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Washington DC Open House-Chevy Chase-Sunday, October 30, 2011, 1-4pm


4 br, 2.5 bath Cape Cod in sought after Chevy Chase.  This home sits on a quiet residential street, boasts an open floor plan, spacious living room with fireplace, airy sunroom, renovated kitchen with breakfast bar, finished lower level perfect for an in-law suite, and private hot tub just outside the back door. Close to Metro, Garage Parking and long driveway!  Metro Bus stops & shops/restaurants of Connecticut. Ave.

Come visit!

Decorating, DIY, House and Home, Real Estate, The Market, Tips and Tricks

Give your home more value to buyers with landscaping

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Weichert Insights:

Landscaping really does make a difference – both positively and negatively. Not only does a well-landscaped home have a higher perceived value than one with a plain lawn, but one with a minimal landscaping effort actually can detract from a home’s value. Luckily, landscaping projects don’t have to cost a lot and should be seriously considered by any homeowners planning to put their home on the market.  Here are a few tips to get you started on developing a landscaping plan:
•    Start by measuring your property and then sketching out a basic layout, including all of the areas where you would like to add landscaping and make improvements. Once that is done, you can add costs to each and see how much can reasonably be accomplished given your budget.
•    Be practical when deciding on your plan. While they might not sound glamorous, sensible improvements such as irrigation, fencing, lighting, equipment storage, privacy, and security can protect your property value far more than a formal garden with walls and water features.
•    Consider enlisting the help of a professional who can help you best allocate your landscaping dollars. Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations, especially those whose yards you admire.

Decorating, DIY, House and Home, Tips and Tricks

Furnishing your home and wondering what to spend your money on?

Hi all…

Have you just purchased a new home and are so house-poor that you are wondering how you are going to fill it?  If this sounds like you and you want a lot of look for a little money, here are some tips that may help:

1) Choose a few items to splurge on…these items should be items that will last through taste changes and moves…and go the affordable/cheaper route on the rest.  Good examples of splurge items are: Area Rugs (choose high quality wool/silk blends or just wool and they will last a lifetime…you can will them to your children…), Original Art (oil paintings, etc)

2) Spend less money on furniture like chairs and sofas…chances are, you can find a great look for a good price and these types of furniture need replacing every 5 or so years anyway, so don’t put a ton of money in to them….you do NOT need a $5,000 sofa…nor do you need a $2,000 chair.   Also, choose neutral fabrics on the larger pieces and dress them up with more interesting fabrics on your pillows and throws.

3) Buy pre-packaged window panels instead of doing custom window treatments…they are a much better price, they are a lot of look and you wont feel sick if you have to leave them when you sell your house because you wont have tens of thousands of dollars in to them.  Also, if you get sick of the panels you have it is super easy to take them down and replace them with new ones.

4) Spend a little extra on pillows and throws…since this is what will be dressing up your more neutral furniture and will be what adds more style to your room, splurge a little…the most you will spend on any one pillow is (maybe) $250…you will be happy with the way they make a room look way more expensive than it really is.

And don’t forget…you do not have to do everything at once…you will be happier with your choices if you do it over time and really think about the look you are going for.  You will build back up your cashflow and you do not want to regret buying things that you really don’t like just because the were cheap and you wanted to fill the space.

I would love to hear more tips…so please feel free to add them.

DIY, House and Home, Tips and Tricks

5 Kitchen Cost Cutting Tips

Below is a link to the Service Master Website giving some great tips to reduce the cost of updating your kitchen.  Enjoy!

Although I have to say…the tip about flooring is something I wouldn’t necessarily recommend.  While laminate flooring can save money, in this area people want and expect hardwood and do not consider laminate an upgrade most of the time.  Remember that you want to get as big of a return on investment as possible, so I would not skimp in that area.  Go with good quality, durable and neutral flooring and you are in good shape.

Also…if you are changing out appliances…there are ways to get great prices on new ones, like waiting for sales, buying the floor sample, playing superstores against each other on pricing and discounts, etc…but don’t cheap out and get black instead of stainless.  People want stainless, it is a higher-end look and if you are replacing them anyway, get something that is going to have impact.  Most people are not excited about black appliances, so unless it just is the perfect fit for the decor, splurge for stainless.

Happy Tuesday!

Decorating, DIY, House and Home, Tips and Tricks

How to pick paint colors for your walls

Hi All,

Here are some great tips for choosing paint colors for your home.

1) Choose colors that blend not only with your furniture, but also with your flooring and style of decor’

2) Choose an accent color…something that will bring out the beauty of the things you are furnishing your home with, not just your favorite color.  For instance…say you have a beautiful Persian rug under your dining room table…choose a wall color that is a color that has been incorporated into that rug, not the main color of the rug.

3) Pick swatches up and hold them up in different areas of the house with and without natural light (if available) in the dark and under incandescent and/or flourescent lighting (depending on what is in the space).  Light changes color’s appearance and every home makes colors look a little different because of the way the light casts in that particular home.  If you like the way the swatches look, now go get a half pint of the color (they are like $4.00) and paint areas in that room that you want to see how the color will look…let it dry and then decide if you want to paint the whole room that color.  Make sure to paint a large enough section so that you can get an idea of how it will look in your space, but not so big that it will be difficult to paint over.

4) Remember…colors lighten up when you spread them across a larger space…so a color that looks dark on a small space may not look as dark once you paint the entire wall.  Additionally, if that color sample has been painted on a very light wall, then it up against that light color will be perceived as much darker than it actually is, so keep that in mind.

5) Choose a paint that has great coverage so that you don’t have to put on 3 or 4 coats.  Don’t just get the stuff that is the cheapest.  If you get the cheaper stuff but have to use 2 gallons as opposed to one, you have spent the same or more money, but it has taken you more time.  Benjamin Moore is the best, but I recently used Behr Premium Plus ULTRA and it is wonderful!  It is Paint and Primer in one and it is about $30 cheaper per can than Benjamin Moore.  This stuff only needs one coat over a light color and possibly two over a darker existing color.

6) Take your time…if you are not sure about the color, DO NOT paint the whole room just yet.  Sleep on it…get some other opinions…let it sit for a few days…you do not want to paint the whole room and hate it and then have to do it all over again.

7) Get a professional painter for large rooms with high ceilings or for 2-story stair wells…don’t kill yourself…get a professional to do the work, they have the tools and experience necessary to do it right and not hurt themselves in the meantime.  Save the small (bedrooms, bathrooms, etc) for the DIY job.

Here are some links to more great tips and tricks:

Happy Wednesday!