Author: Seth Murphy
Selling your Queens New York home is a big step and can be a major life change, especially if you have children or are downsizing due to retirement or health concerns. When you’re ready to put your Queens home on the market, there are so many things to think about and plan for, including holding an open house. It can become overwhelming if you aren’t prepared.
The key is to communicate with your real estate agent to make sure you’re knowledgeable about what buyers want. Trends change all the time, and depending on where you live, potential buyers may be looking for something very different than in other parts of the country. Knowing how to cater to these buyers will help your home stand out and get sold quickly, meaning you can get into your new home without any problems.
Here are a few tips on how to make your open house go smoothly for a fast sale.
Clean, clean, clean
Of course you already know that your home will need to be clean and neat before buyers walk through, but there may be things you haven’t thought about, such as cleaning the curtains or furniture to get rid of odors and dust. Make a list of all the areas in your home that need attention and delegate responsibilities to different family members so that all the work doesn’t fall on you.
Get rid of any sign of pets
Pets can be a deal breaker for many potential buyers, as they may be unsure about moving into a home where there is potential damage or difficult-to-remove stains. If your house is in good shape but there are signs of pets, it can still be a difficult sell, so remove any toys, food dishes, bedding, and other telltale signs of an animal. Consider asking a friend to take care of your pet while the house is on the market.
There are several levels to staging a home. It’s not only about cleaning and making things neat; it’s also about making sure your house looks inviting and allows potential buyers to see themselves living there. That means removing personal items, such as photographs of your family, and making the decor as neutral as possible. Removing a few pieces of furniture will help make the rooms look bigger and will allow buyers to envision their own belongings there. If you’re unsure of where to start, consider hiring a professional home stager. According to ImproveNet, most homeowners spend between $433 and $909 nationally, but it will be worth it if you’ve had trouble selling your home as is.
Pack up items you don’t need
If you haven’t started packing yet, now is the time. Go through the garage and pack up tools and seasonal items; anything that you won’t miss between now and the move can be put into storage. This will help buyers see the spaces in your home more clearly.
Spruce up the yard
Making your home as inviting as possible to a potential buyer also means thinking about the exterior. A fresh coat of paint on the front door, some colorful flowers, and a new light fixture can really add curb appeal and make your home stand out.
It’s also important to think about the backyard, especially if you have a pet who likes to dig or if you have a swimming pool that needs fixing up. Making the most of your outdoor space can help any buyer see your home’s potential.
Preparing for an open house can be a lot of work, so you’ll need to start with a good plan to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Talk to your family members about how they can help and make a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish to stay organized.
We frequently get questions from clients we serve in Queens New York who are taking on decorating and remodeling projects and want to ensure their dollars are invested wisely.
Which looks will last for years to come, and which ones will feel dated quickly? What colors and styles are most popular among buyers in our area? How can I add the most value to my home?
So we’ve rounded up some of the hottest trends in home design to help guide you through the process. Whether you’ve planned a simple refresh or a full-scale renovation, making smart and informed design choices will help you maximize your return on investment … and minimize the chance of “remodeler’s remorse” down the road.
WHAT’S HOT NOW
While 2017 was all about millennial pink, brass fixtures and bright white kitchens, this year we expect to see a move toward warmer, cozier elements throughout the home.
1. Warm Colors
A cool color scheme has dominated home design in recent years, but this year warm neutrals like brown and tan are back, along with rich jewel tones. While the pastel craze of last year is still hanging on, expect to see alternative color palettes featuring deep, saturated shades of red, yellow, green and navy. Grey will remain popular, but in warmer tones, often referred to as “greige.”
2. Cozy Elements
Along with warmer colors, we can expect to see a shift from stark, modern design to cozier looks. Velvet upholstery, woven textures and natural elements, like wood and stone, will heat things up this year.
3. Mixed Metals
It used to be considered gauche to mix finishes, however the look of mixed metals will be very big in 2018. Brass will continue to trend, along with matte black and classics like polished chrome and brushed nickel.
4. Bold Patterns
Expect to see a lot of bright, bold patterns in the form of geometric shapes and graphic floral prints. These will be featured on everything from furniture to throw pillows to tile.
5. Natural Elements
Look for the use of natural elements throughout the home, including wood, stone, plants, flowers and grass. Botanical patterns will also be seen in prints, wallpaper and upholstery. Concrete accents will complement these additions in an effort to bring the essence of the outdoors inside the home.
6. Feature Walls
Also called an accent wall, a feature wall is one that exhibits a different color or design than the other walls in the room. Expect to see an increased use of feature walls showcasing rich paint colors, bold patterned wallpaper, and textures brought in through millwork and shiplap.
7. Statement Lighting
Lighting will take center stage with distinctive fixtures, including local artisan and vintage pendants and chandeliers. And smart lighting technology will enable homeowners to customize their lighting experience based on time of day, activity and mood.
8. Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors will continue to dominate the market. The trend is toward either very dark stains paired with light-colored walls or light stains with darker walls. Greyish tones will remain popular, as will matte finishes, which are easier to maintain than high gloss. Expect to see frequent use of wider and longer wood planks, as well as distressed and wire-brushed finishes, which add texture and dimension.
9. Smart Homes
Everything is getting “smarter” in homes, from locks and lights to thermostats and appliances. And with devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, you can control many of these with voice activation from a central hub. We will see continued integration of and advancements in smart-home technology in 2018.
While white kitchens will remain popular in 2018, expect to see more color this year in everything from cabinets to tile to appliances.
1. Two-toned Cabinets
Two-toned cabinets are quickly overtaking the white-on-white look that has dominated kitchen design for the past few years. While white remains a classic, grey and bleached-wood cabinet variations are surging in popularity, along with darker neutrals like navy and green.
2. Quartz Countertops
Granite reigned as the top countertop choice for many years, but quartz is now king. It’s highly durable, low-maintenance and comes in a wide variety of styles and colors. It’s also heat resistant, scratch resistant and non-porous (unlike granite and marble) so it doesn’t need to be sealed.
3. Bold Backsplashes
After years of dominating backsplash design, the white subway tile is officially on its way out. Expect to see it replaced with more elaborate shapes, patterns, colors and textures. Tile that mimics the appearance of wood, concrete and wallpaper is also gaining in popularity.
4. Statement Sinks
While stainless steel and white porcelain are always safe bets, the trend is moving toward sinks that make more of a statement. Look for unexpected pops of color and materials like natural stone and copper. Touch-free faucets are expected to gain favor with homeowners this year, too.
5. Brass is (Still) Back
Brass fixtures came back in a big way over the past couple of years and will continue to be a popular choice in 2018 along with matte black, black nickel, polished chrome and brushed nickel. Missing from the list? Rose gold, which is decidedly “out” this year.
6. Multi-purpose Islands
Kitchen islands have evolved from simple prep-stations into the “workhorse” of the kitchen. Many feature sinks, built-in appliances and under-counter storage while also serving as a casual dining area. They have become the focal point of the kitchen, and we expect to see more of them in 2018 and beyond.
7. Black Stainless Steel
Black stainless steel is the hot new finish option for appliances, and it’s hitting the market in a big way. It offers a cutting-edge look and is easier to keep clean than traditional stainless steel. However, it’s harder to match finishes amongst different brands, so it’s probably only feasible as part of a complete appliance package.
8. Appliance Garages
Appliance garages are counter-level compartments designed to house small appliances like blenders, toasters and stand mixers. They make it convenient to have these items readily accessible, without the look of a cluttered counter.
5. Freestanding Tubs
There’s been a tub resurgence in bathroom design after years of preference for stand-alone showers. Modern tastes are gravitating toward freestanding tubs that serve as a showpiece for the bathroom.
6. Smart Features
Smart technology has entered the bathroom with the addition of features like wireless shower speakers and high-tech toilets, as well as digital shower controls that automatically adjust to your preferences in temperature and spray intensity.
Style trends come and go, so don’t invest in the latest look unless you love it. That said, highly-personalized or outdated style choices can limit the appeal of your property for resale.
For major renovation projects, it’s always a good idea to stick to neutral colors and classic styles. It will give your remodel longevity and appeal to the greatest number of buyers when it comes time to sell. It will also give you flexibility to update your look in a few years without a total overhaul. Use non-permanent fixtures – like paint, furniture and accent pieces – to personalize the space and incorporate trendier choices.
If you’d like advice on a specific remodelling or design project, give us a call! We’re happy to offer our insights and suggestions on how to maximize your return on investment and recommend local shops and service providers who may be able to assist you.
Author: Seth Murphy
Your Queens home is most likely the biggest investment you will ever make in your life. The investment isn’t just financial, either. It’s an emotional investment. Your house is where your family lives and grows. It’s where you can escape from the world’s problems and the anxiety they cause. It is a huge part of your life.
However, nothing lasts forever. Whether you end up moving for a job or you want to downsize once the kids move out, chances are someday you will want to sell your Queens house. When that day comes, you want to ensure that you get the most money you can get for letting it go. While you can’t control the market, you can do little improvements over the years to increase your home’s resale value.
Paint Your Walls
A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into a home. It helps update rooms and makes everything look cleaner. While you may be tempted to go with something bold for your decorating scheme, choosing neutrals is a better option if you want to appeal to a larger audience of potential buyers. When people shop for houses, they want to be able to see themselves living there with the least amount of work necessary on their own part.
However, not all rooms do best in neutral. Real estate analysis shows that painting the bathroom a light shade of blue (such as powder blue or periwinkle) can increase a home’s value by up to $5,440 on average. Of course, if you hate neutrals and blue, you don’t have to paint your home those colours. The important thing is the paint is clean and fresh with crisp lines that look attractive in a room.
Invest in Energy Efficiency
Every time you do some sort of update over the years, keep your power bills in mind. The more energy efficient the house, the more modern it is. Whether you are buying a new refrigerator or getting your window screens replaced, there are new options out there that can reduce your home’s carbon footprint. If you really want to commit, contact your local utility company and ask if they do free energy audits. An expert can point out areas in need of improvement in order to maximize your home’s energy efficiency.
Maintain (Or Replace) Your Roof
Your house’s roof takes much of the brunt of the weather. Because of this, it shows wear and tear much earlier than other parts of the house. Keeping up with regular roof maintenance is a good way to ensure your home’s resale value isn’t diminished. Fixing damaged shingles (especially after heavy rain, hail, or snow seasons) can prevent leaks and damages that eventually necessitate an entire replacement. Also, removing algae and mold with power washing can help improve your home’s energy efficiency and improve its curb appeal.
Of course, if you live in an older house chances are you may someday need to replace your roof. Unfortunately this isn’t exactly cheap and many scammers out there take advantage of people looking for this work. Watch out for:
If you do decide to replace your roof, use cool roof materials that can also help your home’s energy efficiency.
Your home is a big investment, so you want to be sure to protect its value in case the day comes where you want to sell it. One of the easiest ways to update your house and its resale value is painting. Many experts suggest sticking to neutral colours or a light blue, but the most important thing is to make sure the paint is clean and fresh for an updated look. Investing in energy efficiency is another way to make your home more modern and valuable. Your roof may be the part of your house that needs the most maintenance of all. Watch out for common scams that take advantage of this and invest in cool roof materials if it is time to replace.
For a professional consultation on what needs to be done before putting your home on the market, give us a call to see what your return on investment would be.
Staying on top of the latest trends in home decor isn’t for everyone, but even for traditionalists, it can be fun to incorporate some new ideas. Here are five bathroom decor trends that are appearing in 2017.
The kitchen is one area of the home that sees the most wear and tear. All the water, heat, and food spills add up quickly so it’s important to focus on quality and lasting appeal when you’re choosing materials for a kitchen remodel. Here are a few things you should avoid
Author: Lev Shalomayev
More than 77 percent of people own a smartphone.1 The average person checks their smartphone 46 times a day, with people under the age of 24 checking it an average of 74 times a day.1 We check it while we’re waiting in line and during our leisure time, whether we’re scrolling through social media, reading emails or getting up-to-date on the latest news.
Smartphones are not only a useful tool for communication. With the following apps, you can get organized (whether you plan to buy or sell), save money, learn about the homes in your neighborhood and get inspired for your next renovation project. If you’re like 81 percent of people, you have your smartphone with you during most of your waking hours; let it help you stay organized and make your life easier.3
Author: Lev Shalomayev
Understanding a home’s true market value is about more than pictures, software assessments and price-per-square-foot. Whether you’re a current homeowner thinking of selling or are house-hunting, it’s crucial you understand what factors affect home valuation. By partnering with a local market expert, sellers will avoid pricing their house out of the market (the kiss of death in real estate) and buyers will ensure they get a good deal on their next home.
So, how do you accurately calculate a home’s value? After all, the value a home is assigned by its town or county and the one it’s given when it’s listed are often dramatically different from one another. Which one is accurate and what does it all mean? Read on to learn more.