The Power of Pets

The Power of Pets


Posted By on Feb 11, 2016

      | The Power of Pets Once relegated to the shadows, Fido and Fluffy may turn out to be an asset in selling a home. JANUARY 2016 | BY MELISSA DITTMANN TRACEY The real estate business traditionally has shown scant love for pets. The conventional wisdom held that sellers should conceal all traces of their dogs or cats—the toys, bowls, beds, even the animals themselves—when prepping a home for sale. But those hardline messages are clearly softening, as pets become a plus in the marketing of homes for sale. The reason for the shift has a lot to do with the numbers: Pet power is rising. Currently 65 percent of households own a pet, up from 56 percent in 1988. A record-breaking 79 million U.S. households now own a pet, according to a recent survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association. Indeed, 83 percent of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of the family, according to a Packaged Facts research report. For real estate practitioners, addressing that pet love means helping buyers scout for homes that meet the needs of their pets or working with sellers to leverage their home’s pet appeal. In fact, pet-friendly agents have found one another—and consumers—on a growing national social platform called the Pet Realty Network. The network, launched in 1997, now boasts about 300 members who pay $30 annually to be included in the directory and can add to its pet-friendly listings. “I think the days of hiding your pet are over,” says Rhona Sutter, sales associate with Downing Frye Realty Inc. in Naples, Fla., and founder of the network. “You may not want the boisterous Labrador running to the door to greet a home buyer, but quite honestly, a home that is pet-friendly is an advantage for a house nowadays.” The pet advantage is notable at every price point. For a $5 million listing in 2013, the Boutique Real Estate Group in Corona Del Mar, Calif., produced a video showing off a luxury 6,300-square-foot, six-bedroom home all from the perspective of a French bulldog named Rocco. The bulldog even wore a custom-made suede collar in the video, inscribed with the property’s URL,49GoldenEagle.com. Raj Qsar, owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group, says the idea to star Rocco in the video, which came about after the dog took a liking to his team as they toured the space, helped him secure the listing. “They loved the idea,” he says. Joining the pet craze, home builders are touting pet-accommodating floor plans, such as those with pet nooks in mudrooms. Also, luxury condo buildings are marketing amenities to pet-loving households,...

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Staging your bathroom

Staging your bathroom


Posted By on Feb 4, 2016

Stage the Bathroom: 7 Simple Ideas By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Since 2000, the standard home for-sale was about 1,800 square feet – which mostly stayed steady for several years. But lately, the standard new home has swelled to 2,200 square feet, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Where is all of that extra space going? Bathrooms. Builders are adding more bathrooms to homes, reports CNNMoney. If buyers are putting so much more emphasis on bathrooms, you’d be wise to focus more on it in your staging too. Take a look at some of these photos below from Houzz to get inspiration for some simple, affordable ideas to stage bathrooms. 1. Try a luxurious, fluffy bath rug. Transitional Bathroom by South East Photographers Luke Cartledge Photography   2. Add some fresh flowers, like a vase of hydrangeas, for some added color pop. Traditional Powder Room by London Interior Designers & Decorators Lisette Voute Designs   3. Show off some smart organization. You know, buyers will be peeking in the closets.  Traditional Bathroom by Mooresville Building Supplies Lowe’s Home Improvement   4. Set up like a spa: Fluffy folded towels with lotions on a cart. Traditional Bathroom by Greenville Interior Designers & Decorators Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home   5. Swap out for a framed mirror. Traditional Powder Room by West Hollywood Interior Designers & Decorators Elizabeth Dinkel   6. Try a slightly bolder shower curtain and tie it back to add more drama. Beach Style Bathroom by Savannah Interior Designers & Decorators Rethink Design Studio   7. Bring in some bling: Silver accessories can add some shine, as long as your home owner is committed to keeping them sparkling. Transitional Powder Room by Greenville Interior Designers & Decorators Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home...

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By Justin Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency Ah, yes the beloved Top 10 list. If only life were that simple and any skill you ever wanted to learn could be perfected with just 10 easy to learn, neatly packaged tips. I can see it now… “The top 10 tips for removing your own brain tumor” or “The top 10 tips for raising the dead.” Now don’t get me wrong — I don’t think that having your house photographed is as complicated as brain surgery or necromancy but it is often best left to the professionals. However, if you find yourself without a professional and needing to prepare your house for photographs either for a vacation rental, to sell it, or to just show off your new digs to friends and family, here are Spade and Archer’s top 10 tips on how to best get’r done. 1. Design for the camera, not for the end user When putting together a space, we always think of the camera first. Will this angle look right, will it show off the best feature of the house? Will the light hit these items correctly? The good news is you have a camera in your pocket as you read this. When we stage a house for market, we are constantly taking photographs of it and looking at it through the camera lens. It helps us to see errors in symmetry, lighting, cleanliness, etc.       2. No more wrinkles In real life, wrinkly sheets don’t make a lick of difference. You will still sleep the same and wake up refreshed, whether you iron the sheets or not. The camera, however, hates wrinkles and makes them look 100 times worse than they really are. Our best advice on this one is to use a professional steamer. The hot steam will take those wrinkles right out and makes the sheets, pillows, shower curtains, etc. all look perfect in the picture. 3. Light it up.   Light can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If you don’t know how to control it, you are destined to fail. The time of day and weather conditions can make a huge difference on how well your space photographs. If the afternoon sun is blazing into your room throwing harsh shadows all over, the shot is destined to look “blown out” with areas as dark as night and as bright as a nuclear holocaust. To help combat this problem, look for the best time for indirect sunlight outside and inside your space. Cloudy days are perfect for this. It is also a great idea to turn on your...

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Hesitant to paint your living room accent wall that bright new trending color before listing your home this spring? Worried those beautiful floral patterned curtains in the bedroom will scare your husband away? Whether preparing your home for sale or updating your décor with a fresh new look for the season, it’s important to keep the following styling tips in mind in order to appeal to both gender’s personal tastes. 1. Choose a neutral color base. A hard and fast rule for neutralizing is starting with shades of gray, beige, and white for walls, flooring, countertops and larger furnishings. To add some depth, use deeper tones like navy or black paired with pops of color in accents such as pillows, rugs, curtains, and wall art. 2. Choose tailored furniture with modern accents. Big tufted velvet or floral patterned sofas speak more to feminine tastes with a more formal style while a streamlined sofa (pictured above) in a neutral fabric paired with a contemporary coffee table and modern accents creates a relaxed, welcoming feel. Adding an orange leather chair with a herringbone couch fabric will please both sexes.  3. Bring in texture and pattern in accents. A patterned rug along with fun accents such as cozy woven throws and textured pillows is a great way to add generic, chic appeal. Avoid delicate trinkets on tables and shelves. Instead, try adding a little industrial or vintage style with chrome, metal, and brass side tables, floor lamps, and other finishing touches. 4. Mix and match fabrics. Leather or velvet fabric furniture can be neutralized by adding accent pillows in linen, cotton, or canvas and simply draping a cashmere throw. Window treatments should be kept simple with soft, easy flowing fabrics or a tailored roman shade style. 5. Add elements from nature. Add a natural touch with earthy elements such as reclaimed wood tables, tree stump stools, woven baskets, natural fiber rugs, and twisted tree branch arrangements. Instead of a feminine style silk floral arrangement, try a cactus plant or other faux potted greenery. And wall art with a coastal or nautical theme or any landscape scenery are all perfect ways to add a mutually pleasing style....

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The New Kitchen

The New Kitchen


Posted By on Feb 4, 2016

The New Kitchen Finish: Black Stainless By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR Magazine Among all the tech hype at CES 2016 this week, appliance manufacturers are showing off their latest high-tech, super energy efficient models. But they’re also doing it under a new finish: Black stainless. KitchenAid, LG, and Samsung are among the appliance makers showing the black satiny finish. It’s the latest finish to go up against the long-held popularity of stainless steel, the rugged industrial look that has adorned modern kitchens for decades. But stainless steel has had a love-hate relationship with home owners. Home owners love the shiny look but they tend to hate the fingerprint smudges that are often left behind. Manufacturers have tried alternatives, such as Whirlpool’s White Ice and GE’s Slate. But none have come close to biting into stainless steels’ popularity. Will black stainless catch on? Possibly, because it’s not that too different of a look. It’s less reflective than the conventional stainless steel. It’s just slightly darker and offers a slightly more (but not completely) smudge-free finish. KitchenAid first launched its black stainless steel finish in September 2015, which had designers calling it the hot “new neutral” that added “warmth” and “sophistication” to a kitchen space. “Major appliances are the anchor pieces of a kitchen, and their color and design contribute largely to the overall look of the space,” says Beth Robinson, senior brand experience manager for KitchenAid. “As a stylish alternative to traditional finishes, our black stainless steel offers designers and consumers tremendous design flexibility and the chance to experiment with fresh ideas.” What do you think? Do you think black stainless will catch on?...

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