Do you have an empty corner or wall and no idea what to do with it?
Here are some ideas for making use of the awkward spaces in your home!
If you have space to spare, adding an art piece is a great way to fill it! In Astoria, there is no shortage of unique art and artists to choose from. Art is great way to create focus in a room by drawing the eye to the areas where they are placed. Art can bring purpose to a room that may have neglected space.
When in doubt, add a plant! Now maybe not just any plant. Think of something that you can take care of indoors and isn’t an eye sore. Succulents have grown in popularity over the last year. They are easy to take care of and many breeds come in different colors that together can create a beautiful arrangements.
Whether you want one for use as a mixing station or a caffeine station, a wet bar can make use of empty space. Most wet bars have a sink station but don’t think that you need to add plumbing to make the space work. These areas can be as simple or elaborate as you like. You can get creative with storage by putting in shelves on the wall near by, plugging in a mini fridge underneath, and installing some small useful storage devices.
Corners tend to gather shadows. Make use of the space to add in extra light! Adding an extra floor lamp or small lamp on an end table can make use of random corners. It can also make more sense to add in soft lights to areas like the living and bedroom areas.
Installing wall shelves or just placing bookshelves in an empty corner or wall can give you extra storage and decorative areas. Leave some space at the bottom of shelving to stash an ottoman or small seating chairs for when company comes over. Use the bottom of bookcases for storage.
Speaking of seating, empty areas can be used for a meeting or lounge area. Create a personal space for you to use next to a window or use for when you have guests. If you have the support for it, try to hang an indoor hammock or hanging chair!
If you love to peruse antique stores, maybe look more into what items would work for some empty spots in your home. Whatever you find, make sure that your antiques are on display and out of the way. You can gather unique finds that enhance the personality of your home and create some conversation to visitors.
Let’s face it. It’s 2018 and the term “There’s an app for that” rings very true. You can download apps to help you get a ride, have dinner delivered, or even check your health symptoms without ever actually speaking to another human being. For to sake of convenience these features are great but not when some of these tech trends try to creep into real estate.
Most of us can agree that simplifying some aspects of real estate would be a great thing but attempting to replace your real estate agent could lead to disaster. It’s true you can look on your phone or computer to search for a home or look up market data but at some point in your journey you will need a professional’s input.
The information you find online is just a simplified version of what actually goes in the process of buying or selling a home. Almost the same way that searching medical symptoms can give you a simplified description of illnesses but you are still expected to seek a doctor for treatment.
Although real estate agents and doctors are not the same thing, the industry and it’s legalities are similar because it needs to be taken seriously. Looking for a home and wanting to make an offer can be exciting but you will need a professional to help you with contacts and lead you to making that house your home.
Same if you want to sell your home! If you decide to put your home on the market, how will you know an offer that comes in is fair or not? It’s not just about the sale price of the home but the contracts that come into place after that. How will you know you are not being taken advantage of?
Once contracts fall apart, negotiations can’t be agreed on, and emotions are at an all time high you are going to wish you had an agent fighting for you by your side. So use the internet to take advantage of its amazing resources but don’t let it replace your agent.
Sometimes technology can’t do everything a professional can!
We all LOVE to talk about our favorite features in a home and the top trends. But can we take a moment to go over the things your home can live without? Some characteristics can detract rather than attract to a home’s beauty and turn off potential buyers. Here are some tips you can follow to get your home ready to sell!
Out dated curtains, fake floral arrangements, photo frames, and knick knacks can grab the attention away from from the home’s natural charm. Put away all unnecessary items and clear up room on your surfaces. This enhances the open spaces that buyers are looking for. Do this before taking photos of your home too! Depending on your home inventory, you might need to store away items while your home is on the market.
Now that you are selling your home, imagine that you are putting on a play. You are setting a stage for the buyers to see themselves in. This is why #1 is key to start staging. Taking out your personal items gives buyers more imagination to see their pictures, decorations, and furniture in the home. Don’t forget to clean! Wipe down surfaces, dust, sweep, and vacuum before a home tour.
Staging, decluttering, and cleaning isn’t just isolated to the inside of your home. Think about the exterior and enhance your curb appeal. Clear out weeds, tree branches, and extra garden decorations. Maybe power wash your decks, porches, and siding of the home. Take into consideration the neighborhood charm. Do you live in a grassy suburb or close to the busy downtown? Stylize your outdoors to match your area! Think seasonally too! A fire pit in the winter months and a beautiful garden in the summer.
This could be a touchy subject. If you have fur babies (rabbits, dogs, cats, etc.) that live inside, you might consider deep cleaning your carpets. Be vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Invite a trusted friend or family member to come over for a smell test. Maybe light some candles or use scents that won’t be overpowering to anyone walking inside.
Finally ready to make the transition into home ownership? That’s awesome, and in this exciting time you can be turning to friends and family for insight into the process. However, there seems to be a circulation of misinformation spreading around, so I’m here to clear up a few myths.
1. THE FIRST STEP IS SEARCHING FOR A HOME
You know the saying, “Don’t put the cart before the horse,” well that’s important to remember when it comes to buying a home. You don’t want to start looking for a house until you have gotten to sit down with a lender and discuss what the bank will qualify you for. If you fall in love with a house that’s $350,000 and you’re only qualified for $300,000, you can get your hopes crushed and waste a lot of time. Don’t start the process on the wrong foot and make sure the numbers line up.
2. YOU DON’T NEED A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Having a real estate agent on your side means you’ll get to see homes that aren’t as readily available on public searches, you avoid outdated listings and scammers (there are lots of them), and you have protection when it comes to navigating the legalities of contracts and buying a home. Why wouldn’t you want an awesome negotiator working to ensure you get the best from the transaction?
3. YOU CAN’T BUY A HOME WITH BAD CREDIT
Fortunately for some, this is a myth. Lenders and banks come by the hundreds of thousands and all though there are a few loan options, a lot of lenders can work with credit scores down to the low to mid 500’s. Get in touch with an agent to help you connect with the right lender who can help you potentially approved. There is a lot of factors that go into approvals, but your credit doesn’t have to be a sore thumb during the process. However, you will be doing yourself a favor if you connect with a credit repair specialist to at least get those numbers in the 600’s. A better score will lower you interest rate.
4. YOUR DOWN PAYMENT HAS TO BE 20%
Think you have to sell an arm and a leg to buy a home? Not at all! An FHA loan only requires 3.5% while a conventional only requires 5%. There are a lot of programs that can potentially help you with down payment assistance or be 0% down mortgage. USDA and VA loans are the most popular 0% down programs. If you qualify, this can take a big chunk off the amount of cash you have to bring to the closing table. Talk to your lender about these programs and see what would work best for you!
5. DOWN PAYMENTS ARE THE ONLY UPFRONT COST
This is one of the biggest misconceptions. There is a lot of cost that goes into buying a home and that includes upfront costs. Home Inspections are just one of the costs that you will incur in the home buying process. In certain markets, some of the closing costs can be negotiated for sellers to cover by rolling into the offer price, but whether that decision is smart to do or not when it comes to landing your dream home will need to be discussed with your agent.
Now that you have some knowledge to get the process started, get in touch me and I can help you get through the process as smoothly as possible.
If you haven’t bought a home yet, you’re missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, “Finally, it’s ours (or mine)!” And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that’s a real feeling!
We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don’t often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home.
There is a sense of security, and a sense of “this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment,” that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can’t be beat.
Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. And we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July and New Year’s Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships.
Buying a home isn’t about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it’s just about the joy of owning your own place, and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you’ve been longing for this, get in touch with me, and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!
As you know the housing market in Oregon is growing strong. With this healthy growth are you worried about another housing bubble? Watch this video for Windermere’s Chief Economist’s view on the topic, the cause for the past bubble and how our economy today is different.
CITY OF ASTORIA HISTORIC RENOVATION GRANT
CITY OF ASTORIA
Founded 1811 ● Incorporated 1856
The City of Astoria has received a grant from the State Historic Preservation Office to assist property owners with historic renovations. The Astoria Historic Landmarks Commission’s renovation grant program will make these funds available to homeowners desiring to make exterior rehabilitation or renovation improvements. For 2017, projects in the Uniontown neighborhood will take priority. Should additional funds be available after initial outreach to the Uniontown area, funds will be open to other eligible historic properties.
Properties designated as a Historic Landmark, contributing to a National Register Historic District, or as a National Landmark are eligible. Renovation or rehabilitation work needs be located on the primary facade of the structure or where it is highly visible to the public. Structural improvements to preserve the integrity of the structure may also qualify.
Projects may receive 50% of the project cost up to a maximum of $3,000 in grant funds. Projects must be completed by July 31, 2017.
If you are interested in applying for these grant funds, please contact Nancy Ferber at 503-338- 5183 or email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Program guidelines and applications are available at www.astoria.or.us, under Community Development Department, and select Projects, or from City Hall, 1095 Duane Street, Astoria.
The grant program has been financed with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The contents and opinions of any documents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior.