Author: Edward Collins

Why Would You Use A Realtor?

If you want to purchase a property or sell your own, you should consider hiring the services of a realtor. You may know someone who works in real estate yourself, but you should still take the time to find the one that is truly the best for your needs. The following two questions are things you need to ask in order to pick the best realtor for your needs.

Your realtor’s experience is one of the most important things to look into. The more experience they have, the better they are likely to be. The best ones are the ones who started working before the economic crisis and are still going strong. Next, make sure that the experience they have is relevant to your own needs. For example, if you are trying to become a property investor, your needs will be very different than if you are looking to downsize after retirement. You also need to know that your realtor understands your demographic and geographical requirements. For instance, if you were to purchase a farm, you need to work with a realtor that is very different from one that only works with apartments in major cities, as your requirements will be very different. If, however, your interests lie in historic or listed buildings, you will need a very different type of realtor.

If you are looking at making a property purchase, you shouldn’t work with the seller’s realtor who is already involved in the sale. This is due to the fact that any information you give you realtor will be passed on to the seller by the realtor, as it is their legal obligation to do so. In the same manner, if you want to sell, you shouldn’t work with your potential buyer’s realtor either. You need a professional that represents you and only you. The first thing you should try is ask people you know whether they can recommend anybody to you. You can also look through the NAR (National Association of Realtors to find good representation. The greatest benefit of working with a NAR agent is that you know they are both professional and ethical. Don’t choose the first and only realtor you speak to, however, but look around at a few different ones first. Explain your needs and ask what they suggest. It is an opportunity for you to find out how much a potential agent knows about neighborhoods, prices and more. If you want to sell a property, you must find out how well the realtor has performed in the past. Do they usually sell under, on or over the original asking price?

In most cases, if you want to sell your property, your agent will require you to sign an exclusivity agreement. It is completely normal to do so but does not affect any regular rights you have. If, for example, you feel you are being poorly represented, you are allowed to terminate the contract. The contract stops you from enlisting the services of a different agent at the same time, but is otherwise non-restrictive. As a buyer, you do not have to sing such an agreement. However, some realtors are starting to insist on it. The final thing you must look into is how your realtor earns their living. Different realtors do this in different ways. In most cases, realtors will work by charging a commission on the final sale or purchase price of a property, but there are also those who charge a flat fee. It is vital that you know which one of the two constructions your potential realtor uses before you decide to sign your contract with them.

How to Choose Your Living Room Furniture: And Why it Matters

How to Choose Your Living Room Furniture Correctly

A living room should be inviting; good furniture choices should make the room look larger, never smaller. It should be conducive to conversation, and the seating should be close, but not too close to each other. The best rooms include furniture that can be pulled up, dragged over or gathered around. 

The key is moveable seating. Swivel chairs are a popular choice, especially if you’re able to fit them facing the sofa, TV, or yard. Stools and benches are a second favorite, as they can be easily moved if extra seating is required.

Every living room should have a focal point. A focal point is the spot that we look at first when we walk into a room; it can also be a large piece of art. A focal point is the first impression the room will make on your guests. Don’t be afraid to have your furniture placed in the middle of the room. A decent-sized area rug will ground it and create a more comfortable feeling.

You should begin with upholstered pieces of furniture. Try using two matching sofas (facing each other) with two arm or slipper chairs. Ottomans are a wonderful addition when it comes to seating, and the right one can really pull a room together. 

Ottomans, coffee tables, occasional tables and other portable surfaces lend the room a congenial atmosphere, ensuring that there’s always a surface nearby for a book, drink, lamp, tray or vase. The living room furniture should be durable; there’s no point in having a $6,000 couch if you are going to cover it with a blanket all the time, or not let anyone sit on it. You shouldn’t be afraid of your furniture.

Different styles include bridge water, camelback, Chesterfield, club, Knole, Lawson, midcentury modern, slipper, and tuxedo. Some fabric options may include cotton, linen, wool, microfiber, velvet, cotton/poly blend, and faux suede, leather.

When furniture shopping, keep in mind: stain resistance, durability, pets, loose or attached pillows and cushions, filling (often foam wrapped in polyester or down). Additional seating options are love-seats, sectionals, sleeper sofas, chaises, and settees. 

Armchairs styles include barrel-back, club, slipper, and wing chairs. Some of the fabric options are cotton, linen, leather, microfiber, silk, velvet, wool, cotton/poly blend. When it comes to armchairs, you should be on the lookout for comfort, stain resistance, and durability. You can also go with rocker chairs, recliners, swivels, gliders, or a chair-and-a-half.

Ottomans come in rectangular, square, or circular shapes. Fabric options are cotton, linen, leather, microfiber, silk, velvet, wool, and cotton/poly blend. When ottoman shopping, keep in mind its storage capabilities, portability, stain resistance, durability. 

When it comes to console tables, you can choose either rectangular, square, circular, or oval. Of course, there are many different options, but these are the most common. Once you get into other shapes, the price is going to go up, as those are usually custom pieces rather than mass-produced ones. You can choose from wood, Lucite, glass, metal, woven fibers, shagreen, mirror or any combination. You should be on the lookout for one that has storage capabilities, shelving, durability, and portability.

You can also use trunks, garden seats, stools, nesting tables, or multiple small tables in place of one large coffee table.

How to Choose Your Master Bedroom Furniture: Pointers From the Pros

Choosing bedroom furniture is very difficult. The bedroom is where you spend most of your life, and the decor can psychologically impact your mood, so you’ll want the space to look nice. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are shopping for new master bedroom furniture. 

Bed: The first thing you should decide is the size; do you want a twin, full, queen, King, or California king? You also have to decide based on what the room can hold. You don’t want to put a King bed in a small room, regardless of how much you want to have a King bed. Decide instead, based on available space and then comfort wants or needs. Next, you’ll need to select the frame and the mattress.

Frames: You should definitely make sure that the frame you choose offers sturdy construction to support the mattress and box spring, as well as the weight of the people using the bed. Think about what the bed height will be once the mattress is in place. Depending on your mobility, a low, platform-style bed (which forgoes the box spring) or a high, tester style may make it difficult to get in and out of bed. As you shop, look for a frame style that suits your tastes, whether it’s a four-poster, sleek platform, or traditional design

Mattresses: There are more types of mattresses on today’s market than ever before. You’ll find models ranging from traditional innerspring construction to gel to memory foam to air or water filled beds, and more. You can also put a pillow top on the bed. Always be sure to check the labels and warranties. Some people have allergies to certain materials. Always try out the mattress in the store before you purchase, and read reviews.

Think about what you need to organize your bedroom and clear clutter. If you have a large walk-in closet, you probably need more drawers. If your space features a small closet, then you’ll also require space for hanging clothing. 

Dressers: Always check out the construction of dresser drawers before you buy. There are many dressers that are made very cheaply, and you don’t want to deal with breaking knobs, squeaky drawers, or anything of the like. Look for smooth, solid-wood drawers that are sealed or finished to discourage warping. Drawer corners should be square with the drawer sides and front, and secured with dovetail joints. Grooves in the sides and front should hold the drawer bottom; not glue and screws or nails. Open and close all the drawers to make sure they operate smoothly on one or more rails.

Also, select a chest of drawers with a variety of drawer depths to handle everything from belts, socks, scarves, and jewelry in shallow drawers to bulky sweaters in deep drawers. If wall space is limited, select a narrow model that stacks drawers high, as opposed to a low dresser that stretches wide and positions drawers side-by-side. 

Armoires: These freestanding cabinets offer almost unlimited configurations that include some combination of drawers, hanging space, and open shelves. Think about how you really want an armoire to function and choose accordingly. You can also use an armoire to hide the television as well as DVDs, books and magazines, and clothing.

Nightstands: Multi-functional pieces. Some furnishings offer more than one use. For example, choose an armoire that stores clothing but also hides a foldaway desk and space for your computer. Perhaps you could use a bench at the foot of the bed that also offers storage beneath the seat.

Side tables: Select a side table for each side of the bed and ensure that there’s enough table surface to hold a lamp and a beverage. A side table with a drawer and even a cabinet below makes it easy to keep reading materials, eyeglasses, a flashlight, cell phone, tablet, and more within easy reach.

How to Select Carpet Correctly For Your Rental Property or Personal Home The Right Way

Shopping for carpet involves a huge financial investment. It can also be stressful when you start to look at all the different styles, colors and brands. You want to ask questions to salespeople, but they’re putting the pressure on  you to buy the most expensive ones. By doing some basic homework, comparison shopping and working with a reputable retailer, you’ll be able to buy carpeting that fits your needs. Here are the primary things to think about when you’re shopping for new carpeting. We’ll give you tips on what to look for as well as what to look out for. 


Nylon outperforms all other fibers in durability, resilience and easy maintenance. This is a good choice if you want your carpet to last a decade or longer, for high-traffic areas, and in homes with kids and pets. Higher quality nylon fibers are “branded,” and the carpet label will use terms like “100% Mohawk Nylon.” Lower-quality, “unbranded” nylon fibers are listed simply as “100% nylon.” The strongest, softest, and most expensive, is 6.6 nylon.

Triexta is a newly classified fiber derived partly from corn sugar. It has excellent, permanent anti-stain properties; though nylon must be treated with stain protectors over its life span. It also has good resilience, but it’s too soon to tell whether it will match the durability of nylon in high-traffic areas. Because of its superior stain resistance, this is a good choice if you have young kids or pets.

Olefin (polypropylene) is an attractive, inexpensive fiber that’s strong and resists fading, but it’s not as resilient as nylon. It’s most often made into a looped Berber with a nubby weave that conceals dirt. It has good stain, static and mildew resistance. Olefin carpeting is often selected for high-traffic “clean” areas such as family rooms.

Saxony (also called velvet or plush) is a cut pile that works well in formal dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms. It shows footprints and vacuum marks and is not a good choice for high-traffic areas and active kids. The basic grade lasts about five years.

Check quality

Bend the carpet sample backward. If you can see the backing easily, it’s a lower quality carpet that will crush more easily. A salesperson might tell you that a certain carpet is a good deal, but don’t rely on his or her word alone. Check the label, handle the carpet and ask the salesperson about these signs of quality.

Salespeople will be glad to take care of all the ordering and installation details, but you might save and get a better installation if you do many of these details yourself. They have a tendency to “overmeasure” your carpet needs. This means you pay for carpet and pad you don’t use. Get several estimates, compare the yardage numbers, and consider paying an independent carpet installer to measure your home.

A lot of carpet problems stem from poor installation. Bad seaming, a too-thin pad and inadequate stretching can make a carpet look terrible within a few years. If you or a friend knows a great carpet installer, use that person instead of one provided by the carpet dealer. The installer will measure your house, tell you exactly how much carpet and pad to get, recommend a quality dealer, and pick up the carpet and deliver it on installation day. You can save yourself some money on the installation by removing the old carpet and pad yourself. Ask your installer how much you’ll save to see if it’s worthwhile.

Get at least three estimates. Tell every salesperson that you’ll be getting several estimates, and don’t discuss details about other carpet bids you’ve received. Have each carpet estimate include a flooring diagram that shows measurements and seam locations. 

Get an individual price quote for each aspect of the job, including carpet, pad, delivery, installation, transition metal pieces, furniture moving, stairs, and old carpet and pad removal and disposal. It’s easy to be overcharged if you just get an overall price for the job.

Make sure you’re home on installation day. Get a sample of the carpet and pad you’ve ordered and compare them with the carpet and pad that show up on the truck. In some instances, retailers deliver a lower quality pad or carpet than you’ve paid for.

Do your research, and make sure a salesperson doesn’t make the decisions for you. Base your carpet and pad decisions on your lifestyle, household occupants (kids and/or pets) and traffic levels. Also consider the desired life span, maintenance requirements, and the looks and price of the carpet. Common sales gimmicks such as “free pad with carpet purchase” can get you cheap pad that can wreck your carpet.

Take the carpet samples you’ve selected to at least three stores and compare prices of similar products. Get every item in your carpet bid priced individually. This will make it easier to compare bids.


Where to Buy Carpet

Visit several retailers, including local, family-owned businesses that survive on customer referrals. Choose the one that will give you the best service, price and guarantee.

How to Choose Bathroom Finishes & Accessories: Things You Forgot to Think Of

Bathroom finishes are very important in a bathroom; they can change the entire look of the room. You should choose finishes and accessories that compliment the decor, and the fixtures. 

Chrome: If you have a limited budget, chrome is the best choice. Chrome plating is long-lasting, easy to clean, and goes with pretty much any colour scheme. Chrome is also a great choice because it is much easier to find a variety of accessories with matching chrome finishes than any other type of finish. If you are giving your bathroom a makeover, make it easy on yourself and go with chrome. A chrome shower dispenser, squeegee, and cosmetic vanity mirror will give you the refresh you’re looking for.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is a great choice for a higher end look and feel and is rust resistant to ensure your accessories will continue to look brand new for years. If you are going to be making a permanent commitment to a shower caddy, it may be a good idea to choose a product that is made of stainless steel. You can also look into shower baskets; there are a million options, and they can really add to the decor of the room.

Silver Gloss: Silver gloss is the second-most popular bathroom accessory finish. It is a misnomer as it is not only not made of silver, but also not made of metal as well. Rather, it is crafted of durable plastic with a high grade paint and luxurious high gloss finish. 

However, silver gloss accessories are slightly less reflective and more matte than chrome, creating
a cleaner, less distracting look. A whole set of accessories in silver gloss work to accentuate, instead of distract from, other bathroom features. Silver gloss is designed to prevent water and soap stains from building up. Silver gloss is not
as expensive as higher-end metal finishes. However, it is a surprisingly great choice for redoing your bathroom accessories on a budget.

Higher End Finishes: More expensive finishes include the metal finishes of nickel, brass, and bronze. All of these finishes are most often used on bathroom and shower faucets.

White Plastic: White plastic has a clean look, cleans easily, and goes with everything. If you and your houseguests don’t have discerning tastes, there may no reason to go for anything flashier. However, you should still try to buy quality white plastic bathroom accessories, like the Euro line of shower dispensers that look good and will last for decades.

Here is how to choose accessories:

Since bathrooms are usually places that had to sacrifice when it comes to square feet, accessories for the bathroom need to pass a strict selection process. Overcrowded bathrooms are quite the eye-sore and should be avoided at all costs. They should be equipped only with most necessary, important items. 

Mats: The first thing that every bathroom has to have is appropriate flooring. The least expensive and pretty useful accessory for the floor is the bathroom mat. The path that allows you walk on in the bathroom must be properly marked and protected. The first reason is health-related.

Since bathroom floors are usually covered with tiles, which are not actually the warmest surface in the world and people tend to be barefoot in the bathroom, floor mats serve as feet protectors. As well all know, numerous health problems start from feet. Another reason for having a mat on the bathroom floor is the aesthetic one. When somebody comes to your home as a guest, you want them to feel comfortable in every part of your home. The bathroom is complete when there is a mat on the tiled path. 

Cloths: Towels are definitely among the most important accessories in the bathroom. As far as the number of items on the bathroom door and surrounding hook on the walls is concerned, a towel per member of family and a bathing robe is just enough. Any items beyond this number of items will look like space limiters. Apart from that, another essential cloth for the bathroom is a hand-wiping towel. In some families all members use the same towel for that purpose. In some others, everybody has their own.

Hooks: Hooks are must-have accessories, indeed. However, do not use too many, as you’ll inevitably use them all and have towels all over the bathroom.