Sherwin-Williams 2021 Color of the Year

Sherwin-Williams Announces Its 2021 Color of the Year


Since we are all already over 2020 I thought it would be nice to share what Sherwin-Williams announced as its 2021 color of the year.  It’s Urbane Bronze! Sherwin-Williams says Urbane Bronze captures simple sophistication.

Urbane Bronze

SW 7048

Urbane Bronze

Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing, Sue Wadden says “Urbane bronze is a comforting color, drawing from nature for a feeling of relaxation and serenity.”  The gray undertones also give it a modern twist.  You can pair this color with natural materials complementing the shade, including woven textiles, stone accents, wood finishes, and mixed metals. They also suggest pairing it with other warm neutrals like their Modern Gray or Messenger Bag color that has a hint of green.

You can use this color as exterior or interior.  Use it as a primary or accent color in living rooms, bedrooms, home offices, or dens.  Wadden also says that it can be used to accentuate window trim, columns, and accent walls in residential or commercial spaces.

We could all use a feeling of relaxation and serenity with everything going on in the world right now. Why wait for 2021?  Go and grab this color and create it yourself!

9 Illusions created by Reality Property Shows

Rural Property Prices Are On The Rise

Rural Property Prices Are On The Rise

Canva - Sun Raise from the Sky over the Green Fields

Urban areas have long been the most popular realty markets within the country. But the pandemic and stay-at-home orders left many of us looking for extra space, both indoors and out—and now that some restrictions are being lifted in some areas, many buyers are leaving the cities and heading to more rural destinations to search out the space they’re craving to have. Twenty-one percent of buyers recently surveyed said they wanted a place to designate for their work from home and that same percentage of people surveyed also are seeking more outdoor space.

And as interest in this “hot” housing market is rising, so are the prices of these rural properties.

According to the data outlined in a very recent article on REALTOR Magazine, rural homes experienced an 11.3 percent increase in sales price year over year during the four weeks ending August 2—which is a much higher growth than the suburbs (9.2 percent) and still a higher growth than the urban areas (6.7 percent).

So, what does this mean for you? If you live in a rural area and are considering selling your home, now’s a good time to take advantage of increased demand.  We keep saying this is a seller’s market and that is even more true with these rural properties. Don’t wait, call a NextHome agent today for a no-obligation consultation. 712-336-9999

Tips to Help Ease the Stress Of A Home Renovation

Tips To Help Ease The Stress Of A Home Renovation


A home renovation can be a giant job—and for several homeowners, it can also be very stressful.

But it doesn’t need to be! A recent article from Point2Homes outlined key tips you’ll be able to use to own a stress-free home renovation experience, including:

  • Get your things out of the way. A renovation can be really messy——and the last thing you want is for any of your furniture or other belongings to become ruined or damaged. If you can, move any furniture or other personal belongings that are typically stored within the renovation zone and get them out of the way (either by storing them in another room or by putting them in a storage unit) before you take on any major renovations.
  • Carve out space for yourself. Large-scale renovations can feel like they’re taking over your entire house. Designate a spot in your home where you’ll be able to get away from the renovation noise and mess and relax, maybe a spare bedroom (or even a closet!).
  • Order takeout. Renovations take up lots of your time, space, and energy—and trying to cook meals, eat, and clean up the mess, on top of managing a renovation project can feel overwhelming. If you can, order takeout to get rid of the stress of cooking, shopping, and preparing meals while you are in the process of a renovation. (Plus, not only will ordering takeout help make your renovation less stressful, but it’s also an excellent way to support your local restaurants that might be struggling due to COVID.)

So what is the bottom line? There’s enough stress in our world—so, if you’re planning on renovating your home, make sure you are taking the steps to make it as stress-free as you probably can.

Dont let the thought of selling your home stress you out!


There are lots of moving pieces when it involves selling your home—and for several sellers, those moving pieces can cause an honest amount of stress.

But what are the foremost stressful parts of selling your home? According to a recent survey from LendingTree, a number of the highest stressors include:

  • Buying and selling a home at the same time 
    • 29% of home sellers surveyed said trying to sell their home while trying to buy a new home was the biggest stressor within the process.
  • Making costly repairs or upgrades
    • Depending on the condition of your home, you may need to come up with some cash on repairs or upgrades before you list.  This is a process that 16% said was the most stressful part of the process.
  • Fearing the home won’t sell
    • Even though a very low home inventory is making this a sellers market. 15% said that they fear their home won’t sell was the most stressful part of the process.
  • Balancing advice from lots of different sources
    • Your friends, family, neighbors, and even co-workers might mean well when they give advice on what you should and shouldn’t do. But 13% said sifting through advice from such a big amount of different sources was the most stressful part of selling their home.

So, what does this mean for you? 

If you’re stressed out about selling your house, you are definitely not alone. In fact, it’s very normal. But, the more you know about the potential stressors that may come during the home selling process, the better prepared you can be to deal with them. This will lead to a less stressful home selling process.  Make sure to contact your NextHome agent so we can help ease your mind. 

Do I Need A Buyers Agent? YES!


Why Should You Hire a Buyer’s Agent?

When you first start looking at houses to buy, it is usually because you saw a house online or you drove by one that was for sale…

So, you reach out to the agent online or on the For Sale sign. Maybe you call to ask a few questions, or see if they can show you the house. Next thing you know, you’re receiving listings by e-mail and looking at homes with that agent.

You probably want to be a little more deliberate about finding yourself an agent. Too many people just randomly start working with the agent listing the home.

That’s really not the best way to “hire” a real estate agent when you are looking to purchase a home, but that is normally what happens.

What I am trying to say is most people don’t really find the right agent for them.  So what is the solution and what should you do?


Make an effort to find an agent to work with before you actually start looking at any home. While it is normal to be excited to look for that perfect home to buy, you are skipping a very important step. You should start by asking friends, family, coworkers, or anybody else you know for referrals or recommendations.

Then, meet with those agents. See how they will work for you.  Do they seem like they know what they are talking about and doing?  Are they asking you questions to determine what your needs are?

Once you find one for you, HIRE them…

Let me repeat that.  Once you find the one for you, hire them!  Commit to that agent and solely with them.

Too many people feel like they need to have lots of different agents helping them find a house.  But ALL agents have access to every home on the market.  They can ALL get you in and show you the home.

But not every agent can represent “your” needs and work for “your” best interest. It’s not all about having an agent who is willing to jump into the car to show you a home the very minute you call them about one.  It is about having an agent who will truly help you and have the insight into you and your needs.

So what is the best thing to do when you find the right agent?  The best thing to do is to sign a Buyer’s Agency Agreement with them.  Show them you are just as committed to them as they are to helping you through this home buying process.


The reason some people complain about their home buying experience is because they did not have a committed relationship with their agent.  Sometimes this can cause trust issues and not so positive experiences.

So, don’t go down that road.  Instead go out and find and “hire” the best agent you can find.  One that you trust and know is working for your best interest.  It can mean all the difference in the end.

Winter Cleaning!

house cleaning    Pro Tip: If you clean and organize your home during Winter, when Spring gets here you won’t have to do it! Plus, who wants to be stuck inside cleaning when the birds start chirping and the sun starts shining past 4 o’clock?! Not I. So! Without further ado, here are the best (100% FREE!) tips for cleaning and de-cluttering your home today.

  1.  Get rid of things you don’t use! Your local shelter will take all that stuff off your hands and give it to people who need it, assuming it’s in usable condition. An easy way to decide whether or not you need something is if you’ve used it in the last year. With your clothes, you can turn all the hangers around backwards and whenever you wear something, turn the hanger back and after a year, you’ll see just how much you don’t really wear!
  2. No Junk Drawers. Drawers are so easy to stuff things in. Out of sight out of mind, right? Try using a drawer organizer, or put a non-slip liner in and use small decorative bowls and plates!
  3. Always work from Top to Bottom.  Clean ceiling fans and ceilings first, it will prevent you from having to dust or clean things twice. Vacuum last, and always use a HEPA filter.
  4. Wipe Everything Down. Walls, windows, kitchen cabinets, shower tile, appliances, TV’s, try one of these household cleaners.
  5. Wash (or Dry) everything.  Wash the bedding, the extra blankets, the curtains if labels allow, throw the pillows in the dryer for 15 minutes. Sprinkle some baking soda on your bare mattress and vacuum it up after 15 minutes. I promise you’ll sleep better tonight.
  6. Set Limits! Nobody needs forty-two different size screws and throw that magazine away, you’re not going to read it. Let your space allow for limits, if you can’t find a place for it that’s practical, get rid of it.

About the Boomerang Generation

Boomerang generation is a term used to describe the millions of young adults who, after graduating from high schoolresize or college and living on their own, return to the family home to live with their parents.

This ongoing trend occurs for a variety of reasons. Some young adults make the move simply because they want to, but most often it’s due to financial difficulties caused by things like job loss, a lack of financial skills, a relationship breakup, an inability to secure a high-paying job, increased debt, a lack of affordable housing, and costly student loan debt.

Recent studies suggest that young adults who have not completed college specifically are at an increased risk to boomerang back into the family home. So while college completion can lower their boomerang risk, high cost tuition and student loan debt can raise it again.

Sharing household expenses with parents provides adult children an opportunity to save money for their future while allowing parents an alternative to providing supplemental income to their children.

Reentering the home requires communication though and a great deal of thoughtful planning. It also requires young adults (and their parents) to change and adapt to new roles in the household as adults- no longer as children.

With the ultimate goal of financial independence, a predetermined plan should take into consideration the following:

By how much will household expenses increase with another occupant?
Where will the adult child be employed?
How much rent will the adult child be expected to pay?
How much will he put away into savings?
What rules might be implemented regarding risky social behaviors?
Who in the home will be responsible for which household tasks?
Will the adult child require a financial adviser, a credit counselor, a psychiatrist, or any other professional services?
How will the individuals within the home maintain their privacy?
Is this arrangement short or long term- what is the move out goal date?

Although these conversations may seem awkward or uncomfortable, communication is critical for the arrangement to be successful. Effective communication and planning will establish the boundaries and expectations for everyone involved so futures can be planned accordingly. Communication and planning can preserve the relationship between parent and child and pave the way for an adult child’s future financial success.

Building Home Equity

Because of depreciation, many assets lose value over time or when you pay them off. Homes, however increase inHome equity value over time so building equity in your home is a great strategy for building wealth and financial security.



What is home equity?
Home equity is often considered a homeowner’s largest asset. It can be calculated by subtracting the total home loan(s) balance from the home’s market value. For example: if your current debt on your home is $200,000 and your home’s current market value is $250,000, you have approximately $50,000 in equity.

Why is home equity important?
Home equity is an asset so it’s part of your net worth. Having home equity can be extremely valuable as it can be used for:
– Making home improvements
– Purchasing another home
– An emergency fund
– To pay down other high rate loans such as credit cards
– To invest

How is home equity built?
In order to build equity, a home’s loan balance must go down and the home’s value must go up.
To reduce loan balance:
– Make a large down payment
– Make extra loan payments
– Consider a 15 year mortgage vs 30 year
– Consider a refinance at a lower rate or for a shorter term

To increase the home’s value:
– Maintain the home properly
– Make high return on investment home improvements (indoors and outdoors)

Getting the Most from a Home Warranty

Warranty houseUnlike homeowner’s insurance that offers protection against perils such as weather and other natural disasters, home warranties offer protection against major home system failures.

The protection of home warranties can offer homeowners peace of mind against major repairs and unforeseen expense by assigning the repair risk over to the warranty provider.

Resale homes, in particular are great candidates for home warranties as the used systems and appliances they contain already have wear and tear and often times limited life remaining.

Here are three important tips in getting the most out of a home warranty:

Know your coverage
Know what is covered and what isn’t. Home warranty coverages differ and the providers that offer them differ too. Most home warranties cover all major systems within a home including central heating and cooling systems, electrical components, plumbing systems, clothes washers/dryers, and kitchen appliances.
Home warranty providers offer coverage at an annual premium, but they also include deductibles and service call fees. Knowing what those costs are can help you to weigh the benefits of one plan over another.

Perform routine Maintenance
Home systems must be “properly maintained” so knowing what a provider deems as proper maintenance is crucial in identifying any potential policy exclusions. Your maintenance performance as well as that of the previous homeowner before you will be evaluated by service technicians and relevant to your policy.

Choose a reputable warranty provider
Some warranty providers are prompt and professional and some are not. Researching a provider’s reviews as well as its service history is important to identify a reliable company. Home warranty providers typically have data available to reflect its performance and claim history. Use that data to compare and choose the provider that will offer you the peace of mind you deserve.