Diane Horrigan - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Diane Horrigan on 8/14/2019

A home bar is one thing that most adults should have in their homes. Even if you’re not a drinker yourself, you should have something on hand to offer guests when they come over for an evening of food and conversation. You’ll need the right setup, the right tools, and the right recipes handy to have the perfect home bar. Whether you have a bar already or are looking to build your own, we have all the tips that you’ll need as a rookie bartender.  


The Essentials


You’ll need quite a few essentials in your home bar including but not limited to:


  • Glasses
  • Bitters
  • Bar tools
  • Recipe books
  • Spirits
  • Mixers
  • Garnishes

Find The Right Surface To Transform Into A Bar


You can easily transform any table, sideboard, or cart into a bar. If the vessel that you’re using has a drawer, that’s even better. You can keep all of your bottles, glasses, decanters, and openers in one convenient place. It’s not bad if you can’t fit all of your supplies in one place. Less used items can be stored in the pantry. 


You can even use a simple bookshelf to store all of your bar supplies. Transform any bookcase from “boring bookshelf” to home bar in no time. You can arrange the shelving by category, giving each shelf a purpose. You can keep spirits on one shelf, glasses on another shelf, tools on another, and recipe books on another shelf. 


Does Your Home Have An Actual Bar Built-In?


Many homes actually have bars built in, but people rarely use them because they feel inexperienced in using the bar tools of the trade. Whether you have a full wet bar or a simpler dry bar, keep all of the essentials there. You’ll need:


  • Bar towel
  • Trash can
  •  Glasses
  • Decanter
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Shaker
  • Access to ice
  • Juice
  • Sodas
  • Juicer
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Jigger
  • Simple Syrup
  • Old fashioned glass
  • Peeler
  • Mesh strainer

Location Of The Bar


If you’re setting up a brand new bar, there’s a variety of places that you can put the bar. If you have space in the kitchen, you can add it to a corner right there. Other great places for your bar could be a den or a man cave. Wherever you’ll spend time hanging out with company is a good place to keep your bar. If you have children, you might even consider getting a locking cabinet system for your liquor. You don’t want little hands getting into what they’re not supposed to.  


Setting up your own home bar is something to be proud of. It will be quite the conversation piece when guests come over. You’ll be able to discuss your collection of liquors and see if friends have any recommendations as to what you might add to your selection of liquors. A home bar is an entertaining essential.





Posted by Diane Horrigan on 8/7/2019

So, you want to create a command center to enable your family to all be on the same page once in a while. The ideas online are as numerous as they are creative. Your supply list grows along with your doubt; maybe this wasn't such a good idea. As thoughts go, a command center is a great plan when you have several people on different schedules and many activities to attend. A command center doesn't have to be large to be effective. The size all depends on what and for how many people you need to keep track.

What to track

Common things you will see command centers track are:

- Weekly Menus
- Calendar
- Budget/Bills
- Keys/Leashes/Umbrellas
- Chore Lists
- School Bags/Homework
- Quotes

To keep the command center as simple and easy to use, limit the number of things you track to five or six. This way there is a better chance your household will adapt to using this tool and not be overwhelmed. 

Where to set it up

Most of the command center examples show them set up in and around the kitchen area. The kitchen is one place you know everyone in the house will at one time frequent at least once a day, hopefully. Other locations could be a small corner of shared space or even an exposed side of the refrigerator. A mudroom or entryway could work as a more substantial drop zone and command center. Anywhere that you know it will be seen and utilized will work. The key is to make sure the accessibility is appropriate for the entire household, keeping the age of all users in mind. 

How to put it all together

Now that you have a scope of the things you want to incorporate in your command center look around your home and see if there are items you can use before you rush out and start purchasing new things. Old clipboards and corkboards are great for hanging up and controlling papers. Use whiteboards for making menus, tracking chores or writing those inspiring quotes. Even old picture frames with glass can house an updated calendar page, and with a dry erase marker you can create your family calendar. Layout all the pieces on the floor before you hang anything up, that way you can play around with it before you commit.

Visit some open houses this weekend and look for places a command center would be useful. Contact your local realtor for a list of open houses.





Posted by Diane Horrigan on 7/31/2019

When you’re searching for a place to live if you have kids, or even if you’re planning on having kids in the future, the neighborhood you choose is of concern. When you’re single, it’s easy to fill your desire for the city. You live near bars, clubs, conveniences, and more. Once you start thinking with a family in mind, your ideas shift. 


So, if you’re looking for a neighborhood with children in mind, where do you start? Read on to discover the top priorities of a kid-friendly property search. 


The Schools


Most parents put a lot of consideration into where their children will go to school. Many resources allow you to research different school districts. You can also visit schools in person, or talk to other parents and see their opinion of the local schools for specific neighborhoods. 


The Safety Of The Area


Whether you have kids or not, you want to know that the area you’re going to live in is safe. Before you select a neighborhood to live in, you’ll want to research the crime rates in the area. You might assume that individual cities and towns have better crime rates than others, but you may be surprised. Ask your local real estate agent for more information on local crime rates and how to research them. 


Sense Of Community


If you are moving with kids or planning on having a family anytime soon, you’ll want to have a supportive community surrounding you. Having a community means that there are other families around with children. This way, it will be easier for you to build a network of other moms who are in the same stage as you. Some things to consider are:


Are there sidewalks in the neighborhood?

Is there a lot of traffic in the area?

Are there places for kids to play nearby? 

Do you see families out for a walk together?


Answering these questions will give you an idea of how family-friendly your neighborhood will be. Sidewalks make the area accessible for kids to go and hang out with their friends safely. Parks and playground are not only a great place to play for kids but a great place to meet other parents. If a neighborhood has the things that you want for your family, chances are, many other families in the area feel the same way. 


Choosing a neighborhood can be difficult, but with a little research and groundwork, you’ll be able to select an excellent place for your family to live.   






Posted by Diane Horrigan on 7/24/2019

It’s always a goal in life to be happier in our jobs and make more money. When it comes to buying a home, your job status can have a big effect on whether or not you’ll be able to buy a home or not. You will be able to buy a home using a new source of income. Even refinancing can be a breeze when you have a new job and the right knowledge. 


Many people believe that changing jobs or having gaps in between employment is a certain type of black hole when it comes to getting a mortgage. However, if you approach all of the changes in the correct way, you should be able to land the mortgage deal and secure a home.


Average Income


One of the most important numbers that your lender will calculate when you’re buying a home is that of your average income. This will be based on the pay that you had earned in the past 24 months‘ time. If you have had the same job and pay, this won’t be much of a big deal, However, if any of these things have changed (or will soon change) your lender may have some questions. This doesn’t mean that your mortgage application will be struck down completely. 


Information That’s Needed In The Event Of A Job Change


If you have recently changed jobs in the process of trying to refinance or buy a new home, your lender will need a few pieces of information from you. These items include:


  • An offer letter for the job
  • A role or title change letter (if applicable)
  • Compensation package change confirmation
  • Verification of employment
  • Most recent pay stub


Hourly Employees


If you’re an hourly employee, unfortunately, you’re under the tightest type of scrutiny when it comes to applying for a mortgage. Your income will be averaged for as long as you have been an hourly employee. If you work full-time, this won’t be too much of a problem. If your hours fluctuate from week-to-week, this can make things a bit more complicated.


If your hourly rates have recently gone up, you’ll need a bit of info from your employer to help you get the income verification that your lender needs. These items include:


  • An offer letter
  • Recent pay stubs
  • The new compensation structure or offer

If you have any sort of extenuating circumstances like a relocation or a new position, this information can help to bridge the gap in any information that just doesn’t add up as far as your employment history goes. 


Salaried Employees


If you’re a salaried employee, things are a bit simpler. Your lender will have a much easier time calculating your average income. The only issue that you may encounter is if you have had a gap in employment. For this, your lender will require a written explanation of what occurred during that time period.  

 

Lenders want to protect themselves, but in a way, they also want to protect you from getting in over your head with how much you can afford for a home. With some proof and a little explanation, you should be able to get a house you can afford if you have all of the information that you need to back up your financial history and employment history.




Categories: Buying a Home   Mortgage   self employed  


Posted by Diane Horrigan on 7/17/2019

For years, city planners worked to improve green spaces because of the known health benefits. That means more parks, trails, trees, and gardens grace municipalities across the country than before. But what about blue spaces? According to marine biologist, Wallace J. Nichols, blue space may have more profound implications than green space for emotional and physical wellness.

What is blue space?

Water of any sort - rivers, streams, marinas, lakes and ponds, the ocean, and even canals, pools and fountains - fall into the category of blue space. As urbanization grows globally, the distance from natural water sources increases for all populations making accessible blue space less available.

A study on residential blue space versus green space showed that blue space, the ability to see and access water or water features, showed marked decreases in psychological stress over green spaces and might promote higher mental well-being in city-dwellers.

Subconsciously, most people know that water equals relaxation. That’s why beaches and cruises are popular vacation destinations. Even park ponds and fountains appear to trigger the effect of psychological rest and de-stressing properties.

Adding blue space to your life

While you may not own beach-front property or have a stream running through your yard, you can take steps to add water features to your life.

  • Add a fountain or pond to your garden. Installing a koi pond or fountain in your backyard adds to your landscaping value and creates an on-site retreat from city noises.
  • Install a pool or hot tub. While not as close to “nature,” even pools and hot tubs contribute to the relaxation water provides. Floating on your pool on a warm summer day transports your mind to faraway places. 
  • Place an indoor water feature. Fountain walls and even tabletop fountains promote the water acoustics that shut out stressful sounds.• Go fishing. Being near the water, even periodically, de-stresses and improves well-being.
  • Set up an aquarium. Studies show that gazing at fish swimming in water improves relaxation. Called aquarium therapy, exposure to water environments induces stress reduction in humans, including lowered heart rates, increased positive mood, and therapeutic effects.
  • Take a bath. If you can’t access a water feature, a warm bath or shower can improve your well-being as the sound and warmth of water allow your mind to wander as you relax.

For ultimate results, however, access to natural water sources does the most to improve mood and mental restoration. If you’re looking for a home with access to water, let your real estate professional know.




Categories: Real estate   water   Garden