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The Basics For Furnishing and Decorating Your New Home

Some people see a new home as a challenge, while others see it as a great project starting in the simplest of ways. If you think about it, starting with a fresh slate is a bit easier than having to remodel, so the new home is the perfect way to start your home decor experience. Starting with a new home, you will need all the basic furniture assortments and decorating basics to make your home a reflection of yourself rather than just a space that is taken up with essential furnishing. There is a lot that will go into your home, starting with your personal touch.

When you start out, you want to get the basic furniture for a new home. Though you will likely have a budget, you can still get the basic home decor without it costing an arm and a leg. There are great outlets available that offer discount furniture as well as many sites online where you can find used furniture for next to nothing. The basic furniture you will need will of course include: bed, dresser, TV stand, couch, coffee table, kitchen table and chairs. Other than that, you are purchasing extras so this can come later, after you have made your imprint on the home. Searching for these basic pieces of furniture, you should be seeking a similar look within each in order to create an overall style of the home decor. Some homeowners prefer to go in for a separate theme for each room. When looking for furniture, you will need to keep in mind the exact dimensions of each room as well as the style you are going for in that particular room.

Once you choose your larger pieces of furniture, selecting the rest of the home decor accessories is easy. This will include basic accessories that every new homeowner needs to buy such as blinds, shades, lamps, curtains, table cloths, shower curtains, etc. There are many accessories that are needed to complete a new home’s basic style and impression; however these accessories don’t cost much, especially when purchased at discount stores. Don’t be in a hurry to buy your smaller decor items. Very often, you may chance upon something that is being sold at a throwaway price.

Spend a day browsing through a few discount shops or go to a few flea markets. You’d be amazed at the treasures you will find here. An antique lamp, a Chinese tea pot, African masks… flea markets are a treasure trove for a new homeowner. Don’t forget to look for wall hangings and floor coverings. Interesting wall hangings create points of interest in the room and if you find something unique, it can be a great conversation piece at any social event. Look for something that will go with the theme of your general decor. Same with area rugs; a well chosen area rug that complements the decor theme can tie in all the elements of the room to create a look a look that truly harmonious.

Home Loans and The Relevance of EMI Options

A dream home that meets one’s expectations can bring great joy! The rising cost for building homes has made it impossible for the common man to afford this joy! This is where home loans can be used as an effective financial tool to fund the requirements. Owing to stringent banking norms loans have become less accessible. However, with customers becoming more aware of aspects like a credit profile, ensuring submission of the right documentation and so on has made applying for loans a smoother process!

So what does one have to know about home loans anyway? To put it in simple words, home loans are all about the cost, i.e. interest charged and the repayment policies that are set by the bank or any other financial institution. It comes with different interest rates and is provided to the customers to suit their requirements.

Some of the common home loan variants include the following:

Fixed interest rate

If you are weary of the fluctuating market conditions, these home loans are probably the best. However, they come at a cost because of their fixed nature throughout the loan tenure.

They are usually priced above the normal market price and provide maximum protection from fluctuations. The change in the market rates will not affect the EMI (Equated Monthly Instalment) for each month. This way, the customer can plan his finances more efficiently.

Floating interest rate

These loans can be a comparatively risky option for borrowers. However, if the market conditions turn favourable, the customer is sure to gain from it. The EMI (Equated Monthly Instalment) that is repayable will come down as and when the floating rates are reduced. Hence they can provide a relief for the customer during the repayment period, if interest rates in the market start to fall!

Home loans should be taken after considering several factors such as interest rates, the repayment tenure and the maximum loan amount one is eligible for! Keeping in mind the financial requirements that are needed, it is important for a customer to approach different banks to evaluate the options available. Loan providers may require the customer to furnish collateral and other important documents in order to speed up the loan sanctioning process.

It can also be utilised to remodel an existing home. Bank websites and loan officers can provide assistance in helping an individual understand the options available. Exercising caution in selecting a suitable loan scheme is important to avoid any financial hassles in the future. With thorough research on the best available loan schemes, customers can arrive at the right decision!

Home Staging: The Key to Selling Your Home Faster and for the Price You Want!

It’s no secret that beautiful homes sell faster and for more money. In fact, staged homes sell up to 50% faster and seller’s get their asking price far more often than homes which are not professionally staged. So what exactly is home staging? How does it work? And what are the key concepts to bear in mind when staging a home for sale?

It all begins with first impressions. And yes, they do last. If you remember nothing else, at least remember this:

It only takes a few seconds for a prospective buyer to form an opinion of your home.

That sounds simple enough right? But if it were as simple as it sounds then those selling their homes would have no issues in selling and getting their asking price, would they? A buyer may continue to look around and explore each room with a perceived look of interest, but then again very few people have the audacity to walk in and walk straight out of a home, disgusted at how their precious time has been wasted. An investment savvy buyer will know to overlook any shortcomings, in fact he/she would welcome them as it would assist in securing a lower price, but the average buyer is looking for a new home first, and a bargain second. This means as they step foot into your home they will instantly, sometimes subconsciously, be making judgments on whether your home satisfies the criteria they have, in making one of the most important decisions in their life, a success.

What exactly does home staging involve?

That depends entirely on the state of your home. Home staging may simply involve the addition of a few interior décor accessories, such as lamps, vases and small furniture. It may involve the temporary removal of some of the furniture currently occupying the space and replacing it with more modern and neutral items. In older homes some minor construction or a fresh lick of paint may be required, and where buyers want to invest in order to increase the value of their property some heavier remodelling and construction may be needed – such as garage extensions, creating an entertainment area, building an extra bedroom etc.

Furniture can be purchased or rented through the home stager, who generally is a qualified interior designer. Whether rented or bought, additional furniture can lift up dead spaces and create some much needed character. This must be carefully selected though, as bad decor and furniture selections can ruin the appeal.

Home staging services extend beyond the obvious interior design and decorating fields, and can go as far as offering domestic services, landscaping services and, rather importantly, professional photography services to really give your home that magazine quality look.

Typically, the home stager would set-up a consultation at the home to meet the seller and discuss the work required as well the budget. This could be done in conjunction with the estate agent for maximum benefit. The full scope of services generally include the following:

• Consultation and proposed staging requirements according to budget.
• Construction work (if required)
• Touch-ups and paintwork
• Depersonalisation of the home – removing / hiding all personal items
• Removal / storage of furniture and décor not suited for staging
• Rental / sale of new furniture & décor more suited for staging
• Set-up, domestic cleaning and landscaping services on show days.
• Professional photography services – for presentation on leaflets and websites etc.
• Decommissioning after services are no longer required.

Do’s and Don’ts when staging a home?

Certain things never to forget when staging a home:

• Always, always, always remove personal items such as toys, toothbrushes, toiletries, clothes, souvenir’s and most importantly photographs. It is essential for the buyer not to feel as if they are in someone else’s home but rather their home to be and removing such items goes a long way in helping achieve this.
• Always clean your home and freshen up your garden before a showing. It is statistically proven that fresh scents and cleanliness, or a lack thereof, go a long way in influencing a potential buyer.
• Always put some fresh flowers to create a welcoming look and liven up the space.
Things to avoid at all costs:

• Dirt and stains in rugs and linen. Would you buy a home with stained rug or mottled curtain?
• Try avoid having pets at the house during a visit from a buyer or a show day. Again it depersonalises the space.
• Try avoid being at the house during a viewing. Nothing is more personal than the owner of the house being present. It is simply an intrusion of the buyer’s prospective space.
• Don’t cook immediately prior to a viewing. The smell of a meal, particularly one that may not be pleasurable for the buyer, will definitely create a negative emotion.

So why a professional home stager? Surely I can achieve this on my own?

Well, two reasons: Firstly, everyone has a particular style and taste that may or may not appeal to the broader market. Your style may suit one potential buyer but repel all the rest, thereby reducing the interest and marketability of your home. Think of your home as a blank canvas, and the buyers as the artists – they need to be able to envisage what can be done to the home to make it their own – and, much like it is far easier to create art on a blank canvas than an old mottled painting, so it easier to imagine a new home in a neutral space. Neutral colour schemes, soft and hard furnishings and accessories are needed to appeal to a larger target market. Professionals are much more adept at achieving this.

Secondly, professional home stagers do this every day. They have studied it and gained valuable experience where you have none. In addition to their qualifications, professional home stagers and interior designers have trade accounts with all the major retail stores and furniture hire companies as well as immediate access to construction crews should your home need some minor touch ups or enhancements. Quite simply, it much less hassle and doesn’t cost any more than burdening yourself with the project.

So whether you want your home to sell as quickly as possible or you want to make as much money as possible, an interior designer or home stager is an essential and minuscule investment for a potentially very rewarding result for all parties.