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High End “Green” Homes

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on June 04, 2019  /  in Blog, Home Buyers, House Remodeling, Modern Home, Questions and Answers, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

As more buyers look to reduce their carbon footprint, eco-friendly or “green” amenities are a must, especially in high-end homes. But this is more than just having energy-saving light bulbs. For many, “going green” means going high tech, and sellers should take note of these trends as they become more and more common in high-end real estate.

Here’s a look at what’s new and improving in the way of green.

SMART HOMES

Smart homes are becoming the norm across the high-end real estate market. Voice activated and app directed commands allow you to adjust indoor and outdoor lighting as well as heating, cooling, watering, and washing. Take advantage of non-peak hours and control electrical usage while out of town.

DECONSTRUCTED DESIGN

Deconstruction is a concept that utilizes recycled raw materials. This trend is toward more authentic, natural materials such as exposed wood, metal, and brick. It is an exposed style of un-building reminiscent of the ’90s, but with a more refined and green edge to it through its emphasis on reuse, salvaged and donated materials. By mixing in more green materials such as quick-growing bamboo, you can add even add “newer” natural materials to the mix.

BETTER ENERGY GENERATION AND STORAGE

Smart tech is making life easier, cleaner, and cheaper. More efficient batteries are making electrical storage more effective while microgrids allow you to use and buy electricity from off-grid sources, making it easier to take advantage of more clean energy than ever before. Solar technology and the selling benefits they provide make electricity increasingly cheaper for you as a homeowner. Upper-tier home buyers are looking for more than just your typical solar panel. Innovations like Tesla’s solar panel roof tiles are the type of high-tech upgrades that catch the eye of those luxury buyers.

INSTALL AN ENERGY MONITOR

One of the easiest things you can do to decrease energy consumption around the house is to install an energy monitor. Household energy monitors are easy to use and inexpensive, and allow you to see a minute by minute presentation of your energy use. These devices work by clipping onto the power cable coming into your home and transmitting a wireless signal to a display that shows precisely the amount of power being consumed. In studies conducted in the British Isles, households with energy monitors saved between 10 to 15% annually by instituting the simple and inexpensive device.

INSTALL A WIND GENERATOR

Did you know that you can actually purchase smaller versions of these massive power generators? The costs of a home wind generator vary greatly. Some have built their own wind generators with off-the-shelf parts from their local hardware stores. Others have purchased kits or paid for professional installation to supplement the power purchased from their local electrical grid. Many kit based generators will produce only enough power to offset 10-15% of your home energy costs.

With careful planning and wise material choices, you can design an eco-friendly home that’s not only gentler on the planet, but that will help you save on energy bills in the long run.

Interested in remodeling your home to sell or positioning your already green home to buyers? Consult with one of our agents today.

Unexpected & Hidden Costs When Buying Your First Home

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on May 23, 2019  /  in Blog, Home Buyers, House Remodeling, Questions and Answers  /  Comments off

Buying a home for the first time is exciting but can also be a scary experience. You are excited to redecorate, paint, get new furniture, and settle in!

But unfortunately, there are often a lot of hidden costs when buying a home that you may not have budgeted for when you determined your mortgage terms and homeownership costs. Zillow estimates that homeowners, on average, end up spending around $9,000 the first year on hidden costs!

There are some unavoidable hidden costs that you may not have factored in when you purchased your home and signed on for a mortgage.

These costs come in the form of closing costs, hiring a moving company, home inspection, hiring a painter, lender fees, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, setting up internet, cable, and utilities which will be more expensive than your renter’s utilities. These costs are unavoidable and may be a one-time cost or reoccur monthly/yearly. Zillow estimates that you should be prepared to spend an average of $6,000 a year on these unavoidable costs.

When you first buy your home, you dream up all of the project and upgrades you want to do once you move in. Unfortunately, these costs add up and will almost always cost more then what you budgeted. These projects could be as simple as repainting the master or as technical as blowing out a wall in your living room to open it up to the kitchen.

Home DIY TV shows make us think that these projects are simple, inexpensive, fast, and easy to do yourself, but that is not always the case.

We are not all Chip Gaines or have the skills and knowledge to redo the plumbing in your bathroom to expand the shower. For these projects, you would want to hire help and labor rates are the quickest rising cost in your remodeling budget.

Another cost that most new homeowners do not think about it the cost of maintenance. This comes in the form of having to buy a lawnmower or a snow blower, getting the carpets cleaned, having someone clean out your gutters, HVAC maintenance, pest removal, house cleaning, pressure washing, and window cleaning.

For most of these, you can learn how to do them yourselves, which will only cost you money in materials and a few hours, or reading or watching videos to learn the best techniques. If the projects get to intensive it is better to higher a professional in the field.

Buying a home, for the first time is overwhelming, especially when you take a look at the long list of expenses and costs that add up before you can even move into your new home! But don’t be overwhelmed. By planning a budget for your home, and making a list of all costs that are needed you can make sure that you have smooth sailing every step of the way in your first year and every year afterward.

Here are the main costs to remember again: home inspection, closing costs, property taxes, lending fees, maintenance cost, and upgrades.

Before you close on a deal, grab some advice from your Nestlewood Realty Agent! We are here not only to help you find your dream home, but also to make sure you’re fully prepared for the costs you will incur.

 

How to Prep a Room to Paint

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on May 06, 2019  /  in Blog, Home Buyers, House Remodeling, Selling Your Home, Selling Your Home  /  Comments off

With summer right around the corner, now is the time that most of us find ourselves with a list of projects to get done. One of the most exciting projects is getting to repaint parts of your home. An important but overlooked step in painting is preparing your room and wall

If skipped you may end up with paint splatters on your flooring and light fixtures, or paint on your ceiling. Though when done correctly, it will make the entire process smoother and will leave your walls looking amazing! Whether you are thinking about selling your home or are just putting on a fresh coat, here are some of our top tips for prepping your room to paint like a pro.

1) Clear the Room

Take everything out of the room. This includes all of your furniture, curtains, blinds, art, electrical outlet switch plates, shelving, rugs, etc. You don’t want to accidentally get paint on any of your home furnishings so try to move everything into a different area of your home.

2) Cover the Flooring and Fixtures

Lay down a tarp or drop cloth on top any of the furniture that you were unable to move out of the room and lay the tarp on top of all of your flooring to protect it from any drops of paint. Cover lighting fixtures with plastic or tarp and wrap plastic bags around doorknobs and hooks using rubber bands.

3) Clean the Walls

You may not realize how much dust, dirt, and pet hair accumulates on your walls. Use a sponge and a mild soap to clean all of the walls that you are painting. During this step, you also want to check for any cracks or holes that need to be filled with caulk or spackle and be sure to sand the area down to create a smooth surface for applying paint.

4) Apply Painter’s Tape

Using painters tape will ensure that you get clean, straight lines when painting and will help stop drops of paint getting on any molding. First, you want to clean your moldings to get rid of any dust buildup. Otherwise, the tape will not stick well and will become a hassle to keep in place. Next, lay the painters tape on top of your molding and cover the entire base of the wall you are painting. You will also want to tape around window frames, vents, and along the ceiling line. Once you lay down the painter’s tape you want to go back over the edge of the tape that is against the wall and press it down to ensure there are no air bubbles and it is as tight as can be.

5) Prime & Paint

You are now ready to begin priming your walls and painting!

 

Sources

https://www.familyhandyman.com/painting/tips/using-masking-tape-when-painting/

https://www.houzz.com/magazine/how-to-paint-a-room-prep-to-painting-stsetivw-vs~71374323

Top 10 Actions to Take During Your Deep Clean

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on April 19, 2019  /  in Blog, House Remodeling, Luxury Home, Selling Your Home, Uncategorized  /  Comments off

Spring has sprung! Now is the perfect time to deep clean your home.

Cleaning your home makes it feels fresher and more open. Whether you’re preparing for a sale or clearing the cobwebs of winter, this means going further than your regular tidying and making time to dive into the seldom-touched areas of your home. Here is a list of the top 10 actions to take during your deep clean: 

1. Hitting the Baseboards

You probably loathe dusting the baseboards of your home, but the immediate feeling of gratification makes it worth it. Simply take a soft towel, spray with your favorite all-purpose cleaner and wipe away the build-up of dust and dirt. This will leave your home sparkling and your wood moisturized for the coming months.

2. Dusting the Blinds

Blinds are an area of your home that get used a lot, but get little cleaning attention. Take your soft towel and your favorite all-purpose cleaner and wipe off the dust build-up on your blinds. If you have wood blinds, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on how best to treat the wood.

3. Vacuuming Couch Cushions

This step can (and should!) be done more frequently than just during your Spring-cleaning. If you ever eat on your couch, like most people do, this is especially important. Take every cushion off your couch, vacuum the front and back of each and hit the couch base. This is also a great time to clean the floor under your couch. Pull the couch out so that you can get to the rest of the crumbs, forgotten pens, and cat toys!

4. Climbing Up to the Light Fixtures

Your light fixtures gather a lot of dust and pet hair. Grab a ladder or step stool and gently wipe down the fixtures. Depending on the materials of your fixture this can be done with a light cleaning spray or water and soap.

5. Washing Pet Toys

Pet beds and toys are often forgotten about when we clean. Depending on your pet’s bed and toys, you may even be able to throw them your washing machine. If you are not able to, use the hose on your vacuum to get the build-up of pet hair and dust/dirt that has accumulated. If your pet has especially fine hair (like cats!), use a brush to run through their beds.

6. Clearing the Vents

Air vents both on the floor and on your ceilings need a good wipe-down. They accumulate dirt and dust which is then put back into your home when they are pushing out heat and cool air! Use a comfortable and light duster, making sure that it has an extendable arm for those hard-to-reach places. You can also use your vacuum hose to get any loose dirt or animal hair that’s stuck in the vent.

7. Fine-tuning Windows and Doors

Like baseboard cleaning, wiping around windows and doors is tedious, but satisfying! You may need your step stool or ladder to reach these. The tops of doors and windows accumulate a lot of dust, especially if you open your windows during the day. Once again, take your soft towel and all-purpose cleaner and wipe down these areas. This is also an excellent time to get both sides of your doors, especially if they have carved out details that have built up dust accumulated.

8. Wiping Down Bookshelves

Since most people tend to dust around objects on shelves and bookcases during a “regular” clean, now is the time when you should take the items of your shelves and dust behind them. Often times you will find dust built up and pet hair behind your books and vases. Depending on the materials of your shelves, take your soft towel and light cleaning spray and wipe down the entire shelf, both the top and bottom sides.

9. Emptying the Cabinets

Similar to shelves, you probably aren’t able to get behind the items in your cabinets and wipe them down during a quick clean. This step will take a decent amount of time depending on the number of your kitchen cabinets, buffet cabinets, and media console cabinets. Take everything out of these cabinets and wipe down all four sides of the cabinet. (And get rid of the items you no longer use!) Make sure to finish by wiping down the front and back of cabinet doors.

10. Disinfecting Door Handles

Door handles and knobs are frequently overlooked during cleaning. Take the time to go around to all of your doors and wipe down the handles and knobs. You should do this on your hooks, railings, and cabinet knobs. Make sure you are using an appropriate spray for the materials of your knobs, hooks, and handles. This is also a good time to buff them so they look brand new once again! 

Of course, there are many other areas of your home that rarely see a deep cleaning, but we hope this list helps you get started and leaves your home feeling fresh and clean for summer!

Cleaning your home for an upcoming sale? Let one of our agents guide you through the process…

The Home Decor Trends We Can’t Stop Raving About

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on April 08, 2019  /  in Blog, House Remodeling, Luxury Home, Modern Home  /  Comments off

Whether you’re upgrading your home to prepare for sale or to enjoy for yourself, these are the interior design style trends everyone is talking about this year.

Bedroom

Bold Headboards

Imagine having sweet dreams at home under gorgeous fabrics. Try upholstering your headboard in a jew-toned velvet to add a touch of sophistication in your bedroom. Even better, help your bed stand out with a textural, out-of-the-box headboard! Use ceiling-to-floor curtains, mirrors, and floating shelves to elevate your bed’s look.

Canopy Beds

If your bedroom is large enough to accommodate, make a big statement with a canopy bed! Whether they are traditionally styled or are more modern, there is a canopy bed that goes perfectly with every bedroom design. From old-world four-post beds with curtains and plenty of flounce, to a more sleek and modern white canopy bed with minimal details.

Boudoir Vanities

The retro-inspired boudoir vanity is *officially* back on trend, and it’s an easy addition to any design style. The best part? They’re totally functional! Vanities are perfect for an awkward corner in the room, or to create a shocking visual impact with an oversized mirror in the middle of a wall. Choose any color, texture, and material for your space, but we suggest going unexpected.

 

Kitchen

Darken the Mood

Optic white isn’t going anywhere, but designers are leaning towards moody, matte kitchens this year. Set the tone with a rich and unexpected color for a more nuanced look. The antithesis to the tendency to go for all-white kitchens, black and moodier hued kitchen design ideas add a sense of drama to any home, are easier to manage, and are an elegant alternative to standard ivories. Finish off with slick matte touches.

Custom Pieces

If standing out with bold colors and textures isn’t enough, opt for handmade, custom furniture pieces. Further, know and understand where your pieces come from by commissioning its build! Companies like Tuckaseegee Timberworks, Hedrick Custom Designs, and Barden Built Remodeling can work with you to build exactly what you envision for your kitchen.

 

Anywhere

Art Deco

Art deco influence has come in and out of the limelight several times over the past 90+ years. It began trickling into design in 2018, but will become more prominent this year. From color shift (lots of pinks!) to textile design and furniture silhouettes, expect Gatsby-inspired looks to populate the market.

Natural Elements

Tech-centered decor dominated interior design last year. In response, designers are shifting toward fresh, natural elements in accents, furniture, decor, and even wallpaper. Materials such as stone, copper, concrete, and granite will be more prominent. Floral accents and floral wallpaper can lighten and soften the ambiance of the room. Push the boundaries of where you can incorporate these pieces.

Artisinal Lighting Fixtures

The installation of unique fixtures can elevate any space. Vintage lights, pendants, and sconces in brass and copper finishes are making their comeback in 2019. Designers are pushing for homeowners to mix and match metals and be more expressive with their lighting choices.

The overarching theme of the year can be summed up in two words: Go Bold. Mirroring the world around us, designers urge homeowners to turn up the volume in their rooms this year.

Thanks to our friends at Decor Aid, Elle Decor, West Elm, Oh Joy! + on Instagram for inspiring this post. For more on styling your home for sale, give one of our seller’s agents a call.

4 Easy (And Cheap!) Ways to Improve Your Landscaping

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on February 10, 2019  /  in Blog, House Remodeling, Selling Your Home, Selling Your Home, Uncategorized  /  Comments off

Is your property looking drab during these winter months? It may be time to update your home’s landscaping!

Your landscape is more than just a way to increase the curb appeal of your home when you’re ready to sell. A welcoming landscape is a perfect way to turn your property into an inviting outdoor space for family and friends. Regardless of the motivation, there are several quick fixes that can be done in a weekend (or less!) to make your yard instantly more attractive, without breaking the bank.

1.) Power Clean

It may sound basic, but if you haven’t spruced up your yard in a bit, the first thing you need to do is clean. This means taking the time to rake, prune and pull as much as you can in your yard. Start with one area to tackle first– probably your front yard, and deep clean. Remove leaf debris from the ground, dead buds in your planters and trim neglected, overgrown bushes that have lost their shape. This also includes scrubbing or power washing your walkway and driveway.

Have a high-traffic area that’s constantly in need of cleaning? Consider adding walkways between doors and storage areas or from the driveway to the front porch, as needed.

2.) Use Ground Cover

When you imagine a lush front lawn, you likely don’t see the financial burden of keeping your grass green. Many homeowners deal with dry, patchy, and weeded lawns simply by re-sodding the yard, but this can cost several thousand dollars– especially if professionally installed. Grass also requires a hefty amount of water and may need fertilizer and weed treatments as well, all of which will significantly impact your bottom line.

To combat these costs, use an easy-maintenance ground cover like thyme, bishop’s weed or lamium over the sections you want to hide. Not only will you save money on ground cover, but the maintenance is also easier and less costly over time.

3.) Keep it Evergreen

If you live in an area where winter months mean sparse trees and brown plantlife, opt for evergreens. Your front yard will shine all year long if you fill it with a collection of evergreens like boxwood shrubs, holly, juniper, and spindle tree. Choose varieties with different shapes, colors, and textures to create a glowing garden with little effort (and replanting).

4.) Add Small Touches of Color and Fun

The simplest addition of small pots of flowers, whimsical decor, and water features or the use of rocks in your landscaping can add personality to your yard. Plant colorful flowers that you love and that will draw attention to your home. Consider adding a flower bed border (a simple stone edge and mulch to pretty up your flower bed) to clean up your curb appeal.

Remember, if you select annual flowers that die every year, you’re going to wind up spending a lot of cash on replanting. Instead, buy perennials like alstroemeria, catmint, and coreopsis that will return each year with just as beautiful colorful leaves and flowers.

Don’t be afraid to incorporate elements of your personal aesthetic into your landscape design to add to the comfort and warmth of your home, even if you plan on selling soon. Buyers will be happy to move to a property that’s been well groomed and taken care of.

Interested in preparing your property for a sale? Our diverse team is ready to meet your needs. Contact a Nestlewood agent today at [email protected] or by calling 704.302.4464.

Understanding the Key Parts of a Real Estate Purchasing Contract

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on January 10, 2019  /  in Blog, Questions and Answers  /  Comments off

A real estate purchase contract, also known as a “contract to purchase real estate” or a “residential purchase agreement,” is a binding, bilateral agreement between two or more parties. The purchase contract is the key to your real estate transaction. Not only does it make your purchase or sale official, but it also protects both the buyer and the seller, ensuring that all expectations are clear.

Purchase agreements can vary from one state to the next but generally contain the same key elements. In some regions, agreements are concise and serve primarily to open the negotiation process, while in other regions, the purchase agreement may be an in-depth, legally binding contract.

The U.S. Statute of Frauds requires that all real estate contracts must be in writing or they’re not enforceable, and must be signed by both the buyer and the seller. (Handshakes are a thing of the past!) An experienced real estate lawyer or agent will be able to help you put this together, but a real estate purchase contract should also include the following:

Identification of the parties

And a description of their role

 

A description of the property

Including the address, condition, and legal description

 

Price accepted by the seller

And means by which it will be paid

 

Deposit amount

And means by which it will be paid

 

Closing dates and costs

And who is responsible for costs

 

Itemized additional costs and who is responsible for paying

Including inspections, appraisals, etc.

 

Contingencies that must be met before the sale can go through

Might include problems with the inspection, appraisal, financing or title

 

Fixtures and appliances that are included

And what moves with the seller

 

Required disclosures

Like termite damage, lead paint, etc.

 

Delivery, acceptance and expiration dates

Exactly when the purchase agreement will expire if not accepted

 

Default

Terms by which either party can back out of the agreement

 

The signatures of each party

Acceptance of the terms must be communicated. At this point, the offer becomes a legally binding contract


Having competent lawyers and agents in your corner who can draft a solid legal contract can help to prevent a good deal from going bad, but it’s still important to understand the elements of your real estate purchase and sale agreement.

As with any legal document, it’s essential to review a contract thoroughly. If anything is unclear, ask your Nestlewood agent and attorney. And even if you don’t see any red flags, ask questions anyway. You want to be especially careful when considering contingencies, disclosing information about the property, and deciding on deadlines.

 

5 Steps to Improving Your Home’s Appraisal Value

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 27, 2018  /  in Blog  /  Comments off

Whether you’re refinancing or looking for a fair price for your home, you’ll need an appraisal before you take your home to market. An appraisal is primarily based on recent sales prices of comparable properties, but in thriving markets, those sales prices might not be high enough to support the newest deals. (They can even drive down the price of your home!)

Even though the appraisal process is supposed to be objective, there are actually a number ways you can boost your home’s value. Appraisers look at factors like your home’s square footage, features, and condition, and compare them to other comparable homes in your area. While you may not be able to change your property’s size, you can follow these easy adjustments that will improve your home’s appraisal value.

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Step into the Mindset of a Buyer

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 20, 2018  /  in Blog, House Remodeling, Questions and Answers  /  Comments off

What do Home Buyers Really Want in a House?

Don’t let the “small stuff” sabotage your sale.

As a home seller, you probably hear this advice a lot– and that’s for a good reason. Investing time and money on the turn-offs in your home can alleviate potential buyer hesitations and lead to a quicker, higher priced sale. So what qualifies as the “small stuff?” What details are home buyers really looking for in a house?

When you’re preparing to sell, take a second to step into the mindset of the buyer. They are probably looking for a home that fits their spatial needs, design preferences and ideal budget. Here are some selling points you can highlight in your home to capitalize on a home buyer’s wants and needs.

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4 Features That Will Help You Get a Higher Price On Your House

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 19, 2018  /  in Blog, House Remodeling  /  Comments off

These Features Will Help You Get a Higher Price on Your House

In order to know how much your home is really worth, you have to know what affects its value. The real market value of your home includes more than just your home’s size and amenities; it also includes perks of the location itself. Don’t sell your home short by forgetting to advertise all of its best features.

Can’t find any obvious attention-grabbers in your house? Create them. Here are several renovations and updates you can do in your home to bump its value.

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