Budget Decorator: 10 Tips for a Stylish and Personal Home Office

Home offices can be neglected when it comes to decorating, but it doesn’t take much to freshen an outdated workspace, and the rewards of doing so are plenty. One of the joys of working from home, whether you do it occasionally or full time, is the freedom to steer away from “officey” furniture and decorate with what you love and feel comfortable with.

Working in a clean, orderly, comfortable space can help you complete tasks more efficiently, and bringing the style you love into play will make it all the more pleasant. Let’s look at ways to pull together a neat, chic home office on a real-world budget.

10. Keep room in the budget for flowers and plants. Every room feels richer and more interesting with a plant or two, and they help clean the air, so be sure to leave a little room in the budget for a trip to the nursery. If you pick up the occasional market bouquet, remember to trim a few blooms and place them in a bud vase on your desk.
Written By:
Source: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/7178368/list/budget-decorator-10-tips-for-a-stylish-and-personal-home-office

July 20, 2018   No Comments

High-Resale Value Projects You Can Tackle In a Weekend

kitchen“There’s no place like home,” as the old saying goes. That’s especially true when it comes to an investment.

You live in and love your home, but there might come a time when you have to leave it. And when that time comes, you’ll want to get as much money as you can for your property so you can move onward — and upward.

In order to increase your abode’s value, you might think you have to put in a ton of time, effort and money, but that’s not entirely true. Instead, you can take on weekend projects over time to spruce the place up so when it’s time to sell, you have a completely updated property that’ll end up selling itself.

Ready to get to work? Roll up your sleeves and start on one of the following five weekend projects.

1. Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to smart investment in your home, the kitchen is one of the best places to start. Buyers expect kitchens to be updated. Stone countertops, stainless appliances and sleek flooring all make a space feel modern. Obviously, these changes require a lot of money and, sometimes, a lot of time. That’s why you can tackle it in bits and start first with your cabinets.

Old wooden cabinets with equally dated hardware — think oak doors with shiny brass handles — don’t require a complete gut job. Instead, spend a weekend repainting them a more neutral hue. Finish the project off with new metallic knobs and pulls to complete the modernized look.

2. Make the Eye Go up With Crown Molding

Most homes have roughly the same ceiling heights, but there’s a little trick to make yours look bigger — crown molding. Yes, that white line at the top of your painted walls will draw eyes upward, making the room appear airier than it may very well be.

The project is easy enough to complete, too. You might not be able to install molding throughout your entire home over a single weekend, but you can certainly tackle the project on a room-by-room basis. Again, start with the spaces likely to draw in the most moolah:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living spaces
  • Master bedrooms

These tend to be the make-or-break rooms when it comes to a big purchase. Crown molding adds a bit of detail, a feeling of luxury that’ll certainly add to the bottom line.

3. Boost Curb Appeal — and Backyard Bonuses

No one will come in your home unless the first impression is stunning. Another DIY project should be a landscape overhaul of your front yard. It can be something as simple as adding a path of pavers to your front yard or sprucing up your flowerbeds with colorful blooms. All of this will catch the eye of potential buyers — and fatten up the bottom line of the offers they make.

Another easy fix — your garage door. If it’s street-facing, it’s another area for prospective buyers to look at, and it has a great return on investment.

You don’t have to stop with the front of your home. Especially if you live in a climate that permits lots of outdoor activity, you’ll want a backyard to match. Some may require you rent or buy tools for landscaping and other applications, but imagine the payoff with, for example, the beauty of a functioning fire pit in your backyard. Not only will you be able to enjoy it while you’re still living in your home, but potential buyers will easily be able to envision themselves sitting around a fire.

4. Beautify the Bathrooms

Bathrooms have a big effect on buyers. They expect clean, modern updates, just like in the kitchen. Overhauling your powder room is an easy weekend task that might require small swaps, such as a new modern light fixture over the vanity or a new vanity altogether.

Your full bathrooms will require a bit more attention if you want them to be up to snuff. Again, look in the familiar places:

  • Lighting fixtures
  • Cabinets
  • Hardware
  • Countertops
  • Tile

You don’t have to shell out a ton of money to have someone else re-tile a wall or backsplash in your bathroom, either, if you have the patience to demo and tile the space yourself.

5. Out With the Really Old

Some accents once considered fresh and fashionable now give your home a dated appearance. You probably already know what in your home screams 70s, 80s or 90s. Whatever it is should go in due course.

The list of outdated design elements is truly endless, but some of the biggest offenders are old-school wallpaper, the floor-to-ceiling wood paneling that may or not be actual wood, and, of course, popcorn ceilings. By removing these three offenders alone — a popcorn ceiling doesn’t take much effort — your home will snap right back into 2017.

Once people start envisioning themselves living in your home, you won’t have to envision offers pouring in — they’ll start coming thanks to your hard work. You go, weekend warrior.


Written By: Megan Wild

Source: http://blog.rismedia.com/2017/high-resale-value-weekend-projects-can-take/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email#close


July 19, 2018   No Comments

Residential Market Report: June

June market stats for Southside Hampton Roads continue to show a strong a market. If you’d like to know what these stats mean to you or would like stats for your neighborhood, please contact me. I am happy to help.

July 18, 2018   No Comments

Clever Ways To De-Stinkify Your Home

Nobody wants a stinky house. Whether you getting ready to list your home for sale or you just want a fresher smelling place every day, there are numerous methods you can use. Of course, many of them involve some sort of financial commitment and a shopping cart full of products. But, natural methods and items you already have around the house can be especially effective – and cost-effective!

Hit the liquor cabinet

According to “cleaning expert and best-selling author” Linda Cobb, a homemade air freshener is “perfect for getting rid of odors in the bathroom, bedroom, or anywhere else in your home,” said Grandparents.com. Cobb puts a combination of water, “10-20 drops of essential oil such as eucalyptus, citrus, or lavender, and vodka” into small decorative spray bottles that she places all over the house “Vodka is the secret ingredient,” she said. “It soaks up the smell and evaporates quickly.”

Stock up on vinegar

  • This versatile liquid can work wonders in your home…and not just as a dressing on your salad! Here are just a few ways you can use it to absorb odors and leave your home smelling fresh.
  • Pour it down your drain to help get rid of bad food smells.
  • Add it to your laundry. It can neutralize musty smells (and even get musty smells out of your washing machine, especially if yours is front-loaded!).
  • Need to soak up some smells after cooking a meal? It can actually deodorize an entire room. “Just stick a bowl of vinegar in the corner, and after a few hours that odor will be gone,” said Lifehacker. For lingering odors that are giving you fits, try this: “Pour about a cup of white vinegar in a sauce pan on your stove top and bring it to a simmer. The simmering vinegar will release more odor-fighting power into the air, and if you let it go for a while.”

Pet odors

If you have pets, you have some sort of pet odors. You may not notice them because you’ve become so accustomed to the scent of your own home, but visitors probably get a whiff upon arrival. If we’re talking cat, there are a few obvious steps you can take, like changing the cat litter more often or relocating the box into an enclosed space like an extra closet or garage. Or, you can make a nifty enclosure like one of these. For urine on floors and upholstery, a black light is the best way to pinpoint any areas that need extra attention.

Stinky shoes

This is a serious offender if you have teenage boys or athletes – or both. Those tennis shoes can emit such a stink that you may be tempted to just throw them out the window. But, try these tips instead. “A natural chemical element, baking soda has the ability to absorb both spots, as well as odors and moisture and is therefore the best trick to eliminate the bad smell from your shoes,” said Step to Health. “You just have to drop a tablespoon of baking soda into each shoe, in the insoles. Sprinkle well and let it work overnight. You’ll see how the next morning they seem like new shoes.” For really problem odors, add a tablespoon of cornstarch and five drops of tea tree oil to the baking soda.

A combination of baking soda and coffee filters is also effective, and so is black tea bags. “The use of black tea bag can effectively make your shoes odor free as it contains tannins that kill the odor-causing bacteria in the shoes,” said My Health Tips. “And at the same time the smell of the tea leaves will absorb the bad odor of the shoes. Put four already used and dried tea bags into the shoes and leave overnight.”

Lemon, orange, and grapefruit peels can also do the trick. Instead of throwing them out, put them in smelly shoes overnight to eliminate odors.

Repurpose your coffee grounds

Let that cup ‘o Joe do double duty. “Fresh or leftover coffee grounds will also absorb unpleasant odors in a fridge, microwave, or cupboard,” said the Farmer’s Almanac.

“They’ll also sweeten the air inside your car or its trunk. For use in the car, place the grounds in a covered plastic container with holes punched in the lid.”

Clean your disposal

Food smells can linger in there, making the whole kitchen seem funky. Running “lemon or lime rinds through the disposal, followed by lots of water,” can help,” said Good Housekeeping. “If the smell persists, pour in a 1/2 cup of baking soda while running warm water.”

July 16, 2018   No Comments

Rising Interest Rates Have Not Dampened Demand

Rising Interest Rates Have Not Dampened Demand

Since the beginning of the year, mortgage interest rates have risen over a half of a percentage point (from 3.95% to 4.52%), according to Freddie Mac. Even a small rise in interest rates can greatly impact a buyer’s monthly mortgage payment.

First American recently released the results of their quarterly Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI), in which they surveyed title and real estate agents across the country about the impact of rising rates on first-time homebuyers.

Real estate professionals around the country have not noticed a slowdown in demand for housing among young buyers; nearly 93% of all first-time homebuyers last quarter were between the ages of 21-35, with the largest share of buyers (51%) coming from those ages 26-30.

First American’s Chief Economist Mark Fleming had this to say,

“On a national level, mortgage rates would need to hit 5.6%, 1 percentage point above the current rate, before first-time homebuyers withdraw from the market.”

So, what is slowing down sales?

According to the last Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, sales are now down 3.0% year-over-year and have fallen for the last three months. If rising interest rates aren’t to blame, then what is?

Fleming addressed the cause, saying that:

“The housing market is facing its greatest supply shortage in 60 years of record keeping, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The ongoing housing supply shortage will make it difficult for first-time buyers to find a home to buy, even when they are financially ready.”

Bottom Line

First-time homebuyers know the importance of owning their own homes and a spike in interest rates is not going to keep them from buying this year! Their biggest challenge is finding a home to buy!

Written By: KCM Crew

Source: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2018/07/11/rising-interest-rates-have-not-dampened-demand/

July 13, 2018   No Comments