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Christmas Decorating Tips

Starting from the outside and headed in lets get crafty this holiday season and spruce up your basic decorations.

Start with your Front Door:

wreath

Your front entrance is your first impression. If you love the holidays, show your neighbors, guests, and santa that you do with a well spirited entrance.

Ideas?

Wreath: You could buy one from the same place you bought your tree, or make one out of ornaments. If you choose the make one, make sure you have a hot glue gun handy! For a more indepth tutorial check out Matt & Becky’s Blogspot

Christmas Sign: Instead of a wreath, you could create a cute holiday sign to hang on your door. All you would need is a piece of scrap wood and some stencils. Keep it simple: Joy, Believe, Santa, Baby it’s Cold Outside are just a few ideas.

Just remember, the more original, the better!

Turn an old ladder into a Christmas Tree and station it out front.

String lights around the ladder and put a star on top. Need a visual? Check this guy out.

laddertree

 Inside–Spruce up the Stairs

Green Garland: Add a seasonal flair with green garland, ornaments, and pinecones intertwined up and around the stair case.

Snowflakes and Lights: If you wanted to cutout some snowflakes you could tape them along the staircase and string lights for a more gentle approach. For a tutorial on how to cutout snowflakes visit Martha Stewarts step-by-step approach!

Hang Stockings for Santa to Fill

stockings

If you don’t have a fireplace, get creative on where to put the stockings.

You could place them underneath an entertainment center or put them along the bottom of your kitchen island. If neither of these ideas work for you, maybe tack them outside a door or near an archway!

Last but not Least- Light some Candles.

Pick scents that remind you of Christmas. Trust your personal preferences. I personally love a toasty vanilla in the kitchen and a rustic pine in the living room.

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5 Easy Ways to Go Green on a Budget

Go Green!
Imagine what kind of world we would live in if everyone recycled and took care of the environment. Going green is easy. You can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint just by purchasing products and services that are locally owned and produced. It all begins with you. Here are five inexpensive ways to go green:

Support Green Business

A “green” business is one that strives to have a positive impact on the environment and community. Supporting a green business may be a little more costly upfront, but in the long run is much better for you and the environment. For instance, a lot of products you use may be toxic. Switching to green products can reduce the incidents of cancer, allergic reactions, asthma, and major organ damage. Each time you buy a green product you are increasing the demand for safer products.

Recycle

Simply put, recycling is good for the environment. It can reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and promote the sustainable use of our natural resources such as timber, water and minerals. Plus, recycling is easy. Most items that can be recycled have the recycle icon on them. Some of the easiest items to recycle include aluminum cans, water bottles, plastic bags, milk containers, and cardboard boxes.

Purchase Reusable bags

Did you know that it takes 1,000 years for a single plastic bag to disintegrate? Plastic bags can wreak havoc on the environment. Instead, purchase cloth or canvas bags at your local grocery store. These stores will offer incentives just for using the bags. And reusable bags are not just for groceries either! Bring one to work or use it to carry kid’s items.

Buy a Houseplant

While many people choose to buy art or posters to decorate their houses and apartments, consider buying a plant. Not only will it look beautiful, but it has plenty of health benefits too. Plants can improve air quality by removing harmful pollutants from the air. They can also help you breathe and feel better by stabilizing humidity levels and improving air circulation. Best of all, plants are affordable and come in many shapes and sizes!

Look Into Carpooling

Driving can limit your budget and time. Look into carpooling—seriously! Your green commute will save you money. Carpooling can also reduce congestion on the roads and highways, thus reducing air pollution. It can also minimize the stress of your daily commute, allowing you to read or relax on your way to work. Save the extra miles on your car and ask a friend or co-worker to start carpooling to work.

Going green isn’t as difficult as you may think. Choosing paper over plastic, for example, is one easy way to help the environment. Do what is most convenient for you, and remember that every little bit makes a difference!

Felicia Walkins is a freelance writer for Jackson Twenty-one. Connect with her on .

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Owning vs. Renting: Which is Better?

property for sale signsAre you thinking about owning a home? If so, consider this: The homeownership rate in the United States is almost 69 percent. That means owning a home is within reach for more Americans than ever before. Matter of fact, owning a home can be as, if not more affordable, than renting. However, depending on personal and financial goals, buying may not be right for everyone. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of owning a home:

Advantages of buying a home

First and foremost, buying a home allows you to build equity. As your equity increases, so does your wealth. There are also significant tax advantages to buying a home. You can save on your federal taxes by deducting the interest paid on your mortgage. Also, once you sign into a fixed interest rate your monthly payments will be relatively steady, whereas a landlord can increase rent at any time. Mostly importantly, owning a home gives you a sense of security as well as place to raise a family. You also gain a sense of community, as you will most likely become friends with your neighbors. Finally, your home becomes your permanent place to live, so you can decorate and make adjustments as you see fit.

Disadvantages of buying a home

The costs of owning a home can be quite high. Be prepared to pay thousands of dollars upfront on the down payment and closing costs. Once the house is officially yours, you will have to factor property taxes and interest into your mortgage payment. Depending on the size of your house and where it’s located, your mortgage payment could be considerably higher than rent. Also, it takes work and money to keep a home in good condition. Over the years, you are sure to have a pipe break or have to replace a major appliance. Lastly, owning a home limits your freedom to move. As much as you may want to take a job across the country, it will be much more difficult to get out of a mortgage than a lease.

Why renting can Buying a House in the USAbe better

Renting can be better than buying, for a couple of reasons. For instance, how long do you plan to stay in your home? Buying becomes financially better than renting only after five years. Having said that, if you plan to relocate in a year’s time, owing is simply out of the question. Plus, the initial costs for renting an apartment are much lower. Typically, a security deposit and one month’s rent. And the commitment is minimal to that of a mortgage. Most rental lease agreements are for a year and the security deposit is returned to the renter at the end of the lease.

Building financial security

Buying a home is a commitment that can lead to financial security. As I previously mentioned, building equity is a major benefit of owning a home. Over time, an increasing amount of your mortgage payment goes toward reducing the principal balance on your loan. As you make more payments, you reduce the principal and increase your share or “equity” in your home’s value. And as your home appreciates or increases in value over time, so will your equity. For many people, this equity will pay for things like retirement, children’s college and other future goals.

If you are financially stable and plan to stay in one location for more than five years, buying a home is certainly the best option for you. Owning a home will give you a sense of security and your family will always have a place to live and grow. However, renting can be financially better for someone who isn’t quite ready to settle down. Regardless which route you choose, Jackson Twenty-One will be a wonderful and safe place to live!

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The Neighborhoods that Comprise Jackson 21

At Jackson 21, it is our goal to provide nice people with nice places to live that fit whatever lifestyle they enjoy most – whether that means residing in a small, quiet community surrounded by wildlife or it means immersing yourself in arts, culture and entertainment. We’re confident that no matter what kind of place you’re looking to live in, you’ll find it within the wonderful community of Jackson 21.

Just take a look – we’ll break down the neighborhoods here based on what types of lifestyles they have to offer you, so that when you sign your first lease (or mortgage) in Jackson 21, you’ll know that you’re signing up for the life you’ve always dreamed of!

woods-photo1Looking for space, wildlife and rustic quarters?

If you long for wide open spaces and beautiful wildlife all around, look no further for your next home than The Woods in Jackson 21. Offering tons of outdoor space with bike and walking paths and equipped with a communal swimming pool, The Woods are the perfect place for anyone longing for the nature experience that still wants to live in luxury. Your new 1- or 2-bedroom rental unit is waiting for you with full rustic features to bring the feel of nature inside.

You’ll feel like you’re living on the countryside, surrounded by gorgeous scenery and views, but you’ll be close enough to connect to all of the other neighborhoods and fun that Jackson 21 has to offer you.

town-homes-photo1Dreaming of a gorgeous luxury home with all of the amenities?

If what you’re looking for is a beautiful, large interior space that’s perfect for the whole family, then The Townhomes might just be the perfect place for you! The Jackson 21 Townhomes proudly feature 2- to 3-bedroom homes for sale with private garages and driveways so that you can settle into a big, cozy place of your own that you’ve always dreamed of.

Most homeowners won’t get the amenities that you’ll have in the Townhomes of Jackson 21 – this neighborhood offers a dedicated recreation and exercise center, fully equipped with a communal swimming pool, as well as the best maintained bike and walking paths throughout the neighborhood that you’ll find anywhere in the country. Plus, when you’re ready to leave the comforts of your new home, you’re dangerously close to all of the activities and excitement of the other wonderful neighborhoods that make up Jackson 21. So if you’ve always dreamed of owning your own home, then why not own one that’s stylish, contemporary and quiet, all within the beautiful open spaces of Jackson 21?

plaza-photo1Fiending for the hustle and bustle of city life?

If you want the busy city life with entertainment, culture and activities all around, then you’ll love the Plaza La Mancha neighborhood in Jackson 21! Completely surrounded by great shops, cafes, restaurants and more, Plaza La Mancha is inspired by the Spanish culture that’s ever so lively and always hustling and bustling!

Live in the middle of it all in a gorgeous apartment right near the main plaza that will play host to plenty of fun fiestas throughout the year. Immerse yourself in the culture and architecture that’s inspired by Spanish cities and towns and enjoy the modern luxuries and amenities of even the best American cities!

colonie-photo1Love Art, Culture, History and Music?

Art, music and culture are the name of the game in the La Colonie des Artistes in Jackson 21. Creative professionals from all walks of life, including artists, writers, musicians, crafters and performers, along with fans and admirers of the arts, can all reside peacefully in a culture that they thrive on in La Colonie des Artistes.

You’ll love living amidst all the shops, restaurants and cafes that this neighborhood has to offer, plus you’ll find dedicated street performing areas to watch and enjoy all things art and entertainment, or perform your own show or show off your own work! And if you need a studio space, you’ll find some live/work spaces in this neighborhood that are second to none. Otherwise, rent a beautiful apartment in the middle of all of the arts that Jackson 21 has to offer!

quads-photo1Searching for affordable apartment living with plenty of outdoor space?

Singles, couples, young professionals and frankly anyone of any age will love what The Quads in Jackson 21 have to offer! These units are specially built to provide you with convenience, comfort and easy living so that you can spend more time enjoying the life that you live!

Settle down in a cozy 1- or 2-bedroom apartment in a private park in Jackson 21 and get to enjoying both the indoor and outdoor space that The Quads can provide you!

gardens-photo2Love the English countryside?

If you love everything about the English countryside – its charm, its adorable country manor houses, its tree-lined streets – then The Gardens in Jackson 21 would make the perfect home for you! The 1- or 2-bedroom apartments that are available in The Gardens offer you the best in modern living with quiet streets, landscaped traffic islands, plenty of trees lining every street plus concealed trash facilities and designated parking areas that are tucked away out of sight.

Everything unsightly is hidden away so that the true charm of English countryside living comes out in The Gardens! You’ll enjoy a rec center with a swimming pool and quiet, peaceful country living in an urban setting that’s close to all of the other neighborhoods when you need a change of pace or scenery.

The best part of all of these neighborhoods in Jackson 21 is that they are very environmentally-friendly – all units and homes are equipped with high-efficiency appliances and there’s plenty of fresh air, open space and fresh water everywhere you turn! This community was built around the basis of being “green,” so you’ll be glad to live here knowing that you’re contributing to cuts in pollution, traffic (everything in Jackson 21 is within walking or biking distance of all of the other neighborhoods) and overall energy use.

Visit our website to find out more about these wonderful neighborhoods and view floor plans for some of our first apartment units!

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