Real Estate – Connestee Falls Realty http://www.connesteefallshomes.com Brevard, NC - Live Where You Play! Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:59:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/cropped-CFR-Favicon-32x32.png Real Estate – Connestee Falls Realty http://www.connesteefallshomes.com 32 32 SELLING YOUR HOME? A KITCHEN CLEAN-UP PAYS OFF! http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/selling-home-kitchen-clean-pays-off/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/selling-home-kitchen-clean-pays-off/#respond Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:59:21 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6476 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by realtytimes.com staff writers. “When it comes to selling a home, a kitchen clean-up pays.  You don’t have to do an expensive remodel to make your kitchen appealing to buyers – if you’re starting with a good kitchen space, then making a few inexpensive modifications can help you get your …

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by realtytimes.com staff writers.

“When it comes to selling a home, a kitchen clean-up pays.  You don’t have to do an expensive remodel to make your kitchen appealing to buyers – if you’re starting with a good kitchen space, then making a few inexpensive modifications can help you get your  home noticed and sell for more.

Here are a few things to start with.  Some people like to leave every single appliance that they’ve used in the last week out on the counter, but to show good counter space, you’re going to have to clear them off.   One  of the major mistakes sellers make is leaving the kitchen, or their home, in  everyday condition as they live in it.  Yes, it may be an inconvenience, but it’s worth the work to de-clutter and clean up to make your kitchen pleasing to prospective buyers.

Look around your kitchen and see what you can put away.  The more empty the countertops, the better.  A few subtle decorations that bring your kitchen to life are perfect.  Leave open space for buyers to imagine their own belongings in your kitchen.  If you have low-hanging pots and pans on racks from walls or ceilings, remove them and patch the holes to create a cleaner, more spacious look.

Wipe the counter tops thoroughly.  Seem obvious?  Yes.  But stained counters are a real turn-off, and clean counters indicate a kitchen well-cared-for.  If you don’t have an island but you do have the room, a rolling butcher block island works like a charm for adding convenient working space and a sophisticated look.  You might also have some freshly-baked cookies out on the counter or island alongside your flyers for open houses, or when you leave for a scheduled showing.  (Personal hint!  Have a bread machine you never use?  Bring it out and use it.  Experience has taught that the smell of fresh-baked bread in the house will help to sell it.)

Get some light in the kitchen.  If you have recessed lighting, try adding a few pendant lights.  They add a completely different, updated look.  Change flooring if it’s old, torn, discolored, scuffed – or really outdated.  Install some inexpensive new flooring that gives an updated look (hardwood look-alikes are very popular now).

Add some plants and greenery to your kitchen.  Using fresh herbs in simple containers is a great way to add some pretty decor – plus their aromatic odors help potential buyers to think about meals they might cook in the future.

Clean up or replace worn-down appliances.  You can sell your  home with appliances “as is”, but a broken dishwasher, for example, is a point of price negotiation.  You can expect buyers will want some money off or for it to be replaced.

The kitchen in one of the most important areas of a home for most buyers, even if they don’t cook.  Taking the time and effort to enhance it before you list your home will help ensure your home sells for the best price you can get.

SOURCE:  realtytimes.com staff writers       IMAGE:  ArtsyBee/Pixabay

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DIY RENOVATING DONT’S – LEARNED FROM EXPERIENCE http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/diy-renovating-donts-learned-experience/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/diy-renovating-donts-learned-experience/#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:13:25 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6380 SOURCE:  Excerpted from article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “DIY always seems like such a good in the dream state.  Build in some equity with some elbow grease.  Get more for your money while learning some important skills.  Create pretty spaces without having to deal with contractors.  What could go wrong? Plenty, actually.  If you…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“DIY always seems like such a good in the dream state.  Build in some equity with some elbow grease.  Get more for your money while learning some important skills.  Create pretty spaces without having to deal with contractors.  What could go wrong?

Plenty, actually.  If you don’t already have a DIY  horror story, you’re probably overdue.  But you can avoid problems by learning from others’ mistakes.

  • Don’t start a  project without educating yourself...Putting up a backsplash, for instance.  It seems like an easy enough task.  Then you step back, look at your finished product and realize you should have consulted an expert.  Or at least watched a YouTube video or two.  Truth is, you can learn just about anything you want just by Googling it.  Tons of tutorials out there can teach you to lay wood flooring or replace a window – or do your own backsplash.  But in most cases, an abbreviated study isn’t going to compare to the work of someone who has been honing their craft for some time.  For the persistent DIYer, getting some good study time in before starting your project is essential to doing a good job.
  • Don’t paint your cabinets without prepping first.  Self-explanatory. At least, sanding beforehand is a must.
  • Commit to finishing a project.  Sometimes, the DIY brain is looking ahead to the next “fun” project without completely finishing the first.  Goal-set an actual deadline.  You abide with deadlines at work, right?  Make your project a priority by setting realistic deadlines you can follow, and commit to finishing before beginning something new.
  • Measure, measure, measure.  MEASURE TWICE – CUT ONCE.  We’ve all heard it.  But maybe, for some of us, measuring twice is not quite good enough.  Measuring incorrectly can cost you a lot of money and time.  Being off by an inch, a half-inch, or even smaller fraction of an inch can have dire consequences when it comes to your home renovation project.  (Note to self:  remember when you bought a big, new, shiny refrigerator?  Got it home, and realized you couldn’t fit it into the old space?  Sound familiar?  I did it this past year.  We had to “Dremel-Drill”  1/2 inch of wood out of the bottom trim of the raised cabinet above to fit it in.)
  • Don’t rush your paint choice.  What looks great in the store doesn’t always look great in  your home.  There is a reason paint stores have samples.  Do yourself a big, big favor and gather up a couple paper samples to take home and hold up against the wall.  Or pay for some actual small liquid paint samples.  Light and shadow in your room could make the color look completely different, turning what you thought was the perfect shade into something meh.  You’ll also want to make sure you try the paint in every room in which you plan to use it.  Another important factor to remember is what type of paint to use.  Flat paint does not have a shine, shows marks, and is not easy to clean.  Use it on ceilings and on walls in low-traffic areas.  Semi-gloss and gloss paints have a  nice shine and are a better option for walls in bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic areas and rooms.
  • Make a realistic budget.  We always want more than we can pay for.  But low-balling your reno budget just to get a project going typically won’t work out so well in the end when the numbers start to add up and you don’t have enough $$$ to  comfortably finish it..  Planning out a project well and doing sufficient research to come up with good numbers is key.  To calculate how much remodel you can afford, follow these four steps:  ballpark the cost, establish a spending limit, get quotes from contractors, set  your priorities, and once you have arrived at that magic number, add more money to it….15%-20% contingency for unforeseen problems and changes that occur on every project.  If the total is still within your ability to pay, you’re ready to get started.  If not, it’s time to scale back your plans.
  • Make sure your contractor is qualified.  If you find yourself over-matched by your plans, and need someone to pick it up and finish it, be prepared.  Trying to save a buck can cost you big time in the end if you use the handyman down the street that you don’t really know, and sometimes it pays to go with a qualified contractor who may cost a bit more upfront but who you can be confident about.

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.  IMAGE:  Grieslightnin/Pixabay

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WILL THE STOCK MARKET AFFECT YOUR HOME PURCHASE? http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/will-stock-market-affect-home-purchase/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/will-stock-market-affect-home-purchase/#respond Mon, 12 Feb 2018 15:46:30 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6367 SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “The wild stock market of the past week has sent some into a panic and caused many others to take a closer look at their financial picture.  But what is the stock market’s impact on real estate, and should you worry if you’re getting ready to buy a new home? …

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SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“The wild stock market of the past week has sent some into a panic and caused many others to take a closer look at their financial picture.  But what is the stock market’s impact on real estate, and should you worry if you’re getting ready to buy a new home?  Not much at this point, and not really, say financial experts.

So why isn’t a 1,175-point drop – the largest single-day dip in history – not a concern?  First, because most financial experts saw some sort of correction coming because of the robust market over the last two years (and, as many expected, the market bounced back with a 567-point gain on Tuesday, although there could be more volatility in the short term.)

“The stock market has been on a roller-coaster ride since late last week, with a historic one-day plunge in trading, and a ripple effect that struck the rest of the globe Tuesday.” said Inman.com. (https://www.inman.com).  But most economists will tell you the historic highs over the past two years were bound to result in a correction of sorts as investors reckon with the possibility of inflation and rising interest rates.”

Second, and most important to home buyers, is the fact that any potential impact on real estate is expected to be nominal.  “Real estate professionals, and potential home buyers and sellers aren’t immune to the fears that reverberated across trading floors on Friday and again on Monday, they said, “but analysts say the effect on home prices, sales volume and trading activity will be minimal and temporary.”

PLAY THE LONG GAME….Of course, the stock market isn’t one size fits all, and, depending on where your investments lie, you may, understandably, be worried.  Economists and fnancial planners have generally had similar advice to “average investors” wondering how to respond to the stock market’s volatility.  Think about your objectives and “Stay Put,” says CNN Money (http://money.cnn.com).  It’s all about playing the long game.

“Are you saving for retirement?  A future home purchase?  If those goals are more than 10 years away, you probably don’t have much to worry about.  While it’s hard to ignore the noise when the market experiences a dark day, It’s important to take the emotion out of trading.”

WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN FOR REAL ESTATE?   That depends on what aspect of real estate you’re talking about.  Publicly traded real estate-based companies including “Realogy, Zillow, Redfin, News Corp, and Re/Max “posted modest losses between end of trading on Thursday and Monday’s close,” said Inman.  Real estate investors also felt an immediate pinch.  “The plunge also resonated through real estate investment trust stocks, resulting in a 2.9% drop in the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REIT Index Monday” said BISNOW (http://www.bisnow.com).  But National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) economist Brad Case said the 2.86% drop in the All Equity REIT index, though sizable, will be short-lived.”  The potential for dipping consumer confidence can have a far greater impact on the overall economy and, specifically, the real estate market.

“Consumer confidence is a major consideration when people purchase durable goods and real estate” said ZACKS (https://finance.zacks.com).  “Few people are likely to commit to a big mortgage payment if they feel that their economic future is uncertain.  When the stock market retreats and the value of portfolios declines, investors are impacted psychologically.  Even if the portfolios are in IRA’s which will not be touched for years, people’s confidence is shaken.  Loss of confidence can spread like a virus, affecting others who have not been financially hurt but have nevertheless become unnerved.”

Which leads us back to the overall economy.  U.S. Jobs data released last week showed that “wage growth is picking up,” said CNN Money.  Even small upticks in mortgage rates haven’t slowed down the real estate market, especially in light of consistent news about rising rents across the country that can make owning a home more affordable than paying someone else’s mortgage in many cities.

The stability of real estate as an asset should shield the industry – and those who are looking to be a part of it, even as stocks rise and fall.  “Back when the internet bubble burst in the year 2000, during that period, that’s when the housing market began to steadily rise.”  National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told Inman.  “That means that as people felt their financial assets to be very volatile, people were looking for more stable assets, which they perceived that real estate could provide.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.      IMAGE:  Pixabay

All opinions are those of Jaymi Naciri/realtytimes.com and cited sources.

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SEVEN LIGHTING TRENDS FOR 2018 TO UPDATE YOUR HOME http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/seven-lighting-trends-2018-update-home/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/seven-lighting-trends-2018-update-home/#respond Wed, 31 Jan 2018 15:00:46 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6352 SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “If there’s one thing that can make your home look dated lit’s lighting.  Old fixtures, out-of-style chandeliers and lighting that detracts from instead of highlighting key feature in your home can make it look drab or overdue for updates….The good news is that changing out or adding new fixtures can…

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SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“If there’s one thing that can make your home look dated lit’s lighting.  Old fixtures, out-of-style chandeliers and lighting that detracts from instead of highlighting key feature in your home can make it look drab or overdue for updates….The good news is that changing out or adding new fixtures can be an easy fix that gives your home some new sparkle.   AND, there ARE affordable options!

Here are some big trends to keep in  mind:

1.  MIX AND MATCH.  For a stylish, eclectic look, give your pendant lighting some flair by mixing it up.  A row or cluster of pendants is a classic look, but you can mix things up.  Try hanging different colors or sizes of the same pendant light, or use a consistent color palette in an array of different shapes.

2.  LARGE FIXTURES.  Scale is always an important factor when designing a space, but modern lighting trends are veering toward larger fixtures that also make a larger impact.  Your aim may be to create a WOW impact and attract instant attention.  More than lighting, these fixtures act as centerpieces.  Some are ornate, and focus all the attention in a space on the fixture.  Large pendant lighting fixtures can be used over the kitchen island, over the dining table, at the foyer and along exterior footpaths, among other areas.

3.  HIGH IMPACT CHANDELIERS.  Beyond scale, chandeliers for 2018 are also focused on exciting shapes.  The starburst type, known as the “Sputnik”, has been trending for several years but has origins back to the 1950s, when the Sputnik space launch inspired an obsession with all things space-related….The classic setting for a Sputnik light is in a  mid-century modern room.  You will commonly see it with brass arms, paired with medium-toned woods and retro colors such as aqua….it’s a playful, punchy addition to a well-composed living area.  Today, this style is being embraced in all kinds of spaces and being created in all kinds of styles, materials, and prices.  As the retro look starts to make a comeback, it’s no surprise that the starburst is the hot item to have in your home this year.

4.  SMART LIGHTS.  There are several products you can buy today that go beyond your typical light bulb and that integrate smart technology into your lighting.  This trend will continue to grow as more variety is offered, but for now, the Philips Hue bulbs are the best ones you can buy because they are reliable, consistent, easy to use and work remotely.  You could go for color-changing bulbs, which are a little more expensive, but there’s also the option for the simple white bulbs, which are much cheaper and could offer a better option for those looking to set up their entire home.  They are dimmable and can be controlled remotely with the Hue app.

5.  GLASS BUBBLES.  Whether they cluster or cascade, glass bubbles bring a whimsy and wonderment to any space.  Expect to see both clear and iridescent colored versions this year.

6.  METALLICS.  We could have specified brass or gold to any number of other metallic finishes here because there are several that are trending individually.  And, the truth is that it’s hard to go wrong today with any of them.  Soft gold falls somewhere in the middle of brushed silver and brushed gold.  It borrows the soft matte finish of both while bring out the warmth and mellowness of gold.  This also means that it can blend in with almost any kind of decor from modern urban to farmhouse.  Can’t choose just one?  The rules of interior design are meant to be broken and when done right the results can be inspiring and stunning.  Mixing metallic design elements either within a single lighting fixture or within a larger design environment, is a great way to break the rules and create a harmonious visual plane at the same time.  In 2018, gold, silver, brass, rose gold, copper and other metal lighting fixture elements can all work together to create an intentional and thoughtful look within a designer space.

7.  VINTAGE LIGHTING.  Going vintage with your lighting is a great way to bring character to a space, and homeowners are gravitating toward vintage-style fixtures, such as aged copper pendant lights as an stunning focal point for their living spaces and kitchens.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.    IMAGES:  Pinterest

 

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CLEVER WAYS TO ZONE OFF SPACE IN OPEN FLOOR PLANS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/clever-ways-zone-off-space-open-floor-plans/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/clever-ways-zone-off-space-open-floor-plans/#respond Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:25:28 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6335 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Sarah Warwick for Houzz. “We have fallen for open-floorplan living in recent years…not many of us have a formal room just for company anymore.  And with modern building materials, we don’t necessarily need every room to have four walls  to keep it at a comfortable temperature.  But although open…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Sarah Warwick for Houzz.
“We have fallen for open-floorplan living in recent years…not many of us have a formal room just for company anymore.  And with modern building materials, we don’t necessarily need every room to have four walls  to keep it at a comfortable temperature.  But although open floor plans bring the space, light, flow and garden views we desire, it can also feel problematic to organize into zones, and prove distracting to share.

Enter the partition.  It makes room division simple yet doesn’t starve spaces of light or compromise the open feel.  Decorative, at half or full height, framed or barely visible, a glass (or door) partition can work in every environment.  Check out these designs.

CORDON OFF THE COOKING AREA.  A glass partition is a natural solution when a separation of cooking and relaxing spaces is essential.   It means that the TV volume doesn’t have to cranked up to drown out the sounds of the exhaust fan, dishwasher and running water when the space is being used for multiple activities, but the whole effect is still open.  The cabinetry, partition framing and furniture can be linked through color, while the floor finish is continuous.

MAKE A ROOM WITHIN A ROOM.  When true separation is required, glass partitioning can divide without losing openness or light.  Floor-to-ceiling shelving can form one wall, while glass doors and side panels ensure that these areas benefit from all the windows.  To maximize light, low furniture that sits at or below sill level is a must-have.  Opt for window treatments that don’t obscure any of the glass when they’re open or, if privacy isn’t an issue, go without.

GO HALFWAY.  A half-height glass divider is enough to split, for example, an office area from a dining room.  A height difference between the two areas and a change in floor finish also help separate the work zone from the social space.  Smaller partitions are best employed when noise between the areas of an open floor plan room isn’t an issue, whether that’s because the two activities are equally quiet or the two zones aren’t used simultaneously.

SET OFF THE STAIRCASE.   When a flight of stairs is part of an open floorplan, it can become a striking feature.  Surrounding it with glass that includes cross-struts adds to its sculptural value and draws the eye to the cantilevered steps.  (Or if a straight flight of stairs is walled in on the sides, it can function as a great divider.) Adding rugs can also help define large, open spaces, for instances, linking the seating area with a fireplace.

DIVIDE A RECTANGLE.  Opening a Victorian house from front to back can result in a long, narrow room, so glass partitions can help with the proportions of the resulting space without losing any of the benefits of an open plan.  It’s easier to  position furniture in rooms that are more square, especially if the fireplaces are still in place.

TRY A TRANSOM.  A glass room divider can work by creating an entrance to a new part of an open plan space.  A transom version can make the change from the kitchen to the seating area.  A high-ceilinged room is the best place for this approach.  In a less lofty space, a doorway works better than a transom for maximum head height.

LOOK INTO THE BATHROOM.  In some homes, a bedroom en suite opens the bedroom area to the bath by a glass divider.  The upside of using glass in this type of arrangement is that an en suite gets filled with natural light where it otherwise might be windowless and always artificially illuminate.  It also allows a beautiful bathtub to be a feature of the bedroom as well as the wash space.  Mosaic tiles that catch the light complement the reflective wallpaper of the sleep space.  If you’re inspired by this arrangement, bear in mind that it’s really for bathroom neatniks only, and for that reason a closed-off bath may be preferable.

Or screen the bath with translucent glass. When a little privacy is required, translucent glass can conceal a bathroom from a bedroom yet still allow light through.  It’s worth considering how obscure you want to make the partition.  Sandblasting allows control over the level of opacity.  Window film is an option for a DIY revamp of a partition from see-through to concealing.

COMBINING IT WITH DOORS.  The result of partitioning with windowed door dividers is a contemporary-looking home, which is often the case where lots of glass is part of the architecture.  Combine glass with a tongue-and-groove look, and the view of the living room from the hall looks characterful and also wonderfully light and bright.  Half-glass doors come in all sorts of styles and with roots in the Victorian era, are often a good shortcut to adding period style.

SOURCE:  Sarah Warwick/Houzz    IMAGE:  open stock

 

 

 

 

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2018 KITCHEN TREND: BLUE AND GREEN CABINETS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-kitchen-trend-blue-green-cabinets/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-kitchen-trend-blue-green-cabinets/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:44:57 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6326 SOURCE:  Excerpts from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “Feeling blue?  You’re about to!  Blue is one of the hottest colors for 2018 when it comes to the kitchen – and that goes for green as well.  After years of white everything, expect to see some deeper, moodier shades in your chef space.  …

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SOURCE:  Excerpts from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“Feeling blue?  You’re about to!  Blue is one of the hottest colors for 2018 when it comes to the kitchen – and that goes for green as well.  After years of white everything, expect to see some deeper, moodier shades in your chef space.

 

House Beautiful says that “blues and greens emerged as “go to” color choices for cabinetry in 2017.”  They are being mixed with other colors, complementing wood stains or even being used as the dominant color alone.  Blue cabinets manage to attract attention with their cool color and clean lines.

You can also leave the cabinets a more neutral color, and pick a rich blue for your range and hood for a show-stopping look.

Designers and homeowners started flirting with dark green cabinets last year, and 2018 is the year the color is expected to become more widely embraced.  If you’re afraid that a hue so deep will make your space feel dark of small, white walls and counters, plus mixed metals, keep it feeling chic and open.  Green cabinets also are the perfect foil for generous slabs of marble.  You can also get a modern look that weaves in the green without going full blast by using a two-tone approach.  Green bottom cabinets and islands ground the space, juxtaposed against white uppers and backsplash.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.  IMAGES:  pinterest.com, elledecor.com

 

 

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2018………PAY ATTENTION!!! http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-pay-attention/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-pay-attention/#respond Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:26:29 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6321 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com We may have a tricky year ahead of us, so what’s the best and easiest strategy for consistent success in 2018?  PAY ATTENTION!  Start the year with or without New Year’s resolutions, but commit to success this year by paying attention…. To how well informed…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com

We may have a tricky year ahead of us, so what’s the best and easiest strategy for consistent success in 2018? 

PAY ATTENTION!  Start the year with or without New Year’s resolutions, but commit to success this year by paying attention….

  • To how well informed you and information sources you really on really are.
  • To what’s really going on around you — real and fake, and
  • To how you react to what’s going on around you —  online and off.

Whether you are a real estate owner or a wannabe, 0r whether you intend to buy or sell in 2018, so much is shifting in real estate, in the economy, and everywhere else that nothing should be taken for granted or assumed in 2018.  Concentrate on getting the facts, not just someone else’s biased view of where advantages lie for you.

  • A LOT CHANGED IN 2017 A ND THE FULL IMPLICATIONS OF THOSE CHANGES WILL CONTINUE TO EMERGE IN 2018.  Pay attention to ramifications and compromises, subtle and otherwise, attached to changes in everything from tax law and net neutrality to technology’s continued re-write and disruption of much we’ve taken for granted.  Real estate ownership will be impacted by changes to tax law, estate planning, resulting neighborhood development, and interactions between these and many more variables.  Where will advantages lie for you?  Changes in the business world may directly or indirectly influence job or retirement security for your family.  This in turn may impact qualification for financing, mortgage renewal, and real estate affordability.  Projected reductions in funding and donations for social and community support programs and organizations may have widespread impact in neighborhoods, community development and in education.  These shifts may reduce location benefits, which in turn can affect real estate value.  How will your location be affected in 2018?
  • WHOEVER OR WHATEVER YOU BLAMED FOR DISTRACTIONS IN 2017 WILL BE WITH YOU IN 2018 AND MIGHT EVEN BE WORSE.  There are only so many hours in the day, and only so many $$$ in your paycheck.  Distractions that erode concentration on your needs and goals, and distractions that feed impulse spending will be expensive in many ways.  Pay attention to what takes you off point, off track, and off goal to ensure you stay in control.  You may blame others for distracting you, but it’s your powers of concentration that should be continually honed and improved to keep you ahead of the pack.  Saving for a down payment, home renovation, or to pay down an existing mortgage requires a written budget strategy to guide you toward clearly defined results.  Paying monthly condominium fees, mortgage payments, or heating bills is exhausting when approached as mont-to-0month catch-up.  Shift your focus to cutting costs and increasing income long-term and you’ll move beyond a monthly survival perspective to establish a constructive, long-term frame of reference for success.  Steady, dramatic increases in online shopping over the 2017 holiday season mean many households may be combining the impulse spending facilitated by credit cards and click-here shopping carts to undermine their budgets even more dramatically than ever.  As the volume of online shoppers increases, convenience, cost saving, and product satisfaction may be compromised – so it’s only the novelty of online shopping that addicts.  What’s all this got to do with achieving your core real estate ownerhship goals?
  • SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF WHAT YOU BELIEVED YOU KNEW IN 2017  ABOUT REAL ESTATE. FINANCE, HOME SECURITY, MORTGAGES, WORK, AND THE INTERNET WILL BE OUT OF DATE IN 2018.  Pay attention to which laws, regulations, services, and real estate expenses have actually changed – not just been endlessly, sensationally rehashed in the media  and online.  Accurate information and clever strategies are gold……Tweets, posts, and other online content arrive in increasingly overwhelming rates and volumes, leaving less and less time to uncover facts and realities and to actually learn and think about relevance to you.  From shopping or applying for a mortgage to searching for a new home or viewing property, virtual video and online content bring these and other real estate activities onto your laptop and your mobile phone.  Is this distance learning leaving you better informed and smarter real estate-wise than face-to-face meetings with real estate experts and hands-on location and property investigations?  Searching out professionals who keep up with change within their profession is a challenge.  How do you make sure you receive the professional advice you need to interpret changes from your real estate point of view?…”

Connestee Falls Realty provides you with expertise on our area of greatest interest – the Brevard area in general, and Connestee Falls in particular.  IT’S OUR THING!  Let us help you make sense of all your real estate questions and needs  in 2018!

SOURCE:  PJ Wade for realtytimes.com    

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FIVE EASY WAYS TO REMAKE YOUR FIREPLACE http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/five-easy-ways-remake-fireplace/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/five-easy-ways-remake-fireplace/#respond Thu, 04 Jan 2018 15:54:23 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6313 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “It’s chilly out there!  You probably have the heat turned up and the fireplace on.  Chances are you’re staring at that fireplace and thinking of all the things you’d like to change.  And a fireplace facelift can take your living area from “meh” to “wow”!…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“It’s chilly out there!  You probably have the heat turned up and the fireplace on.  Chances are you’re staring at that fireplace and thinking of all the things you’d like to change.  And a fireplace facelift can take your living area from “meh” to “wow”!

Whether you’re looking at a full renovation or looking for an easy weekend upgrade, here are some easy, impactful fixes for your fireplace.

  • PAINT IT.  Nothing transforms more quickly and easily than paint, and that goes for fireplaces, too.  If you have outdated red brick on your fireplace, a couple of coats of white or black paint can create something that’s a showstopper instead of an eyesore.
  • WHITEWASH IT.  This is a touch lighter than paint.  Whitewashing can lighten up a dark fireplace and give it new style….so get a rag and brush, and give your room a bright new look.  While painting over brick with 100% latex paint will give the brick a solid, opaque color, whitewashing mutes the brick’s natural color with a translucent finish.  This technique preserves the bricks’ natural, random variations, depending on how much paint is applied and how each individual brick absorbs the whitewash.
  • COVER IT IN STONE.  Sounds like a huge undertaking, but you don’t need to be a stone mason to get an incredible look for your fireplace.  For example “Airstone” is just one innovative product that gives you the look of real stone.
  • FAUX IT.   This marble-look adhesive paper covers up some very dated brick or ceramic.  This application couldn’t be easier, but be sure to read the instructions and disclaimers careful to make sure you’re using the fire-safe products if you actually use your fireplace and it’s not just for show.
  • START OVER COMPLETELY!  This choice typically involves some sort of demolition to create a smooth surface, and then the sky’s the limit.  The time frame can vary depending on how extensive the project is, and it might require an expert unless your DIY skills are stellar.  A standard drywall installation with mantel and surround can be complete in two days.  A custom mantel or more extensive ductwork or electrical installation can take five or six weeks.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com  IMAGE:  Lowe’s

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10 HOME HACKS TO BRING IN THE NEW YEAR! http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/10-home-hacks-bring-new-year/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/10-home-hacks-bring-new-year/#respond Tue, 02 Jan 2018 18:40:35 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6310 SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “We are always looking for ideas to make our lives easier and our home function better, and there are some great hacks out there that can help.  (For the technologically and generationally challenged readers out there (like me), a “hack” isn’t just an old/stale politician.  It’s new meaning:  simple shortcuts…

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SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“We are always looking for ideas to make our lives easier and our home function better, and there are some great hacks out there that can help.  (For the technologically and generationally challenged readers out there (like me), a “hack” isn’t just an old/stale politician.  It’s new meaning:  simple shortcuts to make your life easier.)  We have made a top ten list for the New Year….

  1.  Polka Dot Your Walls!  We love this idea for a homemade stencil.  All you need is an old plastic laundry basket and some tape.  Adhere, paint, and VOILA!  Polka Dot Walls!
  2. Shine Up Your Copper!   Personally, we love the look of natural copper, but if you want to shine it up, there’s an easy fix – KETCHUP!  Yep, your favorite condiment is also a great polish.  Squirt it on, top it with salt, rub  in, and then wipe clean.  You can also use ketchup, or vinegar for that matter, to clean brass.
  3. Trap Hair!  Clogged drains are a nuisance, and often they are just clogged up with hair and other items small enough to get scooched down the drain.  Don’t call the plumber…just get yourself a plastic drain strainer/cover at your local hardware store.  It captures hair and other debris and all you have to do is remove the gadget once a month and wipe it clean with a tissue.
  4. Organize Just About Anything!  Who says shoe holders are just for shoes?  This is great way to organized cleaning supplies,  store small toys, or stuffed animals, or winter gloves and scarves in  your hall coat closet.
  5. Create More Shoe Storage!  If you don’t want to give up an inch of shoe storage, we can relate.  You can turn a nook into a shoe closet and give yourself the added storage you need without giving up valuable space.
  6. Get Your Stainless Steel Appliances Clean!  Give them a good, clean shine.  All you need is a microfiber cloth (or any soft cloth) and some rubbing alcohol.  Are you a super clean freak?  You can use a few drops of olive oil.
  7. Repurpose Your Wine Rack!  The thought of giving up a wine rack to use as a towel rack can be problematic, but the idea is to look beyond a typical use for any product to see it if can provide a solution womewhere else in your home (if it’s not already in good use.)
  8. Easy Glitter Cleanup!  This comes in handy after your New Year’s party.  Just use a ball of PlayDoh to p ick up all those little glitter pieces.
  9. Hang Art In A Cinch!  When you  have to hang something with exact holes, photocopy the back of the object and use as a template!  Who would have thunk it?
  10. Polish Up Scratched Furniture And Floors!  An easy way to improve the look of your wood items without  having to buy expensive and/or toxic products:  use a walnut (shelled, please)!  Not only are they high in antioxidants; they can also extend the life of your worn wooden furniture.  Got scratches in finished wood?  Simply rub a nut along the grooves and watch them vanish before your eyes!

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com  IMAGE:  notjustahousewife.net

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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR HOME ISN’T SELLING http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/home-isnt-selling/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/home-isnt-selling/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 16:28:20 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6306 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article written by the Realtytimes.com staff. “When sellers start the home-selling process, no one wants to think “What would happen if my home doesn’t sell?”  Before you panic, recognize that there are many things that you can do so you don’t wind up in that position. Understanding the real estate market and…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article written by the Realtytimes.com staff.

“When sellers start the home-selling process, no one wants to think “What would happen if my home doesn’t sell?”  Before you panic, recognize that there are many things that you can do so you don’t wind up in that position. Understanding the real estate market and the value of your home will help you avoid this dilemma.

  1. The first key point is to get educated about the market.  Read your newspapers, online real estate sites, and consult with the best experts in real estate for your area to determine the sales price.  While all that may seem basic, you’d be surprised how many sellers rely on emotion to dream up a selling price for their home.  Some have done little, if any, research on even their own neighborhood.  Their strong ties to their home cause them to imagine that their home should sell for the price they want.  Or they base the selling price on how much they owe which is, of course, of no significance to buyers.
  2. Fix up your home.  Most buyers don’t want to purchase a big list of fixes in order to live in the home they just bought…yet some sellers think that it’s a waste to spend money on a home that they’re moving out of soon.  This is quite a predicament.  Both sides have valid point, but buyers might be in a stronger position on this one.   Yes, if the buyer wants the home badly enough, they might agree to buy your home, but it’s guaranteed you’ll take a financial hit as the buyer will want to discount the price for the problems that need fixing.  In the end you might have to fix the issues before the sale anyway.  So, starting with a house that is in relatively good order is the best way to begin.
  3. If you need to sell your home, don’t pull it off the market because you think the season isn’t right.  Buyers who need to buy a home  will keep hunting through all the seasons.  There may be slow times, but if people need a house, they’ll keep looking even in unlikely times.
  4. Consider incentives.  You can make your home more appealing by tossing in some incentives.  It’s best to speak with your Realtor about which incentives are best to offer.  Even practical incentives can help get buyers to your home to view it.  These incentives can help encourage the buyer to move forward, especially if other challenges arise.
  5. Stage your home.  This is not the same thing as fixing up.  Fixing up  includes daily maintenance and repairs.  Staging your home involves using experts to make your home showroom-ready – like a model home.  If you’re serious about selling, then it’s worth at least having a consultation with an expert in the industry.  They are trained to stay on top of the trends that have mass appeal.  They offer a fresh set of eyes on your home.  They may point out something that you never noticed before because you’ve been living in your home for a long time.  They look at your home from an outsider’s perspective and that’s exactly what you need.  Taking time to at least consult with experts allows you to gain knowledge and information about your home and the market place.  What you do with that information is up to you, but it may just be the difference between a FOR SALE sign and a SOLD sign hanging outside your home.”

SOURCE:  realtytimes.com

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