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garage storage space

If it feels like your home lacks ample storage, turn to your garage. The garage is a frequently underutilized space that can significantly increase your home's usable storage.

Our real estate agents recommend following these tips to help you maximize and showcase your garage's storage space. 

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Water Softener Tips

If your home has hard water, a water softener is an excellent addition to your property to help you reduce your water consumption, enhance the quality of your water, and get your dishes and clothes as clean as possible.

Like any system, a water softener needs periodic attention to function properly. Our real estate agents suggest following these maintenance tips to prolong the lifespan of your water softener and maximize its performance. 

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Front Yard Tips

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. The same holds true when it comes to selling your home. 

Your front yard is at the center of your home's curb appeal, which is a term used to describe how your home appears from the street. If you think about it, your front yard is the first thing people see when pulling up to your home. It's clearly visible to visitors, anyone who drives by, Google Maps, and most importantly, potential buyers who are thinking about scheduling a tour of your listing. 

As a result, our real estate agents always recommend giving your front yard a bit of extra love before listing your home on the market. Luckily, there are many easy and affordable ways to improve your yard this summer. If you want to make your yard stand out, we have a list of ideas for you:

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In-law suite

With more generations living under one roof, in-law suites have become popular home features. This type of space provides a separate living area for one or more older parents of an adult child, and it can be configured in many ways, including as a free-standing building or a converted garage. Not only can an in-law suite help a parent live somewhat independently, but it can also serve as a residence for an older child, a home office, or a guest house if needed. As a result, our real estate agents point out, this flexible space can help increase the value of your home when it's time to sell.

Before you start planning an in-law suite, make sure to check any local laws or regulations that might affect your plans. Once you know what - if anything - is prohibited, you'll need to thoughtfully plan the space. The following are some of the best features you can add to your in-law suite to make it safe, comfortable, and practical:

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Work From Home

If you're one of the millions of employees working from home, it's important to create a dedicated space for your work activities. A dedicated workspace helps you increase your productivity and creates a distinction between your home and work life. Our real estate agents suggest adding these features to make working from home even easier. 

  • An Ergonomic Chair
    Many workers experience back and neck pain related to poor posture during their workday. Keeping your body in a neutral position (feet on the floor, arms relaxed by your body, back straight, and head centered above your shoulders) reduces the amount of strain that sitting has on your body. An ergonomic chair encourages your body to maintain a neutral position, allowing you to be more comfortable, focused, and productive. Look for a chair with customizable features and a sufficient lumbar cushion to ensure your body has the support it needs. 
  • A WiFi Booster
    Few things are more frustrating than sitting down to begin your day, only to discover that your WiFi is running at a snail's pace or even refusing to connect entirely. A WiFi booster eliminates connectivity deserts in your home and makes it possible for multiple devices to use your WiFi with minimal buffering. 
  • A Task Light
    A home office needs multiple levels of lighting to ensure that you have proper illumination to reduce eye strain. In addition to an overhead light, you should invest in a task light. A task light makes it easy to adjust the placement of the light so that it's suited to your work activity. Look for a task light with an adjustable arm and multiple dimming levels so you can customize the type and placement of the lighting. 
  • A Desk That You Love
    Your desk is one of the most important elements of your home office space. Since you'll be spending a lot of time at your desk, you must select a design and style that fits your stylistic preferences and work habits. For example, if you need a space for using a computer and completing paperwork, a desk with an L-shape may be a good fit for your needs. Or, if you know that you like to stand for a portion of your workday, a desk that allows you to sit or stand while you work is a smart investment. 
  • A Bin or Basket to Store Your Work Supplies
    When you're through working, you need a spot to stow your work supplies. This will keep your office space uncluttered and tidy, and it ensures that you always know where all your necessities are. A large woven basket is one stylish alternative, or you can invest in a utility cart to quickly stash your work essentials. If you ever need to relocate for part of your workday, having everything in a single location makes it quick and convenient for you to do so. 
  • A Houseplant
    Your workspace should be a spot that you find inviting and welcoming; adding plants to your office instantly makes the area feel brighter and more appealing. Houseplants also purify the air inside of your home, removing odors and potentially harmful chemicals. As you select your houseplant, make sure its lighting needs are compatible with the light in your home office. 
  • A Camera Cover
    A camera cover is a convenient addition to your computer or mobile device that prevents your camera from catching portions of your day that you don't want to share with clients or other coworkers. Camera covers attach to your device or computer and slide as needed to conceal your camera. 
  • A Charging Station
    If you depend on a lot of devices during your workday, it needs to be easy to keep your devices charged. A charging station lets you charge multiple devices and accessories using a single unit; you can even customize the charging cords so that you have the best combo for your work devices. 
  • A Planner
    Whether you prefer an old-fashioned paper planner or like to utilize a digital alternative, a planner is valuable for organizing your workday, keeping track of deadlines, and monitoring your to-do list. If you decide to use a paper planner, make sure that you have a stash of ink pens or pencils readily available for quick schedule changes. 
  • Noise-Canceling Headphones
    When you're on a work call or just need to drown out background noise, noise-canceling headphones are a must-have item. Look for a fast-charging pair with a long battery life. 
  • A Larger Monitor (or a Second Monitor)
    Increasing the size of your computer screen is an effective way to boost your productivity. Or, depending on your job, you may prefer to add a second monitor so that you have a dedicated screen for certain tasks. If you conduct your work business from a laptop, there are also dual monitor options that are laptop compatible. 

Need a home with more space for your remote work days? Contact us to start your search!


laundry room tips

If you're a home décor enthusiast, you may be wondering how to handle decorating your laundry room. How can you make such a functional space look its best without making it difficult to use?  

Our real estate agents have seen some gorgeous laundry rooms over the years. In that time, they've observed several trends in how homeowners choose to dress up this space. Take inspiration from these 7 tips to transform your laundry room from basic to beautiful.  

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The home of the future is a concept that has been popular since the early 20th century. In 1957, at Disneyland, the Monsanto House of the Future opened to much fanfare. It featured stylish plastic furniture, the then-revolutionary microwave, and a giant (non-operational) wall-mounted television screen. In 1964, the World's Fair was held in Flushing Queens. The theme was Visions of the Future, and visitors at the IBM Pavilion got to see one of the first computers.

Fast forward to today, and the home of the future is available to most homeowners! Technology that was just a dream in the mid-20th century is affordable and readily available to homeowners today.

Smart technologies work together to automate processes throughout your home. You can control them via a smartphone app or voice commands. From smart thermostats to lighting, it is possible to update your home using devices that integrate together, lower your energy costs, and save you money.

Smart Technology and Home Automation Explained

Smart technology is used to automate various elements throughout your home. You can control the comfort and efficiency of your home using your smartphone and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The first smart device was the programmable thermostat and has since developed into one of the biggest and fastest-growing markets in technology today. Smart technology use is growing. It encompasses home security, controlling appliances, monitoring energy use, and can even be used for looking after elderly or disabled family members.

When it comes to smart technology, you have a couple of options.

  • Central Control – is one home automation system that controls everything in your home. You can control lighting, your thermostat, sprinklers, the washer, and dryer, and more. Central Control systems are run through a wall-mounted terminal, much like a home security system. They are accessed via a remote control, smartphone, tablet, or computer.
  • App-Based – app-based technology uses your wireless network to communicate with the Cloud. Cloud computing is a component of the Internet of Things and has recently grown popular. These systems work by connecting your smart devices to your home network via Wi-Fi. Devices connect to a server which you then access and control through apps installed on your smartphone.

Affordable Smart Technology for Your Home

Today, many smart devices are designed to make your life easier, automate household processes, and allow you to control them via a phone app or with your voice. Smart technology covers three general areas: safety, comfort, and the efficiency of your home.

Many of these devices not only add to your safety and comfort but can also help you save money by monitoring and controlling home energy use and protecting your home's infrastructure from unexpected disasters.

Here are some examples of smart technology that can save money.

Smart Thermostats

This is the biggest money-saving device for your home. Devices like the Nest Learning Thermostat can learn how you heat and cool your home then take control to save you money.

Smart Sprinkler and Irrigation Systems

These devices save money by only using the water your lawn and garden need when they need it. Smart irrigation systems know what type of soil is in each zone and what plants grow there. The system also monitors the weather forecast to reduce watering when raining.

Leak Detectors and Water Shut-off Systems

A smart water leak detector alerts you to a potentially damaging flood. Simple systems sit on the floor and alert you when they get wet. More complex systems monitor water flow alerting you to any changes in pressure and letting you remotely shut off the supply if a leak is detected.

The Smart Refrigerator

A smart refrigerator can be used to prevent food waste, lowering your grocery bills. The refrigerator includes a camera allowing you to see what's inside via your smartphone - so that when you are shopping, you can avoid buying something already in the fridge.

Smart Lighting

Smart lighting has become a cornerstone of the smart home. Smart lighting is made by several different manufacturers, and all use LED bulbs. They are more efficient than traditional bulbs, use far less energy and produce much less heat. Smart lighting is flexible and can be set to any color, temperature, brightness. Timers, motion detectors, and geofencing help lights lower your electric bill by switching themselves off when you forget.

Smart Plugs

Smart plugs are a good point of entry to smart home technology, and they can help you save money too! They can be used to switch off devices on a timer or manually via a smartphone app, so you can make sure things are switched off when you're away. For example, make sure lamps and plug-in heaters don't stay on all night, or stop leaving devices on standby when they can be switched off to save energy... and money!

The Smart Home is Here!

Smart technology can help keep your family safe, your home comfortable, lower your energy usage, and put money in your pocket!

If you're still on the fence, consider some affordable, easy-to-install devices like smart plugs, or try replacing your existing light bulbs with smart versions. Add devices like smart speakers or a video doorbell as you become more comfortable with the concept. The truth is, once you've turned the lights off without leaving the couch, you'll be sold!


In Home Technology

Studies continue to report that potential homebuyers are seeking homes with technology that makes their lives and their ability to run their households easier and more convenient.

Our real estate agents know that a home with updated technology is often more appealing to prospective buyers. Even if you don't anticipate selling your home in the future, adding a few new high-tech options can help you customize your home to your needs.

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Home Office Tips

Whether you work from home full-time or sporadically, it's important to have a home office where you can be productive

Our real estate agents know that a home office that's functional and appealing optimizes your workflow and encourages creativity.

After working from home for a while, has your home office started to feel stale? Refresh your workspace by following these tips.

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Mason Jar Home Decor

You've just moved into your new home. Now you need to decorate it and make it your own. You don't need a lot of fancy trinkets and expensive doodads. All you really need to make your house a home is a few mason jars. With National Mason Jar Day coming up on November 30th, let's look at some of the many fun things you can do with these durable, beautiful, and versatile jars.

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