Karin Torrice - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


Buying a new home is an exciting experience. Who doesn’t love new things—and a new home at that? But a new home is also challenging and intimidating. If you have left a home that you adored then this new home has high expectations. And if it’s your first home then such an investment is a big step and can be intimidating for that reason. But one thing that can be agreed upon is the need for this house to feel like your home. Let’s look at a few simple tips for making your new house truly feel like your home.

Family Heirlooms: Have a family heirloom that has been passed down from generation to generation? These types of keepsakes could range from an afghan that a great-grandparent or grandparent had knit, various antiques, clocks, diaries and recipes. You can display recipes on a kitchen counter or you can even get creative and design custom wallpaper from the recipe cards. Grandfather clocks fit the atmosphere of home offices and formal living rooms. There are tasteful ways to add each one of these into your home and preserve the memory of these keepsakes.

Photos & Artwork: What better way to bring personality and familiarity into a home than photos of family and friends or artwork from a favorite artist or of your favorite place. A popular approach is a grid-like arrangement created on large, open walls. This is one way to display many beloved photos without creating clutter on tables or other pieces of furniture. A long wall along a hallway would be a great place to display larger photos or artwork that would run horizontally. This is especially nice for sequenced pieces such as change of season photos.

DIY projects: Add your personality to your home with DIY projects. Mason jars, glass vases, and wine bottles can be turned into beautiful home décor with only a few materials and a couple hours. Items like rope, artificial flowers, ribbon, and glitter are just a couple examples of supplies that can be used to turn those simple items into a homemade masterpiece.

Memories: Last, but certainly not least, create memories.This is the easiest and quickest way to make a house feel like a home. Things as simple as cooking dinner with your loved ones and as extravagant as starting a family are amazing memories to make. And the first time you remember something special happening in your home will be an amazing feeling. You’ll truly feel like you’ve left your mark and turned four walls into something extraordinary.

It’s crucial that you add your personal touches to your home, especially if it’s going to be your forever home. It’s the place you will spend most of your time, besides work. The tips above are just a couple examples of ways to help add your personality in the home. Be creative and most of all be genuine and your home will feel like it’s been yours forever.  


Buying a new home is an exciting prospect. Touring a house can feel like walking around your favorite store, picking out all of the things you love. It's easy to get distracted by things like fresh paint or nice furniture and forget to look for important structural aspects of the home that can make or break a deal. Most sellers will be honest and straightforward with you about the state of the home. In some cases, they are required by law to inform you about costly issues with the home (lead paint or sewage issues, for example). Other times, a seller is under no legal obligation to inform you about potential problems with the home. In these instances, you'll need to rely on your own senses. To help you out, we've compiled a list of the top ten red flags to beware of when buying a home.
  1. Fresh paint  It's common practice when selling a house to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. It's an inexpensive way to spruce up the home for potential buyers. Sometimes, however, the paint is used as a quick fix for hiding more serious issues. Water damage, mold, and mildew can all be covered up, momentarily, by a coat of paint.
  2. Strong odors We say "strong" rather than "bad" odors because sometimes someone selling a home will try to mask bad smells with air fresheners or candles. Bad smells in a house can be the result of plumbing issues, humidity, indoor smokers, water damage, pet urine, uncleanliness, and any number of undesirable things.
  3. Bad roofing Missing, broken or stacked shingles are all signs that the roof is in need of repair--a costly fix you probably want to avoid if buying a new home.
  4. Cracked foundation A damaged foundation could be a sign of serious structural problems with the house. Especially in sloped areas, cracked foundations can lead to water damage in the basement.
  5. Poor wiring  Don't be afraid to ask to test out the lights and outlets in a home or take a look at breaker boxes. Flickering lighting and faulty outlets are signs that a home is in need of electric work.
  6. Pest issues  Many people underestimate the power of insects when it comes to damaging a home. Wood-eating termites and carpenter ants can both devastate the structure of a home and usually results in an expensive repair. Noticing ants is a huge red flag, but if you suspect a home could have an infestation for any reason try to get it inspected by a pest control firm before you make the deal.
  7. Locked doors and off-limit rooms  When touring a home there should be no areas that you aren't allowed to see. A locked door or "do not enter" sign are all red flags that the seller may be hiding something in that room.
  8. Leaking faucets Small plumbing issues like leaky faucets or toilets that run excessively are signs that there could be even larger issues with the plumbing in the house.
  9. Deserted neighborhood Multiple homes for sale in the neighborhood, deteriorating buildings and closed businesses are all signs of a problem neighborhood. It could be due to economic issues or a decaying community, but either way these are things you'll want to consider before moving into a new neighborhood.
  10. Defective windows  Windows that are sealed shut, fogged up, or won't open or close are all signs of costly repairs. You're going to depend on windows for the security of your home, lighting and aesthetic, and to a minor degree for retaining heat. They should all function properly.

Moving into a new house is a great way to start a new chapter of your life. When you buy and move into a new home, you’re opening up to new possibilities. Those new possibilities will certainly come in the form of the new people that you will meet and get to know in your new neighborhood.

Take the pain out of moving into a new house

Your entire environment will change, especially if you move into a new house that’s located in a different part of town or a completely different city or state. Move by the seat of your pants or haphazardly and you could feel overwhelmed in no time flat. The below five steps could save you time, headache, stress and regret.Those savings alone could enliven your spirit and renew your commitment to living the best life possible, especially as you open up to not only moving into a new home, but to also accepting new, personal and professional growth opportunities.

  1. Pack similar items together – It can take hours to unpack a one bedroom house, let alone a three or five bedroom house. To get those hours back, pack clothes, shoes, hats and other fashion accessories together. Pack dishes together. Put all furniture accessories, like decorative pillows, in the same box.
  2. Label items – Put clear labels on boxes and large items. This takes the guess work out of packing and unpacking.
  3. Schedule utilities in advance – Contact utility companies and have your electricity, water, gas and other utilities turned on before you move in. You’re going to need running water and electricity on day one.
  4. Build a team – Reach out to friends and relatives and build a team of movers. Choose people who have moved an entire house at least once, preferably twice. The more experienced people are at moving, the more shortcuts they generally know about.
  5. Contact information – Write down relevant contact information. For instance, have the names, telephone numbers and email addresses of babysitters, pet sitters, utility companies, cable companies and packers and unpackers that you might use. Put the contact information in the same location. Your cell phone is a great place to store this information.

Take it easy on yourself when you move into your new home

If you’ve been struggling to take the required steps to finally pursue a passion, hobby or business endeavor, moving into a new house could be the inspiration that helps you to launch forward. A move leaves your brain with no option but to except that something major has changed. Instead of putting on the brakes and refusing to accept the change, take the right steps to make your house move go as smoothly as possible.

The steps mentioned in this article may shorten the time that you spend packing,unpacking and getting acclimated to your new house and your new neighborhood. You could use that saved time to strike up conversations with your new neighbors and explore the social, education, spiritual, community and entertainment offerings near your new home. You could also use the time to fill out and submit paperwork to launch your new business or to deepen relationships with your family and friends.




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