The Front Porch Is in Demand

The front porch—a classic feature of American homes—is making a comeback but with a twist.

Younger crowds are literally turning porches into stages. “Porchfest” is growing in popularity across the country, in which neighborhood music festivals pop up that are enjoyed from homeowners’ front porches.

The Atlantic Monthly’s CityLab reports: “In the Instagram age, the front steps have become places to see and be seen, throw a rocking concert or party, and to foster metropolitan community in a walk-by, stop-in-for-wine sense.”

Read more on REALTORmag…

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6 Easy Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

The exterior of the home counts big for creating first impressions. Here are a few things you can do to enhance the curb appeal to your listing:

1. Paint colorful flowers.

Adding colorful flowers, like yellows or pinks, to your landscaping can be the pop of color needed to attract buyers. Visit the local nursery or garden center to learn which varieties are the most hardy for where you live.

2. Freshen up the mailbox.

The mailbox counts too in adding curb appeal. Consider a new mailbox, or try to save the old one with a fresh coat of paint. Add new numbers to the box to spruce it up too.

3. Pressure wash.

Driveways can develop oil stains and a deck can show some wear and tear. To remove pesky stains, power wash the deck and driveway to get them clean.

4. Add lighting to walkways.

Beckon buyers to the front door by adding lighting to the path to the door. This will also create a clean border along your walkway. Select solar-powered LED outdoor lights, which don’t require any wiring, to brighten up the exterior pathways.

5. Revisit the front door.

Invest in a new door if the current one is looking too old and dingy. A fresh coat of paint may help improve an existing one, if a new door isn’t in the budget. Consider a new color, like red. Also, replace the hardware, like the doorbell and locks, to give the front door a fresh new look.

6. Repaint the shutters.

Painting the entire house may not be in the budget, but sellers can still make a big impact to the exterior by painting just the shutters. They might even want to consider changing up the color to boost their curb appeal.

Source: “Foolproof Upgrades That Will Instantly Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal,” Cheetsheet.com

Moving with pets? How to ease their anxiety on moving day

Moving comes with many emotions for both you and your pets – from the excitement of a new city, new house, or both, to sadness for leaving a place you’ve called home. Moving is emotional for many reasons, and your pets pick up on how you feel. Here are some tips to keep your pets comfortable and confident during the moving process, and ultimately make it easier for you, your pets and your family.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

It’s important to take care of yourself during your move. Pets pick up on their family’s energy and can sense if you’re upset, frustrated or anxious. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, make sure to take a breath and relax, because your pets will do the same!

Safety First!

The worst thing that can happen during a move is realizing that your pet has slipped out unnoticed in all the commotion. With you and helpers coming in and out of the house, and all of the noise associated with moving, pets can easily become distressed.

To allow yourself to concentrate on moving and to keep your pet safe and secure, perhaps the best option is to have a family member or friend take your pet to their house during move-out day. If there isn’t someone close by that can pet sit for the day, consider doggie daycares and boarding facilities.

If neither of those options will work for you, consider giving your pets their own space in the house, and closing the door with a “Do Not Enter” sign, especially if you have movers helping you. If you can’t designate a room, consider a crate to keep your pets safely out of the way and unable to escape when you aren’t looking.

A Busy Pet is a Happy Pet

Do your best to keep your pets busy and help them forget all of the hubbub going on around them. Consider turning on a TV or radio, giving them toys to play with, or propping them up near windows to look outside.

Keep Up Their Routine

Pets thrive when routines are maintained, so it’s important to keep feeding and walking times the same during your move. This gives some normalcy to an otherwise anything-but-normal situation. Signaling to your pets that what they have come to count on won’t change is a great way to keep them feeling confident and comfortable.

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July’s Hottest Housing Markets

Homes are selling faster in July, and many markets are hotter today than they were a year ago, realtor.com® notes in its newly released housing report. California markets continue to see some of the most traction from home shoppers.

“We normally see the housing market begin to slow down in midsummer, but this year has been a different story,” says Javier Vivas, realtor.com®’s manager of economic research. “Mid- to lower-tier homes are flying off the shelves and … [are] being replaced by higher-priced, larger homes.”

The national median list price in July was $275,000, realtor.com® reports. Further, the National Association of REALTORS® reported this week that 54 percent of existing homes were on the market for less than a month in June.

Want to Get the Most Money for Your Home? Don’t Do These 9 Things

Owning a home and making mortgage payments is like putting money in the bank. Barring a market reversal, that nest egg of equity in your home will grow and grow. And for most homeowners, their house is their largest asset—which means there’s a lot of money at stake when it comes time to sell.

Want to get as much money back as possible from this big-ticket investment? Of course you do! So avoid doing these nine things when you put your home on the market.

The Best Paint Color to Sell a Home

Lure potential buyers with a simple and clean palette. Shades of white and off-white are the top colors for a quick home sale, Jody Finglas of Finglas Painting in Ossining, N.Y., told USA Today.

“White is the foundation that anchors the home,” adds Friley Saucier, a broker-associate with Sotheby’s International Realty in Naples, Fla. “This is absolutely what is most requested when I’m working with home buyers.”

Finglas says less is more. “We’re seeing a lot of requests for lighter, brighter colors,” he notes.

When working with a white backdrop, the trick is to add in color through the furnishings and accessories, Finglas says. He says selecting the right shade of white paint isn’t easy. “A white kitchen can mean 40 different colors,” Finglas says.

Homeowners should still bring home paint swatches, says Dwayne Bergmann of Dwayne Bergmann Interiors in Fort Myers, Fla.

“Whites can have a more blueish hue or more of a brown or even pinkish hue depending on the exact lighting,” Bergmann says. “Even a pure white is going to look different.”

Source: REALTOR® Magazine Online and USA Today