Talking Real Estate

The Meaning Behind Red Doors | How Much Home Do You Really Need? | Get Ready for Competitive Spring Homebuying

The Meanings Behind Red Front Doors

Why are so many front doors painted red across the world? For fun, we’ve gathered some of the most interesting reasons why this is an important choice for many homeowners.

Many cultures use red front doors to communicate something about their beliefs or status. Since the first Passover the red door has symbolized God’s protection, that plague and the Angel of Death would pass the household by. Red doors can also symbolize the blood of Christ, which is why so many churches and cathedrals feature red doors.

In the Americas, settlers used red front doors to offer friendly shelter for weary travelers and their horses. By the Civil War, red front doors in the free Northern states were used by the Underground Railroad to signal safe houses for runaway slaves and other refugees.

Across the world, red doors in China say welcome, as is practiced by Feng Shui enthusiasts. The color red is believed to bring health, harmony, happiness, positive energy and prosperity.

The Irish and Scottish had uses for red doors, too. When Queen Victoria died, the Irish were asked to paint their front doors black in commemoration and mourning, but many rebelled and painted their doors bright colors, including red. Many Scots today paint their doors red to signal that their mortgages have been paid off.

There are as many shades of red doors as there are traditions. Red doors don’t hold much significance today, except as a statement color to still convey a cheerful welcome to visitors.

How Much Home Do You Really Need?

In a fast-moving housing market, you may find yourself compromising what you want to what’s affordable and available to buy. Some wish list items you’ll be able to find, but others you can happily do without if you concentrate instead on choosing a home that functions for your household and budget.

Size: Most homebuyers want more space, but square footage can be misleading. A bigger house isn’t better if you’re paying big bucks to heat, cool and maintain space you don’t use.

Layout: As you preview homes, think about your daily activities and whether the layout functions to serve those needs. Does the interior design allow you to pivot as needs change? For example, a little-used formal dining room or living room could become a home office or playroom.

Materials: As suggested by the children’s story The Three Little Pigs, houses made

of brick or stone are the safest, longest-lasting materials, but houses made of siding can be comfortable and affordable. The quality of materials and the workmanship are what matter most.

Comfort: You want your household members to be comfortable and enjoy the spaces that they have. Think about places for family and friends to gather. Privacy is important, so there should be shared spaces to do homework, play games, and converse.

Costs: When estimating your monthly payment, include taxes and hazard insurance, but don’t forget to set aside money in your overall budget for decorating, maintenance and repairs, such as installing curtains and repainting.

Get Ready for Competitive Spring Homebuying

Pent-up housing demand is likely to increase exponentially now that a COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon. Homebuyers should prepare for what could possibly be the most competitive spring homebuying season in years. Here are a few suggestions that will put you ahead of other homebuyers.

  1. Have a family meeting. When your household is together, tell them about your reasons for buying a home – more space, better schools, etc. Ask each member, even the littlest child, to give their number one feature they’d like in a new home, such as a yard to play in or a room of their own.
  2. Get prequalified. Your lender will tell you what you need to provide in terms of financial history, proof of income and source of down payment. The amount of your down payment and credit history will impact what kind of loan you can get, the rate of interest, as well as how much home you can comfortably afford. Clear up any negatives on your credit quickly so you can qualify for a better loan.
  3. Start previewing online. Homes you view online may sell quickly but you can at least get an idea of prices, neighborhoods, amenities, public transportation, schools, and more. Drive and research the areas that interest you so you can narrow your search.
  4. Work with your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional. Once you’ve identified your target area and price range, he or she will go to work finding you the right home.