Top 10 Ways to Make Your Move Stress Free!

Moving is fun and exciting, but it can also be extremely stressful! There are so many moving pieces with getting your home and family ready to move, that it can often take the excitement out of moving.  However, there are always ways to help make your move stress free (or at least a bit less stressful).  Here are our top 10 suggestions to make your move “stress free”!

  1. Clean out –  Prior to packing, start going through your things and getting rid of anything you haven’t used in months (or scarier – years!). Don’t pack items that you know you’re going to get rid of once you move!  Start a box that can go to Godwill as soon as you know you’re going to be moving!
  2. Collect boxes –  Who said you should have to pay a fortune for moving boxes? Start collecting boxes from family and friends, the office, grocery stores, etc. Check your local websites (places like Craigslist, Facebook groups, etc) to see if people are giving away boxes or selling them for cheap. You’ll be happy you did when you start looking at the prices of boxes in your local stores.
  3. First Day Essentials –  Create a box of first day essentials (trust us you will thank us later). Make sure that this box gets put in your car, or is the first box that is unloaded off of the moving truck. Items such as: glass cleaner, antibacterial wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, scissors, markers, hammers, a shower curtain, paper plates, napkins, cups, first aid kid, etc. are all great items to put into your first day essentials. (You’re most likely going to sweat and there is nothing worse than wanting to go take a shower and realizing you don’t have a shower curtain – take our word for it!)
  4. Color code your rooms –  Assign each room in your new home a color. Utilize stickers to put on each box with those colors, helping you and your movers know where items need to be delivered come moving day. Put a list of all of the rooms and their associated color on the front door or garage door so that your moving team can know exactly where to drop them!
  5. Change of address -  As you receive mail at your current address, call companies to start switching your address information upon moving day. Make sure to leave forwarding information for neighbors and the new owners, just in case!
  6. Keep your clothes on hangers -  Take garage bags and cut holes in the bottom of them to put your hangers through. This will allow you to keep your clothes protected in the move, but organized as well. All you have to do is hang them up in your new closet!
  7. Use what you have -  Wrap your dishes and breakables in towels, blankets, sheets etc. You have to move those items anyways, why not save money from having to buy extra tissue paper or newspaper?
  8. Save your Receipts - Keep all of your moving receipts. Depending on your move (relocating for work) you might be able to write off some of those items on your tax returns!
  9. Arrange for Daycare / Childcare -  Arrange childcare the day of the move if you have children.  If you have pets check to see see if there is a local pet daycare that you might be able to use while moving your items in. With everyone coming and going from your home, it might be easy for someone to accidentally let your dog or cat out of the house.
  10. Label your electronics -  Don’t just start unplugging your computer cords and stuffing them in a box. Utilize labels to properly identify which cords go to what items. You can even use color coded labels (blue for the TV, green for your desktop computer, etc).

Have other suggestions for a stress free move? We would love to hear them!

3 Reasons to Replace Your Entry Door

Selling your home is a huge undertaking and let’s face it, with all of the possible updates and upgrades you can make to increase its value, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. For example, a simple facelift for your kitchen can spiral into a full-on remodel quicker than you can say “backsplash.”

There is, however, one project that all homeowners should consider before putting their house on the market: front door replacement. Well-chosen entry doors not only add crucial curb appeal and an added level of security, but they also provide the highest return on investment come selling time.

Here’s why you need to replace your front door:

Add Curb Appeal Curb appeal, or what potential buyers see when they first pull up to your house, is extremely important. It’s the first impression, and just like your appearance during a job interview, can make or break the deal immediately. There are hundreds of things you can do to enhance your home’s curb appeal, including landscaping, adding fencing, and upgrading your mailbox, but the biggest game-changer is replacing your front door, especially with one that is prefinished in an attractive wood grain print or vibrant, welcoming color.

You can add an exotic, high-end look to your home’s façade with a fiberglass door printed with wood grain, or modernize your home with an entry door in a rich shade of red or bright lime green.

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Increase Security & Durability Aside from aesthetic appeal, one of the most important factors for homeowners in choosing a new front door is safety. While solid wood and steel doors are high on this list, there is a new option you should consider: prefinished fiberglass. One example is Masonite’s strong, five-layer AvantGuard® finish, which makes these doors high performance and low maintenance because they do not rot, they have UV-resistant topcoats, and each has a five year warranty.

Best Return on Investment Looks and security are great, but let’s get down to business. How much is replacing your front door going to cost and how much will you get back upon the sale of your home? According to Remodeling’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, the average cost of entry door replacement is $1162 and homeowners recoup nearly all of the costs with an average return of 96.6%. This project outranks deck additions and minor kitchen remodels, which cost significantly more and only have returns of 87.4% and 82.7%, respectively.

Now that we’ve taken the guesswork out of entry door replacement, make sure you add it to your home selling to-do list!

**Sarah Kellner is a writer for The Home Depot. With a background in art and design, she writes on a wide variety of home improvement and real estate topics. To find the fiberglass entry doors mentioned in this article, visit the front doors pages at HomeDepot.com.

 

Living in Love with M/I Homes

Originally Posted on SheInspires.com by Nycia Emerson

Looking for ways to decorate your home for Valentine’s Day?  Nycia Emerson is the owner of Inspired Events and Designs in Austin, Texas.  She recently went to one of our model homes  and put together fun ideas to decorate for Valentine’s Day!   Check out her post below:

Living In Love with M/I Homes

With love being in the air this week, there is no better place to start with LOVE then at home, adding that touch of love right in your own room….Why not?  So we are bringing you a little Living in Love from the master bedroom of one of my favorite one story floor plans with M/I Homes, the Brenham right here in Texas.

Bringing in a little touch of love to this bedroom, really set the mood. It’s as simple as adding a splash of red; through fun pillows, a lovely bouquet of roses, and of course you have to include the traditional conversation candies to your Valentine’s festivities. You to can add that simple touch in your own bedroom, it doesn’t matter if you are married or single. Everyone deserves to live in LOVE!

BEFORE

AFTER
 How are you decorating your M/I Homes for Valentine’s Day?  Feel free to share photos with us on Instagram!

 

3 Areas to Buy New Construction Homes Near San Antonio

San Antonio is alive with arts, entertainment and culture from the Alamo to the River Walk. Tourists flock to the city every year.

But the city is more than simply a tourist attraction. It’s a convenient location to raise a family. Residents enjoy quality schools and kid-friendly attractions and communities. Families considering moving to San Antonio have many things to look forward to, however, finding an affordable home with all the community benefits is challenging.

Currently, homes in the San Antonio market have a median listing price of $240,000, which is similar to Texas’ overall median list price of $224,990. Many U.S. markets are highly competitive, making the search for the perfect family home difficult. Exhausting bidding wars are common for families competing for their ideal homes. One option to curb these competitive negotiations is to build or purchase a new construction home.

New construction homes provide advantages families can’t ignore. First, personalizing a new construction home allows parents to modify or tweak home layouts to suit their family’s needs. Next, a new construction home requires much less maintenance than older homes.

All homes require annual maintenance costing 2 to 5 percent of the home’s value. Not only are recently-built homes less costly to maintain, builders must meet updated building codes resulting in greater energy efficiencies than older homes. New construction homes are reliable and quality investments that families should consider when making a fresh start.

Families interested in the benefits of buying a new construction home should review these three San Antonio areas before making the big move.

New Braunfels

New Braunfels, just 45 minutes from downtown San Antonio, is a popular community for families due to its low crime rates and high-ranking schools. The median list price for homes in New Braunfels is $240,000, aligned with San Antonio. The area has plenty inventory for buyers to avoid competition, with more than 250 new construction homes for sale. Alternatively, a newly-built home pairs nicely with its new construction neighbors. New construction homes are often built in suburban-style developements, offering buyers access to communal parks and shared common areas. Buyers who prefer more privacy and acerage outside of developments can work with builders to personalize home designs.

Schertz

The Schertz community, positioned on the northeast side of San Antonio, is known for its family atmosphere and short commute time. Like New Braunfels, new construction is popular in traditional suburban neighborhoods. Schertz currently has more than 100 new construction homes listed for sale with a wide variety of single-story and two-story homes. Most communities have shared parks and recreation areas close to home, yet off the property to reduce clean up and maintenance. The median listing price of homes in Schertz is $246,000 – only slightly more expensive than New Braunfels.

Helotes

The city of Helotes is located on the northwest side of San Antonio, offering homebuyers a secluded location that blends small-town charm with urban conveniences. Helotes is ideal for families who prefer older, residential neighborhoods to developments. The community is upscale and private with a median list price of $410,300. New contruction homes in Helotes are generally built on larger properties than homes in New Braunfels and Schertz. Families interested in purchasing a newly-constructed Helotes homes can find 10-15 current listings, fewer than the other communities highlighted.

Whether weighing the pros and cons of a new construction home, these three San Antonio areas provide new construction benefits in family-friendly communities. Find more new construction homes in the San Antonio area by visiting Zillow.com.

M/I Homes is proud to build new homes in San Antonio.  Check out our move in ready homes, some of which are located in these popular areas!

**Guest Blogger Nick Elam of Zillow. Nick is a Marketing Content Coordinator at Zillow. He writes about local data topics, real estate, home improvements and interior design for the Zillow Blog and other Zillow partners.

 

6 Spots for a Second Kitchen Sink

As floor plans have opened up, kitchens have evolved into the main family and entertaining spaces in our homes. With that comes more traffic, and a greater need to use that space wisely.

A great way to make a high-use kitchen work a lot better is to add a second kitchen sink. The trick is finding the right spot, which depends on how your kitchen factors into your lifestyle. Check out our six suggestions for where to put that second kitchen sink, and see what will work for you.

Double Kitchen Sinks

    1. Island/Peninsula Prep Station:One of the main reasons for adding a second sink is the convenience of separate prep and cleaning spaces, so adding a sink on the island makes perfect sense. This gives you space to prep without having to fight with dirty dishes as they pile up while you prepare a meal for your family or guests. If you’re working with a peninsula, consider a sink that you can access from either side of the peninsula to help address traffic concerns in the kitchen. While we’re on the subject, it’s worth mentioning that pull-down faucets are the efficient—and stylish—choice for those who spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
    2. Work Station:If you’re working with a smaller space, or don’t have an island, consider a single bowl kitchen sink in a secondary work space. Make sure you’ve got a little counter space on either side and use this as your prep sink, keeping your main sink for washing and cleanup.
    3. Baking Station:Baking is a messy affair. Adding a sink at your baking station allows you to keep the mess in one area, rather than spreading it out all over the kitchen.
    4. Coffee Station:As our collective love of coffee grows, so does the amount of equipment and space needed to supply our habit. A second sink allows all things coffee-centric to happen in one place. It can also come in handy after dinner and dessert have been served, the kitchen is piled with dishes and you just need to get the coffee going.
    5. Party Station/Wet Bar:If you entertain a lot, you know better than anyone how people tend to gather in the kitchen. Rather than fight it, consider a wet bar station with a second sink. Keep it separate from the prep and cleaning stations and you can comfortably get the work done and get the party started without your guests getting in the way.

Entertainment Sink

  1. Pot-filling Station:We install a lot of pot-filling faucets on the backsplash behind the cooktop. They’re very handy, and keep you from having to carry—and spill—large pots of water for cooking. Why not install a second sink near the cooktop instead and simply make sure the faucets and fixtures will also accommodate your large pots?

Have any other ideas for clever uses for second sinks? We’d love to hear them!

***Kerrie Kelly is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, and has won numerous awards for her home design creativity. Kerrie is the author of Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide and writes about interior designs, including kitchens and kitchen sink design, for Home Depot. Home Depot’s selection of kitchen sinks can be found on the company’s website.

 

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