October 10 2019

7 Tips to Brighten Up a Dark Room

by racheal

Dark living room space

The type of lighting you have in your home is essential to your day to day life. It can deeply affect your mood and productivity. Dim lighting can contribute to depression and even affect your appetite. Bright lights can heighten emotions and make you feel more energetic. Having ample natural lighting in the rooms in your home is very beneficial, but what if certain rooms don’t offer enough natural lighting in the first place? Here are 7 tips to brighten up a dark room.

 

Paint Your Walls 

 

This is probably the most common way to brighten up a room that doesn’t get much natural lighting. Get rid of any walls that may have a darker paint color to liven things up. Grab a can of white or light-colored paint and watch your room transform.

 

Make sure to purchase a matte paint rather than one that is glossy. Matt surfaces reflect light in every direction rather than glossy paint that actually creates a glare. The goal is to reflect natural light equally in order to illuminate the room properly.

 

Add More Light Fixtures

 

Just one lamp may not provide ample lighting in a darker room. Consider adding a few more light fixtures to enhance the lighting in your home. 

 

Replace Lightbulbs

 

If you find that a room or rooms in your home give off a somewhat yellow light, you may want to consider replacing your lightbulbs. This is a great way to upgrade your home on a budget. Switching to daylights is an easy and affordable way to brighten up a dim room. You can find them at Walmart or order a few on Amazon.

 

Add Lots of Mirrors

 

Adding multiple mirrors in a room will not only brighten it up but it will give the illusion of more space as well. You can create a gallery of mirrors on one wall, add one large mirror, or one on each wall. Have fun with the frames to give your space a little more personality. 

 

Hang Sheer Curtains

 

If you want to brighten up your space, you’ll have to get rid of those drab heavy curtains and replace them with something a little more sheer. Sheer curtains will allow for more natural light to pull through into the room whereas a thicker fabric will take the lighting away. 

 

Clean the Windows

 

This may seem extremely simple, but cleaning your windows can make a huge difference. If you can safely clean both the inside and outside of your windows, they’ll be free from any dirt, dust, and grime that can trap more natural light from coming in. 

 

Trim Your Trees

 

Trees bring lots of shade, but they also block natural light from coming into your home. If you have any trees that are directly in front of your windows, trim them a little. 

 

You should see a big difference in how your dark room has transformed just by using a few or all of these great tips to brighten things up. Most importantly, you'll also see a change in your productivity and the way you feel walking into your newly illuminated space.

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October 8 2019

October Realtor of the Month: Lori Webster

by Erin

Lori Webster Realtor of the month Fountain Hills, AZ

Our October realtor of the month is Lori Webster, Real Estate Agent for HomeSmart Lifestyles and our Real Estate Market Expert for Fountain Hills, AZ.

 

Lorie earned her Associate Degree in Merchandising at Arizona State University and earned her Bachelors Degree in Finance at Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington. Lorie Webster has worked in the Real Estate Industry for the past 30 years. She has plenty of experience in working very closely with both homebuyers and sellers during the transaction process. 

 

In her free time, Lorie enjoys being a part of a Ladies Golf League. She also volunteers to cook for and feed homeless adults through a private non-profit group and also participates in several clean-up projects a year.

 

Lorie has a great passion for real estate and her relationships with her clients show it as they go well beyond the final sale. If you're looking to purchase a brand new home near Phoenix, be sure to contact Lorie with HomeSmart Lifestyles for all of your real estate needs.

 

“The more you thank life, the more life gives you to be thankful for.”

-Lorie Webster

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October 4 2019

Move-In Ready: Great Customer Service Becomes Self-Service

by Erin

Self Service Sales Center Kiosk

Self-Service Technology moves home shoppers quickly and efficiently toward critical information and increased engagement.

 

By Zoe Miller

 

Customer service should be all about the customer, but only that person truly knows his or her needs and goals, mood and interests, preferred pace and overall schedule. The buyer’s journey in residential real estate (the largest consumer industry) is the most consequential, so it stands to reason this is when customers would demand the most convenience and control.

 

Enter self-service technology (SST), a solution that helps customers or prospects serve themselves. If you’ve used an ATM or self-checkout at a grocery store, you’ve used this kind of technology. Self-service technology has become a key element of the home buying process as buyers grow more comfortable with it. Whether online or in a sales center, SST empowers the customer by delivering the right information in the right way at the right time. 

 

Convenience, Control & Connection

 

Convenience is always a top priority for new home shoppers who find themselves with countless questions in need of timely answers. Just as smart home technology has been the latest trend for convenience, self-service technology helps prospective home buyers by providing fast and concise information. Questions that may have once required a phone call or even a face-to-face meeting can now be answered through a self-service solution, available 24/7. 

 

More than anything else, homebuyers seek a value-unique experience—a level of service that will inspire not just sales, but enthusiastic referrals. Online resources should be replete with impactful visuals and an easy-to-understand user experience. Interactive kiosks and even the use of virtual reality technology belong front and center in a sales center so home shoppers can easily find them. Reduced friction and maximum convenience and engagement are highly valued by home shoppers.

 

Customized Over Customary 

 

It’s important for home builders to understand that communication doesn’t have to equal conversation or even human interaction. Interaction typically follows waiting in line or on the phone or for an appointment time—and that’s rarely convenient. An easy-to-navigate and engaging self-service experience will go a long way toward buyer satisfaction. 

 

Home shoppers also value personalization and customization—information that's tailored to their specific situation. When SST automation is used to create a customized experience with targeted follow-ups regarding time frames or product tips, people don’t forget. 

 

What’s worse than a problem? The frustration over not knowing how to resolve it. Home shoppers and home builders alike benefit when SST can solve problems and answer questions. An interactive two-way setup with results, feedback, and proposed resolution boosts the customer experience. Specific home shopping questions that can be addressed with SST range from pricing, availability and construction schedules to elevations, floor plans, and other details.

Zoe Miller Headshot

It all adds up to value-unique—a level of customer service that's actionable and personable.

 

 

— Zoe Miller is a principal at Computer Presentation Systems in the Sacramento, California area. The 25+-year veteran of the home building industry sets the company’s development strategies and oversees its daily operations.

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September 27 2019

Settle in to a New Home Near Riverside at Sendero Sonoma by Lennar Homes

by Erin

Greatroom at Sonoma Riverside new home community

Sendero Sonoma by Lennar Homes is a new master-planned community of single-family homes located in Eastvale, CA. Sendero Sonoma is convenient to eateries such as The Habit Burger Grill, Jersey Mike's Subs, Neckter Juice Bar, and Pieology Pizzaria. You can get your shopping done in a breeze at The Corona Valley Marketplace, Home Depot, and TJ Maxx just minutes away from home. This neighborhood offers 3 to 4 bedrooms, 2.5 to 3 bathrooms and living space ranging between 1,860 to 2,142 square feet which is perfect for entertaining guests and spreading out. 

 

Maintain an active lifestyle at Sendero Sonoma featuring must-have amenities the entire family will appreciate from the community center open to all residents to the Tot Lot just right for the littles ones. There are walking and jogging trails, a swimming pool, sports courts, and outdoor exercise equipment.  This community also offers plenty of manicured outdoor spaces. Expansive park provides space for walking, running, or an evening family picnic. At Blossom Park, you can enjoy the indoor-outdoor field, sports court, and exercise facilities.

 

Enroll your children in high performing schools within the Corona Norco Unified School District at Rosa Parks Elementary School, Dr. Augustine Ramirez Intermediate School, and Eleanor Roosevelt High School all within range of your new home.

 

You have the choice between 5 home designs with features like a spacious downstairs living area, a free-flowing great room, dining room and a kitchen with a center island. The Residence One floor plan is a two-story home design with 1,860 square feet of space, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. This plan also comes with a two-bay garage. The master suite highlights a luxurious soaking tub with Moen chrome deck-mounted fixtures, 42” mounted mirrors, and an upgraded elongated toilet. The drab task of doing laundry will never be the same with a spacious and convenient upstairs laundry room. 

 

Save more and worry less with Lennar’s Everything’s Included must-have features that come with upgraded GE stainless steel appliances, a stainless steel single basin sink in the kitchen, slab-granite countertops, a gourmet kitchen island with slab granite countertop. 

 

Decrease your carbon footprint with the use of an integrated solar energy system with real-time monitoring, a tankless water heater, recycled floor coverings, and water-conserving low-flow toilets. 

 

Lennar is one of America’s leading new home builders in some of the most sought-after real estate markets across the nation. Whether you are purchasing a new home in Riverside for the first time, moving out of your starter home, or need more space for extended family, Lennar is the perfect fit. Lennar builds communities that cater to urban, suburban, active adult, and golf course living and believes in providing quality, value, and integrity. Visit the sales office of at Sendero Sonoma to learn more about your new Lennar home.

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September 26 2019

Houston Families Thrive in Community at Meridiana

by Erin

Two Children in stroller at Houston new home community Meridiana

Choose Meridiana and begin creating family memories that will last a lifetime. This development brings you new single-family homes created with you and yours in mind. Meridiana is brought to you by highly respected builders in Houston such as Chesmar Homes, Trendmaker Homes, and Taylor Morrison providing outstanding quality and customer service. Meridiana is conveniently located just 35 minutes south of downtown Houston, TX offering an abundance of eateries, entertainment, recreation, and shopping at the nearby Pearland Town Center

 

Meridiana’s many attractive amenities throughout the community include acres of crisp lakes and walking trails, a fitness center, swimming pools, and ambassador’s yacht, a football stadium, and a conservatory just to name a few. Meridiana just opened its newest addition for outdoor fun, Explorer’s Park, offering a great family play experience for all ages. Meridiana’s Park at Adventure Lake will also be opening this coming fall with a 23-acre lake for catch and release fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, as well as a shaded playground for the little ones. Stay active at Max Fit now offering weekly Boot Camp Classes at the Oasis Village & Fitness Center.

 

Educational opportunities are found throughout the Meridian community beginning with Meridiana Elementary just a few steps from your front door. This is a brand new facility offering modern technology with a dedicated staff for students that are eager to learn. Manvel Junior High School will be opening up in 2020 introducing magnet academic programs, pre-advanced placement, and athletic and fine arts opportunities.  Manvel High School will come right behind it in 2021 with its pre-advanced and advanced placement classes and will provide students with life skills that will impact them well beyond their graduation day. Meridiana believes that education cannot be contained inside of school walls and has placed a series of Learning Labs throughout the community providing hands-on lessons that range from solar dynamics to wildlife habitat for students of all ages.

 

When you appoint Meridiana as your new home, you’ll find out quickly that community will take on a new name. You’ll connect with neighbors in several ways that may even lead to feeling like family. Make connections by joining a club. Choose from wine club, running club, stroller strides, science club, and many more! You’ll also enjoy the annual Blues, Brews, & BBQ event held within the neighborhood that offers local craft beer, Texas-style BBQ, and live entertainment right to your own backyard!

 

It’s easy to see that Meridiana is a never-ending oasis for growing families that deserve the best. With a superb location, top of the line educational opportunities, and endless fun for everyone, the decision to purchase couldn’t be any easier. Join the interest list to learn more about purchasing your new Houston home.

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September 11 2019

September Realtor of the Month: Cesi Pagano

by Erin

Orange County realtor of the month Cesi Pagano

Our September realtor of the month is Cesi Pagano, owner, and CEO of Cesi Pagano & Associates and our Real Estate Market Expert for Irvine, CA and Rancho Mission Viejo, CA.

 

Cesi Pagano works as a consultant in the new home industry with new home builders and is also a listing agent in the resale market. With over 30 years of experience in the real estate industry, Cesi has sold more than 3,000 homes and has had yearly multi-million dollar sales.

 

Cesi earned her degree in Architecture with a minor in Interior Design at Cal Poly Pomona in the pursuit of a career as an architect. Her career path veered in another direction when given the opportunity to work with a well-respected home builder which led her on the path of real estate.

 

Cesi has worked closely with top advertising and design staging companies where she obtained her extensive knowledge and experience. She was also trained in negation, marketing, and home-staging skills as well as superior customer service which helped her earn her a reputation of being one of the most respected members in the real estate community. 

 

A few of Cesi’s accreditations include Accredited Buyer’s Representative, Certified Sales Professional, Pre-Foreclosure Specialist Certification, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, and Certified International Property Specialist.

 

Cesi Pagano & Associates focus on their client’s needs and satisfaction. Contact Cesi Pagano for all of your real estate needs to ensure you receive the best possible service when purchasing your new Orange County home

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August 29 2019

7 Simple Ways to Decorate Your Home with Plants

by racheal

House plants

There are many benefits to having indoor plants.  Plants can boost your mood, productivity, concentration, and creativity. They also can reduce stress, fatigue, and the common cold. Plants can clean indoor air by absorbing toxins increasing humidity and producing oxygen. Your indoor plants are also great for bringing in color and life to your living space. The best part of adding greenery to your home is that it’s an affordable way to decorate. If you’re looking to liven up your humble abode, we’ve created the perfect list of simple ways to decorate with the use of plants.

 

Place your plants on display with shelving

 

Place your prized leafy babies on display with simple shelving that is sure to catch the eye. Use a simple bookcase that you already have or install a few floating shelves on the walls.

 

Take advantage of your window seal

 

One of the most common places to put a plant in your home is the ledge of a window. There’s typically an ample amount of sunlight and a great way to view your new addition. 

 

Consider using potted paper plants

 

For those who don’t quite have that green thumb, paper plants are the perfect alternatives! No water needed. You can either purchase your paper plants online or make it a DIY project! Your guests will never know the difference.

 

Spice it up with some fun pots and planters

 

Make decorating with your plants less drab with fun pots that match your décor! Choose a few cool pots and planters with funky designs that will accentuate your gorgeous greenery. Another option is to pick up a few terracotta pots, grab some paint and have at it to give your pots a personal touch. Or get creative and try placing a few plans in a couple of soup cans. Of course, you might want to eat the soup first. 

 

Hang your plants in style!

 

For an extra touch of flair, consider using a macramé hanging plant holder. These can be purchased or made by hand. This is a great option to include greenery in a small space. Install a few hooks in your ceiling and hang away! You can also place your hanging plants in your entryways, patio and balcony areas. 

 

Fill in those empty spaces

 

Adding a simple plant or two or three is a great solution for those empty spaces in your home that you just can’t seem to fill. Throw in a nice Yucca plant or a Fiddle leaf fig or scale down a few sizes and place a few Ferns, Succulents, or Air Plants in your space.

 

Use a rolling cart

 

If you don’t already have one, grab a bar cart from your local thrift store or Target or Walmart and fill it with all of your favorite small house plants. The awesome part about this is that it’s on wheels. You can easily move your plants from room to room if you ever change your mind about their position in the home.

 

 

No matter how you decide to decorate your home, make sure to put your special touch on it and be creative. Choose plants and pottery that reflect your personality and style.

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August 14 2019

Indulge in Luxury Amenities with an Affordable Price at Meridiana

by Erin

End your home search at the new master-planned development of Meridiana, a highly sought-after community just minutes from both Pearland and Sugar Land, TX.  Meridiana is located just off the 288 making your morning commute a breeze and offering easy access to downtown Houston and the Pearland Town Center where you’ll find plenty of dining, entertainment, and recreation. 

 

The incredible amenities offered at Meridiana’s Oasis Village are perfect for every member of the family and include learning labs, stunning lakes, walking trails, an attractive fitness center, a football stadium, and even an ambassador’s yacht.

 

Stay cool while relaxing at the crisp Family Pool under its shady cabanas. Your children will have the time of their lives at the Splash Pad and, for those with expert skills, the Lap Pool is perfect for burning a few calories underwater. 

 

Put down the electronics and pick up a game of football, cornhole, or table tennis in the Game Area during the day or even at night. Grab a quick bite to eat at Café Sol. Join an engaging book club at the conservatory where you’ll also find community events such as cooking classes and happy hours that give you a chance to connect with your new neighbors. 

 

Only Houston’s leading homebuilders are afforded the opportunity to craft the new single-family homes in the Meridiana development. These home builders include Perry Homes, Trendmaker Homes, Shea Homes, and David Weekley and deliver stylish, affordable designs with open-concept interiors and lavish finishes.

 

Price points at Meridiana range between the $200,000’s up to the $600,000’s making your next move affordable without skimping out on the details. Meridiana isn’t known as the Houston area’s Community of the Year for nothing. Join a neighborhood of satisfied residents and take advantage of all that the community has to offer. Take the first step to purchasing your new Houston home and begin creating a lifetime of memories at Meridiana. If you purchase by Labor Day you'll be entered to win $5,000 towards your ultimate dream backyard!

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August 14 2019

August Realtor of the Month: Denise Feeney

by Erin

Denise Feeney August realtor of the month

Our August realtor of the month is Denise Feeney, real estate agent for Wagner Realty and our Real Estate Market Expert for Ellenton, FL, and Parrish, FL.

 

If you’ve got questions, Denise has the answers! Denise Feeney has been an active licensed agent for over two decades. With an amazing referral network, Denise goes above and beyond providing real estate services using her negotiating and marketing to get her clients the best deal.

 

Denise is dedicated to ensuring that you have the greatest Real Estate experience possible. She is extremely detail-oriented, dependable, honest, and a great listener! Whether you are experienced in the buying and selling process or this is your first time stepping foot in the water, Denise will walk you all the way through to signing on the dotted line. 

 

Contact Denise Feeney of Wagner Realty as you search for your ideal home for sale in Tampa Bay.

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August 9 2019

Foremost Companies Celebrates Grand Opening of New Fieldcress Neighborhood

by Erin

Terramor Clubhouse The Veranda

Foremost Companies has recently released the exciting news of the grand opening of its first neighborhood in Phase 2 and second all-age neighborhood at Terramor by Richmond American Homes. Terramor is an award-winning master-planned community that offers 1,443 single-family homes that span across 16 neighborhoods. Homebuilder Richmond American Homes will celebrate its new neighborhood Fieldcress on August 10, 2019, from 11 a. m. to 2 p.m.

 

Fieldcress neighbors Terramor Commons Park and the community garden. This new home neighborhood will offer 93 two-story residences that range from about 2,800 to 3,000 square feet and include between four to six bedrooms. Future homeowners will have the option to choose from three customizable open floor plans that include gourmet kitchens, covered patios, as well as two to three-car garages. Luxurious master-planned community amenities are also available. Prices at this community range from the low $500,000’s.

 

You’ll find there is always something to do at Fieldcress with its immense amenities meant to suit all ages. The Veranda, which is the resident clubhouse, provides indoor and outdoor spaces for the entire family to host small gatherings or private parties. No need for a cleanup crew or overcrowding at your home when celebrating those special events. Enjoy a mini “stay-cation” in your own neighborhood at the Veranda. It offers an outdoor pool with sundecks, restrooms, a changing area; and a toddler pool with beach entrance. There is also a fire pit; and outdoor seating areas.

 

Take a morning hike or walk on the more than five miles of trails and paseos within the community and discover the fabulous views close to home. The numerous amenities featured in the Fieldcress neighborhood also include dog parks for your furry friends, a community garden for those with a green thumb, ball fields, basketball courts and tot lots perfect for the little ones.

 

Foremost Companies is a premier land and investment firm that acquires property in strategic locations to entitle and sell high-quality developments to homebuilders and commercial developers. They have owned more than 12,000 residential lots in across California and specifically focused on the Los Angeles and Orange County communities where there are underutilized commercial properties. The senior management team at Foremost Companies is especially experienced in master-planned communities and single-family detached and attached products. They also specialize in multifamily, retail, office, and mixed-use.

 

Richmond American Homes, also known as M. D. C. Holdings, Inc. has had experience in building over 200,000 well-crafted new homes since 1977. They are among the nation’s largest homebuilders and have operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.

 

Be sure to visit the grand opening of the new Fieldcress neighborhood located at 24602 Terramor Dr., Corona, CA 92883.  Can't make it to the grand opening? That's no problem! You can stop by anytime to see what all of the buzz is about. Terramor offers model home tours of all neighborhoods daily from 10 a. m. to 6 p.m. With all of its many amenities and luxury features; you won’t need to look any further. Find out more about these amazing new homes in Orange County by joining the interest list.

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