Barbara Rybicki's Blog
For frequent hosts owning your own home is an exciting upgrade to your hospitality skill set. A home large enough to include a guest room for friends and family to stay the night allows you to provide a homey overnight stay that trumps a hotel experience every time.
To create the perfect home away from home guest room for visitors just follow this guide.
First things first, keep it tidy over time. Don’t fall to temptation and use it as a catch-all storage room. This will just lead to more clean up before guests arrive and detract from the home away from home experience if they feel like they are staying in a glorified storage closet.
Before guests arrive freshen up the room by dusting, cracking a window for fresh air, spritz linens with a spray, and vacuum the floors.
Stock your guest bathroom well with toilet paper, tissues, q-tips and cotton balls. Keep two full matching sets of towels folded up nicely and in the open for guests to easily grab. Take a page from the hotel room playbook and have decorative shelving for this very purpose. Either mount shelving to the wall or find a standalone unit that matches your decor.
Have toiletries on hand in case guests have forgotten any while packing. Include new, individually packaged toothbrushes, a tube of toothpaste and travel size deodorants for example. It is always thoughtful to stock the medicine cabinet with the basics.
Stock up on luxurious soaps, lotions, and shampoos to keep on hand in your guest bathroom. It’s best to also keep these out in the open so it is obvious to guests it is for their use. Tiered cake stands, catch-all bowls and clear jars are a great way to put these stylishly on display.
Offer the perfect sleeping experience by including a light bedding option and a warmer one - no matter the season. An ottoman at the foot of the bed with extra blankets and pillows will help guests feel at home to set up the bed their way.
Lay down on the bed to get a feel for how it would be for your guests. In fact, interacting in the room as if you are your guest is a great way to discover what your room is missing. Offer plenty of lighting. Bedside lamps in addition to the ceiling light allow guests to create ambiance or stay up reading while their partner snoozes.
Decorate the room to keep it cohesive with and as homey as the rest of the house. Hang pictures of friends and family. Frame a decorative image that has your wifi network and password readily available for guests to log in. Include fresh cut flowers and seasonal decor.
If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future there are several financial prerequisites that you should aim to meet. Ideally, you’ll want a sizable down payment, a verifiable income history, and a good credit score.
It takes time to build credit. For most people, it can be several months or even years before they see a double-digit change in their credit score. However, if you have a low credit score and want to give it a quick boost, there are ways you can make a big difference.
But first, why should you focus on your credit score?
Credit scores and mortgages
When you apply for a mortgage there are several factors that your lender will take into consideration. One of their top concerns will be your credit score. This score is like a snapshot of your financial reliability. It tells lenders how much risk is involved in lending to you.
As a result, lenders will increase your interest rate if you are high risk and lower it if you are lower risk. To be a low risk homeowner, you’ll want your score to be in the high range, (usually 700 or above).
Credit change potential
Depending on your financial history, it can be more difficult to raise your score in a shorter period of time. If you are young, don’t have a long credit history, or haven’t had many bills to pay in your lifetime, your score will be more malleable than someone who has had low credit for years due to late payments.
In the United States, you have to be eighteen to open up a credit card or take out a loan by yourself (this is different from getting a loan co-signed by a parent or guardian). You can also ask your parents or guardians to add you as an authorized user of their credit cards. This will let you build credit without having to settle for the high interest rate credit cards you would be eligible for.
If you happen to have a low score (anywhere between 300 - 600), the good news is you can achieve a larger change over a shorter amount of time than someone who already has a high score.
So, how do you achieve that change?
One of the easiest ways to quickly improve your score is to check for errors in your credit report. You can get a free report each year from the three main credit bureaus--Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
Look out for bills that have been mistakenly put under your name and for collections that shouldn’t be on your account.
Avoid new credit
One thing that can do short-term harm to your credit score is opening or attempting to open new lines of credit. That can be a store card, a loan, or getting your credit checked by a lender.
If you want to build credit quickly, making several inquiries could land you with a lower score than where you started.
Pay your regular expenses with credit
A good way to gain credit points in a few months is to pick a monthly expense to use your credit card for. Pay off your full balance at the end of each billing cycle to earn the most points while avoiding building up too much interest.
Unfortunately, selling a house sometimes can be a long, complicated process. And if you're not careful, you risk costly, time-consuming mistakes that may prevent you from achieving your home selling goals.
When it comes to selling a house, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the home selling journey and ensure you can enjoy a fast, seamless home selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to simplify the home selling process.
1. Boost Your House's Curb Appeal
The first impression that your home makes on potential buyers can have far-flung effects on the home selling journey. If your house dazzles homebuyers, you may increase the likelihood of a quick, profitable home selling experience. On the other hand, if your home misses the mark with buyers, you may struggle to stir up interest in your house.
Perform home exterior upgrades to enhance your house's appearance. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and clear debris from any walkways. Also, repair any cracked or damaged siding to further bolster your house's appearance and ensure homebuyers will fall in love with your house as soon as they see it.
2. Eliminate Clutter
Clutter may dominate your home's interior, and if you don't clear it out, you risk missing out on opportunities to sell your house.
Fortunately, there are many ways to eliminate clutter. For example, a yard sale is a quick, effective way to sell assorted items before you list your residence. Or, you can list items online or donate them to charity.
If there are various items you want to keep, you may want to rent a storage unit. With a storage unit at your disposal, you can keep a wide range of items safe and outside your home until your residence sells.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is committed to helping home sellers achieve the optimal results. He or she will work with you throughout the home selling journey and ensure you can enjoy a successful home selling experience.
Usually, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your home and craft a personalized home selling strategy. This housing market professional then will promote your residence to buyers and host open house events and home showings. Furthermore, if a homebuyer makes an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.
A real estate agent also will respond to your home selling concerns or questions. Thus, if you are uncertain about how to navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to offer guidance.
There is no need to stress as you get ready to list your residence. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can eliminate the guesswork commonly associated with selling a house.
Your credit score is one of the most important numbers to your financial picture. You know how important it is to have a high credit score. If you pay your bills on time and keep your debt down, you think that your score will be just fine, but this isn’t always the case. There are a few hidden mistakes that you could be making that are bringing your credit score down. Read on to find out what to avoid when trying to keep your credit score up and maintain it.
Too Many Credit Inquiries
Beware that every time you apply for a new loan or even just check on what type of interest rate you can get, your credit will be reviewed. You want to avoid too many credit inquiries because a high number will bring your credit score down. Always ask if a lender is pulling a hard inquiry to check your score, don’t allow too many of these credit checks.
Anything Small Can Make A Big Impact
Was there a mistake on a medical bill that you paid but it says it was unpaid? If you let this go, your credit score could be impacted. Even unreturned library books that have been turned over to collections can negatively affect your score. Stay on top of things because you never know how a small mishap can affect you.
Your Information Is Wrong
You should look at your credit report so that you can see more than just your history. You can see the information that is being reported to check for mistakes. Incorrect information can bring your credit score down. You can call the credit bureau that’s associated with any errors that you see on your credit report. It can be a little bit of a process to correct the mistakes on your credit report, but the time and effort is definitely worth it for your credit score.
Not Using your Credit
While using your credit too much is a problem, not making use of your credit at all can be a problem. Responsibly use your credit. Open a credit card and use it to make small purchases. Charge only things that you can afford and pay the balance off each month. This simple use of a card is one of the easiest ways to establish credit.
It’s important to do what you can to develop and maintain a healthy credit score. Keep all of your avenues covered to be sure that nothing hidden can negatively affect your credit score.
Moving to a new home can be a stressful time for a new homeowner. Packing up a house-full of belongings is a strenuous process that can take up a lot of time and energy. And, if you’re working with movers, you’re going to have to pay for everything you want to move.
One way to make the process of moving easier and to save some money is by listing some of your unwanted belongings for sale online.
There are a number of places to list your unwanted items, but some are better than others when it comes to heavy and bulk items.
When to start listing and selling
The best time to begin the process of listing and selling some of your bulk items is at least two months before your move.
Why so long?
The answer lies in how much time it takes to list items, field responses, and ship the items or meet up with the buyer for pickup.
To list your items, you’ll want to do some research on them to find out the brand name, year, condition, and model number for things like large televisions. You’ll then want to see what the items are selling for used online.
Once you have a price in mind, you’ll want to take some high quality photos of the items. Good lighting and a decent camera (a newer smartphone camera should suffice).
Next comes the process of listing. Regardless of where you list your items, you’ll want to make sure you provide as many details as possible. This will help provide the site you’re using with enough keywords to make your items show up in popular searches. It will also help reduce the number of questions you receive from buyers who want to know more about the item--the listing should tell them everything they need to know to make a purchase.
Where to list
For large items that would be costly to ship, it’s best to use local listing services like Craigslist and Facebook groups. However, don’t give out too many details (like your address or date of moving); you don’t want to tip off would-be scammers or thieves to the fact that you’re moving.
For smaller items that still carry some value, a site like eBay or Amazon can produce top value for your belongings. Just factor in shipping costs and the chance of returns into the price.
Tips for success
One of the reasons I recommend listing your items months in advance of your move is because it can take time to list your items, field inquiries, then finally ship them and receive your payment.
One way to ensure that you successfully sell your items is to stay on top of inquiries. That means making yourself available whenever possible to take phone calls and answering email questions.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to turn a profit off of the items you would have otherwise had to pay to move. Happy moving, and good luck!