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SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!

SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero! It’s not a coincidence that the same word is used in both dramatic undertakings and SW Florida residential real estate preparation. Both describe SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!preparations that seek to establish a feeling within the beholder. Of course, staging for SW Florida home showings differs fundamentally from its theatrical homonym. With our kind of staging, the presentation is real—not make-believe.

That’s not to say we can’t borrow an idea or two from the theater. Some stage directors begin first rehearsals by encouraging the actors to overdo their readings; to “make it big—really big!” The idea is that later on, after they’ve rehearsed the same scene dozens of times, it will be harder to think creatively about interpreting their characters. There will be plenty of time to tone down wildly overdone acting, but after many days of rehearsing, over familiarity with the play will make it harder to come up with creative ideas to improve performances.

There can be some value in applying the same kind of thinking when you approach the staging of your SW Florida home—at least in the sense of thinking outside the box. One way SW Florida’s staging professionals have the advantage over homeowners who do it themselves is that they arrive on the scene without preconceptions. They get to see a home with fresh eyes. That’s pretty much impossible for someone who has lived in the place for years. The pros have also SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!developed a good deal of expertise in imagining basics, like how the placement of furniture can improve the “flow” of a home: how visitors naturally move from room to room.

When actors perform that first rehearsal, making their reading “bigger” than it will wind up being on opening night, there is an apt analogy for staging a home.

It’s about the all-important staging rudiment: the de-cluttering.

Essentially, the ideal would be to clear everything out.

SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!Of course, unless it’s a pack-up-and-move situation, that’s usually not practical. But what can be accomplished is to progress through the house, room by room, slightly overdoing the de-cluttering. Walking through a living room that you’ve made comfortable through the years, it is really hard to think of doing much other than clearing surfaces or rearranging an item or two. But when you evacuate almost everything from a space (which is possible if you’re only moving it into an adjoining room), it’s suddenly easy to see what really needs to be moved back. And new ideas pop up for where lamps, tables, chairs might be more appealingly placed…and most important, which things aren’t really necessary at all!

SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero! Come opening night (that is, the first showing or the first open house), the results from a serious home staging effort can often earn the kind of critical results that translate into a “sold” sign in the front yard.

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Remodeling Demonstrates SW Florida Homeowner Confidence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!

Remodeling Demonstrates SW Florida Homeowner Confidence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero! Sometimes the experts who project trends in residential housing and real estate find that they have to correct their predictions. Once the final Remodeling Demonstrates SW Florida Homeowner Confidence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!statistics are in, if they consistently reveal errors as wide of the mark as 50%, it’s just embarrassing. Such was recently the case with Harvard’s LIRA remodeling project—and for those of us who represent buyers and sellers in the SW Florida home market, the resulting revisions were meaningful.

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies’ statistical barometer for home improvement activity is known as “LIRA”—its Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity. And as their research analyst Abbe Will wrote recently, it had become evident that “the quality and reliability of the LIRA’s benchmark data series declined markedly.”

When your benchmarks are no longer meaningful, there is only one thing to do: it’s called “re-benchmarking.” In this case, it caused JCHS to overhaul the very activities that it was attempting to measure. Instead of just projecting home improvement spending alone, the new “re-benchmarked” LIRA is broader. It adds maintenance and repair spending to remodeling activity.

What do the new findings augur for SW Florida’s home market prospects? First good news: it looks as if the new projections should be much more reliable. And the graphs reveal a strong surge in national remodeling spending—not Remodeling Demonstrates SW Florida Homeowner Confidence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!only for the remainder of this year, but for well into 2017. When remodeling spending is strong, real estate values (and prices) rise, too. For SW Florida homeowners, the addition of the right kind of improvements is one way to bump up the value prospective buyers see a property.

One feature that SW Florida’s luxury homes share is a well-planned, open kitchen. Where that is precluded by structural elements, one work-around is the addition of new appliances with a contemporary look. Stainless steel ovens and refrigerators have a way of creating a “luxury home feeling”—even when the spaces they occupy are relatively modest.

Remodeling Demonstrates SW Florida Homeowner Confidence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!Another feature that signals opulence is at least one luxury bathroom. Spa-style baths can go far in that direction—and the resulting photography can add major eye-appeal to a listing. More modest improvements like changing out faucets for brushed nickel or other metal finishes (not gold, please!) can make outsized differences. Add fluffy new towels, and perhaps a scented candle—and the formerly so-so bathroom can become a mind-changer.

Remodeling Demonstrates SW Florida Homeowner Confidence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero! With LIRA’s home improvement activity projected to strengthen more than 8% this year—and promising further acceleration into next (to nearly $325 billion!)—it demonstrates the faith that consumers across the nation have in the growing value of their home investments. If you are evaluating the merits of various possible improvements for your home, I hope you won’t hesitate to give me a call. I’ll be glad to offer some incisive feedback on the preferences we have discovered with today’s SW Florida buyers!      

5 Major Photo Mistakes You Shouldn’t See in SW Florida Listings, Naples, Marco Island

5 Major Photo Mistakes You Shouldn’t See in SW Florida Listings, Naples, Marco Island. One good way my clients get a head start from the word “go!” is the amount of attention there SW Florida listing receives. Since that listing is by far the most prominent display piece their property will be presenting to the world of potential buyers, it has to be first-rate. The 	Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Captiva Island, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Golden Gate, Golden Gate Estates, Isles Of Capri, Lehigh Acres, MARCO ISLAND, NAPLES, Sanibel Islanddetails must be presented in clear and unambiguous language, laid out with the information buyers consider important right at the top. Most important of all is how the data is illustrated. If there is ever a place where top-notch photography will pay off, this is it!

That’s why it’s astonishing when you come across SW Florida listings where the shots appear to have been taken with casual abandon. You seldom see those when a property is represented by a licensed agent—or if you do, it’s probably the result of a client’s sudden need to sell quickly—in which case the offending specimens are usually swiftly replaced by professional substitutes.

What are the most common amateur photography slip-ups that can’t help but harm a property’s impact? Here are five that seem to lead the pack:

1.        Flash. Even most smartphone cameras have flash capability for dark scenes. The problems with that kind of flash is that, since the light provided is right next to the lens, everything that’s illuminated looks flat—it erases the depth that	Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Captiva Island, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Golden Gate, Golden Gate Estates, Isles Of Capri, Lehigh Acres, MARCO ISLAND, NAPLES, Sanibel Island shadows provide. Also, things that are closest to the camera are bright, those distant are darker—making for all the appeal of a crime scene photo. As if that weren’t enough, reflective objects like mirrors and glass reflect the glare of the flash. Professionals use multiple “slaved” flashes deflected off walls and ceilings—an entirely different matter!

2.        Illumination. Most SW Florida  listings are more inviting when they serve to emphasize a property’s open, spacious qualities. There are exceptions, but most of the time that means bright and light. Rooms look their best when their natural light is only subtly augmented by additional photo lighting. Photo lights introduce unnatural shadows unless they are skillfully placed…but when that’s accomplished, the result is a bright, clean, color-balanced shot.

3.        Selection. When a listing photo portrays an area that isn’t obvious—when a shot doesn’t “explain itself”—the result is confusion for the viewer. More than one or two close-ups of architectural details without a clear indication of where 	Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Captiva Island, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Golden Gate, Golden Gate Estates, Isles Of Capri, Lehigh Acres, MARCO ISLAND, NAPLES, Sanibel Islandthey are found don’t help tell the listing’s “story.”

4.        Focal length. Most “normal” lenses aren’t well suited for listing photography. Wide angle shots are almost always more appropriate. They provide more information by showing a greater area—which also conveys a more spacious feeling.

5.        Clutter. Experienced listing photographers know how the viewer’s eye is attracted to details which are out-of-place. The personal bric-a-brac that’s part of daily living can be a show-stopper in listing photography. Amateurs leave clutter in; professionals seek to remove it before every shot!

5 Major Photo Mistakes You Shouldn’t See in SW Florida Listings, Naples, Marco Island. A superb SW Florida listing is one that features photos that tell a story beautifully and accurately. It’s really the opening act of a presentation which—hopefully—ends with a deed conveyed and front door key presented. I hope you’ll call me when it’s time to get your show on the road!

For SW Florida Homeowners, Open-Plan Kitchens Remain a Plus, Naples, Ft. Myers

For SW Florida Homeowners, Open-Plan Kitchens Remain a Plus, Naples, Ft. Myers. Any idea that’s worth a darn can stand up to scrutiny, so when the real estate industry’s leading periodical, Realtor.com, first posted the “I Hate the Open-Plan Kitchen” article, it wouldn’t have been a dereliction of duty for home design aficionados to go ahead and read it. That’s true even if (like me­­­ and the majority of SW Florida home buyers) you appreciate open-plan kitchens for all the For SW Florida Homeowners, Open-Plan Kitchens Remain a Plus, Naples, Ft. Myersentertaining and family gathering features they foster.

You may not be head-over-heels in love with open-plan kitchens­­­–but hating them? It made the article definitely worth a read…

 The author, Audrey Brashich, explained the origin of her enmity. It all bubbled up as she contemplated the remodel of a hopelessly out-of-style (“think yellow oak cabinets paired with linoleum countertops”) kitchen. Her architect, she writes darkly, “hatched a plan” for an open-plan kitchen that would have involved knocking down a wall or two. She rejected this at once, explaining that she loved “the old-fashioned swinging door” it would have demolished. Worse, it also would have removed “the opportunity to leave the kitchen a mess during dinner parties.”

While any SW Florida party-giver may empathize with that reasoning or with the author’s appeal to history (Julia Child’s “if you drop something, you can always pick it up if you’re alone in the kitchen”); agreeing that you actively hate open-plan kitchens means being willing to ignore the facts of 21st century reality. Even the author has to admit that “open For SW Florida Homeowners, Open-Plan Kitchens Remain a Plus, Naples, Ft. Myerskitchens maximize space and minimize cost” in an era when “house prices are rising as never before.”

Even so, Ms. Brashich remains unconvinced. Her primary reason is that, for her, turning out culinary masterpieces with guests chattering around her in the kitchen is “beyond challenging.” She also admits that she is happier when her whole world doesn’t smell like bacon grease.

Ultimately, it boils down to something that might be called the author’s Fear of Frying. Since she’s writing for Realtor, even after the full rant about open-plan For SW Florida Homeowners, Open-Plan Kitchens Remain a Plus, Naples, Ft. Myerskitchens’ drawbacks, she has to admit to “another bitter pill” for fellow haters: “Open-concept kitchens might boost a home’s resale value.

 In other words,  SW Florida homeowners whose own kitchens are more open-plan than not can breathe a sigh of relief. For this decade at least, their willingness to go ahead and cook in plain sight makes them members of a fearless majority. The fact is underlined by a Newport Beach agent who quotes the question would-be buyers ask most often: “Can we knock [a wall] down to open things up?” And even Ms. Brashich is ultimately forced to grumble, “There’s more daylight in an open kitchen, too.”

For SW Florida Homeowners, Open-Plan Kitchens Remain a Plus, Naples, Ft. Myers. Open or closed, “cozy” or “expansive,” the kitchen is a focal point in any SW Florida home being offered for sale. I’m here to offer an experienced helping hand when you’re ready to explore the many possibilities in today’s market!

Springtime in SW Florida Can Prompt Home Décor Decisions

Springtime in SW Florida Can Prompt Home Décor Decisions. There is something about spring that gets everybody at least thinking about fixing up the house, and it’s that time of year again. Throughout the length and breadth of SW Springtime in SW Florida Can Prompt Home Décor DecisionsFlorida, home décor decisions are being pondered. Ambitious landscaping and fix-up plans are being laid, budgets drawn, and troops assembled (the troops will be armed with paint brushes and rollers, hedge clippers and rakes).

Perhaps it’s the weather; perhaps the angle of the sun—or maybe even last Sunday’s clock-adjusting exercise—for whatever the reason, this time of year is when we look around the house and decide changes will be made!!

It’s also the time of year when occasional disagreements between SW Florida’s husbands and wives have been known to crop up. The Home Improvement section of the realtor® web site just ran a feature titled “When Couples Disagree About Home Décor,” which promised to tell who the winner is in such arguments. It pointed out that women have different priorities than men (women: “leather makes those embarrassing noises each time you sit or stand” vs. men: “but you’re going to freak out each time someone sits on Springtime in SW Florida Can Prompt Home Décor Decisions[the linen cushions] with a drink”). The woman who wrote the article says that she won the argument—but admits that now she freaks out every time someone sits on her sofa with a drink (it’s already freckled with water marks). So maybe the man won in the long run…

If your home décor efforts are getting special attention this season because you plan to add your home to the SW Florida listings, “what’s hot” might suddenly be more of a consideration. But a different home décor impasse can come about when the fashion zeitgeist points in one direction while your personal taste pulls in another. Even worse, you may find that the fashion world is arguing amongst themselves!

Springtime in SW Florida Can Prompt Home Décor DecisionsThe Realty Skinny says, for instance, that gray is about to overtake white in popularity (simultaneously also “pushing out the beige era”). That’s not a problem for The Washington Post, which agrees that “gray makes all your possessions pop out” (except, I have to believe, the gray ones). On the other hand, the Pantone Color Institute, which practically wrote the book on color, couldn’t disagree more. They think that pinkish Rose Quartz (“warm, embracing”) and faintly bluish Serenity (“calm-inducing”) are what’s happening right now. In fact, it/they are its Color[/s] of the Year. That is because “the pairing…brings a feeling of calm and relaxation into the home environment.” That would be welcome—especially when you’re freaked out about the water marks on the sofa.

Springtime in SW Florida Can Prompt Home Décor Decisions. You don’t have to be selling your home for home décor tweaks and garden renewal to occupy your thoughts, but if you do, I hope you will give me a call. My free, no-obligation consultation will let you in on the latest SW Florida market information. I think you’ll agree that knowing exactly what’s happening has a definite serenity-producing effect!

For SW Florida Homeowners, Value of Remodeling Projects Vary. Naples, Ft. Myers.

For SW Florida Homeowners, Value of Remodeling Projects Vary.  SW Florida homeowners don’t have to be planning to sell before they set out on the remodeling track. Growing families can need more room; aging homes can require structural renovation to prevent larger problems from developing. And sometimes a creative brainstorm strikes, For SW Florida Homeowners, Value of Remodeling Projects Vary. Naples, Ft. Myers.resulting in a design enhancement that brings an undeniable improvement to the living space.
There are lots of reasons that remodeling projects beckon, especially when there are glaring faults to be dealt with before a house can be listed for sale. If its ‘as-is’ condition even begins to look like a hazard, it needs to be brought up to snuff before anything else can get going.
But even for those who are remodeling for other than an impending real estate sale, it’s interesting to get a general idea about what value the market places on various improvement projects. If for no other reason than peace of mind, if you are about to spend money on a SW Florida remodeling venture, it’s good to know what the outside world thinks it’s likely to be worth.
Remodeling is a magazine for designers and builders that has also attracted readers from the wider home owning public.For SW Florida Homeowners, Value of Remodeling Projects Vary. Naples, Ft. Myers. Every year it updates a listing of cost versus value for a variety of remodeling projects—35 of them. Even though I’d argue that the national dollar averages cited are not spot-on for local SW Florida costs and values, its findings are useful as a guide to more universal trends.
For instance, if you are thinking about planning a deck addition next spring, you might not want to count on the listed average costs of $10,048 (for wood) or $15,912 (for composite), but the percentage of value added is more useful. In 2015, a wood deck addition is found to return an average 80.5% of its cost upon a property’s sale. A composite deck, on the other hand, adds a significantly lower 68.9%. That lesser value is probably attributable to the 50% more that it costs, For SW Florida Homeowners, Value of Remodeling Projects Vary. Naples, Ft. Myers.which is unlikely to be recouped. Composites offer ease of maintenance, but they’re costly. Nonetheless, your own choice might be swayed by how long you intend to stay in your property (especially if you aren’t really fond of yearly deck staining).
This year, Remodeling’s report included a column that added some more food for thought (or at least a snack). It showed a comparison with the findings from the year before. In other words, by listing the “change vs 2014” column, we can see the direction that recover ability is moving.
For the upscale projects—like adding a bathroom or fully replacing a roof—the For SW Florida Homeowners, Value of Remodeling Projects Vary. Naples, Ft. Myers.costs recouped are even lower than in 2014. Expensive projects never return much more than 75% of their cost, but the direction is to be lower still.
Midrange projects are mixed. Most have lost a bit of their ability to fully recoup their costs, but not all. Entry door replacements of every kind have gained steam…in fact, a steel door promises to return 101.8%. Replacing a garage door is now a better bargain than last year; likewise, vinyl siding replacement. Somewhat confusingly, a minor roof replacement is a better bargain this year than last.
For SW Florida Homeowners, Value of Remodeling Projects Vary.  Selling may not be the reason you are planning to remodel, but if it’s even on the horizon, I may be able to offer some advice that takes the future into consideration. I’m always happy to share a professional opinion on all your real estate questions!

Of Lambs, Pilgrims, and SW Florida’s Thanksgiving Celebration. Naples, Ft. Myers.

Of Lambs, Pilgrims, and SW Florida’s Thanksgiving Celebration. It turns out that there is a connection between SW Florida’s Thanksgiving celebration and a notorious lamb—but it’s historical rather than culinary.
Of Lambs, Pilgrims, and SW Florida’s Thanksgiving Celebration. Naples, Ft. Myers.The early history includes the tale of one uncanny happening that befell the Pilgrims when they went ashore in the spring of 1621. They had reached the New World the previous November because of a delayed departure, and the early onset of a harsher winter than expected had given them no chance to establish their settlement. They spent that long, miserable winter in the cramped confines of the tiny Mayflower. Illness and near-starvation followed…
By the time spring arrived, nearly half of the settlers and crew had perished. It was shortly afterward that a native stepped out of the forest and the uncanny happening ensued. Rather than fleeing, he raised his hand and greeted them.
In English.
He may not have said, “What up, bro?”—but it’s certain that this must have been Of Lambs, Pilgrims, and SW Florida’s Thanksgiving Celebration. Naples, Ft. Myers.low on the list of anything the astonished Pilgrims could have expected. Later, the famous native Squanto showed up to explain in detail. He had been kidnapped by slavers years before, taken to Europe, escaped, and eventually returned, where he had shared his adventures (and the odd language of London).
It turned out to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Squanto instructed the settlers in how to grow corn (which probably saved their lives). At any rate, to the pious Pilgrims, it’s small wonder that by the time of the first Thanksgiving celebration, what had at first seemed “a hideous and desolate wilderness” had been transformed into bounteous proof of “the loving God” they had traveled so far to worship in peace.
Today’s SW Florida family Thanksgiving celebration may now include football (and we now substitute turkey for the Of Lambs, Pilgrims, and SW Florida’s Thanksgiving Celebration. Naples, Ft. Myers.eagle and swan that prevailed back then), but the core of Thanksgiving—gratitude—remains. The connection with the lamb happened centuries later.
A young girl named Mary Sawyer had a pet lamb, and one day her brother urged her to take it to her one-room schoolhouse. A visiting college student was an onlooker, and wrote a few lines of a rhyme memorializing the giggling uproar that resulted. The poem survived, and was appended with another stanza by the poet and editor Sarah Josepha Hale. The schoolhouse was purchased by Henry Ford, who moved it to its current location in Sudbury, Massachusetts. The poem was immortalized by Thomas Edison, who recited it as the first demonstration of his new invention, the phonograph. Of course, it’s ‘Mary had a Little Lamb.’
Of Lambs, Pilgrims, and SW Florida’s Thanksgiving Celebration. The connection with SW Florida’s Thanksgiving is due to Ms. Hale, because it was she who was responsible for the campaign that turned a pious local New England tradition into the national holiday we in SW Florida celebrate every year. She’d had to petition four Presidents before LincolnOf Lambs, Pilgrims, and SW Florida’s Thanksgiving Celebration. Naples, Ft. Myers. finally gave in. Also an accomplished educator (she helped found Vassar College), still remembered for her optimism and faith, added an explanatory final stanza to the poem:
“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
The eager children cry.
“Why Mary loves the lamb, you know.”
The teacher did reply.
You can be sure the Pilgrims would have understood!