Maureen Harmonay - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 12/12/2017

When you have a small yard, you may feel like thereís not much you can do with your landscaping scheme. The good news is that there is plenty that you can do to perk up your yard and give it some character. Read on for tips for your small yard. 


A Yard With A View


First, you should create a focal point in your yard. You want a place that your eyes are drawn to each time you enter your yard. This focal point could be a fountain, a pergola, a tree, or even some outdoor artwork.


Create An Intimate Spot


Even though your backyard might be small, having a spot for intimate conversation and entertaining can be a nice touch to your yard. When there is a space that exists for reading, relaxing, eating, or whatever you like to do outside, it becomes more inviting. This is landscaping with a purpose.   



Use Color To Your Advantage


Make bold colors pop in your yard. Attention will be detracted from the size of your yard and the focus will switch to the beautiful blends and colors that are in the space. Placing bright colors strategically will even make your yard appear larger. 



Trick Imagery


By creating a focal point and allowing your yard to form in long, clean lines, the perspective of the outdoor space will change from small to just right. One trick is to use fences to define your yard. If you have a garden, you can use a small fence to define this area. Define the boundaries of your backyard with a fence as well. Repeating rows of flowers or bushes is another way to create those straight, defining lines. 


Use Vertical Features


When space is limited, just as you would in the inside of your house, donít be afraid to go up! You can plant things that grow on a vine and can be tamed with a trellis or pergola. This creates and elegant effect in your home. 


No Lawn No Problem


If your yard is small enough that you may not even have much grass, donít fret. Any kind of greenery can help you to enjoy nature. Whether you live in a rural area or a large cityscape, thereís always room for plant life and green natural accents.      


Donít Forget To Add What You Love


If you have an admiration for sitting by the fire, you certainly should install a fire pit. If you want a fountain, you should install it. No matter what the size of your yard, itís a place that you love and should serve you and your needs. No yard is too small for enjoyment. The key is that your outdoor space allows you to bask in the glory of your own little piece of natural heaven.    


 





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Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 12/5/2017

 

If youíve paid any attention to home and living catalogues over the years youíve probably noticed how quickly home decor trends come and go. Just like in the world of fashion, the people who manufacture homegoods do it with one idea in mind: to keep you coming back for more.


Thereís an important distinction to be made between a trend and a style. Youíve probably seen several homes that adhere to the styles of farmhouse, mid-century modern, industrial, and so on. However, within these styles there are several trends that flood magazines and houses each year. While everyone wants to keep their home up to date, itís important to keep a watchful eye out for homegoods that are just capitalizing on the latest trends.


In this article, weíll break down some home decor tips that will help you pick the homegoods that will look great year after year while also serving a useful function in your house. And, weíll help you avoid the trends that put a strain on your wallet each year.

Keep the big picture in mind


When browsing through the latest Crate & Barrel catalog, itís tempting to order items based on liking the way they look in the picture. However, itís important to remember how it would look in your own home. This is true for many items around the home, like houseplants. If you have a farmhouse-style home, decorating it with cacti or zen gardens might appear out of place and thus will be short-lived decorations.


Aside from the inside of your home, itís important to keep in mind the architectural style of your house. It would seem strange, for example, to enter a brownstone building in Brooklyn to find it filled with country style decorations. That isnít to say you need to always adhere exclusively to the architectural style of the building (some juxtapositions work well together and are a fun way to give your home some originality).

Good design sticks around


Appearance isnít everything. When it comes to things like furniture, appliances, and kitchenware youíll find that usefulness and ease of access is a key feature. Before buying one of these items, think about whether it serves a purpose, and if it serves that purpose better than your current item. Read reviews or ask friends and family about these items before purchasing them.

Stick to the classics


One of the latest trends to hit coffee shops around the country is the tall metal stool. Sometimes they have a backrest, sometimes they donít. They can be painted a neutral color or left metallic and unfinished.


While these stools may fit neatly into the modern, industrial look, they might not fit your particular needs. In some instances, itís better to stick to the tried-and-true furniture items for your home. If youíre placing the stools somewhere that people are going to sit often and for long periods of time, youíll want them to be comfortable. Donít sacrifice comfort in your own home just because something looks good.




Tags: home   interior design   homegoods   Decor   house   design  
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Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 11/28/2017

If youíre in the market to buy a home, youíre probably learning many new vocabulary words. Pre-approved and pre-qualified are some buzz words that youíll need to know. Thereís a big difference in the two and how each can help you in the home buying process, so youíll want to educate yourself. With the proper preparation and knowledge, the home buying process will be much easier for you.  


Pre-Qualification


This is actually the initial step that you should take in the home buying process. Being pre-qualified allows your lender to get some key information from you. Make no mistake that getting pre-qualified is not the same thing as getting pre-approved.


The qualification process allows you to understand how much house youíll be able to afford. Your lender will look at your income, assets, and general financial picture. Thereís not a whole lot of information that your lender actually needs to get you pre-qualified. Many buyers make the mistake of interchanging the words qualified and approval. They think that once they have been pre-qualified, they have been approved for a certain amount as well. Since the pre-qualification process isnít as in-depth, you could be ďqualifiedĒ to buy a home that you actually canít afford once you dig a bit deeper into your financial situation. 


Being Pre-Approved


Getting pre-approved requires a bit more work on your part. Youíll need to provide your lender with a host of information including income statements, bank account statements, assets, and more. Your lender will take a look at your credit history and credit score. All of these numbers will go into a formula and help your lender determine a safe amount of money that youíll be able to borrow for a house. Things like your credit score and credit history will have an impact on the type of interest rate that youíll get for the home. The better your credit score, the better the interest rate will be that youíre offered. Being pre-approved will also be a big help to you when you decide to put an offer in on a home since youíll be seen as a buyer who is serious and dependable.  


Things To Think About


Although getting pre-qualified is fairly simple, itís a good step to take to understand your finances and the home buying process. Donít take the pre-qualification numbers as set in stone, just simply use them as a guide. 


Do some investigating on your own before you reach the pre-approval stage. Look at your income, debts, and expenses. See if there is anything that can be paid down before you take the leap to the next step. Check your credit report and be sure that there arenít any errors on the report that need to be remedied. Finally, look at your credit score and see if thereís anything that you can do better such as make more consistent on-time payments or pay down debt for a more desirable debt-to-income ratio.





Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 11/21/2017

An open house can be a life-changing event for a homebuyer. If you plan ahead for an open house, you should have no trouble determining whether a residence matches or exceeds your expectations. And if the answer is "Yes," you can proceed quickly to submit a competitive offer to acquire a house.

What does it take to prep for an open house? Here are three open house preparation tips that every homebuyer needs to know.

1. Understand Your Budget

Before you attend an open house, you should find out how much money is at your disposal. Thus, you may want to meet with banks and credit unions to see if you can get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can kick off your home search with a budget in hand.

Although you know that you have only a certain amount of money to spend on a residence, it may be worthwhile to consider attending open houses for residences with initial asking prices that are above your price range. Because in some instances, a home seller may be willing to accept an offer that falls below his or her initial asking price.

2. Create a List of Questions

A home is one of the biggest purchases that a person can make, and as such, it pays to be diligent. If you craft a list of questions before an open house, you can get immediate responses from the showing agent. Then, you can determine the best course of action.

When it comes to an open house, there is no such thing as a "bad" question. As a homebuyer, it is paramount to get as much information as possible about a residence to determine whether a house is right for you. Therefore, if you create a list of questions in advance, you can improve your chances of getting the most out of an open house.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're uncertain about how to approach an open house, you're not alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available nationwide who are happy to teach you the ins and outs of the real estate market. By doing so, these housing market professionals will make it easy to take an informed approach to any open house, at any time.

A real estate agent will always keep you up to date about new residences as they become available. Also, if you are interested in homes in a particular city or town, a real estate agent will notify you about open houses in this area. And if you need extra help prepping for an open house, a real estate agent is happy to assist you in any way possible.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will help you submit an offer on a house, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and much more.

Be diligent as you get ready for an open house Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can fully prepare for an open house.





Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 11/14/2017

When you have hired a real estate agent to sell your home, you probably realize that while your realtor is the main ingredient in getting your home sold, there are things that you can do to help the process along and boost your chances of selling fast for a good price. Below, youíll find things that you can do as a seller to help in the process of getting your home sold.


Donít Be There During Showings


Do your best to get out of the house during appointments that are set up for home showings. The buyerís agent doesnít want you there. The showing agent doesnít want to feel awkward. Check your messages frequently and know when the home will be shown so you can plan accordingly. You donít want to hover around the potential buyers. The good news is that your agent will set up all of the appointments for you. The only thing you need to do is get out of the way and let the showings happen!


To Assist In Showings And Open Houses


Do:


Turn on all of the lights


It makes your home feel more inviting if people walk into a nice bright home.



Turn on your fireplace (if itís winter and you have one)


This adds an extra glow of warmth to the home and highlights one of the great features of your property.


Light some candles or spray some fabric refresher 


Depending upon what kinds of odors you may be dealing with, itís always good to make the home smell nice before showings. If you have pets, youíll want to try and mask that odor in order to keep buyers from being overwhelmed by one certain scent. 


Cage pets if they must be left in the house


You really should make an effort to get pets out of the house for an open house or a home showing. If you must leave your pets behind for some reason be sure that they are caged and out of the way. Many buyers wonít find pets to be welcoming. People could even have a fear of cats or dogs that may turn them off from the home completely. You donít want to take that risk.   


Clear walkways of snow, ice, yard debris, and other hazards


Safety is important when it comes to home showings and open houses. If people canít get up the driveway easily to enter the house because of snow, ice, and branches, your home wonít seem very inviting. 


Clear The Clutter


A Clutter-free home is a happily sold home

 

Clear your home of all clutter. You may not have time to give it a deep clean but you certainly should be ready to give the rooms of your house a once over. Pick up any loose papers that are hanging around. Get piles of clothing put away. Take out the trash. Wipe down the counters. There are tons of little things that you can do to clean up your home and make it look presentable for showings. 


By working alongside your realtor, your home sale should be very successful!  

    






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