Let Your Yard Go To The Dogs

One member of the family that simply can not be left out of the home making process is our four legged friend the family dog.

No matter the breed or size your fur baby is one of the most important parts of what makes your house a home.

We’ve put together some ideas to make pooch feel extra special when you’re looking for a home!

A Safe Place
First and foremost you want your new home and yard area to be safe. Make sure you have a fence for the back yard and that it is in good repair without any gaps or holes where your pup might get out or get stuck. Even if there are holes too small for her to get out remember other things might get IN also, so patch up all those spaces!

Made in the Shade
This is especially important if your dog will spend a lot of time outside: a shady place. Whether it be a dog house, shade trees, or just the porch it’s important to have a spot that pups can get out of the sun to stay cool.

A Cool Water Feature
Puppers got fur. Puppers get hot! A water feature, even just a small pond or kiddie pool in Summer time will make your doggie flip their wigs! It’s a great way to add some fun and to provide a way for them to cool down when things get hot outside.

Toxin Free Is The Way To Be
Some plants and flowers can make your doggo sick – some can even cause your dog to die! – so be careful in choosing the greenery that is in your yard. Talk to a local landscaper or vet to get more info on which plants to avoid and keep your best friend free from danger.

Something Fun
Maybe it’s their favorite toys or a fun tunnel to run through; you might even consider cutting a little window in the front fence – doggies love watching whatever is going on out beyond their walled castle. Pups can get bored easily and this can lead to digging and other less desirable behaviors, so include something to keep them busy.

It’s not a big thing to do and with a little creativity and even a tiny budget you can make your new home, or your existing home, a great place for your four legged family members! If you’re currently searching for a new place get in touch I would love to help!

Homeowner Emergencies: What You Should Know!

It’s not something any new homeowner wants to think about. EMERGENCIES!

The ink on the paperwork is just barely dry and you finally got all the stuff moved in…when disaster strikes!

And to be fair, emergencies happen when we least expect them so it’s not a matter of if so much as a matter of when something unforeseen will arise in your new home.

The thing to do is to be prepared – so we’ve put together some tips to help!

Black Out
Whether it’s somebody up the street digging or a big storm blowing through, power outages are one of the most common things you will deal with as a homeowner. Make sure you have candles as well as several flashlights readily available and with working batteries on hand. Keep your refrigerator closed – you can’t tell how long the power might be off and you don’t want food to spoil. It doesn’t hurt to have a few gallons of purified water on hand as well as a small propane fueled heater for winter time.

Lock Out
Oops! Lost the keys, or left them on the counter and locked the door on your way out. It happens, you get locked out of the house, but a little pre-planning can be a life saver! There is of course the old tried and true hollow rock method of hiding a key in a nearby flowerbed. Alternately you might consider leaving a spare key with a *very* trusted friend or neighbor.

Water Woes
These can come in many forms from busted pipes to water heater troubles or even betrayal from your trusted dish washer. Whatever the cause the first immediate cure should be simple: Turn Off The Water! Turn it off at the source — usually near your water heater. Once that’s done you will be able to assess the situation and contact a plumbing professional if their help is needed.

Kitchen Fire!
Fire is one of the most terrifying things a homeowner might face. First, do not panic! Keep a box of baking soda on hand as it can be used to extinguish many small flare-ups. For stove top flames NEVER USER WATER! Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and do not open it until the flames have had  a chance to die down. A fire extinguisher is good, but educate yourself on the types of extinguishers and how to use them as not all are good for grease fires and may even cause the flames to spread!

Above all cool heads will prevail! Whenever something happens take just a second to think first, stay calm, and then act. Over the course of a lifetime in a home unexpected emergencies are bound to happen, so be prepared! Keep a list of emergency numbers right on the fridge – ask your agent, they likely can get you one!

Sellers Market? BUYERS MARKET!

92297_1081You’ve likely heard by now that we’re in the middle of what industry experts like to call a “sellers market”, and while it’s very much true that right now is a great time to sell your home there are a number of reasons why it’s also an amazing time to buy!

How can it be both?
Granted, sellers are especially motivated right now because of low inventory and high demand – which almost guarantees a better return on their investment – but even with prices likely being higher there are still some great benefits to buyers.

It’s About Timing
Compared to last year home buyers are more ready to buy now. With the cold Winter months and the uncertainty of the elections out of the way many people are feeling more comfortable with finances.

Supply Vs Demand
Home inventory is low right now; even if there wasn’t a rush on listings their general scarcity adds a sense of urgency to the market. What if the home you want gets a better offer? This drives a lot of potential buyers off the fence and to the signing table much faster.

The Sky Is Falling
Many would be mover-uppers and potential home buyers are motivated right now because they’re afraid the mortgage rates are going to go up – and they likely should be. How does that aid in making this a buyers market within a sellers market? Because RIGHT NOW the rates are still low!

Price Check
Of course money is always a factor, but with inventory being low and demand for homes being high it’s almost a certainty that home prices will also be going up. For the savvy home buyer this is a sure sign that if you’re thinking of buying any time this year it’s likely the sooner the better.

Are you considering buying a home and just having a terrible time finding the right one? Your dream home is out there and we can help you find it! Contact us or use our website to search for the current available homes today!

Spring Home Remodeling Tips

painting-1744956_640Before you know it Spring will be here in full force!

Before the list of items for your honey-do list get filled up it’s  good time to start thinking about the bigger projects that may be on the board for the season.

Remodeling, even a small room, is  a great way to invest in your homes value and your own enjoyment, but not all home improvements are created equal – we’ve put together a list of a few of the best ones to get the most bang for your buck!

Install or Upgrade Insulation
If there’s one thing we learn about during the great snowpocalypse of aught 16 was the importance of staying warm! Proper insulation in your home is the difference between not only having good protection against the cold itself but also against the high energy bills as well! Of all the updates you can do for your home insulation ranked as one of the highest returns on investment with most recouping upwards of 90% of the cost over time.

Garage Doors
If your garage faces an alley or side road it’s not such a big deal but if you’re garage is on the front of your house like most it takes up a considerable amount of the visual look of your home. This is why it’s good to make sure that it’s not only in good repair but that it looks as nice as possible – so consider updating it or adding a pop of color.

Hit The Deck
Believe it or not adding a nice deck to your home is among one of the top 5 improvements that adds value to a house. Everyone loves socializing during those long Summer evenings; it’s really a wise choice to make if you want to add an improvement and pamper yourself a little at the same time.

Siding
Literally the skin of your house, and it’s important! Not only does it help keep the weather out but it is also a big part of how you home looks on the outside as well. If your siding is in bad shape it’s definitely time to get it looked at, but otherwise consider a different color or style. An easy fix if your siding is still in good shape is just to give it a good pressure washing every so often to keep it looking nice and clean!

The beginning of the season is always the best time to make plans; whether you’re remodeling because you’re thinking of selling or just because you want to get more out of your home while you are in it there’s a number of things you can do. We’d love the chance to talk with you more about your home, and your ideas – feel free to get in touch!

Don’t Make These De-cluttering Mistakes!

cabinetsYou wouldn’t believe it from the icicles and ice berms stacked up everywhere, but Spring is just around the corner – and that means Spring cleaning!

Getting things cleaned up and tossing out old clutter is a big part of getting ready for the new season but you’ve got to keep a few things in mind if you want to avoid sabotaging the whole idea and ending up with a living room that looks like tornado alley for the next six months. Here’s some great tips to make your hoard disappear!

Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Until Tomorrow?
Procrastination…putting it off til the last minute can absolutely stymie any productive effort. And sometimes, it’s not a matter of being too busy, just a matter of not making things a priority – or even plain outright laziness. Regardless, don’t keep pushing back your plans to get things done. Claim a weekend to start and stick to it.

Taking It All On At Once
Another sure fire way to sabotage your efforts is to try and do it all at once. Be realistic in your goals, especially if you have a lot to get done, and realize it may not all get done in a day, a weekend, or even a week. Set short achievable milestones for best results; maybe even just go room by room to keep from feeling overwhelmed.

Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail
It’s true. You need to start with just putting together an idea of what you want done – even moreso if your tackling multiple rooms. Make a list of important items in each room before you even begin, or maybe create a loose timeline of your goals. Taking just a little time before you begin to think of where you want to end is always a good idea.

Struggling to tame the tide of stuff? Considering just moving to get rid of it all? Don’t despair! As your real estate profession I have the resources to help you get your home ready if you’re considering a sale, or can put you in touch with the services you’ll need to make your home happy while you’re in it! GET IN TOUCH!

Tips On Surviving Moving Day

homeraceOh day of days at last! MOVING DAY!

If the thought of that leaves you aghast, don’t worry you’re in good company. Moving day, while one of the most exciting parts of realizing the transition is actually happening can also be completely terrifying – but it doesn’t have to be!

We’ve put together some great tips to help you tame the fear and get through moving day like a seasoned pro!

This guide is more for the key survival items you’ll need other than all of the things in your home you are moving, so first: PACK!

Yes, you should in all hopes have everything actually in boxes and somewhat prepared to be moved from one place to the next before the day itself arrives. Haste makes waste, and waiting til the last minute amplifies chaos. Just taking the time well in advance to be ready for the day itself will make things move much much smoother; if you’re stuffing coats into boxes while the movers are hauling them out it’s a sure bet something is getting forgotten somewhere.

Build Your Moving Survival Pack:

Medicine
There’s nothing that makes a medical emergency even more difficult than not being able to find the first aid. This proves doubly so if the emergency is the simple fact that you can’t find your prescriptions in the hundreds of boxes that now occupy your living room. Be sure to pack essential medicines and a basic first aid kit separately from everything else so it’s easy to find.

Tools
Moving into the new place there will be any number of things that may need fixing, or things that may have gotten broken in the transition that need attention. Even if it’s just hanging pictures you’re going to need a few primary tools that will make your life easier: two kinds of screw driver, a hammer, a wrench or socket set, and some duct tape are recommended. Remember to include a flashlight!

Trash Bags
Whether it’s cleaning up the old place or throwing away the packaging from moving into the new one there is going to be trash. Having a box of trash bags on hand will save you a trip to the store; they can even be used as padding for some of your items during packing so that they’ll be right there when you unpack.

Snack Pack
Chances are most of your perishables aren’t going with you and when you get in the last thing you want to think about is cooking on top of all the insanity going on. Make sure you have some ready to go snacks in your supplies to keep energy levels up and cranky levels down. Think granola, fruit roll ups, juices and of course plenty of water.

Blankets and Comfort
If the beds aren’t going to be setup right away consider a family camp out in the living room the first night. Pack sleeping bags or comforters close to the back so you can build your blanket fort! If you’ve got little ones it’s especially important to keep woobee’s and snuggle animals nearby!

These tips for your moving day survival kit should help you navigate those first crazy few days! Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed reach out to your agent – they are generally an endless source of assistance and may be able to recommend services in the area to help.

Cheap and Easy Tips for a Cozy Fall Spaces

cozy-coffee-pexels-photoCooler temperatures are finally showing up across the country, the leaves are changing to gold ; there is a crispness to the air that lets you know Winter is on the way!

That means it’s time for big sweaters and boots, scarves and hot cocoa and making the home warm and welcoming. We’ve put together some easy (and cheap!) ideas for making things around the house perfect for friends and family!

Layer Up!
A blend of fabrics and textures is a big part in feeling snuggled and warm, so be sure to include a few new big pillows or fluffy throws on the couch to bundle in the cozy feelings. This goes for bedrooms too – a change in pillow cases and sheets can completely change the bedtime feel.

Centerpieces
Even if you’re not having a particularly large gathering at your home a nice table or counter top centerpiece is a great way to change the mood and ring in each holiday.  The possibility of a scent warmer or candle and you can add a great aromatherapy element as well.

Scents!
It’s something that really goes unnoticed, but the smells of your home can really change the whole mood. Consider scented warmers or candles, or even an old fashioned stove top pot of cider to get those rich warm smells flowing. Think warming spices like orange, clove, apple spice, and cinnamon. Here’s a great cider recipe too!

Trappings of the Season
This could be something as simple as swapping out a few of the decorations on the mantle, or hanging a wreath on the front door or near the entry way. Adding a touch of evergreen to your home has been a long tradition for the colder seasons to serve as a reminder that the icy nights won’t last forever – and of course the notorious mistletoe is ever popular come Christmas time.

How do you welcome the seasons and it’s guests into your home?
We’d love to hear about them; if you’re still searching to find a place to call your own get in touch!

Home Tips For Fall!

homeleavesThe embers of Summer time are slowly cooling and fading to memories as the golden leaves of Fall explode into color.

All that flowery talk doesn’t change the fact that Fall time means the list of home improvement projects exponentially increases as the days get shorter and shorter! To aid in your progress from crunching leaves to crunching chips on the couch we’ve put together this great checklist of home improvement tips for Fall.

Start At The Top
Examine your roof. Roof woes are bad any time of year but you definitely don’t want to have issues when old man Winter comes a howling down the pass in mid-December. If you roof is in poor shape talk to a professional to see what needs to be done in order to get it in tip-top shape.

Get Your Mind In The Gutter
This is the old tried and true has to be done every year task that most people know about, even if they don’t remember it. Truth is it’s not something to overlook! Leaves and gunk can clog up your gutters leading to overflow and possible water damage.

Stop The Draft
Go from window to window with a lit candle and hold it around the edges of your windows – doors are much the same way also. If you see more than a little flickering chance are you have drafty windows and could be losing heat from your home – increasing energy costs over the long months. You can easily buy caulking or other products to seal windows yourself, or talk with a professional handyman to get it done up fast.

Spend Time In The Yard
Running over the yard for that last of the season trim isn’t where it ends! Take a little extra time in the yard to cut back overgrowth, tidy up fallen leaves, or even to re-mulch the beds. Don’t forget about removing outside hoses from the house and closing foundation vents if you have a crawlspace. Taking a few minutes now can save you time when Spring comes!

Home ownership means continually maintaining your home. Cooler temperatures and the change of seasons make a great reminder that it’s time to evaluate and make any needed repairs – or desired upgrades! – before the snow flies. Being a great REALTOR® means more than just shuffling paperwork – we strive to build relationships that will last long after the signatures dry. Contact me today to find out how I can help your house feel more like home!

Is Your House Just No Fun?

happy homeownersHome design doesn’t have to be stuffy! Interior decorating should say something about your style, and it’s okay that it does it with a bit of humor. But it can be difficult to balance your childhood whimsy with your grown up sensibilities. Here are some ways to add some fun to your home!

Start at the Front Door
It seems so simple: start at the beginning! Your front door is the very first thing most visitors will see when they come over, so start there. This can be as simple as a humorous welcome mat, or a cute door hanger that will make guests smile.

Color Me Impressed
If it’s the kids room this is easy: go WILD! Make the room a fun theme like a jungle or a spaceship! If this is for the other rooms of the house maybe go a little more grown up; think beyond paint. You can add fun pops of color to a room with fun pillows or a themed throw blanket.

Accessorize!
It’s a VERB! That’s right! The deal breakers are in the details, so don’t be afraid to take the time to add a little charm to any room by using the right accessories. It might be a little book of witty sayings on the coffee table, or a funny little picture over the commode in the bathroom. There are dozens of ways to add some fun using small items in just about any room – but don’t over do it!

Home Is Where the Art Is
Art. Paint it, collect it, hang it on the wall – it’s good for all of those things. And whether your tastes are modern, traditional, or eclectic you can always find some kind of art that will suit your style and add some fun to your hum drum home. There’s nothing more sad than a blank wall, so think about what you like and don’t be afraid to put it up, after all this is your new home!

Not quite ready to get to the decorating part? Still looking for a home to buy? Need to sell the one you’re in first? No matter what your situation we can help you make your next move the right one!

Is Your Home Budget Cramping Your Style?

livingYou’ve found the perfect place and made it your own.

The boxes are unpacked and it’s been a great time getting settle in and making it your own. But well…you haven’t really changed much yet.

Part of that could be because you really found the perfect place, just the way it is, but if you’re like many homeowners the biggest challenge you face when the honeymoon days are over is budget. So here are some great ideas for decorating your home on tight purse strings and still getting a lot for your dollar!

Paint It Up!
Tried and true a fresh coat of paint works wonders to transform any room and is also one of the most affordable updates you can do yourself as well. While you can always hire a profession if it’s in your price range you really can handle most paint jobs on your own. Maybe start small, do a closet or kids room one weekend to get your skills honed in and then go for it!

Get Rid Of Stuff
Believe it or not, the cheapest update – one that could even make you money – is just not buying more stuff you don’t really need. If it’s too late to prevent that you should look into possibly getting rid of some stuff you don’t need to clear space. Not to get all hoopy-froopy but having more open space really does lend a cleaner feel to a space rather than having it over stuffed with…well…STUFF.

Think Storage Friendly
Getting a new piece of furniture? Remodeling a room? Think storage-first! One thing the tiny house movement has taught us is that any time you can reuse or re-imagine how an area works you can save space.  Foot stools with lids that open, hide-away spaces under stairs, and wisely cycling out home items based on season are all great examples of thinking storage-forward.

These three things are just a good place to start – get creative! There are always new ways to transform a space if you put your mind, some time, and a little elbow grease into it. And of course don’t hesitate to talk to me, your trusted real estate pro about ideas for making your home even better!