Marianne Avila - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Marianne Avila on 3/17/2019

We all love a clean house. And your mother always seemed to make cleaning seem effortless. That magical sparkle and crisp, fresh scent evoked all that made her talent special. But now you have a home of your own and want to make your own magic. Here are the items you need to keep in your cleaning arsenal to tackle the tough spots and lighten the workload.

Floor vacuum

Nothing beats a great vacuum for floor care. You want a vacuum that can switch from carpet to hard floor at the flip of a switch. Getting one with attachments to clean sofas and mattresses, drapes, and blinds is a total win. If your vac has a removable dirt canister, all the better since emptying it is a snap.

Hand vacuum

There are some places a large vacuum, even with attachments, just canít go. In that case, itís always handy to have a cordless hand vac available. Theyíre also great for a quick cleanup of crumbs or spilled pet food too.

Brushes

A variety of brushes was your momís secret weapon. A specific brush for the toilet goes without saying, but a brush for the shower, and one to scrub dishes, and even one to scour out the sinks makes light of everyday chores.

Rubber gloves

Having vinyl work gloves on hand makes cleaning the really icky stuff simpler. Gloves protect your hands and nails from harsh chemicals, pet feces, and other messes. Also keep on hand a set dedicated to hand washing dishes, pots, and pans.

A good mop

Even though you can sweep or vacuum a hard surface such as wood or tile, sometimes you canít sweep up the grime that makes it look dull and faded. Thatís when you need to pull out the mop. Modern mops with on-board sprayers negate the need for a messy bucket, and one that the scrubbing pad removes to toss in the washer simplifies the cleanup. Some mops even have multiple pads for different floor surfaces so you can scrub a little harder on the tile under the babyís highchair, but gently wipe up spills from the wood in the living area.

A broom and dustpan

A good broom for indoors and a separate one for out of doors makes cleaning up leaves, sand, and other gritty items a snap. A broom should have stiffer but flexible bristles and a blunt-cut bottom. A slanted edge makes side-sweeping easier, while a straight edge works best if you sweep in front of yourself. Get a matching dustpan that stores right on the broom handle so that theyíre always together.

Keeping your house clean doesn't need to be a tough chore if you have the right tools on hand. Your home can always be in show-ready condition with some planning, some effort, and a good cleaning.





Posted by Marianne Avila on 3/10/2019

Making a good first impression on prospective home buyers is the key to getting your house sold within a relatively short period of time. Once your house is on the market, you'll want to make sure any major flaws, aesthetic issues, and potential buyer turnoffs have been fully addressed before the first prospects walk through your front door.

Although serious house hunters often return for a second -- and sometimes third -- walkthrough of your home, first impressions determine whether they'll be back for another look.

Since time is of the essence and you may be on a limited home improvement budget, it's necessary to prioritize the projects that will have the most impact on the image you project. When it comes to making cost-effective decisions on preparing your house for showings, your real estate agent can provide helpful insights and objective advice. Seasoned agents can size up a property within minutes and identify ways to improve the look and feel of your home. Although every homeowner is going to have a different set of priorities and issues to deal with, there are a few focal points that would apply to just about everyone.

Curb appeal: To attract the maximum number of prospects to your home (and to put them in a receptive state of mind when viewing your house), it's essential that your property looks well maintained. In addition to having a manicured lawn and bushes that are neatly trimmed, your curb appeal also depends on the condition of your driveway, walkway, and house foundation. The appearance of weeds, cracked surfaces, and peeling or faded paint are sure to be seen as "red flags" to many people and will detract from the impression your home conveys.

Clutter control: Getting a handle on clutter in and around your house is a vital aspect of enhancing its appearance and marketability. Whether you're dealing with storage areas that are jam-packed to the hilt, too much furniture in your living room, or a front yard that's littered with bicycles, lawn equipment, toys and junk vehicles, clutter is a visual cue to people that "something is wrong here!" Clutter inside your house can cause rooms to look smaller and living space to appear as chaotic and uninviting. Even clutter in garages, basements, closets, and attics can send the wrong message to potential house hunters. On the other hand, uncluttered space is like "a breath of fresh air," and can go a long way toward winning over one or more interested prospects.

General recommendations: While everyone's situation is different and unique, cleanliness, proper room lighting, and basic home staging techniques can help maximize your chances for a successful showing. Applying a fresh coat of paint, where needed, also increases the eye-appeal of everything from your front steps and hallways to bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen areas. Thoroughly steam-cleaning carpets and refinishing faded hardwood floors can also be cost-effective ways to bring out the full potential of your home





Posted by Marianne Avila on 3/5/2019

Just what you have been looking for! Nestled behind trees & mature plantings on 4.6 acres is this private Raised Ranch. Previous owner housed 2 horses in the barn w/paddock, dressage ring & lovely trails for riding.A detached 2 stall garage w/loft offers many uses including hay storage/office space.There are many wonderful features of this unusual 11 Rm, 4 BR, 2.5 updated BA home.Extended family or long-term guests are easily accommodated here! Impeccably designed chefís kitchen w/5 burner gas stove in granite island, an abundance of cabinets, down & pendant lighting, SS applncs, dbl ovens, pantry & lots of counter space. The FR w/wood beams & vaulted ceiling overlooks deck, stone patio & I/G pool & provides open concept living w/the adjacent DR & LR. Walk down to the 1st level to discover a FR w/brick & knotty pine walls & fireplace.Features architectural shingle roof, lots of windows & sliders, hrdwd flrs. Sit back & enjoy your personal Nirvana as an equestrian,animal or nature lover

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Marianne Avila on 3/3/2019

One of the most satisfying aspects of being a new homeowner is the process of "making it your own."

That could include everything from painting walls and hanging pictures to replacing window treatments and assembling shelves. (Then, of course, there's the unpacking, furniture arranging, organizing, and room cleaning!)

For some people, one of the biggest challenges in getting unpacked, set up, and fully decorated is keeping their motivation high. While momentum is usually highest during the first few weeks of living in a new home, a lot of distractions, interruptions, and competing priorities can quickly vie for your attention.

In addition to using good time management skills and setting self-imposed deadlines for getting projects done, here are a few other strategies for staying on track with your decorating and home improvement goals:

Purchase needed supplies ASAP: It's easy for a project to get derailed or put on the "back burner" when you don't have all the tools, supplies, and materials you need to get started. Painting walls and ceilings is the perfect example because you can't get fully underway until you have a variety of brushes, rollers, paint trays, drop cloths, painters' tape, and a sufficient supply of paint -- often more than one color. If you have holes or cracks to fill, you may also need additional supplies like joint compound, a putty knife, and sandpaper. When you have immediate access to all the supplies you need for a particular project, it eliminates potential delays, excuses for getting started, and interruptions in your work flow.

Arrange child care: Sometimes the best approach to keeping your children supervised and entertained while you're working on the house is to hire a responsible teenager to babysit. If you have one or more older children in the family who can help take care of the younger ones for a few hours, then that's even better. In either case, you'll be able to stay focused on the task at hand and get a lot more accomplished.

Make it a priority: The problem with continually postponing a home repair, a landscaping task, or a painting project is that weeks can easily turn into months! Before you know it, years have gone by and you still haven't organized your basement, cleaned out those clogged rain gutters, or applied a fresh coat of paint to your outdated bathroom walls. By blocking off a specific period of time for getting a project underway or completed, you'll be accomplishing your home maintenance goals and beautifying your home faster and more efficiently.

Commit it to writing: When you write yourself a reminder note, create a to-do list, mark it on your calendar, or even text your spouse about your plans to tackle the project on Saturday, you've increased the probability that it will get done. Verbally telling people about it, such as when they ask you what you're doing this weekend, will also help fuel your motivation and nudge you to get the job done in a timely way!





Posted by Marianne Avila on 2/17/2019

When everything is online, itís hard to discern when getting up, leaving the house, and checking out a home can be helpful. Thereís so much information regarding real estate online; you probably want to pick and choose when and where you go to see a home. Even if youíre nowhere near being able to buy a home, you may want to check out open houses to help you in the future.


Looking at real estate is fun. You can dream of living in a neighborhood on the street you may never be able to afford. There are many advantages to checking out open houses. 


Youíll Understand How Far Your Dollar Will Stretch


The type of home that you can afford, and the type of home you want may not be in the same ballpark. If you take a look at different open houses, you may be able to see where your budget takes you. Even if the market changes, youíll be able to match your expectations with your wallet. As you know whatís out there, youíll be able to hone in on what you want in a home. 


From here, it will be easier to work with a real estate agent because youíll be able to give them a better idea of what you want when the time does come to buy a home. 


It Will Be Easier To Hire An Agent


As you go to open houses, youíll meet more real estate agents. These agents can become potential hires once you do get more serious about buying.


Youíll See The Market Firsthand


Besides understanding how much house you can get for your dollar, youíll be able to get an idea of how many buyers are actually out there. If youíre seeing many other potential buyers at open houses, you may be facing quite a bit of competition when you head out to buy a home of your own. When the competition is high, youíre looking at offering above asking price for houses. You could even get into bidding wars. A lot of other buyers doesnít mean you should back out of buying a home altogether, but just enter the market with caution. 


You Can Discover New Areas


By exploring open houses, you may find a neighborhood that you love that wasnít on your list before. How can you get to know an area if you have never spent time there before? 


Youíll Learn Where You Need To Compromise


By looking at different houses, you can see the potential (or lack thereof) in many homes. If you can see where youíd be willing to compromise long before the home search is on, your search will be that much smoother   





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