Summer Home Trends

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Summer is a great time to improve your home’s exterior. 

And whether you’re interested in enjoying your space a little more or you want to boost your home’s value, it makes sense to find inspiration by taking a look at what other homeowners are doing.

Are you thinking about updating your yard or patio this summer? Here are five popular trends to consider trying for yourself.

Install a workout or play area. Make the most of your property by building a swing set or sandbox, adding a horseshoe pit or investing in a small climbing wall or some gym equipment that the whole family can use. 

Build a front yard social spot. Want a casual outdoor spot that’s welcoming to your friends and neighbors? Think about setting up a social area in the front yard, one with benches, swings and comfortable places to sit and chat.

Focus on backyard entertainment. For more private gatherings, focus on guest-friendly features in the backyard. Movie screens, fire pits and hot tubs are a few popular options.

Add an outdoor kitchen. Love to cook? Just want to eat alfresco? Install an outdoor pizza oven or invest in a smoker or grill. Be sure to set up a roomy (and durable) dining area, too.

Plant a vegetable or herb garden. It’s never too late to improve your landscaping with something functional. Consider planting a few of your family’s favorite veggies or herbs in a small garden out back.

Need some guidance on potential upgrades that can improve your home’s value? Thinking about a new property purchase instead? Get in touch today.

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Staging Your Home

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Staging is a vital tool when selling a property. The majority of buyer’s agents say staging can increase offers by anywhere from 1% to 20%, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. 

On a home listed at $400,000, that could mean up to $80,000 more.

Do you want to market your property better, or potentially fetch a higher sale price? Keep these staging tips in mind:

  1. Focus on important rooms. If you don’t have time or want to spend enough to stage the whole house, focus your efforts on a few rooms. NAR’s staging report shows that buyers value staging most in the living room, main bedroom and kitchen.
  2. Let some light in. Light (particularly natural light) opens up a space and makes it appear larger, so focus on light-reflecting colors and lightweight drapery. You can also add a few carefully placed mirrors to reflect even more light.
  3. Consider the use of the room. You want buyers to envision themselves in the home, so focus on what each room is used for when staging. Show them what life could be like if they purchase the home: Set the table in the dining room, add a cozy throw blanket to the living room sofa, and turn on the reading lamps by the bedside.
  4. Don’t forget outdoor spaces. Curb appeal is important, too. Spend time arranging your front door and porch, cleaning up the yards and making your home look more welcoming.
  5. Keep it simple. Be wary of staging your home with too-trendy decor. Minimalist, neutral palettes are timeless, and they’ll ensure your home appeals to everyone who steps foot in it.

Want help selling your property? Get in touch so we can work together to make it stand out from the competition.

How to Pay for Your Home Improvements

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You’ll probably want to improve your home at some point.

It might be out of necessity if you need a new roof or fence — or you might want more space or additional amenities, like an updated kitchen or a swimming pool.

Whatever the reason for your projects, you’ll likely need some help paying for them.

Are you planning to make some improvements around the house soon? Here are four ways to cover the costs.

  • Home Equity: You can leverage your home equity to cover home improvements. Among your options are a home equity loan, cash-out refinance and home equity line of credit (HELOC). The latter, which functions more like a credit card, is a good option if you’re not sure how much you need or if you need cash over an extended period.
  • Cash Savings: This can be a great way to pay for any home repairs or updates — just make sure you’re not draining your emergency fund. You should always have a healthy amount of savings as a homeowner so that you’re ready for maintenance, repairs and other expenses even if you hit a financial snag.
  • Home Remodeling Loans: Renovation and remodeling loans are designed just for this purpose. You can use them to cover repairs, updates and other improvements, then pay the costs back over time as with any other type of loan.
  • Credit Cards: These should be a last resort, since credit cards typically come with higher interest rates than other financing options, like loans and lines of credit mentioned above. 

Are you considering buying a new property instead of doing updates? Or do you need a referral to a trusted loan expert? Get in touch today for assistance.

Look Out for These Common Home Hazards

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Homes can have safety issues that aren’t always obvious — problems that could endanger you and your family.

Fortunately, doing an annual safety audit of your property can help identify some of these hazards and allow you to remedy them before they cause larger problems. It may also help you to avoid using your home warranty or homeowners insurance.

Want to make sure your home is safe for you and your loved ones? Here’s a room-by-room breakdown of what to do.

Kitchen
If you have kids, make sure sharp knives and utensils are stored safely in a drawer. You should also check that your vent hood is working properly and that there’s a fire extinguisher within easy reach.

Bathrooms
Do your rugs have nonskid undersides that are in good condition? If not, replace them or add a nonskid mat underneath. You should also check that your electronics are kept away from water sources like the sink and tub.

Bedrooms
Make sure heavy furniture is secured to the wall or somehow anchored. This is particularly important if you have small kids who may be injured pulling down shelves or dressers.

Laundry Room
Regularly empty your dryer vent, and make sure the lint trap is clear after each load of laundry. These can both become fire hazards when clogged.

Living Room
If you have a fireplace, have it inspected by a professional annually. Adding a fire screen (if you don’t already have one) is also important. Be aware that area rugs can be tripping hazards, too.

If examining your property has made you realize that you’re ready to move on to your next home, get in touch so we can start the search together.

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Big Housing Decisions You May Face

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Housing decisions are never small. Where you choose to live impacts your budget, your job prospects and your social life. 

And in the future, your home plays a major role in what your retirement might look like (financially and logistically). 

For these reasons, housing decisions require plenty of careful consideration.

Want to be prepared to make the right choice when the time comes? Start here.

1. Should you build or buy?

Both building a new home or buying an existing one can be good choices. You’ll typically pay more for a new home, but it will likely need fewer repairs and have lower maintenance costs. 

Existing homes, on the other hand, are usually cheaper upfront. They may come with more issues and potential repairs, though.

2. Is it better to move or to remodel?

There will typically come a time when you outgrow your first house. When this happens, you’ll need to decide whether updating (or expanding) that property is best or if you’re better off finding a new home instead. 

Renovating will come with some hassle and mess, but if you love your location or your kids’ schools, it can be a smart choice. Buying a new property would allow you to change some of those foundational aspects — things like location, school district and community amenities.

3. Is it time to downsize?

As you age and your kids move out, you might consider a smaller house. Downsizing can reduce your monthly costs, free up cash flow and reduce the amount of cleaning and maintenance you need to do. 

On the other hand, it may be hard to part with your long-standing home — both for you and your grown children. You’ll also want to think about things like your budget, long-term retirement plans, physical comfort and more.

Need help making a big housing decision? We’re here for you. Get in touch today to discuss your options. 

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Ideas to Improve Your Outdoor Space

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We’re finally approaching summer: The days are getting longer, the sun is shining and the weather’s getting warmer — it’s the perfect opportunity to spend more time outdoors.

Is your backyard or patio ready for heavier use?

If not, there’s still time, and you don’t need to spend a lot to make it happen. Here are five great ways to upgrade your outdoor area as we close in on the summer months.

  • Update Fences: Are there broken posts or holes your neighbors can see through? Repair the fence to ensure your privacy before summertime rolls in. You can also give it a new coat of paint or stain to improve your yard’s overall aesthetic.
  • Install a Focal Point: Every outdoor space needs a focal point — something to add visual appeal and interest. Fountains can be a great option, as can blooming gardens, well-lit walking paths or vine-covered pergolas.
  • Include Nature: Adding potted or planted flowers and bushes are great ways to bring nature into your outdoor area. You can also invite local fauna by installing a birdbath or hummingbird feeder.
  • Create an Outdoor Room: Outdoor dining rooms, living areas and even full-fledged outdoor kitchens are on-trend. They can extend your usable living space and provide a great area for entertaining.
  • Add a Gathering Point: Have a place your family and guests can gather. It can be a fire pit surrounded by folding chairs, an outdoor kitchen with a full dining set or a cozy outdoor couch to sit on and mingle. Choose one that fits your aesthetic, budget and entertaining style best.

Are you looking for a home with plentiful outdoor space? Get in touch today to start your search.

What to Know About Home Inspections

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You probably know that home inspections are often part of the home buying process.

But do you know why they’re so important — or what they mean for your home purchase or sale?

Home inspections can play a big role in whether your home buying (or selling) efforts are successful.

Are you hoping to buy or sell a house soon? Here’s what you should know about how a home inspection might impact your goals.

Inspections aren’t required. A home inspection is generally encouraged for buyers, but it’s not required. In a hot market, buyers might waive their right to an inspection to win a bidding war. But be careful: This could hurt you financially if you find yourself having to make large repairs and renovations.

The results can influence your deal — and your price. If the inspector finds issues, the buyer will often want to renegotiate. They might ask the seller to make repairs before closing or offer a lower price point to account for them. If they have an inspection contingency, a buyer can even pull out of the deal without losing earnest money.

You have to pay for an inspection. Home inspection costs vary by market and inspector, but they typically cost between $250 and $500 per property. Since the inspection is for the buyer’s benefit, they cover this cost out of pocket, usually as part of the closing costs.

Sellers sometimes get pre-listing inspections. By getting one before the home hits the market, sellers can identify any problems that could hold back their sale. In many cases, sellers are required to disclose any issues their inspector finds if they haven’t been fixed.

If you’re preparing to buy or sell a home, get in touch today to start working with an experienced real estate professional.

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Inspiring Kitchen Upgrades Trending Now

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For many households, the kitchen tends to be one of the most-used spaces in the home. 

It’s where you cook, entertain and have family dinner. And even when it’s not mealtime, the kitchen often becomes a gathering place for snacking, doing homework and spending time together.

Does your current kitchen live up to your expectations and meet your needs? If not, it’s time for a few upgrades. For inspiration, take a look at these trending renovation and remodeling projects.

  • Mix open shelving with functional hidden storage. Open shelving is big these days, but it’s not the best option for everyone. Mixing open shelves with hidden storage often makes more sense (especially if you have a lot of stuff to store). For the best of both worlds, consider pull-out drawers beneath your cabinets, revolving trays inside the closed-off areas, and tables with built-in storage compartments.
  • Opt for bold colors on cabinets. White kitchens had their moment, but bolder hues are becoming more popular now. You’ll probably start seeing more greens, purples and blues — brighter and deeper tones that really catch the eye and show off some personality.
  • Choose unique flooring. While sleek stone and tile will always be in, today’s designers are also getting creative with unique flooring choices. They’re mixing up light and dark woods, opting for herringbone patterns, and using reclaimed wood to add character.
  • Go multipurpose. The kitchen isn’t just for eating and cooking. For many, it’s where we work remotely, log into virtual schooling, or even get our exercise in. Finding ways to make your kitchen more functional and useful to all family members is a trend that’s sure to stick around.

Need more help deciding on value-building renovations? Considering buying a new home instead of remodeling? Get in touch today.

Getting Started in Real Estate Investing

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It seems like more and more people are investing in real estate lately. Is this the right time to try it for yourself?

If all goes well, investing in property can help you build wealth and generate passive income.

But this endeavor requires careful planning, of course, and not everyone is able to achieve the profits they’re looking for.

Are you considering venturing into the world of real estate investing? Here’s what to consider before getting started.

Define Your Goals

Are you looking for passive income? Long-term wealth? Or do you want a place you can rent out and occasionally use for vacationing? Your goal will ultimately determine the best investment strategy to pursue.

Set a Budget

How much can you afford to pay for the property? What about maintenance, repairs and other monthly costs? Have a good idea of the financials — both upfront and for the long haul — before making any moves.

Consider the Location

Real estate is all about location. You’ll want to choose where you purchase carefully, looking at market data like prices, rents and booking rates. (Reach out for help gathering this information.) 

You should also consider how often you’ll need to be at the property. Will you need to pop by for repairs, or can you hire a property management company to do the work for you?

Prepare for Potential Challenges

There will likely be hurdles along the way, so do your best to anticipate them. What if a tenant stops paying rent or a short-term rental guest trashes your home? What if the property needs a big repair and you don’t have the cash? Create contingency plans for any issues you can think of.

Ready to find the perfect property to rent out or flip? Reach out to discuss what you’re looking for.

Add Value to Your Home with Spring Cleaning

Clean Up the Yard

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression, so make the most of your home’s first impression by cleaning up the yard.

  1. Clear away fall and winter debris such as fallen branches and leaves.
  2. Pick up and put away toys and other items that are not lawn ornaments.
  3. Be sure that all walkways are clear and easy to navigate. If you have broken or misaligned steps, consider hiring a professional to fix them.
  4. Clean the gutters, or hire a professional to clean them. When gutters are clogged, they can overflow and cause water damage to the exterior of your home. If they overflow into a window, the water damage can extend into the interior, as well.
  5. Treat your lawn to a spa day: feed it, weed it, give it moss treatment, and mow it on a dry day. When you know it’s going to rain, or shortly after rain, apply fertilizers for best results.

Clean Up the Exterior Walls of the House

Over the course of a year, a lot of dirt, muck, and grit can collect on the exterior walls of a home—not to mention moss, mold, and mildew growth along brick walls.

  1. On a warm, dry day, wash away the dirt on the exterior walls of your home. Take care not to damage any surfaces, let water get underneath the siding, or dislodge any bricks.
  2. If it looks like there is water damage on the outside of your home, call a professional.
  3. Take the chance to clean the outside of your windows as well, and check for any damage to them. Cracked panes should be replaced and peeling windowsills should be tended to, as well. Once you’re back inside, wipe the inside of the windows down and clear away any cobwebs.
  4. Peeling windowsills are a great opportunity (after removing the old paint) to repaint them with a refreshing new color. Not sure what color to pick? Our blog post can give you an idea on what might be the best color, depending on what effect you want to achieve.

Clean Up the Garden

If you have a garden with clearly defined borders, be sure to freshen those borders up. In addition, give your garden some attention and care:

  1. Fork the soil around plants to introduce fresh air and reveal any pests or weeds.
    • To prevent pests from getting inside your home, check out our blog post 5 Ways to Stop Pests This Spring.
  2. Remove weeds and other unwanted plants.
  3. Add mulch to control additional weeds or refresh existing mulch.
  4. Check to see if any bricks or stones have become misaligned and realign them.
  5. To help your plants grow and add nutrients to the soil, add compost or other organic matter.

If you don’t have a garden but would like to increase the curb appeal of your home by adding some plants, try adding flower pots or hanging plants outside!

  1. Check that the flowers and plants won’t be at risk of dying from a last frost before adding the pots or hanging plants outdoors.
  2. If you want to grow the plants from seeds, consider starting them indoors to avoid losing them to hungry birds or animals before they’ve had the chance to sprout. Otherwise, pick potted flowers and plants you like from your local garden center.
  3. Arrange the potted flowers and hanging plants how you like: on your front porch, flanking your front door, along your walkway, or even in your back garden. The options are endless!

Don’t Forget the Fence!

Last but not least, if you have a fence, inspect it for any damage.

  1. Ensure that all gates are properly attached and that locks function smoothly.
  2. Fill in any holes animals may have dug underneath the fence. If you have a dog that keeps digging a hole to escape, bury a toy, or pursue some other destructive behavior, you may want to check with your local dog academy to see whether training can correct the behavior.
  3. Check for loose boards, rusted wires, damaged bricks or stones, etc. and repair the fence accordingly. If you don’t know how to maintain your fence and find that a section has decayed, call a professional.
  4. If you want to give your yard a fresh look, consider painting your fence a new color, adding flowers along the boundaries, or adding climbing plants to transform your fence into a garden wonderland. Check with your local garden center first on which climbing plants would be best.
    • Beware: climbing plants require a certain amount of maintenance and care to keep them from becoming unruly and overtaking your yard. If they attach to a tree, they can cause serious damage.

Enjoy the fruits of your hard work!

Spring Planting Guide

If you’re ready to get outside and get your hands dirty now that winter is over, there is nothing more rewarding than planting flowers. Planting some annuals that will give a pop of color to your yard is a great way to celebrate the spring. Here is our spring planting guide to give you a few ideas to kick-start your new spring flower bed.

Pansies

Pansies, or violas, are a great way to add color quickly to your garden. They come in a variety of shades of purple or yellow and can match any outdoor decor. They provide ground cover, generally not growing taller than a few inches, and prefer sun over shade as well as soil that drains well. You can plant them directly in the ground or in containers.

Petunias

There are dozens of petunia species, all with different colors and characteristics. They can tolerate pretty harsh conditions, except frost. That means it’s best to plant them after you’re sure the last frost has passed. Reds, purples and whites tend to be the most common colors for the flowers.

Geraniums

These flowers enjoy a more temperate climate and are good for either ground or container planting. They are perfect for hanging baskets, which accentuate your porch decor by adding color at eye level. There are many types of geraniums, but the annual flowers tend to be primarily purple.

Impatiens

Impatiens have become one of the most common garden annuals in the U.S. They come in bright, bold colors that can take your flower bed to the next level with yellows, oranges and bright pinks.

Phlox

This small annual flower is a great choice for filling in bald spots in your flower beds or containers. Most often found in shades of pink, white or purple, it’s an easy-to-keep annual that won’t take a lot of work to maintain.

Are you ready to plan your own spring flower beds? Call us today.

How do you know when it’s time to sell?

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The housing market has stayed competitive for months, and if you’re like many property owners, you’ve probably thought about selling. But is this the right time?

Selling your home is a big decision, and pinpointing the perfect time to make your move can be challenging.

Here are a few questions to consider if you want to explore what it would look like to put your home on the market soon.

Has your lifestyle changed? Most homeowners outgrow a property at some point, or they find their needs have changed in some way. A property might be too small, you may want to downsize, or you might want different amenities. 

Has your property increased in value? Homeowners have gained record-setting equity over the last few years. Determining your property value can give you an idea of your potential profits. Then, you can consider if you could put these funds to better use elsewhere.

Do you have another property or a plan for where you’ll go next? Be sure to keep the logistics and busy market conditions in mind if you’re buying and selling at the same time. 

Have you discussed the details with everyone involved? Selling your house isn’t something you should do on the spur of the moment. This sale will mean big changes, both financially and in your day-to-day life, so be sure everyone in your household is on the same page.

Have you established your goals and communicated them clearly? When you’re ready, let’s discuss your needs and wants and create a plan that makes sense for you. Once clear goals are established, we can work together to find what you’re looking for. 

Still not sure if it’s the right time to sell? Get in touch to discuss your options today.

Making the Most of the Small Corners and Nooks Around Your Home

Install a reading space, storage shelves, or a breakfast nook as recommended by our interior designers.

Don’t let a lack of square footage fool you the small corners and nooks in your home are teeming with design potential. “City dwellers know every square inch of a room is usable space,” says Cagney Krzywosinski of Hyphen & Co. “Corners are a spot that is often forgotten about and, in turn, end up collecting all your bits and bobs. To make the most of them, consider incorporating thoughtful surfaces and storage items.”

small teal desk in nook by stairway

Unfortunately, finding shelves and other furnishings that are small enough to squeeze into a tight alcove can be tricky. “It’s easy to purchase the wrong size piece that is too large for the nook and makes your space look smaller,” explains Ella Hall, founder of Stitchroom. “You can solve that problem by filling the space with flexible pieces that are easy to move, like a small pouf or ottoman.”

Looking for more tips about how to transform a cramped corner or nook in your home into a fully functional space? We asked a few of our trusted interior designers for advice and they offered their clever solutions.

Design a reading nook.

If you haven’t converted at least one corner of your home into a comfy reading nook, now is your chance to dive into all those books on your list. “Pair a petite accent chair with a slim side table for a makeshift reading spot,” says Sara Barney of BANDD DESIGN. “Use wall-mounted sconces for lighting to save space.” If there’s not enough room for a proper chair, that’s alright. Hall says a plush rug and a handful of floor pillows will do the trick. “Pillows are always great to have to use to prop up behind your back, lean against the wall, and settle into your reading nook,” she elaborates.

Make a mini workstation.

Why work from home on your sofa when you can forge a workstation in an unused corner of your home instead? “A floating desktop and a small chair can moonlight as an impromptu home office area,” says Kate Lester. “There are several stylish foldout tables on the market to free up floor space, and you can add in wall-mounted shelving or a narrow bookcase for storage.”

Carve out extra storage.

If a nook or corner is far too cramped for furniture, our experts suggest using the space to create extra storage. “Adding floating shelves to the walls will allow you to use the space for storage,” Barney says. If you don’t like the idea of showing off your storage in plain sight, she says you can use the shelves to display books, art, and other decorative accessories to ensure the space is functional.

Create a small indoor garden area.

If you love to garden but don’t have access to a yard, Michelle Lisac says a small corner or nook is a great place to display and care for low-light houseplants. “A large plant in an eye-catching decorative pot or basket is a stylish way to fill a corner,” she says. “You can also incorporate hanging planters and wall-mounted pots in the area to take advantage of vertical space.”

Build a breakfast nook.

No proper dining area at home? No problem. Barney says you can convert a small corner into a bonafide breakfast nook in no time. “Pair a slender bistro table with a tall stool or chair to create a cute spot for sipping coffee,” she says. If you don’t have room for a freestanding table, use a wall-mounted one to score a breakfast bar-style setup.

Steps to a Cleaner Kitchen

Your kitchen might not be used just for eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many families use this space for homework, gathering, crafting and more. Keeping this space clean and clutter-free can feel like a losing battle. With a little planning and some tricks and tips, you can keep your kitchen neat and tidy.

Lets take a closer look at 5 simple steps.

1. Run Your Dishwasher at Night, Empty it in the Morning

Have you ever fallen into the trap of leaving dirty dishes in your sink for far too long? An easy way to handle this problem is to create a schedule to empty and fill your dishwasher. Run your dishwasher every night when you go to bed. Empty it in the morning while you make coffee, tea or breakfast. Then you can fill it immediately throughout the day rather than letting dishes pile up.

2. Assemble Your Supplies

When you begin to clean your kitchen, first get out all your supplies. This will save you time and also help you know where everything is. Have your surface cleaner, rags, sponges and whatever else you’ll need on the counter so you don’t have to dig under your sink to find what you need when you need it.

3. Wipe Down Surfaces

After every meal, wipe down the surfaces of your kitchen. It will be much easier to do each time throughout the day rather than to let things build up. Clean the counters and stove top immediately. You don’t have to do a deep clean for this step, just a simple wipe with soap and water is enough to cut down on the grease and grime, making it easier to do a full cleaning later.

4. Put Everything Away

If you used it, put it in the dishwasher. If you didn’t, put it back in the cupboard. Don’t let your kitchen counter or table become a catch-all for non-kitchen items either. It’s easy to dump mail on the table to deal with later, but any time you put something off, it becomes clutter and will be much harder to sort through in the future. Have a place for everything and put everything in its place.

5. Take Out the Trash

Don’t wait to take out the trash, either. Some people are willing to cram the trash can full to avoid taking it out, but that becomes a problem sooner rather than later. Instead, when you clean the kitchen after dinner, take the trash out right away. Not only will you avoid unpleasant smells but also you won’t attract bugs, which can become a menace.

Call us today to discuss the features you want in your dream kitchen.

Today’s Busy Real Estate Market

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You’re probably well aware that the real estate market is more competitive than ever (due to low inventory, among other things).

Still, it’s not a bad time to buy a house. Mortgage rates are low, home values are on the rise and, in many cases, buying is still more affordable than renting.

Are you considering purchasing a house in today’s fast-paced market? Here are five tips that can help.

Get preapproved. Applying for a mortgage preapproval is critical in a competitive market. Not only can it give you a good price range to shop in, but it can also help sellers feel more confident in your offers (and maybe even choose yours over others).

Be flexible. If you can be flexible on your closing date or willing to waive a contingency or two, it will often work in your favor. Sellers are looking for the easiest, most lucrative sale in most cases. We can discuss what makes sense for you when the time comes. 

Make a decent earnest money deposit. Earnest money deposits are good faith deposits that indicate how serious you are about a home purchase. If the seller accepts your offer and you don’t follow through with the deal, they keep that cash.

Be prepared to bid more than the asking price. Consider searching in a lower-than-maximum price range so that you have room to bid upward if necessary. In many cases, you’ll need to increase your bid to compete with other buyers, so maxing out your budget from the start probably isn’t the best strategy.

Be patient (but stay alert). In the current conditions, you may not find what you’re looking for immediately. On the other hand, things could start moving quickly at any time. To find success, remember that communication and flexibility are key.

It can be challenging to buy a house in today’s market but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Reach out today if you need assistance.

Blending the New and Old

You may have noticed that buying second-hand items has become popular. This practice reduces consumption, and up-cycling can be better for both the environment and your budget. If you have a home that was built in the 1920s, 1940s, or even the 1960s, you may want to preserve some of that history while still keeping the home livable and comfortable.

Here are some of the ways you can blend the old and the new in your home.

Repurpose Furniture

Whether you select hand-me-downs and family heirlooms or purchase worn pieces at thrift stores and flea markets, old furniture can make a real impact when used in the right way. You may not want to repurpose sofas or chairs without completely recovering them, but wooden furniture is more easily refinished and cleaned up.

Up-cycle and Redesign

A trend known as up-cycling uses older furniture and other discarded pieces to reinvent a like-new statement piece for your home. For example, people often use pallets as wood for shelves, small cabinets and tables. Check out local junk shops for items that can be completely repurposed and re-imagined.

Research the Era

Some people can take inspiration from the house itself. Is your home a working-class bungalow built-in the 1940s? Tons of styles can help you decorate your house preserving its history while updating it for modern use. Mid century homes, for example, are popular and people love including mid century design in these spaces.

Create the Right Balance

Ultimately, blending old and new is all about creating the right balance. Using a large statement piece but adding smaller more contemporary elements can give your home amazing personality and make it really pop. Look at the pieces you’ve collected and decide what the unifying theme is and play with that.

If you want to talk about the style you envision for your new home, call us today to learn more.

Posted in Life Listings Stuff by Being BOB. No Comments

Projects to Finish Before You Sell

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Are you ready to make the transition to a new home? Or at least take a few steps to get there?

If so, you’ll need to think about selling your current property, and you’re probably hoping to get the best price possible. 

Renovations can be a great value booster. The right changes appeal to buyers and help you make a great return on your investment.

Here are four ways you might want to renovate before selling.

  • Fresh Paint Job: A new coat of paint is one of the most affordable renovations and you can even do it yourself. Uplifting colors, like taupe or soft teal, can make a room look brighter. Remember that the more neutral the area, the easier it is for buyers to picture themselves living there.
  • Countertops and Light Fixtures: If you want to make your home look new without undergoing a full remodel, updating the countertops and light fixtures can work wonders. Similar to paint colors, it’s best to stick with simple styles.
  • Break-Even Remodel: Did you know the kitchen and bathrooms are the most important parts of the house? To interest buyers, consider a break-even remodel in these lived-in spaces. If the cabinets and floors are outdated, try low-cost upgrades (like new hardware) so the rooms look more modern.
  • Market Trends: Before deciding which renovations to make, check out the latest trends in home design. Choosing improvements based on what’s popular can help your house stand out to buyers both online and in person.

Preparing your home to sell is easier with an experienced professional in your corner. To learn more about value-adding renovations, or to start looking for a new property, get in touch today.

Sleep Well with These Bedroom Designs

Did you know that your bedroom could be affecting your ability to sleep well at night? Your bedroom should be decorated with a good sleep in mind. If you’re not getting enough restful sleep, it may be time to redecorate. The following ideas can help you improve the mood in your bedroom to help you sleep better and wake feeling refreshed.

Get a Great Mattress

Good sleep starts with a good mattress. Old or uncomfortable mattresses can place pressure on the wrong parts of your body, making it impossible to get comfortable. You can visit a mattress store or check out some of the new space-age foam mattresses available online to find one that is right for you.

Choose Soothing Colors

The psychology of color is fascinating. Bold, energetic colors such as red, orange or yellow aren’t great for a bedroom. Instead, choose cool calming colors, such as blue or neutral tones. If you want a little color, you can add it with accessories.

Reduce Clutter

A cluttered room makes for a cluttered mind. If you want restful sleep, keep your bedroom organized. That means putting away clothes and ensuring that additional clutter doesn’t find its way into the bedroom.

Keep It Dark and Cool

Light and temperature also affect our sleep cycles. If you want to sleep well, make sure the room is dark at night. You may need room darkening shades if the rooms gets any ambient light from the street. You should also block out light from alarm clocks, computers and televisions when you are sleeping.

If you are ready for a great night’s sleep in a new home, call us today.

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