2015 New Home Trends

If you are thinking of remodeling in the next year or you just want to spruce up those tired living spaces then you are in luck. Remodeling experts are doing the work for you and they evaluate buying trends in home repairs. coolcolors

No need to guess what will be popular in the years to come. They have done the leg work for you. Check out this blog post from the Real Estate Book called New Home Trends You Should Know About in 2015.

Here is a rundown of the updates that are going to turn heads in the new year:

  1. Vinyl tiling verses ceramic
  2. Painted kitchen cabinets and less stainless steel
  3. Engineered counter tops verses granite
  4. Cooler bathroom colors
  5. Play areas off of the kitchen
  6. Bigger closets and bathrooms

That’s an impressive list! Get more on these projects and how they can fit into your 2015 designs by checking out the link.

Which one is your favorite remodel update? My favorite is cooler bathroom colors.

Top Real Estate Markets in the Country

During the past six years this country has seen housing markets turned upside down. Thankfully since then the markets have slowly recovered, while they may not necessarily be at the levels they once were, this is great news for buyers and sellers alike. 1

In some markets the recovery has benefited sellers with soaring prices. In other markets recovery has benefited investors who are buying for rentals and flips.

In an article from bankrate.com they list the 5 best markets for the 3rd quarter of 2014.

Being in Ohio, I’m very encouraged to see two Ohio cities on the list. Toledo and Dayton both have markets that are in the recovery process, and that’s very exciting!

Check out the article and see if you have a state or city represented.


Classy Christmas Decorating

Christmas is the best time of season to decorate. In my house, we have a number of bins that sit in the closet all year only to come out in December to turn our normal home into a holiday wonderland. It’s so exciting!lighted-branch_300

If you checked out my previous post on How to Hang Christmas Lights then you already have the exterior finished. But what about the inside. And a big question for home sellers:

How should I decorate if I’m trying to sell my home and should I even try?

My answer is YES!

You should definitely decorate for the Christmas season, but you have to think about it from a buyer’s perspective.

Check out this great article 12 Easy and Elegant Christmas Decor ideas. In this photo gallery you can find great ideas to add elegance to your home during this festive season.

The tips you find here will put a smile on any buyer’s face. My favorites are coloring light bulbs for a centerpiece and creating your own table runner out of string and foam board. Sure it sounds crafty but it looks fantastic.

After you take a look at the article, let me know which one is your favorite!

Don’t Fear to Refer

You may have heard a Real Estate Professional mention the word “referral.”

You may have read it on a letter sent by a company through the mail.Should-you-be-friends-with-people-at-work

You may even have heard your friend mention it when talking about an agent they recommend.

But maybe you don’t really know what it means or why its so important not only to real estate agents but to any word-of-mouth business.

A referral is just what it sounds like. It is telling a friend, family member, or coworker about the great service that you experienced. The goal being that when they are in a situation to need those services, they will contact your business professional.

This seems pretty simple and not really worth mentioning in a blog, yet it is so important. Referrals become the life-blood of the real estate professional. As an agent, I only know a certain amount of people. Everyday I can network and meet new people, but there is no way I can talk with everyone.

This is where you come in. Here is an example: lets say an agent only knows 5 people (sad) and works with 2 of those people and does a fantastic job selling them a home. Now both of those people also know 5 people each and they tell all their friends. Of those 10 new people that now know about the agent 3 of them contact him/her to buy a home. And naturally the agent does a fantastic job.

What do you think happens next? You guessed it, and the cycle continues! The agent can now reach so many more people and provide fantastic service to them all. Does this meant that the agent can sit back and wait for the phone to ring?

As if! They want to meet more people with which to share their fantastic level of service. And that’s why referrals are so important to the real estate professional.

Is there a friend you can tell about a professional you know?

Discussion #3: Owner Occupant Vs. Investor

If you’ve been searching for a home for any length of time and your agent has been sifting through the plethora of options available, then you’ve likely come across two potentially confusing terms. cottage

Owner Occupant and Investor

I’m here to break down these two descriptive titles so next time you come across them you are informed. Let’s talk about what an Owner Occupant is first.

An owner occupant seems pretty simple to explain on the surface. It means that whoever is going to purchase the home will live in the home. The owner will occupy the premises. This individual could be single or married; whoever it is their name must be on the deed to be an owner occupant. They are buying a home for personal use and intend to live in the home for at least one year.

This is counter to the investor.

The investor is looking at a property for investment purposes or money making purposes. It could be a potential rental property or a flip-and-sell. Whichever the case they’re intent is to not live in the house but turn it around for monetary gain.

So why is this important to know? There are programs available to buyers through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or through various auction websites that only allow Owner Occupants to place offers on homes. The intent is for buyers to build communities and not build rental communities. They want to give home owners a chance to get really good deals.

Usually after a certain period of time (sometimes a week or more) and the property does not sell to an owner occupant then bidding will open for investors.

Hopefully that gives you a basic understand of the differences of Owner Occupants and Investors. Do you have any questions I can answer? Leave them in the comments below!


New Design Products Coming Soon

I love going to showrooms and design events. It’s always such a blast wondering aimlessly through the islands and isles browsing the latest and newest gadgets. And there are so many trade shows from which to choose!cdnassets.hw.net

Hunting/fishing, bridal, cookware, interior design; the list goes on. Whatever it is you can be sure that when you walk through those doors, you will be immersed in the latest and greatest.

Doesn’t it feel good to get a taste of the new products before everyone else?

If you haven’t had a chance to attend a Remodeling Product Show this year, you are in luck! Check out these fantastic new products coming to home and design stores near you. In this article they list 10 New Productions coming out of remodeling shows.

The two products from the list I am most excited about are the 3-Panel Interior Shaker Door and the Cellular PVC Sill Molding. The new interior door design brings something old into a modern context with a little bit of contemporary flair. How classy to have your household door reflect this home-spun charm.

And PVC window molding that won’t chip, warp, or break? Yes please! This company is bringing the durability of PVC and extending it’s usefulness to household design. Love it!

Those are my favorites. Which is your favorite from the list?

How to Hang Christmas Lights

With Halloween and then Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s seems almost too early to talk about Christmas and especially Christmas lights. XUGYoL2drvEstfKL

But now is the perfect time to think about those magical lights that can transform any dark home into a winter wonderland. While the weather is still pleasant and the cold still weeks away, now is the perfect time to dust off the ladder, get out your hooks and start hanging those colorful lights.

If you’ve never hung lights before check out this helpful list and video from Lowe’s. In this article Hang Christmas Lights they give you a step-by-step guide and a material list.

Here are the steps they suggest you take:

  1. Plan your design: before you start throwing them up, plan your overall design. Where they will go and how many you will need. You don’t want to be left running to the store for more.
  2. Prepare your lights: choose between incandescent or LED. How many per strand and how you will attach them to your home surfaces.
  3. Start the project: you may need a partner to help you as you work. Always work safely.
  4. Test your lights: before you string the first light, check that they’re all working.
  5. Attach the lights: gutters, roof, trees, and rails. You can find all kinds of things to attach lights to. Using the proper clips will keep your house from getting too many holes and ruining woodwork.
  6. Set a timer: don’t get caught with unexpected energy costs. Setting a timer for the whole display will make sure you never forget to turn them off at night.
  7. Flip the switch: now bring the family out, pass around the hot cocoa and be amazed at your awesome work!

Did you know you can order your Christmas lights online with all the supplies? Check out Christmas Lights Etc. and get started with your project.

I’d love to know, do you plan on hanging outdoor lights this year?

Winterizing Tips for Your Home

Last week we had to take a short hiatus, but this week we are back at it with some great tips to winterize your home.

If you haven’t noticed already (weird), but it’s starting to feel colder and more leaves are falling. You snow_driftmay not even think about it, but winter can be a hard time on your home and on your energy costs.

Before the frosty air of winter sets in try some of these great ideas from the Kiplinger finance website. The slideshow article is called 15 Ways to Prepare your Home for Winter.

In the article, the writer introduces a whole list of great tips to protect you and your home from the cold and possibly save extra money on heating. Some of my favorite tips are:

  • Reverse the ceiling fan: changing the fan to run in the proper direction creates an updraft and will bring that risen warm air to the floor.
  • Scan the roof: check for damaged shingles or loose flashing where water can seep in and freeze.
  • Turn of exterior hoses and drain faucets: any water sitting in exposed hoses can freeze and burst. Especially damaging to irrigation systems.
  • Test your sump: if the autumn has been dry then add a couple of gallons to the sump pump and see if it kicks on. As snow slowly melts, you don’t want it creeping into your basement.

Check out the article for more great tips. Which one do find most helpful for your home?

5 Home Staging Musts

Every real estate agent will agree that staging your home to sell is very important. As buyers are looking around for their new home, they want to picture a clean spacious home that is move-in ready.decor_curb-appeal

But what does staging your home actually mean? Does it mean that you have to hire a staging designer?

Check out this list of 5 great staging ideas. Your buyers may thank you and you are more likely to get more for your property.

1 Create more space: unless they’re downsizing, generally speaking most people are looking to buy a new home because they want more space. This makes creating more space in your home so important. Reduce the amount of clutter in every room. Make sure each bedroom has a bed, dresser, and nightstand and that’s it. Try removing 2/3 of the books from the shelves and downsizing furniture if necessary. Open space is the key.

2. Get rid of smells: bad smells will turn anyone away from a beautiful house. If you have pets or places with strong odors consider having a cleaning service scrub walls and floors. Replace carpets if necessary because buyers will notice odors immediately.

3. Colors: colors are polarizing. While many people like colorful rooms, when they’re looking at homes the goal is to create the perfect atmosphere. All major living spaces should flow in a neutral pallet. Bright paints not only are strong personal preferences but can be time consuming to cover with paint and many buyers don’t want to spend time and resources to do that.

4. Take care of small details: things like squeaky doors and grinding drawers. If one or two cabinets squeak buyers may think there are other small things that need fixing. Walk through the entire house with your realtor and try ever door, window, or floor. Dusty ceiling fans and air vents could also use some cleaning.

5. Curb appeal: with all the inside things to take care of don’t forget the outside. It will be the first thing buyers see when they pull up to your home. This could be in updating fixtures like mailbox, lights, and knobs. Refreshing the front door, mowing, and fresh flowers in planters near the door give buyers a sense of care to the property.

The first impression should impress.

So which of these do you think is the most important or which would turn you off from a sell the most?