Berkshire Broadcast

Want to brighten up a room but don’t have the time to paint or the budget to add a window?

Consider the following easy fixes:

Hang a mirror. Hang a mirror (or lean a large one against a wall) to toss light around your room and open it up.

Add metallics. Golds and silver accents will make any space sparkle. Think picture frames, fixtures, lamps and decorative items like vases or candle holders.

Freshen with flowers. A floral pop can brighten a room, especially with fresh flowers. Add a bouquet to a table for a bit of vibrancy.

Think yellow or white. While light colors may show dirt and grime, white and yellow accents can brighten an area, fast. Add white and yellow throw pillows, swap out the duvet on your bed or hang a new set of

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Creative-types can feel stalled if they don’t have a frequent creative release. But with work and family, it can be hard to make time for yourself and your creative endeavors. Below are three ways to add creativity to your day.

Do it first thing. Self-care is essential, and if creativity is a part of your make-up, filling your creative cup first thing in the morning can completely change the mood of the day. Do you like to journal? Sketch? Make music? Stoke your creative fire by spending 30 minutes in the morning doing what you love while savoring your coffee or tea.

Surround yourself with art. You don’t necessarily need to be doing something creative to feel creatively stimulated. Surrounding yourself with the artwork of others can help,

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If you can find a lower mortgage rate than the one you already have, then refinancing a mortgage can make sense. Here are some of the best ways to get a low rate:

Raise Your Credit Score
For a conventional loan, borrowers with a credit score of 740 or more will usually get the best interest rates. Having a minimum credit score of 620 will often lead to a higher rate. Raising your credit score can help. Some methods take longer than others, but improving your score is one of the best moves to make when refinancing a mortgage.

Start by paying your bills on time, which has the biggest impact on a credit score. You can also improve your credit utilization, meaning using less of the credit available to you on your credit cards.

For example, if you

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Auto insurance rates typically rise for senior citizens, who can be more accident-prone than they were in middle age with slower reflexes, changes in hearing or vision, and health conditions that can make driving difficult.

Older drivers are also more likely to die or suffer worse injuries in auto accidents than younger people, requiring expensive treatment. That can lead to higher costs for insurers, which are passed on to drivers.

Senior drivers can lower their auto insurance costs in a few ways:

Take a class: Many states require discounts for completing a driver safety course. AARP offers many of these classes, which can reduce premiums by 5-15 percent.

Pay as you go: Seniors can save up to 40 percent by using pay-as-you-go insurance

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When it comes to painting your space, there are myriad options: bright and sunny yellow, the classic eggshell white, a soothing blue or a fresh green. But one color you shouldn’t overlook when painting is gray. Below are five reasons why.

It matches. Gray is a fluid, flexible color that pairs well with a large variety of accents. This means you can swap out your color scheme over the years and keep the same paint job.

It’s elegant. Gray is a classic choice for a wall. Whether it’s a light smoky gray, a deep ash or a lavender tinted hue, gray doesn’t seem to age out.

It’s calming. Along with green and some shades of blue, gray has been shown to soothe and relax. This makes it a great choice for your bedroom.

It opens space. If you choose a

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It used to be that couples first got married, and then bought a home together. No more! Modern couples no longer consider marriage a prerequisite for buying a home together. Buying a property together can complicate either a breakup or a divorce if not considered upfront.

No one likes to think about the end of a relationship, but buying a home is a huge investment – not only in the relationship but financially. The partners may have differences in income, down payment, and contributions to the home. In the event of a separation, how will these issues be addressed? In other words, what happens if you break up?

The easiest way to ensure that everyone is protected is the title. Most married couples opt for Joint Tenancy that provides each homeowner

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Is your evening couch potato routine with your partner growing stale? It can be hard to find the energy to connect after a long day of work, but while watching television may be a good way to turn your brain off, it certainly doesn’t help with connecting. Below are several easy, inexpensive ways to connect with your loved one in the evening.

Play a board game. There’s nothing better than a little healthy competition to add some excitement to a relationship. If you’re not a board game fan, pick up some cards instead and let the fun begin.

Color together. Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. By setting your mind to a singular task, you often end up in a calm, almost meditative state. You may also find yourself engaging in deeper

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It seems that everywhere you turn there are companies who advertise buying ugly houses. These messages offer to quickly buy any house, regardless of the condition. The problem is that their offers are often significantly below market value.

If you’re a seller whose home needs some attention, you might think these companies are your only option. Some of the offers sound attractive; quick sale, all cash, no commissions, and no fees. But before you do anything, it’s worth your time to call a local real estate agent for a second opinion.

3 Reasons to Call a Real Estate Agent Now

1. Free Advice – The real estate agent will not charge you anything to simply come look at your home.

2. Your House Might Not Be that Ugly – You may be surprised to

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For the past several years, it seems every design magazine or home décor center featured barn doors. These doors offered a warm, rustic charm to the space and offered a focal point for the home. As time went by, however, many designers and homeowners realized that these doors also had a downside: they did not muffle sounds.

Barn doors hang on an upper track and slide to the left or right as needed. As many people raced to be a part of this classic farmhouse décor trend, they were dismayed to find that they lost privacy, soundproofing, and the functionality of a closed door.

So, is the trend over? The initial trend may have passed, but the use of barn doors has been reimagined. Barn doors now come in a wide variety of colors and styles.

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Looking to cut your energy costs?

It can take years for a new, more energy-efficient refrigerator or other major appliance to pay for itself in savings on a utility bill. If that’s the path you want to take, this Energy Star calculator can estimate the amount of money saved by replacing an old fridge with a new one. But if you want to see quicker results, here’s how you can save on cash and your energy usage:

Less Hot Water
By lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you use less energy to heat your water. You can also use less hot water by washing clothes in cold water, and only using the dishwasher when it’s completely full and during off-peak times if your utility company offers lower rates.

Set the

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