Downsizing your Empty Nest

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When it comes time to move from the home you’ve raised your family in, it’s never easy. However, now all those years of memories need to be tucked away. The time has come to take a cold, hard look at your home and try to see it the way new buyer’s will see it. All the little projects that went on the back burner are now staring you in the face. Most people can’t afford to do a remodel and why would you want to. There’s no way of knowing whether the changes you would like will actually help or hurt your chances of selling the home. 

The goal now is to get your home looking as good as possible, while spending the least amount of money. More than likely you will need to clean or replace the carpeting and paint the walls. Finally, you will want to freshen and update the feel of the home. That’s where staging comes in!

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With this home, the family wanted to move closer to their out of state children and grandchildren. So the work began. Their furniture was packed and shipped to their new home. The interior was painted a nice neutral light gray color then we were able to come in and work our magic. We wanted to downplay the dated area’s of the home and accentuate the wonderful qualities the home had, which included a view that went on forever. 

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I can not overstate how important it is to capture the buyer’s interest as soon as they walk into the home. Many buyer’s have told us that they know within the first few seconds of entering the home whether they want to continue viewing it or not. I was one of those picky buyers. I would step inside the home and either like what I saw, or, I would utter a big “Nope”. Now that first impression also includes photos that all potential buyer’s can view online. You want to capture their interest on that first photo.

The next chapter of your life is beginning. Embrace it. Rejoice in knowing that a new family will soon begin to make their own wonderful memories there.

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Appealing to the HGTV Generation

Many of today’s buyer’s are much more sophisticated, not only in technology, but also in what they are looking for in a new home. Most buyer’s view the online photo’s before they ever go out to see the home. They have also seen the shows on HGTV showcasing homes that have not only been updated utilizing current trends, but have been decorated by professionals. This sets the bar pretty high for most normal sellers. That’s where staging can really help.

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This home had a wonderful floor plan and beautiful yards with a pool. So what could be missing you ask??  The home felt a little dated and color palate needed an infusion of color. A color most popular with buyer’s today is blue, which worked beautifully with the tan’s and brown’s currently in the home.

So working in a gorgeous blue color along with restyling the existing furniture and adding in some fun pieces really changed the feel of the home. In fact, the entire energy of the home changed! When the seller’s got to see their newly staged home for the first time, the wife actually cried as she felt her home was now so beautiful. That always a good feeling.

Well not only did the home sell quickly, they had a bidding war and the home ended up selling for $20,000 above asking price. Now that would make even make the HGTV generation stand up and take notice!!

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Staging your home for it’s new family

Many of us have home’s that reflect our personal style and interests. In fact, our homes many times provide a glimpse into our very souls. However, when it comes time to sell your home, those styles and interests can limit the possible buyer’s and even the amount you can sell your home for. So that’s when editing, restyling and/or staging becomes so important.
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This home had an incredibly fun and outgoing family. However, the home was so personalized to their passions that potential buyer’s would have had a hard time seeing themselves living there.

These before photos show the home after the seller’s had moved to their new home. The walls were painted a beautiful color that really showcased the plantation shuttered windows and gorgeous dark hardwood floors. We then brought in a style that played up the beauty of the home without losing the joyful spirit the home had.

Now the home is ready for it’s new family and the many years of happiness it will surely bring to them.

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Modern Farmhouse

This late 1800’s home had once been the carriage home to a Dutch Colonial Craftsman home. With horse and buggies no longer needed, the carriage house was converted to a home in the 1920’s. The last updates done to the home had been in the 1960’s and the home felt disjointed and at odds with itself. When we first saw the home, it looked sorely outdated and any charm it once had was sadly lost to time.

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Palm Springs Style

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This home is Palm Springs wasn’t horrible when the contractor started the remodel, but there was nothing special about it either. It was just the “same old same old”. The contractor updated the home’s style and really designed the home to incorporate the contemporary feel that you find so often in Palm Springs. In my staging I was able to showcase the new contemporary style  and decorate in a fun and flirty style that really shows off the beauty and new “vibe” of the home. Living in Palm Springs really blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor living and this home now enjoys both to the fullest.

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Rustic Elegance

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As soon as you drive up to this home you notice it’s mountain like setting. The family selling this home just loved the trees because it reminded them so much of Germany. As with many older homes, the floor plan was a bit challenging. So defining the living areas became my first job. Then I wanted to incorporate the beautiful scenery outside into my design. Many times I decorate for a builder so I only have the house to work with. With this home I got to work with the seller. Many of my design choices were made with her style and personality in mind. She was delightful and I think the home now captures not only the beauty of the home but also the beauty and style of “S”.

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Under One Roof

 

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Doing my best to explain how to turn on the sprinklers anything mechanical.

As we grow older, many of us are starting to confront the issue of aging parents and how to provide a safe living environment, being there for there for their medical needs all while trying to continue having a normal life of our own.

With costs for retirement and nursing homes rising, the idea of moving our parents in with us is no longer a out-of-the-norm thought. This is a concept that is going mainstream and with good reason.

At one of our recent Open houses, we found that 15% of the people looking at the home were looking with thoughts of moving their aging parents in with them. These families were able to afford a bigger, more expensive home since most would be selling both their home and their parents home with thoughts of  purchasing one large family home.

Many families stated to us that they were concerned that if one or both of their parents went into a retirement or nursing home, it would eat up most or all of the equity their parents had made on their home.

As someone who moved her mother in 17 years ago, I believe we have worked out a lot of the inevitable “kinks” that arise in multi-generational living. It is not easy for either party but with an open mind and heart, it can become one of the best decisions you will make.

The benefits of Multi-generational living are:

  • Getting parents to medical appointments without taking huge blocks of time out of your own schedule.
  • Making sure your parents are eating properly.
  • Making sure your parents are taking their meds properly.
  • You can care for parents after most medical procedures without taking away time from your family.
  • You will notice changes in their health early before they become bigger medical issues.
  • Relieve worry for them of caring for their own home maintenance and repairs.
  • Can grocery shop for them at the same time your doing your own.
  • Can make sure they are getting out and visiting friends and family.
  • Spending holidays with them becomes easier.
  • Your kids get to know their grandparents in ways you never though possible.
  • Pet care and companionship without pet ownership.
  • Protection against unwanted senior scams.
  • No elderly abuse.

One of the biggest benefits is that the home equity our parents spent years earning will be used in a way they choose and not going to some nursing facility or government entity.

When we moved my mother in 17 years ago, her health was so bad that we were just hoping to have a good 5 years with her. She had retired early due to her poor health and the financial stress of living on her own was wiping out any retirement savings she had. Now 17 years later she is happy knowing that she will never again have to face problems on her own. And, her financial worries are a thing of the past. We will never have to worry whether she has enough food to eat or enough money to purchase her meds.

The biggest lesson we learned is that everyone needs their own space. And everyone, no matter how old, needs to feel needed. We gave two rooms to my mother and then did a room addition, which my mom paid for with her equity. This space allows her to have her own “home” all while living within a family unit. The belongings that give her peace and make her feel at home are with her. She had to downsize but was able to keep the items she loved the most.

Changes at this age are never easy. Our parents are moving away from their friends and the security of having their own home and making their own decisions. However, the benefits of living with family and becoming part of a new family unit far out weigh the negatives.

There will always be issues that come up but working them out together, as a family, will help this become not a scary and overwhelming decision but a decision filled with hope and anticipation for being able to provide a better life to some of the most important people in our lives.

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