Tips for an organized garage!

Garage organization tips GEO Real Estate

Tips for an organized garage!
Most families have so much stuff in their garage that they can’t even park a car in it. The yard tools might be piled on top of each other and the shelves might be stacked with lots of odds and ends and let’s not even mention the loose boxes and junk drawers. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, this article is for you.

We’ve complied some quick and easy solutions so you can organize your garage and possibly even park your car inside when you are done.

Manage the mess!
Hooks – Hang folding chairs or ladders from an oversized steel hook to get items off the floor.

Wall mount organizers – Bring order to your gardening tools and cleaning accessories, such as brooms and mops with a wall mount organizer. This will keep them up off the floor and easily accessible when you need them.

Magnetic tool holder – Instead of digging through a messy drawer, keep all your tools (drill bits, screws wrenches, nails, etc) at arms reach on a magnetic tool holder.

Bins – Stash sporting gear, shoes and other playtime items in bins so the kids can easily access them.

Labels – As you organize your garage, label everything. By labeling everything you will have a better chance of the item making it back to its proper place after it is used.

Storage
Ceiling storage – Install ceiling storage to house seasonal items, such as holiday decor, snowboards, recreational toys and luggage.

Wall storage – Purchase a utility cabinet or build a collection of cabinets for tools, hardware, paint and chemicals that should be housed in the garage.

Shelves – Add shelves to the garage for easy access to items that may need to be accessed more frequently.

Lockers – Install a set of old school lockers in the garage and assign one to each family member. This will give each person their own personal storage area in the garage.

Reserved parking
Mini parking area – Bikes, trikes and roller skates are on of the top causes of disorganization. By creating a individual parking spots for each rolling item, everyone will know what gets parked where. From the lawn mower to the bicycle to the wagon, each item has a designated space. Create a parking space for each item with the use of some masking tape.

The keys to finding a baby friendly home

Baby Home safety Tips

The keys to finding a baby friendly home in Peoria, Arizona.

1. Be patient
First, congratulations on this exciting time in your life. Having a baby can bring on lots of changes and finding a new home, might be one of them. Maybe you want a single story without stairs or you need an extra bedroom for the baby or maybe you want a bigger backyard with grass. Every parent will have different priorities for their new home and it is crucial you know what is most important for your family. The key is to be patient and not to settle on a home if it is not exactly what you want.

2. Prioritize
What is most important to your family? Do you want a single story or would you prefer all the bedrooms to be upstairs away from the main living area? How many bedrooms do you need for your growing family? Do you want a low-maintenance yard with rock or would you prefer grass? Do you want a pool in the backyard or just lots of open space for the kids to run around in? What about the schools? Have you had a chance to look up the school districts and ratings? Do you prefer public schools or charter schools? These are all major questions you need to answer before you move. Knowing what your priorities are will help narrow your search and determine what is most important to you in your new home.

3. Layout
The layout should be a key factor when selecting a new home. Homes with master bedrooms on the first floor are very popular right now, however they are not ideal if you have a baby and you are having to go up the stairs in the middle of the night. I would recommend walking each floorplan and thinking about your daily activities and where the baby will be when you are cooking dinner or washing clothes. Is there a room that can be gated off and provide the little one with a place to play with their toys? Or is there enough room to set up a play pin in the living room or dining room that will provide a safe play area? The ability to keep an eye on the baby while you are conducting your daily activities is very important when reviewing the layout of your new home.

4. Inspect
If you do make an offer, do not let your love of the house distract you from the reality of certain problems. Work with your realtor to hire a good inspector to thoroughly review the house. The inspector will check for radon gas and termites as well as lead based paint. If the home was built before 1978, then there is a good chance there is lead based on the property and may require special treatment or removal. The roof, electrical system and exterior should also be examined and if there are any problems, you should reach out to a contractor to estimate the cost of the repair.

Once you have purchased the perfect home for your growing family you can now relax and start nesting. If you are able to move before the baby is born, then you will only need to set up the nursery once and you will probably have everything in place when the little one arrives. If you move after the baby is born, just take it slow and know everything will come together eventually. Your life revolves around your little one now and unpacking can wait.

 

I am selling my house, should I stage my home?

I am selling my house, should I stage my home?

Twenty years ago, sellers did not worry about “staging” their home before putting it on the market. Sellers would give the house a good scrub and hide the kitty litter box and their realtor would put a “For Sale” sign in the front yard. But all has changed, as more and more home sellers enlist the services of home stagers to make their home look amazing to potential buyers. A well-dressed, sparkling house can garner lots of attention from buyers and potentially sell your house very quickly. Their goal is to make your home be the hot commodity in the area and make buyers go crazy in their efforts to outbid each other.

What do home stagers do?
A home stager is similar to an interior decorator. They have an expertise in planning and choosing colors, fabrics and furniture, and arranging them all in a way that makes your home look its best. Their goal is to decorate a home in a way that makes it appealing to a broad range of tastes and help people fall in love with your home and want to buy it.

More specifically, here is what a stager might do to get your home ready for sale:

  • Examine your home from top to bottom and determine what should be done to get it ready to be listed for sale. They will offer recommendations and costs and develop a plan of action that works the best for you.
  • Identify specific ways to highlight your homes best features and compensate for its shortcomings. For example, a stager may recommend removing curtains from a window with a view or in a small bedroom, replacing a bigger bed with a smaller one to make the space look larger.
  • Recommend which items of your furniture and household possessions should stay in the house and which should be removed to de-clutter and de-personalize your home.
  • Help you arrange any repairs or other major work that needs to be done on your home.
  • Bring in new furniture, artwork, curtains, carpets, pillows, flowers, fruit and a welcoming doormat. The stager will bring in items that have been carefully matched and chosen to make your house feel like a place where people can live.

Should you stage it yourself?
Of course, you may already own well-chosen furniture and gorgeous home accessories and have an eye for decorating. If so, you might be able to reproduce the work of a stager and save the money. But like any of the tasks involved in selling your home, you need to ask yourself whether doing it yourself is worth your time and effort. Even if your home is in pretty good shape, you’ll still find yourself working on basic things like choosing new paint colors, hiring contractors and shopping for the perfect decoration. Your time can be sucked up very quickly, while hiring a stager means that most of it will happen like magic, while you can turn your attention to the many other things you need to do while selling your home.

The decision is entirely up to you. If you decide to hire a stager, make sure to interview several before making your choice. You want someone who can get the job done and make your home look amazing for potential buyers.

It’s time to move… Are you ready?

tips for moving

It’s time to move… Are you ready?

Between packing, changing your address, setting up new utilities and insurance, and unpacking, there is a lot to keep organized when you move. But planning and keeping a checklist can make the process go a lot smoother.

TWO MONTHS BEFORE YOUR MOVE
Now is the time to start researching. Start looking into moving options and whether you will hire movers or rent a truck and try to move everything yourself. Make sure to get all the estimates in writing and figure out your budget. This is also a good time to start going through your belongings and sorting them. Are there items you are not using? If so, you can try to sell them on a local Swip Swap Facebook page or list them on OfferUp or CraigsList. Or you can donate them to a local charity or church.

SIX WEEKS BEFORE YOUR MOVE
Now is the time to solidify your moving plans. Finalize your moving plans and start packing. You will probably need to start stocking up on boxes, tape, bubble wrap and other packing supplies.

A MONTH BEFORE YOUR MOVE
Start packing. Start with the items you use less frequently, like china, books, or off-season items. Label each box or bag carefully, so you can identify it during and after the move.

Also, fill out your change-of-address form. You can complete this online at USPS.com or you can turn in a form at your local post office. Start setting up your utilities at your new home and scheduling them to be turned off at your old home. Notify important entities such as banks, credit card companies and employers of your new address.

THE DAY OF THE MOVE
Make sure to do a thorough sweep of the house after everything has been loaded to make sure you did not leave anything behind. Check closets, cupboards, the garage and the sides of the house for any missed items.

THE DAY AFTER THE MOVE
Now that everything has been moved, you get to start unpacking each box and organizing your new home. HAVE FUN!

Improving Your Credit Score Prior to Purchasing a New Home

Improve your credit score to buy a home.

Improving Your Credit Score Prior to Purchasing a New Home

A three-digit number affects so many aspects of your financial life from your odds of getting approved for a loan or a credit card, to your interest rate, to your insurance premiums and even your employability. That is because your FICO credit score, which is used by most lenders, represents your ability to pay back a debt. A less-than-stellar rating or late payments on your report can ruin your dream of qualifying for a home. Thankfully, if your FICO score is lower than you’d like, nudging it upward isn’t difficult. Follow these steps and you should see improvement in as little as a year.

1. Review your credit report for accuracy
There are many sites that ask you to pay to get a copy of your credit report, however www.annualcreditreport.com offers you all three reports for free once a year. Review your report for accuracy and make sure that all your accounts are correct. If you see an error on one or more report, you will need to contact each agency (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) to correct the errors.

2. Find your credit score
Again, there are a lot of sites that will ask you to pay, however www.creditkarma.com will provide you with your score for free. Generally speaking, anything above 740 puts you in the “very dependable” category, while a score below 670 tends to be rated as subprime. Either way, they are easy ways to make improvement in both areas.

3. Continue to pay all your bills on-time
Approximately 35% of your FICO score is based on your payment history. To make sure you don’t ever miss a due date, consider automating your payments for utilities, student loans, auto and credit card payments. Stagger them, if possible, to avoid a massive outflow and coordinate them when you get paid.

4. Reduce your debt
Another 30% of your FICO score is based on the amount that you owe. Lenders are particularly mindful of your debt-to-credit ratio. Prepare to get dinged if you use more than 30% of your available credit limit.

5. Up your credit limit
If your debt-to-credit ratio needs improvement, paying down the debt is the best solution. However, if you are unable to pay it down right away, consider calling the creditor and asking them for a credit limit increase. This will decrease your debt-to-credit ratio and increase your FICO score.

6. Be aware of excessive hard inquiries
When you apply for a new credit card, it is standard for the proposed lender to check your credit report before extending an offer. That is considered a hard inquiry. While applying for a credit card won’t matter much, four or five inquires within a year could seriously hurt your score. Just keep that in mind before you say “yes” to a retailer tempting you with a credit card offer at the checkout line. Please keep in mind, that while shopping around for a competitive mortgage or car loan often causes several hard inquires within a short period, these will generally count as a single probe for the purpose of your score. And checking your own credit report doesn’t count against you either.

Make no mistake in trying to clean up your credit, many people start canceling old credit cards. DON’T. Shredding your oldest credit cards shortens your credit history, which is responsible for about 15% of your FICO score. If you really want to cut back, eliminate non-bank cards, such as retail cards first. Then, cancel and cut up those you’ve had for the least amount of time, because long standing cards with a solid payment history will help your score.