5 Ways to Make Your Laundry Room Work Better for Your Family

With most home washers and dryers stuck in a basement cellar or dingy garage, it can be hard to get laundry to feel like anything other than a boring chore. It feels counterproductive to handle laundry in a space that’s not pristine, and with no structure or space to a laundry room, those clean clothes too often become piles of unfolded laundry cluttering up other rooms in the house. 

Luckily, there are a few easy ways to spruce up your laundry room to make it a better place to wash, dry, and fold clothes for your family. From creative storage to just the right lighting, here are five ways to make your laundry room work better for your family

Close Off Your Laundry Room

First things first: make your laundry room into a distinct section of the house or room. If your washer and dryer are currently in a corner of a larger room, basement, or garage, create a distinct divider that makes the room its own space. 

Your laundry room may be more of a laundry closet, but you can still use a trendy divider that will help keep the laundry out of sight when you have company over or just can’t think about folding socks right now. For minimum effort and cost, a curtain rod and curtains can provide that division in any design you desire. 

Closing off your laundry room will not only separate your dirty laundry from the rest of your house, but also will provide a sound barrier so you won’t complain about the noise your washer and dryer make.

Other dividers, like barn doors or bamboo panels, are other great ideas based on the layout of your laundry room and the decor style of your house. You don’t have to break the bank to update your laundry room but it might be wise to factor in these costs as part of your financial goals for the year.

Install Good Lighting

Too many laundry rooms feel dim or dingy because the basement or garage lighting is subpar. Treat your laundry room lighting like any other room in the house, and invest in making it work for the space you have

Strong overhead lighting might be the best choice for your laundry room, but consider softer, subtler recessed lighting or lighting dedicated to your work surfaces for the best experience. If your laundry room is large and may function as a utility room for other projects as well, be sure to take that into consideration too—you’ll want excellent lighting if you’re ever refinishing furniture or mending torn clothes. 

Good lighting in your laundry room helps brighten the space and makes it feel like a place you want to spend time, rather than a place you are obligated to visit. 

Choose the Right Sink

No laundry room is complete without a sink. Hand wash your delicates, rinse out stains, and use it as a general utility sink for messy household projects. The best laundry room sink for your family can be a great improvement and will depend on a variety of factors, including laundry room space and whether you intend to use it for more than just rinsing clothes. 

Utility sinks are popular for many laundry rooms, as they have a large volume and deep basin. This makes it easy to thoroughly rinse out any article of clothing, even bulky things like jeans and sweaters. They’re also ideal for other household needs, like watering plants or even washing pets. 

These sinks are often installed as standalone items, but you can incorporate them into the rest of your laundry room with creative coverings to make a flat surface for folding and hide storage underneath. 

If you don’t have the space or budget for a massive utility sink, a smaller sink of any sort will still make it easier to do laundry. Make sure you install it near the washer for easy transfer of wet items, and try to preserve as much counter space as possible for folding. 

Choosing a quality sink will not only allow for ease of use, but should also hold up over time. Buying a sink that can stand the test of time is hugely important when owning a home, especially as you get older and can’t do so many repairs on your own. Quality fixtures could help boost the value of your home, which is important if you choose to sell or apply for a reverse mortgage loan

Get Creative with Your Storage

First things first in an ideal laundry room: clear the detergent bottles and dryer sheets off the top of the dryer. This feels like an inevitable layer of clutter in your laundry room, but without it, your laundry room will immediately feel a hundred times more pleasant. 

There are dozens of ways you can set up your laundry room storage in a way that works for you. Cabinets over your workstation or shelves and drawers in between them are common and simple solutions for most houses. Simplifying your space with a minimal approach can have an impact on your mood and clean sheets never hurt a good night’s sleep.

If you have a closet-sized laundry room, a simple shelf above the washer and dryer can hold all the laundry room essentials. Or, some washer and dryer models come with an optional storage drawer underneath the machine, another great option for tiny spaces. 

Regardless of the storage setup you have, don’t let empty bottles of detergent and fabric softener clutter up your space. Get rid of anything no longer being used, and keep smaller items like Tide pens or sewing kits in organizational bins on your shelves. When your laundry room feels neat and tidy, it won’t feel so tedious to do laundry. 

Set Up a Folding Station

The hardest part of doing laundry is getting it from dryer to dresser, neatly folding it in between. We’ve all said we’ll fold it later, only to find a laundry basket full of clean clothes on the couch or dining room table three days later. 

The solution? A folding station right in your laundry room. All you need is a flat surface, which can be in the form of a separate table or just a section of countertop along your washer and dryer. 

Folding clothes within the laundry room keeps the chore of laundry contained to one space instead of taking over your house. You can also build your folding station to precisely the height you’d like to fold clothes, instead of uncomfortably half-sitting on your couch or bed. 

To really level-up your laundry room game, install a curtain rod to hang-dry delicate items that can’t go in the dryer. It’s simple to install and creates a designated space to dry those articles of clothing, rather than hanging them in the bathroom or somewhere else inconvenient. 

Your Laundry Room Can Be Better!

Don’t just take our word for it—start organizing your laundry room today and see how much better it feels to have a special space just for that dreaded chore. Keeping laundry in the laundry room makes it an easier chore to manage and you just might get it done faster. Create a space you like to be in and see how much better your laundry can be done. 

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Terms You Hear at a Closing

There are many factors to consider when buying a home. When it comes to the closing process, it is a good idea to know the terminology that will be discussed. This can help make the situation much more comfortable and professional for all parties involved. Below are some of the terms that may be discussed during the closing process.

ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR) This term reflects the cost of all credit and finances as determined by the length of a year, including the interest rate, points, broker fees, and other credit charges obligated to the buyer. Simply put: this is the price you pay to borrow the money to buy the home. There will either be a fixed APR or a variable APR. A fixed APR means the APR doesn’t change based on an index during the life of the loan. Because of this, fixed APRs can be more predictable when it comes to budgeting.

PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE (PMI)  This term is insurance coverage that homeowners are required to have if they’re putting down less than 20% of the home’s cost. Basically, PMI gives mortgage lenders some backup if a house falls into foreclosure because the homeowner couldn’t make their monthly mortgage payments. The charge is usually included in the monthly mortgage payment in an attempt to protect the lender from a possible default.

DOWN PAYMENT Like many transactions involving large sums of money, the mortgage process involves a down payment – the amount a home buyer pays in order to make up the difference between the purchase price and the mortgage amount. Some experts advise no less than 10% to 15%. However, any amount over 20% of the purchase price is often recommended, and may be required to avoid having to pay for private mortgage insurance.

LOAN ESTIMATE (LE) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, requires your lender to issue a Loan Estimate within three business days of receiving your mortgage application. All relevant loan data, including estimated monthly payments, the cost of interest and your interest rate are included. You can also review other costs associated with the loan, such as recurring taxes, one-time costs, fixed fees and negotiable fees.

It is important to note the loan estimate is designed to provide the potential terms of your loan. Lenders will request additional financial data from you to complete the loan documents. However, the ability to change terms is limited, particularly in certain cost categories.

CLOSING COSTS This term refers to the expenses, over and above the price of the property, that buyers and sellers normally incur to complete a real estate transaction. Closing costs may also be referred to as transaction costs or settlement costs and may include various fees and charges associated with finalization. These may include or be related to application fees, title examination, title insurance, property fees, as well as settlement documents and attorney charges.

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Selling Your Home with Video


With today’s technology, house hunting has gotten easier. Buyers can view properties in great detail, without ever leaving the comfort and safety, especially in the current COVID-19 lockdown, of their home. Hiring a Realtor with the knowledge of video technology is in your best interest as a seller.

Tips for Selling Your Home with A Video

1. Research Other Videos – Do a comprehensive search on the internet for the best examples you can find of home-selling videos. Look at how they are produced. What did you like about them? What drew you in? Videos that are shorter, well lit, made with a stable (not shaky) camera, and have great content continue to sit at the top of the pile for buyers.

2. Focus on Strong Points – Why did you buy your home? What inspired you to buy it? Did you do renovations? Any new appliances? Custom features? These answers should be highlighted to sell the home. You don’t need to go through each room. Less is more. Tape the best features and grab that buyer’s attention and leave them wanting more.

3. Showcase Outside Features – Bring the video outside and focus on the updated features, if any. Show your landscaping, even scan around the neighborhood. Do you have an incredible view? Show it. Capture attractive blooming flowers, snow-covered features, healthy green lawns, and any other features that made you love your home.

4. Hire A Professional Videographer – It is possible with today’s technology to shoot your own videos with relatively simple video cameras and tripods – even smartphones – but do you have the skill to create and edit the video, as well as post it on social media and on a website and then to use a proper description and title to show up on search engines?

Hiring a professional for the video and then a Realtor for the selling process is the best avenue to take. Together they can both advise you on the best way to stage and prep your home for filming. If you search you will probably be able to find a Realtor with the skills to take beautiful videos.

5. Prepare Your Home –  Keep the filmed areas clean and uncluttered, with open arrangements and no personal effects. It is important for viewers to visualize themselves and all of their belongings in the home. With a well-done video, you are more likely to sell your home quickly and at the very best price.

The Bottom Line: If you really want to impress home buyers, you should enlist the power of visual storytelling. A compelling video not only immerses potential buyers into the experience of your home but also establishes an emotional connection by highlighting what makes it special. While photography will always be essential to the real estate marketing mix, a well-produced video can make a home come to life in ways that even the best photography can’t.

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Unable to Pay Rent During COVID-19

The rent is due. But so much has changed since last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down businesses everywhere. Millions have lost their jobs or taken pay cuts. Because of this there are people who rent their homes and cannot pay their landlords who in turn can’t pay their mortgage. Some local governments have moved to stop evictions and foreclosures for everyone, and there are even some freezing rent and mortgage payments entirely.

If you are a tenant who can’t pay rent because of the stay-at-home order closing your place of employment, most states urge you to act quickly to uphold your rights.

  • Let your landlord know in writing as soon as possible, no later than 7 days after the rent is due. Make sure that it states that you can’t pay the full rent due to reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Get all documentation together that proves that you are unable to pay your rent. This may include notices of a layoff or reduction in hours, your pay stubs, bank statements, and any medical bills. If you can get a signed letter from your employer that explains the situation – even better.

Then, depending on where you live in America:

  • The $2.2 trillion stimulus package includes a moratorium on all evictions from any buildings financed with a federally backed mortgage. (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Department of Housing and Urban Development)
  • If you are not living in one of those federally financed buildings, there are many states that have issued broad moratoriums on evictions that apply to all rental units, with many lasing 30-90 days.
    • A moratorium means that your rent is deferred, and you will end up with back payments due when this emergency is over. There are advocacy groups calling for the cancellation of rent payments during this crisis which would include full or reduced payments and some further aid from the government.
  • In some states, evictions can’t happen because the court isn’t even in session.
  • There are 12 states that have not stopped evictions.

The Bottom Line: Laws vary by state and even making partial rent payments without coming to an agreement with your landlord won’t keep you from being evicted. Get informed of your rights and then reach out to your landlord. Google “tenants rights” in your city/state. Offer documentation as some renters who are still able to pay rent are unfortunately using this crisis to stop paying. Remember you are not alone. Millions of people around the country are in your shoes. For the most part, landlords want to keep you in your home. Whatever you end up agreeing to with them, get it in writing. Most importantly: keep yourself informed and educated.

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Four Things You Can Do Right Now To Get Your Home Ready To Sell

Price: An unrealistic price tag is the top of the list. Most of the time when a home isn’t selling it is because it is overpriced. No matter if the market is a “buyers” or a “sellers”, no one will overpay for a home. A Realtor with experience especially one that knows your neighborhood will help you to evaluate and set the right price. Search the internet to find a Realtor.

Landscaping: The very first thing buyers see when they pull up to your home for sale is your yard – the lawn, the plants, flowerbeds. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Mow your lawn, remove sticks and leaves, trim your bushes, add some mulch in flower beds and trim trees if needed. Clean the gutters, patch up the driveway and the concrete walkways. If you have a fence, look for where it might need repairs. Add some potted plants.

Exterior: Not only will buyers notice the landscaping, but the outside of your physical home will speak volumes about what the inside looks like. There have been times that buyers cancel going into the home just by judging the outside. Consider updating projects that will make a big impact on the look of the home. Repairs like, roofing, siding and replacing windows. Or simple projects like painting the front door & adding new hardware to it. Rent a pressure washer for the exterior to get rid of dust, grime, and mildew.

Depersonalize: Take the “home” out of your house. Spend time gathering personal items like family photos, memorabilia, personal keepsakes and anything political. You want future buyers to be able to picture themselves in your home. Most of the items in your bathrooms are probably personal, makeup, toothbrushes, bathrobe, etc. The best rule of thumb is to remove everything from your bathroom counters and in bathtubs and showers first. Then put back only a few decorative items like a hand towel, bath salts or candle but no personal care products.

The Bottom Line: Everyone is limited right now on where they can go. The safest place to be is at home. So, if you are planning to put your home on the market there are many things you can do while you are in “lock-down”. If you really think about it, there has never been a better time than now to get projects done at home.

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