Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor Blog

This Year’s Kitchen “Must Haves”

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where you spend a good amount of time every day and it is where most everyone congregates when you entertain. Because of this, kitchens are the room in the home that has such a significant value and is why most homeowners want to keep it updated. Here is a look at what the top trends are for 2020 that are most desired per information shared by Houzz. 

Kitchen Island

The top desired feature in a kitchen is an island. Many kitchens have them and it is no wonder why they are highly sought after. They offer great counter space, a place to serve, gather and even dine. Nowadays homeowners are getting more creative with them by doing accent colored cabinets or surface tops to make them stand out. 

Kitchen style

Most popular kitchen designs are modern, contemporary or transitional. While farmhouse was quickly growing, this trend has cooled per recent studies. Transitional styles are less distinct and tend to borrow from other trends which is most likely why they are more timeless. 

Cabinets

Cabinetry has remained more neutral with white being among the most popular. Mid tone wood cabinets or gray followed with light wood tones being least popular. With cabinets being a significant item in the kitchen, it is not surprising that most wish to keep things consrvative. 

Backsplash and appliances

White backsplashes are still among the most popular with gray or multicolored following up. For appliances, high-tech options have slightly dipped in popularity.

Flooring

Flooring was interesting with hardwoods being most popular in the kitchen these days among remodelers. Tile came in to follow shortly behind. What is most interesting is that vinyl flooring is on the rise. With new designs now looking just like wood or tile, vinyl is increasing in its popularity due to its durability and cost. 

 

6 Reasons Why Decluttering is Crucial

Most everyone will accrue more than they need to over time in the way of personal items, tools, nick nacks and general belongings. What this all accounts for is too much clutter in your home. While this may not be a problem for you in your day to day life, it certainly can be when it comes time to sell your home. Here are 6 strong reasons as to why decluttering is one of the most important things you can do.

Buyer Vision

Keeping everything neutral is always best. Buyers want to envision themselves living in the home and that may be difficult with family photos, rare doll collections or anything that is “taste specific.” You don’t want to distract buyers with these things nor do you want to make them think too much work is needed to get the home more towards a neutral palette. 

Illusion of space

By getting rid of unnecessary or bulky furniture, donating older clothing from your closets and tossing all of the old food in your pantry that is past its expiration date you will make your rooms and storage areas seem more spacious. Holding on to more than you need will make everything feel cramped and smaller than it really is.

Photos

It all starts with photos. Almost everyone who decides they are interested in seeing your home in person will see it online first. Good photos will certainly entice them to tour the home in person and the better the home looks physically, the better it will photograph. 

Counter space

This is key. Everyone wants a kitchen that they can prepare a good meal in with plenty of counter space. Show off how much space you have by putting away almost everything except for the utmost essentials. This may mean putting that large toaster oven away which may be a pain, but it can help showcase the space much better to buyers. 

Perception is reality

In other words, if your home looks messy and cluttered, then most will think it is probably not well cared for even if that is not the truth. You don’t want anyone thinking that “if this is how the home looks, then I wonder what else was left uncared for.”

Allow your home to sell itself 

Finally, don’t let your personal items get in the way of the home selling itself. In most cases the buyers aren’t purchasing your couch and coffee table so don’t let those get in the way of showing buyers just how large and enjoyable your living room is. Keep things to a minimum and if anything add neutral accessories to warm things up and appeal to the largest audience possible. 

The Right Time to Buy Vacation Property

If you are fortunate enough to be able to purchase a second or “vacation” home there is much to be excited about. Not only is it a great place to escape to with family and friends to create memories, but it can also be a great investment financially when it is done right. A big part of this can be when you buy the home and that can vary on many things. 

Sometimes purchasing during peak season is not always best when you add in the supply and demand factor. So for here in Fort Lauderdale, the winter time is when there are numerous snow birds flocking here to dodge the brutal temperatures in the north. However, this also means that there may be a larger pool of buyers to compete with as something to consider. 

Other than the right time of year, there can be the right time for you. With purchasing a second home there are many other things to decide. For one if you plan on renting it out in order to make it financially possible, think about if it is worth it if you have to rent it during the times that you would  want to use if yourself. 

Next, you will want to figure out if it is the right time financially for you to make the purchase. Other than the obvious second mortgage payment, also make sure that you account for the other incidentals involved. There are utilities, general maintenance either organized by you or paid via a condo fee, cleaning and of course the cost of furnishing it. 

Finally, you should also decide if you are ready to make the vacation home the place you always want to go when you have the time. For some, that works where for others they may want to have a variety of plans to visit other areas. So in the end if you have considered all of these things, then it just might be the perfect time for you to seize the day and make that purchase on your second home! 

Contact me today to discuss when the perfect time is for you. 

10 Tips for Updating Your Kitchen

Sometimes you need to do some updating to your kitchen, but you may not have the money to do a complete gut and rehab. The good news is there are lots of things that you can do easily and affordably that can make a big difference. Here are 10 great ideas to beautify your kitchen. 

Hardware

Some people have cabinets that are neutral enough where they stand the test of time better than others. A quick fix for a fresh look is to upgrade your hardware with some that is more modern or pulls out the best in your kitchen. You could also try matching your backsplash with a more bold color too..

Countertops

This small to mid grade enhancement can really make a statement with the look of your kitchen. Lose the older counters and replace with some classy new quartz ones that frame your cabinets with a more modern and upscale look.

Window treatments

Are your kitchen windows dressed with older blinds or curtains? Pick a great color to add some life with a modern venetian blinds. There are some great faux wood options these days that may hold up better than real wood. 

Storage Solutions

Purchase some key storage mechanisms like spice racks, bag holders, drawer organizers and the like as anything that makes for better organization and offers you more storage will make your kitchen even more enjoyable. 

Paint

Give your kitchen a refresh with a coat of paint and select a color that makes your cabinets pop. Sometimes you can even paint one accent wall to add depth an excitement. 

Shelving

Open shelving is a hot look these days so if you have the space, securely fasten a shelf to display your best dishes, perhaps some spices and even flowers to add life and color. 

Redo Grouting

After several years your grout work can become worn so you may want to regrout the tile with fresh grout or even choose a darker color to add contrast. Darker grouts can also appear cleaner as well. 

Reorganize Storage

This is a great task to tackle as it can sometimes be free! Simply reorganizing how you have things stored can significantly increase efficiency. Make your life easier by not keeping your larger, heavier items up high where it can be hard to retrieve them. Group things together too like coffee mugs near the coffee machine. Finally, if you do end up adding an open shelf, maybe relocating your spices from that high cabinet to it will help too!

Add a Cart

Carts are great, flexible solutions for this as you can wheel them around to where they are needed most. Wheel it over to make an island that may help for prep space in the kitchen, or move it to the dining room and use it as a serving surface. 

Linens

Linens are similar to your curtains where they can be a great way to add an accent color and warm things up. Pick something for either a punch of color or that may match your decor like the color of your backsplash. Place a stack of them on display on an open shelf too for an idea!

 

The 4 Most Essential Things When Preparing Your Home for Showings

As your real estate expert I would like to share some important tips for preparing your home for showings. It is imperative that your home be in perfect condition in order to attract the largest number of buyers and obtain the highest selling price. While there are numerous things you can do to get ready, remember these 4 which are the most important.

Functionality

First step is to make sure your home has a good flow with regards to how your furniture is arranged. Do any necessary staging to show off its potential even if it’s not how you live in it. Next be sure that all things are in proper working order. Check that all faucets, door hinges, cabinets and drawers, toilets switches or any other appliance is operating as it should. 

Cleanliness

First step is to eliminate anything that you don’t need or want inside. Do not simply store things in closets as if they are maxed out it will appear as there may not be much storage in the home. If you don’t need it, toss it or donate it. All surface areas including counters and tables should be free of belongings except for the essentials. Bathrooms should be mold free, tidy and clean just as they would be for house guests. 

Freshness

Freshness is a good rule of thumb. Walk around your house and check each room including the exterior and look for anything that is “tired” or worn looking. Things to consider “freshening up” can include fixtures, paint, hardwood floors, worn carpet or area rugs. For the exterior of your make sure walkways don’t have broken bricks or pavers, flower beds are weeded and no bushes or shrubs are looking they may be dead. 

Appeal

Nearly all buyers will be looking for a home that is inviting and looks like it has been well maintained. Review your home’s exterior facade as well as each and every room inside. Be sure all rooms are well organized, staged appropriately, neutral in decor and presentable. Your exterior should be tidy with well maintained landscaping and walkways so everyone will be sure to want to tour the inside. 

 

Buyer Beware. Know These Things for Closing Day

The home buying process involves many parties and many steps. Even if you have done it once before, there are some things that are important to pay close attention to. Here are 4 things to know so that you are best prepared and don’t have any surprises.

Loan Paperwork

Just because you have finished the loan application and preliminary paperwork doesn’t mean you are all set. Lenders will still want to verify income, assets and employment all the way up to the last minute before closing. Additionally, you should not make any larger purchases during this time period. Significant changes can affect your ability to have your loan approved.

Home Loan Rate

Mortgage rates change regularly and the quote your lender gave you won’t remain current forever. Banks can “lock you in” for 45, 60 or another set number of days so that you can get the best rate. However, once that time period comes and expires, you may have to pay a higher rate depending on what they are then. Closing dates do get pushed out during negotiations so don’t forget to keep in mind when your rate lock expires. 

The Final Walk Through

Most contracts will specify a walk-through 24 hours before the closing and it is always a good idea to take full advantage of this. This is your chance to check the overall condition of the home and make sure everything is in good shape and working order before you take full ownership. It is always best to do this right before your closing and after the sellers have moved out.

The Closing

It is not standard practice for all parties to always meet at the closing. Sometimes you have a seller that is in a different location and may choose to have their attorney represent them instead. It is good to know this in case you have final questions as they may not be there to answer them. 

Always pay attention to all of the steps along the way. Should you have questions, always reach out to your agent. Also, make sure you recruit reputable and professional people to work with. That goes from mortgage agents to movers. A stronger team will most likely lead to a more smooth transaction.