Wednesday, November 26, 2014

7 Hot Home Improvement Trends that Make Your Home Work for YOU!

7 Hot Home Improvement Trends that Make Your Home Work for You

Published: May 13, 2011
Home improvement trends embrace energy efficiency, low maintenance exteriors, and double-duty space.
Today’s home improvement trends show that we like our houses to work harder and smarter for the money we spend maintaining and improving their value.
  • We no longer want bigger; instead, we want space that’s flexible, efficient, and brings order to chaos.
  • We’re watching our wattage with monitors and meters, and guarding our weekends with maintenance-free exteriors.
Here’s a look at seven hot home improvement trends that improve the way we live with our homes.

Trend #1: Maintenance-free siding
We continue to choose maintenance-free siding that lives as long as we do, but with a lot less upkeep. But more and more we’re opting for fiber-cement siding, one of the fastest-growing segments of the siding market. It’s a combination of cement, sand, and cellulosic fibers that looks like wood but won’t rot, combust, or succumb to termites and other wood-boring insects.

At $5 to $9 per sq. ft., installed, fiber-cement siding is more expensive than paint-grade wood, vinyl, and aluminum siding. It returns 87% of investment, the highest return of any upscale project on Remodeling Magazine’s latest Cost vs. Value Report.

Maintenance is limited to a cleaning and some caulking each spring. Repaint every seven to 15 years. Wood requires repainting every four to seven years.
 #2: Convertible spaces
Forget “museum rooms” we use twice a year (dining rooms and living rooms) and embrace convertible spaces that change with our whims.

Foldaway walls turn a private study into an easy-flow party space. Walls can consist of fancy, glass panels ($600 to $1,600 per linear ft., depending on the system); or they can be simple vinyl-covered accordions  ($1,230 for 7 ft. by 10 ft.).PortablePartions.com sells walls on wheels ($775 for approximately 7 ft. by 7 ft.).

A Murphy bed pulls down from an armoire-looking wall unit and turns any room into a guest room. Prices, including installation and cabinetry, range from $2,000 (twin with main cabinet) to more than $5,000 (California king with main and side units). Just search online for sellers.

And don’t forget area rugs that easily define, and redefine, open spaces.

Trend #3: A laundry room of your own

Humankind advanced when the laundry room arose from the basement to a louvered closet on the second floor where clothes live. Now, we’re taking another step forward by granting washday a room of its own.

If you’re thinking of remodeling, turn a mudroom or extra bedroom into a dedicated laundry room big enough to house the washer and dryer, hang hand-washables, and store bulk boxes of detergent.

Look for spaces that already have plumbing hookups or are adjacent to rooms with running water to save on plumbing costs.


Trend #4: Souped-up kitchens

Although houses are trending smaller, kitchens are getting bigger, according to the American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey.

Kitchen remodels open the space, perhaps incorporating lonely dining rooms, and feature recycling centers, large pantries, and recharging stations.

Oversized and high-priced commercial appliances—did we ever fire up six burners at once?—are yielding to family-sized, mid-range models that recover at least one cabinet for storage. 

Since the entire family now helps prepare dinner (in your dreams), double prep sinks have evolved into dual-prep islands with lots of counter space and pull-out drawers.


Trend #5: Energy diets

We’re wrestling with an energy disorder: We’re binging on electronics—cell phones, iPads, Blackberries, laptops--then crash dieting by installing LED fixtures and turning the thermostat to 68 degrees.

Are we ahead of the energy game? Only the energy monitors and meters know for sure.

These new tracking devices can gauge electricity usage of individual electronics ($20 to $30) or monitor whole house energy ($100 to $250). The TED 5000 Energy Monitor ($240) supplies real-time feedback that you can view remotely and graph by the second, minute, hour, day, and month.


Trend #6: Love that storage

As we bow to the new god of declutter, storage has become the holy grail.
We’re not talking about more baskets we can trip over in the night; we’re imagining and discovering built-in storage in unlikely spaces--under stairs, over doors, beneath floors.

Under-appreciated nooks that once displayed antique desks are growing into built-ins for books and collections. Slap on some doors, and you can hide office supplies and buckets of Legos.

Giant master suites, with floor space to land a 747, are being divided to conquer clutter with more walk-in closets.


Trend #7: Home offices come out of the closet

Flexible work schedules, mobile communications, and entrepreneurial zeal are relocating us from the office downtown to home.

Laptops and wireless connections let us telecommute from anywhere in the house, but we still want a dedicated space (preferably with a door) for files, supplies, and printers.

Spare bedrooms are becoming home offices and family room niches are morphing into working nooks. After a weekend of de-cluttering, basements and attics are reborn as work centers.

Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
To get a Free market analysis of your home visit www.waukeshacountyhomevalues.info






Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/home-improvement-trends/preview/#ixzz3K13VxvXo
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How Can the right Lights make you Look

Lights over bathroom sink

A pair of sconces on either sides of a mirror is a great lighting setup in a bathroom where you'll be applying makeup. The fixtures will bathe your face in a pleasing glow. Image: 

Speed Decorating by Jill Vegas

Return to the Best Bath Ideas for Love & Money
When remodeling a bathroom, we often slap up a flush-mount ceiling fixture and figure we’ve got our lighting bases covered. But bathrooms, like kitchens, need more — and more specialized — lights.

Bathrooms are all about performing certain tasks — applying makeup, shaving, showering. A 100-square-foot bathroom will need about 4,000 lumens in general; 1,680 lumens at the vanity where most bathroom tasks take place.

Vanity lights: The last thing you want when applying makeup is your face cast in shadows, so avoid placing a ceiling fixture or recessed light directly above your head — it’ll make you look like an extra in a zombie flick.

Sconces flanking the mirror will bathe your face in light and eliminate shadows under your chin and eyes. Center the sconces at eye level roughly 60 inches above the floor, and spread them 36 to 40 inches apart.
Bathroom lighting sconcesImage: Roeshel of DIY Show Off blog

If you don’t have enough wall room, you can mount sconces directly onto a mirror. Or, install a multi-bulb fixture at least 24 inches wide ($15 to $880) over the mirror, 75 to 80 inches above the floor.

Shower/tub lights: If you can’t count on natural light to help you shave your legs or scrub callouses from your feet, then you’ll need a shower light.

Install a light with a glass lens ($7 to $100) in your shower or above the tub. The light should be “wet” or “shower-location” rated, which means it’s designed to prevent water from reaching electrical components. Usually this involves a rubber gasket and glass diffuser, which prevent water from getting into the fixture. For a wider light beam, buy a fixture with a dome diffuser.
Bathroom lighting recessed

If you won’t/can’t put a light in your shower, install a clear glass door that will let in ambient light from the rest of the bathroom.

Bathroom Ambient Lighting

Ambient artificial lighting is a substitute for daylight and creates the overall mood of the bathroom. Choose fixtures with clear or white shades and use blubs  — incandescent, CFL, or LED — with a color temperature between 2,700K and 3,000K, which cast a bright, bluish light closest to natural daylight.

If you have 7-foot ceilings, you can use recessed lights, flush-mount ceiling fixtures, or a combination vent fan/light fixture to light up the space. If you’ve got a little more headroom, you can install a chandelier — very classy — or pendant lights to enhance the style of the room.
Bathroom lighting chandelierImage: Kohler



Don’t Forget Dimmers

Dimmers in the bathroom can help you turn that morning rush room into a soothing spa in the evening. They’re particularly important in powder rooms that often have just one fixture; put it on a dimmer, and it serves many purposes.

Dimmers (as low as $2) also save money. If you dim a bathroom light by only 10%, the bulb will last twice as long as a bulb pumped up to full brightness.

Consider Motion-Sensing Switches

Motion-detecting switches ($11 to $31) can save you money and headaches in bathrooms that are only occasionally used, like powder rooms. They turn off automatically so if someone leaves on a light, you won’t have wasted money and burned out a bulb by the time you discover it. Motion detector lights make good sense in bathrooms that get a lot of middle-of-the-night traffic.


Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
To get a Free market analysis of your home visit www.waukeshacountyhomevalues.info




More Lighting Tips
  • Bathroom humidity can cover bathroom lights in moisture and promote rust in fixtures and light sockets. When you take a shower or bath, run your bathroom fan or open a window to reduce moisture.
  • If you make frequent midnight bathroom runs, install LED rope lights along cabinet toe kicks or behind crown molding to light your way.
  • Use low-energy LED lights whenever possible. They last up to 25,000 hours and use only a tiny bit of energy, so leaving them on is not such a crime.




Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/lighting/bathroom-lighting/#ixzz3JfzFUwbm
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook

Monday, November 24, 2014

5 Places You Don't Think to clean Before Showing Your Home

5 Places You Don’t Think to Clean Before Showing Your Home
5 Places You Don’t Think to Clean Before Showing Your Home
Mon, November 24, 2014
When you're selling a home, the elbow grease you put into keeping it clean and neat can come with an added bonus: a quicker sale.

Even though most homeowners wouldn’t dream of leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen sink or clothes on the bathroom floor when potential buyers will be coming by, there are five areas of the home that often get overlooked.

1. The garage. To make your garage show well, get rid of everything you don’t need and organize the rest. Hang your tools neatly on a pegboard, arrange paint cans on shelves and suspend holiday decorations from racks attached to the ceiling. This helps the space shout “storage solutions!” to buyers who crave them. Give the space a thorough cleaning, and you’re ready to throw open the doors and entice garage-hungry buyers.

2. The backyard. Don’t miss the opportunity to wow buyers who want an eye-catching, outdoor living space. Clean the barbecue and set the patio table for guests. If you have a hot tub, run it and leave the top off to allow guests to picture themselves taking a long, hot soak. If you do nothing else, give your backyard a thorough cleaning. Hose down the patio, mow the lawn, rake the leaves, replace dead plants and pick up pet droppings.

3. The closets, cupboards and drawers. If you could be a fly on the wall during an open house, you’d be amazed at the number of people who open drawers and cupboards. Sure, some of them are just being nosey, but others want to see how much space they offer. Remove as many items as possible from closets, cupboards and drawers. Invest in shoe racks to keep the closet floors clutter-free. Use drawer dividers to separate items as needed. Clean your cupboard shelf surfaces, especially those in the kitchen, to remove dust and food residue. Fold linens and towels and stack them neatly in the linen closet.

4. The laundry room. Soapy shelves, dryer sheets littering the floor and piles of dirty laundry on top of the dryer are all signs of a well-used laundry room. Unfortunately, these are turnoffs for buyers. Store the detergent and other cleaning supplies in bins or baskets lined up neatly on the shelf. Clean lint and dust off the walls and wash down the washer and dryer.

5. The appliances. Most owners shine up the fronts of their appliances before listing their homes, but they forget about the interiors. Whether appliances are included in the sale or not, folks will open them to take a peek inside. If anything inside of your refrigerator looks more like a science project than yummy leftovers, throw it away. Wipe down the walls and clean the produce bins. Come to think of it, don't forget the top of the refrigerator, too. A lot of dust can collect up there. Give the stove and oven the same treatment, wiping off accumulated grease and baked-on food.

House hunters know the minute they walk in the door if they want to see more of the home. If they feel like they should be wearing a hazmat suit, they won’t stick around. A clean house gets them excited about taking a tour and possibly making an offer.

When you're ready to see those offers come in, contact a local RE/MAX agent to help.
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
To get a Free market analysis of your home visit www.waukeshacountyhomevalues.info



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Revive Bathroom Tiles

Tile in a bathroom is like the cabinets in your kitchen. Eye catching , expensive and difficult to replace.  But, like cabinets, there's a simpler way to revive them and transform the look.




1. Remove old grout.
Use a grout saw or utility knife to scrape hardened grout out of the joints. Clean tiles with a nylon pad and vacuum out the dust.


2. Trowel on new grout.
Mix a batch of grout, according to the directions.  Use a rubber trowel. Apply in a circular motion.  Hold trowel at a 45 - degree angle to remove excess grout.

3. Remove excess grout.
Use a small amount of water and a sponge, wipe down the tiles.  You may have to repeat this process 2 or 3 times.

4. Buff the surface.
Your tiles will be left covered with a fine haze. Once the grout is dry, you can remove the haze, by wiping the tile surface with a soft cloth.

5.  Seal the grout.
Don't forget to seal the grout.



Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
To get a Free market analysis of your home visit www.waukeshacountyhomevalues.info








Monday, November 17, 2014

Brrrrrr.... What's Your Snowman Name?




Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
To get a Free market analysis of your home visit www.waukeshacountyhomevalues.info



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Did you Know that Today is Chicken Soup For the Soul Day?

Chicken Soup for the Soul Day









When : Always November 12th

Chicken Soup for the Soul Day is today. It's a celebration about you.
According to the creators of the book series of the same name, Chicken Soup for the Soul Day was created as ".... a celebration of who you are, where you've been, where you're going, and who you will be thankful to when you get there!"
We suggest you take this day as a celebration of the value and healing of chicken soup, especially mom's chicken soul. Chicken soup has long been seen as remedial for colds, flus, and just about anything that ails you. You can't find that healing in a can. You can only find it in mom's homemade chicken soup.

Have a happy Chicken Soup for the Soul Day.


Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
To get a Free market analysis of your home visit www.waukeshacountyhomevalues.info






Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nice 2 Story Home With an Oversized 2+ Car Garage

Move in ready two story home. 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath, 2+ car garage. Beautiful hardwood floors. Sizeable kitchen and dining room with built in hutch. Large living room. 3rd bedroom is located to also make for a super sized master closet. Fantastic deck on corner lot. Newer Mechanics, all windows but 2 have been replaced. Will pass FHA and USDA financing!  All this for $112,00.00.  Let me know if you would like to take a look at this home. 









Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
To get a Free market analysis of your home visit www.waukeshacountyhomevalues.info



See you at the closing table.


This home is Listed by Lisa Bear RE/MAX Realty Center.


Thank You to all the Veterans and Families for the Dedication and Sacrifice.

Thank you to all of the Veterans and there families for the dedication and sacrifice.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Why Rent When You Could Own This Home. $69,000.00

Cute Starter Home on huge lot. 3 bedrooms 1 bath with a rec room in the lower level 2+ garage plus a sizable shed. Nice Fruit Trees room for a nice garden. Act Fast.   








Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
To get a Free market analysis of your home visit www.waukeshacountyhomevalues.info



See you at the closing table.



Oconomowoc Real Estate Market activity for the week ending 11/07/2014

This is for the Oconomowoc Real Estate market activity, for the week ending 11/07/2014 and is for the entire MLS content for this period.













The Oconomowoc Real Estate  Market:

1  homes sold; 0 were listed and sold by the same company, and 1 was sold by co-brokes.
16 new listings.
2  pending listings.
 0 withdrawn listings.
 0 canceled listings.
14  expired listings.
 2 back on market listings.
6 extended listings.
343 current active listings.
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
To get a Free market analysis of your home visit www.waukeshacountyhomevalues.info



See you at the closing table.

Watertown Real Estate Market Activity For The Week Ending 11/07/2014


This is for the Watertown Real Estate market activity,  for the week ending 11/07/2014 and is for the entire MLS content for this period.




The Watertown Real Estate market:

1 homes sold; o were  listed and sold by the same company, and 1 was sold by co-brokes.

16  new listings.
 4 pending listings.
 0 withdrawn listings.
0 canceled listings.
 26 expired listings.
 7 back on market listings.
 4 extended listings.
 306 currently active listings.
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696 / Guzanick@gmail.com if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
Looking to purchase a home. Search the MLS at: www.HomesWithStacey.com

Want to get a market analysis of your home visit www.Myhomesvalue.info



See you at the closing table.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sussex Real Estate Market Activity For 10/20/2014 to 10/31/2014

This is for the Sussex Real Estate market activity,  and is for the period of 10/20/2014 to 10/31/2014 and is for the entire MLS content for this period


The Sussex Real Estate Market: 

2 homes sold; 1 was listed and sold by the same company, and 1 was sold by co-brokes.
 2 new listings.
 1 pending listings.
 0 withdrawn listings.
 0 canceled listings.
 1 expired listings.
 0 back on market listings.
 1 extended listings.
 51 current active listings.
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696Guzanick@gmail.com  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.

Want to get a market analysis of your home visit www.waukeshacountyhomevalues.info



See you at the closing table.

Breaking/Good News for Housing Industry

Breaking/Good News for Housing Industry

Ultimately this will help first-time homebuyers, as well as those who earn lower incomes, to more easily obtain government-backed loans.


Two monumental decisions in U.S. housing regulations this week are major victories for homebuyers – and the housing industry at large. 



For starters, the 
final qualified residential mortgage, or QRM, rule eliminates the highly controversial requirement of a specific down payment amount, bringing the rule in line with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s qualified mortgage, or QM, rule. The latter was created to protect borrowers from predatory lending practices. 

Another victory for housing: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are releasing new guidelines that will allow borrowers with lackluster credit profiles to obtain loans with a down payment as low as 3 percent by considering “compensating factors.” Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, who oversees both Fannie and Freddie, announced the government’s new plan in hopes of quelling lenders’ fears when the government-backed loans they sell go sour.



Additionally, Fannie and Freddie also plan to loosen demands on lenders to buy back defaulted mortgages, creating more stability, confidence and clarity for the lending industry.

RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly applauded the announcements, which ultimately help first-time homebuyers, as well as those who earn lower incomes, to more easily obtain government-backed loans. 

“This is great news for our industry, and it’s a welcomed change we’ve been advocating at RE/MAX,” Kelly says. “Taking a measured but less stringent approach to lending creates more stable housing conditions and, most importantly, opens the doors to homeownership for qualified, willing homebuyers who’ve been sidelined in the wake of the downturn.” 


Click link for full article:

Breaking/Good News for Housing Industry