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

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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July 31 2019

6 Out of the Ordinary Home Designs You Should Know About

by racheal

Most of the homes we tend to come across these days in the average neighborhoods are pretty cookie cutter. They’re the same color, size, and shape, with very similar features, but not every homeowner quite fits the mold. There are some creative architects that have made their designs come to life. So, we’ve created a shortlist of some of the most out of the ordinary home designs that might be worth the peek. 

 

Flintstones Inspired home in Malibu, CA

 

 

“Yabba-Dabba-Do!” This single-story Flintstones inspired home is located in Malibu, California and was the product of Dick Clark’s brainchild to duplicate the fictional residence of Fred and Wilma. This rocky home sits on 23 acres of land and consists of one bedroom and two bathrooms with a fireplace and several glass windows offering views of the Boney Mountains. This unique home was listed for sale in 2012 for a whopping $3.5 million but only sold for $1.778 million in 2014.

 

M-Velope Transformer House

       

 

The M-Velope home was created by designer Michael Jantzen and there are only 10 of these houses that exist. This 230 square foot home is a mobile living space that increases in size with slatted wood panels that bend and angle. The walls fold to expose work surfaces, sleeping platforms, and interior benches for sitting. Who needs furniture when you’ve got moving walls?

 

The Caterpillar House

 

 

Shipping containers aren’t just for traveling across the world on eighteen-wheelers or on boats. They can be upcycled into beautiful houses, complexes, and even functional office spaces. Save a few dollars while having fun with unique home designs. Shipping containers are flood and fireproof, which make for great building material. The average container ranges from 20 to 30 feet in length. The Caterpillar House was built with the use of 12 containers on a rocky landscape and designed by Santiago Irarrazaval Architects and Erick Caro back in 2012.

 

Airplane house in the village of Miziara, Lebanon

 

 

This replica of an Airbus A380 which is the world’s largest passenger craft was built by a Lebanese couple that now lives in Australia. The airplane house is comprised of two stories with 41 portholes on each side revealing an amazing view of the mountains. The plane includes elegant features and luxury living room space, bedrooms, and a spiral staircase. Now that is unique!

 

The Slide House-Japan

 

 

This home was designed by Level Architects who specialize in playhouse like home designs and was completed in 2009. This home with a giant slide spans three floors and runs the entire perimeter of the building and also has rounded corners. This is the perfect home the kid in you or actual children that love a good time.

 

The Keret House- Poland

 

 

Located in Warsaw, Poland, this home is known as the world’s skinniest house. It measures only 122 centimeters at its widest point. This structure serves as a temporary home for traveling writers. It has white interiors to give the feel of a more open living space and no windows, but it is semitransparent.

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July 24 2019

Five Tips for Upgrading Your Home When You’re on a Budget

by racheal

kitchen with island

We all fantasize about upgrading our home - but, the thought of overspending almost always turns our dream into a nightmare. According to today’s home improvement shows, the only way around spending a small fortune on DIY home upgrades is to dedicate a minimum of 40 hours a week to DIY projects. Most of us have been scared into thinking that we simply don’t have the time or the money to take on meaningful home improvement projects. However, there are many easy ways to upgrade your home when you’re on a budget! The following five tips will help you turn your house into your dream home and save money and time while doing it.

 

Add a tile backsplash to your bathroom or kitchen.  

 

A tile backsplash makes for a gorgeous statement piece - but they’re expensive and require professional installation, right? Nope! Thanks to products like Smart Tile, you can add a professional-looking tile backsplash to your kitchen or bathroom in minutes. Smart Tiles are adhesive sheets that come in many colors and designs and feature an adhesive backing that allows you to quickly install a jaw-dropping tile backsplash without any experience or expertise. 

 

Give your kitchen cabinets a makeover.

 

Cabinets define the look and feel of a kitchen, so a simple cabinet makeover will completely transform your kitchen and make it look brand new. Instead of replacing your cabinets, here are a few cheap and easy cabinet upgrades to give your kitchen a custom look:

 

• Add task lighting or up-lighting with light strips

• Add etched glass door inserts

• Replace the old hardware with modern (or vintage) pulls and handles

• Install crown molding to the top of the cabinets

• Remove the cabinet doors completely

• Apply a fresh coat of paint

 

Apply fresh caulk in the bathroom.

 

Facing old, deteriorating caulk in a bathroom is a terrible experience for homeowners everywhere. Over time, your floor begins to look grimy, as the once-white caulk becomes brown and flakes away to leave space for mold and mildew. Thankfully, it is cheap and simple to apply a fresh layer of caulk in order to refresh the look of your bathroom.  

 

3D Wall Panels

Add texture to your walls with 3D peel-and-stick wall panels. 

 

Instead of hanging a painting, use adhesive 3D wall panels to add a unique statement to any wall. The trendy panels come in various designs and will breathe life into any room. Plus, the simple peel-and-stick design allows you to apply them or remove them in a single afternoon without damaging your walls.

 

Renew worn-out floors with paint. 

 

An easy way to bring personality back into a room is to paint your wood and vinyl floors. Use your favorite paint colors to create a large checkered pattern or keep it simple with a single color that will balance out your walls - either way, using floor paint is a great way to refresh dull floorboards and impress guests.

 

Your home holds a great deal of value in your life - aside from an investment, your home acts as a sanctuary for you and your loved ones to live, love, laugh, cry, and grow. With the significance of your home as both an asset and as the place you and your family lay your heads, it is important that you continuously make upgrades to your house. Many people believe that money is what stands in the way of upgrading to their dream home, however, there are numerous ways to renovate your home on a budget. So, if you want to make some serious home renovations, but don’t want to spend a fortune, use this list of the best ways to upgrade your home on a budget.

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June 28 2019

4 Reasons Multi Generational Living is Right for You

by racheal

Meadow Creek Next Gen Home in Moreno Vally\ey

As home builders are popping up new townhomes and single-family homes left and right, there has also been a booming desire for new multigenerational homes as well. You may be asking yourself; What is a multigenerational home? It is one that is designed to meet the needs of multigenerational families that allow them both public and private space within the home. This includes families that consist of more than two generations living under the same roof. The new multigenerational homes of today are not your average mother-in-law apartment and will not leave you feeling like you live in a can of sardines.

 

Distinguished homebuilders such as Lennar Homes and Pardee Homes have created some pretty remarkable multigenerational home layouts that allow for comfort and functionality. Lennar’s Next Gen- The Home Within a Home® design, which was the first of its kind, offers a NextGen suite that includes a kitchenette, private living room, single car garage, washer and dryer, and a full bathroom.  This is also similar for Pardee Homes’ GenSmart Suite. This feature is a great addition to your home for adult children who’ve come back home after college also known as “boomerang kids” or grandparents who may need a little bit of assistance. Whatever your needs are, you can easily accommodate your family without sacrificing your comfort or your finances.

 

As if the floor plan features were not enough, here are four of the many reasons why multigenerational living is right for you!  

 

Save money on gas

 

You’ll spend more of your time making memories and less of it stressing on the upward costs of gas prices. There would be no more long trips to grandma’s house for visits on the weekend. 

Carpooling and rideshares can also become an option with multigenerational living. Multiple trips to the grocery store, doctor appointments or dropping off the kids to school can all become a shared task to save money on transportation.

 

Increased Privacy

 

Unlike living in the guest bedroom, multigenerational homes come standard with a private entrance that gives everyone the privacy they so desire all while being within a step’s distance. No need to wait on someone else’s load of clothes in the dryer or not having enough room to spread out. Each family will have their own personal space to lead their own lives unaffected by the other. 

 

Shared homecare costs

 

Although there are essentially two homes, there will only be one set of utility bills, groceries and one mortgage to pay, which saves everyone time and money in the end. 

 

Save on childcare costs

 

The cost of childcare for a date night or mini-vacation can be cut down tremendously when sharing your new home with your in-laws, adult children, or the grandparents. You won’t have to worry about outsourcing a baby sitter for date night or a weekend getaway. You’ll be able to sneak away from the kids with the help of family right under your roof.

 

Flexibility to do what you want

 

The possibilities are endless when purchasing a multigenerational home. You are not limited to strictly using the extra space for the family. You can rent out the suite to gain extra income each month. You can use the space as a home office, studio, or even a workshop. Maybe even leave open to out of town guests. The options are endless!

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June 21 2019

Google Invests $1 Billion to Bay Area Housing Epidemic

by racheal

Google office building in Bay Area

Due to the growth of large tech companies over the years in Northern California such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, the prices of nearby real estate have increased rapidly.  The San Francisco Bay Area has the highest housing costs in the nation. Due to this, there has been a large shortage of affordable housing for the low to middle-income neighbors of Google, one of the Bay Area’s largest employers.  

 

Rather than continuing to be a part of the problem, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai recently announced that they will soon become a major part of the solution by investing $1 billion in land and money to construct new homes in the area. Besides, within the next 10 years, Google plans to allocate $750 million of their land currently zoned for commercial office space to be rezoned for residential housing. This will allow for the development of at least 15,000 new homes in the Bay Area. These homes will be available to families of all income levels, particularly those in the low to the middle-income bracket. 

 

This is just the beginning of Google’s plans to redeem themselves in the housing epidemic that they have seemingly been a large part of over the years. They have also committed to generating a $250 million investment fund that will offer incentives to allow home builders to develop a minimum of 5,000 affordable housing units in the market. Google also has plans of providing $50 million in grants through Google.org to assist in relieving the issues of homelessness and displacement in the neighboring areas.

 

Other large tech companies are following suit with nursing the plummeting real estate market back to health. The chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, announced he will raise $500 million to expand affordable housing in the Bay Area. 

 

Although it may seem that the real estate market will be on its way to a road of recovery with several plans in the works thanks to Google and its other tech counterparts, there may be a few discrepancies amidst this good news.

 

Google is not simply giving away $1 billion as many of the headlines make it appear. This is an investment. Google is leasing its land to developers who will in turn rent and sell the units that are to be built and will profit from this transaction in a major way. 

 

Google owns property in Mountain View, California and part of that $1 billion investment will also go toward building up to 9,850 units at this location as well. Only 20 percent of the housing to be built in Mountain View will be deemed affordable housing. 

 

Logistically, Google does not have enough land to develop 15,000 traditional single-family homes. This means that the construction of multiple housing units such as apartments and condos should be expected instead. 

 

However the tech giant’s plans of operation seem to unfold, Google will come into good graces with its neighboring communities over the next 10 years as the burden of the real estate market in the Bay Area ultimately lessons.

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June 13 2019

June Realtor of the month: Travis Pugh

by Erin

Dallas real estate agent Travis Pugh realtor of the month

Our June realtor of the month is Travis Pugh, real estate agent for Branding Iron Realty and our real estate market expert for Seagoville, TX.

 

Travis spent most of his younger years in Kaufman County, TX, and Crandall, Texas. During his over years in the real estate business, Travis has worked in several markets including San Antonio, Granbury, Houston, and the Dallas real estate market.

 

Travis Pugh's many years of experience and mentorship under several talented entrepreneurs have given him quite a few nuggets of wisdom that he has carried with him over time. “In order to achieve success, one must always remember, success is not a destination, but rather the journey.”

 

Are you in the market to purchase a new Dallas home for sale? If so, make sure to give Branding Iron Realty a ring and Travis will have you signing on the dotted line in no time!  

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June 7 2019

Deco at Cadence Park offers Luxury Condominiums in Orange County

by racheal

Deco At Cadence Park Kitchen in Organge County

Deco at Cadence Park by K Hovnanian Homes is the perfect new home community to create your summer memories in! Located in Irvine, California, this single family community offers new luxury detached condominiums packed with amenities that will wow you. Choose from 6 three-story home designs that come standard with gourmet kitchens, spacious bedrooms, and an open living space that is perfect for entertaining.

 

Be sure to view the Bellerose home design at Deco at Cadence Park.  This floor plan comes with 1,916 square feet of living space, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and a 3-car garage. It is filled with features that include a spacious owner’s suite with an oversized walk-in closet and luxury bath, a convenient second-floor laundry room, and a gorgeous gourmet kitchen with an island and large pantry. There is also a versatile bonus room that can be used as a home office or even a playroom for your children. The owner’s bath is reminiscent of an ultimate spa with its beautiful ceramic tile flooring and a luxurious spacious shower detailed with subway tile around. You’ll fall in love with the designer dual sink vanities with quartz countertops, elegant chrome light fixtures, and the raised white thermofoil cabinetry with plenty of room for toiletries. 

 

The features of this community go well beyond the walls of its floor plans. Deco at Cadence Park offers an amazing 7.7-acre park fit for all ages that includes a tot-lot. There is also a junior Olympic pool and trails perfect for a morning walk or a bike ride. Get even more active by taking advantage of the basketball court, play a game of shuffleboard, or a little volleyball. 

 

Check out the local attractions within arm’s reach of your new home such as Newport Beach where you can enjoy a relaxing day of swimming, surfing, fishing, and even a sunset cruise. Take advantage of the opportunity to shop at the nearby Irvine Spectrum Center with its major department stores, dining and entertainment venues.

 

You’ll find these amazing features, luxury amenities and so much more when you choose the esteemed homebuilder builder K. Hovnanian. If you are in search of a new home in Orange County this summer, schedule a visit with the sales office of Deco at Cadence Park to begin your road to home ownership.

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May 17 2019

You Just Purchased your First Home. Now What?

by racheal

red door with lock

So, you’ve just gained the title of “homeowner” and the stress and anxiety of the home buying processes are finally over with. Now, what do you do? Don’t think that the work is done once you sign the dotted line. There are a few steps you should make after the home buying process that will make your life a little easier. We’ve got 10 helpful tips below to help you along the way.

 

Change the locks

 

Many people don’t think about taking this step when purchasing a home. With all of the open houses, realtors, and past homeowners trafficking through the home, you never know who may possess an extra set of keys or even the garage door opener. The cost to change the locks is minimal compared to both your peace of mind and the possibility of a break-in. When changing your locks, be sure to replace the hardware as well.

 

It’s also best to wait until the day after closing to schedule a locksmith to come out to make this change. You never know how closing can go. Sometimes it can drag on for a few more days than expected and you want to make sure that the entire deal is finalized before changing your locks.

 

Set up your utilities

 

This is probably everyone’s least favorite part about having their own living space when it’s apartment living or being a homeowner. It’s time to set up those utilities and pay deposits.

 

Say hello to your new neighbors

 

A bowl of jello or a plate of fresh-baked cookies is not required for this step. We’re not living in the ’60s, but it’s still nice to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. It’s great to form a relationship with the people you live next to. You’ll see them on a daily basis leaving and coming in and in most cases, it’s a great way to look out for one another’s homes when you’re away or form a carpool when the kids go to school.

 

Put your mortgage documents in a safe place

 

All of your documents may already be saved somewhere in the cloud or right in your email and that’s great! We may be in a new age with technology, but it’s always a good idea to make hard copies of your official mortgage documents and place them in a safe place for future reference. If for some reason, you cannot access your documents on a computer, you’ll always have a backup copy in hand.

 

Give your home a good deep clean

 

 

The best time to give your house a deep clean is when it’s completely empty. You won’t be able to see every spot, stain, or spider web with your house fully furnished. Take the time out to steam clean the carpets, buff the floors, wash windows, and deep clean in and around your appliances before your home becomes lived in with the day to day wear and tear. If you prefer to do it yourself, that’s great and you’ll save a few dollars, but there’s also nothing wrong with hiring a professional to get the job done and save some time.

 

Purchase a home warranty

 

A home warranty is a service contract that will repair or replace things around your home like a broken dishwasher. A warranty on your home may have come with the purchase of your home, but be sure to read the fine print. If you find that you may need extra security with another warranty, take the steps to do so.

 

Set aside an emergency fund

 

It may not sound very appealing to start yet another savings fund after shelling out the last of your savings on your new home, but this is a very important part of homeownership. Now that you’re a homeowner, there is no longer a maintenance man to fix the garbage disposal and there’s no leasing office to complain to. When something goes wrong, it’s up to you to fix it, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and has a few dollars stashed away for emergency purposes only.

 

Create a maintenance plan

 

The same way you have a maintenance plan for yourself when it comes to routine salon visits, dental appointments, and doctor visits, you should also have a maintenance plan for your home. Keeping a plan in place will prevent future problems around the house like the A/C going out in the summer or a pipe bursting in the middle of the night potentially flooding your brand new floors. Keep important numbers handy for your homes maintenance repairs.  Keep track of how long your warranties are for your major appliances and schedule “checkups” routinely to ensure everything is in good shape. 

 

We hope you find these tips helpful as you get settled into your new residence. 

 

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