Let the Games Begin: Which District Should You Live In?

May the odds be ever in your favor!

It’s the time of the year when your favorite movie franchises hit the big screen. Whether it’s vampires, wizards, or victors, you can always identify with one of your favorite characters (even if you don’t agree with their personal aspirations). In this case, you may be able to identify with a particular district because each one is different and unique in its own way.

We’re not saying we’d want to participate in the ever famous Games, but take the quiz and keep track of your answers to figure out which district of Panem you belong to!

1. Which material do you prefer to have in your home?

  1. Marble
  2. Wood
  3. Water
  4. Stone

2. If you could decorate with only one color, which would you choose?

  1. Pink
  2. Brown
  3. Blue
  4. Black

3. What is your favorite food to make?

  1. Caviar
  2. Fish
  3. Chili
  4. Bread

4. What is your favorite activity?

  1. Interior Design
  2. Swimming
  3. Camping
  4. Hunting

 

Now it’s time for your results…

If you chose mostly As, you belong in The Capitol!

You enjoy the finer things in life and are more creative than most of your contemporaries. You love being in control, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

If you chose mostly Bs, you belong in District 4!

District 4 is the fishing district so if you love the water, you belong here! Your parents were helping you achieve their your dream career path since you could walk. You follow along (for the most part) but you have rebellious side that comes out when tested.

If you chose mostly C, you belong in District 7!

You’ve had an ax to grind with people for as long as you can remember. You may have been the tree in your school play every single year. This is the district responsible for lumber and wood. If you adore being outdoors and love nature, District 7 is the place for you.

If you chose mostly D, you belong in District 12!

Well aren’t you a regular Katniss Everdeen! District 12 is the coal mining district but also home to the girl on fire. You may not have had a lot of money growing up, but you know how to make do. You’re decisive and you’re never on the fence (partially because it is an electric fence…).

For entertainment purposes only.

Recommended Reading:

-The Ultimate Home Personality Quiz

-Carrie, Seinfeld, and Friends: NYC Apartments Straight from the Screen

-10 Real Houses Where Your Favorite Scary Movie May Have Occurred

 

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Open House Advice for Buyers

You may fall in love with a home based upon it’s online listing but don’t forget to visit it in person before you make the commitment. Visiting an open house is a great way to get a feel for the property and see if it will work for you and your family.

Keep these things in mind during the open house to ensure that you get the most out of your visit.

1. Keep a poker face: Don’t be overly enthusiastic. It is best to remain calm, cool, and collected. Dull your emotions, whether good or bad, so you don’t compromise your position as a buyer. (Boston.com)

2. Pay close attention: Pay attention to everything. Keep a look out for cracks in walls and ceilings, damages to the floors, and the windows. Watch the other attendee’s reactions to certain things. If you see people abruptly leaving, there may be something wrong with the home. If people are mingling and taking their time it may be a sign that it will be a home with a lot of offers. (AOL)

3. Ask before taking photos: While looking at homes, it’s helpful to take photos to help you remember specific features of the home. During an open house, or any showing, it’s best to ask the homeowner before you start snapping pictures. (Frontdoor)

4. Look but don’t snoop: Storage can be a deal breaker when it comes to buying a home. If there isn’t enough room in closets and cabinets, it may sway your opinion. Look through storage spaces but don’t go rummaging through people’s belongings. Respect their home and their space. (Frontdoor)

5. Don’t bad mouth the home: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at the open house. You may walk into a house and dislike it, but try to keep harsh opinions to yourself. Wait until you leave the open house to voice your opinion. You never know who may be listening and how it could work against you in the future. (Frontdoor)

6. Ask questions: Ask the owner, your real estate agent, and the listing real estate agent any question you might have.

Use these tips at every open house to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your home buying experience.

 

Recommended Reading:

-We Asked, You Answered: Advice for First-Time Homeowners

-Open House Oops: Don’t Make These Mistakes

-Benefits of Working With a Real Estate Agent

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On the Road Again: The Ultimate Moving Checklist

Congratulations! Buying a home is an exciting time for every family. The next step is packing up your current home and moving into your new one. Moving can be overwhelming but, luckily, we have a checklist to help you make your move efficient and organized.

The Ultimate Moving Checklist:

1. Disconnect all utilities: Before you move schedule for your cable, internet, electricity, etc. to be turned off. Call your provider about a month before the move to let them know the date that you want to stop the service.

2. Schedule new utilities: Let there be light! A month before your move, call all your providers to schedule to have your utilities setup.

3. Measure doorways and furniture: Take the extra precaution of measuring all your furniture and doorways in both your new and old home. Inform the movers of the measurements and make sure they have a backup plan in case some pieces can’t fit.

4. Change mailing address: Don’t let your mail get lost in the shuffle. Call your post office five weeks before the big move and let them know of your change in address.

5. Leave a change of address: It’s better to be safe than sorry. Leave a note for the new residents, informing them of your new address. If any stray mail gets through the postal system, they’ll be able to send it your way.

6. Get covered: It seems like a tedious task but it’s important. If you’re moving outside of your current neighborhood, it’s best to call your old pharmacy and transfer all your current prescriptions to a local pharmacy closer to your new home. Tell your doctors that you are moving and ask for referrals and record transfers. If you have children, make sure to register them for school in your new school district.

7. Notify accounts of your move: Whether it’s your newspaper and magazine subscriptions or your credit cards, don’t miss anything. Call all the important companies and providers in your life to give them your new address. Don’t forget to get your homeowners insurance changed to your new address!

8. Tag your furniture for placement: You get to your new home, furniture is all moved in, and it just so happens that everything is in the wrong place. Prevent that by sticking notes on larger pieces of furniture, signifying where they belong in the home.

9. Create a “just in case” kit: If the movers are late or get lost on the way, it’s best to be prepared. Fill a box with cash, a first aid kit, toilet paper, snacks, and any other daily essentials you may need to get yourself through moving day.

10. Get a new driver’s license, voter’s registration, etc.: Changing your address through the postal service and other accounts are important, but don’t forget to take care of personal documents as well. Change your address on your driver’s license, insurance policies, and voter’s registration.

Moving to a new home is the start of a new chapter. Be prepared in all aspects to ensure that you have the best moving experience ever!

 

Recommended Reading:

-We Asked, You Answered: Advice for First-Time Homeowners

-How to Make a House a Home: Creating Memories

-The 5 Biggest Seller Mistakes

 

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Things Your Inspector Missed That You Can Still Catch

Home inspections are an important part of the home buying process. Before finalizing an offer, hire a home inspector who will check the condition of the home. A home inspector will check things such as the electrical system, roof, and ventilation. Although a home inspector will thoroughly review a home, his or her main concern is the actual house, not the surrounding areas. It is possible that your home inspector may miss problems around the home.

Evaluate these things before you make an offer.

1. Fences and outdoor buildings: Your inspector may skip the outside portion of your house, so make sure you double check the condition of fences and anything else outside the home. If these features are damaged, they can be an expensive hassle to repair. Make sure your fences, sheds are in top shape before you purchase your home. If they aren’t, you can negotiate your offer. (Credit)

2. Roofing: Inspectors don’t usually go on the roof. They inspect from ground level and may miss a lot of problems. Inspectors will take note of missing shingles or panels but if there is a deeper problem, like a leak, it can be more difficult to identify. Consider hiring a roof contractor to go up on the roof and make sure everything is in excellent condition. (Credit)

3. Drains: This is a little problem that can become a major one if it’s not taken care of. Inspectors may overlook the drainage system or go over it quickly, not giving sinks and tubs enough time to show an issue. Fill up your tubs, showers, and sinks to see if there is a drainage problem. This may be a quick fix with a drain clog remover, or you may need to seek a specialist. (Credit)

4. Air conditioning and heating systems: An inspector might not want to run the air conditioning in freezing temperatures or the heat in 90 degree weather, at risk for ruining the system. For this reason, there may be a bigger problem at hand and you won’t know it. Do your own test of the A/C and heat to determine if there is a problem. (Credit)

5. Fireplaces: A fireplace is a common mistake when it comes to home inspections. Home inspectors may glance at a fireplace and chimney but not make it a priority. Light a fire in the fireplace to make sure it’s safe and that the chimney is in working condition. Hire a professional to clean the chimney if needed. (Credit)

If you think that your home inspector may have missed a few issues, look at them yourself and then make the decision to hire a specialist. This will help you ensure that your home is up to code and is the best home for you!

 

Recommended Reading:

-Home Safety Tips for the Elderly

-Benefits of Working with a Real Estate Agent

-5 Biggest Seller Mistakes

 

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From Pullover to Pillow

Create cozy fall decor from old favorites in your wardrobe. If you can’t bear to discard favorite old sweaters that are too small, too big, or too worn, recycle them into beautiful felted-wool pillows.

Instructions:

1. Gather several wool sweaters or scarves that you no longer wear. Mix textures and colors for contrast.

2. Wash each color of wool separately in hot—not warm—water. Dry each color separately at the hottest setting. The heat of the dryer will shrink the wool into tight felt that won’t fray, even when you cut it.

3. Using a purchased pillow form as your guide, cut one large square or overlap two rectangles for the pillow’s back. Pin together rectangles, squares, strips, or circles for the front, adding ribbing, buttons, zippers, or pocket details.

4. Sew the pieces together by hand or machine, or bind them to each other with fusible interfacing. Join the front to the back around the edges, and insert the pillow form. Slip-stitch the opening closed, or make holes for coordinating buttons.

This DIY project is fun and easy, plus it is much less expensive than similar store-bought pillows. Now just curl up with a good book or movie and a hot cup of tea.

Recommended Reading:

-5 DIY Projects You Can Do With Wallpaper

-Just DIY It: 5 Natural Cleaning Products

-Done in One Hour: How to Install a Faucet

-Double Agents: New Uses for Everyday Things

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Which Seinfeld Character Are You?

One of the most popular TV sitcoms of all time may soon be coming to the most popular on demand streaming service in the world!  We can’t wait to be “Masters of our domain,” when we binge watch old Seinfeld episodes on Netflix.

Ever wonder what Seinfeld character you would be? Take the quiz below, and keep track of the numbered answer you choose. (The numbers will determine your score!)

Which style home would you prefer to live in?


1.        A clean and tidy bachelor pad in the city.
2.        The same house that I grew up in.
3.        A beautiful one-bedroom apartment.
4.        A chaotic state of disarray.

 

Do you like to entertain guests?

1.        Yes, all the time.
2.        No, because I live with my parents.
3.        Yes, but only people I am dating.
4.        No, no one would want to come over.

 

We’re would you park your car?
1.        Only in a garage.
2.        On the street, but I wait for the perfect spot.
3.        Car? What car?
4.        I’d rather you just drive.

 

What kind of neighbors do you have?
1.        Nosey. They are always getting into my personal space.
2.        I’ve never cared to meet them.
3.        I’ve developed a bad reputation with them.
4.        Fun to be around. The life of the party.

 

Where is the perfect weekend getaway?
1.        A bed and breakfast in the suburbs.
2.        Del Boca Vista, Florida.
3.        The Hamptons, of course.
4.        New York Yankees Fantasy Camp.

 

What afternoon snack would you prefer?
1.        A big bowl of cereal.
2.        Pastrami on rye.
3.        A big salad.
4.        A Mackinaw peach.

 

How would you describe your job?
1.        It’s fun, but I’m usually working nights.
2.        I basically sleep under my desk at work.
3.        I have an office job, with a crazy boss.
4.        Job? I get by just fine.

 

Answer Key

 

If you score between:

7-12: You’re Jerry!

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

 

13-18: You’re George!

“I invented ‘It’s not you, it’s me’! No one tells me it’s them. If it’s anyone, it’s me!”


19-24: You’re Elaine!

“Yada, yada, yada.”

 

25+: You’re Kramer!

“These pretzels are making me thirsty!”

 

Recommended Reading:

-If Houses Had #Hashtags

-7 Reasons That You’re Secretly Jealous of YOur DollHouse Family

-90′s Nostalgia: Doppelgängers to our Favorite ’90s Television Homes

 

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6 Natural Home Decor Ideas

Contribution by Andrea Davis, HomeAdvisor

Can’t get enough of the outdoors? If you want more of it in your home without maintaining a jungle, then consider alternatives. Here are some top ideas for homeowners wanting that extra touch:

1. Add natural elements: One of the easiest ways to incorporate the outdoors indoors is literally to add it to your home decor. It might be pebbles, wood, straw, leaves and other pieces in smaller amounts throughout your home. You could also add photographs, paintings and framed pieces of wood or leaves to the walls of your home.

2. Assemble flowers and plants in pots: If you are willing to do the maintenance and manage the upkeep, you can add potted plants to your home. This adds elements of color and natural fragrance to your home. You might avoid real plants if you have severe allergies and do plastic versions to be safe. You should also be aware of any plant varieties that are poisonous to your pets.

3. Install natural flooring: If you have tile, laminate or vinyl floors, you can have a flooring installer replace them with hardwood, cork, bamboo or other natural flooring materials. They feel warmer underneath your feet, and they are organic and biodegradable compared to what might have been in your home before.

4. Make the most of your windows: Your windows are for more than a beautiful view. You can let in natural light by opening them or replacing heavy curtains with light, see-through drapes. You can also let in fresh air and the scents of the outdoors. If you’re worried about pests or debris, install new screens.

5. Use outdoorsy colors: Another option is painting parts of your home with naturally-inspired colors. Some color options include green, blue, yellow and brown. There are also neutral tones like white, tan and beige to evoke cleanliness. Whether you paint an entire room or just a wall, you can complement the room with elements like plants to make it seem more outdoorsy.

6. Consider stenciling: You can also stencil outdoor-related images onto your walls. Maybe it’s trees, leaves, the sun, moon, stars or an entire landscape. You can do random stenciling or theme it by room. The end result will be a design that attracts visitors and complements the outdoor landscape.

Your interior can get closer to the outdoors depending on how much money or time you want to spend bringing the elements indoors. The end result will be a natural, seamless transition from the beautiful landscape outside to the same relaxing feel inside.

 

Photos courtesy of DesignMine

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Dodge the 7 Most Common DIY Mistakes

Armed with a library of how-to books, you’re confident that you can tackle your home’s repairs and remodeling yourself – and pocket the money you’d have spent on professional labor. Hold up. David Dorman of CENTURY 21 Professional Group in Orlando, Florida, says many DIYers make critical mistakes that can decrease their homes’ salability.

Avoid these seven common mistakes:

1. Overestimating your skills: “Some people are handy, and some think they’re handy,” Dorman says. Be honest about your abilities. “Buyers can tell when things aren’t in the proper position, when light sockets aren’t vertical, and laminate flooring is bowed,” he says. “It comes down to quality of work.” If you can’t do it right, you’ll have to pay to have it fixed.

2. Underestimating the value of your time: You may, in theory, be capable of laying new bathroom tile. But between your job demands and the kids’ soccer games, can you really finish the project in a few weeks, or will it stretch over months? Your time may be worth the cost of a pro.

3. Equating dollars spent with value: Good design is critical, especially in kitchen and bath remodels. A $60K kitchen designed by a pro to mesh well with a house will bring a better return than a $60K kitchen that bungles traffic flow and clashes with the style of adjoining areas. “When you’re going down to the studs, get an architect or interior designer involved,” Dorman advises.

4. Neglecting details: “The biggest complaints I hear when I’m showing a remodel come when homeowners have left things half done,” Dorman says. “It doesn’t just fail to add value, it actually subtracts value.”

5. Overlooking permits: Dorman had a seller who fixed her own septic system. When the home inspection revealed that she didn’t have the proper permits, the deal was ruined. A qualified pro will know what is legally required.

6. Missing guarantees: Pros will back their work. That can be essential on big projects like roof repairs. When you DIY, you’re the only one accountable for missteps.

7. Thinking DIY means do it all yourself: Consider hiring professionals to back up your know-how. Tap into the free kitchen and bath design services at home-improvement stores. Many paint stores have color consultants you can use for a small fee. Or hire a plumber on an hourly basis to install new toilets and sinks after you’ve done the demo work— you’ll rest easier knowing the water will flow safely.

Ultimately, the key to success with any project is asking the right questions. Your real estate agent is a great resource. “I have a list of vendors a mile long,” Dorman says. “They don’t get on this list unless I trust them.”

Captions:

Dollar-wise DIY. Changing a “before,” top, to an “after,” left, can bring a great return at resale, but only if it’s quality work. Homeowners with masonry skills could affect the change shown here, but many find it’s cost effective to hire professionals.

Our Featured Expert:

David Dorman CENTURY 21 Professional Group, Inc. Orlando, Florida

PERSONAL PASSION: When closing deals, he’s often humming. A classically trained singer, he sings top 40 and a cappella doo-wop in his spare time.

BEST ADVICE: “Even the worst house will sell—if you price it right. Sometimes sellers just see dollar signs, but they have to realize that the value of proper pricing is golden.”

 

Recommended Reading:

-5 DIY Projects You Can Do With Wallpaper

-Just DIY It: 5 Natural Cleaning Products

-Done in One Hour: How to Install a Faucet

-Double Agents: New Uses for Everyday Things

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5 Atlanta Homes Worthy of a Real Housewife

They’re back. There are “real housewives” in Atlanta and they are gracing small screens around the world. We have listings that would be fit for almost every “real housewife”. They have enough rooms to fit their family and their extra-large egos. Don’t be Tardy for the Party, let’s take a look at the houses right now.

1. This sprawling mansion has a ballroom, a cigar room, a theater, two gyms, seven kitchens, a recording studio, an outdoor living area with a magnificent pool, a wellness center, nail salon, and hair salon. Kim could style her wig, get a manicure, and record hits like Google Me, Tardy for the Party, and Love Me First from the comfort of her own home.

2.  This mansion has a movie theater that is perfect for hosting advance screenings of Glee, Dancing with the Stars, and The Celebrity Apprentice 4. This home also has seven bedrooms, a gym, a ballroom, two kitchens, and a spa.

3. It will take a lot of “Bills Bills Bills” to buy this home. There is a walk in closet but Kandi isn’t a doctor so there will be No Scrubs. This home isn’t short of rooms, it has eight bedrooms, a movie theater, a recording studio, a pool, and two gyms.

4. Oh sheesh, Sherre could definitely live in this ten bedroom mansion. This mansion has space for all of her fashion designs, daughters, and enough closet space for any skeletons she may be harboring. We hope her mantra, “Who gonna check me, boo,” is cross stitched on a pillow or two throughout the house.

5. Cynthia could host all the Cosby’s in this eight bedroom home. She can even throw a Cosby marathon in her own movie theater. We wouldn’t be surprised to find a runway or two in this supermodel’s super swanky home. When she isn’t in NYC or Paris for Fashion Week, she can be found lounging in her spa, getting ready in her walk in closet, working out at the gym or spending time at her husband’s bar.

Pass the popcorn and champagne, please! It’s time to catch up with our guilty pleasure.

For entertainment purposes only.

 

Recommended Reading:

-Modern Homes For Your Modern Family

-Worldwide Wanderlust: More Century 21 Homes From Around the Globe

-The Ultimate Home Personality Quiz

 

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Email Etiquette for Real Estate Agents

Email is an essential component of every real estate career. It’s especially helpful in generating leads, in fact, 42% of businesses report that email is the primary source of lead generation. When you are using email for business, it is crucial to make sure that you are following the unwritten rules of email etiquette.

1. Subject: Always use a clear and concise subject line that clearly indicates the purpose of the email.

2. BCC, CC: CC stands for carbon copy. It is used when you want someone to receive the email even though the email primarily concerns someone else. BCC stands for blind carbon copy. When you use blind carbon copy the people you BCC can’t see each others contact information. BCC is a useful way to protect people’s privacy when you send an same email to a group of people who don’t know one another. A good time to use BCC would be if you are emailing a marketing email to all of your clients.

4. Edit: Always check your grammar and spelling before you hit send. Additionally, keep in mind that emails can be printed and saved. Email last forever. Make sure that you are representing yourself, and your company well.

5. Respond in a timely manner: Make sure to read and respond to email promptly. You may miss something important if you do not check your email often. Your clients may also have time sensitive decisions or questions that need to be responded to right away.

Email is going to be an essential form of communication in the foreseeable future. These tips will help you manage your email while maintaining a standard of professionalism.

 

Recommended Reading:

-5 Essential Networking Tips for Real Estate Agents

-6 Simple SEO Tips for Real Estate Agents

-Tech Talk: 5 Apps for Real Estate Agents

 

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