Home Owners: It's SO easy Being “Green”

The benefits of owning a “green” home go far beyond sustaining the environment. In fact there are huge financial benefits for the homeowner. “Green” homes can ensure less long-term maintenance costs and improve overall energy and water savings. Here are some suggestions that might have you singing: It’s so easy being green.

1.) Insulation:

In hotter climates, room temperatures can soar causing your energy bills to sky rocket. Better insulation can have a dramatic effect on the need for air conditioning, by dropping the numbers on your thermostat by a whopping 10 degrees. Says an article on 8NewsNow titled, Going Green Can Save Homeowners Money. the savings can be dramatic.

Going green can dramatically reduce energy costs … Attics usually reach 150 degrees in the summer. Good insulation can drop that temperature to approximately 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house – reducing air conditioning use.

2.) Green Building:

Use green building materials. Environmentally friendly, “green” building materials can actually be more durable. In some cases, they even have warranties that could outlast the time you live in the home! HGTV Remodels suggests:

  • Durable roofing materials. Some have 40- or 50-year warranties.
  • Recycled-content decking. Made of recycled plastic mixed with wood-waste fibers, this decking can last up to five times longer than traditional wood decking, and it never needs to be treated or painted.

3.) Water Conservation

Reducing the amount of water needed to run the home can be an important step to going “green”. Notably, in Southern California water restriction policies are often mandated by the government because of drought concerns so this is vitally important here. Tips include:

  • Install energy saving appliances to reduce water usage. This can include toilets, dishwashers and washing machines.
  • ·Water Treatment: Whole-house carbon filtration and water conditioners can solve conservation concerns

According to Jason Bolas, water treatment technician at Bill Howe Plumbing in San Diego:

Many people may not realize that a failing water heater is likely due to hard water causing scale build-up. Pinhole leaks also appear frequently because of the aggressive effects of hard water that is found in high concentrations in the local municipal water supply. Water treatment is the best defense against these problems.

4.) Solar

Although going solar requires a bit of an investment up front, you could save thousands in energy bills over time. Say architects KoningEizenbergSolar Panels: Not Just Big Rectangles on the Roof Anymore” in an article by the same title. They say:

Dow’s Powerhouse shingles, for example, pretty much disappear when applied to a traditional asphalt roof. The thin film is also much more cost-effective when it comes to installation.

Here are some ideas for solar

  • Install a solar hot water heater. It will save you money and conserve energy
  • Solar panels on the roof will protect it from wear and tear and can again save you money through the years

Green Homes in Westlake Village

Small steps to transition to “green” living will not only improve your own living conditions and save you money, but these little steps now could ensure a brighter and healthier future for your children and generations to come. For questions on this or any topic or to view “greener” built home listings in and around Westlake Village, contact Lydia Gable today for a consultation.

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Spring Projects for Home Sale

Spring is a good time to take on interior and exterior projects that will increase your home’s sale value especially if you have hopes of selling the home this year. Remember to focus on projects that will add light, clean minimalistic design, and will ultimately increase your home’s curb appeal. Following, are some tips that will instantly turn your down- in-the-doldrums digs into the hottest home listing in town!

Let the Sun Shine In!

Spring is about renewal – so there is no better time to throw out what you don’t need and take on the bigger de-clutter projects. Any spot in a home that is cluttered can detract from the space, making it appear darker, smaller, and essentially unappealing, not to mention uncomfortable. A simple fix might be to store any unused items in boxes for the winter. Or make a day of it and have a garage sale. And if you are feeling really ambitious, steam clean a carpet, give the walls a fresh coat of paint and maybe switch out the dark winter-time curtains for more sheer panels that let the sun shine in.

Light, airy, spacious and more specifically clean homes are always better sellers. Clean closets, carpets, windows, show that the home is well maintained. But just as important, de-cluttering and reorganization of an old home can give it a renewed energy whether you are selling today or six months from now.

Energy and Renewal

Spring is usually a good reminder time to change out the batteries on smoke and CO detectors. But it’s also a great time to consider making updates to technology. So why not go an extra step this year? If typically, you check and change out the batteries in your CO and smoke detectors at the beginning of spring, now may be the perfect time to add a programmable thermostat by Nest or a new energy saving water heater. Energy savings and smart technology actually add appeal to the home when it’s time to sell and best of all you’ll save money while you still live there. A recent article in MoneyCrashers says:

… install a programmable thermostat. Most buyers expect to see programmable thermostats these days, and they can save you money. And if you need to replace your hot water heater, consider spending a bit extra to purchase a high-efficiency water heater.

Curb Appeal

Last but certainly not least, never forget your home’s curb appeal. After a long winter, get outside and see what isn’t working. Maybe stain the bricks on the walkway or light the walkway toward your front steps. Manicure the garden around the front entrance. And speaking of the front entrance, a simple change like painting the front door can make a huge difference! Curb appeal is just like a first impression at an interview. It’s incredibly difficult to change a negative impression once it goes sour! HGTV Front Door, showcases 8 homes with Colorful Curb Appeal that do it well. As they describe a beautiful Hancock Park home in Los Angeles, the walkway is exquisite, increasing the home’s curb appeal.

The long walkway to the front door is elegantly lit and highlights the exotic exterior space.

The lesson: You can make even small changes to a home like installing elegant lighting sconces or adding color to the landscaping that can change the feel of your home the minute a visitor arrives.

For more tips on selling or to view home listings in Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Hot Spring 2014 Home Design Trends

Spring Into a ‘New’ Home

Does the spring season have you yearning for a change – itching to buy a new house or to redesign current home? Maybe you’re just looking for some small punches that will make a big splash on your home’s style? As we usher in spring which is traditionally a very busy season for home sales, it’s a perfect time to reveal the spring home design trends for 2014. In January, I updated you on the Top Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2014 and now here is part 2.

Below check out the top three hottest spring 2014 home design trends.

1. Mother Nature Returns Home

Mother Nature has moved indoors this season. I forecasted some of this in my January article where I quoted Michael Booth, Interior Designer at BAMO, as saying, ‘In 2014, we’ll see warm woods, serene blues and refined textures integrated into private spaces designed to restore body and soul’, and it looks like the elements are here to stay through 2015. Whether incorporating greenery, wood, minerals or rock into the home design – nature is hot, hot, hot this season.

This home by architect Keith Anding and designer William Anderson featured in the SFGate article Keith Anding home in Glen Ellen Draws the Outside In is a prime illustration of the nature trend. The greenery is the focal point of this pared down, neutral toned living room. Photo: Michael Hospelt

The Journal Sentinel reiterates the nature theme in their recent article Six hot home design trends for spring 2014. In the section titled, Ode to the Elements, they say:

Mother Nature is inspiring design in a big way this year and homeowners are finding unique ways to incorporate rocks, minerals and other natural elements into their home’s design.

2. Old is New Again

New this season is a trend toward repurposing – making the old new again. According to a survey in this weeks’ MarketWatch Spring 2014 Home Design Trend Report, members of the Zillow Digs Board of Designers, a group of design experts from across the country, say ‘old’ is new again in home design:

Repurposing antique furniture into hidden storage solutions is a popular trend among interior designers and homeowners alike. An old trunk can double as the perfect coffee table.

Says Zillow Digs Board of Designers Member, Mara Miller of Carrier and Company Interiors Ltd. in New York City:

…be selective [with antiques] and use beautiful pieces of furniture for an instant design statement.

3. Color Trends: A Changing Hue

Color is still the hot topic as we move into spring. In an article titled From floor to fixtures: Top spring home decor trends add style and personality in the Seaside Courier, Vickie Gilstrap, director of design services for The Dixie Group, a top U.S. carpet manufacturer, says design color schemes are warming up.

Colors are getting warmer. Taupe is the bridge color taking us from gray to browner tones. Warm pinks are returning, as well as warmer greens like moss and olive – even apple.

As I mentioned in the January piece, color was the big news in home design as we started 2014. At the start of the year however, there was a move toward a more serene, clean color palette of cool blues and neutrals. But as we head toward 2015, nature themed colors are in – all kinds of warm greens are the hot spring colors!

4. In the Kitchen

The trend of nature and color has also spilled over into the kitchen. Elle Décor in their article titled Big in 2014: The Trends that Will Define the Year Ahead reports that “custom cabinetry painted in rich gemstone colors, and accented with gleaming brass or chrome, all lit by unusual lighting fixtures.” Also hot are ‘surfaces that mimic malachite, agate, and other exotic semi-precious stones’.

Do you agree with trends – are you going to rush out and redo your living room or kitchen? It might be fun, but the best part about home design trends is that while they are a great guide to stay in line with what is hot and selling right now, as a home owner, you don’t have to agree – it’s your sacred space!

For more information on the hottest spring home design trends for 2014 or to schedule an appointment to view home listings or sell a home in Westlake Village or the surrounding neighborhoods, contact Lydia Gable today for a consultation.

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The FHA Lending Limits Take Effect

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has revised loan limits on single-family mortgages as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Although the revisions went into effect on January 1, 2014, the change has been long anticipated by economists and real estate professionals alike — especially in terms of forecasting and what this might mean for the housing market. Passed in 2008 and intended to be active at the start of 2009, Congress delayed it due to what they called, “continuing strains in credit markets” as reported by the HUD at that time. The changes amount to this: according to Mortgagee Letter 13-43, the FHA single family loan ceiling limits will come down by nearly $100,000 – capped at a $625,000 lending limit from the much higher $729,750.

Changes to Qualified Mortgage Rules

In an article on CNNMoney, titled, What the new mortgage rules mean for you, it reports that the bulk of the impact will be felt in Qualified Mortgage rules. Here the major changes:

  • · Changes in debt-to-income ratio – it must be below 43%. Banks can still make loans to people with debt-to-income ratios if there is a high level of assets, justify the risk.
  • · Qualified mortgages cannot include risky features, such as terms longer than 30 years, interest-only payments or minimum payments…
  • · Upfront fees and charges cannot add up to more than 3% of the mortgage balance.

Los Angeles & Ventura County FHA Lending Limits

Most Southern California area realtors are bracing for impact as the FHA guidelines impact the market, although the larger picture still looks quite positive. For the coastal communities—where the homes tend to be $650,000+ and up—many wonder what this means long term? Home owners planning to sell—especially in this first quarter when buyers may be reticent due to changes—may feel a big impact.

In Los Angeles County the new FHA lending limit is $625,500 and in Ventura County, it’s now $598,000.00. These new FHA lending limits could force those in a higher priced market like Ventura County to lower the initial listing price. On the flips side, the changes could ward off those that wereready to buy from actually taking the plunge. Ultimately, whether this means sales will slow, or sellers will hold indefinitely, we’re currently in the speculative stages, but the conversation is none-the-less, important.

Austin Lampson of OnQFinancial, says the biggest impact will be on first time buyers and it may indeed slow the successful boom reported by many realtors last year in Southern California. Lampson says:

This [change] can greatly impact one’s buying power in high-cost areas of the Gold Coast, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. For example, right now the single family limit for an FHA-insured mortgage in Santa Barbara County is $729,750. If you are putting the minimum 3.5% down, that equates to a $756,217 sales price…at the updated loan amount of $625,500, $648,186.

Home Buyers/Sellers in Ventura County…

One inevitable truth: the housing market is as excitingly unpredictable as it is volatile as it is rewarding and that will is predictable. So as the FHA, in an effort to restore the economy and incentivize banks to lend to the under-served, imposes lending limits on the higher priced markets, we all brace for impact…and it’s only January! Happy house hunting!

If you have questions on any of the issues raised in this article or you would like to list a home or view listings in and around the Ventura County area, contact Lydia Gable today for a consultation.

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Finding 'My' Home on HGTV's 'HouseHunters'

Recently I appeared on HGTV’s HouseHunters on an episode titled, New Parents Look for a Home with Good Feng Shui in L.A. The segment centered on new parents Jake and Jenny who were ready to buy a nicer home outside of Los Angeles. The couple’s hope: to relocate to a bigger home in the suburbs right outside of L.A. However, the conflict—because all TV needs some conflict— in this particular episode was that Jenny had a requirement. She had compromised on style in her first home with Jake and chose not to do that this go-around. The deal: Jenny insisted on an open, airy design with good Feng Shui. Enter the realtor—that would be me. My job ultimately, was to find the couple a Mediterranean style home in the suburbs of Los Angeles with the open, airy feel and good Feng Shui that Jenny insisted upon but in addition—in order to keep Jake happy—find a property which also fulfilled his wish to have a home with a cozy feel and a sense of privacy.

HGTV admitted in the teaser as the episode air date approached:

… their healthy $750,000 budget will limit their options in L.A.’s pricey housing market.

My Road to HGTV…

My buyers Jenny and Jake absolutely loved their home buying journey with me. Because they not only loved the experience of buying the house but also are fans of HouseHunters, they asked if I would participate in an episode. Of course, it sounded like fun so I agreed. The couple submitted their story for review. We all had to submit videos as well to make sure we were right for TV and the tone of the show. Production loved it – before I knew it I was filming the episode. The total filming took 4 days all of which was a very fun experience.

In the end – and this is what matters most to me—my clients Jenny and Jake now live happily in the home they selected.

From HGTV to You: What Will Your Realty Experience Be?

Whether on TV or in my community of Westlake Village, my approach to home sales remains consistent. As a top ranked Southern California realtor, I am a staging expert for the home seller and I have a lengthy track record of happy home buyers. If you, like our featured couple Jenny and Jake on HGTV’s Househunters, have a specific wish list, contact Lydia Gable today to view listings or meet for a consultation.

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What is a Staging Expert? Why It's Important?

Will the Dining Room Table Fit?

What is a staging expert? Essentially a home staging expert is there to anticipate the home buyer’s expectations before the showing. The staging is sort of the visual answer to common questions like “How will my furniture fit in the space” or “Where will my bed go?” or “Is the kitchen a good space to cook?” and “Does the home get a lot of light?”

When a realtor stages a home with real furniture and accessories, it’s easier for the buyer to visualize where things will fit. The aim is usually to create an upscale feel in order to achieve the desired sale price. A good staging expert not only knows the space, but has a good understanding ofwho the buyer is.

An Over-Looked Part of the Selling Experience

As a staging expert myself, I can’t stress the importance of finding a realtor who is an expert in this often over-looked part of the selling experience. Good staging is a balance between enough furniture to fit the space while still creating the element of spaciousness, imagination, and minimalist design. (For more 2014 design trends that lean more toward clean minimalist spaces and a blue palette, see my article, Top Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2014).

When choosing a realtor, make sure that he or she is indeed an experienced home staging expert. Below are a few must-dos when staging the home for buyers, so you know ahead of time, what itshould look like.

1. Maid Service Anyone?

It’s no accident that five star hotels present rooms as first and foremost, sparkling clean right down to a fresh, corner-folded roll of toilet paper. Your house should be sparkling clean. Don’t assume that the buyer will understand that someone lives there. Most staging experts will have a cleaning service come in to make the floors sparkle and the place have that scent of clean. Remember, buyers will open the cabinets, the closets, look behind doors, and under throw rugs. Don’t let dust or grime become deterrents to a great sale.

2. Your Home is a Show Case

An article in Realtor Magazine, Staging: Small Things Can Make a Big Difference does a really nice job of illustrating through the use of before and after photos, how small changes can make a huge difference psychologically for a buyer.

In these before and after pictures the kitchen counters are transformed from ‘lived in/organized’ into a kitchen show piece. As stated in the article, the expert purchased just a few items including vases for $40; pears and a tray for $25; and towels $8

Photo: Cynthia Howe

3.) The Home Starts at the Curb

As I stated in my article How Do You Increase Your Home Sale Value, don’t ignore the home’s curb appeal. The garden, the light fixtures, the walkway even the front door—all of these elements are ‘on stage’ when a buyer drives up to the home. Even a door knocker – believe or not — can add to the feel of the home.

‘It Used to be an Extra, Now It’s Just an Essential’

Real estate mogul and the ABC’s Shark Tank star, Barbara Corcoran suggests that staging is no longer a choice if you wish for your home listing to be competitive. In January, Barbara Corcoran spoke at the Real Estate Staging Association’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas. In an interview with RESA’s CEO Shell Brodnax, Corcoran summed up the need for home staging.

There is no better way to end this article and sum up the importance of good home staging the with Corcoran’s succinct statement:

… 9 out of 10 people start their search online…home staging used to be an extra, now it’s just an essential. Why wouldn’t someone stage a home if they want to get more money for their house?

Lydia Gable is an experienced and respected Realtor® and staging expert who has helped countless clients buy and sell homes in the Los Angeles and Ventura County communities. For more information on any topics covered in this article or if you are interested in buying or selling a home in Westlake Village or the surrounding areas, contact Lydia Gable today for a consultation.

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2014-15 School Tours in the Conejo Valley

Schools and the respective school districts in the Conejo Valley are promoting upcoming tours, inter-district permits and registration slots for 2014-2015. If you have children and live in the area, or if you’d like your children to attend school in this high-ranked school district, the CV is now advertising open enrollment as well inter-district enrollment. If you are new to the area, planning on a buying a home in and around the Conejo Valley, or you want your children to attend school at any of these top ranked educational locales, you need to jump in now.

Take a look at the information below.

Wonder Preschool

Have a little one at home? Is it any wonder that it’s already time to send him or her off into the world. Wonder Preschool is a beautiful place to start. It is located in the Conejo Valley and will soon be offering tours. Enrollment begins February 1st, 2014.

  • Wonder Preschool

Conejo Valley Unified School District Early Childhood Center
2801 Atlas Avenue, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 to 4:00
Phone: 805-492-3567

  • Tour Dates:

Wednesday, January 22nd at 9:30 AM
Wednesday, January 29th at 9:30 AM
RSVP to our office @ 492-3567 if you would like to attend.

WonderPreschoolTours

MATES

Meadow Arts and Technology Elementary School is a charter elementary school in the Conejo Valley. Open enrollment for the 2014-2015 academic year is from Jan. 6 – Feb. 13, 2014. Parents of prospective students should plan to attend a school tour. See below for the calendar.

  • MATES

2000 La Granada Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

805-495-7037

  • Tour Dates:

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 9 AM

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 9 AM

Friday, Jan. 24, 9 AM

Thursday, Jan. 30, 3 PM

Monday, Feb. 3, 9 AM

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 9 AM

MatesCharter

Las Virgenes Inter District Permits

The 2014-2015 Inter-district Permits are now available online. This application is for students who live outside the Las Virgenes Unified School District and wish to transfer into LVUSD. Send questions to: permitinfo@lvusd.org.

Note: It looks like these fill up, so get your application in sooner or later.

  • Las Virgenes Unified School District

4111 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302

818-880-4000

LVUSDPERMITSITE

  • Application Link:

2014-2015 Interdistrict Permits

OAK PARK

District of Choice Open Enrollment is closed for fall 2014. There is a lottery on January 21st, please see the link below for more information. Any questions, email Linda Gam at our district office.

For more information on any topics in this blog or for an appointment to view home listings in the Conejo Valley, contact Lydia Gable for a consultation.

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From A Starter Home to the American Dream

The picture of the American dream usually includes a first home and eventually a better home, and the idea that if you dream big and work hard, you can have the best home. So how do you know when it’s the right time to trade up? Certainly there are the obvious factors that may affect your decision to invest in a more expensive property. Obvious examples include an impending marriage, a growing family, or a career promotion that requires a move. Although, sometimes it’s as simple an answer as: it’s just the right time.

What is Your Idea of Moving Up?

What determines a move ‘up’ for you? For some home owners, moving up could mean moving from suburban any-town USA to a penthouse condominium in the city. For others it could mean moving out of the city into an affluent suburb. Consider the example of my clients Jenny and Jake, from an episode of (HGTV) HouseHunters on which I was featured. Jenny and Jake were moving up from a smaller home to larger one in the $800,000 range. Jenny felt that she had compromised on their first home when she moved from Pasadena—a very walkable city—to live with her new husband Jake. Consequently, Jenny had some deal breakers notably aesthetics and location. She wanted a Mediterranean style home in a not too remote location in the suburbs. Additionally, it had to have good Feng Shui. Jake wanted a Southern Colonial cozy home, but with privacy. Two different ideas of what constitutes “moving up” but with my help and armed with good ideas of what they both wanted, they found a home. Take a look at their very different ideas of trading up.

Are You Ready to Move to a Better Home

Assuming a trade up is predicated on a recent increase in your income, then the question: Can you afford it, is most likely, yes. Assuming then that you can indeed afford a move up, according to HGTV Front Door’s article How to Know You’re Ready For a Bigger House, there are still some very real questions that you should ask yourself before a trade-up. Below are a few thoughts to consider as suggested by HGTV.

  • Finances

If the last time you bought a home was 10 years ago, things have changed a bit. It’s a little more difficult to qualify with the banks now post-economy crash. So if even of you can afford it, make sure your finances are in order.

  • Monthly Budget

HGTV quotes Brandon Green, a Washington D.C. real estate broker, who suggests there are some important cost factors to consider when moving into a bigger, better house. Green says:

If you’ve been living in a smaller house, you could easily double your property tax obligations. You need to factor that in the monthly budget.

  • Selling Your Home

Will your home sell and will it sell at the listed price? The idea is to make a profit and if you are like most, you will have a mortgage on the home for sale. Consequently, a new home buy will be contingent on that sale. So you might consider increasing your home sale value and working with a staging expert to increase the chances of a good profit. Refer to my previous article, How to Increase Your Home Sale Value.

Lydia Gable is an experienced and respected Realtor® in the Los Angeles and Ventura County communities. For more information on any topics covered in this blog or to make an appointment to sell your home or view home listings, contact Lydia Gable today.

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How Do You Increase Your Home Sale Value?

Looking to increase the value of your property for a future home sale? There are very easy, tried and true ways that will make your home not only psychologically more appealing to the buyer—in that it will have a ‘good feeling’ appeal—but also that will add ‘actual’ value when listing. As an experienced realtor, I advise my clients all of the following very useful tips, but you can benefit now just by reading.

Read below for ideas that will add to the value of your home and allow you to increase its listing price. And there’s no better time as we go into home selling season then now!

1.) Space to Dream

Give the potential buyer space to dream about his/ her vision for thehome. How do you do that? Well, you actually create space. Knock out a wall or open a closed off room–anything that opens up the space will create a sense of fluidity which is typically very appealing to buyers. Especially this year, since home and design trends this season are minimalistic, modern and clean. Read my blog from January 7, 2014, Top Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2014 to use as a reference for what is hot and selling right now!

2.) Light, Light, Light…

Add light if your home is on the dark side. Make sure that a potential buyer NEVER walks in and says, “Wow the home doesn’t get much light.” Open the curtains and window shades. Add warm light all over, beautiful light fixtures- it doesn’t have to cost a ton. Just make sure the feeling is LIGHT! HGTV says:

After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine – it will make it more sellable.

3.) Grow Your Garden

Make sure your garden is lovely, the landscape appealing, and you don’t have tangled branches, weeds or overgrown grass. Your house may indeed be beautiful, but remember curb appeal is everything. It’s about creating a feeling as soon as the potential buyer sees your home from the car! So prune, trim and beautify, before you list! Don’t cut corners but do cut your weeds.

4.) Doors to Floors

Are your floors scuffed, linoleum rotted underneath in spots or do the floors creak incessantly? Don’t make the assumption that the buyer will understand that renovations are a normal part of buying thus the floors will be a non-issue. Wax or stain wood floors, repair a weak spot and remember, the front door is the first impression to the home. Replace it if it’s old or it sticks. Add an awning or an overhang. This doesn’t have to be expensive and it will open the ‘door’ to a higher valued home.

5.) Fixtures and Appliances

Replace cabinet door handles or update the faucet fixtures. Old cabinets or outdated kitchens can really kill a sale. But it doesn’t have to cost you a month’s savings to make subtle updates. MSN Real Estate says:

While some homeowners might think the only way to jazz up a dated kitchen is a full-on remodeling job … a much less costly alternative: buying a new stove.

6.) Old Bathroom to New Age Spa

The bathroom is a good way to increase the value of a home. Replace a frosted shower door with a clear one. Replace old sink fixtures with newer ones. Replace a toilet seat even or better yet at an energy efficient toilet. If the tiles are pink or look outdated, update to a modern clean feel. Change the feeling from bathroom to spa and your buyers will reward you. Again, the aforementioned home design and trends article is a good source here as well.

7.) All the HOME’S a Stage!

First and foremost, reduce clutter. As a staging expert, I advise all of my clients how to stage the home for sale. If you have a two car garage, there should be only two cars parked – that doesn’t exclude twenty years of storage as well. Remember your entire home is now on display. You can read more advice on staging in my article Top Five Tips to Prepare a Home for Sale.

For more advice on home sales, home selling tips and home buyer advice, read this and all of my past and future blogs. To subscribe to my newsletter or for a consultation, contact realtor Lydia Gable.

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Top Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2014

For most of us, the New Year brings with it the need to start fresh, which for many home owners, translates to a burning desire to change it up with a redesign or remodel. If you are feeling the urge to redecorate or remodel your home in 2014, here are some of the hottest trends you may want to incorporate. What are the experts forecasting? Well here are just some of the top home design and remodel trends for 2014.

Home Interior Trends: Blue is the Hue!

In 2014, we’ll see warm woods, serene blues and refined textures integrated into private spaces designed to restore body and soul.

~Michael Booth, interior designer,BAMO

Goblin Blue—illustrated beautifully by Capel Rugs’ Kasbah Diamond underscores the continued importance of all things sky and water in 2014.

Smart Home Owners Have ‘Smart’ Homes

Tech is a hot trend right now in the home redesign and remodeling sector, more specifically smart and eco-tech redesigns. This trend started a few years back and now, it’s not only standing the test of time, but hotter than ever. According to RealtyTimes, the U-Socket is the hottest smart tech trend for 2014.

  • Designers Northwest also refers to the U-Socket. They list it among their top trends for 2014…

Electronic devices reign in most households which creates the need to provide a way to integrate these new devices into our homes. When remodeling your kitchen, new under counter plug strips allow home owners to connect electronic devices such as your iPhones and iPads to built-in USB ports for charging.

  • Taking Smart Homes One Step Further

2014 ushers in eco-friendly and energy saving smart homes as the central focus. According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel titled Top 2014 home improvement trends: smart homes and home automation, 2014 just might be THE year of the smart home with an added focus on eco-friendly products and energy management systems. Automated energy management systems can help homeowners control their energy usage and reduce their collective environmental footprint while still automating all of their home technology.

Some experts are predicting 2014 will be the year of the smart home. Automation is becoming the new norm in three main areas of the home … these technologies make it easier than ever to monitor energy and water usage, helping to reduce a family’s environmental footprint as well as their energy bill.

Holistic Home Design

The emphasis on holistic design is also hot this year. While it is a newer trend, it’s likely to stick around as this, some would say, simplistic approach to home design is becoming more popular. More and more household items are being designed, produced and promoted with a more holistic approach. Companies like Nest and Moreless are designing household products with an emphasis on the elimination of certain plastics, the use of recyclables and the addition of wireless technology while still keeping design in mind. This modern approach to utilitarian items makes the smoke detector or thermostat for instance, less of an eye-sore must-have, and more of an integral part of the overall design of the space. Nest and Moreless are among the leaders, but many start-ups are hot on their heels.

The Housing Market on the Rebound

Real Estate is also once again hot this year. No more waiting because of fears of the economy, home prices are on the rise and people are jumping back in the game. If you are ready to buy or sell your home in Southern California, contact Lydia Gable for a consultation.

 

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