You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 28, 2023


For prospective buyers, visualization is key in determining if a house feels like home. RE/MAX agents weigh in on why staging could be a make-or-break factor in sellers receiving top dollar value.


Ever scrolled through a listing and been bemused by photos including outdated furniture, empty rooms or wild wall colors?


It’s the house and property that are for sale, but the existing décor – or lack thereof – inside the home can shape potential buyers’ perception and even affect its perceived value. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2021 Profile of Home Staging, 82% of homebuyers’ real estate agents said that staging helps buyers visualize themselves living in a prospective home.


“When a buyer walks in, they usually know within 15 seconds if they like a house or not,” says Lily Vallario, an agent with RE/MAX Realty Group in Maryland and a professional home stager. “That’s why staging is so important – it’s what keeps buyers inside the home wanting to see more.”



Put simply, staging is the act of rearranging a home’s objects and curating an aesthetic to appeal to the most buyers possible. Sellers can stage a home themselves, bounce ideas off of their real estate agent or hire a professional home stager for larger undertakings.


RE/MAX real estate agents – including Vallario – explain why effective staging could be critical to attain top-dollar value for a home and influence a streamlined sale.


Staging creates space

Staging a home is often easiest when it’s already vacant, but that situation is rare. Most sellers are juggling their typical busy schedules while their house is on the market.


“Oftentimes, just clearing out clutter makes a huge difference on the spaciousness of a home. The owners don’t realize it’s cluttered because they live there and see the space every day,” says Jackie Soltis, an agent with RE/MAX Executive in North Carolina who offers staging services to clients.


“Before evaluating the style of the home, buyers will notice if it feels messy or dirty,” she adds.



She suggests removing – by storing or getting rid of – personalized mementos and excess decorations, aiming for surfaces to have minimal coverage.


“I urge [seller clients] to take all of their personal photos down. I’ve had [buyer clients] come into a home and feel like they're disturbing the people who live there because they just see their family everywhere. It’s hard for them to picture living in someone else's house,” Soltis says.


Smaller spaces can use some extra TLC in creating the appearance of roominess. Especially now, consumers are seeking out multipurpose spaces that can function as a home office. Vallario’s goal is to get seller clients thinking outside the box with ways to add function without the addition of square footage.


“It’s all about how you can carve space out of an existing room,” she says. “Since home offices are in such high demand, I’ve been creating office spaces in the corners of bedrooms or even in the living room, utilizing idle wall space.”


One of her favorite methods for helping small rooms feel larger is adding mirrors to walls, letting the reflection echo.


And contrary to its clean appearance, a vacant home is not conducive for buyers to gauge the size of rooms or envision them filled with their own furniture.


“When a bedroom is empty, for example, people often doubt if they can fit a king size bed. But if they saw a tidy, staged bedroom, they would understand how well a space fits furniture. Staging a vacant house not only makes it look livable and inviting, it also makes the rooms look larger,” Soltis says.


Staging enhances online optics

Today, many prospective buyers are starting their real estate journeys online, meaning that first impressions are formed from a quick scroll through a photo gallery. According to the Future of Real Estate Report by RE/MAX, 94% of North Americans who are searching for properties use an online platform to do so. The NAR Profile of Home Staging also showed that 41% of buyers are more willing to walk through a staged home they first saw online.



“A staged house makes for beautiful photos, and those beautiful photos attract more buyers online – ultimately increasing the traffic of showings,” Vallario says.


The quality of photography matters, of course – with the best photos being high-resolution and large in size – but the content displayed within the photos and color schemes matters as well.


In a listing’s gallery, the order of photos often follows the natural flow of the house, meaning spaces closer to the front door are seen sooner than the upstairs or basement levels. Because of this, Soltis believes more attention should be placed on staging main spaces like the entryway, living room and kitchen, and bedrooms can be kept simple.


She warns to not neglect the front of the home either, as it is often the thumbnail when a listing is presented online and is used in nearly all marketing materials. Exterior staging to boost curb appeal, however, doesn’t need to be extensive. Soltis suggests a deep cleaning – like a power wash – and adding a few welcoming touches like a doormat, matching planters and patio chairs if the home has a front porch.


Staging helps a home appear updated

Temporary in nature, staging helps modernize dated spaces, and also provides an opportunity to incorporate trendy and current home decor pieces.


“Trends change so often, but it’s fairly easy to keep up with them when staging,” Vallario says. “In the 1990s and early 2000s, people were painting walls red, orange and yellow because that’s what was in style. For the past three years, wall colors have leaned cooler and revolved around grey. And 10 years ago, wood – like maple – was all the rage in kitchens, but now people are veering lighter and choosing white cabinets and tiles.”


In essence, paint color can change the feel – and transform the time period – of an entire home. When in doubt, experts advise opting for neutral wall colors like beiges, greys and whites, to create a blank canvas effect. For a streamlined appearance, one neutral color can run through all the rooms.


Investing in a few home décor swaps upfront can increase the home’s worth in the long run, and even potentially help the seller receive higher offers. Currently, popular improvements among sellers are upgraded light fixtures, new cabinet knobs, accessories with popular textures like rattan, and swapping wall-to-wall carpet for hardwood flooring or wood-like options.


Staging speaks to emotion

A house is a space of creative expression, customization and comfort. But when it’s on the market with tours coming through, it’s time to put the personalization aside and focus on what creates the most desirable template for prospective buyers.


“When selling a house, we're really selling a product and a lifestyle. So, you have to think about it like it’s not your home anymore – it’s a product for sale. Because of that, we're going to have to rearrange the furniture for what consumers would like best, and repaint to a neutral color in order to appeal to buyers looking online,” she says.


In addition to improving the overall appearance, staging is intended to enhance the emotional component of a property. An inviting living room could be a promising place to gather with loved ones, a freshly mowed backyard could be room for children or pets to play, and a set dining table could be the perfect place for holiday entertaining.



Posted in Selling a Home
Feb. 22, 2023


January 2023 marked the seventh consecutive month of price declines in the U.S., according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report.


Data from the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report continues to show that the U.S. housing market is experiencing a healthy rebalance. The January 2023 Median Sale Price of $385,000 was down 1.0% from December 2022, marking the seventh consecutive month of price declines. At the same time, New Listings, the total number of properties listed for sale during the month, surged nearly 40 percent, compared to December 2022. January’s gain in new listings was higher than any month last year.


While the number of homes for sale is increasing, the number of closed transactions has declined, which is typical at this time of year. The rebalance is creating new opportunities in real estate, and providing the potential for more negotiating power to homebuyers across the report’s 51 metros measured.


RE/MAX President and CEO Nick Bailey believes the U.S. housing market isn’t rebounding, but rather rebalancing, after an unsustainable few years of frenzy.


“Home price appreciation seems to have stabilized, and along with additional inventory and longer average days on market, that's good news for buyers,” he said. “Buyers have more choices, and more time to identify the right house and work with their agent to negotiate with the seller. All of these are positive signs, putting both buyers and sellers in a more balanced position.”


In a recent interview with Cheddar News, Bailey shared, “We had one of the most extreme seller’s markets that we’ve had ever in our history, and it included over 125 consecutive months of run-up in pricing.”


In other good news for homebuyers, the average Close-to-List Price Ratio in January was 97%, meaning that homes sold, on average, for 3% less than the asking price. There has been a gradual decline in this metric since May 2022, when sellers were getting 3% over asking price on average. Homebuyers also are having a bit more time to weigh their options on what’s likely one of the largest financial transactions of their lifetime. After all, homes sold in January were on the market for an average of 48 days – one day longer than in December and 12 days longer than one year ago.


Carissa Sargent of RE/MAX of Cherry Creek in Denver, CO agreed the rebalance has been beneficial to buyers.


“The housing market is bouncing back, and we are seeing some multiple offer scenarios again – but with better balance for buyers than we’ve seen over the past few years,” she says.


According to a recent survey from RE/MAX, homeownership remains a top priority for consumers in the U.S. Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents said they plan to buy a house or condo in the next few years and 53% said they have expedited their homebuying plans as a result of current market conditions.


Jeffrey Decatur of RE/MAX Capital in Albany, NY noted he’s seeing buyers shopping in full force.


“Buyers have come to terms with the rates and have jumped back in with both feet,” he says. “They realize that although rates may be higher, the prices of rent are outpacing the cost and benefits of homeownership.”


Here’s the need-to-know data from the U.S. metro areas surveyed for the January 2023 RE/MAX National Housing Report:


Home Sales Continue to Cool

Of the 51 metro areas surveyed in January 2023, the overall number of home sales is down 26.7% compared to December 2022, and down 35.2% compared to January 2022. The markets with the biggest decrease in year-over-year sales percentage were Honolulu, HI at -49.4%, Las Vegas, NV at -48.4%, and Anchorage, AK at -47.4%. No metro area had a year-over-year sales percentage increase in January.


Home Prices May Have Peaked

In January 2023, the median of all 51 metro area sales prices was $385,000, down 1.0% compared to December 2022, and up 1.3% from January 2022. The markets with the biggest year-over-year decrease in median sales price were Bozeman, MT at -6.6%, Honolulu, HI at -6.3%, and San Francisco, CA at -5.6%. Two metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, Milwaukee, WI at +13.7% and Indianapolis, IN at +11.3%.


The Number of New Listings is Soaring

While New Listings were down 5.1% year over year, January 2023 saw a jump in new listings of 39.8% from December 2022. Leading the year-over-year new listings percentage increase were Dover, DE at +45.9%, Nashville, TN at +45.2%, and Philadelphia, PA at +45.0%. The markets with the biggest decrease in year-over-year new listings percentage were San Francisco, CA at -28.0%, Indianapolis, IN at -25.0%, and San Diego, CA at -23.9%.


Ready to make a move? Contact me today!



Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 17, 2023



Prep your outdoor space for gatherings and good times to come.


With summer in full swing, social events, celebrations, and annual cookouts are likely starting to fill the calendar. To prepare for the busy season ahead, make sure your outdoor living space can stand up to the test.


Consider these five summertime exterior maintenance projects to spruce up your home in time for upcoming weekend plans.


Tend to the yard

If your yard needs a quick makeover, planting flowers, shaping shrubs and adding a fresh layer of mulch are easy ways to enhance the space. And, placing potted flowers around the property – front and back – is a simple way to add pops of color. Mowing the grass and removing weeds (either by pulling them or using a safe weed-killer) can also make any yard look well-manicured.


Touch up the home’s exterior

Pleasant weather means summer is the perfect time to give the exterior of your home some TLC. Washing the outside of your house will help get rid of any dirt buildup that’s accumulated over the past year. For tougher grime, consider hiring professionals to power-wash the siding in a safe and effective manner.


If easily accessible, touch up areas of chipped paint on siding, doors or window frames.


Clean out the gutters

Regularly clearing gutters of leaves and debris is an important step in preventing leaks in your roof and home’s interior. Clogged gutters can also cause rainwater to spill over, which can create puddles along the perimeter of your home.


Plus, standing water is a breeding ground for unwanted insects, like mosquitos. Ensuring your gutters are draining properly can help keep bugs at bay.


Wash outdoor furniture

You don’t want guests dining at a dirty table. Before company arrives, give your outdoor furniture a deep cleaning to remove any leftover pollen, dust or dead bugs – and be sure to leave time for each piece to dry. Take this time to deep clean the interior of the grill, too.


If you have a wooden deck, consider resealing or re-staining the wood to prevent it from rotting.


Stock up on entertaining supplies

Do you have all the items you need to host a backyard gathering, or even just an evening with family? Consider picking up citronella candles for bug prevention, propane or charcoal for the grill, and dinnerware that won’t break when dropped (think paper plates).


Outdoor décor like string lights, refreshed patio furniture or even a fire pit can transform your exterior space from functional to the go-to hangout spot this summer.


Written by



(Article not mine. Credits to the owner/s)


Posted in Blog Posts
Feb. 14, 2023



Many homeowners enjoy the financial and emotional benefits of owning property. Here are a few reasons to swoon over your space.


Home sweet home. It's the place that greets you after a hard day at work – or in your home office. The place where you relax, laugh, celebrate, eat, drink, and do the things you want to do. What's not to love about a place like that?


Many buyers find love in their home search – "I love this kitchen!" "The dogs would love this backyard!" "I'd love to spend Friday nights on this porch!" – and even in the idea of moving on ("We'd love to have more space than our cramped apartment").


Home is where families and friends share love for one another, and where everyone loves the dog (How can you not? "Who's a good boy?") And what makes this love affair with home even more rewarding and long-lasting? Homeownership!


In the spirit of Valentine's Day, here are four reasons to love a home you own.


1. It provides shelter – and comfort

A long day or a trip away reinforces the idea that there’s no place like home. Not only does a home provide shelter by way of a roof overhead, but it also acts as a template for recharging. From lounging in a favorite recliner chair to snagging the best spot on the couch to gathering around the kitchen table for memorable conversations, a home you own is a sanctuary of comfort.


2. It helps generate equity

For many, homeownership is a significant way to build wealth that can span across generations. Equity is built by paying down a mortgage, plus completing regular maintenance, making necessary repairs, and even renovating the home over time.


By paying your mortgage rather than a landlord's, you add to your financial wellbeing.


3. It allows room for personalization

Renting a home comes with strings attached – many of which involve following regulations with paint color, nails to hang art, landscaping, décor, and more. When you own your home, the opportunity to customize the place is virtually limitless.


Best of all, the style of your home can evolve over time. Knowing you have the freedom to shake things up at any moment means your home can grow alongside you and your family.


Additionally, many dog owners know the difficulties of trying to rent a property with a pet. When you own your home – short of some condo stipulations – Fido is welcome, too. And if your home has outdoor space, you can help make it as pet-friendly as possible.


4. It’s the backdrop for lifelong memories

In recent years, more of life happens at home. Across time, a house continues to be the center for gathering with friends and family, celebrating holidays, hosting neighbors, cooking meals indoors, enjoying sunshine outdoors, and so many other things you love to do.


Many people appreciate their home for its convenient location, proximity to family, nearby entertainment, and the surrounding community. When homeowners look back on the purchase of their house, they often fondly reflect on the memories that have since made it into a home.


Written by: RE/MAX News

Article not mine. Credits to the owner/s

Posted in Blog Posts
Feb. 6, 2023

Date Night Ideas to Ignite a Spark



Tired of the same old same old? While dinner and a movie is a fantastic tried and true classic date, it can easily become monotonous. Shake up your romantic life and try something new with your loved one! These five date night ideas are sure to ignite a spark and keep you wishing that the night would never end. 


Become an Art Critic 


Yes, your date is easily the most beautiful work of art out there, but don’t let that stop you from exploring the halls of your local art museum. Create a playlist of both of your favorites and bring along wireless headphones so you can listen together while you peruse the art. Afterward, discuss your favorite pieces over a drink or an ice cream cone.  


Or Create Something of Your Own 


Discover your inner artists. Check out art studios near you. Try your hand at pottery, fiber works, collaging, or sketching. Paint and sip in a studio or buy your own canvases and paint the same subject at a lovely park. 


Dance the Night Away 


Sweep your date off their feet…literally! Find a club or studio that offers open dance classes and dust off your dancing shoes. Try out a variety of styles: salsa, swing, two-stepping, it doesn’t matter! Just get your bodies moving, your hearts beating, and the conversation flowing!


Ain’t No Mountain High Enough 


The great outdoors is the perfect setting for a little romance. Lace up your hiking boots, fill your backpack, and hit the trail! Pack blankets and a picnic to enjoy at the end of the hike. 


Ultimate Chef Showdown


Food tells a story that words never could. Enjoy a meal where you each prepare a dish that has a history or meaning associated with it. Take each other to the grocery store and lend one another a hand in the kitchen. 


Posted in Blog Posts
Feb. 3, 2023

7 Valentine's Day Activities for the Entire Family


6 Valentine's Day Activities for the Entire Family


Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday this year, which means we have an entire day to celebrate! It can be difficult to find ways to include children in Valentine's Day because it is typically a day for mom and dad. While we hope you have some alone time together, the holiday can be just as, if not more, fun with children around.

We can't think of a better way to celebrate love than with the people we care about the most. Here are seven ideas for making Valentine's Day a fun family celebration:


1. Make a breakfast themed around love.

Begin your day with heart-shaped pancakes, strawberries, or raspberry-glazed cinnamon rolls. We also adore this recipe for "Love Toast"! Make breakfast together and enjoy the delicious meal around the table to have some fun in the kitchen.

2. Tell us about your love story.

Valentine's Day is an excellent time to tell your children about your own love story. What child isn't curious about how their parents met and fell in love? If you're not comfortable with that, share someone else's love story!

3. Listen to your favorite love songs and dance to them.

Family dance parties are the most enjoyable. This is an excellent opportunity to teach your child about your favorite songs and dance moves, such as how to properly slow dance, two-step, or waltz. If you are unfamiliar with these dances, watch a YouTube video and learn as a family.

4. Make chocolate-covered strawberries

5. Make something creative.

Crafts are popular among children. We understand that doing crafts at home can be intimidating, but it's a great way to create new memories and decorations for next year!

6. Dress up for a special date.

For a more traditional holiday, dress everyone up and go to your favorite restaurant, or order food and have a restaurant-style dinner at home. Share things you like about each other as well as your favorite parts of the day during the family date.

(Article not mine. Credits to the owner/s)

Posted in Blog Posts
Feb. 2, 2023



Written by KERI HENKE


As the U.S. housing market conditions shift more in favor of buyers, there are upgrades home sellers may consider to ensure a more competitive listing.

American chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern often says “Life happens in the kitchen.” It’s no wonder then, that the kitchen and bathroom – potentially the two most functional rooms in a home – are also the focal point of nearly every house for sale.

The kitchen and bathrooms are important places to consider investing money into when preparing a home for sale. In fact, according to a recent consumer survey conducted by RE/MAX, the top upgrades sellers plan to make prior to selling are to the bathroom (49%) and the kitchen (48%).

What type of kitchen and bathroom upgrades are necessary? Expert RE/MAX agents have the answers – but it all starts by understanding what type of housing market sellers are facing.

Understanding homebuyer patterns

Alison Malkin, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Essentia in Avon, Connecticut, believes the last couple of years were an aberration in her local housing market.

“If a house wasn’t falling down, it had potential. Sellers got away with not having to do as much in order to sell, but that’s not what we’re seeing anymore,” she says.

Christian Fuentes, a rehabber and co-Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Top Producers in Diamond Bar, California, agrees.

“Now the market is opposite,” he says. “Buyers are picky. They are looking for move-in-ready homes and are very cautious on what they are going to spend.”

In other words, homeowners who are thinking about selling in the months ahead need to consider what updates their home may need to help it stand out from the crowd. Decluttering, cleaning and staging are all necessary pieces to the home selling formula. But depending on the seller – and the current state of the home – some opt to do a bit more.

Richelle Taylor, an agent with RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who has experience rehabbing properties, says, “If your home is newer looking and updated, buyers are likely going to look at yours over similar options – and your home could sell faster and for more money.”

Finding balance in updates

Because the kitchen and bathroom are the two of the most functional rooms in a home, updating them can be paramount prior to listing the property for sale. But a complete overhaul isn’t necessarily warranted, according to some real estate agents. In fact, due to costs and time, the all-or-nothing method isn’t the only way to go.

“I don’t tell people to gut their kitchen. That extreme doesn’t necessarily pay back in most cases,” says Malkin.

Instead, she recommends making smaller updates that help elevate the overall ambiance of the room.

“Try replacing the light fixtures and hardware in a kitchen or bathroom,” says Taylor. “In many cases, you can leave all of the main features the same and that space will still look completely different – and elevated. For a smaller investment, you can make a big impact in any type of home.”

The easiest things for sellers to replace prior to listing, according to agents, are typically dated builder grade materials, including:

• Retail Faucets – a rounded, single-handed faucet that turns side-to-side in a bathroom

• Vanity lights – the long plank of lightbulbs that stick out, placed above the bathroom mirror

• Dome lights – lights with a circular base and rounded cover that could appear in any room

• Fixtures – outdated drawer pulls and door handles for kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities

Experts also suggest sellers consider a fresh coat of paint on the walls and updated flooring. For kitchens, many sellers repaint or reface cabinets, swap out countertops for a timely option like granite, or even invest in a newer appliance, like a stainless-steel fridge or updated oven. For bathrooms, sellers often repaint or reface the vanity, or swap out the mirror for a design-forward one with a different shape.

While these two spaces can make a big impact on the opinions of buyers, Malkin says another big takeaway for sellers is to synchronize updates in other parts of the house.

“If you have an updated kitchen and bathroom, but then have 1970s wall-to-wall shag carpet, that is going to offset the cohesiveness of the house. You have got to balance everything out,” she explains.

Taylor adds that first impressions are key, making the entryway another place of focus.

“When you walk in the door and there’s a grand entrance and a beautiful light, people are committed to see what will come next,” she says.

Weighing benefits and risks

For sellers, making these investments to benefit resale value, while financial, are also about time and patience.

But it can be worth it.

“A buyer sees not only the cost [of a pending project], but the effort that goes into it. And all of that has a cost against the price,” Malkin explains. “If the kitchen or bathroom has already been remodeled, and it’s to the taste of the buyer, they “hit gold” – as does the seller.”

Remodeling justifies a higher listing price, says Taylor, explaining a buyer will see all the brand-new things that they’re not going to have to replace. These cosmetic changes differ from more functional ones like new windows, electrical upgrades, or even a furnace, which are crucial to the home – but not as eye-catching during a house tour.

“The agent has to point those more functional things out and explain their benefit," Taylor explains. "But prospective buyers see new stainless-steel appliances and countertops and they’re impressed.”

At the end of the day, Fuentes says it all comes down to the homeowner’s budget, and either way, the home will likely sell – especially when it’s being represented by a real estate professional with a track record of success.

“As an agent, we’re constantly adjusting prices," he says. "If you have a brand-new kitchen, completely remodeled in the last two years, it’s a wow factor. We’ll price it right and it’ll likely help the home sell for more. If you don’t have the new kitchen, we price it accordingly so the buyers can come in and do the remodel themselves.”

When possible, agents agree that updates to high traffic areas – like kitchens and bathrooms – should be done while the seller is still living in the home and can reap the benefit of enjoying a renovated space.

“If you’re going to put that much effort into renovating your kitchen, enjoy it while you’re there and then sell your house when you’re ready to,” Malkin advises.

After all, if the kitchen truly is the center of the home, you might as well update and savor the flavor of life.


Credits to the owner/s. Article not mine.

Written by KERI HENKE


Posted in Home Tips
Jan. 31, 2023





Bought a house so your dog could have their dream yard? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.


A survey by revealed that nearly 95% of pet owners consider the needs of their furry friends when shopping for a new home. When curating a dog-friendly dwelling, there are factors to consider for their comfort and safety.


Check out these tips for creating a pet-friendly yard sure to make tails wag.


1. Plant Non-Toxic Flora and Fauna

Dog owners know that anything outside – from sticks to plants – is susceptible to becoming a snack. That’s why it’s important to plant flowers and plants that are non-toxic to dogs.


The Pet Poison Hotline identifies the top ten plants that are poisonous to pets as: Autumn Crocus, Azalea, Cyclamen, Kalanchoe, Lilies, Oleander, Dieffenbachia, Daffodils, Lily of the Valley, Sago Palm, and Tulips and Hyacinths. Other common plants that may be toxic to pets include Peony, Geranium, and more.


This goes for fertilizer and mulch, too. When purchasing lawn fertilizer, opt for a choice that is deemed pet safe. And when choosing a type of mulch, avoid cocoa bean mulch – a darker, round shape made from cocoa beans – as it is toxic to dogs.


2. Create a Potty Spot

Looking to protect the lawn from the perils of dog business? Use absorbent material like turf or mulch to carve out a space as a designated potty spot. Plus, keep pet-safe patch-up products on hand for when inevitable dead spots of grass do arise.


3. Invest in Secure Fencing

Fencing a yard is often a steep cost, but can be worth it for your pet’s safety – and your own peace of mind. Consider the design and height of fence depending on what type of dog you have, and how prone they are to escape.


While it's a safe choice for pets and children alike, a fenced-in yard can also potentially increase your home's resale value.


4. Provide Shade

Summer isn’t quite over yet – and for those who live in warmer climates, temps can stay high year-round. This makes it essential to provide some form of shade in the yard in order for your dog to enjoy the outdoors without overheating.


5. Have the Right Tools on Hand

Consider yard accessories to make your pup’s experience more enjoyable – and your care for them a bit easier. Invest in items like an outdoor water bowl for hydration, a paw-wipe station to get rid of mud, and a potty scoop tool to make yard cleanup easier.

Posted in Blog Posts
Jan. 24, 2023


Written by Leah Curtis

Did you know your ceiling fan can help heat your house? Learn other creative ways to reduce your energy bill and save money this winter.


Winter is here with shorter days, afternoon sunsets and frosty temps.


With an increase in work-from-home flexibility and remote learning for children, chances are that in 2020, your electricity costs are higher than usual. And, depending on the climate where you live, it’s time to assess how prepared your home is to accommodate more time indoors due to frigid weather and dwindling daylight hours.


Snow is on the way and Wi-Fi use at an all-time high, so you may be looking for ways to operate a more sustainable residence. Consider these tips for reducing your household’s energy bill.


Schedule an energy audit

You can hire experts to inspect energy outputs throughout your home while looking for ways in which you can conserve energy. The goal is to ensure your home is running as efficiently as possible. To make that determination, the expert will take a close look at appliances – like your water heater – as well as structural components – like the insulation between walls – and determine if these features are working to the best of their abilities.


An energy audit serves as a roadmap, helping you navigate where to invest time and money in order to make your house as energy-efficient as possible.


Swap out lightbulbs

Nowadays, it’s easy and affordable to swap out traditional incandescent lightbulbs, the kind that produce electricity from heat, for more efficient options. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are two of the most common energy-efficient bulbs on the market.


Additionally, “smart” lightbulbs are becoming increasingly more popular as well, with options to set timers and schedule lighting to avoid wasting energy. Sometimes, these smart light fixtures can even be paired with voice assistants or controlled through smart phone apps for the utmost control over your home’s lighting.


Invest in an advanced thermostat

The modern advancements in heating and cooling technology mean your HVAC system can actually work with you to maintain a comfortable temperature and avoid wasting heat when no one is home. “Smart” thermostats are designed to internalize the homeowner’s living patterns and adjust the temperature accordingly and automatically.


Many of these smart thermostat devices are controllable via a smart phone app, which means that if you left the heat on high, you can turn down the temperature while away from your house.


Seal off windows and doors

You’d hate to be cranking the heat in your home only to find out the hot air is seeping out the front door. If your home feels drafty or has trouble retaining warmth, assess whether you need to better seal doors and windows. This can especially be an issue in older homes.


Found at most hardware stores, draft guards and DIY window and door insulation methods can seal any gaps to trap in heat in the colder months.


Switch the direction of your ceiling fans

Did you know that the direction your ceiling fan spins determines whether it’s helping cool or heat a room? As winter approaches, reverse the direction of your ceiling fan’s spinning to clockwise to encourage cold air to rise, as opposed to the summertime setting of counterclockwise where cold air gets pushed down.


To change the direction, turn off the fan (wait for a complete stop!) and then flip the switch that is often found on either the motor housing or the base.


Regularly replace air filters

When furnace and air filters become clogged, the build-up causes your HVAC system to work harder and use more energy to simply heat the house.


Regularly replacing the air filters not only takes a burden off of your heating system, but it also ensures you and your family are breathing cleaner air.


Source: RE/

Written by: Leah Curtis


(Article not mine. Credits to the owners)


Posted in Home Tips
Jan. 23, 2023


According to a RE/MAX agent and interior design specialist, a home’s color palette can make a significant impact on prospective buyers. Here’s why.

Using color throughout a home can be expressive, creative and hold cultural significance. But what happens to that level of personalization when it’s time to sell?


According to Jeannie Do, homeowners preparing a property to sell need to look past their own emotional connection to color and focus on what changes – like a fresh coat of paint – can elevate their home’s overall aesthetic, appeal to buyers, and potentially increase ROI.

Do, an agent and member of the International Group with RE/MAX Professionals in Lakewood, Colorado, holds a BFA degree in Interior Design and spent 10 years designing luxury homes and commercial spaces. Through projects as intimate as renovating a mid-century modern home and as sizable as designing NFL stadiums, Do has developed a keen eye for the role color plays in creating an experiential space and the impact it has on consumers.

Do shares what sellers should – and should not – change up when it comes to their home’s interior paint colors, and what shades serve best as a visual template for prospective buyers.


Reconsidering bright colors

Colors used to express oneself, Do believes, can oftentimes be a reflection of their personality, mindset and values. Working with clients from all around the world, including countries like Morocco, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico and more, Do regularly sees the tie between home color and culture.

“As a member of the International Group with RE/MAX Professionals, we work with a lot of Asian clientele and in many Asian households, you may see the color red because it represents good fortune and is very auspicious,” she explains. “Red is a color of high energy and I think that can relate to the dynamic of Asian families who cherish their extended family and host lively gatherings all together."

She continues, “That said, red is typically a color we would avoid in home staging because it’s seen as a statement color.”

Many home stagers agree that while color is a great way to be expressive while living in a space, it’s often best to eliminate brighter shades when preparing a home to sell in order to appeal to more buyers.

When it’s time to sell, you should aim to remove yourself from the house and make it a blank slate – almost like an art gallery,” Do says. “Galleries usually have white walls because it allows the art to shine without making an impression on it. I tell my clients to approach their own homes in the same way – you need to set your house up as the neutral gallery for the buyer to see as their next piece of art.”


Aligning with trends

While neutral paint colors are typically timeless, Do shares that there can be a place for brighter colors to stay up or be added in when preparing a home to sell. If the seller’s goal is to match their home with current design trends, like today’s buzz around mid-century modern style, for example, then in-theme colors may be embraced by prospective buyers.

“Right now, the rich jewel tones are on trend, like hunter greens, deep blues and mustard yellows. If they’re implemented in a design-forward way that could appeal to the current buying market, I would say to leave it up on the walls and carefully curate the space around it,” she says.

Do warns that some wall colors, on the other hand, can actually date a home.

“Color doesn't necessarily always have to go. But if we're seeing those dark brown or rich red hues from the early 2000s, it may do a disservice to the overall aesthetic of your home. In these cases, I definitely recommend changing it to a color that’s more neutral,” Do advises.

Homes vary in size, have unique layouts and receive different quantities of natural light, thus requiring different shades and undertones of paint even within one color family. That said, Do often finds herself suggesting the colors Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore, a neutral-toned white, and Pure White by Sherwin Williams, a creamier tone, to her clients as safe bets for creating a gallery-like effect.

Consumer preferences also have a longstanding history of mirroring societal trends. While cooler grays were preferred for a period of time, warmer neutrals are rising in popularity.

“Because of the change in lifestyle due to COVID-19 in the last couple of years, people are actually starting to favor warmer tones for their mood-boosting and comforting effects. It’s all about psychology,” she explains. “Because people are so uncertain about what's happening in the world, they want to come home to a place that makes them feel safe.”


Creating a synchronized space

Wall color surely sets a backdrop. But the rest of the elements within a home’s interior have to align to create a space that buyers can envision themselves and their families living in.

“Your furniture and décor pieces have to be cohesive with the wall color. If you have really modern furniture but dated wall colors, the interior can feel disconnected,” Do says. “It’s much harder for buyers to picture how they would personalize, furnish and decorate the home when it doesn't feel natural.”

Do understands that for many, it’s not in budget to make big changes to a home before hitting the market. In addition to decluttering the space, she shares a few other tricks for staging just with existing items within the home.

“Lighting and window treatments are a relatively easy way to elevate a space. It can even be as simple as moving your curtains all the way up to the ceiling to visually elongate the walls and make the ceiling seem higher,” she explains. “Bring in as much natural light as you can. In smaller spaces, consider swapping out heavier curtains for ones that are sheer to really optimize sunlight.”

A qualified seller’s agent will have insight on the local housing market, have seen comparable properties, and can provide further suggestions to help prep a home to sell.

“When it’s time to sell, just keep in mind that you're trying to appeal to others’ taste, not your own. Getting rid of personalization and loud wall colors can help the process move along much smoother and attract more buyers along the way,” Do says.



Re/max Website

Written by: LEAH CURTIS

(Article not mine credits to the owner/s)


Posted in Selling a Home