Home-theater technology has evolved. Prices continue to drop, placing the concept easily within reach for many Smith Mountain Lake households. It’s where the family comes together to be entertained—and is likely one of the most occupied room in the house.
There are several ways to make the home theater more appealing prior to showing a home:
Clean all surfaces: Keep wiring discrete. While seating space is practical in a media room, consider reducing the number of sofas to give a spacious look to the room.
Smart furniture choices: Choose furniture that improves the look of the room and creates the movie environment that so many desire.
Keep equipment out of sight: Blu-Ray players, gaming consoles, speakers—should be kept out of sight. Unique features such as hidden wheels, flow-through ventilation, adjustable shelves, built-in media or speaker storage, and integrated cable management systems can make a big difference.
Indeed, we’re in the golden age of gadgets and components. Rooms focused on technology and entertainment can be extremely appealing.
Which is better: A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage or go for a lower-interest 15-year one?
Typically, 15-year mortgage allows you to pay off your mortgage quicker and save a significant chunk of money on interest. However, a 30-year may be a logical choice for most people because it has more advantages. Let’s take a look at the differences:
- Payments are less with a 30-year mortgage which enables more consumers to qualify for home purchases.
- Generally, you can make additional principal payments to pay off your loan faster without penalty.
- A 15-year loan means you are committed to giving that extra money to your lender each month, whether you can really afford to at the time or not.
- The higher payments of a 15-year mortgage make little sense if they keep you from building savings or contributing to a 401(k) plan, IRA or college fund.
- The amortization schedule of 30-year fixed is back-heavy, with early-term payments big on interest and light on principal.
- A 15-year fixed is always light on interest which lowers its taxpayer benefits.
While it’s true you gain more of a tax break from a 30-year loan, it shouldn’t be the main consideration when deciding on a term. The 30-year borrower pays less in yearly taxes because they pay significantly more in interest.
So it all comes down to choice and circumstances:
- Choose the 15-year loan if you have the financial wherewithal to assume the payments. Your interest savings will be substantial and you’ll own your home faster.
- The 30-year loan offers lower payments and greater flexibility. You can always choose to pay more on your mortgage when the money is available.
As a Smith Mountain Lake homeowner, you accumulate all sorts of documentation the moment you make the offer on your home. Loan documents, inspections, insurance policies, receipts and warranties are just a few of the documents you may be collecting. Knowing where these items are can save you a lot of time and money.
Keep closing papers such as the deed, settlement statement, appraisal, disclosures, mortgage note, inspections and title insurance policy together in one place—preferably in a safe deposit box.
For other records, a practical record-keeping system doesn’t have to be expensive. Purchase an accordion file and label each flap with a different category. Those might include:
- Insurance Policies.
- Purchase and House Data.
- Property Taxes.
- Home Maintenance and Improvements.
- Warranties, Manuals and Receipts.
- Home Inventory.
Organizing your Smith Mountain Lake home files may take a considerable amount of time initially, but it will definitely be time well spent in the event you need the documents in the future.
Don’t be offended if an agent suggests that you paint before placing your Smith Mountain Lake home on the market. They understand “color psychology.” Since people’s reaction to color is immediate, it can have a tremendous influence on their daily choices.
You can make your home stand out from the competition, sell more quickly and at a higher price if you use color effectively. Blues will feel cool, reds and oranges feel warm. Deeper shades of color imply intimacy and serenity.
Lighter exterior colors are favored because they can make the property seem larger. For older homes, you may want to consider historical accuracy, as this could be a big selling point as well.
For the interior, consider the purpose of each room. Kitchen and dining areas painted in “food colors” such as coffee browns, celery greens and scrambled-egg yellows will make the rooms feel more natural. Hallways are a great place to bring in the exterior colors for overall harmony. Master bedrooms in medium shades of green or blue for warm selling seasons, and rouge red for cooler weather. Other bedrooms can be painted in creamy tones of green, blue or a pale shell pink. Shades of blue, green or lavender can form a relaxing atmosphere in the bathroom.
When thinking about color, common sense helps. You should match other things in your home and keep a comfortable environment as well.
Most Smith Mountain Lake homeowners want to be eco-friendly, yet they worry that making changes in that regard might be costly and time consuming. Incorporating energy-efficient lighting is a great way to make a big impression with green-conscious homebuyers. In fact, studies have reported that 80% of homebuyers identify energy savings and comfortable surroundings as key factors when deciding between listings.
It isn’t just limited to fluorescent tubes or CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps). LEDs are an energy-efficient light source that began growing in popularity around 2007. LED lighting can be used as accents to better showcase a home’s features. From track lighting over the fireplace to under-counter cabinet lighting and recessed lighting in the hall, LED fixtures can cast dramatic light on your Smith Mountain Lake home’s best features, while at the same time, remaining cool to the touch and easy on the wallet.
Here are some interesting facts about LED lighting:
- Offers the same bright white output as incandescent lighting
- Uses 75% less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs
- Uses 75% less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs
- The Department of Energy estimates that replacing regular light bulbs with LEDs could potentially save 190 terawatt-hours annually—the equivalent of lighting over 95 million homes
While buyers can make these changes themselves, savvy sellers know that they will judge your eco-friendly actions in a positive light and may be more inclined to deal with you.
Consumers and network professionals have spoken! Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ commercial, “Calls,” was today named 2015’s best national TV spot in real estate by an Inman News poll of more than 15,000 readers. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices secured 5,522 votes to win the poll, which included TV spots from industry competitors Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Re/Max. The spot, celebrating that magical moment when clients first learn they’ve sold their home, is now running on HGTV but you can watch it right here!
Once again, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate is a proud sponsor the 28th Annual Take Pride in SML Clean-up Day. Please join us in helping spruce up Smith Mountain Lake for the coming summer season at tomorrow’s Take Pride in SML Clean-up Day. This event marks the 28th annual lake-wide clean-up effort. Volunteers from the entire community get involved in sprucing up the lake. Volunteers can register individually, as a group or organization. Pick up supplies today at the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Center at 16430 Booker T. Washington Hwy, Bridgewater Plaza, Suite 2 from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Special thanks to the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Smith Mountain Lake Association and the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission for working hard to orchestrate the event.