Thursday
April 24, 2014

Styled, Staged & Sold

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Bringing you the latest home and design trends.
Updated: 5 weeks 23 hours ago

Staging to Sell: Transforming Small and Large Properties To Sell in Today’s Market

Mon, 03/17/2014 - 02:00

By Patti Stern, guest contributor

Getting clients to consider staging their home to sell is a major challenge many real estate professionals encounter. Some sellers think their home is either too small or too big to be staged or that staging is only for homes at a certain price point.

Staging and low cost updates, however, can benefit properties large or small. Our recent staging clients are proof! PJ & Company recently staged 10 properties, including two, million dollar homes; a custom, new construction property in Avon, Conn.; a 1949 colonial in Irvington, N.Y.; a contemporary home in South Salem, N.Y.; and two smaller homes in Danbury and Hamden, Conn. Regardless of the style or size of the home, staging can transform a home to engage multiple buyers.

Below are examples of five very different properties we recently staged to help get these homes sold and for top dollar.

AN OWNER-OCCUPIED $1 MILLION PLUS LISTING

Photo credit: Patti Stern, PJ & Company Home Styling LLC

What we did: The living room in this $1.9 million, 5,700 square foot colonial in Westchester, N.Y., is perfect for entertaining but the decor was outdated and the furniture layout wasn’t inviting. We used most of the existing furniture, painted a modern wall color, and added updated accents. This room now looks like it should be in the pages of a magazine and will engage buyers both online and in person. Listed by Megan Stilwell Posner, Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, Bronxville, N.Y.

A VACANT $300K LISTING

Photo credit: Patti Stern, PJ & Company Home Styling LLC

What we did: This 1900-square-foot Danbury, Conn., home offers buyers a bright, open living room. Mismatched and dated furnishings, however, distracted from the beautiful architectural details and charm of the room. New furnishings define the space and give the home a modern, fresh look buyers will love. Listed By: Lorraine Amaral, William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, Danbury, CT.

A CUSTOM NEW CONSTRUCTION LISTING

Photo credit: Patti Stern, PJ & Company Home Styling LLC

What we did: This new home in Avon, Conn., is a custom built home, but it was unfurnished and left buyers uninspired and unable to envision it as their home. Vacant homes also look smaller to buyers who will spend less time in the property during a showing. Our team staged key rooms to give buyers a vision and to showcase the space. Home Built by Bill Cole & Associates, LLC and Listed by Karen Gibb, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, Avon, Conn.

A DATED COLONIAL LISTING

Photo credit: Patti Stern, PJ & Company Home Styling LLC

What we did: This Hamden, Conn., home was another vacant property. The master bedroom pictured above is a huge room but has dated wallpaper and looks small when unfurnished.  We removed the wallpaper, painted a warm neutral color, installed new beige carpeting, and added furnishings to showcase this move-in ready space. Listed By: Bill Davis, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties,Wallingford, Conn.

A CONTEMPORARY LISTING

Photo credit: Patti Stern, PJ & Company Home Styling LLC

What we did: The master bathroom of this contemporary South Salem, N.Y., home features beautiful tile but the custom double vanity was outdated and too expensive to replace. We suggested professionally painting it a modern, dark espresso finish. The transformation updates the entire space and offers buyers a move-in ready master retreat. Listed by Cathy Fleming, Coldwell Banker, Katonah, N.Y.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is a principal of PJ & Company Home Styling, LLC , 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 www.pjhomestyling.com or www.facebook.com/pjandcompanyhomestyling.

Welcome Back the Front Porch

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 02:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Traditional Porch by Chappaqua Architects & Designers Fivecat Studio | Architecture

The front porch is making a comeback in home designs. Builders recently said the front porch is one of the most popular amenities in 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The rebirth of the front porch in the past decade may be in partial nod to younger generations who have shown recent preferences toward smaller homes in more dense neighborhoods that boast greater social interaction.

The front porch used to be a mainstay in home designs in the early 1900s, according to a historical paper on “The Rise and Decline of the American Front Porch” published by the Montana Heritage Project. But soon, the front porch became replaced by a garage facing the street. The front porch was moved to backyards as a deck that offered home owners greater privacy.

The popularity of the front porch once was as a gathering place, allowing children to play in the front yard and offering families a cozy place to sit outside, relax, and socialize with their neighbors. But after World War II, front porches began disappearing from newer houses, according to the Montana Heritage Project. The article speculates it was partially due to people becoming “more individualistic and less communal-minded,” and home owners preferring to take their barbecues to the backyard in privacy.

Some home owners are welcoming back the front porch as a way to add more character to your home’s curb appeal. Even if your listing doesn’t have a big front porch, adding some seating may help give buyers that image of this iconic symbol to American homes. Stage it with rocking chairs, a porch swing, or outdoor furniture to show it as an extension of the home, and a place to sit back and connect with your neighbors.

Check out some of these examples:

Beach Style Exterior by Washington Architects & Designers Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc Traditional Porch by Wilmington General Contractors plantation building corp Traditional Porch by Covington Design-Build Firms Highland Homes, Inc. Beach Style Porch by Coronado Design-Build Firms Flagg Coastal Homes

Make Sellers’ Landscaping Stand Out

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 16:53

Show sellers how to make it look like they’ve just paid a hefty sum to landscape their yard—But do it on the cheap and in only a few hours by introducing them to the joys of mulch.

Email a free article, How to Mulch, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the March “Smart Spring Yard Prep” 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.

The Hottest Outdoor Trends for 2014

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 02:00
Spaces by Dc Metro Home Builders National Association of Home Builders

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

A home’s inviting outdoor space may be just enough to get a home buyer to fall in love. The American Society of Landscape Architects recently surveyed nearly 180 landscape architects asking them to rate the expected popularity for 2014 of a variety of residential outdoor elements.

Across all categories, respondents rated the following as “somewhat” or “very in-demand” for 2014: lighting, seating/dining areas; fire pits/fireplaces; grills; installed seating, such as benches, seatwalls, ledges, steps, and boulders.

“Home owners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values,” says Nancy Somerville, ASLA executive vice president and CEO. “They’re interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earth friendly.”

Here’s a breakdown of how home owners are sprucing up their outdoor spaces, and some of the top trends that landscape architects pinpointed for 2014 in each category.

Top Outdoor Design Elements

1. Gardens and landscaped spaces

2. Outdoor living spaces (kitchens, entertainment spaces)

3. Outdoor recreation amenities (pools, spas, tennis courts)

4. Sustainable design practices

Top Outdoor Living Features

1. Lighting

2. Seating/dining areas

3. Fire pits/fireplaces

4. Grills

Top Outdoor Recreation Amenities

1. Decorative water elements, such as ornamental pools, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, water runnels, or bubblers

2. Spa features (hot tub, Jacuzzi, whirlpools, indoor/outdoor sauna)

3. Swimming pools

4. Sports/recreational spaces (tennis courts, bocce ball, etc.)

Top Landscape/Garden Elements

1. Low maintenance landscapes

2. Native plants

3. Fountains/ornamental water features

4. Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards/vineyards, etc.

Top Sustainable Design Elements

1. Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants

2. Drip/water-efficient irrigation

3. Permeable paving

4. Reduced lawn

Top Outdoor Structures

1. Terraces/patios/decks

2. Fencing (includes gates)

3. Pergolas

4. Decks

For Your Unrealistic Sellers…

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 17:01

Sure, sellers know potential buyers must be willing to invest much-needed TLC in their home after the purchase. The tough part is getting them to price their home properly, based on the true cost of necessary fixes.

You can help them be more realistic about repair costs by branding, printing, and hand-delivering a free article, How to Assess the Real Cost of a Fixer-Upper House, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the March “Position Yourself to Be a Better Buyer” article package. Share all five today:

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

The 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.

7 Bathroom Remodeling Trends

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 02:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

What’s trending in bathroom remodels? Houzz recently released its 2014 Winter Bathroom Trends Study showing the top bathroom remodel preferences of more than 7,500 home owners in the U.S. and Canada. The report shows that 60 percent of home owners are targeting the master bathroom for their bathroom remodels. The two main drivers for their remodels: To upgrade features and fixtures as well as to make space more functional.

Here are some of the growing trends that emerged from the Houzz report:

#1 Goodbye, bathtubs. The bathtub is starting to move out of the master bathroom. More than four in 10 – 43 percent – are forgoing a bathtub in the master bathroom, according to the report.

Contemporary Bathroom by Mansfield Kitchen & Bath Designers Kitchen Views at National Lumber

#2 Frameless glass is “in.” The majority of the home owners surveyed say they prefer glass shower enclosures and frameless glass. Glass block is “out,” according to the report.

Contemporary Bathroom by San Francisco Architects & Designers Feldman Architecture, Inc.

#3 Let there be lots of light. Adding light was one of the top goal for home owners with their bathroom remodels, from adding windows to skylights to LED lights in the showerhead.

Traditional Bathroom by Duxbury Design-Build Firms ARCHIA HOMES

#4 Showing showerhead preferences. Rain and multiple showerheads are the clear choice for home owners under 45, while the 55-plus age group tends to prefer hand showers and sliding bars.

Contemporary Bathroom by Glen Ellyn Kitchen & Bath Designers Drury Design

#5 Seeing white. White cabinets are the top choice in master bathrooms (with medium and dark wood coming in No. 2 and No. 3, respectively). Maple is the most common type of wood used, followed by cherry and oak.

Traditional Bathroom by Dc Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Liz Levin Interiors

#6 Silver bling. Silver-tone faucets remain the most popular, with brushed nickel topping the list. Polished chrome is also popular, while brushed bronze came in as the least popular choice for current bathroom remodels.

Contemporary Bathroom by Portland Kitchen & Bath Designers Kirstin Havnaer, Hearthstone Interior Design, LLC

#7 Unique powder rooms. The powder room is getting more unique features than other bathrooms. Hardwood floors, wallpaper, pedestal sinks, and furniture-like cabinets are more commonly used in these spaces than in other bathrooms.

Traditional Powder Room by Rockford Interior Designers & Decorators KannCept Design, Inc.

Give Sellers Info That Sheds Light on Staging

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 04:00

When sellers finish up their painting in preparation for sale, suggest one more tactic to improve their odds of a quick sale for maximum value. Lighten up!

Email them a free article, Matching Room Color and Lighting to Get the Effect You Desire, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the February “Bright Ideas for Lighting Design” 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.

A Decorator’s Personal Guide to Surviving a Home Remodeling Project

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 02:00

By Patti Stern, guest contributor

Whether an experienced do-it-yourselfer or a first-time remodeler, a remodeling project can be intrusive and overwhelming to every aspect of a person’s life. That’s why hiring a professional can save time, money, and a lot of unnecessary stress.

Our 1969 master bathroom was cramped and outdated!

Recently, my husband and I decided to finally remodel the last room in our home that remained untouched by my interior decorator hands –- our master bathroom. My vision was to transform our 1969 master bathroom into a modern, stylish space, but I didn’t want to do anything too custom as we may look to sell our home in a few years. The design and décor needed to appeal to potential future buyers.

The first step of the renovation was deciding whether or not we could knock down the wall between the master bathroom and our guest room closet to maximize the space and upgrade to a double vanity and larger shower — the most important elements of the project. Once my talented carpenter determined we could, I was off and running with the design.

The entire bathroom was gutted to provide a blank canvas for the new layout and design.

As my own general contractor, I managed every element of the project and deciding on the design elements was particularly daunting, since this was a project for my family and me. I ultimately decided on a modern, spa-like design with an earthy color scheme — dark espresso, glass tiles, and a stone shower floor.

The actual renovation involved taking the original bathroom down to the studs and building from scratch (remember, this shower had lasted 44 years!). Working with a talented carpenter, excellent vendors, and my own knowledge of renovation projects helped the process along to final completion just a few weeks before the New Year.

The final reveal, pictured below, features a frameless shower door, which opens up the space, accent glass tiles on the walls and floor, modern eight-inch faucets, and jeweled light sconces fixed to the wall-to-wall mirror. We also added a silent ceiling fan for additional air flow and circulation in the space.

The new master bath features a modern, spa-like design with an earthy color scheme and includes an espresso, double vanity, glass tiles, a stone shower floor, frameless shower door, and jeweled light sconces. Photo Credit: Patti Stern, PJ & Company Home Styling, LLC

4 Tips to Getting Through Any Home Renovation

Throughout the process, I kept a journal and noted some key tips and advice for all home owners when taking on any renovation project including:

1. Have a written plan. Be sure that you are absolutely clear with your interior decorator, contractor, and carpenter — whomever you are working with — regarding the remodeling job and have a written plan and contract.

2. Plan ahead. Make sure you have all of your design plans and materials for your remodeling project ahead of time (including windows if applicable). Sometimes, though, things do have to change once the remodeling starts. For example, I opted for one large mirror instead of two as originally planned. Be flexible and plan for an additional 10- 15 percent above your budget for “just in case” scenarios.

3. Don’t skimp where it’s important. When putting in a shower floor, for example, make sure your contractor is using the right materials to prevent leaks, mold, and mildew. Sometimes spending a little bit more on better quality items will save you money in the long run.

4. Think about the big picture. How will your remodeling project affect other rooms or even future plans for your home? Will a wall being knocked down impact another room? If so, you may have to consider painting or repairing any walls in the impacted space. Are you thinking of selling your home in a few years?  If so, you’ll want to make changes you’ll enjoy now but that also will appeal to potential buyers in a few years.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is a principal of PJ & Company Home Styling, LLC , 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 www.pjhomestyling.com or www.facebook.com/pjandcompanyhomestyling.

I Heart My Home: A Unique Florida Abode

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 01:00

Mary Waldeck
SunState Realty, LLC
Englewood, Fla.

Waldeck’s home has the coolest features — the kind that she hopes will fetch nearly $460,000. Waldeck and her husband have their sweet custom-built Florida spot on the market with that price tag, and it’s easy to see why they’re asking that much.

“What I love most about our home is simply how unique it is,” Waldeck says. “There are many architectural features in this custom home you do not find in typical production homes, such as the floating staircase with wrought iron railing, designer ceilings, and his-and-her garages.”

The home has a wide-open floor plan, so much so that you can “see the entire house while standing in one spot — except for the private areas, of course,” she explains. The home sits alongside a saltwater canal, and it has a boat lift. All of that is outdone, though, by the two-story swimming pool that Waldeck’s granddaughters love.

“The best part of living here is how it suits the Florida lifestyle we love,” Waldeck says.

So why sell? “Of course, knowing us real estate folk, for the right price, it’s for sale!”

Send us a video tour of your home, and show us why you’re proud of it! Here’s how.

America’s Most Romantic Homes

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 02:00

Can you feel the love in these homes? TopTenRealEstateDeals.com recently highlighted the most romantic homes for-sale in the world, from the mansions of celebrities to the homes where kings and presidents once lived. Here’s a rundown of the homes that made its list:

1. King Edward’s Love Nest

Location: Just north of Chicago

Price: $12 Million

Chicago’s Schweppe Estate once hosted a former King of England, Edward VIII, who left the British throne in 1936 to be spend time with American Wallis Simpson here. It sits on 5.3 acres and features a 24,500-square-foot English Renaissance mansion with 10 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, and 11 fireplaces, as well as a library, family-game room, elevator, sauna, leaded glass windows, hand-carved limestone stairs, and fountains.

2. The Romance of Remembrance

Location: Suisun Valley, Calif. (near Napa)

Price: $22 million

At the Villa de Madre estate, the owner reconstructed one of the buildings to resemble a 1950s soda shop, where he and his wife had their first date. Also along the estate, he replicated several downtown storefronts – from the grocery store, Rexall Drugs, Harley Davidson, and tackle shop – of where the couple would stroll past when they first started dating. The 80-acre estate also includes 63 acres of vineyards, which produces 150,000 bottles of Cabernet wine annually. The main house includes 22,882 square feet.

3. Romantic Island Retreat

Location: Costa Rica

Price: $29.75 million

This 50-acre oceanfront jungle retreat in Costa Rica belongs to actor Mel Gibson. The Happy Planet Index ranks Costa Rica as the happiest country in the world for its safe streets, gorgeous weather, good medical care, and thriving economy. This estate includes three homes, with the main hacienda-style home overlooking a beach and featuring seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a courtyard, and pool.

4. The Romantic Elkhorn Ranch

Location: Big Sky, Mont.

Price: $26.5 million

This 160-acre, Montana estate featuring mountain views belongs to Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart and husband TV and film producer, Burg Sugarman. It’s located inside the exclusive Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Mont., a resort that provides a private skiing and lift system as well as an 18-hole golf course. This ranch consists of three building, including a 7,000-square-foot, six bedroom, seven bath main residence, as well as guest quarters and a four-stall horse barn.

5. A Plantation Deep Rooted in History

Location: Off the banks of the James River in Prince George County, Va.

Price: $20 million

This plantation has been designated a National Historical Landmark and has been in agricultural operation since 1607. With a rich history, the plantation once belonged to Nathaniel Harrison, a family that produced multiple governors and two U.S. Presidents, and the plantation also has family ties to William Shakespeare. Thomas Jefferson is credited with designing the central section of the main house as a gift to his friends, the Harrisons. This plantation has more than 4,500 acres – 1,600 of which grow soybeans, wheat, barley, and corn. The farm has 14 structures, including a horse stable, and two-story brick mule barns, a dairy barn, and more. The Palladian styled main house – reminiscent of a Roman country house — is 7,700-square feet with seven bedrooms and seven baths.

6. Sensual Sensation

Location: Palm Springs

Price: $14.5 million

Actress Suzanne Somers home and husband TV host Alan Hamel have been married for 36 years, and have called this romantic Palm Springs home for years. The home is modeled after L’oustau De Baumaniere in Provence, France. It’s located on 73 acres on a mountainside above the valley in Mesa Canyon. The estate features an outdoor amphitheater carved into the mountain that can seat 50, a dance floor, and a pool, spa, hiking trails, and natural waterfall that inches down the hillside.

7. West Indies Hideaway

Location: St. Barth Island

Price: $11.59 million

Actor Steve Martin’s Villa Au Soleil is located high in the hills of Lurin, St. Barthelemy, and includes a 28,191-square-foot, tropical colonial-style home that sits above the Atlantic Ocan. The home features views of the ocean, multi-level terraces, and a two-tiered infinity pool.

8. The Kennedy’s Honeymoon Haven

Location: Beverly Hills

Price: $115 million for-sale, or leased at $600,000 per month

After they were married in 1953, John and Jackie Kennedy honeymooned in this 1920s era Beverly House, which features more than 50,000 square feet in a blend of Spanish and Italian style. The home features gardens, which were used as the backdrop for scenes in “The Godfather,” “The Bodyguard,” “Topaz,” “Into the Night,” among other movies. The estate boasts 29 bedrooms, 40 bathrooms, two guesthouses, and a separate apartment. It is located three blocks from Sunset Boulevard.

9. Water Views Everywhere

Location: Houston

Price: $14.5 million

Actors Ryan O’Neal and Jacqueline Bisset, stars of the 1973 movie “The Thief Who Came to Dinner,” filmed most of the movie at this Houston mansion. The home belongs to the Van Dyke family, and is located on 2.8 private acres, which inclues an 11,737-square-foot home. It features plenty of water throughout its grounds – from pools, waterfalls, pool island with trees to pools in shade; pools in the sun; and a small lake. It also has one of the largest private pools in the U.S. The grounds also feature an orchestra stage with an outdoor kitchen, spa, and guest house.

10. A Private Gulfstream Island

Location: Near the Florida Keys

Price: $5.995 million

Located on the Atlantic side of the Overseas Highway, Melody Key is situated a half mile off Summerland Key. The island can be reached by boat only. The home is powered by solar and features a desalination system for fresh water. The main house has 2,800-square-feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms and an observation deck to watch sun rises over the Atlantic or sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico. The grounds include a swimming pool and spa surrounded by tropical trees. This estate also comes with a waterfront lot with dock on Summerland Key.

Read more about these romantic retreats for-sale at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com.

Avoid Winter Repairs: How to Protect a Home From Cold

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 04:01

Sellers’ shutters and siding may look great. However, as this winter has repeatedly reminded us, all the beautiful features on the exterior of sellers’ home need to withstand the elements.

Add to your blog a free article, How to Protect Your Home from Severe Cold, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the February “Smart Snow and Ice Removal” 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.

When Selling a Home, Don’t Forget About the Garage!

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 02:00

By Charlene Storozuk, guest contributor

Could your listing's garage need a makeover?

Being the car enthusiast my husband is, when we were shopping for our home, the first thing he wanted to see was the garage. After checking it out, some of the homes would only get a cursory glance before he’d announce that he didn’t like it. There were some that I had to agree with him on; however, there were others that I thought were “the one”.

Finally, I got him to put into words what it was that he didn’t like about them. In a lot of cases, it was the garage. If it was being used as a dumping site, he was put right off. Like many buyers, he couldn’t visualize its potential.

To make your home appeal to the car enthusiasts out there, here are a few simple ideas for the garage:

· Don’t use the garage as a storage facility. Rent a unit to store all of your extra furniture and unnecessary belongings. Storage units can be pricey, but the benefit of having one definitely outweighs the cost. Not only will your garage look great, but other areas of your home will also be less cluttered.

· If you have a double car garage, you may want to set up a portion of it as a workshop (unless you are fortunate enough to have a separate workshop in your home). It’s not necessary to go to a lot of great expense. A set of saw horses underneath a piece of ¾” plywood will create an instant work area.

· Good lighting is very important in a garage. Buy a three- pronged fluorescent light fixture, hang it from chains and plug it into the ceiling receptacle socket. You can even remove it when you move and replace it with a standard light bulb. However, be sure to exclude the fixture from your agreement with the buyer.

· Keep your gardening and workshop tools organized by installing pegboards on the wall. It’s an easy DIY project that will add bonus storage space.

· In a large garage, create a loft storage area by installing ceiling mounted shelving units. If possible, don’t install them above where your car(s) will be parked.

· If you have a very small garage that just manages to fit your car, you may want to have it parked in there for showings. Potential buyers will see that a car fits in there. If the garage is empty, they may not be sure if one will fit.

· The floor of the garage should be clean. Remove oil stains as best you can. A solution of TSP works well, however, you may need to visit your local hardware store to get advice on what to use for your floor. If you’re really serious, fill in any cracks and roll a concrete sealer onto the floor followed by a primer and top coat of white paint. Your garage will look cleaner and brighter and may possibly seem a little larger.

These tips will help your home become more attractive to potential buyers. Believe it or not, there are people out there that put a lot of emphasis on the garage when house hunting. I don’t think my hubby is the only one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charlene Storozuk is the owner of DEZIGNER DIGZ, a professional home staging, interior decorating and redesign firm based in Burlington, Ontario Canada. She is certified as an International Staging Professional, International Design & Decorating Professional, Professional Colour Consultant, and Feng Shui Design Professional. Her work is published in the book “FabJob Guide to Become a Home Stager,” 2009 edition. Storozuk is recognized as a local leader in the home staging industry. She founded the Halton & Hamilton-Wentworth Real Estate Staging Association Chapter and served on the association’s Executive Committee for two years as Regional Vice-President, Canada. Storozuk is a past recipient of RESA North American Leadership Awards for Chapter President of the Year (2007) and Regional Vice-President of the Year (2011). For ideas on how to bring “WOW” Factor to your home, follow her HIP TIPZ Series for daily home staging, design and decor inspiration. HIP TIPZ can be found on the Dezigner Digz Facebook Fan Page and on Twitter: @dezigner_digz .

The Power of Gray in Staging

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 02:00

Courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

Gray is a subtle color that can bring sophistication to interiors while also the neutrality that home buyer crave.

“It’s the hot new neutral, a sleek and sophisticated color option that adds refinement to almost any room,” says Debbie Zimmer, a paint and color expert with the Paint Quality Institute. “Walls that are painted gray are great backdrops for almost any style of décor, and gray is such a dignified color that it can elevate the appearance of even the most modest furnishings.”

Zimmer says that gray can be a great color choice for embellishments throughout interiors, such as a gray wash on wood furniture or the fabric in seating.

In her 2014 color forecast, she expects grey to be used more in homes. “We will even see gray’s flashier cousin, silver, used as an important accent color,” says Zimmer.

Traditional Living Room by Toronto Home Builders Sherwood Custom Homes

Zimmer also predicts “white” to stage a comeback in 2014, with white and off-white back in vogue.

“As with gray, the ease of coordinating furnishings with a neutral hue like white is appealing to almost everyone,” she says. “Those who are downsizing will favor white or very light-colored walls to make their new, smaller interiors look more spacious; and for those who may soon put up a ‘For Sale’ sign, white is the wise paint color to apply before listing a home.”

Traditional Living Room by Vancouver General Contractors Kits Construction

Tax Tips Help Clients Deduct Remodeling Costs

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 04:00

Can homeowners deduct the cost of their kitchen remodel on their 2013 taxes? How about the interest on the home equity line they used to fund their bathroom upgrades?

Answer those and other homeownership tax questions by posting to your website a free article, Your Top Homeownership Tax Questions Answered, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the January “Get Your Tax-Filing Party Started!” 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.