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7/10

NEW HOME? HERE’S HOW TO SAVE

Here are a few things new homeowners can do to save on energy and maintenance. 

When you’ve just purchased a new home, there’s a ton on your mind. There’s moving, decorating, getting to know your new neighborhood, and more. Here are a few things that should be at the top of your to-do list, because they’ll save you a lot of money.

Check on your water heater

Set your water heater for 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is plenty hot enough for bathing, washing dishes, and any other household use of hot water, so heating water above 120 degrees is a waste of energy and money. And if your water heater is an older model, it’s worthwhile to invest in a water heater blanket to keep it insulated.

Replace air filters

Sellers often put in a lot of cosmetic work to get the home move-in ready, but they often skip or forget about air filters in the HVAC system. Filters can be found at your local hardware store (just make sure to get the right size) and are easy to replace. Doing so will improve air flow and quality, and save on energy costs.

Get a smart thermostat

A smart thermostat, such as Nest, will cost you some money up front but is well worth the long-term savings. It’s programmable so that your AC and furnace run at lower levels when you’re not home, so you’re not wasting money to cool or heat an empty house.

Set up a space to air-dry clothes

Whether it’s a rack in your laundry room or a clothesline in the back yard, air-drying clothes is a big money saver over even the most energy-efficient dryers. Air-drying your garments will also help them last much longer.

Check for leaks and running toilets

A leaky faucet or a constantly-running toilet will use up water unnecessarily, and that’ll show up on your utility bill. And in the worst case, they’ll cause expensive water damage and mold.

 
 

 

6/18

HOW AN AGENT CAN HELP ALLEVIATE STRESS

Purchasing a home can be a stressful experience, whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve been through the process before. But that’s one of the reasons that working with a real estate professional is so worthwhile. With your agent’s guidance, buying a home should be enjoyable, rather than stressful. Here are some of the more unique circumstances where your agent can make your life much easier.

Out-of-town buyers: If you’re looking for vacation homes or moving to a job in a new city, there’s a good chance that viewing homes will be difficult—you could be a long drive or even a plane ride away. With today’s video messaging apps like Skype or Facetime, your agent can walk you through a property virtually. It’s not the same as walking through in person, but it will at least give you an idea about whether a property is worth pursuing further.

When life is just too crazy: If you’re just getting too busy with everything else going on in your life, a good buyer’s agent should be able to recognize the situation and help you take a step back. They can suggest that you take a few weeks off from your home search to recharge, or only focus on properties that exactly fit your wants list.

Inspection issues: You’re dreaming about move-in day, and then some unforeseen issues turn up during inspection. A good agent can work out those issues by negotiating a lower offer—to cover the costs of repairs—or by getting the seller to fix the problem.

 

 

5/11

BIG IDEAS FOR SMALL SPACES

Smaller rooms can be difficult to decorate, because if you don’t know a few important tricks, the space can end up feeling a little claustrophobic. Here’s how you can keep a room feeling airy and spacious, even if it’s just a studio apartment or an attic.

Breathing room

Your first inclination might be to arrange all your furniture flush against the walls. Though this may add a little extra room to move through the room, it’ll make everything feel more crowded and congested. Instead, try arranging items at an angle, or pull them six inches away from the wall.

Mirrors and strategic colors

Dark paint will make the room feel smaller. Instead, opt for whites, light grays, and other light colors. A well-placed mirror will also expand the room’s appearance—think of the times you’ve been in a restaurant and a mirror made the space look twice as large.

Multi-purpose items

Look for storage everywhere—you can keep books and DVDs inside an ottoman, or store blankets in a bench or hollow coffee table. If you don’t have room for a dining table, you can invest in a coffee table with a pop-up section.

Raise your window treatments

It’s common to hang your curtain rods just a few inches above your windows, but to make the ceilings appear taller, you can hang them just a few inches below the ceiling. It can have a dramatic effect.

Swap out the sofa

The sofa is likely the biggest, most unwieldy item in your living room. What if you swapped it out for a settee or a pair of comfortable chairs? You won’t lose much in functional seating, but you’ll gain some precious space and room for foot traffic.

 
 

 

3/8

MAXIMIZING YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE

You’ve found the perfect home and it has everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Spacious, modern kitchen. Gloriously open floor plan. Giant bedrooms. Great location and neighborhood. The only downside is the backyard is slightly smaller than you’d hoped. But no reason to stress. There are many ways you can optimize your outdoor space to make it feel much larger! Check out our favorites below.

Separate Your Space

Breaking up your outdoor area into separate spaces or nooks can help make your backyard feel larger. Place items like planters, small walls, or outdoor light fixtures in between the spaces or separate them by installing different ground surfaces, such as decking, gravel, grass, and concrete.

Use Plants Creatively

Place plants throughout your backyard to help open up the space. Use plants with larger leaves to create depth, place warm-colored plants, such as red, yellow, or orange, near the front or in the center of the yard to catch attention, or install a trellis or plant taller plants to draw the eye upwards.

Incorporate Strategic Decor

Use big structures like pergolas and arbors to frame your outdoor space and give it a grander feel. Add a large sculpture or water fixture in the center or towards the back of the yard as a focal point, then arrange your furniture around it. Finally, hang large mirrors with steel, stone, or wooden frames to reflect light and trick the eye.

By using these techniques and more, you can alter perception and make your small yard feel like the large one of your dreams.

 

 

 

2/5

 

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

Change the locks

Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money.

Steam clean the carpets

It’s good to get a fresh start with your floors before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It’s pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner—your local grocery store may have them available.

Call an exterminator

Prior to move-in, you probably haven’t spent enough time in the house to get a view of any pests that may be lurking. Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be hiding in your home.

Clean out the kitchen

If the previous occupants wanted to skip on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Wipe down the inside of cabinets, clean out the refrigerator, clean the oven, and clean in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances

 
 
 

12/5

THE TRUTH ABOUT VIEWING HOMES ONLINE

 

It’s easy to get sucked into looking at home listing after home listing online, drawn to the stunningly filtered photos of manicured lawns, sharp-looking kitchens, and giant bedrooms. Although this is a great place to begin, it’s important to keep in mind that all may not be as it seems.

Here are our top tips to avoid getting duped by listings online.

-Photos don’t always capture the full picture. Real estate photographers are very good at highlighting the best features of the home and often use wide angle lenses to make spaces appear larger than they really are. But, be aware that there may be less photo-worthy features they aren’t displaying. Don’t forget to look at the property features listed below to gather a better idea of what the home has to offer.

-Ensure you are looking at current listings. Nothing is worse than falling in love with the perfect home, only to check out the listing date to find it was posted two years ago. Make sure you use websites that are pulling information daily from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and have your real estate agent verify it is available.

-Use your real estate agent as a resource. If you find a seemingly great listing online, always run it by our agents to confirm you aren’t missing something important. They can also provide neighborhood details, price comparisons for similar properties just sold in the area, additional listings that match your criteria, and more. Once you a find a home you’re ready to view, make sure you bring them with you to answer questions and be an extra set of eyes.

Happy House Hunting!

 

10/26

5 TIPS TO SELL YOUR HOME IN A HURRY

There are a lot of factors that will determine how quickly your house is sold, and it’s important to tackle the factors you can control. If you’re still living in your home while trying to sell it, these are a few simple ideas that can help speed up the home sale process.

1. De-clutter: Buyers want to step into a prospective home and imagine the possibilities. That’s a lot easier to do when a space is airy and clutter-free. Get rid of the clutter that’s just taking up space in your home, and it can totally transform how a buyer sees the property.

2. Offer an incentive: Don’t break the bank for add-ons that don’t make financial sense in the long run, but there are some reasonable expenses you can use to entice buyers, such as offering a home warranty.

3. Focus on flow: Now that you’re working toward a new home, it’s important to position your furniture for easy movement through the space, rather than how you personally like it arranged. Position your furniture so that it’s natural to flow from one room to the next.

4. Take care of your to-do list: There’s probably a list of small repairs that you’ve been putting off for a while, like fixing a dripping faucet or touching up paint on some walls. Make those repairs so that the home is more move-in ready for buyers.

5. Commit to cleanliness: Just like removing clutter, keeping your place clean can go a long way toward appealing to buyers. It’s especially true in the kitchen—no dishes in the sink or coffee rings on the countertops!

 

10/15

 

FIVE FALL MAINTENANCE TIPS

These simple maintenance tasks can save you from expensive repairs and big headaches over the next few months.

1. Take care of hoses and faucets: Disconnect your hoses before the freezing temperatures arrive, because they can cause water to back up in your faucets—and eventually cause the plumbing to crack. Then, if possible, shut off the valves for your exterior faucets.

2. Winterize the lawn mower: Either run the mower dry, or use a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas in your mower from degrading and damaging the engine.

3. Clean the gutters: Twigs and leaves will build up in your gutters throughout the fall. Make sure to clean the gutters before there’s heavy snow, because the weight of both the leaves and the melting snow could cause the gutters to break away from the house.

4. Get the furnace ready: Your best bet is to call in a professional to give the furnace a tune up, but at the very least you should change the filters.

5. Inspect the roof: Look for loose shingles, rust, moss—anything that could lead to decay or water damage. It’s best to be proactive with your roof—repairs can be extremely expensive—so don’t hesitate to call a roofing professional if necessary. It’s worth it in the long run!

 
 

 

9/17

Biggest Housing Trend of the Year: Detached Living Spaces! 

Today's homeowners and homebuyers love detached living spaces. These small stand-alone structures located on the property come with all sorts of benefits -- from added room for storage and recreation to extra income.

They're also easy and affordable to design and install. Starting at around $9,600, this additional square footage can deliver serious bang for your buck, as detached areas can serve as: 

Private Rental Space: You can offer the unit on a vacation rental site or lease it to a full-time tenant to bring in some extra income year-round.

Individual Living Quarters: These separate units are perfect for multigenerational families. They can be used by college kids home for summer or elderly parents who need assistance but want privacy. They're also ideal guest rooms for family and friends coming to visit.

Quiet Home Office: Private, quiet and separated from all the hustle and bustle of the main house, detached units make highly functional home offices for the self-employed entrepreneur or side hustler.

Creative or Leisure Room: Need somewhere to escape and relax? These units are your solution. Personalize them with an art studio, a cozy reading nook, a yoga space or whatever else helps you wind down.

Fun Kids' Playroom: Give the kids a space of their own with a toy-filled playroom in the backyard. They're perfect for late-night slumber parties and playing video games with friends. 

If you're interested in building a detached living space on your property, get in touch today for recommendations for local contractors and designers. Remember to also look into any municipal or HOA restrictions, as you may need permits before starting your build-out. 

 

8/17

 

FIVE BIG TRENDS IN HOME DECOR

Thanks to websites like Houzz and Pinterest and TV networks like HGTV and DIY, it’s easier than ever to keep up with home decorating trends and find inspiration for improving your own home. Here are five of the top current interior design trends.

1. Screen-free rooms: After a long day of using your smartphone and computer, it can feel amazing to come home and take a technology break. More and more, homeowners are creating specific screen-free rooms—perhaps a library, craft room, or listening room—where you can escape from technology for a while.

2. Upholstered headboards: What if you could feel like you were sleeping in a luxury hotel bed every night? The bedding and mattress are an important part of that experience, but so is the aesthetic and comfort of an upholstered headboard.

3. Earth tones: Natural colors have become increasingly popular, especially deep greens. It’s a great way to bring some of nature’s colors indoors, whether as an accent wall, in blankets and pillows, or for furniture.

4. Black stainless steel: If you want a sleek, contemporary kitchen, black stainless steel is even more of a statement than traditional stainless steel.

5. Patterned fabrics: While solid upholstery will never go out of style, patterns have become trendy of late. It’s an easy way to make a bold, eye-catching statement in your living space.

 
 

7/16

 

If you own a home, there was certainly a lot that went into your decision to buy rather than continue to rent. Now you’re enjoying all the advantages of homeownership—here are the top five:

 

1. Building wealth: When you own a home, you have an asset that will likely increase in value over time. It provides great security, and the opportunity to essentially live “rent-free” in your retirement years when the home is paid off.

2. Freedom to make it your own: Landlords can be strict about customizing rental properties. Most don’t even allow their tenants to paint. But when you own a home, the possibilities are endless. Get rid of a wall, or paint it any color you like. It’s your property.

3. Building equity: Every mortgage payment your make, and every improvement you make on the home, is putting money back into your pocket. Unlike with renting, owning a home gives you more than just a place to live. You can use your home equity to get loans and even cash for emergencies.

4. More freedom and stability: Studies show that homeowners have a better sense of pride and security than renters. When you relax in your own home, you know it’s the result of hard work and planning, and that you have the freedom to change it as you wish.

5. *Tax advantages: Homeowners can deduct the interest paid on home loans and property taxes—that’s a big break that comes up every April 15.*

 

7/2

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make! It's important to be equipped with the right information before your start your journey. Join us to learn the process start to finish with no obligation!

  • Basics of Getting a Loan
  • Low-to-No Down Programs
  • Home Buying Process
  • Offer Strategies
​Saturday, July 28th • 10-11:30am 

Refreshments will be served. To register: Click Here

Presented by:

6/19

It doesn’t take much time to go from a perfectly organized room to a cluttered, chaotic mess. Papers pile up on surfaces, coats and bags end up on furniture, shoe boxes and shopping bags get stuffed in the first place you can find. But if you’re proactive, you can avoid the common clutter traps. Here are five ideas for reducing clutter:

1. Have a place for the things you bring into the house each day: Do what you can do create an easy place to put your outerwear, mail, keys, phone, and the other things you bring home each day. Coat racks, mail holders, and a catch-all basket give you an easy, consistent place to put your everyday items.

2. Get a basket for once-worn clothes: There are some clothing items that may not need to be washed or put away immediately after one use, like sweaters or denim. These items often end up on the bedroom floor. Instead, put them in a specific basket for items that aren’t yet ready for the laundry room.

3. Keep kitchen tools off the counter: It’s really easy to let items pile up on the kitchen counters, and all that clutter can be frustrating when it’s ready to make a meal. To reduce clutter, use wall racks to keep cooking utensils off the counter.

4. Designate a no-clutter zone: This one’s simple. Simply choose an important surface or space (like a coffee table), clear it of clutter, and focus on keeping that one area totally organized.

5. Find unique storage options: Including but not limited to baskets, shelving for decorative items, and organizational tubs with labels for closets and pantries. Box items that you don't use and donate items you don't need.

 

 

6/12

 

Not all home improvement projects are created equal. Some renovations may cost a lot but not add significant value to your home. This list goes in the opposite direction: Here are some inexpensive home improvement projects that will not only increase your enjoyment of your home, but will also increase the home’s value.

1. High quality ceiling fans: In a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, ceiling fans ranked No. 1 as the most-wanted decorative item. If your ceiling fans are outdated, replace them with something in the $400 range—it’ll make a big difference when it’s time to sell.

2. Trees: Mature trees can be worth as much as $10,000 toward the value of your home. Trees also protect your home from the elements and prevent erosion.

3. Energy efficiency: Buyers are increasingly interested in saving energy, so any efficiency update is worthwhile. Switching from a wood to gas fireplace is a great start.

4. Outdoor lighting: Exterior lighting is great for highlighting the accents of your home, and you can typically expect a 50 percent return on investment.

5. Molding: You can finish a room with crown molding or railing for as little as $1.50 per foot if you take a DIY approach, and it’s extremely desirable among prospective buyers.

 

 

4/30

Millennials are the second-largest segment of home buyers, ranking behind only baby boomers, according to the National Association of Realtors. Here are some features that tend to entice millennials who are looking to buy.

An up-to-date kitchen and bath

Younger buyers often have limited funds for renovations, so it’s important that they have functional and inviting bathroom and kitchen spaces from the very start.

An open floor plan

Having a formal dining room isn’t of particular importance to millennials, in fact, many prefer open spaces with no separation between kitchen, living room, and dining room. An open concept makes it easier to entertain everyone at once.

An office

More and more jobs are offering work-from-home options, and there are also plenty of freelancers and telecommuters among millennials. A dedicated space for getting some work done can be a key attraction.

Friendly location

With gas prices rising, many millennials prefer walking, biking, or public transit for their commutes. A great location is key.

 

 

 

4/18

One of the best perks of owning your own home is having the space and privacy of your own porch. It’s the ideal place to relax and spend time with family during the summer months. Here are some suggestions for getting your porch back in shape after the winter.
Cleaning and maintenance
Start by removing the dirt and debris that has probably accumulated on the deck throughout winter and spring. Then give it a good inspection—and replace boards and nails as necessary— before using a cleaning solution to give it a thorough cleaning.
Consider your seating options
What’s the main purpose of your porch? Is it for kicking back and relaxing? Hang a hammock and you’ll have the perfect place for an afternoon nap. More interested in entertaining? Invest in some patio furniture, and assemble a bar cart that you can roll outside when you have guests.
Decorate
Add some personality to your porch with some plants (perennials are ideal), ambient lighting, outdoor rugs, and any other decor that seems appropriate. Your porch may be exposed to the elements, but you still have plenty of options for creating a cozy and compelling space.
Kick back!
The hard work is over. Invite some company over and enjoy the season!
 

 

4/9

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

1. Lowball Offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they'll accept, and if you're not even approaching the low end of that range, they won't even consider the offer.

2. Incremental Negotiations: Don't continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.

3. "Take it or leave it": Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you're unwilling to budge. Even if it's true don't make a show of it. 

4. Nitpicking After Inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations into a stalemate. 

5. Asking for More, More, More..: Some buyers will request that seller throw in  add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren't included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you're being greedy.

 

3/20

 

 

Unfortunately, our homes don’t always grow with us. What may have initially worked fine for a single person, a young couple’s starter home, or a family with a newborn can quickly become too small as families expand and multiple generations live under one roof.

Remodeling and adding to your home is one option for creating more space, but it can be costly, and the size of your property may be prohibitive. That’s when moving to a bigger home becomes the best solution.

WHERE DO YOU NEED MORE SPACE?

The first thought when upsizing your home is to simply consider square footage, bedrooms, and bathrooms. But it’s important to take a more critical approach to how your space will actually be used. If you have younger children (or possibly more on the way), then focusing on bedrooms and bathrooms makes sense. But if your children are closer to heading off to college or starting their own families, it may be better to prioritize group spaces like the kitchen, dining room, living room, and outdoor space—it’ll pay off during the holidays or summer vacations, when everyone is coming to visit for big gatherings.

MOVING OUTWARD

If you need more space, but don’t necessarily want a more expensive home, you can probably get a lot more house for your money if you move a little further from a city center. While the walkability and short commutes of a dense neighborhood or condo are hard to leave beyond, your lifestyle—and preferences for hosting Thanksgiving, barbecues, and birthdays—might mean that a spacious home in the suburbs makes the most sense. It’s your best option for upsizing while avoiding a heftier price tag.

 

Interested in upsizing? Call Stephanie Coats at 541-554-9435!

 

 

3/9

Don't forget to turn your clocks forward this weekend! 

 

 

1/8/18

 

The Stephanie Coats Real Estate Team has had a very busy winter season! Homes are flying off the market at record speed! 

Here are 3 Reasons why you should sell your home in the winter:
 

1- There is less competition. 

Take advantage of lower housing inventory, and sell before the selling season starts! There are usually fewer homes on the market in winter which means less competition and a better chance of your home standing out to potential buyers.

2- Buyers are motivated! 

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtor (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

3- Easier to maintain curb appeal!

Curb appeal is intended to attract the buyers who are just driving by as well as those who saw your home online and wanted to see it in-person. It sets the stage for what interested buyers can expect when they step foot in the home during a showing or open house. If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, you may exhaust your time your energy maintaining curb appeal.

 

Call Stephanie Coats at 541-554-9435 to get more information on how to sell your home! 

 

12/28/17

 

When selling your home in the winter, staging the inside becomes even more important. Here are five simple tips to make your home shine even when the outside landscaping has faded:

Keep your house warm. In the winter people tend to turn the thermostat down to save money, however a warmer house is more welcoming to a potential buyer.

Clear the walkways and driveways of any yard debris. Make it easy for buyers to get to your home.

Clean the windows and blinds. Letting in the natural light can brighten up a room and cheer up the home. This also brings attention to the windows and blinds so make sure they are clean even during winter.

Leave the lights on. Before showing a home, make sure it's well lit. A well lit home is more inviting. If you're not home, consider setting up timers.

Following these simple tips can give your house that added boost in today's market. For information on selling in our local market, please contact us for a free market analysis of recent neighborhood activity. We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

 

Contact Information

Photo of Stephanie Coats Real Estate
Stephanie Coats
Keller Williams Eugene & Springfield
2644 Suzanne Way
Eugene OR 97408
Phone: 541-554-9435
Fax: 541-302-7620