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Decorating Your New Home on a Budget

September 5, 2012

Custom Wallpaper Dining Room Wallpaper

Decorating your new home is so fun and exciting and it really helps make the new house into your home. Adding your personal touch doesn’t have to cost a fortune however. Here are some tips for decorating your new space on a budget.

Smart Shopping

You can still enjoy shopping at all your favorite retail stores, but start by going through the clearance home decor areas first. Even high end stores like Nordstrom, Neimann Marcus and Saks have clearance sections as well as outlet stores- and you will get your best bargains here.

Shop at close out stores that buy from major retailers and offer deep discounts like TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Marshalls.

As for major retailers like Macy’s, take advantage of their end of the season sales. This is the time when you can score luxury bedding items, appliances, and other housewares for as much as 80% off retail price. Also sign up for email notifications and take advantage of printable coupons.

Go Back in Time

The old saying Everything Old is New Again applies perfectly to decorating your new space on a budget. Shop locally for great old fashioned furniture and vintage pieces at estate sales, yard sales, on your local Craigslist, and Local Pick Up items in your zip code area on eBay.

Reclaiming and refurbishing your vintage furniture finds is a nice way to go green as well as putting a modern twist on something from a bygone era. for example, weathering an old thrift store chest of drawers in a fun bright color and adding new pulls saves you big bucks and infuses old with new in a delightful way.

Using Focal Points
family room mural
Prevent design clutter and overdoing a room by designing your rooms around a focal point or one stand-alone knockout piece of home decor. Maybe you picked up a fabulous gilded full length mirror, or scored a great dangly crystal chandelier. Or maybe you want to go for a black and white wall mural of a city skyline. Whatever your splurge item is, you can design and detail the rest of the room around it.

Using a focal point in this way is a great way to showcase your stand alone decor piece and it saves money by keeping the rest of the room designed to a minimum. It also keeps the energy of the room light and adds a fresh, contemporary feel- perfect for a new space.

Free Inspiration

If hiring an interior designer is out of your budget, here is a fun and free alternative. Check out the free site Pinterest for home decorating inspiration. Here is where professional home staggers, interior designers, bloggers, and home artisans alike showcase their best room designs (via “pins”) for all the world to see.

Find examples of great design and when something catches your eye, save it to your own board. Now you have great decorating ideas at your fingertips that you can mimic in your own home.

Get Going!

Decorating your new home on a budget is fun and exciting. It feels wonderful to create a space that truly reflects your personality while saving money at the same time. Use these tips to get you started and have fun!

Lisa Marie is the author of this guest post. If your new decorating plans include a one of a kind custom mural be sure and check out her wall murals website –

First Time Home-Buyers Beware

June 14, 2010

By: Steve Moore of Budget Bath – Bathroom Remodeling

Buying your first home, is a very joyous, and emotional time, and for good reason too. The thought of ownership is a major part of the American Dream, and everyone should experience it at some point in their lives. But beware! The safe road to buying your first home is riddled with danger, marked with signs written in other languages, like Legalese, and Salesmanese. If you can’t avoid the danger, decipher the signs, and pick the best route, you will be in trouble.

The first thing you will need on the road to ownership, is of course, to know where you are going! You need to do your research and pick a correct budget. Find out how much you can afford to spend, and how long you want to pay on a mortgage. You Do Not Need To Be House Poor, no matter what anyone says. Once you have this budget, the next thing you will need, is a guide. The choice to not have one is one of the first mistakes younger home-buyers make. Two people are suited for this kind of journey…

1. A Buyers Agent: a buyers agent is experienced in all aspects of the home buying process, and can show you where the Real deals are (notice I said said real with a capital R). One of the biggest mistakes is using the sellers agent to do the negotiating. That doesn’t work because the selling agent is getting a paycheck from the sellers, not from you. So use a buyers agent and don’t get lost.

2. A Home Inspector: You don’t want to fall into a treacherous Money Pit, do you? The home inspector’s job is to make sure everything is in proper working order, and that it won’t cost you money down the road, so having one of these men or women around is of great benefit to you. Most first time Home-Buyers try to save a couple hundred dollars by either doing it themselves, or having a construction worker friend do it for them. Now, this is not to hate on construction wokers, since the author of this article used to be one, but we are good at building things, and fixing problems, not at finding minor evidence for impending the problems of the future. So, GET A HOME INSPECTION!

The second thing you will need to do, is learn how to read the road signs. This means learning a few foreign languages, the first being legalese. Legalese is the language used on contracts, and you want to make sure you know what you are reading so you know how to escape a bad situation, or bad purchase. You don’t want to be responsible for all the problems in a home that you did not know about, So watch out for homes being sold As-Is. You also do not want to be signed into a exclusive buyers agreement, so if your buying agent is not up to snuff, you can fire him.

The next language is Salesmanese, you need to know the that buying your first home is a very emotional experience and every agent makes money when you purchase. So, they will try to get you into every home you see. If you have a good agent, they won’t be that bad, but you still want to keep a level head, and understand how salesmen can manipulate your emotions.

The last issue I want to write about is the objective itself. Many first time Home-Buyers keep looking until they find the “perfect” home. They pass up many a good deal, and sometimes land in a home they did not want because they waited to long to purchase. You should be looking at a homes potential, not just what it looks like currently. Other than that, HAVE FUN, it’s your first home… It’s my hope that you take this information and get into a first home safely and end your journey with a home that fits you and your family.

Finding Your New Home Online

May 28, 2010

Find Your New Home Online

If you are looking to purchase a new home, there are several ways to go about it. One way that has become increasingly popular is to do so online. It can be incredibly time consuming traveling with your agent to house after house if you have not been able to pre-screen them before hand. By searching online for a home that fits all your criteria, you will be able to shave off hours and hours from your quest for a new home. There are several ways to find good homes online.  The question is, what are they?

One way to go about it is to conduct a simple search on This search engine is a powerful one and can pull up some great results if the right search is done. One of the best ways to search for houses when using search engines is to type in the type of house you are looking for and then type in the area. For example, “lakefront property Utah” tells Google someone wants a property that is on a lake but also located in the state of Utah. Of course, searching on search engines is a rather outdated method of browsing for homes online. These days, most people choose to use realtors’ websites.

Realtors’ websites provide complete details and pictures along with access to a real estate professional who can answer any questions you might have. This is the new and improved way of searching for a home online. All relevant information about homes in the area you want and that fit the criteria you have can be pulled up with a few simple keystrokes. Many realtors have their own personal websites and blogs that are continually updated with new listings in their areas.

For those who are looking for homes in a variety of areas, they can take a virtual tour on the MLS. The MLS stands for the Multiple Listing Service.  It’s a huge database of houses on the market all over the country. This system can be viewed by anyone; although, only real estate agents are able to list houses for sale. With the help of your agent, you can easily find the best house for you while spending a minimal amount of time on the search. Indeed, when it comes to finding your new home, the internet and your real estate agent can make the process fast, fun and efficient.

Two Ways to Save When You Buy a Home

February 23, 2009

Buying a home is probably the largest investment you and your family will ever make. Unless you’re wealthy, few people buy homes and pay cash. Rather, they make a small down payment and obligate themselves to a financial lender for a term of usually 30 years. In this case, the lender determines the interest rate and gives you a thorough financial background check.

There are at least two other ways to buy the home of your dreams and probably save money: assuming the existing mortgage or owner financing. Either method usually saves you time, trouble and money.

If you’re trying to assume a mortgage first make sure it’s assumable and transferable. Many mortgages have a due on sale clause that states if the owner sells all or part of a house the entire balance becomes due and payable on demand. A lender may be willing to overlook a non assumable mortgage is you’re able to make good any overdue payments and agree to do further business with the existing lender.

If a house is selling for $100,000 and the owner still owes $60,000, you could pay the owner the equity of $40,000 and assume the debt of $60,000 with the existing lender.

This is good for the buyer if the existing interest rate is equal or lower than the current rates for a home loan. A second mortgage may be needed for the equity payment.

There are different ways to assume a loan. You can, as a buyer, assume the legal obligation for payments and usually pay an assumption fee of 1% of the loan balance.

Or, you could take over the payments leaving the seller still legally obligated for payment if you default. If this happens, you lose the property and the seller’s credit is harmed unless he makes payments as scheduled.

Seller (owner) financing is good if a buyer can’t qualify for a traditional loan and if the owner has had trouble selling and is in a hurry to unload the house. In this case, it would be wise to find out the need for the rush selling or why the home has not sold previously.

For the agreed upon price you would begin making monthly payments to the seller, usually at a lower interest rate than is being offered at institutions. There is little risk as the home is collateral. If you default, the seller regains possession of the house.

The seller may also need to have an additional stream of income each month instead of getting it in one lump sum. And, he could save on some of the capital gains tax. With owner financing, you as a buyer can avoid some (not all) costly administrative fees and private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Assuming an existing mortgage or obtaining owner financing are two great ways to become a homeowner and save money at the same time. No matter what the current status of the real estate market is or if interest rates are high or low, there are always creative ways to obtain financing.