How to Declutter Your Kitchen

how to declutter your kitchen

Between all the utensils, pots, pans, gadgets, and décor, it’s easy for kitchens to get a bit crowded. This can be problematic, because your kitchen needs to be one of the most functional rooms in the house so you can cook and clean easily. If your cabinets are overflowing, try these tips to declutter your kitchen.

Go on a Cleanse

The first step is to go through your entire kitchen and donate anything you don’t use. Odds are you have a lot of stuff in there that you haven’t used more than twice or may have never used at all. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that you’ll start using it now that you remember you have it. Just get rid of it.

Use All the Space

One often overlooked storage spot is the space above the cabinets. This is a great place to tuck away large bulky items that won’t fit into cabinets or items you don’t use every day. Using a pot rack is also a good idea if you’re short on cabinet space. There are plenty of kitchen storage hacks out there, so don’t be afraid to get creative.

Labels Are Your Friend

When it comes to things like ingredients and food, there’s not a better organizational tool than a label. This will force you to group like items together and find a logical place to put them. Then you can label the storage section so you’ll always know where to find what you need. This will also come in handy when other people are in the kitchen helping you cook.

Change Up Storage

Don’t just stick with one kind of storage container. There are lots of different storage needs when it comes to food; some need to be airtight and some need to be cold. Having a wide range of containers will help you meet all the different requirements of your kitchen items.

Getting Mortgage Approval When Changing Jobs

When you’re applying for a mortgage, the goal is to make yourself look as stable and dependable as possible. Banks want to make sure you’ll be able to make your monthly payments and change tends to scare them. Even if you accept a higher paying job, the banks might see that as a greater risk of getting fired because you’re in a new and unfamiliar role. It sounds a bit goofy, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get approved for a mortgage and change jobs at the same time.

Prove Stability

All you have to do is prove this new job offers plenty of financial stability. Typically, lenders won’t sign off on the loan until you’ve worked in your new role for 30 days, so make sure to budget an extra month of time. They’ll also want to see an offer letter and possibly a paystub once you have one.

Avoid Red Flags

Making a job change within the same industry will raise considerably less red flags, as will a promotion at the same company. Trying to make a major career switch or accepting a lesser paying job will make things much harder.

Buy Before You Leave

One, potentially risky, option is to buy your new home before you put in your two weeks’ notice. Lenders will verify employment during the application process and right before closing. So as long as you maintain the same employment during both checks and don’t tell your current employer that you’re leaving, you should be fine. Just make sure there’s no clause in the loan agreement that asks about plans to change jobs. This strategy might also put you in an awkward position if someone from HR asks why you’re moving.

Getting a mortgage while you’re changing jobs isn’t impossible, but it does add a few extra variables. Lenders shouldn’t give you any trouble as long as you’re sure to account for those variables.

 

5 Home Organization Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Home organization can seem like a never-ending task even when it’s done right. And when it’s done wrong, it’s really a pain in the neck. To make sure you’re organizing your home the right way, it’s important to be able to spot mistakes and correct them. Below is a quick list of the most common home organization mistakes and how to fix them.

Buying Before Organizing

All too often homeowners get bit by the organizing bug and rush to the store to buy bins and baskets before they actually do any organizing. While the enthusiasm is great, it’s best to do some preliminary organizing to sort items into alike categories and take stock of everything that needs organizing. This will help you know what kind of bins and baskets to buy.

Getting Buried in Organization

Just because everything has been neatly tucked away in a box or jar doesn’t mean it’s organized. When you have to unpack three containers and use a flashlight to find what you need, you might need to rethink your strategy. This kind of deep storage is fine for rarely used items, but regularly used items need to be accessible.

Towers of Dishes

Stacking dishes as high as the cabinet will allow is a quick way to chip dishes and slow down when cooking. Instead of building the leaning tower of plates, use risers to create extra shelves in your cabinets.

Sorting by Type Not Function

A basic idea of organizing is sorting items and finding the best place to keep them. Most will opt to put everything that’s alike in the same spot. While this can work, sorting by function instead of type will be more efficient. For example, storing everything you need to make coffee together makes more sense than keeping the mugs with the other drinkware.

The Dreaded Medicine Cabinet

If there’s one place where organizers throw in the towel, it’s the medicine cabinet. The combination of awkwardly shaped objects and convenient hiding spaces makes the medicine cabinet a black hole of organization. The best way to tame this mess is to get big baskets with lids to hide things like hair dryers.

Best Apps for Homeowners

apps

There’s an app for everything these days. They can do everything from ordering food to filing an insurance claim. Life sure is made easier when you can get just about anything you need with just a few thumb clicks. Homeowners can really benefit from smartphone apps, but which ones should you choose? With an endless list of options in the app store, it’s hard to tell the good from the bad. Fear not! Below is a list of the best smartphone apps for homeowners.

Happy Plant

Did you remember to water the plants today? With happy plant, you don’t have to remember or ask this question because the app does it for you. Happy Plant will send push notifications letting you know when to water and keeps track of how your plants are growing by encouraging you to take regular photos of the plants.

Houzz

If you’re looking for the latest and greatest in home trends and designs, Houzz is for you. This app is full of great inspiration for your next interior design project. Not only does it have inspiration, it will connect you to service providers who can turn your dream into a reality.

Alarm.com

This convenient app lets you arm and disarm your home security system from anywhere with an internet connection. It will also give you a dashboard showing when entry points were opened and closed and it can even sync with internet-connected locks, so you can lock and unlock doors straight from your phone.

HomeZada

Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibilities that aren’t always easy to remember or fun to do. With a combination like that, certain responsibilities can easily slip through the cracks. That’s why they made HomeZada. This app will give you friendly reminders when it’s time to change the air filters, clean the baseboards, and shampoo the carpet. It will even track your spending on these projects as well!

3 Keys to a Tidy House

cleaning house

Some people really enjoy busting out the mop and broom to clean the house, but most people fall somewhere between indifferent to loathing when it comes to cleaning. Even if you don’t consider yourself a clean freak, you can still have a tidy home with a tiny amount of effort. Just follow these three tips to get a clean house without breaking too much of a sweat.

Clean in Sprints

Surveying an entire house that’s riddle with mess and disorder can be overwhelming. Instead of trying to tackle the entire house at once, just clean in two minute sprints. Before you leave for work in the morning, before you go to bed, or whenever is convenient, just take two minutes to put astray items back in their rightful home. By doing a few cleaning sprints a day, you can make a big difference.

Put Chores in Categories

Trying to do every chore under the sun isn’t feasible or necessary. To work more efficiently, make a list of all the chores that need to be done in your home and then put them in one of four categories: daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Doing the dishes can be done daily, vacuuming can be done weekly, organizing the pantry can be done monthly, and cleaning the oven only needs to be done once a year.

Perfect Isn’t Possible

You’re an adult now. Your mom isn’t going to come to inspect the quality of your cleaning. Don’t waste time and energy trying to clean your house to unreasonable levels. It’s more important that you get in the habit of cleaning regularly and finish projects you start. As you keep up with this new lifestyle, you’ll naturally get better at cleaning.

 

A Guide to Employee Relocation Packages

Accepting a job in a new city is an exciting, and hectic, time. There are a lot of details to work out and not a lot of time to get everything taken care of. It’s easy to lose sight of the details in all the commotion, but one detail you don’t want to let slip is the employee relocation package. Around 70% of companies in the US will offer new hires some form of a relocation package, but each package will be slightly different. To make the most of the job offer and negotiate intelligently, it’s important that you understand how employee relocation packages work.

Bring It Up

The first thing to know is that you may have to be the one to bring it up. If the employer hasn’t said anything, do some research on how much it will cost to move and use that number to negotiate. You’ll be able to make a stronger case if you can ask for a specific amount rather than making a vague request.

Everything is on the Table

Companies can, and will, pay for more than just boxes and movers. It’s more than appropriate to request compensation for closing costs, lost wages while a spouse looks for a job, or even a guaranteed buy out (GBO). A GBO is rare, but it’s basically the best case scenario for homeowners. When a company offers a GBO, they will hire independent real estate appraisers to get an unbiased value of your home. If you are unable to sell your home within a specified timeframe, the company will buy your home at the unbiased price.

Bill the Employer

Once you and the new employer have agreed on a package value, one of the best things to do is request that all expenses get billed to the employer instead of getting a lump sum of cash. This will save you money on your taxes and increase the bang for your buck. When companies give new employees a check for moving expenses, that money is fully taxable. However, when the company is billed by the moving company, you won’t have to worry about taxes.

 

Keeping Electric Bills Low When Temperatures are High

The Oklahoma Summer is finally here and it’s not messing around this year. With triple digit temps in the forecast, homeowners need to be smart if they hope to avoid skyrocketing electric bills. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps any homeowner can take to reign in the cost of utilities.

Change the Air Filters

For optimal performance from your AC unit, air filters need to be changed every three months. When filters go unchanged, they get clogged up, which makes it harder for the AC unit to get the air it needs. If you’re especially forgetful and want an easy way to remember to change the filters, sign up for Filter Easy. They ship you new filters every three months, so you’ll never forget!

Program the Thermostat

There’s no sense (or cents) in paying for the AC to run when you’re not home. By programming the thermostat to kick off when you leave for work, you can save a surprising amount. These thermostats can also be programmed to turn back on before you come home so your home is just as comfortable as when you left.

Use Appliances at Night When Possible

Appliances like dishwashers and dryers create heat when they run. To avoid adding this heat to the equation during peak hours, try running the appliances at night when it’s cooler outside. This will help your AC unit not work so hard during times when electricity is in high demand.

Plant Some Trees

Shade from the sun can make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler. While you don’t want too many big trees close to your home, having a few trees to cast shade on your home can greatly reduce the need for air conditioning.

 

4 Big Benefits of Buying a New Construction Home

new construction home

One of the first decisions house hunters normally make is whether to buy a pre-owned existing home or build a new home from scratch. According to Trulia, the majority of house hunters prefer new construction homes to pre-owned homes. This preference makes sense, because there are several key benefits to buying a new construction home.

Less Maintenance

There’s no wear and tear on a new construction home, which means homeowners can spend their weekends playing with the kids instead of scraping popcorn ceiling texture. There will likely be small imperfections that come along as the home settles, but these should be covered by the builder’s warranty.

 

Customization

 

One of the biggest benefits of buying a new construction home is getting to pick and choose all the options that go into a home. This includes the flooring, paint colors, cabinets, countertops, floorplan, and light fixtures. All these little details can be handpicked by the buyer to create the home they’ve always wanted.

More Energy Efficiency

Because new construction homes are built with the latest and greatest techniques and materials, they are much more energy efficient than existing homes. Not only is this better for the environment, it will also save homeowners lots of money down the road in utility bills.

The Best Appliances

Whether it’s refrigerators or washing machines, manufacturers are always coming out with new bells and whistles for appliances. Getting a new home is a great excuse to get the hottest appliance technology and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.

If you’re looking for a new construction home in Tulsa, call Perry Hood Properties. We are one of the most experienced home builders in the Tulsa area and will do whatever it takes to build your dream home.

 

What You Need to Know About Real Estate Disclosures

real estate disclosure

 

When making a big purchase, like a home, it’s important to know all the facts. Home inspections will give you a pretty good idea of what kind of condition the home is in, but expecting to catch ever imperfection in just a few hours isn’t realistic. Homes are complex structures and you never know what might be hiding in walls, under the floors, or inside the pipes. These details are caught by living in the home for a few years. That’s why it’s standard practice for home sellers to document any known defects and inform buyers of these defects. This process is commonly called a real estate disclosure.

The purpose of a disclosure statement is twofold. First, it’s an opportunity for the buyer to learn about any skeletons hiding in the closet. Secondly, it’s an opportunity for the seller to formally disclose any problems with the house and avoid lawsuits down the road. This serves as a big motivation for sellers to disclose as much as possible.

Flaws and material defects should be at the top of the disclosure list. Things like leaky faucets, busted pipes, bad light fixtures, and things of that nature should be listed. This will allow the buyer to know how much additional money needs to be put into the home to get it up to par.

Broken stuff and shoddy work aren’t the only line items that go into a real estate disclosure. Sellers should also let the buyer know if anyone died in the home, especially if the death was caused by a defect in the home like a busted pool enclosure. Details about the surrounding neighborhood is another category sellers should include. Buyers have a right to know if neighbors are frequently noisy or if the city shuts down the nearby streets for a monthly parade.

There are a few more details that can go into a real estate disclosure depending on state and local laws. The important rule of thumb to remember is that sellers should disclose anything that might affect the quality of life for people living in the home or anything that affects the value of the home.

3 Timeless Pieces of Furniture Every Home Should Have

living room

When it comes to filling your home with the right furniture pieces and decor, you need to be smart about where you make your biggest investments. You can spend tons of money on just about anything in a home. Some people have the audacity to sell a candle for almost $500! It’s important to allocate large sums of money on pieces that will have the biggest impact and last the longest.

The Sofa

Possibly the MVP of your living room, the sofa is a piece you can design an entire home around. Sofas will also get more use than just about any other piece in the home, so it needs to be comfy, good looking, and durable. Sofa design preferences change pretty slow, which lets you invest with confidence knowing it won’t be out of style next week.

Light Fixture

Whether it’s a floor lamp, chandelier, or table lamp, working in one or two stand out light fixtures will really enhance the look of your home. The mood the light creates is just as important as the design of the fixture so don’t overlook the kind of light the fixture emits.

Area Rug

If the Dude had one thing right, it’s that rugs can really tie a room together. With endless options in colors and patterns, you can find a rug that stands out as an avant-garde artistic piece or a bridge that pulls all the other decorative elements together for a unified look. Area rugs will take up more space than any other piece, so don’t be afraid to splurge a little