Archives: October 2015

Unique Ways to Decorate Your Home for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner. Have you thought about decorating your home this year?

It might seem like all of the options for Halloween decorations are the same year after year: carve a pumpkin, light the luminaries, and set out a bowl of candy for trick-or-treaters. But with just a little paint and creativity in the right places, you can really make your Halloween decorations stand out.

3 Easy Twists on Traditional Halloween Decorations

Looking to modify your Halloween decorations this year? Here are a few simple twists on your traditional choices.

pumpkin carved with geometric designsCarve Patterns Into Your Pumpkins

Who said pumpkins always had to have faces? Light up the night with swirls and stars from your illuminated pumpkins, and let your friends and neighbors admire your unique creation.

You can carve your pumpkin with as simple or intricate designs as you want. It’s all up to you.

Make Mason Jar Monsters

Turn your ordinary glass jars into simple yet spooky decorations with just a little bit of paint and cloth. You can paint a Mason jar orange with black eyes and a mouth to look like a jack-o’-lantern, or wrap a jar with gauze and stick on two eyes to look like a mummy.

And let your creations glow in the dark. Light a tea candle or put a battery-operated tea light into your Mason jar monsters and set it on a table or window sill to give your room a spooky effect.

Welcome Trick-Or-Treaters with Goody Bags

Turn the typical treat stop at your front door into a fun experience for both you and the trick-or-treaters — you’ll have fun decorating individual goody bags, and they’ll have fun choosing among delicious treats.

a pile of jelly beansFill a small Ziploc bag with orange jelly beans and draw on eyes and a mouth to make pumpkin treat bags, or draw a hairline and eyes on a bag filled with green jelly beans to create Frankenstein’s monster.

Or, if you want a spookier effect, you can make hand-shaped goody bags. Just fill transparent plastic gloves with candy or popcorn.

And if you’re selling your home this month, you don’t have to save these sweet tips for Halloween night; leave small goody bags for home buyers during a showing. It’s a great way to treat them.

Selling Your Home This October?

Let Halloween be the only spooky time that you encounter this month. We’re your real estate experts and are happy to help you stage your home, answer your questions, and determine a competitive listing price for your property, giving you peace of mind while selling.

Give us a call today and we can talk about your home selling timeline.

“Know Before You Owe”: How New Rules Could Impact Closings

house icon on grassIf you’re a home buyer, changes to the closing process are coming in just a few days.

New regulations go into effect on Saturday, October 3rd, providing new loan disclosure forms that are designed to help you better understand the terms of your home mortgage before you close on your new home. That means if you applied for a loan on or after that date, you will receive the easier-to-understand forms.

What You Need to Know About the New Closing Disclosures

To summarize, these new rules combine mortgage loan disclosures from both the Truth-In-Lending Act (which informs consumers about loan terms) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (which deals with closings) into one simplified set of disclosure forms for home buyers who are getting a mortgage.

The official title to these regulations is a mouthful — Truth-In-Lending Act / Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure Rule— so the regulations are just referred to as TRID. (The enforcement agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, also calls it Know Before You Owe.”)

“Know Before You Owe” is designed to help borrowers clearly understand the costs and terms of their home mortgages. Here are the changes that you can expect from these new regulations, from the number of forms you’ll need to fill out to the time requirements that can alter your closing date.

You’ll Have Two Forms Instead of Four

If you’re getting a mortgage, you’ll receive two forms under “Know Before You Owe.” The first, a loan estimate, based on your financial information. You’ll receive the loan estimate 3 business days after applying for your mortgage. The second, a closing disclosure, which outlines all of the costs you will need to pay. You’ll receive that form 3 business days before closing.

These two new forms are more user-friendly, and are replacing four separate forms that home buyers received before — two Truth-In-Lending statements, the loan estimate, and a list of itemized fees.

With these new regulations, you will have time to review the terms of your mortgage well before closing, so you can understand exactly what fees there will be. You can read the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s full guide to the loan estimate and closing disclosure forms here.

There is a 3-Day Review Period Before Closing

Under the new “Know Before You Owe” rules, mortgage lenders must send you easier-to-understand information about your loan — the Closing Disclosure form — 3 business days before closing on your home, giving you time to review the terms of your mortgage.

However, some changes to the mortgage terms — like changes to your interest rate or the loan product itself — will mean that you will need another 3-business-day review period, possibly delaying your closing date. If you would like an overview of the details, the CFPB highlights the instances where the 3-day review period would be affected.

We Can Answer Your Questions About “Know Before You Owe”

If you are buying a home and have questions about these new regulations, and what it might mean for closing on your home in the future, contact our real estate experts today and we will be happy to answer your questions in detail.