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5 Backyard Trends for Summer 2022

5 Backyard Trends for Summer 2022

Posted By Andrea Robinson
June 28, 2022 Category: General

If you’re looking for new ways to bring life to your backyard, look no further!   In this blog post, we’ll cover 5 backyard trends for this Summer.    Now, let’s get to it….   Outdoor living spaces   With many people shifting to working remotely permanently, having an outdoor living space in your backyard where you can comfortably work is the newest and hottest trend.   Whether it be a comfortable seating area or a cabana, creating a space where you can be productive in your backyard is something many people are investing their money into.   Backyard escapes   Another trend that emerged during the pandemic and is still strong is creating an “escape” out of your backyard. Since the pandemic caused many people to cancel their trips, many made the most out of their home space, including their backyards.   Whether it be fancy outdoor furniture, waterworks, or an extravagant garden, making your backyard a space you can use to “escape” reality is a trend.   Fire features   If you have a pool, adding fire features to it and its surroundings is a backyard trend.    But the fire feature trend doesn’t stop there. Not only are people adding fire features to their pools, but they’re also adding it throughout their whole backyard. Whether it’s a fire pit or a few torches on the wall, fire is something you’ll be seeing a lot more o

3 Summer Events in CLE You MUST Attend

3 Summer Events in CLE You MUST Attend

Posted By Andrea Robinson
June 14, 2022 Category: General

Summer solstice may only be a few days away but the Summer heat is well here! If you’re looking for fun things to do with your family this summer in Cleveland, you’re in luck because we have 3 Summer events you must attend!   Visit Cleveland’s Botanical Garden With over 10 acres of gardens, Cleveland’s Botanical Garden is a winning summer activity no matter whether the sun is shining or the clouds are drooping.  Not only are there seven garden themes to explore, but children can participate in a ton of activities including scavenger hunts, storytelling, arts and crafts, and even a mystery costume tea party.   Visit the Progressive Field in Downtown Cleveland If you have any baseball fans in your family, this is the activity to do!  Home to the MLB’s Cleveland Indians, the Progressive Field baseball park is always welcoming visitors. You can book a tour to explore the behind-the-scenes of this stadium, such as the Sliders Field, Baseball Bat Slide, the interactive locker room, Step2 Zone, Hot Corner, and a ton more.   Enjoy Live Music Outdoors Lastly, if you want to participate in a Summer staple then you must attend the Blossom Music Center to hear the Cleveland Orchestra perform. While you may reserve seats in the pavilion, you can definitely show up with some folding chairs, and blankets, and spread out on the lawn.  Check out their schedule here.   If you try any of these Summer

5 Steps to Purchasing Your First Home

5 Steps to Purchasing Your First Home

Posted By Andrea Robinson
May 26, 2022 Category: General

  If you’ve wanted to enter the housing market for the past two years but couldn’t stomach the record-breaking price that homes were being sold at… Now is your chance!   With the Feds increasing the interest rate to try and correct the market and beat inflation, your mortgage may be a bit more expensive but homes are a bit more reasonably priced.   That being said, if it’s your first home that you’re about to buy, here are the 5 steps you should follow.  1. Save for a Downpayment   If you’re looking to buy a home, the first thing you should be doing is saving for a downpayment. Ideally, you would need to save a % percentage per your state’s laws but the more the better.    Another thing you should also consider at this stage is saving up for the costs that are associated with buying a home. Some of these costs include, but are not limited to, land transfer tax, lawyer fees, home inspection, and title insurance.   2. Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval   Once you have your money set straight, it’s time to go to the bank and find out how much they’re willing to lend you for your mortgage.   They will consider different aspects such as your income, credit, downpayment, and more to establish an amount.    3. Set Expectations   Once you know what dollar amount mortgage you can afford, it’s time you sit down and consider what your wishlist is. D

4 of the Latest Green Home Trends

4 of the Latest Green Home Trends

Posted By Andrea Robinson
May 12, 2022 Category: General

We all know that green is better, but what exactly can we do to make our homes greener? Here are 4 green home trends that you could maybe inspire yourself from…   Eco-friendly fabrics If you want to make sure you’re not contributing to the tons of fabric that end up in landfills or the pollution that the textile industry creates, turning to eco-friendly fabrics will do the trick. Whether it is organic cotton curtains or bamboo bed sheets, there are tons of eco-friendly fabrics being used these days for textiles in your home.    Smart technology If you can save both on your electricity bill and your environmental footprint, would you do it?! If you answered yes, then investing in smart technology may be something for you to check into!  Lots of smart home tech these days can turn up and down your air conditioning and heating when necessary, making it easier to avoid wasting energy.   Thrifting Want unique or one-of-a-kind items in your home? Then thrifting may be for you. If you’re looking to decorate your home, thrifting allows you to pick a gently loved item and give it a new home without making a huge environmental impact.  So c’mon, give things a second life!   Non-Toxic Materials Did you know that there are toxins in the paint you buy for your walls and in the plywood used to build your home? These days, there are more green and environmentally-friendly brands that exist that aren’t as

4 Spring Activities to Do in the Greater Cleveland Area

4 Spring Activities to Do in the Greater Cleveland Area

Posted By Andrea Robinson
April 29, 2022 Category: General

Spring has sprung in Cleveland which means we are swapping our evening Netflix binge sessions with some fun outside activities to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather. If you’re looking for things to do with your family in the Greater Cleveland Area, look no further! Here are three spring events we’re certain you’ll have a blast at…   Horse and Canal Boat Ride at Canal Fulton If you are a horse lover and want to try out something new and exciting, this activity may be it! Head over to the historical canal Fulton and get to enjoy either a horse-pulled ride or a canal boat ride. During these rides, you will get to learn all about the history of the area.   Hiking Trails If you really want to enjoy nature and the crisp spring air, grab a pair of sneakers and hit a hiking trail! Whether you are a more experienced hiker or you’re looking for a paved path, the trails at Ohio’s state or Metropark will do just the trick. You can check them out, here.   Outdoor Gardens As flowers are blooming, visiting outdoor gardens may just be another great activity to do on a Sunday afternoon. Click here for a list of outdoor gardens and arboretums across Northeast Ohio.    Museum Visits While we hope for the best and want to enjoy the spring weather, we may have a few rainy days. If that’s the case, don’t worry! You can visit one of the many museums we have here! You can either go see historical

3 Things That Can Happen If You Don't Have Title Insurance

3 Things That Can Happen If You Dont Have Title Insurance

Posted By Andrea Robinson
April 21, 2022 Category: General

Buying a title insurance policy is often a purchase that a lot of homeowners consider skipping out on. But in our experience, a title dispute can cost you a lot more than just your peace of mind and sanity. Here are three things that can happen if you don’t have title insurance. You can lose your home Believe it or not, someone may try to claim that the home you live in is theirs. And it happens a lot more often than you think. Whether it be through a divorce and the ex-partner didn’t know the home was sold and is trying to regain it back, or someone who inherited the house based on a will from the previous owner, all types of situations are seen. If you don’t have the proper title insurance, you risk losing your case against these people who are claiming that the home you purchased is theirs, making it highly probable you can lose your home.   You can be liable for liens When someone is owed money, they may put a lien on someone’s home. And whether or not the person who owes the money still lives in and owns that house, the person who put the lien still wants to get paid. By not purchasing a title insurance policy for your new home, you risk incurring the cost of those liens and have to pay them out-of-pocket. Plus, purchasing title insurance would’ve done an initial search for liens in the first place, which would've helped avoid the whole situation altogether.    Lose part of your property due to an encroachment

3 Easy DIY Easter Crafts for Kids

3 Easy DIY Easter Crafts for Kids

Posted By Andrea Robinson
April 15, 2022 Category: General

Easter is right around the corner, which means that your kiddos are most likely going to be spending a long weekend at home with you.   Here are three easy and fun Easter-themed craft ideas for your kids to bring out their inner creatives and keep them busy! Paper Handprint Bunnies     Source: onelittleproject.com   This one is extremely easy to do and creates little to no mess.   Simply ask your kids to select a piece of colorful construction paper, help them draw the outline of their hands, and cut out the paper.   From there, give your kiddos a few colorful crayons so they can draw the bunnies. Let them get creative!   Paper Plate and Cotton Balls Bunny Source: gluedtomycraftsblog.com   For this craft project, you will need some cotton balls, construction paper, and some white liquid glue.   If your kiddos are young and may need help cutting out the right shapes for the bunny ears, nose, and mouth out of the construction paper, help them out!   Afterward, they can start gluing the cotton balls to the paper plate. Then, they’ll need to attach the bunny ears to the plate and add the bunny’s eyes and nose.   Egg Carton Spring Flowers     Source: iheartartsncrafts.com   While this craft project may be a bit messier, it’s definitely a favorite among kids!   You will need an empty egg carton box, Easter-themed paint colors, fun straws, a few pompoms, a

What to Expect as a Homebuyer This Spring

What to Expect as a Homebuyer This Spring

Posted By Andrea Robinson
March 30, 2022 Category: General

Spring is the best time to buy a home, but the thing is… All buyers think so, too. Therefore, competition tends to be at its highest during the Spring. Here are a few things you can expect when house-hunting during the Spring season and how you can prepare for them. 1. Prepare for bidding wars When supply is low and demand is high, you can expect that bidding wars will happen. This means you should discuss with your representation ahead of time about what you feel comfortable with when it comes to the offer you’re presenting and what “deal sweeteners” you can throw in to make your offer seem more attractive within the pool of offers sellers have to choose from. 2. Expect lower-inventory Not only is the current real estate market an extremely hot seller's market due to the low-interest rates, but it’s also the case due to the low inventory. That being said, you won’t find yourself with multiple options to choose from where there’s a lot of wiggle room for negotiations.  3. Be flexible What we mean here by "be flexible" is to be ready to make amendments to your wish list. While you would like to have a pool already in the backyard, you may not find it. While you may want to move into the home you’re purchasing as quickly as possible, you may not be able to. Simply keep an open mind and know that you may need to bend a bit when it comes to what you may want. 4. Get pre-approved If you want to avoid the

5 Spring Home Decor Trends

5 Spring Home Decor Trends

Posted By Andrea Robinson
March 30, 2022 Category: General

  Spring has sprung and the urge to redecorate our homes to make it feel like a new beginning is strong among all of us! Here are a few spring home decor trends you can easily hop onto, without breaking the bank or taking on a major renovation project. Texture Believe it or not, sleek white marble for literally everything in our home is slowly making its way out of style. If you want to give your living room a trendy makeover, add some texture! An inexpensive and easy way to do this is with pillows, throws, and rugs. Simply head over to Home Goods and you have tons of options to choose from.  Earth tones If you’re looking for another trend to participate in, earth tones are all the rave these days. Not only is it fun to get in on a trend, but this trend is going to relax you. Given that the earth tones are associated with nature, you’ll quickly see that turning towards these tones will help create a relaxing atmosphere in your home.  You can incorporate earth tones through wall art, paintings,  wall paint colors, and any textiles (such as throws, pillows, and rugs). Greenery Can’t wait for the flowers to bloom and for the grass to turn green? Neither can we! Thankfully, a huge trend this year is indoor plants!  Add some greenery into your home with indoor plants that are easy to maintain and keep healthy.   Landscape Art This season, it’s all about nature! If you have any pieces of art on your walls, swappin

Your Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

Your Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

Posted By Andrea Robinson
March 15, 2022 Category: General

Spring is here and while that means we can swap our Winter coats for our light Spring puffer coats, it also means we need to clean up whatever mess Winter left us with.   Here’s a list of things around your house you should definitely add to your Spring Cleaning checklist:   Outdoors   Clean your windows from the outside Clean your outdoor furniture such as patio furniture, umbrellas, etc Remove or trim any dead tree branches Clean your gutters and downspouts Wash your deck’s floorboards Scrub down your front door, side door, and garage doors Rake and fertilize your grass to prep it for the summer Wash your fence   Kitchen   Wipe walls Degrease the kitchen drains Dust high surfaces such as the top of your fridge and microwave Degrease your backsplash Defrost your freezer and clean it Get rid of old or expired food in the freezer, fridge, and pantry Deep clean your countertops Deep clean your fridge Deep clean the inside of your cabinets   Living room   Dust and polish your furniture Put your blankets and pillows into the washing machine Vacuum your sofa Dust your blinds and curtains Wash your windows from the inside Dust and clean your ceiling fans Dust electronics and other gadgets Disinfect your remote controls and other gadgets   Office   Sort and throw away paperwork you don’t need anymore Disinfect your keyboard and mouse Dust

Staging Your Home to Sell FAST

Staging Your Home to Sell FAST

Posted By Andrea Robinson
February 25, 2022 Category: General

While we may still be in a hot seller's market right now, the market is starting to cool down in certain parts of the country. Especially with the feds announcing a hike in interest rates throughout 2022!   While it doesn’t mean it will make your home more difficult to sell, it will mean that the craziness we’ve witnessed since March 2020 will slowly die off. Therefore, homes in all states and prices won’t necessarily sell at the same ease they’ve been selling for the past few months.   If you want to ensure your home sells quickly regardless of the market’s state, any real estate professional would recommend one thing: stage your home!   Not only does staging your home give a “WOW” Factor to buyers and make the sale happen quicker, but it also influences the price your home sells at.   Now, let’s go through a few staging tips together!   Invest in Curb Appeal   First impressions are extremely important, and one of the first few things someone sees about your home is the front yard! Make sure your grass is cut, bicycles or toys aren’t lying on the lawn, etc. Curb appeal can make or break a first impression!   Get rid of clutter   We all know how clutter can make us go into a cleaning frenzy… Imagine how buyers feel when they walk into a stranger’s home and face that same amount of clutter!   Remember that clutter may be an eyesore, but the bi

How to Choose the Right Title Company

How to Choose the Right Title Company

Posted By Andrea Robinson
February 25, 2022 Category: General

  There are lots of paperwork and things to take care of when you buy a home, and one of those things is title insurance. While it may not be legally required for you to purchase title insurance for your new home, it is recommended for many reasons.    But how do you choose the right one? Here are criteria you should consider…   Local experience and knowledge   Local experience and knowledge about the area your home is situated in are super important factors to consider when you’re in the process of choosing a title insurance company. The reason why is because you need to have people you can trust know the local customs and laws to ensure your transactions happen smoothly. Plus, it doesn’t hurt if they have an office near you that is accessible and easier for you to pop in and get what you need from them.   Reputation   You also want to avoid a company that once they close the deal with you, will ghost you or fight with you for every cent you try and claim after a dispute. The best way you can find out what their reputation is like is to go around and ask people who live near you if they ever did business with the title company you’re considering or if they had heard anyone say anything about the company.    Customer Service   When you’re amidst a potentially very expensive and stressful dispute regarding the title of your home, the last thing you need is your title insurance co

Building a Home? Here's What You Need to Know

Building a Home  Heres What You Need to Know

Posted By Andrea Robinson
February 17, 2022 Category: General

As much as it is exciting to be building your dream home, there are a few things you need to know to make sure the building process goes smoothly. Let’s dive into 5 things you need to know before you start building…   Set A Budget with some wiggle room While it can be pretty straightforward to determine what your budget is, it’s a bit more difficult to stick to it. That’s why when you come up with your budget, you should leave some wiggle room for any surprise costs… Which usually arise during building a home.   Get your financing in order   Building a home requires you to get some financing from a bank. However, this process is a bit different from when you get a traditional mortgage at your bank. Since you’ll be building, banks won’t be providing you with a lump-sum payment, like is the case when you buy a home with a mortgage. Chances are that you will need both a construction loan and a mortgage.    However, for both of these loans, most banks, and other financial institutions will be able to pre-qualify you for the amount of money you can spend.    Choose the right building team   Picking a builder is the most crucial part of this important project of yours. You will be working with the builder and their team for months, if not over a year. So make sure you pick one that will make the process as least stressful as possible.   A few things you can look at when picking a

3 Reasons Why You Need to Get Pre-Approved to Buy a Home

3 Reasons Why You Need to Get Pre Approved to Buy a Home

Posted By Andrea Robinson
February 08, 2022 Category: General

If you’re in the market to buy a home, then you might have heard of the term pre-approval.   But what exactly does it mean to be pre-approved?   Simply put, pre-approval is a process by which you give the bank with whom you want to obtain a mortgage your personal information, financial information, and asset information. With this information, banks will be able to determine whether or not they can issue you a mortgage and up to what amount.   In other words, they will be able to pre-approve you for a certain amount with which you can buy a home. Therefore, you can go house hunting with a realistic price-range already in mind.    While it’s not legally required for you to get pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping for a home, it is recommended. Let's explore three reasons why you should get pre-approved…   You can close faster   If you’ve already gone through the process of getting pre-approved, your bank (or the bank you got pre-approved for a mortgage with) already has all of the information they need about you.    So when your offer is accepted, you have peace of mind knowing that your financing is taken care of and your bank can quickly issue the funds for the transaction.   It makes your offers way more attractive to sellers   In today’s hot market, having your financing lined up and ready to go is attractive to sellers. So why not put luck on your si

4 Types of Home Smart Tech Worth Your Investment

4 Types of Home Smart Tech Worth Your Investment

Posted By Andrea Robinson
January 28, 2022 Category: General

Did you know that 71% of Americans want to purchase a home with smart-tech but only 27% have invested in smart-home tech?!   These numbers clearly show us that the demand for smart homes is at an all-time high, but the supply of these sought-after homes is pretty low.   And contrarily to what you may believe, smart homes aren’t just for new constructions. You too can invest in smart-home tech!   Yes, even if your home is over 50 years old…   Read on to learn which smart-home tech has the best ROI when comes time to sell your home.   Energy-Saving Smart Appliances    If the tech reduces energy consumption and saves you money, it is definitely worth the investment. Not only will the yearly savings from installing this tech quickly surpass the cost of installing this technology, but it helps the environment. Simply because your energy consumption is limited only to what is needed and nothing more.    Security technology    If the gadget gives you peace of mind, it’s on a smart-home buyer’s wish list! Whether it is a doorbell that has a camera feature, an alarm system you can turn on and off from your phone, security cameras that record your home’s surroundings, or outside lights that turn as soon as the sensor feels someone approach it, security technology is always worth the investment.    Automated blinds and curtains   Convenience from this home-tech may b

5 Reasons Why You Need Title Insurance

5 Reasons Why You Need Title Insurance

Posted By Andrea Robinson
January 20, 2022 Category: General

If you’re on the market to buy a home, then you might be wondering if title insurance is necessary. While you may not be legally required to purchase a title insurance policy, there are multiple reasons why you should get one.    That being said, here are five reasons why we strongly recommend you purchase a title insurance policy: To protect yourself from fraud, forgery, and identity theft If a fraudster steals your identity and takes out a mortgage on your property and disappears with the borrowed money, then you are left with a huge debt. Title insurance protects you from this type of fraud and ensures you don’t live with the consequences of a debt you never took out yourself. To protect yourself from errors and or omissions on the deed   Believe it or not, not everything that comes up on a title search can be fully trusted. While the information is usually legit, there are cases where there are errors in the documents or information is omitted. While getting a title insurance policy does not guarantee this will not happen, it will help mitigate the financial risk. To protect yourself from title defects   Imagine moving into your dream home only to have someone knock at your door and say it’s theirs?! Believe it or not, this happens in real life and not just in movies.    It tends to happen when the previous owner of the home has put it in their will as an inheritance to a family

How Long Does It Take to Get Title Insurance?

How Long Does It Take to Get Title Insurance

Posted By Andrea Robinson
December 28, 2021 Category: General

While certain aspects or steps in buying a home can be processed almost immediately, buying a home comes with a lot of wait time for important paperwork. One of the things for which there is usually a wait time is title insurance.   That being said, you may be wondering how long it may take to get title insurance…   Well, it depends.   Here are the steps an insurer will take to determine your eligibility for title insurance that may impact how long it takes for you to get a policy.   The complexity of the title search and examination   Once you request a policy for title insurance, an officer will go through a title search process for the home you are trying to buy. During this process, they will go through public records to identify the following information:   Who are the rightful owners of the property at this time Determine if there are any defects on the title Determine if there are any clouds on the title, such as liens, levies, and encumbrances    If there is anything that comes up during this search, the following point describes what will happen next.   The curing period   At this point, the officer will work to rectify any of the issues he or she may have found when it comes to the title of the home you are looking to buy.    Taking the final decision about insurability    Once the curing period is over, the officer will let you know about any issues they may

How to Winterize Your Home

How to Winterize Your Home

Posted By Andrea Robinson
December 21, 2021 Category: General

The official start of winter is only a few days away! That being said, now is a good time to ensure that your home is ready for the weather conditions coming our way. Here’s a list of tasks and check-ups you can do to ensure your home is ready for winter and to avoid any damage caused by Mother Nature.  Inspect your roof and repair any loose shingles  If your roof starts leaking in the Spring, it’s probably due to a hole in your roofing that you didn’t see before the first snow fell. Get on your roof and inspect it for any holes or loose shingles, if you can. If not, it’s worth calling a professional to check your roof. This way, you will have the peace of mind that water won’t be making itself into your home. Turn off exterior faucets  You won’t be using any of your exterior faucets during the winter, so make sure to turn them off! If you leave them on, the remaining water inside of the faucets can freeze and the force of this water inside pipes that aren’t expanding in size can cause a rupture. It can cause a flood inside of your home, which you don’t want.  Seal window gaps and cracks in the wall Is your heating bill astronomically high during the winter? While there are plenty of things you can do to lower that bill, one of the things you can do is ensure that all the gaps and cracks in your wall or close to your windows are filled. This way, cold air doesn’t make its way into your house and

3 Common Reasons Real Estate Deals Don't Work Out

3 Common Reasons Real Estate Deals Dont Work Out

Posted By Andrea Robinson
December 16, 2021 Category: General

Regardless of record-breaking home prices and interest rates for mortgages being at an all-time low, real estate deals still fall apart all the time! Here are three common reasons why real estate deals don’t work out…   The Seller Doesn’t Have a Clear Title   If the title of the home is unclear when conducting a title search, this may cause a buyer to back out of the deal as they don’t want to put themselves at risk of owning any liens that exist against the property… and rightfully so!    While title insurance can protect buyers against surprises, anything that comes up during a search and that the buyer is aware of wouldn’t be covered through their insurance. Therefore, we can only expect buyers to back out of the deal.   The buyer’s home inspection finds issues with the seller’s home   A lot of deals are contingent based on inspections. Usually, a seller would have to declare anything that they know is an issue with the house, but they don’t always do so. While it isn’t always intentional and sellers don’t always know what issues their home may have (especially if they’ve been living in it forever) some sellers might purposely fail to declare certain defects on the home.    This is why buyers need to invest in a professional that has a trained eye to find issues in a home before closing. If the inspector finds anything, the buyer either changes up t

6 Home Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Family Safe

6 Home Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Family Safe

Posted By Andrea Robinson
November 29, 2021 Category: General

While every season comes with different things you should keep up with when it comes to home maintenance, there are still plenty of things you should regularly do and check on to ensure your family’s safety in your home. Here are 6 things you can check out today...   The Gutters   You should be making sure that your gutters are clear of any blockage that would cause the rain or the water coming from the melted snow to infiltrate your house. It is recommended you clear your gutters at least twice a year, most importantly in the Spring and late Fall.    Smoke alarm and carbon dioxide monoxide detectors   You should be changing the batteries to these life-saving gadgets at least once a year. This way, you’re sure that if ever a fire happens, your family can safely make it out of your home as quickly as possible.    HVAC system   If you have a central system in your home for heat and air, make sure to call a technician at least twice a year to check your system. Typically, the technician will take care of cleaning and servicing your furnace, ducts, and vents. They’ll also look for any signs of damage and let you know when it is time to repair or change anything.   The Roof   If you can safely make it to your roof, inspect it to make sure you don’t have broken shingles, moss, broken gutters, or broken tree parts stuck on the roof. And if you can’t make it up there, you can hire som

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