Dorita Mayeux | Belleair Real Estate, Largo Real Estate, Clearwater Real Estate


There are many different ways to upgrade and create the perfect outdoor space. You can upgrade what you already have by adding simple things to it, you can accessorize, or you can overhaul the entire area by starting from scratch. It’s always a good idea to take these three approaches and use a mix of the strategies.    


Go For Durable


Sometimes many different types of patio furniture end up being a little stuffy and high maintenance. While these sets can be beautiful, they may not be practical to suit your needs. If you live in an area where you need to put away your furniture for the fall and winter season because you don’t have use of the outdoors, plan accordingly with the type of outdoor accessories that you buy. 


You’re better off going for value and finding durable, yet stylish furniture that will stand the test of time. Otherwise, you’ll be replacing your furniture every year without fail. Go a bit more traditional than bold and work your outdoor style around that.


Choose Your Colors First


If you start with furniture, you’re left to figure out how to accessorize. There’s no rule that says you can’t find the accessories you want first before you begin to buy furniture. Find your cushions and outdoor rugs first. Then, move on to finding furniture that meshes well with those colors and styles.


Use The Outdoors To Accessorize


Whether you’re replacing your existing patio furniture, or just looking to recreate your space, you can use more than throw pillows and an outdoor rug to accessorize. Find planters that match well with the style you’re looking to achieve. Add in greenery and flowers that will only accent the look. There are a number of options of the types of planters that you can choose from hanging plants to large pots to planters on pedestals. Get creative with your plants and spice up your space. Is your outdoor space near your vegetable garden? Be sure to highlight your hard work and use that as a sort of focal point for your entire outdoor space.


Be Practical


If you’re spending a lot of time outside grilling, you’re going to want a table and chairs available, so there’s no need to truck food in and out of the house each night for dinner. It also would be a good idea o have some storage for food prep items like grilling tools, extra plates, and more just to keep everything you need in one place. These storage items are an important piece to your outdoor space. Whether you are primarily using a deck, patio, or the pool area, thinking practically can really be a big help in decorating.


Moving to a new home can be both exciting and stressful -- especially if pets and young children are involved!

Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies for avoiding frayed nerves and keeping problems to a minimum.

Cultivate a Positive Mindset: Making a conscious decision to remain cool, calm, and collected throughout your move will set the stage for a more relaxed experience for everyone. Since stress and irritability can quickly spread from one family member to another, it's up to the parents to set a positive example for the kids. When you resolve to be patient and optimistic about how things are progressing, you'll tend to be more resourceful, encouraging, and solution oriented.

Be organized: Creating a priority list of tasks that need to be completed by a target date is an excellent strategy for staying focused and on schedule. There are a lot of details to attend to when you're moving, so it's usually necessary to have a written plan and a checklist of things to remember.

Here are three ideas to consider for avoiding confusion at your new home: Clearly label all boxes; make sure that screws and other fasteners for dissembled furniture are stored in an easy-to-find clear bag or container, and take a photo (for easy reference) of cable and Internet connections before disconnecting your TV, sound system, and computer equipment. That way, when everything needs to be reassembled and reconnected at your new home, the process will go much more smootly!

Some people tend to just throw odds and ends into boxes, hoping that all the "pieces of the puzzle" will somehow magically fall into place at their new home. Unfortunately, when you pack your belongings in a haphazard manner, frustration is always the end result.

If you really want to be super-organized, consider drawing a "furniture map" of each major room. That way, you can give copies of the plan to the movers and hopefully streamline the furniture setup phase at your new home. Another efficiency tip is to color-code your boxes to help make sure the right moving boxes end up in the correct rooms.

First-Day Survival kit: Since it's highly unlikely that you'll unpack all your belongings and supplies on the first day, it's always a good idea to pack toiletries, medications, a first aid kit, and cleaning supplies in an easy-to-reach place. Other things you might want to have handy in the car for the first day at your new home would be a vacuum cleaner, pet food, dog leashes, toys for the kids, stuffed animals, games, healthy snacks, and cold beverages.

Miscellaneous Priorities: Digital photographs and computer files can be securely stored on a portable hard drive or a free cloud storage service available through Google or Dropbox. As far as small valuables, such as laptops, jewelry, mobile devices, and important documents, it's generally recommended that you transport those items with you in your car -- preferably in a clearly marked box.


Aside from your realtor, your lender will be one of the people that you work the most closely with when you’re buying a home. Before you even sign on with a lender, there’s a few questions that you should ask. Don’t feel pressure from a certain lender before you understand what their areas of expertise are. You don’t want to end up with homebuyer’s remorse because you didn’t do the right research before you signed the deal on a home.   


Can You Tell Me About Programs For First Time Homebuyers? 


There are so many great programs for first-time homebuyers. If the lender you choose can’t help you with these programs, maybe this isn’t the right lender for you. If your lender lacks knowledge in the areas that you need, you probably want to shop around.


How Can You Help Me Qualify For The Loan I Need?


Many times, loans have very specific qualifications that you need to meet. Even if you think you might not meet those requirements due to things like a low amount of down payment or a job change, your lender can often help you to find the details in your situation to help you qualify for a loan. For example, you may have recently changed jobs, but if you have stayed in the same field, your lender can help you to explain these circumstances so that you can still qualify for the loan. 


Are There Downpayment Assistance Programs Available?


There are also many programs and loan types available to help buyers get a home with less than a 20% downpayment. Some loans offer good interest rates with less than a 20% downpayment. There are also many grants and downpayment assistance plans available. It’s important to ask questions to know the right information for your loan circumstances.


What Fees Do You Charge?


Some lenders do charge an array of fees. You don’t want to sign on with a lender and then close on the loan, only to find out that you’re knee-deep in fees in addition to all of the closing costs that you have to pay along with the home purchase. 


How Will You Communicate With Me


Just like your Realtor, it’s important that your lender communicates with you in a timely manner. Buying a home requires that documents and offers are in on time to secure your home. Don’t let anything fall through the cracks by hiring people on your home search that may lapse in their communication with important information.


If you want to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, it generally is a good idea to establish a property buying plan. That way, you can take a step-by-step approach to make your homeownership dream come true.

As you prepare a homebuying strategy, there are several factors to consider. These factors include:

1. Your Dream Home Definition

There is no one-size-fits-all definition of a dream home. Instead, this definition varies from buyer to buyer. But if you define your ideal residence, you can narrow your house search accordingly.

Think about the features you require from a home. For instance, if you want a house that offers multiple bedrooms, you can search for residences that provide you with the space you need. On the other hand, if you want a home that boasts a deluxe swimming pool, you can search for a residence that offers this feature.

Consider where you want to reside, too. By doing so, you can search for homes in a select group of cities and towns.

2. Your Homebuying Budget

You likely have only a finite amount of money that you can spend on a residence. Thankfully, if you establish a homebuying budget, you can search for houses that fall within your price range.

Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you start a house search. These financial institutions can teach you about a broad array of home financing options.

Don't hesitate to discuss your home financing options with a variety of banks and credit unions, either. If you check out myriad home financing options, you can select a mortgage that complements your finances perfectly.

3. Your Homebuying Timeline

You may want to create a timeline for buying a house. With this timeline in place, you will know precisely how many days, weeks or months you have to find and acquire your dream residence.

If possible, you should maintain a flexible homebuying timeline. There is no telling when problems may arise as you search for your dream house. And if your homebuying timeline is flexible, you can adjust it at any time.

For those who want to streamline the homebuying journey, you may want to employ a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you find a great home at a budget-friendly price. Plus, he or she can offer expert guidance as you craft a property buying strategy.

Also, as you navigate the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will respond to any concerns or questions. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to provide homebuying tips and recommendations that you may struggle to receive elsewhere.

Ready to transform your homebuying vision into a reality? Craft a homebuying strategy today – you will be glad you did. Once you have a homebuying plan at your disposal, you can navigate the property buying journey with poise and confidence.


Moving into a new house takes a lot of time and a lot of money. It can take months to feel like you’re truly “moved in” once you’ve finally gotten the keys to your new home. As a result, many people rush to purchase and set up their houses as quickly as possible.

If--like most people--you’re on a budget, it isn’t always realistic to expect your home to be completely furnished set up in just a couple of weeks. That’s why it’s important to have a plan of your priorities when moving into a new home.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the “need now” and “it can wait” items for your home. In creating this list for your home you can make your move a smoother process and help yourself feel at home sooner without having to spend every waking hour (and every cent of your bank account) furnishing your new home immediately.

Read on for a list of the items you need at move-in, the things you should prioritize within the first weeks, and those that can wait.

What you need now

If you’re moving from an apartment or a former house, chances are you have a lot of the items you’ll need to get started in your new home. These are essentials like mops, vacuum cleaners, and your kitchen and bathroom essentials.

Next, you’ll want to determine the things that will make your life in your new home easier. We’re talking daily-use items that you might need for your morning routine. If you’re the type of person who frequently loses keys, it might be a good idea to prioritise a key hook. If you struggle to put on makeup in a dimly lit bathroom, installing new lights should be at the top of your list.

Setting your priorities for the first month

A good way to budget furnishing your new home is to give yourself a specific number of items to buy in the first month, then the second, and so on. Get together with your family, or significant other if applicable, and together determine what’s most important.

It may be that energy efficient windows need to be prioritized over new curtains and blinds. Or, you could have to find a paint color that matches your living room set before repainting your bedroom. Regardless, be sure to budget all of your purchases so that you feel comfortable and ready to take on the first month in your new home.

What can wait

There are a number of items in most homes that are purely cosmetic or decorative. However, the cost of all of the decorations in your home can add up. If you’re planning on starting from scratch with decorations, it’s a good idea to hold off until you have the essentials. This is a good opportunity for you to find the right paint colors and decorations that match your furniture and appliances.

Now that you have a three lists for your home, you should be prepared to furnish it at a pace that works for you.