William Manchenton - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by William Manchenton on 10/22/2019

Minimalism has taken hold of a generation of new homeowners. Many young families may move multiple times before finding a forever home. Throughout the sorting, packing, loading, moving, and unloading they realize that much of what they carry with them is not necessary for comfortable living. Many folks have accepted the challenge to pare unused and cluttering items from their lives. Whether you are planning to move soon, just moved into your forever home, or are somewhere in-between, you can benefit from paring down and decluttering your life.

Discover freedom

Proponents of decluttering from Marie Kondo, star of Netflix's hit show, "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo," to Genevieve Parker Hill, author of Minimalist Living: Decluttering for Joy, Health, and Creativity, believe that reducing your home’s clutter, overflow, and disorganization help to free up your time, energy, and happiness. The concept of removing disorganization from your life sets you up to more effortless living.

You can join an online challenge ranging anywhere from three days to six weeks to fit your schedule. Alternatively, you can make a pact with friends or siblings to cheer each other through it or challenge yourself to carry out a list of decluttering items in one day or over several days. If you take on the challenge by yourself, create a suitable reward for your efforts.

Clear your mind first

Before you try to clear your home of clutter, take some time to organize your thoughts first. 

  • Write down what you hope to achieve by decluttering: more space? More peace? Better time management?
  • Note where you want to start. You may be able to declutter your entire home, but before you bite of that enormous chunk, create an order of priority. Is the hall closet most important? The pantry? Perhaps your biggest headache is your closet, attic, or garage. Start with that one place. If you try to do too many spaces at once, you may end up discouraged before you start.
  • Set aside the day or days for your challenge. Block off your schedule. Putting it off got you into this position in the first place and any interrupted to your challenge dates might tempt you to indulge in procrastination once again.

Once you have determined the room you will start with, prepare four boxes for sorting: 

  • Discard – items too used or useless to give to a charity or thrift store need tossing. Do not donate anything beyond its useful life. At the end of each day, you will discard these items so that you avoid the temptation to put them back in your house.
  • Recycle – if you no longer use it for its original purpose, but you know you could use it someplace else, put it in the “recycle” box.
  • Give – items you no longer use, but that someone else could go in the “give” box. You can donate these to a charity or thrift store or give them to family members or friends that want them and will use them. Immediately place this box in your car to give away as soon as possible.
  • Keep – this is what goes back in this location, or into another place. Once you clean out the area, return to it only the items that belong there. If you have other keep items, move them to the room or location they belong in so that they no longer clutter up your space.

When you finish, reward yourself. Then, set up the next challenge. If you plan to put your home on the market, to give a deadline to your challenge, have your real estate agent set an open house date.





Posted by William Manchenton on 10/15/2019

There are a lot of advantages to living in a low-crime neighborhood, such as family safety, peace of mind, and a minimal risk of getting your personal property stolen.

Perhaps the only downside of living in a relatively secure, desirable part of town is that you might let your guard down completely. When that happens, especially on a regular basis, you're creating a vulnerability that could eventually be taken advantage of. That's why is pays to be consistent when it comes to locking doors, teaching your kids good security practices, and always making your home appear as if someone's home.

Your home IS your castle and -- short of building a moat -- there are a variety of practical measures you can take to keep it safe and secure.

  1. Install a burglar alarm or home security system. There are a lot of options for making your home more burglar-proof, such as installing video surveillance cameras, window and door alarms, or a whole-house alarm system that alerts the local police department or alarm monitoring service of a break-in or other security breach. Virtually any security steps you take will help "tip the scales" in your favor, but a professional advisor from a reputable home security company can assist you in identifying potential vulnerabilities and choosing the options best suited for your budget, your degree of risk, and your comfort level.
  2. Plan ahead when going on vacation. Allowing your mail or newspaper deliveries to pile up on your front steps or driveway is like extending an open invitation to burglars who might be scoping out the area. Temporarily suspending your deliveries while you're away is a good starting point for keeping your house looking occupied in your absence, but you might also ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out for unexpected deliveries. If you really trust them, you could even give them a key to your house, in case they're inclined to water your plants and take care of your pets! (That would eliminate the need and expense of sending your dogs and cats to a pet-boarding facility.) One tactic that a lot of homeowners forget about when they're going away for a few days (or even just overnight) is to hook up an automatic timer to a few of their lights. That simple step will help ensure that their house isn't pitch black at night. There's also the more expensive strategy of having a home security system that can be activated and monitored from your mobile device. Do-it-yourself installation kits are available, but some homeowners prefer the technical support features that come with a professional home security service.
  3. Outside lights can be a deterrent. A few motion-activated outdoor floodlights placed in strategic locations around your home can significantly reduce the risk of night-time prowlers staying on your property for very long. Since one of their primary objectives is to remain undetected and low profile, bright spotlights that turn on when they approach the house will often be enough to send them on their way.
Other home security strategies may include changing all the door locks when you first move into a home, adopting a good watch dog to help scare away potential intruders, and keeping bushes and trees pruned so they don't provide convenient hiding places for would-be burglars.





Posted by William Manchenton on 10/8/2019

Understanding how your credit score goes together and how to improve it is a bit of a murky subject. The advice out there is not always consistent and depends on the financial viewpoint of the source. However, there are concrete factors that do go into the calculation of a credit score and when you understand what ingredients go into the mix, you can cook up a sweet situation for yourself. To begin, you will need to understand the many financial terms that you will encounter.

Learning the lingo 

A credit utilization, or utilization ratio, is how much of your total available credit is open for use. Most of the advice you find states that a ratio under 30% is good, but a better number is under 15%. Revolving credit cards are those accounts that you can leave a balance on and roll it over month-to-month, paying over time. Examples of these would be your major name cards, some gas cards, and department store cards. Installment plans are your auto, home loans, and student loans. Charge card credit accounts are those that you pay in full each month. An example is American Express Charge Card versus American Express Credit Card. Service credit accounts are those you have an agreement with, like your utilities or cell phone service provider. In the end, having a mix of credit types helps to raise your credit score. 

Helpful hints for credit scores

Another thing that helps your score is the age or history, of your credit accounts. Age counts for a percentage of your creditworthiness. The older your accounts are, the better, proof that time is on your side. Closing accounts can raise your ratio, so be careful about what you decide to do with paid-off credit cards or lines of credit. Even though you are not going to use that account, you may want to leave it open at a zero balance to help keep your ratio low. Apply for new credit only when you need to. For example, when buying a vehicle or a home, having too many inquiries for new credit in a small period can lower your score. Paying on time is a tremendous way to keep your score in a desirable range. Pay on or before the due date, every month. Keeping an eye on your utilization ratio so you can be sure to keep your score where you want.

Take the time this month to calculate your credit utilization ratio.




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Posted by William Manchenton on 10/1/2019

Many people are joining the home flipping frenzy. Whether you are working on making a profit or just plain bored and wanted to make a quick buck, it was the field to be, but that is not always the case. 

People have forgotten the fact that when they flip houses, they are spending money, time, and effort. It is not in any way just focused on making a quick buck, and for some, it even means making some losses.

Maybe it is all part of the business, or perhaps it is all part of life, the only sure thing is the reality that people are not always as smart as they would like to believe. 

With that, if you are looking to "make a quick buck," flipping houses is not for you. If you want to make a career out of hard work and make sure you earn enough money for your efforts, the following are the best ways to ensure making a profit when flipping houses.

If you are just starting out, take smaller risks. No matter how people would say that a neighborhood is up and coming or a building as so much potential, it should be you and your budget which should do the talking. Taking smaller risks can mean any of the following:

- Buying a house with fewer changes that need to get done;

- Getting any home inspected before making a purchase;

- Knowing what you want to do with the house before you commit; and

- Spending less than 20% of your budget towards building the house more “habitable.”

Do not buy a house that is a former crack den or one that has pipe problems or gas issues; you may end up losing more money than making them. These places are right as investments for developers who would tear the whole house apart and start anew.

Always time your purchases. The economy goes up and down, and real estate is always fluctuating. If you want to make a profit, buy when the economy is down and make a sale when the real estate market is booming.

Now that you know how to do things the right way, it is easier to make sure that you make the right profit. If you would like to join forces with a professional, you can always do so. Contact a real estate agent today for some quick tips on how you can make the right purchase or that ultimate sale.




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Posted by William Manchenton on 9/24/2019

Blissful breezes, palms sweeping the heavy air, waves rolling onto warm sand—whether you're looking to take a vacation or trying to create a relaxing space in your home, the islands’ siren song calls. Recreating the island look in your space can be an elaborate enterprise or a simple changeup. Either way, bringing the islands home adds character and timeless tranquility.

In the bath

By far the simplest room to add Caribbean flair, the bathroom easily lends itself to touches of palm trees on shower curtains or a cluster of shells on a shelf above the tub. Paint the cabinets a deep blue-green to mimic the ocean, the brush on a pale blue faux finish with soft blue-white barely-there clouds sponged onto the upper reaches. Add a tropical floral arrangement to give the splash of color it deserves.

For the bedroom

To give your sleeping area that island look, swap out heavy drapes for breezy, gauzy linen or cotton chiffon or georgette. Hung from antiqued wooden rods, let the curtains drift across the floor. Change out regular fan blades for a basket-weave or banana-leaf style. Use whites or creams in varied textures for bed linens to offset the heavy colonial-style furniture.

Living the dream

Move the tropical into your living spaces with lighter oversized, overstuffed rattan furniture and mother-of-pearl framed mirrors. A sandy-hued area rug on wood or terra cotta tiles evokes the beachy shores. Indoor tropical plants and sea glass collections give that punch of color to conjure up rum punch and dancing on the beach.

The exterior

Changing out your exterior for the island-style is a brave move unless you're located on the coast. Nevertheless, the serenity it brings to your environment might make it just the right move for your home. Start by painting the wood siding or brick a soft pastel, cream, or white. Great color choices are mint green, pale blue, creamy yellow, and sandy beige. Create an outdoor living space with clusters of tropical trees, colorful bougainvillea, and other islandy-flora if your climate allows for it. Sago palms in pots that you can move indoors in the winter will give you the look if you're in a colder climate.

Extend the design to your windows with Bahama shutters. Also called Colonial or Bermuda shutters, these window coverings fit within the exterior window frame and tilt outward from the bottom to allow breezes in while keeping the bright rays of the sun out. Paint the shutters a contrasting color to add that casual island-style palette. Shutters come in natural wood construction, aluminum versions, composite, or fiberglass versions. During inclement weather, drop the shutters down to protect your windowpanes.

If you're not sure how to bring the islands to your home, seek out a professional decorator. And if your island-happy home is on the market, let a certified home stager advise you on which furniture pieces to keep and which to store during showings.




Tags: decorating   home decor   vacation  
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