4 Ways to Improve a Home’s Lighting

If there is one thing a real estate broker living in San Diego knows, it’s how important it is for a seller’s home to have the proper lighting during a visit or just in general, especially if the seller is looking to sell their home quick for cash. This is because the amount of light in a house can be looked at with positive eyes and make interested homebuyers more apt to putting down an offer. More than that, however, the way a home is lit can actually play with its owners’ minds. The proper amount of lighting can make someone feel motivated and happy, while improper lighting can make one feel lethargic and slightly off. The following are the top 4 ways to improve a home’s lighting.

Put Lights at Different Elevations

Not every home is going to come with an abundance of natural light, which is why it is so important to achieve a bright home on one’s own. In order for a home to be bright and accommodating, homeowners should consider hanging their light fixtures at different elevations. This can help create a layered lighting effect, which can help fight off a home’s darkest corners.

Get LED Light Bulbs

Every room is going to require a different strength of light bulbs, which can be quite difficult to pinpoint. What is easy, however, is choosing which type of lightbulbs are going to be used. Choosing eco-friendly lightbulbs like the LED model is definitely going to be beneficial to the environment and one’s own health, but it is also going to help illuminate a home in a brighter light.

Add More Light Fixtures

If a home is lacking in lighting, it is up to the homeowner to find fun and creative ways to enhance its light traffic. A great way to do this is to add more light fixtures. Commonly, houses are equipped with one or two light fixture connections in every room, which can be too little a number if a home is somber by nature. In order to promote more lighting, one can have more connections installed and then buy more light fixtures. Once there are ample connections, homeowners can go shopping for new light fixtures and purchase some that are going to work together and create idealistic lighting. For a more glorious effect, homeowners have taken to buying transparent-glass fixtures, as these are going to give out the most light.

Have 3 Different Lighting Options in Every Room

In order to improve a home’s lighting while remaining fashionable, it is advised to supply every room with three means of lighting. Having a light fixture, a standing lamp, and a bedside table lamp available for use can seriously change the entire atmosphere of a home. More than that, it creates diversity and room for change, as light combinations can be played around with.

A Buyer’s Guide to Windows

Ideally, a trustworthy real estate broker in San Diego will offer their clients insights on all areas of the real estate market that they’re familiar with. These range from lawn preferences, to chandelier considerations, to choice of windows, and more. For now, let’s focus on the windows. When purchasing a home, it’s important not to be short changed when it comes to window quality. Aside from being important aesthetic features of a home, windows contribute significantly to the interior comfort level of a home. Additionally, they’re central components to a home’s security. Buying a home with the proper windows – or identifying windows that need changing – is an important step to buying a home. Here are a few window-related factors to consider for those looking to buy a new home.

Market Materials

There are three main market materials for windows: PVC, aluminum, and wood.

PVC is the most common window material used today, providing favorable acoustic and thermal performance. It comes in several different opening types and colors and is resistant to weather, UV, and most impacts. Additionally, PVC requires no maintenance and is 100% recyclable. All of this is wrapped up nicely with it being the least expensive of the three materials.

Aluminum

Aluminum offers good acoustic and thermal performance on top of offering a sleek, attractive look. The thermo-lacquered finish of aluminum windows comes in several colors. Aluminum is weather- and rust-resistant and its structure makes it suitable for large applications. Although it is costlier than PVC and less resistant to powerful winds, it is equally recyclable.

Wood

Wood offers exceptional acoustic and thermal insulation on top of being an elegant material that can be painted over in virtually any color. During the manufacturing process, insecticides, fungicides, and waterproofing are implemented in order to keep the wood strong and stable in the long run. Despite being relatively costly, wood is renewable and completely natural.

Practical Considerations

Mainly, the practical factors homeowners want to take into account when it comes to windows are: soundproofing, thermal insulation, and security. When it comes to solid acoustic insulation, homeowners are encouraged to opt for asymmetric double glazing, which essential means that one pane is made thicker than the other. In terms of thermal insulation, windows can reduce their comfort less by 50 to 80 percent through the insulating properties of double glazing. Double-paned windows come in several forms, from low-emission, standard, heated, and anti-reflective. Finally, when it comes to security, buyers are encouraged to keep an eye out for windows composed of laminated glass with anti-vandal glazing. The number of glass panes in tandem with the number and thickness of PVB films contributes to the strength of these windows.

4 Tips on Giving a Home a Country Style Flourish

Sellers who have had their property listed for a significant amount of time and who need to sell their San Diego house as quickly as possible might be interested in incorporating simple, attractive design elements to their home. Country style houses are currently in, so why not give a home a fresh country flourish? Here are four ways to do it.

Go for Raw Materials

Old-fashioned, country style homes are distinguishable by their distressed furniture and raw materials. These add a great sense of personality, richness, and texture to the home’s decor. These are the qualities that we typically look for in a country home. While it’s not exactly conventional to the country style, homeowners can use natural stone for their floors or countertops to further the natural-ness of the design. Alternatively, wood or even concrete can be used in these areas. Glass furniture is also pleasantly striking in a country style home, as are slate-top sideboards. Although old-fashioned design is the aim here, homeowners are encouraged to experiment with a variety of foreign elements to achieve their own unique country style.

Mix and Match

Just because country is the intention here, doesn’t mean that the decor can’t feature a healthy mix of other styles. For instance, mixing contemporary furniture into the design can create an attractive contrast that works well with the rustic country style. Stainless steel modern appliances can bring a welcome degree of sharpness into a kitchen, as can ergonomic furniture in the living room. Again, homeowners are encouraged to add their own unique flair to their country style, and avoid sticking to any sort of textbook design regimen.

Patina

In traditional country decor, each individual item has a unique story to tell. Old furniture items come with their share of history, though there’s no reason to think that that history would be effectively erased by giving the furniture a fresh new finish. Homeowners should experiment with their home design by restoring old, worn down furniture, preferably those made of pine, oak, or beech wood. These newly restored furniture items can then be accessorized with a distinct looking vase or lamp.

Playing With Color

Traditionally country style homes feature a neutral atmosphere, replete with faded, soft colors like white and light brown. These days, homes typically need a little more shine in order to truly stick out. For this reason, homeowners should feel entirely free to play with different color formations through adding throws and rugs in the living room or colorful dishes to the kitchen. These decorative flourishes can go a long way in adding a stark, unique touch to a home.

3 Things to Consider About Buying a Cottage

Buying a second home is an exciting prospect in a person’s life. It allows for a great deal more comfort and convenience, and makes for a significant contribution to a homeowner’s lifestyle. It’s common for homeowners weary of perusing through the various houses for sale in the Bay Area to seek the comfort of a remote cottage. While this might seem attractive to the homeowner with a penchant for the great outdoors, there are a few things to consider before making a decision.

 

Defining Exact Needs

 

Before even considering a cottage as the next major residential purchase, it’s important to first define one’s exact needs when it comes to the new home. A person’s preferences and lifestyle must be taken into account here. How often will the cottage be used? Will the owner be prepared to take on regular maintenance tasks for themselves? Does the owner tend to entertain friends often or do they prefer time spent privately? What is the maximum distance that a homeowner is willing to travel between their main place of residence and their cottage? Will the cottage be used all year round, or will it be rented from time to time when it isn’t being used? While it’s great to have extra funds to be allocated to buying a new cottage, many people have essentially wasted those extra funds on a cottage they never use, because it doesn’t match their lifestyle. It’s in all homeowners’ best interests to avoid this situation before it occurs by analyzing exact needs and making an informed choice.

 

Location

 

As always, location trumps most other factors when it comes to real estate. Accessibility and environment contribute greatly to the value of a country house or cottage. Generally, buyers tend to seek out a comfortable cottage in an area where they can enjoy nature while having access to necessary conveniences such as a grocery store and medical facility within reasonable driving distance. As is the case with any real estate purchase, it’s important to take location deeply into account, visiting the area in person several times, before making a commitment.

 

Costs

 

Finally, it’s important for homeowners to assess whether or not the cottage is affordable in the first place. There are significant fixed costs that come with owning a second property: taxes, heating, internet, telephone, electricity, water, insurance, in addition to the time and money investment for upkeep and commuting. Of course, the lawn will need to be cared for, and the cottage will necessitate certain key renovations over time. Before getting fixated too strongly on the idea of buying a cottage, it’s important for homeowners to do the proper calculations and come up with a reasonable figure that they can afford to spend.

 

 

5 Ways to Turn an Ordinary Home Into a Smart Home

San Diego real estate listings exhibit a growing trend of home’s featuring select “smart” features. The innovation of smart technology is the future of comfort, after all, so it’s only natural that its applications would extend to a place of residence. While we’re not exactly at the stage of having a futuristic house that’s essentially as cognizant as we are, there are certain highly valued home comforts that technology affords us. The following lists 5 key, innovative technological applications that can instantly make a home seem significantly more intelligent.

 

Automated Lighting

 

Smart sockets and light bulbs are available at most home hardware stores to get homeowners started on their futuristic residential transformation. By using these products, a home’s lighting can essentially regulate itself according to the time of day, ambiance, weather, or other settings personally assigned to the system by the homeowner. Even if the homeowner isn’t at home, the lighting system can essentially turn itself on in order to feign the homeowner’s presence and effectively deter burglars. These systems, of course, can be configured remotely from a homeowner’s smartphone.

 

Sentient Alarm System

 

Alarm systems can be formatted to work with the manual locking and unlocking of the doors in a home. This can be configured through a single application which can be programmed so that the door of a home unlocks automatically at the exact same time every day. This is a feature that can be accessed virtually anywhere in the world.

 

Smart Lawn Watering

 

Homeowners can configure their home’s lawn watering system to work directly with their smartphones. Some lawn watering applications come with data related to weather, soil type, and plant dryness, allowing the sprinklers to function with maximum environmental efficiency.

 

Smart Thermostats

 

Smart thermostats connect to radiators, and the two work in tandem in order to fully optimize a home’s energy consumption. Additionally, these thermostats can serve to better control the home’s interior temperature. Smart thermostats can be controlled and configured from a person’ smart device or computer, and allow the homeowner to remotely activate and regulate their home’s air conditioning or heating system. This is a perfect solution for homeowners who own a weekend getaway house and want to get the A/C running a few hours before they arrive.

 

Intelligent Sound Systems

 

Homeowners can significantly vamp their home listening experience up with the implementation of a smart sound system. Gone are the days of having to go to a certain room in the house to hear a certain song. These multi-room audio systems and their smart speakers allow homeowners to listen to whatever music they like, in the exact room of their choice, without having to worry about getting a toe caught on a grouping of entangled wires.

 

 

4 Advantages to Working With a Real Estate Broker

There’s a good reason why the overwhelming majority of home buyers and sellers opt for the services of a real estate agent when transacting a home: namely because competent, experienced real estate brokers provide consumers with the best possible chance of finding or selling their home on their own terms. To expand on that, here are four advantages to working with a real estate broker.

Legal Documentation

As is easy to understand, there’s a great deal of legal documentation that goes with a real estate transaction. If transacting the exchange on their own, buyers or sellers might fall short in honoring all of the necessary legal documents. Thankfully, real estate brokers necessarily have a command of all the legal documentation necessary for the transaction of a home. This saves buyers and sellers from a great deal of stress and worry.

Peace of Mind

When dealing with a real estate broker, clients are assured that they are selling or buying at a price that’s deemed fair in local market standard. Brokers have access to a wealth of knowledge on the real estate market; their resources go far beyond what a client can accumulate by doing their own research. This is aside from the considerable experience that real estate professionals bring to the professional exchange. All said, buyers or sellers assure themselves the best possible outcome when dealing with a real estate broker.

Increased Visibility and Traffic

While the choice of entrusting a broker with the transaction of a home is, of curse, up to the discretion of the home seller or buyer, it makes particular sense from the seller’s point of view. Basically, when working with a real estate broker to sell a home, sellers allow themselves to benefit from the broker’s considerable network of collaboration, which can consist of thousands of other real estate brokers and their buyers. This means that buyers are working with resources that would have otherwise been impossible to acquire if they dealt with the transaction themselves. Ultimately, this translates to a significantly increased chance of having the home sold quickly and for a fair price.

Protection

Bay Area real estate brokers offer their clients protection throughout the entire transaction. When working with an experienced real estate broker, clients are effectively joining forces with a competent expert who is governed by the code of ethics implicit in his or her trade. Essentially, this means that a real estate broker is obliged to honor strict collaboration rules and laws that were put in place to protect the position of the buyer or seller. Again, when dealing with a professional real estate broker, prospective clients are giving themselves peace of mind that they simply won’t get if they choose to take the transaction in their own hands.

The Art of the Deal: 3 Key Tenets of Negotiation

When it comes to the difference between a successful transaction and a failed one, sometimes it all comes down to how well the negotiations were carried out by the real estate professional. For this reason and a few others, it’s important for homeowners to choose the right broker to deal with; when times call for serious verbal fluidity during negotiations, buyers can lean on the expertise of their agent to seal the best possible deal.

A Solid Market Understanding

It’s important to keep in mind that most brokers have access to a wealth of tools that give them privileged knowledge of the local real estate market. Essentially, this means that they’ll likely always be a step or two ahead of the seller during negotiations, at least in terms of market understanding. This sort of direct access to local market insights is largely in a real estate broker’s favor. Competent real estate brokers are fully acquainted with the intricacies of their market, and clients can bet that they’ll come to the meeting ready to lay those facts on the table.

Detached From Emotions

During negotiations, competent real estate brokers remain fully detached from their emotions. This is somewhat easier for a real estate agent to do than a buyer, since they aren’t dealing with their own home and thus have less of a stake in the matter. Aside from that, experienced real estate agents have participated in enough negotiations to understand that bringing emotions to the table will only serve to hamper the broker’s position of power in the exchange. If the client is feeling a surge of emotions during negotiations, it might be best to hold off on commenting for a while and trust the broker’s guidance through the exchange. Prior to the negotiation, it’s important for the buyer and broker to communicate openly regarding the upcoming “game plan”; there should be no room for missteps or errors due to miscommunication prior to the meeting.

A Creative Flourish

Any veteran San Diego real estate professional will tout the veritable artistry involved in the negotiation process. There are a myriad of factors at play during a negotiation that aren’t immediately discernible to those looking in from the outside. For instance, when the two parties reach difficulty in coming to an agreed price, it’s necessary to be creative and find a solution “outside of the box” in order to proceed. Here is where the broker’s experience and creative flourish come into play. For instance, a possible solution to an impasse might be the addition of a desirable appliance or piece of furniture in the price, or perhaps the agreement by the seller to subject the home to certain attractive renovations before finalizing the deal. Additionally, brokers can play with the occupancy date in order to accelerate the final handshake.

A Basic Overview of Industrial Design

A buyer browsing the market of homes for sale in San Diego will more than likely run into a great deal of industrial style homes. It’s no secret why – the industrial design style has risen sharply and significantly in recent decades. This “ultra modern” style is so classified because it perfectly encapsulates what seem to be today’s main design priorities: open spaces, neutral colors, and functional furnishings. Here is a basic overview of the industrial design style.

Where it Came From

The origins of industrial design date all the way back – unsurprisingly – to the industrial revolution. In the past few decades, Western designers and architects have found a wealth of inspiration in the traditional industrial style, and it has progressively been used in modern residential and commercial applications. Industrial design has always been characterized, in part, by the authentic, robust materials that contribute to its aesthetic. These materials, while lush, sharp, and current, are also built to withstand the test of time. The industrial design style is simultaneously an attractive, popular design option as well as a tribute to the industrial age.

A Factory Look

Of course industrial design is characterized by its “factory” reminiscent aesthetic. Factory furniture is replete, with contrasting, more homely furniture items added to the mix, such as study chairs, metal lockers, furniture on wheels, and traditional wooden stools. The fundamental tenet of the style is to repurpose rugged furniture to allow for comfort, aesthetic allure, and efficiency.

Recyclable

Fundamentally, industrial design repurposes old objects reminiscent of the “blue-collar” days and repurpose them for modern use. Essentially, there is very little that is off limits when it comes to industrial design. Any room in an industrial home can feature items or pieces of furniture that were dug out of a hidden section at a flea market or pawn shop. In fact, industrial designers flock widely to pawn shops, procuring hidden gems as accent pieces. These include forgotten typewriters, storage boxes, or barber’s mirrors. Industrial designers are encouraged to take advantage of old, rusted appliances or tools and repurpose them accordingly.

A Modern, Vintage Flair

A distinguishing characteristic to note of industrial design is its centralization on big open spaces. Again, this is largely reminiscent of the commercial world of the industrial age, where factories were built to be vast and open. Those factories also had a tendency to expose the structure’s piping and wiring, a trend that has also followed modern residential and commercial industrial design. Homeowners opting for this design style are encouraged to factor raw materials and weathered finished, as these will better match the sober furniture and accent items that are central to the aesthetic. Go-to materials for industrial design include wood, concrete, metal, steel, and zinc.

4 Things Every Pet Owner Should Consider Before Hosting an Open House

When looking to buy into the Bay area housing market, home buyers are usually prone to using their senses to help them make their final decisions. Which is why setting up an open house with very scented candles, bright colors, or over-stimulating designs are not the best idea. Although they might not believe it, homeowners who have had animals for a long amount of time can actually be at risk of not selling their homes in a time-efficient manner. The following are 5 things every pet owner should consider before hosting an open house.

Where Their Pets are Going to Go During the Visit

Homeowners with both large and small pets are going to benefit from finding a safe place to hide their animals on the day of their open house. This is because during an open house, interested home buyers are going to be walking around a house, opening doors, and leaving them open. This can cause an animal to have direct access to the front door, which can cause them to run away and get lost. More than that, having a large dog present at the showing of a house can cause home buyers to become fearful and uncomfortable viewing the home. Worst of all, having a large dog present during a visit can cause an attack to happen, as a dog might feel as tho it is their responsibility to protect their home from intruders.

How to Get Rid of Animal Smells

Homeowners who share their homes with beloved pets are usually too familiar with the smells that are all around them. As a result, they fail to recognize that their home has a certain animalistic smell to it. When getting ready for an open house, homeowners should find someone to babysit their animals one day prior to the visit. Doing so will give the homeowner enough time to air out their homes, clean their fabrics, and place air fresheners around their home.

How to Hide the Visible Signs of Animals

It is important for a homeowner to hide all visible signs of animals during an open house visit. This means cleaning and hiding litter boxes, hiding chew toys, dog beds, food and water bowls, etc. Home buyers like thinking that there are no pets in a home as this ensures them that no pet-related defects (like scratches) are present.

How to Make the Home Allergy Friendly

There are some home buyers that are going to be allergic to animals, and since losing a potential buyer to allergies is not an option, home sellers need to clean their homes prior to the visit. Passing a broom and vacuum can reduce the effects of allergies.

4 Ways to Fight Odor in a Home

San Diego real estate agents know the importance of presenting a nice smelling home to prospective buyers. Even homeowners who aren’t planning on putting their property on the market anytime soon would benefit greatly from having a fresh, odor-free home. Here are 4 tips on improving a home’s scent.

 

Smell-Proofing the Refrigerator

 

While it’s advised that homeowners clear their fridge and scrub it down periodically, strong odors tend to persist unless they’re specifically focused on. When getting rid of odors in a refrigerator, vinegar is the go-to solution. Simply mix a solution of hot water and vinegar and wipe down the fridge’s entire interior space. Allow the solution to sit for up to 20 minutes before wiping it dry with a cloth. Additionally, homeowners can place lemon-halves in all corners of the refrigerator, allowing them to sit in the fridge with the door closed for a few hours in order to fully replenish the appliance’s interior space.

 

Doing Away With Cooking Odor

 

It’s no secret that cooking certain foods can lead to noticeable, persistent smells lingering in the kitchen and throughout the rest of the home. Foods such as garlic, fish, and brussel sprouts, while delicious to eat, don’t carry the most welcoming of smells. Thankfully, there’s a solution for that. When boiling vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, or brussel sprouts, homeowners can add some whole nuts such as hazelnuts or walnuts to the boiling water. This will allow the nuts to absorb the food odors as they are released. When cooking fish, homeowners can add some slices of fresh ginger to the frying pan while the fish is cooking.

 

Masking Cigarette Odor

 

Homeowners looking to minimize cigarette odor in their home have a variety of scented candles to choose from, and these will fight off a variety of odors aside from those derived from cigarettes. However, there’s a more cost-efficient home remedy homeowners can employ here. By simply pouring a small amount of vinegar onto a wet cloth and shaking it for a short amount of time in a room that smells of cigarette smoke, the odor will be significantly reduced.

 

Refreshing the Microwave

 

Just because microwave zaps food particles inside it with incredible energy, that doesn’t mean that food odors are effectively zapped away in the process. The fact is that microwaves, particularly those used several times per day, tend to grow into a source of unpleasant kitchen odors. If the odor seems to have gotten out of hand, and the interior of the microwave seems to have become encrusted through repeated use, the solution is simple. Mix a cup of water with the juice from a whole lemon and heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Once done, any dirt accumulation inside the microwave will be easy to wipe off, and the only scent within it will be pleasant and lemon-y.