Susan Stivaletta's Blog
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Whether you're looking for your first house or getting ready to relocate for the fifth time, house hunting can wear you down after a while!
Not only can it be difficult to coordinate real estate appointments with work obligations and the demands of parenthood, but your stress level is compounded if you're on any kind of time table or deadline.
The secret to survival is to maintain a positive attitude, do your best to remain solution oriented, and work with a proactive real estate agent. A seasoned real estate agent who is familiar with the local market and is skilled at matching client needs to available housing inventory in the area can be your most valuable resource.
Know What You Want
One of the primary ways you can help your agent find your ideal home is to give a lot of thought to exactly what you want. When you're clear in your own mind about what would satisfy you, in terms of location, architectural style, and property size, then it will be a lot easier to refine your search and stay on target. Not only will that help your real estate agent match your specifications to available listings, but it will also help you recognize your ideal house when you see it.
A good starting point is to have a checklist of priorities, essential property features, and preferences that are important to you, your spouse, and your children. Deciding on must-have features as early in the process as possible can provide you with needed focus and momentum as you compare houses and view real estate listings. Although nothing is "carved in stone" and you can always revise your priority list, it can be a valuable tool for both you and your agent.
While everyone has different needs and wish lists, items to give some thought to may include a finished basement, a working fireplace, a two-car garage, a patio or deck, a screened in porch, a spacious back yard, a storage shed, outdoor security lighting, a sufficient number of bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate your immediate family and overnight guests, an abundance of storage space, short commutes to work, and proximity to shopping, essential services, and a well-rated school district.
Some couples have specific architectural styles in mind when they go house hunting, such as Colonial, Contemporary, Craftsman, Tudor, Victorian, and Art Deco. It's also helpful to have a clear idea, and hopefully be in agreement with your partner, about how much decorating, renovating, and fixing up you're willing, ready, and able to do. Knowing how much privacy you must have, the peace and quiet you expect, and the recreational facilities you want access to are other key elements of "the big picture."
Although the biggest hurdle may be staying motivated and optimistic in the face of temporary setbacks and discouragements, when you have a clear idea of what you want and an attitude of positive expectation, you'll be surprised at what you can accomplish!
18 Bellwood Cir, Bellingham, MA 02019
Think back to the last time that you moved. When you cleaned out your bedroom closets, did you find shirts, pants, suits or dresses that you forgot you owned? Who knows how many clothes are in your bedroom closets now that you forgot you had.
Why do you keep hiding your valuable fashions?
It's this unawareness that could cause you to stop by one fashion store after another, buying more clothes that you don't need. To stop letting your closet cost you money, draw your closet into your spring cleanings.
As you wash bed linen, shampoo carpets and clean windows, pull clothes out of your bedroom closets. Lay the clothes across your bed. Place shirts together, pants together and suits together. Seeing clothes laid out by type gives you a clear indication of just how many clothes you may have.
Hang these same clothes together when you return them to the closet. Don't cram clothes together. That's how clothes become hidden.
If you're short on bedroom closet space, try storing out-of-season clothes in clear organizers. Label clear organizer drawers to eliminate the need to hunt for shirts, pants and other clothes. Leave organizer drawers slightly open to allow air to keep your clothes fresh.
Keep clothes in small closets fresh and clean
You can also plop a few moth balls at the back of clear organizer drawers. You'll more than likely wash clothes before you wear them if they've been folded and left untouched for several months anyway.
Hand washing clothes that you regularly wear by hand also helps to keep fashions in mind. It's hard to forget that you have a suit or pants that you hand wash one or more times a month.
Another way to avoid forgetting that you have certain clothes items if your bedroom closet is small is to use different colored hangers for different types of clothes. You could also move clothes that are out-of-season to the attic or another storage area that has good air circulation.
Just as you might write a note on your calendar, reminding yourself to pay the mortgage or rent, write a note on the calendar at the end of each season. Remind yourself to bring clothes out of storage as seasons change.
Your closet might actually be bigger than you think
These actions work even if your bedroom closet is large. They may make the difference between realizing that you already have enough clothes and continuing to go out and spend money on clothes that you don't need.
Another way to get more bedroom closet space and prevent your closet from costing your money is to donate clothes that you no longer wear to charity. Some charities will come to your home and remove donated items free of charge.
Make examining your bedroom closet, storing away out-of-season clothes and donating unused fashions to charity and you may realize that you have more closet space than you thought. After all, as with other parts of your house, it's what you do with the space that matters most.