Catherine Albiani's Blog
10 Walter St, Tewksbury, MA 01876
If you have been looking to give your home a bit of pizzaz, you may be worried about the cost or the time investment. The good news is that you don’t need to put in a huge amount of work or money in order to make a big difference in your home. Below, you’ll find some of the easiest projects that you can complete in a hurry. You’ll be enjoying a new view of your home in no time!
Change Up The Mantel
We often grow comfortable with the decor in our homes. It’s a good idea to change those pictures and displays that you have along the top of your fireplace from time to time. For a more dramatic change, you can replace the entire mantel.
Bring Out The Front Entryway
The entry to your home is all a part of the curb appeal. You can easily paint the front door or part of the entryway to enhance the look of the front of your home. If you want to go even bolder, try and replace the door with something a bit different than what you already have.
Refresh The Paint
Whether you look at the inside or the outside of your home, you can easily bring about change to the look of your home. Add a fresh coat of paint to the front door. Take a tired looking room and change the paint color of the space. Taking things room by room can be less time consuming than trying to take on the entire house at once. If the exterior of your home needs some fresh color, this project can be expensive, yet rewarding as the amount of curb appeal that you have will increase dramatically.
Try Some New Lighting
It’s easy to get some new lighting fixtures. It could be as simple as switching a lamp or installing a few new light fixtures. For an even more dramatic change, add some dimmer switches or energy efficient lightbulbs. Checking in on the lighting in your home can be beneficial for both your home decor and the practical use of lights.
Don’t forget the outdoors as well. It can be very refreshing for your landscape to have some outdoor lighting that highlights the more dramatic pieces of the outdoor space.
Plant Something New
If you take the time to plant something new, you can bring a whole new look to the exterior of your home. Whether you take the time to plant one simple bush or are able to place down a whole new flower bed, small changes make a big impact.
However small your home improvement projects are, they are a part of working towards making your home a better place to live.
Many urban areas promote the concept of working where you live, or living where you work, to simplify your life. But what does that mean when you’re buying real estate?
The main difference is in zoning requirements and building codes. Those that are primarily zoned as residential offer fewer options for commercial enterprises. Those zoned for industry often appear in areas of urban renewal where former warehouse conversions offer work-spaces and lifestyle lofts.
When historic buildings go through the renewal process, they are often repurposed as living space with attached retail. For example, creating occupancy areas that otherwise would decay into disuse sometimes allows for relaxed residential standards that let artists and musicians enjoy higher sound levels or use of solvents that new construction zoning and code requirements would not allow.
Who Occupies Live-Work Properties?
Often, communities of artists or musicians join forces to live in joint, workspace facilities. Some urban centers have created “Artists’ Projection Zones” that impose rent controls, property price-increase limitations and other restrictions to create affordable living and working space for artists. These locales determine occupancy based on adherence to specific rules of their artistic endeavors.
Other live-work spaces appeal to business start-ups and entrepreneurs. These spaces develop an incubator atmosphere where the lack of commute inhibits the interruption of ideal flow. Some interdependent industries share the same space to reduce the need to ship product or services outside the facility.
Telecommuters and virtual employees fit better into the residential live-work facilities. Often, these buildings offer high-speed internet, access to shipping and delivery services and community spaces to gather for a meal or socializing.
Whether it’s a studio above a store-front, converted warehouse, or repurposed factory, if you thrive in an energetic and industrious atmosphere, a life-work space may be right for you. When seeking a live-work space, let your real estate agent know what you’re looking for so that you find that perfect situation.
Going through the process of applying for a mortgage only for your application to get denied can be a frustrating and confusing time. If you’re hoping to buy your own home in the near future, it’s vital to secure financing or you risk missing out on a home that you may have been depending on getting.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about what happens when your mortgage application is denied and what you can do to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
Determine the Cause of Denial
If your application is denied, priority number one needs to be to understand what happened. Since lenders are required to provide denied applicants with a letter explaining why they were denied, this just means reading the letter and making sure you understand all of the reasons listed.
There are a few common reasons that an application may be denied. Some of them are simple fixes, while others might require time and effort on your part that may delay your house hunt for a while.
One issue that many mortgage applicants have to handle is when their employer won’t provide proof of income to a mortgage lender. Since income verification is vital to the mortgage application process, it’s important to make sure you can provide all of your income details from the last 2 years to the lender.
Sometimes there are issues with contacting employers, such as when your former place of employment goes out of business. Or, you may be a freelance or contract worker with atypical forms of income verification. Regardless, make sure you are clear with your loan officer regarding your employment history.
Other common causes for denial of an application include problems with your down payment (such as not meeting the required down payment amount) and credit history issues, such as having a lower score than you thought.
Credit score lower than expected
It’s not uncommon for a lender to run a credit check and come up with a score that is lower than you anticipated. Since scores change on a monthly basis, and since there are differences between the scores provided by the three major credit bureaus, you might find that your lender found a score slightly lower than what thought.
If the score is drastically different, however, this could be a sign of two things. First, make sure that you haven’t recently made multiple credit inquiries (such as applying to several lenders who perform credit checks) or by opening new credit cards or loans. These inquiries temporarily lower your credit score.
If you haven’t recently made any inquiries (other than applying for a mortgage with your lender of choice), then it’s a good idea to get a detailed credit report and scrutinize it for errors. Inaccuracies on your credit report can be disputed and resolved and can give your score the boost you need to be competitive on your mortgage application.
Choosing a different lender
While most lenders use similar criteria in determining your borrowing eligibility, there are some differences between lenders.
For example, some lenders might take on more risk by lending to someone with a lower credit score. However, they will also likely require a higher interest rate in exchange for the added risk they’ve acquired.
Now that you know your options for what to do when an application is denied, you’re well-equipped to start tackling the issue and getting back on track to becoming a homeowner.
The presence of natural light inside of your living space can have a tremendous impact on how you feel in your home. If you're interested in introducing more daylight into your space consider installing a skylight or light tube.
What are skylights?
A traditional skylight is a window set into the roof of your home. They bring light into the room from above. Many skylights are fixed but others open up to allow fresh air and ventilation. Higher-end options may include options like preinstalled blinds, tinted glass, power openers, and screens. Because they are installed from the roof, skylights are a great solution for bringing natural light into a finished attic space or a central stairway that might not have walls that connect with the exterior of the house.
What is a light tube?
Sometimes, you can’t install a traditional skylight. When your home has a large attic, the skylight must recess through the attic to the room to let the light shine into the room. Since this doesn’t always work, an alternative is to install a light tube. These are shafts that pass from a domed glass in the roof into a room below the attic. The tube may have mirrors that reflect daylight down into the room even if the exit is not directly overhead. An advantage of a light-tube style skylight is that the exit location does not have to be directly above the room at all. It may even exit from a sidewall.
The tube bends or reflects the light, so there are diverse architectural applications. You might install one in a shower, to light up a dark niche or even in a closet. Light tubes typically include LED lights, so they are useful both day and night.
If the light tube or skylight is installed correctly, it retains and enhances the home's energy efficiency, and complements the home's design features. If you're planning to install a skylight in a home you intend to sell, discuss the advantages with your local real estate professional to determine the return on your investment.