New Look For Your Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchens sell houses. So having a great looking kitchen is important if you are thinking of putting your home on the market or maybe you just need a fresh new look. Cabinets are one of the biggest expenses in a kitchen remodel but with a little elbow grease and creativity, you can update your kitchen cabinets without going through the hassle of an entire remodel.

Here are some tips on how to make your kitchen look like new with a cabinet facelift.

Give the wood a Good Cleaning

You will be surprised what a good scrubbing can do. Heat, water, grease and food residue all take a serious toll on your cabinets.

  • If you choose to remove the doors, label or number them so you’ll put them back in the right place.
  • Make sure to test any kind of cleaner before using it on the entire cabinet. Cleaners with large amounts of alcohol may cause the wood to dry and crack.
  • Clean and Update the Hardware

    Hardware gets greasy and grimy so make sure to clean those too.

  • Soak the hardware in a soapy-water solution for 30 minutes.
  • Scrub lightly with a soft brush and rinse.
  • Let dry and apply the proper polish.
  • You may decide instead to replace the hardware. In choosing the finish for your hardware, think about what style will look best in your home.

    Add Some Detail

    Add some detail to drab cabinets with moulding. Applying a contrasting finish or color is a quick and inexpensive way to change the look of your cabinets.

    Stripping and Refinishing

    If after cleaning your cabinets still need some help, you may decide to refinish or paint them

  • Make sure to remove all the cabinet doors and number them.
  • Liquid strippers work best, but be sure to use the gel or semi-paste types.
  • Place doors on a vertical surface. The finish won’t drip as much.
  • Let the stripping agent do the work and start with an inconspicuous area.
  • Patch any conspicuous holes, scratches and nicks with wood filler. When dry, sand lightly to smooth out the patch. Before painting, sand lightly and prime.
  • Before painting remember that the wood expands and contracts with the seasons, which will cause the paint bead to separate and expose unpainted wood.

    So with a little hard work you can have a whole new look to your kitchen in no time.

  • What You Need to Know: Jumbo Loans

    Are you looking to buy a bigger home? If you are looking to make the move a jumbo mortgage might be right for you.

    A jumbo mortgage is a home loan with an amount that exceeds conforming loan limits set by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) or better known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Currently, the loan limit is $417,000 in most parts of the United States, but can increase to $625,500 in the higher cost areas. OFHEO sets the conforming loan limit size on an annual basis.

    Jumbo loans have slightly higher interest rates because they carry more credit risk.

    Cutting Costs for Retirees

    Retirement can be expensive. Transitioning from a steady income to living on a fixed one can be difficult. If you are nearing or currently in retirement there are some ways to stay within budget and reduce your spending.  Here are some tips to help reduce your retirement expenses:

    Have a Budget

    The most important and crucial first step is to create and stay within a budget. Over the course of a few months track and review all of your spending habits. Track things like food, housing, utilities, entertainment, etc. and create categories of spending. Analyze how you are spending money and if needed make adjustments to stay within budget.

    Manage Your Costs

    If you need to reduce your spending there are some easy ways to accomplish that. Try using coupons, shopping for store brands and even buying in bulk. If you have too much of a bulk item try splitting with a friend. Look for free entertainment in your area  at the local library or senior center. Take advantage of shopping senior discounts. Many stores have certain days or hours when seniors receive a special shopping discount.

    It may also be possible to lower household costs such as electricity, and water by negotiating with your utility company. They may even offer a senior citizens or income discount. Talk to family members about family cell phone plan to help reduce costs too.

    Manage Your Medication

    Health care costs are a big concern for seniors.  Talk with your health care provider about any generic medications available. Generic medications are often much less expensive. Don’t be afraid to shop around, prescription and medicine prices are not the same at every store.

    Most of all continuously review your budget and spending to make sure you are staying on track.

    Is It Time To Move?

    Remember how excited, happy and nervous you felt days before you moved into your current home? It was the perfect house, meeting you and your family’s needs. Hard to believe several years have passed since then. It may also be hard to believe that you’re actually considering moving into another house. But, moving just might be the right option.

    Makeup of a new city – Face it. You felt more curious, connected and happy when you visited a relative or friend at their home in another city. Culture, vibe, entertainment options and natural landscapes in the new area appeal to you. Moving to a new city might be just what you need to feel revitalized. Before you move to a new city, stay in the city for at least a week, this time without visiting family. It’s a good way to learn more about the city and find out if you really want to move.

    Neighborhood changes – If crime in your neighborhood has increased, adding another lock on your house doors and windows may not be the best option. Instead, it may be time to move to a better, less crime ridden, city. Argumentative neighbors, an increase in untrained neighborhood pets and congested traffic are other reasons why moving may be a good option.

    Family Size – Adult children leaving home to embark on their own could cause your house to feel too big. After your adult children leave, you may also desire to relocate and move closer to your siblings or parents. Similar to empty nesting, plans to have children could inspire a move. Infants and toddlers becoming teenagers may require added privacy or the need for growing children to have their own bedroom instead of sharing a room with one to two siblings.

    Marital status – Get married, separated or divorced and you may not have much of a choice as to whether or not you’ll move to a new home. The move could help you to accept other transitions that your marital status change brings into your life. Moving into a new house may also help you to feel empowered, certain that you can thrive on your own or with your new spouse.

    Career – Opportunity to work a better job in another city or neighborhood may inspire a move. These career opportunities could come through a company led relocation, market shifts or a job search. Moving to a new area could also introduce you to employers, new clients you could support as an independent contractor, franchise or government agency work opportunities that you were previously unaware of.

    Your current house itself may also be a reason to move. The number of home repairs required to keep your house in good condition may have increased, possibly even doubling, since you bought the house. Construction or local zoning laws may have had a negative impact on sewage and water sources where you live. These are times when moving may be a good option.