Hot Home Trend: Kitchen Backsplash

Staying up on all the latest hot home decorating trends? Plugged into the HGTV, TLC? Love the Flip or Flop shows?

Then you have got to know about Kitchen Backsplashes!

That’s right say it with me: Back Splash! And just like it’s name they’re making a big impact on the home styling scene.

It’s easy to see why too! Your kitchen is one of the prime focal points of your home, some call it the heart of the home even, so it’s no wonder that it is also one of the best places to add a little personality beyond functionality.

Sure, a backsplash protects the wall behind the stove, keeps things tidy, and generally makes what accidents that do pop all over much easier to clean up, but beyond that they can really add a much needed burst of inspiration to what can sometimes be an otherwise utilitarian space.

There are any number of amazing tile options from plain to wild that you can use to dress up your space. Geometric patterns are popular, and bright pops of color are all the rage; patterns like Azulejo are timeless.

We love being able to offer these tips and insights to help you enjoy your home long after the paperwork is signed! We hope that you will rely on us for years to come and count on us as a trusted community resource to assist you whenever you have home questions.

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Keep Your Home Cool This Summer!

realtors stay coolNo doubt about it, for most of the country Summer time is definitely here!

This is certainly true for those of us in the Northwest; while everyone knows some of the usual ways to cool down there’s a few things you can do to keep your house cool this Summer without cranking up the air and that will help keep the power bill down too.

Take a look at these helpful hint to keep you down to a slow sizzle this Summer!

Close Doors
If you have rooms in your home that are largely unoccupied for long periods during the day close the doors. By closing off sections of your house you can help keep cool air inside of the individual rooms easier, especially during the hottest parts of the day.

Change Your Fan Direction
Which way is your fan spinning? Believe it or not it makes a huge difference! In Winter it’s good to use your ceiling fans to pull warm air up, but in Summer turn off the fan and flip the little switch to reverse direction so it runs counter-clockwise – this forces air downwards providing a direct skin cooling effect.

Cool Yourself
It’s a lot more cost effective to cool yourself off than to try to cool down the entire house! Consider dressing lighter, and drinking cool drinks (including plain old water!) to stay hydrated. This will help you feel cooler even if the house is warm.

Close the Curtains
Close up the curtains, especially if you have a sunny facing window or French doors as heat will penetrate your home and cause it to run hotter. Better yet, if possible get thicker black out curtains. Windows and glass surfaces are one of the biggest places where heat will enter your home.

There are plenty of ways to keep your cool! Hopefully these ideas will get you started. Long term things you may also consider include planting shade trees, or adding patio mist systems. Your home should be a place you love living in, get in touch today to find out how we can help make that happen!

Questions to Ask Before You Sell

Selling your home can be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as a homeowner.

Whether it’s due to work relocation, or just that you’ve looked around and decided it’s time for a change, selling your home is something you will want to put some real thought into before jumping in with both feet.

Here are some good things to questions to ask your chosen real estate agent to help make your move a success!

What Is The Last Home You Sold?
Track record counts. While it’s fine to go with a new agent you do want to make sure your needs are taken care of. A good way to protect your own interests is to be sure to work with an agent who has a record of proven results. Ask them about the last home they sold for good insight!

What Is My Home Worth?
Knowing the market is key so you don’t undersell your property or over-price yourself into a long term holding pattern. Before you jump on Zillow or some other automated CMA tool talk to a real live agent – they will know far more about your local market and can give you a much more accurate property assessment.

How Long Will It Take?
Your agent may not be able to give you an exact date, but don’t be discouraged! They will know the market well enough to be able to predict a general timeline and also give references from some of their previous clients.

What Will An Agent Do?
You’ve sold your own car. You’ve sold stuff at a garage sale. Why not sell your own home? What does an agent really do, anyway? Well, you’ll be glad to know a qualified agent will do a lot more than just help shuffle paperwork! A trusted REALTOR will be there to assist with any questions, market your property, and handle any problem items that might arise. Your real estate agent is without a doubt your most valuable asset during a sale.

Find out what working with a professional is really worth – get in touch!! We’ll be there all along the way to help – let’s go find your dream home today!

Update Your Bathroom Without Breaking The Bank!

bathroom updatesEveryone knows the kitchen is the “heart of the home”, and while the bedroom may be where you spend the most hours dreaming, it’s often the bathroom where a lot of the living gets done and also the room most likely to be used by guests. Isn’t it important then to make sure it looks great? We think so too! So we’ve put together these get ideas to help you give your bathroom an updated look without spending a small fortune on a full remodel.

Frames
If you have a free standing shower one way to really open the space is to ditch the framed in glass. Going frameless helps take the hard edges off of corners and gives the shower a more open feel. Adversely, consider taking the frames off any mirrors in the bathroom as this lends to a more modern feel.

Paint
Seems like a no brainer! Changing up the color palette in a room is one of the best ways to change it up without knocking down walls. Take this time to patch up any dings and scratches on the walls too.

Fixtures
Update that faucet! Swap out that sink! Or hey, just change the knobs on the drawers. Just changing the hardware in your bathroom can make a big difference. It’s more than okay to splurge on that fancy infinity sink you’ve been wanting too!

Lighting
Consider changing the lights as well! Fixtures themselves, or even just a different style of cool bulb can add a real flare of personality. Lights literally light up our world, so the tone, brightness, and color can all make a big difference on how you feel in a room.

Hopefully these quick tips will get your ideas flowing! There are tons of ways to change up your home and keep it fresh and new for years after you’ve moved in. Stumped? Let’s talk – as your chosen REALTOR® we’re always happy to help any way we can!

Get Your Home Ready For Spring!

home buyer helpThe rains have come and the wind is blowing the fresh smells of a new season across the land…and that means Spring cleaning!

Yay. Right? Nobody looks forward to the work part of the process but everything sure is nice when it’s done and you can sit back and breathe in that crisp clean house smell.

We’ve put together a few quick but powerful tips to help you get ready for Spring without taking the spring out of your step!

Dust Off The A/C
Seasons change fast, and if you have central air it won’t be long before you’ll be wanting to turn it on to cool down. It’s a good idea to give the unit outside a good hose down and inspect it for any damage. Go ahead and change those air filters and turn the system on to make sure everything sounds right.

Do the Junkmail Jump
It’s a good time to review all those subscription and junk mail ads hitting the mailbox. Unsubscribing may not be the way you want to spend your Saturday but by the end of the year when the sales ads are really hitting you’ll be glad you did. It’s not a bad idea to take a look at your online subscriptions and bills in general as well…are there some things you’re paying for that you’re not even using? Cut them out!

Clean the Grill!
This one brings it’s own reward really. For many of us grilling season never really stopped so this may just be a matter of some light brushing off, but for everyone else go ahead and break out the wire brush and get things looking clean. Dump out old ashes and maybe even fire up a few burgers after you’re done – just to make sure it’s still “good”.

Brave The Deep Clean
Now is the time. Before Summer sports and the year really gets rolling, Spring is often the best time to go beyond your normal maintenance cleaning and go for the deep grime. Bleach the grout, wash down the baseboards, and do all the little things that make a big difference.

A good real estate agent wants to help long after the paper work is signed and helping you take care of the home you’re living in is just one part of that. If you’re looking for a home, or even looking to sell the home you’re in just get in touch!

Tame the Clutter! With These Kondo Tips!

homeowner helpMarie Kondo is the start of an outrageously popular Netflix series called “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” where she helps homeowners tame their clutter by embracing the things they love in their home. She has some very creative and imaginative ideas for organizing your living spaces, and since the change of seasons is just around the corner it’s a great time to get started thinking about Spring cleaning!

Here are some tips we’ve put together to help you apply some of Marie’s techniques to transform your home into your oasis of tranquility!

Visualize Your Goal
It might seem like a small thing, but it helps to picture in your mind the end result you want before you even begin! Believe it or not this helps the idea of this change seem more real in your mind, and thereby also more achievable.

Does It Spark Joy?
A big part of Marie’s method is to go through items that may be cluttering up your home and ask yourself: “does this item spark joy in me?”. If the answer is not YES! Then it’s no; chances are the item is just something you’re holding onto. Free yourself! Get rid of things just taking up space and make room for what really makes you happy.

Treat Your Possessions Like They’re Alive
Seems kinda nuts doesn’t it? But think about it. A lot of the clutter and disorganization in our lives comes from haphazard habits; only respecting the items when we put them to use. By treating your possessions like they have feelings it makes it easy to treat them properly and put them in their proper places.

Call A Professional
Even if everything goes smoothly and you’re de-cluttering like mad there’s still the problem of where to put all the stuff you’re getting rid of! If you have a truck it’s not such a big problem but otherwise you may want to hire a professional junk hauling company to come pick things up. Some of them even take donations to thrift stores instead of just throwing it all away!

Keeping your home tidy is an essential part to the overall health of your home! You will be absolutely amazed by how much better a clutter free home feels. It’s about more than just cleaning  up – it can help improve every moment you spend in your house.

Home Buyers: What You Should Really Look For!

real estate websitesThere are a million and one details that go into choosing the right home, and even if this is your first home you likely have some idea about the features you want – but how well do those match with what your actual needs are? Just the process of buying can be overwhelming, so it can be easy to overlook important details, especially if you see “the one” house you absolutely love.

We’ve put together some helpful tips you may want to consider before deciding the first home you find is the one for you.

More Than The Look
The outside of your home makes up a big part of it’s value and also the longevity of your house. While shutters, and paint, and all of those things are important it’s also important to consider what direction the house faces (especially if you live in cold climates), as well as other exterior factors like: any visible cracks in the foundation or drive, what is around your home, available parking, and homeowners association restrictions.

Location!
It’s more than a real estate adage. Location matters! It would be terrible to find the perfect house online only to realize on visiting it that you’re in front of the sewage treatment plant, or in a high crime area. Other important factors include proximity to shopping, work, and school.

What’s Inside Matters
What’s inside does count! Look beyond your basic wants from the home however and be sure to keep an eye out for things like available power plugs, available storage, and room size to make sure that you’ll have plenty of space to grow your dreams in.

A lot more than just the number of beds and baths goes into picking the right place! Trust your real estate agent to help you find the home that suits your wants as well as your needs and you can’t go wrong.

You Might Want To Consider A Fixer-Upper

idaho real estateLocation location location is the old tried and true mantra for real estate and it does have a lot to do with where you buy, but a lot more goes into the number of reasons with what you buy. While everyone wants that perfect place, that ideal dream home, the real world often has other plans. Buying brand new is always nice and allows for you to build in many of the features you want, but sometimes it’s just not feasible – especially depending on that location location location!

Here are some things you might want to consider regarding fixer-uppers when looking to buy a home:

It Costs Less Upfront
No denying it, an older home will likely costs less – sometimes even if it is larger or has more amenities. This is good and bad of course, and you’ve got to consider a lower upfront cost may mean more expenses down the road.

You Can Build Value
The thing about something old? You can make it better! Buying a home that needs a little love and then making improvements is a great way to add value to the home should you decide to resell.

You Can Make It Your Own
It’s yours. The new is already wore off and you don’t have to worry about adding your own dings and touches.  When you buy a home that you are going to work on improving it gives you that chance to add your own style and even make more modern improvements to just the areas that need them.

So don’t get discouraged if you’re not finding what you want in the design showroom or out there on the market under new construction! Fixer Upper homes have great potential!

Before You Move Consider This!

idaho realtor websitesMaking a move can be one of the most stressful things you can do, and that goes double if you’re selling and buying a home as part of that process.

A new town can be disorienting, and not having your usual network of support to rely on can leave you feeling really boggled. There are countless details to remember and take care of, but before all of that there are a few crucial things to ask yourself before you even start thinking about a move.

We’ve put together a list to help you tackle these tasks with ease!

What Is The Market Doing?
Buying a home in a market on the rise is a good idea, whereas buying in a down trend may not be so wise. While no one short of a psychic can tell you what the market will do for sure, a qualified REALTOR® can show you trends so that you can make a decision from an informed standpoint.

Who Do You Know?
Speaking of a support network! A small group of people you can call on in times of need is more valuable than can be expressed. Whether it’s asking about where to find a good place to eat, or needing someone to puppy-sit, it really helps to have some local people you can count on.

Where to Work?
You may be relocating for your job so this might not be a big concern, but if you’re moving for any other reason you’ll almost definitely need income. Research the area online and put out some resumes before you’re even in the area, it never hurts to plan ahead.

How is the Weather?
Unless you’re snowbirding it you will be spending a lot of time in the climate you’re moving to, so it’s important to be prepared for the weather. If you get cold when it dips below 70 Alaska may not be the place for you! Study up on trends, weather hazards like tornadoes, and other elements that may impact your enjoyment of your new home.

These are all good ideas for things to think about when searching for a new place to live. In some cases you may not have much choice if you’re having to relocate for work or family, but with a little planning the move will be much easier. Be sure to talk with a qualified real estate professional too, as they will know the area and can help you get oriented quickly!

Get Your Home Ready For Travel

real estate websitesNo, your house isn’t going anywhere! Well, hopefully not anyway…and that’s kind of the whole point.

With the holidays coming up Winter is one of the hottest travel times of year; it’s likely for many that you will be off to see friends or family and leaving your homes for at least a few days.

It’s important to make sure everything at home is just as ready for your time away as your suitcase, so we’ve put together some tips to help you be prepared!

Set Your Temp
If you’re not going to be home and don’t have pets or plants to worry about consider setting your thermostat lower to save on energy costs. In Winter months most suggest at least 55 degrees to keep pipes from bursting, and in Summer most recommend 80 degrees. If possible you can even buy a smart thermostat you can control from your phone!

Turn Off Water
If you’re going to be gone for any extended period it’s a good idea to turn off your water to avoid coming home to a flood of troubles.  You’ll need to do this via the main water line of your home; then let the faucets run until dry before you leave. It’s a fairly easy thing to do that can really help save you a ton of headaches.

Clean The Fridge
It’s not the first thing to come to mind when leaving to go on vacation, but while you’re out soaking in the sun those groceries are still at home going bad! If you’re going to be gone for an extended time you really should check the dates on things like milk and fruit so that you won’t come home to a real stinky situation.

Last Minute Tips…
If you have a trusted friend or neighbor have them stop by while you’re away to check on things – even if it’s just to drive by and take a look from the outside. You may also want to put a pause on posting all those beautiful sunsets until you get back: criminals may see posts on social media and see you aren’t home. Your home is one of your most valuable assets, be sure to keep it safe while you are away from it!