Decorating Ideas to Bring Spring Inside


The Spring is a great time to re-decorate. Warmer weather and new flowers provide plenty of design inspiration. Why not continue the spring feeling in your home decor? Here are some great ways to give a fresh spring flavour to your home.

Display cut Spring flowers around your home in pretty vases. Daffodils and hyacinths look and smell wonderful. They will bring an instant Spring freshness to your interior space. A unique addition to a floral arrangement are these lovely bird’s nest ornaments to decorate blossom branches. You can learn how to make them on

Continue the floral motif in your wallpaper. There’s a great Floral Bouquet wallpaper available at Target. It costs $47.49 for enough to cover 56 square feet.

Another fun way to decorate in a Spring theme is through floral fabrics. You can make your own cushions with this Robert Kaufman fabric from Hancock’s. If you’re not into sewing, you can buy some floral fabric items. This lovely floral six piece comforter set from Martha Stewart is available on her website.

Not to be overlooked, you can also introduce a spring feeling into your home by painting walls in a vibrant spring color. For instance, these Laura Ashley paints bring Spring indoors with colors like Spring Seedling and Foxglove Blue.

Lastly, some spring cleaning and decorating is an inexpensive way to freshen up your house. Remove heavy quilts and curtains and replace them with lightweight versions. Repaint walls that are smudged. Vacuum the rooms of your house, getting in all the corners. Consider updating a few pieces of furniture. Spring is all about renewal so it is a perfect time for home improvements.


What are some cheap ways to stage my home to sell?

Home staging

Selling your home? Then you might want to stage it without spending too much to maximise your profits. Lucky for you because you’re in the right place.

Staging your home or simply properly preparing it for resale can play a vital role in having your property sold in no time and at the best possible price. To help you get started, below are some of the best ways to stage your home without spending too much. Some of them are even free! Check them out now.


The basic rule is to clean up and declutter. It would be too difficult and almost impossible to stage a house full of unnecessary things, so start off by deep cleaning your home. During the process, choose things you’d want to keep and get rid of those you can. You can either properly dispose them or donate those that you don’t really use or want. 

Pro Tip: Ensure your bathroom and kitchen counter tops are free from clutter as well as from bulky appliances. 


oranised things

While on the process of decluttering, be sure to organise things. Properly store away your personal things, make your bed, fix your dressers and drawers, etc especially during showings and do your best to maintain such. Scrub dirt and grime away from your bathrooms and kitchen surfaces including your tubs and toilets. Windows and floor should be cleaned too.

Pro Tip: Don’t shove stuff into your closet. Instead get some moving boxes and properly store them in your storage room or in the garage. This is because most (if not all) buyers will check on your closets to see if there’s enough storage. 

Keep personal items away.

living room

You need to let potential buyers picture themselves living in your home. This would be impossible to do if you have all you personal items on display like framed family photos. 

Pro Tip: Clear off notes and photos on your refrigerator or computer desk. The less things around, the better.

Let the light in.


Letting natural light in can make a big difference on how your house will be seen by potential buyers. Keep blinds up and tie up curtains as it can make the space look bigger as well as it can highlight the views outside especially if you have a picturesque view to boast. In the event that the view outside isn’t that ideal, you may opt to hang a simple white linen curtain panels that can obstruct the view while allowing natural light to come in. 

Pro Tip: Hang curtains near the ceiling to create an illusion of higher ceilings and bigger rooms.

Paint it off.


While plumbing and electrical should be your top priorities, painting your home is one of the most impactful and cost-effective things that you can do to stage your home. A fresh coat of paint can actually do wonders to your home giving it vibrance and life despite its age. 

Pro Tip: Never use loud paint colours as it can immediately put off buyers. Instead choose a neutral color such gray or off white which will allow the buyers to envision the home in a more neutral hue.

Work on small extra things.

When a buyer sees a lot of small things that needs to be fixed like water stain on the ceiling, burnt out light bulbs and cracked window panes, it set off their inner alarms. Often times, those small things start to raise bigger questions that may break the sale. To avoid being in the same situation be sure to do a thorough check and start fixing those that you can. 

Pro Tip: Fix all chips and cracks in walls and baseboards. Fix dripping faucets and replace non-working light bulbs.

So there you go! I bet you’ve already got a good place to start with home-staging. Good luck!

Homes for Sale by Owner: Top 5 Reasons Why FSBO Sales Fail


Are you planning on selling your house? If so, you might be tempted not to hire a real estate agent to maximize your profits since you don’t have to pay for an agent’s commission. Doing all the work all by yourself means you’ll get the most money out of the transaction. Sounds really good right? Well, not really. 

Selling a home with an agent’s help will actually give you higher and better profits than doing the work all by yourself. In reality, you’ll get enough funds to cover the agent’s commission and more profits for yourself. Not convinced? Well, we have statistical data to back it up. National Association of Realtor’s says that the average FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sales price in 2016 was $185,000. On the other hand, a home sold through the help of a realtor had a sale price of $245,000. That’s a whopping $60,000 price difference!

A seller may or may not have the capabilities to negotiate the deal in his favor. While a realtor will surely get you covered when it comes to negotiation. And since you’d be relying on your own skills on finalizing a contract, you’re risking potential legal problems and smaller profits after all the extra effort and time spent. 

Below are some of the top reasons why FSBO transactions can be more pain than gain.

Online marketing of a property for sale isn’t as easy as it

may seem.

Online Marketing

Most buyers will search online for houses for sale. The biggest advantage of having a real estate agent is they can offer a widespread exposure for your listing as they have access to multiple listing services. Moreover, they can promote your house to fellow agents to share with their clients. On the other hand, FSBO sellers will need to spend a lot on advertising and might not still be able to reach the same quality audience that a real estate agent can.

FSBO houses can be priced incorrectly.


FSBO sellers tend to set price merely based on online assessment tools or whatever amount a friend or a neighbour suggested because it was either offered to them or they were able to sell their property at that price. These methods are actually totally unreliable and it can risk the price being way off. Nothing can compare to actual and timely market knowledge that real estates have. 

Overpricing a home can actually be dangerous as it will languish in the market leaving buyers to wonder why. Worst is nothing will change even if you reduce the price later. In addition, if your house has been in the market for an extended period of time, buyers are more likely to negotiate to get the property at a much lower price. 

Only real estate agents would be able to provide an accurate value of your property which is based on comprehensive market analysis. This in turn, will help you arrive at the reasonable listing price – not too expensive to put buyers off but not too low to leave you with less profits out of the sale.

You might not be able to properly estimate how much money you should spend on curb appeal.


In general, inexperienced home sellers don’t know how to properly stage their property for the broadest audience which can turn off potential buyers. May it be because of an amateur paint job, an unmaintained yard or landscape or a broken door. 

Having a real estate agent by your side can actually help you a lot since they have an eye for detail and will usually recommend simple and budget-friendly staging steps allowing you to spend the least amount of money for the best possible outcome that can help you present your home at the best possible light.

                             Showings can be tiresome.

Open House

Scheduling and attending showings can be really draining. This is something FSBO sellers don’t realize until they’ve already gone several meetings. Unfortunately, novice home sellers are prone to deal with people who don’t really have the intention to buy as well as investors that are looking into flipping the property for a profit.

On the other hand, having an agent will free up your time that will allow you to focus on other things like tidying up and vacating the place. Moreover, buyers are observed to be uncomfortable with sellers hanging around during showings. 

Paperwork isn’t as easy as you think.

paper Work

Paperwork can really be tricky. And if you have no background in contracts or law, better leave it to the pros if you don’t want to end up with lawsuits after the sale. On the other hand, agents got everything covered for you. They will handle all property disclosures and necessary documentation to ensure you won’t be faced with liabilities in the future. 

With all the above compelling reasons, I hope it’s clear now that real estate agents can play a vital role in home-selling. Don’t make the same mistakes new sellers make. Let the pros play the game they now very well.

Top 5 Advantages of Metal Roofing for your Home

Planning to get a metal roof installed? If so, let us help you be confident with your roofing decision by listing out the top 5 advantages of the roofing type you’ve chosen. Read on!


First on the list is a metal roofs’ longevity, which is one of the major factors homeowners consider when choosing a new roof.


Metal roofs are proven to protect your home for decades to come due to the fact that they can stand up tolongevity severe weather conditions like snowstorms or excessive heat.


For added peace of mind, most manufacturers even back it up with up to 50-year warranties to ensure you are protected against defects and premature breakdown of your metal roof.


Longevity isn’t always guaranteed because of, or in spite of anything though…


Just like you probably shouldn’t smoke if you want to live to be 100, it’s not good to neglect roof cleaning if you expect your metal roof to last a long time.

Then again, look at her!

Durable doesn’t mean indestructible though. If you have leaves stuck to your metal roof, clean them off before they cause the gaskets on the metal screws to rot. Yearly roof cleanings can go a long way to extending the life of your metal roof.


DIYable – Easy Installation

Another amazing characteristic of metal roofs is that it’s easy to install and is one of those roof materials suitable for DIY works. You may even be able to complete a roof installation yourself, given you’re quite knowledgeable about home repairs and your roof isn’t too steep, as it can be dangerous.


Metal roofs are available in lightweight shingles and shake formats, wherein most styles come with easy handle interlocking systems that can be installed with the use of common tools. However, if you’re not a fan of DIYs you can always call a professional contractor to get the installation done.


When it comes to safety, we bet you would not settle for less. And when it comes to your home, using a metal roof could be the safest decision you could make. There is one safety concern with metal roofs though. Never get on your roof if it is even slightly wet! You might slip and fall. However, from another standpoint, these roofs are extremely beneficial to your safety. Metal roofs are proven to be fire-resistant and have the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. 


fire fighter


Safety and endurance are certainly the top two features you’re sure to enjoy should you have a metal roof installed. But of course, you would also like your roof to match the looks and feel of your home. One of the best advantages that metal roofs have over other roofing types is that it comes with many style options that will not only compliment your home’s style, but will also add to beauty to it. What’s even better is that metal roofs are available in panels and other options that are designed to emulate traditional roofs like wooden shakes, shingles, and tile that will allow you to achieve that perfect look for your prized investment – your home.

Environmentally-friendly and Energy efficient

Going green? Metal roofs got you covered.


Metal roofs are one of the most environmentally-friendly investments that you can get for your home. A lot of metal roof options are made from recycled materials such as aluminum which is known to be often recyclable. This roofing type is also energy efficient given that it reflects the sun’s rays instead of absorbing heat. And what’s in it for you? Lower air conditioning costs as your home’s internal temperature will be cooler. Great right?


Isn’t metal roofs amazing? We think so!

Nine Things a Real Estate Agent Should Do For Home Buyers

Nine Things a Real Estate Agent Should Do For Home Buyers


Buying a home is so much easier with a real estate agent. Just as all home buyers are different, so are Realtors. Having said that, you cannot expect each of them to have a similar home-buying approach. Nevertheless, there are important things that every real estate agent must do for a client.


Below are the 9 important and critical things that quality Realtors have, and also some things they should be willing to do for you:

  1. They get you pre-approved.

Quality Realtors are expected to have a sizable network of trusted agents, lenders, and other professionals directly related to the home buying and selling process. So, referring you to a trusted lender and helping you through the pre-approval process shouldn’t be an issue. Please take note, though, that when we say “pre-approved”, we mean that a lender should have already verified your income, employment, and has already ran a credit check.

  1. They should help you navigate the “house-hunting” process.

Searching for your dream home is an undeniably tiring process. So, your real estate agent should be more than willing to help you find options that match your specifications and budget, as much as possible.


Additionally, your agent should present other important factors like location, neighborhood, schools, etc.

  1. They should be an effective negotiator.

Another perk of having your own Realtor is that they can negotiate price to help you get the best price possible for the house you are planning to purchase. So, if your real estate agent is not willing to negotiate on your behalf, then we strongly suggest looking for another agent that is more willing to negotiate for you.

  1. They help you choose a quality home inspector.

As mentioned in the first point, every good Realtor should have an expansive network of professionals related to the home buying and selling process. This includes trustworthy and dependable home inspectors.


The home inspection process is an essential step ensuring that there are no hidden issues with the home that you are interested in buying. Choose your inspector wisely, as you can only get this confirmation from a professional home inspector.

  1. Willing to be physically present during the home inspection.

It is very important that your real estate agent is willing to be physically present during the actual home inspection. This ensures that you are equally represented during the inspection. It also will help your agent to be able to convey any findings with you that were found during the inspection.


Your Realtor should also provide you a thorough home inspection report and be willing to provide counselling on the result of the inspection. Especially if there are any areas that you need to bring to the sellers attention.

  1. They should negotiate home inspection repair requests, as necessary.

The result of the home inspection can give you leverage over the negotiations. If there are problems found, you can use them to your advantage by either requesting it to be fixed or get an equivalent price reduction for those repairs needed. Your real estate agent plays an important role here, as he or she is more knowledgeable on how each of those issues affects the value of the home.

  1. Be the middleman between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s attorney all throughout the sale.

It is important that all parties involved in the home-buying process are well-informed for the transaction to go smoothly. This is the responsibility of your Realtor, since he or she knows how to measure the importance of all information available as well as knowing who needs what and when, to ensure everything progresses as planned.

  1. Loan commitment monitoring.

A quality realtor is always on top of everything. This includes monitoring your mortgage commitment. Excellent real estate agents always try to ensure that you, as the buyer, clearly understand the importance of maintaining a clean credit standing. Mortgage mistakes are common with first time buyers, so your real estate agent should be willing to provide assistance with regards to understanding all parts of your mortgage commitment.

  1. Ensure there are no loose ends.

Your agent should finalize everything and ensure that you will be able to reach the closing stage without any hitches and finally get your home. This part is very crucial and your Realtor should be alongside you to provide support and advice as the need arises.


As a buyer, it’s okay and even strongly suggested that you have high expectations concerning your real estate agent. This isn’t a simple purchase and might even be the biggest purchase you ever make.


So, it’s very important that you work closely with your agent, so that everything progresses smoothly. Lastly, you must hire a Realtor that you are able to have a great relationship with. It’s so much easier to have an agent that you can consider your friend as you navigate the entire process.


Important Considerations to Make During Long Distance Moving

Long distance moving can be involving and most times tiring. It is especially more hectic if you have to move with your family, and in cases where you had a lot of luggage to pack. People who try to have DIY (Do It Yourself) long distance removals have even a harder time as compared to people who hire companies to help them.

To be on the safe side during long distance removals, you should hire the best moving companies to help you.  People think that trying to do moving on their own will reduce the total costs paid. However, it can be very risky because of:

  • Lack of skills necessary for removals
  • Lack of proper packing boxes
  • Lack of insurance to cover any possible damages
  • Lack of manpower to help in packing
  • Lack of well serviced and big trucks for removals

In the light of the above factors, it easier for you to hire the best long distance removal company that to go the DIY way. You will have a very time since the companies already have the skills, manpower, facilities and insurance cover for the removals.

Having selected professional moving companies, you have to be careful about certain things if at all the whole moving process will be easy. These include the following:

  • Ensuring that there is someone present during the packing process. Most times, removal companies have people to pack your luggage at a fee. It is important that someone else-other than the removal company’s, finds out if everything is packed into the truck. This should also apply during the offloading processing.
  • Emptying some households such as refrigerators. This is the only way of ensuring that spillages do not occur to the rest of luggage.
  • Avoiding polishing furniture just before the removals. This can cause a lot of mess in other items or even damage the furniture if not everything is not well handled.

Proper planning before the long distance removals is very important.  This type of planning should be done in advance, taking into considerations things like the budget and the timing of the removals.

Having followed all the procedures above, and with proper planning, you will have a very easy time during the long distance removals. Actually, you will have a hassle free moving.

Preventing Burglary With Your Landscape

You may be unaware, but most burglaries actually happen during the day and are typically what we call “Crimes of opportunity”. This type of burglary has little or no pre planning and often happens when a perpetrator realizes that they have a window of opportunity to commit a crime and seizes it without much thought. So what are the best ways to prevent burglary in your home? How do you avoid giving someone the window to commit a crime of opportunity? Today, we’re going to go over some basic tips that will help you prevent burglary in your home.



prevent crime with these tips from OSA



Defining Your Property

It’s always a good idea to clearly define where your yard begins and where the public area around your yard starts. You don’t necessarily have to build high, solid walls around your yard as long as you’re defining it in some other way. In fact, keeping your property looking clean and well kept is one of the best deterrents when it comes to burglary. You can define the layout of your yard with plants, half fencing, decorative lights, bushes, flowers, etc, and this will send a better message than thick and high walls would ever send to passerby and anyone trying to take advantage of your home.

Personalize Your Property

Putting some time into landscaping even smaller properties can be the best deterrent when it comes to burglary and also adds a personal touch to your home and yard. Your yard should reflect what kind of person you are and what you enjoy. However, as you personalize your yard remember to also stay simple, clean and neat. Never design your landscaping in such a way that you can’t see through it. Shrubs and tree canopies should never under any circumstances be lower than four or five feet tall. Your neighbors should be able to also see into your yard and help keep watch, so your bushes and shrubs shouldn’t be higher than three or four feet tall. Personalization is important, but don’t allow it to become a stumbling block for security.

Light it Up!

Never allow the outside of your house to be completely veiled in darkness. It makes a burglar’s job significantly easier. It’s a good idea and a great deterrent to install motion sensor lights around doors and windows and even the perimeter of your property that sits close to your house. Aim for a low level of light that blankets your house at night and you’ll have a much easier time keeping crime out.

Be Community Minded

Spending time getting to know your neighbors, out walking and gardening, assisting with the local neighborhood watch and helping to maintain a healthy relationship within your community not only brings vibrancy, but also helps foster good relationships that will deter crime and provide security to not only yourself and your home, but also the other members of the community.


RELATED POST: Homeowner Security Tips


Keeping crime out of your home, yard and neighborhood become significantly easier when there is a group to back you up and help you out. Remember to keep your yard clean, well-lit and use your landscape as a first defense when it comes to preventing burglary. Don’t be caught by a crime of opportunity. Lock your doors and windows when you leave the house. Consider getting a perimeter fence and befriend neighbors that can help you keep an eye out. With good perimeter security and the right planning, you can be part of the movement to stop all crime in its tracks.


Why You Should Get a Roof Inspection for Storm Damage

And no, we’re not talking about a friend who glances over your roof and gives you a thumbs up when there’s legitimate underlying issues that are going to cost you a fortune in less time than you think it would be for something you won’t notice immediately. Always, Always, ALWAYS hire a certified roofing contractor to take care of your roofing needs. Including inspections.

roof damage is hard to spot without training
It’s tough to spot without the right training!


It’s much easier to get an inspection than pay a hefty bill for a new roof, right? Or worse…a house remodel because the roof was leaking and destroyed the walls and the foundation. Don’t let your roof catch you off guard. Catch problems early; especially after a storm, and you won’t have to worry about being caught off-guard with terrible problems. So what are the benefits to getting your roof inspected after a major weather event? And why should you? Ready to find out? Let’s go!


Not All Damage Can Be Seen From the Ground


Certainly not the pricey kind of damage that might mean a brand new roof and foundational problems. Getting a roof inspection by a certified roofing contractor will give someone the opportunity to check your roof for issues. Safely. With the right equipment and the right skillset.


Have to Have an Inspection to File That Insurance Claim


If you have homeowners insurance that covers hail or any type of storm damage to your house and want to file an insurance claim for the damage, you can’t without a certified roofing contractor taking a look at your rooftop. Insurance companies will want to know the extent of the problem as well as how much it will cost before they cut you a check. Just make sure you hire a company you can count on and trust like 5 Star Roofing & Restoration. They’re licensed and insured and they have been operating in the same area for over 40 years. Look for social proof like google reviews and never trust a door knocker from out of state. Only work with reputable local companies. There’s just too much at stake financially to risk working with a company you can’t research online.


Save a Little Money In the Long Run

save money


Yes, you’d notice a fallen tree on your house, but would you notice any other small damages that come up on your roof? Probably not. What’s the good news? There’s someone that is trained to notice such things. A certified roofing contractor! And when given the opportunity to help by your scheduling regular check-ups, they can save you an immense amount of money in the long run by catching small issues, like leaks and broken shingles before they become big issues!


By getting a certified roofing contractor to take a look at your roof after major weather events, you can save yourself a lot of heartache…and money!

All Homebuyers: Get an Inspection

home inspectors help you protect your investment


That’s right. If you’re going to put money into something, it’s only fair you get it for what it’s really worth. And that’s why you should hire a home inspector. A home inspector, in all cases, is a home buyer’s best friend. Local inspectors like the pros at Timberline Inspections are there to help you make an informed buying decision.


“What Do They Do?”


A home inspector will carefully comb a property’s visible and accessible areas to identify any health and safety problems, positive or negative conditions of the property and any conditions that need further specialized attention.


An inspection will include structural elements like the roof, the foundation, walls, windows, any doors, insulation, attic, and crawl space. It will also include the electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems as part of the inspection. In addition, any report of termites will be noted.


What do Home Inspectors Typically FIND?

Once the inspection is complete, a home inspector will provide a written and very comprehensive report detailing any and all issues with the home. You’ll want to keep in mind that no home is perfect and it is certainly not uncommon for such a report to include 40 or more issues. Certain issues are so common they get reported constantly. There isn’t a “pass” or “fail” either. The home inspector report will give you the information you need to make the decision on whether or not to buy the home “as is” or negotiate with the seller about fixing issues or replacing things.

It’s also {very} important to keep in mind that a Home Inspector can’t see into the future and the report provided isn’t some sort of warranty (or a sports almanac from the future). It simply identifies issues found the day the inspection took place. Keep in mind that the inspection will not “predict” other issues that might arise months or years later.

Even If You Want to be, You’re Not a Home Inspector.


Sorry. You just aren’t. As much as we want to be able to comb a property ourselves and pinpoint all of the issues, we can’t. Home Inspectors are the trained professionals who have the expertise to pinpoint issues and red flags that we just…don’t…see. There are countless nightmare stories about people who tried to look a house over themselves and later unearthed problems that cost them much more than the house was worth. Remember: It’s always worth a little extra money in the beginning to save thousands later on!


inspecting a home


Hiring a pro home inspector like Eric Cruz may seem unnecessary, but we promise you that it is well worth the money! Especially when you’re saved from buying a house with a bad roof. Be smart! When you’re ready to buy, hire an inspector! You won’t regret it.


Moving Within Your Budget

Moving is a real hassle by any standards. It is one of those things that almost everyone dreads. It is also one of those things that must get done at some point in life. Not a lot of people are lucky enough to stay in one place all their life. Hiring a moving company is one of the decisions that have to be made during this time.

Some people don’t consider moving companies mostly because of the cost. For some people, it is hard to afford the cost of hiring professional movers. It is possible to find affordable moving companies. Most moving companies charge their rates depending on the services. For someone considering moving, there are a few ways to make sure that you can afford movers.

One way to do that is do the packing yourself. Full service moving companies offer packing and boxing services. This may add to the cost of the moving process. If you can not afford the extra service, doing it yourself is always an option. When you pack your stuff you will know how to best do it. All you need are the appropriate packing materials.

Packing yourself however may have its disadvantages. In case anything got damaged during the move because it was not packed properly, the moving company would not be liable for it. This is however the risk that comes with getting moving services that fit your budget.

It is always important to check on the quotes that a specific moving company offers you. When you know what it will cost you. You can budget for it better. The amount of things you need to move will also determine the cost. You can make sure that you get rid of all the unnecessary stuff when packing.