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November
21

Home for the Holidays: Tips for Buying a Home During the Holiday Season

Buying a Home During the Holidays

While real estate markets typically slow down during the holiday season, there will always be individuals who need to sell their homes. This means that potential homebuyers have a unique opportunity to locate and purchase a home. If you're planning on buying a home this holiday season, our real estate agents recommend following these tips. 

  • Understand That the Process Might Take Longer
    Many people take time off or travel during the holiday season, so the process will likely take a little longer. It might take a few more days to schedule a showing if a home seller is hosting a holiday gathering, or it may take longer to schedule a home inspection or secure preapproval for your loan. Be patient and know that longer-than-expected response times don't necessarily mean that something is amiss or that your deal is in danger of falling through. 
  • Take Advantage of Your Ability to Negotiate
    Since winter is a less popular time to purchase a home, home sellers may be more likely to negotiate on the price or terms of your home purchase. Private sellers likely have a good reason for their selling their home during a period that's usually sluggish; this means that they're likely to be motivated to make a deal. Home builders often want to get rid of unsold properties before they close their books for the year and may be more likely to negotiate the price or perks for the property. 
  • Watch Interest Rates
    Interest rates tend to be lower throughout the holiday season because fewer people are purchasing homes. This means that you can secure a lower rate that will help you save thousands of dollars over the life of your home loan. 
  • Test the Home's Systems
    Winter temperatures offer an excellent opportunity to confirm that all of the systems are working in a home. You'll have a chance to see how the home's plumbing and heating systems are functioning during cooler temperatures. 
  • Use Home Costs to Lower Your Tax Bill
    If you close on your home purchase before December 31st and itemize your tax deduction, this gives you a fantastic opportunity to lower your tax bill for the year. Expenses associated with purchasing your home, like property taxes, mortgage interest, and loan costs, can be deducted from your tax return. 
  • Take Advantage of Time Off Work
    Many companies close during the holiday season or encourage employees to take time off; if you find yourself with a swath of free time, this gives you an excellent chance to work on the tasks you need to complete to purchase a new home. You'll have ample time to shop for a mortgage with different lenders to make sure you get the best loan terms and to thoroughly explore the communities where potential homes are located. Once you tackle your holiday chores, use any remaining free time to assist you with your goal of purchasing a home. 

With a little planning, the holidays can be a terrific time to purchase your next home. And our agents are here to help every step of the way! Contact us today to get started, and let us help you find the perfect home this holiday season.

    September
    2

    Happy Cat Month: Tips for Hiding Your Cat's Litter Box

    Litter Box Tips

    September is officially Happy Cat Month, so take some extra time to appreciate your feline friend. Cats make wonderful pets, but there's one part of cat ownership that everyone dislikes - the litter box. Its appearance isn't attractive, and no one wants to have its odor or the sounds of a cat scratching away in the box invading your home's common areas.
      
    With a few tools, some time, and a little bit of effort, you can hide your cat's litter box while still leaving it easily accessible for them. Check out these tips to help make your cat's litter box out of sight and out of mind.

    Drape Fabric Around an End Table 
    Hiding your cat's litter box by draping fabric around an end table is a relatively simple project that requires just a few supplies as shown on the Dimples and Tangles blog. You'll need a small end table that easily fits over the litter box. Sew a hem into your fabric, but if you don't sew, you can use fusible hem tape. By using hot glue to make the fabric adhere to the table, you can create a nice, private spot for your cat's litter box.

    Transform a Bench  
    A bench can be used not only as a handy place to sit as you put your shoes on, but it can also help hide a litter box, according to Offbeat Home & Life. Start by cutting a hole at each end of the bench and sanding the edges. Cover the box with wallpaper if you'd like to change its look, and add black bar mats to the inside of this area to help your kitties clean litter off of their paws before venturing out into your home.

    Conceal it in a Cabinet
    The Homebody House explains how to stash your cat's litter box in an IKEA cabinet or one that's similarly inexpensive. Use a cabinet that fits your allotted space and has plenty of room inside for a litter box as well as other essential items. You'll need a drill and jigsaw to cut a hole for a cat door on one side of the cabinet's panels.

    After installing the cat door, use an upper shelf inside the cabinet to store cat food and some plastic trash bags for scooping and disposing of litter. Hang a clear suction hook on the door to hold the pooper scooper, and you've not only got a great place to hide the litter box, but also a place to store your cat's essentials.

    Make Use of Extra Space
    After rejecting spaces such as the laundry room when they were trying to figure out a place to put their cat's litter box, Mary Olstyn of Owlhaven and her husband John found the perfect solution in their home. Her husband cut a small door in the wall under the stairs that led to an under-the-stairs closet. This served as an entrance and exit for their cat, who not only had a spot for a litter box but also a quiet haven and place to escape.

    Especially consider these tips if you're planning on listing your home! 

    Looking for a new home that's the cat's meow? Contact us  and we'll help you find the ideal home for you as well as your pets! 

    August
    11

    Back-to-School Home Organization Tips

    With the start of the school year upon most of us, now's a great time to talk home organization! Kids resuming their studies often results in a flurry of backpacks, textbooks, and various other school supplies that can quickly leave your home in a stressful state of disarray. Here are some airtight back-to-school home organization tips you can use to corral the chaos.

    Create a Front-Door Storage Space

    Give your kids a dedicated storage space where they can drop their bookbags and other essentials as soon as they come in the door. Hang a few wall hooks or utilize existing closet space near the front door to prevent a mess of items being left in the entryway.

    Build a Homework Station

    Tired of papers and pencils taking over your kitchen table each night? Build your kids a dedicated homework station! Give them a dedicated desk with organized supplies – understand their needs and then stage the space around them.

    Prepare Your Laundry Room

    Kids and dirty clothes go together like macaroni and cheese, especially during the school year. As school clothes, sports uniforms, and more pile up, having a tidy and organized laundry room will help you stay ahead. Provide dedicated laundry bins (you can even label for darks and lights) for your kids' clothes so you don't have to go digging for long-lost dirty socks, then put the clean clothes back in the same bins for your kids to take.

    Operate a Command Center

    Ideally, your command center should be in a central location, like the kitchen or dining room. Keep everyone on the same page with a calendar, bulletin board, or even a dry erase board where you can write the day's events and other messages for the entire family to see.

    Set Alarms to Run a Tight Ship

    Perpetually running late? Try setting alarms as reminders that go off at set intervals each morning. 10 minutes until breakfast, 5 minutes until the bus arrives – whatever works within your morning routine.

    Create Good Organization Habits

    One key to back-to-school home organization is getting your kids on board with the goal of staying in order. Try printing out an organization binder, like this free one, that your kid can use to start developing strong habits.

    Store School Supplies Smartly

    Often times, good organization is the result of thrifty thinking. Repurpose over-the-door shoe hangers to hold paper and notebooks and put unused muffin trays to work as miniature storage bins for easy-to-lose supplies like sticky notes and paper clips. There's no one-size-fits-all solution for home organization, so use whatever you have to make it work for you!

    Stay on Top of Chores

    Chores can easily fall off your radar during the school year. But you still need your child's help to keep the house running smoothly, and that means keeping track of chores even when things are hectic. Try a printable after-school chore checklist like this one to make this task easier on everyone.      

    Prepare Breakfast & Lunch in Advance

    Just getting the kids out the door each morning can feel like a monumental undertaking. Ensuring they're fed only makes that task more daunting. That's why you should try to prepare breakfast and lunch items in advance. There are dozens of cold lunch ideas you can make ahead of time, and you can't go wrong with a pre-made frozen breakfast sandwich. You only need a couple hours each weekend to make these tasty and nutritious meals – it will save you precious time each weekday!  

    July
    28

    What Style of Home Are You?

    Have you ever wondered what style of house represents your personality? There are so many home types to choose from, you should know which one fits you best! Take a look at these five popular home styles to get an idea for the aesthetic and functionality that match your unique personality when you're ready to purchase your next home.

    Craftsman

    Born out of the American Craftsman movement between 1900 and 1929, these homes were fashioned as a counterculture crusade against ornate, Victorian style to express handcrafted detail and humble living. Typical features include front porches supported by two thick columns, exposed beams, one story, low roofing, stucco accents and Earth-toned colors.

    If you have an affinity for Craftsman style, you probably are a homebody who enjoys crafting or working with your hands. You may also love having a small garden or compost pile in your yard. You probably enjoy a warm cup of tea and reading in cozy rooms by a warm hearth.  

    Midcentury Modern

    Characterized by clean and simple lines, integration with nature, and honest materials, midcentury has made a significant comeback in recent years. Indicative of the 1950s and 60s, it takes influence from Scandinavian design, with function and form at its core.

    Typically, these homes are one-story ranch homes with small elevation changes, open-concept layouts, and have unique nature-inspired details like indoor atriums and wood paneling.

    If you love midcentury, you probably enjoy the artistic aspects of home design coupled with entertaining friends and family with classy cocktails and appetizers amid the sounds of a good vinyl record.

    Contemporary

    Contemporary simply means "of the current time." Innovative and looking toward the future, these homes change features with current needs, trends, and styles. So, in keeping with the right-now, these homes mix styles but add eco-friendly features and smart-home capabilities.

    If these homes are your thing, you probably like less maintenance, more convenience, and cleanliness. You may gravitate toward industrial loft spaces and condos with little-to-no yard work for your busy, efficient personality. You probably have a small dog you can carry around with you anywhere, too. 

    Mediterranean

    Popular in Florida and the Southwest, Mediterranean-style homes include everything from Tuscan to Spanish to Mission Revival. Features include symmetry with rounded archways, columns, clay tile roofing, white stucco exterior, metal ironwork on gates or windows, beige interiors, and large kitchens. Oftentimes, a pool, a fountain or courtyard adorn the landscape.

    This style of home is perfect for those who love to host their big families and friends from the heart of the home – the kitchen. If you love this style, you have a bit of a dramatic side, you're low maintenance, and you love relaxing by the pool like a Hollywood movie star.  

    Beach Cottage

    As a Florida brokerage, we know a thing or two about beach homes and the people who love them. Inspired by the Cape Cod homes of New England, these homes are built in the cottage style with cedar or shaker siding to weather the saltiest of sea air, high winds, and humidity.

    If you love a beach home, you welcome lots of natural light, simple décor in whites and blue hues to match the landscape, and most importantly – direct access to the ocean. You simply cannot be landlocked, you may own a boat, and you probably make (or at least enjoy eating) a killer key lime pie.

    Now that you know the most popular home styles in our area, and which one fits you best, give our Watson agents a call to help you find your perfect match today.

    May
    26

    How to Start Your First Compost Pile

    Composting Tips

    If you're looking for a new home, one thing you may be thinking about is gardening and landscaping. Many homes have plenty of yard space for growing plants. You may want a home with room for something else, too: a compost pile. If you've never had one before, they're a great tool for anyone with a green thumb. Here's how to start your first compost pile.

    How Does Composting Work?

    An estimated 30-40% of the food supply in this country becomes food waste. Composting takes those leftover scraps, breaks them down, and turns them into a nutrient-rich substance that, when added to soil, facilitates plant growth, from flowers to trees to vegetables and more.

    Turning organic matter into compost requires water, air, and microorganisms. Microorganisms can take the form of bacteria and fungi, as well as earthworms and certain bugs. You also need organic matter that's rich in carbon (brown materials) and organic matter that's rich in nitrogen (green materials). The water and air help the microorganisms to decompose carbon and nitrogen in the plant matter. Those elements then act as nutrients to help future plants grow.

    What Can and Can't Be Composted

    Food waste isn't the only thing that can go into a compost pile. You can also use twigs and leaves that come from raking the yard and the clippings from mowing the lawn.

    However, some things shouldn't be composted. Meat, dairy, oils, and fats can attract local wildlife. Don't compost animal waste either. You can compost wood ash, but not coal ash or charcoal. Finally, don't compost weeds, or plants with diseases, as they can cause problems for whatever you try to grow next.

    Building Your Compost Pile

    Find a large, open area in your yard that's level and allows for good water drainage. If water pools up, it can ruin your compost. Next, build a wooden enclosure around the area - four sides, but no floor. Clear out any grass in that area as well, so the pile sits directly on the dirt. Build a door or panel into one side that can be opened, allowing access to your compost.

    Once you've built the enclosure, it's time to add your scraps. This requires a bit of planning. Your compost pile should consist of even layers of alternating brown and green materials, starting with brown.

    Brown materials are "dry" items, such as dry leaves, branches, wood chips, and pine needles. Green is the "wet" materials - food scraps, grass clippings, green leaves, etc. Your pile should be approximately 2/3 brown to 1/3 green.

    Maintaining Your Compost Pile

    Your compost pile should be watered and turned regularly. Give it light water every day or two as needed to keep the pile damp but not saturated. If you squeeze the dirt and water flows out, it's too wet.

    Turning the pile keeps it aerated, so it decomposes better. Stick a shovel or pitchfork into the pile and turn it over, mixing up the various materials. Do this every two weeks or so.

    Once it's ready, take the compost from the bottom of the pile and add it to the dirt of whatever you're growing.

    We can help you find the perfect house to create your compost pile and grow beautiful gardens and landscaping that any homeowner would be proud of. Contact us to learn more!

    April
    1

    7 Things to Avoid When Getting Ready to List Your Home

    Watson List Your Home

    Listing your home for sale can be overwhelming, especially if it's your first time. One of the best ways to sell your home quickly and increase your sale price is through proper home staging. Home staging is both an art and a science and often takes a good bit of experience to pull it off just right. Our real estate agents are experts at home staging and are always willing to offer tips to help you through the process.

    If you're planning to put your home on the market in the near future, you'll want to make sure to avoid these mistakes.

    Personalization
    When it comes to getting your home ready for the market, the goal is to create an environment that enables potential buyers to see themselves living in the home. This means keeping things as neutral as possible. Remove pictures, abstract art, bright colors, knick-knacks, or anything that reminds your potential buyer that you're currently living in the space.

    Keeping Pets Around 
    Who doesn't love pets? Many potential homebuyers don't. Whether it's allergies or just personal preference, pets aren't for everyone, so be sure to keep their presence to a minimum during showings or open houses. Be sure to vacuum up any fur and keep all bowls and toys out of sight. 

    Forgetting To Clean
    An essential part of the home staging process is deep cleaning. This type of cleaning goes far beyond sweeping the floors and dusting. You'll need to make every corner of your home ready to impress! This includes the ceiling, windows, baseboards, blinds, carpets, and furniture. First impressions are everything, so you want to be sure potential buyers are walking into a spotless home. 

    Dark Spaces
    The golden rule of home staging: let there be light! Light exposure makes rooms look bigger and brighter. If a particular room doesn't have a lot of windows or doesn't receive much sunlight, buy extra lamps or artificial lighting. You want every room of your house to be bright and welcoming. 

    Ignoring The Bedrooms
    Many sellers make kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms a priority during the home-selling process, but it's important not to forget about the bedrooms. The bedroom is where homeowners spend a lot of their time, so it's important to create a clean, relaxing look. Make sure bedding is fresh and clean. Adding some decorative pillows and throw blankets doesn't hurt either. 

    Stuffing Your Closets
    Cramming everything into your closets might make rooms look less cluttered, but this strategy can actually backfire. Jam-packed closets can actually make your storage space appear smaller. The key to making closet space appear larger is to keep them about half full.

    Outdated Appliances
    If your kitchen is living in the past, you may want to consider upgrading your appliances. Replacing an old refrigerator or dishwasher will not only help make your kitchen stand out among other Jacksonville homes for sale, but it will also be a major selling point for potential buyers. Because the kitchen is the most important room of the house, you may even be able to recoup your costs at the sale price.

    Selling a home can be a challenge, which is why you need an experienced real estate agent in your corner. Contact us today for more tips!

    March
    2

    How to Incorporate Hygge Into Your Home

    If there's one thing we could all take from the lovely people of Denmark, it's the concept of hygge. Pronounced hyoo-ga, hygge encapsulates all that is cozy and comfortable. But beyond the material aspects of hygge, there exists a desire to enjoy life's simple pleasures, to pause and find contentment amidst the chaos of living. What better place to introduce hygge into your life than your house? Here's how to incorporate hygge into your home and create a personal sanctuary.

    Stay Simple

    Bright color schemes might be bold, but they don't exactly align with the goals of hygge. After all, hygge emphasizes the simple pleasures. Keep your space uncluttered and clean and your color scheme neutral. Browns, creams, and similar colors encourage peaceful, relaxing feelings.

    Cozy & Comfortable

    Life is hard, so we should prioritize coziness at all possible opportunities. In your home, that means lots of cozy blankets, fluffy pillows, and feathery comforters. Another great way to incorporate hygge into your home is by creating a cozy nook or corner to which you can retreat when things get a little hectic.

    Aromatherapy

    Further increase the coziness of your space by lighting a few candles. Pick scents that calm you and your candles will serve as a great self-care tool. But it's not just the scent you're after; the soft, radiant light provide the perfect comforting glow.

    Casual Dress Code

    What you wear at home contributes just as much to hygge as the décor. So leave the jeans and dresses in the closet and opt for your coziest pair of sweatpants and fuzzy socks. If you really want to commit, grab yourself a pair of hyggebuksers.

    Let There Be Light

    The gentle glow of candlelight sometimes isn't enough. Open up those curtains, lift the blinds, and let as much natural light in as possible. Those soothing pillars of sunlight become invaluable for comfort in the chilly winter.

    Bring the Outside Inside

    Greenery in the form of plants are a great way to liven up the atmosphere in any room of your home, especially in your cozy nooks. Even if you don't have a great track record of keeping plants alive, you can still capture the ambience of the elements with wood accents in floors, furniture, and other décor pieces.

    Light a Fire

    If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, set a fire to create warmth – an essential piece of the hygge mindset. Few things can improve a relaxing night cuddle up on the couch under layers of blankets like a roaring fire.     

    January
    20

    New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

    Ready to reimagine your kitchen? Or tackle that backyard project? Or maybe you're just finally ready to declutter and reorganize. Perhaps you don't even know what it is you want to do with your house; you just know you want change. Never fear! We've got New Year's resolutions for your home to inspire you.

    Give Your Stuff a Home

    Over the course of a year, we tend to accumulate lots of stuff. If you don't keep a handle on it, you can find your drawers, cabinets, closets, and counters overflowing with heaps of stuff that maybe doesn't belong there. Make it a resolution to give all that homeless stuff a place where it can live comfortably – preferably somewhere neat, tidy, and out of the way. Decluttering in this way not only frees up useful space, it'll make your home feel even roomier than before.

    You'll likely have a lot of stuff that doesn't make the cut after this process. Instead of just tossing it, consider donating it to a local organization that will give it to those in need.

    Restock & Organize Your Pantry & Fridge

    Unless you're hyper-diligent when putting away groceries, chances are you've got a lot of clutter in your pantry, cabinets, fridge, and freezer. Dedicate some time to reorganizing theses pivotal kitchen spaces: sort out the items you'll use/eat from the things you won't, store frequently used items like flour and sugar in airtight containers to minimize the amount of unwieldy bags taking up space, and reorganize what remains in a clean, sensible fashion. It'll make cooking feel like much less of a chore when everything you need is where it should be.

    Make Your Home Safe

    We mean safe in two ways: safe from intruders and safe for yourself.

    First, intruders. If you don't already have one, maybe this is the year to have a security system installed. They're incredibly sophisticated these days, allowing you to control many features remotely from your phone. Pair it with a smart doorbell and cameras and you'll feel safer than ever in your home.

    Speaking of feeling safer in your home, sometimes it's the unseen threats that you should worry about. Invisible invaders like radon and carbon monoxide can endanger everyone living in your home. Check for radon with an inexpensive testing kit from your local hardware store. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every bedroom floor as well to monitor this deadly gas.

    While we're on the topic of unseen threats, have you cleared out your dryer lint lately? Not the relatively paltry amounts caught in the trap inside the dryer, but rather the lint in the vents and ducts behind the machine? With even just a reasonable amount of lint buildup in those areas, you could be looking at a major fire hazard.

    Deep Clean

    New year, fresh start – what better time to give your house a deep, deep clean? Go room to room and scrub, dust, vacuum, wipe, and just generally sanitize every nook and cranny you normally glance over during your regular cleaning sessions.

    Be More Eco-Friendly

    Going green at home doesn't have to mean installing solar panels (though that doesn't hurt). It can happen in smaller but just as impacting ways, like recycling more than just your soda cans. From compost to cardboard and glass to grease, organize your recyclable materials into appropriate bins and dispose of them properly – your local recycling center can help you figure out the best way to approach this.

    Going green can also save you money on your power bill, and who doesn't want that? Seemingly little things like turning the lights off when you're not in the room or cutting off your AC when you're gone can help the environment and your wallet. Installing LED bulbs and low-flow showerheads that use less electricity and water, respectively, are other beneficial ways to save money and the planet.

    December
    18

    How to Make the Most of Your Backyard During Winter

    It's chilly, blustery, and it gets dark as soon as you leave work – yep, it's winter. For many Floridians who view the cold weather as a personal attack, that means spending less time outside until spring's warm touch returns. But if you're determined to get outside despite the chilly weather – especially in your backyard – you can make it happen. Here's how to make the most of your backyard during winter.

    Make it Toasty

    The best way to combat the cold? Heat things up! Install a firepit in your backyard for the ultimate winter hang-out spot where you can roast marshmallows with the family. If a firepit won't work for your yard, add some heat lamps to create a toasty atmosphere.

    Light it Up

    Part of what makes winter hard for some people is the seemingly inescapable darkness. Depending on your schedule, it might be dark when you go to work and dark when you get home. That's why adding lights to the backyard goes a long way towards brightening things up literally and figuratively. You have tons of options, too: LED, solar, path marker, string lights, spotlights, and more.

    Go for Coziness

    Swap out your summer furniture for more winter-appropriate items. Or if you can't, just cozy your usual furniture up! We're talking warm rugs, blankets, pillows, anything that makes you feel safe and snuggly. Do make sure whatever you use is weather-resistant, though, lest your cozy days be ruined by ruined furniture.

    Keep Grilling

    Grilling doesn't have to be a summer-exclusive habit. Especially in Florida where we rarely get truly frosty weather, you should keep grilling all winter long! Wear an extra layer and enjoy the radiant heat from the flame as you flip your burgers.

    Get a Hot Tub

    If you're in a position to, get a hot tub for your backyard! It's an immaculate luxury item, and there's nothing quite as exhilarating as spending an evening soaking in the hot tub on a frigid 32-degree night.

    A Technicolor Makeover

    In addition to installing lighting to raise spirits, adding some color to your backyard surroundings can have a similar effect. Plant some colorful flowers that thrive in the winter, like Japanese quince, pansies, snowdrops, winter jasmines, or cyclamen.

    Decorate for the Holidays

    Hang garland, put up Christmas lights, accessorize your outdoor furniture with wintry color schemes, and more to get your backyard holiday-ready.

    October
    13

    Your Favorite Room in the House Based on Your Zodiac Sun Sign

    Each sign of the zodiac is a unique blend of planetary alignments and elemental influences. This creates a personality that has unique needs, values and preferences – especially when it comes to their home. That's why we've created a list of rooms in the house that suit each sun sign's needs to a T. Here's your favorite room in the house based on your zodiac sign.

    Aries - Home Gym

    Aries Aries needs to be active. There just is no getting around it. Their high-energy, go-getter spirit lives in their blood. And when they can't be active physically, they'll start to suffer greatly. So, obviously the gym is their #1 room. Whether it's a treadmill in the living room, a sunroom for yoga, or a fully equipped garage gym with barbells and HIIT workouts scrawled in chalk on the floor – it's all the same to these Mars-ruled signs. The sweatier the better!

    Taurus - Kitchen

    Taurus This grounded, Earthy sign is ruled by Venus – the planet of beauty and love. But there is one thing they love most – and that's food. Taureans need good food, comforting food, and lots of it to remain satisfied and happy. They love showing off their cooking skills and cooking for family and friends, too. That's why a big, fully equipped kitchen is this sign's favorite room. Complete with various cookware and exotic, yet hearty ingredients, this space is sure to satisfy these creatures of comfort.

    Gemini - Game Room/Flex Space

    Gemini You have to be quick to catch these flighty and mentally oriented signs. Ruled by Mercury, they crave intellectual stimulation 24/7. They are a gregarious sign by nature and love playing games and learning new things. You will typically find your favorite Gemini reading the latest news article, watching the newest TV show, or hanging with friends. This can all be done in a stimulating room with lots of hobbies to choose from. That's why the game room or flex space is the best place for these playful signs. Fill it with gadgets, board games, books, video games, and musical instruments, and watch them bask in the joy of entertaining themselves and you.

    Cancer - Bedroom

    Cancer Our sensitive, nurturing Cancers are happiest when at home – so nearly any room will do as long as they're with loved ones. But these Water-based signs crave creature comforts, cookies, and crying sessions. The bedroom is obviously the best place for these activities. Reading their favorite fantasy novel, watching a moody drama, or simply cozying up to their pets or family members with a pile of plush blankets and pillows (and a few sweet snacks) is their favorite thing of all time.

    Leo - Bathroom

    Leo Leos are simply the sunshine of the zodiac. They are lions and lionesses and love to be in charge and admired. They're walking drama and theatre majors. And what better place to practice their latest monologue than in the bathroom mirror? They love a good, dramatic soaking clawfoot tub filled with potions and bubbles where they can sip their wine and pretend they're in a movie. And let's face it, the bathroom simply has the best acoustics for singing along to their favorite musical!

    Virgo - Home Office

    Virgo These Earthy mothering types can be a bit nitpicky, but pure-hearted. They simply want things to be clean and organized. Nothing wrong with that! That's why you will find them in the office. They're known to always be working their tails off while spraying their keyboards with compressed-air dusters. Post-its are their favorite invention, and they'll never miss an appointment or meeting as long as they have access to their beloved planner or calendar. Plus, the office is far away from the mess of the rest of the home, which, frankly, gives them hives just thinking about.

    Libra - Dining Room

    Libra Make way for the hostess! Librans, like their Leo counterparts, have a flair for the dramatic, but function more as theater managers rather than stars. They love the art of entertaining and to be entertained, but they love it most when they can show off their entertaining skills creatively. That's why the dining room is where they shine. A beautifully curated table setting filled with family, friends, and good champagne is this artful soul's dream setting.

    Scorpio - Den/Basement

    Scorpio Scorpios are powerhouses ruled by Mars, similar to Aries. But their Water element makes them much more introverted and even a bit secretive. They really like their alone time and prefer to have a lot of it. That's why the best room in the house for them is going to be somewhere quiet and private. A den or even a basement works well so they can be on their computer or deeply invested in a crime novel with no interruptions. Plus, they kind of need space to layout their corkboard timeline of a murder they're trying to solve.

    Sagittarius - Mini-Bar

    Sagittarius Party's here! Our adventurous, spicy, outgoing Sagittarians love a good party and are happiest when surrounded by their friends. They're witty and fun to be around and will do anything for a laugh or an applause. They also love good conversation and a good cocktail to go with it. That's why if you lose your Sagittarius friend, you'll want to check the mini bar first. They love to meet strangers in the night and discuss the latest philosophical theory they recently read about. They must always have a mini bar or bar cart in their home stocked with the bases for any cocktail their guest desires. Cheers!

    Capricorn - Study/Library

    Capricorn Capricorns are known to be stoic, responsible, quiet types. That's not to say these Earthy signs can't have fun, but they really prefer to get their work done before launching into anything frivolous. They're serious about taking care of their jobs and understanding the world around them. They need a quiet space to do this and plenty of resources. That's why a study or library is going to be their favorite room. They can work, learn, and generally be in peace and quiet. Shhhhh.

    Aquarius - Closet

    Aquarius Most Aquarians you speak to will tell you they live either online, in their head, or outside of the house. They don't like being cooped up for too long since it suppresses their gregarious nature (AKA their need to socially analyze groups of people for ~science~). Plus, how else are they going to get their humanitarian deeds done? That's why the closet is best suited for this sign who is always ready to go out with friends or save the world. A big, spacious closet with plenty of outfits to choose from that express their unique style is sure to be the go-to place for these airy signs.

    Pisces - Garden

    Pisces Fluttering about in a world of their own, Pisceans create magic wherever they go. These sensitive types love romance, travel, the arts, and can be quite emotionally wise beyond their years like old souls. They are also very nurturing and understand the role our Mother Earth plays in this world. You are likely going to find them doing something creative, whether painting, writing, arts and crafts or gardening. That's why anywhere outdoors or their own personal secret garden is best for these dreamy signs. They crave their own space to get away from the troubles of the real world and they have been known to have a green thumb!

    May
    31

    19 Gift Ideas for New Homeowners

    Buying gifts for the person who has it all can be tough, but what about the person who just bought a new house and needs a lot? It can still be tough nailing down the perfect token to celebrate such a major accomplishment, and that's where we come in. Here are 19 gift ideas for new homeowners.

    Living Room

    Throw Blanket

    Nothing makes cuddling up on the couch in a new house sweeter than a cozy throw blanket.

    Bookends

    Readers will love a new set of stylish bookends to spruce up their bookshelves with.

    Smart Speaker

    The new homeowner in your life can control other smart devices throughout their home, organize their schedule, and so much more with a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo or Google Home.

    A Fancy Candle

    A nice, aromatic candle is a great way to help their new home smell divine.

    Coffee Table Books

    Tailor these to your homeowner's interests and they make for a fine gift that doubles as reading material and nice décor.

    Trinket Dish

    These are perfect for catching all the little knick-knacks like jewelry, keys, and other pocket-fillers that otherwise just create clutter.

    Key Ring Holder

    A key ring holder is another great way to avoid creating clutter for a new homeowner. Just hang your keys on the wall when you get home!

    Bathroom

    Bath Towels

    A new set of bath towels is a perfect way to celebrate an all-new bathroom.

    Shower Speaker

    A waterproof shower speaker makes morning routines a little easier with some musical accompaniment.

    Bathtub Caddy

    Moving is stressful, so give your new homeowner an excuse to relax in a rejuvenating bath with a caddy that's perfect for a candle, book, and whatever else they need to kick back.

    Smart Scale

    Even scales have gone high-tech, with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi and track more than just weight. A smart scale is a great idea for the health-minded homeowner.

    Kitchen

    Various Kitchenware

    A set of quality dishware or silverware is not only a thoughtful gift idea, but an incredibly practical one, too!

    Serving Tray

    Whether it's used when entertaining guests or for breakfast in bed, a serving tray is a multifaceted gift.

    Cookbooks

    They just got a brand-new kitchen, so give your new homeowner new recipes to try with a cookbook or two!

    Unique Appliances

    Items like, say, an Instant Pot or air fryer are neat additions to a kitchen, and they're practical enough to get used often.

    Engraved Cutting Board

    Get a cutting board engraved with a sweet message or even just their name and you've got a one-of-a-kind piece of kitchen décor.

    Bedroom

    Bed Sheets

    Pamper your new homeowner with a set of cozy sheets for their bed and they'll be forever grateful.

    White Noise Machine

    New environments can throw off sleep habits in a big way. A white noise machine is a thoughtful gift to help your new homeowner drift off to sleep in their new bedroom.

    Alarm Clock

    It doesn't have to be fancy – a classic analog alarm clock is often all we need to get us up in the morning. Plus it has more benefits than using your phone as an alarm!

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