Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 3/18/2019

Everyone likes to keep their home smelling fresh. At the very least, it assures us that when our guests come they have a pleasant aroma that welcomes them into the home. However, fragrances can be beneficial in other ways.

Some are calming, while others stimulating and invigorating. They can help you set the tone you’re aiming for, whether it’s a relaxing bath or sitting down to get some work done in your office.

At one time, you didn’t have many options when it came to giving your home a pleasant fragrance. You could burn candles, which can be dangerous if you have children or pets running around. Or you could use a plug-in air freshener, which are expensive and smell artificial.

Recently, however, a third option has been gaining popularity--essential oil diffusers.

Essential oils have a number of uses. They’re in the cologne and perfume we spray on our bodies, they’re in the room spray we use to freshen up our homes, and they’re an ingredient in a number of other cosmetic and therapeutic products.

Many are said to have medicinal value, such as a decongestant or a sleep aid. Others are used simply because they smell great.

In this article, we’re going to talk you through using an essential oil diffuser in your home and what oils you might want to start with.

Methods of oil diffusion

There are a number of ways you can spread the aroma of essential oils in your home. One of the quickest and easiest ways is to put a drop or two of essential oils on a tissue and simply wave it around in the room.

For a more far-reaching effect, you’ll need to find a longer lasting way of diffusing the oils. Many people choose steam. You can either purchase a steam oil diffuser or just put a few drops into boiling water.

Another option is to use a heat source. You can buy tea light to heat the oils or, if you want to avoid open flames, buy an electric heat diffuser.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and if you’re new to essential oils, it might be a good idea to start small by simply buying a starter pack of oils, smelling them to see which you like, and putting a couple drops in a boiling pot of water or dabbing them on a tissue.

A note of caution: essential oils are strong. Getting them on your hands or clothing, especially if undiluted, can mean your hands or clothes smelling like that oil for several days. You should also avoid putting them near your eyes or mouth as many essential oils can be dangerous.

Which oils to use

Oils have a range of scents--floral, citrus, earthy, spicy, minty, and so on. Knowing which oil you want for a given scenario is a matter of preference and trial and error. However, there are several blends or “recipes” that people prefer.

Common pairings include:

  • Orange and peppermint

  • Lavender and lemon

  • Bergamot and patchouli

  • Basil and sage

  • Cypress and cedarwood

  • Lemongrass and eucalyptus




Tags: home   essential oils   fragrance   diffuse  
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Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 3/11/2019

If you want to accomplish your desired results during the home selling journey, you should strive to host lots of showings. Fortunately, we're here to help you prepare for home showings and ensure you are ready to host showings at any time.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a home showing.

1. Keep Your Home Neat and Tidy

Let's face it – maintaining a pristine home can be difficult. But if you allocate time and energy to perform various home maintenance tasks daily, you can keep your home show-ready.

Cleaning up after yourself can make a world of difference. For instance, wiping down kitchen countertops after cooking a meal enables you to avoid a long, arduous kitchen clean-up at a later time.

You also may want to create a home cleaning schedule. By planning daily or weekly chores like vacuuming the rugs or cleaning the bathroom, you can ensure your house will look great at all times.

2. Be Flexible

If a homebuyer submits a last-minute request for a home showing, it generally is a good idea to try to accommodate the buyer's request. By doing so, you can show your home to many prospective buyers and increase the likelihood of receiving an offer to purchase.

A flexible home seller usually is a successful home seller. Therefore, if a buyer wants to view your home, it is important to remember that each showing brings you one step closer to selling your residence.

Ultimately, if you maintain flexibility, you can make it easy for dozens of potential buyers to view your residence. And as a result, you may be able to accelerate the home selling process.

3. Eliminate Clutter

Clutter is something that all home sellers can live without. Because if a home is filled with clutter, it may be tough for prospective buyers to appreciate the full size and beauty of a residence.

For home sellers, it is important to remove clutter immediately. A home seller can rent a storage unit to hold excess items until his or her residence sells. Or, it may be beneficial to host a yard sale or list excess items online to cut down on clutter.

As you prepare to sell your home, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. In fact, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you achieve the optimal results during any home showing.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer recommendations and tips to help you prepare your residence for the housing market. If you receive a request to view your home, a real estate agent will notify you accordingly. And after a home showing is complete, a real estate agent will provide you with unbiased feedback to ensure you can update your property selling strategy as needed.

Ready to host a home showing? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can get ready to showcase your residence to potential buyers and bolster your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.




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Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 3/4/2019

When you own a condominium, even if you’re entrance is street level, you're not really in charge of the common area or the building's exterior. All the entries look alike, and some even enter from hallways. So, how do you differentiate your home from the four or five others that are for sale in your complex?

Try these simple steps to give your place the edge:

  • Mind the door. While you may not be able to paint your condominium door a bright, trendy color, you can take a few moments to make sure it is clean and free from scuffs and finger marks. Use a whisk broom to brush off all dust, debris, and detritus that collects in the grooves and trim. If the door is wood, use a mild solution of a wood-safe soap to wash down the door, inside and out. Then, shine the door up with furniture polish so that it glows. If the door is metal or painted, use a gentle mixture of dish soap and water to remove grease and grime.
  • Make it shine. Clean any glass in the door or sidelights with a vinegar and water solution or an appropriate glass cleaner. Use a metal cleaner on the door handle, deadbolts, and any metal trim, including the trim around the peephole, and shine up the fisheye lens too.
  • Don’t forget the threshold. With a clean door, you’re already ahead of the game, but take a moment to sweep off the threshold (the wood or metal strip below the door), and all around the edges of the stoop or entry. Even when your doorway is in an interior hallway, the regular building cleaners may not get that extra dust and leftover dirt in the corners. Use your vacuum cleaner to suck away the last crumbs.
  • Be welcoming. Set a fresh new welcome mat in front of your door and add a flower pot of bright blooms if you’re allowed. For interior doors, a tasteful wreath or swag on the door highlights your entry. Be careful to avoid going “over-the-top” though. Simple and elegant is best.
  • Clear the entry. Your real control of the "appeal" starts once the door opens. Keep the entryway as open and uncluttered as possible. Move furniture away from the entry area to give it a more expansive feel. Keep décor simple, warm, and inviting. Avoid anything the potential buyer might bump into upon entering as that tends to leave the impression of small and crowded. 
  • Lighten things up. Put the best possible light on the subject. Take time to upgrade the bulbs in your entry lights (inside and out) to “daylight” LEDs for a friendly, well-lit glow.

A warm, inviting entrance sets the tone for the rest of the home, so give yours the edge it deserves.




Tags: condo   curb appeal   tips  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 2/25/2019

One of the final hurdles to buying a house is making sure your future home is structurally sound. To the untrained eye, the property you've made an offer on may appear to be "close enough to perfect."

However, your excitement over that gourmet kitchen, finished basement, and manicured lawn may be causing you to view your future home with rose-colored glasses!

Fortunately, you can (and should) hire an experienced, licensed professional to thoroughly inspect the property and point out flaws and potential problems that might need to be addressed by the seller -- either in the form of price concessions or repairs. If the seller is unwilling to be flexible in those areas, then you may have the option of withdrawing your offer. Hopefully, it won't come down to that -- especially if you love the house -- but that situation could arise and derail your plans for buying a particular property.

Many real estate purchases do involve a few bumps and detours along the way, but they frequently can be resolved by your real estate agent and/or attorney.

The starting point for identifying structural issues with a house is to have the property inspected by a reputable home inspector. Here are a few of the key areas they'll evaluate and include in their report:

  • Foundation and basement: Cracks, leaks, and signs of instability can often be identified through a visual inspection of the underlying structure of a home. Some issues are relatively minor, while others can be quite costly.
  • Roof and attic: Although most new roofs typically last for 20 to 30 years, time has a way of slipping by when you least expect it! Depending on weather conditions, climate, and falling tree branches, roofs of any age can be subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Since roofs play such a vital role in protecting your home and family from the many forces of nature, it's crucial that your roof be intact, in sound condition, and fully functional. An inspection of the home's attic and/or crawlspace will also reveal actual or potential problems with leaks, mold, roof damage, or infestations.
  • HVAC, electrical, and plumbing: There are a lot of systems that provide homeowners with comfort, convenience, and the ability to meet day-to-day needs. Whether you're talking about major kitchen appliances, hot water heaters, or climate control systems, there are dozens of things an inspector needs to check and keep you apprised of.
  • Exterior checkpoints: Property inspectors will also assess the condition of the outside of the house, as well as drainage efficiency and any visible structural damage or signs of deterioration.
Although all property inspectors should adhere to industry standards and best practices, some are more thorough and efficient than others. It's essential for you to understand the scope of their services, including whether they offer lead paint testing, termite inspection, radon detection, and asbestos testing.

When it comes to home inspections, your real estate agent can not only provide you with professional referrals, but they can also accompany you on the actual property inspection. That will help make sure important questions, issues, and recommendations don't slip through the cracks!





Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 2/18/2019

If you want to buy a house, it pays to enter the real estate market with a checklist in hand. That way, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three things to include in your homebuying checklist.

1. Your Budget

Your budget will dictate whether you're able to afford a condo, luxury home or something in-between. As such, you'll want to assess your finances closely as you determine exactly what type of house that you can afford.

Oftentimes, it helps to get a copy of your credit report. You are eligible to receive one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). If you know your credit score, you can determine whether now is a good time to enter the real estate market, or whether you should improve your credit score first.

You may want to consult with several banks and credit unions too. These financial institutions can teach you about various mortgage options and help get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, once you have a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a house and tailor your home search accordingly.

2. Where You Want to Live

Living in the suburbs is very different from residing in the city. Therefore, you'll want to consider where you want to live so that you can search for a home in specific areas.

For example, if you prefer the peace and quiet of a small town, you may want to consider houses in small towns in the state of your choice. These towns may feature dozens of available homes. Plus, in many instances, small town houses are priced lower than big city residences.

Or, if you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big city, you can search for residences in any city, at any time. These houses likely will ensure that you'll have quick, easy access to a variety of big city attractions and landmarks.

3. Real Estate Agent

There is no telling whether you're about to enter a seller's or buyer's market, as the housing sector often fluctuates. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can increase the likelihood of a quick, successful homebuying experience, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

A real estate agent is committed to your homebuying success and will do what it takes to help you find the right home, at the right price. He or she will learn about your homebuying goals and offer expert insights into the real estate market. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is available to address them.

For those who want to streamline the homebuying process, it helps to hire a real estate agent. And if you hire a real estate agent today, you can get the assistance that you need to make your homeownership dream come true.

Get started on your homebuying checklist, and you can simplify the process of acquiring your ideal residence.




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