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Karen GP

10 Home Renovations That Are Worth The Investment

10 Home Renovations That Are Worth The Investment

Realtytoday.com is full of information to help sellers get their bang for their buck. But what if you are not planning on selling right away? I call you the dwell to sell type of homeowner. One that might be considering selling in a short time but you know you might need a few improvements to your abode before you take that jump. So where should you invest your hard-earned money so you do get a return? Take a look at this article we are quoted in with other professionals in the field.

10 Home Renovation Tips That Will Help You Pay Back The House Price Invested

To start, keep in mind everything should appear well maintained throughout the house, and outside when you are selling. Any maintenance that has been neglected, needs to be addressed. My philosophy is, why not enjoy it while you are living there? Double bang for the buck! If you are not sure what color paint, type of flooring or other hard surface material to choose would be best, call in a professional. Many will provide a consult for you at a minimal fee that will ensure your hard-earned money is being spent wisely.

Not sure, send me pictures and we can help you choose what will work best for your project.

Other helpful reads:

Key Improvements That Will Reap a Profit | Bathrooms

Key Improvements that will Reap a Profit

Home Improvement Projects | Inexpensive Updates


Home Improvement Before Selling

Home Improvement Before Selling

Realtor.com knows the real estate market and they seek expert advice to help sellers when it comes to putting their house on the market. In a recent article they elaborated on Must-Do Home improvements, we, Design Solutions KGP were quoted!

Jamie Wiebe wrote: “Selling your home might feel like a rush to the finish line. The market is hot right now, you think—so you should hurry up while you can still get a good price. Or perhaps your dream home was just listed, but you can’t move in until your current place sells … so you should expedite this, right?”

The problem is, if you move too fast, buyers see right through the fact that you skipped important home renovations. And this, my friends, might end up costing you time and money; lots of both, in fact.

So take the time to sell your home right. These six home improvements will make your home sell faster and for more cash. And some of them aren’t even very much work.”

Read the full article here:

6 Must-Do Home Improvement Projects to Tackle Before Selling a House

Other helpful reads:

Minimal Interior Design | Why Staging Works

Staging, Why Bother, Who Needs It?

 


Fall Tabletop Decorations

Fall Tabletop Decorations

I have heard someplace that Halloween sales are second to Christmas. People obviously love decorate for this holiday. I tend to lean on the simpler side when it comes to decorating for holidays, decorate for the season, not so much for the holiday. So with that in mind I thought I would share some inspirational ideas I have come across for decorating you table for fall that could take you right through the winter holidays.

Tabletop Holiday Decorations

I do love the look of the white pumpkins. They come across so clean, and obviously coordinate with anyone’s décor no matter what colors you use! By adding other items like grapes, fruits, leaves or branches they can set a festive mood.

white-table-arrangement white-pumking-center white-and-green artichoke

Another great option is to use things you can find in and around your home, like branches of leaves, wheat,  or even feathers I love!

big-leavespinecone-woodcopper-pipe

feather

Go elaborate, or go simple I believe if you are decorate for the season you will reduce some of the stress in your life, because you will avoid all the extra effort of setting up, taking down, storing. You can get a few months out of your efforts and they will look festive!

I would love for you to share your ideas that you have used for season tabletop decor

Tricks to Save Money This Fall |US News


Room Arrangement Done Right

Room Arrangement Done Right

Arranging furniture right in a room can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you are moving into a new house and all you have are vacant rooms. But arranging the furniture can be easy if you follow a few basic rules.

  1. Find your focal point. A focal point can be a view from a window, or fire place, it can even be a piece of furniture such as in a bedroom the bed can become the focal point.
  2. Arrange the furniture with

Balance

Flow

Size

all in mind.

The balance of the furniture should sit proportionally in the room. Balance is pleasing to the eye. So when you have a bed as a focal point, it looks best with two bedside tables on either side. Think of a fireplace, if you can place the furniture on either side, it will create balance and frame the focal point, your fireplace.

Bedroom

Flow is important, being how people can move through the room. If you have a chair, table or something in the way of the traffic flow it can be terribly annoying. Also small spaces can be troublesome to move through, so keep the furniture in proportion to the room.

This brings me to size. It is important to keep in mind the proportions of a room when you are arranging furniture. Although the room may feel large when it is empty, measure it, lay it out on paper if needed so you have a good idea of the furniture in proportion to the room, and allow enough space so that it is easy to move around the room. Likewise you do not want the proportion of furniture to overwhelm the space, meaning adding a big overstuffed sofa to a room just because it is comfortable.

living room

  1. Consider Light. Many times people are not satisfied with their rooms because of the above reasons but also because of the lighting. Having a mix of natural light along with overhead, floor and table lamps are important to balance through the room to keep the lighting balanced.
  2. Size of Rugs. Make sure they are the right size for the space. Regarding rugs try to get the legs of all the large piece under the rug. You also do not want a rug so large that it does not fit in the space. A rug can anchor a seating area and if it is the right size it makes a large room feel warmer. If only the front legs can be on the rug that is ok too provided that the rug is big enough for the space, not looking like a little postage stamp in the middle of the room.
  3. Art and its position: Sometimes a wall is so expansive that you hang a piece and it does not look right. If you are hanging a piece behind a sofa make sure it is about two-thirds the length of the sofa, similar to a bed. Sometime a group of art pieces might do the trick because one piece may be too small. In this case create a wall that has similar elements to make the pieces work together. I suggest to clients either think of a color, theme, or even the same frame works.

The key to arranging furniture is measure the room, and play with the above suggestions of balance and proportion. Keep in mind the traffic flow through the room. Try and keep some of the pieces away from the walls too. By rearranging some of the pieces you already have can make a room look completely new again! Send me some pictures of your “new” rooms after you give this a try!

Other great reads:

Piecing a Room Together That Works

Things Your Home Does Not Need


Actual Staging or Virtual Staging | Which is Better?

Actual Staging or Virtual Staging | Which is Better?

Presentation of a property is extremely important when it goes on the market. The challenge in seller’s minds are the expense that might be involved to improve upon what they have, to make the “product” desirable to buyers; along with gaining the largest return. In comes staging. Should the property be actually staged with furniture, or is virtual ok.

Virtual staging is when a professional adds furniture to rooms virtually to make the house “appear” to be furnished. When buyers look online the house looks great, when they actually go to see the property it will only have empty rooms.

virtual stage

Actually staging is when a professional goes into the property and sets the furniture in a way to allow buyers to see how their furnishing can fit in the spaces. They are knowledgeable of who your buying market is and what they desire. If staged, the house looks great online; and when buyers visit the property, it is the same as what they saw online.

DSC_0078 (2)wm

Which is better?

Either actually, it depends on the type of property, to market a property well, it should be staged. I suggest the best way to use virtual staging is for a model home that a builder has not built yet, their are numerous floor plans, but possibly only one built. The one built should be actually staged, while the other models done virtually. Virtual staging the other models gives buyers a better feel for how the floor plan can work for them. This allows the builder then to engage buyers to purchase additional models.

Virtual staging is not a good idea for a single family home that an individual might be selling. It might draw a buyer to make an appointment to see a house, unfortunately with less than 10% of the population being able to envision a space, the showing will typically not entice the buyer because they will be viewing empty rooms.

Actual Staging is having a professional stager come to the property and set it up with furnishing and accessories for the buying market in a way that enhances the spaces. It allows a buyer to have a “hands on” experience allowing them to envision themselves living in the spaces.

Actual staging a home whereby the sellers have not moved their furnishing out is essential, known as occupied staging. Here professional staging will blend the existing furnishings and improve upon the presentation to entice buyers. Enhancing the property to allow the seller hold onto their hard earned equity.

Both types of staging are vital to the marketing of a property. The best way to choose which to use would be to evaluate the type of property and situation of the property that is being sold. The goal is to have the property resonate with buyers. Staging a property is worth every dollar invested in it. Think of “flipping” shows, they always have a property staged before they put it on the market because they know staging brings value to the property.

Other good reads:

Virtual Staging Versus Physical Staging

Design Solutions KGP Selected As Top Professional Home Stager of 2016

Marketing a Home Well


Is Staging Worth the Cost When Selling?

Is Staging Worth the Cost When Selling?

You decide it’s time to put your house on the market. You get a few RE Agents into your home to give you an evaluation and they tell you to “de-clutter, clean, and make things neutral” (ya, ya, ya)….you listen to the advice and then do as they suggested or think you did, and your house sits on the market. Why? Because most likely you have not been able to:

1. Look at your house objectively
2. Your house has assets that are probably not being highlighted the best that they can
3. You cleaned, de-cluttered, and are looking neutral BUT probably have not created the VALUE that speaks to the buyers
4. Your personal (ahem) decorating style is probably not as appealing to many buyers as you think

So you say “so what” I’m not wasting money to have someone tell me what I need to do.
“So what,” your house will then be passed over for homes that present better, it will linger on the market longer causing you to reduce your desired price, and/or you will get into a bidding war which will be more costly than hiring a Professional Stager. Not to mention the money you are losing each month in carrying costs like mortgage, taxes, heating/cooling, electricity…

I ask my clients if these cupcakes cost the same, which is more desirable and would be the better value?

cupcake
You guessed it, the frosted cupcake. Why? Think about when you put your home on the market why a buyer would want your home over the others in your area.
When buyers are looking for a house which one will they select? The house that is polished and speaking to them, or the one that looks like every other home they have seen online. Those properties that do not present well will be passed up and linger on the market longer and at a lower price.

Why hire a professional stager? Why hire a lawyer, a contractor, seek advice of a tax adviser? Because they know how to do the job, and have extensive knowledge in the area they are professionals in.

You know if you hire a professional the job will be done right saving yourself frustration and aggravation that in the long run is worth every penny. A professional stager brings value to the home, they suggest upgrades that are desirable to buyers that will bring the seller a return on the investment. A professional stager protects your equity in your home. The house will be merchandised to impress savvy buyers for the market that the house is in. Professional staging creates a polished look that makes a home stand out online and in the market place, it creates an emotional connection for buyers to want to take a further look.

So why hire a professional to stage your house to sell, because you want it to sell, and sell faster than the competition. Is that worth the cost of hiring a Professional Stager?

Other great reading:

7 Simple Steps to Staging

Should a Seller Waste their Time and Money on Staging

Benefits of Staging Your Property


How To Prep Your Home For Sale

How To Prep Your Home For Sale

staging-like-a-pro-2


What Is The Greige Rage?

What Is The Greige Rage?

Greige is a color that was introduced or identified when grays were coming onto the decorating scene after browns were the popular neutral. Although greige has been around for a while, some people, after all the browns were feeling gray was too cold, hence greige. Why and where would greige be a good color to use in a room? Let me explain so that you understand why it might be a great neutral for a room, or for selling.

Greige is that bridge neutral to help take rooms from the 1990’s beige and brown colors into the 2000’s gray trend. If you are one of those people that feel gray is “too cold,” greige is a good bridge for you. Paint is an easy inexpensive way to update any décor. When you have a kitchen that has travertine marble, and lots of brown, a greige can help you make the room look a little more updated. If you decorated last in the 90’s take a look at some greige’s because they can give your rooms a totally new look without breaking the bank.

Of course I have to talk a little bit about buyers today, they expect homes to be pretty much ‘turnkey’ they do not want to do a lot of updating. So in comes paint color to do the trick. Neutral is important when selling because it allows buyers to look at the room, not the color on the wall, or the stuff in the room. The color can actually help accentuate the architectural details that you want to emphasize when selling.

So back to why greige can be the ideal color;  identifying some ‘ideal’ greige tones that could help you update your rooms from the 90’s to what is trending is a great way to use greige. Keep in mind it’s hard to choose just one because of the undertones in floors and counters.

Although Benjamin Moore’s Manchester Tan (HC-81) has a bit of a green undertone, it is a great neutral to bridge that gap between being too brown to updating toward gray. The color works well.HC-81 Manchester Tan

 

machester tan

As you can see it can take a traditional space and make it feel more modern. Note the colors of the slate floors, dark gray, gray and greige. Of course using Benjamin Moore’s Simply White for the trim give the pop to the walls, taking it from “boring beige” to simply sophisticate.

Sherwin Williams identified one of their greige as Perfect Greige SW6073, it too closes the gap between the browns to a warm gray feeling, making the room feel more modern and updated.

SW 6073 Perfect Greige
Perfect Greige

This beautiful dining room is a great example of how the warmth of the color also adds sophistication.

natural cream

This traditional kitchen the granite appears to have gray in it, the cabinets were painted in a Natural Cream Benjamin Moore OC-14 which gives the room a warmer feeling then a gray which tends to be on the cooler scale of color.

Greige continues to be popular going forward into 2017 as Sherwin Williams choice Poised Taupe, but it really is a cross between gray and beige.

So if you are considering updating your rooms, but are not ready to rip out tile, flooring, or spend an arm and leg updating; consider color as a way to bridge the gap. Sometimes just changing your color on the walls to a more updated trending color might do the trick. Send me some pictures of your color changes and the difference it made in your rooms!

Other good reads:

Which Paint Color Is the Right One?

Eight Biggest Selling Offenders


2017 Predicted Popular Colors

2017 Predicted Popular Colors

It’s that time of year when the paint manufactures announce what they believe will be the popular color for the upcoming year.  They predict these colors based on trends they see not only in the design world but also what people are navigating towards. Color is like fashion, it will be cyclical but when the color comes back it will have a different fresh twist to it. You may have seen the predictions on my Facebook feed already, but I think it’s nice to see them altogether in one place too.

I noticed that the colors seem to leaving the neutral ‘clean’ trend that we had seen in 2016 with Alabaster and Simply White being the big news from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. The colors this year have purple undertones, and have a relaxing feeling. Isn’t that what we all want at the end of a busy day, to just sit back and relax? Having these colors in your rooms, if you like them, will allow you to do just that.

Sherwin Williams says Poised Taupe will be the color for 2017. Interestingly enough I have seen the trend to more beige than gray lately in décor,  and articles about décor. So this one is not too surprising to me. It is a cross between gray and beige but with purple undertones. Being a versatile color for those that were not enamored by the gray’s that have been so popular for the past ten or so years.

 

bedroom poised taupe

Notice how the room has the gray and beige in the rug, lots of light neutrals also, giving the room a relaxed feeling.

poised taupe kitchen

Instead of the gray trend for cabinets, taupe looks beautiful in this kitchen. I especially like taupe with black it makes it look so rich.

Those that like to purchase their paint at Home Depot, and now Walmart I understand; Glidden chose Byzantine Blue (50BB 32/117). It is a purplish blue. PPG the manufacture of Glidden said “Byzantine Blue is truly a purple in disguise. It stretches the boundaries of purple to borrow all of best qualities of blue and gray…”

byzantine blue bed

Soft purply blue mixed again with neutrals is such a relaxing combination. So I wonder is gray slowly fading or just morphing into a softer feeling…

What do you think of the predicted colors for 2017? We still need to see what Benjamin Moore (October 2016 they announced Shadow as their color for 2017) will come out with, which I am sure will be soon. Do you think you will be jumping on the trend, or have you been using similar colors in your decorating all along? I love to hear your feed back

Other good reads:

The Right Color for a Room


Maximize Your Property Sale|Real Estate

Maximize Your Property Sale|Real Estate

You are a home owner, creating memories, putting your special touches on the rooms, making them feel like “home.” A few years down the road, life changes and you find you need to move, panic sets in, and there is so much to do, where do you begin to prepare your property for sale? The focus needs to be how you market your home to gain the biggest return on your largest investment, your house.

$$$$$$$$$

Staging is essential in today’s real estate market to optimize marketing your house and accomplish a quick sale. Staging is the presentation or packaging of the product that will draw a buyers interest. 90% of buyers look online for their house, they are looking for a house that they can aspire to live in. They are not looking for a house that looks like yours, they want a house that will look like theirs. How to achieve that look can be difficult, but can be realized with the help of a Professional Stager.

childs bedroom as is

kids bedroom staged

If you are able to plan out your move a few years away, call in a Professional Stager NOW. They can review your house with you, giving you a wealth of ideas to prepare your house for market. The advantage of doing it now, is that you have time to enjoy the investments for yourself. It also will help you reduce the overwhelming feeling that can occur when you wait until the actual day you want to sell.

If you need to move right away, or in the near future, calling a Professional Stager is a MUST, because they will direct you to how to optimize your home for the quickest sale. After a consult you should have a prioritized list of what needs to be address and the order it should be completed to assist your sale to go as smoothly as possible.

Actually staging is vital in today’s market as some of the points already mentioned. It can be difficult to look objectively at your home, but you need to. Keep in mind your goal is to sell your house, not live their infinitely. The prized collections and cute things that make it a ‘home’ may not be the same for a buyer. Be objective. The small investment of 1 to 3% of staging your home is by far, a smaller investment with a bigger return then the 4 to 7% you pay an agent. Possibly negotiate with your agent to be reimbursed at the closing if they are not willing to pay for Professional Staging up front, you are helping them market your house.

When marketing a product- including your house, placement, price, product and promotion are all key factors. As a seller you can take control of the product to make sure it stands out above all other houses in the market, which in turn will generate more showings. More showings, higher chance of getting a quick offer. What a winning combination!

Other good reads:

Sterile or Styled | Makes a Difference When Selling

Should a Seller Waste their Time and Money on Staging

Advantage of Home Staging