Wood paneling is back – with a twist!

Wood paneling is back, but we’re not talking about he 1960s version that you may still be peeling down from some of your listings.

Instead, today’s wood paneling trend is being used as an accent wall, instead of a complete cover of an entire room. For example, wood panels in walnut may be used as an accent wall behind the bed in the master bedroom. Or, maybe one wall will be covered in white distressed shiplap, a trend popularized by HGTV “Fixer Upper” hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Wood in all finishes, whether clear stain or in its natural form, are being used to create sophisticated, sleek accent walls. You may even find wood panels in the closets, such as cedar-covered closet walls  (with added bonuses of having a distinctive smell and being a natural repellent to insects, like moths, too).

Knotty pieces of wood bring a very organic look, while painted varieties are classic and always popular with homeowners and potential buyers.

Designers are certainly proving you dress up and modernize any space with wood panels.



Tips on Selling Your Home During The Summer!

Spring is the most popular time of the year to put a home on the market. Fall is the second most popular time of the year to sell a home. Selling a home in the summer, however, is a bit tricky.

Why Summer Selling Isn’t Ideal

Summer is good for a lot of things, but home selling is not necessarily one of them. In fact, if you don’t have to sell in the summer, you might get more for your home if you wait until fall.

Why? Because in the summer:

  • People go on vacation.
  • Kids get out of school and require attention.
  • Summer activities distract homeowners.

Basically, there’s just too much going on during the summer to pay close attention to selling a home. Most sellers would rather wait until everything calms down in the fall.

If You Must Sell Your Home During the Summer

Not everybody can wait until fall to sell and relocate. Some people might be transferred to a new job in another state or be experiencing other pressing “life” issues that could necessitate an immediate sale. Here are a few things you can do to attract a summertime buyer.

  • Mow the lawn twice a week

Grass grows faster in the summer so mow your lawn regularly. Every other lawn cutting, try mowing on the diagonal to add dimension and curb appeal.

  • Create summer curb appeal

Curb appeal attracts people in the market to buy homes. Trim the bushes. Plant flowers. Scatter mulch. Paint your house number on the curb. Sweep the walk. Make your entrance welcoming and warm.

  • Decorate with summer accents

Look around your home for color inspiration. Add vivid blue decor items for a calming effect. Replace dark-colored accent pillows and throw rugs with brighter, summer hues.

  • Bring the light inside

If you have heavy drapes, remove them. They make rooms look smaller. Pull window blinds to the top and tape the strings underneath. Consider using tie-backs to hold open lighter-weight drapes. The only time you would leave blinds closed is if there was an undesirable element on the other side of the window, i.e. a neighbor’s trash can, and even then, open them slightly.

  • Have flexible showing hours

Some people like to skip out of work early due to daylight savings in many states. You might find buyers are more interested in touring your home during twilight hours, just after the dinner hour.

  • Move furniture outside

Where I live, in Sacramento, it doesn’t rain in the summer. We can move perfectly good living room furniture to the back yard. Not only does moving out furniture free up more room inside the home, but it creates an outdoor living space with items you already own. It’s an illusion created for a buyer that says yes, you can own this lifestyle, too.

  • Deliver sparkle

Gold or silver or brass or pewter? Doesn’t matter. Mix them, if you like. Old rules don’t apply. Metals are summery. Vases, picture frames, mirrors, utensils, goblets, hanging planters and garden gnomes all work.

  • Offer summer beverages and snacks

For me, in California, summer means red-and-white checkered tablecloths, potato salad, hot dogs and mustard and roasted corn-on-the-cob. Every part of the country has its own summer food traditions. Fill the sink with ice cubes and chill bottled beverages for visitors and offer a few light snacks.

  • Use natural air freshener

Fill the air in your home with natural fragrances such as those from fresh cut roses.

  • Control air temperature

There’s nothing worse than a stuffy room on a hot day. Circulate the air in your home. Even if you have to place floor fans about the home, keep the air moving. Turn down the air conditioning to a level just below your comfort zone on extra hot days. A cool indoors will keep visitors indoors viewing your home for longer.


Should I sell or upgrade?

Anyone who’s owned a house for any length of time has faced a similar dilemma. You like the home, but now it’s not exactly what you need or want. You have to make a decision. Do you put the home up for sale, or upgrade the place and settle in for the long haul?

Much goes into answering that question: your emotional attachment to the home, your financial condition, your ability to estimate the return on investment of renovating the home and the affordability of acquiring a new home. These and other factors impact your ultimate decision.

Read on to learn what essential issues you should consider when determining whether to sell your home or remodel it and stay put.

Before deciding to remodel or move, consider your emotions. 30 percent of those in this quandary ultimately move. The other 70 percent keep the same address and alter their homes to address changing lifestyle and family needs.

There is more to your ‘home’ than what is inside the house itself. Think honestly about your relationship with your neighbors and how you feel about your location and the surrounding area. If you have a strong connection to the neighborhood and emotional ties to your home, renovating may be the right answer.

Good residential architects can envision upgrade possibilities you may not see. They are able to fill maximum permissible square footage with optimal functionality.

The result: You’ll enjoy the best of both worlds — a home that fits your lifestyle, located in a neighborhood you already love.

When pondering the question of whether to remodel your home or move, realistic budget planning and analysis are critical.

This should include thinking far down the road. How long will you keep the home if you remodel it? If you do not remodel, will you eventually downsize or move elsewhere? Talking and putting in writing one’s goals is such a valuable tool for identifying the financial risks associated with dreams and aspirations.

Budgeting accurately is also essential if you do decide to renovate.

A lot of homeowners don’t know exactly what they want. If a homeowner has $50,000 and the contractor says he can do it for that – but then their wishes change, they want different materials, it doesn’t come out as they imagined — and that’s where the budget gets blown up.

Many homeowners base their decision to sell on the need for more room. But a more space-efficient layout that adds one more room rather than more square footage can help some homeowners avoid moving.

If you can’t get that extra room, maybe it is time to sell.

Do you face a problem that only a move will address? It could be neighbors you can’t tolerate, the desire to live in a better school district or a constrained physical setting, including home and yard, that will never meet the needs of your growing family.

If that’s the case, you have but one choice: Move.

According to Realtor.com, a kitchen remodel involving new countertops, cabinets, appliances and floors can take three to six months. If ductwork, plumbing or wiring has to be addressed, it could take longer. A bathroom remodel can consume two or three months, while a room addition can require one or two months.

These renovation projects can spill into multiple months, and if it’s their primary residence, it’s very difficult to live in something that’s being renovated.

Before opting to remodel or sell, try to determine what return on investment you will see on either option.

If upgrading, what’s the average return on investment for the renovations you’re considering? Most home upgrades do not pay for themselves in the form of a higher eventual sale price. Some renovations manage to recover 80 percent to 90 percent of your costs, while others barely cover half your expenses.

If you list your current home and move, ask yourself whether you’ll be in the new place long enough to recoup your upfront costs. It traditionally takes seven years to earn back the upfront costs of buying a home, and in most markets today, it’s only two or three years on average.

Weighing against renovation is the risk you will “over-improve” your home versus other like homes in your neighborhood. An over improved home will not sell for as much in its location as it would in a neighborhood with comparable residences.

When I say ‘over-improved’ I mean the house has been expanded much larger or upgraded more extravagantly than any other home in the neighborhood.

When you are in a neighborhood that has starter homes and smaller homes, adding a large addition or doing an extensive renovation may not yield the return one would expect.