Don’t Forget To Set Your Clock Back

Daylight Saving Time:  November 6th, 2016@ 2:00 AM

Be sure to set your clocks back an hour!

Remember the saying… “Fall back, Spring forward”?

About Daylight Saving Time

See The World Clock for current times and places observing DST at the moment.

Daylight Saving Time (or summertime as it is called in many countries) is a way of getting more light out of the day by advancing clocks by one hour during the summer. During Daylight Saving Time, the sun appears to rise one hour later in the morning, when people are usually asleep anyway, and sets one hour later in the evening, seeming to stretch the day longer. The reason DST works is because its saves energy due to less artificial light needed during the evening hours – clocks are set one hour ahead during the spring, and one hour back to standard time in the autumn. Many countries observe DST, and many do not.

Note: Between March-April through September-November, it is summer in the northern hemisphere, where many countries may observe DST, while in the southern hemisphere it is winter. During the rest of the year the opposite is true: it is winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern.

Benjamin Franklin first suggested Daylight Saving Time in 1784, but it was not until World War I, in 1916, when it was adopted by several counties in Europe that initially rejected the idea.

It is difficult to predict what will happen with Daylight Saving Time in the future. Many countries change the date and the desire to change the time due to special events or conditions. The United States, Canada and some other countries extended DST in 2007. The new start date is the second Sunday in March (previously the first Sunday in April) through to the first Sunday in November (previously the last Sunday in October)dlstdlst

Shades That Slap You Silly

Bright Colors Glow Again In Home Accents

Shades that slap you silly are making a comeback. They fled from the ’80s to the spring runways of designers such as Nanette Lepore and Cynthia Rowley. Now, neon colors are coming to living rooms. Today’s neons aren’t timid.

Thanks to technology, colors are brighter, bolder and more intense than before, says Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Pantone Color Institute. Eiseman says the finish of bright products may create hesitation for some homeowners. Shiny surfaces make colors pop more than merino wool. Eiseman suggests shopping for lively pieces with luster-less texture such as wool throw pillows or cotton curtains. She also says prints that combine neutrals with neons give the untrained eye a bit of color and then a bit of rest. “There’s this peripheral vision thing going on,” says Eiseman, who credits the cosmetics industry for dropping neon-esque colors back into our lives. “Some people might say ‘ugh’ to neons, but if you see it enough, it enters your realm of vision and you begin to say, ‘That’s not so bad.'”

Some home retailers, such as CB2, are already betting that love for neons will come back in no time. “Color has always been a key part of CB2,” says Ryan Turf, chief merchandising manager. He was surprised by strong sales of a bright pink, high-gloss side table called the City Slicker. “We have always seen strong sales in bright-colored product, but each season we do see upward shifts in demand for certain specific colors.” Some of CB2’s brightest colors this year include atomic yellow, grass and pool blue. Erin Loechner, an art and design blogger, is a fan of colorful groupings and garlands. She created a DIY dinosaur garland in a host of hot hues for a home office that was featured on HGTV.com. “Displaying bright, bold accents in your home is a subtle way to incorporate happy hues,” Loechner says. “By surrounding yourself with objects you love in your favorite tones, you can subconsciously create an environment that’s enjoyable for you and your family.” Loechner says she’s pleased that the neon trend has come full circle. She suggests reserving pops of color for accessories, such as bright dining utensils, an intense table runner, punchy patterned throw pillows or framed fluorescent artwork. Erica Islas is an interior designer whose work has been featured on the HGTV’s “Designer’s Challenge.” She agrees that accessories are the best way to introduce neons into a room, but she also thinks that bright paint shouldn’t be overlooked. She suggests using neon paint colors sparingly in a space to enhance current design elements or create a more interesting atmosphere. Try a bright paint color on a ceiling to complement four white or grey walls. You could also try painting an entry door, accent wall, kitchen cabinets or the base of a kitchen island, a bathroom vanity or the top or bottom half of wainscoting, she says. “My front door is Electric Orange by Benjamin Moore, and I have people always stopping by to ask me what color my front door is because they like it so much,” Islas says. Islas recommends using bright yellow as an accent in a room with green tones, and says to consider hot pink or fiery orange in a room with blue tones. For just the right punch of paint in a room, she prefers a coral color from Pratt & Lambert called Pale Cornelian, a teal tone from Benjamin Moore called Poolside Blue and a hot pink hue from Dunn- Edwards called Fiery Fuschia. Although color expert Eiseman isn’t sold on all of us painting our walls chartreuse, she does say that more people are open to neon, fluorescent and vivid colors than ever before. “People now want to do something new … bright colors add some excitement to what we’re going through,” Eiseman says. “Using bright colors again is like opening a box of crayons when you’re a kid. They allow the fun in.

resamplephoto-phpCarla Corbin Kath is a freelance writer in Prairie Village, Kansas

 

 

Living Smart: Curb Appeal

Curb appeal has always been a key component of selling a home. A well-manicured lawn, fresh paint on the front door and a clean exterior — from siding to windows to driveways and sidewalks — can immediately entice or repel a prospective buyer.

 Nowadays, with the majority of buyers shopping for homes online before ever stepping foot on a property, the trick for sellers is to capture that curb appeal through photographs. Jim Hughes of Greenwell Realty and Property Management in Andover, Minn., recommends homeowners hire a professional photographer to help them capture their curb appeal to lure in buyers.

 “The quality of the photograph is almost as important as the curb appeal itself,” Hughes said. “We’ll see great pictures that are taken in dim light or from bad angles all the time and they’ll get dismissed just as quickly as those (homes) that are not well-prepared (in curb appeal). That first glimpse might be the only shot you’ll get at the buyer having interest in your home.”

 Once you get that prospective buyer on your property, how the home looks from the outside and immediately upon entering is key to drawing in or turning off a buyer, Hughes said.

 “You want to make darned sure your entryway is super clean,” Hughes said. “People should feel comfortable walking in your house in their (socks). The first impression is the main reason for that, but the second reason is they’re really looking for a critical reason to eliminate the house while their Realtor is (unlocking the door). At that time, the buyer’s senses are overwhelmed. They’re absorbing everything they see with a lot more detail than once they get inside.”

 Aside from general exterior maintenance — cleaning cobwebs, clearing the yard of any weeds, debris or decorative ornaments (think pink flamingos) — homeowners looking to sell should repair cracked windows or screens, fix small nuisances like a broken doorbell, and add fresh mulch or stones to garden beds. Cleaning asphalt roofs of black streaks, power washing siding and sidewalks, or sealcoating an asphalt driveway, can all enhance the appearance of the home.

Adding a fresh coat of paint is another cost-effective way to freshen up a home, inside or out. If your home is older and in need of updates, kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms that generate the most return on your investment. Consider upgrading laminate countertops with quartz or granite; changing out old light fixtures or replacing brass fixtures with brushed nickel, said Robin Burrill an interior designer and CEO of Curb Appeal Renovations in Keller, Texas.

Before embarking on any remodeling project, though, it’s important to talk with your contractor and real estate agent to make sure the project makes sense, will generate the return you’re seeking and fits with the other existing properties in your neighborhood.

“I think the most important facet is making sure whatever you do, that the remodel looks like it goes with the house,” Burrill said. “So many times, we’ll see people do a room addition or an outdoor living space and it doesn’t look like it goes with the home. A perfect example would be a patio cover. They’ll do a shed roof or a flat roof for a patio cover, whereas, if they had gone ahead and spent the money and went with (a style) that fits that home, it would add so much to that curb appeal and to the value of the home.”

Hiring a good real estate professional can help you decide the right projects to get the most out of your curb appeal. Hughes retains a professional home stager on staff to help prepare his clients homes for sale.

“Good curb appeal is like having an auction to sell everything you own,” Hughes said. “If, on the day of the auction, you get a big rainstorm, you’re not going to get much money for your items because the audience will be smaller. Essentially, the same is true with curb appeal. If you do a good job on curb appeal, you’ll have more buyers that are interested. Though they might not make offers, you’ll have a larger audience of buyers.”

———before-after-curb-appeal

ABOUT THE WRITER

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care.

5 Things You Should Not Dwell On When Buying a Home

5 Things You Should Not Dwell On When Buying a Home

Finding the right home to buy is a process. The typical home buyer looks at around 10 homes before making an offer. If you are on your 30th home and still can’t find something that you like, perhaps you are paying attention to the wrong features when you are viewing homes. Below are a list of things that you SHOULD NOT dwell on when buying a home and what you need to consider instead.

Paint Color

Paint colors, inside and out, can always be changed! Instead of seeing unappealing paint colors as a turn-off, look at them as an opportunity personalize the home to your liking once you move in by repainting. If you’re concerned with the amount of work that painting involves, you should know that painting is an inexpensive project to hire out

Instead of paint color, pay attention to a home’s architectural details.

Furniture

Never pay attention to the furniture in a home for sale because more than likely, it’ll be leaving with the home sellers! And even if the furniture comes with the home, it can easily be sold at a garage sale or donated to a local charity, many of which offer free pick-up.

Instead of the seller’s furniture, pay attention to the size and layout of each room.

Window Treatments

Window treatments do typically stay with the home, but they are so easy to swap out that they should never be considered when purchasing a home. For most new homeowners, it’s exciting to change out window treatments to fit their design preference.

Instead of window treatments, pay attention to the energy efficiency of the windows and the light they allow into the home.

Light Fixtures

Light fixtures also stay with the home, but as with window treatments, swapping them out with something new is a simple DIY task. Updating light fixtures is an easy way to personalize the home to your taste. If the light fixtures that you are removing are in good condition, you can probably even get a few bucks for them by listing them on Craigslist!

Instead of light fixtures, pay attention to the electrical wiring and notice if rooms have the capability for overhead lighting.

Fencing

Most parents and pet owners desire homes with fenced in yards. They offer privacy and security and are certainly nice to have! But never rule out a home if it doesn’t have a fence because they are relatively easy and inexpensive to install yourself.

Instead of fencing, pay attention to other details of the yard such as size and slope.

18 Mistakes Most Sellers Make When Putting Their Home on the Market

  1. Pricing your home too high: Have a professional determine comparable sales and listing competition. You want top dollar, and you want all the buyers to see your home.  The top agents know how to walk that fine line.
  1. Small repairs bring big profits and fast sales: Have a professional give you low-cost solutions to minor repairs that will yield big profits. I arrange for a professional inspection for my sellers so we are actually selling “pre-inspected properties”, which is another reason why I get more showings for my sellers.
  1. Not considering other financing terms (besides cash): Have a professional give you options that may be better than cash for you, the homeowner, and financing options that excite a buyer. All of my sellers have a flyer that we give them on the “Fifteen Ways a Buyer Can Finance” detailing how new buyers can finance your home.
  1. Market Timing: Have a professional determine if the market cycle is poised to net you the most money. At least ask to be shown how you make profits in a down market.  There are opportunities in good and bad markets.  At Sanford Systems, we study market trends and know what is around the corner.
  1. Providing easy access for showings: There are many ways to show a home. Appointment only is the most restrictive; lock boxes are the least restrictive.  Have a professional help you determine which is best for your lifestyle.  I have a full-time staff that will make sure your home is shown when that buyer is ready.  Another exclusive service of Sanford Systems is that we train each of the agents in our office on how to best show your home.
  1. Staging your property correctly: Can you put items in storage? Create more light or music?  Walter can help you with ideas, a handyman, or designer.  We have the experience and ‘know how’ to make your property a better value every week.
  1. Choosing the right REALTOR®: If your home didn’t sell last time, make sure and get it right this time with someone who knows the market and how to create a customized marketing plan to bring top dollar.
  1. Believing that selling property is seasonal: Do not base selling decisions on the seasons. Property is always selling.  In fact, in the traditional “off times” there is less inventory, and, therefore, more activity on individual properties as a result.  One of my biggest months for sales and seller success has been XXXX.
  1. Pricing their home too low: One reason to hire Walter is to make sure that no money is left on the table. We will make sure all of the features and benefits are not only brought out in a real world marketing campaign, but also that you get paid for them.
  1. Not using current marketing technology: Make sure your agent is on the “Information Highway” with 800 interactive voice recognition systems, personal web sites, search engine technology, and the latest in buyer communications. Check out our web site and buyer resources here XXXXX.
  1. Re‑evaluating the marketing plan every 10 days: The market, you, and your property require intuitive changes on a regular basis. That is why we schedule a meeting with our seller clients every ten working days.
  1. Believing the agent is not doing the job: Do you know that 80% of buyer activity comes from signs and the MLS? Even the most mediocre agent can bring these tools.  So if you lack showing problems look at your price, terms, and staging first.  At Sanford Systems we can add value to your property in many ways.
  1. Ignoring first impressions from the buyer: Sales are often hampered by unkempt lawns, cluttered closets, unpainted front doors, hard‑to‑work locks, dead light bulbs, bad colors, stains, unlit areas, and unusual smells. Spend time on the little things; double up on your gardener, keep things cleaner than usual and “marshal” the pets.  Understanding you still have a life, I will give you a simple list of small items to consider.
  1. Not giving the sales effort enough time: You should never give too little time to something that is inherently a long process. Estimate the time you have to sell and then add some time so that you are never put in the position of having to do something based on deadlines. Walter can help you with the average time on market in your area in your price range.  We do, however, pride ourselves on beating the average days on market, as published by our Multiple Listing Service.
  1. Dealing with unqualified or unsavory characters: One of the best reasons to hire a real estate professional is they have the ability to pre‑qualify a prospect before valuable negotiation time is lost. More importantly, they have the tools to discover if a prospect’s motivation to see your home may be other than purchasing a house.  Understand that I use a team approach in achieving your goals as a seller.  One of my team members is a local lender who I will involve in your sale early who will pre-approve every buyer that I show your home to.
  1. Believing they are powerless to make a difference: Top agents in the industry report that sellers themselves are responsible for one out of six sales. You can network with your business and personal friends, hand out flyers to your personnel department, and keep the house “ready to move into.”  Your professional real estate agent should be ready to hand out all sorts of easy assignments to make the “team effort” successful.  I have a list of thirty items you can help with, if you are so inclined.
  1. Testing the market: Never put your property on the market unless you really want to sell. Get ready for a professional sales effort if you list with a great agent.  If your plan includes indecision, be prepared for frustration because top dollar sales success is Walter’s objective.
  1. Not setting up expectations with their agent: Your agent needs to guarantee how fast the return phone calls are made, how many websites your home will be on, numbers of showings, and a myriad of other goals. Sanford systems provides these guarantees (as many as 300 marketing points) in writing.

by Walter Sanford

5 kitchen design trends you may want to rethink

Serious home chefs, or just house-proud owners, might consider the kitchen their showstopper room—the one that will stop potential buyers dead in their tracks. And that’s why they add all the upgrades, accoutrements, and trendy new finishes they can possibly find. To some extent, they’re absolutely right—a great kitchen can make a buyer fall deeply in love.Open Kitchen Storage

But it doesn’t always work that way.

An inherent danger of taking a deep dive into modern design is accepting the harsh fact that today’s trends may be tomorrow’s “Oh, God, remember that?” fads such as fake brick or hideaway appliances. With the average kitchen remodel pushing $20,000, designing without foresight can be a costly and embarrassing mistake.

Some trends such as subway tile and granite countertops have a long tail: Designers expect they’ll be in style for the foreseeable future, so you’re safe giving them a starring role in your makeover.

Others are doomed to fade hard and fast. Such as…

Mixed metals

Combining bronze and copper in the kitchen might give the room an “eclectic” look, but in a few years, chances are good it will just look confused. Same goes for stainless steel and gold, or nickel and brass.

“Anybody who mixes metals besides Rolex is an idiot, and maybe Rolex is an idiot, too,” says Chicago kitchen designer Scott Dresner of Dresner Design. “Some people think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s just not. I think it’s appalling.”

He should know: Dresner has designed more than 7,000 kitchens, and his airy Chicago renovation won K+BB’s 2014 Kitchen of the Year Design Award.

Still want the look? Try mixing in different metals with replaceable hardware such as drawer pulls and towel rings, so you can easily ditch them if you put your home on the market.

DIY concrete countertops

Making your own concrete countertops is all the rage on Pinterest, but kitchen designers think the trend is already passé.

“The DIY concrete countertops have become a nightmare,” says Yarmouth, ME, designer Jeanne Rapone. “Every call I’ve had about those counters  is all about people calling me wanting them ripped out of the house they just bought. They hate the concrete.”

Because countertops are the kitchen’s primary focal point, it’s important to ensure their longevity. Picking a trendy material will—at best—annoy the hell out of you in a few years. In a decade, it might make your home impossible to sell. Better to spend a bit more on a surface you’ll love for a long time.

Open shelving

There’s a time and a place for open shelving—a few simple marble-and-steel slabs can look stunning. But swapping all of your cabinetry for open shelving is a soon-to-be-outdated fad.

“Open shelving is a thing that could be done very elegantly or very cheaply,” says Dresner. Simply pulling off the cabinet doors to mimic the effect is a surefire path to an unattractive, dust-collecting kitchen. If you’re interested in the look, a designer can help you combine minimalism, style, and functionality.

Rapone believes open shelving was a “complete economic response to the 2008 recession,” when homeowners wanted to redesign their kitchen but lacked the budget for extensive cabinetry upgrades. Under financial strain, “they’re willing to do stuff like open shelving in the kitchen, which saves a lot of money. It came out of good intentions, but now people say, ‘No, Jeanne, I’m tired of dusting shelves. I’ll pay for the doors now.’”

Reclaimed wood

Another recession response that’s fast approaching (or already surpassing) its sell-by date, reclaimed wood can look either superb or terrible, depending on its application.

As an accent, it’s perfect: “I love reclaimed wood. I love the idea of reusing something,” Dresner says. “Reclaimed wood on your island top could be gorgeous.” But what happens when you go beyond accents? “If you’re using it to make cabinets, I think it’s garbage. It looks horrible, and it’s not the right way to use that type of wood.”

So if you’re itching to integrate repurposed wood into your kitchen style, focus on horizontal surfaces, where it has a tabletop effect.

“We see people going a little overboard with the reclaimed look,” Rapone says. “A reclaimed wood island countertop will last a lifetime, but reclaimed cabinetry with barn doors and a real rustic look—that’s a trend that will be way out of style soon.”

Industrial style

Unless you’re living in a loft, skip the stainless-steel countertops, exposed Edison bulbs, and aluminum shelving.

“The industrial look is making its way out,” Rapone says. If you want the effect without the commitment, she recommends finding an industrial-looking lamp that can be easily swapped out when the trend passes its prime.

“In five years—when everyone’s, like, ‘Wow, remember when we did that in 2014?’—you can take it down and replace it with something else,” she says. “That way, you’re not changing out $30,000 in cabinetry.”

But whatever you do, Dresner strongly recommends avoiding the exposed-lightbulb look.

“There are so many cool lights at Restoration Hardware that have that industrial feel, versus something that looks like it should be in the basement of an old building hanging from a block,” he says.

Jamie Wiebe has written about home design and real estate for House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Veranda, and more. She loves vintage furniture, collecting fluffy blankets, and DIY-ing everything.

 

Posted from Crystal Edgerly

6 Rules to Follow When Pricing Your Home

It’s time to move on. You’ve decided to sell your home and embark on a new adventure.

Unfortunately, potential buyers don’t care about how long you obsessed over choosing the perfect bathroom tiles or the number of carpenters you interviewed to make the perfect built-in bookcase. To the buyer, those items may not matter to the value of the home, even if you think they should.

When it’s time to sell, you have to price your home right, using tangible factors. Here are six rules to remember:

sinatra

1. Price is king

Your asking price determines how long the home will sit on the market. Pricing the home too high may reduce the number of interested buyers, which can cause your home to sit on the market too long. If your house is on the market too long, it may create the perception that there’s something wrong with it. It can also lead a buyer to think that you’re desperate for an offer. You want to avoid these outcomes and not overvalue your home.

On the flip side, pricing the home too low may create some skepticism and raise unwanted questions about the home’s true value. This will hit you in the bank account if multiple offers don’t drive the price up to its true market value.

2. Use comparable sales 

The simplest way to figure out the right price for your home is to compare similar homes that have sold in your neighborhood. Instead of skulking in the shadows and casing the neighbor’s house, use realtor.com to check out nearby stats.

Compare your house with those with the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage. If you find comparable homes with similar floor plans and outdoor space, all the better. See how many homes in your area have sold recently and what they went for. You can also work with a real estate agent to help you compare houses.

3. Compare fairly

Make sure your comparison is fair. If there are neighborhoods in your city that are more desirable, consider that in your comparison. Also consider your location and what buyers want. If a similarly sized new-construction townhouse sold for top dollar down the block, you may not get the same amount for your cute ’40s bungalow.

4. Check the market history

To get a more comprehensive picture of the real estate market in your neighborhood, check the listing history of a home. Compare the original asking price with the final sale price, and note the amount of time the house was on the market until it sold. A REALTOR® can help you with this step.

If you’re looking to speed up the process, you may want to price your house a bit lower. However, if profit is your motive, you may need to wait a few months for a sale on the high end of the spectrum.

5. Consider special improvements

Consider whether major improvements you’ve made warrant a higher asking price. If you’ve remodeled the kitchen and put down a new parquet floor, or if you really feel the special woodwork details will clinch the sale, make sure those enhancements are reflected in the price of the home. Be reasonable. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get as much money as you expected—improvements don’t always recoup their cost.

6. Don’t ignore supply and demand

In a buyer’s market, with many homes for sale and sellers competing for attention, you may want to ask a bit less for your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers. In a seller’s market, where there is little home supply and much buyer demand, you may want to ask a bit more and maximize your profit.

Updated from an earlier version by Aviva Friedlander

Craig Donofrio lives in New Orleans, where he writes about real estate and finance news. He enjoys books, football, Scotch, unusual video games, Southern architecture, and learning new random subjects.

Posted from Crystal Edgerly

Details released on Kissimmee’s $750 million MargaritaVillage

The developers behind the new $750 million MargaritaVillage resort coming to Kissimmee recently shared new details of what the resort will entail.
jimmy

While we’ve known for some time that the resort, which is located on the old Splendid China property, will include a hotel, vacation homes and Jimmy Buffett themed amenities, the previously announced 175 room Margaritaville hotel complex will also include 500 vacation homes (the area around the resort is one of the highest concentrations for vacation homes in the nation), 300 timeshare units and 550 condos for permanent residents.

While uncommon in most of Central Florida’s resorts there are a few with permanent residential units including Mission Inn and the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes. The MargaritaVillage residential complex though would be by far the largest of any Central Florida resort.

A 3 acre freshwater swimming lagoon, similar to one being built in Lake Nona, will be one of the central features of the new resort. A water park (similar in size to the former Water Mania just down the street) and pools with direct ground floor suite access will also help create the Key West vibe of the resort. A water taxi, similar to the one found at Universal Orlando, will connect the 300 acre complex.

The developers are also planning numerous unique options for hardcore parrotheads, including a Margaritaville themed wedding pavilion, a St. Somewhere Spa and a fishing school.

Numerous restaurants, bars, a planetarium and swim up bar are also planned for development. Groundbreaking on the new Jimmy Buffett village is planned for mid-2016 with Phase 1 of the development aiming for a 2017 opening.

by November 10, 2015 at 10:30 AM