Preparing Your Home for the Perfect Springtime Open House
I am personally thankful for so many things: my family, living in Bucks County, and assisting others each and every day with important real estate decisions are at the top of my list. However also at the top of that list – I am very thankful that the brutal winter is over, and we are having some beautiful spring weather!
Spring is a great time not only to attend an open house, but to also prepare your home for one. It is an incredible feeling to finally get outside, enjoy the breeze and work in gardens. On rainy or cooler days, there are many things you can work on inside your home as well – the goal is to have your home prepared for that perfect open house so it will sell quickly.
Now that the weather is nicer, I recommend the following tips to get your home ready for a quick sale:
1. Spruce up your flowerbeds by removing weeds, dead leaves and plants, and even branches that may have appeared in them throughout the winter. Apply new mulch and plant some new flowers to really brighten them up.
2. Rake up the yard and pick up any sticks or branches that have fallen.
3. Inside your home, this is a great time of the year to begin getting the clutter out of your closets. If you won’t be wearing your winter coat or heavy sweaters anymore this season – this is the perfect time to pack them away into boxes.
4. Spring is a great time for, you guessed it, spring cleaning! This is the perfect season to wash the windows, shampoo carpets, dust, wipe down the blinds, wash curtains, and really get your home clean from top to bottom.
If you are considering selling your home in Yardley or Lower Makefield, I can show you how to get the highest possible price for your home. I can be reached at 215-519-1399 or email Marty@MartinMillner.com.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Houzz.com –Home Design Ideas for your Bucks County Home
If you are interested in getting some great design or decorating ideas for your Yardley, Newtown or Bucks County home, check out the Houzz.com website. Whether you are an architect, interior designer, artist or just a lover of beautiful home and landscape design, Houzz.com is an exciting site to find eye-catching photography, keep up with home design trends or get ideas for your new home construction or renovation.
On this site, homeowners and professionals can share ideas and build business relationships. Members create ideabooks and projects to give others a taste of their style, talents and interests. There are discussions boards about topics such as landscaping, color schemes, fabric combinations and contemporary artwork. Houzz.com is free to join to share your creations and meet other enthusiasts.
Don’t forget to browse some of the Yardley, Newtown and Bucks County current listings to see local home design wonders! Contact me if you see a beautiful home that you would like to explore more.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Unique Pet Furniture Design for Your Home – Bucks County, Yardley, Newtown, PA
Huntsman Architectural Group’s 2012 Petchitecture donation. Photography: Michael Tedesco Photography.
To homeowners in Yardley, Newtown and all of Bucks County, PA: Having a pet in the home doesn’t mean that you have to hide unattractive dog beds and cat jungle gyms when guests come to visit. Fashionable and chic pet furniture that adds to the décor of your home is becoming popular. Some is so beautiful that you might wish that you could use it yourself.
Inman News provided some useful ideas for pet friendly designs that will add to the aesthetic value of your home. Say goodbye to ugly scratching posts and metal dog crates!
Pet owners, contact me if you are looking to put your Bucks County home on the market. I will help you stage and market your pet-friendly home to sell quickly.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Spring real estate market tips for sellers, in Yardley, Bucks County, Pa.
Here is a video that I created in spring of 2011. The tips are still very relevant today to home sellers in Yardley, Newtown and all of Bucks County, PA. Click to watch the video, or here is a quick synopsis:
Three Important Tips to Get your House Sold Quickly
Buyers are looking for homes that are ready to move into, with little or no updating or repairs needed. Make some easy and relatively inexpensive updates like paint and carpets to “neutralize” the color scheme of your home. Focus on the kitchen, family room and master bedroom. Also take some time to add a little curb appeal to your exterior to create a great first impression.
Because so many buyers are starting their home searches online, it is very important to have great pictures that will show off the best aspects of your home.
With the competition on the market today, be sure to price your house correctly. It can make the difference between a house selling in a few weeks, or lagging on the market for months and months.
I have a useful booklet titled “450 Ideas to Get Your Home Sold Quickly”. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to receive this great step-by-step guide.
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Three Amazing Design Sites for Yardley, Newtown, Bucks County Homes!
I spend a great deal of time going in and out of houses all over the Yardley and Newtown areas in Bucks County. I talk to a lot of sellers, as well as buyers. I’ve posted recently about how the market dynamics have changed in our market, over the past month or so. Buyers are complaining again that there is “nothing to see.”
I suspect that there are potential sellers who, because of where the Yardley and Newtown real estate market has been over the past few years, have decided to put off selling.
If you’re are thinking about renovating the interior of your home, or if you are moving and want to create your own new fantasy home, I thought it would be fun to put together a list of three great sites to help inspire your imagination. So, when you have time, check out these great websites.
Houzz is a leading destination site for home design enthusiasts, both professionals and homeowners. The Houzz site and mobile apps feature more than 250,000 high quality interior and exterior photos, along with literally thousands of highly engaging articles written by design experts. It also includes product recommendations and social tools to manage the remodeling and decorating process.
This site was launched in 2007, and is a weblog devoted to finding and sharing the latest and greatest products in architecture and design. The primary focus of this design publication is to provide inspiration to make your home more beautiful, organized and healthy. I believe that a calm, healthy, beautiful home creates a great foundation for happiness and success.
This site is devoted to inspirational home ideas that you can choose, save and email to a friend or supplier. Every picture has a story, whether you are thinking about renovating, remodeling, decorating a new house or an existing home, perhaps buying new furniture, window treatments, or maybe just a color change, this is the place for you.
So, bottom line, stop flipping through pages and pages of magazines for a couple of interesting photos, and check out these sites with literally tens of thousands of fantastic, colorful ideas to spark your imagination. From staging to renovation, these are great places to get started.
If you are thinking about selling your old home before pursuing a new design, I would be happy to help. Connect with me this week at 215-519-1399.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Shortcut to Your Great Home: Finding the Right Interior Designer
Notice the title is “right” designer. Surely, a qualified designer brings the design savvy, skill, resources, information, and education that transforms a nice home into a truly spectacular home – a place you’ll love to live in, look at, share with friends and family, and come home to each day. However, hiring the right interior designer will make that process a pleasure and is an important and personal decision. My friend Donna Hoffman is an exceptional designer, to whom I’ve successfully referred clients with great results. Here are five tips from Donna for selecting and working with a designer:
1. Interview them. I’m amazed at the questions clients never ask me! To find a designer who will advocate on your behalf, work with a process you will enjoy, and on the budget you expect, ask questions! Ask about working style; about their deliverable; do they have a signature look or will your home reflect you and your family? Ask how they view their role and responsibilities in the design process. Here are the two questions I’m dying for somebody to ask me: What is the best experience you ever had with a client? (A good designer should have many.) What is the worst experience you ever had with a client? (If they say they never had one, they’re lying.) Listening carefully will show you how they handle situations that don’t go as they hope. Cutting beyond portfolio reviews and design processes to see into someone’s character will enable you to answer the simple question: Will I enjoy working with this person on my home?
2. Expect to be interviewed. I look forward to being interviewed by potential clients, and I also interview them right back. To see if we’re a good fit, I need to know how clients view their responsibility in the design process. I ask potential clients: How do you rank yourselves as decision makers? How do you handle change? How do you handle unexpected bumps in the road? Bumps are fairly common in design because shipping issues and backorder delays are routine.
3. Ask for transparency. The design industry in days of old was fraught with shadowy billings and arbitrary mark-ups. Today’s consumer is savvy, and ethical designers should be, too. Once you understand what a designer can do, ask how their billing works. I strongly support transparent billing practices. I even like to give clients choices about how they would like to be billed. This helps designer and client work together with clear expectations and in the spirit of trust born of disclosure.
4. Be prepared to discuss budgets. Budget is as much a part of the design process as fabric swatches, except that budget will drive the entire project. As I marshal a client’s project, I want only to garner their trust and confidence. But if I don’t know your budget, I could potentially design over that budget and thus lose your trust and confidence. Or, if I recommend furnishings that are far below your quality expectations, then I’d also lose your trust and confidence. Discuss budget openly so your designer can serve you well and if possible, she’ll land you below budget to look like a superstar.
5. Be a good client. Now that you’ve found your ideal designer, you’ll want to keep her for a long time, so be a good client. Show up to meetings on time; call if you’re running late. Pay invoices promptly. Be as respectful of her time as she is of yours. Be good-natured. I bend over backwards for great clients. How can I help it? They make my work a joy so I try to repay them with unexpected perks. Be a good client and you’ll be rewarded.
Find the right designer and you’re on your way to your wonderful home. You’ll thank your lucky stars that you found her each and every time you walk into your home, for years and years to come.
About Interiors By Donna Hoffman
In-demand designer (and former QVC show host) Donna Hoffman has been featured in Family Circle, Real Simple, cnbc.com, and ABC. She heads up Bucks County-based Interiors by Donna Hoffman, a luxury interior design group, specializing in classic custom interiors with 10+ years of staying power. Her wise design leads to the fits-you-like-a-glove interiors her clients love to live in, look at, and never want to leave. Additional information can be found at www.interiorsbydonnahoffman.com.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Filed Under Bucks County + bucks county pa + bucks county realtor + donna hoffman + Home Design + interior design + Lower Makefield Township + New Hope PA + Washington Crossing Real Estate + Yardley + Yardley PA
Is It Time for Solar in Yardley?
Have you seen solar panels around Yardley? They’re on roofs, and even in fields! Solar panels are becoming part of America’s energy-saving culture, by converting the sun’s radiation into electricity. And while solar power still accounts for less than one-half of one percent of the electricity produced in the state, today there are 30 times more solar panels installed right here in Pennsylvania than there were just three short years ago!
Part of the tremendous growth seen in solar installations is due to a rebate program run by the state, the PA Sunshine Program, that started in the summer of 2009. The program’s goal was to stimulate the solar industry in the state, and give it the jump start needed to reach a critical mass. Although this program is being phased out now, it was very successful in accomplishing its goals.
As the industry has grown, the price of solar panels and the cost of installation have both plummeted – an average installation costs less than half of what it did two years ago. The lower cost more than makes up for the loss of the rebate. The return on investment by an average homeowner is in the 12% range – and is mostly free from income tax.
In June of 2004, my friend Mark Bortman moved his family from Bucks County to Costa Rica for a year. There, he apprenticed with a pioneer in the solar industry and learned the
business from the ground up. When he returned in 2005, he founded Exact Solar. Today, Exact is the only company in the Bucks County area with extensive experience designing and installing all three major types of solar energy systems: solar water heating, solar electricity and solar pool heating.
One of the keys to Exact Solar’s success is Mark’s hands-on approach. “We offer a personal level of customer service,” says Mark. “I give my cell phone number to my clients at the very first meeting, so I’m easily accessible.”
In addition, Mark is involved in every project to ensure the job is done right. He makes sure all permit paperwork is filed quickly and correctly, and he works on-site during every installation alongside his installers.
To start saving money while helping to make your planet a cleaner place to live, call Mark with Exact Solar for a free consultation at 267-825-0918. For more information, visit www.exactsolar.com.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Filed Under Bucks County + bucks county pa + bucks county realtor + Energy-Saving + exact solar + Existing Home Sales + Home Design + Home Exterior + Lower Makefield Township + New Hope PA + solar energy + Washington Crossing Real Estate + Yardley + Yardley PA
Bucks County Tools For Design : Visualize Your Home In Different Colors
In home design, the exterior is as important as the interior. The exterior are your home’s first impression while performing the double-duty of protecting living space from damage and Mother Nature.
And, occasionally, you may want to make upgrades.
For some people, visualizing changes to a home’s exterior is easy. For others, though, there’s the Better Homes and Gardens Color-a-Home tool.
Color-a-Home is a website via which homeowners can test different exterior home designs and color combinations. Using a series of drop-down menus and mix-and-match swatch colors, homeowners can build home exterior mock-ups featuring:
- New roofing
- New siding
- New windows
- New shutters and doors
Better than a mental picture of your home — get an actual picture.
The Better Homes and Gardens site requires basic site registration to use its Color This! product suite. Color This! is also available for home interiors and window treatments.Continue Reading > Add a Comment