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Winter Lawn Care Tips

Guest post by Henry Walsh

Caring for your lawn during the winter can look different from other homeowners depending on your location. Unless you live in the extreme Southern areas of the country, most grass types will go dormant during the cold winter months. However, just because winter isn’t the primary growing season doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty to still do. Check out these winter lawn care tips to keep your lawn healthy.

Apply Fertilizer

Choosing to add fertilizer to your lawn before the snow falls is a great way to give your grass a boost of energy to stay alive during the winter months. Use a slow-release fertilizer when you want to give your lawn root systems a slow and steady stream of energy over a more extended period. Make sure to follow directions and refrain from applying too much fertilizer in one area of the lawn which could cause burning due to too much nitrogen.

Let It Breathe

Aerating your lawn once every couple of years is a great way to make sure that your lawn is receiving essential nutrients at a deeper level. Aerating will allow sunshine, water, and energy to penetrate deep into the soil which will make the lawn healthier and stronger come spring. Renting an aerator is an excellent choice for many homeowners or consider your local winter lawn care professional that can do the job for you. Aerate your lawn before any winter weather, like snow or ice, fall on the grass this winter.

Consider Overseeding

For those homeowners in the South looking for a way to keep their warm-season grass lawns green all year, consider overseeding with the opposing season grass type as part of your winter lawn care, once the lawn goes dormant. The cool-season grass will love the colder temperatures that winter brings while the warm-season grasses take a much-deserved nap. Unfortunately, homeowners in the northern parts of the country will have to accept dormant lawns in frigid temperatures or snow-covered lawns in other winter areas.

Mulch Fallen Leaves

Many parts of the country will see the addition of fallen leaves onto lawns in the early parts of winter. Instead of raking up the leaves and bagging them up for removal, consider using this free source of energy to create a stronger lawn. Mulch the leaves with a leaf mulcher, or by merely using your lawn mower, to cut the leaves into smaller more manageable parts. Dead leaves provide a natural source of nitrogen to the lawn making it a welcome addition for future growth.

Apply Compost

Compost is one of those items that every homeowner needs to keep a healthy lawn. Compost can be created at home in a compost pile or is available for purchase from a local garden center. Compost is helpful to add to a lawn before winter arrives to provide a natural energy source for underlying roots. The compost will be gradually worked into the soil by microorganisms making it a great option to cure many lawn issues.

There are plenty of ways to care for your lawn even if winter temperatures have already arrived in your area. Race against Mother Nature before the arrival of snow and ice to provide your yard with essential added nutrients like compost, fertilizer, and fallen leaves. Aerating and overseeding your lawn are other ways to make sure that your lawn looks great year round. Consider all of these winter lawn care tips this year for a beautiful lawn.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Mobile Median Home Sales Price Up 5 Percent YTD

Sales: According to the Mobile Area Association of Realtors, Mobile-area residential sales totaled 338 units during November, down 2.9 percent from 348 sales in the same month a year earlier. November sales were down 3.4 percent compared to 350 sales in October. Results were 14.1 percent above the five-year November average of 296 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all Mobile-area home sales data, click here.

Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in the Mobile area during November were 1,439 units, a decrease of 12.5 percent from November 2017’s 1,644 units and a decrease of 6.3 percent from October 2018’s 1,536 units. Mobile also experienced a year-over-year decline in months of supply. November months of supply totaled 4.3 months, a decrease of 9.9 percent from November 2017’s 4.7 months of supply. November’s months of supply also decreased from October’s 4.4 months of supply.

Pricing: The Mobile median sales price in November was $149,000, an increase of 5.2 percent from one year ago and an increase of 2.8 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the November median sales price on average increases from October by 8.8 percent. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for homes sold during November was 73 days, a decrease of 11 percent from 82 days in November 2017 and an increase of 21.7 percent from 60 days in October.

Forecast: November sales were four units, or 1.2 percent, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 334 sales for the month, while actual sales were 338 units. ACRE forecast 4,261 residential sales in the Mobile area year-to-date, while there were 4,273 actual sales through November.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: While nationwide sales declined 4.5 percent during November, residential sales in Alabama continued to grow. Total residential sales in Alabama increased 6.9 percent year-over-year from 4,311 to 4,606 closed transactions. Year-to-date through November, statewide residential sales are up 7 percent from 53,056 one year ago to 56,769 currently. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in November increased 3.2 percent year-over-year from $151,667 to $156,587. The year-to-date median sales price is up 4.7 percent from 2017. Although nationwide inventory levels increased 4.2 percent in November, Alabama’s residential inventory decreased 8.8 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a major factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018. With low inventory, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during November spent an average of 93 days on the market, an improvement of 24 days from 2017.

NAR’s national perspective: During November, nationwide inventory for existing homes increased 4.2 percent year-over-year from 1.67 million to 1.74 million residential listings. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, “the market conditions in November were mixed, with good signs of stabilizing home sales compared to recent months, though down significantly from one year ago. Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation.”

Source: Alabama Center for Real Estate

Baldwin Condo Median Sales Price Up Significantly

The Baldwin County condo median sales price in November was $393,125, an increase of 24.8 percent from one year ago. (iStock)

Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, Baldwin County condo sales, which include condos along the Gulf Coast, totaled 112 units during November, up 0.9 percent from 111 sales in the same month a year earlier. November sales were down 1.8 percent compared to 114 sales in October. Results were 3.1 percent above the five-year average of 109 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of Baldwin County’s condo sales data, click here.

Inventory: Baldwin County condo inventory totaled 718 units, an increase of 6.5 percent from November 2017’s 674 units and a decrease of 1 percent from October 2018’s 725 units. November months of supply totaled 6.4 months, up from November 2017’s 6.1 months of supply. November’s months of supply also increased 0.6 percent from October’s months of supply.

Pricing: The Baldwin County condo median sales price in November was $393,125, an increase of 24.8 percent from one year ago and an increase of 19.3 percent from the prior month. This direction is inconsistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the November median sales price on average decreases from October by 1.6 percent. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for condos sold during November was 101 days, a decrease of 9.8 percent from 112 days in November 2017 and an increase of 17.4 percent from 86 days in October.

Forecast: November sales were five units or 4.7 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 107 sales for the month, and actual sales were 112 units. ACRE forecast a total of 1,431 residential sales for Baldwin County condos year-to-date, while there were 1,452 actual sales through November.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: While nationwide sales declined 4.5 percent during November, residential sales in Alabama continued to grow. Total residential sales in Alabama increased 6.9 percent year-over-year from 4,311 to 4,606 closed transactions. Year-to-date through November, statewide residential sales are up 7 percent from 53,056 one year ago to 56,769 currently. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in November increased 3.2 percent year-over-year from $151,667 to $156,587. The year-to-date median sales price is up 4.7 percent from 2017. Although nationwide inventory levels increased 4.2 percent in November, Alabama’s residential inventory decreased 8.8 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a major factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018. With low inventory, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during November spent an average of 93 days on the market, an improvement of 24 days from 2017.

NAR’s national perspective: During November, nationwide inventory for existing homes increased 4.2 percent year-over-year from 1.67 million to 1.74 million residential listings. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, “the market conditions in November were mixed, with good signs of stabilizing home sales compared to recent months, though down significantly from one year ago. Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation.”

Source: Alabama Center for Real Estate

Baldwin November Home Sales Jump 11% from 2017

The Baldwin County median home sales price in November was $245,510, an increase of 1.2 percent from one year ago. (iStock)

Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors/Multiple Listing Service, Baldwin County residential sales totaled 485 units during November, up 10.7 percent from 438 sales in the same month a year earlier. November sales were down 11.5 percent compared to 548 sales in October. Results were 28.5 percent above the five-year November average of 377 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of Baldwin County’s housing data, click here.

Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in the Baldwin County area during November were 2,875 units, an increase of 6.3 percent from November 2017’s 2,704 units and a decrease of 0.1 percent from October’s 2018’s 2,878 units. November’s months of supply totaled 5.9 months, a decrease of 4 percent when compared to November 2017’s 6.2 months of supply. November’s months of supply increased 12.9 percent from October 2018’s 5.3 months.

Pricing: The Baldwin County median sales price in November was $245,510, an increase of 1.2 percent from one year ago and an increase of 2.6 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the November median sales price on average increases from October by 3.2 percent. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for homes sold during November was 92 days, a decrease of 6.1 percent from 98 days in November 2017 and an increase of 2.2 percent from 90 days in October.

Forecast: November sales were 27 units, or 5.9 percent, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 458 sales for the month, while actual sales were 485 units. ACRE forecast a total of 6,086 residential sales in the Baldwin County area year-to-date, while there were 6,395 actual sales through November.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: While nationwide sales declined 2.6 percent during October, residential sales in Alabama continued to grow during the fall of 2018. Total residential sales in Alabama increased 9.1 percent year-over-year from 4,473 to 4,880 closed transactions. Year-to-date through October, statewide residential sales are up 7 percent from 48,745 one year ago to 52,163 currently. Home price appreciation in the state continued to grow as the median sales price in October increased 7.1 percent year-over-year from $146,458 to $156,872. The year-to-date median sales price is up 4.8 percent from 2017. Although nationwide inventory levels increased 2.8 percent in October, Alabama’s residential inventory decreased 9.2 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a major factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during October spent an average of 98 days on the market, an improvement of 15 days from 2017.

NAR’s national perspective:  During October, nationwide inventory for existing homes increased 2.8 percent year-over-year from 1.8 million to 1.85 million residential listings. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, “As more inventory enters the market and we head into the winter season, home price growth has begun to slow more meaningfully. This allows for much more manageable, less frenzied buying conditions.”

Source: Alabama Center for Real Estate

5 Apps to Redecorate Your Home with Your Phone

Guest post by Lori Cunningham

With dozens of decorating apps to choose from and inspiration just a finger touch away, redecorating your home has never been easier. Augmented Reality (AR) now lets you use your phone to see how colors, accessories, and furniture will look in your own house. On the horizon, you can expect to see apps using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to learn your style through your interaction with them.

Whether you’re looking to give your living room a quick refresh or want to completely revamp your home, these five apps can help you get started. Create a stunning look without blowing your budget — no professional interior designer needed.

Houzz: Start with online inspiration

Apps like Pinterest and Instagram have plenty of pictures and designs to start your inspiration journey. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and keeping track of design ideas can be cumbersome. It’s not always simple to buy an item featured in a picture, and you might need to search around to find a similar item. A site like Houzz can help you keep everything organized and in one place.

Houzz covers architecture, interior design, decorating, landscape design, and home improvement. It has over 17 million high-resolution photos, all of which can be filtered by room, style, budget, size, color, or a combination.

 

Many of the pictures have purchasing information on the featured items, allowing you to purchase them within the Houzz app. You can also save pictures to an “Ideabook” to help keep your style ideas all in one place.

The app uses AR to help you see what an item will look like in your home. Click the “View in my room” button to see the item in 2D using your phone’s camera.

The Houzz app is free on iOS and Android.

MagicPlan: Create a floor plan from your phone

To ensure that the furniture you plan to purchase fits in the room you’d like to decorate, it helps to create a floor plan. The MagicPlan app lets you input the dimensions of a room by measuring, drawing, or using your phone’s camera to create the floor plan.

Once you’ve added your room’s dimensions, you can add doors, windows, structural features, plumbing, appliances, electrical, HVAC, furniture, flooring, and more to your floor plan. Many of these features are free to use, but there is an in-app cost for things like cabinetry, light switches, and outlets.

When you add MagicPlan’s 2D furniture, you can adjust it to the size you want by using your fingers or inputting the dimensions. You can add your own photos to your floor plan, as well.

If you are planning to paint or replace the flooring, estimate how much it would cost by clicking “Estimate” for the approximate price. Just remember the estimates do not include the cost of labor.

MagicPlan is free on iOS and Android.

TapPainter: Virtually paint your walls

Swatches from your local home improvement store make it hard to envision the color of the whole room, and buying paint samples can get expensive. The TapPainter applets you choose paint colors from Benjamin Moore, Behr, Sherwin Williams, and other popular brands.

Use the app to snap pictures of the room you want to paint and try out different colors by entering the code from a paint swatch, choosing a color from one of the brands included, or mixing your own custom color. You can even add different colors to different walls.

TapPainter is free on iOS.

DécorMatters: Design a room using AR

DecorMatters is an app that lets you virtually add pieces and design elements to a real room. Take a picture of the room you want to decorate and use AR and the AR ruler to add and measure 3D pieces. This is a simple way to see if a piece you’ve been eyeing will fit.

The app features items from popular stores like Crate & Barrel, Target, Overstock, West Elm, IKEA, and Ashley, and you can make in-app purchases right from your phone. You can save your ideas to your mood board to share with friends, and the DecorMatters in-app messaging also offers free feedback and suggestions from real DecorMatters interior designers.

DecorMatters is free on iOS.

Art.com: Add some art to your walls

Finally, the Art.com app offers hundreds of frame styles and sizes to help you plan your gallery wall. Use the app to arrange different layouts to see how your gallery wall could look.

Art.com’s latest app release also lets you upload your own artwork and family pictures to pair with any style frame, and you can even have them printed on canvas, wood mount, acrylic, and more.

The Art.com app is free on iOS and Android.

It’s easy to create a stunning look that suits your style, all from your phone. These five apps offer the inspiration, confidence, and guidance you need to get started on your redecorating project.

Lori Cunningham is a family tech advocate and contributing writer for Xfinity Mobile. She is a mom to two creative children and started the WellConnectedMom.com to share her passion for technology with others.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Alabama statewide home sales up 9% in October YTD

The statewide median home sales price in October was $156,872, an increase of 7.1 percent from one year ago. (iStock)

Sales: Alabama statewide home sales totaled 4,880 units during October, up 9.1 percent from 4,473 sales in the same month a year earlier. However, October sales were down 3.8 percent compared to 5,074 sales in September. Results were 23.8 percent above the five-year October average of 3,940 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all statewide housing data, click here.

While nationwide sales declined during October, residential sales in Alabama continued to grow. (iStock)

Inventory: Homes listed for sale statewide during October totaled 23,200 units, a decrease of 9.2 percent from October 2017’s 25,549 units, and a decrease of 2 percent from September 2018’s 23,672 units. October months of supply totaled 4.8 months, a decrease of 16.8 percent from October 2017’s 5.7 months of supply. However, October’s months of supply increased from September’s 4.7 months of supply.

Pricing: The statewide median sales price in October was $156,872, an increase of 7.1 percent from one year ago and a decrease of 3.5 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the October median sales price on average decreases from September by 0.7 percent. The homes selling in October spent an average of 98 days on the market (DOM), a decrease of 13.6 percent from 113 days in October 2017, but an 8.8 percent increase from 90 days in September. This indicator can fluctuate from month to month because of the sampling size of data and seasonal buying patterns.

Forecast: October sales were 316 units, or 6.9 percent, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 4,564 sales for the month, while actual sales were 4,880 units. ACRE forecast a total of 49,347 residential sales statewide year-to-date, while there were 52,206 actual sales through October.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: While nationwide sales declined 2.6 percent during October, residential sales in Alabama continued to grow during the fall of 2018. Total residential sales in Alabama increased 9.1 percent year-over-year from 4,473 to 4,880 closed transactions. Year-to-date through October, statewide residential sales are up 7 percent from 48,745 one year ago to 52,163 currently. Home price appreciation in the state continued to grow as the median sales price in October increased 7.1 percent year-over-year from $146,458 to $156,872. The year-to-date median sales price is up 4.8 percent from 2017. Although nationwide inventory levels increased 2.8 percent in October, Alabama’s residential inventory decreased 9.2 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a major factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during October spent an average of 98 days on the market, an improvement of 15 days from 2017.

NAR’s national perspective:  During October, nationwide inventory for existing homes increased 2.8 percent year-over-year from 1.8 million to 1.85 million residential listings. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, “As more inventory enters the market and we head into the winter season, home price growth has begun to slow more meaningfully. This allows for much more manageable, less frenzied buying conditions.”

Source: Alabama Center of Real Estate

What is a Storage Vault?

Here are the 3 top factors to know if storage vaults are the storage solution for you.

SHARON LEE

NOV 15, 2018

Guest post by Laura McHolm

You have probably heard of mobile storage and self storage, but if you aren’t familiar with a storage vault you are overlooking a third key option when it comes to deciding what type of storage to use for your belongings. In fact, a storage vault is the greenest storage solution and can save you green: you only pay for the space you need!

Here are the three top factors to know if storage vaults are the storage solution for you:

1. Adjustable Space & Pay for the Space Needed

Storage vaults cater to your storage space needs. If you need more space one month, you can easily add more space. And, if the following month you need less space, you can move things out and pay for less space. You only pay for the space you actually use. It’s not one size fits all storage. Mobile and self storage units offer standard spaces and default prices that make you pay for space you don’t want and don’t need.

2. Management of Your Stuff

Most storage vault providers are professional moving companies and they are skilled at packing your belongings into the storage vault. They are doing the heavy lifting for you, saving you time and effort. It is critical to think about how often you actually need access to your storage unit. If you need weekly access to your stuff in storage, then self storage is probably a better solution for you. However, if you are looking for long term storage and you are likely to only need access on occasion, then a storage vault is a great option. If you’re going to be remodeling, going on an extended vacation, building a home, etc. then vault storage could be the perfect solution for you. Just call up the moving company and they will move your items for you when you need them.

3. Secure & Temperature Controlled

Storage vaults are secured in a warehouse so they are protected from the outside elements and often have top security. Before choosing a storage vault provider, ask about their security system and temperature control. They should have security cameras in place as well as limited access to the vaults for authorized employees only.

Lastly, the bonus feature of storage vaults is that they can be eco-friendly! Ask what kind of vaults the company uses. Your belongings are stored inside a warehouse and can be stored in eco-friendly recyclable and reusable wooden vaults. This type of storage reduces land usage because it is warehouse based and is not long paved rows of self-storage “garages.” The wooden vaults are cleaned, recycled and renewable, not giant metal tin cans. It’s a double green win! The earth wins and so does your pocketbook. Plus, it’s always nice to be kind to your Mother, Mother Earth that is!

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

USAA Real Estate Rewards Network | Coldwell Banker

Coldwell Banker Real Estate has been serving USAA members with their real estate purchase or sale for years through the USAA Real Estate Rewards Network.

SHARON LEE

NOV 12, 2018

In this segment of NBC Open House, Steven Garza with Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper Realtors helps Michael and Brandi Parson, USAA Members and Homeowners, find their new home.  Coldwell Banker Real Estate has been serving USAA members with their real estate purchase or sale for years through the USAA Real Estate Rewards Network.

Watch the segment of Open House below to learn more about the program or visit coldwellbanker.com/usaa.

NBC OPEN HOUSE

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

7 Do’s of Holiday Decorating When Selling a Home

You can still be festive. These tips will help you celebrate — without alienating would-be buyers.

VICTORIA KEICHINGER

NOV 26, 2018

houzz logo

Houzz Contributor, Neila Deen

Selling your home through the holiday season can certainly come with a few challenges. Chilly, wet weather and falling leaves in November and December might mean more raking and shoveling to keep your home pristine. However, the damp weather and dark skies don’t have to squelch your holiday spirit. In fact, the holidays are a perfect time to showcase the warmth and character of your home to prospective buyers.

If you’ve already got the basics of staging under control — meaning you’ve pared downfreshened up and added a splash of color — you’re ready to follow these seven do’s to create an appropriately festive home for sale.

M&S Christmas 2014

Photo by Marks & Spencer – Discover contemporary home design design ideas

1. Do choose appropriately sized holiday decorations. Be thoughtful about the size of decorations you use. A good question to ask yourself is whether the piece helps to positively showcase the space, light and charm of the room. Or does its large size detract from the best features? Your goal is to be festive while honoring the value of your home.

Autumn Decor

Photo by In Sight Designs Unlimted – Look for traditional entryway pictures

For example, displaying a large multipiece holiday installation might be a family tradition for your living room, but doing so won’t highlight the value and space of that room. Perhaps find a new home for this piece on the front porch, or display only a smaller portion of the installation on a table.

Traditional Living

Photo by Munger Interiors – Discover traditional living room design inspiration

Similarly, you might have to trade in that huge fresh evergreen tree that you look forward to every year for a slightly smaller version. Large trees and decorations, while festive, may make the room look smaller. Choose an oversized tree only if you have a really large room.

Hill Section Residence

Photo by Caroline Burke Designs & Associates, Inc. – Look for traditional living room design inspiration

2. Do mind the light. Be sure your holiday decorating efforts don’t block any natural light from windows and doors. Though this may be a common sense tip, it may not be as easy to adhere to as you’d think, since windows are one of the most common places to place holiday decor. Just think of what you see when driving through your neighborhood during the holidays: Many residents affix decorations directly to the windows, place large, brightly lighted trees directly in front of them or install candles or figurines on the windowsill. We just love to showcase our holiday spirit to the world.

Christmas Trees

Photo by Regina Gust Designs – Browse transitional living room ideas

For the selling season, try placing your holiday pride far from the window. You might put decor outside your front door or, if inside, in an unobtrusive corner. If you absolutely must locate decor near a window, then place it far enough away that the natural light still flows in. Otherwise, by reducing the natural light, you’ll detract from the value of the room.

Scandinavian style on a budget in a small city apartment

Photo by Louise de Miranda – Search Scandinavian living room pictures

3. Do coordinate with the colors of the room. Maintaining a color-coordinated design scheme matters, even when all you want to do is deck the halls in red and green. Remember, every room of your home should be as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. So, if your favorite holiday decorations clash with the colors in your room, think twice about using those specific pieces. Fortunately, there are tons of creative ways to add holiday accents without throwing off your palette.

Home for Chanukah

Photo by Rita from Design Megillah – Discover eclectic home design design inspiration

Metallics are one nonintrusive way to add a little festive holiday flair. Gold, silver or copper holiday accents pair well with almost any color scheme. White is also a peaceful, festive, yet still neutral accent color for almost any holiday decorating effort. Try replacing multicolored tree lights with sparkling white lights to give your room a more elegant feel.

Winter Holiday Decor

Photo by ATGStores – Browse transitional home design photos

4. Do keep movements and sounds to a minimum. Moving parts, loud noises and even festive music will be a distraction for potential buyers. So please don’t welcome buyers with a singing toy soldier or dancing snowman. But if you must have those items on your mantel, then be sure to turn them off during showings. The same goes for flashing lights. Opt for simple white static lights that cast a beautiful glow, creating a neutral holiday feeling for many buyers.

Stoll Christmas House

Photo by Falken Reynolds Interiors – Look for contemporary staircase pictures

5. Do decorate to showcase your home’s architectural features. Holiday decorating can give you a brilliant opportunity to highlight your home’s most attractive architectural features. For example, you might wrap a tasteful garland around a beautiful curved staircase. You can showcase your fireplace with accents such as knitted stockings or a strand of lights.

Christmas Decorating

Photo by SAJ Designs, LLC – More traditional living room ideas

Be mindful not to cover up any valuable structural details such as a beautiful wood floor or crown molding. Remember, less is more when staging, even when decorating for the holidays.

Christmas Holiday Decor

Photo by Mary Prince Photography – Discover traditional entryway design inspiration

6. Do use exterior holiday decorations to add curb appeal. Holiday decorations are a fantastic way to spruce up the exterior of your home and add some color. Wreaths, thoughtfully lighted shrubs and the occasional ribbon or bow on a mailbox can be tasteful ways to deck the exterior for the holidays. These elements will certainly add curb appeal and pleasantly welcome your potential buyers.

Holiday decorations

Photo by GreenCraft Associates – Look for traditional landscape design inspiration

While a frenzy of flashing lights and rooftop ornaments might be fun and playful, try not to embrace your inner Clark Griswold. (“National Lampoon” movie-fest, anyone?) Your goal is to sell your house, not distract or even turn off your buyer by creating a neighborhood spectacle.

A perfectly pale interior with Nordic influences

Photo by Louise de Miranda – Look for eclectic home design pictures

7. Do celebrate the holidays and create a warm, joyful feeling. There’s an advantage of offering your home for sale — and decorating it — during the holidays. If you strike the right balance, your residence will exude a positive energy and charm that can’t be felt at any other time of the year. Done well, your decorated home will offer the kind of warmth that appeals to potential buyers and helps them to imagine living there. So go ahead and celebrate what is likely your last holiday season in that home. Happy holidays!

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Preparing Your Home for a Spring Sale

How to Prepare Your Home This Winter for a Successful Spring Sale

Here’s our go-to list of what sellers should be doing now to ensure for a successful sale next spring.

SHARON LEE

NOV 13, 2018

Guest post by Patti Stern

If you are planning to sell your home next spring, why not get a jumpstart during the fall /winter season so you have more time and less stress while preparing? An added plus is that your home could potentially be ready to list in time for the early spring selling season at the end of January when the market is less crowded. It’s a win-win! Here’s our go-to list of what sellers should be doing now to ensure for a successful sale next spring.

1. Assess Your Home’s Condition – Inside & Out

The first step is to do a thorough walk-thru with an objective eye. Does it have “move-in ready appeal” that will “wow” young, savvy buyers? Is there chipped paint on moldings and trim? Is the front entry carpet runner worn and could benefit from replacing? Look at your property through the lens of your buyer and determine what needs the most attention so that Millennials with families can immediately connect and envision themselves living there with minimal work to do when they move in.

2. First Impressions Go a Long Way

With the changing seasons, try to tackle exterior repairs and landscaping while you can by keeping gutters clean, lawn raked, shrubs trimmed and driveways/walkways shoveled. For an inviting front porch with curb appeal, maintain a polished look each season with welcoming accents such as potted evergreens or berry branches, a beautiful wreath on the door, glowing lanterns, and a colorful welcome mat.

Living Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

3. Remove Distractions & Get Organized

Tackle clutter one room at a time and decide whether to keep or purge items based on when you last touched or used it. Remove personal items, collectibles and excessive furniture that distract from the room’s key features as well as its perceived size and flow. Then organize the remaining items with efficient storage solutions such as baskets and containers for closets, drawers and cabinets.

Library Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

4. Make it Fresh & Bright 

Ask yourself if the color on the walls and cabinets is too dark? Does wallpaper need to be removed? Are window treatments dated and heavy? Does worn carpet need replacing? Do hardwood floors need polishing? Simply adding a fresh coat of neutral “greige” paint to dark walls will brighten the room by creating a backdrop to showcase the other elements in the room, such as the white trim, new carpeting, wall art, and furniture (as shown in library above).

Living Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

5. Create the “Wow Factor”

Once you’ve invested in the necessary upgrades for move-in ready appeal, buyers still need to emotionally connect by envisioning how their furnishings will look in the space. Staging a home is an investment in getting the property sold and for top dollar. Professional stagers can create the “wow” factor that might be needed after all of the repairs and upgrades are finished. Complete the look with strategically placed modern furniture paired with pops of colorful and inviting accents that will make a lasting impression as pictured in the living room photo above.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter