Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 2/17/2019

Nothing beats a fresh and scent-filled ambiance. A fresh breeze is ever soothing and relaxing.Follow these scentful tips to get rid of difficult odors and keep your home smelling fresh and inviting throughout the year.

  1. Make a bespoke Gel Freshener. Making a gel freshener is quite easy. You need some essential oils like citrus and grapeseed, depending on the exact scent you want to reproduce, then, other natural ingredients available in your kitchen, such as gelatin, salt, and lemons; mix them, and you have a nice fruity freshener for your home. For more detailed instructions and proportions, browse the internet.
  2. Secret Jars. These hidden scent-makers are simple to do, and the results last for even longer. You can mix essential oils you have with baking soda and have them fill up stone jars. Place the jars in different corners of your house and breathe in as the walls of your home begin to give out the scents seemingly by themselves. However, you might need to keep the jars out of sight, as they are not perfect decoration accessories.
  3. Scent of Potpourri. Add any food items with pleasant fragrances into a pan. Use lemons, apple cider, vanilla extract, etc.; they all work perfectly. Add a cup or so of clear water to the pan and afterward apply heat on the burner. A warm and refreshing scent wafts off the hot mixture which gives your home a welcoming ambiance. This process works best at night as it's sure to make dinner smell enticing.
  4. Use Cleaning Products With Natural Ingredients and Favors. Go for cleaning liquids that have natural elements in their contents. Many cleaning products are plant-based and infused with the scents of ingredients like citrus, cedar, and lavender. Constant use of such products for cleaning the floors, windows, and even clothes will all add up to give every room in the house a distinct pleasantly fresh smell.
  5. DIY Lavender Air Freshener. Mix in a small container baking soda with dried lavender leaves and then shake it carefully. Add a bit of lavender oil too, and closed it up. Poke some holes in the lid to allow the scent to escape into the home atmosphere. 

Try out these ideas to get that welcoming fresh and fruity atmosphere in your home. If you need more options of essential oils, visit any apothecary shop that is close to you.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 2/10/2019

It doesnít matter if youíre moving down the street or across the country, moving into a new neighborhood can be hard. You want to make your new property, and new area feel like home. Relocation is always a challenge. There are a few things you can do to make the transition smoother for your family. Meeting people and learning about your new community doesnít have to be a huge ordeal. Read on for tips to make it fun! 


Approach Your Neighbors


It can be kind of scary to approach your new neighbors, but reaching out to them is one of the best ways to meet people. If you see your neighbors out and about give them a wave or shout ďhello.Ē These gestures are a way to extend yourself without intruding on them. Ask questions about the neighborhood like when the trash pickup is or how the traffic on a local route is. You can even find out where the best grocery store to shop at is. Anything simple can open up a great conversation. 


Get Outside


Itís easy to meet up with your neighbors if you give them an opportunity to see you. Sit out on your porch. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Spend some time outside gardening. Just be approachable. If youíre cheerful and seem a bit inquisitive about the area, people will be more likely to talk to you. 


Spend Time In The Community


If thereís a local diner or coffee shop, spend some time there. Youíll be more likely to meet your neighbors and have something in common with many of the people that live in your new space. Check out local parks with your kids or bring your dog. You can talk to other dog owners or parents and get to know them. 


Finding ways to volunteer and get involved in your community is also a great way to connect and get to know where you live. 


Other Ways To Get Involved


You can get connected with people in the area through connections you have. College alumni networks can connect you with social clubs in a new city or region. Your employer may also have mentoring programs to assist you through the transition         


Moving to a new area can be hard, but with an open mind to opportunities, you can make the transition pleasant for both you and your family.   






Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 2/3/2019

Are you thinking about buying your first home but completely overwhelmed with where to even begin?

Buying your first home is a big, and exciting, decision. Itís also one that comes with a big learning curve you need to get down quickly.

There are many steps to the process and even though your agent is always here to help you and give advice itís critical you do your own research. You want to be able to take action quickly when you find your dream home. To do this you will need to be able to keep up with the process by having everything done neatly, orderly and on time.

So where to start?

Start here:

Start by sitting down with your budget. What do your current finances look like? What sort of wiggle room for spending do you have? What can you afford for a monthly mortgage payment?

And perhaps more importantly, do you have enough saved to cover a down payment and closing costs? Depending on which programs you qualify for you donít necessarily have to put the traditional 20% down. With that said, you should know how much you would need to put down and if you have money in the bank to cover those costs.

Smooth out any credit snags. Your credit score doesnít need to be out of this world, but it should reflect that you are actively improving and financially responsible.

Find a mortgage professional you trust to help you make the right moves throughout the process. Again, you want to be able to take action quickly once you find a home you love. And you donít want to miss out because your mortgage professional hasnít prioritized you.

You will also want to have a preapproval prepared, with the help of your mortgage professional, when you are ready to start looking at houses. Having a pre-approval in hand shows your agent that you are serious about this process.

Calculate the costs. Yes, more math! You will want to take into consideration real estate taxes, HOA fees, home repairs and maintenance as you refine your budget to see which homes make the most sense for your lifestyle.

When looking at homes focus on the ďbonesĒ of the house. Look past paint, hideous wallpaper and yes even the granite countertops. Are there enough bedrooms? Bathrooms? A laundry room? Is there enough garage space and driveway? Do you like the floor plan? The neighborhood?

Know whatís important to you. In an ideal world, you will find a home that ticks off every item on your wishlist. And not to say that itís entirely impossible, but know which items on your list are negotiable. Which are you willing to budge on and which are make or break?





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 1/27/2019

You may have heard that you will need 20 percent of the purchase price of a home to put down in order to buy it. As the prices of homes continue to rise. 20 percent of the purchase price of any home may not seem like a small feat to save up. Itís not impossible to buy a home. You may be able to get around the 20 percent rule in a variety of ways. Keep in mind that putting down as large of a down payment as you can will help you to land the home of your dreams a bit faster. 


The 20 percent down rule is sort of a myth. While the more you have saved up, the better your chances of standing out among other buyers are. You can still get a mortgage with less than 20 percent down from most banks. The drawback in not putting down 20 percent on a home is that you will need mortgage insurance (also known as PMI). Mortgage insurance is necessary if you put less than 20 percent down because the lender wants protection in case the home is foreclosed on due to a lack of payments.


All About PMI Payments


If you do put less than 20 percent down on a home, your PMI payments wonít go on forever. Once your loan is paid down a bit, youíll be free and clear of PMI payments. As a rule, if the loan-to-value-ratio reaches 80 percent, you can ask your lender to cancel the insurance for you. When the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78 percent, the lender will automatically cancel the PMI. This is a welcome decrease in expenses since PMI insurance can add up to be hundreds of dollars per month.      


Finding A Way Around 20 Percent Down


Before you even decide to buy a house, you should look at financing options. There are certain programs that are available to you to help. If you know about them ahead of time, youíll be able to take advantage of them.  


Government Programs


Many different government agencies have programs available to help people get a home easier. These programs will provide home loans with a low interest rate and little to no down payment. The downside to these programs is that many of them actually require you to purchase private mortgage insurance as a contingency to get the loan. Youíll need to plan for these extra expenses. There are even grants available to help you with your down payment. Check in your state or local HUD office for details on various programs that can assist you with your down payment on your first home. Through a bit of savings and research, owning your first home can be possible with or without 20 percent down.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 1/20/2019

Let's face it Ė most homebuyers have limited time and resources at their disposal. As such, it is crucial for buyers to do everything possible to optimize their time and resources throughout the property buying journey. Because if a buyer maximizes his or her time and resources, this individual can boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful homebuying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a homebuyer get the most out of his or her time and resources.

1. Craft a Homebuying Strategy

If you know you want to buy a home, you should develop a property buying strategy. That way, you can map out the steps you'll need to take to find and acquire your dream residence.

A typical homebuying strategy should account for your budget, timeline and other property buying factors. If you analyze these factors, you could streamline your quest to discover your ideal house.

2. Narrow Your Home Search

You plan to buy a house as soon as possible, but you still have no idea where you want to reside. Fortunately, if you hone your house search to a few cities and towns, you may be able to quickly and effortlessly find a great home in an area you can enjoy for years to come.

As you get ready to start a home search, consider your long-term plans. For instance, if your ultimate goal is to work in a big city, you may want to focus on houses in or near major metros. Or, if you want to raise a family, you may want to search for residences near outstanding schools and parks.

In addition, perform lots of research into various cities and towns. If you conduct plenty of research, you can find out whether certain areas match or exceed your expectations and tailor your house search accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a property buying expert who understands what it takes to find a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price. Thus, if you hire a real estate agent today, you can get the help you need to reap the benefits of a seamless home search.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your property buying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy. He or she also will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions throughout the property buying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent ensures you can receive expert support as you try to find your dream house.

A real estate agent will make it simple to search for houses that fall within your budget and correspond to your homebuying criteria too. Plus, if you want homebuying recommendations or suggestions, a real estate agent is happy to provide them.

Want to enjoy a fast, successful homebuying experience? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble making the most of your time and resources as you search for your ideal house.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips