Advice on how to navigate the fund and the serious of homeownership.

a picture of a yard with winter pines, snow, and christmas decor

creating a winter wonderland backyard: outdoor decor and activities

As winter blankets our surroundings, there's no reason to confine the magic indoors. Embrace the season by turning your backyard into a winter wonderland, where the snowy landscape creates the perfect canvas for outdoor fun. In this blog post, we'll explore creative ideas for transforming your outdoor space, complete with festive decor and exciting activities.

Illuminate the yard with festive lights.

The early winter evenings provide the perfect backdrop for a dazzling display of lights. Enhance your winter wonderland by adorning trees, fences, and outdoor structures with strings of twinkling lights. Outdoor lanterns can also add a touch of charm to the outdoor space. Opt for…

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a picture of a snowy house

holiday home safety tips for traveling residents

The holiday season is upon us, and for many, that means packing up and heading out to spend quality time with loved ones. Whether you're escaping to a wintery destination or soaking up the sun on a beach, it's essential to ensure the safety of your home while you're away. We understand the importance of having peace of mind when it comes to your home, so we've compiled a list of safety tips to help our traveling residents enjoy a worry-free vacation.

check all doors on the property.

Let's start from the basics, with checking all the doors around your home. Before you head on your holiday trip, take a walk around your property to make sure all doors and windows are securely locked. Think about…

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a picture of homes from above during the fall season

how to prep your home for the fall

Fall has arrived in Chicagoland, and we are here for it! Read our 10 tips for what to do this fall to get your home ready for the season.

1. clean + cover your outdoor patio/furniture.

We know - it's still nice to have a fall bonfire or two before you start wrapping up. We recommend to at least start cleaning early, so when the chilly weather comes in for good and it's time to put the covers on you're not overworked. Try to cover up all the furniture so it stays well maintained when the cold weather and rain hits.

2. check the roof.

Your roof may show no signs of problem all summer; then, when snow starts collecting suddenly you see a leak! Give your roof an overall checkup to make sure you won't run…

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outdoor patio with grass wall

summer outdoor living trends to enhance your home's exterior.

As the temperatures rise and the days grow longer, it's time to transform your home's exterior into a summer oasis. Whether you have a spacious backyard or a cozy balcony, there are several trending outdoor living ideas that can elevate your outdoor space and make it a stylish and inviting extension of your home. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the top summer outdoor living trends that will help you create a stunning outdoor area where you can relax, entertain, and soak up the sun.

1. use an organic modern style.

The organic modern style, which has been a prominent trend in interior design, has now transitioned to the exterior of the home. Embrace natural textures and…

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woman looking at her tablet at home surrounded by plants

how to boost your home's energy efficiency this spring

Increasing the energy efficiency of your home not only reduces your carbon footprint, but also helps to save money on energy costs. Below are some tips to help make your home more sustainable this spring.

1. clean your refrigerator's coils.

Doing this simple task will allow your fridge to draw less power when cleaned from dust and grime.  As a result, your fridge will run more efficiently and last longer.

2. insulate wall, ceilings, and windows.

Insulation is crucial in keeping your home warm during the colder months and cool during the warmer months. Insulating your home helps to keep the heat in and saves you energy costs. Consider using eco-friendly insulation materials, such…

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kitchen view with rattan chairs at the island

vintage home trends that are now cool again

Did you know that some of today's home trends were actually totally cool a long time ago too? Here's a list of trend you may not have realized date way back:

1. woven furniture is back in style.

About 50 years later, rattan chairs, bed frames, and consoles are appearing in homes and adding extra textured accents.

2. light wood is in.

Everyone is ready to change their floors to a lighter wood again, as opposed to dark cherry tones that were the latest hit. Lighter wood tends to add a bigger + brighter feel to the space.

3. mid-century modern can be found everywhere.

The minimalist style of mid-century modern furniture with legs adds a simple + airy look. It allows you to draw attention to…

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man thinking in front of computer

3 mistakes first time homebuyers make 

It costs an average of $25k more to buy a home today than at this time last year!  First time buyers, don’t make these costly mistakes:

1. forgetting about closing costs

Don’t forget to budget for extra closing costs that come on top of your down payment. Get an estimate from your lender and make sure you know what to expect before you set your home price range.

2. lowball offers

Low ball offers are not a good negotiation tactic. Even if you think the home is overpriced, a crazy low offer could offend the seller and hurt your position. In today’s market, where over-asking bids are the norm, this would mean not skimping when bidding on a home you love — if you do, chances are you’ll get outbid and…

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man holding sign that says - you ar loved and a dog is in front of him holding a sign in his mouth that says 'little helper

So you're moving! How do you move to a new home efficiently? Moving is not an easy task - especially when you have years of items stored up in your living space. However, there are ways to make the load lighter on you. A couple simple changes to your moving routine and you can save time, energy, and let's be honest - stress.

Here are 10 tips to make your next move a breeze:

1. do a closet purge

Don't go through the hassle of moving all your clothes to your new home. Try refreshing your closet - it's the perfect time to get rid of all those items you no longer use. This one task alone will make your moving load a lot lighter.

2. start scheduling donation pick-up arrangements

Once your closet purge is done - sort through the rest of your…

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woman happy holding plants

Home gardens are growing! As home-based, outdoor events have become a staple in today's world, homeowners are extending their homes into the outdoors and and getting creative with their open-air spaces.

Here are a few ways to upscale your outdoor garden:

1. incorporate sustainability

Sustainability is becoming one of the biggest trends as we become more educated about the earth and the environment. One way experts say to incorporate sustainability in your garden is to use native plants and include a lot of diversity that "mimics" the nature of the area you live in. Using native plants helps attract pollinators, helpful insects, birds, and butterflies - all creating a healthy ecosystem. Since these plants are already adapted to the soil and…

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couch with tulips on the coffee table

5 things that will help your home sell

If your home stands out (in a good way), it attracts more buyers, gets more traffic, and that typically results in more interest, more offers and a higher end sale. It's important to make sure your home is truly ready for a home sale, to make the most of its market debut and get more buyers to fall in love with it. And while we generally don't recommend any major projects (exceptions abide - ask an arhome agent for the most profitable approach), the good news is there's a lot that you can control when it comes to making your home above-average. 

Here are some uncommon ways that actually make a big difference in your home sale.

#1. avoid "fake staging"

We don't mean to avoid staging in general -…

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