Your Home – Adding a Little Luxury to Your Home

April 2020 Newsletter

Expensive homes tend to sell better and seem more attractive to people overall. People love luxurious touches that speak of elegance and impeccable taste. This, of course, is great for very expensive homes, but is it possible to achieve this on a budget? Indeed it is. There are many ways you can make affordable changes to your home that will make it seem more expensive than it actually is. Here are some of our favorite tips that industry experts shared on how you can give your home an extra layer of luxury without breaking the bank.

The Quality of the Fixtures and Finishes

Expensive homes are nearly flawless! You’ll know how expensive something is by how solid and seamless the craftsmanship is. You can apply this to your home by really discerning between quality finishes and subpar ones. You need to learn how to pick out fixtures that are timeless, classy, and well-made. Remember that the feeling of luxury can be achieved by paying attention to the small details.

Don’t Overdo It
It is easy to go overboard and think that the more luxury touches you add, the more expensive your house may seem to everyone. This is a common mistake. Try to add luxurious details sparingly. Remember that you want timeless elegance, not gaudiness and tackiness. Staying with elements that age well ensures that you won’t have to spend a lot of money on future renovations.

Get Quality-Looking Flooring
You don’t have to fully carpet your home or buy expensive marble for flooring. The key is to choose well-made and timeless materials that require little to almost no upkeep. For instance, if you really like the look of marble floors, you can opt for marble pattern ceramic tiles for a lot less. Glazed ceramic tile is particularly great for high traffic areas such as the kitchen.

Use (A Little) Gold
If used sparingly, good gold paint can mimic gold leaf and can serve as an inexpensive yet elegant detail in your home. Try to use it for design details that are above eye level to give you that golden look without breaking the bank.

Keep Backgrounds Neutral
To make sure that the luxury details you add will truly stand out, try to keep your backgrounds simple and neutral. For example, if you’ll be using a rare stone for a bathroom’s countertop, try not to have a mural or install wallpaper in the same bathroom. You want your luxury finishes to shine, so make sure that they are going to be the focal point.

What Do Your Carpets and Rugs Say?
A beautiful large rug for the hall and perhaps faux fur rugs in the bedroom will go a long way in making your home feel cozier and a lot more luxurious.

Use Textures
Play with textures to add richness to a space without veering off your color palette. By doing this, you’ll also hide small flaws and have an easier time maintaining your home.

Finances – You Can’t Outsmart The Market

Stock market image of bear and bull

Are you getting ready to refinance your mortgage, but are waiting for rates to fall just one more time? If you are, you aren’t the only one. Many consumers begin following the market news and do tons of research trying to determine exactly the perfect time to lock in their lower interest rates. The truth though is no matter who you ask, nobody really knows what the rates are going to do. Even the “experts” that garner millions of television, radio and web viewers get it wrong. There are simply too many moving parts in the mortgage rate equation for anyone to be able to accurately predict this.

Conventional mortgages, both fixed and adjustable, are tied to specific indices. A traditional 30-year fixed rate might be tied to the Fannie Mae 30-yr 3.0 mortgage bond. Freddie has its own bond as well. Adjustable rates can follow the Constant Maturity Treasury index or others. When investors, both individual and institutional, decide where to allocate their funds, they do so by evaluating current economic data, and then try to predict the future.

Mortgage bonds, like any bond, provides the investor with a fixed rate of return. Stocks, on the other hand, do not. Stock prices, in general, take a nod to recent and current economic data. When investors are bullish on the economy, more money will flow into stocks and out of bonds. Conversely, when investors think the economy is headed for a slowdown, the opposite can happen. Money leaves stocks and goes into bonds. Bonds won’t yield very much, but that’s not the attraction. The attraction of a bond is safety, not hitting the jackpot on an investment bet.

So if you are sitting on the fence, waiting for that one last rate drop, it doesn’t happen overnight. Rates don’t typically drop after a single negative economic report. That generally happens after a series of negative reports.

On the flip side of the coin, after rates have been low, or even held steady for a while, it doesn’t take much for rates to rebound. And when they do rebound, the change in available rates occurs much faster compared to falling lower.

This all means that if you’re waiting on rates to fall just a little bit more, you run the risk of the opposite happening; and when it does, rates could move higher and never look back. So if you’ve got an attractive rate now and it makes sense to refinance, or you’ve got an accepted offer on a home and are trying to time the markets, take what you have. In general, the chances of rates moving up is higher compared to rates moving lower. It’s just not worth trying to outsmart the markets.

This article is for information, illustrative and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to show actual results. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular investment action.

Personal Interest – Keeping Your Home Safe From COVID-19

man washing hands with soap

Testing for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is taking place across the country. There are a growing number of cases and every state in the nation is making policies to distance ourselves from each other in public spaces.

But how can people make sure that everyone in their home is taking the best possible action to protect themselves from the virus and delay further spreading?

How to keep the home safe from COVID-19

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a clean household is one way to help keep COVID-19 at bay. Americans should follow the advice below:

  • Clean hands at the door and at regular intervals
  • Create habits and reminders, such as: avoid touching one’s face, and cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
  • Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, and handrails regularly
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting the air conditioning

For those with underlying health conditions, COVID-19 can be more severe, so protecting the vulnerable at home is imperative for their safety. These conditions could include, but are not limited to, heart, lung, kidney disease, diabetes and those that have suppressed immune systems. The elderly are also more at risk.

Advice from the CDC is as follows:

  • Have healthy people in the household conduct themselves as if they were a significant risk to the person with underlying conditions. For example, wash hands frequently before interacting with the person, such as when feeding or caring directly for the person
  • If possible, provide a protected space for vulnerable household members
  • Ensure all utensils and surfaces are cleaned regularly

For households with sick family members, taking extra precautions can help delay or prevent the spread of the virus.

If there is a sick person in the home, do the following:

  • Give sick members their own room if possible, and keep the door closed
  • Have only one family member care for them
  • Consider providing additional protections or more intensive care for household members over 65 years old or with underlying conditions

Thank you and have a great month!

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Paul Stella