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Giving Tree Realty Blog

Thursday, March 6, 2014   /   by William Culp

Home Staging Secrets: The Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the hottest selling points for any listing, as it is the center of a lot of activity within a home. While you may renovate your kitchen before selling—or at least replace outdated appliances and add some fresh paint—staging is another crucial part of making your kitchen buyer-ready. Read on for some important tips for staging your kitchen.
 
Make it sparkle. Cleaning your kitchen top to bottom is the first step in home staging. Polish all fixtures, clean out the inside of the stove, dust that ceiling fan, wash windows, scrub your baseboards, clean cabinets and polish or replace knobs and handles.
 
De-clutter. Remove all appliances from the counter, take magnets and photos off the fridge and most of the photos off the wall. Don’t remove everything, or it will look cold and unlived in. Instead, allow an opportunity for the buyer to imagine their own lives enfolding in the room.
 
Make use of space and color. Replace ...

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Thursday, February 27, 2014   /   by William Culp

How to Reconfigure Room for Your Addition

Recycling isn't just for cans and bottles. When expanding your home, repurposing room can save money and energy as well. To begin, take a critical look at what you already have. If you see any space you don't currently use—say, that downstairs powder room that rarely ever sees traffic—then you can repurpose it to fit your needs. This concept of “stealing” space from a neighboring room is called space reconfiguration and it is much cheaper than a major remodeling job.
 
What's key is finding space that can work in a new way. That space may be as close as the next room, particularly if there are unused or underutilized areas in your home.
 
There are two main ways you can do this:
Converting. Dying for a home office or a small in-house fitness space? A garage, attic, side porch, large closet, or basement can all be converted to fit the use you have in mind. The pre-existing structure and frame will make the process cheaper and easier to complet ...

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Thursday, February 20, 2014   /   by William Culp

7 Hot Home Decor Trends for 2014

Home decorators seem to agree that ‘bold, colorful and sensual’ best describe the home décor trends for 2014, with radiant colors, tactile interest, and individualized style statements all leading the way.
 
If you’re looking to rejuvenate the look of your home, consider these trending alternatives:
 
Warm colors – Ditch the neutrals and heat up your décor with yellow, orange, red, marine blue, even vibrant orchid. Start with the kitchen, paint the family room or guest bath, and brighten your rooms with art prints and accents that ‘pop.’
 
Mirrors – Get rid of boring, rectangular mirrors in favor of round or oval-framed designs that add focus and color to the living or dining room. Pay attention to size and proportion, and see your new mirrors add both interest and depth.
 
Heavy metal – Actually, all metals from gold and silver to weathered brass and rose gold are the go-to choices ...

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014   /   by William Culp

How to Make Your Buying Process Less Stressful

Purchasing a home is one of the most exciting decisions one will ever make. Unfortunately, for many, that excitement is served up with a whopping side of stress. While you may never erase all of the stress associated with home-buying, with the right mindset, and the right toolset, you can certainly minimize the stress of finding and buying your dream home.
 
1. Get pre-approved. Making sure you are able to get a mortgage will reduce the stress of the home-buying process, because you know you're eligible before you even begin hunting, automatically taking that stress factor off your plate. That's not the only way pre-approval will reduce stress – it also makes the home search easier. Many sellers won't even work with a buyer who is not pre-approved, so you automatically open up your housing pool when you get pre-approved.
 
2. Find the right budget and stick to it. Money is a huge source of stress when buying a house. Figure out exactly how much house you c ...

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Friday, February 7, 2014   /   by William Culp

Home Selling 101: Capital Gains

For those who sold their home this year, it's important to understand how selling your home may impact your tax returns, now that tax season is upon us.  The following information explains how capital gains work for those who have recently sold a home.
 
If you sell your primary residence, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of gain – $500,000 for married couples – from your federal tax return. To claim the exclusion, the IRS says your home must have been owned by you and used as your main home for a period of at least two out of the five years prior to its sale.
 
There are a few catches: You also must not have excluded gain on another home sold during the two years before the current sale. However, special rules apply for members of the armed, uniformed and foreign services and their families in calculating the 5-year period.
 
If you do not meet the ownership and use tests, you may use a reduced maximum exclusion amount. But only if y ...

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