Dream Renovations: Upgrading Your Bathroom from ‘Regular’ to ‘In-home Spa’


There are times you might long for the relaxed leisure of the spa experience, but with the cost of a manicure it’s not always a pleasure one can afford. If your current bathroom set-up isn’t the optimal place for rest and relaxation, here are some cues for how you can turn it from a bit of a problem to a consummate pleasure.

Install A Vintage Vanity

The look of slick steel and porcelain can certainly be classy, but if you’re looking for an upscale room you’ll love to spend time in, consider a vintage dresser that you can turn into your very own unique vanity. While you’ll need to develop some plumbing and woodworking know-how to make this dream a reality, it will easily fancy up your bathroom and lend for an elegant, everyday experience.

Spring For A Bold Color

Part of the spa experience is often the palette of jewel-toned colors that are used on the walls, but it can often be considered a risk to take on such an intense tone in one’s own bathroom. However, if you have a smaller sized bathroom and can find a brilliant color you really love that will work with your décor, it may make for a unique and singular spa-style experience.

Add An Accent With Tile

A sizeable Jacuzzi that you can really get comfortable in is a great start for an in-home spa experience, but there are some stylish ways you can add to it that will make for a particularly sophisticated look. Instead of taking out the tub, pick a colorful tile that will mesh with the other colors and textures of your bathroom to add an accent. It’s not necessarily a simple fix but it will add a lot of oomph.

Work A Walk-In Shower

It goes without saying that a shower curtain does not always provide for the most sublime of bathroom experiences, so one step towards your own ‘in-home Spa’ may involve the addition of a walk-in shower. While this can be an expensive upgrade, it can completely change the look and feel of your bathroom, and might just mean you’ll save on manicures.

The spa experience can be enticing for the relaxation and comfort it offers, but you can create a similar experience in your own bathroom with a few changes that will elegant it up. If you happen to be renovating your home because you’re planning to sell, you may want to contact one of our local real estate agents for more information on homes available in your area.

Tips for Buying Your Dream Home This Spring


Now that summer is on the way, you begin your chase for a nice, cozy house, to enjoy the amazing benefits of nature. Spring brings in a ton of demand for the real estate industry, as buyers and sellers buzz around in their search in full swing. Sellers seek to renovate their homes after all that damage from the winter season and remove pests that could have accumulated in the dark corners of the houses. Buyers get in a rush to find their dream home at the best price. If you are a buyer, here are some tips you could follow to find the perfect house.

Seek consultation from a Real Estate Agent

When you are out there looking for a home, you want to seek help from multiple sources. This is because each consultant or adviser is coming with a different set of knowledge, skills, and qualifications. To be at the safe end, make sure you seek help from more than one adviser about the best way to go.

Real estate agents are more important than ever in today’s real estate industry. The right buyer can help you get the house of your preferences, at the best price and without engaging in counterfeit. You want to look out for housing frauds and scams as they have become increasingly common. Look for an adviser who is experienced in dealing with several transactions and represent your best interests throughout the paperwork and searching procedures. The agent helps you look for the house that suits your likes and can keep you informed about the paperwork, documents, and other requirements.

Moreover, the agent would be well-informed about market trends and help you make an informed decision when purchasing a house.

Decide what you are looking for

Your decision should be in the context of people who would be living with you as well as their needs and requirements. When you are relocating with family, you would need to take their preferences into consideration, search for different houses and select the one that best matches the preferences of everyone. Reasons for choosing a house can vary according to different people. For instance, working parents may want a home closer to their workplaces. Retirees want to settle where they have opportunities for sports – such as golf.

Develop a checklist about everyone’s needs and wants. Consider the budget constraints and the type of neighborhood you would be living in.

Take into account your financial status

When you are searching for a home, you need to take budget constraints into account. Mortgage policies have become more stringent than before. You would need to consult your financial adviser about your financial status, and whether you would be in a position to borrow money. Decide whether you have what it take to invest in the new place, whether the place matches preferences and the financial obligation.

Determine the amount of loan you would need then take appropriate steps to receive approval.

Also realize that sellers may not be searching for the best offer. As soon as an offer hits the market, be decisive and consult your realtor about your financial status, preferences, and prices.

4 Tips to Show Your Home a Little Love


It’s February and during this month, we’re often busy thinking of special ways to show our romantic someone in our lives how special they are to us. It would also be a great time to show your home a little love.

You can’t send your home a valentine, but there are ways to show your home how much you love it and want to take care of it. Let’s look at 6 ways to show our house a little love.

1. Adorn it. Show it off and adorn it in beauty.

Just like buying your special valentine a bracelet or other jewelry, purchase something beautiful that will give the outside a little beauty.

Consider a new front door with windows and wood décor. Paint it a beautiful eye-catching color.  A great way to add curb appeal.

2. Make easy budget friendly updates

Everything you do for your house doesn’t have to be expensive. Find a few little projects that you can knock out in a weekend and spruce the place up. Here are a few ideas of a small list you can finish in a weekend.

  • Install a new outdoor light or porch light
  • Add a brass door knob element or hardware to the front door.
  • Replace outdated light fixtures in bathrooms and bedrooms.
  • Replace the faucets in the kitchen with newer modern ones.
  • Replace or paint the mailbox and update it or buy a new one.

These easy tips can make your home stand out on the block and you may begin to enjoy your home more.  These updates will help your home sell if you decide to put it on the market.

  1. Spend quality time in your home

Start spending time at home with the family on movie night or game night. Host family birthday parties in your home instead of celebrating out. Take plenty of photos in your home for lasting memories.

Consider hosting a potluck or a casual dinner with friends and family. You may want to go as far as hosting a neighborhood party. Start enjoying your home more. After all, you are paying for it. Let it pay you back with enjoyment.

4. Protect your home

Protect your home from fire damage, water, flood, burglary and other things that could destroy your house and cost money. Look at your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure your home is fully protected.

A home is more than just a roof over your head — it’s an investment and a place where your children will enjoy throughout the years.












7 Easy, Inexpensive Home Storage Hacks That Will Free Up Your Space


Even small spaces can feel spacious when the art of storage is mastered.  Here are 7 inexpensive storage hacks to free up space in your home.

  1. Racks On Racks On Racks

It’s often the first mess you see when walking into someone’s home — a clutter of shoes sprawled out by the entrance.  Take care of this mess with a shoe rack, which will only take up a few feet of space but allow you to store numerous pairs of kicks.

  1. Fold & Hang

Not your clothes, your chairs!  If you don’t use chairs often or rarely eat at the table, consider buying folding chairs instead as they can easily be put away when not in use.  Attach a few hooks to a nondescript area of your home and hang the chairs to store them.

  1. Slide Into An Island

Need more counter space but can’t sacrifice your kitchen table?  Well now you can have both (without renovating!).  Install a small island that has a slide-in table: you can slide out the table during meals and slide it back in when finished.  Perfect when paired with folding chairs.

  1. Make The Most Of Your Cupboards

Install small storage solutions inside of your cupboards to make the most of their space.  Hooks can hang mugs from the tops of shelves, and towel racks placed on the inside of a cupboard door can fit pot lids.  For a large cupboard, consider a hanging shoe rack for compartmentalized storage space from top to bottom.

  1. Multi-Purpose Furniture

When trying to maximize space, choose furniture that also offers storage, such as a bed frame with pullout drawers underneath it, or an ottoman that opens up to store remotes, books, or toys.  There are countless pieces designed for small spaces, so find ones that meet your own unique needs.

  1. Build Me Up Buttercup

When floor space is limited, you have no choice but to build upwards.  Shelves allow you to make the most of vertical space, and can fit into almost any area.  Corner shelves can help you take advantage of otherwise dead space, and tall shelving units can act as a room divider which is perfect for a studio.  If you want to create a more open concept, choose wall-mounted shelves as they have minimal design impact.

  1. Hang It Up

Along with every door comes a fantastic storage opportunity!  Choose a door-mounted hanging storage system to keep clothes, robes, towels, or shoes off of the floor.  Feel free to be creative — you can use them to store whatever you like.

Want more tips on small space living? Contact a trusted real estate professional today.


Facing a Scorching Hot Housing Market? 3 Reasons You’ll Want a Great Real Estate Agent


For many homeowners who are selling in today’s  real estate market, pinching every penny can be important. This can mean that it’s a consideration to opt out of a real estate agent and go with the DIY approach. However, there are many things an agent can do for you in a hot market that may be worth the money. If you’re wondering how a real estate agent can help you, here are some things to consider.

Understanding The Neighborhood

It’s possible that you know your neighborhood quite well and are aware of the selling prices of many homes in the area. However, an experienced agent will have a good grasp on the history of your neighborhood and has probably sold a house in your area before. While research is great, prior knowledge can give them a leg up in determining exactly how you can price your house for maximum success. Instead of having to guess at what will work, they should have the knowledge to make a sound judgment.

Marketing Know-How

Most real estate agents have dealt with the ups and downs of the market, and this generally means that they’ve learned how to succeed even when the chips are down. When it comes to marketing, the right agent will have the contacts and the savvy to determine the best approach for selling your home. Whether it involves posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, an online website or an Open House, an agent will know how to appeal to your ideal buyer and garner you the best offer around.

Closing The Deal

With so much money involved for both the seller and the buyer, the likelihood of getting your asking price right off the bat is not high. In situations like this, it’s more than a little helpful to have a real estate agent around who understands the negotiating process and how to close the deal. Not only will they be able to advise you on what your home is worth and what it can garner, they can also advise you on when you should consider a lower offer.

It may be tempting to go it alone when it comes to selling your house, but the right agent can be instrumental in marketing your home and getting you the price you’re asking for. If you’re currently getting prepared to put your home up for sale, you may want to contact me for more information.

Location, Location, Location: How to Ensure You’re Buying a Home in the Right Community

Happy couple in front of home

When investing in a home, one of the most important things is buying a place that you and your family can feel comfortable in. However, while a place you can envision yourself in is important, it’s not worth neglecting the neighborhood you’ll be moving into for the perfect home. If you’re wondering what you should be looking for in the neighborhood you choose, here are a few things to consider before making an offer on a home.

Is It Safe?

It may be common to feel bowled over by a home and want to invest immediately, but the right home in the wrong neighborhood may not be the best choice for many reasons. Part of feeling comfortable in your home is being safe among its streets, so ensure you research the neighborhood and its history, and check in on the crime rate. You may even want to consult with your agent or some local neighbors to see what information they can provide about the area’s history.

Are There Local Amenities?

If you’re used to getting in the car to run errands, it might not be important to not have a grocery store or pharmacy nearby. However, if there are no amenities you use frequently close by, it can start to be a bit of a drain on your lifestyle. While you don’t necessarily need to have the trendiest restaurants or best shopping, it’s important to have a few choice places in case you run out of something and need to make a quick run to the store.

What’s Your Neighborhood Style?

It might seem like a strange thing to ask yourself, but the neighborhood you live in is going to become a big part of your life and that means you’ll have to see yourself in it. If you want neighbors you can trust and community-mindedness, you’ll want to seek out an area with these qualities. On the other side, if you happen to prefer a busier urban atmosphere that offers more independence, this may be the way to go.

There are a lot of things that go into finding the right home, but it’s important not to forget about the neighborhood you’re living in and what it will mean for your lifestyle. If you’re currently considering homes and are trying to determine an area that will work for you, you may want to reach out to me for more information. I can help you find the right community that fits your style.

It’s Hammer Time: 4 Common Remodeling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

House, measure and plans

Investing in your home by remodeling or renovating is an excellent way to increase its value. However, a significant renovation project can quickly turn into a disaster, especially for those who are inexperienced. Let’s take a look at four of the more common home renovation mistakes that homeowners make and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1: Skipping The Permit Process

The first mistake you will want to avoid is undertaking any home renovation without the required permits. While some remodeling projects will not require a permit, others will. Regardless, it is more than worth taking the time to do your research to ensure you do not run afoul of the law. A visit to the city’s website or a quick phone call is all you will need to find out if a permit is required and how much it will cost.

Mistake #2: Being Afraid

A great way to ruin your renovation is to be too afraid to transform the space into whatever best suits your family. Try to avoid being trendy and going with renos that you saw recently on television. Instead, consider how you currently use your kitchen, bathroom or whatever other space you’re changing and improve it for the better.

Mistake #3: Using Cheap Materials Or Labor

When it comes to contractors, going cheap is rarely a good idea. You want someone who is going to do the best quality of work at a fair, affordable price. Moreover, since you’re investing in that contractor, it is best to also invest in using high-quality materials for the job.

Also, don’t be the type that skimps on costs just because something isn’t visible. A good example is if your contractor recommends that you install something like a bathroom membrane system. Yes, it’s an extra cost that is mostly a preventive measure against mold getting under your tiles. However, it is a small consideration in protecting the more substantial investment you’re making in upgrading your home.

Mistake #4: Changing Your Mind

As the old saying goes: “measure twice, cut once.” Changing your mind in the middle of your renovation is almost certainly going to cost you. Once you commit, try to stick to the plan unless circumstances force you to make a change.

These are just four of the many mistakes that can be made by an inexperienced home renovator. If you’re thinking about a major remodel, contact us first. Our real estate team can share which renovations have added value and equity to other local homes.



4 Home Staging Ideas That Are Heavy on the “Wow” Factor but Light on the Wallet

Black and Blue Master Bedroom

Staging is one of the most important aspects of any home sale. The more attractive your home is to potential buyers, the faster you can finalize the sale and move on. With that in mind, let’s explore four home staging ideas that won’t cost a fortune but are sure to impress your buyers.

1: Clean The Place Until It Shines

The first and most obvious option is not going to cost much more than your time. Your home needs to be absolutely, positively spotless. The floors should be so clean that you would have no issue with eating off of them. The walls should be clean and free of marks. Windows and mirrors buffed to a sparkling shine. If there’s dirt to be found, rest assured that potential buyers will see it!

2: Buy New Slip Covers And Sheet Sets

If your furniture is starting to look a little dated, you can spruce it up by investing in new slip covers. These can be color matched to the rest of the room’s palette so that your furniture fits in. It is also a great idea to ensure that you have new-looking, matching sheet sets on all of the beds. The bedrooms don’t need to look like hotel rooms, but they do need to look good.

3: Invest In Better Lighting For Important Rooms

When was the last time you replaced the bulbs in your fixtures and lamps? If you are still using dull older incandescent bulbs, it’s time to invest in newer LED or compact fluorescent lighting. It is best to try to match the color temperature of the bulbs to the rest of the room so that the room’s color and ‘feel’ don’t clash with the lighting. If this is a bit above your head, consider having a lighting expert come in to help light the important, high-traffic areas.

#4: Use Plants To Add A Bit Of Warmth And Life

Finally, if your home is lacking a bit of plant life, it might be time to take a quick trip to the local nursery. Adding one or two plants to your common areas adds a touch of life and even helps to keep the air fresh. If you prefer a pop of color, you can always add a flowering plant that’s currently in bloom.

Spending a few hours and a few dollars on staging is an investment that will pay off immensely when you sell your home. If you are thinking about listing your home for sale, or for more staging tips, contact our real estate team. We are happy to share our experience and help get your home sold quickly at a great price.

Wow.. Several Housing Markets Headed for Appreciation in 2012

Looking for the Markets that are headed for appreciation in 2012.  See the article written in the National Association of Realtors On Line Magazine as the Housing Predictor makes its annual predictions.  http://go.realtor.org/r/AMK3ROB/PRG7F/X0OOR/42Y8L/K557/32/t/

Meanwhile, in the SE Florida market, the market is good and recovering.  Although we are not in the craziness of years past, the buyers are realizing that the prices have been flat and are moving slightly upwards (3.9%) year over year 2010 to 2011 and that certain areas of the ocean front have moved up more than that.








Real Estate Prices are starting to move up FINALLY

I know we all think that the real estate is still going down, but the monthly numbers speak for themselves for some areas such as Miami which has seen a 29.5% year over year increase; Fort Myers-Cape Coral Increase of  21.63 percent increase year over year… The monthly numbers are encouraging as the inventories finally diminish and the buyers are seeking the deals before they loose momentum.  What are your thoughts?  12-29-11

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