Marianne Avila - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/12/2020

Whether you live in a huge mansion or a modest cottage, your home is your castle, and you're entitled to be safe and secure at all times!

Unfortunately, there is a criminal element in society which can pose a potential threat to homeowners (and renters) who fail to take precautions.

While each individual has to decide for themselves what security measures are necessary for their own safety and that of their family, everyone can benefit from developing a sense of heightened awareness. This is not a difficult thing to do; it simply requires you to focus extra attention on the need to keep your home and family secure. As an old song lyric by Kenny Rogers reminds us, "Trust in God, but lock your door."

By nature, we are all "creatures of habit." It's easy to lose sight of the big picture and allow ourselves to be lulled into a sense of false security. No matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, you're inviting trouble if you habitually leave your doors unlocked. In the same way you may be conscientious about turning off the stove when you're finished using it, getting in the habit of locking your doors (and windows) before you leave the house or go to bed is also a good safety practice. Just that simple thing done on a consistent basis can drastically reduce your chances of becoming a crime statistic.

Shedding light on the subject

Another easy and inexpensive way to fortify home security is with lighting. Your house and property should never be pitch black at night because it makes your home look more vulnerable and unprotected. Creating the impression that someone is home -- whether they are or not -- can be as simple as turning on a couple lights before you leave the house, connecting your lights to a timer that will automatically turn on and off at designated times, or installing a system that enables you to control your home's security remotely. Motion-activated outdoor spotlights can also be an effective deterrent.

One of the many advantages of having a high-tech home control system is that you never have to worry about forgetting to lock your doors, turn on the lights, or adjust your thermostat; you can do it from virtually any location. If you're not technically inclined, you can have a system installed and monitored by a home security company (Make sure to compare prices, services offered, and customer reviews first, though.)

Some homeowners even opt for a video surveillance system, which is one of the most effective ways to keep tabs on your property. Implementing that sort of security system doesn't fit everyone's comfort zone or household budget, but home automation, in general, is an option worth considering and learning more about.

Whether you decide to stick with old-fashioned techniques or try the latest high-tech methods of keeping your home secure, your most important resources are awareness, alertness, and a good set of locks on your doors and windows.





Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/5/2020

Are you an experienced homebuyer? If so, you may be better equipped than others to enjoy a quick, worry-free homebuying experience.

Ultimately, a veteran homebuyer can learn a lot from his or her past experiences, including:

1. How to Avoid Paying Too Much for a House

The housing market offers many opportunities for veteran and first-time homebuyers alike. However, a first-time homebuyer may struggle to pounce at an opportunity to acquire a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price. On the other hand, an experienced homebuyer likely knows what it takes to acquire a house at a price that matches or surpasses his or her expectations.

As an experienced homebuyer, it generally helps to think about how you narrowed your price range when you most recently searched for a home. This experience may guide you as you look to establish a price range for an upcoming house search.

Furthermore, a veteran homebuyer may know exactly what types of housing market data to examine before entering the real estate market. By evaluating the prices of recently sold houses and available residences in cities and towns where you'd like to live, you can use assorted real estate market data to accelerate your home search.

2. How to Get Home Financing

If you struggled to get a mortgage for your first home, there is no need to deal with home financing problems once again. Instead, a veteran homebuyer can allocate the necessary time and resources to get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.

To receive pre-approval for a mortgage, it usually is a good idea to meet with various banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can educate you about myriad mortgage options and help you select the ideal mortgage based on your homebuying needs.

3. How to Differentiate a Buyer's Market from a Seller's Market

Regardless of whether you previously bought a house in a buyer's or seller's market, you can use your past homebuying experience to help you assess the current state of the housing sector. Then, you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

If you notice houses are selling quickly at prices above their initial asking figures, you may be preparing to enter a seller's market. In this scenario, you may need to act quickly to acquire a great house.

Comparatively, if you find that homes are lingering on the housing market for many weeks or months, a buyer's market may be in place. In a buyer's market, you may be able to purchase a stellar house at a discounted price due to the sheer volume of houses that are available.

Before you launch a home search, it is important to note that even a veteran homebuyer may need help at times. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert support throughout the homebuying journey. In fact, this housing market professional will make it easy for you to discover a superb house in no time at all.




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Posted by Marianne Avila on 12/29/2019

Image by Kari Shea from Pixabay


 

Have you ever walked into someone's home or office space and instantly felt that it was positive, welcoming and peaceful?  It means more harmonious work with customers and clients and a more peaceful attitude at home.  Imagine walking through your front door and the stresses of the day melting away.

A good design, including color, layout and lighting can help create that environment for you or your business.  Read on to learn more!

Color

To create a relaxing and serene impression, consider using pale blues, which many people find calming.  Aqua and periwinkle are also soothing colors.  Want something warmer?  Peaches are a fresh choice to create a feeling that's more energized, yet welcoming and relaxed. 

For an interesting twist, consider creating a gradated impression with mountains or swaths of gently shifting color either with paint or using wallpaper.  Gradual shifts in color are very soothing to the eye and also make decorating far easier, as it's possible to match with any of the colors present.

For bedrooms, do consider darker colors such as midnight blue on one wall, especially if the bedroom does not include an office space and is used mostly for sleeping.

Layout

One of the decorating maxims is quality over clutter: "buy it once, and buy it right".  If your budget is tight, gather the bare essentials first, and allow yourself a full year to reach the finished, polished look you're going for.  Remember that if it's a home you've purchased, you're going to be living there for years to come: there's no deadline to acquire the perfect look.

Finally, don't purchase furniture that is oversized in order to 'fit' a larger space.  There are two options for larger spaces that seem empty: include more furniture around the central hub of a room (such as a couch, loveseat and two chairs instead of just a couch); or create two hubs of interest in the room.

Lighting

There is little more important to the peace and serenity of a room than natural light!  Be sure that whatever window treatment you use isn't so complex that it takes a great deal of effort rearrange to bring in more light or block it out.  Be careful of overhead lights: they can be overwhelming if too intense.  Finally, concentrate standing lamps in quiet corners that may be used for reading or play.

One of the best things you can do for a room that seems hemmed-in and dark is to knock out the existing windows and add new, larger ones in their place.  This isn't an inexpensive renovation, but it can change the look and feel of a room entirely.

Candles, fireplaces, and string lights are the ultimate in soft, social lighting!  Use these to create an intimate atmosphere.

Living Things

Every room needs a living thing in it, whether that's a standing plant or a fish tank.  Living things bring a touch of the serenity of nature to your space. Here are a few great ideas for indoor plants.

Remember the Other Senses

Keep in mind that the environment where you live and work is not just about looks!  Part of what makes a room feel inviting is texture, scent and sound. 

To create an inviting look, have a variety of soft things to touch in your room, going for quality in whatever rests closest to the body: use high-quality couch pillows and throws, but skimp on curtains, for example.  

Be aware that when it comes to the senses, there's a lot of individual variation regarding what's considered comfortable.  When questioning what scents to use in your home, err on the side of caution: it's better your guests not smell your fresh vanilla plugin than that you give a friend a migraine!  Ask yourself if you notice the scent when you first walk in after a few hours away. If it's a strong smell when you walk in, you should probably back off. 

Unpleasant noise can make a space feel very unwelcoming.  Playing classical or soft acoustic can disrupt irritating noise.  If the outdoor noise is intense, consider getting a white noise machine or asking your home device to play the sound of waves; this blocks out repetitive or unpredictable noise nearby.

Using these tips and tricks, you can create a warm, welcoming space that comforts you, your family and your guests without words.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marianne Avila on 12/22/2019

Photo by Christian Heitz via Pexels

Sometimes, small town life is just what you crave. If you’re considering a move and want a community with that feel, there are several in the East Coast that deliver it beautifully. From New York to Pennsylvania, here are some of the top small towns that you need to see for yourself.

1. Thomas, West Virginia

The beautiful Main Street of Thomas, West Virginia, is the highlight of life here. With a population of just around 600, this is the essence of a small town. Its location in the Allegheny Mountains means beautiful views from nearly every corner. You’ll love the vintage record store, coffeehouse, brewery, and many antique shops, as well as the quiet that comes from living in a historic mountain community.

2. High Falls, New York

If life is taking you a bit farther north, consider this town of 627 people. High Falls has the vintage stores you expect in a small town, and also has a growing list of attractions for foodies. Get your fill of comfort food at Kitchenette, a popular local restaurant, and enjoy life in a town where you can truly know all of your neighbors, and know them well.

3. North Adams, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for small-town living but want something a little larger than 600 people, consider North Adams, Massachusetts. With a population of over 13,000, it offers quite a bit more in terms of amenities, but it still maintains a small-town feel. This community is home to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and since the museum’s opening it has grown into a cultural center in the state. Artists feel right at home, and art lovers will appreciate the many galleries that showcase the work of local talent.

4. Lititz, Pennsylvania

Home to just over 9,000 people, Lititz, Pennsylvania, calls itself the coolest small town in the country. Residents appreciate the mature trees that line its streets, and visitors come to shop at antique shops and boutiques while dining at exceptional restaurants. Only in Lititz can you cozy up to an old soda counter and order your latte in old-fashioned style.

5. Stowe, Vermont

If you’re going to visit Stowe to check it out, visit in the fall. Brilliant colors make this small community in the Green Mountains transform into an artist’s paradise. You’ll also appreciate the boutiques for shopping and the locally-owned restaurants. Stowe has a population of around 4,400 people, so it’s not a tiny town, but not overly large either.

Whether you’re looking for a tiny, tranquil community or one that’s on the smaller side, but still large enough to offer some amenities, you’ll find something to fit your needs along the East Coast. Check out these five, and figure out where you feel at home.




Tags: Travel   small town   relocation  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marianne Avila on 12/15/2019

If your home has hardwood floors, youíre going to want to put carpets in and around the home. This helps to warm the space up both visually and physically. How do you know what size area rug to choose or what colors to choose? Itís quite simple. There are a few rules of thumb that you should know in order to help you choose the right rug for each room of the home. 


First, youíll need to measure the seating area. Youíll select the rug thatís the closest size up from those measurements. Choose the next size up from that so all of your furniture can rest on the rug. Alternatively, you can set the room up so that no furniture rests on the rugs and the carpet simply sits in front of the furniture. This is all a matter of taste.  


Fill The Room With A Rug


You can fill an entire room with a rug as well. Just measure the room and subtract a 2-foot perimeter around the room for floor space. 


Layer Your Rugs For A Great Visual Effect


You can create more definition in your room by layering rugs. You can put a smaller rug on top of a larger rug for something a bit visually interesting in the room. Smaller rugs help to define a seating area, so you would layer those rugs on top of a larger rug.


Furniture Movers


Placing movers or sliders under furniture is more than just for rearranging a room. These little disks help to protect both your hardwood floors and your carpets. Youíll have floors free from scratches, tears, and scuffs. If you think that furniture canít ruin carpets, think again!  


Dining And Kitchen        


For rugs in your dining area, the carpet should surround your table. The rug needs to extend out a bit beyond the focal point of the room. Measure about two feet beyond your table as a good rule of thumb. 


In the kitchen, make sure that your rugs are slip resistant. Put rugs near the places that you tend to stand the most like the sink and oven. You could put several area rugs in the kitchen to create a warmer feel in the room without making it hard to clean. 


Bedroom


In your bedroom, one of the most important purposes for a rug is having a soft, warm place for your feet in the morning. An area rug should extend out at least two feet beyond the bed itself, which is the focal point of the room. If youíre using smaller rugs, place them strategically so that your feet are warm yet the bed is still the main visual focus in the room. 


Color Choice


Remember that your rug should be an accent to a room. Your walls are the dominant color and your rug will only add to the beauty. Pick a color that blends well with the rest of the scheme of the room.




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