Moving Day Count Down: A Weekly Checklist

Did you know May is National Moving Month? May is the kick-off to the busiest moving season. In fact, nearly 40 million of us move in the summer and begin to plan in May. If you are one of those on the move this season, we want to help you plan. Unlike the popular perception, moving doesn’t need to be a stressful and overwhelming process! The key is to plan ahead and then the to-dos of moving are very manageable.

Okay, so what are the to-dos and when do I do them? Here you go, use this expert two-month moving calendar to keep you organized. Simply follow these steps and check them off one-by-one. The insider secret to a stress-free move: stay in the know and know what is ahead!

EIGHT WEEKS TO GO:

Start the process of selecting a mover.

Check your mover’s record with the BBB, on Yelp and other social review sites. A great reputation is the best way to choose a mover.

If you’re being relocated by your company, verify what the company relocation policy covers and what responsibilities fall on your shoulders.

Start to inventory your belongings: Decide which items to donate, recycle, to take and which items (if any) need to go into short-term or long-term storage.

Your tape measure is your new BFF – measure all the rooms in your new home, include layouts of doors, closets and windows. Measure all the furniture that is going with you and create scaled cutouts to place in a scaled layout for each room. Once you have finalized a room layout that works, photocopy your final layout for each room. Give a copy to the movers on moving day and tape a copy to each room.

FOUR WEEKS TO GO:

Mail change of address cards or change your information online:

  • Post office
  • Social security
  • Insurance companies
  • Credit card companies
  • Credit bureau and/or other creditors
  • Employer (to forward W2s)
  • Car registration
  • Broker
  • Mail order accounts
  • Department of motor vehicles
  • Magazines
  • Friends and relatives

Arrange to clean furniture, drapes, etc. in your new place if necessary.

Gather personal records (medical, dental, etc.)

Arrange to transfer children’s school records

Gather all pet’s vet records and make sure all pets are micro chipped and it corresponds to a cell number that goes with you on your move.

Order new tags and licenses with new address.

Check homeowner’s insurance policies to see if moving is covered. Be sure your new home is protected by transferring fire, theft and other

personal-property insurance.

Start to pack.

THREE WEEKS TO GO:

Make arrangements to discontinue current utilities and schedule the start-up of new utilities:

  • Telephone service
  • Telephone listings
  • Cable TV
  • DSL/Cable/Phone line for internet access
  • Electricity (check for refund)
  • Gas (check for refund)
  • Fuel oil
  • House cleaners
  • Babysitters
  • Dog walkers
  • Gardeners
  • Pool service
  • Diaper service
  • Water
  • Water softener
  • Parking

Have appliances serviced for shipment.

TWO WEEKS TO GO:

Arrange to transfer local bank accounts. Speak to your bank and find out about new checks being printed, etc. Don’t forget your safety deposit box contents.

Ask doctors, dentists and veterinarians for medical records.

Cancel newspaper delivery.

Refill all prescriptions. Get prescriptions transferred to new pharmacy closer to new home.

Make arrangements to move children and pets. Do you need a babysitter for a day or two? A pet sitter?

Confirm that mover will move houseplants; if not, make arrangements. Houseplants, usually, cannot be moved by a mover, especially on long distance or out of state moves.

Start to disassemble any shelving, closet systems, etc. that you plan to take.

If you need one, hire a cleaning crew to clean your empty place to get your deposit back. Will your new place need a cleaning crew before move in too?

ONE WEEK TO GO:

Pack in separate boxes the items necessary for first days in new home: Label “LOAD LAST.” And label where to put each of those boxes in your new home: “top of kitchen counter.”

Medicine (always keep prescriptions on you)

Comfortable clothes

Linens and towels

Toothbrushes and toiletries

Paper goods

Disposable plates and silverware

Foil and wax paper

Plastic containers

Microwave

Vacuum cleaner

Garbage bags

Tool kit

Step ladder

Extension cords

Light bulbs

Cleaning items (mop and pail, broom and dust pan, etc.)

Each member of the family should also pack a suitcase with what they need for a few days while you’re getting settled into your new place.

Don’t forget cell phone chargers, medications and favorite teddy bears.

If the movers are packing all or part of your goods, call to schedule and confirm the details. Make sure your mover knows how much packing you expect to do yourself and how much you expect them to do.

Plan to use up most food items before the move. If you have any leftover food on moving day, donate it to Move For Hunger.

TWO DAYS TO GO:

Defrost and dry refrigerators/freezers to be moved.

Gather valuables and important documents from jewelry cases, safe deposit box, etc. to take with you in car. Do not pack these items with your other belongings.

MOVING DAY:

Moving Out

Arrange to be on hand for last minute details and to give directions to movers.

Leave the whole day for your move. Don’t plan to go back to work, arrange a dinner date, etc.

Have payment for movers on hand. Avoid having to run out to bank, ATM, etc.

Have tips ready for everyone who is assisting you: cleaning crew, doormen, nanny, dog sitter, movers, etc.

Before leaving, check each room and closet. Check garage, basement and attic.

When you leave, turn off lights, close windows and lock doors.

Moving In

Supervise placement of boxes and furniture. Refer to your premade layout. Scotch tape a copy of the layout to each room’s door.
Check for damages. Inspect large items; look for boxes that are crushed or open. Inform the moving foreman and review the claims procedure with him.

Go back to the truck. Make sure nothing was left behind. Check all the compartments where fragile items are often kept for their protection.

Settle in to your new place, take photos for friends and family. A new chapter in your life has just begun! Let the new adventure begin!

Posted on June 1, 2018 at 8:50 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: moving | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Old Dog New Dog

Posted on May 24, 2018 at 12:14 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Dogs | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Swing into Spring

Warm weather is upon us, and it’s time to take the party outside. From Cinco de Mayo to Mother’s Day to Memorial Day, spring’s signature celebrations deserve a festive and welcoming outdoor space. But what if your patio feels a little plain, a little bare, or a little less-than-inspiring for the party of your dreams?

Dreams can become reality if you have the right plan. And we can prove it. We will show you how to take a winter-worn patio and make it bloom into a versatile foundation for hosting three spring parties, from setting up the perfect base space to perfecting every minor detail, down to the apps and napkins.

With the advice from our design and party experts, and the dramatic before and after photos of our patio designs, you are sure to find the inspiration to transform your patio into a party destination all season long.

Build a Beautiful Base

Before running off to purchase celebration decorations, take the time to build a versatile, functional outdoor living base for your family, whether you are entertaining or not. Most patios need the following basic elements:

  • A table and set of chairs
  • Planters and greenery
  • A source of shade

Of course, don’t forget the grill—the official cooking tool of spring and summer.

Click on the arrows to see the patio transformation:


Spruce up the area

After the dreary winter months, your backyard oasis might look a little rough around the edges. Shrubbery can have dead or uneven growth, and leaves and branches litter the ground. In general, your greenery may need a little TLC. Pay attention to the plants and lawn around your patio by trimming, checking for disease or damage, and fertilizing all greenery. Setting up your lawn and garden for success means that they’ll reward you with beauty all season long.

Power_Washer_Image_640

Don’t forget the patio itself. Concrete is the most common patio surface, and since it is semi-porous, it can hold general grime as well as stains from plant matter. Use a pressure washer to bring back its sparkle (while you’re at it, extend the cleaning to the exterior of the house as well). Pressure-washing can prolong the life of your surfaces (mold and mildew naturally cause decay), and the results are immediate!

Once the surface is clean, add potted planters filled with seasonal, colorful flowers to help blend the patio with its surrounding environment.

Choose your investment pieces

Plastic Adirondack chairs are great for a casual get together. But when you’re ready to transform your outdoor space into an entertaining area suitable for the whole family, you’ll need comfortable, attractive seating, some shade and a table fit for all the great food coming off the grill.

“The elements are going to take their toll, so it’s important to invest in quality,” says KariAnne Wood, a blogger, lifestyle expert and creator of Thistlewood Farms in Paducah, Kentucky. “Look for pieces that are a good scale for your size patio, and when you invest in furniture, make sure that you get furniture protectors so you can protect it from the elements in the off season.”

02.18.17_HunterMcRaePhotography_0021_640_V2

neutral table and chair set is a great base (especially if you add a little texture with a rug below it). From there, says Wood, it’s time to add some shade. Consider an umbrella or pergola: “It extends the life of the patio, and helps define and add purpose to the space.”

Umbrellas come in a huge range of styles, from traditional table-anchored options to bigger, more modern cantilever styles.

02.18.17_HunterMcRaePhotography_0026_640_V2

Finally, the easiest way to “fire up” a party is to add a grill to your outdoor setting. By taking the cooking outside, you’ll get to spend time with your guests, keep the house cool in the heat of summer and show off your cooking chops to the neighborhood. Gas and charcoal are both excellent choices, and some grills include both, so you can leave your options open.

02.18.17_HunterMcRaePhotography_0010_640_V2

Your base patio is set! Now, building a specific party setting is a snap, which Jacqueline Lawrence of inventivENVIRONMENTS in Charleston, South Carolina, illustrates with the following seasonal soirees.

“I love a challenge like this!” says Lawrence. “It’s really all about creating a plan and then layering the look with texture, color and fabric.”

Party One: Cinco de Mayo

STC_Spring_Black_Friday

Cinco de Mayo is rising in popularity as a celebration in the US, but don’t fear that you’re stuck with plastic margarita glasses, a piñata and sombreros. Go beyond cliché to celebrate the vibrancy of Mexico and its rich heritage.

Lawrence explains her elegant approach: “We want something cool and inviting for Cinco de Mayo, so we evoke the colors and textures of the high Mexico desert. Cool sage greens, a woven runner, citrus and succulents provide inspiration, and the last two do double duty on the table-scape: The citrus can be a great beverage garnish, and the potted succulents a thoughtful takeaway gift for the evening’s guests.”

Click on the arrows to see the Cinco de Mayo patio transformation:


Additionally, since Cinco de Mayo is often more of an evening affair, Lawrence also includes a glint of copper to catch the setting rays of the sun, and uses the space under the umbrella as a party “ceiling” from which to hang decorative elements. In this case, copper lanterns accented by a fresh flower garland woven throughout look even better when there’s a soft glow from the lanterns’ candles.

TRI_Cinco_640_ALT

Our menu highlights the culture of Mexico:

Cinco_De_Mayo_Menu

Party Two: Mother’s Day

STC_Spring_Black_Friday

Small details, pale petals, tinkling glass and delicate treats—Mother’s Day is all about making the women in your life feel special, so it makes sense that traditional feminine details lead the way in this design. Seersucker fabric is fresh and full of spring promise, beautiful glassware makes the day sparkle and you can never have enough flowers for Mom.

“The amount of flowers for this scene might feel over the top, but really, it’s very doable!” says Lawrence. “Purchase some potted plants in bloom for the planters, and then layer flowers for the table. Buy simple cut flowers to arrange for a centerpiece, and then add flower heads to each place setting—and even the ice cubes! Different varieties, colors and sizes really provide the illusion of an abundance of petals.”

Click on the arrows to see the Mother’s Day patio transformation:


Below the petal explosion are the fresh stripes of seersucker—Lawrence used the iconic breathable fabric as a runner, complemented by delicate napkins and even more floral motifs on fabric pillows, which creates a luxurious feel and makes the scene one-of-a-kind. Maybe mom always told you to “dot your i’s and cross your t’s”—this design does all that in the details.

TRI_Mothers_640_ALT

Our garden-inspired Mother’s Day menu features fresh and light fare:

Mothers_Day_Menu

Party Three: Memorial Day

STC_Spring_Black_Friday

For Memorial Day, take your color cue from the American flag to plan a patriotic party. Red, white and blue used in equal proportions create a bold backdrop for a casual cookout.

Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in Sacramento, California, uses the patriotic trio to great effect.

“Nothing says ‘all-American’ quite like a decorative grouping of pots and planters full of red geraniums, while vibrant outdoor pillows in hues of red, white and blue set the tone of your celebration,” says Kelly, adding, “Don’t forget the miniature flags!”

Click on the arrows to see the Memorial Day patio transformation:


Lawrence follows this classic advice in setting the scene for our Memorial Day party, including swapping out the chairs’ seat cushions for a motif that fits the celebration. “A few styles of cushions can really extend the life of your furniture and make it feel fresh with a simple change. Why not a bright pop of red for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July?” she asks.

Additionally, Lawrence uses monofilament to hang paper stars and lanterns from the umbrella, extending the color from the table itself into the entire space.

02.18.17_HunterMcRaePhotography_0091_640_V2

The table and the grill are the stars of this show, and the table is set to create a buffet style service for the food. A few chairs are moved into a conversation area in the shade, providing easy table access for guests to fill their plates. Although cool desserts will help take minds off the heat, designer Kelly suggests being ready with an assortment of yard games.

“Activities like corn hole, croquet and ping-pong get the whole family involved, while a kid-approved activity like decorating bike baskets or making ice cream sundaes keep their focus on the fun of the long weekend,” suggests Kelly.

Once the food is finished, it’s easy to clear away the serving dishes and transform the table for crafts.

Tri_Memorial_Day_640_ALT

Our Memorial Day menu takes the standard cookout fare up a notch:

Memorial_Day_Menu

02.18.17_HunterMcRaePhotography_0075_640_V2

Starting with a neutral, comfortable base will ensure that your party goes as planned, no matter the occasion. From there, choose an inspiration for the decor and then take a cue from our professional designers by layering elements to make your spring party feel more professional and put together. Now all that’s left to do is celebrate!

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on May 7, 2018 at 5:02 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Spring | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

What is a Property Survey and Why You Should Get One Before Buying a House

When buying a home, the last thing you want is a surprise. Most people worry about leaky roofs or rusty boilers. But there may be property issues that can come to light and cost you a lot of money if you’re not careful.

One way to avoid getting in over your head is to get a property survey before you buy. Also known as a house or land survey, it’s the perfect way to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting with the land, so there are no surprises.

How exactly do you go about getting a property survey?

Property Survey Basics

A property survey begins with defining the boundaries of a plot of land. This clarifies the size of the property, and where the land begins and ends.

An updated house survey is also important for legal reasons. This is because municipal laws are not fixed—they change from time to time. For example, the property might have a shed or a fence that was well within the boundaries years ago but after undated municipal border it now encroaches onto a neighbor’s property or too close to the public street. A new survey will give you the confidence that the property complies with current local regulations.

It can also highlight any potential discrepancies or boundary infringements. This can help you avoid any misunderstandings in the future with neighbors or the city.

What do Surveyors Look for in a House Survey?

You might have seen surveyors poking around your neighborhood taking measurements. Most of the time, they have been hired by home buyers or sellers to take surveys, or they could be performing a survey for a property dispute (something a survey can help you avoid!)

When you hire a surveyor here’s what they typically look for:

  • The legal boundaries of the land
  • The locations of any buildings (sheds, storage) on the land
  • Any easements and entrances to the property
  • The topography of the plot, including both natural features such as trees or a river and manmade features including swimming pools or fences

An updated survey will be compared to any previous survey from the last time the house was sold. This way any discrepancies that might appear are known to all parties before the closing.

How Much Does a House Survey Cost?

When getting a property surveyed it’s important to hire a professional. This is one instance where DIY surveys or estimates won’t help. In fact, it can actually hurt you as they are not accepted as legal documentation.

So hiring a surveyor may be worth it to ensure you have records that hold up in court, if it ever comes to that. House survey costs can vary from state to state, but they typically run anywhere from $250 to $1,000.

Check your local state laws regarding costs. In some states, the seller is responsible for the survey or the fees can be negotiated between both parties.

Should I Have a Home Buyers Survey?

The last thing any homeowner wants is to plan a new project only to find out all that land they thought they had wasn’t theirs after all. You can imagine the headaches that scenario can cause!

Nevertheless, this sort of thing can sometimes happen. One way to avoid these issues is to set up a survey. A buyer’s survey can save you from a lot of potential hassles (and even more costs) down the road.

Visit coldwellbanker.com and browse through available homes for sales.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on May 3, 2018 at 10:10 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Buyers, buying | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Narrowing the female leadership gap in real estate

Female agents face an upward mobility challenge within the industry. Here’s how real estate brands and brokerages can work to mend the female leadership gap.

A stark lack of of women in leadership positions exists across all industries. The real estate industry, however, could quickly pivot and become the paragon industry when it comes to representation.

Women have always excelled in the field, but statistically have not found themselves in leadership positions. A report titled How Women Brokers are Reinventing Leadership in the 21st Century from the California Association of Realtors — which recently launched its WomanUP!® initiative and hosts an annual conference — found that women are opting out of large brokerages to forge their own paths.

We should celebrate women entrepreneurs starting their own real estate companies, but as an industry — and particularly within larger companies — we need to take a critical look at why so many talented women with the will to lead are not finding these opportunities within traditional brokerages.

It’s clear that real estate has an upward mobility challenge when it comes to female leaders. According to the NAR 2017 Member Profile Report, women account for 67 percent of all real estate agents, yet only 46 percent of non-selling broker-owners are women.

At Coldwell Banker’s annual Leadership Summit in March, we hosted a panel titled, “When Women Lead,” comprised of women leaders from across the country, with the goal of getting to the root cause of this leadership gap. We found that women in real estate often face two common hurdles: a lack of management training and limited opportunities for leadership positions in their offices.

A one-hour panel didn’t begin to scratch the surface, so we have also introduced a series of virtual conferences with Coldwell Banker agents and brokers to continue the conversation. Hearing from women throughout the network has inspired me to find ways to drive change at both the grassroots level, within each office, and throughout the larger network. In mid-March, I hosted our first “Women of Coldwell Banker,” lunch attended by 100 percent of the women in our home office.

Women with the will to lead have many shared experiences — hearing from others who have achieved success helps us all realize that overcoming challenges is possible, when we identify common hurdles we can find better solutions.

It is also important for men in our industry to rise to the occasion and meet their female peers shoulder to shoulder in this fight. Without allies, making progress towards this goal only becomes more challenging.

Conversations, mentorship and training for women are only part of the equation. To bridge the leadership gap, it’s critical that opportunities for growth are offered to talented women in real estate. Training is only effective once it is applied. Paving the path to management and leadership in real estate will inspire future generations and propel our industry forward.

It is imperative for companies and brokerages to build infrastructure within their companies to provide talented, hardworking women with the tools and training, as well as the opportunities, to lead. Creating task forces, hosting summits and sparking conversation will ignite change — first by providing women with a platform to air their challenges and subsequently by influencing organic change throughout the industry.

So, I challenge you all to do your part in accelerating the real estate industry’s progress in narrowing the female leadership gap. Encourage open conversations among peers within your network. Take an honest look at the growth opportunities available for women at your company. Put pen to paper and develop your plan of attack to combat this issue.

If you’re interested in learning more about working with Coldwell Banker Real Estate, please visit us here.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on April 30, 2018 at 8:28 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Real Estate Agent | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

California Dreaming

Posted on April 6, 2018 at 8:49 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: first time buyers | Tagged , , , , , ,

Can First Time Home Buyers Use a 401k For a Down Payment?

Coming up with a down payment to purchase your first home can feel like a herculean task. How can you possibly save twenty, thirty, fifty thousand dollars—approximately 11% of your home purchase price in 2016 (National Association of Realtors)—to pour into a house? For most individuals, it can be incredibly tough to save enough, particularly if you’re strapped for cash. What can you do?

The good news is that if you’ve been consistent about saving for your retirement, you have a leg up thanks to the two 401k first time home buyer options. These options allow you to supplement your down payment with cash from your 401k. However, not everyone qualifies to use money from a 401k. There are strict rules, so it’s vital that you understand how the process works before you move forward.

Borrowing from 401k

When it comes to borrowing from your 401k to help with your down payment, there are two ways to go about it:

  • Get a 401k loan for home purchase
  • Make a 401k withdrawal

Each of these options comes with its own costs and rewards. Remember that everyone’s financial situation is different and the best way to make the right choice for your situation is to contact a financial advisor and a skilled real estate agent.

401k Loan

First, let’s talk about getting a 401k loan for home purchase. The good news is that, when getting a loan, you don’t owe income taxes or the 10% early withdrawal fee. The bad news is that when you take a loan, it has to be repaid with interest even if you’re just paying the money and interest back out of your own pocket.

However, unlike a typical FHA loan, borrowing from 401k is fairly limited. Your max loan is limited to a specific dollar amount OR one-half of your account balance, whichever is smaller. This means that you need to know your current vested balance.

As for repayment, your 401k loan must be repaid within five years, and payments are required on a quarterly basis—both principal and interest. And your loan payments DO NOT count as contributions to your 401k.

Please note, not all plans permit loans. You’ll need to check with your particular plan to see what is allowed. Additionally, before moving forward with this option it’s advisable to check in with a financial advisor to ensure this option is right for you.

401k Withdrawal

The second option for a 401k first time home buyer is a withdrawal. Compared to a 401k loan, it’s much simpler. The money is yours once you take it out and it does not have to be repaid. But there are a few more details. To withdrawal money from your 401k, you have to meet a few criteria including age restriction and financial hardship.

Only if your employer allows withdrawals and you can prove to the IRS that you are experiencing financial hardship can you even consider withdrawal. From there, your withdrawal has a certain dollar limit, and you must pay income tax on the full amount.

The other option for a withdrawal is to cash out on an old 401k. However, if you use this option, you’ll be required to pay both the 10% early withdrawal penalty as well as income tax.

Before you pursue this path or cross it off, be sure to get the opinion of a financial advisor who has access to your personal financial details.

401k Loan vs. Withdrawal

In most cases, a 401k loan may be easier to obtain and doesn’t come with the penalties associated with an early withdrawal. Of course, the downside is that you’ll eventually have to pay it back in five years.

So, why would you use your 401k to help purchase your first home?

Depending on your financial circumstances, this option may be more financially feasible than paying private mortgage insurance, and the interest goes back in your pocket. Another option is to use your IRA to avoid the 10% penalty. IRA withdrawals up to $10,000 are allowed without the 10% early withdrawal penalty, though you’ll still owe income tax.

If you need help figuring out the best option for you when it comes to putting together your down payment with your 401k, contact your personal financial advisor. Then contact a local Coldwell Banker office to find the perfectly priced home for you.

Posted on March 27, 2018 at 9:03 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Buyers | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Homeownership Achieved

Posted on March 21, 2018 at 9:18 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Buyers, Homeowners | Tagged , , , , , , ,

8 Creative Ways With Closets

Closets are no longer limited to storing clothes, linens or random odds and ends. You can actually discover more living space and streamline storage for your lifestyle in these underutilized and overlooked places. Here are some inspiring examples of closet transformations including a home bar, gym and office.

Don’t think you have space for a home bar? Look again. Even the shallowest hall closet can be converted to a drink station. A happy hour hideaway is a very Prohibition era-esque concept, which is all the more reason to stock it with handsome decanters, glasses, intriguing bar tools and a few of your favorite bottles.

Meet your get fit goals by transforming your closet into a mini home gym. This long and narrow closet has a full workout wardrobe on the right and a lean exercise machine on the left. If your closet can’t accommodate a machine, you can still lay down a yoga mat and install a mirror for keeping your form in-check as you use the floor space for sit-ups, push-ups and the like.

If your productivity is lacking, a quiet home office might be what you need. This before-and-after proves that you don’t need a gigantic walk-in closet to make this idea work.

Simply remove the doors off of an unused closet, install a wide shelf if you can’t shimmy a desk in properly and voila! Chalkboard paint, a sconce and a few desk organizers are also featured in this compact home office.

A craft station is another creative alternative. In this closet, craft materials are organized in the carts with labeled drawers. An over-the-door organizer holds oodles of wrapping paper and stationery among other things. And the sturdy shelf is great for gift wrapping or writing letters. Make it your own by hanging inspirational wall art or photos.

Nooks are very popular on Houzz, especially those reinvented for reading. This alcove under the stairs was finished with warm wood paneling, a reading light and lots of cushions. If you don’t have enough space to actually sit down and read in your closet, use it as a little library for book storage instead.

Dress it up for a fab dressing room. New York Fashion Week just ended, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a runway of your own. This is an ultra glamorous example, but all you really need is a chair, mirror and vanity. You can also try this in a playroom for littles who like playing dress-up.

Rehabilitate the linen closet as a hospitality room. Use this space to hang bathrobes, store towels and display your favorite perfumes and lotions. This is especially useful for those who travel often or have a second home used for a weekend getaway. In addition to freshly laundered linens, you’ll find neatly pressed formal attire here with a weekender bag at the ready.

Prioritize zen by carving out a closet for reflection. Whether you’re religious or just need some peace and quiet, a small closet is a secure place to hole up in for 20 minutes and just be. Keep a floor pillow, pouf or soft area rug here for prayer, yoga or meditation. If you’re not working with a walk-in closet, you can still use a shallow closet as a shrine of spiritual objects or mementos that bring you joy.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on February 26, 2018 at 8:35 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: decorating, mazimizing space | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Effective Improvements for a Faster Sale

You have decided to sell your home, and you are eager to sell it ASAP!  You need to move or want those proceeds immediately, but how? Let’s go through the best ways to efficiently and effectively improve your home for a speedy sale.

First, curbside appeal.  This is the first thing every potential buyer sees so make it stand out!  Some suggestions:

  • Hire a gardener to clean and spruce up the entrance
  • Remove superfluous items from the front of your home, i.e. garbage cans, strollers, etc.
  • Put a fresh coat of paint on your home’s exterior

Second, this is the time to clean and eliminate all clutter inside your home.  Here’s how:

  • Give away extra toys, clothes, and anything else that makes it look crowded or disorganized
  • Organize the kitchen countertops and closets
  • Place bulky items in storage

Third, landscaping matters.  A large yard cannot shine if the plants, grass and trees are in bad shape.  Try the following ideas:

  • Artificial grass-this always looks amazing and eliminates the need for maintenance
  • Tie orchids around the trees, plant fresh flowers and maintain the grass and trees

Fourth, look under the hood.  Make the inside of your home look as good as possible.

  •  This is the time to do some of the minor repairs you have been putting off.  This will make your home look better and may eliminate certain issues during the Inspection Period.
  •  Yes, it seems expensive or time-consuming.  However, if you hire a professional company, this can truly make the difference and get you more money in less time.

Finally, hire a professional, licensed realtor.  A realtor with experience and expertise can help sell your home quickly for the best price.

Best of luck!

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on February 20, 2018 at 8:54 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: selling | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,