One of the greatest rewards of helping clients find their new home in summer is the opportunity it presents for them to host friends and family for Thanksgiving. It’s usually enough time to get most of the boxes unpacked, decorate and get the new place ready for entertaining. If you are a new homeowner who will be welcoming guests to your place for the holidays, check out my tips below for hosting a memorable Thanksgiving.
Focus on the Space
The secret to hosting family and friends in your home is planning early; and even more so for a holiday like Thanksgiving. First, take an assessment of your home and the spaces and the activities that will be happening, then make a list of what needs to be done to welcome guests. It may be as simple as adding more seating or as major as replacing flooring. Once you have a clear picture of what needs to be done, you can start prioritizing. If you recently moved into a fixer-upper and you have many things on your to-do list, don’t be discouraged. Focus your energy on the spaces of your home that will get used the most when you have company, like the kitchen, living room and bathroom.
Focus on the Meal
Once you have the space under control, it’s time to think about the food. Will you be making a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings? Or hosting a more casual meal? The food will dictate where you will have guests sit, how much serving space you will need when (or if) you will need to start ...
Game on! It’s that time of year again, when your family and friends get together for the big game and an afternoon of food, beer, team spirit and homegating. Yes, homegating has officially become the new tailgating. No more bundling up in chilly fall weather or butting heads with your rivals over whose hot dog toppings are better; sports fans are trading in for an even better game experience right in their living room.
My homegating playbook is below:
Set the game-time mood:
Tailgating decorations are aplenty in the world of sports and for homegating you can find even more! Garnish your entertainment room with team colors and memorabilia, including team cups, koozies, game-day chair covers, wall decor…the list goes on.
It may be worth moving your bulky, fragile furniture out of your entertainment room to create space for extra chairs (or pacing, for those nail-biting plays). Set aside a few easily accessible folding chairs or bar stools so that everyone watching has a seat to hold on to.
Create a kid-friendly zone:
Your young children more than likely don’t know who’s playing in the championship, and probably don’t care either. Dedicate a safe space for them to romp around and have their own playtime.
Food and drinks:
A snack and beverage station on the sidelines will go over well with all your guests. Don’t overthink it, though; if a cooler of drinks and a variety of appetizers can get fans through a tailgate, the same will work at your homegate....
Going back to school is an exciting time. Kids get to see their friends, have a new year of field trips to look forward to and, with any luck, get the teachers your neighbors rave about. However, with homework and extracurricular activities, going back to school can be stress-inducing for both parents and children. Here are some tips to keep calm, cool and collected.
Cranking up the AC can also crank up your electric bill. Here are a few alternative ways to keep your home cool this summer.
Sure, you could leave that cluttered room as a shrine to your college freshman, but wouldn't you love to use that space? Break the news to your kid gently, don't throw anything out without consulting them and keep some closet space open for when they come back to visit. Then consider one of these redecorating ideas for your empty nest.
Spring means getting your hands dirty for planting season. Whether it’s plants or vegetables, you might be thinking about creating a garden bed this year. Now, when it comes to gardening, I realize everyone has their own school of thought and specific way to address the year’s crop. However, if you’re new, here are a few pros and cons to building a garden bed.
The Good Side of Garden Beds
Vacation rentals only continue to gain in popularity. The concept is often a win-win, as short-term rentals can provide an income opportunity for owners and a unique way for visitors to experience a city.
If you are an owner considering offering your vacation home up for rental, here a few things to keep in mind before you dive in.
The rise in popularity of Airbnb and other sites hasn't been without controversy. There are concerns that short-term rentals threaten the jobs of hotel workers, and that a short-term rental doesn't have to pass the same certifications and inspections of regular hotels.
Some cities have enacted restrictions against short-term rentals. You may need to register and get a permit or a license – or you may not be able to host at all. Check with the local government to make sure you understand the laws and regulations.
Second homes and rental properties are subject to specific tax rules, so be sure you know what's expected and what you can deduct.
3. Additional Costs
Renting out your home could mean an extra insurance bill. Check with your insurance agent to learn what your current policy covers regarding short-term renters. Airbnb currently offers some insurance options for short-term renters, and many of the other sites have partnerships that make it easy to take out additional coverage, if needed.
In addition to insurance, you'll have to pay a percentage of the rental income to the website: Airbnb and FlipKey both currently charge a 3% host service fee, VRBO has an option to pay-per-booking or an annual...
Moving can be stressful for every family member – including the four-legged ones. Every animal reacts differently to new living quarters, and temperament has a lot to do with it. Some pets take a move in stride, while others exhibit anxiety or insecurity for days or weeks.
Here are 5 things to consider as the big move approaches and after you're in your new home.
1. A little help from the vet
March means the weather is (hopefully) warming up. It’s the perfect time to get ahead on home maintenance. Here are a few projects to focus on during a spring fling of home repair.
1. Wash away the winter
Power washing your home's exterior not only adds to its sparkle, but also blasts away any potentially damaging mold and mildew. Rent a power washer at your local home improvement store and hit your siding, deck and driveway.
2. Check your AC
Scheduling a tune-up for your cooling system now can save you big bucks in the long run. Change your AC filter and schedule a pro to come check your system before contractors get busy during the summer.
3. Go with the flow
Pull out a ladder and unclog gutters. While you’re up there, check that they're connected securely.
4. Bask in the sun
Catch some rays – and brighten your home – by cleaning your windows, inside and out. Use a squeegee instead of paper towels to avoid looking out through a filter of streaks and lint.
5. Hit the fridge
The dust and grime that collects on your refrigerator's coils forces it to use more energy to cool. Cleaning coils is easy with your vacuum's hose attachment. Then, enjoy efficiently-made ice cubes in a cocktail after all your hard work.
And add a paper drink umbrella. After all, it is spring break.
What else can you be doing to help your home sell quickly and at the right price? Reach out to me, and I’d love to share other ideas.
Proud to be a part of a brand that is ranked a top 5 franchise in the annual Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise Top 500. The #REMAXHustle never stops!
RE/MAX is ranked 5th among the 500 franchise companies included in the 2018 Entrepreneur Franchise 500® survey.
The accolades keep on coming for RE/MAX, and I’m honored to be a part of it.
The #1 name in real estate continued to outperform its competitors in Entrepreneur magazine’s recent Franchise 500 ranking. In addition to being ranked the #1 real estate franchise in the country – for the 15th time – RE/MAX also climbed into the survey’s Top Five of all franchises for the first time!
More than 1,000 franchisors applied for the 39th annual ranking. It’s a pretty impressive performance for RE/MAX and more proof that the #remaxhustle never stops.
Highlights of the 2018 Franchise 500 survey include:
- RE/MAX ranked #5 overall, up from #10 in 2017, #21 in 2016 and #75 in 2015
- RE/MAX ranked #1 among real estate franchises
- Other real estate competitors were Keller Williams Realty at #22, HomeVestors of America at #37, Weichert Real Estate Affiliates at #139, Realty One Group at #230, Realty Executives at #424 and United Real...
The skills of more than 115,000 sales associates in over 100 countries and territories have made RE/MAX the global leader in residential real estate transactions sides.
To be named the best in the world, professional athletes put in years of hard work, preparation and dedication to set themselves apart from the rest – wait – that sounds an awful lot like our network of real estate professionals!
As our bold new graphic proclaims, Nobody in the World Sells More Real Estate Than RE/MAX. Nobody IN THE WORLD. That means helping buyers and sellers achieve their dreams all around the globe. It means winning on the world stage – not just a national one. So what does it take to be number one?
1. Recognize And Develop Talent
Great things happen when you combine the industry’s most productive agents, a universally known brand name, an array of competitive advantages and a culture that attracts professionals who value customer service and big results. To be the best, you have to attract the best!
2. Work Hard And Keep At It
RE/MAX didn't reach the summit overnight. There's been 45 years of growing and nurturing the skills of sales associates, who in turn have done incredible work for their clients. Nothing has come easily, but going all-in is part of the RE/MAX culture. It's how you become the VIP.
3. Coach And Help Others
RE/MAX has a stated mission of "achieving our goals by helping others achieve theirs. Everybody wins." Raw talent needs infrastructure, equipment and facilities – and the quality of the support network depends very much on the mindset driving it forward.
January 2018 Housing Report:
4 Things to Know:
1. Homes are selling fast
In December, homes spent an average of 57 days on the market. That’s the shortest time of any December in the report’s history.
2. Prices are rising
The median sales price of a home sold in December was $232,500. That’s nearly 3 percent higher than the median sales price in December 2016.
3. Inventory continues to shrink
Making sales harder was a low supply of inventory at 3.7 percent — which is the lowest December figure in the nine-year history of the report. That corresponds with a 14.6 percent decline in inventory, lengthening a streak of monthly declines that began in November 2008.
4. Slightly fewer transactions occurred
The overall average number of home sales fell 3.3 percent compared to December 2016, with 39 markets reporting fewer transactions. The end of year is typically a slower selling season, but buyers should still work with their agents to navigate the competitive market.
Dig into the details of the ?January 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report??? in this infographic.
Ever thought about solar panels? LG&E has a Solar Share program now. (For more info click here https://lge-ku.com/solar-share/help. Solar panels are good for the environment, save money, and can increase the value of your home. However, with all the good, there are a few cons. Do you think there are more pros or cons when installing solar panels?
1. Pro: Demolish your electric bills
Obviously by capturing free energy from the sun, you'll pay less in your utility bill. In some states, you can even earn money back by selling the unused energy your panels generate to the utility company in the form of ?Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs).
2. Con: Upfront cost
While installation and materials are more affordable than ever, it might take up to seven years for the system to pay for itself through the money you save. Fortunately, there are considerable tax breaks, rebates, and solar-specific loans available to help homeowners get started. The federal investment tax credit allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of your system from your taxes. You can search for state programs on the ...
When buying or selling a home, an understanding of current market trends could help optimize your time and money. Here are a four real estate trends that defined 2017 and are expected carry on into the new year.
1. Competing Generations
The recent shift in home buying preferences is a generational one. Millennials are starting to abandon their condos in the city for starter homes in the burbs, putting them in direct competition with downsizing baby boomers. With these two groups both looking for similar housing, well-maintained single-family homes are expected to go very quickly in 2018.
2. Tightening Inventory
The fall of 2017 was tight in regards to the number of homes available for sale. In fact, total housing inventory was down 13.4 percent in October 2017 compared to the same time the year before, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. For most of the country, sellers currently have the advantage. Will that change in 2018? It’s possible, but buyers should prepare for a market where they will have to be aggressive to purchase the home they want.
3. Advancing Tech
Like most other industries, real estate today is profoundly affected by the advance of technology. Homebuyers and sellers can easily access information about a house or the market with the click of a button, and virtual walk-throughs allow a buyer to enter a prospective home for the first time with few surprises. In real estate, technology has the potential to reward those who do their homework and make the most of digital options...
Have you made your #NewYear resolutions yet? If you are thinking of selling your home in 2018, here are some tips to help get you started – call me when you're ready to meet your goals!
1. "Avoid drastic design changes"
Unless you’re turning your bold color palette into a more neutral one, it's best not to try to anticipate what buyers want in design and décor. The best way to freshen up your home is to simplify and depersonalize, so potential buyers can picture building their own lives there.
2. "Stop neglecting the dripping faucet"
This applies to all those repairs you might view as minor but could actually be a symptom of a larger problem. Addressing things like leaks, poor ventilation and cracks in walls helps avoid inspection surprises and eliminate buyer thoughts of “what else might be wrong?”
3. "Price my home reasonably"
It's understandable to think your home is worth more than the others on the block – especially if you've invested in key upgrades and remodels. And you might be right. But the only way to truly know is to compare your home against recent sales of similar homes in the area. I can help you reach a competitive price that reflects what your home is worth in the local real estate climate.
4. "Thin out the clutter"
When the For Sale sign goes up, your home should be...
The post holiday mess is always so overwhelming! Luckily, there are ways to recycle tinsel, ribbon, wrapping paper, and even holidays trees with ease that will lessen your stress and won't eat at your conscience! Check out my favorite tips and tell me yours!
After the holidays, your home can look a bit hung over with piles of wrapping paper and fallen tinsel trailing under everyone's feet. It all feels like a hazy eggnog memory. You may be wondering how you'll possibly clear out all the trash. Well, maybe it doesn't have to be trash. Here are five tips for keeping the planet in mind as you clean up this holiday season.
It's often tough to be away from loved ones during the holidays. Fortunately, there are several ways everyone in your family, wherever they may be, can be included in celebrating the season. Here are a few.
1. Make a date to video chat
Plan ahead (maybe even send out an e-vite) and schedule a virtual family reunion. Video chatting is easy – and free. Services like Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts allow you to talk to more than one person at the same time. Bonus: you can finally turn down the volume on the uncle who shouts during every conversation.
2. Share an Activity
While everyone may not be able to do the same thing in the same place, you and your family members around the world can still share a holiday experience. For example, everyone could make the same treasured family recipe or create some DIY holiday decorations. Then, share the experience via phone or video chat.
3. Family Facebook
Set up a Facebook page for your extended family for the holidays and beyond. Posts can include messages or videos from each member of the family (don't forget the dog!) or snapshots from holiday activities.
4. Record a message – or a conversation.
SpareMin is an app that makes it easy to create and share audio recordings. Grab a family member and host your own podcast with a topic like "Family Update" or "2016 Year in Review."
5. Online family photo album
Sites like ...