October 1, 2012

Hire A Real Estate Agent With The Power To Succeed

Realtor.com says, on average nationwide, prices and sales  are blooming, inventories are wilting, and more and more markets reveal a  potential for growth not seen in years. “Things are picking up. All the prices are down and interest rates are really  low. It’s like Macy’s is having a sale,” said Martin Morales, Secretary-Treasurer of the Monterey County  (CA) Association of Realtors. No, you didn’t miss the bottom, but the potential for a buyers’ bum rush and forecasts for higher rates later this year could cause the  competition to heat up this spring. That’s your cue. Hire a real estate market […]
September 17, 2012

How to Find a Real Estate Agent You can Trust

If you have been looking at homes online or thinking it is  time to sell your house, but don’t know to whom you can entrust this monumental  job, you are not alone. A home is probably the biggest investment of your money you will ever make,  and it also has an emotional tie to your life and your memories. Your agent must  be someone who is knowledgeable, proactive and connects with you and your wants  and needs.  The right person can make your upcoming real estate transaction  painless and very rewarding, but how do you find him? Here are a […]
September 3, 2012

The Home Buying Process in a Nutshell

For First-time buyers, or those who haven’t purchased a home in a long time, the process of buying or selling a home can be a little daunting. Having a general understanding of what to expect can help. This is an outline of the typical home buying process. Emphasis on process — because it’s not an event , it’s a process that can take weeks to months, depending on a lot of variables. We also can emphasize typical, because the process can be different, depending on what type of purchase you have, like whether it’s a short sale or foreclosure, and […]
April 17, 2012

Kitchen and Bath Design Trends – Part 2

Continued from last week’s post…. Earth-Friendly Features Perhaps the hottest trend in kitchens and baths is the move toward sustainable products. But while more people are asking designers about going green, they’re “willing to stick their necks, and their pocketbooks, out only so far,” says Garvey, the 2008 grand prize winner of the Real Estate Staging Association’s national competition. As prices drop on green products, it’s certain that green elements will become more widespread, says Trauthwein. This is especially true of sustainable woods used for flooring and countertops. Fast-growing bamboo is the eco-material of choice for cabinets and floors, but […]
April 2, 2012

Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Part 1

The two rooms that consistently make the biggest impression on buyers are—without a doubt—kitchens and bathrooms. Even in today’s uncertain economic times, home owners and buyers are willing to spend on upgrades to these two essential rooms. Their goal: Create that polished high-end look they’ve seen in magazines and on TV. “We’re seeing more of a ‘save and splurge’ mentality in kitchen and bath remodels,” says Linda Eggerss, editor of Kitchen and Bath Ideas magazine. “Home owners may give up the granite countertops to get the island, or vice versa, but they still want a certain look.” The growing importance […]
March 26, 2012

Maintenance Must-Dos

First-time buyers often don’t know much about home maintenance. You can help by giving them a maintenance schedule that’ll prevent small problems from turning into big headaches. Change your furnace filters monthly. “It’s so easy to do but so critical,” says Lesh. Clogged filters decrease furnace efficiency and can cause breakdowns. Drain your water heater at least once a year. Sediment will drain out along with the water from the water tank. Removing sediment can prolong the heater’s useful life. Clean the coils. If you have baseboard heating units that use hot water, clear dust from the coils inside the […]
March 19, 2012

4 Common Home Inspection Problems

The following are common hazards home inspectors often find: 1. Faulty wiring: Overloaded circuits, loose wires, missing covers on distribution boxes, abandoned appliances, or aluminum wiring, which can become problematic with age. 2. Loose guard rails: Stairway guardrails, especially on exterior stairways, that are not securely connected. Decks — often installed by home owners unfamiliar with building codes — that have loose boards. 3. Shower doors: Shower doors that lack safety glass and are not properly secured. A home owner who slips when stepping out of the bathtub and grabs a glass door that isn’t properly fastened could be severely […]
March 12, 2012

Low Cost Ways to Freshen Your Home

Chances are the decor in your home is a lot like most people’s wardrobes: There are a few items that went out of style a decade ago, but they’re so comfortable that it’s impossible to see them go. “We grow accustomed to our space, and we stop seeing it,” says Melissa Birdsong, vice president of trend, design, and brand for Lowe’s, the home improvement giant. “People tend to become blind to their own things.” But everything needs updating eventually. Birdsong suggests home owners cast a fresh eye on their living space, pretending that they’ve just moved in and are assessing […]
March 5, 2012

4 Interior Painting Tips

1.Get the surface ready. You want the paint to glide on smoothly, so be sure the surface is clean before you start painting. Remove any handprints, dirt, or scuff marks. Lightly sand any glossy spots to avoid streaks. 2. Select a paint sheen and color. Ah, the choices! Many paint stores are making it easier to narrow down your choices by offering small trial sizes so that you can test the color at home and look for any variations in daylight and night. Lighting has a big effect on the way color appears. Remember: Higher sheen paints tend to offer […]
February 27, 2012

6 Landscaping Tips to Wow Buyers

Landscape designer Michael Glassman has cooked up a recipe for guaranteed curb appeal. 1. Add splashes of color. With every changing season, a landscape should provide a new display of colors, textures, and fragrances. “It’s best to use one or two and repeat them,” Glassman says. Example: white iceberg roses that bloom in spring, summer, and fall as a backdrop; in front, a contrasting punch of purple salvia or lavender that will flower at the same time; and as an accent, a crape myrtle tree that provides changing leaf colors in fall and interesting branches come winter. 2. Size trees and […]