Real Estate

Holiday Season Brings Sold Signs

gingerbread-1142799_960_720

Fall is here and the holiday season will soon be upon us.  You might be thinking the best opportunity to sell your home is over and you should wait until next spring to list your home for sale.  Nothing could be further from the truth!

The holiday season may not be as crazy with the amount of buyers in the market, but buyers who search now tend to be much more serious about making a purchase and are ready to move today.

With the right agent along with the right pricing for your home you might actually prefer selling your home around the holidays.

Why?

Buyers are Serious– Let’s be honest, if buyers are looking for homes during the busy holiday season they are serious and ready to purchase.  If a buyer is investing the time to look now they are more likely to be interested in actually purchasing your home instead of touring it.

Less Competition–  Selling around the holidays isn’t something that many families can accomplish due to busy personal schedules.  More homes are listed during the spring and summer months which means a lot of competition.  Selling around the holidays means more attention to your property which increases the chance of a sale.

There may actually be less during the sales process as well since you are preparing your home to be shown to serious buyers who are ready to purchase.

Kelly Harden, REALTOR®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

Advertisements
Design, Real Estate

6 Tips for Perfect Painting

figure-2527295_960_720

Painting the walls of your new home is a great first step in personalizing your new space.  Or perhaps you are preparing your current home to sell, painting is a terrific way to update and freshen up the space.

Here are a few tips that will help ensure you paint correctly the first time.

Choose the right color.   There are many shades and tones of each color and they can appear different once they are applied to the walls.  Colors will have either a warm or cool base so each shade of a color will appear different once on the wall.  Plus the wall color will be effected by other colors and finishes in the room.  It’s best to paint a large swatch on the wall of each color you like if you are unsure.

Select the correct finish.  A flat finish can look dull on the wall, while a matte has a softness and is easy to touch up.  That makes a matte finish terrific for high traffic areas such as hall ways and busy rooms.  A semi-gloss finish is shinier than the others but that makes it more durable and easier to clean, perfect for kitchens and baths.

Notice the amount of light in the room.  Does the room get a lot of natural light?  Or are there lots of lamps, overhead lighting or other lights?  The type and amount of light will effect how the colors will look on the wall once applied.  Paint will look darker in rooms with less light and the wrong shade can look harsh in a room flooded with natural light.

Don’t ignore the ceiling.  The ceiling is the fifth wall of the room and can make a great statement if painted the right color.  Unfortunately it can make a bad statement and look dirty if it is not freshly painted like the rest of the room.  If you are lucky enough to have a tray ceiling you can really get creative with your painting.

Choosing the wrong accent wall.  If you decide to paint a wall an accent color, understand the contrast color will draw attention to the wall.  Be sure you select the wall you want everyone to notice and the color compliments the design of the room.

Be cautious with trendy paint colors and designs.  If you are unsure the newest designer color or pattern will look terrific on your new walls consult a professional designer for assistance.

Have fun with your painting and remember mistakes shouldn’t be too expensive and can always be corrected with a new gallon of paint.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

 

Uncategorized

The Joy of Being a Homeowner

morning-2913076_960_720

If you haven’t bought a home yet, you’re missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your handbag or keys on the floor, plop down on your sofa and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, “Finally, it’s ours (or mine)!” And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that’s a real feeling!

We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don’t often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting up and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home.

There is a sense of security, and a sense of “this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment,” that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can’t be beat.

Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. And we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July and New Year’s Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships.

Buying a home isn’t about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it’s just about the joy of owning your own place, and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you’ve been longing for this, get in touch with a real estate agent, and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!

Kelly Harden, REALTOR®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

Uncategorized

Irma is coming to visit

florida-2669193_960_720
My parents moved our family to Florida when I was a kid in the mid 1970’s. My mother and I were not happy here and wanted to move back home to New Jersey.
Slowly I made new friends and began to see the beauty of Florida and fell in love with her.  The warm weather, sunshine, pools and beaches were irresistible.
We originally moved to New Port Richey, I graduated from Tarpon Springs High School and so far have lived in 8 places from Brooksville to Naples.  Florida is my home.
I grew up here, got married here, raised my three children here along with countless pets and my grandson was born here.
 
Hurricanes and storms have threatened us off and on throughout the years but I have been very fortunate and never been through anything too devastating until Irma decided to pay a visit.
We have secured our home, put all of the lawn furniture and loose items in the garage and will hunker down in our home as many of our friends and neighbors will.
I hope and pray Irma is kind to all of us but know in my heart she will be cruel to some.
Please be safe and remember family, friends and our pets are what is important, things can be replaced.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

Real Estate

Selecting the perfect floor plan for your lifestyle

floor-plan-1474454_960_720

Are you shopping for your next home?  Your lifestyle will determine if the home’s floor plan will work for you.

Do you entertain frequently?  You should search for a home with a bathroom on the main floor near the living room so guests do not have to go upstairs or through several rooms to find the bathroom.

Do you enjoy cooking?  A large kitchen with plenty of counter space and a good oven is must then.  If you prefer to cook with gas you will need to be sure the new home has access.

Do you enjoy entertaining outdoors?  Make sure there is an easy main entrance to the lanai or deck.  You don’t want the sliding glass door in the master bedroom to be the only way your guests can access the back yard (yes, I’ve seen that before!).

Do you want a big screen TV to watch the game on?  You will need a large wall to anchor it on as well as a large room for plenty of seating if you plan on hosting weekend football viewing parties.

Are you a pack rat?  Make sure there are plenty of closets, kitchen and bathroom cabinets and other storage solutions to hold your holiday decorations, family keepsakes and more.

Do you have large pieces of furniture you want to keep?  Check the dimensions of the rooms and walls to be sure your dining table or big leather sectional will fit.

These are some of the questions you should ask yourself when you begin your home search.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

 

 

Fun, Neighborhood Businesses, Real Estate

Hurricane Prep for Your Pets

cat-2603395_960_720

If a hurricane or tropical storm came your way do you have a plan for your pets?

Most of us like to believe “it will never happen to me” but what if does.  How would you protect your best friend?

Red Cross shelters typically do not accept dogs so if you live in an evacuation zone decide now where you would go.

Before the storm arrives be sure your pet is micro chipped and wears a collar with your identification in case you get separated.

You should also put together an emergency kit for each pet.  A backpack or duffel bag works great.  Start with these items-

  • Copies of their shot records, license, and pet records in a clear plastic bag
  • If your pet takes medication add an extra supply to her emergency kit
  • A blanket or towel for drying off or sleeping on
  • Enough pet food, treats and water for at least 7 days
  • Can opener for wet food along with extra leash, food bowls, toys, brush and plastic potty bags

Please take the time now to prepare your pet’s emergency kit.  If a storm does come you will be glad you did.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9699

 

Real Estate

Is investing in Real Estate right for you?

dollars-31085_960_720

Have you ever thought about investing in Real Estate?  Real Estate is a great investment and makes sense for the right investor.

A few days ago I received a phone call from a young woman I sold a home to earlier this year.  She and her fiance are interested in buying their first rental house and she was looking for some guidance.  This is some of the advise I gave her-

  1. Are you ready to become a landlord?  Are you going to search for and screen your tenants and be available by phone at 2:00 am when the air conditioner goes out (because it’s always the middle of the hottest night in August when that happens!  LOL).  Or would you prefer to hire a management company to handle all of that for you?
  2. How are your finances?  If you need a mortgage to purchase the property your lender will ask for a higher down payment (at least 20%) and your interest rate will be higher than for your primary residence.  Lenders are taking a bigger risk on homes that are not your primary residence.
  3. Select the right home.  How much work does the property need before it’s ready to rent?  Can you tackle the job yourself or do you need to hire help?  Is it located in an area tenants want to be such as near shopping and schools with good interstate access?
  4. Understand your expenses.  You will have to pay the mortgage, property taxes, insurance and maintenance on the home.  There may be other expenses depending upon the home, such as HOA fees and management fees if you elect to hire someone to take care of the property for you.
  5. Determine your potential profit.  After all of your expenses have been paid and a small amount set aside in cash reserves to cover replacement of that air conditioner along with vacant times between tenants,  how much will be left for your profit?  Aim for at least a 6% and closer to 10%.
  6. What is your budget?  After carefully considering all of the above points, how much are you willing to invest in your rental home?

We met again a couple of days after our initial consultation, reviewed the numbers and are scheduled to look at our first property early next week.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

 

 

Fun

Back to School 2017

This time of year means preparing for Back to School for many families.  We are preparing a little differently at our house this year.

On Friday Buddy and I drove to Tallahassee to help Brent move out of his apartment.  After three years of living with three roommates he has decided he is ready to be on his own for his final year of college.  This means moving out of his existing apartment before the end of July and moving into his new apartment just before school starts around August 28th.

child-559378__340

Where is he going to live in the meantime?  Back home with Mom and Dad of course!  Yes, Brent and all of his things are stuffed into his room and any free space we have in the living room.

But wait, there is more! Erin has decided she is ready to live on her own.  She found an adorable place closer to her teaching job that will cut at least 20 minutes off her drive time to work each day.  She moves out next Friday, just in time to get settled before school starts for her.

During the wait she has purchased a few things for her new home.  They are now stuffed into the living room and dining room along with boxes of stuff that was stored in the garage, under her bed, her closet, etc.

All this coming and going means I currently have 2 extra dining tables and an extra sofa along with tons of boxes of kitchen and bath items stuffed into every free space of my house!!!  And I love it!

We won’t be entertaining in the living and dining room anytime soon, but my youngest two are both home for what may be their last time together and I am one happy mom!

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Results that get you packing!

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

Real Estate

Staging Your Home to Sell

Staging a home as part of the listing process is helping to sell homes faster and for more money.

According to NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 50% of staged homes sold for one to ten percent more compared to similar homes on the market.

Staging your home makes it easier for buyers to visualize living in the home with their own belongings.  Often simple things will make a big impact.

The survey showed the most common home improvement projects recommended were de-cluttering the home (93%), deep cleaning of the entire home (89%), cleaning the carpet (81%) and removing pets during showings (80%).

It shouldn’t be a surprise that staged Living Rooms have the largest impact followed by Master Bedrooms and Kitchens.   Those are the areas where homeowners spend most of their time.2017-profile-of-home-staging-infographic-07-06-2017-1300w-2269h

Staging is an important step I encourage all of my sellers to do before we put your home on the market.  I’ll be happy to provide any information you need or connect you with an outstanding professional.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Results that get you packing!

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

 

 

Fun, Neighborhood Businesses

My time at B Creative Painting Studio

I recently had the pleasure of visiting B Creative Painting Studio in Wesley Chapel with a wonderful group of ladies.  My book club was reached it’s seventh anniversary and we went there to celebrate.

It was my first time at this studio, in fact I haven’t been to anything like it since my children were small, but when you go with 17 other ladies you know you are going to have fun!

It’s quite easy to do actually.  First you select the item you want to paint from over 400 items (for some reason this is the hardest part for me because I want to paint everything!).  Once you’ve selected your project choose the colors you want to use and then start painting!  There are no rules, you’re only limited by your imagination!

When you are finished painting your creation stays behind for a couple of days to be fired.  Then staff does their magic and your creation has been turned into a work of art!  Once it’s completed you’ll receive a text message telling you your masterpiece is ready for pick up.

We had such a good time and have been sharing our creations on Facebook with each other.  We painted pet dishes, ornaments, candy dishes, vases and more!  No two pieces used the same color combinations and all of them look beautiful!

19905300_1541247045936180_8047570957554905804_n

Here is my candy dish.  It’s a leaf dish…OK, it’s supposed to be a feather but I used my artistic expression and turned it into a banana leaf.  Hey, it works for me!

If you are ready to use your artistic expression you can find B Creative Painting Studio at The Grove at Wesley Chapel.  Here is a link to their website if you would like more information http://bcreativepaintingstudio.com/

I hope you go and have fun!

Kelly Harden, Realtor®, GRI

Results that get you packing!

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688