The RE/MAX Associates Louisville Real Estate Blog

Closing Times Are Speeding Up!

National average closing time for February was down to 46 days after falling from 51 in January. This is according to Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report.

The average home purchase loan took approximately 45 days to close in February which is an improvement of three days from January. A refinance loan took an average of 47 days to close in February, which is an improvement by 6 days. 

63% of the market share are conventional loans for February, while January held a 66% marketshare. The FHA bumped up it's market share by two percentage points and the VA loans rose by one point to 10%.

The FICO score's for loans decreased in February to 720 after falling from 722. Considering a year ago in August and September, FICO scores are currently 11 points lower. On the other side, FICO scores are still one point higher than January 2016.

The good news is that 70% of the closed purchase loans had a minimum score of 700.

February was a strong month for buyers, they held a 57% of the total close loans. 

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Selling a Home To Millennials

There’s been a trend in the past decade where Baby Boomers with gigantic, luxury homes in the suburbs downsize for a significantly smaller home closer to the city. On the other side, a new trend shows millennials leaving their small city-life-living. They’re giving the suburbs a try, and finding that more space and some land of their own is pretty awesome, especially if they are thinking about starting a family in the near future. 

The millennials were born in a peculiar time. Think about it, from the mid 80’s to the late 90’s, American children were growing up in an environment that was dramatically changing culturally and socially. Their preferences are often and sometimes vastly different from their Baby Boomer parents. So here are a few tips to remember when you go to sell your home to a millennial. 

They are busy

(Most) Millennials are not scared of work and they choose to work a lot. What free time they do have they enjoy spending it with family and friends. They also happen be a bit more transient than their parents, so moving often isn’t a big deal. Another trait about them is they’re a little impatient. They would much rather prefer a home that is live-in ready than one that needs a little renovation or remodeling. 

Sadly, most millennials don’t want to take the time to make a house their home. Baby Boomers on the other hand, were all about this when they bought any house. 

House hunting is similar to dating

IF you know a millennial you know they are literally attached to their phones. They can order dinner, reserve a seat at the movies, and even find a person to take out all with their thumbs. 

With smart phones able to do nearly anything, they can home shop too. So as a seller, it’s important...

What A Lender Looks at

When you're in the market to buy a home having a clear picture of your finances your first step. If this is also your very first home, the endless list of things to consider is overwhelming. But one of the most important things to keep in the front of your mind is that mortgage lenders are quietly looking at your finances to decide if they should loan to you, and how much. 

So slow your roll visiting open houses and checking out neighborhoods; have your finances in check before you do any of this. Knowing your buying power isn't all that exciting, but knowing how these numbers impact your chances of getting a loan are vital to your success. 

Here are the 4 numbers lenders are carefully looking over:

1. Credit score 

A credit score is the most simple way a lender can see how diligent you are with paying your debts on time. There are five factors that determine this score, and they are weighted differently. The first, and most important factor is your payment history (35%), debts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), credit mix and new credit (10% each). 

A credit score of 620 isn’t great, but it’s not awful. Now having a score in this ballpark won’t deny your chances to get a loan, but it will determine what kind of loan you get. With a lower credit score, you’ll get a higher interest rate, and just the opposite, a higher credit score gets a lower interest rate. 

2. Down Payment

Despite credit scores being the most heavily weighted factor, cash still reigns as king. The bigger down payment you throw down on the table, the more buying power you have. 

And generally, we all know the 20% down rule, it gives the buyer great benefits over not having a full 20%. One major one is sometimes you don’t need private mortgage insurance with 20% down. When sellers see a potential buyer throw down 20% down payment, they know the buyer is...

Why Your Neighbors Matter

It's always in the benefit of everyone to be on the good side of your neighbors. There is a smart strategy to be played when selling your home, and that is thinking of your neighbors home. If their house is in poor shape then it could impact what your home sells for. Hopefully they take good care of their property, because it could help your bottom line if they do.

Picture a scenario where you spent hours working on your curb appeal and even renovating a few rooms in your house, but when you step in the street to look at it all you can see is your neighbors disaster of a home. You can put a ton of money into sprucing up your home, but if your neighbors property doesn't look pleasant, then it will surely lessen your value.

But there is a way around this! Here's what you need to do to make sure you were on your neighbors good side. 

Build strong relationships

If you are planning on selling in the near future, it's still important to have good relationships with those around you. Who knows you may need them at the least unexpected time. 

It's somewhat common for issues to spring up in the middle of a sale. Sometimes the problems involve retaining wall's, fence repair, and matters of the lake will often bring your neighbor into your sale.

Being on good terms with your neighbors almost ensures their cooperation when you need them the most.

Keep them in the loop

If you do plan to sell in the near future, it's a courteous thing to do to inform them in advance. Yes, sometimes neighbors are nosy, but it's considerate to keep them current with a process like this.

Maybe you need their help for a small project and if they know you plan on moving they could be more than willing to help. 

Offer to pay for improvements...

An Empty Nester's Market

There's nothing new to report when I say there is a shortage of houses in the market. The demand is ever rising but homebuilders aren't erecting houses to meet the demand. The land isn't being sold, the permits aren't being filled and good help is difficult to come by. 


With the market the way it is, it's clear as to why it belongs to the sellers. Realtor.com has claimed that the average time a home sits on the market across the nation is 3.6 months. These are unseen level since January 2005. 


Dallas, TX's average is 42 days, Seattle is 36, while the country's average is 90 days. And to add the fact that interest rates just rose; buyers become a bit more motivated. With mortgage rates expected to rebound, buyers are thinking now is the time to jump in the market. Home prices are raising at twice the rate of average hourly wage, and twice the rate of inflation. Not the best news for first-time buyers, but it could be worse. 
On the other hand it's great news for empty-nesters and other homeowners who are looking to downsize. 

Developers have catered to this demographic by building luxury condominiums in major markets. Baby boomers are selling their ginormous estates and downsizing to accommodate their needs, so developers saw this as an opportunity.

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Inexpensive Kitchen Upgrades Before You Sell

Your kitchen is the room of the house you spend most of your time in whether you know it or not. This is where you make your meals, entertain your friends, or talk to your family day today. 
One day you may look around and see your kitchen isn't quite up to your standards and it needs a fresh makeover ASAP. Luckily a kitchen up grade can be done for less than $5,000. 

Upgrades that will boost the value

1. Repaint the cabinets and replace hardware
A fresh coat of paint and some new knobs are easy ways to give your kitchen a quick makeover without it draining your wallet. Hardware is often underestimated in the change it can bring to a kitchen. A simple new look can help modernize cabinetry without a whole lot of effort. Try to get knobs with the same drill holes as your current ones, drilling new holes to perfection isn't always that easy. 

Estimated cost: $250 hardware, $300 paint

2.Add a backsplash
Does the ugly wall or old backsplash bother you when you're doing dishes? Adding a modern backsplash can do wonders for a kitchen. They're not that difficult to install, and they have the benefit of coming in many shapes, size, and styles. 

Estimated cost: $1,000

3. Replace the lights
You Lighting creates the feel of a room, so it's vital to have good lighting in a kitchen. Pendant lights the well above islands, and under cabinet lights provide a classier look. If your white fixtures are already modern, then all you may need is to replace your existing bulbs with LED's. Lighting is usually a bit expensive, but if you shop at the...

How Rate Hike Hurts Buyers

Yesterday, the federal reserve released some less than pleasant news for potential home buyers. Not only did they raise interest rates, they also said rates will steadily climb throughout the year. Despite the volatility with the rates in the past year, it looks like we will be watching them rise whether we like it or not. 

Monthly mortgage payments will also rise, and potentially tightening the housing supply. 

They announced rates will rise .25% and they also have two more installments of rate jumps during the year. 

Unbeknownst to some there is a difference between mortgage rates and short-term interest rates. The Fed determines the short-term interest rates which keeps mortgage rates at a similar number. Ultimately the Fed influences mortgage rates. 

It's most likely going to become harder to buy a house because it'll be more expensive month-to-month, and those who currently have a house probably won't be looking to move since their rates are locked in. The homeowners who were considering moving, could very well stay right where they are.

Last summer the rate on a 30-year-fixed mortgage was 3.44% and just last week they were 4.39% which is another historic low. This increase of .25% will force buyers to spend another 3% each month on their loans, assuming they have an average $250,000 house. 

Small increases aren't going to push many people out of the buying Poole, but when it keeps rising it will eventually push many people out. 

On the building side of things, materials are expensive as-is and continue to climb up in price, so raising rates could very well push a number of a builders out of the market.

In the past few years rents and housing costs have been rising faster than ever while the rest of the economy stays somewhat level. This is surely not helping the shortage of homes available.

Now is not the time to panic. Buyers can request adjustable rate mortgage is which are...

Listing Photos, How Crucial They Really Are

When selling your home the first metaphorical cast of the fishing line is your pictures. Having he right pictures can attract the right buyers which could earn you extra bucks. All potential buyers look at the listing pictures online first and foremost. They then decide if the house is worst a visit or not. 

It’s important to take quality listing photos, because of they don’t grab the attention of buyers, they will never step inside. The photographer will do most of the work, but it is up to you to prepare your home for the photo shoot. Your agent will have a detailed list of what to do with all the stuff laying around the house. 

Never list online without photos

A lot of buyers get alerts through text or email whenever a new house gets to market; and nothing is more frustrating than to see a house with a great address and not a single picture. 

Agents will never put the listing up without any photos, and they’ll scold the seller for listing it without pictures. If it’s listed without photos, they may come back to look again another day, or not at all. 

Clean, organize, and declutter

The first thing your agent will tell you to do is to clean and organize your home. This is putting away all the personal items like photographs, putting away pet bowls, fluffing the pillows, and making sure the house is now completely neutral. Also, it won’t hurt to clean the hell out of it so it really shines. 

The beauty of an online listing is house shoppers can zoom-in on photos. If the photos posted don’t give the buyer a good idea of what your home is like, they’ll believe you don’t care and aren’t serious about selling your home. 

Crappy photos won’t do

Photos that are blurry, crooked, cropped, just aren’t going to sell...

2017 Rate Volatility Impacts Affordability

Well interest rates rose again. Its always a little disheartening to the prospective home buyers when the rates rise because it’s a little less square footage they can afford. The upside is you will have a little more flexibility than you know. 

We are going to have a look back at some past rates since November, see how it effected affordability, and what to do to get the best deal you possibly can. 

2017 rate recap & projections

Since the election rates have risen .75%. This is due to the belief that Trump’s administration will stimulate the economy again, through lower taxes, deregulation, etc. 

The rates are leveling off in an almost unpredictable way. Since November the rates have been dropping and rising again, every single day. 

It all comes down to inflation. If there are threats of inflation, rates rise. As the administration operates day-to-day, investors bet inflation to relax, and other days they bet for it tossing upward. 

Holistically, rates are off from post election highs, up .5% from this last election. 

The volatility will continue as investors and the Fed attempt to predict where the rates will go. Here’s how it impacts your potential purchase. 

How the rates impact affordability 

For example, a $350,000 home that has a 20% downpayment, followed by a rate spike of .5% takes away $17,000  from your affordability. This seems like a huge number, and it is, but it’s not damning you to a lesser home. 

How much home you can afford is based on a debt-to-income ratio, which looks at all your debts (car payment, credit card debt, etc.) and is divided by your monthly income. Typically, if you spend 43% of your income on bills, lenders won’t lend to you. 

That $350,000 house you want, your DTI says you can only afford $333,000...

Staging Your House Like A Pro

When you decide it's time to sell your house there's one thing you must do, and that is stage your home. If you stage it just right, potential buyers will see themselves comfortably living in the space they're looking at. 

Any room they can't see themselves inhabiting is a roadblock to a potential sale. A general rule to go by is to make them fall in love right when they walk in the door, without being too distracting. Follow the simple rules to stage your home properly and you're practically be pushed out of your house by the buyers!

No huge projects

A big fallacy sellers sometimes succumb to is they have to redo a certain part of the house. Your remodel for somebody else to live in may not fit their taste. So let them remodel if it's necessary. Instead of spending the money to remodel just give them a price reduction. This could save you a ton of trouble and time.

Paint in neutral

The quickest and most effective improvement a home can undergo is a new paint job. Having a fresh coat of paint stripes for a good first impression, and not to gross anyone out stick to the neutral colors like creams whites and a pale apricot.

Gray has been pretty hot lately however it does not always match everyone's furniture.

Throw power

A cheap way to stage your home is to get yourself a few throw pillows it doesn't have to be anything fancy, just something to spruce up the furniture will do. 

The room really starts to flow when the throes match the furniture in colors and patterns. 

Easy on your own tastes

If your personality is very neutral you're in luck, but if it's not then it needs to come down.

Often times buyers get distracted by your personal photos and art pieces so much they don't see themselves living there. If your lifestyle of messiness is on display that will surely turn off any onlookers.

It's not a bad idea to put...

Considerations When Pricing Your Home

No two home is exactly the same, each with a different design and story, they are priced separate, but unique. It's difficult to pin price a home, but there are a few small things you can do to find A relative price. 
One of the best things you can do is look at the recent sales in the area and particularly in your neighborhood. Do your homework and add in a little extra market research and talk to your agent and you can come up with a pretty accurate price.
Here are several rules-of-thumbs to remember when pricing your house.

Look at recent comps

Markets are ever-changing so you'll want to only  look at the last three months comparable sales. Check out the current pending sales to get a good idea. And if you look at homes from six months ago, just know they're a bit dated and the market has probably changed. 

Fixtures and finishes matter

Today's buyers would rather have a delightfully decorated home with neutral finishes and fixtures as opposed to an unrenovated home.
It's important to look at homes objectively. Other buyers will too, so if your home is not updated, you won't get top dollar for your home. 
Chances are the money you spend on your upgrading, is less than the differences in value. 

Each home is unique

Homes with similar square footage and amenities should sell for the same price right? Absolutely not! One homes bedrooms may all be on the top floor, while having a much sweeter master bath, and the other homes kitchen is connecting to the dining room. Each home has its own layout, which some can be more valuable than others. 
Buyers really pay for...

Millennials Leverage FHA Loans in January

Ellie Mae Millennial Tracking has shown that millennial's are increasing their share in the housing market, they are accounting for 84% of closed loans with 35% being FHA loans. 

What appeals to millennials about the FHA loans is they offer a lower down payments and a lower FICO score requirement. It is expected that FHA loans will continue to increase, especially in the millennial generation. Two markets with the most millennial FHA loans happen to be in Owensboro Kentucky, and Atlanta Georgia. On average it takes 49 days to close. 

Collectively, the average millennial's FICO score was 724; and the average FICO score for conventional loans was 748. Yeah average FICO score for VA loans or 734 and the average for FHA loans were 690. 

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Proper Paint Disposal

Painting is a messy ordeal no matter how small of a space there is to be painted. At least a little paint will always be left over when the job is finished. And according to a nonprofit company, Paintcare.org 70,000,000 gallons of paint go on used each year.

Eventually the paint must be disposed of, and disposed of properly. If the lazy route is taken, it can be an environmental hazard and nobody wants that. So here's what you need to know about disposing paint properly.

Paint goes bad

Check and see if the paint is still good. If only the can is left you can throw it away or donate it to Habitat for Humanity. If the paint is in fact bad there's no reason to low let it take up space on your shelf.

To make paint last it's all about ceiling. Water-based paint, if sealed correctly, will last up to five years; and oil based paint will last up to ten years. You will know if the paint is bad by the foul smell, or it's a hard texture. Stirring it a little bit will indicate whether it's still good or not.

Proper disposal

Never ever pour paint down the drain or throw in the trash. It really matters where you live because different states and cities have different regulations regarding paint disposal. Check with your local waste disposal companies first.
Here are some basics to begin

Water-base: put them in a well ventilated area without the lid to let the paint Harden. This may take a few weeks depending on the weather. To speed up the process kitty litter or paint hardener may be added. Once the paint is solid place it in the trash and recycle the can.

Oil-base: Federal and local regulations designate oil based paints as hazardous waste. They have strict procedures for disposing of this material paint.
Never let them dry like water based paints because they will email...

Ways to Finish Winter Strong and Save On Energy

Louisville has had some crazy weather lately, from 60's and 70's mid week to 30's and 40's the very next day. It's been quite unpredictable and we really don't know what next week will hold. If you are a precautionary type of person you'll be ready for winter to finally appear as it should in February. Finish the winter season strong by saving what you can on your heating bill.

Insulate your doors and windows

Weather stripping your doors and windows is a simple project with wonderful benefits. It's easy to install and easy to remove.
Get yourself some transparent weather sealant tape, and apply it to windows and glass doors. A simple YouTube should answer any questions you have about application.
Another cool use for this tape is placing it on your cracked windows. When it's placed on the trip drafty parts of the window it keeps out the unwelcome elements from the outside.

Door sweep

Whether you know it or not of lot of cold air comes in under your exterior door. These door sweeps heart symbol tune install by just nailing them to the bottom of your door, or with some sort of adhesive.

Reflective insulation

Some of the most expensive rooms in your house can be those not used like your crawlspaces and attics. Reflective insulation is less expensive and easier to install then normal fiberglass filled, itchy insulation. A staple gun is all you need.
This product is $20 a roll and it can be used on several rooms in the house. They can keep your pet’s house, the chicken coop, or most other small places warm.

The garage door

Garages are usually always cold, unless it is insulated. A Good way to keep it warm is to weather strip your garage door. Just...

Home Builders Slow As Developers Start Fewer Apartment

A report by commerce deep apartment stated that the adjusted rate for new house is 1.25 million, which is a Decline 2.6% in January. The United States saw a drop in apartment constructions, which lead to fewer homes being built last month.  December of 2016 new house construction rose 1.9% while new apartment construction dropped nearly 8%.
However, in the past year new home construction rose 10.5%. This is due to an increase in demand in homes. Despite rising interest rates, the market is still standing strong.

The frustrating obstacle for buyers today is the lack of inventory. The December stock of available homes reached its lowest point since 1999, in turn, prices have elevated so much that buyers have to relentlessly bid against one another.

Homebuilders are seeing the demand firsthand, but can't erect homes fast enough to alleviate a little of the shortage.
On the other hand, future building permits rose 4.6% last month!

A significant rise in permits is good news for these frustrated buyers. Permits turn into starts, and starts develop into new homes for sale. Economists are expecting a significant amount of starts for mid-2017.

A combination of shortage of homes, rising prices, and increasing mortgage rates all aided to hinder the sales of existing homes in December. These homes fell 2.8% from the prior month.

Enough of all the doom and gloom, the good news is that we have officially recovered from the big recession almost a decade ago. Last year builders began work of the most homes since 2007 right before the recession happened.

The Northeast and the south saw the most starts in the month of January. The Northeast had nearly record gains of starts at 55.4%, and the South sought 20% gains.

We will see how higher mortgage rates will affect the market, even though they are still historically low numbers. Lately, the rate has been about 4.15%, which is still higher than any week...

What Is Water Hammering?

When you hear your house moving at night it could be a variety of things, but a common one is water running through your pipes. If the water is obnoxiously loud, it's a common problem called a water hammer.
And if you live in a house that is a minimum of ten years old, you’ve probably woken up to this hammer in the middle of the night.
So why does this happen? And how do we make it stop?

What causes water hammering in pipes?

Any normal person would think water flows smoothly throughout pipes, but it's quite the opposite when coming from water tanks. As water is pushed out of the tank into your pipes it's spinning, tumbling, and churning until it eventually meets your faucet. All this is actually audible but we often tune it out. However, often times an increase in water pressure or if it comes to a sudden halt, the pipes begin clanking inside the walls.  This is the water hammer we've been talking about.

The cause of the water hammering is by waterlogged air chambers, excess pressure in your pipes, or clogged pipes.

Pipes that hammer are usually in older homes and happen to still use 90° angles in their pipes. The noise is simply shockwaves that are forcing the pipe to move around. Newer homes have become more clever in the way that they fit the pipes through the walls and the material they use like PVC.

If this problem doesn't get resolved in a timely manner the pipe fittings can be stripped and the pipes will burst!
Pipes that are installed correctly will contain air pockets that nearly silence the sound.

If the pressure begins to be too much the water will absorb the pocket of air and then that's when the hammering can really be heard.

If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, and with a little plumbing skill,  you can totally do this on your own.

1. If you know exactly where the hammering is...

Home Prices & Immigration

Have we ever seen a time in our country’s recent history where we are all so divided? Some would argue yes, others argue no. Right now a great amount of the divide is due to immigration and the economy. It’s not as simple as it sounds because it’s a complex issue with many factors attached. One aspect of immigration to think about would be national security. Immigrants from some parts of the world are more of a concern to national security than the immigrants who move for economic purposes.

2016 wasn’t the best year America has seen. Wages didn’t move, jobs were lost to globalization and new age technology, all while we bickered with one another about how many immigrants we should be letting in.

It’s often discussed that there’s a tradeoff among our wallets, all inclusive ideal society, and the actual affect on the economy throughout the years. 353 cities with immigrant populations across the country from Hunting, WV, to Miami, FL can shine a little light on how the immigration has been.  

The correlation between the immigrant population and the home price appreciation was shocking. The more of an immigrant population a city has the higher the home prices. The U.S. Census Bureau data on immigration and home prices show that in 20 metropolitan areas with the highest amount of appreciation also had an immigration population of at least 20%. Surprisingly, the cities with the lowest appreciation also had immigration population of less than 5%.

Obviously home prices aren’t the only factor in determining economic wealth considering most of America couldn’t buy a house during the past 8 years.

It’s nearly impossible for cities to grow and thrive if they don’t see home price appreciation. Any economist who studies the relationships between government policy, home affordability, and local economies will tell you there is always prosperity when home prices rise, and it’s highly unlikely that prosperity...

Renovation vs. Remodel

Are you thinking of remodeling or renovating? You might say they are the same thing right? Nope! Despite people using these words with the same meaning, they actually are fairly different.

A renovation is basically a facelift on a property; changes will be made to an already existing structure. A remodel is changing the structure through demolition and construction.

If one was to renovate their bathroom they may install new sinks, toilets, throw on some new paint, put down a new tile floor, all while keeping the plumbing and electrical systems in their current place. It could be classified as a remodel if they knocked out any walls, or move some pipes.

Look at it like this, in order to improve the functionality of the home like decreasing or adding structure, you’ve got yourself a remodel. Decorating the essentials, no matter how ordinary, like flooring and new paint, is always considered a renovation.

Most Americans will hire handymen, or professional home repairmen to do their renovations, while remodeling requires industry experts who have much more expertise on the matter.

How different are the costs?

Typically renovations are cheaper because only the decorations or surface details are changed. Most of the renovation projects can be accomplished quickly and on a budget. One thing about remodeling is they usually come with a surprise or two, which can easily put you out of your budget.

On the other side, bigger remodel projects are rather expensive. Even before you begin the physical process of remodeling, it will cost you in permits, and these are rarely cheap. Make sure when you do this, you do it right, so make sure the funding is available. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pad your budget by 10% to 12%.

...

Can You Get A Mortgage After You Foreclose? Yes!

Going through foreclosure is one of the worst experiences a homeowner can ever have. As brutal and demoralizing as it is, it doesn’t mean homeownership is gone forever.

Truth be told, it’s actually easier to qualify for a mortgage after a significant credit event than originally thought. It will have a lot to do with the circumstances of your foreclosure and how you’ve managed your credit since then. So if you want to try the real estate market again, here’s how to get a mortgage after a foreclosure.

What’s the minimum amount of time to apply after foreclosure?

Every mortgage program is a little different regarding the waiting period between foreclosure and applying for a new loan. However, there are some general rules.

Ray Rodriguez of TD Bank says the waiting period is seven years for a conventional mortgage.  Other programs offer significantly less waiting times. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs requires a two year wait, the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Housing Administration require three.

How can you speed up the process?

The way to reduce the waiting time for acquiring a new mortgage is to prove your foreclosure was a result of a substantial financial hardship that you have overcome.

Now there’s a fine line between significant hardship and recklessness. Saying you forgot, or took too many vacations won’t cut it. Legit hardships are major health problems, divorces, a layoff, or a business failure.

Another part of the legitimacy is proving this happened by providing the necessary paperwork like paid hospital bills.

It’s important you write an explanation letter which needs to be short and sweet. Get to the point of your hardship and follow up with how you have recovered.

An important note to remember is that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all...

Junk In the Clutter Drawer

We all have that one drawer that is full of junk. Sometimes people purposefully have a junk drawer or other times it happens by accident; but no matter how the clutter accumulated, it’ still a stress spot in your house that needs to go. Set a day aside to pull out the drawers and remove all paper clips, old receipts, pens, etc.

The best way to start is to just straight up dump it on the ground and only put back the items you need. It can be tough picking out what you need and what you don’t. It’s quite easy for someone to rationalize keeping a chip clip they’ve had (but not used) for the past two years.

Here are ten things you need to remove from your junk drawer immediately. Removing these items will make sure it because an efficient space for storage instead of junk.

Stale pens

Lids are missing, some are low on ink, and others you feel you’ve had for a decade. Grab a scratch pad and test them all; throw out the ones that don’t work. Next time you go to grab a pen you won’t be worried if it works or not. Such a relief!

Old coupons

Everyone likes to save money and coupons are the simplest way. Despite having the intentions you could just never remember to bring them to the store with you; so there they stayed in your drawer. Grab all the old ones and toss them. Some stores like Bed Bath & Beyond accept expired coupons, so save all those if you have any.

In today’s world most stores have digital coupons you can download on your smart phone. For instance, Kroger has an app where you can download it, and scroll for hours selecting which coupons you want loaded to your customer card, and when you go to check out the coupons are automatically applied.

Batteries

Are the batteries still good? One simple way to find out is to drop on a hard surface...