The Bluewater Real Estate Blog covers everything you need to know for buying or selling your home or property on the Crystal Coast. We’ll also share helpful home improvement tips, local events and so much more and you’ll get it all straight from the locals at Bluewater Real Estate who live and play here along the coast.

We’re covering Emerald Isle to Beaufort and everything in between to ensure you make the most out of the time you spend with us right here in coastal North Carolina. Can’t find what you’re looking for? No worries, just reach out to our Guest Relations team by phone or send us a message on social media. We’re always happy to help!

Time lapse Sunset in Atlantic Beach, NC

Time Lapse Sunset in Atlantic Beach, NC


The sandy beaches along the Crystal Coast is the top tourist attraction for vacationers travel to the coast of North Carolina. As soon as the sun rises, people take to the beaches to claim their spot, search for shells, get their heart racing for a morning jog or to watch the sun start it’s day. Days where the sun is beaming it’s rays on the coast,  expect to see people enjoying the sandy shores from Emerald Isle to Atlantic Beach from sunrise to sunset.   When the day comes to a close, everyone begins packing up their chairs, tents and toys until tomorrow and the sun sets over the North Carolina coast, you should just stop for a moment and take in one of the most peaceful times on our coast – sunset. Sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean are unique to our South facing beaches. Not many people have the opportunity to watch the sun set over the ocean, so while you are vacationing in Emerald Isle, NC or renting a beach house in Atlantic Beach, NC plan your evening around relaxing and enjoying the evening show the sun puts on for us.

Lets get a little scientific for a second. Here are some fun facts about sunsets courtesy of TheOdysseyOnline.com

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Sunsets

1. Sunsets happen because of the Earth’s atmosphere

sunset over water

If the Earth was airless like the moon, then the sun would look the same as it is dropping behind the horizon. But due to our 300 mile atmosphere, we get the scattered effect of light as the atmosphere acts as a prism.

2. The sun starts to lose color as it sets

sunset through grass

As the sun starts dropping to the horizon it starts to lose its blue wavelength hues, then its green and yellow hues, and eventually orange, leaving only red wavelengths. That is why the sun at the end of a sunset will look like a ball of fire.

3. By the time you see the sun set, it’s actually gone

sunset couple dog

Have you ever been told that some of the stars you are looking at are already dead because of the time it takes the light to travel? Well the same thing sorta happens with the sun, except the sun doesn’t die every night. Again thanks to our atmosphere, which bends light, we are able to see the sun setting. If this is a little confusing, please look at the picture below.

4. Pollution causes those prettier sunsets

iStock_000034521860Large

Smoke particles are great for filtering out colors, leaving pinks, reds, and oranges become more vivid. But if pollution gets too high, the sky will just look hazy, leaving a murky sunset that no one really appreciates. Thankfully our less populated county does not have the pollution that larger cities and towns have.

5. “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in morning, sailor’s take warning.” This quote is actually true.

sun over marina

The bright, red, pure colors at night mean that the air is clear to the west and will be good weather in the morning. A red sky in the morning means that good, high pressure weather has already passed meaning low pressure weather (storms) will be coming to the east.

When the Beach is Your Backyard

When the beach is your backyard

– Clarissa G., marketing coordinator

when the beach is your backyard

Every summer, our beach fills up with tourists from across the country, sometimes even across the globe. People from all walks of life come to our coast to experience the majestic Atlantic Ocean. It’s beautiful to witness (maybe not from the end of the line at Food Lion on the weekend) so many different families coming together to appreciate the spectacular sights and activities that we call home. Families come and spend a week on vacation after dreaming about it for months, sometimes years. But then the end of the week comes before they know it. Bags are packed, sand is shook out of the floor mats, home addresses are entered into navigation systems, and suddenly the island has a peaceful echo of emptiness to it. It’s surprising how quiet the island is during the off-season, compared to the thrumming pulse of summer. Many people ask me what it’s like to “live at the beach.” I personally live nearby, about 30 minutes away. I have lived on and off the island, and although I loved being able to walk out my back door and into the sand, it’s more affordable to live inland. I’m originally from the Midwest, so 30 minutes is a plenty close drive to the beach for me.  I feel like this is truly “home” for me after twelve years of living here.

Getting to see saltwater on a daily basis never gets old. I thought surely, after so many years, it would get less exciting. It’s different now… seeing the beach and the coast is settling. Like I can take a deep breath and be completely grounded. When I’m away and return, the smell of salt air just seems ‘right’ and smells like home. I’m still perfectly happy to stare at the waves for hours, sifting through the sand for shells and generally behaving like a big kid as soon as my feet hit the sand.



I do feel like my appreciation for the coast has changed as I’ve made it my ‘home.’ Now instead of seeing the coast as a destination or attraction, it feels like a beautiful, priceless piece of art and I’m lucky enough to get to work in the gallery every day. Everyone comes to appreciate it and see it, photograph it and share it with others. I get to see it in all seasons; covered in snow, blown apart by a hurricane, flooded by noreaster rains and covered with sea oats waving in the hot summer breeze. I still get excited for people to experience it for the first time. I am ecstatic for families to reunite from across the country while they’re here and make priceless memories with their children. I get frustrated when people treat it poorly and leave the beach full of trash, cigarettes and deep holes dug in the sand. I hope that everyone remembers to disconnect, let go and relax while they’re here. I love seeing the winter sunsets over the ocean. I am grateful to be able to wake up on a Saturday morning and decide the spend the day sunning and shelling on Shackleford Banks. I look forward to simple things like the yellow butterflies at the end of the summer and knowing that means I can sit on the pier and watch the fishermen haul up a cooler full of fish over an afternoon.

Sure, it can be more expensive to live at the beach. But having this beautiful work of Mother Nature mere moments away and getting to be a part of once-in-a-lifetime experiences for families from across the country is a benefit that can’t be measured in dollars.

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Maintain your Vacation Rental for the Next Season


Maintaining and Updating your Vacation Rental during the Off Season

Recently we had a homeowner do a complete remodel of her unit. She chose her updates wisely and what a HUGE impact her choices made.

Consider new living room furniture and flooring
Sofas that look dingy, saggy and outdated are an instant turn-off to renters. Many times, your living room photo is the first thing that guests see from your web presentation and often immediately sends them clicking the next house. Replace worn, mismatched and dated pieces, and please don’t use plastic outdoor furniture indoors! Worn and dirty carpet holds moisture, odors, dirt and hair. We recommend replacing carpet in the main living areas with laminate or wood-look vinyl/tile for a low-maintenance, easy to clean surface that looks fresh and modern.

Before                                                                                        

living/bedroom

After

living/bedroom makeover

9 Steps to Wonderful

During the off season be sure to take advantage of updating your property. Returning guests like to see that their well earned money is spent on where they vacation. When they see updates they are more likely to continue renting the same property. So, try to keep your usuals by doing some of the following:

1 Paint. Try light and coastal colors like these

 
  color palette

2 Change the cushions on your couch or invest in re-upholstery or a slipcover

 chair makeover

3 Update throw pillows in living room

 

4 New comforters/quilts

5  Updated TVs (the flat screens go on sale during Thanksgiving)

BONUS: Streaming HDMI devices such as Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Roku are an exciting low-cost addition to bedrooms, media rooms and game rooms! These devices connect to Wi-Fi and plug into an HDMI port to allow your guests to use their own Netflix, Hulu and premium channel accounts. These devices are a one-time cost and range from $35-50 each, and can be purchased online or at retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club and Best Buy. We recommend Roku – it has a remote!

6 Update to neutral or modern curtains including shower curtains and living room and bedrooms

Image result for coastal curtains  :

7 Remove all items that may be fading or collecting dust like faux floral arrangements

8 New dining room table and chairs or just new chair cushions

Rental Dining Room Makeover:

9 Replace or remove artwork on the walls (dated/faded)

Image result for coastal room

Inexpensive Solutions

Furniture Solutions

Re-upholster your couch instead of buying a new one

Replace throw pillows on couches and beds for a quick refresh

Slip Covers on couches

Make or Replace Dining Room Chair Cushions – Ikea

PAINT!!! 

This makes the biggest impact in a room. A little fresh paint can change the entire mood of a room

Decor

New Artwork- Hobby Lobby, Ikea, Big Lots, Target

Throw Rug in Living Space if Floors are not updated

Visit our Pinterest DIY Page HERE for How To’s


Audio Visual How To

Take away from this short video–Try these simple changes to transform a small coastal room:

Stick with neutrals in smaller spaces

Bedskirt , Hand Stitched Shams and light coverlet

Light color and light weight Curtains

Sleek lighting

Throw for the end of the bed and pattern

Long Floating Shelf

Think Color, Pattern, Organization and Space

When to Replace bedding and household linens
Replace every year: Pillows, shower curtains, mattress pads. Check blankets and throw rugs for stains and wear.

Every 2-3 years: Comforters/quilts, throw pillows, area rugs. Check curtains for sun bleaching and wear.


Have you replaced your mattresses since 2009? Mattresses should be replaced after 7 years. Uncomfortable mattresses account for a large number of negative reviews and guest complaints and make a big impact on your guest’s choice to return for next year. Don’t forget to check sleeper sofa and trundle mattresses as well.
Please schedule all of your household linens to be washed. This service is offered on your addendum!

Inspiration Photos

For the 2017 Rental Season!
Need advice on prioritizing your updates to maximize income? Let us help.
propertymanagers@bluewaternc.com Homeowner Hotline: (866) 848-8080
Each season, we continue to see stronger rentals throughout the year as a result of home improvements. Guests are more likely to leave reviews and ratings for rentals where the owner is actively making updates and 65% more likely to return to that same rental for the next year. Repeat guests are an important part of both our success and yours. Here are some simple updates you should be doing this winter to maximize your bookings and secure more positive reviews and return guests.


New Accent Chairs

New Carpeting

Painted Walls

Artwork


Rearrange Furniture

Painted Walls

All New Furniture

New Flooring


Throw Rug

New Couch

New Flooring

Throw Pillows


Headboards

Comforters

New Flooring

Re-arrange furniture

My Revitalized Home

Fisher Street Revitalized

I closed on my Fisher Street house in Morehead City sight unseen in February 2015.  I relied on photos and my previous knowledge of the neighborhood.  That is the thing about real estate, especially unique properties in up and coming neighborhoods, if you don’t move quickly someone else will beat you to it.  In my case someone almost did, but I got very lucky.  Unbeknownst to me, my godfather who lives across the street actually had an offer in on it when I called him to ask his opinion of the property.  We discussed my desire to move home and restore the property, and he agreed to assign the offer to me.  Fate!  

The house was uninhabitable and in disrepair, but it had good old bones and a water view.  My home inspector, JP Davies, later told me my house was the worst he had ever inspected.  Several feet of water was under the house, and the backyard was the neighborhood drainage pond.  But, my godfather, GA Jones Construction, and I could see past it and set out to bring it back to life.  

The crew first set out to remove the water from under the house and yard, but doing so was an issue because it kept raining.  It delayed us about a month or so.  I was still living in Colorado at the time, so I wasn’t around to witness the miracle of removing the water or lifting the house.  My godfather told me over the bathroom floor actually fell out when ​they​ lifted it.  I think most people would have panicked at this point; I’m not really sure why I didn’t.  But, I went into this project with the mindset that I had to accept unforeseen mishaps and move on, so that helped.  Nonetheless, lifting the house was a necessity because it consistently flooded in storms, and it would save me thousands of dollars on my flood insurance.  

I drove from Colorado back to Carteret County the first week of May 2015.  My house was up on giant steel beams when I arrived​,​ and the bricks for the new foundation were piled in the yard.  The water was gone, fresh dirt was everywhere, and the house was only accessible with a ladder.  It was at this time that we discovered original heart pine bead board behind the sheet rock walls.  My contractor convinced me to pull all of the sheet rock out of the house and expose the original bead board.  This was a messy and time consuming ordeal, but it was so worth it in the end.  The back of the house was added later, so we put new bead board in those rooms create a cohesive look.

The sub floors are wide heart pine planks, but couldn’t be left exposed because they had so many holes drilled in them over the years to let the flood water out.  Thus, we put in pine floors in throughout the house, except for the bathrooms where I used a retro black and white mosaic tile.  The house originally only had one bathroom with an antique claw foot tub.  I added a second bathroom with a shower off the master where two closets backed up to each other.  
We then designed and built two freestanding closets in the corners to compensate for losing the storage space.  They are constructed out of bead board and utilize original interior doors and locks.  However, not all of the locks were working, and I needed some switch plates.  Rather than using new locks, I opted to use reclaimed locks and switches from an architectural salvage business in Jackson, Mississippi called Old House Depot.  I knew about them because I lived in Jackson for three years and use to walk through their space and dream about renovating a home using their stuff.  They mailed me what they had, but they didn’t have enough.  Old House Depot recommended a locksmith in New Orleans called H Rault and sure enough they mailed me the last of what I needed

We then designed and built two freestanding closets in the corners to compensate for losing the storage space.  They are constructed out of bead board and utilize original interior doors and locks.  However, not all of the locks were working, and I needed some switch plates.  Rather than using new locks, I opted to use reclaimed locks and switches from an architectural salvage business in Jackson, Mississippi called Old House Depot.  I knew about them because I lived in Jackson for three years and use to walk through their space and dream about renovating a home using their stuff.  They mailed me what they had, but they didn’t have enough.  Old House Depot recommended a locksmith in New Orleans called H Rault and sure enough they mailed me the last of what I needed.

As I was picking out paint colors and light fixtures from Coastal Lighting Gallery​, various subcontractors replaced all of the windows, electrical, plumbing and hvac systems.  Fulcher Electric rewired the home and ran the power outside underground.  Golden of Beaufort replaced all of the plumbing and installed all of the plumbing fixtures.  Professional Heat and Air installed the new duct work and new unit.  Scott and David of GA Jones Construction did so much of the other work associated with the house like painting and carpentry.  I only used four paint colors.  I opted for soft coastal colors including green, blue, cream and white for the trim and ceilings.  All of my fixtures are bronze​ and came from Longley Supply​.  

The exterior of the home is grey with white trim, just as it was before I bought it.  The previous owners installed vinyl siding.  I removed it from the front and replaced it with hardi​e ​board shake, but I kept the vinyl on the sides and back to cut costs.  I added a three foot wooden picket fence around the front yard for my dog.  I moved in around Labor Day 2015 and furnished it with my family antiques.  I am so proud to call it home.    




I researched and applied for a Historic Plaque from the Carteret County Historical Society this past winter​, as I was settling into the home​.  I traced my deed all the way back to the original developer, The Shepard’s Point Land Company, at the Register of Deeds Office in Beaufort.  I also utilized the Research Library at the History Place in Morehead City to learn more about the family that built my house.  Using the Census Records and the Carteret County Family Records, I learned that Martin T. Wade built the house and lived their until 1922 with his wife and four children.  In 1922, Martin and his wife died in New Bern; the records didn’t provide a cause of death.  Three of the children went to an orphanage in Raleigh and one went to live with an Aunt in New Bern.  The Bank of Morehead repossessed the home.  It changed hands several time, but in 1925 Lola Smith claimed title to the property.  She lived ​at 706 Fisher until 1975 and worked ​out of the home ​as a seamstress.  The historic plaque for the home reads “Wade-Smith” in honor of these two families.  Any structure over seventy-five years old is eligible for a plaque.  Applications are available at the Research Library at the History Place.

However, the one thing I didn’t do in 2015 was replace the roof.  In retrospect, I should’ve done it.  We thought we might be able to squeeze a few more years out of it, but that wasn’t the case. I had several leaks over the winter and spring, so I finally decided I had to replace it to protect my investment.  Thus,  just a few weeks ago Advanced Roofing installed a dark grey shingle roof.  It took two full days and was fascinating to watch.  The new roof really adds a polished finished look to the exterior.  Without a doubt, there isn’t anything major left for me to do.  However, I still need to paint the fence and hang a few more pictures.

I look forward to returning home each day to my eclectic historic home by the sea.  I’m so thankful that I took the risk to truly create the home I wanted in downtown Morehead City. I know I made the right decision to come home, live the Carteret County lifestyle and save this house.  If I can do it, so can you!  Contact me and let me help you find the home that fits the lifestyle you want to live in Carteret County.    

Written by Andrea E Smith

Andrea loves life on the Crystal Coast.  She returned home to Carteret County in 2015, after living in multiple states and countries. She restored and lives in a historic fisherman’s cottage in downtown Morehead City.  She enjoys walking her dog, Riley, riding her bike in her neighborhood and taking her skiff out in the inland waterways.

She is very active in the community and is a member of the After Hours Rotary Club and The Sunshine Community Band.  Recently, she founded the Carteret County Carolina Club through the UNC-Chapel Hill Alumni Association and the Bunco Beach Brunch to support the Sally B. Smith Scholarships at Carteret Community College.

Born and raised in Morehead City, Andrea attended St. Egbert’s Catholic School and graduated from the Carteret County School System. She went on to graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, Mississippi College School of Law and Johnson and Wales-Charlotte. With degrees in history, law and culinary arts, she is a true Renaissance woman.

Licensed since 2005, she has acquired, managed and sold numerous personal and investment properties of her own, in addition to consulting clients on their real estate matters. Andrea wholeheartedly believes real estate is the ultimate wealth building tool. She looks forward to assisting others in their real estate endeavors, as a Broker with Bluewater.



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Building A Dream


As the summer sun is sinking into sunset, fall comes to the beaches of North Carolina in Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach. The routine has slowed and the “normal” pace of life returns. Our commute to the beach is quicker and the days are shorter. Soon the holidays will be upon us as well as another new year. For now, we watch the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean and relax with our toes in the sand.





As a realtor our season is just beginning. I find with the fall and holidays we always meet the clients that are looking to purchase land and begin to plan for that “dream home”. It happens often, more than you would think. I always enjoy these clients as they are beginning to finally realize their dreams of having a beach home to retire to. Building a home in an area you don’t live isn’t as hard as you would think.

After finding that perfect property, drawing a dream home and deciding on a builder, most begin to scratch their heads and say “why did I think we should do this”. Stop, relax and take the advice of many that have gone before you. I find the following tips to come in handy.


number-1First, find a reliable realtor that knows the area, has lived here and can be available to assist in the process. Find a lot that will accommodate the type of home you are looking for. Views are important, but if it is in an area (which most are) that you need a septic tank, be sure you have the permit and that it will accommodate your new house. If there isn’t a permit, then you have to make application for this which could take up to 120 days to complete. No home for next summer at this point. (very important if you‘re planning to come to the beach next season).


twoNext, find a draftsman or architect to draw your home, be assured that the one you got out of that homes magazine will not work! Be sure you are taking into account for home placement for a great view and location. This one step can make the process more difficult for the builder and new homeowner, if not done properly. You inevitably will want to change a wall or add a closet so it is important to discuss all of these things with the draftsman, before rather than after it is finalized


three-blueMost important is the choosing of the builder. Bluewater Builders can be there to assist. Anthony Futral has the experience, knowledge and patience to help you make those dreams come true. He has the vision and capability to help you to design the perfect home that will enable you to enjoy your dream home. If the builder is not one who is experienced in building on the island, you may run into issues with permits and delays which will just make it extend much longer for the building process. Bluewater Builders has been building Emerald Isle for over 20 years, a great choice to help the process go smoothly.

So, it you are the one that is interested in starting the process of creating your “dream retirement home” this is the plan.

Call Bluewater Real Estate for your personalized realtor to help you start the process. Allow them to introduce you to Anthony with Bluewater builders and get the process started. Fall is a wonderful time in Emerald Isle. In order to be in a home by summer you should start that process immediately. Give us a call or view our available lots at today.

Next fall you can enjoy the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean, toes in the sand and the enjoyment of being a local on the island.

We look forward to calling you our neighbors.

Written by Sandy Futral

Image result for hi

I originally relocated from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania to Eastern North Carolina in 1980. After living in Jacksonville and Havelock for 20 years, I eventually relocated in Carteret County and have lived in the Cape Carteret area for the past 13 years. I was a military spouse as well as mother of two military officers, I have the knowledge to help when it comes to a relocation. I will do my best to make that transition work smoothly for your family.
(Ask me about our Military Advantage Program that rewards dollars to our Military service members.)

I love working with people and once you meet me you will know that I am dedicated to you, the customer. I pride myself in doing ”what it takes” to make the transaction as smooth and easy as possible and I will go the extra mile to make it happen. Whether it is investment property, rental property, commercial or just a place at the beach; you can count on me to find that ”place in the sun” that is right for you.

Working to make the most of the clients investment dollars is a goal of mine. I believe in helping customers realize that they can “make their dreams a reality.” I have a great knowledge of the area and the ability to help you in purchasing your first home,second or vacation home. If you want to design and build your home; I can assist you with those needs in one stop. Bluewater offers you the convenience of an in house construction division that can design and build your dream home. In addition we can offer you services like Insurance and Property Management if you are interested. You can count on me to be there to assist you in your real estate transactions. Take a few minutes to drop me a line or give me a call so we can discuss your needs and get started in “making your dreams become a realty.”



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Seashell Guide on the North Carolina coast

Shelling on the Crystal Coast

The beach at sunrise takes on a different personality, with quiet peaceful sounds, beachcombers searching for the perfect shells, the warming sun shining on small traces of sea glass and shells rolling in the surf just waiting to be found. If you time the tide right – you can find beautiful shells and sea treasures. Spending the morning walking through the cool wet sand and listening to the faint bird chirps through the roar of the ocean to some seems like a fantasy. For the lucky vacationers to the Crystal Coast or our permanent residents that call our beaches home – this is part of their morning routine. The towns along Bogue Banks, knows for their shells, all offer pristine beaches and lush coastline for those early birds looking to hit the beach before the island wakens. Beach-goers that will be joining you in the early morning hours are usually those hunting for shells!

What are the best spots to hunt for shells? Collectors say that Hammocks Beach State Park and Cape Lookout National Seashore are two of the top shelling beaches in our area! If hitting the beach at low tide is not your style, you can visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC where they have over 1,000 seashells on display.


Scotch Bonnet
This is an important find – it’s our state shell! Look for the trademark pattern and a curled outer edge.


Mole Crabs (or Sand Fleas)
Dig into the sand just at the water line and you’re sure to find some of these guys. You can scoop up a handful of sand with one in it and watch them move quickly to hide. They move and burrow backwards into the sand! They make great bait for pompano and sheepshead.


Coquina Clams
These tiny shells can sometimes be found still paired! Try stirring up the sand in a tidepool and watching quietly. Many times you’ll find a live one and see it burrow itself back down into the sand. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, and can be very tiny. They are also known as “Angel’s Wings.”


Sand Dollars
Venturing out to barrier islands and the Cape Lookout Seashore will reward more sand dollar finds! You may find some still “alive” with a velvety brownish-green exterior. Put those ones back, only collect ones that are sun-bleached white.


Scallops
These fan-shaped beauties come in a variety of patterns in bright oranges, pinks and browns. You can sometimes find a pair, but it’s more rare!


Whelk Shells and Egg Cases
You’ll find three varieties here: the Lightening Whelk, the Knobbed Whelk and the Channel Whelk. Their egg cases are long, spriral chains of pods, and are a neat find!


Sea Glass
These rare pieces of glass are naturally weathered by the churning ocean and sand, giving the glass a “frosted” look with smooth edges. Blue and purple pieces are some of the rarest finds!


Olives
These shells are easy to find since they dwell in the shallow waters. They are easily recognizable since they have a polished look, they also come in various patterns and sizes.

Seashell Finds from the Crystal Coast

    10 Housekeeping Hacks for Spring Cleaning

    10 Housekeeping Hacks for Spring Cleaning

    Here are 10 Housekeeping Hacks that you never knew. Plus you have everything you need already in your home to make it spotless.

    Faucets

    We found on In This Crazy Life a great idea for keeping faucets clean:  Rubbing a faucet with waxed paper prevents water spots and finger prints.

    Baseboards

    Apartment Therapy shows us 6 easy ways to clean baseboards.  Find them out here.

    Showers

    DIY Home Sweet Home shows us an EASY way to keep those showers clean!  Find out how here.

    Windows

    Ask Anna gives detailed instructions (with photos) on how to thoroughly clean windows.

    Baseboards

    CleanMama.net shows us how to clean baseboards 3 different ways.  Find out how here.

    Blinds

    Hometalk.com shows us in great detail the easy way to clean blinds.

    Carpets

    Got carpet stains?  Try one of these carpet stain solutions from Real Simple.

    Ceiling Fans

    Glamour shows you how to clean your ceiling fans while keeping your hair dust-free in the process.

    Toilets

    Using Coke to clean a toilet?  Find out how it’s done here.

    Stove Burners


    The VSpotBlog.com shows us the no-scrub way to clean your stove burners.

    Real Estate Ethics for Buyers

    Real Estate Ethics for Buyers

    Many times the subject of the “Code of Ethics” arises when speaking of real estate agents.  But what about the unspoken ethics between buyers and sellers?  There are many times when a real estate transaction goes sour between buyers and sellers that could have been avoided.  Here are some helpful tips on real estate ethics for a buyer to help you keep your transaction as smooth as possible.

    BUYERS:

    • NEVER go behind your agent’s back and approach the seller about details of the closing process.
    • Always schedule an appointment for re-showings or inspections of the seller’s home with your agent.  Showing up at the door of a seller unannounced is likely to not sit well with the seller if they’re in the middle of something important.  This might make them less likely to negotiate with you if future negotiations arise.
    • Never negatively criticize the property in a derogatory manner in front of the seller or in public.  Pointing out flaws to your agent is acceptable, but there is a fine line between constructive criticism and and being rude.  Speak to your agent so that they can appropriately express your opinion(s) during their follow-up with the seller or the seller’s agent.  More than likely, the seller has an emotional attachment to their home and will not take kindly to derogatory comments spoken in a rude manner.
    • Just passed by the home of your dreams and see a “for sale” sign in the yard?  Do you know the seller?  Under no circumstances should you show up at a seller’s door unannounced and ask to see the home, even if you think it’s harmless.  By doing so, you could jeopardize a smooth transaction by imposing on the seller at an inconvenient time.
    • Control your anger.  If you are upset that the seller didn’t follow through with an agreement, it could be for valid reasons.  Give them a chance to explain to their agent before any turmoil develops.

    By following these simple tips, it could very possibly make your real estate negotiations go very smoothly without negativity or hard feelings.

    Spring Landscaping Tips

    Spring Landscaping Tips

    Every one needs a little help on where to start at the beginning of a new season. Spring Landscaping Tips can come in handy. With the temperature slowly rising, it is the perfect time to make your lawn picture-perfect!  Landscaping can make or break a potential buyer or renter’s first impression of your home, along with adding value and curb appeal.

    The following tips will help you to get your lawn in perfect shape this spring:

    Inspect Lawn Maintenance Equipment

    Begin by ensuring that all of your lawn maintenance equipment is in good working order.  Address and repair any issues so that you won’t be sidetracked in the middle of lawn maintenance if a problem were to occur.

    Transplant any plants as soon as possible before they have time to start spring growth.

    Flower Beds

    Neaten up flower beds by edging and weeding them.  Add fresh mulch if needed.

    Fertilizing and Weed Control

    Choose a fertilizer that best suits your soil’s needs.  Apply a pre-emergent weed killer to get a jump start on weeds before they sprout.

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    Finding Your Match

    Finding your match isn’t easy. Choosing an agent that works well with you and your home search or sells is an important task. You will be spending a lot of time with your real estate agent and there are things you need to know before committing to a long-term relationship.  Click the image below to watch a quick 2-minute video on what you need to know about your perfect agent hunt.

    What to ask:

    1. Read the agent biography. Do they have similar interests to you? Are their skills in line with your buying or selling goals? Are their accolades in line with what you will be looking for in a home or the kind of property you will be selling
    2. Are they familiar with the area you are buying or selling in?
    3. Is your preferred form of communication text, phone calls, or emails? Make sure your chosen agent is comfortable communicating in a way that is convenient to you!
    4. Do you feel like he or she is a good listener? Do you feel that your goals, needs, and desires will be heard? Will they keep what you desire in the forefront when assisting?
    5. Don’t be afraid to interview multiple agents. You are essentially hiring them

    What to have Ready:

    1. Have your top 5 priorities at hand to discuss with your potential agent
    2. Make sure you have set a buying/selling timeline
    3. Know how much you are willing to spend