The holiday season is upon us! For many, this means holiday decorating, family gatherings and chilly weather. If you’re hosting for the holidays, we have some tips to keep it as stress-free as possible. Plus, whether you’re looking to buy this winter or just prepare your house for the cold weather, we’re here to help.
Tips for Hosting in your Home for the Holidays
Hosting the holidays in your home can be both exciting and challenging. Not only are you focused on making the celebration special for your loved ones, but you also need to get your home ready. Here are three tips to simplify the process, so you can host with ease. Plan ahead The best thing you can do to prepare is plan ahead and early. Think about how many guests will be coming, whether any will be staying with you, what kind of food you want to serve, what type of libations you’ll have, etc. Once you know what you need, you can move to the next phase. Cook early Many holidays revolve around sharing a meal together. When you’re hosting, meal preparation can take a lot of your time. Combat this by prepping and cooking what you can ahead of time. This way, when guests are arriving, you’re not scrambling to get everything into the oven or onto a platter. Clean sparingly Let’s face it: sometimes we obsess over the little details that no one will notice. Reorganizing your kitchen cabinets or clearing out your linen closet shouldn't be high on your list of priorities. Instead, focus on sprucing up the areas where guests will actually be spending their time. Add holiday accents to your living room, dining area and guest bath, but don’t feel that you need to go overboard. Remember, the most important part of the holidays is spending time with those you love and enjoying it together.
Is Now Still a Good Time to Buy a Home?
With all the changes in the country, pandemic and economy, many are wondering whether it’s still a good time to buy a home. While the most important thing to keep in mind is your individual need, some are determining whether they should invest or move from renting to buying. Here is a quick breakdown of the housing status to help you figure out what’s best for you. Why it’s a good time to buy Currently, mortgage rates are still lower than average. Locking in a low interest rate now can be beneficial for the future. In addition to this, in some places, housing inventory is starting to increase. This can be helpful for buyers who have been shut out previously due to low supply. Unrelated to the market, fall and winter are generally good seasons to buy, since there’s less competition. Buyer’s fatigue and the approaching holidays means many buyers are turning their attention elsewhere. Why it’s better to wait The top reason to wait is that it’s still a seller’s market. While inventory is opening up in many areas, there are still more people looking to buy than homes available. Related to this, home prices are still high. While no one can predict definitively what will happen, we should see prices begin to drop in 2022 as more inventory becomes available.
Make Sure Your Home is Ready for Winter
Winter is upon us, which means it’s time to make sure your home is ready for the colder temperatures. Preparing your home for this season is one of the best things you can do to ensure you avoid any potential disasters. These three tips will help you get ready! Check your heating and cooling It’s recommended to have your heating system inspected by a professional once a year. Even if you’re not having a professional come in, you should still vacuum your vents and other heating components to prepare them for use. If you have a chimney, hire a professional to clean and inspect it to make sure it’s ready for winter use. Prepare your plumbing Now that your lawn is going into dormancy for the winter, it’s time to winterize your irrigation system. Use an air compressor for this or shut off your main water valve and run your sprinklers to clear out any remaining water. If you don’t have an irrigation system, disconnect your hoses and store them indoors for the winter. Prep your indoor plumbing by leaving your faucets to drip or wrap problematic ones in heating tape. Look for leaks During the winter, you want to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. This is key not only for comfort, but also for energy savings. Check your doors and windows, and seal any cracks where air could leak out. Remember to replace any weather stripping to reduce the potential for drafts.