The House is Almost Ready

The place needed a little bit of work and that is what I have been doing since my father decided to move in with my sister. The simple things we took care of pretty quickly. I repainted the plantation shutters, which were not looking that great and aside from that the color did not match on all of them. I suppose that most people would not really notice, but when you put a place on the market it is the sort of detail you want to pay attention to. I spent a lot of time in the front yard, trimming the hedges and planting some new shrubs and flower beds. The idea is pretty simple, when the potential buyer pulls up you want to make a good first impression. Then I had the trim covered with vinyl siding which is a big deal if you are going to be taking care of the place.…

Antique Piano Bench: Guide to Models, Designs and Bench Styles

Since the inception and design of the pianoforte and the modern grand piano in the 19th century, seating for the piano has been a necessity. This article offers and overview of the antique piano bench and its various styles and models as well as where and how to source. Being able to identify antique benches will enable you to purchase the correct model for your specific piano and decor.

Round stools are some of the most common models of antique piano benches, being used primarily for upright pianos and pump organs they are usually nominally priced and offer a contrasting furniture piece, however they are rarely suitable for regular use since they are unstable. Another common bench used frequently in the late Victorian era is the padded piano chair, usually quite large and of an ornamental design they were standard equipment with many parlor grands. The condition of these benches can vary, some still suitable for regular usage, others more appropriate to only complement your decor.

A functional and useful antique piano bench is the traditional duet bench with music storage, these benches can be attained in many finished and styles as well as in new condition. The main advantage regarding design is the ample storage as well as roomy bench seat. This bench was sold originally with many American upright and grand pianos. While this model bench serves its function as a bench, it will also compliment your interior design as well. Buying a new model has many advantages, the most important being the overall useful condition, a sturdy bench being a necessity for any pianist.…

Novel Set During World War II at English Country Estate Wins Historical Fiction Award

Wickwythe Hall by Judithe Little is the kind of book I love, so I’m not at all surprised that it won First Place for Historical Fiction in this year’s Reader Views Literary Awards. It’s the perfect blend of history and interesting characters you come to care about. Right from the opening pages, the reader is caught up in the dilemma faced by Annelle, a young French woman who was orphaned with her two brothers and grew up in a convent. It’s May 1940 and the Germans have just invaded France. Annelle has intended to become a nun, but now with her older brothers fighting in North Africa and the sisters at the convent wanting to pray rather than flee to safety, Annelle makes the split decision to flee south, hoping to reach North Africa and find her brothers. The reader witnesses Annelle’s excruciating flight along the French roads, on her bicycle until it is damaged, and then on foot. Eventually, through a twist of events, she gets out of France, but rather than going to North Africa, she finds herself a refugee in England.

And that’s just what happens in the opening chapter.

Once in England, Annelle finds herself working at Wickwythe Hall. The other servants are suspicious that she might be a spy, but all Annelle is concerned about is finding a way to communicate with her brothers. The large English country estate is owned by Tony and Mabry Springs. Tony is a landed British aristocrat, but Mabry is an American heiress who isn’t as caught up in doing things the English way as her husband and those around her. Mabry is very concerned that the war will soon lead to an invasion of England, and she is doing everything she can to help the war effort, including taking in twenty-three children who are being sent to the country from London for their safety.

Tony and Mabry also have connections with important people, including Prime Minister Winston Churchill. One week, Churchill comes to visit and the house is turned into central command for the war effort. It is hard enough for Mabry and the staff to meet all of Churchill’s idiosyncratic requests, but even harder for Mabry is that in Churchill’s entourage is Reid Carr, a fellow American whose proposal of marriage she long ago refused.

Mabry’s married life has not been perfect. She and Tony have tried many times to have children, always leading to miscarriages; as a result, they have grown apart. Now Mabry finds herself wondering whether Reid is still interested in her and whether she is still interested in him. He is flirtatious, pointing out that the Mabry he once knew would have been more willing to go swimming at night and do plenty of other things Mabry no longer has an inclination for.

But Reid is not really at Wickwythe Hall to flirt. President Roosevelt, unable to get Congress to back him in declaring war on Germany, has sent Reid to be his unofficial …

Gear Up for Down Payments on Houses for Sale

Would not it be nice if buying houses for sale was like the latest new car promotion? "No down payment, no interest for 12 months!" Sure, and we'd love it if Revenue Canada just "took our word for it" on what we owed this year. Where has the trust gone?

But until things change, you'll have to deal with the reality of down payment requirements when planning your next home purchase. In an ideal world, that means putting up 20 per cent of the purchase price and avoiding that nasty high-rate mortgage insurance. If you're like most buyers though, the 5 per cent minimum is more realistic.

The challenge is that with many homes selling for $ 300,000 and up these days, even 5 per cent, or $ 15,000, can be daunting for the first time homebuyer. However, with a little resourcefulness and knowledge of the options, your prospects for managing that critical down payment will be looking up in no time.

Save it Up

Maybe because they did not accept VISA on the Mayflower, our ancestors learned to buy things the hard way: By saving for them. It's a strategy we're do well to emulate, especially when looking at houses for sale.

Once you figure out the price range you'll be shopping in and what that translates to for a down payment, decide on your time frame and make a plan. How much do you need to save each month to reach your goal? It may seem overwhelming at first, but it's amazing how small changes can pay off big time in the end.

Drink the free coffee at work for a while instead of buying the five-dollar latte. Eat in more and dine out less. Before you know it, you're ready to make an offer, and the satisfaction you feel when the deal closes will top the great caffeine buzz you've ever had.

Pass it Down

One potential source of a down payment that sometimes gets overlooked is an outstanding inheritance. It's something we often do not talk about for fear of seeming insensitive or opportunistic.

But when "the writing is on the wall", there's nothing wrong with penning that into your savings plan towards houses for sale. After all, it's why a grandparent or uncle puts you in their will in the first place, so they can enhance your life when they're gone. Besides, if they're moving on to a "better place", why can not you?

Take it Out

Have you ever turned the house upside down trying to find your glasses, only to realize they were on your head the whole time? Sometimes we have what we need and do not even realize it.

Perhaps you've been putting away thousands into a tax-free savings account and thinking it had to stay there. As it turns out, you can withdraw any amount at any time with no penalties or taxes to pay.

Your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is another option in funding houses for sale. Provided …

Design Approaches To Accessorizing The Victorian Decorating Style

To give your Victorian decorating style a professional decorating approach, you might want to add various decorative items. Focus on using frilly and ornate decorative accessories which add to the fancy and ornate style of the olden days. Plan for wall art, pillows and knick-knacks to really add zip to your Victorian home.

Wall art is a fabulous way to add appealing charm to your walls, but most folks do not know the proper way to hang them. When hanging art, think like a gallery and put the middle of the piece at eye level. If you are hanging a grouping of items on the wall, then come up with the design by laying them on the floor first to come up with how they look most pleasant. Providing master paintings in gold gilt frames in groups will work well to add an interesting element to the Victorian decorating style.

Another thing you could employ to add charm to your décor is decorative pillows. You can come up with a use for pillows in every room even the kitchen and bathroom. Adding pillows in the bathroom is one option a lot of folks do not think of but you can quickly place one on the hamper or in shelves or racks with towels. Displaying decorative pillows stacked at the headboard of your bed should lend a great professional look. Pillows are wonderful for those who can not spend a lot because placing them with your existing living room furniture should help give it a Victorian home decorating allure without having to spend money on new furniture. Pillows which have fringe and buttons will help finialize your room design.

Try adding candelabras dripping with prisms, crystal and sterling silver, or roses in vases for more of a feeling of the olden days. Select accessories that mirror a common theme that enhances your room decor. Do not stray to far from your theme or you will end up with a non definite design approach.

Knick Knacks can really provide an intriguing look to any design, no matter what the design approach. To pull together your Victorian home decorating, think of using accessories with a fancy and ornate allure. For a decorative touch try Hand painted china in a curio cabinet or placing porcelain figurines on display shelves. This is where you can really make the home design your own by acquiring knick knacks which reflect your individual style. If you do not have much cash, you should try shopping at the local flea markets and garage sales where you can find fascinating knick knacks for little money.

Accessorizing your Victorian decorating style with mahogany and marble furniture, and fancy metal accessories can help add charm. You should be sure, however, that you do not go out buying things wily nily or you might end up with a disorganized mess. You will need to be sure your accessories in the ideal scale to each other so you need to be aware of the …

Master Bedroom Design – Things To Consider When Planning The Design

The master bedroom is the place held as the most sacred and important part of the house as it is the sanctuary where the masters, who are of course you and your spouse, stay. Because of the significance of this place, it describes the right treatment by keeping it the best designed and well-tended part of the house. And surprising your partner is one best way to start doing the transformation of the design of your master bedroom.

There are quite many ideas for master bedroom designs that you can choose from and it may get confusing which type should be selected. In this case, considering the following factors will help when deciding what master bedroom design you should have:

1. Patterns and designs – just like in any other interior parts of the house, your master bedroom describes having the best design and pattern. You have to use some quality of design that will let you and your spouse to use the bedroom as the best place to refresh and relax at the end of the day. Quiet patterns, ordinary yet unique, unflustered artwork, and toned qualities of the master bedroom design will make it the best haven for both of you.

2. Color of the bedroom – the walls and the ceiling must be painted with colors that must jive with everything inside the room. Take into consideration what kind of mood the colors may bring inside and to both of you and your spouse. You can choose lively, relaxing, neutral, and colors that will add to drama and luxury feel of the master bedroom.

3. Pieces of furniture – you can select any furniture that you are going to install inside the master bedroom but make sure all are necessary and will not create a crowded feel inside. Since you are going to coordinate the colors, make sure you are choosing those that will blend well with the chosen paint colors on the walls and ceiling. In addition to furniture, small things like mementos, decors, lamps, and other knick knacks must be chosen with care. They must go well with the entire design of the master bedroom and will not create a clutter.

4. Window treatment – this is the element that finishes the touches in the bedroom. Drape your windows with a curtain or any kind of window treatment application in such a way that you could open and close it anytime, will give you the privacy that you need, and all of these without sacrificing aesthetic aspect. Window treatment applications are in wide varieties in home improvement stores, so you can choose the best one that will compliment with the entire atmosphere of the master bedroom. …

Selling Your House: How Many Estate Agents Do You Need?

A few years back we decided to sell our house and move on to a new area.

One of the first things we did was put a signboard on our window with our telephone number on it so that anyone interested could call us and we could show them the house.

The result was terrible. Estate agents kept on calling saying that they had clients for our house. First you think ‘hey, that is pretty cool’ so the estate agents came to our house by the dozen taking photos and measuring the rooms. We thought we had the house sold.

Months passed and every week one or two newly established estate agents would come to our house and do the same thing. What was funny is that none of them ever came with any clients.

So we thought that maybe the house was too expensive, so we dropped the price and actually spent our time and money calling all these Agents telling them about the price change.

Then we did get clients through them, but I will never understand why we got the same clients through various Estate Agents. If they had already seen the house then why come with another Agent to see it again?

Well it seems this is pretty the norm. They see the house with one and then visit another because they know the Estate Agents usually have the same houses for sale and see it again and try to renegotiate the price.

Why do Estate Agents allow this? Every time we negotiated the price because the Estate Agent said that someone who saw our house wanted to buy it, instead of selling it, we would see the same clients with another Estate Agent. So all that was happening is that we were negotiating with one Agent the price that had already been negotiated with another Agent and they were from different companies.

My advice to anyone selling their house is find an established agent and stick to him. Putting the house for sale in a lot of agents will only gave us headaches and if you do sell the house be prepared to sell it for much less than what you initially asked for.…

Track Down The Elusive Homeowner – "Bloodhound Style"

"Vacant – Boarded Houses" are my FAVORITE DEALS for quick turnaround flips. You're talking about someone that cares so little about the property that they've left it to deceay. The owner of that house should be begging you to take their junk house off of their hands. Except, the only problem is, the owner has completely gone without a trace … Or so it may appear!

In these times of computers and the Internet, It's a very rare occasion when someone can not be tracked down. Every homeowner leaves little clues, and it's your job to piece them together. If you want to be successful at this, you need to have a system and you need to follow it exactly as I'm describing it to you. If you only do one or two things, you may get lucky … but if you do them all, you'll almost always get your "Mark". I suggest you print up the following Ten Step Plan and follow the process every time you track down a seller.

The Ten Step Plan To Finding Homeowners "Bloodhound Style"

1. Place A Flier in the door stating that you buy houses in any condition & stick one of your "I Buy Houses" bandit signs right in the front yard.

2. Ask The Neighbors …. Not Just immediate neighbors. I always go Four houses out on each side and across the street. You should be able to get bits and pieces of information from each person. Do not be afraid to ask questions..Leave your card and offer money (if you buy the property) for any information that they may "remember" after you leave … Ask & You Shall Receive!

3. I go to or you could call 411 – You'll find about half of them right here!

4. Visit your local Tax Advisor's Office. Check the "Mailing Address" to see where the tax statements are headed. ALSO, I ALWAYS run that person's name to see if they own other property in hopes that there are more abandoned junkers that we can cut a deal on. Sometimes a new mailing address will be on other properties as well.

5. Run the name through the clerks office and look at all the recorded docs and court indexes for that person. You can often get a good picture of what's going on, and sometimes even some other addresses or addresses of relatives, etc. This is where your detective skills kick in. You want to scour through and see if you can find anything … divorce filings, new loans, liens, Law Suits. If their salary is being garnished, the employer's name and address will be their for you .. Many times you'll see that the individual is in jail or just got out of jail. You can usually find their attorney or a new address off of the arrest info. If they're in jail, you can call the prison and set up a visit with the inmate.

6. Send out a letter …

Mirror Demister: For A Pleasant Bathroom Experience

If you have ever felt the need for mirror demister, it shows your taste for class and elegance. And surprisingly, you are not the only one who has inclining towards such mirrors. It is often said, choice of a mirror does represent an individual's taste. Not many people know how to get this amazing looking fantastic item for their house. That is the reason you will find most of these people wandering and heading towards a wrong direction. By the time they realize their mistake, it is too late for them to recuperate.

Again there is a lot of people who simply can not forget nightmarish experience that they had encountered when they made a brave attempt to give shape to their dreams. There are scores of people from this category who can be seen running pillar to post to get their requisite information which they could easily gather in cool comforts of their home.

So, next time you think of demister mirrors, remember – it is just a matter of few seconds before you can collect a massive amount of data for your purpose. All that is expected of you is making some good use of internet. Have you heard of a phenomenon called 'search engine and its use'? For those of you who have not, it will be a pleasant surprise for you to know that giving this information is very easy with this method. You will need to log to a search engine. When you reach the search engine page, try to identify a search box. It is the place where you have to clearly write down your query. It's always a wise practice to write down your query in clear terms so that it matches your parameters. Once you are done with writing a question, all that you have to do is to press the 'enter' key in your keyboard. Now, within seconds you will be welcomed with a list of websites that will talk about numerous websites.

It has been observed that it's always been a healthy practice to scrutinize few of these websites. To start with, you can select few websites randomly. Then, you must scrutinize its contents so that you end up having an understanding of a product. It is always suggested to stick to certain procedure while looking for these details. Greater importance should be given to points like, what is the price of these mirrors, what raw materials are used in making them, what are the other varieties and designs of these mirrors, etc.

Where you have decided to take bathroom mirror demister, it will be prudent if you can cultivate a habit of deriving data from two or more sources so that you can judge applicability of prices. This way you will come to know if you are charged more for same product that is being offered in less price by someone else. When you do this, it will save you from future nights. …

Interior Decoration Design – How to Create the Perfect Green Bedroom

Changing to living green is a great way to do your part while in the meanime you will be living healthy and also saving money at the same time. Green living creates a win / win way of life. You never have to compromise your interior decoration design when deciding to go green. There are thousands of designs on the market today that cater to green living. Once you eliminate all of the toxic substances that are already in your bedroom you will be on your way to a healthy and very stylish way of living.

It's easy to go with a green interior decoration design and after all it does help our environment too. Green also goes a step further by contributing to our own sense of well being. Earth-friendly lifestyles are becoming more and more accepted and understood. This is actually a lifestyle that can be used in our own home. Here is how you start a green makeover in your bedroom.

· Organic flooring can be easily realized by using an wool carpet, wood, or stone. The floor is important since it is the building block for the whole room. Natural wood is a great choice as long as the floor finish is eco friendly. The wool carpet and stone flooring can be expensive and it might be cheaper to strip down and refinish an existing wood floor. Carpet might be the best option for a child's room.

· The bedding in a green bedroom is also crucial. The mattress should be organic and made from either wool or cotton. Organic bedding is used which is made from materials that are free of toxins. The fabric for this type of bedding is made of either organic cotton or bamboo fabric. While these bedding sets can be a bit pricey, they are available and easy to find at most department stores.

· It is time to get rid of the old drapes, curtains, and shades. Replace them with untreated wood blinds or organic fabric shades. Make sure that you include organic fiber when planning your green interior decoration design. Do not use anything on your windows that has been treated. Doing this not only looks great but it also eliminated dust mites and allergens from your bedroom.

· Even your paint must be eco friendly. Every color that you could want to redecorate your bedroom with is available in paint that is green friendly. Traditional paint can interfere with the air quality of your home because it is filled with toxins. This paint can actually be dangerous for as long as five years so always choose paint that has no VOC's. You can also select a paint that is all natural for the same effect.

· Select the lighting for your bedroom based on the style that you like and what will go well with your decor. If your light selection includes a lamp shade then make sure that it is eco friendly and made of organic materials. …

Interior Design Software Benefits

A wide array of major companies offer interior design software. The design software will help a consumer to automatically plan out the room and view the income and never have to leave their home or office. An investment in three-dimensional software will make the designing experience much more realistic. It's true to real life.

With interior design software, the consumer is not limited to simply selecting paint colors. These software programs will allow the user to place furniture throughout the virtual room. Additionally, the consumer is not limited to just one room for the design process. Any good software program is set up to allow a number of rooms to be designed all at once.

Interior Design Software: How Much Will It Cost?

Interior design software comes in a wide range of price tags. Prices may range anywhere from as low as $ 30 to as high as $ 500. But it's important to be aware of quality in addition to the price when making the purchase. A less expensive software program, obviously, will not offer as many features as a more expensive one. However, if the consumer is not in need of a high-tech program, then saving money by going with one that offers less may be fine.

When selecting the interior design software that is just right for you, take the time to consider the task at hand before making your purchase. Since the different levels of programs could be overwhelming at first, be careful about purchasing one that is beyond what is needed. The different levels of software may include an architectural series, a pro series, and a home series. Another thing to consider when purchasing is whether or not the software is compatible with your particular home computer. If you purchase a software program that is too advanced for your home computer you will be frustrated indeed.

When shopping for a software program that offers excellent quality in interior design consider looking into the Better Homes and Gardens software. The programs offered through this company have been found to be of exceptional quality. They boast many excellent features such as three dimensional viewing, multi-room design capability, and accurately scaled floor plans. Another viable choice for your software is offered by Chief Architect. Each of these companies offer programs that make designing simple for the home enthusiast as well as the professional designer.

Interior Design has benefited greatly by the addition of easy-to-use software. Choosing an interior design software program will turn designing into a fun adventure for any individual. No matter your skill level, you can undertake that long awaited home project today after purchasing interior design software. …