The Power of Design and Staging to Sell!

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I'm pleased to present my recent project that combined interior design, home staging, pro-photography and proper pricing to yield a sale in less than a day.  28 Rangeley Road in Cranston was a vinyl-sided, 1,300 square foot home with two bedrooms in a lovely neighborhood. The roof was newer, the garage had been converted to living space, the home was fueled by oil through a very old cast iron baseboard system and lacked A/C, and the rooms were small, choppy, and outdated.

When I bought the home, I immediately sought to reconfigure the main living areas to create a more inviting open floor plan, and update the kitchen and bath with luxe materials, appliances, and fixtures.  Most who know me know that my signature move is to knock a wall or two down, put a support beam up, and create a space that's ideal for entertaining--my other passion!

The open design plan effectively eliminated the need for the extra 200 feet of living space in the converted garage. I felt a garage would be more appealing to buyers so I designed the space to become a bonus room (mudroom, drop zone, etc.) and a single car garage with entrance into the home--a MUST for our snowy, blustery winters!  

I designed an eat in kitchen with a large quartz island for serving and dining, forfeiting the "dining area".  The bonus room was large enough to accommodate a dining table and chairs if really necessary, and I needed the space to fit my new fabulous kitchen!

For the bathroom, I removed a closet in a bedroom that jutted into valuable bathroom space and redesigned the layout to create a more practical, larger, beautiful space that exudes luxury.  The bath is accented with spa-like tiles, sparkly chrome fixtures, and modern wall sconces.

The hardwood floors throughout the home were sanded and stained dark walnut, ready for the new furnishings and accessories--"staging", we call it.   It helps potential buyers envision themselves in the space, and where their own furnishings will sit.  And so, a lovely young couple envisioned themselves living at 28 Rangeley, and within a day made a full price offer.

Here are some before and after photos that capture the design and staging. Enjoy!

FAMILY LIVING IN GARDEN CITY!

Welcome to this elegant, classic Colonial home just steps away from the boutiques, bistros, summer concerts, and neighborhood camaraderie of Garden City. One owner, clean, updated 4 bedroom family home is built with the finest quality construction, and has been attentively maintained over the years. Spacious rooms, hardwoods throughout, newer central air and hot water tank, complete irrigation system, cedar closet, and many more amenities too numerous to mention. Move right in and start making new memories in Garden City!  Asking $399,900.

Welcome Home to Garden City. Single Level Living at it's Finest.

Debut! Beautifully updated single level living just steps away from Garden City Center shopping and dining. This home is not a drive by! Spacious 1,700 square feet of gracious living. Newer kitchen with wood and glass front cabinets, stone countertops, stainless appliances. Relax in the comfortable great room with Anderson sliders to lovely patio and fenced-in landscaped grounds. Master suite with large closets and updated full bath. Beautiful hardwoods throughout. Central air conditioning, Generac gas generator, Culligan Pure-soft water system, complete outdoor irrigation system. Turnkey living--Just move right in! Asking $339,900.

Please get in touch with any questions or to view more photos.

WELCOME HOME TO THIS LOVELY NEW ENGLAND CAPE COD!

34 ANGELL AVENUE   CRANSTON

OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY

APRIL 14, 2018   11AM-1PM

 

The quintessential New England Family Home! You must see this charming Cape Cod home with 3 to 4 bedrooms in Western Cranston. Updated eat-in kitchen with newer stainless appliances and full bathroom, hardwood floors throughout, new roof, vinyl sided, newer windows. Finished heated basement. Lovely yard with deck and flagstone patio for seasonal gatherings. Blooming perennials abound, gorgeous sunsets year round. Walking distance to Oaklawn Elementary School, Library, Bike Path, Sundaes Ice Cream, and easy highway access. 

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ON SATURDAY!

Ring in the New Year in Fine Style with This Garden City Gem!

A magnificent and stately gem in much desired Garden City! Welcome home to your 2,100 square foot tri-level on a large corner lot. As you walk into the front foyer, you can’t help but look up and admire the vaulted grandeur of the open stairwell, and notice the large formal living room with a gorgeous bay window that floods natural light into the home. Upstairs beyond the landing are 3 bedrooms and a full bathroom with double vanity. In the lower level enjoy your cozy, wood-beamed family room with a wet bar and impressive fireplace for entertaining family and friends or just curling up during the cold winter months. Off the family room there is a full bathroom and a possible 4th bedroom which would make an incredible master suite should that suit you. There is another full basement for storage with a workbench, a 2-car attached garage with opener, and an outside shed for more storage. This fine home features quality construction throughout and many structural and mechanical updates, including newer architectural roof, central air, hot water tank, electrical service, sprinklers, security and more. Simply put your modern spin on the decorating, and live happily ever after in this cheerful, established neighborhood within walking distance to the boutiques, restaurants and coffee houses in dazzling Garden City Center.

2018 Real Estate Trends to Watch: ‘Surban’—That Sweet Spot Between City and Suburb

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No—”surban” is not a typo. Think of it as the melding of two words to form a new one in the same manner as celebrity name fusion—think Brangelina, Bennifer or Kimye. Surban refers to a suburban area that has the feel of an urban area, with walkability to great retail and restaurants from a house or apartment, and it’s what all the real estate trend predictors are talking about.What Is Surban?


Surban is defined as a suburban area that has the feel of urban; it is a blend of the best of urban and suburban life. Urban planners would previously have described these as “mixed-use” areas, but surban is a relatively new term that fits a bit better.

Characteristics of surban areas include:

  • Located in suburban, not urban areas
  • Anchored in areas with highly-rated schools and low crime rates
  • Dominated by a number of housing options, from single-family residences to condos to townhomes
  • Surrounded by great retail and shopping areas in walkable distance
  • Highlighted with social venues such as restaurants, bars and entertainment

There is much being written about the current trend of surban living. The Urban Land Instituteestimates that these areas will draw at least 80 percent of the coming wave of households and will attract the most families in the next 10 years. Noted real estate consultants John Burns and Chris Porter recently authored a book, “Big Shifts Ahead,” and devoted an entire chapter to the surban way of life.

The Suburban and Urban Past
From 1950-1980, the real estate profession witnessed the trend of suburbia. Homeowners were moving out of the inner city and relocating in suburban areas. They were willing to sacrifice some incredible commute times to cities and suffer other inconveniences to experience an upscale lifestyle. This was because crime rates in urban areas were high and school performances were low.

The 1990s and 2000s brought with it an age of urbanization centered around the renewal of inner cities, development of mixed-use properties in urban areas, increased attention to mass transit, and a renewed focus on downtown condos. However, the economic downturn of the last decade left little job growth in the urban areas. In addition, crime rates are still relatively high, and school rankings and commitments to education remain low.

Paving the Way for Surban Areas
In order to truly understand what is meant by a surban area, let’s examine some specific examples. Think grown-up college campus. A walkable place to dine, work, live and play. Strip mall retail. Less emphasis on giant suburban malls. Let’s start with one of the original town centers.

In 1964, an internationally known planned community known as Reston, Va., was founded. When Reston founder Robert E. Simon, Jr., bought the Northern Virginia farmland 20 miles outside of Washington, D.C., he had the vision of developing a community that would embrace walkability, density, access to green space and a diversity of races and income levels.

In 1990, Reston Town Center opened. This iconic town center is described by CityLab as “a dense cluster of offices, restaurants and shops, centered on a wide-open plaza with a fountain…a community gathering spot.” Nearly 24 years later, the Silver Line Metro station opened in Reston, which ultimately perfected the interconnectedness of the community and city center by decreasing the need for cars.

When Reston Town Center was nearing completion in 1990, Kenneth P. Wong, senior development manager for the project, told the Washington Post: “The idea of a downtown in the suburbs was something that no one really had a grip on; it’s a very complicated proposition that needed a long [research and development] gestation period.”

The Surban Future
Today, suburban downtown areas are popping up throughout the country. Though Reston wasn’t the only place developing the blueprint for “surban” developments, it is often referred to as one of the most successful influencers.

Here are some of the other notable surban developments:

  • Downtown Naperville, Ill., in the suburbs of Chicago
  • Old Town Pasadena, Calif., in the suburbs of Los Angeles
  • A-Town in Anaheim, Calif., in a neighborhood around the Angels Major League Baseball park
  • Legacy Town Center in Plano, Texas, in the suburbs of Dallas
  • Santana Row in San Jose, Calif., on a former rundown mall site
  • City Centre in Houston, Texas, on a former rundown mall site
  • Downtown Tempe, Ariz., in the suburbs of Phoenix
  • Larkspur, Calif., north of San Francisco, with new housing sandwiched between a top-notch high school and a rejuvenated old downtown
  • Geneva, Ill., in the suburbs of Chicago

These types of livable areas are projected to have a profound impact on many areas of real estate in the next several years.

Experts predict that surban developments will replace shopping centers. More retail stores will become places that sell experiences rather than goods, and more development will combine housing and retail to satisfy consumer demand for sites that offer convenient car-free shopping. Suburban office demand will also return. As Gen X and millennials move into more senior management roles and start families, many will move from urban cores to the suburbs to live in areas with good schools, but which are also near employment hubs and entertainment and recreational amenities. They will be willing to share space and work remotely.

What the Surban Trend Means for Housing
The focus is on rental properties, as rates are expected to surge over the long term. The de-emphasis on ownership will be reflected in soaring demand for rental units.

Well over half of the 12.5 million net new households created over the next decade will rent, including those who have never owned, and those making the switch from owning to renting as they age. Some experts believe homeownership will decline, with the national rate anticipated to be 60.8 percent by 2025—the lowest point since the 1950s.

As more people join the already large number of retirees, competition for workers will push up wages, contributing to a favorable environment for rent increases.

There may also be broader choices in housing options. For the most part, housing areas have historically been categorized based on single-family residences, townhomes, condominiums or multi-family buildings. The development and advancement of surban living have already begun blending housing options in a selected area. It will not be uncommon to find townhomes and condos mixed in with single-family residences. Ownership and rentals will exist in closer proximity to widen the retail base of the homes and provide an array of options for millennials.

The Power of Home Staging and Professional Photography

Staging and quality photography sells homes faster and for more money!

 Is your home ready to hit the market?

If your home has been lived in, the first thing you’ll probably need to do is organize and downsize a bit, or at least move some things out. Buyers will want to see what storage space is available, and they can’t if it’s already full of stuff!

Once your home is cleared out a little, your realtor or a pro home stager can recommend how to use the furnishings and accessories you already have to display each room in the most appealing way. For maximum effect, that might mean adding a little paint, changing up some rooms, or adding strategic lighting to make a room feel bigger or cozier . 

Professional photography is an important companion to expert home staging. You know what your home looks like in person, but most buyers will be just glancing at photos online before they decide to view it themselves. Sharing those photos in the home's digital marketing plan will get the most attention of the greatest number of buyers, who will then want to see the home in person.  Those photos should sell!

I’m such a big believer in staging and professional photography I include it as part of my comprehensive listing package. I know that it’s helped me sell homes more quickly. Well staged and photographed homes get more views online, more shares on social media, and more offers!

Give your home the glamour treatment with tasteful staging and eye-grabbing photos. 

5 Cranston Homes with "Curb Appeal"

What’s the first thing people notice when they arrive at your home? Curb appeal! Check out these 5 great examples of curbside beauty in Cranston. Let me know if you’d like to take a look inside, and enjoy spring in your new home!

Grand Entrance: 555 Wilbur Avenue

Grand Entrance: 555 Wilbur Avenue

Talk about stately! This gracious colonial was designed by prominent architect D. Thomas Russillo, a graduate of RISD and MIT and a Rhode Island native. As you arrive on the circular drive, you are greeted with grand columns supporting a round portico, double door entrance, and lush plantings. Lots of mature trees make me feel right at home.



 

On Point: 159 Beechwood Drive

On Point: 159 Beechwood Drive

This stunning property is an absolute masterpiece! Look at those pitches...this home is sharp! The stonework is beyond impressive, not to mention all the quality materials, the meticulous landscaping, and impressive statement it makes to anyone who lays their eyes on it. Take a peek at the backyard. It’s even more impressive than the front!




 

The Arlington:  The Woods at Orchard Valley

The Arlington:  The Woods at Orchard Valley

Striking lines and daring angles combine with the elegant landscaping to create a unique show-stopper. This modern colonial stops you in your tracks, boasting an impressive walkway to your front door. The home is a natural extension of the woods behind, and the front yard would make a perfect backdrop for family  Easter photos!

 

American Beauty: 7 Harbour Terrace

American Beauty: 7 Harbour Terrace

Another property with history! This English Tudor has a well-maintained signature brick and stucco facade. Everything from the windows and verdant shrubbery make this home beautiful. The American flag puts this one over the top for me. The grass is greener on this property!

 

Blossoms: 175 Hines Farm Road

Blossoms: 175 Hines Farm Road

Everything is in full bloom over here in  Western Cranston! This home could honestly be in a magazine,with every curb detail tended to. The exterior has been cared for and it shows. The lawn is a plush green and the gorgeous flowers are bursting with vibrant color, letting us know it is in fact SPRINGTIME.

 

5 REASONS TO SELL YOUR HOME NOW

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about selling your home, the time to hop off is NOW.  To put it in other terms: 2017 is poised to be the year of the home seller, real estate experts say. So what are you waiting for?

Reason No. 1: Mortgage rates are still low

It’s all about rates, baby. Low mortgage rates translate to lower monthly costs. Lower costs entice buyers, which is good for sellers. Although mortgage rates have been ticking up since mid-October to slightly over 4%, the rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage—the most popular home loan—are still hovering near 30-year lows. But all indicators point to more increases this year. They could be in the 4.6% to 4.8% range by the end of the year. What does that have to do with home sellers? Well, potential buyers who are armed with that knowledge might hustle to close on a home before a rate hike.

Reason No. 2: Inventory is shrinking

Remember in Econ 101, when you learned that low supply and high demand lead to rising prices? The same is true—in spades—for residential real estate. When inventory shrinks, available homes become more valuable. As Martha Stewart would say, that’s a good thing for sellers.  Quite simply, sellers this year have the least competition.

And get this: Not only are there fewer homes for sale, but the time those homes have spent on the market has decreased year over year as well. If priced correctly, the typical home should move quickly.  And that’s another boon for sellers.

Reason No. 3: Home prices are rising

Lower inventory and greater demand have pushed up home prices. The median existing-home price of $263,000 in the Providence/Warwick Metro Market was up 6.7% in 4th quarter 2016 compared to the year prior. And that’s no fluke, as prices have gained over the last four and half years.  Higher prices particularly benefit the seller whose property value plunged during the recession, sometimes to less than what was owed. Thanks to rising prices, many homeowners whose property was underwater can now sell without suffering a big loss.

Reason No. 4: Job markets and consumer confidence are up

As unemployment decreases and wages (finally) increase, consumer confidence will climb. The National Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased in February, improved sharply in March. The Index now stands at 125.6 (1985=100), up from 116.1 in February. Increased confidence will spur buyers to jump into the market—which is, you guessed it—more good news for sellers.

Reason No. 5:  Great market for downsizing

There are opportunities for a seller-turned-buyer who wants to downsize in this market.  You can lock in financing rates that you’ll never see again, optimize your equity on the sale of your home, and “rightsize” your home and living expenses—a tremendous trade off!  Check out my recent blog post on Rightsizing