attic bedroom 5 ideas to utilize your attic space

5 Ideas to Utilize Your Attic Space

Home » Must Knows for Homeowners


Most people use the attic as an extra storage space. In my house, it’s where we put the holiday decorations, gift wrapping, and boxes of family keepsakes. What do you use the attic for?

Would you like to repurpose your attic into a new living space? This is a trending renovation project that can also add value to your house when you decide to sell. Here are some ideas to utilize your attic space and make it your new favorite place in the house.

1. Another Guest Bedroom

If family and friends come to stay, adding another guest room will help fit everyone comfortably. Fit in one or twin beds, maybe a small bureau or chest for putting away clothes. Throw a plush rug down for a soft, warm footpath. Also, you can add soft bedside lighting instead of ceiling lighting, like a couple of table lamps or pendants.

2. Kid’s Playroom

Kids want a secret hideout, a place that is their own. Turn the attic into your child’s clubhouse, where you don’t care if it is a mess, with toys everywhere. Guests will never see it.

You can coat one or more walls with chalkboard paint for the kids to write and draw on. Add some comfy chairs and a large throw-rug. Put in cubicle shelves to organize art supplies and playthings.

3. Peaceful Reading Nook

If you are like me, finding a quiet place to read is hard in a full house. There is too much commotion, too much noise, and you cannot hear the characters on the page.

Turn the attic into your private reading room. All you need is an upholstered couch, maybe a blanket, and a side table for your coffee or wine. Scaled artwork will give the illusion of higher ceilings. Add a skylight for by-day reading and bright task lighting for at night.

4. Your Private Studio

If you are a painter, sculptor, musician, or another sort of artist, you want a creative space that inspires your best work. The attic can be that space. Being at the top of the house will contain noise and fumes from oil paints and turpentine. Just be sure to put in the proper ventilation for your own well-being.

5. A New At-Home Office

57% of employees work remotely now, and working from home continues to trend. Perhaps this is the case with you or your spouse. Maybe one or both of you need a space dedicated to professional work.

You can add one or two desks and comfortable chairs, maybe a small coffee bar and sink. Consider a skylight for natural lighting, promoting better productivity, and desk lighting if you work late hours.

Renovate or Sell

The average cost to renovate an attic can range anywhere from $8,000 to $80,000. When you sell, it may provide 50% to 75% ROI, depending on the attic conversion and if it was well done.

Renovating the attic is a good idea if you choose to stay in your house for another couple of years. Otherwise, you can save your money, on this and other upgrades or repairs, by selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on the house AS-IS. You can use the sale earnings as a down payment on your next house and maybe convert its attic into your ideal space.

white kitchen do-it-yourself kitchen renovation tips

Do-It-Yourself Kitchen Renovation Tips

Home » Must Knows for Homeowners


Do you want to give the kitchen a fresh, new look before selling your house? A full-blown kitchen remodel recoups only 54% of its cost when you sell. Consider instead making small upgrades that still boost your house value. Here are some easy, budget-friendly things you can do as part of a do-it-yourself kitchen renovation.

Pick Your Appliances First

If your appliances are outdated and you want to replace them, do so before doing anything else in the kitchen. You want to make sure your new appliances fit in the allotted spaces. Otherwise, you will need to widen those spaces.

Buyers appreciate a house with shiny, new appliances included. They may even pay a higher purchase price. New stainless steel appliances have an ROI of 141%.

Flooring Hacks

You will like a floor that lends your kitchen warmth and texture. Hardwood floors are popular, beautiful, long-lasting, and easy to clean. They also increase your house value, recovering 106% of the cost upon sale of your house. In fact, 50% of buyers are willing to pay extra for a house with hardwood floors.

Alternate flooring options for the kitchen include laminate, vinyl, and tile, ranging from $4 to $15 per square foot.

Save on Kitchen Countertops

Countertops are among the most expensive kitchen features. Granite and marble are very nice but very pricy. Lucky for you, there are faux options that imitate those materials and cost under $100.

Laminate and concrete are even cheaper. Per square foot, laminate costs $10 to $40, while concrete prices at $8 to $15. You can enhance your options with special design hacks, like laying epoxy over laminate to give it a shine or painting it with black chalkboard paint.

Friendly Backsplashes

There are easy-to-apply, DIY backsplashes that stay up with adhesive backing or construction glue. These include laminate, which is wipeable and waterproof, veneer stone, subway tiles, or tileboard. Prices for these materials range from as low as $6 to upwards of $13 per square foot.

Cabinet Makeovers

Instead of gutting your kitchen storage, you can give your cabinets a facelift with a fresh coat of paint. You can alternatively stain or lacquer wood cabinetry. Try also adding new hardware – sleek metals add a unique flair and look great if they match the finish of your kitchen sink.

If you paint your cabinets yourself, your base cost may be around $200, subject to the paint brand and supplies you need. Kitchen hardware ranges from $2 to $20, depending on the hardware material.

Let the Pros Do the Important Things

Plumbing and electrical work are best left to the professionals. This way, you save time and effort and do not risk getting hurt. Rewiring old outlets and hanging new lights can take weeks on your own if you do not know these things. Why risk incidents when you can pay to have it done right the first time?

Overhaul Expenses, Sell to an Investor

Is the kitchen DIY remodel to sell your house? Consider the drawbacks. Are there other areas of the house that need attention, maybe major repairs? Is it something you can really do by yourself, or is there a risk that if it goes poorly you will have to hire a professional? Plus, how much time and budget do you have to spend renovating? If you are on a deadline to sell, there may be no time to make improvements.

Don’t waste your time and money! Instead sell your house AS-IS to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on the house without upgrades or repairs. They actually prefer properties that need TLC and will do the work themselves. You can close in a month or less and spend your earnings on your dream house that comes with its own high-end cooking space.

LED light 6 energy-efficient upgrades that improve house value

6 Energy-Efficient Upgrades That Improve House Value

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Energy-efficient upgrades can improve your home value and save you on energy costs. If you plan to sell your house, consider these six improvements to go green with good return on investment.

1. Energy-Efficient Windows

Heat transfers in and out of your house through the windows during hot and cold climates. Windows, then, are responsible for 25% to 30% of your heating and cooling energy use. If you replace your windows, look for these three things:

  • The ENERGY STAR label;
  • A low U-factor; and
  • A low solar heat gain coefficient.

If you prefer to keep your windows, consider instead laying Low-E reflective window film over them.

2. Insulation

Hot air rises, and the attic, if not well-insulated, is responsible for as much as 85% of your heat loss. If you add insulation to the attic, basement, exterior walls, and crawl space, you will reduce energy waste.

According to energystar.gov, you can save up to $200/year by air sealing your house and adding insulation.

3. A Cool Roof

Your roof endures the brunt of seasonal weather changes. It wears and tears and eventually needs replacing. Consider replacing it this time around with a cool roof. Cool roofs remain 50% cooler during summers because they are white (or some other reflective color). Also, the metal material absorbs less heat and reflects sunlight away from your house.

4. Upgrade Your Appliances

Your appliances account for 15% of your house’s energy consumption. Major appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers consume a significant amount of energy.

The Energy Star label makes it easy to identify a high-efficiency model. Use the Energy Star Rebate Finder to find special offers near you.

Homebuyers often worry about additional expenses that follow a house purchase, including new appliances. When included as part of the house, energy-efficient appliances make buyers feel better about paying a higher purchase price.

5. Smart Home Systems

After the release of Amazon Alexa and Google Home, home buyers got excited about innovative home technology. Voice-activated devices that control multiple components of a house can help save energy. Consider, then, installing a smart thermostat, smart lighting systems, and energy meters in your house.

6. Energy-Efficient Lighting

In 2019, the National Association of Home Builders found 77% of buyers want a house with efficient lighting. This is easy to achieve: just switch out lights for LED or CFL bulbs and put in supportive lighting fixtures. New bulbs and fixtures can reduce lighting energy use by 50%.

Save Dollars, Sell to an Investor

If you want to save money and forgo these upgrades, consider selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on the house, regardless if it is green or an energy vacuum. You can enjoy a quick closing and invest in energy-efficient upgrades for your next house.

luxury bathroom upgrades that will not increase home value

7 Upgrades That Will NOT Increase Home Value

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Some upgrades improve the value of your house, while others do not. Some may even decrease its value. Here are seven home improvements to avoid if you are thinking about selling your property.

1. Adding a Sunroom

Sunrooms are a great space to enjoy the outdoors away from bugs and the elements. Building a sunroom is expensive, ranging anywhere from $30K to $70K, depending on its features. It is a beautiful addition, but has one of the lowest returns on investment (ROI).

2. Luxury Bathroom Upgrades

Upgraded bathrooms can add value to a house; however, some bath features are too luxurious and scare off buyers. These might be over-personalized finishes, hot tubs, or whirlpool baths. 

According to Remodeling magazine, on average, you only recover half of what you spend in upscaling your bathroom. So if you want to renovate, do it a few years before you sell, so you can enjoy your newly-renovated bath.

3. Extensive Landscaping

Landscaping improves your curb appeal. Doing regular maintenance is good – pruning the trees, raking leaves, and mowing the lawn. Be careful, though, about adding elaborate features, like ponds, waterfalls, or bridges. Buyers see these enhancements as an increase in maintenance. Moreover, they prefer to add their own personal touches to the yard.

4. Swimming Pool

Once upon a time, a pool or hot tub added value to a house, especially in hot climates. Now buyers see them as an added cost of maintenance and a potential hazard that requires insurance. At best, a pool increases your house value by a mere 7%.

5. High-End Kitchen

Buyers want a kitchen that is both functional and aesthetic. However, the resale value of a high-end, chef-quality kitchen recoups only 54% of its cost in added value. Rather than invest in expensive appliances and materials, you can make small upgrades that yield a bigger payoff. These include painting the cabinets, replacing hardware, and adding energy-efficient models.

6. Upgraded Systems

Doing an overhaul on your plumbing, electrical, or HVAC systems is not considered an improvement. Instead, buyers see it as maintenance. If your goal is to sell the house, do regular maintenance to make sure you pass the home inspection.

7. Solar Panels

Energy-efficient upgrades can add value to your house. However, solar panels are not viable. The cost and ROI of solar panels vary widely by location and the type of panels. The average return for them is often around 10%.

Another issue is if you lease the panels, they belong to the solar company, adding no value to your house. Also, panels age and improved versions are available every year.

Upgrade Your House Sale, Sell to an Investor

Rather than remodel your house to sell it, there is an easier and more affordable solution. Instead, sell it to an investor AS-IS. Our investors love houses that require TLC. Better still, you skip the home inspection and close when you want to. You can enjoy a hassle-free, cash offer and invest your money to improve your next house.

kitchen remodel upgrades to increase home value

Five Upgrades to Increase Home Value

Home » Must Knows for Homeowners


Renovations can add value to a property. You might be wondering, though, which improvements give you the most significant return on investment? What changes make your house more comfortable and appealing to buyers? What do buyers even want in a house? These five upgrades are desired by buyers and increase home value.

1. Kitchen Remodel

You may have heard the phrase, “The kitchen is the heart of the home.” It is the center of activity, where family comes together daily. For this reason, it is one of the most important features on a homebuyer’s shopping list.

Buyers want a cooking space that is both functional and aesthetic. Rather than invest in a complete kitchen remodel, you can make small changes for less money that garner the same attention. Minor remodeling efforts include:

  • Updating the sink and faucet;
  • Refreshing sink grout;
  • Putting in new countertops;
  • Replacing backsplash;
  • Refinishing or painting cabinets; and
  • Swapping out lights.

Minor kitchen remodels show a return on investment (ROI) of at least 81%.

2. Build a Room

Buyers like a spare room that can be converted into another bedroom, alternate living room, or hobby room. You can turn an unfinished basement or attic into a new, attractive living space. All you have to do is put down some flooring, install drywall, and paint the walls. You can then pitch the bonus space as an added value, that the buyer can turn into a possible game room, craft room, or in-house gym.

Repurposing the attic into a finished room can net an average 56% ROI. A finished basement will give you a return of 70% to 75%.

3. Open Up the Floor plan

Buyers enjoy connectivity between high-traffic rooms, such as the kitchen and dining area or living room. Consult a contractor first before you start swinging a sledgehammer. Ensure the house stays structurally sound after you knock out walls or structural columns to open up the floor plan.

Homes with an open floor plan appreciate 7.4% a year.

4. Update the Backyard

Buyers spent so much time indoors last year, they now want a house with a functional backyard. A well-landscaped yard, alone, can contribute up to 28% of your house value. You can make your backyard more appealing by doing the following:

  • Landscaping;
  • Build a deck or covered patio; and
  • Replace the fence.

If you build a deck, consider extras like accent lighting and built-in seating. You might put in a fire pit for extra warmth and comfort.

You can also create a sense of flow between the outside and inside of the house with sliding glass doors. This feature is popular when entertaining, as it connects the living room or kitchen with a possible alfresco dining area.

5. Put in Hardwood Floors

Carpets trap dirt, dust, stains, and odors. They fade over time and require a tougher cleaning than solid flooring. Buyers nowadays like a house with polished, hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are beautiful, durable, easy to clean and add rich tones to the interior.

Hardwood floors earn you an average 70% to 80% ROI.

Save Your Money, Save Time, Sell to an Investor

Making these improvements costs money. If you can afford them and are in no hurry to sell, you may increase your asking price, depending on the upgrade. Otherwise, consider the alternative: sell to an investor for a no-obligation, all-cash offer. Most investors will purchase a house AS-IS, ranging from outdated, unfinished renovation to significant damage. You can enjoy a quick closing, without an endless parade of showings, and use the cash to improve your next house.

what makes a house hard to sell or unsellable

What Makes Your House Unsellable

Home » Must Knows for Homeowners


Most things can sell at the right price, but a home is a big investment, so buyers are more scrupulous. This is where they are going to live, so it needs to be “just right.” Here are 7 items that can make a house unsellable.

Undesirable Location

Location, location, location! It matters. Few buyers are willing to live near an airport, railway, or busy highway because of noise. Living next door to loud neighbors is a turnoff, and a dicey neighborhood with a high crime rate is unnerving. High-risk disaster areas and flood zones scare many buyers away. Most times, a house in a bad location can only be sold at a low price.

Outdated Home Style or Décor

Would you want to live in a home that looked like the set of “That ‘70s Show”? Most buyers want a home with the latest interior trends and new materials. If you want to sell, you may have to fork over the money for renovations.

Mold and Dampness

Visible signs of a leak concern most buyers. They worry if a home has a dampness issue, this could present later problems, like harmful mold. Dampness could be due to bad plumbing or a leaky exterior, and no one wants to buy a home that needs immediate repairs.

Neglected Maintenance

It is one thing to be busy or short on funds, but if you neglect maintenance – your house deteriorates. Buyers often have enough money to buy a home but not enough left over to make repairs. You will have to invest the time and money to make these repairs yourself, or with the help of a professional, to pass a home inspection. If the cost in time and money is too high, your best option is to sell to an investor. Investors look specifically for properties in need of repair, so you can sell quickly and easily without spending any money on it.

Bad Odors

Have you ever entered a space and been offended by a bad smell? Imagine how your buyers feel if your home smells like a vet office, with so many animals, cages, and litter boxes. Or what if you or another member of the house smokes? Cigarette smoke is a major turnoff, as its odor becomes trapped in materials like carpeting.

Lack of Natural Light

No one wants to feel like they live in a cave. Windows and natural light make spaces feel open and bigger than they really are. You can paint a room white to make it seem brighter or add windows or skylights to let in light.

Cluttered, Not Staged Home

Buyers want to envision themselves in a home when they visit for a walkthrough. If your rooms are cluttered with belongings, this becomes difficult and makes rooms appear smaller. You must throw stuff out or donate it, then clean and stage your home, so it makes a good impression.

If you do not have the time, funds, or ability to address the aforementioned items, consider selling your house to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer despite location, damages, or outdated designs, and most times without a walkthrough. You can enjoy a quick closing and offload your problem house.

Solid Offers best time to sell house winter spring summer fall autumn

When is the Best Time to Sell a House?

Home » Must Knows for Homeowners


Knowing when to sell a house can help you sell fast, for the most profit and less stress. Timing often depends on your location, and understanding the seasonal trends in the real estate market can help you decide when is the best time to sell.

Spring

PROS: For many markets, spring is the peak time to sell. Homes sell faster and for more money in the first two weeks of May than any other month. The days are warmer, longer, and buyers have more money after tax refunds. Buyers are also eager to close before school lets out, so they have the summer to move.

CONS: Springtime blooms competition. The market floods with homes for sale, and to stand out, sellers typically offer buyer compensations. There are fewer walkthroughs if the weather is still cold and wet, and should you sell fast, it can be difficult to move if the kids are still in school.

Summer

PROS: Summer is a great time to sell if you live in a popular tourist destination. Buyers looking for a summer home or new retirees looking to downsize eagerly shop the market, feeling a sense of urgency to close fast before the fall season.

CONS: Summer vacation can mean a slow buyer turnout. Buyers are out traveling, having fun, and the few buyers you attract may demand more concessions and features, sensing the lack of competition and your desire to sell.

Fall

PROS: Fall is neither the best nor the worst time to sell a house. The market slows down, so there is less competition, and buyers feel motivated to close before the winter holidays. Moreover, the costs for repairs and renovations are at their lowest.

CONS: In autumn, leaves fall, but buyer demands rise. Most buyers are preparing for the coming holidays and prefer to spend their money on gifts and festivities rather than a new home unless you offer them enticing incentives.

Winter

PROS: Winter is not a bad time to sell a house. There is often less competition, and buyers are highly motivated to close before the year-end to take advantage of tax breaks. Should you live in a resort area or ski town, you will meet more buyers looking for winter homes, but they may have more demands.

CONS: Winter is the holiday season. Buyers are engaged in seasonal fun. If you try to sell, you will have to depersonalize living spaces and decorate less, and you may have to navigate walkthroughs with your family over. The days are colder, shorter, and winter is the worst time to make repairs and renovations.

Life happens, and you may not have a choice as to when you sell. If you need to sell fast and skip buyer negotiations, consider selling your house to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer regardless of the time of year, weather, or market trends. You can enjoy a quick closing and find time for your next move.

Closing cost of selling a house

How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House?

Home » Must Knows for Homeowners


Selling a house can be a costly venture. Sellers often have no idea just how much money goes into selling a home till closing day. Some expenses are negotiable, and others might be waived. Here is an overview of the costs to sell a house so you can plan and budget for them.

Real Estate Agent Commissions

Realtors often receive 5% to 6% of the selling price on a home, and this commission is divided between the seller and buyer agents. An agent does a lot of work, from arranging tours to updating listings to handling paperwork to negotiating with buyers. Sellers can sell without an agent, but this means more work, as well as the loss of leverage that comes with an agent’s knowledge of the market.

Seller Concessions Cost

Seller concessions are buyer expenses a seller agrees to pay, such as a portion of the closing costs, appraisal fees, or inspection fees, to help sweeten the deal, so a buyer is more likely to close on the house. Their loan type often limits the amount a buyer can ask for, but concessions help offset the cost of a higher offer in a competitive market.

Home Repairs

Most buyers do not want to purchase a fixer-upper, which will cost them more money in the long run. For this reason, if issues are found during the home inspection, buyers will ask the seller to make repairs as part of the ongoing negotiations to close the deal.

Home Improvements

Sometimes a home needs a facelift. This could be minor cosmetic work, such as painting the interior, or large upgrades like remodeling the bathroom or kitchen. These changes not only enhance the appeal of a home but its value as well.

Staging

When visiting, buyers want to envision themselves in the home. Sellers can hire a professional to stage the home for greater appeal. They can rearrange furniture, declutter and depersonalize rooms, and repurpose spaces in ways you never imagined. Professionals have their fees, and even if a seller does not hire a stager, they might still pay for professional cleaning services.

Closing Costs

Buyers and sellers pay closing costs. Sellers closing costs can reach 8% to 10% of the sale price. These can include the closing fee paid to the closing agent, property taxes, attorney fees, a transfer tax, title insurance, and the remaining balance of the seller’s original mortgage, as well as any interest accrued.

If you would like to save money, consider selling your home to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer with fewer negotiations for the terms of sale, and regardless if a property is old or needs repairs. You can enjoy a quick closing, with fewer expenses, and keep a fat wallet.

how to sell house fast in 5 days cash

How to Sell a House in 5 Days

Home » Must Knows for Homeowners


Sometimes life throws you a curveball, and you find yourself needing to pack up and move. It could be the family is growing, or maybe the kids move out, and now there is too much room; other times, it is a change in careers or relocation. Whatever the reason, you need to sell your home fast. Here are 5 tips on how to sell your house in 5 days.

Tip 1: Offer Financial Incentives

Buying a home can be just as stressful as selling one. Buyers can feel intimidated, especially if this is their first home. Offering incentives can help buyers feel more confident and satisfied with their purchase. Incentives can include paying the first year of the home warranty or the first couple months of HOA fees, paying for part of the closing costs or repairs found during the home inspection, or including furniture and appliances with the home.

Tip 2: Price Your Home Below the Market Value

Buyers who watch the home market in your area are more likely to jump at a property that is priced at least 5% lower than the competition. If you receive several offers, you might spark a bidding war to get the best deal, which might be above your asking price.

Tip 3: Stage the Home Properly

Nothing puts off buyers like a crowded home. Sell what you do not need and get rid of clutter before cleaning and staging the rooms. You want to depersonalize and decorate so when buyers walkthrough, they can imagine themselves living in the home.

Tip 4: Make Necessary Repairs

If a home inspector finds issues with your home, it can slow the sale progression or put a buyer off completely. Consider hiring an inspector before listing the home to identify and fix those issues that might deter buyers.

Tip 5: Sell to an Investor

Selling to a buyer can take more than 5 days since most homebuyers have to get approved for a loan, and there are other delays like the appraisal and home inspection. At best, you might get an offer from a buyer in the first 5 days you list the home for sale. If you want to sell fast and forgo incentives, staging, and repairs, consider selling your home to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a property regardless of its looks or state of repair. A cash offer saves you the time spent waiting for a buyer to get bank approval, and you actually save money with zero closing costs, repair, or cleanup costs. You can enjoy a quick, flexible closing in as little as 5 days and transition to a new home for that next stage of life.

solid offers sell house during winter

The Pros and Cons of Selling a House in the Winter

Home » Must Knows for Homeowners


Often people think spring is the best season for selling a house or even summer, but actually, you can sell a house any time of year. Selling your home during the winter may have its drawbacks, but it also has its advantages.

Pros of Selling

Pro #1: Serious Buyers

The large flow of buyer traffic in the spring and summer consists of many window shoppers – people who are getting a feel for the home market, browsing home types, and decorating ideas. In winter, buyers tend to be more serious. If they make appointments to view the home during what is perhaps the busiest time of year, when daylight hours are short, that shows promise.

Pro #2: Less Competition

With so many sellers thinking spring and summer are the best seasons to list a home, you have less competition during the winter holidays. Less competition means you get more showings and interest from serious buyers.

Pro #3: Enjoy a Quick Closing

Buyers who shop in November and December are highly motivated to make a deal and close before the New Year so they can enjoy tax benefits, including deductions from their mortgage interest and property taxes. Other times, if a buyer is relocating, they want to buy fast to get the most out of their corporate relocation package.

Cons of Selling

Con #1: Less Than Ideal Weather

Cold, wet, maybe even icy or lots of snow, winter has the weather that bribes folks to stay indoors. Buyers are less eager to drive out to look at homes in winter. Road conditions can be hazardous, and after Daylight Savings Time, you lose two to three hours for showing your home. Also, your winter-stricken yard loses its curb appeal with bare trees, less greenery, and a blanket of white.

Con #2: Buyers Have Other Financial Obligations

Winter holidays are a busy and expensive time of year. First comes Thanksgiving, and then it is Christmas or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. Buyers may have their money tied up in other things, like holiday gifts, food, and travel.

Con #3: Showings Take Effort

You have to keep your home neat and tidy during showings, and this can become more taxing during the winter holidays. You have to be light on holiday decorations so as not to overwhelm or clutter the living spaces. If family is visiting, you have to constantly clean up after them and try to get them out of the house for showings. You might be skittish about leaving out presents and constantly hide them in closets during showings and pull them back out after buyers leave.

If you want to sell your home fast for a cash offer and enjoy the winter holidays, consider selling to an investor. Investors do not mind cold weather, holiday decorations, or crowded homes. You can enjoy a quick closing and get back to what really matters during the holidays.

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