Reasons that People Choose Not to Stage Their Home… Do These Apply to You?

I cannot stress enough the importance of staging your home to put it on the market.  While it doesn’t necessarily have to be staging wtih borderdone by a professional home stager (although it is recommended)  you can draw some tips from them to do yourself.  Despite the solid financial proof that home staging can increase the appeal, selling price, interest, and speed at which you sell your house there are still those doubters out there.  Here are a few of the reasons that many clients give for not wanting to stage their home.

* It costs too much: While there are undoubtedly costs associated with a professional home stager I have never seen the amount exceed the amount that we have had to reduce home prices due to lack of interest.  This is a prime example of having to spend money to make money.

* We can’t stage the house, we live in it: Believe it or not these are 2 things that can be done simultaneously.  In fact a professional home stager will stage your home, give you tips on keeping it show ready, and still leave all of the essentials for you to go about your everyday life.

* We want to put it on the market for awhile before we try home staging:  While in theory this sounds like a perfectly logical and conservative plan.  Unfortunately we as humans base most of our existence off of first impressions.  If a potential buyer sees your home (un-staged) and weren’t thrilled with what they saw there is not much of a chance they will even take a second look if you stage your home after a few months on the market.  In their head they have already crossed your home off the list.

* Everyone loves our house: While this may be true (or they may just be being nice) the fact of the matter is that today’s buyers are looking for specific things.  I think it is hard for sellers (myself included) to wrap their head around the fact that someone could find something wrong with this beautiful home they have poured their time, money, and effort into.  By allowing an unbiased person such as a home stager to spruce up your home you are helping to ensure that you are adhering to what home buyers are looking for.

* We can declutter and clean the home ourselves: Great… and you should! But (and this is a big but…) there is much more to home staging than simply removing things.  A professional home stager can distinguish between clutter and an asset, can find the balance between decluttered and barren, and understand the importance of highlighting desirable architectural features, lighting, and flow of furniture.

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Fun, Fourth, Festive, Foods: Perfect for Your Cookout

Now is the time to start prepping for your Fourth of July cookout.  And whether you are hosting it or attending one it is always fun to wow your felldeviled eggs with borderow attendees with a festive take on a delicious dish.  Here are a few ideas that will be sure to make you the hit of the cookout.

* Red, White and Blue Deviled Eggs:  If you are anything like me, deviled eggs are one of the best parts of a cookout/pitch-in dinner.  You can turn these food favorites into a red, white, and blue piece of art with simple food coloring.  Hard boil, peel, and halve your eggs like usual but before adding the filling drop the egg whites into red or blue food coloring while leaving some white as well and then set out to dry.  Fill eggs as usual and then display in the pattern of a flag.  The final result is patriotic and delicious!

* Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad: This salad is as simple as it is delicious.  With the added feta crumbles this salad has a lot of depth and a bevvy of different flavors.  This is sure to be a favorite even when it is not the Fourth of July! (If you don’t want to mix together as a salad you can also display in the pattern of a fruit flag with borderflag as shown in the picture)

water with border  * Red, White and Blue Water:  Yep, you heard that correctly, your water can even sport the colors of America this year.  This works best if you have a large, see-through water pitcher.  Simply freeze blueberries and place them in the bottom of the pitcher, add a generous helping of ice next and fill 3/4 of the way with water.  Add fresh strawberries to the top and voila, a refreshing burst of patriotism and a delicious hint of flavor to your water.

*  Red, White and Blue Rice Krispie Treats: You can’t forget to bring dessert to a cookout and anyone who has ever made rice krispie treats can attest that there is not much easier than making rice krispie treats.  All you need is 6 cups of rice krispie cereal, 1 package of marshmallows, 3 TBS of butter, and red and blue food coloring.  Follow these simple instructions to get a layered patriotic dessert that will be a hit with the adults as well as the kids.

* Red, White and Blue Martini: You will surely make plenty of friends with this fun and festive red, white and blue cocktail! Plus the ingredients won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  All you need is 2 oz hypnotiq, 1 oz citrus vodka, lemon lime soda, and grenadine.  Combine the first two ingredients and a splash of soda. Shake with ice and strain into your martini glass. Carefully pour in a small amount of grenadine. This should fall to the bottom of the glass, creating a nice layered effect. Add a white garnish like shaved coconut or white chocolate. Enjoy!

Thrifty Thursday

In today’s rebuilding economy it seems that most of us are trying to pinch pennies one way or another.  I have decided that every Thursday we will feature some of my favorite deal site finds, money saving tips, or deals around town that are focused on housing decor and housing needs.  Today’s Thrifty Thursday will spotlight a few of the best online deal site deals thvacuumat I came across.

* The first one is a hand held vacuum featured on groupon goods.   I personally have one similar to this and cannot tell you how often I use it (especially if you have kids or pets).  This way you don’t have to drag out your bulky vacuum just to sweep up some crumbs.  This also makes for a great house warming gift as well.

*My next great find was this dual AC/USB wall outlet on Eversave.   It features 2 AC Outlets but has 2 USB outlets and a built in surge protector as well.  For those of you who are constantly moving your phones and tablets around the house this is ideal!

pillow* Last but not least my third favorite deal this week comes from my new favorite deal site for home items as well as cute clothing and baby items as well, called Jane.  This week they have some super cute pillow covers for those of you looking to add a pop of color to your couch or chair.

Decorating Using Things You Already Have

Decorating your home can be an expensive endeavor, especially when trends and styles change so quickly.  Why not use some of the things you have around the house or have already been collecting to make a statement piece, an accent wall, or a conversational piece without coffeemugwallinvesting a fortune?  Here are a few of my favorite, inexpensive ways that people have decorated their homes.  I would love to hear/see some of your ideas as well.

* The coffee mug wall:  Most of us can relate to having multiple coffee mugs that are mismatched.  Instead of hiding them in a cabinet why not embrace the uniqueness of each mug and display them on rows of shelving.  This would be ideal for a statement wall in a breakfast nook or even the blank space above the sink.  Short on mugs? Most rummage sales I’ve ever seen have a mug or two in them and Goodwill is a treasure trove of discarded coffee mugs.

jewelryframe* Why just show off your fun and colorful jewelry when you are wearing it? Jewelry is a modern and quirky way to decorate your bedroom.  All you need is some empty picture frames to hang on the wall.  Make sure that you have removed the glass and backing to the frames.  With small finishing nails, tacks, or pins simply hang your jewelry from the wall inside of the frame.  It looks even better when you pair like jewelry together and similar colors together.  key

* If you are looking to create a simple, inexpensive, but eye catching piece of art work than look no further than some old skeleton keys.  These are another good flea market find.  To create this one of a kind look outline an area in pencil that you want to include the keys in.  Hang the keys facing every which way within the parameters of the outline.  Once you are finished hanging all of the keys you will have a wonderful conversational piece of decor!

Getting in the Holiday Spirit in Anderson

treesFor any of you who attended the Christmas parade and events downtown Anderson this year you can vouch for the effort that the city has put into making Anderson a more community centered and festive town.  This is also true at the historic Paramount Theatre and Ballroom downtown Anderson on Meridian Street where they are hosting the Festival of the Trees.   If you are looking for some inspiration on decorating your tree or just want to see some of the fun and creative ways others have adorned theirs traintrackthis is the perfect place to go.  Not only is there there numerous trees on display but there is also a quite amazing train display complete with a full village.  This is certainly no ordinary train set as it spans over the entire circumference of the room and highlights multiple Anderson establishments, hospitals, city streets, etc.  The kids will love watching these trains go around the tracks.  The festival takes place the rest of this week from 4:00pm-7:00pm and on Saturday the last day from 12:00-7:00.  This is just one of the many must-sees in Anderson this year.  Plus the beautiful trees make for a wonderful backdrop for those Christmas card photos!