Up-cycle your old clothes for your Pets? Brilliant!!!

Posted on August 21, 2019 at 9:24 pm
Claudia Crockett | Posted in Uncategorized |

Topic of the day: Our Seniors

Posted on August 21, 2019 at 1:10 am
Claudia Crockett | Posted in Uncategorized |

American Confidence in Housing at an All-Time High

Consumers are feeling good about the real estate market. Since Americans are not worried about their jobs, see mortgage rates near an all-time low, and believe it is a good time to buy, the housing market will remain strong for the rest of the year.

American Confidence in Housing at an All-Time High

Fannie Mae just released the July edition of their Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). The HPSI takes
information regarding consumers’ confidence in the real estate market from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey and condenses it into a single number. Therefore, the HPSI reflects consumers’ current views and forward-looking expectations of housing market conditions.

Great News! The index reached its highest level since Fannie Mae began their survey. Breaking it down, the report revealed:

• The share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home increased from the same time last year.
• The share of those who say it is a good time to sell a home increased from the same time last year.
• The share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job over the next 12 months increased dramatically (16 percentage points) from the same time last year.
• The share of Americans who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months increased dramatically (24 percentage points) from the same time last year.

The day after the index was released, Freddie Mac also announced the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to its lowest level in three years.

Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae explained the uptick in the index:
“Consumer job confidence and favorable mortgage rate expectations lifted the HPSI to a new survey high in July, despite ongoing housing supply and affordability challenges. Consumers appear to have shaken off a winter slump in sentiment amid strong income gains. Therefore, sentiment is positioned to take advantage of any supply that comes to market, particularly in the affordable category.”

Bottom Line
Consumers are feeling good about the real estate market. Since Americans are not worried about their jobs, see mortgage rates near an all-time low, and believe it is a good time to buy, the housing market will remain strong for the rest of the year.

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Posted on August 18, 2019 at 3:09 am
Claudia Crockett | Posted in Uncategorized |

17 DIY 4th of July Ideas

17 DIY 4th of July Wreaths That Will Dress Up Your Front Door

Welcome guests with some patriotic pride.

4th of july wreaths


School’s out, the weather is warm, summer is here, and nothing marks everybody’s favorite season like decorating with stars, stripes, and the colors of the flag. Sure, the other holidays might be more synonymous with festive wreaths (we’re looking at you, Christmas!), but there’s no reason you can’t hang a 4th of July wreath on your front door. And, as an added bonus, you can reuse it for Memorial Day and Labor Day decor.

These creative and beautiful DIY examples of 4th of July wreaths are not only easy to make and inexpensive, but they put the store-bought ones to shame. (Once you’ve started on the 4th of July bandwagon, try out one of these easy 4th of July craft ideas to really deck out your house.) Finish off the holiday celebrations by impressing your neighbors at the potluck with one of these red, white, and blue creations and delectable desserts.

Posted on July 3, 2019 at 10:47 pm
Claudia Crockett | Posted in Uncategorized |

How to Stage a House for a Quick Sale

Do you know how to stage a house for a quick sale? These home staging tips will teach you how to get top dollar for your house and fast.

home staging tips and tricks

Home staging tips are a realtor’s best friend and for a good reason. Cleaning and decluttering will go a long way when you’re selling a house, but it’s not the only thing you should be doing to increase buyer appeal.

Staging a home the right way will maximize your profit potential and can even make your house sell faster. If you’re short on time, there are companies out there that will guarantee to sell your home more quickly with home staging.

However, you don’t need to hire a professional to see a return on your investment. We will show you how to stage a house for a quick sale even when you’re on a tight budget.

Try out some of these thorough and expert-guided home staging tips to stage a house for a quick sale. Each tip will appeal to homebuyers with a variety of tastes and preferences.

1. Highlight the home’s best features.

how to stage a home to highlight key features
Make features like fireplaces the focal point of a room.

An essential part of selling a home is displaying what sets your home apart from the rest. For instance, if your home has a fireplace, arrange the furniture to make it a focal point. If your home has a pool or spa, stage the area with neutral patio furniture, so you don’t detract from the water feature.

You want your house to tell a story when the buyer is walking through, and careful staging will help you guide the buyer’s eye to any feature you want to show off.

2. Declutter and remove any trash.

Ensure all trash cans are empty, and the toilet lids are down. Remove all clutter from living areas and consider using mild air fresheners throughout your home, especially near pet areas and bathrooms.

To make storage space seem ample, make sure your closets aren’t overflowing with belongings. Let’s face it: buyers will look inside. Consider removing half the clothes from the closets and storing them elsewhere for the time being.

Read Also: 21 Important Things to Do Before Selling Your Home

3. Remove all personal items.

how to depersonalize a home for sale
Remove family photos and other sentimental items.

Before putting your home on the market and inviting buyers into your space, it’s essential that you remove personal collections, sports memorabilia, family photos, and other personal knick-knacks. Doing so helps potential homebuyers envision themselves in the space.

The fewer things there are to distract potential buyers, the more likely they are to focus on what the home has to offer.

4. Use white towels in the bathroom.

When it comes to your bathroom, your first step should be simplification: give the area a careful, thorough cleaning and remove all of your clutter and cleaning products.

To give your bathroom the luxurious spa-like atmosphere that potential buyers are looking for, add white bath towels. To add a touch of elegance, roll your towels and place them in a woven basket.

Complete the look with a matching white hand towel and washcloths.

5. Change out the cabinet hardware.

how to update kitchen cabinets
Upgrade your kitchen cabinets with new hardware.

Sometimes a large-scale kitchen remodel doesn’t make sense for resale. Most cabinets range from $500 to $1,500 per box, and if your home has an average-size kitchen with 30 cabinets, you’re looking at a $15,000 to $45,000 investment.

If you don’t want to spring for a full cabinet remodel, but still want to make an impactful change, give your hardware an update. New handles can make your entire kitchen look brand new while also adding a new color, finish, shape, and function.

And speaking of your cabinets–this is an area that’s going to be thoroughly inspected by your visitors. Before any potential buyers come to visit, make sure your cabinets aren’t overflowing with clutter.

6. Keep the kitchens and baths as clean as possible.

This home staging tip might seem obvious, but it can’t be overstated enough. Clean kitchens and baths sell houses. Bathrooms and kitchens influence potential buyers the most, so ensuring these spaces are clean is crucial.

Use paper plates, cups, and utensils to cut back on dirty dishes the day of an open house. Clearing the kitchen and bathroom counters of appliances and styling tools are also recommended.

7. Make the bed with white bedding.

how to stage a bed
Stage a bed using a white duvet.

Your bed is the focal point of your master bedroom, which is why it’s one of the most critical items to consider updating when preparing your home for viewings.

If your current bedding is less-than-show quality, staging expert Julea Joseph from Reinventing Space recommends purchasing a new duvet set to give it a quick renovation.

To give your bed a new life, slip a white duvet cover over your comforter. White bedding reflects the peaceful ambiance needed to showcase the master bedroom, plus it’ll photograph well for online listings.

8. Hang a set of drapes.

Don’t leave windows bare or with cheap blinds. Drapes, when hung high and wide, will make your windows look much more substantial than if you use an alternative. They also have the power to set the tone of a room.

Since your eyes are drawn to drapes, it’s important to select a set that emphasizes the room’s color scheme.

Consider these curtain types:

  • Casual. For high-traffic areas, like the living room or the kitchen, hovering drapes are a practical option. This style gives just a finger space between the floor and the curtain, leaving the hem clean and dust-free.
  • Tailored. To get a stylish, classic look, opt for drapes that have a slight break or fold above the hem–a sign of a custom design. An extra half inch will do the trick.
  • Formal. Puddling your drapes, or letting the hem fall in excess onto the ground, reveals a dramatic atmosphere (perfect for some dining rooms). The longer the overflow, the more dramatic the room will look. This option has to be adjusted often since the fabric may move out of place.

Bonus Home Staging Tip: If your drapes (or carpets) need a quick pick me up, rent a steam cleaner for a day instead of investing in a professional service (which sets you back an average of $51 per room. A rental will still leave your home looking rejuvenated–and only cost around $35 per day.

9. Let in as much natural light as possible.

how to stage a house
Keep the drapes open to let in natural light.

One of the most impactful (and free) home staging tips is to maximize natural light by opening curtains and shades. In small spaces, use a mirror to reflect light and make the area appear larger or paint the walls a lighter color.

If weather permits, open windows to let in the fresh air – a bonus since it can remove your scent, which can further distract some buyers. Lastly, turn on all the lights, so the house appears bigger and brighter.

10. Decorate in a neutral style.

Understanding how to stage a house starts with de-personalization. To start, take down family collections and photographs. Taking yourself out of the picture, literally, will make it easier for your buyers to imagine themselves in your space.

In their place, hang some simple wall art and add neutral decor accents like throw pillows. These items will fill your space and also act as a focal point for your room, which is much better than leaving the walls and sofas empty.

How to choose artwork and decor:

  • Likeability. You wouldn’t want to offend anyone who visits your home, so choose images that appeal to a broad audience (such as landscapes or flowers) instead of more personal ones (like religion or politics).
  • Size. Art that is too large will make a room look crowded, and pieces that are too small will get lost. As a general rule of thumb, select a piece that is 75 percent of your furniture’s space if it’s going to be hung above furniture. If it’s going to be hung above the fireplace, it should be close to the size of your fireplace opening.
  • Color. The colors in your home should be cohesive, so pick a piece of art that compliments your other accent items (pillows, rugs, vases, etc.).
  • Arrangement. Before nailing art on the wall, lay each one out on the floor to see how you want everything to be arranged. Once you have an idea, trace each piece on a brown paper bag and tape it to the wall to decipher where you need to install nails.
  • Throw pillows. Decorative throw pillows can instantly change the feel of a room by transforming an old or boring piece of furniture. Adding a few to your couch, chair, or bed will add a dramatic effect while also allowing the pieces to pop in listing photos.
  • Neutral tones. As you choose accents, it’s smart to go for warm neutral tones. For example, you can mix solid and patterned gray pillows to complement an older gray couch. Since throw pillows are pretty inexpensive, they can be traded out every few months to achieve the perfect in-season look.

Bonus Home Staging Tip: Don’t let extra pieces of furniture clutter your area since this can make it appear smaller than it is. As an event planner and interior designer Eric Sowers says, the room should do the talking–not the furniture. Eric recommends renting a storage unit to keep your other (or outdated) furniture safe and out of the way when you’re showing your house.

11. Update the landscaping with fresh mulch.

how to landscape a house when it's for sale
Update landscaping with fresh mulch and plants.

When it comes to enhancing your landscape’s curb appeal, you have to go beyond the usual tree trimming and weed removal. A great way to catch a buyer’s eye? A fresh batch of mulch.

Applying a new layer in all of your garden beds will control and kill your weeds while also giving your landscaping a modern pop of color and enhance surrounding plants.

Keep some of these outdoor home staging tips in mind:

  • Thickness. If you’re using fine mulch, a layer of 1 to 2 inches will be sufficient. If you have coarser mulch, it’s better to use 3-4 inches. It’s essential not to use too much of either type since it could stifle your surrounding plants. If your mulch is too deep, it will stimulate root growth in the mulch rather than in the ground–resulting in a shallow root system that is susceptible to cold and drought damage.
  • Time of year. Depending on your season, you may need to add extra mulch in the summer (to retain moisture) and in the winter (to insulate from the cold). To determine the best solution for your specific landscaping situation, it’s best to speak with your local gardening expert.
  • Quantity. Nothing is more frustrating than buying more of a product than you need, so make sure you are careful with your measurements. Generally, a yard of mulch will cover 300 square feet when spread an inch thick.

12. Paint in neutral colors.

Your home’s walls set the backdrop for your home, which is why 94 percent of real estate agents recommend investing in a fresh coat of paint when clients ask how to stage a house.

Now is the time to (inexpensively) update those out-of-style tones on your walls.

How to pick paint colors:

  • Master bedroom. Since you’re trying to appeal to buyers of both sexes, the master bedroom should be stripped of any features that are too gender specific. When picking a new paint color, opt for a neutral tone.
  • Living room. If your living room is on the smaller side, painting it the same color as the adjacent room will help the buyer’s eyes roll from one space to the next, making it appear larger. Pick a light color to create the illusion of even more space, since brighter colors reflect the sunlight.
  • Bathroom. To create a bright, relaxing atmosphere, opt for light colors such as white, cream, and light gray in your bathroom.

Read Also: Home Painting Ideas That Will Immediately Improve Your Space

13. Stage the dining room.

how to stage a dining room
Stage the dining table, so the buyers can visualize hosting in the space.

Give prospective buyers a glimpse of what their hosting experience could look like by setting up your dining room table. And it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant.

How to stage a dining table:

  • Color. Pick one color scheme and stick to it. It’s best to use a solid color for plates and neutral tones for placemats and napkins. Avoid using tablecloths, since they can cheapen the look of your room and make it look like you have something to hide.
  • Spacing. If you have removable table leaves and extra chairs, it’s best to store them somewhere else. This will allow you to have more space to walk around the table, making the room appear more spacious.
  • Design. If you choose to add decorative items, such as bowls and candles, it’s best to group them in odd numbers. If choosing one large centerpiece, make sure it is seasonal and scaled to the size of your table.

14. Give the illusion of space with wall mirrors.

If you have a home with a hallway or space that lacks natural light, add a few wall mirrors. Not only do mirrors help bounce light around in dark rooms, but they make areas appear larger.

Some mirror tips to consider:

  • Size. The size of your wall will make a significant impact on selecting the right mirror. If you’re looking to spruce up a larger wall (living, dining room or master bedroom), choose an extra large mirror between 25 and 31 inches on each side. If hanging in a smaller room as an accent piece, you can go as little as 10 inches on each side. To determine the best fit, measure your walls before making any purchases.
  • Shape. Square or rectangular mirrors offer a traditional look while circular or oval mirrors will give a simple but striking appeal. Avoid funky shapes, like triangles and starbursts, which may not appeal to everyone.
  • Style. To provide a sleek, simplified look, choose a simple wooden, metal, or plastic frame. For a more formal, dramatic look, opt for a mirror with an ornate, gilded frame to serve as a strong focal point. Again, it’s best to stay simple here and avoid frames that are too unique (like mosaic styles and bright tiles).

If you want to create an even bigger effect, place a mirror (or a collage of mirrors) across from a window, allowing them to pull in more light from the sun.

15. Take care of necessary household maintenance.

things to do before an open house
Clean the carpet, change the lightbulbs, and take care of any household maintenance.

If you have time before an open house, consider having your carpets professionally cleaned. Make sure nothing minor is left undone.

Small mishaps could be a red flag to buyers that the home was not adequately maintained. For instance, replace burnt out light bulbs, lubricate squeaky doors, and trim outside bushes to enhance curb appeal.

16. Rent a storage space for excess belongings.

A good investment to consider during the home staging process is renting a storage unit. That way, you can free up space so buyers will have a better idea of what your home has to offer while also protecting personal items from the prying eyes of potential buyers.

Also, if you are looking to move quickly, you don’t have to hide moving boxes throughout your home. Once your home sells, you’ll already have the first stage of packing completed.

We hope these home staging tips inspired you to get started! Though some of these home staging tips may seem daunting, they don’t have to be if they are performed well in advance.

Posted on June 28, 2019 at 9:25 pm
Claudia Crockett | Posted in Uncategorized |

15 Easy Upgrade Ideas For Your House

blue velvet tufted sofa


1. Paint a piece of furniture Kool-Aid purple.

2. Collect seashells to embellish a fireplace surround.

3. Hang a wind chime inside the house where it can catch a breeze.

4. Set up an outdoor room — anywhere, any way you can.

5. Dress your bed in all white for the summer. It’s like floating on a cloud.

6. Paint your home office leafy green, to create the feeling of a tree house.

7. Don’t just clean up a room — put away all the stuff that’s accumulated on every flat surface.

8. Sometimes the simplest window treatments are the best.

9. Slipcovers!

10. Cut flowers and greenery from the yard for each room in your house.

11. Paint your bedroom closet a favorite color.

12. Plant a little garden — even just a few flowers — by every doorway that leads into the house.

13. Vintage garden accessories look even cooler when used to decorated inside.

14. If you don’t like an architectural detail — a brick fireplace, wood ceiling beams — paint it chalky white.

15. Mirrors add and spread light wherever they’re used.

Posted on June 27, 2019 at 9:16 pm
Claudia Crockett | Posted in Uncategorized |

Having a Professional on Your Side Makes All the Difference!

In today’s fast-paced world where answers are a Google search away, there are some who may wonder what the benefits of hiring a real estate professional to help them in their home search are. The truth is, the addition of more information causes more confusion.

Shows like Property BrothersFixer Upper, and dozens more on HGTV have given many a false sense of what it’s like to buy and sell a home.

Now more than ever, you need an expert on your side who is going to guide you toward your dreams and not let anything get in the way of achieving them. Buying and/or selling a home is definitely not something you want to DIY (Do It Yourself)!

Here are just some of the reasons you need a real estate professional in your corner:

There’s more to real estate than finding a house you like online!

There are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to ensure you achieve your dream?

You Need a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

What is the home you’re buying or selling worth in today’s market?

There is so much information on the news and on the Internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

Today’s real estate market is highly competitive. Having a professional who’s been there before to guide you through the process is a simple step that will give you a huge advantage!

Posted on June 27, 2019 at 6:13 pm
Claudia Crockett | Posted in Uncategorized |

Just Sold in Concord

2054 Bluerock Ct, Concord sold for $675,000.

4 Bedrooms, 2 baths, 1,755 square feet and 6,700 square foot lot

Posted on April 12, 2019 at 9:35 pm
Claudia Crockett | Posted in Uncategorized |