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Need to Work From Home? You Have Office Space Options

If you’re like many of us these days, you either work from home or are currently considering moving your business from a traditional brick and mortar setting to home. This has many benefits, including saving money, time, and frustration from the morning commute. So, what are the options? They are to completely overhaul your current space, do a simple redesign of an existing room, or to buy a new property with your business in mind.

Option #1:  Renovate

Whether you are in a townhouse, condo, or other New York City accommodation, if you own it, you may have the option to add or take away walls to create more space for your business. Watson International’s general contracting service can help you turn your space from unusable to ideal.

Option #2: Redesign

When a complete overhaul is not in the budget, you can always redesign a current bedroom, den or living room to meet your business needs. This might involve simple steps, such as painting and adding new light fixtures. You might also opt to bring in an interior designer to make the space more attractive, spacious, and aligned with its purpose.

Option #3: Buy

The most expensive option is to simply buy a new property to accommodate your new or growing business. Curbed New York explains that spring and fall are the best times to buy a condo, co-op, loft, or townhouse in New York. If your work from home does not require commercial foot traffic, than a strictly residential property would be feasible. But, if your business model includes meetings or foot traffic, then you will need to look for a property zoned for Live/Work use – these are rare, so you may have to call the codes department if you believe you’ve found one. Also, ensure that the property has the amenities that you, your business, and your family need, such as an on-site gym or business center.

Work At Home Needs (Aside From Office Space)

You know that you have to have space from which to work, but there are many other subtle nuances to consider if you’ve never worked from home. A few of these include:

  • Reliable Internet. When you work from home, your internet is your most valuable asset. Ideally, you’ll have access to fiber optic service, which is much faster than DSL (up to 10 times faster). If you’re looking to save money, you can usually bundle your internet and TV, but, be aware that you can only write off a portion of your internet on your taxes. If you have choices, do your research and make sure that you are in an area where you can get maximum speeds and the best coverage.

  • Quiet. Having a quiet workspace is crucial, even if it is on the same level of your home as your main living areas. Make sure that your office can be closed off and soundproofed, particularly if you have loud neighbors or children and other family members home during working hours.

  • Boundaries. By boundaries, we don’t mean physical boundaries but those that separate your work and home lives. Establishing boundaries with your family is a crucial element of successfully operating a business from home. Make sure that your loved ones know when it’s okay to come into your office and when they need to treat it as an entirely separate entity from your home.Career Toolbelt also says you will want to set standards with your employees and clients as well.

The State University of New York explains that small businesses make up 99.8% of all businesses in the state. As such, your home-based endeavor will be one of many that help to bolster your local economy, create jobs, and provide services to your friends and neighbors. While finding the space to work from home is often a challenge, it’s a hurdle worth jumping for all of the benefits that it brings you and your community.

Katie Conroy

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Resources for Prep That Every Home Seller Should Have

 

Are you looking to sell your property in the near future? If so, now may be a great time to do so. Although property values in cities are not optimal at this time, those who have properties in suburban areas, shore points, or rural communities are enjoying a sellers market right now. Deciding to sell may be the easy part, but what comes next?

Preparing your home for sale involves much more than hiring an agent and getting it listed. Not only do you have to keep COVID-19 precautions in mind, you also have to look at your home through the eyes of a buyer, especially if you want to maximize your home’s sale price.

This resource guide offers a great deal of information about getting your home listing ready.

COVID-19 Considerations

The pandemic hasn’t left yet, so it’s important to think about how you will deal with people coming and going from your home. Property hunters, appraisers, agents, repairmen, photographers and other professionals are all possible visitors to your home. Attention to germs helps to ensure everyone stays safe during this time.

● Deep clean and disinfect your home.
● How to handle home inspections during the pandemic.
● Show your home to buyers with a virtual tour to identify out only the most interested parties for in person viewings.

Boost Curb Appeal

This term is most often used when discussing non-urban communities, but the concept can be helpful for homes in all different locations. What buyers see on the exterior of your home will help them decide if they want to see what is inside of your home. Make sure your first impression is a good one with some attention to your curb appeal. Start with a good tidying up, then make improvements as needed.

● If you are selling a house, power wash the exterior of your home. If you are selling an apartment, make sure the front door and surrounding area is clean, mark free, and clear of any extraneous items.
● Take a look at the 20 best ways to make your front yard stand out in terms of curb appeal.
● Explore color ideas for your home’s front door.

Update and Modernize

You’ve addressed your curb appeal, now turn a critical eye towards the rest of your home. A little updating can go a long way in making your home stand out from the crowd of properties on the housing market. Catch attention from buyers with the right changes!

● Consider these 10 updates that may help to increase the value of your home.
● Consider the long-term ROI for kitchen and bathroom remodeling.
● Analyze what professional real estate agents advise about paint colors.

Make Repairs

Knowing that they won’t need to move in and add a bunch of work to their to-do list will encourage property hunters to look at your home. The more “move-in ready” you can make your home, the better. Tackle all the little things that you have put off repairing, making your home as polished and well-maintained looking as possible.

● Here are a list of 10 Things to fix before listing your home for sale.
● For repairs requiring professionals, such as repairing or replacing windows, search “windows repair near me” on websites like Angi.

Get Organized

It’s easier for buyers to envision themselves in a tidy space than one that is full of distractions. An organized, uncluttered space makes your home look well-maintained and spacious. Keep in mind, buyers will be looking in every nook and cranny. Make sure your belongings are orderly and organized, even those items not normally on display.

● Check out this decluttering checklist.
● Use this link to easily organize your closet on a budget.
● Get rid of all the stuff you don’t want to move; ideas include having a yard sale and donating items to Goodwill.

Prepare for Pictures

Once you have your home generally ready for sale, make some final preparations for your real estate photos. At this point, you want the home to look as good as if the buyer were coming to view it in person.

● Consult with your trusted real estate advisor about staging to help buyers envision living in your home. Staging nowadays does not need to be physical, so be sure to investigate virtual staging options which are much more convenient and offer a waiver array of options.
● Open your window treatments to let in as much natural light as possible.
● Remove all items from surfaces, such as toothbrush holders on sink vanities, family photos on top of dressers, tables or on walls, area rugs on floors, and pet furniture or feeding bowls.
● Do a last minute cleaning and tidying of your entire home, ensuring that personal items are stashed away.

Few homeowners want their property to linger on the market. Chances are, you have a new home or a new adventure awaiting you. Don’t get stuck waiting on your home to sell. Think like a buyer and make these simple and effective changes to score a higher bid and a faster sale.

Author: Derek Goodman, Inbizability

A Little DIY Can Save a Lot of Money: Easy Home Maintenance Fixes

Home ownership is a costly proposition, what with mortgage payments (if you decide to finance the purchase, which Watson International does not typically recommend), property taxes, homeowners association dues, and maintenance and upkeep. The costs add up quickly. You may be seeking ways to defray mounting expenses, especially if yours is an older property. The more you can do to minimize costs, the better off you’ll be in the long run and in the foreseeable future as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of small-scale fixes that you can tackle with ease.

Holes and drawer handles

Say you’re in a hurry and you want to find something in that one kitchen drawer that seems to hold everything. You yank a bit too hard on the handle which cracks, bends, or just comes loose. You could get out the Super Glue and attempt the painstaking job of putting it back together. Or, you could choose the route that won’t require another quick fix in a couple weeks when it happens again.

Why not buy a new handle at the corner hardware store? Just pop out the drawer, and with the turn of a couple of screws, you’ve got yourself a nice shiny new drawer handle. Fortunately, it’s not an expense that’s going to put your summer vacation at risk.

Those annoying holes that appear in your drywall, usually in the vicinity of a door and doorknob, are among the most common small maintenance tasks and also one of the easiest to repair. Find yourself a little self-adhesive drywall patch mesh, at least twice the size of the hole you’re repairing, with about an inch extra on each side. Press the piece in place over the hole making sure the edges are in solid contact with the wall all around the hole. Put a layer of joint compound over the mesh with a compound blade, gently pushing on the mesh to ensure the holes are filled with no bubbles.

After about 24 hours, sand the first layer down and apply another one. Repeat the same procedure after another 24 hours. If it still doesn’t look quite right, add more joint compound. Then, install one of those little spring bumpers at the bottom of the wall to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Cracks in molding are usually caused by fluctuations in humidity. Fortunately, this small home repair is also an easy one. You can try using spackling to create an invisible seam, though you’ll likely have to do it again once the wood expands and contracts again in response to changes in atmospheric conditions. Instead, try a more flexible material, such as siliconized latex caulking, and forget about it.

Filters are your friends

When you hear your HVAC unit switch on at night, do you sometimes wonder how many more years of service it’ll provide? If you make liberal use of air filters, you can delay the inevitable by a few years and keep breathing healthy air. You can find the right size at most big retailers or have them shipped directly to you.

Disposal duty

Does that mysterious little mechanism in your kitchen sink concern you? If yours is in need of a little cleaning, put some lemon and vinegar in an ice cube tray, and when it freezes, simply dump the vinegar “rocks” down the disposal and flick the switch. Vinegar’s potent cleaning properties will freshen things up down there, the lemon will make it smell nice, and the hardness of the cubes will help sharpen the blades a bit.

When to call the pros

Some home projects just aren’t meant to be completed without a professional. For instance, if an appliance isn’t functioning properly anymore, you’ll want to hire an expert. This way, the job can be done safely and efficiently, and you’ll avoid the need to spend more money on a replacement. Searching for an appliance repair company in NYC can seem daunting, but thanks to websites like Angi, it can actually be quite simple. They provide lists of highly-rated companies to help you narrow your search more quickly. The listings also indicate any awards the companies have earned. Focusing on these key points will guide you toward making a wise decision.

Some home repairs are more so meant to be “DIY jobs.” DIY means you’re saving money both now and later, and it offers the satisfaction of making you feel like a bona fide handyperson. However, it is important to know when to call in a pro — after all, when it comes to maintenance and repairs, safety should be the highest priority.

Courtesy of Pexels.com

Author: Linda Chase of Ablehire

Safe Sanctuary: How Security Can Affect Selling Your Home

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market but aren’t sure what additions are needed to make it competitive, it’s time to consider home security — especially if you live in a townhouse or a building that does not offer a full time doorman. A safe and secure property is more than alarms and deadbolts. There are plenty of ways to increase the safety of your domicile beyond traditional monitored services.

Available Smart Tech

One of the ways you can ensure your home’s security is through smart technology. No matter how far from home you are, there are devices and apps you can use to monitor your property. Best of all, these extra security measures may give you a higher sale price and a quicker sale overall. It is no surprise that Full Time Doorman buildings generally trade for higher values and in less time than their unstaffed counterparts. Some studies suggest that up to 81 percent of buyers would choose homes with smart tech over houses without it. The options available are numerous, and you can discuss with your broker what most buyers are looking for in your area.

Monitored Security

A staple for single family townhouse safety has always been a monitored security system. The same system is a wise addition for any of your multi-family investment properties, as they can help to protect all of your tenants living on site. Like other safety additions, a monitored system may help to add value to your listing. It’s an extra that can attract potential buyers, particularly when they are comparing similar properties. And, fortunately, you have many options to choose from when it comes to monitored systems. Of course, different companies offer various features, so research what your property needs. That might mean one that has several automated features, such as a remote light control or one that dispatches a dedicated security team when you need it.

Lighting Your Property

One of the best ways to keep your property feeling safe is with motion-detecting flood lights. This way, if your family is coming home late, you know light will be instantly available along your walkway, preventing a surprise burglary. The same is true for the tenants in your investment property, especially if the property is located in an area like the “city that never sleeps.” You should wisely consider where you decide to place flood lights. You want to install them in frequently used areas such as the front door, but also at the rear and perimeter of your property. So, if someone tries to sneak in through a back door, the bright light will hopefully scare them into leaving the premises. These are good additions, even if you choose other security measures as well.

Fencing and Gates

Adding a tangible perimeter to your property can add a layer of physical security, allowing you and your family — or potential buyers — to feel more secure. The goal isn’t to make your house invisible, but to make it physically more difficult to get to. You likely will to choose a tall structure, preferably over eight feet, that has no horizontal bars or panels to provide a foothold. Fences come in endless styles and can even be used to accent your design theme. You may also wish to also hire a contractor to install a driveway security gate in the event you have a property with a driveway. It may be an investment, but the additional protection is priceless, especially to someone thinking of purchasing your property.

Landscaping

Lastly, use your front and rear gardens to your advantage if you have them. If you wish to install an artistic structure, you can opt to use tall beautifully manicured shrubs that look outwardly inviting but will still keep outsiders from having accessibility to the property. These are common accoutrements in locations like the Hamptons or Palm Beach. Keeping trees far from windows may be a wise option to consider. If you feel that an area of your property might be overly vulnerable, such as a blind spot or along the edge of the fence, you can opt to plant some thorny flowers in the region. This security tactic may seem trivial, but every step you take toward securing your property protects whoever may be residing there.

We all want to feel like our properties are safe. Install lighting where appropriate, invest in protective landscaping, and consider what other safeguards are necessary.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Author: Linda Chase, Ablehire.com

Thinking About Refreshing Your Home’s Design? Explore Expert Tips for Creating a Revived Space You Love

After over one year of spending more time at home than ever before, people are now looking ahead to life post-pandemic. During the course of this past year, you may have decided that one or more rooms in your home could use a refresh. Imperfections, incomplete projects, and outdated decor likely became even more obvious while staying at home for extended periods of time.

If you are now getting serious about refreshing your home’s design, the team at Watson aInternational has expert tips for creating a revived space you’ll adore.

Create a vision board

Before ordering new rugs, decorative items, paint, and the like, take a step back to decide how you would like your home to look. Design changes and renovations take a substantial amount of time and money, so you certainly don’t want to have to redo anything due to making hasty decisions.

Start your home redesign project by creating a vision board for each room. You can do this either on a physical board (using magazine clippings, fabrics, and paint swatches) or on Pinterest. Build an aesthetic for each room that captures your unique style and preferences. Having vision boards will also allow you to compare each room to ensure that there is a proper flow throughout your home.

Change the walls in your home

One of the most effective ways to dramatically alter a room is to change the paint or wallpaper. Sprucing up the colors and textures used can help you rapidly create any look and feel you desire.

While most people decide to use paint, there are numerous benefits to opting for wallpaper instead. As one example, wallpaper features stunning and elegant designs that cannot be created with paint. The easiest method for installing wallpaper is using one that you can just stick on. This kind of wallpaper is not only simple to put into place, but it can also be readjusted and removed effortlessly. If your design plans require an extra degree of customization, wallpaper can be designed to fit your specific elements.

Swap pieces of furniture

Another excellent way to reshape the look and feel of a room is to swap out the furniture being used. A new sofa set, an accent chair, a coffee table, or a new entertainment center can totally change the appearance of a room. There are also endless options for finding the right furniture for your space. Not only can you order exceptional new pieces that can be customized, but you can also find breathtaking items at antique stores and consignment stores in your area.

Make small, yet powerful decor changes

When most people think about redesigning rooms in their homes, they often think about making significant changes — including major renovations. While these larger changes can completely reshape your home, small changes can be just as powerful.

Making minor, yet calculated decor changes can do wonders for transforming any space in your house. Adding items such as a big mirror, an intricate clock or even a dining room table centerpiece can deliver maximum results with minimal effort.

Hire an interior designer

If you don’t consider yourself to be a design expert, do not worry. Hiring an experienced interior designer can help you achieve the look and feel that you want without any effort on your part. Watson International offers interior design services that bring life to your home. We can coordinate any kind of service you need to create a design that you love.

From refreshing just one room to your entire house, making design changes is an excellent way to create a space you genuinely love. When you feel more comfortable at home, it is easier to relax and enjoy life to the fullest.

Watson International is a multi-division organization, specializing in real estate brokerage, interior design, property management, general contracting, and consulting. Find the services

you need for your home today.

Author: Derek Goodman, Inbizability

Easy Home Improvements to Make Your Rental Property More Attractive

Struggling to fill rental vacancies is a common problem among investment property owners. If you’re having trouble attracting renters, you may be missing out on a significant amount of revenue. Fortunately, there are several ways to make your rental more appealing to tenants. With the right upgrades, you may even be able to raise your rental rates and increase your monthly income!

Here are some other ways to create value for your tenants and make your property stand out.

Hire a Property Manager

Before you start making home upgrades, consider hiring a property manager. A great property management company will reduce the stress of owning a rental by working proactively with you to make your home more attractive to renters. Professional property management from Watson International can take care of everything that needs to be done, from screening potential tenants to collecting rent to helping with property maintenance.

Boost Your Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is the very first thing that potential renters will notice when they visit your property. Make sure your curb appeal gives off the impression that your home is clean and well-maintained. Add outdoor lighting as appropriate, give your front door a fresh coat of paint, and spruce up the exterior.

Repaint in Neutral Colors

Inside, painting is the best way to instantly upgrade the look of your rental without spending a fortune. Go with neutral colors that will appeal to everyone. The Decorologist recommends avoiding dark colors like tan or taupe and choosing lighter shades of gray-blue or gray-green. You can’t go wrong with cream colors either, especially if your rental has wood features. In general, lighter paint colors will make your rooms appear brighter, bigger, and more appealing to your tenants.

Install Tenant-Proof Features

Tenant-proofing your property will keep it in the best condition possible, despite the wear and tear that your renters will put it through. This means that your property will remain attractive without requiring much work to spruce it up between tenants.

To that end, consider avoiding carpet and installing hardwood flooring instead. Secure towel bars and shelving to studs in the walls so these features cannot be pulled out accidentally. Outside, keep the landscaping simple so minimal effort is needed to keep the yard looking nice.

Make Low-Cost Kitchen Upgrades

As Tops Kitchen Cabinet explains, the kitchen is one of the important rooms to upgrade if you want to make your tenants happy. An outdated kitchen can severely impact how much you can charge for rent. Pay attention to the cabinets, flooring, countertops, and sink.

Consider giving the cabinets a fresh coat of paint and replacing the hardware. You can even install a new faucet to upgrade your sink. When it comes to countertops, choose a material that will not scratch or stain easily. Quartz and granite are popular choices, but laminate is far cheaper and can also hold up against abuse.

Consider the Future

Finally, with all of this hard work, it’s wise to extrapolate on where you want to be in the future, and how you want this venture to grow — especially as you start to see a significant return on your investment. If you see this unfolding as a true business, it can be in your best interest to consider your business registration carefully.

Many small-time entrepreneurs find an LLC to be one of the easiest and most user-friendly options, plus, they provide you asset protection and numerous tax advantages. Fortunately, your LLC NYC cost is minimal if you skirt pricey legal fees by registering online.

 Investing in a rental property may look like an easy way to make money, but it requires a lot of hard work and hands-on management. Filling empty rental units alone can be a challenge. Making the right upgrades and hiring professional assistance can help you get the most out of your major investment.

Watson International can help you prepare your property for tenants as well as manage the rental after the fact. Services range from contracting renovations to interior design to tackling the daily cares of property management. Contact us today or click here to learn more about how we can help you.

Author: Kelli Brewer

How to Declutter and Depersonalize Your Home on a Budget

When it is time to prepare your home to present to buyers, there are a few key factors to consider. As a conscientious seller, you want to ensure that you present your home in the best light possible. With proper decluttering and depersonalizing, you give potential buyers the space to explore your property, imagining what it would be like living there.

As you navigate this process, it is helpful to consult with an experienced real estate agent, like those on the team of Watson International. An agent is a valuable asset because they provide an objective view of the home. A real estate agent sees your home through the eyes of an outsider, just as potential buyers will during their visits, and those insights will be invaluable in shaping your decisions. In the meantime, these simple tips will help you get started.

Cut Out Clutter

Before you get into the heavy lifting of moving large pieces of furniture, decorations, and other major items in your property, it is important to eliminate clutter. Work your way throughout the entire home, hitting every closet, hallway, and open area. Your kitchen counters should be clear and spacious. The bedrooms, dining room, and living room should be reduced to the bare minimum.

Anything that you can move out of the home should be, whether you sell or donate these belongings or move them to an offsite storage facility. Anything you’ll be keeping in the home should be put into storage bins. You can buy inexpensive decorative bins on discount sites like Overstock (and save even more with digital Overstock coupons and promotions) that add decorative, yet neutral, flair to your living space.

When you rid your property of clutter, you allow buyers to see the property as it truly is. This way, they can imagine how it will look once they move in, and it helps them focus on the house, rather than your belongings. As an added benefit, less clutter makes your moving process that much easier, and you can take the opportunity to get a head start on packing.

Clean as a Whistle

Once you’ve taken care of your clutter, you should do a thorough cleaning and sanitization of the property, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no shortage of affordable cleaning services available to you in today’s market, or you can DIY the job yourself. Make sure you tend to every nook and cranny, working top to bottom throughout every room of the property.

Giving walls, floors, and other surfaces the attention they need is critical. Also be aware of any particular areas that need specialized attention. For example, carpets often harbor unwanted odors, and even if you DIY the rest of your cleaning, you might want to hire a pro to get them clean and fresh when it is time to show your home.

Get Less Personal

When potential buyers walk through your home, they want to see the home itself, not your decorations, personal items, and keepsakes, however charming they may be.

There are a couple different approaches you can take to depersonalizing your home. First, you can simply eliminate strongly personal items. For those things which still have plenty of life left in them, consider donating them to a local charity, thrift store, or organization. In fact, MyMove notes some organizations will even pick items up for you.

Another option is to box your personal belongings up and stow them elsewhere. Storage facilities offer affordable options for homeowners on the move.

Picture This

High-quality real estate photos give you enormous advantages when you are selling your home. With buyers typically beginning their search online, many sellers opt to hire the services of a professional photographer who specializes in real estate photography. A pro knows how to ensure your home looks appealing, dynamic, and attractive in your listing. Some real estate brokers, such as Watson International, actually cover the cost of Professional Photography when you list properties with them to sell, and oversee the Photo Shoot for you, so hiring a real estate broker as a first step is ideal from the Photography perspective.

When it’s time to list your home for sale, take the opportunity to prepare it properly. With the right approach to decluttering, depersonalizing, and staging, you give yourself a much better chance of catching house hunters’ attention. Your efforts will be rewarded, and you’ll be moving into your next abode in no time.

For all of your real estate needs, including brokerage, property management, and general contracting, contact the experts at Watson International.

Image via Pixabay

Author : Jackie Waters of Hyper-Tidy

How Sellers Can Ensure a Safe and Successful Experience During the Covid-19 Pandemic

None of us understood what this year would look like when it began. The changes that have been brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic have left some home sellers feeling particularly overwhelmed. Other sellers abandoned the concept of selling altogether once the pandemic erupted, which led to the largest inventory shortage in history in cities like New York where housing supply dropped by an unprecedented 90%. This of course caused a rise in property values — which is a fantastic opportunity for sellers who chose to continue or begin sale efforts during this time — but we can leave this topic for another piece. Read on as we explore all you need to know about ensuring a successful and safe experience if you happen to be one of the sellers aiming to capitalize on the inventory shortage.

Begin with the Basics

There are a few things all property owners need to do when they are selling during a pandemic or not, and those things remain the same: clean, declutter, and depersonalize. Since those things are familiar ground, and they lay the foundation for everything else, they are the perfect place to start.

A thorough cleaning is always a must since it implies to buyers that your home is well-maintained. Give your home a deep cleaning, scrubbing everything from top to bottom, inside and out. To ease this part of the process, put together a convenient arsenal of cleaning supplies. Unfortunately, given current shopping situations, this can prove challenging.

While cleansers might be hard to come by at the grocery store, Cleaning Products Reviews explains how to mix some solutions yourself that they claim to be safe and effective against COVID-19. You’ll want to have them handy in the event anyone wants to view your home via a virtual tour, and for others who might come to your property, such as any repairmen, your home inspector or a real estate agent (in jurisdictions where city and state governing bodies permit such professionals to physically enter properties, of course). Keep in mind that in the case of the latter, cleaning afterward is as critical as cleaning prior. Also keep in mind that the CDC offers a list of approved cleansers to mitigate the contagion in properties; be sure to obtain these CDC approved options if at all possible.

Decluttering is next. Reducing the amount of furniture and other belongings in your home allows buyers to focus on the house itself and envision what their own things will look like in the space, which is especially important for an online video presentation. This will make it easier to keep the property clean and it gives you a headstart on packing as well. This also leads naturally to depersonalizing the space.

Depersonalization takes your personal influence away, removing house hunters’ inclination to wonder about who lives in the space and encouraging them to consider it as their own. As Allstate explains, removing strong color schemes, collections, personal photos, sports trophies, and so forth, helps buyers think about living there with their own belongings.

Projects with Punch

In the course of covering your basic preparations, you might decide it’s time to take on a few DIY projects. Now is a perfect time to tackle certain types of projects, keeping in mind safety and health. For instance, arranging a master bedroom so it appears more spacious or replacing kitchen hardware are simple DIYs that efficient, economical, and do not jeopardize your health to complete. On top of all that, these kinds of nuanced changes can make a lasting impression on house hunters.

If you’re unsure about what is working well in your area, take a look at your local housing market. You can learn a lot by studying trends. Contact a broker in your immediate area that can consult with you who what styles and aesthetics appeal most to the target market in your specific location.

Tech Tips

When it comes to the tech side of your presentation, keep in mind that quality counts. This is vital, especially if house hunters intend to skip an in-person tour — or in some locations like NYC, where they aren’t permitted yet by the mayor or governor to even necessarily enter a space physically. Work with your broker to help them create a virtual tour that includes things like still images of highlights and unique features, and schematics that provide the dimensions of various spaces. Your real estate agent will be able to help you with more details regarding what your local buyers are most interested in, but remember that quality is the key.

2020 got off to an unforeseen start, but it has also presented unforeseen opportunity to property sellers. Properties are still selling — for an average of about 8% higher than this time last year due to historically low inventory — and with the right strategies, yours can be one of them. Tackle the standard must-haves, incorporate new strategies, and find ways to stand out. Soon, this phase will just be a memory, and the sellers who capitalized on it will be a very happy group.

Author: Suzie Wilson, Happier Home

Home Project Ideas For A New Decade

If there’s one perfect moment to update your home, it’s at the start of a new decade.  Whether it’s as simple as adding new art to your wall or as involved as gutting your entire kitchen – we’ve got you covered!  From bold hues and hand-crafted accents to throwback details and classic motifs, here are some fun and inspiring trends to spice up your home for 2020!

Vintage Accents

What goes around comes around, especially in relation to home décor trends.  According to Bria Hammel, CEO of Bria Hammel Interiors, “One thing we’re starting to see is more of a nod to vintage and traditional detailing.”  Bringing this design theme to fruition can be as simple as incorporating some furniture with spooled legs, spindles, and other early 1900’s staples.  Adding vintage accents in moderation is a fun way to add charm to any home.

Non-White Kitchens

If there was one staple design trend in the 2010’s, it was the all-white kitchen.  But in 2020, we’re seeing a shift from the classic all-white to softer tones.  This includes natural wood cabinets, islands, and shelves.  Greyscale themes and sandy neutral tones are trending now.  In addition to this, there has been an uptick into contrast, for instance adding a black countertop to a kitchen with light cabinets.  Adding contract is a unique way that homeowners can achieve a bright and airy atmosphere while still maintaining some anchorage.

Fun Bathroom Design

If you have an urge to use a splash of color or funky design on the walls in your home, try it in one of your bathrooms!  Bathrooms are a great place to experiment and have fun with, since the rooms can themselves be an accent or encompass their own theme.  Redesigning a bathroom or powder room can be a fabulous way to exercise your creative energies without overwhelming yourself or the rest of your property.

Bold Black and White

Combining black and white creates an immediate emotional response while remaining timeless.  Combine with gold to create depth.  If a design element such as a dramatic herringbone black and white foyer or dining room floor would too intimidating for you, you can start small by tiling the bathroom floors or shower tiles for instance.

Real Plants

Go green with some fun plants throughout the house.  As most of us know, it may be hard to create liveliness in a home, especially living in New York City where there may not be a whole lot of surrounding nature.  Live plants help give personality and add another layer to a space.

Furniture with European-Inspired Details

German and Italian influences can be found in the arms of couches, knife-edge welts, metal legs, and more.  These small furnishing features will be both attention-grabbing and interesting.  These details are timeless!

Author: Ava Howard

How to Conquer Your Clutter Without Breaking a Sweat

Tidying and organizing your home can feel like a major undertaking, especially if things have gotten a bit out of control. If you have accumulated more “stuff” than you know what to do with, take heart. There are some simple strategies for conquering clutter, and once you get a handle on it, chances are you’ll never look back.

Amateur-Friendly Ideas

When your household is really disorganized, you might be tempted to call in reinforcements, such as a professional organizer. However, by finding a decluttering method that works well, you can avoid letting things get out of control all over again. For instance, some people choose the “one” method, where they get rid of one thing daily, whether it’s a full box, a bag, or a single item while others prefer to go room by room. Another idea is to sort things into specific categories, such as items to discard, items to put away, and items to re-home. Keep in mind that you will most likely need several decluttering sessions for your project, but making steady progress can help build momentum.

Capitalize with Cleaning

As you sort piles and sift through items, you’re bound to unearth some dirt and debris. This is the perfect time to give your home a thorough cleaning, wiping away the dust and cobwebs so your cleared spaces shine. You can assemble a handy cleaning caddy and keep it close to where you’re working, giving things a once over when you finish for the day, or taking breaks to scrub as needed. Some people prefer to hire a cleaning company to come by periodically; that way, you can focus all your energy on decluttering.

Do You Love, Love, Love It?

When you have a lot of “stuff” to sift through, it can be challenging deciding what to keep and what to throw. The experts at MarthaStewart.com point out that our belongings can reflect an emotional attachment that actually weighs us down. We often hang onto possessions out of a desire to cling to the past or to prepare for an unknown future event. Letting go of things that don’t bring joy can be freeing, and some studies indicate we lower our stress and anxiety levels when we part ways with clutter. If you hit a stumbling block, one idea is to ask yourself if you love, love, love it. Items that don’t warrant three loves? Those have to go!

Pump Up the Volume

De-cluttering can be a big undertaking, and it’ll feel satisfying to watch your own progress. However, sometimes things can bog us down. On days you don’t feel like dealing with the clutter, consider putting on some music to help keep your work light. Psych Central points out that playing music can be a mood booster. Aim for something upbeat, as our minds and bodies respond naturally to the sounds and rhythms. Whether you opt to slip your phone into your pocket to blast your tunes or use another device, you can select an online playlist that’s perfect for household chores, or you can customize your own.

What to Do with the Castoffs

Once you have piles of things you’re ready to part with, re-homing them can feel like another hurdle. There are actually plenty of good options to consider. For things that are still useful, consider selling them or donating them to charities. Items that are too worn or are broken can often be given away for others to up cycle, or you can recycle them. There is an abundance of opportunities, and you can feel even better knowing your old items are being put to good use.

Are you ready to pare down? When you have more “stuff” than you know what to do with, figuring out a good decluttering method can get you on the right track. Make sure you have fun with it, and in no time, your home will be tidy and organized.

Written by Suzie Wilson