Blog :: 09-2020

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15 Predictions For The Real Estate Market In The Second Half Of 2020

This year has been a rollercoaster for every industry. With global economies expecting to shrink significantly throughout the end of the year, it's the best time to take stock of what real estate can expect as the year closes. What can we expect for the latter half of 2020?


By Expert Panel® Forbes Councils Member

The unpredictability of this year is forcing real estate professionals to reassess the future of the industry.

Expert Panel asked 15 entrepreneurs from Forbes Real Estate Council their opinions on the current state of the market and what they expect to see in the closing half of this year. Here's what they said. (Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization for senior-level executives in the real estate industry).


Members of Forbes Real Estate Council share their predictions for the industry in the latter half of the year.


1. Demand For Housing Will Remain Robust

I expect demand for housing to remain robust as millennials and baby boomers power through to keep the economy moving. Many homeowners will fall behind on their mortgages, creating distressed property sales. As developers assemble and develop new homes, old architecture and decaying mechanical systems in 1960s, 70s and 80s homes will be replaced by a new home revolution. - Gary LanhamGary Lanham Group

2. Home Sales Will Get Closer To 2019 Levels

Existing home sales will return closer to levels seen in the second half of 2019. White-hot summer activity due to pent-up demand will work its way through the system and pandemic-inflicted economic challenges will come home to roost. - Craig CheathamThe Realty Alliance

3. Refinance Demand Will Continue

We'll likely see the flood of new refinance demand continue while ongoing Covid-19 fears will force mortgage originators to shift most of their process to being fully digital. This means that getting and closing on a mortgage will finally start to become more of an instant experience for consumers, mirroring other industries like groceries, prepared meals, transportation and even medical care. - Max SimkoffStates Title

4. Substantial Increase In Foreclosures

There will be a substantial increase in foreclosures, short sales and bank-owned properties. This will happen toward the end of the year and the beginning of next year as banks start foreclosing on delinquent mortgages. - Lex LevinradThe Distressed Real Estate Institute

5. Remote Work Will Affect Home-Buying Decisions

The ability to work remotely will weigh heavily in home-buying decisions over the next six months. Remote work expands a lot of buyers’ geographic options and influences the features buyers are looking for. Unsurprisingly, home offices are becoming more important, but our research shows that people are also looking for a quiet location, an updated kitchen, a large backyard and an open floor plan. - David DoctorowMove, Inc.

6. Mass Adoption Of Tech To Limit Human Interaction

Covid-19 is speeding up the mass adoption of technology in order to limit human interaction. We’ll see the real estate space increasingly implement tools like keyless entry systems, voice-activated appliances, etc. to minimize anything face-to-face or anything that requires physical touch. This also includes using automated messaging solutions to send emails noting amenities in-property, check-in instructions and more. - Vered SchwarzGuesty

7. Virtual Tours With Human Guidance

Virtual tours are here to stay. Although there’s clearly a shift in consumer behavior toward a more digital homebuying experience, the human element remains a critical piece. The vast majority of buyers, especially those in higher price ranges, want to see a home in person—with the guidance of a skilled agent—before they put in an offer. - Adam ContosRE/MAX Holdings, Inc.

8. Capital Reallocation Between Real Estate Classes

We expect capital reallocation between real estate classes and a surge of capital deployment for multifamily and industrial assets. These classes have shown their resilience and weathered the storm of Covid-19 well, and should attract capital previously designated for retail and office. Couple this with the low-interest rate environment and we’ll see a wave of deal activity the second half of this year. - Carlos VazCONTI Organization

9. More Preferred Equity Fund Offerings

I see more preferred equity fund offerings. Investors are more risk-averse in this environment and are interested in higher fixed income with lower risk. Multifamily apartment operators are seeing new tighter lending restrictions with Covid-19 limiting their ability to finance deals. More funds are coming out of raising capital from investors to fill the gap by providing the funding for preferred equity. - David ThompsonThompson Investing

10. Class B Multifamily Properties Will Remain Solid

Class B multifamily properties will remain solid with stable cap rates as occupancy and around 95% of rent collections nationwide remained high during Covid-19. Class C properties and workforce housing naturally has more exposure to Covid-19 implications as many tenants work in the service industry. Hence, I expect Class C prices to slightly drop, especially those with delinquency issues. - Ellie PerlmanBlue Lake Capital LLC

11. More Opportunity To Acquire At A Discount

The end of 2020 will likely see certain sellers willing to accept a lower price for their assets. While some owners will hold on and weather the storm, others will no longer want nor have the flexibility to wait and will decide to liquidate their holdings. This means investors on the buy side will have an opportunity to acquire assets at a discount from their current price. - Todd SulzingerBlue Elm Investments

12. Commercial Real Estate May See A Slowdown

While residential sales remain strong in many markets, mainly due to the still-pent-up demand for inventory, commercial real estate may see a slowdown. With more and more companies allowing or even insisting employees work remotely, a rise in commercial vacancy rates is a distinct possibility. - David BolingerThe McDevitt Agency

13. Warehousing Market Will Continue To Grow

The industrial warehousing markets will continue to see growing demand as warehouse users look for distribution and last-mile delivery locations near major population centers. In many areas, office markets will be in a holding pattern due to changing Covid-19 guidelines and mandates of local and state governmental officials. - Josh GopanSimone Development Companies

14. Growing Interest In Suburban Or Rural Living

Right now, homeowners are adapting to a new lifestyle and realizing what doesn't work in their current home. The global shift toward remote work—and lack of commute—may cause homebuyers to reconsider suburban and even rural living. They’ll also desire more square footage and outdoor space, which is more readily available and affordable in suburban and rural areas. - Jennifer AndersonAnderson Coastal Group

15. More Interest In Properties With Fitness Amenities

With people spending most of their time at home, the value of on-site dining, fitness and leisure options in multifamily properties has never been greater. As leases expire during the second half of the year and renters seek new apartments in which to live, work and stay entertained, people will be drawn to properties with amenities and easy access to outdoor activities like parks and beaches. - Salvador GarciaMAS Development Group


5 Projects to Increase Your Home's Resale Value

Small improvements can make a big impression on potential buyers.

Sep 15 2020

Courtesy of Zillow

Not surprisingly, a recent Zillow survey¹ found that most people — 81% — reported spending more time at home this year compared to the same time last year. Some of us might be feeling a little stir-crazy, but others are taking the opportunity to tackle home improvement projects. You may decide to change up your space for your personal enjoyment or comfort, but if you’re a homeowner looking to sell, it’s worth considering which projects will not only look good but offer the best return for your time and effort.

Zillow partnered with Thumbtack to determine the average costs of a few common improvements sellers make before listing their home for sale. By better understanding the costs, you can decide whether it’s worthwhile to DIY or call in a pro. 

Whatever route you take, a few well-chosen updates could improve your home’s appeal and value. Zillow data finds homeowners who make at least one improvement are more likely to sell their home above their list price than those who don’t make any improvements: 23% vs. 17%, respectively.² With sale prices climbing and homes selling at their fastest pace in more than two years, this may be a good time for would-be sellers to start prepping their homes for listing.  

“There are small things anyone can do to present their home in a better light,” said Sue Cohn Darmon, a Zillow Premier Agent in Connecticut with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty. “First impressions go a long way, especially since buyers are now spending more time searching online for homes. Listing photos are going to look better if the home appears well-maintained. If the small things are taken care of, the assumption is that the bigger things that aren’t visible have been taken care of too.”

Here are five DIY projects recommended by agents that could help increase your home’s value.

Upgrade your lights

Good lighting can bring out the best in your home. Updating old fixtures and adding dimmer switches are fairly simple upgrades. You could also consider replacing your fixtures with smart lights controlled by an app, which can help you save on your energy bill and sell your home faster. Zillow research finds homes mentioning smart lights in their listing description sold seven days faster than expected.

Here’s a DIY guide to changing a light fixture, or if you want a professional installer to do the job, Thumbtack finds the average cost is $380.

Replace your faucets

Whether your look is modern or traditional, a new faucet can enhance the style of your bathroom or kitchen. Make it a touchless faucet for added appeal, as COVID-era buyers increasingly look for smart features that will keep their homes germ-free.

With attention to detail and a tolerance for tight spaces, you can handle this job yourself, but if you’d rather leave the under-sink contortions to a pro, Thumbtack finds, on average, you can expect to pay $205 to replace bathroom fixtures.

Landscape smartly

A desire for more outdoor space is the top reason people say they would consider moving as a result of social distancing recommendations, according to a Harris Poll survey conducted for Zillow.³ There’s no better time to spruce up your yard and create the functional, beautiful outdoor space buyers want.

If you don’t like getting your hands dirty (literally), expect to pay $2,600 on average, according to Thumbtack, for a professional landscaping business to clean up your yard, which typically covers mowing, pruning, weeding, planting new flowers or shrubs, and adding new soil, mulch or bark dust. Zillow research found homes mentioning landscaping in their listing description can sell for 2.7 percent more than expected, so depending on the value of your home, it could be a worthwhile investment.

Add a fire pit

Now that you have a nicely landscaped yard, go one step further and install a fire pit to create a family-friendly backyard hangout. Listings mentioning a fire pit can sell for 2.8 percent more than similar homes, according to Zillow research. Interestingly, that sale premium is higher than homes mentioning an outdoor fireplace or a chimenea. An added bonus: This is a DIY the whole family can help with

Paint your front door (and more)

A freshly painted front door can boost your curb appeal, and if you’re thinking about selling, you may be surprised by the winning color when it comes to ROI: Homes with black front doors can sell for up to $6,000 more than similar homes, according to Zillow research.

If it’s in your budget, consider painting the whole exterior (probably not black, though!) to create a great first impression. In a survey of Zillow Premier Agents, 77% recommended sellers paint their home.4 Thumbtack finds the average cost of exterior painting is $2,535.


1. Zillow Group Population Science Survey on Time Spent at Home, conducted 7/16/2020 – 7/21/2020
2. Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019
3. This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Zillow from May 4-6, 2020 among 2,065 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact
4. Zillow Group partnered with independent market research and data analytics firm YouGov® to conduct a nationally representative, online quantitative survey that gathered information from 1000 sellers that sold a home in the past 6 months and 500 residential real estate agents. For more information visit


4 Easy Ways to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

You have the necessary appliances like a refrigerator, stove, or microwave, and now you’re wondering what you can do to make your house more energy efficient. Here are some great pieces of technology that can make your house eco-friendly and even save you a few hundred dollars each year. Let’s take a look at a few of them!

By Jeremy Atkins, Rocket Homes Real Estate LLC


1. Smart Power Outlets

There are two main types of power outlets out there. One is a “connected” outlet and the other is an energy saving outlet. Connected outlets sync to your Wi-Fi network allowing you to control the power output to appliances remotely. Leave a fan on while at work? No need to let it run all day – just hop on your phone and turn it off. These are usually in the $25-$60 range depending on the unit.

Energy saving outlets go a step further by turning the outlet off completely. Kind of like flipping a switch on a circuit breaker. This saves you from the dreaded “vampire power” which is when a plugged-in device uses electricity, even when it’s turned off. These are a great way to keep your energy usage down and even save upwards of a $150-$400 per year. Energy saving outlets, like these, can be found for around $6-$25.

Energy saving outlets, like these, can be found for around $6-25.

2. Smart Thermostats

For someone like me who loves tech, smart thermostats are amazing. They connect to your Wi-Fi network and your furnace. Over the course of a week or two, they learn your schedule and heat up or cool your house down automatically right before you get home. They also adjust for when you leave. This is another boon for us forgetful folks. I can hear Ron Popeil now “Set it…and forget it!”

Most smart thermostats can be controlled remotely and allow for scheduling via an app or on the device. They’re easy to use and will help you save an average of $145 a year. The main players in this market are Ecobee, Nest, and Honeywell and they range from $170-$250.

3. LED & Smart Lights

Not as rare or expensive as they used to be, LED lights are a pretty amazing way to reduce your carbon footprint. A basic, 60-watt equivalent LED light bulb will use 10-15% of the energy needed of an incandescent bulb. They even give off less heat, which will help with your air conditioning bill in the summer too. You can find them for as little as $3 and they go up from there.

This wouldn’t be a “tech” article if I just talked about regular old LED lights. Good thing there are smart lights! I bought some Philips Hue lights a few months ago and they are awesome. I have them set to turn on at sunset because my wife is usually home then. Today, she has a meeting and isn’t home yet so I just went into to the app on my phone and turned them off. I even have them programmed to turn off at 8 am every morning just in case my wife or I forget to turn them off. Some versions can even allow you to adjust the color and sync them to music! Unfortunately, these can be pretty expensive at around $50 per bulb but could save you around $2-$4 per year.

4. Dual-Flush Toilet

Traditional toilets use more water than we usually need when we flush. That’s where dual-flush toilets come in. These unique thrones have a light flush option which, depending on the toilet/kit, uses a half-gallon less water per flush than a full-flush version. If you need more…ahem…flushing power, use the full flush mode and it’s business as usual. There are multiple manufacturers that sell toilets with this capability and you can even find kits online to convert your regular toilet to a dual flush. With these upgrades, you can save around $200 per year in water savings depending on the size of your household.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to help me save money and green tech has certainly helped. I’m thrilled to have made some of these energy efficient upgrades and I can’t wait to add more. Whether it’s a simple replacement LED light, new smart thermostat, or a dual flush toilet, you too can make your home more energy efficient and even save some cash.


Jeremy Atkins: Writer, Rocket Homes

Top Eco-Friendly Home Features Most Homeowners Want

With climate risks rising, an increasing number of homeowners are trying to do their part to improve the environment by investing in green and sustainable products and systems. Following are the top eco-friendly features most homeowners want in their homes.

Content sponsor Quicken Loans for REALTOR Magazine reveals the energy-saving products most in demand right now.


By Rachel Burris

What Are Eco Homes?

Eco homes are designed to promote greener lifestyles by minimizing the greenhouse gases they emit into the atmosphere. These homes reduce their environmental impact by including sustainable materials and technologies that reduce homeowners' energy and water needs.

Each of the following eco-friendly home features helps limit the waste produced by households. 

  • Energy Star-rated appliances. Homes with high-efficiency appliances are in demand because they offer enhanced performance with reduced energy usage. Not only do Energy Star-rated appliances lower homeowners’ carbon footprint, but they also look good and reduce utility costs.


  • Programmable thermostats. Homes with older HVAC systems are wasteful and costly because they pump hot and cold air throughout the home without regard to when and where it’s needed. Conversely, programmable thermostats provide homeowners with increased control over their climates.


  • Radiant floor heating. With heat directly transferring from the ground to the individuals standing on it, radiant heating uses much less energy than traditional heating methods. Commonly found in luxury bathrooms, radiant heating requires electric coils or water tubing to be installed under the floors. It’s pricey to install, but this technology ultimately contributes to lower energy expenses.


  • Solar panels. Instead of relying on the utility company to provide electricity, homeowners' are interested in generating clean energy themselves. Now that capturing the sun’s power is far more affordable, everyone's looking to deck their homes out with solar panels.


  • Recycled materials. Building and finishing homes with recycled materials is a trend that’s on the rise. Producing new materials depletes many natural resources, so reusing them eliminates waste and diminishes the environmental impact. Reclaimed materials, like barn wood and recycled quartz, also are more affordable and can furnish homes with striking textures.


  • Geothermal systems. “Geothermal systems use the ground’s relatively cool temperature to cool a home in the summer and relatively warmer temperature to heat homes in the winter,” says Chris Fisher, manager of solar product development and marketing at CertainTeed. “They’re eco-friendly because they can displace heating loads, which currently rely on the burning of fossil fuels to produce heat.” While this method is more efficient than traditional HVAC systems, it’s also more expensive to install. Since it regulates temperatures by transferring heat from the earth into your home, installation requires extensive drilling.

The Benefits Of Eco Homes

With their environmental and financial advantages, it’s no wonder everyone's seeking eco homes. The benefit of homes with eco-friendly features are they're highly coveted, so they’re likely to sell faster and possess a higher resale value in the future.


Rachel Burris is a writer for Quicken Loans’ Publishing House, covering topics of interest to present and future homeowners, as well as industry insiders.


3 Ways to Build Home Equity

Buying a home is a big step for both your family and your financial wellbeing. As you pay off your mortgage, you begin to build equity in your home. Equity is the difference between the market value of your home and how much you still owe. If that number is positive, you’ve built equity, which can come in handy if you ever need to take out a loan or as a profit when you decide to sell your home. Here are some ways you can build equity in your home faster.

By Christopher Kelly, RE/MAX Bayside

Pay More

You have a certain amount that you’re required to pay on your mortgage each month, but you don’t have to stop at the minimum. A large portion of mortgage payments covers interest and insurance. Upping your payment to pay down your principal loan amount will speed up your payment schedule. Even an extra $50 a month can have a big impact.


The amount of equity you have in your home depends on what your home is worth, so making upgrades that increase the value of your home is another way to increase your equity. One of the most lucrative upgrades you can make is replacing old garage doors. Just be sure to do your research when upgrading your home to see which renovations offer the greatest return on investment.

Restructure Your Mortgage

If you initially signed up for a 30 year mortgage, but are now at a point where you want to pay your loan off faster, you may benefit from switching to a 15-year plan. You’ll pay more each month, but you’ll pay less interest over time and could pay off your mortgage years ahead of schedule.

5 Best Trees For Privacy That Grow Fast

A sprawling backyard can be a great place to spend quality time with your family, or quietly relax alone away from the distractions of gadgets in the house like TV’s blaring and radios. Spending time outside can do wonders and you get to enjoy the natural scenery outside.


By Kevin Piol, Gardeners' Guide

Some homeowners rarely use their yards because it can feel too open, especially for neighborhoods with large multistorey houses. Fences can be expensive to construct and to maintain especially when it is getting old. The cost of repairing fences regularly can be costly, that’s why most homes opt for planting trees to save money while also getting one of its benefits.

How Trees Help Protect Your Privacy

Planting trees in your yard provides many benefits to your house. Trees also greatly improve the look and feel as well as the atmosphere of the surroundings. They can also help to block off the noise and replace them with a natural sound of rustling leaves. It can also help to regulate the temperature of your house by blocking the searing heat of the sun during hot summer or act as windbreakers to protect your house from strong winds.

Most importantly, trees are great for the environment and can help to stabilize the soil. The trees can also prevent soil erosion as well as provide nesting grounds for birds and other animals. Apart from the long list of benefits that trees provide to your house, it can also help to improve the privacy of your property by covering your yard with their branches and leaves. Trees also provide shade and make your yard beautiful and cozy.

Things to Consider When Planting Privacy Trees

Planting trees may be as straight forward as digging a hole in the ground. To avoid inadvertently damaging your own house, you need to consider several factors like how big a tree can grow, and how the seasons can affect the tree.

The Amount of Privacy You Need

Trees grow differently and when they fully mature, it will have a different height and width so it is important to know in advance the degree of privacy you need to find the perfect tree that fits your requirement. You also need to consider your privacy screen height relative to your house to avoid crowding your backyard.

The Size of Your Yard

Another important consideration before choosing a type of tree is the size of your yard. Trees need space to grow and if there is not enough space, their growth could be skewed and they won’t be able to screen your house properly. You also need to consider how the tree’s roots can affect parts of your property like pavement.

The Amount of Time You Have for Maintenance

Trees and shrubs may be easier to maintain compared to fences, but they still require love and care to grow properly and to fully mature. Trees require trimming so they won’t grow the wrong way and shrubs need pruning to keep them neat and orderly appearance.

Below is a list of the best trees for privacy that you can plant with minimal care and maintenance. These trees also minimize the disruption of your existing landscape. They are very popular in suburban homes and even in the middle of bustling cities.

Green Giant Thuja (Arborvitae)


This type of tree is perfect for medium-sized yards. It can also be used to substitute or complement existing fence lines. This type of tree can grow relatively fast compared to other privacy trees. This tree can grow up to 30 or 40 feet.


Emerald Green Thuja (Arborvitae)


The second candidate of our best trees for privacy is the Emerald Green Thuja. This tree is a slightly smaller variant of the popular Green Giant Thuja and is perfect for small yards. They grow at a modest rate of 6 to 9 inches per year which makes them easy to maintain and trim. The Emerald Green Thuja can reach a height of 12 to 14 feet perfect for blocking off street noise and to make them as your fence.


Leyland Cypress

source: revolutionary

Another one is the Leyland Cypress. This tree is perfect to substitute traditional fences or complement existing fence lines. The Leyland Cypress acts as a perfect wall to block street noise and prevent neighbors from invading the privacy of your yard. This tree can grow 3 to 5 feet a year and reach a height of 40 to 60 feet.


Wax Myrtle


The Wax Myrtle is the best option for homeowners who have small yards yet want a hedge as a fence line. This tree has very dense foliage and can definitely act as a fence to protect your home’s privacy. It can grow up to 6-12 feet and grows at a rate of 12 to 18 inches a year which makes it easy to prune and to maintain.


Eastern Red Cedar


The Eastern Red Cedar is a great choice for homeowners who wants a tree that provides a full-coverage of privacy because of its thick and wide foliage. This tree is a coniferous evergreen that can grow from 16 to 66 feet with a growth rate of 1 to 2 feet a year.


Planting Privacy Trees is an eco-friendly solution for protecting your home’s privacy and property. 

Labor Day 2020 is especially important in light of COVID-19 pandemic

Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the first Monday in September to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.

It goes without saying: This Labor Day is unlike any other that we’ve experienced in our lifetimes.

Even though parades are postponed, and large gatherings are not realistic options this year, the importance of this day cannot be emphasized enough.

By Billy Dycus, Guest columnist the Tennessean

For nearly 130 years, Americans have celebrated the many victories and contributions that working families and the labor movement have achieved while taking time to reflect on what still needs to be done. 

This Labor Day is especially resonant. 

2020 has already given us a considerable amount of time to do both of those things. Since March, workers in Tennessee and across the country have been tested like never before.

From the heroes of the United States Postal Service making sure our mail is safely delivered, to grocery store clerks working overtime to ensure we have food to put on our tables, millions of America’s working people have stepped up, risking our lives and livelihoods, to continuously go to work since the onset of COVID-19.

On this Labor Day, we are especially grateful for the countless essential workers who have kept our economy moving throughout the course of the pandemic.

No words or actions will ever be enough to thank you for everything that you’ve done, but please know that your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed or appreciated, especially by those of us in the labor movement.


Billy Dycus is the president of the Tennessee AFL-CIO, which represents over 60,000 working people statewide.


How to Host a Virtual Kentucky Derby Party This Weekend

Churchill Downs' first spectator-less race.


Every year since 1946, the first Saturday of May has been dedicated to a beloved horse racing tradition known as The Kentucky Derby. And while the official Run for the Roses was unfortunately rescheduled from its original May date due to the coronavirus, the "first Saturday" tradition will live on this weekend on September 5. This Saturday, fans will be able to tune in to NBC to watch the 146th Kentucky Derby race, which will be held without any spectators at the historic Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. If you're used to participating in a little traditional gambling fun, you can even visit to place virtual bets on the horses you think will run away with this year's top prize. For additional how-to-watch info, head to the Derby's home page.

In the meantime, there's no better way to prep for an epic at-home celebration than with delicious food and drink recipes! From traditional thumbprint cookies and bourbon cocktails to cute craft and decorating ideas (did someone say vintage trophies?), Here are some ways to celebrate one of the most exciting days in horse racing—no matter where you're watching from. Alright, y'all, we're off to the races!


1 Bake Up Derby-Inspired Thumbprint Cookies

Featuring bourbon, homemade caramel, melted chocolate, and toasted walnuts, these butter cookies take inspiration from a famed Kentucky pie.

Get the recipe.

2 Serve a Classic Benedictine Spread

Invented by Louisville caterer and tea room-owner Jennie Carter Benedict, this cream cheese-cucumber dip is a century-old Kentucky classic.

Get the recipe.

3 Place Your Bets

This year, 13 horses will participate in the virtual race. For easy betting, give each guest four of their own color of washi tape–covered clothespins. Let them pick favorites by clipping the pins to the tails of paper prize ribbons. Set a per-bet amount (say, $2), and place cash in a trophy; distribute winnings accordingly. Or, this year, bet on who does household chores, like unloading the dishwasher or folding socks!

Get the Template

4 Fill a Trophy with Fresh-Picked Flowers

Pull out your collection of vintage trophies and fill them with blooms cut from your yard.

5 Set Up a Photo Booth

Smile and say “Eddie Arcaro” (one of the winningest jockeys) with a turf-backed photo booth stocked with props like paper prize ribbons, trophies, riding crops, and hats.

6 Whip Up Bourbon Cocktails

Dust off the punch bowl and stir up a Derby cocktail with bourbon, club soda, orange curacao, sweet vermouth, lime juice, and orange bitters. 

Get the recipe.

7 Dress Up Your Drinks

Trace a bow-tie pattern on craft paper; assemble. Cut a strip from color-coordinated paper, and wrap around glass; tape in place. Tape bow to strip, and let the “tie one on” jokes commence.


8 Make a Horseshoe Wreath


5 Budget-Friendly Ideas to Transform a Home's Style

It can be an extremely expensive endeavor to redesign a home. If resources are limited, don’t be discouraged. Consider ways you can use what is already in the home to enhance the look and cut down on costs. Bringing in just a few essential items can change the tone of a space and have a big impact. Here are some ideas.

 Architect, Monica Gibson offers up tips to create a more inviting space.

1. Add indoor plants

Adding plants in your living space is one of the easiest and best ways to transform your home. Plants usher in natural beauty and color to any room in the most affordable way. Regardless of the space you have, growing indoor plants is ideal for any room.

Try different ways of placing them to change the look of rooms. If you have less space, hang plants or place them on floating shelves. You also can use plants on the floor where space is available.

Do not let lack of natural light keep you from transforming your home with indoor plants. Invest in reliable grow lights to provide lighting to your plants. You now have a solution for brightening that boring corner in your living room.

2. Repaint the walls

Photo credit: Dunn-Edwards (paint color: Minty Fresh)

Another way to instantly transform your home on a budget is by adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls. You can decide to use the existing hue, or you can change it to a different shade for a fresher look. The latter, however, would mean changing a few accessories in the home to create a balanced feeling. Need some color inspiration? Take a look at 2020’s hottest paint colors

3. Swap Out window treatments

Many people underestimate the effect window treatments can have on a room. The color, texture, and fabric—and even how treatments are placed—can have a huge impact on the overall look of any room. Therefore, changing window treatments can transform a space without having to spend a fortune.

Consider creating an illusion of a high ceiling by raising the window panels to the top of walls. Opt for materials such as cotton, linen, and silk to add greater elegance to the windows. If you prefer having blinds, wood and woven bamboo always make for a great choice.

4. Replace the pillows

Another underestimated way to greatly make your home more elegant: pillows—lots of them. Pillows can bring life to your living space. They also offer extra support on the sofa.

Consider replacing your old pillows and throw pillows for fuller ones. When it comes to throw pillows, experiment with colors and textures. If they are not worn out, just replace the covers with ones that have different colors and textures. Get more tips on using pillows in your staging.

5. Use wall hangings

A budget-friendly alternative to repainting the walls is to use wall hangings. Invest in unique art pieces, or have some customized. You can even add a painting that you made yourself to create a more personalized feel. Family portraits also make a great choice when it comes to wall hangings. But keep in mind that home stagers will often advise removing any personal photos prior to selling a home.

6. Get rid of old furniture

That old, ugly chair that you are holding on to for sentimental value is the undoing in your living room. You don’t want furniture that looks worn. Don’t worry about the cost of replacing it. Instead, take advantage of the empty space to rearrange the rest of the furniture for a fresh look.

Alternatively, find an affordable replacement in second-hand shops. You can always change the upholstery to have it match the rest of your furniture.

Take heart: There’s an endless list of design ideas to achieve a luxurious effect without breaking the bank. Keep in mind that labor costs are usually the biggest expense. If you eliminate that cost by doing more work yourself, you can find more savings. Also, be strategic by just replacing a few key items.

Avoid a complete redesign. Instead, change little pieces; it can go a long way.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Monica Gibson is an architect, with a degree in architecture. She has eight-plus years of experience in interior and exterior design. Her mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and create their perfect sweet home. Lena puts a big effort into working with her clients and tries to help them in the best way she can.


Behr Announces 2021 Color Forecast

Behr Paint Co. unveiled 21 versatile colors on Monday to make up its Color Trends 2021 Palette. The colors include neutrals mixed with some lavish bolds to create “energizing, yet comforting” focal points in a home, Behr says.


“This has been a year of unpredictability and 2020 has significantly changed our relationship with home,” says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color at Behr. “When our color team began exploring a palette for the coming year, we knew it needed to be grounded in what we’ve been craving: comfort and personalization. A new, ‘elevated’ articulation of ‘comfort’ goes beyond traditional beige, gray, and green hues and embraces color in a way that can redefine and enhance any type of space inside or outside the home.”

Behr says color will play an increasing role in setting a mood for a space, creating a positive atmosphere, and providing a sense of well-being that ensures living and workspaces feel “pleasant, light, and productive.”

The 2021 Behr color palette is organized into six color themes: casual comfort, subtle focus, optimistic view, quiet haven, calm zone, and outdoor escape.

Here’s a breakdown of each theme, according to Behr:

Casual ComfortLight and cozy neutrals offer an updated take on the casual farmhouse look, achievable with warm-toned hues like Almond Wisp PPU5-12  and Sierra N240-4

Optimistic ViewAn eclectic mix of bright, luxe shades evoke a Mediterranean or ’70s glam vibe, featuring festive colors like Saffron Strands PPU6-02 or Kalahari Sunset MQ1-25.

Subtle FocusSoft pastels like Seaside Villa S190-1 and Wishful Green M410-2 are inspired by modern versions of art deco design and styling, surrounding a space in subtle sweetness.

Calm ZoneNurturing blues and greens continue to trend alongside  society’s desire for selfcare and well-being, with colors like Jojoba N390-3 and Voyage PPU13-07 creating calm, restorative spaces.

Quiet HavenDarker, evocative colors are fit for traditional and maximalist décor, with hues like Royal Orchard PPU11-01 and Broadway PPU18-20, creating boldness and balance..

Outdoor EscapeAny shade from the palette can be used to add curb appeal and expand your home’s livable space, whether it’s wrapping a home or targeting those focal points like doors, shutters or trim, you can find the hue that shows off your exterior. 

Behr has teamed with color influencers for a social media campaign called “21 Days, 21 Colors, 21 Projects” that will share DIY projects featuring a color from the palette under the hashtag “#21DaysOfColor.”


Source: Behr

About Behr Paint Company
Founded in 1947, Behr Paint Company is one of the largest manufacturers of paints, primers, decorative finishes, stains and surface preparation products for do-it-yourselfers and professionals in the United States, Canada and Mexico.