Easy Home Decorating Tips to Welcome Spring in Style

The new year is in full swing and the long winter is beginning to thaw around the edges. It’s time to propel your home into the next season, too! Just by switching out some old things and bringing in the new, you can use these home decorating tips to get your home blooming for spring:


Living room decorating ideas

  • Brighten up your neutral sofa by adding some colorful pillows or buying couch covers in bold statement fabrics.
  • Change out heavy or dark draperies with something sheer and lightweight.
  • Rearrange the furniture; try shifting the focus away from the fireplace and make a large window or a piece of artwork your new focal point.

Bedroom decorating ideas

  • Swap out your duvet cover and bed linens for ones in bright new colors.
  • Spray your clean sheets with a floral-scented linen spray; the aroma is relaxing and reminiscent of a spring garden.
  • Switch out the dark frames around your family photos with white or lightly colored ones. Choosing a single shade will unify your group of photos.

Dining room decorating ideas

  • Give your table a facelift by adding some colorful placemats or dishware.
  • Hang a large mirror on the wall—it will instantly spread light to brighten up the room and make it appear larger.
  • Keep spring alive all season by keeping fresh flowers on the table and by decorating with anything that makes you think of spring: leaves, painted birdcages, dragonflies, etc.

Want even more ideas? Stop by our Lake Linganore community and walk through our beautiful model home.

2018 New Year’s Resolutions for your Home

The holiday chaos is finally over and many of us are hungry for a change and fresh start. A new year is the perfect place to start new habits and routines to live your life to the fullest. Don’t stop with healthy eating and more exercise- home improvement and care is just as important! Here are a few New Year’s resolutions for your home:

Get Healthy: What better way to get healthy than adding a garden or planting a fruit tree? Start small and see what happens. A window box filled with fresh herbs is a fun and easy way to give you a test run.  Make sure to involve the kids- they will be more likely to eat it if they grow it!

Remove Excess: Put your house on a diet by getting rid of the junk! Take a good, hard look at the things you own, recall the last time you used them, the likelihood that you will use them within the next 6 months and the value that they bring to your life and your home. If you find items that haven’t been used in ages, put them in a pile and let them go! This practice is simple, yet life-changing when you experience the mental space that is cleared up by simply decluttering.

Get Safe: Help ensure your family’s safety by making sure your home is equipped with functioning smoke detectors, a carbon monoxide detector and a radon detector (usually available for under $20). Check all door and window locks as well as fencing and gates to make sure everything is in good working order.

Freshen Up: Take advantage of the recent sales and replace your dingy old blankets, bedspreads, sheets, and towels with new ones. While you’re at it, give your home a nice deep clean Who says you have to wait for spring?

Get Social: Now that your home is de-cluttered, fresh, and clean, call up your friends and do some entertaining! Have your neighbors over for coffee or friends and family over for dinner and catch up. Plus, if you know anyone looking for a new home, invite them the check out Ryan Legacy Builders!


Are you Ready to go from Renter to Homeowner?

The time is now! Have you been drawing an interest to local real estate lately, but feel hesitant to make the leap from renter to homeowner? Take advantage of interest rates while they are still low!

Here are some signs that may indicate that you are more ready than you think-

  1. You have a secure job. You’re getting good feedback and reviews from co-workers. Your employer is in a solid position and may even be growing. If you like your job and  see your future there, you have the job security that’s important when making a mortgage commitment.
  2. Your credit is good. A good FICO score is considered to be 700 or higher. However, you can get a loan with a lower credit score, as long as your debt-to-income ratio is within an acceptable range. The higher your credit score, the better you will do in terms of how much you can borrow and at what rate. Talk to a lender about a mortgage pre-approval. A lender can also give you suggestions on how to raise your credit score to help your qualification.
  3. You’ve been paying your rent on time for years. Making a monthly payment on time shows that you are responsible. This also shows that you’r used to committing a sizable sum each month to your living expenses. Your monthly mortgage payment could be less each month than your rent. This should give you confidence that you can handle it.
  4. You know what you want in a Home. You’re becoming more aware of home designs and exploring local neighborhoods. You’re starting to envision yourself as a homeowner instead of seeing it as a distant reality. You’re excited to get rid of roommates (or parents) and that excites you.

You’ll never know if you’re ready to buy a home if you don’t make the move!

Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers

12 Months Out:

  • Check your Credit Score: The 3 credit bureaus are each required to give you a free credit report once a year.
  • Determine How Much You Can Afford: Talk to a Lender. Lenders will need to know your debt-to-income-ratio.
  • Make a Down Payment Plan: Narrow down how much money you want to put down and what type of financing options you have (conventional loan, FHA, etc.)

9 Months Out:

  • Prioritize What you Want Most in your Home: What’s most important in your new home? A Big Backyard? Proximity to Work? Amenities? An Open Floor Plan?
  • Research Neighborhoods and Start Visiting Open Houses: Start getting an idea of what kind of homes are in your price range and what neighborhoods appeal the most. This is where the fun begins!

6 Months Out:

  • Collect Your Loan Paperwork:
    • W-2 Forms
    • Personal Tax Returns for the past 2-3 Years
    • Recent Pay Stubs
    • Credit Card and all Loan Statements
    • Bank Statements
    • Previous Addresses
    • Retirement Account Statements, such as 401k

3 Months Out:

  • Get Pre-Approved For Your Loan: Start working with a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
  • Start Shopping for Your New Home: Now that you are pre-approved, start targeting homes that meet your priorities and price range. 

2 Months Out:

  • Make an Offer on a Home: If you are purchasing a pre-existing home, it usually takes   approximately 60 days to close. If you are purchasing a new construction home that needs to be built, it usually takes approximately 6-10 months.

The Final Month:

  • Triple-Check that all of your Financial Documents are in Order and Review all Lending Documents Before Closing: You’re in the Home Stretch!
  • Get Insurance for your New Home: You’ll need to bring proof of insurance to closing.
  • Final Walk-Through
  • Get A Cashiers Check or Bank Wire for Cash Needed at Closing: Make sure you get an exact amount of cash needed for closing. You’ll get that number a few days before closing so you can secure a cashier’s check or arrange to have the money wired. Regular checks aren’t accepted.

Last Step- Enjoy Your New Home! Congratulations 🙂




Bring on the Blossoms

TOP TEN Picks for Flowering Shrubs

Start the season with a beautiful display of spring-flowering shrubs. Flowering Shrubs not only bring beautiful blossoms to your garden in the spring, but they carry on giving well into the Fall season and beyond. Blossoming shrubs offer the full package: attractive foliage, garden structure, and beautiful blooms draw you in without needing a lot of maintenance in return. Here are ten choices with outstanding spring and summer blooms.

1. Rhododendron: These flowers have long been mainstays of late spring because of their spectacular clusters of showy blooms, plus their large green leaves that often stay green throughout winter.  Tubular, or bell-shaped flowers- and often fragrant. These shrubs prefer climates with adequate rainfall and moist summers.

2. Rose: America’s official Floral Emblem comes in many forms, sizes and flower colors, with some being very disease-resistant as well. Selections can be found to grow in almost every climate!

3. Hydrangea: With their cotton candy-colored blooms and ability to take the shade, hydrangeas are one of the most beautiful summer-flowering shrubs. Hydrangeas, which come in types that can flourish in sun or shade, offer huge bouquets of clustered flowers, in various arrangements from mop-head to lacecap from summer through fall.

4. Forsythia: The forsythia is a fast-growing, hardy shrub that blooms early—providing a sunny sight before the rest of the landscape greens up. Forsythias make an excellent choice for those wanting a fast-growing flowering hedge.

5. Flowering Quine: Flowering quince is often the first shrub to bloom in early spring, with its apple-blossom-like flowers that attract hummingbirds standing out among bare branches like a beacon of the season.

6. Bridal Wreath Spiraea: In full bloom a bridal wreath spirea looks like a fountain, pouring clusters of white flowers all the way down its arching canes in spring, often before the leaves appear. When cut, those canes can easily be shaped into bridal headdresses, explaining their name.

7. Common Lilac: With a delicious, heady fragrance that attracts birds and butterflies, and abundant panicles of white or purple flowers, lilacs are one of the most popular flowering shrubs for good reason. Size varies by variety, but most are upright-growing to at least 10 feet tall by 6 feet wide.

8. Deutzia: Tiny but powerful white or pink blossoms light up the spring. They are used as garden shrubs, and the smaller varieties can be grown as ground covers or in containers. You’ll plant it for spring blooms, but will be thrilled by its red fall color.

9. Weigela: This old-fashioned shrub has attracted new fans in recent years with recent breeding of unusual leaf colors or variegation. Trumpet-shape spring blooms, usually in some shade of pink, white, or red, just add to the excitement.

10. Viburnum: These shrubs are diverse in shape and foliage, but all have something special to contribute to the landscape, whether with awesome autumn color, fragrant blooms, or clusters of colorful fruits that beckon flocks of overwintering birds.