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Posted by Shellye Blake REALTOR® on 8/6/2020

Moving day can be stressful, particularly for those who need to transport many large, heavy items to a new house. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the moving process and enjoy an injury-free moving day.

Now, let's take a look at three safety tips to help you avoid moving day injuries.

1. Plan Ahead for Moving Day

You know that you need to vacate your current residence, and if you plan ahead as much as possible, you can minimize moving day risks.

Ultimately, it can be tough to try to move all of your belongings on your own. But if you ask family members and friends for support, you can get plenty of assistance as you get ready to transport your belongings to your new house.

You also should pick up the right moving day supplies. Items like furniture sliders, lifting straps and hand trucks often help speed up the moving process. Plus, these items are easy to find and ensure individuals can avoid putting too much pressure on the body when they move big items.

2. Use the Proper Lifting Techniques

When it comes to moving day, it pays to learn the proper lifting techniques.

For example, to lift moving boxes, you should always lift with the legs Ė not the back. Bend the knees and keep the back straight, and you should have no trouble safely lifting moving boxes and other items.

In addition, use common sense on moving day Ė you'll be glad you did. Although you may be tempted to try to move large items as quickly as possible, it is important to know your physical limitations. And if you don't feel comfortable moving a couch, big-screen TV or other heavy objects, you can always reach out to a friend or family member for extra help.

3. Clear All Walkways

It is important to keep all walkways clear on moving day. That way, you can avoid the risk of tripping and falling while you're moving items in and out of your house.

Furthermore, it is always better to err on the side of caution on moving day. If kids or pets are present, you should try to keep them in a safe area until all items are removed from your house.

Moving items can be tricky, particularly for those who need to vacate their current residences soon. If you need additional assistance on moving day, you should contact a moving company.

A moving company hires courteous, professionally trained staff who can help you take the guesswork out of relocating from one address to another. In fact, this business will pick up and relocate heavy items to your new address to eliminate the risk of moving day injuries.

Lastly, if you need help finding a moving company, you should collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you buy or sell a house, along with put you in touch with the best moving companies in your area.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can limit the risk of injuries on moving day.




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Posted by Shellye Blake REALTOR® on 7/30/2020

Photo by Karolina Grabowska via Pixabay

House plants can add color and texture to your home and allow you to bring a touch of nature indoors, but some can also help improve the air quality in your home. According to a study from NASA, choosing one of these plants allows you to enjoy the added beauty and breathe easier at home, too.

5 Plants that Improve Indoor Air Quality

Plants improve indoor air quality by removing or neutralizing chemicals that may be present in the air. Building materials, cleaning products, home furnishings and other items can all release fumes into the home; even if you donít smell them, you are breathing them in. The following plants are top air purifiers and neutralize a surprising amount of these harmful substances.

  • Boston Fern: Fast growing and easy to care for, this textural beauty is also one of the top air purifiers; Boston Fern removes more formaldehyde from the air than any other plant studied. Formaldehyde can appear in upholstery foam, paints, rugs and more.
  • Rubber Plants: These potent air cleansers also make wonderful plants for rooms without direct sunlight. If youíre having a tough time finding sunny spots for plants, choose a rubber plant Ė they canít bear direct sun, instead preferring the cool comfort of a dimmer room.
  • English Ivy: Cultivate this easy care plant if you want to improve your homeís air quality, but donít have the worldís greenest thumb. Ivy grows quickly and climbs, making it ideal for training to a frame or topiary Ė it also wonít mind if you forget to water it for a day or more.
  • Peace Lily: While most of the potent air purifiers are pure greenery, peace lily has striking white flowers that can help accent your home. This delicate looking purifier is a favorite for bridal bouquets and decorations, and is surprisingly robust for growing in the home, too. Peace lilies do require some attention, but if you are willing to water daily, it could make an elegant and striking air purifier for your home. Skip this one if you have curious pets, though; the leaves can cause stomach upset if eaten.
  • Spider Plant: This hearty variety also reproduces swiftly; the babies can be potted and create even more natural purifying power for your home. Spider plants are pet safe, easy to care for and add both color and texture to their dťcor, making them a natural choice for any home.

Choosing a few plants from the list can help you breathe easy and feel more comfortable at home. Incorporating these easy care plants into your home dťcor will help have a more natural, greener environment in more ways than one.





Posted by Shellye Blake REALTOR® on 7/23/2020

 Photo by Juhasz Imre from Pexels

Major corporations can change nearly everything about their surrounding areas and their effect on residential real estate can be truly substantial. The concentration of wealth in areas like Silicon Valley and Seattle has influenced even the most basic properties, causing otherwise unremarkable homes to be worth over a million dollars based on their location alone. We'll look at the patterns of residential real estate from the past and the predictions of the future. 

The Boom & Cool 

Much like the stock market, there's a flurry of activity in the real estate market when anticipation is in the air. Just the announcements that Amazon's HQ2 would be in Long Island City caused a major influx in properties both in and around the area. But the long-term effects for real estate aren't quite as extreme. 

Once Amazon switched their allegiance to Arlington, the value of the Long Island City cooled back down to its original levels. Even in the D.C. area, the effects have been moderate. After a year, Arlington saw some increases in value for homes near the future campus, but its mid-2030s arrival is causing some degree of hesitation for owners and developers. 

The Steady Rise 

The areas that see a steady climb are typically those that bring in a stream of businesses. These cities and towns attract diverse populations who contribute their talents and create a personality that others want to be a part of. Los Angeles made headlines for becoming its own haven for tech talent, creating the so-called Silicon Beach that spans through Santa Monica, Hermosa and Venice.

Google, YouTube, Snap, Inc. and Hulu are just a few corporations with offices in Silicon Beach. With San Francisco pricing even successful companies out of the market, the demand for luxury real estate in the LA area has increased due to the influx of well-paid engineers, developers and leaders. 

A single industry, such as oil or tech, can quickly raise the average salary to epic proportions. In Gillette, WY, a city dominated by fossil fuels, the average cost of a home increased from $236,978 to $272,100 over the course of just 7 years. So while Arlington may not have seen the immediate jump they were looking for, it may only be a matter of time. 

You can see prices being pushed up all over the country due to corporate investment. From Boston to Miami, it starts with the areas directly surrounding the area of the business before being pushed out to the suburbs and beyond. 





Posted by Shellye Blake REALTOR® on 7/16/2020

When youíre shopping for a home, itís essential to find a balance between being respectful of the ownerís privacy and being open enough that you ask the right questions and find out what you need to know about the home.

In todayís post, Iím going to cover all of the etiquette and best practices when it comes to viewing someoneís home that youíre interested in buying.

Basic etiquette

Before we get into the fine details of questions to ask and what areas are okay to explore, letís take a minute to discuss the basic etiquette of entering someoneís home.

First, make sure you arrive on time and ready to tour the home. Being late will give the seller and their agent the perception that you might not be a serious buyer if you arenít arriving at the showing on time.

Additionally, when you first enter the home, itís a good idea to ask if you should take off your shoes. Some homeowners have a no-shoes-in-the-house policy that they extend to guests as well as friends and family. But, at the very least, make sure that your shoes are clean so you donít track mud around the home.

In terms of cleanliness, make sure you dress appropriately for the showing and that you donít bring in food or drinks. You donít want to be dropping crumbs or spilling coffee in a home that is being kept meticulously clean for house showings.

Ask the right questions

As you are viewing the home, itís appropriate to ask questions that may come up. Feel free to ask about the age of the home and when repairs and renovations were made.

Itís also fine to ask questions about the neighborhood and town if youíre unfamiliar with the area. Traffic and noise levels are pertinent information for any serious buyer. And these are questions that will be vital to understanding the home better and whether itís a good fit for you at the moment.

Where can you snoop?

Itís a good idea to ask before opening cabinets, closets, and doors the first time. But these are all reasonable things to expect to be able to look inside of when buying a home.

Itís not a good idea, however, to look inside nightstands, dressers, and other compartments that are more private and personal.

If a homeowner or agent asks that you donít enter a room entirely, such as a bedroom, bathroom, or basement, this is a major red flag that thereís an issue with the room in question. Every room of the home should be in-bounds when it comes to viewing a home that you might someday buy.

At the end of the viewing

Once the viewing is over, itís best to simply compliment the home, offer your thanks for the tour, and head home to consider your experience.

Avoid making any sharp criticism of the home before leaving, and donít mention any negotiations or ask questions about the pricing at this point. Itís better to leave on a positive note and have these discussions in private with your family before taking your offers to the seller.




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Posted by Shellye Blake REALTOR® on 7/9/2020

Image by kirkandmimi from Pixabay

When you list your home for sale, you are setting it up to sell to a wide range of buyers. Chances are the person who buys your home is not going to be the same as you, and often they will belong to a completely different generation. For example, if you’re prepping to sell your starter home, you may find that it’s a retiree who is looking to downsize that finds it most appealing. Staging your home to sell well requires staging it to appeal to a variety of buyers, across different generations. These tips can help.

Choose Luxury Upgrades When Possible

If your kitchen cabinets need an upgrade, for example, you aren’t going to sway every potential buyer with just a fresh coat of paint. Choosing luxury upgrades when they are within your budget will make the home appealing across generations.

Add Conveniences

Younger buyers and older buyers all appreciate modern convenience. Updated appliances, technology-friendly additions, smart thermostats, and energy-efficient upgrades are all the types of things buyers want, regardless of their age. These types of conveniences will also make your home more appealing to older buyers who are more choosy when they shop for a home.

Create a Home Office

Both young buyers, who may anticipate work-from-home options while their children are little, and older buyers, who no longer need a lot of bedrooms, appreciate the convenience of a home office. Take inventory of your home, and consider if there is a part of it that you could transform to be a home office.

Choose Paint Colors Carefully

If you’re going to give the house a fresh coat of paint, choose wisely. Millennials and other young buyers tend to move towards white and gray color schemes, while older buyers often opt for neutral tones. Choose a white and gray color palette, but keep it on the lighter end to capture a neutral vibe that will appeal to a broad range of folks.

Create Open Spaces

While you don’t necessarily want to tackle a demo job, if you have spaces in your home that you can open up by moving your furniture placement, do it. It will make the space feel larger and invite people from any generation to feel more at home. It also creates images of fun family get-togethers, which both older buyers and younger ones appreciate.

Staging a home to appeal to multiple generations is not difficult, but it does require a little planning. By putting in the effort before you list, you will increase the chances of a fast, successful sale by opening the door to more potential buyers.




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