Bill Bieker's Blog
There's a cheap office supply product available almost anywhere that can improve your home organization, save you money, and help prevent food-borne illnesses: ordinary stickers.
By stocking up on a variety of blank stickers, you can boost your efficiency around the house, save time, and reduce confusion.
Here are a few examples of how this basic strategy can prevent problems and simplify your life:
- Leftover food: How many times have you looked at a container or package of leftover food in the refrigerator and wondered if it's still reasonably fresh and safe to eat? If you label it with the date, you'll never have to risk getting sick from food that's been sitting around in the fridge for weeks (or longer). "When in doubt, throw it out" is a good policy for dealing with perishable food items, but you also don't want to get in the habit of throwing out perfectly good food. Everyone has slightly different standards for how long food should be kept, but when leftovers are not labeled, your only option is to guess how long it's been there -- and that method isn't too accurate! As a side note, there are several government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that can advise you on recommended refrigeration storage times (and safe temperatures) for different types of food. Generally, it's three or four days, but it can be more or less, depending on how perishable it is, whether the package has been opened, and if it's cooked or raw. Frozen food has a much longer shelf life (usually one or two months in the freezer), but if you don't label it, you may have no idea what it is ("mystery meat?") or how long it's been in storage! Clearly labeling refrigerated and frozen food will give you peace of mind, help prevent you from throwing away food prematurely (saving you money), and reduce your chances of getting food-borne illnesses.
- Old keys: Did you ever stumble upon an old key and wonder which door, suitcase, file cabinet, or car it's meant for? You can always try it out on different locks, luggage, or vehicles, but it could easily be from a previous residence, an item you no longer own, or a vehicle you traded in years ago. A much more efficient method would be to place the key in a small envelope or zip-lock bag and label it with identifying information. Labeling the tag on the keychain is another option.
- House paint: Paint cans that have been around for years can often be difficult to identify, especially if the original product label is obscured by paint spills. By adding a descriptive label displaying the date, the room it was used on, and the color, it will be much easier to organize and find the paint you need when you want touch up your walls or baseboards.
Ready to submit an offer on a home? Putting together a proposal that stands out in a home seller's eyes is key.
With the right home offer, you can improve your chances of securing your dream house without delay. Plus, dedicating time and resources to put together a home offer that works for both you and a home seller is sure to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.
How can you improve your chances of submitting an offer that a home seller is sure to accept? Here are three tips to help a homebuyer submit a standout home offer.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage.
In many instances, a home offer may be contingent upon financing. And if a homebuyer has to secure financing after submitting a proposal, this individual could risk missing out on an opportunity to purchase his or her dream house.
Comparatively, a homebuyer who gets pre-approved for a mortgage will have the necessary financing in place when he or she submits an offer. As a result, this individual's offer may stand out from other proposals, particularly to a home seller who wants to speed up the home selling process.
2. Consider a Quick Home Inspection.
Don't ask the home seller for 15 or 30 days to conduct a home inspection. Instead, be ready to conduct a home inspection as soon as possible.
You may need only a few days to set up a home inspection. As such, if your offer includes a request for five or 10 days to complete a home assessment, it may stand out from others.
Also, if you find your dream home, you may want to consider purchasing the house "as is." Doing so may allow you to forgo negotiations between a homebuyer and home seller after a home inspection.
If you submit an "as is" home offer, you will be able to learn about the condition of a property before you buy it. However, after a home inspection, you will be unable to ask the home seller to complete repairs. At this point, if you find the house fails to meet your expectations, you can either walk away or buy the home in its current condition.
3. Add an Escalation Clause to Your Offer.
An escalation clause can help you compete against other homebuyers in a fierce real estate market. It enables you to increase your offer by a set amount over any other bids to a certain level. As a result, including an escalation clause in your home offer can help you avoid the risk of overpaying for a house and improve your chances of securing your dream residence at the same time.
Ask your real estate agent to include an escalation clause in your home offer. Your real estate agent can help you submit the perfect proposal, and ultimately, boost your chances of getting a "Yes" from a home seller.
Use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your chances of getting the right house at the right price.
If plans for selling your home are in the near future, you’re going to want to start strategizing the most cost- and time-effective ways to make your home irresistible to potential buyers. One of the most proven ways of giving your home the edge it needs to stand out from the competition is good photography and attractive staging.
In today’s post, I’m going to share my tips on home staging that can be achieved on a budget and in a short period of time. That way you can focus more time on finding a new home and stop worrying about selling your current one.
Tip 1: Start packing
Before you start worrying about arranging furniture, it’s important to make sure you have a clean slate to work with. Start by packing personal effects into boxes and labeling them accordingly.
Staged homes are homes that look appealing to the widest audience as possible. Having personal reminders, like family photos, trophies, etc., makes it harder for viewers to picture themselves living in the home.
Most of us keep our homes arranged in a way that is convenient to our lives. And. let’s face it--life can be messy. But, when it comes to staging, less is usually more.
Not only will this cleaning process help you reduce clutter and make the home look better for staging, but it will also make your moving process easier since many of your boxes will already be organized and sealed.
Tip 2: Color scheming
Expertly staged homes tend to have one thing in common--a cohesive color scheme. Think of choosing your color scheme like creating an artist’s palette. You want a few colors that compliment one another and that will work together to brighten up your home.
If you have any furniture that appears worn, dated, or that clashes with the scheme of the room, it’s a good idea to place them in storage while you prepare for photographs and visitors.
Tip 3: Decorate sparingly
Now that you’ve packed away your family photos, you might be wondering what to put on the walls in their place. The best answer is often nothing. However, that doesn’t mean the walls need to be completely bare.
For smaller rooms, you can make them appear more spacious with the use of hanging mirrors (just make sure you can’t see yourself in any of those mirrors when you take your photos!).
Tip 4: Don’t forget the outside of your home
The value of curb appeal can’t be overemphasized. The exterior of our homes, along with our yard and driveway, are essentially what we show the world about our lives. Since most home buyers want their house to look nice, fit in with the neighborhood, but have its own unique flair all at the same time. They want to know that your house has that potential.
Furthermore, the driveway and yard are two of the first things people see when they visit. You’ll want to take advantage of this moment by making a good impression.
Ready to take your home to the next level? Here are upscale tech upgrades to make your home smarter than a Furby, cooler than drone and safer than Gringott’s. That last one might seem like a stretch but if three kids could break in how locked down was it really? Anyways,
The Dyson 360 Eye is an upgraded Roomba. It can be scheduled and operated by phone your phone from anywhere. Which means if you have an impromptu dinner party or the In-Laws are planning to stop by you can start cleaning with a quick tap of your finger. Or you can just set a schedule for it to run a few times a week while you’re at work so you come home to a tidy room.
August Smart Lock is a keyless lock for your home. Instead use your phone as a key which, let’s be honest you always have on you. The best part, however, is that you don’t need to replace your lock and you can still use your key at any time. You can double check to make sure your door is locked and closed on those harried days rushing the kids to the car. entry to home and control who enters home
Upgrade to a curved tv. The curve may seem unusual but it allows for better view no matter where you are in the room. When sitting directly in front of the tv you have the illusion of a wider viewing range as it mimics the curve of our natural sight. Create an immersive experience paired up with a surround sound system.
The Thermasol Microtouch brings the “smart” experience to your shower. Program your preferred settings to have the perfect shower every time. With a heat sensor, you can control the steam shower temperature. And of course, the device comes in several styles and finishes to match the existing hardware in your bathroom
The Dyson 360 Eye is pretty cool but what if you could have a smart lawn mower? Well, the team at Worx built the Landroid just for you. Program the cut height, lawn terrain and even to go back “home” when it’s about to rain. No more running to the gas station to fill up a jug, the Landroid runs off of electricity. It also has safety features to turn off if tipped and pin code access only if stolen.
Upgrade your home tech to upgrade your lifestyle. Spend more time with your family and doing the things you love instead of maintaining your home. Ensure your home is secure and locked up tight for those days you don’t even remember the ride to work. And create a luxury view experience for your home family.
When looking at new homes, home buyers with high expectations can sometimes feel disappointed with their options. In a world where wood paneling, blue bathtubs, and wallpaper in every room have been popular trends it can feel like a lot of houses on the market are eyesores.
An important factor to keep in mind, however, is what parts of the home are merely cosmetic and which are structurally important. If a home is in a neighborhood you love with all the structurally important systems in excellent shape you can still add it to the top of your list. Poor design choices, or lack thereof, can always be changed down the line.
If you were hoping for a home with lots of character and detail but the neighborhoods you love are filled with ranches and builder grade homes don’t despair. There are plenty of style upgrades you can DIY yourself to give your home the luxe look you’re looking for.
Ready to make a dramatic first impression? Wow guests with just a few of these simple upgrades.
If your entrance opens up to a staircase you can create a drastic difference with just a small change. The newel post, that is the first main post of the stair railing, can be swapped out for something more ornate and classic. With plenty of options ranging from boxy posts with molding to something sleek topped with an ornate finial ball. Add more drama by choosing a contrasting color for the finial, newel cap, and railing from the main post and spindles.
A large mirror placed in an entrance or along the length of a hallway never fails to make a statement. Place a pier mirror between windows to create more light and dimension to the room. Create a built-in look by adding molding and wainscotting painted to match the trim of the room.
Add elegance by installing a ceiling medallion. Not just for the foyer they are also a great detail to add to your dining room, guest bedroom or home office. With a wide selection at your fingertips, you can pair one with a chandelier for a chic look or for a more modern flair coupled with a contemporary style pendant light.
For a truly classic look wall trim instantly makes any room look more luxe. Keep it simple with box shapes or opt for an art deco touch with more geometric shapes. Paired with other vintage elements wall trim brings a sense of refinement. If you’re aiming for a more effortless yet modern theme pair with a mix of mid-century modern and minimalist pieces.
When house shopping keeping an open mind as to what can be changed and what is imperative for a safe home makes all the difference in your shopping experience. Print out pictures for inspiration or create a board on Pinterest to keep the ideas flowing. As you look at each new house keep in mind how you can easily add these elements to create a more luxurious home with a quick weekend project.