Crosscup Real Estate, Inc. | Kingston, MA Real Estate, Hanson, MA Real Estate


Many people have chosen to live a meat-free or dairy-free lifestyle. Whether it's for health reasons, environmental concerns, or ethical beliefs there are now more vegans and vegetarians than ever before. If you're not familiar with the details of the diet, cooking for vegetarian and vegan guests can be difficult or even embarrassing. But with an open mind and a bit of research you can pull off a delicious meal that won't leave anyone out.

Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian... what does it all mean?

There are countless different names for the various types of restricted diets. However. there are a handful of common diets that everyone should familiarize themselves with. They are:
  • Vegetarian. Vegetarians abstain from meat (including air, land, and sea-food) but may consume other animal products like dairy and eggs. In some cultures, "vegetarian" means eating no animal products at all.
  • Vegan. A vegan diet contains virtually no animal products. No meat, cheese, milk, eggs, or anything made with traces of those items. Some vegans even consider things like honey an animal product and abstain from eating it.
  • Pescetarian. People who call themselves pescetarian often abstain from meats like chicken, pork, and beef, but will eat meat from fish and other forms of seafood (shrimp, crabmeat, etc.)
  • Ovo- and lacto-vegetarian. Some vegetarians abstain from food that contains either dairy or egg according to their own preferences. Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs but not dairy, and lacto-vegetarians consume dairy but not eggs.

Planning for dinner

All of those diets are a lot to keep track of, we know. But the best way to plan dinner for a guest with a restricted diet is to simply just ask what works for them. You will most likely find that your guest appreciates that you ask in advance. It shows that you want to provide them with a happy meal and have concern for their dietary requirements. Once you know what animal products your guest will or will not eat, it's time to start thinking of dinner ideas. If you want to play it on the safe side, you can ask your guest what they like to eat. If you're feeling adventurous, you can try making meat-free versions of some of your favorite recipes. Whatever you choose, it's important to remember to read the labels of your ingredients. You might be surprised to find that many food items contain animal product like beef stock or fish oils, or eggs. Most Caesar dressing, for example, contains anchovies, though you would never guess it from the taste.

Dinner ideas

If you're stuck on choosing what to cook, try some of these meal ideas that tend to be easy to make without animal products.
  • Tacos or burritos. It's easy to make many Mexican-inspired dishes meat-free by using ingredients like rice, beans, salsa, and grilled vegetables. If you can't stand the thought of a meat or dairy-free meal for yourself then you can have a make-your-own taco dinner so you and your guest can both eat happily.
  • Pasta and sauce. Most styles of spaghetti are vegan. To make the meal a bit more substantial add eggplant or grilled tofu to the mix.
  • Dessert. To impress your guest prepare a vegan dessert for after dinner. Several brands make vegan ice cream (including the revered Ben & Jerry's). And if you're extra ambitious try a vegan cupcake recipe out as well. You might like it more than traditional cupcakes!
   

There’s no doubt that we all have our preferred colors, whether it’s for our cars, our clothing, or our homes. However, there are colors that are favored over others--colors that work well in any environment.

When it comes to painting the inside and outside of your home, good colors decisions can make your home appeal to more buyers and get you higher offers.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about which colors are ideal for your home if you’re hoping to increase its purchase value.

General rules for choosing paint colors

While there are specific colors and techniques for each room of a home, there are also general rules that apply to painting in general.

First, note that it is pleasing to the eye if a room transitions from dark to light vertically--the floor being the darkest, the wall color in the middle, and the ceiling the brightest. While we can’t say with certainty why that is, a good guess would be because that’s house things usually appear in nature, with the sky being the brightest thing in your line of sight.

Next, understand that painting with darker colors and matte finishes may make a room appear darker and smaller. Glossy or semi-gloss paint with bright colors will reflect more light and make a room look and feel more spacious.

You may have noticed some homes tend to have a continuity to them that is hard to explain. There’s a good chance this is because of the colors used. Having a color palette for your home that uses different shades of a color is a good way to tie the whole home together

Finally, while there are many colors that will work in various rooms of the home, blue happens to be the most preferred color to new buyers. It’s a safe bet that a light blue will work well if you’re at a loss for what color to paint a room.

Next, let’s take a look at each part of your home to find the best colors to use.

  • Exterior. Choosing exterior colors, such as your siding, doors, and trim can be a difficult decision for most homeowners. It’s a good idea to stick with colors associate with the architectural style of your home. Also, be sure to take note of the colors in your neighborhood--you don’t match your neighbors completely, but you don’t want to stand out too much either. A good way to differentiate your home is to use a bold accent color on your front door or shutters.

  • Kitchen. The kitchen should be a warm and welcoming place. Colors like white, gray, and light red all work well in the kitchen. Choose a color that doesn’t overshadow your appliances and cabinets--let those be the bold colors of the room.

  • Bedrooms. Bedrooms, especially children’s rooms, are a place where you have more room to experiment with fun colors. Nearly any color can work in a bedroom, even darker colors, if complemented by light-colored decorations and furnishings. If your master bedroom has a bathroom connected to it, try using the same or a color that will complement the bedroom.

  • Home office. Offices are surprisingly versatile. Many different styles work for different people and their vocations and hobbies. If your home office has a classic look--wooden desk, gold lamps, etc.--a brown or tan color will work well. However, if the office is more modern and creative, a white, gray, or bold green or blue are fitting.

  • Bathroom. For the main bathroom, use a bright color as bathrooms tend to be one of the smaller rooms in a home. Bright colors are also easier to work in the mirror by to improve lighting.


With a home selling roadmap in place, you should have no trouble getting the best price for your house. Now, you just need to figure out what to include in this roadmap.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you craft a home selling roadmap that will ensure you can quickly and effortlessly sell your house.

Let's take a look at three must-have items to consider as you create your home selling roadmap.

1. Home Price

Ultimately, it is your duty as a home seller to establish a competitive initial home asking price. Doing so, however, may prove to be exceedingly difficult, particularly for those who are selling a house for the first time.

The real estate market fluctuates constantly and can affect home values in cities and towns nationwide. Meanwhile, the age and condition of your house likely will impact your residence's value as well.

To determine a competitive price for your house, it generally helps to conduct a home appraisal. This assessment will enable you to receive a property valuation from an expert home appraiser.

Also, you may want to complete a home inspection. Because if you perform a home inspection, you can identify any underlying home problems and correct these issues before you list your house.

2. The Buyer's Perspective

How will buyers perceive your house when they see it for the first time? It is essential to consider the buyer's perspective as you create your home selling roadmap, and doing so may enable you to identify home improvement opportunities.

For example, if your house's front lawn is covered in tall grass and weeds, you may want to perform lots of lawn care and maintenance. Mowing the front lawn sometimes can be tough, but performing this task will enable you to instantly enhance your house's curb appeal. Thus, when homebuyers see your home's pristine front lawn, they may be more likely than ever before to set up a showing.

3. How You'll Promote Your House

Showcasing your house to prospective buyers can be challenging. Luckily, real estate agents are available to help you promote your house to the right groups of buyers.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals. This housing market professional then will help you put together a home selling roadmap, one that ensures you can stir up plenty of interest in your home as soon as it becomes available.

A real estate agent also is happy to provide assistance as you proceed along the home selling journey. He or she will set up home showings and open house events, help you review home offers and negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. And if you ever have home selling concerns, a real estate agent will listen to them and respond accordingly.

Ready to add your residence to the housing market? Consider the aforementioned items as you develop your home selling roadmap, and you can boost the likelihood of a successful home selling experience.


The biggest area of your life that you need to understand before you buy a house is your own finances. Before you know what kind of house you can buy, you’ll need to understand your own buying power. While things like square footage, how many bedrooms you need, and finding the right neighborhood are important, you can’t go very far without some type of financing. While understanding how much you can spend on a property is one of the more serious parts of buying a home, it’s something that you’ll want to do. Knowing what you can spend on a home is a step to helping you land a home you love. If you understand your own numbers, you’ll know the chances that you have of an offer being accepted on a place you love.  


The Elements Of Your Buying Power


Your Credit Score


This little three digit number has a lot of meaning behind it. This is the most basic piece of information that lenders use to determine your loan worthiness. The factors that influence your credit score include:


  • Payment history
  • How much you owe
  • Length of your credit history
  • Mix of credit accounts
  • How much new credit you have opened


A low credit score is somewhere under 620. Having a score this low doesn't necessarily mean that you’ll be denied for a loan, but the type and amount of the loan you’re offered can be impacted. You’ll also face higher interest rates because of a low credit score. This means your mortgage could be considerably more expensive than if you had a higher credit score. 


Down Payment


The 20 percent down as a rule of thumb actually offers many benefits to your buying power. This means that you’ll need 20% down of the purchase price of the home in cash. If you put this amount of money (or even more) down on a home, it eliminates the need for you to have to buy PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). You’ll even be able to negotiate a lower interest rate. A large down payment may be especially helpful in competitive markets where there is a lot of buyer competition.


How Your Financial Picture Appears


Your assets and your debt-to-income ratio are also important factors in your financial picture that you present to the lender. Basically, all of these numbers let both the lender and the seller see how committed you are to buying a home. It is one of the biggest financial undertakings of your entire life. If you can’t show financial responsibility, then it may be a bit difficult for lenders to see that you’ll actually pay your loan back in a timely manner.


The better all of your financial numbers are, the more buying power that you’ll have. If your numbers are good, you’ll be able to afford more house. While it may not be the most exciting thing to look over all of your financial numbers, it’s a vital step in the process of your journey to home ownership.


When you find a house that you love a lot, your main concern may be that other people really love the home too. How can you make your offer stand out? You might want to write an offer letter to go long with your proposed purchase price for the home. While making the highest offer s typically the best way to secure a bid on a home, if sellers get a few similar offers, they may be enticed by an extra bit of effort on the part of the buyer. 


Woo Them


There are certain ways that you can craft an offer letter to help a seller be intrigued a bit more and accept your offer. Many times, sellers have a certain type of attachment to a home. They want someone who loves the home as much as they did. Most sellers who have taken pride in their homes want to pass that on to the next owner. Be sure you tell the owners that you appreciate the care that they have taken to keep their home nice. You can also mention that this home will be a great place for you and your family to grow. If you let your enthusiasm stand out, you’ll be able to shine among other offers. 


Give Your Backstory


If you happen to be expecting your first child, or maybe your family is expecting another addition, you may want to note that in your letter. Getting personal with a stranger may seem kind of odd, yet sharing a bit of your story can help a seller feel more comfortable about accepting your offer as opposed to any others. If you have family or good friends that live in the neighborhood, let the seller know about that as well. Sometimes, sharing your story gives that extra touch that you need to have a winning offer. 


Praise Them


Just as you would praise the seller for taking good care of the home, you also want to point out any specific updates that will make your life easier. If there’s a newly landscaped backyard, mention it. If the new roof looks great on the house, include it in your letter. If you notice that the sellers have dogs, let them know how much your dogs will love being in the house as well. You’re not brown-nosing, you’re just giving the sellers a little something to be proud of, letting them know that you took notice! 


Don’t Be Afraid To Get Sentimental


If the home happens to be in the same neighborhood that your family grew up in, then by all means include that in your letter. If your mom lives a few blocks away and is hoping to be closer to the grandkids, it doesn’t hurt to tell the seller about it. The bottom line is to get a bit personal and let the seller know why you want the home. From the home itself to how it will suit your needs, a seller will feel good accepting an offer that they have a connection to. 




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