Rick Herrick & Paula A Farnsworth | Franklin Real Estate, Wrentham Real Estate, Medway Real Estate


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Textiles are one of the most important aspects of interior design—a true decorating fundamental that interior designers use to pull a room together. These things are often overlooked in favor of stylish trim, on-trend paint shades, and well-chosen furniture, however. Those are all necessary parts of the design equation, but without the right fabrics and wallpapers to unite the room, the design might fall flat.

Past trends featured monochromatic shades, lots of clean lines, and an overall sleek look. These days, trends are shifting, and prints are coming back in style. So how do you introduce patterns into a room? It can be a little tricky to do it right without making the look feel too busy or overwhelming. But there are lots of places to place your favorite prints—curtains, rugs, upholstery, wallpaper, wall art—the list goes on. Here are three ways interior designers use prints and patterns to create a cohesive look!

Match Your Patterns

If you’re thinking about going bold with lots of patterning in a given room, then the best way to do it is to choose matching patterns. They don’t necessarily need to be identical to each other, but they should be similarly themed. If you choose geometric patterns, for instance, make sure that all the patterns within the space feature a geometric style. Introduce geometrics with throw pillows, rugs, framed art, curtains or other elements. Three elements are typically enough to give the look unity without making it too overwhelming.

Make Colors Match

Maybe you’d rather avoid matching patterns because you’d like to mix tulle upholstery with floral curtains and a wallpaper border along the ceiling in a third pattern. How to go about harmonizing this type of look? Do it through the colors. Choose a shade in common between each of your patterns—orange, green or some other shade. Make sure each pattern within the room contains this shade so that the room looks polished and well-thought rather than haphazard.

Make A Statement With A Single Bold Pattern

Sometimes just a single pattern is enough to make a statement—especially if you’re going for a more elegant look that doesn’t mix a lot of colors or patterns. This is the time to focus on a single bold pattern for the room. There are several ways to do this.

  • Use a patterned rug as a bold focal point to draw attention to the center of the room.
  • Flooring can also be patterned. Try checkered tile, parquet floors or some other design to ground the room.
  • Save patterns for the curtains while keeping the rest of the room simple.
  • Add a sense of height and drama with patterned ceilings. Ceilings can be coffered, textured or covered with wallpaper.
  • Hang a large piece of art to create a bold focal point.

Wherever you choose to introduce this single statement piece, keep in mind that against plainer surroundings, this is the piece that will draw the eye. Choose placement carefully to create a focal point exactly where you want it.

When you know all the tricks that designers use, it’s easy to give your space a high-end look with carefully chosen patterns. While you can introduce them through architectural elements like flooring and ceilings, fabrics and other textiles are one of the best ways to get the look. That’s because they’re easily interchangeable as tastes and trends change.


Once you’re ready to buy a home, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want. Should you buy a new construction home, or look for an existing one? Builders may refer to existing homes as “used.” This term makes them sound much less appealing. Truthfully, there are many advantages to both new and existing houses. 


Benefits Of New Homes


One of the most visible benefits of buying a new home is that it is untouched. The home is clean, and everything is sparkly new. You know that nothing in the house needs to be repaired. That is one of the most significant incentives to buy a new construction home. Having no repairs offsets some of the typical costs that homeowners incur once they buy. 


Latest Technology And Amenities


One of the other benefits of new homes is that they are not dated. You’ll have access to all of the latest technologies and amenities in a new construction home. The home will be energy efficient which will save you some money on utilities. You’ll have all of the technological comforts that you need in order to keep your devices charged and your in-home entertainment on point.


You May Be Able To Select Features


If you do buy a new construction, often, you’ll have the option to choose the details of the home. Some key features, colors, and styles will be in your control, so you can’t complain about them once you move in! 


Less Competition


There may be less competition for a new home. This is because most new homes are present in neighborhoods that are just being built. All the home on the street are most likely vacant, so people looking for new construction have a lot to choose from in one area.  


The Cons To New Construction 


Although buying new construction sounds fantastic, there are a few drawbacks. First, you’re pretty much relegated to one location- wherever the new homes are being built which is generally on a new street full of new homes. The area is essential especially when it comes to your home’s value increasing over time. Many times, new construction homes are built by the same construction company. All of the houses on the street look the same, and there may be little differentiation between them other than the color. If you’re someone who likes variety, this is something to consider.


Keep in mind that you can always buy an existing home that may be less expensive than new construction and do whatever it takes to make it your own. This is a practical option for many people. Your options may be a bit fewer if you do decide to look for new construction homes, so it’s good to go into the home buying process with an open mind as to all the possibilities that are available.         


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Although it may seem like putting the cart before the horse, a strong case can be made for purchasing your retirement home before your golden years. In fact, with some deft financial planning, it may be worthwhile to buy your retirement home decades in advance. That may seem counterintuitive, but maybe other folks have been doing it backward. Whether you are a Millennial, Gen Xer, or Baby Boomer, the best time to plan ahead is right now. Consider these strategies.

Why Buying Now Saves Retirement Dollars

The Gen X crowd was born between 1965-1979, making them 40- and 50-somethings. Those are generally prime financial years. In many cases, they’re nearing the end of a mortgage and are probably enjoying the fruits of many years of savings. This means having equity and resources at their disposal to make a move on a property now.

The argument for paying off an existing home loan or doubling-up if it’s reasonably low rests on data that the home values continue to rise. Consider these incremental increases in median home sales pricing.

  • 1970: $23,400
  • 1980: $64,60
  • 1990: $122,90
  • 2000: $169,000
  • 2010: $221,800
  • The median price routinely topped $300,000 in 2019, and the robust economy, coupled with an inventory shortfall, is expected to drive prices upward. If you were to have purchased your retirement home just 10 years ago, your savings would have amounted to nearly $100,000, plus lower interest payments. Those are real retirement dollars.

    Why Buying Your Retirement Home First Makes Sense

    One of the strategies savvy Millennials are employing is to purchase an “investment property” rather than a primary residence first. That may seem like thinking way outside the box, but the math and lifestyle considerations can make it a smart play.

    This demographic runs between 23 and 38 years old, and they have grown up in a vastly different culture than their predecessors. Some are straight out of college struggling with student loan debt, and even the top end of the age bracket has members still evolving their careers in many cases. These factors tend to position Millennials for ongoing relocation as they take advantage of emerging opportunities. Rather than be burdened with buying and selling a home, it’s easier to rent.

    Financially sharp Millennials, among others, have purchased properties in culturally rich areas that lend themselves to college students and tourism. The strategy is to enlist the help of a real estate professional who oversees renting, upkeep, and allow the asset to pay for itself. In many cases, it may even yield a profit. When retirement age arrives, there can be ample revenue to do a full remodel and just pay the taxes while you collect a pension or social security.

    Although buying a retirement home prior to punching out for the last time may seem odd at first, it’s in your best interest to run the numbers both ways. Consider all the moving parts and detailed costs to make an informed decision about your best time to but a retirement home.


    An ambitious homebuyer goes above and beyond the call of duty to find a great residence at an affordable price. As such, this individual is better equipped than others to streamline the homebuying journey.

    Anyone can become an ambitious homebuyer. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you seamlessly discover your dream residence.

    1. Create Homebuying Criteria

    Buying a home can be simple, particularly for those who establish property buying criteria. If you enter the real estate market with homebuying criteria in hand, you can hone your search to residences that match your expectations. Then, if you find a house you want to buy, you can move quickly to acquire this residence.

    As you craft homebuying criteria, it often helps to evaluate your short- and long-term aspirations. For example, if you strive to live close to the beach, you may want to pursue residences near top beaches in various cities and towns. On the other hand, if you require a house that includes a central air conditioning system, you can search for residences that boast this feature.

    2. Develop a Budget

    A homebuying budget is essential, as it will help you search for houses that fall within your price range. Perhaps most important, a budget limits the risk that you will be tempted to spend beyond your means to purchase your ideal house.

    Generally, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about a variety of mortgage options and help you make an informed mortgage selection. Best of all, banks and credit unions can respond to any of your mortgage concerns or questions, at any time.

    3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

    If you want to speed up your home search, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to discover a terrific home that can serve you well for years to come.

    A real estate agent understands the importance of conducting a comprehensive home search. Thus, he or she will do whatever it takes to help you find a home that suits you perfectly. From setting up home showings to helping you craft a competitive offer to purchase, a real estate agent is prepared to assist you in any way possible.

    Furthermore, a real estate agent will offer plenty of guidance as you get ready to close on a home. The weeks and days leading up to a home closing can be worrisome, but a real estate agent will provide tips to alleviate stress. As a result, a real estate agent will help you enjoy a stress-free homebuying experience.

    Want to navigate the homebuying journey like an expert? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can become an ambitious homebuyer and find and purchase your dream house in no time at all.


    Photo by Precondo via Pixabay

    Some mortgage companies offer loans with points. In a nutshell, paying points means paying down the interest rate. One point is equal to 1 percent of the mortgage amount. On a $200,000 mortgage, one point is $2,000. The percentage the interest rate lowers depends on the mortgage company and the market. For example, one point might be equal to a quarter of a percent interest. A loan with 4 percent interest and two points might go down to 3.5 percent interest.

    Pros and Cons of Points

    If you do pay points, you could get a tax break. Since tax laws are constantly changing, make sure you can claim points if part of your decision is based on the tax break. Other considerations include:

    • If your mortgage is an adjustable rate (ARM), some mortgage servicers only give you the discounted rate until the mortgage rate adjusts. Some may hold the discount rate over. For example, if you have an ARM that starts at 4 percent and you buy two points for a discount of ½ percent, you may lose that discount when the loan adjusts, especially if it changes to a higher interest rate. However, if the bank carries the discount over, the new rate might increase to 6 percent, but your one-half point discount would mean that your new rate would be 5.5 percent.

    • You need additional cash to buy points. If you plan on putting 20 percent down, but you want to purchase points and do not have more cash, you could be less than 20 percent down. However, compare the scenarios to determine which method is better in the long run. If you put less than 20 percent down, the mortgage servicer may charge you PMI, which would negate any savings.

    • You may save more by putting more down. If you put $40,000 down on a $200,000 mortgage, you are going to pay interest on $160,000. If you put less money down and buy points instead, your interest rate will drop, but you may end up paying more for the loan in the long run. Enter the numbers into a mortgage calculator to determine which way you save more.

    Scenario

    If your mortgage is $200,000 and you put $40,000 down, thus cutting the amount you finance to $160,000, and do not buy points, the total interest you will pay over the length of the loan will be about $115,000.

    Using the same scenario, you instead put $36,000 down and buy two points. This drops your interest rate to 3.5 percent from 4 percent. You will save about $16,700 over the life of the mortgage. And, you would have to stay in your house without refinancing for 49 months to break even on your savings. In this case, your $4,000 ends up saving you a net of $13,500 on interest (savings minus the $4,000 it cost you to save).

    Before you agree to points or a larger down payment, discuss the scenarios with your accountant or tax attorney to determine which method is best for your situation. If you have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), buying points could end up costing you.




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