Danny Resendes' Blog
How many times have you heard yourself say (or think) something very similar to this: "One of these days, I'm going to organize my closet(s)"? If not your closets, then it's your basement, attic, or garage that needs decluttering, organizing, and/or cleaning.
Question: Are you one of those homeowners (or apartment dwellers) who keeps saving things you don't need, and then finally gets around to sifting through it all when mountains of clutter have taken over your valuable storage space? If that sounds all-too-familiar, then don't worry; you're not alone! Unfortunately, the easiest thing about organizing your home is putting it off until another day.
There comes a point, though, at which clutter takes over your life. Symptoms you're moving in that direction include an inability to find things and the inexplicable disappearance of storage space (actually, there's a perfectly rational explanation for it)! So if the "clutter monster" has been rearing its ugly head in your home in recent months, here are some causes and possible solutions to the problem.
- You know you have a lot of junk, but you're not sure what to do with it. Well, first of all, "one man's junk is another man's treasure," so things you no longer have any use for may be very useful to charitable groups, community fund drives, or homeless shelters. In addition to giving stuff away, you could also offer free or inexpensive things to people in your social media network, hold a yard sale, or offer gently used hand-me-downs to relatives and friends. If your unwanted stuff is actually junk (by anyone's standards), then it might be worth it to have a local junk hauling service pick it up at your house and properly dispose of it. An alternative is to rent a dumpster for a few days and fill it up at your convenience. The cost may be surprisingly affordable, and the amount of living and storage space you'll reclaim in your home will make it all worthwhile. You never know until you get a quote or two!
- You just can't seem to motivate yourself to get started! Procrastination is one of the leading causes of household clutter, but there are solutions. One strategy is to announce to your significant other, best friend, or parents that you're going to devote two or three hours on Saturday (or Sunday) to straightening out your closets, basement, or garage. The value of telling someone else of your intentions is that it sort of puts you on the hook and makes you accountable. A similar approach is often used for dieting, exercising, or spending quality time with your kids. Even though two or three hours of work probably won't transform your home into a model of organization, you'll at least have gotten started and made a dent in the project. For most people, the biggest hurdle to getting organized is getting started!
Herbs, onions, celery and garlic infuse the carrots and beans in this soup with remarkable richness and character. This soup can be made with canned black beans, but we highly recommend using dry beans, cooked up with a clove of garlic and a dash of tamari. The beans will be splendid, filling your home with an irresistible aroma.
This recipe serves 4 – 6. Try it and it just might become one of your go-to recipes.
Step 1. Gather the Ingredients.
Step 1. Prepare the Beans
To make 3 cups of cooked black beans, begin with 1 cup of dried beans.
Place the dry black beans, a generous dash of tamari sauce and a halved clove of garlic in a large pot of water for an hour to pre-cook.
Remove the beans from heat. Allow them to cool.
Rinse and drain the beans, discarding the garlic.
Step 2. Prepare the Soup
Mince the second clove of garlic. Fire up the heat under a large soup pot add a dash of olive oil to the pot with the minced garlic. Add and sauté the diced carrots, celery and yellow onion over medium heat.
Add the oregano, basil, broth and tomato sauce. Add a dash of tamari and the 3 cups of drained beans. Simmer gently over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Before removing the soup from heat, add the parsley and green onions plus salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3. Serve and Enjoy
If you plan to serve this soup on the same day, let it marinate for at least an hour, then reheat to serve. Carrot & Black Bean Soup tastes even more robust after it marinates overnight in the fridge.
Serve with whole wheat rolls, crispbread or a baguette.
To Your Health!
Black beans are an excellent protein source. They're high in fiber, iron and folate, a B vitamin. Carrots are rich in antioxidants, vitamin K1 and potassium. Research has connected them to eye health and healthy cholesterol levels. Even the herbs in this soup are good for you. Oregano, basil and other herbs provide antioxidants and nutrients. Basil contains calcium and vitamin K.
Carrot & Black Bean Soup is perfect for cooking up for the family, to take to work, or to bring to a dinner at a friend's home. It's as nourishing as it is delicious.
Hosting an open house is a key milestone for a home seller. If an open house proves to be successful, it may be only a matter of time before a seller receives multiple offers on his or her residence. Comparatively, if a home fails to impress during an open house, a seller may need to consider new ways to stir up interest in his or her residence.
Ultimately, it helps to plan ahead for an open house as much as possible. Lucky for you, we're here to help you get ready for any open house, at any time.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for an open house.
1. Perform Home Interior Cleaning
A pristine home interior can make a world of difference to potential homebuyers. Thus, you should allocate time and resources to clean your home's interior from top to bottom prior to an open house.
Mop the floors, wipe down ceilings and walls and perform other home interior cleaning to ensure that your house will dazzle as soon as a buyer walks through the front door. That way, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.
2. Enhance Your House's Exterior
Your home's curb appeal may make or break your open house. Because if your home has a messy, cluttered front lawn, your residence is unlikely to impress potential buyers when they see your house for the first time.
When it comes to improving your home's exterior, even minor upgrades can have far-flung effects.
Mowing the front lawn and trimming the hedges can help you show off your house's exterior. And if you need assistance with home exterior improvements, you can always hire a professional home landscaping company to help you out too.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Preparing for an open house can be challenging, particularly for a seller who is worried about the current state of his or her residence. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you get ready for an open house.
A real estate agent is happy to help you sell your home in any housing market. He or she will schedule an open house at your convenience. And in the weeks and days leading up to an open house, a real estate agent will offer expert tips to help you prepare for this event.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will provide plenty of guidance at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will help you promote your residence to the right groups of potential buyers and review any offers on your house. Plus, if you ever have questions about selling your home, a real estate agent can instantly respond to these queries.
If you want to achieve the best-possible results during an open house, it generally is a good idea to work with a real estate agent. Contact a local real estate agent today, and you can receive comprehensive support as you navigate the home selling journey.
A real estate agent is a must-have for homebuyers, particularly in a highly competitive housing market. However, it is important to understand what it takes to work with a real estate professional to ensure you can enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying experience.
What does it take to get the best results from the homebuying journey? Here are three rules to follow so that you and your real estate agent can work together to find your dream house.
1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Expectations Before You Begin Your Home Search
Buying a home can be a long, costly process if you're not careful. But with the right real estate agent at your side, you can simplify your house search.
Ultimately, you should work with a real estate agent to establish clear-cut homebuying expectations before you embark on your search for the perfect residence. This will enable you and your real estate agent to work together to achieve a common goal.
With realistic homebuying expectations, you'll be able to help your real estate agent understand what you'd like to find in your dream residence. Meanwhile, your real estate agent can get to work and keep you up to date about available homes that will meet or exceed your expectations.
2. Understand Your Real Estate Agent's Role in the Homebuying Process
A real estate agent should define his or her role in the homebuying process. That way, you'll know exactly what to expect as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she also should be available to respond to your questions throughout the homebuying journey.
Your real estate agent will be happy to assist you in any way possible. By doing so, he or she will make it simple for you acquire to acquire your ideal residence at a price that matches your budget.
3. Ensure That Both You and Your Real Estate Agent Are Comfortable Working with One Another
Communication plays a key role in the success of a homebuyer and his or her real estate agent. If you keep the lines of communication open with your real estate agent, you should have no trouble staying on top of the housing market.
In most instances, a real estate agent will be able to keep in touch with a homebuyer via phone, email and text. At the same time, you should try to remain available to your real estate agent as much as possible.
With ongoing communication with your real estate agent, you'll be able to stay informed as new properties become available that fit your homebuying criteria. Furthermore, your real estate agent can help you alleviate stress by listening to your homebuying concerns at each stage of the homebuying journey.
Many real estate professionals are available in cities and towns nationwide. Start your search for a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to discovering your dream home.
Buying a home is a big financial endeavor that takes planning and saving. Aside from a down payment, hopeful homeowners will also need to save for closing costs and moving expenses.
When it comes to the down payment amount you’ll need to save, many of us have often heard 20%, the magic number. However, there are a number of different types of mortgages that have different down payment requirements.
To complicate matters, mortgages vary somewhat between lenders and can change over time, with the ebb and flow of the housing market.
So, the best way to approach the process of saving for a down payment is to think about your needs in a home, and reach out to lenders to start comparing rates.
However, there are a few constants when it comes to down payments that are worth considering when shopping for a mortgage.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about some characteristics of down payments, discuss where the 20% number comes from, and give you some tips on finding the best mortgage for you.
Do I need 20% saved for a down payment?
With the median home prices in America sitting around $200,000 and many areas averaging much higher, it may seem like 20% is an unattainable savings goal.
The good news is that many Americans hoping to buy their first home have several options that don’t involve savings $40,000 or more.
So, where does that number come from?
Most mortgage lenders will want to be sure that lending to would be a smart investment. In other words, they want to know that they’ll earn back the amount they lend you plus interest. They determine how risky it is to lend to you by considering a number of factors.
First and foremost is your credit score. Lenders want to see that you’re paying your bills on time and aren’t overwhelmed by debt. Second, they will ask you for verification of your income to determine how much you can realistically hope to pay each month. And, finally, they’ll consider the amount you’re putting down.
If you have less than 20% of the mortgage amount saved for your down payment, you’ll have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is an extra fee must be paid in addition to your interest each month.
First-time buyers rarely put 20% or more down
Thanks to FHA loans guaranteed by the federal government, as well as other loan assistance programs like USDA loans and mortgages insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs, buying a home is usually within reach even if you don’t have several thousands saved.
On average, first-time buyers put closer to 6% down on their mortgage. However, they will have to pay PMI until they’ve paid off 20% of their home.
So, if you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, saving should be a priority. But, don’t worry too much if you don’t think you can save the full 20% in advance.