Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 10/14/2019

Managing a home should rank as one of the hardest roles anyone could take on. You are stuck continuously between chores, laundry, grocery shopping, school runs and tons of other stuff on that list. However, no home management task is as daunting as drafting a budget that the family can stick with. 

You must have tried on several counts to manage your finance by drafting a budget. How far did that take you? Was it able to meet the needs of your family and save you a few dollars too? A good number of families will answer no to the last question because parents/guardians tend to draft unrealistic budgets, making it difficult to maintain.

If your budget falls into that category, then you are on the right page. These steps have been carefully compiled to help you create a working budget for your family.

Be Realistic

The first step to creating a working budget is to make it as practical as possible. You know your home and its needs. Do not overdo it. Be realistic. Make sure your budget is structured to meet the basic needs of your family. You can throw the junk out the window, but meeting basic needs is required. Create a practical budget!

Get the Family Involved

Experts advice getting the family involved – and for good reasons. Sticking with a budget is very much more comfortable when the family is on board with the decision. You could make it a game where everyone saves a few bucks, and the person with the largest sum gets a prize. Using games is especially helpful in terms of bringing your kids on board.

Lay it All at the Table

Be sure to lay it all at the table before reaching a decision. What is your net worth? What is the family's monthly income? How much is enough to cater to the basic needs of the family? What are your plans for emergencies? These are some essential questions you should answer before arriving at a particular budget for the family. Be realistic!

Let go of Frivolous Spending.

Evaluating your gross income and expenses are crucial steps in drafting a working budget. One of the many advantages of tracking your expenses is that you get to know how much you spend and the things you spend on. This information will help you adjust your spending. Remember to throw junks out the window. You want them doesn’t mean you need them. Know the difference!

Managing the finances of your home is a daunting task that should be performed to maintain a healthy home. Thanks to these tips, you can now draft a realistic budget for everyone in the family.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 10/7/2019

In today's world, they are many ways in which people burn fat. While some rely only on rigorous exercising, others are on the side that using supplements with moderate exercising is more effective. However, knowing what types of supplements work can be quite confusing. There are a variety of weight loss supplements in the market that producers often advertise as "magic pills," but upon using it, you'd find out it was just a sham and harmful to the body. When next you want to purchase a natural weight loss supplement, here is a list of the most effective ones to consider: 

1. Green tea extract

Green tea extract is just a concentrated form of green tea. It offers all the health benefits of green tea in a convenient capsule or powder form. It is very rich in polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate to help you burn fat through thermogenesis. For the best result, you should take 250mg - 500mg of green tea extract daily. This is similar to drinking 3-5 cups of green tea daily. 

2. Caffeine

Caffeine is a substance found in tea, coffee, and cocoa beans. Taking caffeine helps you enhance your body metabolism and lose weight. Studies have shown that caffeine helps the body burn more fat as fuel. You don't necessarily need to take caffeine as a supplement; you can drink a strong cup of coffee. 

3. Soluble fiber 

Fibers come in two forms- soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber aids the absorption of water and produces a gem-like substance. Studies have shown that soluble fiber can help burn fat by curbing the appetite. Also, soluble fiber can help slow the delivery of nutrients to the gut, which makes you feel full for a more extended period. In addition to that, soluble fiber can also help you burn fat by decreasing how many calories you consume from food. Some wonderful soluble fiber supplements include psyllium husk and glucomannan. 

4. Yohimbine

Yohimbine is a substance found in the bark of the tree (Pausinystalia Yohimbe) in Western and Central Africa. Yohimbine is an aphrodisiac, but also contains the properties that can help you lose weight. This substance works by obstructing receptors known as alpha-2 adrenergic receptors that suppress fat-burning. Since yohimbine obstructs these receptors, it prolongs adrenaline effects and helps in the breakdown of fat for fuel. 

Do not be deceived though; there is no "magic pill" that can help you lose weight in a week. However, natural weight loss supplements combined with exercising and a good diet can help you lose a considerable amount of weight. If you're looking to lose weight naturally, stop by the grocery store and purchase some supplements today!





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 9/30/2019

What if your move to downsize doesn't include a yard? Maybe you opted for a small balcony or patio to maximize your living area or community amenities. Whether your outdoor pet is used to a larger yard or your indoor pet is accustomed to a larger house, they'll be transitioning to the new lifestyle at home just as much as you, if not more. Finding ways to help your pet adjust to their new indoor space is just as crucial for their happiness as it is yours. Here are some tips to assist.

Keep them entertained while you’re away. 

You don't want your dog to become bored, and you definitely don't want to come home to a torn apart couch or your dog having marked all over the house. Whatever your financial ability is to invest in entertainment for your dog, there are simple purchases and DIY options for at home entertainment.

  • A room with a view - Make sure there's a space in your home where your dog can see out the window. Being able to observe the goings-on around your house can help stimulate your dog during the day. A window seat is a useful way to allow your dog to see outside, while in a laid down position, keeping them calm and less likely to bark. They can lackadaisically watch the outdoors while lying in a sunbeam.
  • Interactive feeding - Toys that incorporate mental stimulation, and food or treats, can be very effective for your pet, especially small dogs. You can purchase ball toys that slowly dispense kibble as your dog rolls it around the room or make one of your own by poking holes in a PVC pipe, filling it with food and capping the ends. For short stints out of the house filling a hollow ball toy or tube with peanut butter is a great option—for this treat make sure your pet knows the designated area for eating or for food toys, so you keep any stray peanut butter to the kitchen or the dog’s bed and off your couch!
  • Tear-apart Rope Toys - Not all rope toys are created equal. To keep your pup occupied for hours at a time find a tightly woven rope at your local hardware store or purchase a rope toy with small threads tightly woven together. For a dog that loves pulling things apart, a tight weave is crucial. They need to get interested in figuring out how to pick the toy apart and help them stay interested as they see the progress of their meticulous work. Sure, there will be some cleanup of string mess, but your grandmother's afghan (the one with the fringe? Yeah, that one) will be safe.

Prepare for transition before buying. 

If you know you'll have to lose the yard in your move to downsize think about the qualities in a new home or community that will keep life good for your pet. These qualities are especially necessary if your dog is transitioning from being an outdoor pet to a fulltime indoor pet. Check out part three in this series to learn more about the best community features for you and your dog. As always, your trusted real estate agent is here to help you find the best new home for you and your best friend. Talk with them about both of your needs to downsize in the way that works for you.




Categories: small home   dogs   Pets  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 9/23/2019

Moving into a new home is an exciting time. There is so much to do with packing up the old place, closing on the purchase, and moving in that you probably haven’t spent much time wondering what your new home is like early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. After visiting your new home just a few times during the buying process, you may be unprepared for how your home appears at different times of the day.

Then, one morning, you wake up, look around and think it’s still night because you don’t see light streaming into your home the way it did into your fourth-floor walk-up apartment. You feel the walls closing in and wonder if it was all a mistake.

What’s up with that?
If the home is older, it might have fewer windows. In an effort to conserve energy and lower heat and air conditioning bills, older home designs had less glass exposure. Of course, modern improvements to thermal windows makes this less necessary, but if you’ve purchased an older home, or are planning to, consider some of these alternatives for brightening up your space.

Lighten up!

  • Remove heavy window coverings and curtains and opt for more sheer versions or install adjustable blinds to let in more light. Not only will this brighten things up, but it will also give your home a modern, clean, minimalist vibe. Lighter colored blinds reflect more light than wood, and lighter natural woods reflect more than darker ones.
  • Shine light on the walls and the ceiling. Adding a couple of floor lamps that direct light up the walls and onto the ceiling can brighten up any room. Or, add sconces to brighten things up in dark hallways and smaller rooms. Choose lamps without shades, or with very light shades to maximize the brightness.
  • Use paint to add light to the room. Interior paints are rated by their LRV (light reflective values). Before choosing a paint color, learn where it falls on the scale (from zero to 100%). Paint dealers can help you choose colors that have a higher LVR so that your home reflects more light. Often, the LRV is listed in the color “fanbook” or on the paint swatch. The higher the value, the more light reflects into the room.
    Consider buying sample sizes and paint swatches on the walls so that you can view the paint in all light ranges throughout the day. If painting swatches on your walls makes you cringe, hang up a piece of butcher paper and paint the swatches on it. That way, you can quickly take it down when your mother-in-law pops in for an unexpected visit.
  • Make glass and metal your friend. Reflective surfaces found in mirrors, blown glass decorations, and metallic art helps bounce light around the room. Placing two mirrors opposite each other gives infinite reflections that open a room or give life to a dark hallway. Or, place crystal vases or brass candle holders in the darker area. Frame photos and art with metallic frames.
  • In the kitchen and bath, add reflective surfaces such as glass or metallic tile to backsplashes and showers. Chrome reflects more that brushed surfaces such as nickel, so opt for those in your bath and kitchen fixtures.
  • If renovations are in your future, consider a more open concept, enlarging windows, or adding skylights to increase your light exposure.
  • Pay attention to your landscaping as well. Older homes often come with mature trees that cast larger shadows. Give yourself the opportunity to experience all four seasons before removing them, though, because that shade might come in handy in the warmer months.

Check with your real estate professional for recommendations on local contractors to help with addressing structural changes and extensive landscaping alterations.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 9/16/2019

Most individuals find choosing the right color scheme for their homes as the most overwhelming part of the decoration process. After all, you have to consider furniture, doors, drapes, and other items before you pick any color. But it doesn't have to be all that difficult. A few simple rules can see you working through it with ease.

Start with a neutral color as your backdrop and then build on by adding other contrasting colors with art and accessories. You will need to work with a color wheel and determine what color scheme of the color wheel you want to use. The monochromatic scheme involves using different shades of a single color of the color wheel. The analogous color scheme consists of using colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel to create a colorful arrangement. You may also decide to do a contrast scheme that involves using a triad of contrasting colors. For a bolder look, use the complementary scheme. Contrast has to do with two opposing colors used for the interior. 

You should also consider how the lighting will change the appearance of colors within your home at different times of the day. You may have to use sample swatch cards in the color you are thinking of using, or paint onto a card in that color and carry them around the house, testing them in different lighting conditions. Before you commit, you may even decide to paint small areas of each room to see how the colors will complement each other around the house. Having decided on the colors you want to use, you should look at how it will flow into the general design of the room. Bear in mind the kind of furniture and upholstery you either already have present in the house or you intend to purchase. Your colors have to fit in with these generally so deciding on the exact shade of color you want should come last in what you are doing. 

The entire process should not be a stressful one if you put enough planning into it. Visit with paint professionals in the paint store and ask how each hue complement each other. You can bring home as many test samples as you can until you find your perfect mix. However, at the end of the day, remember that the final decision lies with you—your color scheme should reflect you, seeing as it is your home.