What The Color Of Your Front Door Says About You
There are several different ways you can increase the curb appeal of your home, some simple, some more complex. Colorful flowers, garden lights, a well-manicured lawn and a chic mailbox are just a few examples. The most fun example would have to be your door color.
In many cases, people choose to go with an accent color, not necessarily a color that matches the exterior of their home. This opens the door (pun intended) to many possibilities. For this reason, your door says a lot about who you are.
Here are some of the many colors you can paint your door and what it could say about you.
Red is a bold yet traditional color to paint your door. The brightness of the color suggests that the inside is lively and exciting. Traditionally a red door screams ‘come on in’ and is reflective of an extroverted, hospitable personality; somebody who’s always willing to host.
One of the most popular colors to paint your door is blue. It signifies peace and serenity. If your door is blue, you view your home as a refuge from the dastardly chaos of the outside world. You’re a calm peaceful individual and there’s no better place to kick back and relax.
While black doesn’t mean stay away, it isn’t emblematic of the ‘mi casa su casa’ philosophy. It speaks of a very strong personality that demands order, authority, and power. When invited to a home with a black door, feel confident that you’re welcome, but don’t put your feet up on the coffee table.
4. Brown or Natural
A brown or natural finish signifies a very down to earth person. Like the earth, brown suggests stability, integrity, and reliability. If your door is brown, you value genuine people and create a non-judgemental environment where they can flourish.
If your door is yellow, you’re probably a morning person and use a lot of exclamation points! It screams energy, positivity, and excitement! It also signifies confidence, that you’re not afraid to stand out and are very comfortable rubbing off on some of your less enthusiastic guests.
If you paint your door green, you’re likely a very driven and ambitious person. Green is strongly associated with growth and money, which often go hand in hand. An ambitious person is not only looking to grow their wealth, but also enrich their lives. It goes without saying that green is one of the most popular colors to paint your door.
10 Anti-Burglary Tips When Selling your Home
When you are opening your doors to the public for showings, you need to take extra precautions. Here are a few suggestions to help keep your belongings safe.
After the holidays, many people put the empty boxes their expensive gifts came in out on the curb. What do you think that says to potential burglars? It screams, “I just got a brand-new TV! Come and rob me!”
If you are selling your home and opening your doors to strangers, this is just one example of a habit that could put you in danger. Let’s use this as a jumping-off point to have a deeper conversation about safety in your home, especially if you are selling.
National Snapshot of Burglaries
A burglary is committed every 20 seconds, with nearly 1.6 million such crimes nationwide annually, according to the FBI’s 2015 Crime in the United States report. That’s down 7.8 percent from 2014. Total property crime, which includes arson, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft, reached nearly 8 million instances in 2015, down 2.6 percent from 2014.
Consider using this checklist to better prepare yourself when you have interested buyers coming to your door:
- Maintain your property. Especially in the wintertime, many people stay indoors and neglect issues such as peeling trim or an overgrown yard. But if the home looks unkempt, thieves may think it’s abandoned and, therefore, an easy target. Shoveling your walkways to clear them of snow and debris and removing holiday decorations and fallen tree branches in a timely manner will signal that the home is occupied.
- Know your neighbors. Many people don’t really know their neighbors; it’s more than just saying hi and being friendly. Invite them over to see your home before it goes on the market, and introduce them to the people they may see regularly stopping by during this time (especially your agent). Then they’ll know who is and isn’t supposed to be at your home and can better assess when there may be a threat while you’re gone.
- Assess your home’s vulnerability. Walk to the curb and face your house. Ask yourself, “How would I get in if I were locked out?” The first thing you think of, whether it’s the window with a broken lock or the door that won’t shut all the way, is exactly how a thief will get in. Think like a burglar, and then address the issues that come to mind.
- Respect the power of lighting. Criminals are cowards, and they don’t want to be seen. The house that is well-lit at night provides a deterrent because thieves don’t want the attention and the potential to be caught by witnesses. It’s wise to invest in tools that make nighttime light automation easy. That includes dusk-to-dawn adapters that go into existing light fixtures and motion detectors. But beware of leaving your exterior lights on at all times, which signifies the occupant is gone for an extended period of time.
- Use technology to make your home look occupied. In addition to lighting, smart-home technology has made it easier to make it appear like people are home, even when they’re not. Systems that remotely control lighting, music, and appliances such as a thermostat can help you achieve this. Though not considered smart-home tech, simple lamp timing devices available at hardware stores are also good for this purpose.
- Yes, it has to be said: Lock your doors. It’s amazing how many people think they live in a safe-enough neighborhood not to have to lock their doors when they leave. Some facts sellers should know: In 30 percent of burglaries, the criminals access the home through an unlocked door or window; 34 percent of burglars use the front door to get inside; and 22 percent use the back door, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
- Reinforce your locks. A good door lock is nothing without a solid frame. Invest in a solid door jam and strike plate first, and then invest in good locks. Know the difference between a single-cylinder and a double-cylinder deadbolt. Double-cylinder deadbolts are recommended because they require a key to get in and out. For safety and emergency escape purposes, you must leave the key in when you are home. But double-cylinder locks are against regulations in some places, so check with your local police department’s crime prevention office.
- Blare the sirens. Burglars are usually in and out in less than five minutes, and they know police can’t respond to an alarm that quickly. Their bigger concern is witnesses to their crime. For that reason, an external siren is invaluable, whether as part of a monitored security system or a DIY alarm. Even if you don’t have an alarm, it’s not a bad idea to invest in fake security signs and post them near doors.
- Consider surveillance cameras. The Los Angeles Police Department started a program encouraging homeowners to install a device called Ring, a doorbell with video surveillance capability that allows homeowners to view what’s outside their door on their smartphone, in a neighborhood that was a target for burglaries. After Ring was installed in hundreds of homes, the burglary rate dropped by 55 percent, according to reports. Most state and local regulations require posting a warning that people are being recorded. (But again, this can be effective even if you don’t actually have the cameras installed!)
- Mark your valuables and record details. Use invisible-ink pens or engravers to mark identifying information (driver’s license or state ID numbers) on items. Log serial numbers and take photos of your belongings. Check to see if your police department participates in the Operation Identification program. They will have stickers for you to place on doors or windows warning would-be thieves that your items are marked. These steps may prevent them from pawning or selling stolen items and can help you reclaim recovered belongings.
FHA loans are government-backed loans that often have a much lower interest rate than a conventional (traditional) loan. Before you right off these loans as impossible options, keep in mind that millions of people are benefiting from them right now. In fact, FHA has increased its loan amount to upwards of $250,000 in most areas, making FHA Loans an important option in the mortgage landscape. Here are five ways that FHA loans can help you to obtain the home you are looking for, or help you in other ways.
5 Ways that FHA loans can help you get the home you are looking for:
#1: Lower Interest Rates: The main benefit of FHA loans is to provide individuals with a lower interest rate. If the FHA is backing your loan, you are less of a risk to the lender. Therefore, they agree to offer you a slightly lower interest rate. This translates into an interest rate that could save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of that loan. That is money in your pocket.
#2: Better Qualifications: Many lenders have increased their standards in lending money. If you do not have a credit score over 700, then our best bet to getting a low interest rate home loan is with the FHA loans. You do not have to have as much down to qualify for these loans either (usually 3.5%)
#3: Help Getting Out of a High Interest Loan: Perhaps you have a high interest rate loan. You are paying much more than the current low rates that are available. FHA loans can help you to get a low rate even on refinances. Definitely, worth looking forward to since it will drastically cut the amount it costs to buy your home.
#4: You Need Help: There are a number of programs available through the FHA to help you to get out of a troublesome home loan. You can stop foreclosures and often stop your overall risk of losing your home by taking advantage of these programs. If you need this help, contact an FHA loan specialist today.
#5: You Are A First Time Home Buyer: For those who have yet to buy a home and are worried about doing so, FHA loans can help. These loans are highly affordable and they are ideal for the first time homebuyer unsure of what to do next.
FHA loans can help millions of people to get into the homes they want and need, or to protect them from losing their investment. Contact a professional today to learn if you qualify.
PLANNING A MOVE? REDUCE THE STRESS!
If you are planning to take that step and move into a new dwelling, or perhaps to a new city or community, here are some moving tips that will help you get through it as easy as possible. Keep in mind that getting organized FIRST and staying organized is the secret to a reduced-stress-move!
You may want to consider having a professional organizer handle your relocation. There are local organizers who will provide on-site energy, motivation, and fun – giving expert guidance for those tuff decisions you will have to make on what to keep and what to throw out!
If you have ever moved before, you will probably agree that it is best to let a professional moving company help you with your move including doing the packing. If you are moving long-distance, their packers are trained to do the job efficiently, guarding against breakage and loss. Plus, your household items will be insured by the company. It is a general rule that items labeled “packed by owner” (meaning anyone other than the mover) are not insured during the move.
As always, when considering a company to hire to assist with jobs such as moving or organizing, do your research. Comparing costs is one thing, but most importantly would be to make sure the company is a professional and responsible one. A business that provides moving services should only have bonded employees working for them, and an insurance policy that will cover damages to any items they transport. Checking customer and business reviews is a good way to better know who the company really is. It is not hard to check out service companies online or on your social networks – ask for recommendations from your friends on who they have successfully used.
When it comes to unpacking, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Keep in mind that when you pay movers to unpack, they don’t put anything away. So everything you own ends up on all surfaces, including the floor. Be sure to label the boxes with the content and location they belong to so the movers can place them in the appropriate place, then you go to work room by room, unpacking and placing the contents.
With so many things to consider in the process of a move, here are some helpful ideas:
1 – Create a moving notebook or folder or ask your Realtor for a MOVING CHECKLIST. Keep all of the paperwork related to your move in one place. Make notes, keep your checklist current, and keep receipts and documents.
2 – Log on to your utility sites or a website like https://myutilities.com/ that can manage all of your utility changes in one place. Shop and set up your utilities and complete your change of address notification. Most utility companies will allow you to search for and connect to the services you need in your new area including: electricity, water, gas, cable/satellite TV, Internet/phone, and more.
3 – Create a moving calendar to schedule and track all aspects and tasks required for a successful move, such as changing utilities, change of address notification, make hotel reservations, defrost the refrigerator, order storage container, pet lodging, etc.
4 – Do your research about resources such as housekeepers who clean empty homes, carpet cleaners, reputable van lines and technology specialists, etc. Ask your Realtor for local recommendations.
5 – It’s time for the “great-give-away”. Why move things you no longer need or use? Find another home for them: favorite charities, recycling centers, family members, and garage or estate sales. People want what you don’t need.
6 – Don’t forget that all-important survival box packed with your bed linens, coffee pot and other must-have items. This box should be last-on and first-off the moving van.
7 – Cash for tipping the packers, loaders, and driver for superior service. You want them to take good care of your belongings.
Congratulations! You and your stuff made it to your new digs. Now, save your back by using furniture moving pads to slide heavy furniture around – it’s a cinch and doesn’t scratch the flooring.
In today’s real estate market there are deals available for those who are ready to invest.In fact, today a buyer can buy real estate and have a better cash flow than in years past. A few years ago an investor would be happy with buying an investment property that could cash flow $200.00 a month over the mortgage payment. That was figured on a 20-year mortgage including taxes and insurance. Today you can buy rentals that will cash flow up to $400.00-$500.00 or more per month.
TODAY’S OPPORTUNITIES ARE BETTER THAN EVER.
Plan your future with rental houses in it. Buying investment property today comes with low interest rates, resulting in lower payments. PLUS, due to the high demand for housing across the country and in DFW, rent prices continue to rise.
Once you buy an investment property, follow the model of successful investors and hire a professional management company to handle the day-to-day minutia. Spend your time locating those real buys and let a property management company do the management.
Be sure to look at homes that need work. Mortgage companies are not generally interested in spending more funds repairing them, resulting in you getting a lower price. All sounds real simple, right? It doesn’t have to be complicated, following a few simple steps will help you get started. The following tips will keep you on track as you grow into a real estate mogul with successful investing!
5 TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL REAL ESTATE INVESTING
Make a plan – Determine how many houses you want to purchase per quarter, per year, and know how much cash-flow you want each property to produce for you over and above mortgage, insurance and expenses. Other items to plan for are:
- What areas do you want to target? Look for properties that meet your criteria in the areas that you choose.
- Look for a win/win in every purchase; it needs to work for you, the bank and the owner.
- Don’t get emotional, learn to negotiate – this a business purchase.
- Remember that ugly ducklings can be made beautiful. Look for properties you can fix up to increase the value of the neighborhood – which in turn increases your investment.
- Know your objectives – Write out your objectives for investing.
Do you want to –
> build future wealth on investments that will cash-flow itself while building a retirement income on a 20-year note,
> build short-term wealth that provides a monthly income from the cash-flow on a 30-year note,
> or, get immediate cash by buying low and flipping (fixing up and selling for a profit)?
Set your Parameters – Determine the parameters in advance, i.e. what type of house will you buy? What type of lease will you take? What can you afford to buy?
> Go for the lower maintenance, more popular styled home for your area: i.e. 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2-car garage, central heat and air, with brick exterior. Remember, the better quality home the better quality tenant/lease you will be able to secure. Stay away from homes that require continuous maintenance and upkeep (i.e. homes with wood siding).
> Go with a minimum 2-year lease. A tenant who signs a 2-year lease will most likely sign for another 2 years, and another 2 years – you are already 6 years, into paying off your investment!
> Know how much money you can invest in a property without breaking YOUR bank! Look for REO’s and houses that have been on the market for a very long time (180 days +).
> Get your $$$$$ in order – Of course you will have to get your credit in order and have a good relationship with your lender.
Here are a few “secrets” from the experts to continue your success:
- Have a 6 month “emergency” fund put back to protect you and your investments.
- Save money to take care of your future. No one else can do this for you.
- Pay attention to your business, your assets, what you are spending and what you are saving.
- Learn to GIVE. It will come back to you.
Use a property management company – One of the biggest mistakes and “time guzzlers” is in trying to manage your investment properties yourself. Experts advise you NOT to manage your properties yourself…”don’t worry about the $45 and $50 items that need to be fixed at your property, instead focus on the $40,000 equities that are out there!”
A property management company will take care of these things for you, freeing your time and resources to develop your investment portfolio:
- advertising your vacant property
- thoroughly screening a prospective tenant
- performing move-in, move-out and periodic inspections d. expediting emergency repairs
- handling regular maintenance and upkeep of your property
- overseeing any legal or collection issues
Real estate investing is a proven way to build wealth, and anyone can start! Use these simple tips to get started then contact Norma Langston to help you with your first purchase.