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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

Never Too Early to Plan Your Halloween Party

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

To all those naysayers out there who say it’s too early to plan a Halloween party, just say, “Booooooooo!” Now is the time to scare up some creepy and creative ideas for a fun-filled fright night!

PICK A PARTY THEME
Who doesn’t love planning a party? Especially if it’s a costume party. Start looking for inspiration to pick a Halloween theme that your guests can really sink their teeth into. Search news and popular culture, pick a moment in time or connect to characters from your favorite movie.

BOOS AT A BARGAIN
Yeah, yeah, yeah – the warehouse Halloween stores are great, but you need to find boos at a bargain! Start at the second-hand store, search your zip code for the nearest thrift store and set off hunting for some spooks. Hey, even just a visit to the thrift store can inspire the theme of your Halloween hoedown. Start visiting the thrift stores early because the good Halloween decorations sell quickly.

GHOULISH GOURMET
Host a Halloween dinner party and invite your guests to gobble up some ghoulish goodies. Mix up your favorite poison at the bewitching bar or dive into some cherry cheesecake brain. Find 28 Halloween Cocktails to die for.

CREEPY CONTESTS
Whether you’re catering to kids or adults – don’t forget to feed the beasts with entertainment. Party games are a great way to have some freaky fun and help your guests meet one another. With some extra lead time, you can craft your way to creepy by making the party games yourself.

Looking for a new house to haunt for the holiday season? 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

Demand for Housing Increases in August 2019

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

According to the August 2019 RE/MAX National Housing Report, buyer demand continues to exceed available housing supply, extending the favorable seller’s market that has been in place for years. While sellers have had the upper hand in negotiations in recent years with constricted inventory remaining nationally, more buyers entering the housing market could increase momentum.

“The modest inventory growth that started last fall has been swallowed up by demand as buyers have returned to the market, likely spurred on by attractive interest rates,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Home sales dipping at the same time inventory falls suggests there may have been some reluctance on the part of sellers to list their homes,” added Contos.

The last of 2019’s peak months for home sales also prompted encouraging signs for buyers with a steep decline in Median Sales Price from July 2019 to August 2019. Despite concerns over low inventory, the seasonal decline in inventory from July 2019 to August 2019 is on par with the national average since RE/MAX began releasing the RE/MAX National Housing Report over 10 years ago.

Here are some highlights of the latest data found in the RE/MAX National Housing Report:

  1. Home sales took a dip.

The overall average number of home sales is down 4.2% compared to July 2019, and down 1.6% compared to August 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage decrease were Miami, FL at -13.5%, Dover, NH at -13.1%, and Washington, D.C. at -10.3%.

  1. Home prices became increasingly more affordable.

In August 2019, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $263,000, down 3.6% from July 2019 and marking the steepest drop-off in report history from July to August.

  1. The number of homes for sale declined.

The number of homes for sale in August 2019 was down 3.9% from July 2019 and down 5.5% from August 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in August 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory was 2.8, a decrease compared to 2.9 in July 2019 and 3.5 in August 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.

Sellers, are you ready to put your home on the market? 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

The One Where They Reconsider Apartment Living

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

In honor of the 25th anniversary of “Friends”, we’re looking into the living arrangements of our six favorite “friends”: Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe. They were in their 20s and living in New York City’s West Village – in relatively large apartments.

We’ve all thought it, and it has even been analyzed multiple times, but Monica’s and Rachel’s living situation is just too good to be true. Two roommates, with average incomes for most of the series, would have had a very hard time affording a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. Let alone one with a living room of that size.

While they made renting in the Big Apple look relatively stress-free, there are downsides to their apartment living that could make anyone consider buying a home.

Annoying neighbors

From the “Ugly Naked Guy” to the late Mr. Heckles, Monica and Rachel dealt with their share of strange neighbors. Yet, they never considered moving out. A recent study conducted by Rent.com found that people living in multifamily homes, like apartment buildings, were willing to pay an additional $179 per month just for the ability to choose their neighbors.

While they had a ridiculous deal on their rent-stabilized apartment (1,125 square feet in Manhattan for only $200 a month!), the constant disturbances and lack of privacy would have probably led them, in real life, to at least consider finding a new home.

Lack of outdoor space

Outdoor space has become a must-have amenity for many homebuyers and renters, especially millennials who need to accommodate their pets. Throughout the series, the characters had a few different furry friends – Ross’ monkey Marcel, Chandler and Joey’s chicks and ducks – that may have benefitted from an enclosed outdoor space.

Additionally, the friends are seen using the apartment’s balcony for parties, barbecues and romantic moments. While it’s a nice addition, and one you can’t guarantee everywhere, a larger outdoor space – or even one that doesn’t require crawling out a window like Rachel’s and Monica’s – would BE (think Chandler’s inflection) more ideal.

Small/outdated kitchen

While most apartments aren’t praised for their kitchen spaces, it’s surprising that Monica, the professional chef in the group, seems to have no qualms with the lackluster space. While the gang seemed to get by with a somewhat-outdated kitchen (as evidenced by their many Thanksgivings held there), it’s one of the things that usually drives most renters to consider moving. Plus, any significant design change or upgrade would have needed the landlord’s approval. Given that Monica was subletting the apartment illegally from her grandmother, she probably avoided the landlord at all costs.

No elevator

The apartment building where Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joey reside is a five-story walkup, meaning there’s no elevator access. Ross lived in a similar walkup apartment across the street. An elevator would have been especially helpful in Ross’ apartment situation when he is trying to move a couch upstairs himself instead of having it delivered. With an elevator, they could have avoided having to “pivot!” After a long day at the office, climbing multiple flights of stairs to get to a front door can be daunting.

Perhaps the characters of “Friends” are not getting such a sweet deal on their apartment if it means they must deal with all of these “quirks.” If you are feeling more proactive that Monica and Rachel and are ready to move on from renting, 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

Where Does the Couch Go? Modern-Day Tips for Arranging Your Furniture

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

By Laura Love Bardell

Today’s couches are so much more than the three-seater pieces of days past. Sectionals are useful and stylish, and their shape provides a built-in conversation area. Chaises – perfect for lounging – eliminate the need for an ottoman or footstool. Sometimes, though, it can feel challenging to find the best layout for your room. This guide provides solutions for arranging uniquely-shaped sofas comfortably in any space.

Determine the Purpose of the Room

Before you begin experimenting with different furniture layouts, it’s important to consider how you will use the room. Will it feature a television and a media console, or will it be a conversational space with few electronics? Perhaps you are decorating the spare bedroom that will double as a reading room, and you hope to find the best arrangement for a sleeper sofa and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Even if you plan to use the space in multiple ways, decide what the primary purpose of the room will be and design your furniture arrangement to best meet these needs. In large spaces and open layouts, don’t be afraid to divide the room into two (or more!) distinct seating areas.

Look at Traffic Flow and Focal Points

Next, think about how you move about the space and the overall flow of the room. Here are some rules of thumb:

  • It’s a good idea to maintain enough space around doorways and entrances. To keep the space feeling open and comfortable, allow for about three feet of walking space along traffic paths. This will help prevent you and your guests from bumping into furniture or walls.
  • Think about where you first want your eye to land as you look around the room. Traditionally, fireplaces or televisions serve as focal points, but sometimes a large window or even a piece of statement wall art can serve that purpose.

Many rooms have multiple focal points, such as a fireplace and a large window, and lend themselves to multiple options. Switch it up to keep things interesting. If you have the space, consider rearranging the room to face the fireplace during winter and your gorgeous view during the summer.

Save Your Back – Use the Computer

Look online for digital room-arrangement programs that allow you to enter the dimensions of your room and existing furniture to help visualize different layouts. Some retailers even offer an interactive app that shows how their products will look in your space.

Prefer pen and paper? Take measurements of your room and all the furniture. Using graph paper, equate one square on the page with one square foot and draw the shape of your room. Then, draw the basic shape of each piece of furniture, again using the one square foot rule. This allows you to rearrange furniture to your heart’s content, without risking scuffed floors, carpet snags or a tired back.

Think Big

Now that you’re ready to arrange your room, you’ll want to start with the biggest piece of furniture: the sofa. Consider these tips:

  • Start by facing your couch towards the focal point of the room, paying attention to the traffic paths and keeping entrances as open as possible. For a sectional sofa, experiment with middle-of-the-room versus against-the-wall placements.
  • Allow at least 6 to 9 inches between the sofa and the wall, as this gives a sense of spaciousness.
  • If the room has a television, think about how you can position the sectional to enjoy the best viewing angle for the screen. (If you don’t have room for a large media center, consider a shallow, space-saving console table to corral electronics, then mount the TV on the wall.)
  • Looking for a spot for a chaise lounge? Try to place it in such a way as to avoid having to walk around it to sit down. The same rule applies for sofas or chairs with extendable recliners.

Consider Your Vibe

You’ve thought about the room’s focal point and traffic flow, but what about how the space makes you feel? Different seating arrangements can affect the ambiance of the room. For example, using symmetrical seating arrangements create a sense of order, while using offset pieces creates energy and visual interest.

In layouts with sectional sofas, balance the weight of the sectional with one or two chairs to provide visual balance and a conversational feel. Chairs on casters allow you to rearrange the room at a moment’s notice, and in small spaces, choose poufs, stools or even folding chairs that you can easily tuck away when they’re not needed.

Add the Finishing Touches

Once you’ve found a seating arrangement that you love, add in the rest of your furniture, such as side tables, coffee tables, and floor and table lamps. Because they have no corners, round side tables allow guests to easily navigate around them, and nesting tables are great space-saving options.

Last, add the finishing touches to round out your room. Throw pillows and blankets provide coziness and layered textures, and an area rug will ground the space and tie the room together.

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.

Laura Love Bardell writes for Crate and Barrel, where she creates inspirational, design-savvy content. In her spare time, she enjoys triathlon training and spending time with her pets and family.

Blog courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

6 Lessons Monopoly Can Teach You About Home Buying

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

1. Patience

MONOPOLY: So your family has decided to play Monopoly? Refill your beverage, grab a snack and change into comfortable clothes. You’re going to be there a while.

LESSON: Buying real estate is a process. There’s pre-approval for a loan, interviewing agents, searching for homes, submitting an offer, maybe submitting another offer, the home inspection, the appraisal, and final loan processing before you get the keys. Needless to say, buying a home can take some time. Instead of getting frustrated, focus on all of the great reasons you decided buying a home was right for you. Staying in close communication with your agent throughout the process will help, too.

2. Neighborhood matters
MONOPOLY: Everyone starts the game with one corner in mind: Boardwalk and Park Place. The high-priced properties have the best returns on investments, and the players who snag them first tend to do well in the game.

LESSON: Location is often a major consideration in real life as well. Home values, your lifestyle and so much more are factors in your neighborhood choice. Work with your agent to learn all you can about the neighborhoods that pique your interest.

3. Keep an open mind
MONOPOLY: Baltic and Mediterranean Avenue have a bad reputation because they’re the cheapest properties on the board, but they also present opportunity. Add a few houses and hotels and your return could be bigger than the one on nearby Connecticut Avenue.

LESSON: Keep an open mind when shopping for a home. An up-and-coming neighborhood may have appeal you didn’t see before, and more value for your budget.

4. Be prepared
MONOPOLY: You’re a Monopoly mogul! You have a handful of desirable properties and a steady stream of income from your houses and hotels. Then comes the Chance card: “Make general repairs on your property – for each house pay $25, for each hotel pay $100.”

LESSON: You never know what card you’re going to draw. But unlike Monopoly, the real world has home insurance available to help you prepare for unexpected repairs and disasters. A variety of plans, customizable to any budget, are available. Some homebuyers also opt for warranties covering potential appliance issues after move-in.

5. How to win a bidding war
MONOPOLY: Trading properties keeps Monopoly exciting. And there are no strict rules as to how a seller determines to accept an offer. Sibling rivalry, bribes involving candy or even business sense can play into a player’s decision.

LESSON: Sellers don’t always accept the highest offer. Writing a letter about why you fell in love with their home can sometimes sway their decision in your favor.

6. The importance of strategy
MONOPOLY: Monopoly is a game of strategy, but few players are inclined to study ways to win. What if you had a coach sitting next to you, advising how much to bid for a property, where to look next, and whether or not mortgaging a utility to buy Boardwalk is a smart idea? You would be unstoppable!

LESSON: Buying a home is an infrequent occurrence; for some it happens only once in a lifetime. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have someone on your side who is up-to-speed on laws for your state, knows which neighborhoods would best fit your lifestyle and helps you navigate a bidding war? That’s the value an experienced agent provides.

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

New on the Market - 9832 Dardanelle Court, Las Vegas

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Beautiful remodeled one story home in The Lakes. Vaulted ceilings and an easy, open floorplan. A 3-way gas fireplace is centrally located to three rooms for your enjoyment. The interior has been freshly painted with two-toned paint. New carpet, baseboards, ceiling fans and blinds have also been added.

 

 

The kitchen is beautiful and includes freshly painted cabinets, new granite countertops and new stainless steel appliances. Ample counterspace makes meal preparation easy. The large master suite has vaulted ceilings and a sliding glass door to the spa and patio. The master bath includes a soaking tub and separate shower and double sinks plus new wood laminate floor and a large walk-in closet. Three bedrooms and two full baths.

Freshly painted exterior. The laundry closet includes storage cabinets and the washer and dryer come with the home. Low maintenance desert landscaping with rocks, shrubs and trees on this nicely sized lot. The spacious backyard has a nice pebble patio and the BBQ is included. The hot tub has a new cover and new spa pump. The Lakes Community offers nice amenities for you to enjoy including several parks with waterfalls and ponds, bike paths and walking trails. Close to shopping, dining, parks and Summerlin.

For more information or to see additional photos of the home, click here.

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.

6 Ways to Keep Your Home Flu Free

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Keep your home from serving as a breeding ground for the cold or flu virus with these simple tips.

1. Control your remote
What’s the first thing someone does after calling in sick to work or school? They grab the remote and hunker down with Netflix and some chicken soup. Make sure their germs don’t stick around by disinfecting your remote regularly.

2. Lose the shoes
Flu-causing viruses and bacteria can hitch rides on shoes and the dirt they carry. Ditch your shoes as soon as you walk through the door and slip into some slippers instead.

3. Work that washer
Have kids (or dogs) with lots of plastic and rubber toys? Disinfect them regularly by running them through your dishwasher. It’s a much more efficient way to kill germs than spraying and wiping them down one by one. Consult Google if you’re unsure what’s dishwasher safe.

4. Humidify
Viruses love dry air. Studies show that homes kept at 40-60 percent humidity tend to have fewer flu viruses floating around. Keeping the air in your home at that range can decrease the amount of flu virus in the air by as much as 30 percent. That’s definitely worth the price of a small humidifier.

5. Update your hardware
Copper, aluminum, lead, iron and silver are all antimicrobial – they actually kill bacteria. Brass is the most powerful germ slayer of all. Since doorknobs are a common gathering place for germs, installing brass ones might be a stylish, and effective, strategy for staying flu-free.

6. Replace (or nuke ) your kitchen sponge
That small square holds onto a host of germs. Replace it every week or so, or kill those festering colonies by blasting the sponge in the microwave for two minutes.

Does your current home lack a cozy corner to recover in? It may be time to explore your options. 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

July Home Sales Ignite Momentum for Back Half of 2019

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Following an unseasonal decline in home sales in June, July home sales bounced back ending a nine month climb of year-over-year inventory growth, according to the July 2019 RE/MAX National Housing Report. Low-interest rates appear to have brought more buyers into the mix leading to cautious optimism about the momentum for the remainder of 2019 and a strong finish to the year.

“The housing market has been a bit uneven since the early spring, with each encouraging month seemingly followed by one with lukewarm results. It’s possible the housing market has finally shaken some mud off its boots and can maintain its momentum for the back half of the year,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos.

While lower interest rates help affordability and may entice homebuyers to begin their home search, accelerating price increases dampen options for buyers and may leave sellers hanging onto their properties longer than expected. Home prices have risen, year over year, in 88 of the last 90 months dating back to February 2012. Nevertheless, it’s encouraging that record prices have not hindered a strong summer selling season in July.

Ongoing demand and favorable mortgage rates will be an indicator of progress as we inch closer to year-close. Here are some highlights of the latest data found in the RE/MAX National Housing Report:

  1. Home prices continue to soar.

Despite a 0.7% decrease in Median Sales Price from June 2019, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was up over 9% from July 2018. In fact, five metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages with the largest increases seen in Wichita, KS, Cleveland, OH and Cincinnati, OH.

  1. Inventory Remains Constricted Despite Months of Growth.

The number of homes for sale in July 2019 was down 2.2% from June 2019 and down 1.4% from July 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in July 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.7 compared to 2.9 in June 2019, and decreased compared to 3.3 in July 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.

  1. Home sales snapped back.

A drop in home sales from June to July is typical in the report’s 53 metro areas. But the 0.2% decline from June to July 2019 was by far the smallest month-over-month decline since July 2013. And while June sales failed to top May for only the second time in the report’s 10-year history, July sales set a report record for the month. 

Prospective homebuyers, are you ready to make your move? 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

Ready to Sell? 3 Ways an Agent Helps Get You Started

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

The process of putting your home on the market and finding your next place can be overwhelming. Fortunately, an experienced agent can help you weigh all your options. Here’s where a professional might start:

1. Researching your home’s value
An agent will have the pulse on the current market. Together, you can review how much comparable properties have been selling for and how long they stayed on the market. The agent can provide a realistic idea of what your home is worth, and how fast (or long) it could take to find a buyer.

2. Working with your budget
After you learn what your current home is worth, you’ll be able to hone in on your options for your next one. An agent can give you an idea of what types of properties and which neighborhoods are in your budget. And a good agent who knows the area will also be aware of local housing trends and can advise you when might be a good time to buy.

3. Making your home market-ready
There may be work to do before you put your house on the market. A REALTOR(R) can help you prioritize repairs and also recommend a home inspector for an expert opinion on features like roofs and HVAC.

Ready to explore your options? 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

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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