Easy Updates for the Home


Unfortunately not all homes on the market will be outfitted with the latest or newest amenities but today’s low-cost solutions make updating a breeze!  From small weekend projects, to quick updates, the following are a few hand-picked ideas that concentrate on three areas of the home; floors, walls, cabinets.

Floors.  (Get inspiration from our Pinterest board by clicking here.)  The options are endless when it comes to choosing a flooring style.  There are incredible solutions using plywood, contractor paper, concrete, and vinyl in different and inventive ways.

Walls.  (Get inspiration from our Pinterest board by clicking here.)  These ideas are so simple even those who claim not to have a creative bone can accomplish them.  Move the furniture aside!  A gallon or two of paint and some ingenuity will make a snap out of these quickie projects.

Cabinets.  (Get inspiration from our Pinterest board by clicking here.)  The wallpaper bead board is completely the best idea ever!  Just a quick weekend project will turn any kitchen into a classic, modern, or contemporary dream!

Deliberately placed lighting, warm cozy fabrics, and window treatments will help make any home reflect the family core.  Keep these carefully chosen projects in mind when looking at potential homes or when updating your own home. You, are in charge of how your home looks and feels.

Try your newly acquired ideas by visiting our Facebook page and imagining what you could change in the homes we have posted there.  Tell us about your ideas or show us your personal finished projects in the comment sections and don’t forget the pictures!


Outdoor Entertaining

Weather permitting, outdoor entertaining is an obvious must!  Many memories are made when friends or family get together outdoors around a crackling fire.  The scents of BBQ on the grill, fresh cut grass, and the balmy summer air are instant reminders of why entertaining outdoors, for a time, is high living.

There are several clever ways to create the ultimate alfresco experience.  Many do-it-yourself projects ranging from inexpensive to investment level are readily available on the internet; and most have video tutorials.

At the top of the list would be lighting.  Create ambience with plentiful low lighting.  Putting lights in unique places creates an atmosphere of mystery and fun.  There are many lighting ideas that are surprising and yet so simple.  Check out our board Outdoor Lighting on Pinterest for pictures of these ideas.

The next outdoor fundamental would be seating.  Type of get together and type of guest will play a role in seating choice.  Comfort usually plays a role here but if the get together is more for musicians around a campfire then stumps or logs might be preferred over comfy lounge chairs.  With either choice, be sure to have enough seating for all guests; plus more for any unexpected arrivals.  Check out our board Outdoor Seating on Pinterest for picture ideas in this category.

Finally, no one can predict weather; just watch the weatherman on the local news channel!  While everyone may be able to run indoors during a cloudburst, what happens to the food and table setting?  Having ample coverage is usually only needed to protect the festival of eats, but remember that mosquitos love the outdoors as well.  Netting on canopies or hanging from a prodigious tree will be appreciated by the visitors.  Need Outdoor Covering ideas?

Planning a beautiful backyard extravaganza is simple and easy.  Make outdoor entertaining memorable by incorporating any of these ideas with delicious food, frosty beverages, and close friends.

  We want to see YOUR outdoor entertaining!  Post your pictures of  outdoor entertaining on our Facebook page.

10 Ways To Springify Your Home

10 Ways To Springify Your Home

Written by Jaymi Naciri on Sunday, 08 March 2015 9:16 am

It’s time to spring forward, and you know what that means: spring cleaning. Boo. Actually, there’s a whole bunch of things we want to do to our home, and with an extra hour of daylight, we may just have the energy to tackle a few. Here’s what we’ll be springing into starting this weekend.

1. Sell! Sell! Sell!

Two words: garage sale. Does it stink to have to get up at 6am to greet the early birds? Yes. Will you be oh-so-happy when your old, useless, space-stealing stuff is gone and you’ve got Starbucks money for a month in your pocket? Oh yes.

2. Make someone’s day

Set aside some of the more useful items that didn’t sell: jackets, shoes, blankets, and towels to help a homeless person get through the rest of the cold season.

3. Donate the rest

Take anything that didn’t sell at your garage sale to a local charity. Not only will you be helping those in need, but your donation is also tax deductible.

4. Clean it out

Large items that can’t be sold or donated tend to sit in the garage or an extra room for years, eliciting grimaces every time you walk by. Check with your city services to see if they offer large item pickup. Many cities do this annually, while others offer this free service once a month.

5. Scruba-dub

Now’s the time to tackle those projects you only get to every once in awhile. Cleaning out your gutters. And your dryer vent. And under your bed. While you’re at it, pull furniture away from the walls and vacuum behind there as well. If you have windows you never open or that are blocked by furniture, now is also a good time to clean those. You’ll feel good about your accomplishment, and your post-dust-bunny breathing will thank you.

6. Get organized

If your junk drawer now numbers three and your closets are bulging with stuff you never got around to folding or sorting through, there’s no time like the spring to get it outta there and make it pretty.

7. Give an old favorite new life

Everyone has an old sideboard that was willed to them or a set of chairs they picked up at a garage sale when they couldn’t afford to buy new. Just because you’re in a better financial situation now doesn’t mean it’s time to chuck them. It’s amazing what a little sandpaper, paint, fabric, and a staple gun can accomplish. You might just create a standout piece that you can pass on to the next generation.

8. Curb your enthusiasm

Has the hard winter affected your curb appeal? Once the ice breaks, it’s time to get out and pretty up your yard. It’s amazing how raked leaves, a new doormat, and a touch of color in your flowerpots can easily transform the front of your house.

9. Update your look

Still sporting the beige everywhere? It’s time to get with the gray. Find your perfect shade here.

10. Let the sun shine in

Yes, it’s still cold outside. But for many of us it’s been a particularly nasty season. If you’re the type that decorates by season, give the weather the cold shoulder be switching out your winter décor early.

Invest in a Vacation Home

Vacation Home Property Sales Surge from ‘Keeping Current Matters’

The American desire to own a second home as a vacation home is alive and well!

The National Association of Realtors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows there are approximately 8 million vacation homes in the U.S. Their 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey shows vacation home sales improved substantially in 2013.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said favorable conditions are driving second-home sales:

“Growth in the equity markets has greatly benefited high net-worth households, thereby providing the wherewithal and confidence to purchase recreational property,” he said. “However, vacation-home sales are still about one-third below the peak activity seen in 2006.”

Here are the key findings from the report:

Raw Numbers
Vacation-Home sales rose 29.7 percent to 717,000 from 553,000 in 2012
Sales accounted for 13% of all transactions last year, up from 11% in 2012
The median price was $168,700, compared with $150,000 in 2012, reflecting a greater number of more expensive recreational property sales in 2013
42% of vacation homes purchased in 2013 were distressed homes (in foreclosure or short sale)
Buyer Profile
The typical vacation-home buyer was 43 years old
The median household income was $85,600
Buyers plan to own their recreational property for a median of 6 years
33% said they were likely to purchase another vacation home within two years
82% of all second-home buyers said it was a good time to buy (compared with 67% of primary residence buyers)
Reasons for Purchasing
Lifestyle factors remain the primary motivation for vacation-home buyers:

87% want to use the property for vacations or as a family retreat
31% plan to use it as a primary residence in the future
28% wanted to diversify their investments or saw a good investment opportunity
23% plan to rent to others
41% of vacation homes purchased last year were in the South
28% in the West
18% in the Northeast
14% in the Midwest
The vacation homebuyer purchased a property that was a median distance of 180 miles from their primary residence (down from 435 in 2012)

46% were within 100 miles
34% were more than 500 miles
38% of vacation-home buyers paid cash in 2013
The median down payment was 30%, up from 27% in 2012

Sell your Home Faster!

I think everyone knows that most homebuyers prefer a home that is move-in ready. There are many things a Seller can do to make their home more appealing that does not cost a lot of money. Keep the following in mind when putting your home on the market:

• Clean, Clean, Clean – Wash the windows, wash the woodwork, clean the          toilets, scour the sinks
• Clean your closets and remove clothing you do not use
• Clean the garage and throw out items that do not work or sell items you        do not use
• Have some flowers or plants in the front lawn
• Clean the grime off of the light switches and door handles
• Clean out your kitchen cabinets
• Repair broken appliances
• Do not smoke inside and do not leave overflowing ashtrays near any    entrance
• Empty the trash