Posted by Tom Mahedy on 8/16/2019

Want to expand the square footage of your home without moving to a new house? Consider all of the changes you can make to your garage to add a den or playroom, home gym, workshop, or a combination of any these to enjoy a larger living space.

First, to determine what area(s) of your garage are flexible, consider your vehicle needs. Do you have only one car, but a two-car garage. Do you need to park your vehicle inside year-round? If you can allocate some of your vehicle parking space for other uses, measure the available area and see what expansions fit. If you need to park your cars in the garage, maybe you can arrange vertical storage in such a way that a small workshop set up or home gym fits nicely, leaving your office to be well, your office. If you don’t park vehicles in your garage and currently unpacked boxes, miscellaneous tools, bikes, and other objects take up that space, sort through your belongings, put indoor items away, and see what’s left that needs to stay in the garage. 

If you can transform your garage into an additional living space, you'll want to consider your insulation and electric needs. A garage door threshold seal can make a huge difference in the usability of your garage. If rainwater, dust, animals, and pests can easily enter your garage add the seal protect your space and make it habitable. 

Consider using vertical storage to free up floor space. Most garages have high ceilings, so add high shelving for holiday decorations, suitcases, and long-term storage. Install lift systems for bicycles and other gear and narrow/vertical storage units for your tools. Opening up your floor space allows room to set up exercise equipment, activity tables (pool or ping-pong anyone?), or simply to throw down a rug, set up that extra TV and plug in your Wii. 

 To turn your garage into a living space, for a den, or man cave you'll need to figure out a climate control solution. If your home's system can handle the extra square feet, you can work with your contractor to expand your heating and air conditioning system to the garage. Make sure you check all wall seams, weather stripping, and possible leaks to ensure you don't experience higher energy usage to maintain the space. If your garage is yet unfinished, you’ll need to take the extra steps to insulate, if not completely finish the walls so that you don't see a significant upward creep in your electricity costs.

TIP #1: If you intend to make the extra living space permanent, check your city's regulations to make sure you acquire the appropriate, necessary permits. 

TIP #2: If you think you might resell your home in the future, speak with your real estate agent to determine the best way to create the added living space without losing resale value. That is, you may want to lay down your flooring on top of the cement garage floor. To ensure a future buyer can use the garage for their vehicles, you may need to make specific choices on easily removable flooring. 

Expanding the use of your garage is a great and affordable way to create space in your home. Speak with your real estate professional about any changes you're considering to determine best how to add to or maintain the most value to your home while adding the most significant value to your current lifestyle.




Tags: garage   home improvement   DIY  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Tom Mahedy on 8/9/2019

If you are in hot pursuit of your dream home, it is important to do everything you can to gain a leg up on the competition. That way, you can acquire your ideal residence as quickly as possible.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you gain a competitive advantage over your homebuying rivals.

1. Keep Track of the Local Housing Market

The top houses sell immediately, and as such, you may need to act fast to find and purchase your dream residence. If you keep track of the local housing market, however, you will be better equipped than other buyers to instantly acquire a house that suits you perfectly.

Monitor the housing market in cities and towns where you want to reside. Then, if you find a house you may want to buy, don't hesitate to set up a showing. And if you like what you see, you should submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Entering the housing market with pre-approval for a mortgage usually is a good idea. Because if you know how much you can spend on a residence, you can tailor your house search accordingly.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. Find out what mortgage options are available, and learn how different types of home financing work. Next, you can select a mortgage that enables you to begin your house search with a budget in hand.

Of course, if you have any concerns or questions about home financing, you should address them right away. If you speak with mortgage specialists at a bank or credit union, you can get the insights you need to make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a difference-maker, particularly for a homebuyer who is shopping for a residence in a fierce housing market. Typically, a real estate agent will work with a buyer to craft an in-depth property buying strategy. A real estate agent and homebuyer then will work together to put this plan into action and streamline the property buying journey.

In addition, a real estate agent offers guidance at each stage of the homebuying cycle. He or she first will help you hone your home search to a select group of cities and towns. A real estate agent next will keep you informed about houses that become available that match your homebuying criteria. If you find a house you want to purchase, a real estate agent will help you submit an aggressive property buying proposal. And if your offer to buy a home is accepted, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to finalize your house purchase.

As you get ready to pursue your dream residence, you should devote plenty of time and resources to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prep for the homebuying journey, gain a competitive advantage over rival buyers and accelerate your house search.





Posted by Tom Mahedy on 8/2/2019

Minimalism has taken hold of a generation of new homeowners. Many young families may move multiple times before finding a forever home. Throughout the sorting, packing, loading, moving, and unloading they realize that much of what they carry with them is not necessary for comfortable living. Many folks have accepted the challenge to pare unused and cluttering items from their lives. Whether you are planning to move soon, just moved into your forever home, or are somewhere in-between, you can benefit from paring down and decluttering your life.

Discover freedom

Proponents of decluttering from Marie Kondo, star of Netflix's hit show, "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo," to Genevieve Parker Hill, author of Minimalist Living: Decluttering for Joy, Health, and Creativity, believe that reducing your home’s clutter, overflow, and disorganization help to free up your time, energy, and happiness. The concept of removing disorganization from your life sets you up to more effortless living.

You can join an online challenge ranging anywhere from three days to six weeks to fit your schedule. Alternatively, you can make a pact with friends or siblings to cheer each other through it or challenge yourself to carry out a list of decluttering items in one day or over several days. If you take on the challenge by yourself, create a suitable reward for your efforts.

Clear your mind first

Before you try to clear your home of clutter, take some time to organize your thoughts first. 

  • Write down what you hope to achieve by decluttering: more space? More peace? Better time management?
  • Note where you want to start. You may be able to declutter your entire home, but before you bite of that enormous chunk, create an order of priority. Is the hall closet most important? The pantry? Perhaps your biggest headache is your closet, attic, or garage. Start with that one place. If you try to do too many spaces at once, you may end up discouraged before you start.
  • Set aside the day or days for your challenge. Block off your schedule. Putting it off got you into this position in the first place and any interrupted to your challenge dates might tempt you to indulge in procrastination once again.

Once you have determined the room you will start with, prepare four boxes for sorting: 

  • Discard – items too used or useless to give to a charity or thrift store need tossing. Do not donate anything beyond its useful life. At the end of each day, you will discard these items so that you avoid the temptation to put them back in your house.
  • Recycle – if you no longer use it for its original purpose, but you know you could use it someplace else, put it in the “recycle” box.
  • Give – items you no longer use, but that someone else could go in the “give” box. You can donate these to a charity or thrift store or give them to family members or friends that want them and will use them. Immediately place this box in your car to give away as soon as possible.
  • Keep – this is what goes back in this location, or into another place. Once you clean out the area, return to it only the items that belong there. If you have other keep items, move them to the room or location they belong in so that they no longer clutter up your space.

When you finish, reward yourself. Then, set up the next challenge. If you plan to put your home on the market, to give a deadline to your challenge, have your real estate agent set an open house date.





Posted by Tom Mahedy on 7/26/2019

Moving is not an easy task. To another continent, across this continent, or just down the block—moving is a significant undertaking. Reasons for moving are as varied as there are people. No matter the reason(s) there are common things to consider and evaluate.

Stretching your dollars

Budget is usually at the top of most people’s list. Moving to a higher or lower cost of living area can make for quite a house hunting adventure. A realtor with knowledge of the city is a great resource and can save you a lot of time when sorting through what housing is available. You may have a certain percentage of your income you are willing to spend on housing, narrowing your search. Housing that provides extras such as community pools or playground areas can cause you to rethink your budget. A top-rated school district may also have you reevaluate you what you are willing to spend.

Take the long way home

Consider the proximity to your employment and ease of commute. There seems to be increased traffic everywhere these days. That can make the time commuting a large chunk of your morning and evening. Looking at housing with a shorter commute that allows you to take advantage of public transportation but has a higher price maybe be just the ticket. If you want more space, larger yard, or greater square footage you may be willing to put in the time on a longer commute to and from work.

Walkability scores

Size and activity level of your household is a significant influence on housing options. Pet owners may need to look for specific accommodations; as will those with younger children. High traffic areas may not work for a household that enjoys a high level of outdoor activities. The ability to walk or ride around the neighborhood can be of great importance to those households. Fenced backyards and sidewalks can increase the outdoor enjoyment of the housing you choose. 

City Slickers

If you want greater access to urban life, than you may want to consider housing in a high-rise or condo community near a city center. This type of housing option gives you closer access to what the city setting can offer; like restaurants, theaters and art museums. Additionally, this type of housing may include amenities such as underground gated parking, security and possibility concierges’ services to enhance your living experience. 

Contact your realtor for more information on the type of properties that will fit your needs.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Tom Mahedy on 7/19/2019

Here are five tips for when that redecorating urge strikes but you haven't got the budget or time to do a lot. You likely could do all of these ideas for less than $50 and still give your room a new look.

  1. Fresh Flowers: You don't need a fifty dollar bouquet to make a room pretty, but any place will get an immediate boost with a bit of living, breathing greenery. Consider a $20 tropical flower, large enough to fill an empty corner, and spend another twenty on a colorful bunch of fresh-cut flowers. This will give your room an instant punch.
  2. Bowl of fruit and table cloth: Don’t underestimate the zest and color that a large bowl of fresh fruit lends to your kitchen, dining room, and even the coffee table. You can also fill a pottery dish with a variety of fruits, or a tall glass vase with a single fruit (citrus such as lemons or limes) or even line up a row of green apples along the coffee or dining table for a contemporary feel. Select new table linen in the trendiest color of the season to give your room a real lift or invest in a crisp white or cream cloth for a classic look.
  3. Baskets: You don't have to a country girl or guy to appreciate the cozy look of baskets in the home. Even the modern room can benefit from a bit of wood or rattan. The primary purpose here, however, is to hide your clutter. You will feel refreshed if you add a few baskets and fill them with magazines, toys or hobby materials. It is an easy way to contain the everyday clutter that you can't stow away. Clearing up space is always a good look.
  4. Throw Pillows: You can find two throw pillows for less than $50 and even add a cozy blanket to your collection. This is an affordable and easy way to go if you are looking to make a statement. Consider the contrast of light pillows for a dark room, textures and solid colors to add color to a neutral place. And for this price, you can change it seasonally!
  5. New Paint: Admittedly, for the more ambitious, paint is a fantastic way to create a stunning look in little time. Try a creative look by painting a feature wall in a stunning but complementary color (that is the fireplace wall, that blank wall behind the couch and other spaces that can be useful). You can even tape off a small section (this is called color blocking) to focus attention on a collection of pictures, or behind a mirror, or around the fireplace.

Check your local craft store today for home décor accessories that will light up your living area.