Update

We have recently welcomed a new addition to our family! Because of the demands of caring for a newborn, we are not taking on any new projects at this time. We will let you know as soon as services are available again. Thank you for your understanding!

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Making the Move (Finally!)

Well, the month of December was a complete blur! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years, and that 2012 is off to a great start for you. I apologize for not keeping this blog updated, but I do have a good excuse–we are officially homeowners!! We closed escrow on December 27th and have spent the past few weeks wrapping up work here and moving everything in. We’re a long ways from finished but it’s starting to look more like home. I will be sure to post pictures soon as we start finishing up our many many projects we’re working on, and I will do my best to post more regularly as the chaos of moving subsides. Until then, happy Friday!

Finally on the Home Path

As my 4-year-old likes to say whenever we’re almost home after a long trip, “We’re on the home path!” After delays, repairs, and renogotiations, we’re finally coming to the end of the home buying process! Though it’s taken longer than we’d hoped, we are scheduled to close by December 21st! I think the thing I’m looking forward to the most is making this house a beautiful, comfortable home for our family and finally being able to try out some of the decorating ideas that have been percolating in the back of my mind. I will of course bring you all along for the ride as we embark on our decorating adventures!

I for one will be thrilled to have this whole thing is behind us, there are few things that suck more time and energy from a person (and this coming from a mom of two kids under 5!) We’ve been so grateful for all the help and support we’ve recieved from family and friends, and as we approach the beginning of a new year, we’re ready to make it our best one yet! Stay tuned….

Does Your Home Qualify for FHA Financing?

Where on earth does the time go? I just realized we’re almost halfway through November! So a few updates to report, our reinspection on the house went very well, no new problems, and the seller has agreed to fix the major issues of the roof and the air conditioner!! We’re on track to close by November 30th, an exciting and terrifying prospect, but we’re definitely ready!

A house that would not qualify for FHA financing
A house that would not qualify for FHA financing

On a professional note, for any sellers who are debating whether or not you should make repairs to your home before selling, from the perspective of both a home stager and a buyer, my recommendation is definitely yes! We’ve looked at a lot of homes over the past few months, and while I think because of the business we’re in we’re able to see past a lot more of the cosmetic issues than your average buyers, things like a leaking roof, a broken water heater or exposed wiring will scare off all but the bravest of buyers, and could even put your buyer’s ability to get financing at risk.

A huge number of buyers out there right now are buying homes with FHA or other similar loan programs, and something to keep in mind is that in order for these buyers to obtain financing, the lender has certain requirements on the condition of the home that must be met. For example, missing fixtures in the bathroom, missing or severely damaged flooring, or obvious leaks in the roof or plumbing could cause a lender to reject a buyer’s loan application unless the issues are fixed. In our case, if the seller hadn’t been willing to repair the issues that came up in our inspection, we would have had no choice but to walk away because of this financing issue. Unfortunately, a lot of the houses out there right now are in such a condition that they would not qualify for FHA financing, so buyers who have this limitation on them will be much more likely to make an offer on your house if they feel confident that the home is in good condition.

If you want your home to be considered by the highest number of people possible, seriously consider having your home preinspected or at the very least ask your real estate agent if they notice any issues that might be an issue for FHA financing. Yes, it may cost you some money up front to deal with any problems, but not being able to sell your home will in many cases ultimately cost you much more.

For a more complete list of property requirments to qualify for FHA financing, check out the blog post “Appraisal and Property Requirements for FHA Loans”–while the post specifically refers to requirements for the state of Arizona, they will most likely be similar in most states.

Home Inspection (Almost) Complete….

We had our home inspection yesterday for the property we’re buying and as expected there were a few issues that came up, mostly cosmetic (nothing my handy hubby can’t handle) but also some bigger problems with the roof (we already knew about that) and air conditioner (an unpleasant surprise). They had also forgotten to turn on the gas! So now they’re going to have to go back to reinspect the stove, water heater, central heat, etc., but hopefully there won’t be any problems there. The next step will be going back to the negotiating table to see if we can get the seller to take care of some of the major stuff. Hopefully they’ll say yes and we can move forward!

Beautiful Kitchens

I think most of us have something about our kitchen that we’d like to change. For me it’s always fun to dream big–to imagine what I would do to my kitchen if money and time were no object. Here’s some of my favorite beautiful kitchens, from traditional to modern and everything in between. What inspires your kitchen dreams?

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Fabulous Wainscoting and Other Inspirations

While browsing around for ideas for our new house, I stumbled upon this photo from the Better Homes & Gardens slideshow “Fast and Fabulous Decorating Ideas”:

Beautiful Wainscoting ideas

I fell in love! I had never seen wainscoting like this before, so when the article said it was available at home improvement stores I immediately check out several sites and sure enough, there it was! Made by Acurio Latticeworks based in Georgia, these durable PVC panels are suitable for indoors or outdoors and come in loads of designs and colors. The best part–they’ll do custom designs as well! Just send them a picture or a description of what you want with the size and they’ll send you a template of your design and, once you approve it, will then ship you your very own custom wainscoting for a fraction of the cost! Here’s an example from fellow home stager and interior designer Tracy of Soulstyle:

Acurio Latticeworks custom wainscoting

Original wainscoting ideas

"Metropolis Circles" by Acurio Latticeworks

Tracy also had them make custom window coverings with equally fabulous results:

Alternative window coverings

For details on installation, check out Tracy’s original blogpost “Living Room Wainscot”.

So something from Acurio will definitely be making an appearance in our new place, and you all will be the first to see it:)