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Sprucing Up to Sell

Homeowners fixing up their homes to list this spring will have to decide where to put their time and money to get the most bang for their buck. Zillow has been there, and the practical tips and tricks their experts have learned after selling 10,000 homes could help you sell yours.

Zillow-owned homes, acquired through Zillow Offers in 25 markets nationwide, are carefully evaluated, repaired and cleaned before they hit the market. Zillow invests in the projects that make a home safe, clean and functional, and each time learns more about what appeals to buyers. By sharing these tips, Zillow hopes to help all sellers prioritize their home prep projects.

Pick the Perfect Paint Color

Painting is one project nearly all sellers take on before putting their home on the market. It is an affordable home improvement project that has a high return on investment. But when you’re thinking about resale, you’ll want to be strategic about the colors you select.

When Zillow needs to freshen up the walls before listing a home for sale, it uses Behr Premium Plus paint in either Aged BeigeCampfire Ash or Polar Bear. Neutral greige or taupe paint colors appeal to the widest group of buyers and don’t distract from a home’s best features.

Fix your Faucets and Fixtures

The two most common items Zillow repairs or replaces before listing a home for sale are faucets and light fixtures. A buyer may jump to the conclusion that a leaky faucet is a sign there may be water damage, while a broken fixture could inaccurately signal potential electrical problems. Either can suggest a home hasn’t been generally well-maintained.

These are both DIY-friendly fixes that could boost your home’s value. If you’d rather hire a professional, a Zillow and Thumbtack report finds you can expect to pay, on average, $205 to replace a faucet and $380 to replace a light fixture.

Clean the Carpet

A clean carpet is critical if you want your home to make a great first impression. Steam cleaning will often do the trick, but if your carpet is torn or has permanent stains, you’ll want to replace it.

Zillow uses Mohawk brand carpet in either Charger Classic or Scout Highgate. Selecting a high-performing, stain-resistant carpet in a neutral taupe color will appeal to the most buyers and add value to your home.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Zillow takes care of all the items that make life easier for the home’s next owner. These items include landscaping, servicing the HVAC system, and replacing all light bulbs and batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

By taking care of these items before putting your home on the market, you can boost curb appeal and give a potential buyer confidence that your home has been well-maintained.

Say No to a Full Reno

Home improvement TV shows often suggest you need a gut renovation to get top dollar in resale. However, Zillow research finds big renovation projects hardly ever pay for themselves when it comes time to sell, with a few exceptions.

Zillow rarely completes any major upgrade to a home that would dramatically alter its footprint or its value. Instead, Zillow focuses on the projects that make a home clean, safe and functional for a buyer, repairing items instead of replacing them when possible.

“Buyers often want to put their own stamp on a home and have it reflect their taste,” says Lindsey DellaSala, a broker with the DJ and Lindsey Team in Jacksonville, FL. “Let’s say you decide to upgrade your backsplash before selling. The trendy statement tile you love may not be what a buyer is looking for, and that could hurt, rather than help, your chances for a speedy sale.”

“When a buyer walks into a Zillow-owned home, they know it is move-in ready and they can add their personal touches over time,” says Claire Caldwell, Senior Director of Renovations at Zillow. “By creating that same kind of blank canvas in a safe and clean home, you can help buyers better envision their lives there.”

Embrace Tech

Online curb appeal is more important than ever, as most home shopping has gone virtual. Zillow-owned homes are listed for sale with professional photography, a floor plan with dimensions and a virtual 3D Home tour that gives shoppers an immersive experience of a home from the safety and comfort of their own living room.

Sellers can harness the power of tech to showcase their home’s best features by using the free 3D Home app to create a virtual tour, and explore other digital tools such as virtual staging.

(JtR: Big difference between ‘high-tech’ and robotic, which is the sales method they are pushing)

Link to Article

Palm Trimming

A local fire this week showed how flammable a palm tree can be when not trimmed:

Cal Fire, Carlsbad FD & Police doing another great job – no homes damaged, and no injuries.  Two other fires were started nearby on the same day, and a homeless woman was arrested for arson.

Click here for more photos and video:

https://twitter.com/hashtag/parkfire?src=hashtag_click

10 Trends to Watch in 2021

When it comes to the home and design trends experts anticipate prevailing in the year ahead, the overarching theme will be options in abundance.

While homeowners continue to want their outdoor spaces that offer a safe retreat, that appeal has shifted into other parts of the home, coupling comfort with function. In other words, homeowners want amenities for work and leisure, and they plan to enjoy long them long after the pandemic.

Here are 10 trends to watch in 2021.

1. What it is: Two-for-one kitchen

Why now: Even before COVID-19 spread, many homeowners with an open floorplan were finding that there is a downside to not having walls in the kitchen. Clutter, messiness, and dirty dishes aren’t as easy to hide.

Leave it to the trendsetters to develop a solution: two kitchens in one. Mick De Giulio of de Giulio Kitchen Design in Chicago calls it a “layered kitchen” with separate work and living zones. Cheryl Kees Clendenon of In Detail Interiors in Pensacola, Fla., refers to it as a “prep and show kitchen.” Granted, extra space and renovation funds are needed to complete the concept.

The work area is typically in the back of the kitchen, hidden by a door or wall. This is where the serious food prep and cleanup takes place. The area may be part of a large laundry room or storage room that can be converted into this hidden cooking zone. It may also be used by caterers (when entertaining returns with gusto), Clendenon says.

In contrast, the living or show kitchen at the front remains part of the open floorplan. It’s designed to display culinary delights in an uncluttered way. This is where a roasted turkey comes out of the oven before being carried to the back-work area for carving while a buffet is set out. Some homeowners may designate one kitchen for special needs, such as gluten-free prep, a request from one of Clendenon’s clients. The back-kitchen space could also be used as a beverage center with a coffee station, and include refrigerated drawers or a wine cooler, De Giulio says.

(more…)

Best Real Estate Blogs

Bubbleinfo.com made the list of best real estate blogs in the country, as determined by Hooquest.com:

https://hooquest.com/real-estate-blogs/

Thanks Brian for including us!

He is right – I don’t give much thought to SEO, which is probably why we had the lowest number of estimated monthly visits (by far) of the nine blogs included. He mentioned that the view-counter tends to be low, especially for hyperlocal sites.

Here’s our number of viewers this month from Google Analytics:

I’m glad you’re here – thanks for participating!

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Lilian J. Rice

Great to hear that Lilian Rice is getting a statue – and a remodel! Meet the participants at bottom:

This month, a life-size statue of the late Lilian J. Rice will arrive at the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society in preparation for its ultimate destination at the town’s civic center envisioned by the architect back in the 1920s. It will officially be unveiled in May with much-deserved fanfare.

Meanwhile, down the street, an altogether different tribute is underway at a single-level Spanish Revival 3,900-square-foot residence built by Rice for a California-dreaming New Jersey family in 1926.

Come spring, it will get its own place in the sun thanks to a duo of San Diego design powerhouses. Del Mar interior designer Michelle Salz-Smith and Lisa Kriedeman, principal of Island Architects, are seizing a rare opportunity to expand and modernize the organic style pioneered by Rice nearly a century ago.

Read Full Article Here

Michelle Salz-Smith creates her own form of minimal eclecticism, where raw materials, hand-forged objects, and distinctive shapes create one-of-a-kind homes in which people commune, contemplate, and connect: https://www.studio-surface.com/home

Tony Crisafi and Lisa Kriedeman are the highly accomplished principal architects creating residences of quiet luxury throughout Southern California, nationally and internationally for more than two decades. https://www.islandarch.com/

John Kingsmill Fine Plaster: kingsmillfineplasters.com

Pat’s 1502 Glassworks: 1502glassworks.com

Plain English: plainenglishdesign.co.uk

Tiles: tabarkastudio.com

Blackman Cruz: blackmancruz.com

Roman and Williams Guild: rwguild.com

Rose Uniacke: roseuniacke.com

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Home Trends for 2021

From Zillow:

We’ve all been there this year — toddlers interrupting Zoom meetings, daydreaming for more space, and shamelessly feeding sourdough starter kits. 2020 has changed the way we live in and outside our homes.

As people rethink their homes’ functionality after spending more time in them, features we never knew we needed — such as a home gym or no-touch appliances — are more important than ever. While public health precautions continue to keep us at home, these features will only become more popular to create spaces that keep our families safe, all while providing an oasis of comfort.

Driven by this new COVID era, Zillow shares top 10 home trends for 2021 that will not only add comfort, but might even add extra value to your home.

‘Zoom Rooms’

Zillow survey found a desire for a home with a dedicated office tops the list of reasons why Americans working from home say they would consider a move, if they were to continue working remotely at least occasionally. In 2021, people will receive more clarity from their employers about the ability to telecommute moving forward, which could trigger a move to a home with more space.  And, as people tire of working from a kitchen table, they will be wanting a more permanent — and quiet — solution for their at-home desk.

As of November, the number of listings mentioned “home office” or “Zoom room” increased by 48.5% compared to the same time last year. Pennsylvania home builder Berks Homes also says requests for an at-home study in lieu of existing living space more than doubled this year.

‘Homecation’ Amenities

With lots of time and nowhere to go, homeowners are coming up with creative solutions to create vacation-vibes right at home. “Pool” was the top Zillow keyword search term in 2020. “Waterfront” and “dock” also landed in the top ten. Additionally, homeowners may be looking for big and small ways to create a luxury experience at home, from upgrading to a spa-like bathtub or relaxing rain shower. Zillow research shows home buyers paid more for amenities that make their home feel like a retreat. Listings that mentioned a free-standing tub typically sold for 5.5% more than expected, while the listing keyword “spa-inspired” contributed to a 1.8% price premium.

The rise of remote work will allow more homeowners to turn their favorite vacation destination into their hometown. Page views of for-sale listings in areas typically considered vacation destinations – such as Key West, the Jersey Shore and Cape Cod — are up nearly 50% compared to last year.

Intergenerational Living

Intergenerational living will rise in popularity as young adults and grandparents alike find themselves moving in with family for financial and health reasons. According to Generations United, about one in six Americans currently live in multigenerational households, and this year, the share of young people moving back home reached all-time highs as more Millennials and Gen Z’ers than ever – particularly renters – found themselves packing their bags and moving back in with their parents.

Katie Detwiler, Chief Experience Officer at Berks Homes says this trend is manifesting in how people are designing new construction homes, with more requests than ever before for a finished basement with a full bathroom, and bedroom additions.

Gourmet Kitchens

This year inspired people to break out of their old baking habits and start new hobbies in the kitchen, and in 2021 homeowners will want to level-up from their sourdough obsession to create other culinary masterpieces. A previous Zillow survey finds 41% of people value a well-equipped kitchen more than before as a result of social distancing recommendations — and more people will want the space to show off their new culinary skills in the next year.

“We’ve seen an increase in requests for gourmet kitchens,” says Katie Detwiler, Berks Homes’ Chief Experience Officer. “This includes bigger cabinets and island additions so homeowners have the space they need to cook their gourmet meals.” Berks Homes has seen more than 100 more requests for alternate kitchens and island additions this year compared to last.

Backyard Oasis

A yard that is safe and functional has taken on renewed importance — a Zillow survey from the Harris Poll found that 41% of people say they value a large outdoor space more as a result of social distancing recommendations.

There are many easy upgrades to make a backyard a relaxing oasis the whole family can enjoy, and in tandem, increase the resale value of your home. Zillow research finds homes mentioning “firepit” in the listing sold for 2.8% more than similar homes, and “outdoor kitchen” sold for 4.5% more. Smart sprinkler systems and outdoor lighting are other features that add a contemporary flare to a backyard that also help your home sell up to 15 days faster than expected.

Full article here:

http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2020-12-10-From-Zoom-Rooms-to-Chef-Kitchens-Zillows-Top-10-Home-Trends-for-2021

TV Staging

Watch your TV placement when staging a home. Real estate professionals faced with the issue are divided over where in the living room a TV should go—or even whether it belongs there at all.

Hayley Westoff, a Compass real estate professional, told Apartment Therapy that if the TV setup feels wrong, buyers could be turned off by the space. After all, buyers want to visualize themselves living inside a home, and watching TV is a big part of many people’s lives.

On the other hand, Allison Chiaramonte, a Warburg Realty agent in New York, doesn’t see the presence of a TV as a critical matter when staging a space. A TV shouldn’t be the focus, she says.

“While some think keeping a television in the living room at an open house is crucial, others say it takes away from the taste of the home,” Antonia DeBianchi writes on Apartment Therapy. “It’s a problem that sellers don’t seem to talk about, and its solution isn’t the clearest, either.”

When a room is awkwardly laid out, it could add to the challenges. For example, above a fireplace is a common spot for TVs, but if a mantle is too high or the fireplace is on the diagonal, its placement could feel unrealistic or awkward.

“Rearranging the furniture, and putting either a TV or mirror where the TV would go … really helps the buyer visualize what that setup would look like,” Westoff told Apartment Therapy.

Also, if the TV is outdated, many real estate pros suggest removing it. “If you have a really old, thick, crazy TV, it definitely makes people wonder why it’s not upgraded and wonder what else in the house might not be upgraded,” Chiaramonte told Apartment Therapy.

The best compromise: Have the TV blend in. If it’s mounted in a cabinet, close the cabinet if you can. If sellers have a giant TV, try to tone it down by tuning it to soundless images showing nature or peaceful scenery so it shows more as art.

Link to Realtor Magazine

Love the short shelving unit under the tv!

La Mesa

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