All posts by Realty Executives International

Spring Cleaning Hacks

Spring motivates a lot of us to do some much needed deep cleaning. It’s a good idea to take a few days to really cleanse your space and revamp your style. Cleaning and decluttering is a great way to start off the new season and fill your time. Not only does it clear your house, it also clears your mind!

Clean Baseboards, Cabinets, Doors, Windowsills, and Walls

Sound like fun yet? These are not typically chores we do on a regular basis, but a lot of crud builds up here, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. 

Baseboards and window sills accumulate dust, dirt, hair and can become discolored. You’ll be amazed how much cleaner and brighter your space looks with freshly scrubbed baseboards and window sills. 

Don’t forget to do the ones in the kitchen, too. Sticky food residue easily accumulates here and can attract bugs when the warmer weather sets in. Wipe down your walls and doors to get off the dirt and grime, especially the parts closer to the floor where the foot traffic is coming and going. 

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How to Feng Shui Your Home Office

Feng shui is a Chinese concept based on the principle of Tao, or harmony.  Feng, which means wind, and shui, which means water, is a concept based on observations of nature and built around ideas of flow, energy, and balance of the five elements.  It aims to order our built environments on principles of the natural world, and, by doing so, to create spaces that add vitality and offer peace in our lives.

Feng shui is built upon a few basic principles, the commanding position, the bagua and the five elements.  The commanding position has to do with the best way to orient yourself and your furnishings within a space. The bagua is an energy map of eight spaces, each relating to different life circumstances, that are centered around a middle area representing overall health and wellbeing.  The five elements are wood, fire, earth, water and metal, each of which has related concepts (e.g., wealth and abundance), shapes, colors, and seasons  

Feng shui essentially seeks to incorporate desired concepts connected to both bagua and elements with the materials of a space, its colors, its air and light quality, positioning, and spatial flow.

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Finding an Accessible Home

There are many reasons to search for an accessible home. Whether you have a need for more mobility, are caring for an aging parent or plan on aging in place one day yourself, it is crucial to have a home that is barrier-free. Some homes will already be perfectly suited to accommodate homeowners, of all abilities, but others will need a little improvement before they get there. Below, find out what features you should keep an eye out for when searching and discover what can be changed in a house to make it more accessible. 

Finding a Move-In Ready Home 

Some homes already incorporate elements of universal design, which has fewer barriers for people who use a wheelchair or other mobility devices. An accessible home may have features such as wider hallways and doors, low-threshold doors, hard floors and low storage space that’s easy to access. Even features such as a front-load washing machine, rocker-style light switches, and lever-style doorknobs make a home more accessible. 

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Top Six Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S.

A recent report from WalletHub showed the fastest growing cities in the U.S. Of those cities, the ones with the most growth have been in the south and the west. The report ranked cities based on overall growth, population growth, income growth, job growth, GDP growth and poverty decrease.

All 515 cities compared on the report had 17 key measures, which helped WalletHub determine those with the most growth and those with decline as well. 

1. Lehigh Acres, FL

Lehigh Acres is mostly a residential area. It’s near Fort Myers and Cape Coral, which are also some of the fastest growing cities. The population of the city is almost 118,000 and has had a recent growth of 6.8 percent in jobs and a 6.9 percent growth in median income. 

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House Hunting Red Flags

Buying a new house can be an extremely exciting time. Because of that excitement, it can be easy to rush into buying a house that may appear perfect for you without giving it a thorough look.

There can often be red flags that are overlooked or hidden when house-hunting, but are extremely important to take note of. Tell tale signs that the house you’re interested in may not be what you think. They are often subtle and can go unnoticed. Be sure to take extra caution when house-hunting and be on the lookout for these red flags. 

Odors / strong air fresheners

If you walk into a home and the first thing you notice is the strong smell, this is a very important indication that something could be wrong. No smell should be so overwhelming that it hits you right when you enter a home – whether it be an air freshener or an odor. If it’s an odor, such as pet urine, this could indicate that carpet is saturated with it and needs to be replaced. Or if you’re smelling a strong air freshener, it could be that the owner is trying to cover up a smell of a worse problem in the house. Either way, pay attention to strong smells when house-hunting. 

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Five Home Remodeling Ideas For Increasing Curb Appeal

If you’re considering putting your house on the market, it’s never too early to start figuring out what it will take to make your home irresistible to prospective buyers. Amping up curb appeal isn’t all about the outside, as making your home more marketable is an inside job, too.

Even if HGTV is your favorite channel, chances are you’ve got at least a few home remodeling projects you’ve been putting off. It’s ok. We know it’s a lot easier to watch than to actually do.

So where do you start? Should you finally update those dreadful kitchen cabinets? Redo the outdated master bath? Replace the carpet in the kids’ room, where the color can best be described as Rainbow Swirl?

When you’ve got a longer list than budget, what are the must-do remodeling projects and what do you skip?

Rank curb appeal ideas based on ROI

If your main goal is selling a home, a good way to prioritize your curb appeal ideas is to figure out first where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. On the other hand, if you might be staying in your home for a while, it’s a lot better to focus on remodeling what matters most to you and your family, while still factoring resale value into the equation. In other words, make the improvements you know you’ll enjoy. Just be smart about it by not over-personalizing or going over the top.

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Revamping Your Yard After Winter

Harsh winters can be tough on your yard, and can leave them looking a mess-dead grass and plants, damaged shrubs, trees and more. Your yard could be so damaged that you consider drastic measures, such as hiring different people and companies to fix up your yard again. Luckily, there are easier ways to revamp your yard after a hard winter and they don’t require you to spend as much money. 

Fertilize the yard and replace grass

After a long and cold winter, your grass can be looking flat and brown, which calls for a lot of tending and caring. The best way to help your grass to look luscious and lively again is by supplying it with the nutrients it needs to do so. Luckily, this is an easy task that you can complete on your own. Fertilizer supplies the nutrients that grass needs to flourish.  By following the directions on the fertilizer you buy, you’ll have your grass looking green and full of life in no time. 

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Are the Suburbs Right for You?

Having a family and living a peaceful life in a beautiful suburban home is a dream for many. Your kids growing up with a backyard and playing around, breathing fresh air and enjoying the smell of freshly cut grass is one of the best things you could provide them with. There are, of course, a lot more options for living arrangements for families and not everything is going to be a good fit for everyone. However, if you’re leaning towards life in the suburbs or are simply unable to make a decision, keep on reading. We’re here to talk about the benefits of buying a suburban home. 

Why buying a suburban home is not for everyone

Let’s start off by saying that if you’re just not the type to live in a suburban home and lead a quiet life, that’s completely fine. There’s no one right way of living, choose what’s best for you!

Having to maintain your home

If you’re used to living in a bigger urban city, chances are that you used to live in an apartment. Although living in a house has a lot of perks, it has its downsides as well. Having to mow your lawn, fix your fence or clear snow off of your front porch and driveway can be bothersome. You might not be cut out for it and that’s completely understandable. 

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How to Get Your Security Deposit Back

One of the biggest disputes among renters and landlords is the security deposit. Almost all apartment management companies or landlords require one. If a problem does arise, it usually involves the renter receiving less than the amount they thought they were entitled to.  Let’s dive into scenarios and common questions about security deposits. Specifically we will attempt to answer the question of how renters can get their entire deposit back quickly. 

What is a Security Deposit

First of all, the security deposit is your money. Its purpose is solely to be used against any damage that you cause during the rental. 

For example, if you damaged anything inside the unit that needs to be repaired, this will be deducted out of the security deposit amount.  It is not to be used for anything else. 

Some states actually require the landlord to deposit the money into a separate account. They must also report the name of the bank, and the account number to the lessee. 

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Realty Executives White Mountains Executive Beth Williams Helps Find Equine Sanctuary

Finding the perfect home is already a challenge, but finding a home that can host several horses, donkeys and minis, may be one the hardest finds. That was the challenge Beth Williams of Realty Executives White Mountains faced when she was hired by Christine Griffin, founder of animal sanctuary, Equine WellBeing Rescue.

In 2012, Williams was hired by Griffin to find a property that had a family cabin along with shelter and land for the equines that were going to be cared for throughout the seasons, all at the right price. Understanding Griffin’s passion for animal rescue and the importance of their mission was key to Williams having the determination and expertise to search northern Arizona for the right home.

Equine WellBeing Rescue was founded in 2006 by Griffin in San Diego, CA before moving the non-profit to Snowflake, AZ for more affordable housing and resource costs. The equine rescue is a 501c3 public charity that provides loving rehabilitation, nursing, and hospice care for equines at risk, waiting for adoption, or with medical needs. Additionally, the charity provides community support by offering an emergency equine food fund for those in need of short-term assistance caring for their animals. They continue to work with regional, state, and national rescues to assist during disasters or emergencies while working with law enforcement agencies to help find homes for neglected or abused equines. Equine WellBeing Rescue is 100 percent volunteer based.

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