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.

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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!

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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

 

Real Estate

6 Reasons your home isn’t selling

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When you have your home listed for sale but it’s not selling there are often simple reasons why and things you can do to help your home sell.

  1. Your home is overpriced.  An overpriced listing will sit on the market longer than a home that is priced well.   No one wants to overpay for their home.  Buyers will compare your home to recently closed similar homes in the market and place their offer accordingly.   Reducing the price will make you more competitive in the market.

 

  1. Your home is not in excellent condition. Take the time to ensure all the maintenance items on the home are complete.  Simple things like burnt out light bulbs will effect the way buyers perceive your house.  Make sure your home is sparkling clean before every showing.  You may even want to pay and have it professionally cleaned.   Take the time to make sure your home always looks it’s best.

 

  1. There a lot of similar homes for sale near you.  Homes sell slower when there is a larger inventory.  Your agent will be able to advise you what the average selling time is in your neighborhood.

 

  1. Your photos are poor quality. Buyers view homes online first and then decide which ones to visit in person.  Be sure to use the maximum number of high quality professional photos allowed in your listing.

 

  1. The description of your home is weak. Does the description of your home tell the facts and only the facts or does it elicit emotions and create a story of the lifestyle the buyer will have when living there?  Most people will not take the time to read a boring home description, make sure yours keeps the reader interested.

 

  1. Your home is too personalized. Buyers want to envision living in the home with their belongings.  Take the time to edit furnishings and visual clutter.  You may even want to consult a professional home stager to help showcase your home.

Following these tips should help your home sell.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Results that get you packing!

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

Real Estate

Will a simple remodel help me sell my home for more money?

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People ask me all the time what home improvement projects should they tackle before listing their home for sale.  They are hoping to make last minute improvements that will give them a net increase in the sales price of their home.  Unfortunately, there are few home improvement projects you can do that will net more money when you sell.

Most projects will only earn you a return of about 65% of what it costs to make the improvement.  The numbers will vary slightly based upon the type of project.  Each year a “Cost vs. Value Report” is published for Tampa detailing the information.

Some projects will yield a higher return such as adding attic insulation (a 155% return) and replacing a garage door (a 100.7% return) but most projects will not pay for themselves when you sell.  I would always suggest checking the report before investing in any project unless you are remodeling for your own enjoyment.

When you are ready to sell I would suggest you ensure all routine maintenance projects have been completed and have a thorough professional cleaning of your home- yes I am sure you are super clean, but potential buyers will see things you never even thought about.  This will help your home look it’s best and show buyers the home is well cared for.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Cost vs. Value Report I can be reached by phone or text, 813-244-9688.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

Uncategorized

How are you celebrating the Fourth of July in Tampa Bay?

fireworks-459174_960_720.jpgJuly 4th means pool parties, BBQ’s and fireworks!  How are you celebrating our nation’s birthday this year?

We are having a family BBQ at our house followed by neighborhood fireworks.  We used to have a crazy pyromaniac neighbor who threw an awesome Fourth of July party every year for his business associates.  He had the best private fireworks show I have ever seen!  Sadly, he moved away and the new neighbor is very nice but not into pyrotechnics.

We were spoiled and haven’t had to leave the neighborhood for several years now!  I’ve heard Bexely is having an outdoor concert and fireworks show afterwards so with any luck we will be able to see the fireworks from our house.  If not it’s just a short walk there.

If you like to go out and see fireworks I suggest you try one of these locations- Channelside, Busch Gardens, Gulfport, the city of Largo, Sparklebration at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, Wesley Chapel and more!  Here is a link to an article in the Tampa Business Journal with more details  http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2017/06/26/heres-where-to-see-fireworks-around-tampa-bay-this.html

If you are in the mood for fireworks after a game of baseball (it’s America’s favorite past time after all!) you have three opportunities.  You can go see the Clearwater Threshers play in Clearwater, the Dunedin Blue Jays in Dunedin, or the Tampa Yankees at Steinbrenner Field.  All of those locations are scheduled to have a fireworks show after their games end.

However you wind up celebrating, I hope you have a lot of fun and most important stay safe!

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

(813)244-9688

Real Estate

Why do I need a Home Inspector when purchasing a house?

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One of the most important things you will need to do when purchasing a home is schedule your home inspection.  Depending upon the contract you are using, you have about 10 days to have the home inspected and request the sellers to make any repairs.

A home inspector performs a visual inspection of the systems and items in the home. It’s best to use an ASHI certified inspector who has been rigorously tested, educated, experienced and follows the ASHI code of ethics.

Depending upon the size of the house and any additional items requiring inspection (such as a pool) the inspection will take a about two hours.  The inspector looks at the structural parts of the home like the foundation and roof as well the heating and cooling systems, electrical, and plumbing.  In addition they will also inspect walls, floors, doors, ceilings, attics and more.

It’s best if you arrive at when the inspection is almost complete.  The inspector will go over his report with you in person and show you his findings.  You should also receive a detailed written report after the inspection is complete.  The inspector should be very thorough and the report will probably contain a few cosmetic items that can be repaired after you move in. If there are any serious structural concerns you can usually negotiate with the sellers for the repairs or if there are too many you may be able to cancel your contract, check with your attorney or agent for guidance.

The Home Inspector will be able to advise you on the condition of the home you are buying and suggest any future repairs.

Kelly Harden, Realtor

Mihara & Associates

(813)244-9688

 

 

 

 

Fun

My eye opening visit to the local library

wlandolakesI am in a book club and when I went to the bookstore recently they didn’t have my assigned book for May in stock.  I could easily go home and order it on Amazon but that meant waiting two whole days for it to arrive!  I wasn’t sure I could wait that long, I’m an immediate gratification kind of girl!  On my way home I decided to make an impulse trip to the Land O’ Lakes public library to look for the book, and boy have things changed.

I haven’t visited any library regularly since my children were young, I had no idea they offered so many things to do for adults and children.  They are currently holding a book sale offered by Friends of the Library.  Scheduled activities for the month of May include Yoga, Canasta and Mahjong sessions, reading time for all ages of children, and various club meetings.

But the coolest thing they have is the Foundry where they teach all kinds of fun activities, crafts and more.  These activities are geared towards older kids and adults.  Current classes include sewing, intro to knitting and crochet, making a pom pom rug and woodworking.

If you are looking for fun activities for the summer I urge you to check out your local library.  And yes, they did have the book I needed on the shelf.

Here is a link to the Land O’ Lakes library’s schedule, and I am sure your local library has similar offerings as well .  http://pascolibraries.evanced.info/signup/calendar?ag=&et=&lib=4

Kelly Harden Realtor®, GRI

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

 

Fun

My time with Veronica Ortiz from Bella Furniture and Redesign

table and shelvesRecently I met a wonderful woman, Veronica Ortiz, who owns Bella Furniture and Redesign.   She and her husband Greg take the old wooden furniture you have and turn it into something completely different and new again or, if you prefer, they can make you something from scratch.  Her imagination appears to be endless.

We met at Veronica’s home because she displays many of her own works there.  As you wander around her space it is clear Veronica is a woman who loves what she does and takes pride in her work.

The top photo shows Veronica’s Industrial styling with custom built shelving installed on a stainless-steel wall.  The dining table has a stainless-steel top as well.

One of my favorite pieces is an extra-long console table complete with complimentary wall art she designed as well.  The console is in the farmhouse style so popular today, heavily distressed with a white crackle finish.

console table and wall art

Many Floridians have friends and family in various northern states who love to visit and experience everything Florida has to offer.  What do you do when you run out of sleeping space for them?  Veronica solved this problem by building a custom designed Murphy Bed in the home office creating a dual use for the space.

Are you looking for a special piece to create a statement in your space?  Or is it time to redo the entire room?  If you want something special call Veronica Ortiz at Bella Furniture and Redesign, 813-960-7485.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates

813-244-9688

 

Real Estate

Why does my Realtor® want to meet me before showing me houses?

As a Buyer, when you first start working with a Realtor® they are going to request a sit down meeting with you.  This meeting could take place at their office or even a coffee shop.  Why do we do this before jumping in and showing you prospective houses?

It gives us a chance to get to know you better.  I have a series of questions I ask all of my buyers that helps me understand the type of house you are looking for, where you want the house to be, features you would like the house to have and what’s most important to you.  These interview type questions help save time in the long run by helping me understand you better.

A sit down meeting also give you a chance to interview the agent.  Ask questions, anything you want.  You need to feel comfortable working with me and confident I have your best interests at heart.

If you’ve never bought a home before, or if you did but it was years ago, you may not be aware of everything involved.  During our first meeting I will explain the process to you, what steps are involved, and what your responsibilities are as well as mine.

If you have not gotten pre-approved for a mortgage your agent will refer you to a couple of great lenders they trust and have worked with in the past.  In today’s strong sellers market you will need to send a pre-approval letter from the lender to the seller along with your offer.

Last, but certainly not least is safety.  It’s never wise to meet someone you don’t know in a vacant home.  Your agent may also ask for a copy of your drivers license, that’s standard procedure in many offices today.

When you take the time to meet with a Realtor® at the beginning of your home search you have the opportunity to ensure they are the right person for you.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688