Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/20/2017

Buying a home will be the biggest purchase of your entire life. Itís not a decision that anyone should or will take lightly. You want to buy a house that you can live in. Sometimes, itís even best to think of your home purchase from the perspective of others. Ask yourself, ďWould other people want to live here?Ē When it comes to your home, the financial buzzword is ďequity.Ē As the buyer, you want to be able to build some equity into your home so that if you should choose to sell it, youíll make a profit. Whether your home is only meant to live in for a few years until your family outgrows it, or you think itís going to be a forever home, life happens and you donít want to be stuck with a home that you must take a loss on. Keep these aspects of the home in mind when you are ready to buy: Size Most people search for 3 to 4 bedroom homes. Whether they are married and want to have children or just need extra space for another baby that is on the way, families typically look for places where they have room to grow. The number of bathrooms in a home is also key. Families donít want to share one bathroom among 4-5 people. These factors are even more important than the actual space available in the home by square footage. On the flip side, you donít want your home to be too big either. Larger homes arenít as energy efficient and can cost more to maintain. Know that there is a ďsweet spotĒ for your square footage. Usually this is somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet of living space. Room To Expand Look at the home to see if there is room to expand. Perhaps you need another bathroom, but thereís some space to construct an additional half bath. This factor of expansion is key when it comes to a home or property. Look Past The Appearance Things like paint colors, floors, carpets and other aesthetics arenít as important as the big things when it comes to buying a home. You can easily change these without much cost or effort on your part. While everyone loves a move-in-ready home, donít let a little paint separate you from a home that you love! Curb Appeal Helps While itís easy to fix some things like the color of a home or the shrubs, find your vision to give the home youíre about to purchase some curb appeal. If you can see past the imperfections and make your home your own from the outside in, your home will be attractive. Thereís plenty of things you can add and fix from doors to landscaping to paint to a new mailbox. All of these can give your home some serious curb appeal. Sound Structure If the structure of the home is not in good condition, youíll face many problems down the road. You want to avoid costly repairs by ensuring that you buy a home without serious structural damage or wear. The most important part of a homeís structure is that of the foundation. If a home has a cracked foundation, itís going to cause some problems. Be sure that you hire a reputable inspector and attend the inspection so you know exactly whatís going on with the home you are about to purchase. You can prepare yourself for any problems or issues this way, and make a decision from there. A home that has a good structure to start will undoubtedly continue to help you build equity in your purchase.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/13/2017

Whether you are a recent transplant to the area or have been a New Englander all of your life itís hard to resist the charm of the classic New England style. The crisp clean lines and simplicity make one feel instantly at home. Keep reading to discover how you can add a touch of New England charm to your home. Furniture. New England style still holds its roots from it's early settlers. Look for simple, rustic furniture. Ideally, it should be a handmade piece built for quality to last the tests of time. Speaking of time, no New England home is complete with at least one antique and preferably one handed down generation to generation. If you are not so fortunate to have an heirloom piece start hunting the antique fairs for one you love. Color. New England homes are deeply inspired by their natural surroundings. When choosing colors for your home think sky blues, sunny yellows, sea foam greens, sandy beige, pine greens and nautical navy. If you need some inspiration visit the cape or some nearby woods to gather your color inspiration. Visual Interest. New England style may be simple but itís not devoid of visual interest. If you donít have at least something covered in plaid you should consider a shopping trip in the near future. Whether itís a blanket, kitchen curtains or even some wallpaper, having plaid is practically a must. Braided rugs are another New England staple and not always one limited to floor coverings. You can also find braided table runners, placemats, coasters, chair pads, and potholders. Decorating. Books, books, and more books. A large home library is not hard to find in New England homes. Collect interesting titles and visually appealing book spines for a collection that makes a statement. Nature landscapes, seashells, lobsters, ducks, and shells are all common themes found within this homey decor style. Woven baskets and rustic pottery are also New England staples to be placed on shelves or hung from hooks. Shelving and hooks will be your best friend as New England style maintains itís clean simplicity by having a place for every item and keeping them off the floor. Features. A wood stove and/or fireplace are practically nonnegotiable. And while a stack of split wood nearby and fireplace tools are a practical necessity there also a form of decor. Invest in a visually appealing log rack and hearth toolset. White washed walls and wide wood plank floors, usually of pine, are another classic New England feature hearkening back to its first settler roots you will want to look for when home shopping or replicate in your redesign. If youíve been lusting after New England style homes gracing the pages of your favorite interior decorating magazine itís probably time to add some of that charm to your own home. Whether you just add a few touches by switching up your decorations or overhaul your house top to bottom you should have a better idea of how you too can have a cozy New England style home.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/6/2017

Buying a vacation home is something that many dream of, but for some itís not just a dream. And itís certainly not something that is only for the rich and the famous. Maybe you have been saving for one your whole life, got a large bonus at work that you want to use as a down payment, or are just going out on a limb; there are several things to consider before taking the plunge and buying a vacation home. Cost: First and foremost, what kind of financial position are you in? Are you able to put down 20% and if not will you be able to afford the potential higher interest rate that goes along with less money done? If you are planning to buy farther away, can you afford the airfare cost for as often as youíd like to spend there? Can you afford the inevitable maintenance that will be necessary? You certainly do not have to be a millionaire to purchase a vacation home, but itís important to know what you can afford and cannot afford. Location: Do you want to buy a vacation home that is within a couple of hours from your home? Or would you rather buy one a plane ride away that may be in a location thatís warm year round? Or do you want to buy a home in another country? This is certainly something that should be determined before beginning your search. Condo vs. Single-Family: Do you want the privacy of a single-family home or do you want the amenities that come along with living in a condo? There is a level of privacy that comes with owning a single-family home versus a condo, as well as there are condo fees to consider. This decision may not matter much to you, but itís important that everyone involved agrees on the type of home they would like to buy. Rent It: Do you plan on renting out your vacation home when you are not there? Are you looking at homes in locations where renting is possible? Can you afford the home if you do not rent it out? If you canít afford the home without renting, how often do you need to rent to be able to afford it? Do you want the hassle of renting it? Itís important to consider this possibility even before you begin your house hunt. Buying a vacation home is extremely exciting, but itís a large investment. It should be well thought out and planned out. But, once you have those details worked outó go out and buy the vacation home of your dreams!





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 7/30/2017

When I was younger I loved to read books and collect my favorites in my room. I dreamed of someday having my own home with a massive library of books, the shelves going all the way up to the ceiling. As I grew up and it came time to move out on my own, I realized my accumulation of books became an obstacle to moving. My bookcase was huge and heavy, as were my books. It wasn't until I started packing things into old†milk cartons for moving that I realized I had a ready-made bookshelf. In my new home†I painted the milk crates fun colors and stacked them in a way that best utilized the space in my small apartment. This is just one of the many simple and fun ways of storing your beloved books in your home. Read on for more creative bookshelf solutions that you'll wish you thought of years ago.

Deciding what books you need

Even though we live in the era of smartphones and ebook readers, there is still value in owning a physical copy of a book. There's the joy of holding it in your hand, admiring the cover art, flipping the pages, and--of course--that new book smell. However, you might not need to own a physical copy of every book you've read. With interlibrary loans, ebooks, and the Kindle app there's really no need for a huge collection of books. Weed out your collection and keep the ones that are most valuable to you. It will be hard to part with them, but if you donate to your local library or a charity†you can feel good about your decision. You'll soon realize it's great to have the extra space.

Creative book storage

If you want to a fun, minimal bookshelf but aren't into the idea of having old milk crates stacked up against your wall, fear not--there are innumerable other options.

Staircases

There have been countless fun and minimal staircase bookshelves created over the years. Sometimes people build on to the side of their staircase, other times they utilize negative space underneath to build a bookshelf that fits opposite each step of the staircase. If it's children's books you need to store in your kids' rooms, consider building a staircase bookshelf that leads up to the second bunk of a bunkbed. It will safe space and provide a safe way for your child to reach the top bunk.

Invisible bookshelves

If the idea of having another piece of furniture in your living room just to put a few books on drives you crazy, consider using an invisible bookshelf. These wall-mounted systems are totally invisible behind your books and give the illusion that the books are just floating up against the wall, creating a minimalist's dream bookshelf. If you're more into cozy than minimal, try stacking the books from biggest to smallest on top of one another on a corner table. It's also a good way to hide wires that come from an outlet on the wall.

Built-in bookshelf

Some older homes were built in a time where reading was a highly respected (and admittedly, one of the only) indoor pastimes. Many of these homes have walls with built in bookshelves. They add a stately look to a room and can serve as storage for items besides books too. It's possible to make your own if you're savvy when it comes to building. However you can also purchase bookshelves that give the illusion of being built into the wall.  




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Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 7/23/2017

You may be considering adding a new member to your family: a dog. But you may also be struggling with whether or not to get a puppy or adopt an adult dog. Both a puppy and a dog are a large responsibility and an adjustment to your life. Letís take a look at what to consider before you make that decision. Rescue or Full-Bred: Rescuing an animal is one of the most amazing things that you can do in life. You are saving a life. If you are someone who wants to change a dogís life then rescuing is the way to go. Most of the time though, shelters do not have puppies. Depending on the shelters you are looking into adopting from there could be puppies or there could be dogs of all ages. No matter the age, adoption is making a difference in that dogís life. But be prepared to likely adopt an older dog. But also be prepared to put in work. Often times these dogs have been tormented. They may be sad, skittish, and standoffish. Or they may be perfectly happy. Either way, its important to be prepared. If you really want a puppy then you will likely be interested in full-bred. But be ready to pay the price, as full-bred puppies donít come cheap. You may have to search the U.S. for a breeder that breeds the type of puppy you want. Itís important that you look into any and all breeders that you are considering and find out their reputation. Only buy a puppy from a breeder that is reputable. Time: Both puppies and dogs require your time, effort and attention, but puppies require much more. If you really want a puppy then itís essential to make sure that you have the time to give. Puppies require more vet visits, more love, more attention, and more work. They require training by either you or a professionaló which are both time consuming. When adopting an older dog these things have already been dealt with (most of the time). If you are looking for a little less work to begin with then adopting an older dog is the best option for you. But, regardless of age, your dog will always require your time. If you donít have an adequate amount of time to give then a dog may not be the best option for you. Regardless of whether you get a puppy or a dog, itís vital that you are prepared for whatís in store. A dog is a member of your family and should be treated as such. Being prepared will make the transition to having a dog that much easier.