Francesca Volpe - RE/MAX Alliance



Posted by Francesca Volpe on 10/8/2018

If you live in what's considered a "safe neighborhood", it's all too easy to be lulled into a false sense of complacency. Although the crime rate in your part of town may be low, the chances of living in an area that's totally crime free are very small.

Burglars and other would-be criminals are often opportunistic, so it pays to take precautions and avoid being an "easy target." Here are a few home security tips that can help protect your property, your family, and your valuables.

  • Make it a habit to lock your doors at night and every time you leave the house for even a short period of time. If you're behind schedule and in a rush, stop and take one more minute to do a quick security check and -- while you're at it -- make sure hot appliances, such as stoves, ovens, and irons, are turned off.
  • Even in the best of neighborhoods, bicycles that are left out in your driveway or front yard can and often do get stolen in seconds. When a bicycle gets stolen from your property, it can be a painful and expensive lesson. Fortunately, those types of losses can be avoided by having your family get in the habit of concealing bicycles in secure locations (like a garage or shed) or padlocking them to a stationary object, such as a tree or well-anchored fence post.
  • Leaving a house key in your mailbox, under a welcome mat, or in a flower pot may seem like a good idea at the time, but those hiding places can easily be discovered by the wrong people.
  • Allowing mail or newspapers to pile up while you're away for the weekend or on vacation is a tip-off to burglars that no one is home. Having a checklist that reminds you to suspend mail and newspaper delivery while you're away can help you avoid that risk. If you plan on being gone for the weekend, a trusted neighbor or friend can often be depended on to gather deliveries that might otherwise advertise your absence.
  • Teaching your kids home safety and security measures at an early age is another vital component of crime prevention. They should be taught and reminded what to say and do if a stranger either asks for personal information over the phone or asks if they can come into the house. It's important for kids to know that they can and should be assertive with adults when protecting themselves and their home.
When it comes to home security, your four most important strategies are awareness, taking preventative measures, educating yourself and your family, and being consistent. Sometimes the best approach to keep in mind and tell your children is to follow the anti-drug advice of former First Lady Nancy Reagan: "Just say no!" There are plenty of instances when no further explanation is required.
 





Posted by Francesca Volpe on 10/1/2018

You may take your front door for granted. Maybe you only use your front door occasionally when company comes or you have a gathering at your home. Itís amazing how much more curb appeal you can give to your home with a properly lit front door. Below, youíll find some tips to help you brighten your front door and the overall appeal of your home. 


Make Your Front Door Shine Through The Night


If you want your home to have curb appeal, you may think of the daylight hours. Sure, you want your home to look good during the day, but there are 24 hours! You can find plenty of ways that you can add nighttime curb appeal to your home with correct types of landscape lighting. Some ideas to help you highlight your front door can be found below:


Put a spotlight on the entryway


Using bold lighting like this can help you to enhance the features that are already present on the front of your home.     


Use sconce lighting

This type of lighting is easily mounted onto the side of walls or the side of your home. You can use these types of lights to add to the style of your home as they come in many different kinds from the stately to the fun and whimsical. These lights also provide quite a welcoming touch to the home.


Consider Lighting Your House Number


Wherever your house number is present, you should try to light it. This way, after daylight hours, guests can clearly see what house number is yours. You can do this with a lamp post or a spotlight depending on where you have your house numbers mounted. 


Use Lighting Variations


Just as you would on the inside of your home, the outside of your home should use variations of lighting. Use sconces for overhead lighting. Think of the lighting on the outside of your home based on the main types of lighting: task, decorative, ambient, and accent lighting. Using these basic design principles can help you to find where the need for light is in your yard.


Highlight Your Landscape


Your hard efforts at landscaping arenít just for the daylight hours. Use lighting in your yard as a way to highlight the beauty of your yard the whole day and night through. If you have particularly unique trees or bushes, or a nice statue in your yard, use lights to brighten the space and show off the best features that your yard has to offer.

When thinking of lighting your yard keep safety as your first priority and design as your second for a great outdoor lighting scheme.    





Tags: lighting   home design  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Francesca Volpe on 9/24/2018

Before you list your house, you'll need to establish a competitive price for it. That way, you can increase the likelihood of stirring up plenty of interest in your house as soon as it becomes available.

Now, let's take a look at three best practices for pricing your home.

1. Evaluate the Real Estate Market

The current real estate market's conditions can impact your ability to sell your residence. However, if you study the real estate market closely, you can differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market and plan accordingly.

In a buyer's market, the number of home sellers exceeds the number of homebuyers. As such, you likely will need to establish an aggressive price right away to separate your house from the competition.

On the other hand, a seller's market favors home sellers over homebuyers. If you're operating in a seller's market, you may be better equipped than ever before to earn a significant profit.

To differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market, examine the prices of recently sold homes and available homes in your area. This housing market data can provide deep insights into the current state of the housing market. Plus, this data can help you understand how your residence stacks up against the competition.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

Ultimately, a home appraisal can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time.

During a home appraisal, a professional appraiser will examine your house both inside and out. Then, this appraiser will offer a valuation of your property based on his or her findings.

A home appraisal involves an evaluation of the current condition of your home, your house's age and your neighborhood. Therefore, if you complete a home appraisal, you should have no trouble using the appraisal results to help establish a fair price for your residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to selling a house, there is no need to work alone. Fortunately, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive expert insights into all aspects of the home selling cycle.

A real estate agent is happy to meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. Next, this housing market professional will offer home pricing recommendations, ensuring you can make an informed decision about how to price your house.

In addition, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can enjoy a seamless home selling experience. This housing market professional will promote your residence to large groups of homebuyers, set up home showings and open houses and put together an engaging and informative home listing. Also, a real estate agent will always keep you up to date about any offers on your home.

Looking to list your home in the near future? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can establish a competitive price for your residence and boost your chances of a fast, profitable home sale.





Posted by Francesca Volpe on 9/17/2018

Once you have found the home that you want to live in, put in the offer, and start the process of closing on a home, you may feel like youíre ďhome free.Ē The hard part may technically be over, but thereís one more important thing that you need to think about before you get the keys to your place: Closing costs. 

A few days before you head to sign all of your paperwork to close on the home, your lender will send you a detailed report of different closing costs that you need to pay upon the settlement of the property. 


Closing Costs Defined


Closing costs are what you pay to the lender and third parties. These are due at the time of closing on the property and must be paid up front. You should estimate that your closing costs will be between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.


Everything Included In Closing Costs


Closing costs cover both one-time and recurring fees that are a part of your home purchase. The one-time fees are things that are generally associated with buying the home. These would include attorneys fees, lender fees, home inspection fees, document prep fees, underwriting fees, credit report fees, and realtor fees. Youíll also need a bank issued check for your down payment at this time.  


At closing, an escrow account will be set up. This is like a forced savings account that will be drawn from to cover things like taxes, insurance, loan interest, and title insurance. These are all very important costs that are a part of buying a home.     


Do Your Homework Ahead Of Time


The best way to deal with closing costs is to be prepared ahead of time. Talk to your lender in order to get an estimate of the closing costs. From there, youíll need to decide if you need to finance your closing costs or simply pay them up front. There are advantages to both approaches. Sometimes, lenders will look at you as less favorable if you need to finance all of your closing costs. It all depends on the terms of your loan. This is why research is vital.


Compare Rates And Lenders


Itís important not to go with the first lender you talk to. Get some recommendations from your realtor and friends to see who might be a good fit for you. Every lender specializes in something different, so you want to be sure that who you chose is a good fit for you. 


The most important thing that you can do with closing costs and the financing of your home is to get educated!     





Tags: Buying a Home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Francesca Volpe on 9/10/2018

Thereís a lot more to interior design than simply picking out the latest trends in home decor. Design principles are also used to make the atmosphere of your home spacious and welcoming, and to make your home livable in a practical way.

 In spite of the fact that most people will own a home someday, no one is ever really taught interior design. So, it comes as little surprise that so many people are missing out on simple techniques that can drastically improve their home.

 In todayís article, weíre going to share with you some of the best interior design and decorating secrets to help you spruce up your home and make it more practical at the same time.

Low ceiling? No problem

Having a low ceiling can make it difficult to decorate and make your home seem spacious. One great workaround is to avoid tall furniture and seek out chairs with low backs, and bookcases that are wide rather than tall.

Omit hanging lights and ceiling fans and used recessed lighting instead to maximize your space and avoid having taller guests having to dodge objects hanging from the ceiling.

Finally, paint the ceiling white and remove crown molding to give the impression of openness.

Making small rooms feel larger

If you have a small home it can feel difficult to keep things uncluttered while still making sure you have everything you need. There are a few ways to make rooms feel more spacious that donít involve throwing out your belongings.

First, add mirrors to give the illusion (literally) of space. A single or group of mirrors can be a nice decorative touch that makes a room seem much larger than it is.

Next, paint and decorate with mainly light colors or white. Dark colors will make a room feel smaller.

Lastly, take advantage of hidden storage space, such as tables with drawers underneath, and avoid putting decorations on too many surfaces. Filling the room up with objects will make it appear smaller.

The size of decorations matter

Thereís a rule in interior decorating called the ďcantaloupe rule.Ē It states that you should avoid using decorations that are smaller than a cantaloupe.

However, that doesnít mean this rule canít be artfully broken. A better description would be that you should omit several small decorations in favor of just a few large ones.  

Create a color palette

When choosing the color of your furniture, walls, and decoration it can be easy to just choose whichever color you like for that object rather than what works well in your home. Try making a color palette to adhere to when shopping for these items.

Create a house-wide palette and a palette for each room. Stick to three or four colors that complement each other well for each room, and make sure they arenít too starkly contrasted from other rooms in your home.

If you arenít sure about how to design a color palette there are several free online tools you can use to help.