Monday
November 24, 2014

Styled, Staged & Sold

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Bringing you the latest home and design trends.
Updated: 1 hour 42 min ago

How Staging Is Key to Tackle the Emerging Generational Gap

15 hours 42 min ago

By Patti Stern, Principal, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Every one is starting to make predictions already for the 2015 housing market. One of our own predictions: 2015 will continue to be a buyer’s market, particularly in certain areas where homes are older. While low inventory has plagued the market for years, a broader disconnect exists between inventory and buyer preferences.

As more Millennial’s (the generation under the age of 33), enter the market and baby boomers downsize, the generation gap between buyers and sellers will further drive market conditions.

Younger home buyers make up the largest groups of today’s consumers. According to a National Association of REALTORS® survey, Millennial’s and slightly older Generation X represent over 60 percent of today’s home buyers.

However, the bulk of the housing inventory over the next 15 years will come from retiring boomers who want to downsize and embrace a new lifestyle that doesn’t include their large suburban home. It’s expected that 20.1 million senior households will attempt to sell between 2015 and 2030, and according to University of Utah researcher, Arthur C. Nelson. What’s more, an estimated 7.4 million won’t be able to find people to buy the houses.

Younger buyers want an already updated home and with a large percentage of homes built before 1990, that poses a challenge for the market. Older, outdated homes give buyers a lot of reasons to cross the property off their list.

Homes staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

The ‘Senior Sell Off’

Sellers who adapt to the changing marketplace and understand that today’s buyers don’t have the same vision when it comes to updating a home will position their property in the market and stand out from the competition.

Staging continues to be more important than ever before — whether it is a $250,000 home or a $2 million dollar home — to preserve and in some cases boost a home’s value and get it sold.

Homes staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Only 35.1 percent of home sellers nationwide think now is a good time to sell. But waiting may mean increased competition from similar style and aged homes. Staging and even low cost renovations can help sellers get top dollar in a shorter market time today so they don’t become part of the ‘senior sell-off’.

“It’s important we offer sellers the resources to successfully sell their home now,” says John and Joanne Hoye with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in West Hartford, Conn. “Staging gets the properties looking their absolute best, boosting seller’s confidence in listing their home today rather than waiting. It also helps address inventory issues by bringing to market more move-in condition homes. Quality, well-priced inventory will ultimately drive a more balanced market that’s a win-win for our buyer and seller clients and staging can help us get there.”

For more examples of home staging, visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is a principal of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, and an interior decorator and accredited home stager. She and her team offer decorating and home staging services for individuals, real estate professionals, builders, and others in the industry. For more information visit pjstagingdecorating.com. She can be reached at patti@pjstagingdecorating.com.

Thanksgiving for 10 Averages $50: Help Owners Prep

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:20

The average cost to host a 10-guest Thanksgiving spread is $49.48, according to a 2012 American Farm Bureau Federation survey of 150 volunteer shoppers around the country.

The cost of preparing your home for holiday guests is much more difficult to determine. But you can help owners do it wisely and efficiently. Add to your e-newsletter a free article, Tips on How to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the November “Be the Host with the Most for Thanksgiving” article package. Share all five today.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.

3 Staging Solutions to Modernize a Space

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 01:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

Stager Sandra Holmes, president of Home Staging Concepts in South Florida, shows how a few design touches can instantly transform a room.

#1 Accessorize it.

Master suite sitting area

Problem: The nearly bare seating area wasn’t sending the message of luxury in this multi-million dollar home.

BEFORE

 

Solution: Holmes wanted to soften the look and create a more intimate seating area. She brought in tables, added accessories and greenery and faux fur pillows for a layered look, and anchored the space with a textured rug.

AFTER
Photo credit: Sandra Holmes, Home Staging Concepts, www.homestagingconcepts.net

 

#2 Furnish it.

Great room

Problem: This large great room was vacant, devoid of any personality, and buyers were having difficulty envisioning the layout for furniture.

BEFORE

Solution: Holmes offered up a picture by giving a modern treatment to the space, using furniture with straight lines, mismatching – but complementary—patterns and textures through fabrics and artwork, glass table-lamps, and color pops of blues.

AFTER
Photo credit: Sandra Holmes, Home Staging Concepts, www.homestagingconcepts.net

 

#3 Re-imagine it.

Guest bedroom

Problem: This condo bedroom showed it was great for children, but the owners of this beachfront home were missing an opportunity to show the space off as the perfect guest room.

BEFORE

Solution: Holmes transformed the room to a guest bedroom, adding light, soft colors through new bedding and accented it with beach-themed artwork over the twin beds.

AFTER
Photo credit: Sandra Holmes, Home Staging Concepts, www.homestagingconcepts.net

 

 

Share These Fall Garden Cleanup Tips with Your Home Owners

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 15:21

Help home owners show off their garden even when it’s not in full bloom. E-mail the handy article “How to Clean Up Your Garden for Fall and Winter“ from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the “Maintenance to Do Now“ article package that you can e-mail or share on any of your social media today.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.

6 Trends Driving New-Home Designs

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 01:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

What is luring home buyers to new homes? Technology, the outdoors, and “super kitchens” are among what Nick Lehnert, executive director at KTGY, and Mollie Carmichael, principal at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, recently shared with BUILDER Online on some of the design drivers in the new-home market.

Here are some of the trends they point to:

1. Super kitchens: The kitchen is not just a hub for cooking but has become a center of the home for entertainment and conversations. Builders have been opening the kitchen to other rooms and the kitchen island is becoming key to separating the spaces. The island adds more seating along with extra prep space. As kitchens become more open, pantries are getting bigger to accommodate the need for storage.

 

Transitional Kitchen by Asbury Park Kitchen & Bath Remodelers Robert Legere Design

2. Outdoor/indoors merged: The interiors are feeling stretched by carving out spaces that seamlessly allow home owners to walk into outdoor retreats. But buyers want those outdoor spaces to be private, a stray from the once traditionally “public” backyard. As such, more builders are taking note and carefully positioning the architecture of the home to make sure the outdoor space offers more privacy.

3. Bigger garage spaces: Builders are taking note of buyers’ preferences for more space in the garage, and not just for squeezing in their cars. The garage can be a workspace, hobby haven, and place for added extra storage.

4. Office space: The office/den is in demand as more people work from home, but the best location for it is to still in question. Traditionally, the home office has been located off the main entry of the home. But now builders are rethinking the location as buyers show preferences to have the office closer to the “living” area, particularly near the kitchen hub and family room.

5. Tech-spot: More home owners are constantly plugged into their technology, and the growth of connected homes likely will lead to even more need for tech hubs in the house. Some builders are designing small “server” rooms as smart technology enters more homes.

6. Dual homes: More people are squeezing under one roof as young adults stay with their parents longer, aging parents move in, and cultural preferences further the trend. Builders are taking a keen interest in multigenerational living arrangements. For example, Lennar has launched a NextGen brand of floorplans geared to multigenerational living, which include separate main entrances and options like a 500-square-foot attached suite for a private residence. View a video to see inside a NextGen multigenerational home.

  Read more new-home trends at BUILDER online. 

Add Some Harvest Decor to Your Staging

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 01:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Fall is in the air…

Just because your home owners have their home listed for-sale, doesn’t mean they have to strip their home of all fall seasonal décor. In fact, adding a little seasonal décor may help the home feel more welcoming, even complete with the warm vanilla and apple smells of the season too.

Pops of orange, butterscotch, gold, copper, and reds may be just the added richness your listing’s décor needs to spice it up, and it’ll be perfectly in season too.

Here are some tasteful fall décor ideas, with inspiring photos from Houzz.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Set the dining room table and show it off as the perfect place for a holiday feast.

Traditional Dining Room by Southlake Kitchen & Bath Designers Sterling Renovations

 

Create an autumn-inspired welcoming doorstep, such as with wreaths, planters, or harvest-hued throw pillows for the furnishings.

Traditional Porch by Detroit Interior Designers & Decorators The Yellow Cape Cod Traditional Exterior by St. John’s Interior Designers & Decorators Seaside Interiors Mediterranean Entry by South Pasadena Design-Build Firms Cynthia Bennett & Associates Traditional Entry

 

Add some of those fall-inspired accessories and colors to the interior. But less can be more — don’t go overboard!

Spaces by Acton Interior Designers & Decorators Silver Birch Design Traditional Exterior Traditional Living Room Eclectic Porch by Kansas City Landscape Contractors All By Design Landscaping, LLC

 

Carve out some special touches for even the least expected places, like the mailbox. 

Traditional Landscape by Boston Photographers Mary Prince

 

Make the home warm and cozy, while bringing in the richness of autumn-inspired hues.

Rustic Living Room by Seattle Architects & Building Designers Bosworth Hoedemaker

 

Check Out Some Devilish Décor for Halloween

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:02

Home owners love to decorate their homes for the holidays. But how far is too far when it comes to curb appeal with your Halloween décor? Get amused – or maybe even a little spooked – and check out this new slideshow at REALTOR® Magazine, the “Scariest (or Funniest?) Home Décor.

Show Off a Home’s Dining Space

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 01:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Nearly three-quarters of about 1,700 home owners recently surveyed say that they use their dining rooms on a daily or weekly basis, according to the 2014 Houzz Decorating Trends Survey.

The majority of home owners surveyed say they want big tables in their dining rooms too. More specifically, rectangular tables with dark wood or glass that can seat up to six people. That is among the top requests of many remodeling home owner’s wish lists, according to the survey.

Dining Room Staging Solutions

Sandra Holmes, president of Home Staging Concepts in Weston, Fla., and president-elect of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, had a home she staged where the existing dining table and buffet were outdating the space. What’s more, the all-white was causing the room’s potential to get overlooked.

Photo credit: Sandra Holmes, Home Staging Concepts, www.homestagingconcepts.net

What she did: Holmes channeled a more modern, tropical look for this Miami condo’s dining room, bringing in a glass table, modern chairs and artwork, a textured rug, and set the table to show it ready for a dinner party.

Photo credit: Sandra Holmes, Home Staging Concepts, www.homestagingconcepts.net

Here’s more inspiration for dining room makeovers of your listings.

Try mismatched furniture to create more appeal.

Transitional Dining Room by Dallas Interior Designers & Decorators Barbara Gilbert Interiors

Set the table for a dinner party.

Mediterranean Dining Room by Clearwater Home Builders Arthur Rutenberg Homes

Add a centerpiece on the table, whether a bowl of bright-colored fruit or fresh flowers.

Traditional Dining Room by Winchester Interior Designers & Decorators Kristen Rivoli Interior Design

Use a slipcover over the chairs to keep it simple, elegant.

Traditional Dining Room by Beverly Hills Interior Designers & Decorators DTM INTERIORS

Squeeze in the largest table the space can comfortably fit to show off the full entertainment space.

Traditional Dining Room by Seattle Interior Designers & Decorators Beverly Bradshaw Interiors

Dress up the walls, with artwork or a mirror.

Traditional Dining Room by Miami Photographers Craig Denis

3 Photos That Will Make You Want to Stage a Vacant Listing

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 01:00

By Patti Stern, Principal PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

After making a desperate $50,000 price reduction on her parent’s well-maintained home a “Today Show” viewer asked real estate expert, Barbara Corcoran, if she should remove the dated furnishings. Corcoran’s advice: Never list a home without furniture. Stage it!

Vacant homes aren’t memorable and won’t stand out to buyers particularly in online listings where the majority of buyers begin their home search.

These three different vacant properties, pictured below, are a great example of how unfurnished homes can often look the same in the listing photos and get lost in a buyer’s search. Without furnishings, buyers can’t distinguish one home from another. None of the homes stand out or make it onto their “must see” list.

Three different rooms, a master bedroom, living room and dining room, in three different vacant homes will look nearly identical to buyers online. Photo Credit: PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Regardless of price point, staging vacant homes is important to initially capture buyer interest and take them from the online listing to the front door. Once there, a well-staged home will help buyers emotionally connect to the property, ultimately taking their interest to the next level with an offer.

Photo credit: PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Our team staged this 1930, $2 million plus historic mansion. Our goal was to showcase the incredible architectural detail of the home — from the crown molding, wainscoting, windows and hardwood floors, to the fireplaces, and more.

“This grand home has a beautiful interior with stunning details,” says Joanne and John Hoye of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in West Hartford, Conn., the listing agents for the Hartford home. “However, most of the time buyers don’t have the vision to see what a room can look like. Larger vacant homes in particular can discourage buyers, who may think they don’t have enough pieces to furnish the home. A professional stager knows how to appropriately furnish a home, selecting the right sized pieces, colors and fabrics. Buyers see an inviting home, rather than a large vacant space, and get ideas on how they can arrange their furniture in the home. Ultimately it [staging] makes the home more saleable.”

Still need convincing or help convincing your sellers? Keep these insights in mind.

· It will sell faster. A vacant property can take up to 78 percent more time to sell than comparable furnished homes, according to the Real Estate Staging Association.

· Buyers will see it as their home. Only a few buyers can visualize a vacant room decorated and furnished. The majority of buyers, on the other hand, cannot envision how they will live in the home or use a room.

· They’ll stay longer. During a showing of a vacant home, I’ve found that buyers unable to connect with the space will only stay on average 5 minutes, compared to an average 40 minutes in a furnished home.

· Their furniture will fit. Empty rooms look smaller to buyers, who more often than not will think their favorite sectional or king-sized bed is too big. In larger homes, buyers will question if they have enough furniture. Either way they’ll be calculating the additional cost of new furniture rather than focusing on the home.

· Details stand out. Architectural details and key features can stand out when a home is professionally styled and staged whereas empty rooms put a spotlight on flaws or needed repairs.

See more examples of vacant home staging at www.PJStagingDecorating.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is a principal of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, and an interior decorator and accredited home stager. She and her team offer decorating and home staging services for individuals, real estate professionals, builders, and others in the industry. For more information visit pjstagingdecorating.com. She can be reached at patti@pjstagingdecorating.com.

Help Sellers Get Their Homes Back in Shape After Halloween

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 10:52

Show sellers how to get their home back in showing shape after the Halloween fun ends: Brand, print, and hand deliver a free article: “Egging, Toilet Papering: How to Clean Up After Halloween Pranks” from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the “Halloween Home Horrors” article package you can email or share on any of your social media accounts today.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.

See the Green: The Latest Nature-Inspired Hue in Staging

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 01:00
Traditional Living Room by Little Rock Interior Designers & Decorators Tobi Fairley Interior Design

 

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Stealing a note from nature, spring green and yellow-green colors are moving into more home interiors. It’s nature’s neutral color, Houzz contributor Becky Dietrich writes in a recent article at Forbes.com, “The Unexpected Color That Goes With Everything.”

And the bright green hue is perfect for staging because it pretty much goes with any other color, from oranges and yellows to grays and creams to even adding an added punch to that all-white bedroom. It also can spice up any style of home, from traditional to contemporary, by giving a room “depth and vitality” while also introducing “oomph and whimsy,” writes Dietrich.

You needn’t do an entire room in the bright color green either. It can serve as a great color pop — like just a glass bowl filled with bright green apples on the kitchen island or table. Or, try it in small doses like the throw pillows or a blanket draped along a sofa; green-colored lamps for added drama to your tables; or even in the artwork. Some are finding it as the perfect color for an accent wall to steal eyes on, say, that arched doorway.

“Anytime a room feels dreary or lifeless, consider adding green,” writes Dietrich.

See how these designers have added the color to enhance the design of their spaces.

Contemporary Bedroom by Newport Beach General Contractors Prestige Builders Traditional Family Room by Arlington Interior Designers & Decorators Sara Tuttle Interiors Contemporary Living Room by New Hope Interior Designers & Decorators Gacek Design Group, Inc. Transitional Living Room by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martha O’Hara Interiors Eclectic Living Room by San Francisco General Contractors Barker O’Donoghue Master Builders Contemporary Living Room by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators S.K.I.N. design studio

How-To Tips for Purchasing Exterior Doors

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 14:31

Exterior doors are the window to the home buyer’s soul. OK, we made that up. But they can make a big first impression. E-mail your sellers a free article: “Choosing an Exterior Door” from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the “Cool Weather Prep” article package you can email or share on any of your social media today.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.

That ‘Special Function Room’ Is Back in Demand

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 01:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

The special function room – like outdoor living rooms and home offices — had mostly vanished from new-homes and home remodels during the housing downturn. But now they’re reappearing. Also back in demand, special home features – like features that add accessibility – are gaining traction, according to the latest American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey, which reflects architect activity during the second quarter of 2014.

Contemporary Home Office by Dallas Interior Designers & Decorators Traci Connell Interiors

Which special rooms are trending?

  • Outdoor living rooms: The AIA survey showed that nearly two-thirds of architects reported that outdoor living areas and rooms were growing in popularity.
  • Home offices: As more workers telecommute and the number of self-employed workers remains strong, the home office is re-emerging in importance.
  • Mudrooms: More home owners are finding these an attractive option for storage and for organizing outerwear, backpacks, etc.
  • Au pair/in-law suites: “The recent interest in these areas is likely due to the growing employment numbers in our economy, which is increasing the need for in-home childcare,” notes Kermit Baker, AIA’s chief economist, in the report. “Additionally, as many households become caretakers for aging relatives, separate living suites have become popular alternatives.”
  • Media rooms/home theaters: A core of households are still highly valuing this type of room, the report notes, but many respondents to the survey say that in general they feel the media room is starting to lose favor.

The three special function rooms that architects identified as highest in demand: Outdoor living areas, mudrooms, and home offices, according to the AIA survey.

“Households are responding to the ongoing recovery in the housing market by adding more space and features to their homes,” Baker notes. “Special home features that were often eliminated during the housing downturn are now increasingly returning to home designs. Home automation features, as well as products that promote sustainability, are also showing up with increasing frequency in both new and remodeled homes.”

Many of the “special home features” in demand lately have centered on adding accessibility to a home, such as ramps and elevators, first-floor master bedrooms, and on-grade home entry, according to AIA’s report.

Home automation is also increasing in popularity, such as wireless telecommunications and data systems, long-range electrical controls/smart-home systems, automated lighting controls and central audio/video.

“With consumers generally more comfortable with emerging technologies, and the prices of many falling as production volumes increase, home automation applications should continue to grow in popularity,” notes Baker. “Additionally, systems that promote increased energy efficiency and sustainable home design continue to be popular. Energy management systems, solar panels, electric docking stations for cars, and geothermal heating/cooling heat pumps are all on the list of popular home systems, according to residential architects.”