Homes of Distinction Realty



Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 1/11/2019

So, the new home has the perfect yard, layout, number of bathrooms, even the right roofline, but you hate the bathroom or kitchen cabinets. Don't give up just yet. You have some options to update your cabinets without completely tearing apart and replacing the kitchen, and you can even skip sanding them down. Welcome to the miracle of "Chalk Paint." 

What is “Chalk Paint”?

The original and only paint really called “chalk paint” was created and trademarked by Annie Sloane. Its widely recognized as a top choice by furniture and cabinet professionals. This original pain allows you to get that “shabby chic” look on furniture and cabinets without refinishing them first. Its major downside is the price. To get the name brand “Annie Sloan Chalk Paint” (ASCP), you will be out nearly forty dollars a quart.

This paint is actually a mixture of paint with other chalky substances like powdered gypsum (plaster of Paris) and allows you to refinish a cabinet without sanding or priming it first. After painting, your cabinets or furniture will have a chalky finish until you complete the process by finishing applying a high-grade wax that leaves the cabinets with a softly glowing finish.

Does it Work? 

The developers of the process absolutely swear by it, and they've drawn a large group of devotees. You can find a useful variety of tutorials online including everything from heavily weathered to mildly distressed or even completely smooth. You aren't just stuck with the original brand though. The popularity of the process has given rise to several other name brand options including CeCe Caldwell’s non-toxic natural mineral pigments. A big plus for CeCe’s paints is their eco-friendly ingredients that are especially safe for pets and children.

How About an Affordable Alternative?

Wary of the paint cost? You have multiple options there as well. You can make any latex paint a chalk-style paint by using Webster's chalky paint powder. They offer a wide range of tutorials and instructions to create different accents and layering effects. This combo paint can even work for painting on metal! If you want the ease of a single product, check out your local home improvement or paint store for some less expensive options. Professionals have experienced a wide range of results with these paints, so do your research and test on a single cabinet or door before you do the whole kitchen.

If you're worried about the kitchen in the home of your dreams or worried about your kitchen bringing down the cost of your home, talk to your real estate agent about the best kitchen options for your home.




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Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 1/4/2019

While there's a lot to be said for the value of high-tech home security systems, there are many basic, inexpensive things you can do to safeguard your home from intruders. Keeping your home secure begins with awareness, good communication, and positive habits.

Where does good communication come into play? One example is the need to have a trusted neighbor keep an eye on your home when you're out of town or away on vacation. Even if you've had the foresight to suspend your mail and newspaper deliveries during your absence, things don't always work out as planned!

When you factor in the possibility of human error, unplanned deliveries, or even power outages, it's a good idea to have a friend, relative, or neighbor check on your house when you're gone. Unexpected deliveries could run the gamut from free phonebooks left on your front steps to promotional literature placed on your doorknob or stuffed into your mailbox. And even if you don't subscribe to a newspaper, free sample issues may occasionally be left in your driveway -- often with an invitation to become a subscriber. An alert neighbor can clear away any telltale signs that no one's home. They can also notify you or the local authorities of any suspicious activity on your property.

A good rule of thumb when you're away for more than a few hours is to make your house look as if it's occupied. Even old-school techniques, like hooking up a couple indoor lights to automatic timers, can create the impression someone's home. If you happen to have outside lights on a timer or motion-detector floodlights, then that can help deter nighttime trespassers, too. Solar-powered lights which turn on when the sun goes down are another option.

In spite of good habits, like locking doors and staying in touch with neighbors, windows left open can be an overlooked security breach -- especially if you didn't leave them open, yourself! This can and often does happen in unexpected ways, like when your houseckeeper decides your home smells a little stale and needs an infusion of outside air to freshen things up! Although their intent is typically helpful and good, they may be solving one problem while creating another.

The same thing could happen if you have painters or other contractors doing interior work at your home. You can address that problem by reminding them to close windows when they're done for the day. You can also leave a note to that effect. Just in case they happen to be on the forgetful side, though, it's always a good idea to follow up your reminders with your own security checks! Since other people (especially those who don't live in your house) may not be nearly as security conscious as you, it's always better to err on the side of caution!





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 12/28/2018

Buying a home is a decision that could have a major impact on your life for the next five to ten years (if not longer). That's why it's extremely important to know your requirements and what you need to be happy.

If you're in the process of looking for a house to buy, it pays to do an analysis of your financial resources, your goals, and your desired lifestyle.

For example, if expanding your family is part of your five-year-plan, you'll want to make sure the home you buy has enough bedrooms, play areas, and safety features to meet your future needs. The broad category of "safety features" could cover everything from the neighborhood crime rate to the amount of road traffic the street is subject to. Proximity to emergency services is also among the many things to consider when shopping for a new home.

Choosing an experienced real estate agent to help you navigate the many challenges of house hunting will increase the probability that the property you choose will be a good fit for your needs. A bank loan officer or mortgage broker can assist you in determining the type of mortgage you can afford and be approved for.

Other than affordability, sufficient space, and safety considerations, here are a few other items to keep in mind as you shop for your next home.

  • Commuting distance: Finding the ideal house that is located less than a half an hour from your business or place of employment can be difficult. That challenge becomes even greater if both you and your partner commute to work every day.
  • Number of bathrooms: Some homes only have one bathroom, which can quickly become a source of conflict and frustration in growing families. Making sure your home has enough bathrooms to meet your current and future needs is a key priority for all house hunters.
  • Miscellaneous requirements: Depending on your lifestyle and other factors, your home-buying priority list could include everything from a two-car garage and basement to a backyard patio and deck. If privacy is high on your must-have list, features like fencing, privacy hedges, and sufficient space between neighbors will also be important. Other items to consider may include a fireplace, space for a home office, and an eat-in kitchen.
There are literally dozens of characteristics, features, and advantages to look for when house shopping, so it pays to create a detailed list of everything you want, hope for, and can't live without! While it may be necessary to be flexible with certain items on your list, things like a good school district, a safe neighborhood, and house that's structurally sound and in good condition are requirements you may not want to waver from!





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 12/21/2018

The homebuying journey may require many weeks or months to complete. As you approach the finish line of this journey, there are lots of things you can do to ensure a seamless conclusion.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you quickly finalize a home purchase.

1. Conduct a Home Inspection

A home inspection generally is performed after a seller approves your offer to purchase his or her residence. At this time, a home inspector will walk through a house and identify any underlying problems. Next, a home inspector will provide you with a report that details his or her findings.

For homebuyers, it is important to review a home inspection report closely. If a home inspector identifies major problems with a residence, you may want to modify your initial offer to purchase or rescind your homebuying proposal.

You also should attend a home inspection. Although you are not required to attend an inspection, doing so may enable you to gain insights into a home that are not included in a house inspector's report. Then, you can use all of the insights at your disposal to determine whether to proceed with a home purchase.

2. Maintain Flexibility

You may want to close on a home by a specific date, yet the homebuying process offers no guarantees. Delays may happen without notice, and you need to be able to adjust your homebuying timeline accordingly. As such, you should maintain flexibility as you try to finalize your transaction.

Remember, both you and a home seller share a common goal – to complete a property transaction as quickly as possible. If you maintain open lines of communication with a seller, you can reduce the risk of miscommunications that otherwise could slow down the homebuying journey.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Navigating the homebuying journey is rarely simple, particularly for individuals who want to acquire a terrific house at a budget-friendly price. Thankfully, you can collaborate with a real estate agent to achieve the best-possible results throughout the homebuying cycle.

A real estate agent will learn about you and your homebuying goals and do everything possible to make your homeownership dream come true. He or she is happy to provide recommendations and suggestions as you conduct a home search. And when you find your dream residence, a real estate agent can help you put together a competitive offer to purchase it.

Of course, a real estate agent provides comprehensive assistance during the final stages of the homebuying journey as well. Reaching a home closing date may seem impossible at times, but a real estate agent helps take the guesswork out of finalizing a house purchase. Therefore, he or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can reach your home closing date without delay.

Simplify the process of buying a house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can minimize the risk of encountering homebuying hurdles and streamline the homebuying journey.




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Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 12/14/2018

Ready to start a successful home selling journey? To achieve your house selling goals, you'll want to prepare as much as possible. Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the home selling journey so you can enjoy an unforgettable property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you kick off a successful home selling journey.

1. Identify Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

Your home has served you well for many years, but it may be far from perfect. Fortunately, you can allocate time and resources to analyze your house's weaknesses and transform them into strengths.

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to conduct a home inspection before you list a residence. A home inspection enables you to receive expert insights into your house's condition. Then, you can use a home inspection report to prioritize property upgrades.

You may want to conduct an appraisal prior to adding your house to the real estate market as well. By performing an appraisal, you can receive a property valuation that you can use to establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.

2. Enhance Your Home's Appearance

Curb appeal is key, particularly for a house seller who wants to speed up the property selling journey. If you mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other home exterior upgrades, you can improve your residence's curb appeal in no time at all.

Don't forget to remove clutter from inside your house too. Remember, your goal as a home seller is to make it easy for buyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your house. If your home is neat and tidy, it may be simple for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they walk through the front door.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to price your home, how to promote your residence to buyers or how to complete myriad house selling tasks, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent who will do whatever it takes to help you succeed throughout the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home in any city or town, at any time. As such, he or she will go the extra mile to ensure you can achieve the best-possible results.

For example, if you want to sell your home as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will craft a house selling strategy that allows you to do just that. On the other hand, if you want to optimize the earnings from your house sale, a real estate agent will handle negotiations with buyers so you can get the best price for your home.

Let's face it – selling a home can be challenging, especially for those who are unsure about how to navigate the real estate market. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can quickly and effortlessly begin the home selling journey. And as a result, you can move one step closer to enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.




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