MONTHLY (FEED) CONTENT
AUGUST 1 - COPY & PASTE
Does anyone feel like we're in the home stretch of summer, but there is still so much left to do!? It feels like summer just started and now we're shopping for back-to-school supplies!
It's only a matter of time before we're seeing pumpkin spice everywhere (does your Target have Halloween candy out already?).
Regardless, we're going to make the most of August with your monthly to-do list for your home (and hopefully one last month of summer fun, too!).
🧼 Deep clean your floors and/or have your carpets shampooed
🧺 Organize your entryway (decorative baskets are your friend
🚿 Pressure wash your driveway, deck or patio
⛈ Clear debris from your gutters -- summer thunderstorms can take a toll!
🎒 Sort through school supplies and backpacks before back-to-school shopping
🍴 Clean out the kitchen cabinets
🌬 Maintain and clean your bathroom exhaust fans
🐶 Get your pup a special treat for National Dog Day (8/26)
🔌 Give your home an electrical safety check-up
🏚 Check your roof for summer storm damage
👚 Clear out the closets to make room for new fall clothes (I love me some comfy sweaters!)
While cleaning the gutters isn't exactly glamorous, I do love prepping my closet for fall! What’s your favorite home project to do at the end of the summer?
AUGUST 2 - COPY & PASTE
It might be August, but we''re still celebrating summer over here!
This month, some of the celebrations happen to be my favorite things about summer: ice cream sandwiches, fresh watermelon and backyard s'mores...there is a lot to look forward to this month and I hope it's a great one!
Do you like it when I share these quirky national "holidays?" I think they're fun (and it's always nice to have an excuse to celebrate!) but I want to hear what you think! 😊
Tell me in the comments!
AUGUST 3 - COPY & PASTE
Interests rates are still historically very low, so an adjustable rate mortgage might seem like a bargain if you're buying a home this summer.
Here's the thing: though: an adjustable-rate mortgage is subject to change with the fluctuating market and you are not locked into that rate long-term. On the flip side, fixed-rate loans might have a higher interest rate initially, but you're going to lock that rate in for the entire term of your loan.
Buyers interested in adjustable rate mortgages should be sober about their risk tolerance and confident in their ability to meet the rising costs associated with rising rates.
If you have any questions about the types of loans available let me know and I'll introduce you to a local lender who can help 🙌🏼
JULY 4 - FILL IN THE BLANK
AUGUST 5 - COPY & PASTE
Stop here to increase the value of your home ⬇️
Staging a property prior to going on the market benefits everyone -- it helps home buyers imagine the potential to make a home their own, AND it helps increase ROI for home sellers.
This month, I'm taking you through some of the most commonly overlooked rooms when it comes to home staging...starting with your outdoor space.
A backyard can be a huge draw for home buyers, and even more so when they can picture having the neighbors over for cookouts, entertaining friends around the fire pit or lounging on the outdoor sofa with morning coffee.
Here are my tips for creating lounge-around comfort in your outdoor space:
START WITH A DEEP CLEAN
Begin staging your outdoor space just as you would any space — by deep cleaning and decluttering to make your backyard look spacious and comfortable!
REFRESH YOUR LANDSCAPING
Landscaping is everything when it comes to creating a polished and inviting outdoor space. Greenery and a few flower beds will liven up any yard or patio.
FURNISH THE SPACE
Be intentional about how you furnish your outdoor space. Break large outdoor spaces into cozy vignettes like you would in an indoor living room -- think a dining table and chairs on the deck for entertaining, Adirondacks around the fire pit, a comfy couch with throw pillows and cozy lounge chairs for sunning.
What did I miss? If you live in _____, tell me one thing you wish you knew before you moved here!
AUGUST 6 - CAROUSEL POST / COPY & PASTE
True/False: My house will sell itself in a hot market.
False: It's easy to think that your house will sell itself in a seller's market. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are selling in an average of 17 days (compared to 26 days at this time last year) and 54% of offers are over the asking price.
Here’s the thing: the reason that is happening is because real estate agents are pricing homes competitively.
We know the value of your home from analyzing comparable local properties, evaluating the upgrades and improvements you've made to your home and understanding the local market trends (and yes, inventory is beginning to increase!). We know how to set a price that is reasonable and attainable, which is good for buyers, sellers and your neighbors' property values!
If you try to go it alone, you'll have to do your own research, which is not only time-consuming but often inaccurate: online estimates don't take into consideration things like the condition of your home, local amenities that appeal to potential buyers or upgrades that you've made to enhance the value of your home.
If you price your home too high, you could be missing out on the correct pool of buyers and if you price too low, you are literally leaving money on the table. Selling your house on your own can be a ton of work -- and you don't have time for that while you're preparing to move into a new home!
If you're thinking of selling, shoot me a DM and I can help make sure you get the most ROI out of your sale.
AUGUST 7 - COPY & PASTE
It never fails: every time I show a house, someone turns on the shower to take a look at the water pressure. If a new shower head can cut-off a potentially costly repair during inspection period, it's money well spent.
Joking aside, not all home projects are created equal.
For example, in some cases a minor kitchen remodel (think: new cabinet hardware, a fresh coat of paint, a new kitchen sink fixture) can have an even bigger return than a major kitchen rehab with new cabinets, countertops and appliances.
Here are (in order!) the home projects with the most ROI, according to HGTV:
-Minor bathroom remodel -- think painting the vanity and installing new light fixtures.
-Landscaping improvements - curb appeal matters!
-Minor kitchen remodel - replacing cabinet hardware, upgrading lighting, a fresh coat of paint
-Exterior improvements - power wash your siding and driveway, paint your front door
-Attic (or basement) bedroom conversion - an additional bedroom will always hold value well
-Major bathroom remodel - think gut rehab, right down to new toilets!
-Major kitchen remodel - this one might get expensive 😉
-Deck or backyard addition - post-pandemic, backyard space is still at a premium.
-Basement remodel - a finished basement is an immediate upgrade for potential buyers (get a sump pump, too!)
-Replacement windows - windows last between 15-30 years and you'll almost always make your money back on these.
If you're not sure how much TLC your home needs to prepare it for market, drop me a message and I'd be happy to schedule a walk-through and share my thoughts.
AUGUST 8 - COPY & PASTE
PROS & CONS OF ARTIFICIAL GRASS 🌱
It seems like every time I drive through the neighborhood, someone else is installing artificial grass in their front or backyard. And it makes sense: grass plays a huge part in landscaping and most people will notice a neatly manicured, well-maintained lawn before they notice anything else about your property.
If you're considering swapping your lawnmower and that fresh-cut grass smell for a lower-maintenance lawn option, here are some of the pros and cons of having an artificial lawn.
-Artificial grass doesn't require watering the lawn -- so it's less maintenance (and you'll save on your water bill!)
-Since there is no need to treat with pesticides, you'll have fewer toxins and less harmful chemicals around your home.
-The durability is inarguable: it can be great for households with kids and/or pets.
-In the summer, artificial grass holds more surface heat so you might miss out on the feeling of the grass between your toes!
-The price tag can be a deterrent- high quality artificial lawn can be expensive.
-Some artificial grass might be more likely to trap pet odors, so be sure to pick up after your pup regularly.
If you have artificial grass, tell me: do you love it!?
AUGUST 9 - COPY & PASTE
Sometimes the smallest spaces are the best places: they are cozy, comfortable and more intimate.
The downside though is that they can be difficult to design.
If you want your small space to feel more cozy than claustrophobic, here are a few tips to incorporate into any living space.
-Hang a mirror on the wall -- mirrors reflect light and open up the space.
-Use light or sheer curtains -- avoid making a room feel smaller with heavy drapes or curtains.
-Decorate in light or neutral colors - save the bright and bold shades for bigger spaces.
-Minimize tabletop decor - or anything that will give a cluttered appearance.
-Use rugs to define spaces - if you have an open living/dining space, create separation with area rugs.
-Have furniture with exposed legs -- for a sleeker look, avoid clunky or heavy furniture.
-Declutter, declutter, declutter - the number one way to make any room feel bigger.
Do you have a small space in your home? Which one of these tips do you think you'll try?
AUGUST 10 - LOCAL SPOTLIGHT / FILL IN THE BLANK
Double tap this post if you love fresh, summer seafood 🦞
Next time you're craving freshly shucked oysters or some simply grilled salmon, here are my picks for the best seafood in _____ [your city]!
What did I miss? Tag your favorite spots in the comments so I can add them to my list to try!
AUGUST 11- COPY & PASTE
ASK YOUR REALTOR: "Are we in a housing bubble and is it going to burst?"
Good news, my friends! The economists have spoken and all indications point to a strong and healthy market, despite rising prices and limited inventory.
First, the market we're currently in is nothing like the market we saw back in 2008, when the housing market was driven by high-risk mortgage loans where practically anyone could qualify for a loan.
Back in 2006, buyer demand was high but housing supply kept up while today buyer demand has been met with low inventory of both existing homes and new builds.
During the housing bubble of 2006, prices were rising and homeowners were refinancing and borrowing cash against their homes, resulting in mortgages higher than the value of their homes.
Broadly speaking, today's homeowners have plenty of equity in their homes and according to Freddie Mac, the percentage of cash-out refinances is half of what it was in 2006.
So, homeowners: there is no need to stress about the market! While we can never predict the future, I am confident that it's a great time to be a homeowner 🥂
AUGUST 12 - COPY & PASTE
The kitchen is the heart of the home and it's almost always a major focus when buyers are touring properties.
In the kitchen, staging is less about adding furniture and accessories and more about making sure your kitchen presents in the best condition possible. That means: sparkling clean, smelling fresh and full of natural light.
When you hire me to sell your home, I come equipped with a pre-market plan to get your house into showing-ready shape, but here are three tips to help you get a head start on staging your kitchen⬇️
CLEAR YOUR COUNTERTOPS
Remove small kitchen appliances, put any food or necessities in decorative canisters, and consider adding fresh flowers and a pretty scented candle. Don't forget to clean under the appliances and for added good measure -- the kitchen sink!
ADD A LITTLE GREENERY
When in doubt, always add a plant. While you want to minimize clutter, a pot of fresh herbs or a pretty rosemary bush can give any kitchen a gourmet vibe.
MAKE IT LIGHT & BRIGHT
Good lighting is especially important in the kitchen. If you need to brighten things up, consider adding under-cabinet lighting or a stylish pendant over your island to help your kitchen shine.
AUGUST 13 - COPY & PASTE
You're going to want to pour a glass of wine for this one, because if you haven't discovered #CleanTok yet, I'm about to send you into an internet rabbit hole. CleanTok is a hashtag where TikTokers go to share their oh-so-satisfying deep-cleaning videos.
Let me tell you: they can be addicting! If you're not on TikTok yet, swipe for six of my favorite cleaning hacks from the app and then tell me your favorite one in the comments!
AUGUST 14 - FILL IN THE BLANK
AUGUST 15 - COPY & PASTE / CUSTOMIZE
Most people skip this step when they put their home on the market 👇🏼
If you have an "extra" room in your home, make sure you stage it with one clearly defined purpose.
Even if you like using your guest room as both an exercise room and home office, it could give buyers the impression that the home is too small. Instead, think about what your potential buyers are most likely to want to see. A home office? A kids' playroom?
Whether you bring in a professional stager or get creative with the furnishings you have, turning your "bonus" room into a stylish and functional space will have a big payoff.
AUGUST 16 - COPY & PASTE
First impressions are everything and an organized entryway can impact the entire experience a buyer has when they tour your house.
Even if you're not on the market and simply want to present your home well for guests, here's how to create a foyer or entryway that says “welcome home.”
ADD AN INVITING AROMA
You how it smells luxurious and inviting when you walk into an Anthropologie? Or even to your favorite hotel? The way your home smells is just as—if not more—important than how it looks because it is one of the first things your buyer will notice.
That doesn't mean you need to bake an apple pie every time we get a showing request, but think about lighting a scented candle before showings (blow them out before you leave the house!) or buying an inexpensive essential oil diffuser to ensure that your home smells pleasant.
KEEP THE FLOOR CLEAR
Create the illusion of more space by keeping the floors free of boots, shoes, backpacks and other clutter. Stash them in baskets inside your hall closet and be sure that there is a clear path to help the entryway to appear cleaner and larger.
MAKE IT PLUSH
Rugs instantly add a layer of coziness and placing a rug pad underneath it will make the space feel inviting and welcoming. If your entryway is your main entrance in and out of your home (as opposed to a garage or side door), use an indoor/outdoor rug which can be easier to keep clean and free of dirt.
Use the largest size rug that fits the space -- if your buyers walk in the door and step on the rug, you don't want them to feel cramped. If your home is for sale, opt for a neutral rug -- you want to draw the eye forward and not down to the floor.
AUGUST 17 - COPY & PASTE
What you need to know about a fixed-rate mortgage 💰
Unlike an adjustable-rate mortgage with an interest rate that is subject to fluctuations, the interest rate on a fixed-rate mortgage remains the same throughout the duration of a loan.
If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, you'll pay off some of your principal plus some interest each month. At the beginning of the loan, most of the payment goes toward interest and at the end, most of it goes toward the principal. Your monthly mortgage payment may also include real estate taxes, home insurance, or in the event that you put less than 20% down, mortgage insurance (or PMI). Your payment will increase only if these costs increase.
If you have any questions about the types of loans available, let me know and I can introduce you to a local lender who can help determine what is best for you.
AUGUST 18 - COPY & PASTE
SHELF HELP SECTION: The best way to give a room a face lift is to re-style your shelves. Whether they are built-ins or standing bookshelves, a quick rearrange can make a dramatic impact on any room.
Here is how to give any shelf in your home a little help:
1) Start by clearing everything off your shelves so you can envision the full space free and clear of clutter. Start with a blank slate!
2) Choose a color palette. If you have a clear and consistent color palette when styling your shelves, your room will look complete and sophisticated. When in doubt, opt for bright whites and creamy neutrals.
3) Don't be afraid to accessorize. It would seem like the obvious thing to put on a bookshelf would be books. But you don’t have to fill every shelf end-to-end. Instead, cluster stacks of books together with some laying flat and some standing up for a variety of depths and heights. Incorporate framed art or photos, plants and other decorative items, too!
4) Style from bottom to top. Regardless of what types of decor you've chosen, remember to have the largest and bulkiest items on the bottom shelf of the unit and stack lighter items on higher shelves to give a grounded appearance.
5) Edit your shelves as needed! It can take time to create that effortlessly fresh and cohesive look on your shelves. Move things around to see how they look in different places, and take time to play with different groupings -- and be sure to have fun with it!
AUGUST 19 - LOCAL LIFE / FILL IN THE BLANK
Getting the kids to clean their rooms can be hard enough on a regular day, let alone during the stress of a big move.
So how do you keep their rooms clean for showings? I tell my clients to get the kids involved in the moving process and give them three quick tips:
DITCH THE THEMES Remove the princess or superhero theme and opt instead for neutral bedding and cheerful accent colors. Remind the kiddos that it's only temporary and that you can unpack their favorites when you get to the new home.
KEEP SAFETY IN MIND
Strangers will be wandering through your home, so pack away any pictures of your kids or references to their names or where they attend school.
KEEP IT SPACIOUS
Consider packing away any toys that sit on the floor to create more space. Keep them in the playroom or put them in storage while your home is on the market. If your kiddos are little and you must have toys out, have plenty of decorative baskets on hand so you can stash them away for last-minute showing requests.
AUGUST 20 - CAROUSEL POST / COPY & PASTE
True/False: I don't need an agent to buy new construction.
False. If you're buying a home, there is no reason not to engage a real estate agent because it's completely free to you as a buyer.
When you're buying new construction, the agent representing the builder is their advocate, not yours. They are looking out for the interests of the builder, so you will need a professional to represent you throughout the transaction.
It's in your best interest to have someone who can go to bat for you during negotiations (pro tip: builders are more likely to offer concessions or upgrades than they are to reduce the list price), inspections (even builders make mistakes!), during inevitable construction delays, and during the final walk-through if any last-minute issues come up (and they almost always do -- most builders come with one-year construction warranties).
If you're considering a new build and want to learn more about how I can help you though the process, shoot me a DM and we can set up a Zoom or in-person coffee chat to come up with a game plan!
AUGUST 21 - COPY & PASTE
We love our pets. According to Zillow, sixty percent of sellers are people with pets, with 49% owning dogs, 33% owning cats, and 12% owning other pets. And 68% of pet owners would pass on their dream home if it didn't accommodate he needs of their pet!
But when it comes time for showings, not every buyer is going top love your furry family members as much as you do. In fact, even the most pet-loving potential buyers may be turned off by pet odors or messes when touring your home.
Here are a few of the tips I give my sellers with pups:
🐕 Remove all signs of pets, including crates, beds, toys and water and food bowls for photography and any showings.
🐈 If you must have pet objects in the home, be sure to do a thorough deep clean and remove odors.
🐕 Repair any pet-related damage prior to listing.
🐈 Relocate your pets during showings (both for your buyer and your pet's sake!)
🐕 Don't forget about the neighbor's pets. If you live in a condo or townhome with a loud neighbor dog, give your neighbor a Starbucks or local restaurant gift card and ask them to take the pup for a walk during your open house time.
Do you have any pets at home? What kind? Tell me in the comments!
AUGUST 22 - FILL IN THE BLANK
AUGUST 23 - COPY & PASTE
Here is a quick design tip that is totally going to make your life easier next time you're decorating (or redecorating!) a room: create symmetry.
One of my favorite ways to create symmetry is with identical bookcases framing a fireplace to create a pleasing focal point in any living room.
Now for a controversial question....what do you prefer over the fireplace: a painting or a TV?
AUGUST 24 - LOCAL LIFE SPOTLIGHT / FILL IN THE BLANK
Summer cocktails are the best cocktails 🍹
What is your favorite drink in the summer? I always order _____ [your favorite beverage] and I especially love the _____ [your favorite order] at _____ [your favorite spot].
Here are a few other great cocktail spots on my ""must-go"" list for this summer!
Tell me your own favorites in the comments. And, who wants to meet for a cocktail?
AUGUST 25 - COPY & PASTE
ASK YOUR REALTOR: "Do you think home prices are going to continue to rise?"
Although none of us can actively predict the future (wouldn't it be great if we could!?), economists do expect that short supply, driven by low interest rates and remote workers, will continue to drive home prices up.
Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, has said that unless there is a dramatic rise in interest rates to dampen demand and reverse price appreciation, we can expect to see home prices continue to rise. While this is generally good news for homeowners and sellers, it means that buyers will still need to think outside the box to find that perfect dream home.
If you have more questions about the market, don't hesitate to message me privately and we can talk through them any time!
AUGUST 26 - COPY & PASTE
if we're going to be working from home, we might as well make the most of it with cozy work spaces.
With 37.5% of U.S. workers projected to work remotely in some capacity over the next 5 years (according to a survey of hiring managers conducted by Statista and Upwork), home offices are high on most buyers' wish lists. Even if you don't have a separate home office, we can get creative and stage a home office in your den/bonus room, guest room or, I've even seen home offices in the laundry room
Here are my tips for creating an office space that is both stylish and functional for those work-from-home buyers:
ORGANIZE THE WORKSPACE
Clear off the desk and keep only a few essentials on it like a computer and a desk lamp, so buyers can picture their own home office setup instead of yours.
Though you want to minimize clutter, some artwork on the walls, a plant, and some sheer curtains go a long way in making buyers feel more at home (office).
PLAY UP THE COMFORT
If you're going to work from home, make the best of it and get cozy. If you have space, a comfy sofa or seating makes a home office feel more approachable.
AUGUST 27 - LOCAL LIFE / FILL IN THE BLANK
You know you're officially a grown-up when you get excited about buying a new major appliance 😆
If you're planning to buy a new fridge, here are three things you should know before you make your purchase.
1️⃣ Know whether you have copper or PEX pipes for your water line prior to installation. Most refrigerators are compatible with both, but it could impact the delivery/installation.
2️⃣ Be sure you know where your water shut-off valve is located. Your delivery company will require that you turn this off before they connect your water line.
3️⃣ Take measurements before you order your refrigerator. Not only the space in your kitchen where the refrigerator will be, but of any doors, hallways or stairwells that your delivery team will have to access in order to deliver your fridge. When you take the measurements, measure diagonally from top to bottom corner and then measure your spaces to ensure a clean fit without damage to your walls or floors.
AUGUST 28 - COPY & PASTE
My title is real estate agent, but I will answer to psychologist, too 😉
In all seriousness, buying or selling real estate can be stressful. Deals move quickly and tensions during negotiations run high -- after all, it's the biggest transaction of your life!
But no matter what, am always here to listen, do my best to provide helpful solutions and guide you through the process.
AUGUST 29 - FILL IN THE BLANK / CUSTOMIZE
Have you ever wondered what sets one real estate agent apart from another? The truth is, there are so many awesome agents in _____, many of whom I am proud to call my friends. And no two real estate agents are alike!
Here are a few things that I do to ensure that my clients have a fantastic experience every time we work together.
1. I really get to know my clients! I don't just want to know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need. I'm going to ask you what kind of restaurants you like, where you like to travel, what you do for a living (if we have early morning showings, I might even ask for your Starbucks order!). Not only do I often become friends with my clients, but the answers to these questions are going to help me find you your perfect dream home.
2. I listen more than I talk. Whether I am helping you find a new home or sell an existing home, this is not about me, it's about you! I am here to support your goals and priorities, and that means I'm always listening for ways I can help you, whether it's real estate related or watering your plants when you head out of town for the weekend!
3. I am always looking for ways to go above and beyond for you. If you're just looking for an agent who can open doors for you, that isn't me. I'm all about making sure your experience buying or selling is uniquely personalized to your needs -- no two situations are the same.
4. You're not just getting me. You're getting my entire home team. Over the years that I've lived in in the area, I've built a huge network of lenders, inspectors, attorneys, contractors, local businesses -- you name it. If you need a resource, don't hesitate to ask me, because I probably have a name or three to pass along to you.
5. I stay in touch -- I'm not going to ghost you on closing day! I love stopping by to see my clients after moving day and seeing how you make your home your own. I've even been known to _____.
AUGUST 30 - COPY & PASTE
AUGUST 31 - LOCAL SPOTLIGHT / FILL IN THE BLANK
A mortgage refinance refers to the process of getting a new loan for your home. When you refinance, the new mortgage loan pays off the old one, so you’re left with just one loan and one monthly payment.
There are a few reasons people refinance their homes, but the most common one is to use a cash-out refinance to qualify for a better interest rate.
The application process to refinance is similar to the initial loan approval process: your lender will look at your income, assets, debt and credit score to determine that you qualify. Then you'll go through the process of locking in your interest rate, underwriting and appraisal.
If you're thinking about refinancing, consider market trends, current interest rates, and your personal financial health.
If you would like to talk to a finance professional about the specifics, just let me know and I will connect you with a local lender.