Jay Falone's Blog
Bathrooms can function as a practical place for you to get ready for the day and a sanctuary where you can unwind after a long day. With a few changes or upgrades, you can enhance the look and ambiance of these rooms. Whether you plan on making changes to a powder room or a spacious master bathroom, keep the latest trends in mind.
Bold Powder Room Walls
Powder rooms might not offer the same amount of space as regular bathrooms, but the right decor can dramatically improve their appearance. One of the latest trends this year for powder rooms is sprucing them up with darker paint colors on a backsplash or wallpaper that has an eye-catching, decorative design. Using one of these options for your powder room can give it a bold yet elegant new look.
Marble floors have been the standard choice for luxury bathrooms in recent years, but this is changing with the latest trends. Travertine is taking over as the favored material for bathroom floors due to its rich tones and durability. These floors come in a wide range of styles, cuts and designs in hues that can add warmth to your rooms.
Freestanding, Deep Tubs
Having the right tub can make baths or a relaxing soak more comfortable. This year’s trends include freestanding, deep tubs that offer plenty of room for soaking or bathing while also giving bathrooms a more upscale look. These tubs are available in numerous shapes and styles. Whether you prefer a modern, streamlined rectangular shape or a softer rounded shape, you’ll find a number of options to consider. Tub trends for 2020 also include black, freestanding tubs that act as a focal point in bathrooms that are mainly white or neutral in color.
Sconces and other traditional types of bathroom lighting can add a decorative touch to bathrooms, but the trend for this year is chandeliers. These hanging light fixtures add luxury and a striking appearance to bathrooms while also providing plenty of lighting. Chandeliers come in a variety of sizes and designs, so you can find the ideal type that enhances your bathroom’s look.
Waterfall showers offer a way to add visual appeal to your bathroom shower while also making it feel more like a spa. You can pair these features with light, natural stone accents or white lighting to create a more natural-looking waterfall in your shower.
If you’re ready to start looking into luxury homes on the market, please contact us.
Once you decide you’re in the market for a new home, one of the first decisions you’ll make is whether you should hire a real estate agent to shop for a house or go out your own. While buying a new home without a professional representative is possible, there is no disadvantage to working with one, here’s why.
It Doesn’t Cost You Anything
Generally, the seller pays the commission fees to any agents representing both sides of the sale. From a buyer’s perspective, they really have nothing to lose by working with an agent since they won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket costs.
Additionally, REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), which means they are bound to adhere to a specific code of ethics. This means you’ll have a representative who has pledged to abide by this code and approach every transaction honestly.
Bring Expertise to the House-Hunting Process
As a buyer, unless you’re fully versed in the finer points associated with real estate purchases, along with a certain level of legal expertise in contractual law, you’re better protected if you work with a professional agent. Agents are well-versed in the most up-to-date information associated with the housing market. Skills trained agents bring to the house-hunting process include:
Essentially, working with an experienced and licensed professional means you’ll have someone on your side who can do the bulk of the leg work while helping you find the house of your dreams.
Strong Knowledge in the Bidding Process
Investing in a major purchase, such as a home, usually comes with some stresses, along with a few bumps along the road. Once you reach the negotiation and bidding stage, your agent can ensure these go as smoothly as possible. They bring many valuable attributes to the table when it comes to sealing a deal.
Buying or selling a home can be an emotional process. An agent can make sure negotiations are conducted with a levelheaded approach to make certain a fair deal is made.
In addition to the above reasons, it’s important to remember, your real estate agent is always on your side. They can provide you with both guidance and objectivity as you seek to find your new home.
The Open House is just a part of the marketing strategy to effectively sell a home, but it can be an important one. The number of people it attracts can strongly correlate with both the number and quality of the offers you receive. So while you may not have the luxury of selling your home in the best possible month, you can at least sell it on the best day of the week. Find out more about who's searching and what you can do to maximize your bottom line.
Unsurprisingly, homebuyers are no longer relying solely on the balloons and signage of yesterday. Instead, they're headed straight to Google to learn more about what's available in each neighborhood. In fact, 88% of buyers said that websites ended up being the most valuable tool when it came to their home search. If you consider when people are searching, there seems to be a clear winner.
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday
Real estate agents and Google alike all seem to agree that Sunday is the day when buyers are most likely to look for the home of their dreams. The peak traffic is between 8 – 11 a.m., meaning the afternoon will likely attract the highest number of people. If at all possible, you should avoid hosting an Open House near a holiday. While Saturday is certainly the next best choice, it simply can't hold a candle to Sundays when you look at the data.
Understanding the Market
Houses are one of the more unpredictable components of a home sale. You may end up finding three qualified buyers who each want the home more than the next. But you can just as easily end up with a houseful of curious neighbors who want to know the listing price, why you're leaving, and whether you remodeled your kitchen. An experienced real estate agent can let you know if your home is more suited for private showings or a broader marketing campaign.
Some sellers will use Open Houses as a strategy to better understand how buyers see the home. After listening to people and watching their reactions, sellers may learn it only takes a coat of paint or a flower bed to improve the desirability of their home. But more often than not, an Open House is tailor-made for real estate agents.
A professional will know how to use an Open House as a larger part of a larger plan for exposure. The relaxed atmosphere helps buyers connect with a home, and it allows real estate agents to crystallize how they can best leverage that interest. It just so happens that Sunday is the best day of the week for just that!
If you anticipate that you will inherit an estate at some point or if you plan to leave your estate to an heir, it is important to plan for the potential tax implications of that transfer. The federal estate tax is one aspect to consider. Depending on the value of the estate, some beneficiaries may not have to pay taxes however, those with higher value estates might end up paying a significant sum. It is crucial to plan ahead when it comes to inherited real estate.
What is the Estate Tax?
Estate Tax is assessed based on the current market value of the estate as a whole and is then paid by the estate itself. The tax is collected when assets are transferred to named beneficiaries after a person is deceased. The tax is based on the current market value of the assets being transferred after other debts have been settled or charitable contributions have been made. This tax only applies to estates worth more than $11.58 million based on the current limit established by the federal government in 2020. Estates valued over 11.58 million are subject to a 40% tax. Some states have their own estate tax requirements so there could be additional considerations based on where you live.
The first step to determine how an estate tax might be assessed is to calculate the market value of the estate. In general, this should include financial assets as well as property. For example, if someone receives $8 million in financial assets and an additional $2 million in real estate, the total value is $10 million. The value of the real estate is taken at the current fair market value, not the price at which it was originally purchased. If there is a mortgage or other outstanding debt, those are paid by the estate before the final value of the estate is calculated.
Each estate is entitled to a lifetime financial exemption, in 2020 the exemption is $11.58 million. This means that all estates up to $11.58 million will not receive a federal estate tax bill. For couples, this number is doubled up to $23.16 million. Once the asset value exceeds the established limits, every dollar is subject to the 40% estate tax which can add up quickly.
It's a good idea to work closely with a professional financial advisor when making plans for the future of your estate as there are many details to consider depending on where you live and the particulars of your situation. Ask your real estate agent for local recommendations to get you started.
The short answer to our question of the day is...
We all know what we like when we see it.
New flooring can greatly increase your home's beauty in the eye of the beholder, yet it's impossible to know what kind of flooring will attract your home's next buyer. That said, here are the top selling points of three popular options.
Kudos for Carpeting
Carpet, especially if your home will be shown in the winter, is a popular way to add a comfortable look and feel to a home. Most often chosen for bedrooms, carpet can also hide a multitude of flaws beautifully and without a big dent in your savings. To spruce up a home for sale quickly, carpeting can be a great choice.
Now, for the possible drawbacks. Carpeting can cause issues for people with chemical sensitivities or allergies. It doesn't last forever, and it usually won't be as stylish in five years as it is when first installed.
Tip: Going with one flooring choice throughout your main living spaces can produce an expansive, well put-together look.
Hoorahs for Hardwood
Hardwood flooring is a classic choice. Walk into a home with hardwood floor, and you get a sense of elegance, comfort and beauty. Over time, the essential oils of the wood offer a subtly aromatherapeutic and natural appeal. A well-maintained wood floor lasts for decades.
Yes, a lot of moisture can impact its look, and the kids and pets can scratch it. And refinishing is a big job involving chemical abrasion, although fans of the DIY method point out to us that there are wood and laminate refinishing kits on the market for under $100.
Tip: A great, cost-effective alternative is engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood comes prefinished, can be easily installed without a subfloor.
A Toast to Tile
Tile is as practical as it is handsome. Well-chosen tile will last the home's lifetime. The richer the hues, and the narrower the space left for grout to show, the easier tile is to clean.
In kitchens, either tile or laminate styled as tile works well. Expanses of tile are especially desirable in homes and condos throughout Florida and other warm states.
If you have tile, talk it up! Note its ease of cleaning, especially to potential owners with pets.
Tip: You can buy tile or laminate that looks like hardwood and have the hardwood look—without the refinishing needs.
Sellers Can Offer Options
If you're selling, and your flooring could use updating, considering offering to trim a little off your sale price, encouraging potential buyers to install their own choice of new flooring as desired. That offer itself might just make a deal happen.