Things You Should Know to Get Ready for Tax Day (cue “The Tax Man” by the Beatles)

First of all, you have to figure out what is important to you and the IRS as you prepare your tax forms.  Each situation is different and can make a huge difference in the amount you pay in taxes and the paperwork you have to file. The IRS is helping you get off to a good start this year by listing some of the issues the Agency believes are important to a wide range of filers.

Reporting rules changed for Form 1099-K

Taxpayers should receive Form 1099-K, Payment Card, and Third-Party Network Transactions, by the end of January, if they received third-party payments in the tax year 2022 for goods and services that have exceeded $600. The taxability remains the same for 2022. All income, including from part-time work, side jobs, or the sale of goods is still taxable. Taxpayers are supposed to report all income on their tax return unless it’s excluded by law. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 lowered the reporting threshold for third-party networks that process payments for those doing business.

Now a single transaction exceeding $600 can require the third-party platform to issue a 1099-K. Money received through third-party payment networks from friends and relatives as personal gifts or reimbursements for personal expenses is not taxable.

Some tax credits return to 2019 levels

This means that affected taxpayers will likely receive a significantly smaller refund compared with the previous tax year. Changes include amounts for the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Credit.

  • Those who got $3,600 per dependent in 2021 for the CTC will if eligible, get $2,000 for the 2022 tax year.
  • For the EITC, eligible taxpayers with no children who received roughly $1,500 in 2021 will now get $500 in 2022.
  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit returns to a maximum of $2,100 in 2022 instead of $8,000 in 2021.

No above-the-line charitable deductions

During COVID, taxpayers were allowed to take up to a $600 charitable donation tax deduction on their tax returns. However, in 2022, those who take a standard deduction may not take an above-the-line deduction for charitable donations.

Increased eligibility for the premium tax credit

For the year 2022, taxpayers may still qualify for temporarily expanded eligibility for the premium tax credit. This is explained by the IRS – The premium tax credit – also known as PTC – is a refundable credit that helps eligible individuals and families cover the premiums for their health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. To get this credit, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return with Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit.

These are just a few of the changes. The best advice I can give you is to work with your tax professional to make sure you’re taking advantage of all the provisions applicable to you. If you’d like me to refer you to someone, please let me know.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Here is a Smokin’ Topic we Would Like to Fire up Awareness About…

The good news is according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, approximately 96% of all homes in the U.S. have smoke alarms installed. However, the bad news is almost 1 out of 5 (20%) of installed smoke alarms are non-operational, often just because of a dead battery. It has always amazed me as a real estate agent how often I find them with no batteries in them. If every house had a working fire alarm it is estimated that residential fire deaths in the U.S. could drop by approximately 36%.

There are two different types of smoke alarms commonly found in the United States: So, let’s get familiar with both of them.

Ionization smoke alarms contain a radioisotope. This radioisotope is typically Americium-241 and it is contained in an ionization chamber that acts as a shield to the alpha radiation it emits. The assembly ionizes the air, and if a potential difference due to smoke is detected, an audible alarm is sounded. For those of you freaked out by the thought of radioactive material in your home, don’t worry. The radiological risk is negligible as long as the radioisotope is untouched in the ionization chamber. We are subjected to more significant amounts of natural background radiation day-to-day than a normally operating ionic smoke alarm produces. Research has indicated that ionizing smoke alarms are more sensitive to heat and react quicker to rapidly growing fires that are in the “flame” stage. 

Photoelectric smoke alarms do not contain a radioisotope. Instead, they work by using sources of light such as infrared, visible, or ultraviolet to monitor the surrounding air. If the intensity of the light being transmitted falls below a certain threshold as a result from scattering particulates, potentially caused by smoke, an audible alarm is then triggered by the circuitry to alert occupants of potential danger. According to research, optical (photoelectric) alarms are more sensitive to smoke, common with fires in the “early” or smoldering state.

TheNational Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “is a global self-funded nonprofit organization, established in 1896. NFPA is devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards”. They advise the installation of “combination alarms”, which use both the ionization and photoelectric smoke sensing methods for the best protection. Certain combination alarms may also include Carbon Monoxide (CO) detection ability.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms are designed to detect dangerous, and potentially fatal levels of CO in the home. Carbon monoxide is not naturally occurring and is produced by incomplete burning of carbon fuel sources including but not limited to natural gas, propane, and gasoline. Surprisingly, the State of Nevada has only required the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in all newly constructed homes since 2017. Another fun fact is that Nevada does not require the installation or retrofitting of CO alarms in homes built prior to 2017.  We, however, highly encourage the installation of CO alarms in all homes, and in accordance with NFPA recommendations, even in homes that are all electric and have no carbon fuel utility.

The following are some questions with answers you should really keep in mind to make sure your family is safe.

Q:  How often do smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms need to be replaced?

A: Smoke alarms should be replaced at least every 10 years. CO alarms and combination alarms should be replaced at least every 7 years. Certain smoke alarms now come factory equipped with a 10-year lithium-ion backup battery that doesn’t require replacement. Any replaceable battery (i.e. 9 volt) should be changed every 6 months. An easy way to remember this task is by doing it when the bi-annual time change occurs. Spring forward, Fall back! And if you take a marker and write the date the unit was installed inside that battery cover, every time you change your batteries you will see if it is time to replace the whole thing!

Q:  My house has hardwired smoke alarms. Can I replace them with battery-operated ones?

A:  If your home was originally equipped with wired smoke alarms, they really should be replaced with the same type, in the absolute interest of safety. It is recommended to have interconnection between all alarms in the home via wired connection or wireless technology such as Bluetooth. This way, when one sounds, they all sound.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

A Great Way to Choose a Color You Can Live With in Your Home

Some people like bold or bright colors in their homes and some do not which is okay as well. When it comes to deciding what to paint a room or the exterior, how do you choose a color that is something you know you will like for a while? Here are a few tips for selecting a color you can live with:

Use sample cans

It’s quite difficult to choose the correct color for let’s say your living space or bedroom with hundreds of shades of every color to choose from. Some people boldly go and get the paint without trying it on a wall in the space and that is perfectly fine.  On the other hand, there are people that want to make sure they like the color on more than a paint swatch before getting started. It is great to purchase a couple of sample cans and paint a section of your wall to compare the colors under the lighting conditions in the space.

Trust your instincts

The best way to figure out what is best for you when it comes to color is to trust your gut. If you believe a deep wine color will make you feel happy in your space, go for it. On the other hand, if you would be much more comfortable with shades of gray or white, don’t force yourself to live with color just because you think you should.

Embrace an inspirational piece

One way to choose a color for your space is to look at your favorite art or furniture pieces. What colors stand out? You always can pick one of those colors or a complementary shade to choose paint for the room. It’s a great way to incorporate your favorite accessories into the complete design.

Follow community guidelines

Don’t try to oppose the system when painting the outside of your home. If you don’t have a homeowner’s association, go to town with your bold color choices. However, if there are covenants in place, it’s best to review the requirements and stick to them to avoid fines or long-term problems.

Are you ready to paint your home?  Go for it!  If should need a referral for a house painter or interior designer (to help you choose colors) – remember you can always call me JEFF HOWARD, your Realtor for life.  I have resources for all your needs when it comes to fixing up your home.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

How To Clean and Organize Your Garage

There is more than one use for a garage.  Most people use their garages for parking cars. Some use them for storage; however, it is time to clean and organize your garage when you cannot find what you need in stacks of boxes or all the old furniture stacked on top of each other. Now is the time to start over, cleaning and organizing your garage will be a big project, but when finished, entirely worth it.

Here are some tips to get started.

If it is on the ground move it

Before you can clean and organize you must get everything out of the space. Move everything off the floor into a staging area – the best place is your driveway.  To know what type of space you are working with is to know exactly what space you have, and the only way to know that is empty the garage.

Thoroughly clean

Next, totally clean the space. That means sweeping and mopping the floor, using a disinfectant on surfaces, and wash the walls. If you start with a clean space that should motivate you to improve your organizing.

Sort through everything

Now you have a garage that is empty and clean. Time to sort through your things. According to TV shows about organizing you should use a three-pile method: keep, sell and toss. Set blankets out in your yard for each category and sort through your things until you’re happy with what you have. After you have completed this, you should have far fewer things in your keep pile than you started with. And for the toss pile, be kind to our planet. If it is reusable, please donate it before throwing it away. And if it is recyclable, separate that out from the trash as well. Here is a link to another blog I wrote regarding recycling.  It can be helpful.

Determine storage zones

While your garage is empty, take some time to plan out your storage zones. You will most likely want a space just for yard maintenance to keep your lawn mower, garden tools, and potting soil. Other common zones include sports equipment or tools for home improvement.

Install organizers

Finally, install organizing structures for your space. You might want to install cabinets and shelving, or you may want to use stand-alone stackable bins. Make sure everything is clearly labeled so you can find things quickly, and hopefully it will not become cluttered again. Honestly, I like clear storage containers because you can see inside.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

How to Minimize Effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Most desert dwellers welcome the cooler fall and winter temperatures, these few months that have fewer hours of daylight can cause some people to experience seasonal affective disorder. With SAD, people may experience long periods of sadness, energy loss, weight gain, and oversleeping, along with a loss of interest in activities they normally enjoy.

SAD, sometimes called seasonal depression, affects about 5 percent of the adult population.  The symptoms are triggered by less sunlight exposure, which lowers serotonin and vitamin D levels. If you are prone to SAD, here are a few things you can do around the home to help boost your mood.

Get the most out of the morning sun

Since we have shorter days, it’s important to get natural sunlight into the home early in the day, according to  Dak Kopec, an architectural psychologist, and UNLV professor. He said the hours between 7 and 9 a.m. are ideal for boosting serotonin and vitamin D levels.

So first thing in the morning is to open up the blinds, sunshades, or curtains early in the morning and allow natural light to flood the area as much as possible.

It is also a wonderful time of day to go outdoors to enjoy some fresh air and sunlight. If you don’t want to leave your property, create outdoor spaces to enjoy while exposing you to natural light.

Kopec says, “The intensity of that full-spectrum light is lower in the winter months, so it’s very key for people to get outdoors. Look at those balconies or patios … it may be time to consider new outdoor furniture if it means you’re more likely to go outside in the morning.”

Paint to boost your spirits

Winter may also be a good time to add that accent wall in a bedroom or living area that you have been thinking about. Certain colors that exude warmth and comfort can work well on an accent wall.

Look to oranges and yellow for warmth and nature-based colors such as greens to use on accent walls.  For calming yet uplifting colors for the whole room, look at colors that feel tranquil, not too cold or too gray — colors like sage greens, sky blues and lavenders.

The basics of color theory highlight warmer colors like reds, oranges, and yellows as comforting and more energetic while cooler colors like blues, greens, and purples emit tranquility and calm. Color is personal and subjective, so learning what colors boost your mood will go a long way in providing basic foundations for color palettes to assist you with SAD.

Dr. Christopher Choi, the founder of Las Vegas-based Concierge Wellness Center, said research has found color can even help those losing cognitive function. Sometimes simple touches like switching black-and-white photos and art out for something brighter can work.

“The thinking is that you start to see things in black and white over time,” he said. “Experiences that stimulate the brain are like seeing bright colors, but we also need to actually see those bright colors to stimulate our senses more.”

If you are a renter and can’t paint, add colored pillows and linens to rooms.

Power down light intensity at night

One of the common confusion people have about indoor lighting during the winter months is that they think the home should still have strong blue light at night as well. However, after the sun goes down it’s actually time to shift to softer lighting, Kopec said.

“You really want to have a dimmer switch and want to make sure once you hit 7 p.m., you have a lower lighting level throughout the house,” he said. “If you don’t have switches, you can shift to a lower wattage bulb and make sure lamps have a good lampshade that diffuses light.”

Try a light box

In some cases, a home doesn’t allow for a lot of natural light during the day, purchasing a light box may be your answer. You can find some for between $30 and $50 online. There are also more sophisticated and expensive systems designed to mimic the exact light type for your location and time of day.

BrainLit is a brand that uses its BioCentric Lighting technology that does exactly that. Its lights generate what founder Tord Wingren calls “light recipes” that can adapt to geographic locations and times of day around the world to provide the right light needed at the right time to help combat the effects of SAD.

The adjustability of the light is key, Wingren said. “Our system gives you more bright light during the morning and during the day, and also … blue-free light during the late evening,” he said. “Research has clearly shown we can minimize the SAD effect with this light.”

Plan ahead

Above all, if you’re battling SAD, human contact is key. Making the effort to go out every day with the neighbors or with friends, especially during the morning hours, can help tremendously.  Also, planning ahead and preparing the home for guests is one way to head off SAD and also keep you enthusiastic about upcoming gatherings.

If you are prone to SAD, you want to start planning before you get the blues because once you start feeling that way, you may not want to do anything at all.

Try a couple of these ideas – they do work, and remember spring in Southern Nevada is just around the corner.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Family Get-togethers in the Kitchen

Today’s families are so busy with soccer practice and PTA meetings to sleepovers at friends’ houses and work obligations, they are constantly off in different directions. However, despite all of these obstacles to togetherness, there’s one place where the family still congregates:  The Kitchen. Make your kitchen as inviting, comfortable, livable, and homey as possible.  The following shows a few ways to transform your kitchen from a space that’s not just about cooking, but also about connecting with family and friends

1. Create a Kids Zone in the Kitchen

This is a fact: Moms are often preparing meals in the kitchen while kids roam freely throughout the house. There might be times you want them under your watchful eye or simply crave their company – the simplest way to draw kids to the kitchen is to give them spaces of their own.

Adding stools to the side of the kitchen counter or island opposite your work zone is an easy yet effective way to create room for kids and teens to do homework, play, snack or just hang out. The best part is – When they’re not in use, stools can be tucked under the overhang for a tidy aesthetic.

Just make sure to include one thing all of today’s wired kids need: adequate outlets for laptops, iTouches, iPads, cell phones, and other must-have electronic devices.

2. Encourage Access

While the idea of being surrounded by your happy, busting brood is delightful in theory, in reality this scenario can quickly go south. Why? Because in addition to being loveable, kids are also demanding. Near-endless requests for everything from cups of milk to snacks from the fridge can make getting anything done a challenge. Unless you help them help themselves, that is.

Shallow base cabinets stocked with kid-friendly plates and glasses; refrigerator drawers loaded with healthy, appetizing after-school snacks; and a handy microwave drawer all mean dinner prep can continue without a hitch.

3. Fuse Style and Substance in the Kitchen

That all-white kitchen you’ve always fantasized about may have to wait until your kids head off to college. In the meantime, seek out materials that satisfy your style without sacrificing durability like quartz countertops.

Almost essentially maintenance-free, and are also resistant to just about everything — we’re talking stains, scratches, heat, acid, and impact. And because quartz is available in a huge range of colors and patterns, you’re sure to find a look you love.

Perennial homeowner favorite granite, meanwhile, merges a high-end look with equally high performance. Because let’s face it: Spills happen, and when they do — wouldn’t you prefer something that wipes up quickly and leaves no evidence behind like quartz?

The same concept applies to upholstery. In addition to the usual suspects like vinyl, cotton and microfiber, you can use outdoor and all-weather fabrics are not only available in a multitude of patterns and colors, but also offer extreme durability.

4. Make the Kitchen  Multi-Purpose

Today’s open living designs throws out conventional ideas about what should take place where. After all, life is dynamic and fluid, so why should your kitchen be closed in and stagnant? Rather than thinking of the kitchen solely as a place to eat, reframe it as all-purpose room. Comfortable furniture, inviting color fabrics and warm lighting add up to a softer space where people will tend to gather.

One final way to get bodies in the kitchen? Add a television. While this may not initially be your vision of the picture-perfect kitchen, consider this: the average mom spends 1,117 days of their lives in the kitchen over the course of her lifetime. That’s three whole years! When you think about it that way, why shouldn’t you have something to help you pass the time?

If the thought of having a television in your kitchen still makes you cringe, the latest breed of innovative television-camouflaging cabinets can give you a potential solution.

5. Organize and Optimize

Anyone who’s ever fought the losing battle of a clean kitchen versus constant influx of backpacks, permission slips, schoolbooks, jackets, tools, projects, and sports gear understands how quickly chaos can take place without proper organizational mechanisms in place. Taking control means integrating ample storage in the form of cubbies, hooks, and shelving so that there’s a place for everything aside from your floor and countertops.

One other organizational tool for today’s busy households is a Blackboard. Ideal for everything from jotting down reminders to sharing inspirational quotes to posting the evening’s menu, blackboards are the perfect combination of fun and functional. Plus, your kids will love adding their own creative touches.

Ultimately, while the kitchen is the heart of any home, the people who populate it are what keep it beating. Incorporating these five tips into your kitchen design supports its status as a vital space that can easily keep pace with the fast-paced rhythm of modern family living.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

How To Enjoy The Holidays Without Creating Excess Waste

Now it is officially time to deck the halls—and do it mindfully. There are decorations, packaging, gifts, and food, and we tend to produce lots of waste during the holiday season.

A OnePoll study last holiday season found that Americans produce, on average, 43 percent more waste during the holidays than any other time of year. Not surprisingly, the biggest culprit is wrapping paper, followed by gift bags, tissue paper, and food.

However, for many people, it wouldn’t quite feel like the holidays without stringing the house with lights and garland – the good news is you don’t have to give up these joys in the name of sustainability if you don’t want to!

Below are some of my top tips for reducing waste this holiday season

How to Reduce Waste on Decorations/Cards

  • You should use qualified Energy Star LED string lights as your Christmas lights to reduce your impact this holiday season. They use 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent string lights and are warranty-backed for at least three years.
  • As a lifelong real tree enthusiast, here’s one of my favorite tips: get a real Christmas tree! Real trees pull carbon from the atmosphere and typically travel much shorter distances to get to the consumer than artificial plastic trees. Plus Christmas trees are always being replanted, so they are not being diminished. When December is over, ensure your real tree is composted or chipped into mulch.  The city of Las Vegas has a recycling program after the holidays which makes it easy to recycle.  And if you go the artificial tree route, try to use it for many years to come. After about 20 years, the carbon footprint of an artificial tree tends to balance out with that of a real one.
  • Use decorations made of natural materials, or you and your family make them yourselves. Strings of popcorn, dried cranberries, or garland made of fresh cedar or fir give your space a cozy feel. You can always get more DIY ideas on-line. Treat your decor well.
  • You might want to make phone calls this season instead of sending out traditional holiday cards. But if you love the festivity of physical greeting cards (and who can blame you), look for cards that are made of recycled paper and are uncoated, so a glossy finish doesn’t come between your cards and the recycling bin.

How to Reduce Waste While Holiday Shopping

  • Shop in person this holiday season when you can. Shopping online means more wasted packaging and energy transporting the gifts straight to your house. And remember your reusable shopping bags!
  • Try to patronize local businesses; this way, you’ll have fewer products shipping overseas. Plus it’s good to patronize a business that is in your area – they appreciate the business more (Jeff Bezos will not go broke if you buy from the local store, but the local shop owner might go broke if you buy everything from Amazon).
  • Consider gifting experiences rather than physical gifts. Concert tickets, an Airbnb for a weekend, restaurant gift cards, museum memberships, cooking classes, a picnic in the snow at Mt Charleston and massage or facial gift certificates all make for thoughtful gifts. And they require little or no wrapping.
  • When in doubt, homemade baked goods like cookies or muffins always go over well—and they’ll be gone without a trace in a couple of days. Promise.

How to Reduce Waste While Wrapping

  • Use reusable gift bags instead of wrapping paper, and stuff the bags with newspaper or reused tissue paper from last year. And try to save any gift bags or the tissue paper you receive this year!
  • If buying new wrapping paper, look for paper made from recycled materials or paper that can be recycled after it’s used. Most wrapping paper, as long as it has no foil or other non-paper components, is recyclable.
  • Consider packaging gifts in colorful reusable tote bags. Not only will your wrapping job be low waste, but you’ll also gift the recipient a little something extra.

How to Reduce Waste During Dinner

  • Food waste tends to increase around the holidays as folks host parties with lots of leftovers. Online resources like Save the Food’s Guestimator helps hosts determine how much food to prepare—and remember to send your party guests home with leftovers!
  • If possible, use cloth tablecloths and real silverware and plates when serving food rather than disposable plastic utensils and paper plates. Bonus points if you use cloth napkins, too.
  • As always, shop local and/or from the bulk section when you are grocery shopping for a holiday party. Don’t forget your reusable totes and produce bags!

Bonus Tip: Recycle Properly

To further minimize your waste this holiday season, follow the recycling instructions from my previous blog post on the subject.  Many holiday staples, like tinsel, ribbons, styrofoam, and plastic bags, can’t be recycled, so keep them out of the recycling stream. There are many drop off points for your real trees to be mulched.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Top Tips to Save Money When Moving

The good news is you are moving!  The bad news is you have to get organized and pack.  Also, moving can be an expensive ordeal. Costs can add up fast and cause stress when money gets tight. Start preparing early and before you begin, make a moving checklist that you can follow and adjust as needed while planning your move.

Learn to move more affordably with some of these budget-conscious guidelines, even if you are going a long distance.


This is hard however making it a family project will ease some of the pain. Or get close friends to help you sort through small and big items. Decide what to discard, donate, or sell. Garage sales, online apps, and social media are some avenues to merchandise your unwanted wares. Otherwise, you can arrange for pick up or take items to your township’s disposal system. You may also contact a charitable organization that can use your items.  Big tip – once you decide an item is for discard DO NOT take it out of the discard pile.

Use Household Items as Packing Materials

Why buy expensive bubble wrap when you can use everyday items around the house? Old newspapers, kitchen towels, socks, blankets, or suitcases can protect your fragile items without any cost (plus it’s more environmentally friendly). Save boxes by breaking them down and then retaping them when ready to pack for the move. Another tip – do not wait until the last minute to pack boxes.  Make sure you pack at least one a day so you are mostly packed by moving day.

Measure Furniture

Make sure you know the dimensions of large items before you move so that you know what you can carry with you and what you can’t take. That may save you money with a mover and any hassles of not being able to get a couch or other item through the front door of your new home.  This happens a lot – when I moved a large piece of furniture was able to come in the front door, however, it did not fit thru the opening to the room it was going into.  The movers had to take the room door off the hinges to get the furniture in the room.

Don’t Overspend

There is a tendency to want to spend money to decorate your new abode before settling in. Buy only the articles you need, so you have less to move. Once you get there, shop for cable and satellite provider deals.

Check on Tax Deductible Expenses and Reimbursement

Your moving expenses may be deductible if you’re in the military. If moving out of state for a job, ask your company if they will pay for moving costs or if they offer compensation for relocation, a good number of companies will pay for your move.

Avoid Moving During a Peak Season

Movers generally cost more and can get quickly booked up in the warmer months. It’s easier to schedule a mover during the off-season and during the week.

Pack a Necessities Box

Pack a box of commonly used items you need quickly or in an emergency to avoid buying them again in case you don’t have easy access to a packed-away box.

Consider Leaving Heavy Items Behind

Moving companies typically charge by the weight of an item, so that great weight set you own, might cost you more to move it than it is worth. Maybe you are better off if sell it (or give it away) here and then replace it when you get where you are going.

Reviews and Compare Costs of Movers

Ask for a fixed rate, so you are not charged per hour in case the duration of the move is lengthy. Understand how a mover charges and avoid extra fees if possible. Don’t hire overly cheap services lest you get what you pay for.

Buying a home and all the transactional costs that go along with it is a huge financial investment. If you can curtail your moving expenses, that will allow your wallet some relief. It may also allow you some wiggle room in your budget to invest in new furnishings for your new residence. In preparing for a move, always take the time to plan by lightening your load, being practical, and thinking economically without sacrificing the quality of your moving services. If your couch or mattresses are old do not take them with you these are heavy items and you will want to replace them anyway.

Have more questions?  Contact me Jeff Howard, your realtor for life, and I can help you with this big step.  I deal with moving all the time.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Home Renovation on a Budget — You Got This!

You walk into your home again and think ‘my home looks tired’.  If everything looks drab and in need of a bit of renovation, your home is overdue to be remodeled.  It has been on your wish list for a while; however, you are afraid of what the cost might be. You can still spruce up your home and improve its appearance and functionality without breaking the bank. The following are some budget-friendly ideas for renovating different rooms of your home.

Refurbish, Reupholster, and Refinish

Here are ideas to help you minimize the costs — whether you want to change cabinets, furniture, flooring, or curtains. Cabinets in fairly good condition, you can repaint, reface with a contemporary style, or add new doors (we just did this in my kitchen for much less than replacing them).  You can upgrade your furniture and curtains by trading out  the well-worn faded material on your couches and other upholstered pieces with a different texture and color. You can save additional money by using the same curtain rods and rings and finding fabric you can sew yourself. There are also peel-and-stick flooring options that you can apply over the existing surface, or buy a great throw rug to mostly cover the floor, for a lot less than replacing what is there now.

Renew Kitchen Surfaces and Appliances

The kitchen is usually, the messiest and grimiest area in your home. Periodically you will want to replace appliances and refresh the overall appearance. There are many materials available to fit your budget. For essentials like refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers, look for packages to replace them inexpensively or discounts on multiple purchases. Or check the back aisle in your local Home Depot or Lowes for open box specials. You can also learn how to install an appliance to save an extra $100 to $500. If your oven is new or still in good condition, all you may need is to add a new backsplash (we’re doing that next). You may also want to consider new countertops since they are one of the most worked surfaces. Check on deals with your local store and tile companies.

Create More Open Space Without Increasing the Size

Increase efficiency without knocking out a wall to expand your home. Replace bulky cabinetry and large shelves with vertical cabinets with pull-out drawers wide enough to store racks for pantry items. Need a kitchen island to prep meals? You can use a simple stand-alone table and add wheels for easy moveability.

Declutter, Add Color, Style, and Lighting

Improve the livability of smaller rooms, such as your bathroom, by adding a storage closet, vanity, or medicine cabinet. Peel and stick wallpaper can save time and labor if you’re not ready to paint. Adding new hardware to give your room more of a modern flair, by updating knobs and drawer handles. Save on cost by finding recycled fixtures. Brighten a windowless room with a light tube that funnels in natural light. Add wainscoting trim to dull walls and ceilings to add texture and detail.

Simple, cost-effective renovation can give new life into your living space and bring you a renewed sense of accomplishment without financial hardship. From your biggest, most lived-in rooms to your tucked-away areas, there is always an affordable solution to get your home looking refreshed.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Thinking of Adding a Firepit to Your Backyard?

There is nothing quite as nice as sitting by a fire on a cool autumn night and in Las Vegas on any winter night as well. Of course, not everyone lives where they can just build a bonfire or even set up a little campfire at a moment’s notice. It’s a good thing that there are options available for those who want the ambiance and experience of sitting by the fire without the hassle that goes along with building bigger fires. Your best option is installing a firepit in your yard for those days you want to just relax by the fire.

You should know that not all firepits are created equal. While you could pick up a cheap firepit somewhere and just set it up, if you really want to maximize the experience and get the most out of it, then you may want to do a bit more planning and create an area where you can really enjoy it. This will also help to ensure that the firepit is set up safely, so you don’t accidentally create a fire hazard or other dangerous situation in your yard.

Firepit Considerations

The most important consideration is that your firepit is safe. This involves not only installing a firepit unit that is structurally sound it also includes installing it in a place that is stable. You certainly do not want the firepit to tip or shift in such a way that it could spill its contents or fall over. Regardless of whether the firepit is being placed on a surface, or buried in the ground, safety and stability should be your primary concerns.

This could mean that you might have to do a bit of construction around the firepit or add stone or concrete underneath it to create a solid and stable surface for it to sit on. Once the firepit is in place, you’ll want to try moving it in different directions to make sure that it doesn’t shift or wobble. You should also inspect it for dents, cracks, or other signs of damage that could become a bigger problem down the road; you’ll want the firepit to be structurally sound before it’s installed, and if you see signs of damage now then you’ll want to get those repaired before you finish the installation.

Cozy On Up

Once you have found the perfect place to put your firepit and that it’s safe to operate there, you’ll want to build out the area around it. While you could just use folding chairs or other temporary seating, it’s almost a shame to go through all the trouble of setting up a firepit just to then skimp on the seating. A better option is to get matched seating to go around the firepit to help add ambiance to the location while also giving you somewhere to sit.

This can come in a wide range of forms. You could go with nice wooden seating, Adirondack chairs, metal seats with cushions, or even wicker seating to go around the firepit. Rounded benches or other connected seating are also a good idea, giving you multiple seating options, while also being stylish and literally making the firepit the center of attention. Regardless of the type of seating you go with, try to match the colors and style of the firepit to your seating, and you’ll really be able to tie it all together.

Setting Up Your Firepit

After you get everything else sorted, setting up your firepit is largely a matter of getting it in place and securing it or otherwise ensuring that it’s stable. If you have a firepit that runs on propane or other gas, it will usually come with some kind of rocks or fake logs. To personalize it, you can buy multi-colored glass from a variety of places. Mine came with very basic lava rocks and I replaced them with blue, white and aqua glass squares! So even though mine was a basic kit, mine looks unique!

If all of this seems like more work than you’re comfortable taking on, though, you can always call in a professional. I can help you connect with contractors and other pros that can get your firepit installed safely and ready for you to use.  So contact me, Jeff Howard, your realtor for life!!!

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff