Patrick Keefauver

NMLS#: 104424

June Newsletter

VanKeef Financial

2605 W. Lake Mary Blvd STE 111
Lake Mary, FL, 32746

5 Tips to Create the Perfect Home Theater Experience

Your home
Re-creating the look, feel, and overall mood of the movie theater in your own home takes more than a big screen and a dark room. In reality, there’s quite a bit of nuance that goes into a home theater, and if you take the time to figure it all out, you can create a better experience than just about any cinema has to offer. After all, when was the last...

Re-creating the look, feel, and overall mood of the movie theater in your own home takes more than a big screen and a dark room. In reality, there’s quite a bit of nuance that goes into a home theater, and if you take the time to figure it all out, you can create a better experience than just about any cinema has to offer.

After all, when was the last time you got a packed theater to pause the movie so you could go to the bathroom?

To help you bring the cinema experience to your home, check out these 5 essential tips for creating the perfect home theater experience.

1.  Pick the Perfect Spot

If you’ve ever shown up to a movie late and wound up sitting in the very front row, you know the importance of having enough space in your theater. The space you build your theater in should have enough room so that you can fit the desired number of seats without compromising anyone’s view of the screen.

It’s also crucial to select a low-traffic, low-noise area that gets as little sunlight as possible. There are ways to block both noise and light, but that’s just more money out of your budget that you may not need to spend.

2.  Reduce Sound and Light

Odds are, even if you have a great spot for your home theater you’re still going to want to reduce external noise and ambient light. Sound reduction can be done fairly easily with some soundproofing materials such as acoustic tiles, sound panels, and drapes.

Ideally, light reduction would involve black-out curtains, but any decent-quality curtain or blind would still do a solid job.

Another important factor is keeping the walls of the room as dark as possible. Remember: white reflects light, black absorbs it.

3.  Get the Proper Equipment

Perhaps you want a projector/screen combo, or maybe you want a jumbo flat-screen TV. Either way, your best bet is to go into a Best Buy or other electronics store and speak with an expert in the field. They should also be able to help you get the best possible audiovisual setup for your budget.

4.  Get Your Seating Set

Movie theaters eliminate the issue of that super tall guy in front of you blocking your view by using stadium seating, which is simply seating set on a graduated incline. Home theater owners can create this effect by installing a small stage for every row of seats behind the first. It’s more work and more money, but your shorter friends will thank you.

5.  Deck the Place Out

One of the key components to creating that perfect movie theater mood is decorating with the idea of celebrating cinema in mind. Movie posters, popcorn buckets, film reels, and clapboards all contribute to creating that special movie theater feel in your space. Adding that extra ambiance will really put your home theater over the top.

Home Prices Rising Much Faster than Wages, a Potential Sign of Affordability Stress

Finances
Homeownership has long been the capstone of the American dream. But for many would-be homebuyers, rising prices are outpacing their income. This disparity only adds to the stress of the homebuying process. What does that mean for the 2022 housing market? Record-High Prices While it has been easy to blame the 2020 pandemic for the present housing crisis, ho...
This article is for information, illustrative and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to show actual results. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular investment action.

Homeownership has long been the capstone of the American dream. But for many would-be homebuyers, rising prices are outpacing their income. This disparity only adds to the stress of the homebuying process. What does that mean for the 2022 housing market?

Record-High Prices

While it has been easy to blame the 2020 pandemic for the present housing crisis, home prices have been rising steadily for more than a decade. By some estimates, the median price for a home has risen roughly 30% since 2012. Go back even further, and you will discover that home prices have risen 118% since 1965.

Inflation, of course, is nothing new. But consider that the median American salary has only climbed by 11% in the last decade. This means that home prices have indeed grown considerably faster than many Americans can afford.

Affordability Stress

How much is too much for a home? Lenders and realtors recommend that a new home payment should not exceed 30% of your gross monthly income. But with skyrocketing prices, that's easier said than done.

One young couple reports that the housing search has been "the most stressful six months" of their lives. "We've been backed into a corner," they lament. Many young Americans are simply walking away from purchasing entirely.

Low Inventory

Part of the reason that prices are rising is that there isn't enough supply to meet demand. Huge numbers of Americans want to buy houses, but realtors lack the inventory to meet this demand.

According to the National Association of Realtors, more than six million homes were sold in 2021. That is the highest number since 2006. Yet that is still a long way from meeting the demand.

New construction could be an option. However, housing companies generally prefer to build large homes, which don't always make good "starter homes" for first-time buyers. And even if communities focus on building new homes, it will be a long time before new construction matches rising demand.

When Will the "Bubble" Burst?

According to Jenny Schuetz, a housing researcher at the Brookings Institution, there's no real housing "bubble" at all. “It’s not a bubble," she says. "It really is about supply and demand — not enough houses and huge numbers of people wanting homes.”

Unfortunately, this imbalance is unlikely to normalize anytime soon. Still, we might see developments as the older generations retire and downsize, putting more homes on the market for young families.

Additionally, the reshuffling of jobs in the wake of the pandemic will soon calm down. Once that happens, we may see salaries and consumer prices begin to realign.

Good News for Renters

If there's a bright spot to these trends, it's that real estate investors will have no problem finding tenants. Until housing prices finally drop, there will be continued demand for affordable apartments. This may present an investment opportunity and also provide much-needed housing for Americans who have been priced out of the market.

This article is for information, illustrative and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to show actual results. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular investment action.

The Ultimate Guide for Planning the Perfect Summer Vacation

Personal Interest
Summer is just around the corner, which means you can finally take that relaxing vacation you’ve been dreaming of all year long. But the funny thing about vacations is, in order to truly feel relaxed and free on them, you’ve got to do plenty of planning and preparation beforehand. To help you do that, we’ve created this easy guide to all y...

Summer is just around the corner, which means you can finally take that relaxing vacation you’ve been dreaming of all year long. But the funny thing about vacations is, in order to truly feel relaxed and free on them, you’ve got to do plenty of planning and preparation beforehand.

To help you do that, we’ve created this easy guide to all you need to know about planning the perfect summer vacation.

Step 1: Plan Way Ahead

You may think you’ve got plenty of time to plan your vacation, but it will be here before you know it. Waiting too long to make your plans will leave you feeling rushed and stressed, and it’ll also wind up costing you more money.

Planning ahead gives you time to get things just right, take the pick of the litter when it comes to flights and accommodations, and ensure that you’ve got everything squared away before it’s time to leave.

Step 2: Pick Your Destination

The world is a big place, and it’s full of amazing vacation spots. That can prove to be a bit overwhelming when it comes time to plan a trip. Remember, though, that sifting through the endless but exciting possibilities for your vacation can be one of the best parts of it.

Take your time to create a list of possible destinations with your travel partners and consider the pros and cons of each. That should help you pick a winner.

Step 3: Book Your Flights and Accommodations

Now it’s time to make things official. When it comes to booking flights, you’ll consider the cost, of course, but there are other important factors to keep in mind. Connecting flights, flight times, airlines, and luggage rules should all weigh into the flight you select.

For your accommodations, how convenient (or inconvenient) their location is can sometimes be overlooked. Keep that in mind when you’re planning activities and day trips.

Another important thing to consider is how you’ll get to and from the airport. Apps like Uber and Lyft make that a lot simpler now, but it won’t hurt to lock in exactly how and when you’re getting your ride well ahead of time.

Step 4: Build Your Itinerary

Now that things are set in stone, you can start planning the fun stuff. Look into what your destination has to offer and consider booking some experiences beforehand. At the very least, create a list of things you’d like to do when you’re there.

Also, make sure to create a checklist of essential items you’re going to need and determine a rough budget. Not only will this avert potential disaster, but it will also leave you with a greater sense of ease when you’ve finally set out on your trip and can’t turn back for something you’ve forgotten.

Step 5: Let It All Happen

We tend to want our vacation to be absolutely perfect even when we know how unlikely that really is. In reality, the best way to enjoy your vacation is to roll with the punches when things don’t go as planned and try to be open to taking an unexpected turn off the beaten path just to see where it takes you.

You’re far more likely to have a great time, as well as some new adventures, if you let go of those unmeetable expectations and embrace uncertainty.

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