10 Clever ideas for transforming a guest room into a walk-in closet

Who needs a guest room when you can have a chandelier and see EVERY SINGLE PIECE of clothing you own! Who cares if you ever wear it? You can hang it up!

You see, it really doesn’t matter how many clothes you have or how many of them you actually wear. The real question is, wouldn’t you love to be able to see them all hanging up, around a beautiful chandelier? My guess is yes. Yes, you would!

So, welcome to my newly remodeled little slice of dressing room heaven. I hope these clever ideas inspire you to convert your guest room. You and I both know you don’t want your in-laws to spend the night, anyway!

Clever Idea #1: Cover the walls with rods and shelves! You will be surprised how easy it is to fill the. You may even have room to hang your T-shirts!

Capture

Clever Idea #2: Hang a chandelier! This is a MUST for the full dressing-room effect. I found mine at Hobby Lobby, half price! They also have them at Home Depot and Lowes.

Clever Idea #3: Fuzzy black hangers are EVERYTHING!
For sure buy these for your dressing room. It won’t look nearly as stylish with the plastic ones.  Plus, everything stays put. You won’t have your shirts slipping off and falling on the floor like they do when you shop. So annoying!

Clever Idea #4: Pick a fun theme! I went with a gold, tiffany blue, and maps for my theme. The idea was to have the maps inspire me to take more vacations.

Clever Idea #5: Get some gold spray paint and add some fun accessories! (See photo). I had to get the paper mache half-body mannequin because it fit the walk-in closet feel. The lamp and spice rack came from my favorite thrift stores. Perfect for the budget and super easy to spray paint.

Clever Idea #6: Use campaign glasses and candy dishes as little jewelry holders! The spice rack works great for perfume, lipsticks, and nail polish.

Clever Idea #7: EVERY dressing room needs a makeup table and matching chair! We had an old country style table in the storage shed and not enough space for it so we sawed it in half. Voila! The perfect sized makeup table screwed right to the wall! Clever, right? I found a chair at Value Village for $9.99 that I painted the same color.

Clever Idea #8: Baskets and large photo boxes work great for extra storage! I store my leggings and pajamas in large photo storage boxes that I stack, and socks in easy-to-access matching baskets that I found at HomeGoods. A longer basket fits my curling irons and hair dryer perfectly.

Clever Idea #9: MUSIC! Don’t forget music in your dressing room. An Echo is perfect because you can play your favorite songs while you get dressed every day. “Alexa, play me some Bruno Mars!”

But WAIT, one last plug for a chandelier so this counts at #10 because it’s important enough to repeat.  Mine provides no light at all, but it doesn’t matter because it will make you smile every time you walk into your new dressing room!

D-1 Photo + QuoteMichelle McLean, REALTOR®
253-691-3029
For more fun makeover and organization ideas, follow my blog at http://realfamilyblog.com/michelle.html.

Thinking Of Buying A Home When School Starts?

Copy of A-1 Photo

Back to School is just around the corner! Parents are jumping for joy as they ready their kids to return to school. (Who can blame them?) As the hot summer eventually cools down and turns to fall, parents are not the only ones who should be excited.  If you are looking for a good deal on a home, now is the time to find your perfect place. With the kids focused on school, it might just be the time to get your focus on finding your home.
Get started now, you’ve procrastinated long enough.

Waiting until August or September can have its pay offs.  Traditionally there are fewer buyer’s shopping. Which means for you less competition for that perfect mid-century ranch, a little cottage, or Tudor that you have been dreaming about.  No matter how hot the market is you will see price reductions and homes staying on the market longer from September through December. And schools within each market tend to drive the prices on single family homes. The pressure on property prices in these areas eases as July turns to August. With fewer buyers competing, it makes getting your offer accepted just a little higher and save some cash too. This really applies to single family homes in the suburbs. Those downtown lofts and condos, they will stay at the more consistent higher prices. So, no real deals there.
Stay Flexible

 After school starts sellers tend to be more inclined to negotiate to help seal the deal.  More sellers may contribute to closing costs. Which is helpful to buyers who have a good steady income, good credit, but not a lot of cash on hand. Interest rates are staying low, so buyers are feeling motivated to buy because interest will not stay low forever. A home buyers warranty, carpet allowance, are a couple of items you can ask for if sellers won’t budge on price. Price is not always the main negotiating factor involved. Flexibility to shorten or extend closings in the fall buying season can make both buyers and sellers happy.
Take Time

Home buyers have increasingly had to deal with bidding wars, unbelievable cash offers, homes on the market for 1 or 2 days. The results are, buyers buying to buy because that was the only home that they sort of liked. Waiting until the kids are in school means taking your time, and finding the home that is right for you. You will be happy with no buyer’s remorse, financial regrets and things that they did not notice about the house in the rush to buy.
Be Ready with the Right Offer

In the fall research, the area and be ready to make the right offer on the right home.  Sellers tend to want to get their property sold prior to the holidays. This gives buyers the opportunity to research the comps and know what to offer at just below asking or at asking. Versus the Spring /Summer over asking price, shelling out extra cash to get the home they want.  Contrary to what many believe, August and September are good for buying homes and finding the right home at the right price for your budget. So, do your research, find your REALTOR® and get house hunting.
Mary Klein Photo 2016Mary Klein, REALTOR®
253-590-7140
maryklein@cbbain.com

 

Inspections And Appraisals in this Hot Real Estate Market

11477985596_c784fd104c_z
Our local real estate market continues at the hot pace we’ve been on, although there are signs of inventory increasing with homes beginning to come onto the market at a faster pace than they have recently. That is a good sign in that we may see more balance in the market soon.

As I mentioned previously in this space, the intense competition for listings has impacted the role and effects of both home inspections and appraisals.

Typically, once agreement has been reached between buyer and seller, the buyer will have ten days (could be less, depending on the terms) to conduct a thorough home inspection and respond back to the seller.

These inspections are done for the benefit of the buyer, and generally consist of a licensed inspector taking a thorough look at the home, from the crawlspace to the roof, checking plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems, etc. Often, especially with older homes, a sewer scope inspection is also done.

Inspections in any market always constitute a second round of negotiations. Options for the buyer include simply approving the inspection and moving forward to closing, rejecting the inspection and terminating the transaction, or most commonly, asking the seller to make some repairs or concessions. The seller may agree to all repair requests, or agree to some but not all, or to none. Then the ball is back in the buyer’s court. Unless the seller agrees to all requests, the buyer can continue to negotiate, though they have limited time to do so, can agree with the seller, or reject the response and terminate the sale.

Recently we’ve seen some buyers making exorbitant requests to compensate for feeling that they may have overpaid for a home which had lots of competition. This has often caused sales to fail.

Once the parties have agreed on the inspection results, the next step is to order the appraisal.

Appraisals are done primarily for the benefit of the mortgage lender, though they do assure the buyer that the value of the home is appropriate to the sales price. The focus is value, though the appraiser will look for glaring signs of deferred maintenance, such as peeling paint or a bad roof, and may call for those sorts of items to be repaired. These repairs are not negotiable; if the loan is to be approved, the seller MUST do these repairs.

In the case of a home selling at an inflated price, the appraisal value may come in below the agreed upon sales price. In that event, the parties have options. The seller may agree to sell at the reduced price. The buyer may agree to bring additional money to closing, to keep the new loan amount at or below the appraised value. They may dispute the appraisal and ask for a review, or negotiate a compromise. Or the sale may simply fail.

Our current market requires up to date strategies for both buyers and sellers. Develop a plan with your REALTOR®. Be realistic, and you can do well, and have fun in the process!

Feel free to call me to discuss these or any real estate topics or properties.
ED Tropp's PhotoEd Tropp, REALTOR®, GRI
253-988-5763 (cell)
EdTropp@cbbain.com

Have You Heard of EnviroHouse?

envirohouse

We’ve heard of the ENVIROHOUSE through the news media and mailings from utility districts but may not be aware of what an incredible resource it is for homeowners. Located in Tacoma, it is funded by Tacoma’s 5 Utilities and is open to all Pierce County Residents. EnviroHouse and surrounding landscape are environmentally and sustainably designed and explained by signage and handouts.

In the 1990’s, EnviroHouse began as a Pierce County environmental display building called the Green House (a 2-piece modular building) at the Puyallup Fair twice a year, you may have visited it there! In 2004, it was gutted and permanently installed at what is now called Tacoma’s Recovery and Transfer Station – we used to call these operations “Dumps” because they were.  EnviroHouse opened to the public in 2006 to provide information to get people to reduce waste.

On site is an abundance of information on building green and living sustainability including energy and water efficiency, sourcing (how far away is a product, how much energy & pollution & cost does it take to transport it to the job site?) Did you know counter tops made of paper are manufactured on Tacoma’s tide flats? Yes, since the 1940’s – there is info about it, other counter tops plus other building materials in EnviroHouse’s Resource Books. The resource notebooks contain detailed information to help you create a healthy home and landscape.

You can learn from the displays on the landscape: the Green roof, a rain garden, rain barrels, permeable pavers, low waters plants, a 5 section turf display, irrigation info and raised food gardens.

Janda Volkmer, Coordinator of EnviroHouse, oversees all and is a great resource too. She welcomes walk-in visitors and answers their questions sharing information about the eco-friendly installations in the house and landscape. She leads prearranged tours; the lecture is geared to the group’s interests. To schedule a tour, call the number listed below.

Free workshops on the site cover a variety of topics including yard waste and worm bin composting, solar power, water-smart landscaping, green roofs, backyard chickens. I attended a workshop on ductless heating and cooling systems and as a result had one installed in my home. Advance registration is required for the workshops. For a list of workshops, check the website.

How to do it videos on recycling ( Enviro Shorts) are available on the website. More are on YouTube, search for EnviroHouse How-To.

I hope you will visit the EnviroHouse after entering Tacoma Recovery and Transfer Station.  Look for EnviroHouse sign on your left and turn into the parking area, otherwise, you will be at the Hazardous Waste Station, as I was, but you can loop back.

Tacoma’s Recovery and Transfer Station
3510 S Mullen, Tacoma 98409
Open W-F 10am-5pm; S Su 11am-5pm
email: EHouse@cityoftacoma.org
website:
www.cityoftacoma.org/Envirohouse
www.cityoftacoma.org/workshops
www.cityoftacoma.org/enviroshorts

Carol Goforth, REALTOR®Capture
253-376-3628 (mobile)
carolgoforth@cbbain.com
carolgoforth.coldwellbankerbain.com

 

Fire Extinguishers In Your Home

D-1 Photo.png

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen?  If so, what color is it? Kitchen fire extinguishers are WHITE and are a K extinguisher.  Extinguishers used in other home locations are RED, a standard ABC Multipurpose extinguisher.  This was what the Fire Fighters at the Tacoma’s Proctor Station mentioned.

Carol Goforth of Coldwell Banker Bain Proctor stopped by the station and was instructed on how to properly use a fire extinguisher. In fire fighter lingo, it is PASS: Pull the pin; Aim nozzle at fire; Squeeze the handle; Sweep side to side across the flame.

For a stove top fire, use a white fire extinguisher while standing 5 feet from the fire. Sweep only as necessary to cover the inside of the cooking vessel. Empty the entire contents of the extinguisher. Once the extinguisher has been emptied. Turn off appliance, evacuate the home and make sure the fire department has been called. Do not move or disturb extinguishing agent.

Use a red fire extinguisher on fires involving wood, paper, textile, flammable liquids or electrical equipment. Stand back from the fire and PASS the fire extinguisher.

Be sure to read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher.  Please remember that once used, replace your fire extinguisher or have it refilled.

CaptureCarol Goforth, REALTOR®
253-376-3628 mobile
carolgoforth@cbbain.com
carolgoforth.coldwellbankerbain.com

First Impressions Are Everything When It Comes to Selling Your Home

A-1 Photo 2

As the moles begin making mountains out of molehills, I know spring is just around the corner. If you will be placing your home on the market this spring, now is the time to start the garden clean up and get the outside of your home as beautiful and attractive as the inside.

The first impression of your home can make or break a sale before a buyer even sees the inside of your home. If your yard and the outside of your home looks like an overgrown jungle and your front door has seen better days, a potential buyer may have already made their mind up about the home before they even walk through the door. More than one homebuyer has decided not to even enter a home based on the curb appeal. Don’t let this happen to you.

Curb appeal includes your yard as well as the overall appearance of your home. As the homeowner, walk to the street and view your home with a critical eye. Note those areas that you find appealing and those that are not so appealing. The following are areas to pay specific attention to:

  1. Remove any debris from around the home. Place garbage containers out of sight, remove shovels, tools, and anything that really doesn’t belong in the yard and dispose of or store out-of-sight.
  2. Pressure wash or thoroughly clean the walkway, porches, doors, windowsills etc. Cleanliness is just as important outside as inside! Don’t forget the windows.
  3. Stage the outdoor living areas too. If there is a covered porch, place chairs and décor to show the buyer how they could enjoy that space.
  4. If the door is looking a little shabby, either replace the door if the budget allows or paint/stain with a complementary color. Get advice if color isn’t your forte.
  5. If needed, update or paint hardware and outdoor light fixtures.
  6. Be sure to place a new attractive door mat at the entry.
  7. Trim shrubs, weed the flower beds, add new mulch and some new plantings for great color. If you need help for what would work for you, take a picture of the area and bring to a garden store. They are an excellent resource for help.

As I research our area, I found that Lowes and Home Depot are not the only sources of colorful displays of plants for sale. Pierce County is home to many of the most amazing gardens in the state.

Homeowners will find a wealth of options and information available at do-it-yourself stores as the ones mentioned above; however, for inspiration for curb appeal, many of the gardens referenced below also offer beautiful home and garden décor and plenty of free advice. These are just a few of the gardens I know I will be checking out starting March:

The Windmill Garden in Sumner
Watson’s Green in Graham (Voted best place to send a Guest)
Portland Avenue Nursery In Tacoma
Vassey Nursery in Puyallup
Willow Tree Garden and Interiors in University Place

Darlene Kiefer Photo-UPDATED
Darlene Kiefer, REALTOR®
360-929-8741 (mobile)
darlenekiefer@cbbain.com
darlenekiefer.coldwellbankerbain.com

Red vs White Fire Extinguishers

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen?  If so, what color is it? Kitchen fire extinguishers are WHITE and are a K extinguisher.  Extinguishers used in other home locations are RED, a standard ABC Multipurpose extinguisher.  This was what the Fire Fighters at the Tacoma’s Proctor Station mentioned.

Carol Goforth of Coldwell Banker Bain Proctor stopped by the station and was instructed on how to properly use a fire extinguisher. In firefighter lingo, it is PASS: Pull the pin; Aim nozzle at the fire; Squeeze the handle; Sweep side to side across the flame.

For a stove top fire, use a white fire extinguisher while standing 5 feet from the fire. Sweep only as necessary to cover the inside of the cooking vessel. Empty the entire contents of the extinguisher. Once the extinguisher has been emptied. Turn off the appliance, evacuate the home and make sure the fire department has been called. Do not move or disturb extinguishing agent.

Use a red fire extinguisher on fires involving wood, paper, textile, flammable liquids or electrical equipment. Stand back from the fire and PASS the fire extinguisher.

Be sure to read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher.  Please remember that once used, replace your fire extinguisher or have it refilled.

CaptureCarol Goforth, REALTOR®
253-376-3628 mobile
carolgoforth@cbbain.com
carolgoforth.coldwellbankerbain.com