Basement Remodel: With a Little Help from a Pro

Julie is stuck with her basement remodel after she purchases furniture and paints. She reaches out to Susan Atwell of AtWell Staged Home for help to finish the space.

bonus1_after_cropHave you ever struggled with a DIY project? It seems so simple, but when you’re done, it’s just not quite what you hoped it would be? Julie found a way to have DIY satisfaction with her basement remodel while saving money on full design services.

As a home stager, my favorite projects are spent collaborating with home owners. A client that wants to do it herself but needs a little design guidance, someone to bounce ideas off of, to go shopping with, or to hire the perfect contractor.

For Julie, we start with a two-hour consultation in her home. We review the projects she has already completed and discuss changes she would like to make. At the same time we discover her likes, dislikes, and vision for her home.

The initial consultation is a total “brain dump” of ideas not only for the specific space but also for the other spaces in her home. Each room is interconnected and understanding how Julie lives in her home is key.

The meeting is thorough, and our goal is to prevent expensive mistakes. One of my favorite sayings is, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Having the opinion of a professional before any more money is spent will give her confidence and guide her in the right direction.

At the initial consultation, the ideas proposed include creating a separate laundry room, adding an electric fireplace to work around an awkward corner unit, improving upon a built-in wall cabinet currently hiding pipes, and enhancing the flow of her home office. At our follow-up visit, we review the ideas with contractor Andrew Spector of A. Spector Home Improvement. Once the design is agreed upon, all we have to do is shop for pillows, art, a custom area rug, and a fireplace insert.

My goal is to help as much (or as little) as needed. To give my clients the courage to move forward with their ideas while guiding them in making cost-effective decisions that will work for them now, in the future, and, of course, when they sell.

Here’s what Julie has to say about her basement remodel:

“I am so happy with the basement renovation, my updated office space, and new laundry room. It’s so nice to be able to exercise in front of the TV, turn on the fireplace any time of year, close off the laundry area so the sound does not compete with the TV, and just to have such a huge built-in laundry workspace compared to before. Working with you and Andrew (the contractor you recommended), really was a pleasure. Finally, and most important, my daughter absolutely loved the renovated basement! She thoroughly enjoyed all the changes during her summer break from school. My sister was over recently and loved it as well. Can’t thank you enough for the wonderful job you did. I could not have done this by myself. I think it all came together just perfectly!!”

– Julie O., Somers, NY

(Click images to enlarge.)

bonus4_before

Basement – Before

bonus4_afterBasement – After
All the bones are here. The walls are freshly painted, furniture is new, and the floor is a nice neutral tile. We fix the oddities, as described above, making sense of what is there. It’s now a great space for her daughter to hang out, for entertainment, or to get away from it all.

bonus1_beforeBasement – Before

bonus1_afterBasement – After

office1_beforeBasement Office – Before

office1_afterBasement Office – After
Julie needs a great space to work, but she also needs a space that can serve as a guest room. The door is changed to swing to the right, cable is moved to the left wall, and the exercise equipment is moved to a larger space in the basement where she can work out and watch TV. The room is balanced, more spacious, and Andrew helps Julie pick a paint color to match the bedding.

laundry1_beforeBasement Laundry Area – Before

laundry1_after

New Basement Laundry Room – After
Actually, there is no dedicated laundry room before—just a huge space with the laundry recessed into a tiny hole in the wall. Now Julie has an area that she can close off from the living area, or keep open, as she folds her clothes on a spacious built-in counter. Personally, I’m envious of this laundry room!

Additional interior views of the new laundry room.

laundry2_afterlaundry3_afterlaundry4_afterlaundry5_after

 


Like this post? Share it! 

Never miss a post. Join our mailing list and receive free monthly updates.

Share

New Year’s Resolution: Commit to Home Improvement

If you had to sell your home tomorrow, would you be ready?

By Susan Atwell as published in The Somers Record

New Year's Resolution for Your Home

Years before becoming a home stager, I purchase my first home, and as I ponder the inevitable and truly necessary upgrades and changes, I am keenly aware of how important it is to keep resale in mind. Maybe I’m just an optimist, hoping that Prince Charming or Publisher’s Clearing House will someday come knocking on my door, or maybe I just realize that you can never tell when life will change. Whatever the reasons, I know I wouldn’t want to be forced to put my life on hold just because of a few neglected home improvements, repairs, or upgrades. “Be prepared” is not only the Boy Scout motto, but mine as well.

After moving into my small, one-bedroom condo, I make a list of all the potential improvements. Besides the avocado green kitchen appliances and 1970’s wallpaper, there are all the builder-grade light fixtures, moldings, and finishes. My list includes upgrades to the doors, moldings, flooring, reconfiguration of closets, a bathroom upgrade, and the biggest item of all, a complete kitchen remodel.

Chunking it out by year makes it achievable. Each year, first picking a project, then estimating costs and setting the time line, along with the inevitable savings plan, keeps the momentum going. Over the course of seven years, learning and earning as I go, I work my way from the smallest and least expensive projects to that final and most ambitious project, the kitchen remodel.

So why not make this year, and every year, the year you resolve to tackle just one of your own home-improvement projects? This is an easy resolution that takes little willpower or sacrifice. It’s not about restrictions, it’s about personal enjoyment and return on investment.

The key is making changes that you will enjoy while simultaneously adding value to your biggest investment, your home. My first rule of thumb? Keep in mind the next potential owner. Will it most likely be a family, senior, or young professional? Will the new owner be on a fixed income, or is this his/her starter home? For me, knowing that I am the third owner of my home, tells me that I will probably not be the last. So I simply take what others have started and build on it for the next owner.

Even so, I never make a change that I don’t absolutely love and–here’s the tricky part–know that I will love for years to come. My second rule of thumb is to go for classic design and neutrals with your biggest and/or most labor-intensive investments. Have fun with color and style, with the finishing touches like paint, light fixtures, hardware, and accessories. I choose white cabinets, white tile, and white appliances. Sounds boring, right? All that white. Well, the beauty of white is that it goes with any color palette you choose. You may need to repaint before the sale, to depersonalize those choices, but you will probably need to do that anyway.

Repairs and maintenance are your top priority. Keep up with minor repairs as they occur, and plan ahead for major maintenance and upgrades. Everyone knows that kitchens and baths sell houses, so pay special attention to keeping these spaces current. As stated earlier, paint, light fixtures, hardware, and window treatments are easy and inexpensive upgrades that can change the look and feel of a room for little investment. Do you remember remarking on things during the buying process that you said you would fix after the purchase? Well, now is the time to fit those items into your plan. Remember, if you didn’t like these things when you initially saw the home, it’s likely the next buyer won’t like them either.

Does this all sound like too much work? Well, imagine what a potential home buyer will say if you don’t make these changes. Not only are you asking a new buyer to pay big bucks for your home, you’re asking him/her to make the improvements that you refused to tackle as well. Keep in mind–at a minimum–that buyers desire a move-in-ready home. No buyer wants to pay top dollar for a project.

Having trouble choosing which projects to attack? Seek the advice of the real estate agent who sold you the home or a professional home stager. Use this time to brainstorm all your goals–both short and long term–while breaking them down by priority and value added.

As a home stager, one of the saddest statements I hear from my home sellers is, “I wish I had made these changes before I decided to sell so that I could enjoy them.” Start this year with no regrets, and end it happier than you were when it began.

Click here to download and share this article in PDF format.

 


Like this post? Share it! 

Never miss a post. Join our mailing list and receive free monthly updates.

Share

Labor of Love Home Staging

Two weeks of preparing a home for sale leads to an over-asking price.

exterior1_afterJust after our engagement, I ask John if he would like to stay in his current home or move to another. A few weeks later and out of the blue, he makes the surprise announcement, “Maybe we should look for a new house.”

The next day I ask my friend and agent to take us to see four homes. These include a raised ranch (move-in ready), a raised ranch (blower-upper), a traditional center-hall colonial, and a traditional ranch with a walk-out basement.

To my surprise, John really likes the traditional ranch home. When I pursue the topic to ascertain how much he likes the ranch, I ask, “Enough to buy it?” When he answers in the affirmative, I drop the bombshell that every savvy reader knows is coming: “You know what that means, right?” It means a lot of hard work and about $8,000 to prepare his home for sale.

My original intention for this outing is just to show John the basic home styles available in our area, not to actually find a new home. But I like the home just as much as he does. It has the perfect floor plan for our future family’s needs, along with a convenient and appealing location.

We now have two weeks to prepare his home for sale. The interior needs to be fully painted, back patio stained, front yard mulched, weeded, and exterior fence and house power-washed. Not to mention more cleanout, new carpeting for the basement, a deep-clean of all spaces, and minor repairs.

We start with the exterior. Luckily, my brother-in-law worked at a nursery when he was in college and knows exactly what to do. He comes over with a helper and, with my husband, makes the front of the home beautiful in just 2 (very long) days.

entry1_after

The interior is my territory. Along with my sister, mother, and agent/friend, we review the staging plan. They agree with the ideas and help pick the final paint colors. My sister even loans us her small leather barrel chair for the new living room.

The world’s fastest paint job, carpet installation, cleaning, and staging occur. The home is ready for sale the day after Labor Day. Just shy of two weeks from when we started.

Sadly, the ranch home we want is no longer available. So after a short time, we take John’s home off the market and decide to look again in the spring.

After the long winter, the lawn service guys find the original For Sale sign, which had been buried under the snow. And what do they do? You guessed it, they hang it up!

Following a few calls from interested neighbors and my agent, we have an offer from a lovely family who had seen the house in the fall. They missed the chance to put in an offer before, so they jump at the opportunity now. (Their interest is so high that they had left more than one note in my husband’s mailbox over the winter.)

Because these buyers are afraid the home will not be available for long, they offer 5% over asking price and also agree to postpone closing until the end of August, or later, once their home sells. As we are in no hurry—and it means that we will not have to restage or deal with more showings—we accept.

master8_before

Master Bedroom – Before

master8_after

Master Bedroom – After

master3_before

Master Bedroom – Before

master3_after

Master Bedroom – After

Basement Before

Basement – Before

Basement After

Basement – After

bath_lower1_before

Upper Bath – Before

bath_lower1_after

Upper Bath – After

bedroom5_before

Bedroom – Before

bedroom5_after

Bedroom – After

bedroom7_before Bedroom – Before

bedroom7_after

Bedroom – After

dining1_before

Dining Room – Before

dining1_after

Dining Room – After

dining2_before

Dining Room – Before

dining2_after

Dining Room – After

dining3_before

Dining Room – Before

dining3_after

Dining Room – After

dining4_before

Dining Room – Before

dining4_after

Dining Room – After

family1_before

Family Room – Before

family1_after

Family Room – After

family3_before

Family Room – Before

family3_after

Family Room – After

family4_before

Family Room – Before

family4_after

Family Room – After

front_walk1_before

Front Walk – Before

front_walk1_after

Front Walk – After

guest_bedroom1_before

Office/Guest Bedroom – Before

guest_bedroom1_after

Office/Guest Bedroom – Afterguest_bedroom2_before

Office/Guest Bedroom – Before

guest_bedroom2_after

Office/Guest Bedroom – After

kitchen1_before

Kitchen – Before

kitchen1_after

Kitchen – After

kitchen2_before

Kitchen – Before

kitchen2_after

Kitchen – After

kitchen3_before

Kitchen – Before

kitchen3_after

Kitchen – After

kitchen4_before Kitchen – Before

kitchen4_after

Kitchen – After

living1_before

Living Room – Before

living1_after Living Room – After

living2_before

Living Room – Before

living2_after

Living Room – After

living3_before

Living Room – Before

living3_after

Living Room – After

living4_before

Living Room – Before

living4_after

Living Room – After

patio1_before

Patio – Before

patio1_after

Patio – After

upper_bath1_before

Upper Bath – Before

upper_bath1_after

Upper Bath – After

 


Like this post? Share it! 

Never miss a post. Join our mailing list and receive free monthly updates.

Share

Westchester Putnam Real Estate Report: 2015 Third-Quarter

Get “The Skinny” on the Westchester Putnam real estate market in this 2-minute video:

Below is an excerpt from the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors’ (HGAR) 2015 third-quarter report for Westchester Putnam real estate.

The four-county region served by the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, Inc. continued to post high sales volumes and moderate price changes through the third quarter of this year. Realtors working in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange Counties reported a grand total of 5,231 closed transactions of single-family houses, condominiums, cooperatives, and 2-4 family houses during July, August and September, an increase of 687 units or 15.2% over the third quarter results of last year. On a year-to-date basis (January through September), there were 11,761sales – an increase of 1,581 sales or 15.5% over last year.

Of the four Counties, Orange posted the largest third quarter percentage increase. MLS Realtors there reported 1,008 sales or 30.1% more than last year. Putnam and Rockland Counties followed with third quarter gains of 21.1% and 16.3% respectively. Westchester posted the lowest increase, 10.3%, but because that County typically accounts for half or more of the total transactions in the region, the increase represented a substantial number of sales, 294 more than last year, bringing Westchester’s third quarter count to 3,157 sales. Read the complete report here.

To compare this report with earlier reports, visit HGAR.com.

 


Like this post? Share it! 

Never miss a post. Join our mailing list and receive free monthly updates.

Share

Stamford Real Estate Prices…Going Down?

Price is king, and when this home’s price finally hits the sweet spot, multiple offers are made.

exterior3_after

When the price is right, and a home is staged properly, it will sell. But as I always tell my clients, there is no amount of staging that can make up for a home that is overpriced.

Generally someone who goes to the trouble of staging doesn’t intentionally overprice his home. It’s usually the challenge of finding comparable homes, along with market shifts, that can lead to overpricing.

In Stamford, CT, the economy is changing, with large companies like UBS, RBS, and GE downsizing, relocating, or threatening to. Only six months earlier, a similar home, located on the same pond, sells for just under $1.25M, leading all to believe that this home is worth closer to $1M, but timing is everything in real estate, as in life.

Luckily, these motivated sellers do not wait long to adjust their price. Here is the path they take to this home’s pricing sweet spot.

03/20 Listed for sale $1,175,000
04/02 Price change $1,125,000 (- 4.3%)
04/21 Price change $999,000 (-11.2%)
05/13 Price change $925,000 (-7.4%)
06/08 Price change $889,000 (-3.9%) – the price is right!
07/20 Sold $830,000 final sale (-6.6%)

Even though 3 months is not a long time to have a home on the market, overpricing keeps this house from selling even faster. Finally, though, this 4-bed, 4-bath, 3,500-square-foot lake-front Colonial in Stamford, CT, sells to a cash buyer eager to close quickly and edge out other bids.

Here’s what Neil, the seller, has to say about the staging experience:

Susan listened to our ideas and improved upon them, making our home look better than we ever imagined. Susan also worked with us to make this transformation affordable, using our existing furnishings and artwork wherever possible.

From the repositioning of knickknacks to rearranging furniture, Susan knew how to make every room “pop” and allow buyers to visualize themselves living in these spaces.

We received numerous comments from buyers and brokers alike, congratulating us on how well our house showed. Susan’s staging definitely helped us get the best deal possible. I would enthusiastically recommend Susan’s services to others. In fact, I have already done so!

– Neil S., Stamford, CT

 

dining1_before

Dining Room – Before

dining1_after

Dining Room – After

living4_before

Living Room – Before
Prior to our staging consult, Neil has begun his updates. The living room is holding garage storage shelving and many other project items. He has also begun to transform the fireplace.

living4_after_listing

Living Room – After

living2_before

Living Room – Before

living2_after

Living Room – After

living3_before

Living Room – Before

living3_after_listing

Living Room – After

living1_beforeLiving Room – Before

living1_after

Living Room – After

kitchen1_before

Kitchen – Before

kitchen1_after_listing

Kitchen – After

kitchen2_before

Kitchen – Before

kitchen2_after

Kitchen – After

family1_before

Family Room – Before

family1_after

Family Room – After

family2_before

Family Room – Before

family2_after

Family Room – After

family3_beforeFamily Room – Before

family3_after_listing

Family Room – After

lower_bath1_beforePowder Room – Before

lower_bath1_after

Powder Room – After

office1_before

Office – Before

office1_after

Office – After

hall1_before

Hall – Before

hall1_after

Hall – After

boy_bedroom1_beforeBoy Bedroom – Before

boy_bedroom1_after

Boy Bedroom – After

guest_bedroom1_before
Guest Bedroom – Before

guest_bedroom1_after_listingGuest Bedroom – After

small_bedroom1_before

Small Bedroom – Before

small_bedroom1_after

Small Bedroom – After

basement1_before

Basement Family Room – Before

basement1_after

Basement Family Room – After

basement_office1_before

Basement Office – Before

basement_office1_after

Basement Office – After

music_room1_before

Basement Music Room – Before

music_room1_after_listing

Basement Music Room – After

 


Like this post? Share it! 

Never miss a post. Join our mailing list and receive free monthly updates.

Share

Bedford Home Staging: Good, Better, Best

A Bedford home is good when they buy it, better when they decorate, and at its best when made ready for sale.

exterior5_after_mlsThis young couple loves their home, and it shows. It’s still a work in progress when a job opportunity forces a move.

Knowing they wish to sell quickly and for as much as possible, their agent, Candice Stafford of Coldwell Banker in Bedford, refers them to AtWell Staged Home to help finish the decorating they began and stage their home to sell.

The initial consultation takes just a few hours. The goal is to create an even flow and a cohesive feel throughout by mixing existing items along with a smattering of rental furniture and art, as required.

There’s just one snag along the way. The day after the consultation I wake with a 101-degree fever. Despite that, I’m extremely clearheaded and able to pick all rental items online from my sickbed.

On our staging day I’m delighted to hear the agent say that the house looks “natural.” In other words, it doesn’t look staged. The best compliment I can receive. I’m thrilled that she notices because we want buyers to see this home at its best, not wonder who staged it.

In just 10 days this 3,400-square-foot Colonial home in Bedford, NY, is ready for sale. The home goes on the market in the dead of winter and is in contract in less than 25 days. Looking and showing its best, this home sells for $1.25M (92% of asking).

living4_beforeFormal Living Room – Before
The formal living room contains only a sofa and candelabra when we begin. This picture is taken at the end of the initial consultation, as we begin to bring in pieces from other rooms, such as a club chair from the family room, two dining chairs and a small round table for the bay window, and a silk flower arrangement on the mantle. This gives us a good idea of the type and size of pieces we need to rent in order to finish the space.

living4_after_mlsFormal Living Room – After
Two accent chairs and a mirror are rented. Pillows, a throw, and other accessories are found in the home. Home owners purchase a fern and orchid to finish the space.

blue_bedroom1_before Blue Bedroom – Before

blue_bedroom1_after_mlsBlue Bedroom – After
Art and twin bed with frame are rented. Queen bed is moved to vacant pink bedroom while bedding is used in the guest bedroom. Home owners purchase new budget-friendly bedding from Target to finish the blue theme. All other furniture and accessories are found in the home.

blue_bedroom2_before

Blue Bedroom – Before

blue_bedroom2_afterBlue Bedroom – After

dining1_before

Dining Room – Before

dining1_after

Dining Room – After
Bold rental art is added to finish this space.

bonus5_before

Bonus Room – Before

bonus5_after_mls

Bonus Room – After

bonus1_before

Bonus Room – Before

bonus1_after

Bonus Room – After

bonus3_before

Bonus Room – Before

bonus3_after_mls

Bonus Room – After
At the end of the initial consultation we realize that all we need to finish this bonus basement area is a sectional sofa and three art pieces. Game table, metal chairs, lighting, and accessories are all found in the home. We create three areas, one for games, another for toy storage/play, and an area to watch TV.

family1_before

Family Room – Before

family1_after_mls

Family Room – After

family2_before

Family Room – Before

family2_after_mls

Family Room – After

pink_bedroom1_before

Pink Bedroom – Before

pink_bedroom1_after_mls

Pink Bedroom – After
Queen bed from blue bedroom is moved here while bedding from guest bedroom is also moved here. Only items rented are the art and nightstand.

guest_bedroom1_before

Guest Bedroom – Before

guest_bedroom1_after_mls

Guest Bedroom – After
No cost staging uses bedding from the blue bedroom, chair from the kitchen, and pillows found in the entry.

And here are a few listing pictures…

living6_after_mls

Living Room – After
Prior to staging this bay window area is empty. Two dining chairs and clients’ small round table are added during the initial consultation. Just an orchid is purchased.

entry1_after_mls

Entry – After

kitchen3_after_mls

Kitchen – After 

 


Like this post? Share it! 

Never miss a post. Join our mailing list and receive free monthly updates.

Share

Bathed in Black: Bathroom Home Staging

A bold bathroom home staging design choice leads this home to a quick sale.

living3_after

Living Room – After Staging

I just love Donna Lee’s style. It’s funky and eclectic while still being inviting, comfortable, and fun.

After a very successful vacant staging in Valeria, Bruce Dollar, Associate Broker at North Country Sotheby’s International Realty in Croton-on-Hudson, wants to test the staging waters on an occupied home.

He refers Donna Lee to the services of AtWell Staged Home. The 3-hour working consultation covers every aspect of the home, inside and out. Donna Lee is open to all suggestions as we stage on the go.

The most unconventional decision we make is to paint the wainscoting and trim in her master bath black. The inspiration comes from the bath’s black tile floor and tub surround. The idea is to calm down this visually busy space. Adding a bit of drama is a secondary benefit.

After the home is show-ready, Donna Lee confesses that this is her favorite change, although Bruce is not quite on the same page when I first suggest it at the consult.

At first I too think traditional (i.e., “safe”), but my gut is saying Paint it black. Definitely not safe, or expected, especially for staging. Donna Lee loves the idea and we both agree that it’s just paint. If we hate it, we can always go with a different color. Needless to say, we go for it and it’s a success!

The answer to fixing this boring and busy bath is just outside our comfort zone. And isn’t that true for what’s needed to solve so many of life’s challenges?

A few weeks after Donna Lee’s home lists, I check in with Bruce to see how things are going. He writes back, “Can’t believe I didn’t share with you that we got buyers at the public open house that Sunday and went into contract that week. Appraisal’s been done; we close in just a few weeks.”

This 3-bed, 2.5-bath, 2,159-square-foot Croton-onHudson home built in 1953 spends just 3 days on the market. Here’s what Donna Lee shares about the experience:

Hi Susan,

Thank you for EVERYTHING! We had an excellent turnout for the agent tour and public open house. Not only did we have very positive feedback, but I’m excited to say that we also received – and accepted – an offer.

The entire house looks great, but the bathroom is especially transformed. The black wainscoting looks amazing! What a major improvement. I wish I had known you 6 years ago. I could have spent more time enjoying these changes. Hope others are inspired to bravely follow your suggestions too.

All the best,
Donna Lee U., Croton-on-Hudson, NY

master_bath1_before

Master Bath – Before

master_bath1_afterMaster Bath – After

master_bath2_beforeMaster Bath – Before

master_bath2_afterMaster Bath – After

More Listing Pictures…

master_bath3_afterMaster Bath – After

entry1_afterEntry – After

basement1_afterBasement – After

bath1_afterBath – After

kitchen3_afterKitchen – After

bedroom1_afterBedroom – After

 


Like this post? Share it! 

Never miss a post. Join our mailing list and receive free monthly updates.

Share

Somers Home Staging Expert: Sports Can Help Outline Home Selling Goals

Written by Tom Renner for the Somers Daily Voice

Susan Atwell Somers Home Staging Expert

Susan Atwell, a home staging expert from Somers, says homeowners considering selling their property can learn tips from athletics in determining their home selling goals.

Somers home staging expert Susan Atwell says that while selling a home can be a competition, it does not have to be as challenging as the Olympic Games.

Atwell, president of AtWell Staged Home, detailed five steps sellers can use from athletics that can help them move the process along more quickly.

Before taking those steps, however, it’s important to determine goals. Is it to sell quickly or for the highest price possible? Is it to downsize to an easier condominium lifestyle, never having to mow the lawn or shovel snow again? Is your desire to help a loved one move to assisted living? Or, will a move give your children a better life, realized through quality schools and a safer neighborhood?

The next piece of the selling puzzle is to identify what steps you’re willing to take to achieve your goals. Here are some to ponder:

Hire A Coach: When you’re selling your home, it’s a good idea to engage the services of a professional coach, also known as a home stager. Seek help from a professional who sees your home’s potential and will help you achieve a perfect score from critical home buyers. A good coach will assess your home to help create a focused and realistic plan based on your budget and abilities. For some do-it-yourselfers, all they’ll need is a 2-to-4 hour consultation. Some will require a little more assistance, and some others will want it all done for them.

Set Realistic Goals: Once you know what needs to be done to properly prepare your home for sale, you’ll want to see how you can achieve these goals within your timeline and budget. A home stager will help you prioritize tasks and invest wisely in fix-ups and improvements.

Commit to Achieving Your Goals: This step seems simple — and it doesn’t take much time, sweat or money — but don’t be fooled. In sports, as in anything in life, commitment — or mental discipline — is often the most challenging aspect and what creates winners.

Get Psyched: All athletes know that attitude is everything. As Gabby Douglas said after winning the all-around gold in gymnastics, “Hard days are where champions are made.” Selling your home is not going to be easy, but what worthwhile venture is?

Execute: This sounds like the hardest step, but with the plan you’ve created with your home stager, this should be the easiest — and working from a good plan will save time and money. Do as much as you can, focusing on the most important changes first.

Even with specific goals and a specific plan, home selling can be a stressful process. Like training for the Olympics, however, a detailed plan and adherence to it can help move the project along much more smoothly.

Click here to view original article.

 


Like this post? Share it! 

Never miss a post. Join our mailing list and receive free monthly updates.

Share

Entertaining Spaces: Basement Rental Renovation

Home staging, move-in decorating, basement decorating, for this client—we’ve done it all.

After successfully staging her 4,000-square-foot Katonah, NY, home, this seller decides to rent instead of buy. But to make this rental feel like home, she calls on her home stager, Susan Atwell of AtWell Staged Home to help get it done quickly, on budget, and the way she likes it.

When Lin Crispinelli of Houlihan Lawrence in Somers, NY, brings me in for an agent-paid, 2-hour home staging consultation for her client, Nancy, I couldn’t have imagined that almost two years later, Nancy and I would still be working together. I am flattered when Lin calls again to inform me that Nancy would like my opinion on the rental units she is reviewing.

Nancy is very interested in a Brewster, NY, unit, just a mile north of the Westchester line. My only concern is the narrow doorway, which may not allow us to accommodate her collection of antique and high-end furniture. Even so, Nancy ultimately decides on this Brewster home, and we begin our work.

First, we measure and review the new Brewster rental. Next, I meet with Nancy at her Katonah home to identify which pieces she will keep and which she will sell or give away.

After making a plan for the placement of the large furniture pieces in the new home, I arrive on moving day to make sure we like the end result. If not, the movers are still available for last-minute tweaks.

It goes even better than expected, with all furniture fitting in its preferred position. Now I leave Nancy with the “fun” task of unpacking and getting organized in her new space.

When things settle a bit, Nancy calls me in again to pick out window treatments and to help her determine the placement of her extensive collection of art to be placed in all the rooms of this 3,000-square-foot rental.

The very last project is to turn the basement into an entertainment room and mini-theater. Nancy loves to entertain her nephews, family, and friends. She wants this to be a great space to watch a movie but also a cozy place to chat or read a book.

Going back to our original challenge, the only door to the basement is extremely narrow. We shop for furniture that will fit and is also budget-friendly. We find a sofa and chair with removable arms and feet. All we need is to take off the door to the basement and it will fit!

Additionally, we bring to this basement remodel a three-part wall unit to hold books, accessories, and serve as a small bar. We pair two pieces together while a third stands alone.

For this remodel we purchase just two chairs, an ottoman, and a sofa. All other furniture pieces, art, and accessories are from Nancy’s own collection.

Mixing Nancy’s existing collection with a few new pieces turns this formerly vacant basement into a warm and cozy room with plenty of entertaining spaces for friends and family.

Here’s what Nancy has to say about working with Susan:

Hi Susan,

We so appreciate all that you have done to assist us in the sale of our old house in Katonah and in making our new abode so beautiful and warm.

We love working with you and always have lots of laughs while benefiting from your expert advice. The results of the basement entertainment area are incredible and speak so well of your talents.

You are a consummate professional with an exquisite eye for detail (an absolute maverick at your trade). Also, you never lose sight of your customers’ budgetary needs.

In summary, you are a delight to work with and we wish you continued success!

 – Nancy P., Brewster, NY

 

basement8_before

Before

basement8_after

After

basement7_before

Before

basement7_after

After

basement6_before

Before

basement6_after

After

basement5_before

Before

basement5_after

After

basement4_before

Before

basement4_after

After

basement3_before

Before

basement3_after

After

basement2_before

Before

basement2_after

After

basement1_before

Before

basement1_after

After

 


Like this post? Share it! 

Never miss a post. Join our mailing list and receive free monthly updates.

Share

Westchester Putnam Real Estate Report: 2015 Second-Quarter

Get “The Skinny” on the Westchester Putnam real estate market in this 2-minute video:

Below is an excerpt from the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors’ (HGAR) 2015 second-quarter report for Westchester Putnam real estate.

Real estate sales surged in the second quarter of 2015, eclipsing last year’s second quarter sales by 14.8%. Realtors participating in the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, Inc., a subsidiary of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc., reported a grand total of 3,669 closed residential transactions in the MLS’s four-county service territory, 474 more than last year. The transactions included single-family houses, condominiums, cooperatives, and 2-4 unit multi-family houses, and generally reflected listing and marketing activity that took place during the opening months of the year.

The strong second quarter performance built on the first quarter’s results, which itself had posted a gain of 12.1% over 2014’s level. On a year-to-date basis there were 6,460 sales constituting an increase of 12.4% over last year’s half-year results…

The main engine for sales volume in the Hudson Gateway region is Westchester County. During the second quarter the county accounted for 2,183 sales or about 60% of the region’s total. All four property types tracked by the MLS showed healthy sales increases ranging from 8.4% for single family houses to 59% for multi-family properties. The median sale price of a single family house was $660,500, just 1.4% more than last year. The mean1 sale price of a house was $866,707, also barely increased from last year. The two measures together strongly suggest that the Westchester market was in balance as to a smooth distribution across the pricing spectrum. Read the complete report here.

To compare this report with earlier reports, visit HGAR.com.

 


Like this post? Share it! 

Never miss a post. Join our mailing list and receive free monthly updates.

Share