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Jan 23

5 features that can add to a home's value

5 features that can add to a home's value

Renovations can make your home a better place to be — and they can increase its value, too. Some renovations offer more value than others, whether for your primary residence, vacation home, or investment property.

Generally, trendy updates will add value today. But in the long haul, they could detract from your eventual sale profits.

Want to make sure you’re choosing the right renovations for your properties? Focus on high-value projects like these:

Curb Appeal: Improving the home’s exterior look will always add value — think colorful landscaping or a new front door. Updates that require little maintenance and upkeep are particularly popular.

Smart Home Features: Smart home tech that increases convenience or makes a home more energy efficient can add long-term value. Top options include smart thermostats, Energy Star appliances, and smart security systems — items that should get plenty of use over the years.

Great Views: Improving the views from your home, particularly in areas like the main bedroom, the kitchen or from the backyard, can do wonders for your home’s value. So how can you do this? Remove trees that block views; add large, floor-to-ceiling windows; or install a spacious balcony.

Luxury Amenities: What constitutes a luxury upgrade? Saunas, infinity pools, gated driveways and outdoor kitchens are all great choices. They can make your home more marketable when it comes time to sell, as well as potentially add to your asking price.

A Fresh Paint Job: Don’t underestimate the value of repainting both the interior and exterior of the home. Just make sure you choose classic hues, typically neutral colors, that will stand the test of time.

Are you looking for an investment property to renovate — or a turnkey vacation home? Get in touch for help finding the perfect fit.

Jan 9

What is a passively designed home?

What is a passively designed home?

If reducing your energy consumption, carbon footprint or energy bill is important, you should explore the world of passive design.

Passively designed homes rely on natural heating and cooling processes — not those powered by gas or electricity — to keep a comfortable atmosphere. By some accounts, they use as much as 90% less energy than traditionally constructed properties.

Here’s what you need to know if you’d like to build a passive home.

What is passive home design?
A passively designed home is one in which the property's site, structure, materials, layout and more are specifically chosen to create the ideal internal environment without using external energy sources like gas or electricity.

Design elements — like where windows are placed, the direction of the home’s facade, insulation materials and other purposeful choices — play prime roles in this type of home.

What are the benefits of passive home design?
You may want a passive home for reduced energy output, lower utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint. Passively designed homes may also be more marketable once you try to sell since they save buyers on utility costs and offer a more sustainable lifestyle.

How can you employ passive design?
Passive design is something you’ll want to have in mind from the start — in the early stages of planning your next home or vacation property. It requires conscientious choices in every design aspect, including layout, materials and even site selection. It’s critical to work with an architect who’s familiar with passive design.

Get in touch today if you're interested in having a passively designed home. We can find a property that’s a match or reach out to established professionals to start on your project.

Dec 26

These are the 5 design trends to watch in 2023

These are the 5 design trends to watch in 2023

Interior design trends come and go all the time, and 2023 will be no different.

What can you do to keep your space fresh and on the cutting edge of design now — and for years to come?

Professionals have some ideas. Take a look at what trends interior designers say are en route for the coming year (and which ones will start falling by the wayside).

Arches and Alcoves: Gone are the harsh corners and lines of modernist decor. Instead, softer curves and alcoves are the latest look — in furniture, decor and, most importantly, architecture.

Wellness Spaces: Health and wellness have been big priorities in the luxury real estate space in the last few years. Experts predict this will continue, with barre rooms, zen gardens and spacious personal spas in demand.

Black and White: Dramatic design is back, so bring in the checkerboards and stark black furnishings. Striking black-and-white wall treatments and rugs will also be in for 2023.

Statement Walls: These aren’t the one-hue accent walls you’re used to: Think murals, colorful abstract wall treatments, and unique patterned wallpaper your guests won’t find anywhere else. Expect this trend to be all over your social media feeds.

Lavender Hues: Light purple is having a moment, and you can expect 2023 to be a big year for this color. It’s a top choice for bringing a calming color to walls, furnishings and accents.

Are you thinking of investing in a new property or selling your current one in the new year? Let’s chat!

Dec 12

Happy Holidays

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy holiday season.

 

 

If there's anything you need in the coming weeks, please reach out.

Nov 28

What's the best way to purchase property sight unseen?

What's the best way to purchase property sight unseen?

Though the market has slowed quite a bit in recent months, some buyers are still purchasing homes without seeing them in person — and for good reason.

Most of them are buying from afar, up against stiff competition, or on a tight timeline that puts acting quickly above all else.

Whatever the reason, there are ways to be prudent about it. Are you considering a sight-unseen purchase? Here’s how you can minimize your risk.

Do some additional research. We can go over the home’s history and the local market together, but you can supplement that by seeing if the property and surrounding area are a good fit for your lifestyle. Sign up for local social media groups to get a feel for the community, and look up the street view to get a better idea of the neighborhood.

Keep safeguards in place. Buying sight unseen is a risk, so don’t let other guards down if you can help it. It’s recommended that you keep your inspection contingency, ensuring you’re not stuck with a property with real (and often costly) issues. Including appraisal contingencies and financing contingencies in your offer is also a smart idea.

Stay in touch. We’ll stay in contact regularly, so you always have access to the information you need. If you want video home tours and photos, we can make that happen too. Be sure to provide any feedback on properties in a timely fashion, and get in touch as soon as possible should your timeline, goals or budget change. We’re in this together.

Looking for a new property? Whether or not you’re ready to buy sight unseen, please reach out for all your real estate needs.

Nov 14

4 tips for hosting houseguests

4 tips for hosting houseguests

Hosting guests can be one of the best parts of being a homeowner: You get to spend time with friends and family while offering them a relaxing, enjoyable experience away from home.

And while you may host year-round, it’s almost prime hosting season. As the holidays near, guests become more frequent — so the time to prepare is now.

Will you have houseguests in the coming months? Here are four tips to ensure a lovely experience for all.

Designate a cozy, private space. Your guests love to spend time with you, but they also need a space to call their own. Make sure they have a closed-off area that’s theirs, ideally with a private bathroom, closet and other necessities.

Plan ahead for refreshments. You’ll need food and beverages available when your guests arrive. Coordinate with them ahead of time to get their dietary preferences and limitations, including allergies. Then, stock up on groceries or have meals catered for the duration of their stay.

Check the connections. Make sure your guests’ space gets good Wi-Fi reception, and work on optimizing it before they arrive if there’s not a strong signal. You should also print out cards with your Wi-Fi network name and password, then place them on a dresser or nightstand where they’re visible.

Pamper your guests. Anyone staying with you will need pillows, linens, toiletries and towels to make their stay comfortable. Have fresh, clean linens and towels ready in their suite, and provide them with unopened soap, shampoo and other necessities.

Are you interested in finding a home with more room or better amenities for hosting? Reach out today to start your search.

Oct 24

Do you know how you'll pass down property?

Do you know how you'll pass down property?

Passing down your properties can evoke a feeling of pride. After all, you worked hard for them — and they may bring your heirs great wealth down the line.

But bequeathing real estate requires careful planning, and there are many ways you can go about it.

Do you want to ensure your heirs receive your homes or vacation properties once you pass on? Here are some common options to consider:

  1. Name heirs in your will. You can make arrangements for your heirs and properties in your last will and testament. Wills are usually executed through probate court, which could make passing down the property take longer. Be sure to work with an experienced estate planning attorney when drafting your will to minimize complications.

  2. Create a trust. Setting up a trust in your heirs’ names is a smart way to pass on your properties, and it can even help them avoid probate court. But take note: Once a house is in an irrevocable trust, it (or the proceeds from selling it) must remain there.

  3. Do a deed transfer. Many states allow you to execute a transfer-on-death deed, which allows you to automatically hand down a property when you pass away (or when both you and your spouse are gone). Until that time, you remain in control of the property.

  4. Gift or sell the property. While you’re still living, you’re welcome to sell or gift the property to your children or other loved ones. If you decide to gift a home, you will likely owe gift taxes on its value, so talk to your tax professional before choosing this strategy.

Please get in touch if you’re interested in adding to your real estate holdings.

Oct 10

How to keep your rental properties covered

How to keep your rental properties covered

When it comes to real estate, all insurance policies aren’t created equal.

On your primary home, a basic homeowners insurance policy may suffice. But on rental properties, that’s not enough — financially or legally.

Do you have rental properties in your investment portfolio? This rundown of four types of insurance policies is a good place to start if you want to protect yourself and your property.

Landlord or Rental Property Insurance
There are a couple of different names for these policies, which protect you if your property is damaged due to certain weather events. It should also include liability coverage in case your tenant or their guest is injured on the property.

Rent Guarantee Insurance
If your tenant stops paying rent, the insurance company can step in and compensate you for those months of lost income.

Loss of Income Insurance
While this sounds similar to rent guarantee insurance, loss of income insurance protects you if your property becomes uninhabitable (and you can no longer earn income from it). If that happens, you’ll get paid for some or all of your lost income during that period.

Umbrella Insurance
Umbrella insurance is a popular policy that provides extra protection, filling in the gaps where other policies might fall short. It usually offers additional liability and damage coverage on top of your existing insurance.

Depending on where the property is located, you might also want flood, earthquake or fire insurance, and you should require tenants to have renters’ and pet policies, too. When doing renovations or construction on the property, builder’s risk insurance might also be necessary.

Do you need help finding your next real estate investment? Reach out today.

Sep 26

5 upgrades that could boost resale value

5 upgrades that could boost resale value

Renovating your home can be a great way to boost its value. But you should be aware that not all projects are created equal — at least when it comes to the return on your investment.

Some updates can deliver on resale value, while others hold very little monetary worth (or may even negatively impact your resale price).

Are you looking to update your home and increase its value in the process? Here are some projects you should focus on.

  1. Upgrade your entryway. Replacing your grand entrance is one of the highest-ROI projects you can take on, according to Remodeling Magazine. Adding a steel door may result in 64% of costs recouped, while expanding to a more spacious grand entrance could bring you a 60% return.

  2. Give the kitchen a facelift. A minor kitchen remodel might offer a return of 71% (possibly equaling $20,000 in resale value). For this, focus on updating big-picture items like the counters, appliances and cabinets.

  3. Add an outdoor entertaining area. Wooden decks could net you a 65% return on investment, but don’t stop there. Consider designing a full outdoor kitchen and entertainment space with a grill, fridge, bar area and seating.

  4. Invest in landscaping. Curb appeal is almost always a worthwhile investment. For the most value, focus on adding greenery that will stand the test of time, including trees and shrubs. Living walls are on-trend, too.

  5. Remodel the bathroom. Doing an upscale bathroom update could lead to a 54% ROI. To refresh the space, you can replace the tub, install chic new tiling and upgrade the sink and vanity area.

Would you like to sell your updated property and buy a new home? Please get in touch today.

Sep 12

What to consider before listing your vacation home

What to consider before listing your vacation home

Selling a vacation home isn’t quite the same as selling your primary home — at least if you want to try to maximize your profits.

Timing, locale and the area’s housing market should play a big role when selling a vacation home, especially since many vacation home markets are seasonal.

Are you considering selling your second home or vacation property? There are some questions you should think over first.

What time of year is the locale most popular?
You’ll probably get the most interest in the property as we approach its most popular time of year. A beachfront property, for example, might be worth listing in spring — when summer vacations are top of mind and you could likely attract the most buyers.

What condition is the home in?
Don’t forget to consider any renovations the home may need, especially ones that impact its usability during the area’s prime season. Is there a dock or pool in need of maintenance? Does the fireplace need a deep clean? If repairs are needed for any features you’d like to market, you’ll want to get those done before putting the property on the market.

What are area market conditions like?
Every housing market is a little different, so we can talk about the specifics of your property’s location before you decide what you want to do. We’ll discuss whether there’s high demand, whether home prices are falling or rising, and more.

Are you ready to say goodbye?
This may be the most important consideration: Are you emotionally prepared to sell the home? Have you lined up another getaway (if that’s something you want)? You should be prepared to sell in every way possible, not just financially.

Are you thinking of selling your vacation property? Get in touch today for expert guidance.

Aug 22

3 things to know about using cryptocurrency for real estate

3 things to know about using cryptocurrency for real estate

Cryptocurrency is now a popular investment, but did you know that it may become a valuable form of commerce sooner than we think?

According to one expert forecast, purchases made with crypto are expected to jump 70% from 2021. By the end of 2022, an estimated 33 million U.S. adults will own at least one form of cryptocurrency.

It seems likely that crypto-backed home purchases will increase, too. If that’s something you’d consider, here’s what to know:

How can you buy a home with cryptocurrency?
The most effective way to purchase property with crypto is to sell your crypto holdings for U.S. currency. Whether you’d prefer to finance the home or buy it in cash, this strategy will give you a lot more options than trying to find a private seller willing to trade in crypto.

What are the potential benefits?
Some sellers may be willing to accept a lower “price” with crypto if there’s a good chance its value will increase over time, and if you convert it to cash, a crypto purchase may allow for a faster transaction. Plus, you’ll be adding real estate to your portfolio, which is a historically stable investment (unlike cryptocurrency).

Are there any drawbacks?
Suppose you’re trying to buy directly with cryptocurrency (and without a mortgage). In that case, you may have trouble finding a seller willing to accept it, and your holdings could vary widely from one day to the next, making it difficult to finalize your transaction. There may be tax complications, too, if you sell the crypto in exchange for U.S. currency.

If you’re interested in buying a house with crypto, get in touch so we can consult with your financial advisor and help you make the best decision for your investment goals.

Aug 8

Are you looking for a health-focused home?

Are you looking for a health-focused home?

Your home isn’t just where you live; it should be a place that improves your quality of life in every way possible.

Fortunately, technology and modern design have made creating a health-focused home easier than ever, with a number of home features that can help you stay happy and healthy.

Here are just a few of the home amenities you might want to look out for or add to your home for your health:

  • Advanced Air Purification System: You can lessen the allergens, pathogens, toxins and bacteria in your environment with a whole-house air purification system. They improve your home’s air quality and could help prevent you from getting sick.

  • Health-Inspired Kitchen: Consider getting a steam oven that can help your food retain more valuable minerals and vitamins or a smart fridge that allows you to keep the kitchen stocked with healthy goods and produce more easily.

  • Outdoor Space: More time outside has the ability to improve your mood and reduce your stress levels. Get more exposure to the great outdoors (and vitamin D) with wide green spaces, complete with a garden, lap pool and plenty of foliage.

  • Next-Level Shower: Take your daily showers to the next level with vitamin-infused showerheads or steam capabilities that offer a sauna-like experience. Features like these could make every day feel like a spa day.

  • Sports Court: Forget standard treadmills and stationary bikes. You can make workouts more dynamic by adding a pickleball or tennis court to your home, then inviting your neighbors or friends over for a game and some socializing.

Reach out if you’re interested in buying a new, more health-focused property.

Jul 25

Do you have an estate plan in place?

Do you have an estate plan in place?

Having a solid estate plan is important for anyone. But if you own property or have any other high-value investments, it’s even more critical.

An estate plan ensures your assets will be handled properly when you’re gone. It can also help your loved ones avoid probate court, inheritance taxes and other struggles.

Have you contacted a professional to create your estate plan yet? Here are some tips for property owners:

  1. Work with professionals. While there are ways to do a will or estate plan yourself, working with a professional estate planning attorney is the best way to ensure everything is done correctly. You will probably also want to consult your financial advisor or planner, particularly regarding the future of your investments.

  2. Inventory your assets. Organize a list of all of your assets: Include real estate, bank accounts, brokerage or retirement accounts, stocks, bonds and any other investments you might have. You’ll want to have a specific plan for each thing on the list.

  3. Determine your beneficiaries. Decide who you want your assets to go to when the time comes; you can name children, siblings, parents, business partners or anyone else close to you. You can also leave some assets in the name of a school or charitable organization if you’d prefer.

  4. Reassess every few years. Estate planning isn’t a one-time occurrence. You’ll want to review it every couple of years to ensure it still meets your needs and includes all of your current assets. It’s also good practice to update your plan after big life changes, like having a child or getting remarried.

Are you interested in adding a new real estate asset to your portfolio? We can work together to find the perfect fit.

Jul 11

4 design tips to show off your love of travel

4 design tips to show off your love of travel

Traveling allows you to have new experiences and discover other cultures. And with each trip you take, you'll want to bring a piece of it back with you.

One way to celebrate your favorite destinations is through your home’s design and decor. Incorporating them into your home can keep those cherished trips front and center — and show off your sophisticated taste.

Are you dreaming of working your travels into your home’s design and ambience? Try these tips:

Evoke a scent. Is there a certain smell that brings you back to your favorite spots? The saltwater from a beach, the crackling logs in a fireplace or the fresh croissants you enjoyed at a cafe each morning? Find a candle, diffuser or air freshener with a similar scent, and use that to bring back fond memories of the experience.

Invest in local goods. The next time you travel, make it a point to visit local artisans and stock up on art and decor specific to the region. Lamps, rugs, sculptures, dishes and paintings are all stylish options for adorning your home.

Create your own art. You can also turn the photos you take into large prints or canvases and hang them in your favorite space. If you snapped lots of pictures, you could create a gallery wall, mixing your photos with some local artwork.

Start a collection. Collections are great ways to encapsulate your journeys. You can save postcards, decorative plates or teacups, and even local currency. Make sure you pick something up for your collection on every trip and plan an artistic way to display them.

Maybe one home isn’t enough to hold all of your travel treasures, so get in touch if you want help finding a new property that fits your design dreams.

Jun 27

How to focus on the big picture when building a custom home

How to focus on the big picture when building a custom home

Building and customizing a home from the ground up is exciting — but it also comes with many decisions.

You’ll have to ask yourself: What will the layout look like? What materials, fixtures and hardware do you want? The details can be overwhelming, to say the least.

Are you planning to build a custom home? Cut through the clutter to focus on these four big-picture items.

  1. Layout and Transitions
    Put thought into which rooms you want to flow into each other, then think about the transitions. Have you considered what your doorways and staircases should look like? Figure out where you might want French doors, an open archway or a spiral staircase; these are details that can make your home’s aesthetic.

  2. Bathroom Amenities
    Especially with the main bathroom, you’ll likely want to focus on making it a resort-like space. Do you want amenities reminiscent of a spa, such as a rain shower or sauna? Are you interested in having both a shower and a bathtub, or just one of the two? You can also consider luxuries like heated flooring and a built-in speaker system.

  3. Entertainment Spaces
    You want your home to be somewhere you and any guests enjoy being. Think about how you’ll use the home recreationally: Do you need a movie theater or a game room? Maybe you want a swimming pool or an outdoor kitchen. Don’t forget to consider things like wine cellars, dual ovens and other amenities that can make entertaining easier.

  4. Overall Aesthetic
    It can be daunting to choose the materials for your flooring, countertops, cabinets and more throughout the home, but having a good grasp of your overarching aesthetic can help. Consider your favorite architecture and interior design; art deco and midcentury modern are two popular examples. Keeping your style preferences in mind can make choosing design elements much easier.

If you want help finding a luxury home or an architect who can meet your needs, please reach out today.

Jun 13

Use these 3 tips for renting out your high-end property

Use these 3 tips for renting out your high-end property

If you’re not using a property year-round, you’ve probably considered leveraging it as a rental for short-term or longer-term tenants.

Either way, you’ll be able to earn passive income from the house and, ideally, cover its costs while you’re not actively staying in it.

Are you considering putting your investment to financial use while you’re away? Then heed these three tips.

Know your audience.
If you have a high-end property, you’re targeting wealthier travelers — potentially those who vacation throughout the year. They’ll be looking for luxe amenities like pools and wine cellars, plus proximity to golf courses, beaches and clubs. Make sure you market these perks and your flexible availability in your listings and other marketing materials.

Lean on your network.
You want to be strategic about where you list your property and on what platforms you allow bookings when targeting a higher-end clientele. Reach out for expertise and guidance on putting your property up online. We can also discuss best practices for marketing your home toward renters and travelers in your area.

Stay on top of maintenance.
All guests expect a well-maintained, clean and manicured property, but these details are even more critical with wealthy clients. Make sure you have the property on a regular schedule for repairs, cleaning and landscaping — and carefully vet the professionals you use. You may also want a property manager who lives nearby and can check on the property regularly and stock it with all the necessities.

Are you thinking of renting out your property? Or do you need help finding a new investment? Get in touch for help today.

May 23

Is your outdoor space ready for summer?

Is your outdoor space ready for summer?

As summer approaches and the days get longer, you may find yourself spending more time outdoors.

But is your backyard space ready for it? Is your outdoor area a comfortable, welcoming and enjoyable place to be?

If it’s not up to your standards just yet, there’s still time to make some changes before summer rolls around.

Are you looking for ways to upgrade your outdoor space? Here are five ways to do it.

  • Build an Outdoor Kitchen: An outdoor kitchen is key if you plan to entertain. Include cooking areas (a grill or pizza oven), a fridge, a beverage bar and plenty of seating.

  • Install Technology: You and your guests can enjoy a smart TV and a high-quality sound system. You can also install smart lights around your pool, fences and patio to ensure that your space is fun and safe at all hours.

  • Add a Deck: A wooden deck can be a great way to improve your yard’s usable space, especially if you have a patio set. And according to Remodeling Magazine, they’ve recently been found to recoup more than 65% of their cost upon resale.

  • Include a Fire Pit: Are you looking to add a cozy gathering place to your yard — for any time of day or night? A fire pit (or fireplace) fits the bill.

  • Incorporate Shade: Shade is vital if you plan to be outside in the heat of the day. A pergola can be a great choice, as is an awning or roof over your patio. Having mature trees on your property is a perfect way to create natural shade, too.

Are you ready to upgrade to a home with more luxurious outdoor space? Reach out today.

May 9

4 tips for your next property search

4 tips for your next property search

In a highly active real estate market like today’s, it’s easy to feel rushed into making a decision and buying a property without proper contemplation.

But while acting quickly, bidding big and pulling out all the stops might win you a home, that doesn’t mean you’ll end up happy with your decision — nor will it make for the best use of your money.

Are you preparing to buy a new property? Here are four ways to avoid homebuyer’s remorse when deciding.

Know your wants, needs and deal breakers.
Have a clear vision of what a property must have, the things you desire but could live without, and your deal breakers. With these, you can make instant decisions about whether a property is worth your time and money.

Get help from the experts.
You don’t have to go it alone — and you shouldn’t. Lean on your financial planner to align your wealth-building goals. If you’re using a loan, talk to your mortgage broker about the best financing for long-term benefits. And we can work together to create a perfect homebuying plan.

Understand what can change and what is set in stone.
Always consider the property’s location and layout, which are largely permanent. Changing wall colors or installing a farmhouse sink is one thing, but bigger updates require lots of time, effort and capital. Be aware of which repairs or replacements would be easy fixes and which ones would be more work than they’re worth.

Have a handle on your limits.
Know your budget, and have a good idea of how much time and money you’re willing to put into a property to get it to your ideal condition. Don’t forget to consider your timeframe; for example, if you want to vacation in the home by midsummer, you probably don’t have the room to do a full overhaul.

If you need help finding a home that hits all the right notes, get in touch today.

Apr 25

Do you have the right coverage for your luxury property?

Do you have the right coverage for your luxury property?

Luxury properties have a higher price and a higher replacement value than your typical property. That means that your average homeowners insurance usually won’t cut it.

For these higher-end homes, you’ll typically want a high-value insurance policy — one that comes with greater limits and more comprehensive coverage.

Many of these policies will insure valuables like artwork, jewelry, landscaping, identity theft and more.

Are you in need of high-value insurance for your home? Here’s what to think about:

  • Your Home’s Replacement Cost: You’ll want a good estimate of what it would cost to rebuild the home; this is not the market value, because it only takes into account the dwelling itself, not the neighborhood and comparable sales. It does include taking into account current lumber and material prices, as well as renovations or added features that changed the home’s value.

  • The Value of High-Dollar Items: Do you have artwork, collectibles or a wine cellar? How about expensive clothes, jewelry, shoes or purses? Tally up the total worth of those valuables and talk to your insurance agent about it. You may want extra coverage in case of theft, natural disaster or other events.

  • How the Property Is Used: Do you host a lot of events at your home? If so, you may want to add liability insurance to protect yourself in case of an incident. Do you operate a business out of the house? It’s probably important for you to have business property insurance, too.

Reach out today if you need more guidance on buying or owning a luxury property.

Apr 11

How to grow your art collection this year

How to grow your art collection this year

Art is having quite a resurgence these days, according to interior designers. Surveys have shown that abstract art is highest on the list, followed by sculptures, drawings and photographs.

But art is highly subjective: What one person loves, another might not find attractive.

Are you considering adding to your art collection this year? Consider these strategies when selecting (and displaying) your investments.

  1. Treat your home like a gallery. You don’t have to place a piece, then leave it in perpetuity. Instead, consider cycling art, changing it out monthly or bimonthly as a gallery would. You can also move art from room to room.

  2. Purchase with thought and intention. Have a purpose for each piece you invest in. Does it fill a gap in your collection? Does it elicit a different feeling than your other works? Have a vision for your collection, and let that guide your investments.

  3. Commission art from artists who evoke something in you. Find artists that align with your style and aesthetic, and consider commissioning original works from them. These pieces can add new depth and meaning to your collection.

  4. Consider alternative art categories. Paintings are a common investment, but designers say that photography and portraiture are right now as well. Sculptures, outdoor art installations and other 3D works are popular too.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing or displaying the art you acquire. Art is a very personal medium — for both the artist and the collector.

Do you need local art referrals? Are you interested in finding a new property to house your collection? Get in touch today.

Mar 14

5 ways to make your house more sustainable

5 ways to make your house more sustainable

Sustainable homes are desirable for many reasons.

They can reduce your impact on the environment, lower your energy bills, make your house more marketable, and often even qualify you for various tax cuts and credits.

And today, there are lots of ways to make your home more sustainable — either during the building process or long after.

Are you looking to make your property more sustainable? Here are five steps to consider taking.

Landscape With Native Plants 

Plants native to the region need minimal water, don’t require fertilizer or pesticides, and can help prevent erosion. They typically offer the best curb appeal for properties, as well.

Use Repurposed, Ethical and Sustainable Materials

Reclaimed wood is a particularly trendy way to incorporate earth-friendly materials into your home’s design and decor. Repurposing also reduces the need for landfills and results in fewer emissions.

Explore Green Roofs and Solar Panels

Getting your home’s energy from renewable sources is a smart, sustainable move. An upgraded roof may also qualify you for various state and federal tax credits, and in some areas, utility companies might even pay you for extra energy your home creates.

Achieve LEED Certification 

If you want your home to be the ultimate energy-saver, seeking LEED certification is one of the most thorough ways to do it. This will need to be done in the initial building stages, but if you’re able to get certified, it should make your home more efficient (and marketable) in the long run.

Use Tech to Your Advantage

Intuitive thermostats can reduce your energy output, smart irrigation systems can prevent wasted resources, and a high-tech air filtration system can help create a healthier home overall. Smart homes are also incredibly popular, so when it’s time to sell, you can expect these technologies to help your property stand out.

Looking for the perfect sustainable property? Get in touch today.

Feb 28

Is this a good time to sell?

Is this a good time to sell?

The housing market has stayed competitive for months, and if you’re like most property owners, you’ve probably considered selling one of your homes. But is this the right time?

Selling is a big decision, and pinpointing the perfect time to make your move can be challenging.

Here are a few questions to consider if you want to explore what it would look like to put a home on the market soon.

Has your property increased in value? Homeowners have gained record-setting equity over the last few years. Determining your property value can give you an idea of your potential profits. Then, you can consider if you could put these funds to better use elsewhere.

Has your lifestyle changed? Most homeowners outgrow a property at some point, no matter how nice it may be. It might be too small, you may want to downsize, or you might want different features or a change in scenery. 

Do you have another property or a plan for where you’ll go next? If you have a second home, then selling one could be an easy decision. If you’d need to purchase a new home, be sure to keep the logistics and busy market conditions in mind.

Have you discussed the details with everyone involved? Selling your house isn’t something you should do on the spur of the moment. This sale will mean big changes, both financially and in your day-to-day life, so be sure everyone in your household is on the same page.

Have you established your goals (and communicated them clearly)? When you’re ready, let’s discuss your needs and wants and create a plan that makes sense for you. Once clear goals are established, we can work together to find what you’re looking for. 

Still not sure if it’s the right time to sell? Get in touch to discuss your options today. 

Feb 14

What to know about doing your taxes this year

What to know about doing your taxes this year

It may be hard to believe, but tax season has arrived. 

We all know things can get complicated, especially if you bought or sold property last year or made any charitable donations. There are also a few tax law changes for the 2021 year that may affect you. 

Have you started preparing your taxes yet? It’s important to check in with your trusted financial advisor as well, but if you’re just getting started, keep these five key steps in mind.

  • Know your deadlines. If you’re self-employed or own a business, you likely have quarterly tax payments coming up. You’ll also want April 18 — the deadline for filing most individual tax returns — on your radar.

  • Double-check your tax bracket and capital gains rate. Understanding your tax bracket and capital gains rate can help you better estimate your annual tax bill. Then, you can begin setting aside funds accordingly. 

  • Be aware of all the deductions you can claim. Make sure you know all your potential write-offs, including for your home office if you worked from home this year. And don’t forget about any deductions that go along with owning or investing in real estate. 

  • Gather all necessary paperwork. Pull together your W-2s, 1099s, property tax statements, mortgage tax statements and applicable receipts.

  • Make an appointment with your accountant or financial advisor. Of course, your financial team will be able to guide you through this process successfully. Don’t wait too long to set up an appointment during what is probably a busy time for them. 

Considering investing in more real estate this year? Get in touch today. 

Jan 24

Luxury trends: What's in (and what's out)?

Luxury trends: What's in (and what's out)?

Home trends are always changing, especially in high-end real estate. What’s “in” one year may be “out” the next, and the last couple of years have held more change than usual.

Fortunately, the majority of luxury home real estate trends are leaning in a more flexible direction — and finding a home in line with your needs is probably easier than you think.

Wondering how homes are continuing to evolve? Here are a few trends to know:

Out: Hyper-Specific Workout Rooms

Peloton rooms or other activity-specific spaces may remind us of quarantine and isolation, and they won’t be as sought-after as we move forward.

In: Flexible Wellness Areas 

It’s all about multipurpose spaces these days — indoor or outdoor areas to accommodate your personal training sessions, your Mirror workouts or your meditation practice. 

Out: Modern Design and Harsh Aesthetics

A minimalistic approach with stark whites and angular furniture isn’t necessarily the default anymore.

In: Cool and Calm

Now, designers are leaning toward more soothing, calm decor. Nature-inspired biophilic design is in demand, and living walls, trickling fountains and tons of natural light are all more popular than ever.

Out: Form Over Function

Not too long ago, luxury homes were more aesthetic-focused than anything. Furniture was more for photographing than relaxing. Game rooms were more for entertaining than playing.

In: Using a Space to Its Full Potential

Forget wasting space for the sake of how it looks. These past two years have taught us that our homes need to serve multiple purposes. Your outdoor space can double as an entertaining area, a guest room can become a homeschool or virtual learning zone, and your dining room might also serve as a spacious home office.

Are you looking for a new property this year? Get in touch today.