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Does it Come With The House?

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Heavy, bulky items can be awkward to pack up and difficult to move. They also can be seen as big perks to potential buyers. If you’re willing to part with the items below, have your agent mention them as features of your house.

1. Basketball hoop – This can be great for families with young children. A game of basketball is the perfect icebreaker between neighborhood kids.

2. Trampoline – Another family-friendly item. That is, as long it’s not rusted or in otherwise poor condition.

3. Washer/Dryer – One less thing for buyers transitioning from apartment life to worry about.

4. Garage storage – Once you really dive into packing, you’ll be glad you don’t have to disassemble your shelving and storage racks, let alone find a box they fit in.

5. Light fixtures – Know your audience on this one. People can either think Tiffany lamps add character to a room or subtract from it.

6. Child proofing – The chances all those tiny socket plugs and safety latches make it to your new home are slim anyway.

7. Backyard shed – Gardeners and lawn care enthusiasts will rejoice.

Be prepared that a potential buyer may say “No” so make sure you only leave behind items the buyer is interested in!

Does throwing in your washer and dryer merit a higher asking price? What about your garage shelves? Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals. 

Courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

8 Tips for Quick Cleaning Before Guests Arrive

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

No doubt you’ll want your home to look its best for visiting family and friends during the holidays. Here are a few cleaning tips to minimize the time you have to spend making things sparkle.

1. Grout and tight corners
Cleaning nooks and crannies doesn’t require elbow grease. A toothbrush is much more effective.

2. Showerhead residue
Fill a plastic bag with vinegar, tie it around the head and leave it overnight to dissolve mineral deposits. A vinegar-soaked rag held in place by a rubber band works, too.

3. Microwave build-up
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a small bowl of water and microwave for about five minutes. The lemon scent eliminates old food smells and condensation from the lemon water loosens caked-on grime, making it much easier to clean.

4. Garage floor
Don’t bother sweeping – a leaf blower is much quicker.

5. Pet hair on furniture
Wet rubber dishwashing gloves are magnets for pet hair. Put on a pair, rub your furniture, and leave the vacuum extension tool in the closet.

6. Ceiling fan
To avoid a shower of dust and dead bugs, use an old pillowcase to clean the fan one blade at a time. Slide the case over the blade and pull it back slowly and the case will capture the dirt.

7. Toilets
Dump a spoonful of Tang into the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. The citric acid scrubs so you don’t have to.

8. Garbage disposal
Run baking soda and lemon juice, or ice cubes and lemon peels, through your garbage disposal to eliminate odors. White vinegar will do the same for your dishwasher.

Looking for a home that could fit the whole family for the holidays? Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

Transform Your Bedroom for a Great Night’s Sleep

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Do you struggle to some catch shut-eye? Beyond counting sheep or working your way through “War and Peace,” here are some things you can try to encourage zzzz’s.

1. Skip the bold wall colors
Soft, muted colors on the walls and floors help create a relaxing environment in your bedroom. Keep the bold carpets and wild walls for the rest of your home.

2. Design for sleep
Condition your mind to relax in your bedroom by making it a single-purpose area. That means moving the desk, lounge chair, or even treadmill out of the room. Trying to read in bed can send mixed signals to your brain as well.

3. Embrace the darkness
Does outside light invade your sleep sanctuary? Black-out curtains can keep your bedroom pitch black, which helps cue your body that it’s time to sleep.

4. Banish screens
Keep distractions to a minimum by leaving phones, tablets and laptops outside your bedroom. And if you truly can’t think of dozing off without a nightly dose of Jimmy Kimmel, keep your TV in a place where it can be hidden when you turn it off, like in an armoire with doors.

5. Install dimmers
Dimming your bedroom lights about an hour before you hit the hay helps lure your brain into sleep mode.

Is it anxiety over selling your home that’s keeping you up at night? Let me help you fight real estate related insomnia by helping you through the selling process. Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Blog Courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

11 Halloween Candy Alternatives

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Perhaps you’re not feeling candy this year. Maybe you’ve experienced the wrath of an over-sugared six-year-old (or their parents). Maybe you can’t trust yourself to sit for hours by the front door with a massive quantity of chocolate without eating most of it yourself. Or maybe you’re a dentist. Don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can give trick-or-treaters instead of the sweet stuff. Here are a few Halloween candy alternatives.

1. Glow sticks

Could there be a more perfect accessory for Halloween? Kids can light them up with a snap and wear them as bracelets, necklaces and crowns. Bonus: they make it easier for parents to keep their eyes on their kiddos.

2. Stickers

Choose from the assortment of ghosts, witches and pumpkins available in stores in October or go with stickers with year-round appeal, like superheroes and animals.

3. Bubbles

Hours – or at least a few minutes – of bubble-blowing entertainment is in every little bottle.

4. Plastic spider rings

Kids love to wear creepy-crawly bling, making spider accessories a great candy alternative.

5. Crazy straws

Halloween-themed straws can easily be found in dollar stores.

6. Fake fangs

These could also add a point of interest to your annual holiday photo card, if you’re so inclined.

7. Temporary tattoos

What kid doesn’t want a cool spiderweb on their bicep?

8. Slime

What exactly is the ooey-gooey stuff in the little cans? It remains a mystery, but kids definitely love to squish this classic toy.

9. Plastic jewelry

Sparkly rings, bracelets, necklaces and cheap tiaras are not only fun for kids to wear, but you can dress like a pirate as you hand out your glittering treasures.

10. Bouncy balls

Beloved by all kids, but especially those who live in homes with hardwood floors.

11. Kazoos

Parents may hate you, but kids can lead their own parades as they head to the next house.

Looking for a home in a trick-or-treater-friendly neighborhood? I can help. Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Blog courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

DIY Pumpkin Carving and Decorating

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Fall comes with many traditions: football, apple cider, pies, festivals – and, of course, venturing to a pumpkin patch! If you are looking to carve or decorate a pumpkin this fall, here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Use a cookie cutter to create a pattern. Place the cookie cutter on the pumpkin, then use a hammer to pound it halfway in. Remove the cookie cutter, carve out the shape and repeat.

2. To add some extra flair to your pumpkin, tie or hot glue colored or sparkly ribbons on it. Find some ideas here.

3. Painting is another great way to decorate pumpkins. Maybe add a fall-themed quote, or paint the pumpkin to look like your favorite cartoon character. Be sure to use acrylic paint and a sealant spray after you’ve painted your pumpkin to ensure lasting results. Here’s some inspiration from the Creative Team at RE/MAX HQ:

4. Make a glitter pumpkin! Paint the pumpkin with glue (basic craft glue will work fine), sprinkle glitter onto it, and repeat. After the pumpkin dries, shake off the extra glitter. Use a sealing spray to avoid any more of a mess.

5. And of course, there’s always carving. Are you thinking about selling your home? This pattern is a great way to grab the attention of potential buyers. Adding tasteful items to your home's decor is always a great way to make your home stand out. 

Click here to download template

Looking for the perfect doorstep to display your masterpiece? When you’re ready to start your home search, I can help! Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Blog courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

Beautiful Windows, Beautiful Home

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Have you ever driven up to someone's house for a holiday party or see a new home that's just been completed and think, "Wow, those windows really make that house look incredible!", or, "Who knew you could do that with your windows?"  Below are just a few ideas on how your home can generate that same kind of feeling.

Design Ideas for Dressing Up Existing Windows:

  • Looking for an inexpensive way to change up a window or provide some additional privacy but don't want to completely change out a window?  There have been huge advances in the quality of window films that are relatively quick and easy to apply.  Click Here for a series of amazing ideas on how to change the look, feel and function of almost any window in your home.
  • You can also Click Here and Here for some short videos on how to do apply window films yourself.

Energy Saving Options: 

  • With the cost coming way, way down and continuing to do so, it's now even possible to combine an old idea - the simple window awning - with the new technology of solar panels. Click Here to check out how this architect combined the two in this Seattle home.  You could easily do this in a new or even an existing home!
  • There's probably no limit to the amount of information online about different window types, efficiencies, designs and materials, but Energy.gov has a great page that summarizes quite a bit of it and you can easily branch off from there if you're looking for more technical information.

​​Exterior Ideas: 

  • Adding or updating exterior window shutters can dramatically change the look and feel of your windows in one simple step.  The possibilities are almost endless and they are actually not that hard for the do-it-yourself person. You can Click Here to see a number of very inexpensive options.
  • Click Here for a downloadable quick "How To" guide for designing shutters on your own or with a contractor.
  • Window flower boxes can add an amazing amount of color and vibrancy to almost any window in your home regardless of location. You can Click Here for tons of ideas and, once you've gotten your window boxes built (or bought) and installed, taking care of them can't get any simpler than this!

​​Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Image by Kirk Fisher from Pixabay 

5 Winning Tips for Writing an Offer Letter

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

In some hot housing markets, including a letter with your formal offer to buy a home is all but required. Unfortunately, Hallmark doesn’t make a card for the occasion (yet). Here are a few tips:

1. Get emotional.
Take advantage of this opportunity to sail beyond the facts and figures to convey a personal connection to the home. Pick one or two features and talk about how they fit into your vision of the perfect home. For example, “Holiday meals are important to my family. Your large kitchen has everything I need to re-create my grandmother’s recipes, and would fit all of my relatives who like to gossip while cooking.” Or, “During our showing my children escaped to climb trees in your backyard. They fell in love with the home as much as I did.”

2. Connect with the seller.
Find one or two similarities between your family and the seller’s, based on what you can discern from the home. Show you have something in common, but be careful not to dig too deep (nobody wants to sell to a stalker). For example: “We’re so excited that your home not only has a beautiful, fenced yard, but also a dog door. Our lives revolve around our two rescue pups, Sonny and Cher, who would literally leap for joy in a yard of their own.”

3. Don’t be afraid to flatter.
Tell the seller why you adore specific features that have been upgraded: “We love those colorful tiles you used on the kitchen backsplash. They remind us so much of our honeymoon in Portugal.”

4. Don’t whine.
This is not the place to play the sympathy card. No sob stories about why you sold your last place, or how many deals have fallen through. You want the seller to feel good reading your letter.

5. Grammar matters.
Check spelling and grammar. Have a grammar-nerd friend triple check it for you. You want the seller to know you put time and care into your honest appeal.

Not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place. Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

Change the Life of a Shelter Dog This October

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

You can become a dog’s superhero this month – October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month! You have the power to change the life of a shelter dog by welcoming a new fur-baby into the family. The American Humane Society first established October as the national puppy-loving month to help more than 7 million animals currently in shelters seeking “fur-ever” homes.

If you’re not convinced that adopting from a shelter is the way to find the perfect pooch, we’ve done the research to change your mind.

Don’t shop at a pet store when it’s easier than ever to adopt an animal from a shelter or rescue – the Humane Society reports that most shelters are 25-30 percent purebreds, and over 50 percent of cats and dogs in shelters are never adopted. If there is a certain breed of dog you are looking for, search the breed rescue groups in your area too.

If the landlord says no pets allowed, maybe it’s time to buy your own home where you make your own rules. More than three-fourths of Americans in their 30s own a dog according to one report and millennials now represent the largest demographic of homebuyers, so it’s no surprise that first-time homebuyers add a pet to the mix when purchasing their first house.

After factoring in the added costs many landlords impose on rentals in the form of deposits and pet fees, owning a home may be a better option than renting. Just think, you could give your new fuzzy-faced animal his very own backyard to run around in.

Find a shelter or rescue near you with the ASPCA’s Shelter Finder to start your search. If the search to add a pup to your family has you thinking about upgrading to a home to call your own, you’ve come to the right place! 

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

Transform Your Home into a Haunted House

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Now that we are well into October, the countdown continues as people wait in anticipation for the creepiest night of the year: Halloween. Want to give people the chills as they wander past your house on All Hallow’s Eve? Here are a few decor tips.

Outdoors

Tombstones: Give guests the creeps with a small graveyard in front of your house with tombstones. A great DIY project can be found on the Lowes blog. For a spookier effect, add some fake bones sticking out of the ground.

Smoke: A fog machine may be pricey, but it can really up the level of haunt your house will have. Think the graveyard scene from Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Jack-O-Lanterns: A Halloween classic for a reason. The soft light fits right in with your spooky vibe…and will light the way for guests.

Sound effects: Scratching on windows, blood-curdling screams, witches cackling. Say no more! Play some sound effects to get guests pumped for their journey inside of the house.

Indoor Decor:

Set the tone: The most important part of a haunted house is the feeling people get when they enter. Play some eerie music as guests walk through. Dim the lights or light some candles for a haunting atmosphere.

Cobwebs galore: Decorative cobwebs always add that old, chilling element to a haunted house. Dry some flowers and put them on your mantle or table with the cobwebs. Or string the cobwebs in corners and over mirrors or lights with some fake spiders.

Bones and more: Adding a few skulls or skeletons around the house will really add to the effect. Extra props for putting a big one in a rocking chair.

Paintings/pictures: Make people question, “Are those eyes following me?” Pillage your local thrift store or yard sales for some old portraits that induce chills.

Crystal Ball: Scavenge for a crystal ball or a DIY one and give this Haunted Mansion inspired prop a try.

Ghosts: Have an extra sheet lying around? Throw it over a light and put it in the distance to add an element of mystery to your decor.

Child’s Play: There’s something chilling about a porcelain doll’s stare. Put them out to give adults a flashback to The Twilight Zone.

Looking to buy or sell a home? I can help. Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

Breast Cancer Awareness: Coping Behind the Pink Ribbons

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

By Kayla Roofe

Editor’s note: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s a disease that affects our friends, sisters, co-workers and mothers. In this post, Kayla Roofe, Social Media Manager at RE/MAX LLC, shares her family’s experience.

When I think of home, I think of my mom. My fondest memories were made at the start of every football season, when my mom would make her “famous” chili and we would spend time around the TV cheering on our favorite teams. But then, on October 1, 2010 (the official beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month), my mom called me with the three-little words no one ever wants to hear, “I have cancer.”

Hearing Those Three Dreaded Words

Cancer. It felt like I got stabbed with a knife to the heart. It sounded like my life coming to a screeching halt. Being a sophomore in college at the time, the biggest worry I had up until then was not knowing if I was going to pass my midterm exam or not.

You Don’t Cry When You Think You Will

Of course, I cried when my mom told me of the diagnosis over the phone. But then there was nothing. I became immune to my feelings and instead focused on research. My mom was too frightened to Google any solutions to itchy skin or nausea, so I delved into the web. I visited forums and searched hashtags on Twitter before I eventually became so well-versed in the “cancer lingo” that I always answered every “How is your mom doing?” question with “She’s doing great – except for the nausea!”

It wasn’t until I saw my mom after her double-mastectomy surgery – lying helpless on the hospital bed – that it hit me. She should be OK, right? It would be over in a year. Right? But it dawned on me that maybe it wouldn’t be. There was always a chance that the treatment wouldn’t work. Or that the cancer would have spread. I cried harder than I have in my entire life.

The Irony Behind the Awareness

I could do without the pink ribbons, the pancake fundraising breakfast or the marathon. Being a single mom with two kids, my mom’s battle with breast cancer changed all of our lives forever. When my mom was diagnosed during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there was a line of people out the door to help. As soon as November 1 came around, we were left alone dealing with the struggles cancer would bring. We lost our childhood home because my mom couldn’t work during her treatment. My little brother dropped out of high school to help support the family. I failed that semester at college due to the amount of time I took off from school.

The damage cancer did to all of our lives is something that we will remember forever. Through it all, we realized that a home can be replaced, you can always go back and graduate from high school and a college semester can be retaken. What matters most is that my mom can proudly say she is a survivor – and she will always be the heart of my home.

Courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

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Contact Information

Photo of RE/MAX Central Realty Real Estate
RE/MAX Central Realty
Heidi and Michael Winston
8921 W Sahara Ave, Suite A
Las Vegas NV 89117
Heidi: 702-277-6599
Michael: 702-219-8692
Fax: 702-974-2288