How to Host the Perfect House Party

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Author: Victoria Ward

Whether you’re planning your friends’ engagement party or hosting a surprise birthday party for your loved one, there are several DOs and DON’Ts of hosting the perfect house party.

DO SEND RSVPs, DON’T ASSUME HEADCOUNT

Don’t be afraid to utilize email assist systems like Signup Genius to get RSVP’s, ask people to bring snacks or send event updates and reminders. It’s always better to have an idea of how many guests you’ll need to feed and entertain rather than leaving it up to guessing.

DO ACCEPT OFFERS FOR HELP, DON’T EXPECT TO DO IT ALL ON YOUR OWN

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when planning a party and far too often we ignore others’ offers to help. Even if you want to be known as the best party planner on the block, that doesn’t mean you can’t enlist help from friends and family. Hosting the perfect house party is not an easy task, nor is it meant to all fall under one person. Be okay with getting help from others, even if it’s just for day of setup, you don’t have to do it all yourself, nor should you need to.

DO MOVE FURNITURE OR VALUABLES, DON’T ALLOW THE POSSIBILITIES FOR BREAKS

When planning a party, it is important to provide your guests with a welcoming and spacious layout. You don’t want your guests feeling like they are cramped or don’t have enough seating. Be sure to move bulky furniture closer to walls and take down expensive paintings or light fixtures that you don’t want anyone to accidentally bump into or damage. Sure, we all expect our guests to respect our homes and property, but it’s best to avoid the stress of these incidents by rearranging your entertainment spaces to more open and party-friendly layouts. Be sure to clean up any areas that are cluttered to make your space party-ready.

DO PREP AHEAD OF TIME, DON’T LEAVE SHOPPING UNTIL THE DAY OF

It is never too early to start party planning, but it can be too late to start! Don’t let time get away from you. Start your party planning as early as possible to give yourself enough time to make sure all bases are covered. There’s nothing worse than having to run to the store an hour before your party is set to start because you forgot ice. Stay on top of what you need by creating a checklist or day-of “to dos.”

DO HAVE A PLAN, DON’T JUST WING IT

Whether your theme includes colors, decoration, or gifts—let your guests know ahead of time so they can participate appropriately. Themed parties aren’t just for college students and no, you don’t have to make it a costume party. But, do have a color scheme or food genre in mind to help narrow down options and make finalizing decisions easier.

DO ADD A UNIQUE ASPECT, DON’T JUST DO THE SAME OLD MIMOSA BAR

We’ve all been to a bridal shower with a mimosa bar, or a baby shower with diaper games… don’t let your party fall into the “seen it” category. Come up with original ideas that make your party unique and to your own liking. Whether you want to include games, party favors, or other conversation starters, mix it up and add your own style and personal flair. You could even incorporate the latest in-demand supplements such as CBD oils into your food, drinks, or activities.
Incorporating detailed plans, organization lists, and original ideas into your house party will guarantee for a memorable, successful, and exciting house party for you and your guests.

Don’t Hesitate: Costs Associated with Waiting

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Around the United States, prices continue to rise in most markets.  If you’re waiting for the market to shift toward a “buyer’s market,” think again.  There are costs associated with waiting to buy a home…

 

Waiting Can Cost You

 

  • The median home price in 2016 was $281,400 and increased to $291,200 in 2017, per the United States Census.

 

  • Mortgage Interest Rates are rising and are expected to continue to edge higher. Analysts believe the average mortgage payment is expected to jump more than 12% year-over-year.

 

  • Disposable income likely won’t increase enough to make up for higher mortgage rates.

 

  • Data shows that an average monthly mortgage payment could rise as much as $100 within the next year.

 

  • Material costs are rising.  Windows, lumber, concrete and other materials are being invoiced at a much higher rate.  If you’re looking for a new home, don’t hesitate.  Now is the time to build your dream home.

 

If you’re serious about buying a new home, contact a local Real Estate Agent to begin the process or contact one of our experienced REALTOR® partners. We speak: English, Spanish, French, Vietnamese and Albanian. (727) 546-6611 or visit: americanhousingbuilders2.com

 

3 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in Your New Home

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Moving to a new home is both exciting and stressful. It’s a chance to experience a new location, decorate, meet new people, and make new memories. On the flip side, moving into a new home is a lot of work. You have to unpack and make sure everything is safe and secure. It also entails an adjustment period for everyone in the family, especially pets.

As you get settled into your new place, remember to take extra special care of your dog. Below are three suggestions that will help you protect your dog and ease him into the transition of a new location.

 

Install a fence

According to ASPCA, nearly 3.3 million dogs arrive at U.S. animal shelters every year, and only around 620,000 are returned to their owners. These numbers are drastic, so it’s easy to see why it’s important to have a fence that can keep your dog safe within the confines of your property. Your new place may already have a fence, but if it’s broken in places or not tall enough, there’s the risk your furry family member will get hurt, or even worse, will run away.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to install a wood fence is between $1,400 and $2,000. This may be more money than you want to spend, especially after making the purchase of a new home, but consider this: Would you rather invest in a fence that will keep your pup safe, or would you prefer dealing with the possibility of your dog escaping and not knowing if you will ever get to see him again? An escape is much more likely to happen if you don’t have a proper fence in place.

Store dangerous household and outdoor items in safe locations

Sure, it takes a lot of time sorting through everything after a move. You first have to figure out where everything is, and then, you have to decide where its location will be at your new place. Keep in mind that physically this can be hazardous, especially when boxes are stacked in several places, and cleaning products or items like rakes and other tools are left out in the open. Your pup will want to play in or investigate his new surroundings, so make sure to keep him in areas where he can’t accidentally consume laundry detergent or stumble upon fertilizer or pool chemicals out in the backyard. In addition, when you’re making decisions about where things should go, be sure to choose a locked location both inside and outside to store poisonous items and unsafe equipment.

Recreate the familiar and add new things one at a time

Familiarity can be very comforting to your dog as he adjusts to his new home. It’s helpful to set out toys that he enjoys playing with and to organize his crate or bed the same way as before (the way it was at the old house). It’s also equally important to keep identical feeding and walking schedules to maintain a sense of routine. Since the neighborhood will be new to your dog, try to introduce him to nearby places, people, and other pets little by little. The idea is to pique his curiosity and excite him without making it overwhelming.

Dogs are the happiest when they’re with their families. As your pup gets to know his new world, spend as much time with him as you can. Play old games and introduce other activities like hiding food around the house to get him used to his surroundings. You can never go wrong with food and fun!

Article Written By: Cindy Aldridge, info@ourdogfriends.org, Ourdogfriends.org

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Create Moods With Color

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Red – Red is stimulating, bold and often considered the color of romance and passion. Use it to make a room feel intimate or feature the color on one wall to visually manipulate the proportions of a narrow room. Red is timeless, contemporary and can make a small dining alcove feel like a destination.

Orange – Orange conjures images of citrus fruit or a summer sunset and represents happiness and innovation. It has a reputation for being overwhelming, but variations like apricot and terra-cotta can inspire relaxation. A deep orange can feel bold during the day and lend a cozy, warm glow in the evening.

Yellow – Yellow adds optimism, prompting feelings of happiness in all who enter. It activates memory, stimulates the nervous system, promotes communication and sparks creativity. Control the hue and you control the mood. Muted yellow works well as a soothing neutral. A sun-kissed yellow brings the warmth of summer inside your home. A pale yellow can make a compact room feel larger.

Green – Green represents growth, renewal and prosperity. The soothing quality of green makes it ideal for any room. Turn your bathroom into a relaxing spa-like retreat by using blue-greens mixed with gray and white. If you want more drama use a rich, emerald-green palette and integrate playful patterns.

Blue – Arguably, the world’s favorite color. Add serenity and softness to any space by using the color blue. It represents wisdom and loyalty which is why many military and civic uniforms sport shades of this color. Simply observing this color causes the body to produce chemicals which calm the nerves and sooth one’s soul.

Purple – Historically, the robes of kings and queens were created from this rich color, associating violet with wealth and sophistication. Scientifically speaking, violet is known for stimulating brain activity used in problem solving. When used correctly, controlled doses of violet can bring a sense of mystery and wisdom to a space.

Pink – Associated with romance. Certain shades of pink, when paired with otherwise masculine colors, can create a gender-neutral space. Hot pink is a great way to add a feminine touch to more masculine hues such as navy blue and black.

Interest Rates ↓ Down

The time is now to buy a new home

 

Long-term US mortgage interest rates declined last week, after a steady rise over the past year that lead to our highest-level mortgage interest rates in more than four years.  Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage recently fell from 4.58 percent to 4.55 percent.  One of three great reasons to buy a home right NOW…

 

Ask any professional Realtor® why it’s time to buy and they’ll tell you:

  1. Today’s interest rates will likely continue to increase. But what does that mean for you as a home buyer?

Imagine your mortgage principal is $200,000.  If you secured your mortgage with a 3.87% interest rate, the total interest you’d pay over the course of the loan will be $138,571.  Now, if you secured a mortgage with a 5% interest rate, the total interest you’ll pay over the course of the loan climbs to $186,152, a difference of $43,581!!!

Locking-in a lower interest rate will save you thousands of dollars, which is why securing a loan now is in your best interest.

  1. Homes are becoming more expensive. Home prices have been steadily rising for over 5 years.  Extensive labor shortages and spikes in material costs are causing home prices to climb.
  1. If you wait, you’ll have fewer homes to chose from. Low inventory (when there are too many people buying homes and not enough homes for them to buy) drives up home prices, resulting in less inventory for the home buyer to choose from.

 

Fun Fact: In October of 1981, the average mortgage interest rate for 30-year mortgages reached an all-time high of 18.63%.