lake county real estate. and then some…

selling homes…a family tradition


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Need a change at #home? Try this…

The best part about paint?  You can easily change it if you don’t like the end result!
http://ow.ly/zvMp2


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Think staging your home is only for sellers?

Think staging your home is only for selling?  You may want to reconsider that after reading this…

http://ow.ly/xCSCE


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Oh how I hate to pick out paint colors!

We always tell a buyer to never let paint color interfere with their home buying process.  Truth is, some paint colors really aid the selling of a home, while others can be major turn-offs.  Part of the problem is that so many people struggle with the ability to look beyond what is right in front of them.  They have blinders on, and cannot see what that navy blue bedroom with the black ceiling & stick-on glow-in-the-dark stars has the potential to become.  Yet paint remains one of the most cost effective changes that a seller can make when they are putting the home on the market, and that a buyer can make once they close on a home.

The challenge so many people face?  Choosing the best color.  Like everything else in life, psychology has entered in the world of paint.  A lot of thought has been put into analyzing various colors, hues and tones – as well as the perceptions that people have developed about those colors.  CertaPro Painters has helped simplify the process by putting together this chart.  So take a look, and then grab your brush!  http://ow.ly/w35dp


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Thinking about selling your home? Here are 30 quick weekend projects…

It’s snowing again in Chicago.  Again.  Several inches of the white fluffy stuff had fallen by morning rush hour.  It is March 5th.  After a brutally cold and snow-filled winter, even us hardy Chicagoans are ready for spring.  However, there is a ton of snow left to melt, which means it will be awhile until we can start enjoying the outdoors.  And while I am not planning on selling my home until my 8th grader has finished college – there are some projects around my home that need to be done.  Interestingly, several of my “spruce-ups” are on the list in this article.  Seeing that I can knock some out in a weekend, is just the incentive I need to get started.

Take a quick look and see which tasks you would like to undertake.  Especially if you are preparing your home to sell.  These are quick projects, most are fairly inexpensive, and they will all yield nice returns.

Thinking about selling your home? Here are 30 quick… http://ow.ly/ugwA9


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An easy way to upgrade not only your kitchen, but your…

Backsplashes.  Once a staple for a kitchen, used to protect the wall behind the stove top from grease and food, backsplashes have now become a key design feature, fulfilling more of an aesthetic role in home decor.  No longer reserved for the cooking area, a backsplash often runs the full perimeter of the kitchen – filling the space between the counter top and the bottom of the upper cabinets.  The styles and products available for backsplashes are almost endless – tumbled marble has been a very popular option over the past decade, however glass, metal and granite are commonly used.  Ceramic tile can be easily painted – allowing for more customization than some of the other materials.

While still used prevalently in kitchens, backsplashes have ventured into other areas of the home.  Bathrooms are easily spiced up by adding a tile finish along the sink vanity in the bath.  Dress up your laundry room by adding tile to the wall above the counter or behind a utility in laundry room.  Be sure to scale the size of the backsplash foundation to the size of the room you are installing it in – use mosaic tiles, or smaller cuts of marble, stone or glass in the bath and laundry area.  One of the benefits to using mosaic tiles is that the design are usually pre-assembled and attached – minimizing the time required for installation.

An easy way to upgrade not only your kitchen… http://ow.ly/twnSW

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where should I put that couch?

I grew up in a house where my mother was always rearranging the furniture.  It saved on traffic pattern wear on the carpet, gave the room a fresh look, and kept us on our toes.

How about you?  Mental block on where to put that couch?  Or how to arrange your table and chairs?  What about the best way to set up your family room TV?  Better Homes & Gardens offers some quick solutions to common decorating problems, including sketches to follow the ideas.

Me?  I haven’t changed any room since I moved into my house almost 8 years ago.  After reading the article, I am thinking maybe I ought to give it a try.

Quick tips & tricks for arranging furniture… http://ow.ly/tjhf4


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If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, then what is a cluttered home the sign of?

Chaos.  A busy family.  A society triggered by instant gratification.  And stuff.  As a Realtor, I still am amazed at how much “stuff” I see when when I enter so many different homes, especially those  where children have grown up and moved out.  Last year, I decided that one of my New Year’s resolutions was going to be to organize my house – to go through it, from top to bottom, as if I was preparing to sell.  I did pretty well, however life got in the way, and I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped.  This year, “organizing my house”is once again on top of my list.

Last year, I found great help through a number of Facebook pages and blogs.  Suggestions ranging from focusing on one room each month, tossing 10 items a day for 30 days, to setting a timer for 15 minutes at a time.  I was able to sign up for email programs that prodded me along, that told me what to focus on, and kept me going.  This year, I have joined two groups – one that requires the tossing of one item a day, with the goal to eliminate 365 items over the course of the year; the second is a 52 week calendar, with different tasks each day.  The available resources are even better than last year. Need some help?  Try one of sites: