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Bell Home Team Blog

Monday, May 2, 2022   /   by Bell Home Team

Avoid These Mistakes That Make a Room Feel Smaller

Small spaces have the potential to be cozy and charming, but if you’re not careful, they can turn into a total bummer. Over time, your collection of household items can start to resemble mountains of clutter—and before you know it, cramming it all into one tiny space can make your home feel downright uncomfortable.
Of course, curbing the clutter in your pad is just one of the ways to be proactive in making your home look and feel bigger. In fact, experts are seeing homeowners and renters prioritizing this now more than ever.
“People are more dedicated and interested in ensuring that every space in a home is functional,” says Eilyn Jimenez, founder and creative director of Sire Design. “I am seeing a more ‘quality over quantity’ attitude with homeowners when it comes to their spaces.”
Don’t let your walls close in on you! Whether you’re decorating your living room or bedroom, make sure to avoid these common mistakes tham ...

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022   /   by Bell Home Team

Pre-Approval is an Important Step for Today's Homebuyer

Being intentional and competitive are musts when buying a home this season. That’s why pre-approval is so important today. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to know your true price range and how much money you can borrow for your loan. Peter Warden, Editor of The Mortgage Reports, explains:
“The lender will check out your personal finances and issue you a letter confirming the amount you’re eligible to borrow. This not only gives you a firm budget for house hunting, but also lets sellers know you’re qualified to make an offer.”
Why does that matter so much today? There are many more buyers looking for homes today than there are homes available for sale, and that’s creating some serious competition. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average home is getting 4.8 offers per sale. As a result, bidding wars are still common.
Your pre-approval gives you a leg up in these situations. That’s because you know exactls ...

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Tuesday, April 12, 2022   /   by Bell Home Team

The Housing Market Just Hit a Level Not Seen Since 2007

The financial sting of soaring home prices—up 32.6% over the past two years—was lessened, to a degree, by historically low mortgage rates during the pandemic. Even as prices soared, many buyers’ monthly payments remained reasonable. Those days are behind us: Now that rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels, new homebuyers are starting to feel the full weight of record prices.
In December 2021 the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate sat at 3.11%. A borrower who took out a $500,000 mortgage at that 3.11% rate would have seen a monthly principal and interest payment of $2,137. Now that the average rate is up to 4.72%, a new loan at that size would equal a $2,599 monthly payment. Over the course of 30 years, that's an additional $166,106.
This swift jump in mortgage rates puts homebuyers in the worst position since 2007. At least, that’s according to one metric produced by Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data provider.
At current mortgage rate levels, m ...

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Monday, April 11, 2022   /   by Bell Home Team

12 Easy Changes to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Not everybody can afford solar panels or Energy Star appliances, but we can all make smaller changes in our own homes. These changes are budget-friendly and they don’t take a lot of time; they are however efficient and they can turn your home into an eco-friendly place.
Wash Your Clothes In Cold Water
Up to 90% of the energy used by a washing machine goes toward heating water, according to Energy Star. So skip the heating and just use your washing machine on the cold water setting. This way, you reduce carbon dioxide emission but you also keep your clothes in top condition for longer, as hot water can deteriorate the fabric and make your colorful clothes less vibrant.
Unless you’re dealing with stubborn stains like oil stains, there really isn’t a point in running your washing machine on the hot water setting. If you feel the cold water setting doesn’t do a proper job, you can try the warm setting. Energy-wise it’s still better than using the hot water m ...

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Monday, March 21, 2022   /   by Bell Home Team

Freshen Up Your Home For Spring!

After spending months shoveling snow and battling icy temperatures, nothing feels better than the first sign of spring. It’s time to say goodbye to winter weather gear and hello to shorts, gardening tools and spring-inspired home decor.
To prepare your home for the new season, start by tidying and reorganizing the house with help from our spring cleaning checklist. Then, plan to give your space a warm-weather refresh with new home decor, featuring bright colors and natural greenery. Whether your home style is farmhouse chic or ultra-modern, check out this list of 10 spring decor ideas to spruce up your living space.
Add Pops of Color
Nothing says “spring has sprung” like adding bright pops of color throughout the house. The easiest way to incorporate spring-inspired hues into your home decor is by mixing in new throw blankets, pillows, curtains and vases. These home accessories are relatively inexpensive and bring more color into any room without having to take on m ...

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