Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Couple of Inexpensive Decorating Ideas

When it comes to cheap home decorating ideas, one of the biggest hurdles that you may face is finding the right idea to beautifully decorate the walls of your house. Since your goal is not only to create a warm atmosphere with the design of your choice, your mission is also to find the most cost-effective ways to create the design changes you wish to make..

Cheap home decorating idea #1: On your main wall, try to avoid the common mistake of just 'filling up space'.

For those of us that are not exactly 'trained' for interior design but are doing our best to come up with cheap home decorating ideas, try to avoid the natural tendency to fill up space on the walls of your home with anything you can find. Trust me, it's perfectly natural to do so, especially on a tight budget, however, there is a better way to do this that will look more appealing.

Instead, using tape or even an imaginary line, create a triangle in any spot on your wall. Start with the main wall in the very first room that your guests enter when they come inside. This wall should be considered the main area that you're looking to fancy up a bit.

The next step is very simple: fill the inside of this imaginary triangle with works of art that you find appealing. These pieces can consist of picture portraits to hang on your wall, artwork that you find soothing, or even uniquely designed clocks that have a touch of color to them. Remember, your goal is not to clutter the entire wall up with your displays, but instead only place these items inside your triangle. Once finished, step back, and appreciate this one simple cheap home decorating idea that has helped you accomplish your goal and cost next to nothing.

Cheap home decorating idea #2: Make life easier by displaying one large piece on your main wall.

If our first idea of creating a centerpiece with multiple wall decorations does not appeal to you, then perhaps you may want to try something much simpler. What is the idea? Find just one thing, yes - just one item - and hang it in the very center of your main wall. In fact, you can do this in every room of your house and create a very structured, yet appealing design to your wall. You're probably thinking that it is extremely expensive to purchase a large painting, and it can be! However, you do not have to run out and spend hundreds of dollars to do this.

If you look hard enough and enjoy shopping around, you will be surprised at just how many bargains you can find in your local newspaper, flea markets, and even garage sales on the weekends. On the other hand, one of my favorite items to use for wall displays is a colorful rug or a quilt.

We hope you find these simple tips helpful and of course we want to be your Realtors of choice here at the Lake of the Ozarks. Call the Spouses Selling Houses team. Until next time! Ebbie :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Condo or Townhome?

If you’re a first time home buyer, you may want to consider a couple alternatives to the traditional, single-family home that is surrounded on all sides by its own expensive lawn or driveway. Many people start their property buying progression with a condominium or townhouse, but which is right for you?

An increasing number of families are turning to these shared-wall options, mainly to stretch their budgets and cut down on outdoor maintenance. According to the Community Associations Institute, in 2006 57 million Americans were living in 23.1 million units in 286,000 association-governed communities nationwide, up from just 2.1 million in 10,000 communities in 1970.

The biggest advantage of both condos and townhouses is price. Sure, there are plenty of luxury high-rises and high end townhomes. But you can save a lot of money by not buying a big yard.
You’ll get more living space for your money, but you may be surprised to learn that your maintenance fee for both condos and townhomes counts toward your monthly housing expense. That’s not true with all your expenses that go into a single-family home—basically because you can skimp on expenses if you’re going it alone, but you can’t cry poor to the condo association. So you may be allowed a smaller loan.
A big selling point on both is that you don’t have to take care of a big yard. Your association handles most things outside your home. In a condo you may own a portion of the common space. In a townhouse, you’ll own your small yard, but you may or may not have to manage it.

The downside to either option is that you’ll have to live under the rules of the association. They may be anti-dog or have rules about landscaping or renting out. Harsh restrictions may make it harder to live there and more difficult to resell one day. Alternatively, if the renting rules are lax, you may find yourself not living among your fellow owners, who you’d like to think would be more responsive and responsible. Still community living has its benefits, such as amenities likes a pool or gym that you couldn’t afford on your own.
The advantage of a townhome over a condo is that you are living more independently. You’ll have a little bit of yard. You will enter through your own front door. You can probably grill out back. You may only share one wall with your neighbors—not the many walls, hallways, floors and ceilings that can create strife and noise complaints in a condo. And you may have your own parking space or garage—not a free-for-all parking lot.

The other advantage is that for financial purposes, a townhouse is still considered a single family home—even though there may be other single family homes pressed up against it. There are more issues with condos. If more than half of the owners don’t live there—and are using it just as an investment they rent out—it will be harder to get certain loans.
Condominiums have traditionally been considered not as sound of an investment as a house—basically because they catered to a limited slice of the potential market. But as more people consider condos, that may be changing.

Some people choose a condo, however, because it offers complete liberation from outdoor work. Condos do tend to offer more attractive locations. In some neighborhoods in a city or a suburban downtown, condos may be all you can find. Ultimately, it’s mostly a lifestyle choice: would you rather live in an apartment or a house? How close do you want to be to your neighbors? Both condos and townhouses force a little bit of community living on you, but townhouses offer a little more independence and condos offer more citified living. if we can be of help finding your perfect condo or townhome at the lake, please give us a call. We are the Spouses Selling Houses. Until next time! Ebbie :)