Cori Oehley
Real Living Suburban Lifestyle Real Estate | 508-864-5476 | [email protected]


Posted by Cori Oehley on 5/14/2019

You want to work out, but gym memberships and at home exercise equipment can weigh down on your bank account. Home gyms are costly and take up a lot of space so if you live in a smaller home or in an apartment you might simply not be able to find room. It takes time to travel to and from the gym, adding that to your commute and your family activities you might just not have the time. Luckily there are many workouts you can do at your house, without any equipment or with the use of videos. Below are some easy ideas to help you create your own home workout. 

Cardio

At-home cardio can be tricky without equipment, but there are some things you can do. If you have stairs at home, try doing quick steps—not running—up and then down the stairs for a few minutes to get your heart rate up before you start into muscle building. If you don't have stairs, you can mimic jump-roping in place or do some jumping jacks to burn some extra calories. Of course, there's always stepping a little out of your home and going for a speed walk around the block before the rest of your workout.

Legs 

Body weight squats are one of the best workouts you can do at home. You don’t need to have free weights just practice good form and repetition to build those glutes. For a combination of leg and cardio do mountain climbers in reps of 10-25 to really get your blood moving. Calve raises can easily be performed on stairs or door thresholds. Lunges can be done down a hallway or in place, and a sturdy kitchen chair is all you need for step ups. Finally, wall-sits for a minute or more will give your legs the burn they need. 

Arms

Pushups can be done almost anywhere where you have an open space on your carpet or area rug. You can use leftover milk jugs filled with water for bicep and tricep curls. Use two kitchen chairs for chair dips to further work out your triceps. Finally, try several reps of arm circles to work out all of your arm muscles. It may not appear like much, but this simple exercise hits all the muscles in this group.

Core

You can easily add core building exercises to your home workout. Lay down on a rug and perform reps of crunches, sit-ups and leg lifts. Planking also requires no equipment at all, though it does require some mental agility. 

You don't require a lot of time or money to keep yourself in shape. Look around your home and find the simple tools and space you need to get your workout in on the fly, whenever you can. Make sure you warm up and cool down with enough cardio, make sure to stretch before muscle training and trade off days for each muscle group in your body.





Posted by Cori Oehley on 5/7/2019

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, odds are you’ve thrown the words “prequalified” and “preapproved” interchangeably. However, when it comes to home loans, there are some very important differences between the two.

For buyers hoping to purchase a home with a few missteps and misunderstandings as possible, it’s vital to understand the procedures involved in acquiring financing for a home.

Today, we’ll break down these two real estate jargon terms so that you can go into the mortgage approval process armed with the knowledge to help you succeed in securing a home loan.

Mortgage prequalification

Let’s start with the easy part--mortgage prequalification. Getting prequalified helps borrowers find out what kind and what size mortgage they can likely secure financing for. It also helps lenders establish a relationship with potential customers, which is why you will often see so many ads for mortgage prequalification around the web.

Prequalification is a relatively simple process. You’ll be asked to provide an overview of your finances, which your lender will plug into a formula and then report back to you whether or not you’re likely to get approved based on your current circumstances.

The lender will ask you for general information about your income, assets, debt, and credit. You won’t need to provide exact documents for these things at this phase in the process, since you have not yet technically applied for a mortgage.

Prequalification exists to give you a broad picture of what you can expect. You can use this information to plan for the future, or you can seek out other lenders for a second opinion. But, before you start shopping for homes, you’ll want to make sure you’re preapproved, not prequalified.

Mortgage preapproval

After you’ve prequalified, you can start thinking about preapproval. If you’re serious about buying a home in the near future, getting preapproved will simplify your buying process. It will also make sellers more likely to take you seriously, since you already have your financing partially secured.

Mortgage preapproval requires you to provide the lender with income documentation. They will also perform a credit inquiry to receive your FICO score.

Mortgage applications and credit scores

Before we talk about the rest of the preapproval process, we need to address one common issue that buyers face when applying for a mortgage. There are two types of credit inquiries that lenders can perform to view your credit history--hard inquiries and soft inquiries.

A soft inquiry won’t affect your credit score. But a hard inquiry can lower your score by a few points for a period of 1 to 2 months. So, when getting preapproved, you should expect your credit score to drop temporarily.

After preapproval

Once you’re preapproved for a mortgage, you can safely begin looking at homes. If you decide to make an offer on a home and your offer is accepted, your preapproval will make it easier to move forward in closing on the home.

Once the lender checks off on the house you’re making an offer on, they will send you a loan commitment letter, enabling you to move forward with closing on the home.





Posted by Cori Oehley on 4/30/2019

Purchasing a second home should be a fun, exciting experience. Yet homebuyers who fail to consider where they want to pursue a second residence may struggle to achieve their desired results.

If you know you want to buy a second home, it often helps to narrow your house search to residences in a select group of cities and towns. Then, you can evaluate available residences in your preferred cities and towns and boost the likelihood of finding a house that you can enjoy for years to come.

Of course, determining which cities and towns where you want to pursue a second house can be difficult. Yet there are lots of things you can do to hone your house search, including:

1. Evaluate Your Homebuying Budget

Your finances likely will play a major role in your ability to pursue and acquire a second residence. As such, you should examine your finances closely so you can establish a homebuying budget.

If you have paid the mortgage on your current house, focus on the mortgage costs associated with a second home. For example, if you want to find out how much you can afford to pay for a second home, you can meet with bank and credit union mortgage specialists. This will allow you to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

Comparatively, if you still have a mortgage on your present house, you should consult with your lender. This will allow you to determine if you qualify for a second mortgage. Also, you can get financial guidance so you can figure out where to search for a second house that falls in line with your finances.

2. Establish a Homebuying Timeline

Think about when you want to acquire a second residence. Next, you can create a homebuying timeline to help you achieve your desired homebuying goal.

A homebuying timeline should remain flexible. If you want to purchase a second home in the mountains, for example, you should account for the time it may take to transport various personal belongings to this residence. And if problems arise that delay your efforts to acquire a second home, you should be ready to adjust your homebuying timeline as needed.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – buying a second home is rarely simple, regardless of your property buying expertise. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive extensive assistance as you search for a second residence.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she will share real estate market insights with you, along with providing tips and recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent will help you find a second home in your preferred city or town as quickly as possible.

Take the guesswork out of finding and buying a second home in the city or town of your choice – use the aforementioned tips, and you could streamline your quest to acquire a second residence that matches your expectations.




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Posted by Cori Oehley on 4/23/2019

Setting up a country style of kitchen is undoubtedly an excellent way to go if you want to create a modern kitchen while on a budget. Country kitchens are model of shared memories. This style of the kitchen does not need to be expensive nor does it require a lot of work. Here are some steps to creating a country kitchen:

  1. Painting and wallpaper: Start with earth-toned paint colors—especially for the walls. Dare to add additional colors to your country kitchen such as shades of pink, red, green and blue. Sprinkle in some black and white with touches of grays appearing in your accent pieces. Search for patterned wallpaper that carries a country print. Finally, finish off the room with solid prints
  2. Flooring and tiles: A natural wood floor would complete any country kitchen—with laminate flooring as a good runner-up where that is unavailable or out of the budget. If you already have proper flooring and are on a budget, you can add braided rugs to your floor. Accent your flooring with flagstone or tiles. Including a theme of roosters or sunflowers brings a great country touch to your kitchen. Line the backside of your countertops with country accents that you can pick up at any flea market or garage sale.
  3. Storage: Look at creative storage ideas such as corner cabinets made out of wood. A wooden baker's cabinet is a terrific touch if you have the extra room. Wood cupboards that have open glass doors are also perfect for a country kitchen. You can find some antique-looking rustic baskets of different sizes which help to store lots of small items.
  4. Furniture: Furniture is critical in your country kitchen, and only certain items are going to work. It is best to pick from wicker or natural wood. Ideally, you want to get something that looks worn out when putting in a country kitchen. Distressing can be done quite affordably to furniture found at secondhand stores and flea markets. If you want to stay with what you have, then make or buy some country-style slipcovers with a country print. Put a rocking chair or an old bench in a corner for an added finish.
  5. Decorations: Decorate your new kitchen with things that you may already have especially in your attic. Look for old-fashioned bowls and unique pottery. Old quilts are a big score and can make any country kitchen look authentic. The great thing about country kitchens is that the items do not necessarily have to match or even be perfect.

Getting your country kitchen isn't too difficult with some creativity. You can speak to an interior décor expert today for more ideas.





Posted by Cori Oehley on 4/16/2019

When shopping for your new home, you can investigate and gauge many things about the house itself and even about the neighborhood as a whole to help make the best decision. One thing that's difficult to gauge or even factor into your decision making is your immediate neighbors. You might be able to look at their yard to see how they care for their home, or you might be able to tell right away if they have a loud animal, but you won't know them until after you've moved in and have lived in the new house for a while. Even if you could know ahead of time if they have noisy barbecues or a teenager with an aspiring rock band should that play into your decision? Your initial neighbors might decide to sell their home, or they might actually be renters, so you have no idea how long they'll be there. While getting a read on the community as a whole is essential—do people generally seem to care about their homes, are their clean streets and shared areas, etc.—you shouldn't refrain from buying the best house for you because you're concerned about your neighbors.

So, what to do if you move into your new home and it turns out your immediate neighbors aren’t so great?

If you find that your neighbor doesn’t do much upkeep on their front yard, there isn’t a whole lot you can do. If you see them when you're out mowing or weed-eating, you can offer to do theirs as well, as a friendly neighbor, but you can't go much farther than that. If their backyard has a lot of trash or messy kids toys or even a few old cars they haven't gotten around to working on you can do some things to keep their unsightly belongings from affecting an afternoon on your back patio.

  • Privacy fencing: If your home didn't have privacy fencing when you made the purchase, consider installing a new fence. There are affordable ways to implement privacy fencing that will create a visual barrier between you and your neighbor. Bonus — if they have a dog that likes to bark at anything it sees, or it just doesn't get along with your dog, the fencing will help prevent unwanted barking and extra noise.
  • Plant trees or bamboo: It’s a bit costlier but installing a line of medium-sized trees that grow tall (and quickly) or installing a second layer of "fencing" with a row of bamboo will increase the visual and sound barriers in addition to improving the beautiful greenery in your yard.
  • Direct attention away: If your yard is big enough to have a couple of different living areas try placing those areas on the opposite side of the yard from your neighbors and direct attention to your useable space. Install a gazebo in the back corner or hang a shade awning over the patio. Circle furniture up around a built-in BBQ facing away from the other yard. Light up the areas you use with string lights or tiki torches and leave the view along the less than desirable fence line darkened.
  • Outdoor Sound System: It's tempting to overpower your neighbor's loud music, but you can install an outdoor sound system that focuses on the entertaining and living areas of your yard to create more of a sound barrier between their loud music, dogs or children. Kind of like how restaurants use loud music to give each table privacy, you can give yourself a bit of privacy, and peace with strategically installed speakers. 

Finally, be a good neighbor. The primary key to having good neighbors is to be one. Be friendly, be open and be inviting. Follow the same considerate living principles you desire from your neighbors. Engage with your neighbors and become acquaintances or even friends. Who knows, the dad next door with the son who wants to learn death metal might need a break from the noise too, and could be the best new addition to your guys night.

If you're not exactly sure how to approach an issue with your new living arrangement, speak with your real estate professional for the best advice.




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