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The Hilton Head Homes Blog

Packing 101: Tips and Tricks to Help Make Moving Day a Breeze So you've decided to make the big move, and now it's time to put everything in boxes. First you think big-picture (furniture), and then you think small-picture and realize you own much more than you ever imaged. Packing can be a daunting task, but with some extra legwork at the beginning, your unpacking can become a walk in the park.Labeling Hacks: The worst thing about packing is that once all the boxes are in the truck, there's no remembering what went where. There are several techniques you can put in place, like numbering your boxes to make sure none go missing, indicating which room the boxes are supposed to go to, or color-coding them to indicate their contents-anything that helps you identify the contents and the destination of your boxes is a go.Practicality: Make sure that every box is packed as efficiently as possible. For example, plates are better off stacked vertically, and make sure heavy objects like books are packed in something with handles. As for all your baskets and suitcases? Put them all to good use by turning them into more packing boxes. Label cords, or take pictures of the cord setup to make sure you remember what goes where. Pack highly fragile or valuable items to take with you, and make sure to have a bag prepared with all of the things you will need upon arrival. (Don't leave your shampoo in one of the countless moving boxes!)Movers vs. Friends: While it is a great money-saver to have your friends help you pack up everything, if you have many valuables, it might be a better option to go ahead and pay the movers. A lot of moving companies are liable for anything that is broken or damaged, so you'll be able toget reimbursed if anything gets damaged. And while your friends may commit to helping you, emergencies or other eventualities may result in a moving day no-show. A moving company will always have back-up, even if your originally scheduled movers call in sick.Get in the Right Mentality: Moving has everything to do with being in the right mindset. To achieve that, you first have to make sure you get a good night's rest. Once you're well rested, make the commitment to move everything out in one day. Know that loading the truck will take longer than you anticipated, and that things will not pan out exactly as you planned them. Instead, be ready to think creatively as situations arise. Find comfort in the thought that once this day is over, you will be moved into your new house!

4 Ways to Turn Your Bedroom into a Good-Night's-Sleep Enabler Just because bedrooms are not usually the first thing people see when walking into a home, it doesn't mean they're not worthy of some love. There is no better investment than one which gives you peace of mind, and a well-equipped bedroom can give you even more than that. A good night's sleep can take away your headaches, lower your stress levels, alleviate your muscle cramps, and put you in a good mood.Here are four tried and true ways to achieve bedroom nirvana:
  1. Sleep on a cloud: It doesn't have to be down. Even a quality egg crate can add that cloud-like feeling to your bed. Top that with some fluffy pillows and comforters and you will be on the stairway to heaven. Soft bed sheets, whether you go for quality cotton or all-out with silk, will put an additional layer of comfort between you and your mattress.
  2. Color-code for success: In recent years, color-coding has been all the rage in interior design. The psychology of color has allowed us to determine what hues are the most soothing. The rule for serene bedrooms is shades of white and toned-down browns, blues, and pinks. Going for warmer colors can add coziness, and bright colors can help you wake up energized. Decide what your sleeping pattern needs the most, and paint those walls.
  3. Dim the lights: Nothing kills a comfort vibe faster than a white fluorescent light. Leave those for ICUs, and switch to yellow light. This swap will work even better if it comes with a dimmer switch you can rely on. The key is to keep your room in tune with your mood so that your tired brain is not jumping through hoops to get you some Zs.
  4. Aim for space: Space is a two-way street. On the one hand, you need space for mobility and to keep your room from feeling stuffy or looking cluttered. Yet, certain furniture is a must. Make sure that your bed is big enough to fit everybody who sleeps in it, buy a reliable night stand, add sitting spaces with chairs or ottomans, and provide your room with other surfaces to house your belongings. If everything you are carrying falls seamlessly into place as soon as you enter your bedroom, then consider yourself a winner.
With these minor fixes you can turn your bedroom into an actual haven. Given that you spend at least a third of your day within those four walls, why not get comfortable?

Will Your Trees Survive a Storm? [et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" text_font_size="14" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Extreme weather and high winds present a risk to your trees and home. You can help protect your property in advance by determining which trees might pose the greatest threat during a storm.

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Save for a Home with a Dollar-for-Dollar Match Program A federal program helps low-income families buy a home with a unique method meant to encourage saving: It matches dollar-for-dollar what they save to buy their first home.The Individual Development Account, or IDA, doesn't offer a lot of money to help with a down payment - up to $2,000 in federal matching funds with more contributions possible from local IDA programs - but it's a start.Participants can start by saving as little as $25 - matched to as much as eight to one, depending on the program, though most offer one-to-one matches. Income levels must be 200 percent below their state's poverty level.With an 8:1 match, IDA participants can raise much more than the $4,000 total with federal matching, and could have $10,000 or so for a down payment on a house.Most IDAs are funded by the federal government and are run by nonprofit groups and financial institutions, and grantee programs are required to raise an equal contribution of nonfederal funds. It can take from six months to several years to save for a down payment on a house through the program.To earn the matching dollars, some IDA programs require account holders to take financial literacy classes and training on homeownership; they are also provided counseling and instructions on how their local program works.More than 60,000 IDAs have opened in the U.S. since Congress established them in 1998. The Administration for Children and Families is the federal agency that provides the federal half of the match.IDAs aren't just used for buying a home. The matching money can also be used to repair an existing home, go to college or start a business.Getting help with a down payment through IDA can benefit both lenders and homebuyers, who are less likely to default on home loans after participating in the program. IDA participants are 2 - 3 times less likely to lose their homes to foreclosure than other low-income buyers, according to a 2010 study from the Corporation for Enterprise Development and the Urban Institute.An IDA might not be for everyone. But for families that can afford to save small amounts of money over time, matching money from an IDA can help them get a good start on a down payment and homeownership.

The Ultimate Deal-Breaker Checklist for Homebuyers How many times have you heard the story about people who move into their dream home only to find out that there's a huge plumbing issue or noisy neighbors next door? Learn from their mistakes, and reconsider certain factors before signing on the dotted line. Here's a comprehensive checklist for homebuyers when it comes to deal breakers:
  1. Plumbing: If the plumbing isn't working, guess who has to spend money fixing it? You got it: the person who signs on the dotted line. Plumbing issues can be even harder to address in older homes that have an outdated set-up. Be sure your inspector conducts a thorough evaluation before closing.
  2. Electrical System: Whatever's not there has to be added, and whatever is not working has to be fixed. And since we're talking about electricity, you could literally be playing with fire when it comes to outdated systems.
  3. Roof: Here come the leaks. Or the potential leaks that will pop up after your first winter at the new place. You don't want anything getting in between you and your Christmas dinner, so make sure the home has a roof that is reliable and can be easily maintained.
  4. Location: If you want a home by the beach, don't buy a home in the city. But departing from the obvious, keep in mind how noisy or quiet your street is, or how close your home is from the things that affect your lifestyle.
  5. Layout: Similar to the location, you want to make sure your future house is laid out as close to what you had in mind as possible. If the bedrooms are too small to fit two kids per room, it will be costly to make those upgrades.
  6. Placement: This detail is often overlooked. Your home might be laid out perfectly and in a location you approve of, but it might be placed too far or too close from the street. Your home could also be sandwhichedagainst another house, not allowing for any privacy, or it could be too secluded. Before buying, take a good look around the outside of the home, not just the inside.
  7. Flooding: Make sure you're aware of whether or not your home is at risk of flooding, and don't dismiss this factor just because you're not close to a body of water. A slope in the road combined with a bad draining system can have your front porch swimming with the fish after a heavy rainfall.
  8. Upgrade Restrictions: Don't get carried away with upgrade ideas before first double checking that there are no local restrictions. Ask the local municipality directly, given that the seller may not even know for sure.
  9. History: In essence, make sure that your house has been patched up correctly through the years. You don't want to invest in a place that appears fine but may actually start collapsing after a few months.
Also keep in mind that the things that may inconvenience you now will also inconvenience a future buyer. Make sure you're not locking yourself into a bad deal.Source: Zillow; LearnVest

Trendy Kitchen Updates [et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" text_font_size="14" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]Keeping your kitchen in step with the latest design trends doesn't have to mean a big financial investment.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_video admin_label="Video" src="" image_src=""][/et_pb_video][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

How to Detect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Carbon monoxide poison is a silent danger that claims over 400 lives in the U.S. annually, as well as over 20,000 visits to the emergency room, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.To keep your family safe, know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning:
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
"Safety is our top priority at DTE Energy, and we urge residents to be particularly alert to carbon monoxide danger during the fall and winter heating season. It's when CO exposure most frequently occurs," says Brad Burcz, senior safety and health engineer, DTE Energy. "One of the best defenses against CO poisoning is to install a carbon monoxide alarm near all sleeping areas in your home. If dangerous levels of CO are detected, an audible alarm will alert you."DTE offers the following tips to prevent CO poisoning in homes and businesses:
  • For businesses, install carbon monoxide alarms in main areas away from vents and appliances or equipment that produce smoke or steam.
  • Replace batteries in CO alarms annually.
  • If a CO alarm is activated, or the presence of carbon monoxide is suspected, immediately get out of the house or building into fresh air, and if necessary, seek medical attention.
  • Ensure all fuel-burning appliances are operating and venting properly.
  • Get an annual furnace inspection by a licensed professional.
  • Check yearly to verify flues, vents and chimneys are connected, in good condition and clear of debris.
Like this update? As your local real estate professional, I can provide more great tips like this and answer any real estate information questions you may have. Contact me today!Source:

How to Be Safe About Your SMART Home [et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" text_font_size="14" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]SMART home technology has raised the bar on home security. But the Internet of things makes smart home devices and owners vulnerable to hackers.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_video admin_label="Video" src="" image_src=""][/et_pb_video][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]