The Mitchell Team's Blog
The Pantone Color Institute has a certain knack. The design company gets a feel for the mood of the year to come, and shapes design trends to match it.
It takes cues from new kinds of materials we use. It considers our social media platforms, upcoming sports events and the sights and sounds that receive international attention. Pantone has selected a color each year for more than 20 years.
For the Start of a New Decade, Pantone Picked Classic Blue
Classic Blue has a timeless and universal appeal. It's a shade of azure that brings to mind a calm, expansive marine horizon or an afternoon sky. Or perhaps bright tiles, crafted by artisans of Mediterranean and semi-tropical climes.
Classic Blue is a primary color with an approachable feel. It has a reassuring presence. That's exactly what Pantone was going for in 2020.
The 2020 Color of the Year Is Refreshing Yet Traditional
Beautiful interior touches in Classic Blue evoke calm and connection, and a sense of the enduring as we pass the 2020 milestone.
Silver and white accents make blue feel clean and attractive, simple yet elegant. Blue brings a sense of peace, clarity and tranquility to a home, fostering relaxed interactions.
No matter whether you avoid or embrace smart home technology, your can create space in your home for the "true blue" we trust.
Especially If You're Selling in 2020, Classic Blue Is Perfect for Adding Timely Flair
Think gentle off-white for bathroom wall sconces or a sink or tub, framed by blue-and-white mosaic tiles.
Imagine a blue wall setting off a bright, polished-nickel kitchen faucet. Kitchen border tiles or mosaic tile flooring in blues, whites and golds evoke the long sunny days of a youthful summer.
You Don't Need to Spend a Lot on Renovations
Classic Blue makes for striking accents even in small touches. It might inspire your choice of bowls to place atop a crisp, white kitchen shelf. Use blue ceramic coasters on a white, black or gold table. Or paint the door in Classic Blue, adding bright contrast to the entryway against a white exterior.
In an era of conflicting ideas and rapid changes, blue brings a sense of dependability that naturally pleases guests and puts home buyers at ease.
Choose Classic Hues to Sell Your Home This Year
When Pantone chooses its annual Color of the Year, a variety of industries showcase that hue: interior decorating, travel, filmmaking, manufacturing, marketing, packaging and graphic design. Tap into the mood of today when thinking about accents and updates.
Ready to get your home looking great for selling this year? Contact us for more tips!
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For a first-time homebuyer, it is important to realize that a home seller's acceptance of your initial offer provides no guarantees. In fact, a homebuyer will still need to complete a home inspection before a home sale is finalized.
A home inspection is a valuable opportunity to learn about any potential issues with a house. After the inspection is finished, a homebuyer has the opportunity to submit a counter-proposal, rescind a proposal or keep his or her current offer intact.
Ultimately, hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. With an expert home inspector at your side, a homebuyer can gain insights into a house's pros and cons and determine whether a house is a viable long-term investment.
So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer do just that.
1. Conduct an Extensive Search
Search far and wide for a home inspector – you'll be glad you did. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to locate a skilled home inspector in your area, you can boost your chances of identifying potential home problems before you complete a home purchase.
A first-time homebuyer can begin a search for an expert home inspector online. A simple web search is sure to provide plenty of results, and a homebuyer then can perform an in-depth review of local home inspectors' credentials.
Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask family members and friends for assistance. If a loved one recently sold a house and had a great experience with a home inspector, it may be worthwhile to hire this same professional to perform your home inspection.
2. Look at a Home Inspector's Background
How many years of industry experience does a home inspector have? What are past clients saying about a home inspector? And how does a home inspector approach each job? These are some of the questions that a first-time homebuyer should consider as he or she assesses a home inspector's background.
In addition, a homebuyer can always reach out to a home inspector directly to learn more about this professional's experience. A face-to-face or phone conversation with a home inspector may require only a few minutes to complete and can help a homebuyer make an informed decision.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can help you discover your dream house as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. As a result, this housing market professional will ensure you can purchase a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.
If you're uncertain about whether to hire a particular home inspector, it never hurts to consult with a real estate agent. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased tips to determine whether a home inspector is the right person to evaluate your residence.
Employ the best home inspector prior to completing your home purchase – use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer should have no trouble hiring a superior home inspector.
Part of buying a home is researching the market and your finances. Most lenders require you to put at least 20 percent down or pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). Since PMI is a cost that does not lower your interest rate or principal, it’s almost always better to save up that hefty down payment. Lenders charge PMI to cover some of their risk if you do not put the 20 percent down to create equity. Conventional loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac always require PMI if you do not put 20 percent down.
In some cases, you could avoid PMI by taking out a special loan or a VA loan. VA loans are only available to veterans, but require very little down or even zero down. The VA doesn’t actually give you the loan—it insures your loan against default. Conventional loans not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac often have higher interest rates. These two programs are also government-insured loans.
Other reasons to avoid paying PMI include:
Tax laws change every year. As of 2017, PMI was no longer deductible, which means that you lose that offset.
The lender is the only beneficiary. If you should die before your loan is paid off, it will pay only the lender and only for the balance on the home.
You pay PMI until the equity on your home reaches 20 percent. If the market was good when you bought the home, but it tanks a couple of years later, you could be stuck paying PMI for many years.
Some lenders require you to pay PMI even after the equity in your home reaches 20 percent. If you do have to take PMI, always read the fine print.
Finally, PMI is difficult to cancel. You will need to write a letter to your lender to cancel the PMI. Until you hear from the lender, you will be stuck paying those premiums every month.
PMI ranges from .5 percent to 1 percent of the amount you borrowed paid out in equal monthly payments every year. Thus, a loan amount of $200,000 could have a $2,000 per year PMI premium, which is about $167 per month added to your mortgage payment until the lender agrees to cancel the premiums.
Saving the Down Payment
In addition to saving for a down payment, you may qualify for some down payment assistance programs such as the first-time home buyer’s program. These programs help you get that 20 percent so that you do not have to pay PMI. If you have a retirement account, you may be able to use money from that account to help with a down payment.
Though it may seem painful to pay such a large chunk of money, it saves you from paying insurance premiums and it lowers the cost of the loan since you don’t pay interest on the down payment and it is applied to the principal.