorating   DIY   pinterest  
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Posted by Donna Coffin on 3/15/2019

New windows can work wonders for a house. Depending on how old your windows are, replacements can make your home less drafty, and much quieter, but they can also spruce up a room that’s starting to look dated.

When you replace your windows you also might see a drop in your heating bill. However, the cost of replacing windows is steeper than you’re ever likely to save on heat. So, if you’re thinking of replacing your windows just to save cash, in the long run there might be better ways of doing so.

In this article, we’re going to talk about choosing replacement windows for your home. We’ll walk you through the different types of windows so you can find the type that fits your needs. Read on for our replacement windows buyer’s guide.

Choosing the right window style

There are endless types of windows that you could find in a given home. However, four main styles are what we normally think of when talking about replacement windows.

Single vs double-hung windows

First, there are single and double-hung windows. In double-hung windows, both the top and bottom sash are operable, or able to be opened. Being able to utilize both sashes is beneficial for airflow. Opening the top sash will allow the warm air escape, opening the bottom sash will allow cool air to enter.

In single-hung windows, only the lower sash is able to be opened and closed. But otherwise, they are very similar to double-hung windows.

Both of these types of windows come in variants that allow you to pivot the sashes inward to clean the exterior glass. However, if you buy single-hung windows you’ll only be able to wash the lower sash. Keep that in mind if you’re buying windows for a second floor or attic window.

Sliding windows

Sliding windows are those which move horizontally on their tracks. They produce good ventilation and are easy to use. However, just like single-hung and double hung windows, they do slightly obstruct your view at the midpoint when closed. The rectangular shape of sliding windows, however, means you won’t likely be able to install an air conditioner.

Casement style windows

The last main type of window we’ll talk about are casement style windows. This type of window operates on a hinge like a door would. When they’re fully opened, they produce good ventilation. When they’re fully closed, they don’t obstruct the view at all.

However, just like with sliding windows, you won’t be able to install an AC unit. Furthermore, this type of window is more prone to malfunction due to the crank and hinge system, and cranking it open and closed all the time could be a minor annoyance for some homeowners.

Frame materials

Window frames come in four main materials--vinyl, wood, clad-wood, and aluminum.

  • Vinyl is the most common. They look clean and modern, and they also resist heat and condensation making them easy to maintain.

  • Wood frames are regaining popularity. Since they often come unfinished, you can easily customize them to your home.

  • Clad-wood frames are wood on the interior and aluminum on the exterior, making them rugged and resistant to weathering and rot.

  • Aluminum windows are economical, lightweight, and easy to maintain.


Now that you know a bit more about windows, you’ll be better equipped to decide what type of replacements to purchase for your home.




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 3/8/2019

If your initial offer to purchase a home is countered, there is no need to stress. In fact, there are lots of reasons why you should negotiate with a house seller, and these include:

1. You can speed up the homebuying journey.

The homebuying journey may prove to be long and complicated. If you find a house you want to buy, however, there is no need to wait to submit an offer to purchase this home. And if a seller wants to negotiate with you, it may be worthwhile to work with this individual so you can acquire your ideal house.

A homebuying negotiation enables you to try to reach a house purchase agreement with a seller. Plus, if you and a seller cannot come to terms, you can always reenter the housing market and continue to search for another home that matches your expectations.

2. You can find common ground with a home seller.

When it comes to buying a home, it is important to avoid submitting a "lowball" offer to purchase. If a buyer submits a lowball property buying proposal, he or she risks alienating a seller. Worst of all, a seller may be more likely than ever before to reject the buyer's proposal and move forward with other offers to purchase.

Thanks to a homebuying negotiation, you can come to terms on a home purchase agreement that works well for both you and a seller. As a result, both you and a seller will be satisfied with the final terms of a home purchase agreement.

3. You can pay the lowest price for your dream home.

If you feel a seller's initial asking price is too high, negotiating with this individual offers an excellent opportunity to get the best price for your ideal house. And if you open up negotiations with a seller, you could acquire a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

Of course, it is crucial to consider the seller's perspective during a homebuying negotiation. If you maintain constant communication with a seller, both you and this individual can work together to finalize a home purchase contract.

Negotiating with a home seller may be stressful, regardless of whether you are buying a house for the first time or have purchased residences in the past. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert support as you negotiate a home purchase.

A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a house seller on your behalf. He or she will keep you up to date throughout a home purchase negotiation. Best of all, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you purchase your dream house at the lowest price.

For those who want to achieve the optimal results during the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to negotiate with a seller. If you are willing to negotiate with a seller, you could acquire your dream home faster than ever before.




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 3/1/2019

The homebuying journey may be long and arduous, regardless of whether you're pursuing a house for the first time. However, if you bring your A-game to the homebuying journey, you can speed up the process of finding and acquiring your dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you bring your A-game to the homebuying journey.

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

There is no need to waste time and resources as you search for your ideal residence. Thankfully, with homebuying criteria in hand, you can streamline your home search.

Consider the cities and towns where you may want to reside. Then, you can narrow your house search to a select group of cities and towns.

Also, think about the features you want in your dream house. If you want to own a residence that offers a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, for example, you can hone your house search accordingly. Or, if you require a home that provides multiple spacious bedrooms, you can pursue houses that match your criteria.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval for a mortgage is paramount, particularly for homebuyers who want to know exactly how much they can spend on a residence. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage in no time at all.

Of course, when you meet with banks and credit unions, don't hesitate to ask home financing questions. Banks and credit unions employ knowledgeable home financing professionals who can teach you about the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and much more. As such, these professionals can help you make an informed mortgage selection.

You should consult with a variety of banks and credit unions, too. That way, you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal and choose a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Ultimately, there is no reason to work alone when you search for your ideal home. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the housing market and is happy to share his or her homebuying insights with you. Plus, a real estate agent will craft a plan to help you quickly discover your dream home. And if you are concerned about acquiring a house at the lowest-possible price, a real estate agent is ready to negotiate with a home seller on your behalf as well.

Furthermore, a real estate agent can guide you through the home closing cycle. He or she will help you finalize your home purchase and ensure you can relocate to a new house without delay.

Bringing your A-game to the homebuying journey can make a world of difference in any housing market. By using the aforementioned tips, you can simplify your home search and accelerate the process of acquiring your dream residence.




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 2/22/2019

It's no news that termites and white ants cause severe damages to the home. They might attack your house in no time. Hence, termite control has become one of the necessities to prevent the termites from invading your house. Some people control termites by using chemicals in residential areas or working places, where they can survive and breathe.

Important things to know about termites

  • Termites generally lay their eggs in the spring season. They give eggs in the moist soil and then enter the house to provide some nourishment to them. Therefore, it is better to control termites before the beginning of spring season. However, be careful as termites can attack in any season.
  • Two places to look for termites are the kitchen and the bathroom because in these two areas there is maximum use of water. Regularly check the pipes and taps for leakage. If you own a house or farm made of wood, then controlling termite infestation should be your top most priority. It is one of the crucial issues or problems faced by homeowners.

Primarily, start with termite prevention. If you do not have termites, it does not mean that you cannot have them. So, stop them from invading your crops or properties. To prevent the termites, you have to make your home an unfavorable hideout for termites. Following are some ways of preventing termites from invading your house:

  1. Trim all dense greenery, bushes, and shrubs away from your property's foundation.
  2. Never leave ?rewood around your house; it works as a magnet for attracting termites. If you have to keep ?rewood outside your home during the winter season, then keep it at some height off the ground.
  3. Remove all loose woods, tree stumps and lumber from the boundary of your home.
  4. Keep downspouts and gutters free of accumulated debris and leaves. As termites cannot survive on wood only, keeping these areas clean will prevent termites from invading your house. Obstructions and clogs attract termites.
  5. Seal all holes and any cracks in the foundation of your home. Termite prevention is possible only if you keep your house ventilated, particularly the attics of the house. Your rooms should be spacious enough to have the right circulation of air, as moisture attracts termites. Never allow water to be stored anywhere around your house as it may lead to severe house damage.

It is always better to opt for termite prevention before the construction of your property. If you plan to construct a house entirely from wood, then ensure to use treated wood. Borate is one of the most common treated woods that prevent the termite from invading them as their food. Do not allow the wood to have any contact with the earth because this will give easy access to the termites.




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