Saturday, January 31, 2015

Location Location Location When House Hunting


If you’re thinking about buying a new (or old!) home, our list of the “Top Things to Look for When Buying a Home” can help to get your search off to the right start. While the number of rooms, condition of the kitchen, and size of the yard are important, there are other things to consider before you make an offer.
Location, Location, Location
They say that the 3 most important things to think about when buying are home are location, location, location. You can live with almost any imperfection in a home if you love the neighborhood and your neighbors. You can change almost everything else. But, once bought, you cannot change your home’s location. When you go house hunting, consider any potential home’s proximity to your work, the charm of the neighborhood, how the home is situated on the lot, ease of access, noise from neighbors, traffic, or pets, and access to parks, shopping, schools, and public transportation.
Beyond location, look at the particular site of the home. If the home is on a hill does it have a view, a walkout basement, or lots of stairs to climb? Do neighbors’ windows look directly into the home? Is the yard suitable for kids, pets, gardening, or other uses? Is access to the property safe regarding driveway elevation, stairs up to (or down to) the front door?
Consider a Home’s Curb Appeal
Your home should reflect your lifestyle. Do you live a laid-back life? Then you might not want a formal Victorian or Tudor style home. Something simpler and more contemporary might be in order. Look at the exterior features. A brick home is easier to maintain, unless you live in an earthquake-prone area! Is the roof in good condition? Is the landscaping attractive and are the sidewalks leading to the home safe?
You may be thinking about buying your dream home. But is your dream home impractical? Do you really need 4 bedrooms and 4 baths when you live alone? A large home can give you the extra space you’ve always wanted for a home office or crafts or art projects. But you’ll pay higher heating bills and have higher taxes. It will take more furniture to furnish and money to decorate. Think about how the new home space will be used and whether it will fit your lifestyle now and in the future.

Contact your local RE/MAX Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696 if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can guide you  toward your next home.
Looking to purchase a home, visit
See You at Closing!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hot Housing Trends for 2015

hot1Everyone wants to be hip, and the latest trends in design can help distinguish one home from another. And it’s not all flash; many new home fads are geared to pare maintenance and energy use and deliver information faster. Here’s a look at what’s coming.
This time of the year, we hear from just about every sector of the economy what’s expected to be popular in the coming year. Foodies with their fingers on the pulse of the restaurant industry and hot TV chefs will tell us to say goodbye to beet-and-goat cheese salad and hello roasted cauliflower, and there’s no end to the gadgets touted as the next big thing.
In real estate, however, trends typically come slowly, often well after they appear in commercial spaces and fashion. And though they may entice buyers and sellers, remind them that trends are just that—a change in direction that may captivate, go mainstream, then disappear (though some will gain momentum and remain as classics). Which way they’ll go is hard to predict, but here are 21 trends that experts expect to draw great appeal this year:
hot2Coral shades. A blast of a new color is often the easiest change for sellers to make, offering the biggest bang for their buck. Sherwin-Williams says Coral Reef (#6606) is 2015’s color of the year because it reflects the country’s optimism about the future. “We have a brighter outlook now that we’re out of the recession. But this isn’t a bravado color; it’s more youthful, yet still sophisticated,” says Jackie Jordan, the company’s director of color marketing. She suggests using it outside or on an accent wall. Pair it with crisp white, gray, or similar saturations of lilac, green, and violet.
hot3Open spaces go mainstream. An open floor plan may feel like old hat, but it’s becoming a wish beyond the young hipster demographic, so you’ll increasingly see this layout in traditional condo buildings and single-family suburban homes in 2015. The reason? After the kitchen became the home’s hub, the next step was to remove all walls for greater togetherness. Design experts at Nurzia Construction Corp. recommend going a step further and adding windows to better meld indoors and outdoors.
Off-the-shelf plans. Buyers who don’t want to spend time or money for a custom house have another option. House plan companies offer myriad blueprints to modify for site, code, budget, and climate conditions, says James Roche, whose firm has 40,000 choices. There are lots of companies to consider, but the best bets are ones that are updating layouts for today’s wish lists—open-plan living, multiple master suites, greater energy efficiency, and smaller footprints for downsizers (in fact, Roche says, their plans’ average now is 2,300 square feet, versus 3,500 a few years ago). Many builders will accept these outsiders’ plans, though they may charge to adapt them.
Freestanding tubs. Freestanding tubs may conjure images of Victorian-era opulence, but the newest iteration from companies like Kohler shows a cool sculptural hand. One caveat: Some may find it hard to climb in and out. These tubs complement other bathroom trends: open wall niches and single wash basins, since two people rarely use the room simultaneously.
Quartzite. While granite still appeals, quartzite is becoming the new hot contender, thanks to its reputation as a natural stone that’s virtually indestructible. It also more closely resembles the most luxe classic—marble—without the drawbacks of staining easily. Quartzite is moving ahead of last year’s favorite, quartz, which is also tough but is manmade.
hot5Porcelain floors. If you’re going to go with imitation wood, porcelain will be your 2015 go-to. It’s less expensive and wears as well as or better than the real thing, says architect Stephen Alton. Porcelain can be found in traditional small tiles or long, linear planks. It’s also available in numerous colors and textures, including popular one-color combos with slight variations for a hint of differentiation. Good places to use this material are high-traffic rooms, hallways, and areas exposed to moisture.
Almost Jetson-ready. Prices have come down for technologies such as web-controlled security cameras and motion sensors for pets. Newer models are also easier to install and operate since many are powered by batteries, rather than requiring an electrician to rewire an entire house,says Bob Cooper at Zonoff, which offers a software platform that allows multiple smart devices to communicate with each other. “You no longer have to worry about different standards,” Cooper says.
Charging stations. With the size of electronic devices shrinking and the proliferation of Wi-Fi, demand for large desks and separate home office is waning. However, home owners still need a dedicated space for charging devices, and the most popular locations are a corner of a kitchen, entrance from the garage, and the mud room. In some two-story Lexington Homes plans, a niche is set aside on a landing everyone passes by daily.
Multiple master suites. Having two master bedroom suites, each with its own adjoining bathroom, makes a house work better for multiple generations. Such an arrangement allows grown children and aging parents to move in for long- or short-term stays, but the arrangement also welcomes out-of-town guests, according to Nurzia Construction. When both suites are located on the main level, you hit the jackpot.
Fireplaces and fire pits. The sight of a flame—real or faux—has universal appeal as a signal of warmth, romance, and togetherness. New versions on the market make this amenity more accessible with more compact design and fewer venting concerns. This year, be on the lookout for the latest iteration on this classic: chic, modern takes on the humble wood stove.
Wellness systems. Builders are now addressing environmental and health concerns with holistic solutions, such as heat recovery ventilation systems that filter air continuously and use little energy, says real estate developer Gregory Malin of Troon Pacific. Other new ways to improve healthfulness include lighting systems that utilize sunshine, swimming pools that eschew chlorine and salt by featuring a second adjacent pool with plants and gravel that cleanse water, and edible gardens starring ingredients such as curly blue kale.
hot6Storage. The new buzzword is “specialized storage,” placed right where it’s needed. “Home owners want everything to have its place,” says designer Jennifer Adams. More home owners are increasingly willing to pare the dimensions of a second or third bedroom in order to gain a suitably sized walk-in closet in their master bedroom, Alton says. In a kitchen, it may mean a “super pantry”—a butler’s pantry on steroids with prep space, open storage, secondary appliances, and even a room for wrapping gifts. “It minimizes clutter in the main kitchen,” says architect Fred Wilson of Morgante-Wilson.
hot7Grander garages. According to Troon Pacific, the new trends here include bringing the driveway’s material into the garage, temperature controls, sleek glass doors, specialized zones for home audiovisual controls, and a big sink or tub to wash pets. For home owners with deeper pockets, car lifts have gone residential so extra autos don’t have to be parked outside.
Keyless entry. Forget your key (again)? No big deal as builders start to switch to biometric fingerprint door locks with numerical algorithms entered in a database. Some systems permit home owners to track who entered and when, says Malin of Troon Pacific.
Water conservation. The concerns of drought-ravaged California are spreading nationwide. Home owners can now purchase rainwater harvesting tanks and cisterns, graywater systems, weather-controlled watering stations, permeable pavers, drought-tolerant plants, and no- or low-mow grasses.
hot8Salon-style walls. Instead of displaying a few distinct pieces on a wall, the “salon style” trend features works from floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall. Think Parisian salon at the turn of the century. HGTV designer Taniya Nayak suggests using a common denominator for cohesiveness, such as the same mat, frame color, or subject matter. Before she hangs works, she spaces them four to five inches apart, starting at the center and at eye level and working outward, then up and down. She uses Frog Tape to test the layout since it doesn’t take paint off walls. Artist Francine Turk also installs works this way, but prefers testing the design on the floor like a big jigsaw puzzle.
hot9Cool copper. First came pewter; then brass made a comeback. The 2015 “it” metal is copper, which can exude industrial warmth in large swaths or judiciously in a few backsplash tiles, hanging fixture, or pots dangling from a rack. The appeal comes from the popularity of industrial chic, which Restoration Hardware’s iconic style has helped promote, says designer Tom Segal.
Return to human scale. During the McMansion craze, kitchens got so big they almost required skates to get around. This year we’ll see a return to a more human, comfortable scale, says Mark Cutler, chief designer of design platform nousDecor. In many living or family rooms that will mean just enough space for one conversation grouping, and in kitchens one set of appliances, fewer countertops, and smaller islands.
hot10Luxury 2.0. Getting the right amount of sleep can improve alertness, mood, and productivity, according to the National Sleep Foundation. With trendsetters such as Arianna Huffington touting the importance of sleep, there’s no doubt this particular health concern will go mainstream this year. And there’s no space better to indulge the desire for quality rest than in a bedroom, says designer Jennifer Adams. “Everyone is realizing the importance of comfort, quality sleep, and taking care of yourself,” she says. To help, Adams suggests stocking up on luxury bedding, a new mattress, comfortable pillows, and calming scents.
Shades of white kitchens. Despite all the variations in colors and textures for kitchen counters, backsplashes, cabinets, and flooring, the all-white kitchen still gets the brass ring. “Seven out of 10 of our kitchens have some form of white painted cabinetry,” says builder Peter Radzwillas. What’s different now is that all-white does not mean the same white, since variations add depth and visual appeal. White can go from stark white to creamy and beyond to pale blue-gray, says Radzwillas. He also notes that when cabinets are white, home owners can choose bigger, bolder hardware.
Outdoor living. Interest in spending time outdoors keeps mushrooming, and 2015 will hold a few new options for enhancing the space, including outdoor showers adjacent to pools and hot tubs along with better-equipped roof decks for urban dwellers. Also expect to see improvements in perks for pets, such as private dog runs and wash stations, says landscape architect Jean Garbarini of Damon Farber Associates.
While it’s fun to be au courant with the latest trends, it’s also wise to put what’s newest in perspective for your clients. Remind them that the ultimate decision to update should hinge on their needs and budgets, not stargazers’ tempting predictions.

Contact your local RE/MAX Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696 if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can guide you  toward your next home.
Looking to purchase a home, visit

See You At Closing!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Do You Think FSBO ~ Think Again.

Contact your local RE/MAX Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696 if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can guide you  toward your next home.
Looking to purchase a home, visit
See You at Closing!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I know I NEED this... How about you? Video Doorbell.

 You can always know who’s at your door— even if you’re not home.That’s the promise of the Ring, a Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell that allows you to see and speak with everyone who comes to your door from your smartphone, regardless of where you are.
It’s equipped with an HD camera and connects with your home Wi-Fi network. When a visitor rings the bell it sends an alert to your smartphone, and opens a live video stream showing who is at the door and allowing you to talk to them via the microphone.
The speakers have noise cancellation abilities to ensure the best quality. The HD camera has a fish eye lens that is able to capture the area around the door and has infrared LEDs that give it night vision capabilities. All footage captured by the Ring is recorded and can be accessed later.

how_it_works_masthead (1)

The app will show you who’s at your door even when your aren’t home.
 Its creators says the Ring is easy to install, even if your doorbell doesn’t have existing wiring— it runs off a battery that only needs to be recharged once a year. It can also be connected to your existing doorbell’s wiring.
The Ring, the latest smart doorbell from the company that also created theDoorBot, is available for $199.
Contact your local RE/MAX Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696 if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can guide you  toward your next home.
Looking to purchase a home, visit
See You At Closing!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Attention 1st Home Time Buyers....2 Bedroom Pewaukee Home Back on the Market

Attention 1st Home Time Buyers. 2 Bedroom Pewaukee Home Back on the Market.

All you have to do is move in! This 2+ Bedroom home has many updates and lots of character! Very well maintained and located in the heart of Pewaukee! Make your appointment today!

Contact your local RE/MAX Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696 if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can guide you  toward your next home.
Looking to purchase a home, visit
See You At Closing!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Do You Know How to Properly Load Your Dishwasher?

How to Properly Load a GE Dishwasher

There isn't just one correct way to load a dishwasher, but there are many wrong ways to load one, which can lead to dishes only getting halfway cleaned (or not at all). Wasted water, wasted energy and wasted time because of a dishwasher that isn't loaded correctly is the last thing any of us want – this guide will help you learn more about how to appropriately load your dishwasher for sparkling clean dishes.

What Goes in the Dishwasher's Top Rack?

When loading the top rack, make sure that each dish can be evenly sprayed by the wash arm. When stacking bowls, some people tend to overlap them towards the top, which makes it hard for the water to spray between the dishes. Also, stacking multiple utensils on top of each other makes it hard for the water to drain between each utensil.
Common things that can be placed in the top rack of the dishwasher are:
  • Glasses, cups, and saucers
  • Dishwasher-safe plastics
  • Odd-shaped utensils
  • Saucepans, mixing bowls, and similar items (all face-down)
  • Wineglasses (only if they are able to fit without hitting the roof of the dishwasher)

What Goes in the Dishwasher's Lower Rack?

When loading the lower rack, think about the location of the detergent dispenser, spray arms and water jets. You want the water and detergent to circulate properly during the wash cycle, so it's important that the spray arms can circulate fully and the dispenser is not blocked by a large item. Newer models no longer require that the dirty sides of your dishes and dinnerware face to center – the latest water jet systems work great when all of the dishes face in the same direction.
Items that can be placed in the bottom rack include:
  • Plates
  • Saucers and cookware
  • Large items (should go along the sides)
  • Large platters, pots and bowls (on the sides, in the corners or in the back)

How to Load the Dishwasher's Silverware Basket

Today's silverware baskets no longer require you to mix your utensils to prevent your spoons from, well, spooning. The traditional sections of the baskets come with cell covers which space your forks, spoons and knives so that each piece comes out clean and table ready. There are still open pockets which are great spaces for loading small items like lids and measuring spoons.

Contact your local RE/MAX Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696 if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can guide you  toward your next home.
Looking to purchase a home, visit
See You at Closing.

Posted by GE

Friday, January 23, 2015

See an Amazing $400 Laundry Room Remodel for a Family of 8

Ronda Batchelor and her husband, Les, have six kids. Yes, you read that right. The children are ages 20, 18, 16, 13 (twin girls) and 10. Needless to say, when it comes time to do laundry for the family of eight, Ronda spends a solid day or two doing nothing but sorting, washing, drying and folding.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

3 Things You Should Not Buy Generic

3 things you Shouldn’t Buy Generic

Being economical is generally productive when it’s not taken to the extreme. There are, however, some purchases we make where being too frugal may cause problems later on. These are items that shelling out a little extra cash for now will save you aggravation, time or money in the future. We’ve created a list of generic items you should shy away from.
1. Batteries
Whether for your car, tablet, smartphone, or a kid’s toy, features you want in a battery are longevity and reliability. When it comes to batteries, you get what you pay for. A study published on MSN revealed that battery value is well-reflected within its cost, and the cost for generic versus brand names for batteries is about equal. This means that a Dollar Store non-alkaline battery may last 10 hours and cost $1 (just an example), whereas a Duracell or Energizer may cost $5 but last 50 hours. Therefore, cost per unit energy is about the same. The difference is, however, your time. You may have to spend more time going to the store and purchasing batteries, and you will have to change your batteries more frequently.
When it comes to tablet and phone batteries, the difference between brand name and generic is more pronounced. A major feature highlighted in a good mobile product is its battery life, and if you need a replacement, going generic may not be the best idea. According to Radio Shack: “Most lithium ion batteries are rated in milliamp-hours, which provides a rough measure of lifespan. For example, if your phone draws 20 milliamps and your battery is rated for 1200 milliamp/hours, you can expect roughly six hours’ life from a new battery. A replacement from the original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, should last as long as your original battery. … [third-party batteries often] use less expensive materials, resulting in a battery that degrades more quickly in daily use or fails to match the original’s performance.” Many electronics professionals also warn about counterfeit batteries and how similar they can look to an authentic model. To safeguard against this, conduct a thorough online review of the product and seller before making a purchase.
Trusted brand car batteries are usually the better way to go, as well. Car Battery World explains how the cheap models are often poorly constructed and made with lower-quality materials. If you get a real dud, it may result in your car needing a replacement faster, damage to other components of the vehicle, or even vehicle breakdown.
2. Some toiletries
So fresh and so clean – or not so much? While you can probably get away with generic cotton swabs or hairspray, certain toiletries like deodorant, razors, lotion, and perfumes are generally not items you should buy from the generic budget bin.
Web MD says we have between 2 million and 4 million sweat glands in our bodies, which release several liters of perspired sweat each day. Containing ingredients like aluminum-based compounds, parabens, and fragrances, deodorant helps keep our sweating in check. It’s probably best to go with a trusted brand.
As for items like perfume and lotion, it’s a good idea to put out a little cash for these, too. You put these products on your skin and in sensitive places. These products undergo a degree of testing for safety and effectiveness. When you buy a fake, you may get a product that hasn’t been extensively tested. An ABC News report examined counterfeit perfume. “Active ingredients found in counterfeit fragrance include things like urine, bacteria, antifreeze,” Valerie Salembier, senior vice president and publisher of Harper’s Bazaar, said to ABC.
3. Certain food products
Many food products have excellent generic substitutes — the packaging and a few ingredients are the only real differences aside from the prices of many of these products. Oftentimes, buying generic means getting a great deal. With some food items, however, generic is the wrong way to go. A 103.1 Fresh FM publication included a list of foods you should avoid buying generic. The publication suggests we stay away from some generic processed cheeses, as taste and quality generally do not compare to the established brands.
Generic diet-foods can also be a little iffy, as they may not have perfected the taste as many of the larger brands have. The publication also included, soda, butter, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, and beer as items that are best not to buy generic. But this of course, depends on each individual’s taste preferences.
Contact your local RE/MAX Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696 if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can guide you  toward your next home.
Looking to purchase a home, visit
 See You At Closing