Real Estate Tips and Information Corner

You’ll find my blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from home and real estate tips to local market statistics and community happenings. That’s because knowledge is power and I want to be your direct connection. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. I’d love to talk with you!

 

Aug. 24, 2020

Ready To Go Rustic?

Rustic and farmhouse interior design are still in, and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon! If you’re ready to hop on board this trend, try introducing some of our favorite ideas into a room in your home. Take a look below!

 

 

Exposed wood. Whether you implement this in a small way, such as a coffee table, headboard, or chair, or go big with your remodel and add wooden beams or create a plank accent wall, exposed wood is essential to a rustic-style room. Make sure to combine various wood grains, colors, and finishes to add more depth and texture.

Fur. Whether you opt for real or faux, fur can be a unique feature piece and can bring together the room. Try a cowhide, bear, or sheepskin rug or purchase a fur throw for a couch or chair.

Accent materials. Incorporate iron or stone accents in furniture and décor, such as bar stools, coffee tables, overhead lighting, chandeliers, fireplaces, mantels, shelving, candleholders, and more.

Warm lighting. To give the room a cozy, relaxing feel, lean towards warm, yellow lightbulbs instead of LEDs or pick out some unique Edison bulbs for exposed lamps and decorative overhead lighting.

Small details. The magic is in the small details. Paint wood panels white or gray and letter your favorite saying on top. Purchase wooden picture frames, farmhouse signs, terracotta pots, wood slices, and mason jars and arrange them around the room.

Bold patterns. Mismatched quilts, layered rag rugs, and check-print chairs or blankets are great additions to any rustic room.

 

 

 

Posted in General
Aug. 17, 2020

3 Important Tips To Sell Home Items Online

Whether you are looking to make more room in your home or planning to redecorate, selling some of your lightly used home items is a great way to make a few bucks. Below are some tips to sell your items quickly and safely online.

 

 

Choose the Right Site

There are numerous reputable websites to sell your home items and many that come with a mobile app for your Android or iOS device. Some popular sites include Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, Mercari, OfferUp, and Poshmark.

Represent Your Item in the Best Light

To catch the eye of potential buyers, clean the item thoroughly and do any paint touch-ups or repairs that are needed. Then take a series of well-lit, high-quality photos. Make sure you are capturing every angle of the item and inside any drawers or cupboards. If the item’s brand holds any weight, you may want to take a close up shot of that logo or name plate on the item. Pair your scroll-stopping photos with a detailed description that covers the dimensions, color, brand, damages, and any other pertinent information.

Practice Safe Delivery

Depending on the site you are using, it may have built-in shipping options available with that cost worked into the price. However, if you choose to ship the item yourself, you may want to add on a few dollars to the listed price to account for packaging and shipping. If you are doing an in-person handoff, we recommend meeting in a public place in the daylight instead of having the buyer come to your home or place of work.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in General
Aug. 10, 2020

5 Gardening Tips For Newbies

Feel like trying out your green thumb, but have no clue where to get started. Check out these five tips for newbie gardeners.

 

 

  1. Get to know your soil. To grow a bountiful garden, you must first start with the soil. Determining whether you have loam, clay, or sandy soil can help you select the best flowers, bushes, fruits, vegetables, and more to plant. Try a soil test kit to determine this.
  2. Play to the sun. Watch the way sunlight moves throughout your yard before choosing your garden plot. A vast majority of edible plants will need at least 6 hours of sun per day to grow properly.
  3. Determine your frost dates. Don’t kill your garden’s chances of thriving by accidentally planting too early or late in the season. Make sure you know the average spring and fall frost date for your area so you plant at just the right time.
  4. Keep a close eye on weeds. After all the time and effort you put into planting your garden, the last thing you need is for your plants to be suffocated by weeds. Read up on the common weeds in your area and the safest and best way to rid your garden of them. Make sure to keep a record of these for the years following so you don’t have to repeat your research.
  5. Water and feed diligently. Morning is the best time to water your garden to allow it to fully soak into the soil before it is evaporated by the sun. Each plant is different so make sure you pay attention so you don’t overwater.

 

 

 

Posted in General
Aug. 3, 2020

5 Ways To Organize Your Closet Like A Champ

Do you desire a closet that looks like it’s straight out of a magazine? Then we have you covered! Follow the tips below to masterfully organize your closet and give yourself peace of mind.

 

 

Group like clothing items together. Group same-length dresses, long-sleeved shirts, blouses, pants, etc. together in your closet to both save space and create an aesthetically-pleasing look. Add an extra bar. Need more hanging room? You can find additional closet bars in-store or online for under $20 and installation is fairly quick and easy. Then hang t-shirts, blouses, jackets, and more on the lower bar. 

Keep things uniform. Although you may have to spend a little more upfront, purchasing matching hangers, organizers, and storage boxes will give your closet a cleaner look. 

Invest in special hangers, dividers, and organizers. Purchase a few items to make closet organization a breeze, such as a space-saving pants organizer, shelf dividers to keep t-shirts, towels, or sweaters in place, or multi-shirt hangers that can fit up to 5 garments on one. 

Try color-coding. Feeling magically inspired? Try organizing your closet by color. You can even place the colors in order of the rainbow to help make dressing easier and more fun. 

Get creative with shoe storage. Shoes can take up a lot of room and keeping the pile neat and tidy can be difficult. Consider purchasing a shoe organizer that hangs on your closet door or install rails on the wall to hang high heels. You can also purchase cabby shelving or a shoe carousel to be placed on the closet floor.

 

 

 

Posted in General
July 27, 2020

Give Your Deck A Facelift

Hanging out with your family or hosting friends on your old, dingy deck is not very appealing. Lucky for you, refreshing it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Try your hand at the makeover ideas below!

 

 

Restore your decking. Depending on the shape it’s in, sometimes all your deck needs is a little love. If it’s still fairly new, your deck might just need a deep cleaning and a new coat of sealant. There is a multitude of deck finishing and cleaning solutions on the market to choose from to achieve this. However, if its more worn down, the rejuvenation process may be a bit longer, including searching for larger repairs, tightening any hardware, giving it a good cleaning, applying a stain, sealant, and paint, and more.

Add lighting. Ambient lighting can completely transform your outside space into a relaxing, cozy oasis. Consider adding solar lights that don’t require a plugin or battery replacement. The lights turn on automatically when the sun sets, making your deck come alive. You can also consider paper lanterns, rope lights, mason jar lamps, or small twinkle lights, depending on the style and mood you’d like to set.

Build a privacy screen. Privacy screens come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. Consider purchasing and installing bamboo fencing or lattice panels for a quick and easy solution. Or, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can build a wooden frame and grow climbing plants or vines or stretch outdoor fabric in between. Whichever route you end up choosing, make sure you get the most out of your efforts by evaluating all lines sight before building.

Home Equity. Getting a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. You receive usually up to 80 percent of your home’s value, minus the amount of your loan.

Retirement Funds. Homeowners can consider pulling money from a 401K or IRA account, even though they aren’t specifically meant to cover a home renovation. This option might incur additional penalties or tax payments, but maybe worth it when making improvements that will benefit them financially in the long run.

 

 

 

Posted in General
July 20, 2020

How You Can Finance Your Home Renovation

Outdated kitchen. Overrun backyard. Unusable basement space. If you have a home renovation project on the mind, the first thing you have to consider is how you are going to finance it. Here are the most common options to make your dreams become a reality.

 

 

Cash. Paying in cash is the most straightforward financing option, just save until you have enough money to cover the expenses. This will help eliminate spending outside your budget; however, it can also extend your timeline.

Mortgage Refinance. If you’ve been making payments on your home for a few years and your interest rate is higher than current market rates, you may be eligible for a mortgage refinance, reducing your payments and freeing up some money.

Cash-Out Refinance. You can tap into your home equity and borrow up to 80 percent of your home’s value to pay off your current mortgage plus take out more cash to cover the renovations. This option is encouraged only when you’re making improvements that will increase the value of your home, as it can add a lot of interest and fees.

Home Equity. Getting a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. You receive usually up to 80 percent of your home’s value, minus the amount of your loan.

Retirement Funds. Homeowners can consider pulling money from a 401K or IRA account, even though they aren’t specifically meant to cover a home renovation. This option might incur additional penalties or tax payments, but may be worth it when making improvements that will benefit them financially in the long run.

 

 

 

Posted in General
July 13, 2020

Spice Up Your Kitchen With A Pop Of Color

In the past few years, the biggest kitchen trends revolved around stainless steel appliances, bright white or light gray cupboards, granite countertops, and minimalist decor, maintaining a clean, sleek look. And although this style maintains its popularity among homeowners, color is creeping its way back to the forefront. But it is definitely not how you’d expect.

 

 

Introducing the rise of colored appliances. Consumers have been asking and kitchen appliance manufacturers have listened. Instead of your standard white, black, and stainless steel, these companies are now producing baby blue ovens, green vent hoods, pink standing mixers, teal grills, and more. Some of these companies have produced specific color lines while others are going above and beyond, offering the ability to match any color swatch or metal treatment you wish.

On top of these pops of color, according to BHG.com, consumer research indicated a 150 percent increase in interest in shades of metallic, including brass and copper, and a 364 percent increase in interest in gold cabinetry.

However, a brand new appliance may be outside your budget, especially if you are a new homeowner. Not to worry! There is always the infallible accent wall, counter base, or pantry door. This cost-effective, do-it-yourself option is an easy way to refresh the look of your kitchen. You can also consider bringing in bright-colored stools or chairs or introducing bold tiles into your backsplash.

 

 

 

Posted in General
July 6, 2020

5 Great Tips To Going Green Starts In The Kitchen

Living an environmentally-friendly lifestyle and helping to keep our planet clean isn’t as difficult as you may think. All it takes is a few small tweaks. To start, here are five great tips for going green in your kitchen!

 

 

Filter your water. Not only does this allow you to remove contaminants like lead, chloroform, chlorine, etc. from your drinking water at home, but you can save money and reduce waste by avoiding bottled water. Choose between a water-filtering pitcher or faucet-mounted option.

Reduce water usage. It’s a common misconception that running your dishwasher uses a lot of water, when in fact, it generally uses less than hand washing dishes. Just make sure to only run it when full and use the light wash and air dry settings. You can also purchase a low-flow aerator for your kitchen faucet to cut down on water usage.

Avoid unnecessary packaging. When grocery shopping, avoid single-serving products and produce packaged in styrofoam and shrink-wrap to reduce waste. At home, opt for reusable containers, such as jars and Tupperware, instead of foil, plastic wrap, and Ziploc bags.

Switch your cooking appliances out. Instead of using your full-size oven, consider using a toaster oven, microwave, or slow cooker instead. These appliances use between 30 to 50 percent less energy to heat.

Buy local. Shopping at locally-sourced stores or farmers markets does not only allow you to support your neighbors and community but is sustainable for the environment. The food you purchase does not have to travel far to get to you, helping to reduce carbon emissions.

 

 

 

Posted in General
June 17, 2020

Why You Should Invest in a Rental Property

Investing in real estate can be a great alternative to traditional investments and many owners choose to rent out their property. Here are some of the top benefits for getting into this line of business!

Increase over time. Money being put towards real estate investments has increased substantially over the past few years. This is due to an influx in demand of rental properties and an increase in rental rates. These continue to trend upwards, meaning your property’s value will continue to increase as well.

Security. Unlike investing in stocks, your investment growth is a lot steadier with a very minimal chance that you can lose it all overnight. Generally, experts can predict when the market will start to dip in advance, and you can adjust accordingly.

Create passive income. Investing in a rental property (or four!) can make you money while you sleep and the rent you collect can cover or exceed your mortgage payment and other expenses, allowing you to bring in extra cash flow.

Tax breaks. As a real estate investor, you can take advantage of several tax exemptions. Rental income is not subject to self-employment tax and government provides tax breaks on insurance, repairs, legal fees, and property taxes.

Inflation. Although normally a bad thing, people who own rental properties actually benefit from inflation because, as the cost of living increases, so does your income.

Flexibility to sell. Renting out a home allows the homeowner the opportunity to be selective about when and if they sell while the home is still appreciating. Once the market is in the right place and the lease is up, they can pull the trigger.

 

 

June 16, 2020

Wallpaper: Don't Call it a Comeback!

Guess who’s back, back again? Wallpaper has risen to the top of homeowners’ favorite ways to spice up a room again and its easy to see why.

Options. With a variety of colors, patterns, and styles on the market, it's nearly impossible for you to not find one that matches exactly what you’re looking for. The texture and finish options are endless as well, ranging from silk to leather to suede to mother of pearl. Some of the wallpaper trends we are loving right now include watercolor-inspired designs that transform any room into an artistic haven and nature-forward designs that help bring the outdoors in.

Ease of Use. One of the biggest benefits of wallpaper is it is a fantastic DIY project for you and your spouse, family, or friend. Not only does it go on easily, but it is simple to remove and replace when you are ready to revamp the look of the room. Additionally, this is a great option if you’re a renting a home or apartment. Generally, landlords prefer you do not paint during your rental period, so this easy-to-remove option is a great alternative.

Value. Most wallpaper costs on average $3 to $8 per square foot, depending on the brand and the material. Although the upfront cost of wallpapering a room can be a little more than the cost to paint, the value it offers is substantial. Wallpaper can last anywhere from 15 to 25 years, making it an incredibly cost-effective décor solution in the long run, while a painted wall requires more upkeep and touch ups and generally you will need to repaint every 5 to 10 years or so.

 

 

 

Posted in General