19 Spring Blossoms That Will Beautify Your Home

Spring is here and you want the exterior of your home to look the greatest!  You also can’t wait to get your hands into the dirt and begin planting.  You can satisfy both these desires by planting some of these easy springtime flowers that’ll brighten up your exterior and your mood! 1. Peruvian Lily This […]

The post 19 Spring Blossoms That Will Beautify Your Home appeared first on Alexandra Larsen.

Tips To Beautify Rooms In Your Home

There’s no place like home, so why not make home the most beautiful and cozy place you can stay in? Let’s dive into some techniques that can help you showcase the best features of every room in your house. Just a touch of color, texture, and personality can transform your home into something new. Here […]

The post Tips To Beautify Rooms In Your Home appeared first on Alexandra Larsen.

Tips for Buying and Selling at the Same Time

Either buying or selling a home can feel stressful at times, it can be even more overwhelming if one is trying to do both at the same time. The good news is that this happens all the time and by following a few simple tips, both buying and selling can be a seamless process.

Tips for Buying and Selling at the Same Time

The good news is that you’re planning to move anyway. Before you list your home for sale, why not start packing now? Take personal items and excess furnishings and pack them up and move them to storage. Not only will your home look larger and neater, but you are also getting a start on the move.

Photo credits: Pixabay Packing Boxes
StorageNext, make sure your agent understands the timeline and requirements. There are many standard contingencies which can protect you from owning two homes at once or none at all. Not only can the purchase of your new home be contingent on successfully closing on your current one but you can also reverse the process and ensure you find a replacement before the close as well.

Finally, get the entire family involved. Be excited about the change and create a moving plan in which everyone has a task and there is a plan for the move itself. By taking a few initial steps, moving can be fun and easy.

Happy family on the floor with cardboard boxes moving in their new home - isolated
Photo credit: Expatica.com

 

 

 

Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

With the start of the New Year, thoughts naturally turn to change. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to sell your home, then making the right resolutions can help you sell your home quickly and for the best possible return. Here are the top 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers:

1. Move Up Spring Cleaning – The time to do your spring cleaning is now. Declutter, depersonalize and make the home look roomier.  Don’t forget your closets.  Closets that are bursting at the seams with stuff scream to buyers that you do not have enough room for storage.

Closet-before-and-after-1024x782 photo credit: Whiskey Riff

2. Stage Your Home – Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, this is the time to rearrange your furniture to make your rooms look bigger and brighter. A well-staged home spends less time on the market and can even help you walk away with more money.

HomeStaging PhotoPhoto credit: therealestatecoconut.com

3. Think it Through – Before you spend money on renovations and upgrades, think carefully and don’t overspend by guessing. Seek advice as needed.

4. Take Care of Neglected Repairs – This is a great time to hire a handyman or break out the tool belt to take care of deferred maintenance and take care of minor repairs. By taking care of them now, you can save yourself money because once there is a home inspection all repairs might be required to be done by a licensed professional, so if there are things you can take care of yourself, now is the time to do it.

5. Interview Real Estate Agents – Hiring a real estate agent is critical to your success. Take the time to interview a number of agents and choose the right one for YOUR needs.

6. Check out the Competition – Go see homes listed for sale in your area and adjust your timing, staging, and pricing based on the market.

7. Prepare Mentally – Selling a home can be stressful. Be prepared for low offers, picky buyers, drop-by agents and odd terms that may arise. Prepare yourself now so you will take them in stride when you’re on the market.  Your real estate agent should be able to help prepare you for what to expect during the selling process and beyond.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Investment – To Rent or Flip?

There are a wide variety of ways to invest in real estate; one can make money in any of these options, one can also lose their money. To be successful in real estate investing, it’s critical that you identify what skills you have and your tolerance for risk. Then choose a type of investment that works for you and repeat that model.

Investors can make great profits by both flipping properties as well as holding them as rentals. The difference really boils down to a few considerations. First, what kind of income are you seeking? Active or Passive? Actively buying, fixing and flipping properties is quick cash that requires careful timing and effort. Rental properties on the other hand offer passive long-term income which accumulates over time. Additionally the property value increases during this time. The downside is that one must invest time in property maintenance and tenant management.

The second concern is risk. Flipping a property is not traditional investing where one buys and holds an investment. Flipping is really speculation. When buying a flipper, one must carefully gauge the cost of refurbishment, remodeling and the cost of the holding time into the price valuation, then carefully market the home and realize the profit. Any number of variances can go wrong which could cause the value to drop and profits to reduce or even disappear, such as a delay in remodeling or a slow real estate market.

Both types of investments can bring nice profits. Determining what’s best for you and your talents is important in choosing the best option for your financial goals.

Tips To Beautify Rooms In Your Home

 There’s no place like home, so why not beautify your home, and make it a cozy place you can stay in? Let’s dive into some techniques that can help you showcase the best features of every room in your house. Just a touch of color, texture, and personality can transform your home into something new. Here’s a few tips that aren’t a lot of hassle:

flat screen television on TV stand

ADD SOME COLOR

Going with a neutral scheme can never go wrong, but if you’re feeling like your room is a little drab, don’t be afraid to go with a bold color. You can do an accent wall that compliments the current color scheme or use your furniture or accent pieces to bring a touch of color. Color doesn’t have to mean clutter, you can keep the rest of the room simple and add the dramatic touch with a few elements.

USE SOME MIRRORS

Bringing in some mirrors can add light and room to your space. Using mirrors in staging is known to help the room look like it’s much bigger than it is it. Add a few accent mirrors, preferably right across the room from a window, to brighten up your space and keep it from feeling too tight and small.


PLAY WITH ACCESSORIES

We get it, furniture can get expensive, but there is so much you can do with a room just getting creative with accessories. Get some unique decorative pieces and let your room tell a story around them. Hop down to your closest antique store and grab some pieces that are bold. You can also hop into Hobby Lobby or TJ Maxx, they have beautiful and unique decorative pieces that are incredibly affordable.

ADD SOME GREEN

Nothing gives a space some life like some life, literally. Add some plants to your rooms, lots of green ones that are easy to keep alive, to add a unique touch to the room. You’d be surprised how much a room looks “finished” when you add a beautiful tree to the corner of a room.


EMBRACE THE LIGHT

The natural light, we mean. Don’t block out your windows with heavy drapes or hide them behind furniture. Decorate around your room in a way that compliments the windows and brings the natural light in.

ADD TEXTURE

Use fur throws or pillows, use patterns in your fabrics, etc. Don’t be afraid to add unique textures throughout the home. It gives your eyes something to land on as it’s looking around the room. You can even use metallics. Don’t over-do it, because then it can get overwhelming. Just get a few textures that compliment each other and put them in clever places around your room.

REMOVE CLUTTER

A tip you’ll hear often, nothing brings the best out in a room then getting rid of all the clutter and junk. If you have a hard time walking around your room or finding things, it may be time to get a few boxes and start cleaning out the things that don’t really belong.

The post Tips To Beautify Rooms In Your Home appeared first on Your Favorite Realtor/BusinessMom.

Fireplace Design Trends

One of my favorite things to do in the winter when I get home from work is to put on my pajamas, turn on the fireplace and get cozy – even if I am still working on my laptop while sitting on the couch.  I know that the long evenings of the winter months invites families to stay home and enjoy the warmth of their own home. Naturally, attention turns to the fireplace as both providing extra heat and as the focal point of the room. New technology and environmentally friendly design has brought contemporary updates that are sleek, fashionable and playful.

  • Finishing – Fireplace finishes have changed. New products such as the Cool Wall Series open a wide variety of design options by allowing a cool surface as a backdrop for finishes.

  • Wood – Wood burning fireplaces are back in style. Decorative spaces for wood storage are adding architectural interest.

  •  Larger Openings – One of the leading trends in fireplace design is enlarging the viewing window of the fireplace. A simple retrofit of an existing fireplace can make a huge difference in the look of any room.

  •  Corner Fireplaces – This popular feature of the 1990s is back with modern updates. Two or three sided fireplaces with sleek styling and elegant accents, such as wood or metal, are providing a centerpiece for rooms.

  •  Fireplace Walls – Linear fireplaces that stretch the length of the wall is one trend showing up in model homes across the country. Monotone colors and clean lines finish this modern trend.

Eliminate Pet Odors In Your Home!

Eliminate Pet Odors In Your Home

 

Eliminating bad odors from your home is incredibly important, you want to make sure you’ve removed them before putting it on the market. Often times, the first thing buyers notice upon entering your home, is how it smells. If there is an odd odor, it will instantly put them off. No matter how beautifully staged and presented it is, strong odors or stale air can make your home unappealing to prospective buyers. Opening windows and exhaust fans will only go so far in removing foul odors, but won’t generally eliminate it completely. To ensure you don’t lose potential buyers, follow these odor eliminating tips to ensure your home smells and feels fresh and new.
Don’t Use Artificial Freshening Sprays

Don’t make the mistake of spraying artificial room freshener sprays in hopes that it will remove the bad odor. Deodorizers will quickly fade, and only mask the smell, sometimes in an overwhelming way. If a buyer walks into your home, your air freshener can cause a reaction, like a runny nose or a headache, and will make them suspicious of an underlying foul odor. Instead of trying to mask it, locate the actual source of the bad odor and get rid of it.
Best Pet Carpet Cleaners for Accidents

We all love our furry friends, but unfortunately, they can get your home pretty smelly. Whether the smell is on the carpet, furniture, or even on the walls – it’s essential to have it removed. Most odors stem from accidents. You always want to attend to the accident right away. Blot them with a paper towel and use mild dishwashing liquid to help remove the odor. Once completely cleaned, blot again with fresh paper towels to dry the spot. If the accident is not recent, use an enzyme cleaner to eat the bad bacteria. Another great idea is to use activated charcoal. It is a form of carbon that has been activated to make it extremely porous. You can get activated charcoal meant for pet odors at most pet stores.
Green Cleaning Products

Using natural odor eliminators is a great green alternative to most of the chemicals sold at stores. One of the most recommended products is to use baking soda. You can place an open box of it in a room to help absorb unwanted smells. It also helps to remove musty aroma in dark spaces, like a basement. On top of being used to remove pet odors, it also works great for cigarette smells. If you don’t wish to use baking soda, most pet supply stores will have green cleaning products that help remove odors, while still being safe for your household.

The post Eliminate Pet Odors In Your Home! appeared first on Your Favorite Realtor/BusinessMom.

8 Ways A Great Real Estate Agent Can Change Your Life

A real estate transaction can be an exciting thing to experience, but it can also be nerve-wracking and stressful. Your experience will largely depend on the circumstances surrounding your transaction and, perhaps more importantly, the agent you’re working with.

A great agent will not only get you over the finish line to the best of their ability, but they can also change your life for the better. Here are eight ways:

person hanging keys to man's hand standing next to girl

1. They’ll show you they care

In today’s fast-paced world, it seems like everyone’s attention is in short supply. A great real estate agent will show you that’s not always the case, by listening and caring about you and your needs. Not only will being a good listener help an agent do their job, but it’ll also show you that even in business, there are still people out there who care.

2. They can save you a lot of money

There’s an old expression, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” Hiring a great agent can save you literally thousands of dollars, as the right agent will not only negotiate effectively, but also know what pitfalls to look for as the transaction moves along, saving you money in the process.

3. They can help you see things in a different way

One of the most overlooked aspects of hiring a great agent is just how much of an effect they can have on your perspective. For instance, you might think that you’re looking for something in particular, but a great agent can take what you asked for and find something that’s even better than anything you’ve ever considered. A great agent is like an expert matchmaker.

4. They’ll do more than help you buy or sell a home

A great real estate agent will go above and beyond for you. They’ll help you find contractors, give recommendations on design (if you’re open to them), and even help you navigate the restaurants in your new neighborhood. Great agents provide so much value because they want to be your go-to resource for anything to do with real estate.

5. They can find you something that no one else can

Great real estate agents aren’t necessarily miracle workers, but they’re close. A great agent will surprise you with something no one’s ever thought of before, whether it’s finding a property that you didn’t know about, or a solution to an otherwise complex problem. A great agent is proactive and instead of sitting around waiting, will make things happen for you.

6. They can take a lot of stress away

One of the best things about a great real estate agent is the peace of mind that comes from working with them. There are lots of things that can go wrong during a real estate transaction, and a great agent knows this and will not only anticipate issues ahead of time, but will shoulder the burden and solve problems for you, making it a low-stress experience.

7. They’ll go to battle for you when it counts

The right agent is like a general you can depend on when the going gets tough. From searching for the right property or buyer, to negotiating, to pushing the deal through despite all obstacles standing in the way… a great real estate agent won’t back down from adversity and will battle for your best interests at all times.

8. They can become a friend for life

Maybe your real estate agent is already your friend, but if not, with a great agent you might eventually become one. Real estate is much more about relationships than it is about individual transactions, and great agents know this. They also usually have the kind of infectious personality that you always want to be around. So don’t be afraid to form a lifelong friendship with your real estate agent, it could truly change your life.

The post 8 Ways A Great Real Estate Agent Can Change Your Life appeared first on Your Favorite Realtor/BusinessMom.

Buying Versus Renting A Home, The Old Debate

Why would someone write an article on buying versus renting a home?

What’s in it for the author of the article?

Why would you read one?

What is it you want to hear? Do you just want confirmation and justification for what you already believe and want to do? Or, are you looking to be convinced otherwise?

These are all good questions to ask yourself if you find yourself reading an article on whether it makes more sense to buy a home, or rent a house.

Buying Versus Renting A Home…That Old Debate

There are “reasons” to buy, and “reasons” to rent.

People want to make choices based upon reason. So, if you start reading about whether to buy versus rent a home, you’ll certainly be given “reasons”, like:

  • When renting you’re just paying someone else’s mortgage.
  • You’re throwing your money away when you rent. You have nothing to show for it. If you buy, you’re building equity.
  • Many of the richest people built their wealth through real estate.
  • Real estate is a great long-term investment. Values always go up in the long-term.

Certainly all valid to some degree.

But if you start reading articles bent on renting a home, versus buying, you’ll be given opposing “reasons”, like:

  • When you rent, you aren’t tied down to an area. You have freedom.
  • You aren’t responsible for the upkeep and maintenance when things break.
  • Real estate values are not guaranteed to always go up.
  • Your house could be less than you bought it for at times.

Again, all valid “reasons” to some degree.

Regardless of whether the article is pro-buying or pro-renting, the “reasons” cited tend to be the same, decade after decade, regardless of the market. They are overused, and pretty useless to anyone in particular.

There is no absolute answer that is right for everyone.

It shouldn’t be a DIY diagnosis

You can find plenty of “sources” to formulate your opinion on what makes sense for you.

There are online calculators to help you figure out if renting or buying makes more sense for you.

But that’s kind of like looking up health information online…

It’s good to get some thoughts and perspective. Educate yourself. But it’s not necessarily proper for you to diagnose and treat yourself.

Same when it comes to financial and real estate decisions.

Certainly educate yourself. Become informed. But truly assessing whether or not it makes more sense for you to buy a home or rent a house warrants getting some professional help.

Professional help can cost less than self-help. (At least in real estate…)

While you can certainly sift through all the information you want for free, and come to your own conclusion, you can also get the advice of someone who is a real estate expert for free.

All you have to do is reach out to a real estate agent. A good real estate agent will help you figure out if buying or renting makes better sense for you. They’ll help you assess your situation lend you their thoughts and insight based upon their knowledge and experience.

And most of them will do this for free. They get paid if and when you end up buying or renting a place.

Now, certainly, you might question their motives…

Will they push you to buy versus rent to make more money? Will they push you to rent because it’s quicker, easier money? Why would they help me for free? There’s got to be a catch…

Sure, there are some agents who are in it just to make money. But most real estate agents are more caring and concerned about their clients’ best interests, than their own self-interest.
That doesn’t mean every real estate agent will necessarily be able to give you the best advice, even if they are caring, concerned, and not pushy.

So, make sure you find a great agent when you ask for an agent’s advice.

(If they’re all offering their advice for free, you might as well choose the best, right?)

Who’s the best agent to talk to?

Considering this is my article, of course it makes sense that I feel like I’m the best agent for you to talk to.

The best way to find out is for us to have a quick chat. Maybe I’m the best agent for you to talk to… Maybe not. But if I’m not, I probably know another agent who may suit your situation better.

So why not give me a call, or send me an email, and let’s schedule a time to talk. No obligation.

I never push people to do one thing over another. If buying makes more sense for you, we’ll figure that out. If renting does, we’ll figure that out.

I just want to make sure you’re able to make the best and most objective decision possible.

The post Buying Versus Renting A Home, The Old Debate appeared first on Your Favorite Realtor/BusinessMom.