Home DesignHome Selling TipsInterior DesignReal EstateUncategorized January 11, 2023

Staging Tips to Sell Your Home This Spring


Before listing your property, consider that proper staging is one of the most important factors in enhancing your home’s appeal and most flattering features.

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Whether on television, at an open house or on the pages of a magazine, we’ve all seen stunningly outfitted estates that deliver a true wow factor – and listing price – that properties without staging just cannot match. Buyers quickly fall in love with homes that have a strong character while wordlessly conveying the lifestyle they would enjoy if they lived there. Before listing your property, consider that proper staging is one of the most important factors in enhancing your home’s appeal and most flattering features.

First Things First

 In order to entice potential buyers, you must think outside the box – but to start, examine what needs to be done to get your home in showplace shape. Check under older carpets for lovely hardwood, survey the ceiling for cracks or leaks to seal, consider having the pool or tennis court resurfaced and focus on boosting your curb appeal. Once your home is a clean slate, you are ready to begin.

 Neutral Rules

When using achromatic tones on painted walls and furniture, ensure that the staging pieces do not distract from the form of the home. When staging for luxury, color psychology can signal buyers that they’re working with a discerning seller who has elevated the home to its full, indulgent potential.

In the world of interior design, fashion and luxury vehicles, neutral colors have always made a recognizable statement of power, sophistication and confidence. Once you’re prepared to stage your home, you’ll want to highlight those qualities with the crème de la crème of design – blacks, grays and whites.

While buyers will always notice houses with splashy displays, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will find them appropriate for their tastes. Staging experts often use furniture, rugs and paint in neutral hues (also consider beige and pale, cool colors) to help buyers overlay their own creations onto the scene and more easily discover the home could be the perfect fit.

Character Is King

Often, a seamless introduction to the home involves pairing décor with architectural personality. Envision how Old-World pillars and stonework are beautifully complemented by gold-framed art and Turkish rugs, and contemporary interiors effortlessly show off leather, wool or velvet furnishings and unique accents as statement pieces. When hiring an interior designer to get the job done, seek out a professional with not only expertise, but also an imaginative mindset.

Now to address spatial issues. For smaller sitting rooms, offices or charming nooks, instead of cluttering the area to make it appear as if much can be done with the layout, take a more minimalist approach to ensue that each individual piece has room to breathe and directs attention to the space itself.

On the other hand, if you have a cavernous room, think about creative ways to section it off and separate it into more manageable areas with rugs or furniture in unique arrangements. The same approach can be applied to unusually shaped rooms.

Attractive Accents

While a visually busy room is an easily avoided faux pas, keep in mind that going completely neutral is not the answer either. In order to strike that oh-so-delicate balance between sensible furnishings and handsome décor, decorate with stylish accents that lend a perfect finish to any lifestyle.

Any artwork on display should be minimal and tasteful, so buyers can easily picture how they will customize the space on their own, and personal items like family pictures, sports memorabilia and other personal items should be stored.

When a buyer enters your front door and explores the home room by room, they’ll be thinking about how they will personalize it with their own touches, and how much of a transformation might be needed to get it suited for them. With beautiful furnishings in place and just the right level of flair, they won’t have to work very hard to visualize their new life – and that gets them one step closer to making your house their new home.

Home DesignHome Selling TipsInterior DesignReal EstateUncategorized October 14, 2022

Home Renovations That Offer the Best ROI for Resale


Finished design of a bathroom home renovation

Looking to tackle home renovations and wondering which will have the biggest pay off? If you guessed kitchen and bathrooms, you’re spot on. Another good one is landscaping. Whether they’re big or small, a few upgrades can pay big dividends when it’s time to sell your home. Follow these tips to prioritize and put more money in your pocket when you’re ready to sell.

Before you do anything, make sure you consider the value of your house, the neighborhood, the housing market where you live and how soon you will sell after you make the improvements. If you live in a neighborhood where properties are selling for $300,000, doing a $150,000 renovation may not add as much to your property value as you might think.

Kitchens and Baths

One thing to keep in mind is that just because a remodel is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it will give you the best return on investment. Even minor updates can yield a big return. Consider painting, refinishing surfaces and upgrading appliances, which can lead to a big pay out.

Sticking to a budget is always important, and keep in mind that an average, medium-sized kitchen remodel can cost between $20,000 – $50,000, while the average bathroom remodel is $10,000. In most cases, homeowners see a return of a 100% or more with a kitchen or bath remodel, so it’s definitely well worth the investment. Plus, you get to live in a beautiful new space.

A Finished Basement

If finishing your basement is something you’ve been putting off, now might be the perfect time. According to cost versus value surveys conducted annually by Remodeling magazine, “The average return on investment for a basement project is around 75 cents on the dollar. Besides the financial gains, refinishing a basement will add new functionality to your home: more bedrooms, more efficient storage and more space for entertaining.” Seems like a sure-fire win, win.

Add Curb Appeal

When buyers see that the outside of the property is taken care of, they’ll be more excited to see the inside. Remember, first impressions make lasting impressions. According to Anji, “Curb appeal can increase your home value by 7%. Buyers are increasingly prioritizing outdoor living spaces and an attractive lawn has the biggest ROI at 256%. Trees can add $1,000 to $10,000 to your home value and simple landscape maintenance tasks usually pay for themselves.”

Whether you’re in the market to sell your home or just want to make some budget-friendly renovations that you and your family can enjoy, making the right upgrades can help enhance your quality of life and add a few more dollars to your bank account down the road.

Home Buying TipsReal EstateUncategorized October 14, 2022

Insider Tips to Buying a Home in Today’s Market


It’s always hard to predict the future, especially with the housing market. But one thing is for sure – real estate remains a sound investment. If you’re looking for your dream home, here are some tips to help set you up for success and guide you through this buying season.


Person searching to buy a home online on a tablet


Assess Your Financial Health Prior to Buying a Home

Before you fall in love with your dream home, make sure you’re prepared to purchase it. Take a look at your bank accounts along with your monthly spending, so you have a clear and realistic picture of your finances. This will also help you figure out how much you can afford to put toward a down payment. It’s also a good time to check your credit score. Most importantly, you’ll want to meet with a loan officer to get pre-approved, so sellers take you seriously and you’re in a better position to make a strong offer.

Tip: A pre-approval gives you more negotiating power because it tells the seller and real estate agent that your funding is in place and ready to go.

Stay Flexible

Whether it’s time or money, be prepared to give a little more. Say for instance, there’s competition on a house and you’ve been outbid, but you have the flexibility to give the seller the extra time they need to close and move out. That can make a huge difference and could even put you ahead of the competition. Showing the seller that you’re willing to go the extra mile to purchase their home could earn your offer a second glance, especially if it helps make their life easier.

 Tip: Try to refrain from asking for favors. This is not the time to ask the seller to give you the refrigerator or washer and dryer, part with playset or paint the front door.

 You Found your Dream Home

You found a home that meets all or most of your wish list, it’s within your price range and you’ve stalked the neighborhood to make sure it’s right for you. Now’s the time to make an offer. Keep in mind that your opening offer should be based on two things: what you can afford and what you really believe the property is worth. Sure, there’s always a possibility that there will be other offers, regardless of the time of year and the market, but try not to let that influence you to pay more than you should.

Tip: Offer more earnest money. While it’s not always required, it could help you stand out in this competitive housing market. Sellers like buyers that make these good faith deposits because they want assurance that the sale won’t fall through.

Buying a new home is an exciting time and can also be a stressful time, but if you’re prepared and keep these tips in mind, you should find it a much smoother process. And finally getting the keys to your new home makes it all worth it!

Home DesignReal EstateUncategorized October 14, 2022

Start Winterizing Your Yard Now

A healthy yard after winterizing it for the Winter

As summer ends, fall begins, and winter is looming — making it the right time to start winterizing your yard. Harsh winters are hard on the grass in Philadelphia and preparing your lawn for this is essential. Here are 7 ways to winterize your yard.

Author: SHARON LEE | Guest post by Katie Marie

It’s time to start winterizing your yard! Harsh winters are hard on the grass in Philadelphia and preparing your lawn for this is essential. Without doing so, your lawn won’t be able to build up the tolerance to diseases and organisms that harm your yard, and the constant fluctuations of winter temperatures.

Start early enough so that the required nutrients can be absorbed into the soil. If you start winterizing your yard in the fall, then more nutrients can be absorbed by your lawn before the snow starts.

Clean up the Lawn

First, rake up any and all leaves and debris and bag it. If leaves and debris remain on your lawn, this can cause dead brown spots, or the grass can dry out. The most efficient way is to rake the leaves and bag them as they fall off your trees. Also, remove any spent plants and branches from your lawn for a better growth of grass in the spring.

When you rake up leaves, watch for weeds and remove any you find. Weeds will go to seed in the fall, with seeds just waiting to be blown by the wind, or catch on your pant leg as you brush past them. When they start to grow in the spring again, it means more work for you and an unhealthy lawn. Take preventive action by pulling out weeds when you see them throughout the warmer seasons.

Check pH Levels

Check the soil’s pH levels before adding any nutrients or chemicals. When you do a pH test, you’ll know what it is exactly that your lawn needs to have added to it. You can either hire a professional to do the check or buy a soil pH tester and do the test yourself.

Don’t prune anything during the autumn months because this could cultivate new growth on your trees and bushes. New growth will be destroyed in cold Philadelphia winters and at the same time use valuable nutrients. You’ll find that you’ll be pruning the dead growth from your trees and bushes in the spring as well. This will cause unnecessary work for you that you could have avoided.


After checking the pH and not pruning, you’ll want to aerate your lawn. Aerating helps the process of putting air and water into the soil down to the roots of your grass by first opening the soil up for more direct access. It also allows nutrients to soak into the soil for better and longer lasting results. If you had a high amount of traffic over your lawn during the summer, this is a definite step to take. The high traffic will cause compression on your lawn which hinders water and air getting into it.


Aeration and dethatching your lawn are both good to do during this time. Thatch can cause numerous problems with your yard, including brown spots and dead grass. After raking, you’ll be able to see where the thatch areas are and vigorously rake them and dispose of the debris.


A winter fertilizer is what can often be referred to as the winterizer, itself. Find the best winterizer to add to your lawn to help with the cold weather survival. The same ingredients that are used in lawn food are used for winterization. However, the ingredient ratio is noticeably different. It’s because winterizer is made up of more potassium and phosphorus and less nitrogen. If you have cool-season grass, it’s important to use a winter fertilizer with potash. This will help to strengthen the roots of your lawn over the cold winter months.


This time of the year, the mowing frequency in Philadelphia certainly slows down, with 43 percent of residents mowing weekly, and 28 percent of residents mowing once a month. So, for the last mowings of the year, lower the height of your mower a half-inch below what the height is for the summer months. This gives the lawn a chance to avoid damage from disease and prepare for the Philadelphia winter onslaught. If a mulching mower is used, then those clippings can be left on the lawn — this will provide nutrients for the grass and protect the crown of the grass.

Prep Your Irrigation Systems

Don’t forget about your irrigation systems. The freezing winter can cause pipes to burst in a matter of hours. Take the time to shut off sprinklers, outdoor faucets, and other water sources and drain them. Make sure you allow enough time so that proper drainage happens. If you have a watering system, read the instruction manual so that you do it correctly or call a professional to drain it.

The secret of winterizing your lawn is to do it early enough so that the lawn gets the valuable nutrients it needs to survive the harsh winter in the Philadelphia area. Even if you are a little late in the season, there are still ways to help your lawn through the cold and prepare for a green spring!