Wise Buy of Home Furniture

Furniture has always been the best asset of every house that helps in adding a good home environment. Give credits for the size, color, shapes and designs of every house because these will leave a very good impression to the owner as well as for all your guests and visitors. If you are planning to have a discount bar stools to be placed inside your house and sleep in Simmons Beauty Rest world class mattress, you will probably have to decide for the best and high end quality of these kind of furniture.

The following are smart advice that will help you choosing for the right kind of furniture and home decorations.

There are many styles of furniture and home decorations that are available in the market today. Its up to you where will you place it inside your house. The decorations and styles of furniture will depend on the interest and favorites of the person. There are also ready made products that available in markets with an affordable price and of best quality furniture materials too. But if you want for the cheapest prices and wants to have your own personalized furniture, you can go to furniture shops that offer services like this. Internet sources will also help you in purchasing for the right kind of furniture. It gives a lot of information with regards to the features, characteristics and elements of your chosen furniture. Just type in the search engine what you will want to buy and in just a second, you will see various websites that offers great discounts and variety of quality made furniture.

If you choose for furniture, make sure that it has a capacity to maintain its durability and flexibility. You can base this on the positioning of the furniture inside your house or in your room. It is more important to keep your furniture on areas with little accidents and breakage. Once furniture is use everyday, for example a cabinet, you are used to open and close the doors of it, this may cause breakage and are prone to damage some of its parts. Furthermore, the durability of the furniture is not merely based on where you will placed it in your house or the price but it is on how they are built with proper technique and best quality materials.

After you chose for your selected furniture and plan to buy one, it is important to take this as an advice. Check every parts of it making sure that it was properly built and with no damage. The finished product must be smooth, well painted with colors and has the ability of making it lasts long. Try to check if the applications of varnish or polish are well done. It denotes for a nice looking and attractive furniture. Ensure that every pieces of it has passed the standard of being durable and flexible. Always remember that you have the capacity to select and choose for the great products for furniture. Remember that when you budget for furniture, you have to base it on its everyday use.

Best Furniture – Sauder Home Furniture

Sauder home furniture is the best quality among all available in the market at present. The quality is is accepted all over the world and has even become a standard in the industry. Sauder is a brand name that has made a mark in the industry and is going strong. Furniture is one of the most important part of a home and it shows the life style of the members of that house. Good quality and durability is always preferred by everyone and it provides wide range of home and office products for people with different lifestyles. The home products includes computer desks, beds, executive desks and computer desks. The quality of products can be trusted with closed eyes and the company gives you guarantee about their products performance. When you buy a Sauder product you will receive a guarantee card along with that product and in case you are not satisfies with the quality of the product you will get a new one from the company in almost a week. Buying a branded furniture product is always a wise decision and it doesn’t matter if you buy it directly by visiting a store or online via some website, and this is one name that you would never want to miss.

The best thing about this company is that you can even place an order according to your requirement and you will get the product delivered to your place in a month. For people who often have to shift their houses due to some reason face huge problems dealing with their furniture as it may get damaged during the moving process but Sauder provides you with a perfect solution to it. you can disassemble the furniture product and move it to a new place and then assemble it back by following the instructions given in the manual. So in all the quality and the durability of Sauder home furniture products is unmatched and are highly recommended if you are really serious about your home.

5 Home Furniture Arrangement Tips

The placing of your home furniture in specific rooms will set the mood and atmosphere, as well as dictate how the room is utilized.

Here are some important tips for arranging your home areas:

1) Take Careful Measurements – Before you start arranging or rearranging you home furniture, grab your tape measure and carefully measure the dimensions of the space. If you do not have a tape measure, you can estimate the length of the dimensions by walking the room, toe to heel, from one end of the room to the other. Also, make sure that you pay attention to where the doorways of the room and the windows fall within the dimensions so that you do not pick out furniture that will block those crucial elements.

2) Mix up Your Home Furniture – Every piece of furniture has a width, height and depth. To create a visually aesthetic aura to a room, choose a variety of home furniture with characteristics that are diverse. If you would prefer a room to be more tranquil, the furniture sizes should be similar; however if you want the room to have character, then you should go for the diverse appeal.

3) Create a Balance – To create an atmosphere that is harmonious, choose diverse home furnishings; however you will also need to ensure that the pieces all balance each other out. Balance comes in two forms; one is symmetrical and the other is asymmetrical. You will notice if the physical appearance of the room does not create a balance. Try adding photos or moving furniture around again to figure out the perfect balance.

4) Use Artwork – Artwork adds many different elements to a room. One element is color, another is depth. Try various pieces of artwork to create visual aspects that furniture simply cannot add to a space. Look at the area that you are decorating and arranging from the viewpoint of an artist or an interior designer. Do not feel like all of your furniture must make exact, perfect lines in the room. Turn tables at diagonals or make couches in a U-shape, and then add artwork behind them that tie the visual aspect together to create a depth to the room that it did not have before.

5) Separate Large Spaces – You can actually make a very large or very oblong room into two different spaces by creating furniture arrangements in circles or groups in each part of the room. Put a table in the middle of one side of the room and surround it with armed chairs and then put a couch facing the other side of the room adjacent to another couch to completely separate the room and make into two different spaces.

When you look at a room without any furniture, artwork, or paint, it may not seem like it, but you can turn it into just about anything you want it to look like with you home furniture and some artwork and home decor. Even very small spaces can be made spacious with the right home furniture setup.

Home Furniture Selection Tips

The variety of home furniture in the market is so huge that customers are easily confused over what to go for. Furniture size, color, type and more need to be put into consideration and the room that the furniture would eventually reside in coupled with the residents of the house need to be kept in mind before making your selection.

The first question you would need to ask yourself is whether you have little kids at home. If you do, then it would influence the make of furniture you might go for. Furniture like fabric sofas, and glass coffee tables should be the last option as kids may spill stuff on the sofa that makes it difficult to clean up. Glass furniture are easy to break and may be injurious to kids.

Next, you need to take the size of your home into consideration. If space within your home is a constrain, you would be better of with lighter colored furniture and furnishings and small to medium sized furniture. However, if space is not an issue and you have spacious rooms, consider darker furniture of good sizes to accommodate residents so that your home does not look too vacant.

Leather sofas and other furniture made from leather are easy to clean but mostly do not come cheap. Alternatives often are PVC furniture or Faux Leather furniture. Solid wood furniture also make a good addition and might come painted in various colors adding to the look and charm of your room.

Armed with the above basics, you can now go for your next furniture shopping and be spoil for choice. At least, now you know what to avoid and what to buy.

DIY Roofing Projects

Time

One common mistake made by those seeking the adventure of installing a new roof in “do-it-yourself ” fashion, is to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a roof. If you are doing a job yourself, chances are you are recruiting family and friends to help you. If the you and those people working alongside you are not used to working outside in the heat, they can easily tire and make your project last twice as long as projected. Also, if you do not have specialized roofing tools, and instead use common household tools such as hammers and flat nose shovels, a roof tear off can take longer than expected and become a bit of a trial.

Underestimating the amount of time a roofing project will take can become a serious problem, especially if the weather forecast changes or if you are forced to leave your roof half done for a few days while you return to work or other commitments. I have seen more than one house flood, to the point that they had to replace sheetrock, carpet and furniture, because they were doing the job themselves. The wind blew off their covering, or the roof was not covered in time, as an unexpected downpour moved through.

It is difficult to tarp most roofs because one tarp will not cover the entire exposed area. If you combine tarps to cover the exposed roof, it is vitally important to overlap the tarps such that water will not funnel under tarps and into the living quarters and cause interior damage. When tarping a roof, you also need to go around water heater and furnace exhaust pipes, as well as chimneys and swamp coolers, etc. Often, the wind will blow a tarp off a roof during a storm leaving your home exposed to the elements.

To help prevent this, use battens (1×2 lumber) and 8 penny nails throughout the field of the tarp. It is always best to tear off only what you can secure properly by that evening with underlay properly installed around all roof penetrations. Don’t forget to check credible weather forecasts, such as NOAA.gov, throughout the project, viewing satellite images of the weather. A change in the weather can spell disaster for you and your home.

Experience

Another common DIY roofing obstacle is lack of experience. Even your family and friend’s best intentions in helping you on your project will not make up for inexperience. There are certain areas of a roof that need to be installed in a specific manner and order, including ice shields (after drip edge) at eaves, valleys and penetrations. This is why it is a good idea to always have at least one experienced roofer helping when you install a roof.

It is very important to install a proper ice shield on your roof, especially in areas with heavy snow. It is essential to have this secondary measure against moisture penetration and leaks. An ice shield will protect your home as ice dams up in the eaves and valleys and against walls. This roofing technique should be done by an experienced roofer to ensure your home is protected.

Also, keep in mind that inexperienced roofers can actually damage your shingles. If they move across your roof in a way that scuffs the shingles with their shoes or tools, they can remove granules from the shingles. These granules protect the asphalt shingle. Without them, the sun can wear out the exposed asphalt where the granules are missing. These situations can be costly, and are easily avoided by using experienced help.

Safety

When planning a DIY roofing project, be sure to consider the element of safety. Make sure you are using a sturdy ladder without any damage. If you are on a steep roof, you will need harnesses, safety nets and / or guardrails to prevent any falls. About 8 roofers die each year in the US because of falls, and many more are injured.

Also, be aware of power lines near your roof. Keep the ladder away from these power lines, and be aware of them as you are carrying any metal roofing materials. Electricity has been known to arc or jump from these lines for several feet if precautions are not met.

In addition to safety on the roof, be sure you are aware of people, animals and vehicles on the ground that could be damaged by falling objects. It is not worth someone getting injured to skip over these safety procedures.

Finances

The most considered reason for roofing a home yourself usually comes down to finances. However, there are a few options to consider that can help you afford a professionally installed roof. If you can in any way afford to hire a contractor, do it. You can end up spending more money in repairs over the life of your roof than you would have initially by hiring out.

If you are not currently in a position to hire a contractor to install your roof, look into the possibility of patching your roof while you save for the project, or if necessary, a home loan for your roof, breaking down the expensive project into reasonable regular payments. Also, consider performing the tear off yourself and hiring out for the installation. This can really help reduce the overall price of your roof.

Installing a Roof Yourself

If you have no other option but to install your roof yourself, be sure to come prepared. Take the time to do plenty of research. Read advice from your shingle’s manufacturers, or from certified roofing contractors. This is not a good project in which to follow the advice of a DIY blog. Instead, make sure your sources are both credible and experienced. We recommend Owens Corning and Certainty shingles, who both offer installation instructions for each shingle listed on their websites. Also, GAF has a great general DIY section of their website that will help you plan and carry out a successful roofing project.

Even after you have done the proper research to become knowledgeable about installing a roof, it is still a good idea to consult an experienced roofer. If you need any advice, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to call a roofing contractor.

Another great option is to hire a roofing consultant to come to your home and guide you through the roofing process. A consultant usually costs about $200 a visit. It would be a good investment to have a consultant come after you are finished tearing off your old roof and immediately before you begin installing your new shingles. This will help ensure that you are using correct tools, techniques and materials.

In conclusion, your roof is one of the most important aspects of your home. It protects your entire structure and all of your possessions from potential damage. When debating whether or not to install your roof yourself, be sure to make the decision with an honest assessment of how dependable the roof will be in the future.

Different Types and Styles of Home Entertainment Centers

There are different types of entertainment centers to suit your home décor and style. You can choose from modern and sleek to rustic and classic looks. You can easily find a home entertainment center of your choice.

Let us learn more about different types and styles of home entertainment centers.

A look at popular home entertainment center types

Armories

* Entertainment or TV armories provide a more classical look than most other types of entertainment centers.

* This piece of furniture offers closed, compact storage spaces which means electronic components can be put away from sight. They work well in formal living rooms.

* By letting a door, or set of doors, to be shut, these give a more formal look. They serve as excellent space savers.

Corner units

* Most of your rooms have one or more unused corners. You should employ corner entertainment centers to make optimum use of these unused corners.

* They act as the perfect solution for solving space crunch problem. They provide enough storage areas for your media equipment.

Entertainment walls

* Entertainment walls usually make up the most common and the largest category of prevalent home entertainment centers.

* They mostly include multiple pieces that together form single large piece of elegant furniture with a focal or central area used for storing the television.

* Entertainment walls often comprise multiple shelves and spotlights for illumination purpose.

Side-by-side units

* Side-by-side units are usually of around 60″ width.

* The right side of these units is typically utilized for holding the TV set, while the other one is used for storing electronic components and / or other media.

* Usually doors are there along one side or both as well (smaller doors along the bottom or top).

Complete Range of Home Furniture at Hickory House

Hickory House is a mind-blowing source for shopping residential furniture and the ultimate destiny which can fulfill the desire of a dream home. The company shows the way for making your home the ideal place for living. When people purchase their furniture for their homes, they realize how a truly elegant home must look like. Hickory House furniture generates an environment of glamor and customers feel glad to use furniture products manufactured by them.

Hickory House provides conformation about the great convenience on usage of its products to Hickory furniture users. For last 60 years, Hickory Manufacturing Company has retained its status of a leading manufacturer in the furniture and bedding industry. Customers are glad that Hickory furniture assembling locations are situated across the world. As Hickory Company distributes its products at hundreds of retail stores, customers do not face any difficulties in making their access to all Hickory products. The company manufactures many exclusive styles of a large variety of furniture products, including; adjustable bedding, futon frames, adorable mattresses, roll-away beds and much more.

Hickory House furniture mart is a four story building where customers can find the complete furniture range. Here you can find awesome collection of home decoration accessories, lighting, wall papers and much more creative products to explore. Purchasing furniture from Hickory Furniture Mart serves with benefits of 80% reduction on product rates, as compared to retail stores. This mart has a record of welcoming 50,000 guests every year, and is popular in North Carolina. Hickory representatives are very prompt at their service and never give a chance to their customers to complain. The Mart operates from Monday to Saturday from 9am sharp to 5pm. Visitors love to be at this mart and are always glad to see new products which are being introduced by Hickory Manufacturers from time to time.

Hickory House never disappoints its customers on basis of product cost, and always provides negotiable and reasonable prices of furniture products to their customers. Customers must avail the privilege of clearance sale, offered by Hickory House on its anniversary. It is definitely an exciting news that clearance sale on several furniture products will be available from 17th to 20th February, 2012. The House is also offering special discounts on its products from May 4th to 6th. Furniture Festival and clearance sale will be held from July 27th to 29th. Hickory House provides the free facility of room planning guide to its customers to give an outlook to the homes as is meant to be.

Family Home Furniture

Furniture for the large family

You can deal with the space requirements of your home through the planned purchase of the practical triple bunk beds that are especially made for large families or schools. These are the ultimate space saving items that you have in your grasp and you should not lose focus on the important things. It is not easy working your way through the different elements that make the family home work. But the purchase of these items can be a good thing. You expect practicability when you go for the buying and selling of furniture for the home as well as other institutions with large numbers of occupants. It does not have to be an establishment when you buy these items.

Even the domestic settings could do with the trading of space saving furniture that is meant to ensure the efficient use of available living spaces in the home. You are effectively looking for something that works instead of concentrating on the stereotypes about this type of furniture. It is not important who you are but how you are going to use the furniture that is available to you. The advice that many people need is to go for the right choices and not the popular choices. That way you can concentrate on the acquisition of good quality furniture with the added advantage of being able to save on space. If you are easily swayed by trends then the results will not be particularly nice for you in the long run.

The there are great benefits to be had from the deals in furniture items with the good looks and the ability to use space effectively within a given context. These are items that are relatively inexpensive yet they bring an unprecedented utility to the way that you do things. They might even transform your home in ways that are beneficial. For example you might now be in a position to receive visitors and this will make your social life richer. It is very hard to think of the exchange of various products with the sole aim of maximizing the potential within residential units in a completely neutral. They are items that are not iconic but they enable home owners to make the most of their properties.

You might be worried that your home may end up looking like a school dormitory. This is a valid concern but it is somehow mitigated by the way that you can save on space. The use of the searching of different retail outlets with the possibility of getting furniture items that improve the space coverage of the different home furnishing items can be very useful to your family. In effect you are sacrificing the stylistic concerns for the true benefits of the item. That is all about being practical in the way that you use the items that are available to you. That is the reason why many families are carrying out the process of purchasing high quality items for the home environment with different income groups or their needs.

Lettuce Gardening Tips

Gardeners can select from a large variety of lettuces that are easy to grow, highly productive in limited space, and virtually pest and disease free. Lettuce is definitely one of the more “care-free” crops. Lettuce is a great way to start gardening; it is what I started out with actually. There are a few key principles though that should always be kept in mind.

Lettuce

For maximum lettuce production, it’s wise to select a site where the soil drains well, yet retains some moisture. The soil should also be rich in nitrogen and potassium, The best way to accomplish this is to work in plenty of organic matter (compost, rotted manure, or leaf mold) that will loosen and enrich the soil.

Most lettuce varieties mature in 45 to 55 days, allowing many gardeners to plant two or even three crops. But looseleaf and butterhead leaves can be harvested at just about any time in their development. Heading varieties take longer to mature. Romaine takes 75 to 85 days and crisphead 70 to 100 days.

By choosing the right varieties and with these lettuce gardening tips, it’s possible to have lettuce in your garden throughout the growing season. This lettuce is great for salads throughout the growing season. There really is nothing better than a fresh Caesar salad with fresh romaine from the garden!

Lettuce Gardening Tips

Lettuce History

Lettuce, one of the oldest food plants known to man, is believed to have originated in India and Central Asia. Even Herodotus wrote of lettuce being served in ancient Greece, and it was a most favorite vegetable in ancient Rome. This is where we get “Caesar Salad”! In fact, the word “lettuce” is derived from the Latin root word “lac” meaning “milk,” referring to the milky juice found in mature lettuce stems.

Columbus and other European explorers brought lettuce seeds to the New World. Our early colonists included lettuce in the first gardens planted in American soil. Today, lettuce is a favorite vegetable here and around the world. It has revolutionized all cultures of food, from hamburgers to salads.

More Lettuce Gardening Tips

Lettuce is so easy to grow it can be started indoors for early transplants or sown directly in the garden. In fact, doing both is recommended to get maximum production. Lettuce seeds are extremely tiny, so it is recommended to be generous with them when planting. It is a good idea to

Romaine Lettuce

start some lettuce seeds indoors in peat pots a few weeks before the last frost date in your area. Provide the seedlings with plenty of sunlight or keep them under artificial lighting until ready to move into the garden. Transplant the seedlings as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. If a hard freeze threatens, protect the seedlings with a cloche or row cover. Reserve a number of lettuce seedlings to fill empty spaces in the garden as the season progresses.

To sow lettuce directly in the garden, simply plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep, tamp them down, and water. It’s that simple! Space the sowings according to packet directions that are based on the size of the mature lettuce. For example, a crisphead may require a square foot of garden space. As many as nine plants of a small leaf lettuce variety can grow in the same space.

Keep in mind that lettuce seeds won’t germinate in soil that is 80 degrees F. or warmer, so there’s no sense in sowing directly in the garden in the summer. Resort to starting heat-tolerant varieties indoors and moving the lettuce seedlings into the garden, preferably under partial shade, after they’ve developed a few true leaves.

Lettuce Cultivation

Here are two cultivation tips to keep in mind:

Succession plantings.

Lettuce is ideal for succession planting. Sow seeds every two weeks for production throughout the season, starting with early lettuce varieties, using heat-tolerant varieties as your main crop, and then switching to fall crops late in the summer. Or, if you prefer, use lettuce in successions with other crops. For example, plant lettuce in the spring, followed by bush beans in the summer, followed by lettuce again in the fall.

Watering.

The key to lettuce production is supplying moderate but almost constant water, especially during hot weather. Unless there is regular rainfall, lettuce must be watered deeply at least once a week- more frequently during periods of drought. Mulch with a layer of compost or clean straw to help the soil retain moisture. A drip-irrigation system is ideal.

Lettuce Growing Tips

To improve overall lettuce production, consider using the following four techniques.

Raised beds.

To maximize lettuce production, plant seeds in raised beds. The raised beds warm up faster than the surrounding ground. You should be able to get an earlier start in the spring and a later crop in the fall. Raised bed gardening is, without a doubt, the best way to garden anything out there. Its simplicity, organization, incredible fertility, and results are astounding.

Living mulch.

To make the most of limited garden space, plant lettuce around taller plants like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peppers, and eggplants. This helps the lettuce grow a lot better; if they are left in the beating sun without moisture, they will not be able to survive. The lettuce helps its neighbor by keeping the surrounding soil moist and cool and keeping weeds shaded out. As the taller plants grow, they provide needed shade for the lettuce as the days get warmer.

‘Tucking.’

You can also start lettuce seedlings indoors for filling vacancies in the garden in late spring and again in early fall as other crops are harvested. Simply ‘tuck’ a seedling in the vacant spot to keep every inch of garden space in constant production.

Ornamental use.

Many varieties of lettuce are welcome additions to ornamental beds. For example, ‘Mighty Red Oak,’ ‘Sweet Red,’and ‘Sierra Blush’ can easily fill gaps in flowerbeds, adding splashes of red where needed.

Insects and Diseases

Lettuce is generally disease and pest free, but you should still be vigilant.

Cutworms and slugs are the most bothersome pests. Use a paper collar around young lettuce seedlings to keep the ravenous caterpillars at bay. Slugs are tougher to control. Sprinkle wood ashes or diatomaceous earth over the soil around the plants to discourage the nasty mollusks. Be sure to reapply after each rainfall.

A major threat is lettuce rot which first attacks the lower leaves in contact with the soil and then spreads throughout the plant.

With these lettuce gardening tips, you can stop this. The best way to prevent fungal and bacterial diseases is to rotate crops. Don’t plant lettuce in the same bed two years in a row.

Raised Bed of Lettuce

Perhaps the greatest threat to lettuce growing are deer. If there is no protection or netting over these lettuce plants, I can assure you that the deer will have a salad bar feast and everything will be gone. I specially recommend the plastic raised beds with pre-made nets from gardeners. These are what I use for my garden. These lettuce gardening tips will save you a ton of time that I had to learn by experience.

Lettuce Harvesting Tips

Lettuce can be harvested any time after true leaves form. For the best quality, better to pick early than late as lettuce allowed to grow too long may be bitter and tough.

To harvest crisphead, Batavia, and romaine varieties, cut the plant right at the soil line when mature, if you prefer to harvest full heads. You can do the same with butterhead and looseleaf lettuce, but I prefer to harvest only the outer leaves as needed. This keeps the plants in production longer. Try to harvest in the morning when the leaves are crisp, sweet, and full of moisture.

When the crown of a lettuce plant elongates, it’s about to bolt to produce seed and the plant has passed its prime. Yank the lettuce plant out, toss it on the compost pile, and replant the space with another crop like bush beans, or with another lettuce seedling.

Recipes and Storage

Primarily water, lettuce does not store well. For the best quality and flavor, use homegrown lettuce soon after harvest. This is particularly true for many of the looseleaf varieties, which wilt readily.

Combine crisp, crunchy lettuce varieties with soft, buttery-smooth types. For example, a blend of ‘Little Caesar,’ ‘Burpee Bibb’, ‘Mighty Red Oak Leaf,’ and ‘Crispy Frills’ makes a fine tossed salad with a variety of colors, shapes, and textures. With the lettuce gardening tips, you will be able to grow and try different blends until you find the ones that most delight your palate.

Let Your Walls Do Your Talking

What better way to express yourself than to actually put your thoughts on the wall? Let vinyl wall quotes speak for you. They can express your opinion, give direction, offer encouragement, remind, or inspire.

Make your walls entertaining, informative, and inspirational. Share your philosophy. Add a little humor to your decor. Consider what you want your family and friends to know, then publish it in plain sight. You can select whatever you wish to say from a multitude of different ready-to-install, attractive wall quotes that will show everyone what you want them to remember. Your walls will be unique.

Decide where you want to put your statements. Wall quotes can be placed just about anywhere. You can pick quotations appropriate for any room in the house or even outside. For example, a wall quote can welcome your guests to the living room, add humor to a laundry room, add sentiment in the bedroom, or even encourage your child in the playroom. You might even mark the tool shed, garden wall, or the garage with subtle hints or reminders. Take advantage of the places where people relax to display your most meaningful and significant statements that you want to be absorbed.

Select the specific style that fits the comment. Pick something written in cursive. Maybe you’ll prefer simply printed words or just initials. Choose elegant or primitive fonts. Pick serious, dramatic or funny presentations for your ideas. Consider something whimsical. Perhaps you’d favor something romantic. Find an inspirational or spiritual quotation. Let the style reflect the mood of the saying. With so many choices, you’ll enjoy finding the perfect words to get your point across with the right intent.

With vinyl wall quotes you can apply whatever message you’ve selected to almost any surface. These wall quotes are made in the U.S.A. and will adhere to paint, metal, glass, ceramics, plastic and many other smooth, non-greasy surfaces. They won’t leave residue or damaging scars behind either. They are available in a variety of colors in rich tones with a matte finish that makes the wall quotes look as if the words are actually painted on by hand. Because they look so professional, people will think either you’re an artist or you’ve hired one.

Application is easy and fast, too. It takes almost no time to apply these wall quotes because you merely have to “peel and stick” them where you want them. They have been precision-cut from vinyl, so they have clean, clear edges. They should last more than seven years indoors and up to three years outside. When your mood changes, you can easily remove one quote and replace it with another one.

So what do you have to say for yourself? Get the vinyl wall quote you need and put it up right away. You’ll find it quite satisfying and you’ll be proud to take credit for a wonderful way of showing what you think.

Home Furniture Renovation: Some Useful Tips

Change is an important part of our life. Whether it is your life or your home, you cannot continue with the same things for a very long time, you need to change your lifestyle. The change in the home style and furniture is commonly termed as home renovation. As we all know, furniture is an important part of the home, so it will also be an important part of home renovation. Here, I am sharing certain tips on how to go for home furniture renovation.

Furniture renovation or restoration may consist of many things including remodeling of the furniture, recycling, rearrange the furniture, re-finishing, reuse of old home furniture, etc. If you are going to renovate your home furniture, first thing you need to do is to make a plan. As furniture is an important and costly item so you won’t want to lose any of them while renovation process. So, first you need to make a plan, actually a list that will consist the furniture items that needed to be renovated along with a little description of what you actually want to do with it.

There are many parts of renovation that you can do by yourself and in some parts, you may also need to take help of some expert. If you feel the need of advice in your renovation process, you have several options for that such as online help that is one of the best solutions available for free. There are many websites such as discussion sites, blogs, etc. where you can put your question about furniture renovation and you will get good feedback from the audience.

Tips:

• As I have already said, make a list of the furniture items that needed to be renovated along with a little description of the type of renovation.
• During renovation process, do proper arrangements for safety of the furniture otherwise you may end up in disaster.

• Use only good quality products to paint the furniture.
• If you are going for furniture cleaning, do not use any chemical direct as it may leave stains on the furniture, rather use some good cleaning products or simply a wet cloth for cleaning.
• If you are going to paint the furniture, use colors matching with room walls as it will increase the effectiveness of the room.
• Do not throw the old home furniture in the garbage, rather you can use it to make other things, or can get it recycled, or you can donate it to someone in need.

How to Choose Home Furniture: Anticipate the Activities in Each Room

Decorating a room with furniture can seem like an overwhelming task especially for new homes that are almost completely bare. It becomes easier to determine what kind of furniture to add by anticipating the area’s purpose and the activities that will be done in the room.

Is the room a place for entertainment? If so, then large seats such as sectional sofas may be needed if the room is meant to be the hub for all kinds of entertainment – from watching movies, to playing video games or board games, to simply conversing with friends and guests. An ottoman may be also added for extra seating. To complete the room, a side table or coffee table should be placed for cocktail trays and drinks during parties. An entertainment console is essential if you want to entertain guests with all kinds of media. This type of furniture conveniently keeps the television, DVD player, game consoles and stereo system all in one place. Media chests or drawers and cabinets may also be added for a convenient place to store DVDs, video games, TV guides and remotes.

On the other hand, if the room will be used for taking meals, then spare tables would come in handy. To keep the upkeep easy in your home, furniture that balances look and stain-resistance are excellent choices. Nowadays, you can easily find expandable wooden tables that don’t sacrifice look for utility.

If children will be frolicking in the room, then padded or upholstered furniture with no sharp edges can keep them safe. Kid-friendly cabinets and chests will also provide for easy clean up and storage of children’s toys. If this happens to be your child’s room, why not consider under-bed storage to help keep things neat and tidy? Another option is to choose bedding with a pull-out trundle to easily accommodate friends for sleepovers.

To redesign a room as the perfect place to read or study, consider adding various elements that give that cozy feel conducive to relaxed reading time. Reclining chairs, chaises and rugs are only some of these relaxing elements. Don’t forget the bookshelves and the right lampshades that provide ample light.

Planning out the layout of the house depending on the kind of activities expected in each room is one good way to narrow down what to look for before shopping for your home furniture. This way, you can anticipate what pieces to purchase first and avoid overspending on unnecessary furniture. This will work not only for your budget but also for the over-all order of your home. After all, a well planned home is one that guests are sure to remember when they come over.

Black Friday: The Best Time To Get Discount Home Furniture and New Kitchen Appliances?

Ah, November. That time of year when (in most places) the air takes on a pre-snow chill, the last of the leaves start to crinkle and fall from the trees and, most importantly, the Shopper Monsters in us begin to poke their heads out and sniff the air.

It started on the very first day of the month. All through October you saw Christmas-y things peeking out from store corners — a roll of wrapping paper here, a sprig of holly there — but you didn’t really think about it. Maybe you didn’t want to think about it. You were still deciding on what candy to hand out to trick-or-theaters, after all.

Then, without warning, November hit, and with it, the holiday season. As you browsed department stores looking for day-after-Halloween candy deals, you couldn’t help but notice it looked as if the North Pole exploded all over. Your Shopper Monster growled and wagged its tail eagerly. You gently tugged at its leash and got into the checkout line, where you saw that they were already selling Christmas-themed candy, at three times the price of the discounted bag you were getting ready to purchase. The days have passed, growing shorter all the while, along with the patience of your Shopper Monster.

Soon it will be here. The most magical day of the year for your Shopper Monster: Black Friday. Just as it did in years’ past, by now the Shopper Monster will have wriggled its way out and started hauling you around, while all you can do is flail behind helplessly, holding onto the leash for dear life, pretending you have some semblance of power over the beast.

Other people’s Shopper Monsters are even worse; more than once they’ve been driven to go straight to bed after Thanksgiving dinner so they can wake up at an ungodly hour and spend the day fully energized, racing from store to store, finding the best deals on this mp3 player and that blender. Others have powered through the day aided by espresso shot after espresso shot. Still others waited for midnight to hit, refreshing their Internet browsers over and over so they can get first dibs on the online deals.

And what for? All in the name of discount home furniture and new kitchen appliances. The truth is that Black Friday can save you a lot of money, but being a smart consumer all year round can do the same thing. Black Friday is just one day out of the year stores have big sales — most will have at least one other big blowout at some point in the year, and will always have a few things on sale throughout the year.

Checking online frequently is the easiest way to check for discounts on home furniture, kitchen appliances and everything else you don’t want to pay full price for. You might be able to save a lot of money on Black Friday — your sanity is a whole other story. Keep your eyes and ears open for deals 365 days a year, and you’ll be able to keep that Shopper Monster happy all year.

What to Look For to Find the Best Home Furniture Deals

Shopping for home furniture can be very frustrating if you do it unprepared. It is always recommended to go out and do a little research first before you decide on where and what furniture you must buy. You would want to know which furniture stores in your area carry certain items and brands. Also try to ask around on where you can buy quality furniture at a good price. Take the time to ask your friends who have bought furniture on which shop sells the best and have good customer service.

Online home furniture stores are just like regular retail store. There are many of them and each of the shop is different than the other. There are shops which may carry a certain specialty and other that have a range of designs depending on your choice. Some of these stores may sell their furniture at affordable prices while others may charge at sky high amounts. Again, it is up to you to do the snooping and figuring out which stores are the best and which ones would give you your money’s value.

When you have decided on the furniture you want in your home, always make sure that what you are getting is good. You may have noticed that you have gone to different furniture stores and some of them sell the same sofa, only on the second store, it is sold for less. Researching will never hurt you and can actually save you a few bucks. There are a lot of good home furniture store that have furniture on sale. Some of these carry promotions like sales on home bedroom furniture or home bathroom furniture. Find out shops that have these kinds of promotions, usually you can save a lot when you buy things on sale.

When making your purchase of home decor furniture final, try and make sure that you have asked the owner or the salesman enough information about your item. There are some items that may need special caring or others that need to be cleaned in a different manner. If what you are getting is furniture made of wood, ask on what is the best way to keep it looking polished. Years from the time you have bought the item, the wood may look old or worn but these salesmen know the trick on how maintain your furniture.

Do not be fooled with set items that you may think come in cheaper. Always solve for the price of each. Some items are really less when bought in set, but it does not hurt to ask the salesman more about the set. Sometimes, you may be spending more than what you should have without realizing it. Take your time when buying home furniture. It is okay if you cannot buy and choose everything within the day. Also take into consideration things like the available space that you have in your home, the color of your walls or the carpet that you have. A lot of times, these things matter because even though you have elegant furniture, if it does not match your home, it will look out of place.

Your Home Furniture- A Reflection of Your Personality

Furniture is the basic essence of every home. Whatever the kind of furniture – bedroom furniture, patio furniture or , all go a long way in giving your house that special look. The furniture is among the very first things to get noticed the moment someone enters your house. After all, the furniture you choose is a reflection of your personality and gives an insight into your outlook towards life. Not only the essential furniture, but also the seemingly insignificant add-ons like rugs, lamps and tables give the onlooker a fair idea what you are all about. Beds, bunks, tables, chairs, couches, and spreads for all of them, clearly indicate the behavioral traits of the creator of that setup.

Picture a scene when you enter a friend’s flat. The is bare except for a used plate, and the dining chairs scattered around aimlessly. A piece of clothing lying on the dirty looking rug, and a bare look accentuated by a couple of poorly polished cane chairs. A center table that looks like it came straight from a garage sale. What comes to mind? A bachelor’s pad, no doubt, and one who is not too concerned about the way he lives. If this is the way he keeps the furniture in his home, this is probably how he will treat all who come in contact with him- a casual, laid back attitude that whatever is, goes. Neatness is the last thing I’m bothered about. Let me live my life- others don’t really matter.

Cut to another view. A neat, plush black leather sofa set inviting you to just sink into its depths. Promising to envelope you in comfort the moment you decide to settle into it. A dining set including an etched glass top dining table covered with a handsome , with smart looking, matching dining chairs to complement its beauty. A neat bar in the corner sporting all the latest and exquisite labels. Matching curtains to complement the entire set of the living room. What comes to mind? Obviously someone who doesn’t like to take things lightly. A perfectionist who would go out of his way to achieve that special something. Comfort matters to this man, but class is equally important. And we haven’t even entered the bedroom yet.

Which one would you like to be identified with? Take your pick.

Of course, what I have cited are two extreme examples, just to put across my point. While you may not fit into either of these, what matters is that you understand the immediate effect the look of your furniture has on the people whose opinion matters to you.

So when you decide to go in for that smart rocking chair in the home-decor exhibition, be sure to first give it a long, cool thought. Does that attractive looking piece in the show window really go with the theme of your home furniture, or is it looking attractive, yet would do well to continue sitting there itself? Take your time choosing your pieces, and you will never be the loser.

Green Construction For a Better Housing Management

Along with the increasing concern on the need to preserve our environment more tightly, nearly all parts of modern people life have now being ruled. It is a good step to help people become aware and also feel like this is also their part to participate in this revolution of the environmentally friendly attitude. In housing management or architecture, the environmentally friendly attitude is also renewed. Green construction is a term that is given to this new trend of green and ecological attitude towards anything related to life style. Green construction is basically a concept that tries to break down the possibilities of making architecture with the essence of environmentally friendly attitude.

It also usually embodies the more detailed concept of green sustainable design which consists of guidance in how to consider architecture and building housing and managing it dealing with the urgent needs of our earth to breathe ad to be preserved by human being, the one, and us who contribute the highest level of earth destruction. It usually consists of some consideration including the place of housing, the interior design, the exterior design, the sanitary, and the materials and so on. It is valuable to make us feel relieving to buy something on this fragile earth.

The green building, from its name has explicitly talked about the need of any kinds of building that should meet environmental analysis on the appropriateness of the environment to be fitted with the need of the building design. By compromising the design without sacrificing the beauty of the building, the green building tries to fulfill people need along with the environmental needs to revitalize themselves. So, it is very important o consider the products of the building that must be very valuable regarding our environment vitality. It is a very solution for our present problems of buildings.

Kitchen Furniture Buying Guidelines

Whether you have a big kitchen or a small one, or a wide kitchen or a narrow one, you need to select your kitchen furniture and plan its layout carefully to ensure that you get a sleek look and ample workable space. In addition to that, you should consider the cost of installation of the furniture you choose as well as the cost of maintaining and repairing it. Furthermore, you should look for furniture that offers ample storage ideas as well.

Important questions to ask before buying kitchen furniture:
Before selecting the furniture for your kitchen, you need to consider a few important questions and make your purchasing decision based on the answers to these questions. The first and most important question that you need to ask yourself is about the decor theme of your kitchen. Thus, you should assess whether you have a modern kitchen or a traditional one and look at the color scheme of your cabinets and other fittings to ensure that the new furniture that you buy fits in the decor theme.

Size matters:
Next, you should consider the size of your kitchen and look for furniture pieces whose dimensions are proportionate to your kitchen size. Thus, if you have a large kitchen, you should look for large kitchen tables, chairs, and dressers. On the other hand, if you have limited space in your kitchen, you should look for smaller pieces of furniture that fit in well and do not take over the space. Apart from the size of the furniture, you should look at the storage options provided by different pieces and select the one that is best suited to your needs.

Another important question to consider at the time of buying kitchen furniture is whether you want a fully assembled set or not. This decision will also affect the cost of the furniture and you should make sure that the piece you select is well within your budget and meets all your requirements. The cost of the furniture also depends on the material used to make it. Thus, a wooden kitchen counter-top will be more expensive than the one made of steel. However, while the former is aptly suited for country style homes, it is a little high-maintenance compared to the latter.

Sense and sensibility:
Whether you opt for sleek contemporary furniture for your kitchen or ornate wooden furniture for your country style kitchen, you should try to achieve a balance of style and space while planning the layout of the furniture. You can always take inspiration for the same from the pages of glossy interior magazines or browse the net for some innovative ideas. However, simply buying and placing your kitchen furniture is not enough and you need to take good care of the same to ensure that it looks good and lasts for a long time.

Standard Home Furniture

Making the best use of standard home furniture

The use of the garden flower pots to enhance the home is a well rehearsed tradition that has a special place in the modern psyche. Of course the suburban landscape with all the identical housing units is a prime example of why people need to create some sort of distinction with the strategic use of decorative items. The blandness of suburbia can be depressing and anyone that is able to escape it with decoration takes the opportunity with relish. The reasons for the apparent dislike of this setting stems from the fact that most of the people really want to be elsewhere. The garden furniture can take them to the home of their dreams.

It must be said that there are people that like the community of suburbia because it happens to exclude some lower ranked members of the community. I would say that these people use the garden accessories as an additional enhancement to their environment. The variety of plants that they can put in will enable them to put that distinction but still announce that they are very much part of the community. Of course if they are to suffer a family scandal then all the garden products in the world will not save them from the scorn of their former friends. You can make a haven in your community or you can decide to be brave and accept it. The less constrained people will simply move out.

One of the areas that should be explored in terms of the garden flower pots is the smell element. For example there is no reason why aromatic plants cannot be put there in order to give the home that extra dimension. It is safe to assume that we generally like to have fresh smells and aromas in our living spaces. The use of the home accessories will bring this quality to the home. They are also visually enticing so you will in effect be appealing to multiple senses. That is the way to deal with the home rather than just restricting yourself to elements that do not fit in with the process. That is how you keep your home happy and stylish.

The size of the green products is open to debate. Some of them are quite tiny that they have no place but the window sill. Others are just large enough to dominate the lawn area. You will choose the items that make the best impact on your home without destroying the essentially integrity that you expect with those items. It is not very difficult to make a selection if you take into consideration the overall size of the space that is available to you to finish this task. The modern items for the home will have a great impact but you have to look for the right items to build them up. You also have to ensure that they are in the right frame to fit in with the rest of the home.

A Few Gardening Tips For You

Below are some gardening tips that I feel are worth mentioning, and may possibly get you on your way to earning your green thumb. There are never to many gardening tips and I will just brush up on a few to get you started. I am sure if you do a search in Google for “gardening tips”, you will have more at your disposal than you can ever ask for.

You could also try garden magazines and books and even gardening clubs. There is plenty of knowledge to go around. The list below will sum up tips on planning your plot, soil preparation, mulch, compost and the watering of the plot.

Garden Tip Number 1

Always plan out your garden before you start digging away at your yard. A good way to start is to take a long look at your garden a try to picture your finished product. Take into account the highest the plants can grow to, the sun spectrum, and the proximity to a water source. Once you see a place you like take a seat and start your gardening plot plan on paper. This way you can get more detailed and include things that you may forget otherwise. Make sure to include in your plans the proximity of your garden hose or garden hose reel and fixture.

Garden Tip 2

Possibly the most important tip of all is correct soil preparation and mixture. It is extremely important to use the non toxic soil nutrients when you are growing anything that you plan on eventually consuming.If you are growing vegetables in your garden then a homemade compost is by far the best fertilizer for your garden. The results will speak for themselves. It is not as hard as you think. Do some research and you would be surprised. If compost is not available the next option is mulch. If you are going to go with this rout, it is best to look for soft woods such as redwood or spruce. Softer woods have an easier time breaking down and spreading the nutrients to the soil in the bed. If you are not growing vegetables there are loads of fertilizers that can fit your project. Just go to your local nursery and they will lead you in the right direction. When you decide on your fertilizer, make sure everything is mixed well and aerated properly. A garden tiller can make this part of the job a lot easier but is not necessary.

Garden Tip 3

Once your plant area is picked out and the soil in properly spread in your garden, you can then start laying your plants in the pattern you thought up in your plans. Laying the plants out can give you a better picture of your end results. It is also best to arrange the plants from the largest growing in the back and decreasing toward the front of the garden. You can group the plants together according to characteristics. This way you can get the most out of your area with all the plants getting the full benefit of the suns rays. This alone can make a huge difference.

Garden Tip 4

It is always best to use gardening sprinklers but this is not always possible for your first garden. If you cannot afford garden sprinkler you can still automate the garden with a hose attachment sprinkler.You can use timers that attach to the hose fixture and place the sprinkler wherever needed and this can make the watering automated also. You might still need to use the garden hose here and there. If you don’t mind watering than a garden hose and garden hose reel setup can work nice and fulfill all the necessary watering you need.Another option is the drip irrigation systems although this will also cost you a little more.

Though the above tips are very important for the basics of your garden you can get a lot more from doing your own research on the internet search engine, ordering a book, or joining a garden club. Ordering a magazine or joining a club can help a lot as you get new informative tips every month. I hope the tips are helpful and wish you good luck on your green thumb quest. You will be there before you know it.

Cheap Home Furniture

Sooner or later, you will find yourself in possession of a nice and rather empty home. You stand in the large empty space you now call your own and try to envision how you want it to end up. Until very recently, I’ve played this game with minimal space.

Furnishing each tiny apartment became a delicate balancing act of what’s absolutely necessary to have and how to maximize the space I had. This time I had a new problem. I unpacked my tiny moving truck and I set all my stuff in the corner of my living room. There were a lot of decisions to be made on what to buy, how much to spend, and the best ways to make it all look great without taking out a loan. Visiting the big brand stores was a nightmare because even though it all looked great, the concept of actually paying for any of it would give anyone an ulcer. So where can you get cheap home furniture that doesn’t look awful and can actually make your new place into the home it’s meant to be? The answer to this question is to shop around for the best and most inexpensive quality pieces you can find.

Most importantly, be open to the prospect of shopping for used items. Perhaps used is the wrong term to adopt. What kind of strain would an end table or a bookshelf possibly be put under that it couldn’t pass for new? How about a picture frame or a lamp? Chances are these items were bought in some massive store with a giant advertising budget to pay. Many times people pay ridiculously inflated prices but how roughly was the furniture really handled while in their possession? Although my grandmother’s furniture probably a hundred years old it doesn’t have a nick or scratch on it.

In many cases, this furniture may have never been put to heavy use but purchased for show. Perhaps the piece in question was sat delicately in the living room while its owner remained diligently working away from home with no children and business trips to attend to. I have furnished my home with furniture from discount outlets and want ads. It looks beautiful and I can honestly say I’m thrilled with how it came out. I’m sure others have had similar experiences and are either looking for tips to do as I have or want to share their own inexpensive solutions for furnishing on a budget. Come check out my blog to see my cheap home furniture and to share your great ideas for home design, lighting solutions or artistic projects to make your home truly your own.

Top 3 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

Why should I use a travel agent to book my trip instead of booking it myself on the internet? This is a question I had to answer recently for a potential client with whom I was speaking to for the first time. As a travel professional, I get this type of question a lot.

In this article I will reveal to you how I answered this question and how you can benefit from using the services of a professional travel agent versus booking your own travel online using a travel search engine.

1. Save time.

Sure you can spend hours, days, even months researching destinations and going from website to website in order to plan your own travel itinerary, but why would you want to do that? Time is a precious commodity that we can never get back. While you are spending all this time doing research and going from website to website to see if you can get a better deal, you could have more easily picked up the phone to have a travel agent do this research for you.

Professional travel agents are trained to do this because it’s their job. A travel professional can do all the research, coordinate all the logistics, and put together a complete itinerary for your trip in a fraction of the time you can do it for yourself.

2. Use the agent’s knowledge and resources.

Travel agents are trained travel professionals. It’s their job to know the ins and outs of popular travel destinations. Although there is a ton of information on the internet readily available to the public, travel professionals have first-hand knowledge of many or most of the destinations you may choose to visit.

Secondly, travel professionals often have resources to inventory, special offers, and discounts available only to travel professionals to offer their clients. By using an agent, you’ll be able to take advantage of these resources.

3. The travel agent advocates for you should something go wrong on your trip.

Let’s say you have booked a flight and hotel online on one of the highly-advertised travel sites. Bingo! You’re all set. Or are you?

You check your confirmation and realize that you booked the wrong date. So you call customer service and you wait and wait; then finally you get a customer service representative who then tells you that there’s a fee to change your reservation. Okay so you pay the fee, after all you don’t have much of a choice.

The day comes for you to catch your flight. You get to your destination, but your luggage does not. The airline has lost one of your bags. So you’re stuck again with a problem, and call customer service again. You get to your hotel to rest from your long day, and find that your hotel room isn’t ready. Here you go again.

Now I’m not implying that a travel agent could have prevented all of this, but as a member of the travel industry, travel agents have special relationships with travel vendors. A complaint call or letter from a travel agent is more likely to get an expedited response than a letter from you, because of the agent’s relationship with the travel vendor.

I know what you’re thinking. You think that you’ll pay more to use a travel agent. It’s an incorrect assumption to think that using the services of a travel agent will be more expensive than booking your own travel online. Although some agents charge a service, the benefits of using a professional travel agent far outweigh the risks of not using an agent.

Accessories to Match Your Fashion Personality

Discovering which style not only goes with your personality, but also with your fashion sense is difficult for many women. Unless you are really confident in yourself or majored in fashion, choosing colors, clothing pieces, and accessories to complement you is a daunting task. Here are some ideas to help you in your pursuit of fashion.

First, what colors do you normally wear? Almost every woman has colors she naturally gravitates towards, whether it is slimming, classic black or neon lime. Knowing which colors you often wear can help you determine which colors you should choose for accessories and where you could branch out. There are four basic fashion types. You might be wholly one style or a mixture. That is part of the beauty of fashion; there really are no wrong answers.

Do you like pastels, pink, tangerine, baby blue, ivory, and cream? Then you are probably a romantic style. Nichole Kidman is one notable celebrity whose fashion sense is very romantic. Romantic personalities like hearts, lace, sparkles, and anything traditionally associated as “girly”. To add more romantic accessories to your closet, focus on simple gold pieces such as lockets, delicate scarves, lace gloves, and ruffled bags.

For those who prefer natural colors such as greens, browns, gray, beige, and similar shades, Meg Ryan is your inspiration. Casual and comfortable, this is called the natural style. Jewelry with stones or beads will probably be most appealing to you, and simple, practical handbags like a messenger bag will be your best friend. If you want to be more “adventurous” with your style, look for bags in colors such as squash mustard which will still match your color scheme while allowing you to look daring.

Audrey Hepburn’s style can only be called classic. Ageless pearls, structured black bags, and timeless red lips are all characteristics of a classic fashion style. If you fall into this category your closet will likely consist of timeless basic pieces in navy, gray, black, white, cream, and red.

Many women fall into the category of the brighter the better. Wild, bright colors, prints, and a willingness to try almost anything is typical of a bold style. Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga are two very different examples of this style. Purple and metallic accessories are perfect for you if your style falls into this category. Large is also part of your fashion statement. Big earrings, pendants, chunky bracelets, and oversized handbags are a great way to express your energy and enthusiasm for life.

2017's Trends In Home Furniture

Trends in furniture are always fluid and changing just like most other home decor trends. Each year, new and recycled designs, patterns, hues, and visual combinations are declared as the season’s hottest trends in home decor and interior design. Because of this fact, home staging is also impacted by recent trends in home decor as potential buyers are possibly looking for familiar elements or arrangements that they expect to see in contemporary homes.

While home staging is geared towards depersonalizing the house and making it as neutral as possible for as many possible clients as possible, it does benefit from the integration of current home furniture trends. A staged property that features intelligently-selected furniture items that reflect popular trends in home design will be able to go head-to-head with other listings that are also staged for contemporary home buyers. This is more of a priority for homes in general areas that younger residents are flocking to, or in urban, professional districts where apartments or condominiums are the usual types of dwellings.

The following furniture trends are making waves in 2017:

Creative patterns and designs in couches and chairs. For sofa couches and living room chairs, prints and designs have become quite popular once more, especially if set in white backgrounds such as walls. You can throw in some solid-colored accent chairs with a sofa set with design patterns to create a visual contrast.

Beds equipped with storage spaces. Modern bed designs combined with drawer boxes or under-bed storage spaces are trending again, with a great number of home buyers choosing to downsize from larger homes or opting for practical options.

Antique and handcrafted furniture combined with modern arrangements. Many contemporary home furniture designers and experts are experimenting with the meshing of old and new furniture pieces. Antique furniture pieces or handcrafted artsy items from different countries are now considered as popular accent or functional additions to furniture arrangements.

Consumers are staying away from big and overpriced furniture. Consumers are choosing to be practical and look for furniture pieces that are smaller but cost-efficient, particularly furniture that are functional without taking up too much space or costing an arm and a leg.

White is in style. White is back, especially as background color or for furniture finish. They are simple to arrange and combine with other colors of furniture items, and makes the area bright and airy.

People need home offices. Workplace trends are also shifting, making it more usual for people to work part-time or full-time from their residences. Desks, chairs, and workstations that combine function and comfort are particularly attractive to today’s homeowners.

Make a Statement With Stylish Home Furniture

Your home furniture plays a vital role in making your style statement. Decorating a perfect house starts with selecting good furniture. So if your first choice is not perfect, then the end result might not be as fulfilling as you want. If you want the furniture to have class and durability, then investing in stylish home furniture would be the best choice.

What you choose to furnish your home is a reflection of your personal taste. This makes it important for you to first be clear on how you want to decorate your home, what kind of furniture you want to buy and how you want to go about it. Furniture is available in different varieties for all kind of rooms. Be it for the living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom or even the patio, furniture of different sizes are needed most of your basic needs. Whatever type of furniture you decide to purchase; it should emphasize the character and style of your house.

Stylish home furniture comes in various designs, size, shape, structure and materials such as wood and metal. Though wood furniture is generally accepted as the best, metal furniture can also be a good substitute if the budget is low. A living room is an area where you host most of your parties and entertain guest, thus a lot of attention should be given there. As first impression is the last one consider the kind of sofas, coffee tables, TV stands and cabinets, end tables and other decorative accessories very carefully. They should not only be attractive but comfortable but most importantly go well with each other and also be careful not to overcrowd the living room.

The dining area is another important corner of your house which the guests are likely to visit. The furniture for this area in particular should ooze elegance. The dining table set should not only be visually attractive but also comfortable. Many homes have their dining room and kitchen combined. In that case you will have to make sure that the kitchen and the dining area have a common theme. All the miscellaneous, serving tables and the dining table should fit in such a way that it allows you easy movement around the place.

The bedroom is for your personal space. It should be designed in such a way that you can shed the entire day’s tiredness in a minute and relax in peace. Especially your bed! As soon as you fall on it you should be able to experience heaven. That’s the reason why people spend heavily for luxurious beds because there is nothing better than a good night’s sleep. Apart from the bed your room also needs armories, dressers, night tables and some more storage furniture.

If you have kids around then you’ll have an additional room to be taken care of. Kid’s room furniture comes in attractive designs and styles. Apart from the indoors if you have a beautiful patio then get the chance to work with material like wicker and metal. Decorate it with benches, plant stands, love seats, coffee tables and anything which fits in well with the outdoor theme.

So now that you have many reasons to accentuate your house’s beauty from within and outside, bring home stylish modern furniture and enjoy all the extra attention.

What Travel Agents Need to Know About Corporate Travel Today

This is rightly named as the age of traveler centrality and with the evolution of the new era of personalized travel; it is leading to research and development of a host of new so-called intelligent services. The command-and-control perspectives of traveling have changed a lot from the past and the focus has shifted more on the traveler and the productivity of each trip. It has become essential to maintain that the travelers have the greatest return on investment on each trip. New generations of young employees and managers, who have been growing up and dwelling in a digital age, are moving up the ranks as travelers. It has become essential to recognize the need for greater flexibility acknowledging that the employees who travel on corporate trips also consider a percentage of their trip to be a leisure outlet. With increasing globalization and rise in companies sending their staff overseas to network and connect with their offshore prospects/customers/suppliers, corporate travel is a highly profitable tourism segment. Before we talk about how tourism companies can better cater to business travelers, let us first look at why they prefer to use specialized corporate agencies over traditional agents

Why do businesses use Corporate Travel Agencies?

This might be the most basic question for a travel agency as to why they need to use agencies specializing in corporate travel when there are plenty of regular travel agents in the market. Here is the importance of corporate travel agencies who have online systems which allow business travelers access to their complete itinerary.

The following information is at the fingertips of the CTAs:-

  • full business itinerary details
  • up-to-date tracking details of flights (including delays or rescheduling)
  • transparent details about additional costs such as baggage fees or in-flight fees
  • travel alerts, if any, in the destined area
  • complete and up-to-date details about the visa procurement policies and identification required
  • currency requirement and conversion rates

What do corporate clients expect from Corporate Travel Agencies?

Negotiated Fares

The Corporate Agencies tend to have tie-ups with hotels, car rentals, flights etc. giving them access to lower fares which can be used only by the frequent business travelers. Discounted prices are not the only advantage though as they also offer flight upgrades, room upgrades, and VIP check-in lines as required.

In-depth information about the travel industry

Corporate travel agents have access to many travel resources and most importantly, quickly, than any other leisure travel agent. Additional information helps to make the business trips convenient and comfortable.

Changes in Itinerary

When an airline ticket needs to get rescheduled or cancelled, chances are the airline or the online service provider will charge lofty fees. When booking with a corporate travel agent, most of the times schedule changes can be done at zero or minimal extra charges.

Viable emergency contacts

It is important for the business travelers to reach the correct person at the need of trouble. Corporate travel agents have the experience and professionalism to relieve stress for both the traveler and the company.

What you need to consider as corporate travel increases?

Business Travel Barometer reported that corporate travel is witnessing an accelerated growth. However, when poorly managed, it may be no longer an advantage to companies and may, in fact become a burden. There are some factors which the corporations and CTAs must consider to get the best out of the time spent traveling.

Adopting a travel policy

The corporate must define a travel policy which is applicable to and respected by travelers at all levels. This policy should be used to establish the standards which will help to track the improvement of business travel. It will eventually help to reduce the costs of the entire package.

Do not limit the traveler’s autonomy

The management is responsible for budgeting the travel policy which helps to improve cost management however, it is also essential to give a degree of autonomy to the traveler. The policy should be flexible enough to allow the employee to adapt the trip as per the situation.

Traveler’s security should be a major concern

Business travelers need to have security in place. The company needs to stick to its definition of standards to ensure the employee’s integrity. The CTAs should have reliable partners (travel insurance, airlines, hotel chains etc.).

Mobility and automation

To optimize time and ease the processes, the administration of management platforms should have automated processes. This means they should adopt mobile solutions where search options, travel alerts, ticket reservations etc. can be accessed quickly, easily and on the go.

Corporate Travel Trends in 2016

Corporate travel trends tend to change regularly. 2016 has also not been any different and the travel management companies (TMCs) and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) are quite focused to provide steady if not strong axis all over. A growing MICE sector, investments in mobile and big data and enhanced focus on duty of care are some of their areas of focus.

Rising prices

The consolidated buzzword among global suppliers, airfares, hotel rates etc. is the rising fares. It is sometimes the move of the suppliers to generate discounts which encourage travel if there is a strong decline in demand. A positive 2016 world economy has been bringing an increase in air fares of a few percentage points, hotels are expected to see 4%-6% rise in average global rates and the competition will remain moderate in the car rental services.

Duty of care

Risk management is one of the major points of emphasis for corporations. Corporate customers are allowing new policies and improved technologies to monitor employees’ location in case of an emergency, especially when they are traveling to foreign destinations. For instance, Concur Risk Messaging helps to identify the travelers moving around in the world and alerts them with alternate travel arrangement as and when needed.

Focusing on MICE

Meetings industry is a major growing sector and the corporate travel trend is developing on it. The corporate travel agencies should better start aligning the various meeting procurement methodologies with its transient travel sourcing. One of the ways could be to broaden the variety of meeting services by incorporating incentive trips within it.

Investing in technology

A sharper focus on increasing value and becoming more traveler centrist can be done by bringing in mobile friendly technologies. Mobile and big data are definitely the two most significant technological investments which any corporate travel agency must focus to make their platform more appealing.

Business travel analysis after Brexit

Following Brexit, ACTE and CAPA shared their speculations. According to them, the greatest short-term effects on the travel industry will come from the weakening of the pound against other world currencies. Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives said that the business travel industry will trend on currency fluctuations; with some companies taking advantage of the weaker pound and traveling more, while others may withhold business travel until world markets find their own level.

Impact of terrorism on corporate travelers

Travel policy makers and administrators need to be guided by rising terrorism scare. For executives and staff undertaking travel on behalf of businesses, the travel agents and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) should prove the reassurance for their safety through the travel policies. It is more than likely that the surveys conducted over corporate travelers reflect the general concern of the global business travelers about the spate of terrorism. However, there is no denying the fact that terrorist threat is changing the patterns of business travel. The key impact of this is to keep in mind that the companies providing travel services for business travelers need to enhance their focus on security and the associated risks in delivering the services to corporate clients. According to a recent finding, travel managers have higher estimation of their policy’s effectiveness in addressing risk compared to skeptical business travelers.

Concluding

Although the corporate travel sector has continued to progress, there are a plethora of challenges faced by the industry. A rapidly changing consumer market, the emergence of new business models, the impact of technology, man-made and natural crises are some of the fulcrum points that need to be considered before planning corporate trips.

How to Maintain Your Gold Watch

If properly maintained, the appealing luster and tone of gold can endure the test of time and last forever. Gold neither goes out of fashion nor style. With the years, jewelers are going after gold for their designs and jewelry. The buyers and designers too have a never ending hunger for gold jewelry. It is simple understanding that gold is the softest metal and can easily tarnish, but it kept properly, it lasts an eternity. Due to this property, there has been an increased demand for gold watches.

To enhance on the durability of your gold watch, other metals are mixed during watch making. The metals used include silver and copper. You can still get a pure gold watch but at a higher price. The buoyancy of a gold watch is determined using its karat value, which ranges from 10 karats to 24 karats. The pure gold watches are superior when compared to watch made from other metals. Pure gold diamond watches are much more valuable as they constitute diamond and gold, which creates an explosive look.

To prevent your gold watch from getting dented or scratched, you must exercise some essential and special precautions. You must remember not to keep your watch against any other gem or ornament. The friction between the two will most likely result in a nicks and scratches. These watches are susceptible to scratching as they are usually put on over the wrist. Diamonds will deal any watches a bad one if kept together, this is because diamonds are very hard and often have sharp edges as a result of cutting. You should therefore find it of essence to store your watch separately, preferably in a cushioned pouch. You also should avoid instances that may lead to scratches, if a situation proves to be rough enough, you can take out your watch and carry it in your pocket instead.

There is nothing as harmful to watches as chemicals. To ensure your watch lasts a lifetime, make sure you keep it as far as possible from any chemicals. Chlorine in particular can quickly eat away on the structure of gold. It is therefore important to take out your watch when going for swimming or to hot tubs. Remove your watch before going for shower to avoid the soap residue, which contains a large amount of chlorine, from contacting your gold watch.

Cheap Loans – How To Reduce What They Cost You

With the rising commodity prices throughout the globe, everyone needs some kind of legal financing when they purchase something big like a home or a car. There are all kinds of financing options available in the UK. Only getting a loan that helps you meet your financial needs is not enough. You also need to save considerable amount of money on your loans so that you can repay them in simple affordable monthly payments. Getting a cheap and affordable loan in accordance with your financial affordability is not as simple as it may seem. Have a look at the ways in which you can easily secure loans at a cheap rate.

  • Make a comprehensive market research: Comparison shopping is the most important step that can help you save a lump sum amount of money. If you’re in the market for credit of any kind, stay sure that there will be hundreds of companies that are waiting for selling their financial products to you. Therefore, you need to take a step after considering the rates and charges offered by all lending companies. If you’re taking out a home loan or a debt consolidation loan, you need to make sure that you compare the services offered by various companies.
  • Check your credit rating: Today’s lending industry is entirely based on your credit score. As your credit report reflects your financial history, the lenders always check the score before lending you a new line of credit. A person with a good credits core will certainly secure a better rate than a person who has a poor credit score. Therefore, if you want to obtain loans at a cheap rate, make sure you repair your credit before applying for a loan. Order a free copy of your credit report and dispute all errors and negative listings so that you can boost your credit score.
  • Take the loan out for a short term: When taking a loan out it is important that you first calculate the monthly amount that you can afford to repay each month.  If you are armed with this information you are then able to reduce the term of the loan until the repayments meet what you can afford. Taking a loan out for a shorter term will make quite a big difference in the amount of interest that you are charged.
  • Look for bad credit lenders: If you have exhausted all the above mentioned options and have no other option left to secure a cheap loan for yourself, you can look for a bad credit lender. Bad credit lenders usually lend loans to people with bad credit and therefore they will give you a loan at a low rate. If you want to get a cheap loan, go and apply to a bad credit lender.

The entire process of getting cheap loans will become fuss-free if you follow the points mentioned above. Gain peace of mind while getting your loan so that you need not worry about the monthly loan obligations and lead a life free of financial burden.

Travel Insurance – How To Get The Best Value Travel Insurance

If you are an occasional traveler you’ll probably buy your insurance from the travel agent. But if you travel more than twice a year, it is much more cost effective to have one insurance lasting all year round, than buying one every time you travel.

Think ahead, plan ahead. Annual travel insurance easily pays for itself with just a couple of trips. But not all insurances are worth the same and as always cheapest is not necessarily the best. More on this later.

Annual travel insurance is not compulsory but it gives you the peace of mind case of illness and loss or damage to property and many other events. Where is the best place to buy annual travel insurance?

1. Your bank is probably the first place you’ll try. Banks have in recent times become highly competitive and in order to retain your business, may offer better rates. For example my bank has upgraded my checking account to a premium account and for that I pay $20 per month.

As a result I get several privileges including free, worldwide, comprehensive travel insurance. But here is the best part … I get all this free travel insurance not just for myself but also for any member of my family traveling with me including my parents and siblings.

I said free because I am already getting other benefits which are worth a lot more than $20 per month if I were to buy them individually. I also save a lot of time as I never have to look around for insurance. So don’t ignore your bank.

2. Credit card companies also offer similar insurances, with some added advantages. In case of theft or loss of your credit card, they will supply you with an emergency one, often within a few hours.

In addition to travel insurance offers, there is another advantage in checking your credit card company’s terms. If you book your travel using your credit card, pretty much all card companies give excellent cover against many of the things that can go wrong.

Some credit card companies also have specialist travel departments which not only give you travel discounts but also give you even better protection, i.e. better travel insurance and at a much lower cost. But note that all insurance offers exclude you making a claims, for the same item, to multiple sources even if you do have multiple insurance cover.

For example, let’s say you have bought travel insurance separately and you have bought your travel ticket using your credit card. If your luggage is lost, you can almost certainly make a claim to either of the two sources but not to both at the same time.

The reason is that the insurance companies have suffered massive fraud in recent years. Allowing multiple claims simply encourages fraudsters to have multiple insurances and make multiple false claims.

For example, they can take an already damaged suitcase on a long journey knowing that it will fall apart. They can then claim damage and loss of property from multiple insurers.

3. Insurance companies are a popular and obvious source for annual travel insurance. If you drive a car or have home insurance get a quote from your insurance company. Remember, because you are already a customer, your car insurance often entitles you to a very good discount.

Here’s a tip: if they don’t give you a competitive insurance, tell them that you will be looking else where for a good package. Let them know you will be looking for a package that includes great home insurance, excellent travel insurance and also good car insurance.

Listen, fear of loss WILL make them bend over backwards for you and if they don’t? Here’s another tip: When you talk to any other source to get your competitive travel insurance, make sure you mention your other assets that you could be insuring with them, such as your car, home, home contents, etc.

This won’t work with travel companies but works absolutely beautifully with most insurance companies. I have done it many times and saved myself thousands of dollars, yes thousands, over the last few years.

The insurance industry is massively competitive. For once, this works in favor of the “little guy” (you and me), so let’s use it.

4. Certain types of home insurance may also give annual travel cover. Do look into pretty much any insurance cover you have. Some home insurance policies include some forms of travel cover including loss or damage to your property while away from home.

Tip: even if you live with your parents, ask them to check their policy for you. You will be amazed to see that even “your” property is covered while away from home.

Just one word of caution: do not assume what is covered or the level cover. If you are not sure just ask the insurer. If the cover they describe seems even better than what you expected based on the policy document, then do ask them to put their clarification in writing.

Why? When any major loss occurs, the insurer will send a local expert to assess the damage. These guys are called loss adjuster. Their job is to save money for the insurance company. And I tell you from bitter personal experience, they take no prisoners.

They will screw you down to the ground, if you don’t get things in clear black and white writing. Just do it. It takes minutes to request clarification in writing but can save you thousands of dollars when you have one of these mean loss adjusters arguing with you over the policy.

5. You can also buy last minute travel insurance from travel agents and airlines at the airport. Expect to be taken advantage of, heavily! Needless to say, this is one of your most expensive options. Just avoid ending up with this option, see to your insurance long before you need to travel.

Now here’s the thing. Travel insurance policies are not all identical. As well as considering price, you absolutely must read the terms and conditions carefully. For example, the upper age limit of some insurance companies may vary.

Some companies may limit the number of annual trips, whilst others may have no limit at all. Look, most travel insurance policies cover a range of events and claims. But as they say, the devil is in the detail.

The problem you will definitely face with some really cheap policies from unknown and possibly disreputable companies is what they put in the fine print. You know what I’m talking about? … all those tiny little statements they put on the back of the form? Or if you are buying insurance online (and you should), notice all those pages of really small text they ask you to agree to?

Well, that’s where they bury lots of little conditions and limitations. Most people don’t read all the terms. Do yourself a huge favor and on this occasion, do read it all. If the insurance policy terms are full of “weasel words” or complex language, just move on and do not buy.

All insurance companies are quick to point out how many millions you can claim in “total”, in case of a serious accident. But they all limit the amount per item within your claim. So claims for loss of cash will be capped and so will claims for electronic devices, clothes, etc.

This means that with the cheaper policies you will have a really low limit. For example, if you claim for a mobile phone and an MP3 player, you may find that the limit on personal electronics is not enough to even pay for “one” of those devices, let alone both. Don’t wait for an unfortunate event to show you the flaws in a dirt cheap policy. That is the worst time to find out and it is a time when you need the most help.

What must all policies cover?

1. Loss or damage to property and cash

2. Flight delays or cancellation

3. Accidents

4. Sickness

5. Your expenses when an event occurs

6. Your potential liability to other people

7. Legal services

In comparison to your total costs, annual travel insurance is only a very small item. If you are covered for any eventuality, you’ll have less to worry about, which will translate to more relaxation and enjoyment.

Have Fun and Enhance Your Skills With the Latest Games

Fun is necessary for every human being on this earth. This is a must, because without fun a person feels tedious which might affect him badly on his work. To get the dose of relaxation or in order to finish the boredom or to pass the spare time and for many other things we seek refuge of this option. People get involved in various activities to accomplish this purpose. Some play sports, other play small games while some other get engaged in other activities.

But, as the technology has become advanced, there are some more modes of fun which have been recently introduced. Some of the most prominent among them are the video and computer games. These frolics on one side become an excellent source of fun and on the other hand they create a lot of excitement in the minds of the people. Video games are actually played by connecting the gaming devices into the television sets. Computer games are basically played in the computer with the help of a keyboard, mouse and joystick etc.

A lot of eagerness can be witnessed among the people who always remain eager to know about the latest games. Two types of computer frolics are famous nowadays – online and offline. Online games are played on Internet whereas offline ones are stored in the hard disk of the computer. In the later case, you won’t require the connection of the World Wide Web. The Online ones are available on many websites. Most of the sites and portals offer them free of cost whereas some of them charge a little extra charge for them. You would just require the flash software on your home PC which too is available of some websites of World Wide Web totally free of cost.

Some of the latest games are Conflict, Toy Warz, Slam Day, Lord of War Chapter 2, Formula 1 Champion. These frolics are based on different themes and are made for the people of all types of interests. On the surface, these themes can be categorized as adventure, fighting, castle, car or bike racing, etc. If we go in detailed classification, then many more sub-categories can be made. For instance, conflict games which are a type of fighting frolics. War of toys, in which the fight between different toys are displayed and many others. Many of these are liked mainly by children.

Some of these frolics are available for download on many websites. You can download them without paying any extra charge. Whereas, a few of these provide them after charging a little extra amount. You can download immediately by paying them via credit or debit card online. On the contrary, some of these gaming activities are also available online which can be played any time at ease.

Definitely, these frolics have proved to be a boon in the area of fun activities. With the support of these activities people can enjoy and relax even while sitting at home in front of the computer. Moreover, they have proved to be very helpful in increasing the concentration and exercising the brain of the players. That’s why, these days parents like them too. Many of the latest games are specially meant for education purposes. For example, you can see several games which help the students to enhance their typing skills. Hopefully, in near future we shall find some more like these which we can not imagine as yet.

How a Home Equity Loan Refinance Can Save You Money – Should You Refinance Your Texas Home Loan?

In Texas you can refinance your home as well as your investment property. And with today’s low mortgage rates, lots of people are doing just that using home equity loans

Plus some are doing the two-birds-one-refinance-approach: Refinance the home and pull cash out.

When it comes to refinancing, you have two options. A “rate and term” refinance or a Texas home equity loan “cash out” refinance.

With a home equity loan you pull equity out of your home or investment property.

Most people refinance to get a lower rate; this is called a “rate and term” refinance. One is keeping the same loan amount, they are just lowering or changing the rate or term of the mortgage.

Maybe they are moving out of a 30 year note to a 15 year note. This is called a rate and term refi because they are just changing the rate or the term of the original loan.

Lower mortgage rates do mean lower payments. But some clients choose a “cash out” refinance (Home Equity loan)- which means they pull equity (cash) out of their homes or investment properties for other purposes …like paying off debt or buying additional property.

For example, let’s say a family has a $450 car payment where they owe $15000. If they have enough equity in their home, it’s common for a family to refinance the home and pull enough cash out of their home to pay off other costly debt; like credit cards, cars, etc. The house payment might go up $50 but the car payment is eliminated. So a family has $400 more each month.

Some suggest against home equity loans to pay off debt stating it’s not wise to take a 3-5 year debt and spread it across 15-30 years. And these people are right. However, when I help a client save $400-500, sometimes $1000/month now these families can afford to pay extra on their 30 year mortgage and pay it off in 12-15 years.

In fact, most of the time a family will pay their home off earlier-after a home equity loan-than they would have before.

You can always call us to see if Texas home equity loan cash out refinance makes sense for you.

Home Equity Rules

Home equity loans have slightly higher rates than traditional rate and term refinances because one is raising the original loan amount. Plus when one pulls cash out of a home or investment property this is a higher risk loan. Higher risk = slightly higher rate.

And in Texas you are limited to 80% of your home’s value. Meaning if your home is worth $200,000, the most your new loan could be is $160,000. If you owe 100K, you could take out 60K or up to 80%

Then there’s the 3% home equity rule: This means the total fees associated can’t exceed 3% of the loan amount. This mostly effects those with smaller home loan balances. For example, if your home is only worth 75,000 and we are limited to 80%-your loan could only be 60K. 3% of 60k is $1800. So if your title company charges $700 for the title policy and your appraiser charges $325 and the bank charges $500 to underwrite your loan it’s not hard to be over 3%. This would mean the mortgage company could only charge $275 to be under the 3% rule.

12 day Home Equity Rule, 3 day wait-until-we-fund rule:

In Texas we have to wait at least 12 days from mortgage application to close. I even have to get a special 12 day letter signed. Then once we close, we then can’t fund the home loan for 3 days. Texas has weird home equity refinance rules so you want to work with an experienced mortgage company who does a lot of these type of loans. If you have additional questions, please call us at 512-996-8194, we help people all over Texas.

For many people home equity refinances can be a great way to jump start a new financial plan. I offer them to my clients to help them: Get out of debt, pay off bills, have more money to save and invest. My clients have saved hundreds each month by paying off high interest credit cards. My personal record is saving a family $1000/month using a home equity loan.

Once they save this money they plan to pay extra on their mortgage so they pay a 30 year note in 15 years. So used correctly, a home equity mortgage is a great way to move forward financially.

After 5 years in the mortgage business I’ve come up with my personal lending philosophy. Because anyone can do a home loan. However, my business is helping move people forward financially-starting on the mortgage level; the biggest expense for a family.

Most of my clients know my personal philosophy with mortgage lending. There are lots of mortgage people out there who promise “the lowest 30 year mortgage rate or the “best Texas 15 year mtg rate”-but this isn’t really my approach. I tend to favor what is best for the client’s short and long term. If one needs a 15 year mortgage with low closing costs, let’s use this program. Need to consolidate debt, let’s use a home equity loan.

I just don’t believe in one-size fits all mortgage plans. As soon as my clients all look the same, have the same income/debt, goals, then I’ll become a one-size fits all mortgage guy. But for now, I work with low income people, millionaires, investors, first time home buyers, second home mortgages, etc.

One’s mortgage can be either a debt instrument or a better financial tool, it’s really up to you and your mortgage professional. And in today’s economy where the realities of $5 gas aren’t really unreasonable you should work with a professional who will take the time to listen and bring the right mortgage plan to the table. Because once a mortgage is in place you must live with it.

Some questions you should ask yourself when buying or refinancing a home or investment property:

1) How much debt do I currently have? How much debt am I currently servicing each month?

2) How much in liquid savings do I currently have? Could I choose a mortgage that will help (a) lower my bills and (b) help me to save more money each month? Rate is important but now the only thing to consider. Who cares if the 15 year mortgage rate is the best rate, if it’s not affordable to you-it’s not the wise loan. Go with the 30 year rate.

3) How long do I plan to keep this home? Is this home appreciating?

4) What is my long term financial plan, and how does this new mortgage help me accomplish this plan?

#4 is where the rubber meets the road. And this is where I spend the most time with my clients; constructing the long term plan and then customizing the mortgage to fit this plan. Most people chase the lowest rate when getting into homes however without a mid-long range goal they usually end up paying more in the long-term.

Take the sub-prime meltdown. There’s nothing wrong with sub-prime loans. Sometimes things happen that cause people’s credit to go in the trash. Divorces do happen and sometimes medical bills come out of no where and people have a lot of collections. Jobs are sometimes lost and savings are use up before they were originally intended. The problem with sub-prime loans is not that they are bad, but that they need to be on Fixed rates. Not adjustable. This country has lost billions of dollars during the sub-prime meltdown for one reason: People chased the lowest rate when they bought the home and ARMs have lower rates than FIXED rates. And since ARMs had lower rates people chose ARMs over Fixed rates.

So thousands of people with bad credit bought homes on ARMs and today we have a major problem: Because people chased the lowest rate.

Having a long term financial plan. Example, let’s say you’re self employed and don’t have a company retirement plan-401k-to rely on. One approach in solving the “no 401K/IRA” problem is to own real estate. The goal is to own a few choice properties so when you do retire you will have these properties paid off and creating passive retirement income. Imagine if your mortgage broker took the time to understand your long-term goals and structured the new loan around these goals. Funny thing, most people are 15-30 years from retirement and the typical home loan is paid off in 15-30 years. Bottom line: The home you buy today could help you retire tomorrow-and you need the right home loan to go along with it.

Remember, most mortgages are based on a 15 or 30 year basis, why not structure your first home to help you retire in 30 years. I know this seems unrealistic because most people don’t keep homes that long, but going into a mortgage with a plan is better than just going into a mortgage.

Most people don’t want to take the time to think about money-but in the end-the lack of money causes a lot of other challenges in life.

This is how I’m different from the other Texas Mortgage Loan people. I believe I can either help people move forward financially or I can just get them into debt. Sure it’s easier to “sell low rates” but not at the expense of helping a client in the long term.

PMI (just so no-or at least try to get out of it.)

My clients avoid PMI when possible. But to do an 80/15 or 80/10 or an 80/10/10 one’s mortgage rate is slightly higher but the benefit is avoid pointless PMI and having lower closing costs. This is another example of why “chasing the lowest rate” isn’t always the best. Loans with PMI are better than loans without. But the benefit of not have PMI is huge. Not only will you pay less when your home loan doesn’t have PMI but your closing costs are less too.

Right now I want to touch briefly on these 3 issues and why one should be thinking of them when you buy or refinance a home. Actually, your mortgage person should customize your loan around these three points for you. If they don’t-run. If all they sell is a mortgage rate did they really serve you?

Mortgage brokers and banks love to advertise low mortgage rates. “We have the lowest rates in Texas!” But let’s think about the loan like this: “How much did it cost you to get this rate.” Because low mtg rates are one thing, but how much did it cost to get the rate?

Let’s look at one of Today’s Mortgage ads. (April 17) They are advertising a 4.87% rate.

Funny. The real 30 year rate is around 6% but they know people want “low rates” so they advertise a great rate. But when you look at the points it will take to get this rate, you’ll see there’s more to getting a mortgage than just rate. Closing costs.

For example, if you’re buying a $200K home should you really “buy the rate down” with points to get a good rate? To buy this low, low rate, it will cost $6,000 just for discount points. And yet people do this all the time. Mortgage people advertise low rate because people want low rates.

Sorta reminds me of when I bought my Toyota Tundra. I wanted to save a nickel so I went for the 2×4 instead of the 4×4 all-wheel drive. I was so proud of getting the “lowest price in town” but when it snowed or iced I had to ask my wife to drive her front-wheeled drive Honda Accord.

This is one reason why I suggest working with a mortgage broker (like me) who approaches mortgage lending from a total financial planning perspective. Because if I notice a client has a ton of credit cards and misc. debt-this 6K should not go towards a new (tax deductible) debt but towards paying off old, high interest debt that’s not tax-deductible.

Or to use real numbers, if you have the $6000 to pay towards debt, retire 15% interest debt that’s costing you $500/month instead of trying to save $200 on your mortgage. Then pay $100 extra and you’re still saving $300. Use this $300 for savings, investing or having fun.

But what about all the interest I’ll save by having a low rate? Shouldn’t I try to get the best rate so I can have lower monthly bills? Yes. Once you’re out of consumer debt-and you no longer have to pay $500 out, begin to apply $100-$200 extra on your mortgage payment. This will take years off your mortgage, usually taking a 30 year mortgage to a 12-15 year. This will save you tons in interest and give you lower payments.

When you buy or refinance any property take the time to look at the bigger picture because a mortgage or refinance can either help move you forward financially or just get you into debt.