Joseph Reidy's Blog
Whether you’ve just bought a home or you’re hoping to spruce up your current house, redecorating can be a great way to make a home feel new and exciting. However, when it comes to the actual decorating and design, many homeowners are at a loss.
Sure, you could hire an interior decorator to help you out, but oftentimes that expense doesn’t fit into the average homeowner’s budget, especially if you just spend thousands closing on a new home.
Fortunately, there are many free sources of inspiration available that will help you identify the right style for your home at the right price for your budget.
In today’s article, we’re going to give you some tips on where to find interior decor inspiration so you can get started on restyling your home.
Grab an app or two
Searching for redecorating tips doesn’t have to be a full-time job. You can browse ideas when you’re on the train to work, relaxing in bed at night, or waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office just by downloading a few select apps on your phone.
Two of the most common apps for home decorating are Pinterest and Instagram. However, you’ll need to give those apps some information to make sure you’re getting the right images in your feed.
On Pinterest, add “home decor” “interior design” and “home decor ideas” to your interests so that you’ll see those images and articles first in your feed.
For Instagram, you’ll have to follow accounts that post what you’re looking for, then Instagram will recommend similar accounts.
Here are a few common interior design accounts to get started with:
Take an online course
There’s more to interior decorating than just finding some furniture you like, making sure it will fit in your living room, and buying it. Design principles of color, texture, and form all work together to create the full experience of a home’s interior.
While people study for years to develop techniques of design, you can learn the basics relatively quickly. If you’re interested in learning something new and updating the design of your home, you could take an online course in interior design.
Howcast has a great series of free videos called Interior Design Basics that will provide you with a good overview. Then, if you want to continue learning, check out one of SkillShare’s many interior design courses.
Take a trip to the library
When it comes to seeing the best examples of interior decoration or finding detailed information on design techniques, nothing can beat your local library. Most libraries also have subscriptions to common magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, and HGTV Magazine.
If your library doesn’t have many options, you can often request items for free through their interlibrary loans system. They’ll send you books and magazines from surrounding towns and give you a notification when they’ve arrived.
If you intend to list your residence in the near future, you may want to complete various property renovations. In fact, there are many reasons to perform home renovations before you add your house to the real estate market, and these reasons include:
1. You can revamp the look and feel of your home.
If your home has a drab interior or exterior, now may be the perfect time to update your residence. That way, you can reinvent your house and make it an attractive choice for homebuyers.
As you look for ways to renovate your house, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection too. A house inspection typically is requested by a homebuyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase. However, performing an inspection before you list your residence may help you establish home renovation priorities.
During a home inspection, a property expert will assess a residence both inside and out. A homeowner then will receive an inspection report that provides insights into a house's strengths and weaknesses. And with this report in hand, a homeowner can allocate time and resources to prioritize home renovations and find ways to upgrade his or her residence before listing it.
2. You can increase the likelihood of a quick house sale.
A house that boasts outstanding curb appeal is likely to make a positive first impression on buyers. Thus, this home may be more likely than others to stir up lots of interest among buyers, which may lead to a quick house sale.
If you want to speed up the house selling process, you should perform home renovations. Because the sooner you update your residence, the sooner you may be able to accept a competitive offer to purchase your home.
3. You can boost your house's value.
Home renovations may help you bolster the value of your home. These renovations also can help you differentiate your residence from other available houses – something that is exceedingly important in a fierce real estate market.
When it comes to renovating your home, it may be helpful to work with a real estate agent. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you may be better equipped than ever before to plan ahead for home renovation projects.
A real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the best home renovation experts in your city or town. For example, if you want to improve your home's interior, a real estate agent can offer interior decorator recommendations. Or, if you need to perform roof repairs, a real estate agent can help you find the top local roofing companies.
Before you list your home, complete home renovations – you'll be glad you did. If you perform myriad house renovations, you could help your residence stand out in a crowded real estate market. Best of all, home renovations could make it easy for you to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Selling a condo may seem like a tall task, particularly for those who plan to list a property on the real estate market for the first time. However, condo sellers can take the guesswork out of listing a property and maximizing its value if they consider a few simple questions, such as:
1. How Much Is My Condo Worth?
The price that you paid for your condo initially is unlikely to match your property's worth today. As such, you'll want to conduct plenty of research into the real estate market to assess your condo's worth and price your property accordingly.
Hiring a home appraiser is ideal, as this professional will be able to evaluate your residence and establish a value for it. Plus, a home appraiser can help you identify any "red flags," i.e. problem areas that may prevent you from maximizing the value of your condo.
Don't forget to assess the prices of similar condos in your area too. By doing so, you can get a better idea about how much comparable residences are selling for in your city or town and set a competitive price for your residence.
2. What Sets My Condo Apart from Others That Are Available?
Before you add your condo to the real estate market, you'll want to consider features that may help your property stand out from others that are available.
For example, if you live in a condo community that offers access to a swimming pool and tennis courts, you'll want to include this information in your property listing. Or, if your condo provides a reserved parking spot for you and additional parking for guests, you'll want to provide condo buyers with these details as well.
As a condo seller, you'll want to do whatever you can to differentiate your property from others, regardless of whether you list your residence in a buyer's or seller's market. If you highlight features that help your condo stand out, you can stir up significant interest in your residence as soon as it becomes available.
3. How Can I Optimize the Value of My Condo?
Unfortunately, the real estate market can be unpredictable. And even if you perform ample housing market research, there is no guarantee that you'll be able to streamline the condo selling process and maximize the value of your residence. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can boost your chances of selling your condo.
A real estate agent may boast many years of condo selling experience and understand what it takes to generate interest in a property. He or she also will be able to provide valuable tips and guidance to ensure that you can list your property at the right price in any real estate market. In addition, if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your condo, your real estate agent will be able to respond to your queries without delay.
Employ a real estate agent to help you sell your condo, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your property.
If you work from home either full or part-time, you may want to give the home office deduction a go on your taxes. The problem with this deduction is that it can be tricky.
Are You Eligible?
Your workspace needs to meet the criteria for business use. You need to use your work space regularly and as your principal place of business. If you don’t work from home as a self-employed individual, your employer must require you to work from home due to a lack of office space or other circumstances. The keywords in this part of the clause are “exclusively, regularly, and must.”
First, you’ll need to calculate the percentage of your home that’s used for business. This means that if your office is 100 square feet and your home is 1,000 square feet, you use 10% of your home for business. If you own the space you’re living in, you can deduct 10% of the mortgage interest that you pay each month. Keep in mind that you can’t double dip either. This means the amount of mortgage interest that you deduct on other parts of your taxes is reduced. If you rent your home, you’d deduct the percentage off of your monthly rental payments.
Home Office Maintenance
If you own your home, you are able to deduct a portion of your property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, and other expenses that are associated with your home office space. These expenses vary because some are direct such as the expense of you painting your office. Others are indirect. Home insurance applies to your entire home, so you would only apply a portion of that to a deduction. For the direct expenses, you are able to deduct the entire cost.
For the indirect expenses, you’ll go back to applying the percentage of your home that is used for work. This means if we’re working with a 10% figure, you are able to deduct 10% of your utilities, 10% of your home insurance premiums, and so on.
If you rent, you can still deduct many of the same things that homeowners can from your taxes for a home office expenditure. The only thing that you’ll lack as a renter is the ability to write off things like mortgage interest, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. Know that you’ll be able to write off a portion of your renter’s insurance.
The Complicated Stuff: Depreciation
You are able to depreciate the value of a home office as your home ages. It’s not always necessary to do this, so you should consult your tax professional before you decide to make this type of deduction. Equipment in your office, such as your computer, can be claimed as a depreciation over time as well.
The important thing when it comes to your home office tax deduction is to do your homework. You don’t want to miss out on important savings!
At times, trying to organize and declutter seems like a never ending task. You may have made attempts to declutter without many results. The truth is that with a plan, even the most disorganized among us can get on track to organization and freedom from clutter. Follow some of the tips below to get your home in order.
Have A Goal
If your organizational attempts never seem to go anywhere, you may just need a goal. The idea is to pick one area and complete it. Organizing a little here and there won’t make any kind of a dent in your organizational needs. It will also look like you haven’t done anything to improve your mess. Work on one room, one area at a time and you’ll be on your way.
Utilize All Of Your Shelves
Many times the bottom or the top shelf of a closet or utility unit ends up getting unused. The problem could be that the shelves are so tall that no one can reach them and they go unused. You can fix this problem by simply moving the shelving or placing rarely used items up there that can be accessed by a step ladder.
You Have Too Much Stuff And Nowhere To Put It
Rather than buy a bigger house, you might want to go through your stuff. Between you and your children, you’re bound to have quite a few items that can be either sold or donated to a good cause. Consider setting up a donation pile in your house, where family members can put items that they no longer need or use. As an extra tip, don’t let the items that are for donation sit there. When the bin is full, put it in your car and head off to the donation center.
You Have A Lot Of Little Things With Nowhere To Place Them
This is a problem that can be solved by the right containers. If you can find a container that’s best suited for what you need to store, it will be much easier to find and access these items.
Things Have Sentimental Value
It’s nice to have a few things that you cherish and bring back good memories, but sentimental value items can really get out of hand. If you think of when you last looked at something or how much memory an item truly holds for you, it can be easy to get rid of a lot of things when you put your mind to it. You can ask a friend to help you go through things. An outsider can advise you on what to save and what you should get rid of.
Your Refrigerator Is Gross
If you’re finding a lot of spoiled food and moldy leftovers in your fridge, don’t fret. Just develop a clean out schedule to help you get rid of any food that is past its prime. Make it a point to have a designated day of the week to clean out all of your leftovers and expired food to keep the clutter that can spoil at bay.