Posted in Home Buying, Home Improvements & Repairs, Home Selling, Your Real Estate Needs!

Convert a Bland Wall Into Stunning Design Feature.

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Just because a new home comes with fresh white walls doesn’t mean they have to stay that way. A statement wall can pull a design together, add personality, and make furniture and accessories pop. Creating an eye-catching feature can be simple, starting with a wall to highlight. 

Whether you choose to make a statement with a bold, bright wall color or an exotic, textured wallpaper, the key is to balance it with other design elements in the room.

Choose a Focal Point – Decide what aspect of the room you would like to draw attention to fireplace, large furniture pieces and artwork are popular focal points. If your room doesn’t lend itself to having a statement wall, highlight existing features like a small office nook or an inset wall.

Pick a Bold Color or Pattern – Choose a bright color, interesting texture or striking pattern for your statement wall. Pick up a color from the furniture or textiles already in the room or go with a contrasting color to stand out more.

Place Furniture for Maximum Impact – Arrange pieces of furniture to draw attention to your statement wall. For example, two light-covered occasional chairs on opposite sides of a darkly painted wall attract the eye and create a focal point, particularly when they’re coupled with pops of color in pillows, lamps and art.

Add Accents – Finish off a room’s design by carefully placing accessories that highlight your statement wall. This is the perfect opportunity to integrate your personality into your home. Show off your favorite artwork, family heirlooms or travel keepsakes.

Looking to selling your home or interested in purchasing a home, give me a call 281-793-5193, I look forward to speaking with you!

 

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Posted in General, Home Improvements & Repairs, Home Selling, Your Real Estate Needs!

Organizing Tips for Your Home

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Spring may be a popular season for cleaning, but fall is a great time to get your home organized, especially if you have a students who are starting school. Clutter creates chaos. Once an area gets messy and disorganized, it becomes the de facto dumping ground for everything else, let’s face it, it’s the truth! Here are a few clutter buster to keep the chaos under control.

Start with the Hot Spots – Clear flat surfaces that tend to accumulate piles on a daily basis. If you find yourself tempted to leave items in those areas, replace the clutter with artful decorations to remind yourself that it’s no longer a dumping zone.

Designate a Space for Everything – Find a home for everything in each and every room of your house, including the garage. If it doesn’t fit, consider it a sign that you need to go through and purge the items you no longer use. 

Arrange by Frequency of Use – Keep regularly uses items near the front or eye level in closets, drawers and pantry spaces. Store stuff you rarely use high up or in the back.

Compartmentalize to Avoid Clutter – Use drawer dividers and storage containers to group like items together. Each compartment serves as a placeholder when items are in use, which prevents the space from being overtaken by random clutter. 

Zip and Store Things – To keep clutter under control, group small items by category and store them in resealable plastic bags inside a larger storage container or drawer. 

Swap out the Extra Stuff – Rotate clothing, toys and accessories by season so you aren’t tripping over winter boots when you’re looking for flip-flops and vice versa. This strategy also works for taming the toy room

Find your next home with Christina E. Osborne 281-793-5193 

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Posted in Home Improvements & Repairs, Your Real Estate Needs!

How to Live Big in a Small Space

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Living in a small space poses many challenges from an interior design perspective. Too much furniture and your home feels small and cluttered. Too little and you lack the functionality you need for day-to-day living.

From furniture placement to controlling clutter, maximizing what you have is a must if you want to get more from less space. Here are some tried-and-true tips for maximizing your small abode.

Divide and Conquer – Instead of breaking up your floor plan into individual rooms, consider and open layout that uses strategically placed furniture to divide the space.

Go for Light and Bright – Use lighting to create a sense of spaciousness. Start by allowing in as much natural light as possible, keeping window coverings to a minimum and using bright paint colors.

Supplement with Lighting – Augment natural light with sufficient general, ambient and task lighting. Your lighting design should take into account the different ways you use the space.

Get (and Stay) Organized – When designing your small space, think about storage in every room. Consider adding built-in bookcases, cupboards or cabinets, and using furniture with built-in storage.

Think Versatility and Flexibility – Keep multiple uses in mind when considering your design needs. Search for furniture that can do double duty, like a hinged coffee table that lifts to create a dining surface or a dresser that serves as a nightstand.

 

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Have real estate questions? Call me 281-793-5193, I would love to chat with you! Selling or buying call Christina E. Osborne for all your real estate needs! #listwithchristina #leaguecitytxforsale #houstonrealtyteam #friendswoodtxforsale #probaterealtor #broker #realestate http://www.HoustonRealtyTeam.com

 

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Posted in Education, General, Home Buying, Home Improvements & Repairs, Home Selling, Your Real Estate Needs!

Create a Home Maintenance Checklist 

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Your vehicle routine maintenance to run smoothly, and the same goes for your house. Without service reminders, however, it can be easy to forget to tend to all systems that keep your house fully functioning. Fortunately, you can create a simple annual maintenance checklist to properly care for your home and prevent potential issues from becoming major problems.

Start by making a list each task you’ll need to complete over the coming year. Make sure your yearly home inspection includes all major system (HVAC, electrical and plumbing), the interior and exterior of your home, water and septic tanks, doors and windows, and the attic or baseball if applicable.

When that’s done, organize the list according to how often each item needs to be checked or maintained and set reminders accordingly. Your home maintenance checklist might start to look similar to this:

Monthly 

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Change air filters in the heating and air conditioning system.
  • Clean range hood filters to avoid possible grease fires.
  • Trim back any shrubbery or plant around the outdoor HVAC unit at least 18 inches.

Quarterly 

  • Check and wipe down sliding doors and window tracks.
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors.
  • Test garage door and grease tracks as needed.

Semiannually 

  • Clear gutters of spring and fall foliage.
  • Power wash windows and siding.
  • Schedule seasonal service of the HVAC system before summer and winter.

Annually 

  • Inspect and insulate pipes to protect them from freezing.
  • Trim trees and shrubs away from the home’s exterior.
  • Touch up exterior paint and check for wood rot or water damage.
  • Check grouting in kitchen and bathroom and repair if necessary.

 


Have real estate questions? Call me 281-793-5193, I would love to chat with you! Selling or buying call Christina E. Osborne for all your real estate needs! #listwithchristina #leaguecitytxforsale #houstonrealtyteam #friendswoodtxforsale #probaterealtor #broker #realestate http://www.HoustonRealtyTeam.com

Ask me about my 22 Step Home Selling Formula to sell your home for 3%, 5%, 8% or even more!

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Posted in General, Home Buying, Home Improvements & Repairs, Home Selling, Your Real Estate Needs!

Refresh your Interior with the Right Paint

Looking for a quick way to rejuvenate your living space? Before you go changing layouts or knocking down wall, try giving your interior a fresh coat of paint. This fairly simple task can dramatically alter the look and feel of your home. 

Changing interior paint is an easy do-it-yourself project that most can tackle in a weekend or two. Before you get the rollers out and start painting, here are some basics about the interior paint finishes available.

Flat or Matte – Hide imperfections with flat paints, which absorb light and make the colors seem darker. The downside? This type of paint is the least stain resistant, so reserve it for low-traffic areas and ceilings.v4l-125301.jpg

Eggshell – Not as dull as flat paint but less shiny than semi-gloss, this low-sheen option works well in living rooms and bedrooms. Be aware that the shine can accentuate wall imperfections, it’s best on smooth, well-prepared surfaces.

Satin – This easy -to-clean finish is often used on windows, doors and trim. It’s soft sheen sets it apart from walls painted in eggshell or flat finishes. Though it is highly durable, satin paint has less protection than shiner options.

Semi-Gloss – Designed to stand up to stains, semi-gloss paints are the easiest to clean, making them ideal choices for kitchen and children’s rooms. Semi-gloss sheen also stands up to moisture, so consider this selection when repainting a bathroom.

Low VOC – The name says it all. This type of paint contains fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which release toxic gases. Opt for low-VOC paint if you want to go green in your home and deal with less paint fumes.

Need information on selling your home or have questions? Give me a call, I would love to chat with you! 281-793-5193

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Christina E. Osborne
Houston Realty Team
Phone:(281) 793-5193
Fax:(281) 402-1967
Email:Christina@HoustonRealtyTeam.com
Blog:http://blogs.har.com/ChristinaOsborne
Web:http://web.har.com/ChristinaOsborne
Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice | Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services

Posted in Another Listing..., General, Home Buying, Home Improvements & Repairs, Home Selling, Neighborhood & Communities, Your Real Estate Needs!

Staging Tips That Help Homes Sell Quickly

The numbers don’t lie; often well – staged homes can see faster sales and higher offer than their cluttered counterparts. The keys is getting an early start on the process. By beginning the monuments task of clearing the clutter and doing a pre-pack now, you can reduce the stress of preparing for showings and make it easier to move when your home sells.

Try these five staging and organizing tips to help you reach a faster sale.

 

Purge From Top to Bottom – Do a proper sort and purge, getting rid of outdated clothing, duplicate items and rarely used gadgets. To keep this task from turning into a source of serious frustration, tackle one room (or even one drawer) at a time.

Pack Up Everything but the Essentials – Start pre-packing your home, storing non-essentials or out-of-season gear in the garage or off-site. The idea is to give potential buyers a sense of space, which can’t be done if your home is overloaded with clutter.

Fix Glaring Problems – Remove out-of-style wallpaper, replace broken light fixtures, update cabinet and drawer pulls, and refresh dated window treatments. Simple fixes like these can make your home stand out from the competition.

Depersonalize – Remove family pictures and personal collections, and replace them with neutral artwork and simple accessories. The idea is to give potential buyers a neutral canvas so they can image their belongings in your home.

Go for Polished – Research the latest design trends and stage your home to match. Professional stagers recommend tailoring the design style to your target demographic. For example, if you’re in a family neighborhood, style the bedrooms for children, even in none live in your home.

Thinking about selling your home? Hold the thinking and call me today 281-793-5193. #‎houstonrealtyteam‪ #‎listwithchristina ‪ #dickinsontxhomepricing #friendswoodtxhomepricing #leaguecitytxhomepricing #getthefacts ‪#‎realestatebroker‪ #‎getmarketingdone#probaterealtor #estatesale

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Posted in General, Home Buying, Home Improvements & Repairs, Home Inspection, Home Selling, Neighborhood & Communities, Your Real Estate Needs!

Celebrate the Season with These Party Ideas

There’s just something about the starry nights and fresh air that make summer the perfect time for parties. From a friendly neighborhood gathering to an afternoon pool party, here are five themed ideas to get you started.

Movies Under the Stars – Turn your backyard into an outdoor movie theater. All you need for an evening filled with your favorite Hollywood stars is an inflatable screen and projector, a cozy area for seating or sleeping bags and, of course, popcorn.

Neighborhood Block Party – Host a summertime gathering on your street, inviting the neighbors to bring chairs and potluck dishes to share. Arrange games for the kids and invite your local fire or police department. And while  you’re planning don’t forget to apply for a permit to set up roadblocks.

Elegant Garden Party – Invite your friends over for a traditional garden party. While the setting is causal, a garden party is anything but. Give your gathering an air of sophistication with crisp white lines and extravagant centerpieces, and serve your guests an assortment of appetizers and finger foods.

Old-Fashioned Campout – Experience the great outdoors in your own backyard by setting up camp. Sleeping bags, a tent, lawn chairs and a backyard fire pit create the perfect setting for telling ghost stories and enjoying late – night marshmallow roasts.

Backyard Pool Party – Make a splash with your next pool party by designing games, food and decorations around a theme. Adults can socialize while kids enjoy swimming pool games like sponge tag or noodle jousting.

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Posted in General, General Tax Information, Home Buying, Home Improvements & Repairs, Home Selling, Your Real Estate Needs!

Why use a Realtor?

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR “®” logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem , would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.

But if you’re still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a dozen more reasons to use one:

1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power — that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders — banks and mortgage companies — offer limited choices.

2. Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.

3. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

4. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.

6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.

7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.

8. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.

10. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. A REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

11. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

Courtesy of NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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Posted in Country Home & Acreage Living, General, Green Living, Home Improvements & Repairs, Home Selling, Your Real Estate Needs!

Create a Garden Paradise

Urban living doesn’t mean you cant create a gardener’s paradise. Spectacular gardens can grow in unexpected places. Here are a few tips on how to create a rooftop or patio garden.

Check Zoning Rules – Before you start, consult your local zoning bylaws, municipal building requirements and your HOA (if you have one). Adding a rooftop or patio garden may require reinforcing the structure and possibly a permit.

Plan Your Space – Decide how you intend to use the space. Are you trying to enhance the view from the inside or do you want an outdoor space for relaxing or entertaining? Once you map out the main design elements, you can plan your container garden around them.

Consider Weight – Keep containers lightweight by using soilless potting mixes, planter inserts or lightweight containers, especially if you plan on growing plants that require a lot of water.

Choose Sturdy Plants – Pick plants that can handle the elements. Compact shrubs and hardy perennials that are ideal for container gardening include boxwood, cedar, euonymus, ferns, grasses, lavender, yews, dwarf conifers and succulents.

Think Safe and Secure – Consider adding walls or a lattice structure to provide a safety barrier and protect plants from wind damage. It’s also a good idea to secure planters to keep them from toppling over.

Raise Planters – Protect your rooftop or patio from rot and water damage by placing  planters on bases or feet to prevent water from pooling underneath. Raising planters also allows for air circulation to the roots, encouraging stronger root development.

Water Regularly – Remember that container gardens are more susceptible to drying out so use moisture – retaining gel grains or mulch to lessen evaporation, or consider installing a drip irrigation system.

 

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Posted in Country Home & Acreage Living, General, Green Living, Home Improvements & Repairs, Neighborhood & Communities, Your Real Estate Needs!

Lawn Care Summer Tips

The summer season brings about glorious days of warm weather and outdoor activities that keep us outside of hours upon hours at a time. For some, most of those hours during these months are used to maintaining a healthy landscape around their homes.

While some homeowners know exactly what their lawn needs daily, most will find that they have issues keeping their grass healthy and, in turn, will be looking at a very barren dry lawn by the time fall rolls around.

Below are some tips and procedures that can assist any homeowner in making their lawn healthy throughout the hot summer seasons.

 

Watering

Hydration is essential to the growth and nutrition of your lawn. The entire landscape surrounding your home needs to have at least an inch of water on a weekly basis. This inch of water can come from rain or can come from manual irrigation through your water hose.

High-Traffic Areas

By summer, many lawns begin to show signs of wear, especially in a few popular pathways. Consider installing stepping stones to minimize damage to your grass, and try to minimize traffic on dormant, brittle lawns. If you’re getting plenty of rainfall and your lawn is actively growing, you can apply a bit of fertilizer to these areas to help the blades recover faster.

Mowing the Lawn

A healthy lawn does not necessarily mean that it should be short. When cutting into your lawn, the blades need to be set as high as possible. The length of grass, preferably high, provides numerous amounts of benefits towards keeping the soil healthy and productive.

Weed and Feed

Why You Need It: This combo product helps you fight weeds and feeds your lawn at the same time. Most varieties include herbicides that kill annoying weeds like dandelions mixed with fertilizers to help new grass grow. For an organic option, try a weed and feed made with corn gluten, which prevents weeds from germinating while also adding nitrogen to boost your lawn. Apply the product before weeds emerge in spring, following the bag’s instructions

All-Purpose Fertilizer

Why You Need It: This is plant food in its most basic form. Mix it into the soil in flower beds to rejuvenate weak plants or get new ones off to a strong start. Look for special blends like a bloom booster that helps plants grow lots of flowers, a mix that promotes root growth, and a high-nitrogen formula for lush leaves. Organic fertilizers are safest, especially for veggie plots, but no matter what kind you get, follow the guidelines on the bag to make sure you use enough.

 

 

 

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