Blog Archive for December, 2013

New Year: Healthy Home

Categories: Blog | Posted: December 27, 2013

Diet and ExcerciseThe end of the year has come quickly, and 2014 will soon begin. This is the time of the year when everyone is creating resolutions. One of the most popular resolutions for the new year is to lose weight. The next few months’ gyms will be packed, and people will be working hard to shed that holiday weight. New diets will be started across the world, all with the aim for a more improved, healthier body. How many, however, consider dieting for a more improved and healthier home! That’s right, it’s time to start the new year off with a diet for your home!

Redistribute the dead weight

There’s much talk about dropping dead weight, but what about those items that you cant stand to part with? One household item that can pile up quickly if not managed is the bookshelf. With the exception of a few, most people only read a book a few times (at the most) before shelving it.  Unfortunately a bookshelf can only hold so many books. Luckily, HGTV has found a clever and creative solution. The “Invisible Book Shelf” is a DIY project that allows you to create a bookshelf…from your books! This not only saves space, but also creates a trendy unique look for your home.

Rally up the forces

One major part of making any diet successful is discipline. Your home is no different. Consider creating a “Home Command Center” for you home. You’ll want to choose a spot in your home that is accessed on a daily basis. Now, you’ll need to decide what features your family needs in it’s command center. Features could vary from a chalkboard, dry erase board for messages, cubby holes for sharing notes and storing keys, or even simply a computer. Whatever features you decide on, should help your family keep track of schedules, messages, mail, bills, and maybe even meal planning! Whatever you decide on, keep in mind, it is ONLY effective when used routinely.

Shedding the excess

For the weight that you can’t logically redistribute….let it go! Sometimes it is hard to find a place to drop off your old belongings. Oprah has taken the time to put together a comprehensive list of places to drop anything from furniture, to clothes and old cell phones. There are options in the U.S., Nationwide, and plenty of places to donate your old clutter.

The most important factor to the success of your homes diet is your family’s comfort. At the end of the day, your home should be a haven for you to relax, unwind, and enjoy your family. If you have accomplished this, it is safe to say your home is at a healthy weight!

Crucial Smartphone Apps For Homeowners

Categories: Blog | Posted: December 19, 2013

Web with mobile phoneIn this age of technology, it is no secret that there are millions and millions of apps available. I’m sure you have, at least once, seen an apple commercial that boast “there’s an app for that”. Whether you’re using an Android operating system, or Apple’s IOS operating system the applications available at your fingertip are many.

What you may not have known, however, are the several apps available to homeowners providing a new convenience that only technology could offer. Below are a few of our favorite apps.

Moving In

No more digging through boxes looking for your belongings after the move! Moving Van helps to keep your move seamless. With this app, you take pictures of the contents of each box, then mark which room in the house they belong in. Once moved in, you can easily choose what you are looking for, and pull up a photo of the boxes contents in moments.

Photo Measures Lite is another helpful tool, when moving in. You simply take pictures of the rooms in your new home, and the app automatically records measurements! This will let you choose how to space your furniture and décor in your new home, without having to resort to trial and error.

Planning on a housewarming party

Evite is an application that allows you to send out invites to your guest, manage your RSVPS,  and share updates and information with your guest. Definitely a  party planning must have. This app is available on both Iphone and Android.

Interior Design

Dream Home ($.99) provides a vast array of colors, styles, room types, and interior design photos.  Similarly, Houzz Interior Designs provides many of the same features; but takes it a step further by allowing you to find a local designer to help make your vision a reality! Color Change also allows you to take photos of your rooms, and see how they would look painted different colors!

Energy Effiencey

Social Energy App and are both free apps, which allow you to monitor your home’s energy usage online. You can compare the energy your home uses with house of similar sizes to see how your home compares.

Don’t Begin Your New Home Search Unarmed!

Categories: Blog | Posted: December 12, 2013

choose a suitable keyWe’ve all made the mistake of taking a trip to the grocery store, on an empty stomach AND without a list. This is a recipe for disaster! Walking through the grocery store, stomach growling, everything starts to look good. Several yummy objects later, you roll a full basket up to checkout. Once home you realize you forgot key ingredients for meals, but gosh you really took care of the deserts and cravings.

The same thing happens when you enter a new home community to build the house to fit your lifestyle. You begin to salivate. A great builder thinks of all the possibilities addressing a wide variety of tastes, needs, wants and desires. Touring a model is the opportunity to see all the ingredients unfold before you. This is part of the joy of building a new home.

Suddenly you are that starving person grocery shopping. You want stone fireplaces, decks, deluxe appliances and the kitchen sink. Just kidding, you always get a kitchen sink. But are you going with the under mount, with brushed nickel fixtures?

With so many options to choose from, it’s important to separate your needs from your wants. Then you’ll know up front what the most important elements will be when you roll your cart through those model doors. You don’t want to walk out hours later and think, “oh but we really need this, that, and the sun room.”

Before you go new home shopping, sit down and make a grocery list of important ingredients. A wants and needs list is the menu for your plan. Once you have the structure of your meal down, you can go hunting for that rich chocolate cake to finishing everything perfectly.

Ask yourself a series of questions:
• Do I need 4 bedrooms, or 3 and a flex space?
• Is a gourmet kitchen important?
• Open floor plan, or traditional formal rooms?
• Luxury bathroom?
• Where do I spend the most time?
• What kind of rooms do I need for hobbies?
• What are my structural needs?
• Is this the rest of my life house?
• Do I need to think about resale?

Then make a list of things you’d love to have to design the house just for you. By making two lists side by side, you’ll start to see what the most important features are in your new home.

Now when you walk the model, you’re armed with a shopping list. First find the structure that fits your lifestyle. Do you have the spatial plan, the right kitchen, and so on? Then you can start dressing spaces with the proper appliances, countertop materials, and flooring choices to fit your tastes.

If you forget major ingredients like the finished room over the garage for scrap booking, or the 2-foot bump out with the optional gas fireplace, those things are a lot harder to add later. Tick off the needs on the list, then look around at shiny objects and see which will be perfect side dishes to satisfy those wants.

Leaving out your needs is like leaving the yeast out of your cake. It may still taste sweet but it really falls flat and in the end something is missing. By making your lists upfront, when you are ready to go shopping you’ll be sure to have everything that makes your house a home.

6 Tips For Selling Your Home

Categories: Blog | Posted: December 6, 2013

Selling your homeThe Price Is Right

No matter how much work you put into your home, it is not going to sell quickly if you do not price it appropriately. While it is not necessary to be the lowest priced home in your neighborhood (especially if there are features that make your home stick out from the surrounding homes). It is, however, important that the price of your home is comparable to other homes for sell in your area.

Increase Your Curb Appeal

The first think potential buyers see when they pull up, is the outside of your home. Your home should be appealing, from the yard to the structure . This means ensuring your lawn and bushes are well manicured. It doesn’t hurt to freshen up the paint on the outside as well. Be sure all gutters are clean, and intact.

Remove clutter

It’s important to remove clutter from your home before selling. This doesn’t just mean getting rid of the junk that you no longer need. You may wanted to consider removing large pieces of furniture prior to staging your home for show. This can help the rooms to look less crowded and more spacious. It will be hard for a potential buyer to envision their own furniture in the home, if yours distract them.

Leave a few things behind

Buyers in today’s market have gotten used to closing cost credits and other similar incentives when it comes to buying a home. While these are great, you want your home to distinctively stand out from the competition. This is why it’s a good idea to leave behind a few personal items  tied into your home, that future homeowners would value and appreciate. For example, stainless steel appliances or that beautiful plasma TV that is already mounted to the living room wall. Live on a golf course? Consider leaving a golf cart! Things like this are what make your home stand out from others, and wow your potential buyers.

Use Social Media

Now days, a majority of homebuyers start their search online. They don’t want to see hundreds of listings and pictures of homes, before they even step foot in their first viewing. In order to make your home stand out from all the others, add a little flair. A “video love letter” of your home that details what your family loves most about the home AND the neighborhood can help with this. You can post things like this on Youtube and Facebook. The power of networking through social media reaches far and wide, and can help your home sell in half the time as a listing without the influence of social media.

Get Your Home in Tip-Top Condition

Any minor nicks, scratches, broken door handles, etc should not be overlooked. Moving is a tedious process, and the less the buyer feels they would need to do AFTER moving into your home the better. To differentiate yourself via listings, it’s also a good idea to get inspections such as termites/pest etc (depending on your location) in advance. These types of things can be used in listings to give your buyers a piece of mind and comfort about the condition of your home.

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