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Three Tips for Making Small Spaces Work for Your Family

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Small spaces aren’t the traditionally sought–after spaces for growing families, but with more millennial parents choosing to live a minimal lifestyle — families are adapting to life in homes with less square footage. If your family is downsizing by choice, or by necessity, follow the tips below for creating a functional space that can support your growing family.

Channel Your Inner Marie Kondo
It’s time to purge! Take a tip from tiny home enthusiasts who have chosen to live a simpler life — downsizing means committing to decluttering. Re–gift, donate and sell unwanted items. Eliminate multiples and only keep items that spark joy — and have your kids help.

Every Item Has a Home, Every Space a Purpose
Being thoughtful about what items stay in your family’s space is just as important as figuring out where to store it. Families without the space for a designated playroom may want to consider where toys will be tucked away. Try rotating toys to save space, while helping kids get the most out of playtime.

Go Vertical
Some may say that floor space is the most valued space in a smaller home — but vertical is the way to go! Bookcases, coat racks and shoe trees are all great options for tiny spaces.

Looking for a new home for your family? Contact me today and let's get started finding the right home for you. 

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. 

Reprinted courtesy of Remax Blog

Could the Year of the Pig Prove Lucky for Real Estate?

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

As the Chinese New Year ushers in 2019 as the Year of the Pig, there are strong signs that point to this year as a time of good fortune and blessings. Could you put it to work for you in real estate? The 12th symbol of the Chinese zodiac calendar, the pig is said to be a symbol of wealth, and Chinese astrologists suggest that 2019 may be a great year to invest and possibly make some money. For those born in the Year of the Pig — 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007 and 2019 — this is your year! But even if you weren’t born in the Year of the Pig, you can still put all those positive characteristics to work for you when it comes to buying or selling a home.

OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK
It is difficult to find another zodiac sign with as much optimism and positivity as the pig. Even with slowing home sales, economic growth remains solid and the Federal Reserve is holding off on any interest rate increases – making 2019 very inviting to first-time homebuyers, downsizers or current homeowners searching for an upgrade. Pigs are known to attract success — so set those priorities and get to work!

SEIZE OPPORTUNITY
It is said that those born in the Year of the Pig will have good luck in investment; now may be the time to pounce on a property while everyone else is stuck on pause. Inventory is bouncing back and more homes are within an affordable reach. Get to work now, rather than waiting until late March when the selling season typically kicks off, and you might just give yourself an edge.

PRACTICE PATIENCE
Additional positives for the pig: patience and tolerance. Searching for a new house or putting up a beloved home for sale requires calm and endurance. Stay the course.

SYMBOLS OF LUCK
Add a little luck to the mix by embracing feng shui in the Year of the Pig. Take note of the lucky numbers of the pig year: 4, 6 and 8. Insert a lucky pig color into your home staging – choose from yellow, gray, brown and golden. Look for homes that are facing the lucky directions, set your sights on southeast and northwest.

Think you’re ready to hit the housing market? Contact me today so we can get started making the year of the pig your lucky year. 

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. 

Reprinted courtesy of Remax Blog

Tidying Up Tips Hit the Housing Market

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

By Melissa Reeves

Admit it — over the holiday break you found yourself binge watching the hit show with superstar organizing consultant Marie Kondo and quickly realized your place is not sparking much joy. Never fear! The KonMari Method is here and the tidying-up trend can give sellers and buyers the gentle nudge needed to organize their personal spaces or clean up their financial houses before showings or placing a bid.

WE HAVE LIFT OFF!
The theme behind the hip, tidying trend is that by making changes in our living space we create a catalyst for change and give ourselves the momentum we need to take charge in other areas of life. A nicely organized and de-cluttered home shows well and knowing your financial story before hunting for a new home sets you up for success.

SPARK TIME SAVINGS
Just like the KonMari method can help organize your home, buyers are encouraged to tidy up their credit to save time too. Buyers who know their credit score, debt to income ratio and come with pre-approved home loans are saving time and headaches in the house hunting process which can mean the difference between deal or no deal. By building a strong financial foundation before you shop, your bid on the house of your dreams will have time on its side.

SHOW STOPPERS
For sellers, once your belongings are scaled back, you can reclaim some of that time you wasted on running around, cleaning up before a scheduled showing. Many sellers say the ultra-approach to simplifying has changed their lives and it helps them with the quick-clean when they are showing their homes to prospective buyers. By staying on top of the little things, like that big stack of papers, mail and books piling up on the dining room table – it’s easier to give your space a quick-clean before a last-minute showing.

SENSE OF SATISFACTION
The tidying-up method can make our brains happy and leave us with a sense of accomplishment. Order matters in avoiding debt and financial stress too. Earn, save and enjoy is key in tackling those finances. Concentrate on being proactive with your finances and stay financially responsible as you try to qualify for a home loan. Having your financial house in order feels as good as organizing that messy hallway closet.

SHOW YOUR BEST SIDE 
If you have your home on the market, simplifying a space can help you sell. Agents often tell sellers with big kitchens to clean out the useless items and create that extra space – this allows buyers to get a feel for the space and imagine where their own kitchen appliances would be placed or stored.

DECREASE FRUSTRATION
Buying or selling a home is hard, but the simple task of organizing can cut through the daily hassles of life. A well-organized home and a firm understanding of your finances can have wide-reaching effects on our mood, happiness and even relationships during the homebuying or selling period.

Whether you are selling your home or not, almost all of us can use a little more organization. 

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. 

Reprinted courtesy of Remax Blog

Tech Tools to Empower the Average Buyer

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

By Lexi Rhein

The 21st century homebuyer is powerful. They’re well equipped, informed and ready to fight for their dream homes. Still, with all the tech tools the buyer has at hand – nothing beats having an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent in your homebuying corner. We rank the ways today’s buyer can better prepare to partner with the right agent.

The More You Know 
21st century homebuyers are the most tech-savvy, market-aware buyers yet. With all the apps, tech and real estate tools available, homebuyers have done their homework. While much more knowledgeable, buyers may be overwhelmed by all the new tech tools coming at them – an experienced agent can cut through the clutter to focus on what the buyer wants most. A well-informed homebuyer can easily describe their must-haves to an agent to make the homebuying process easier.

Setting Expectations
Come on, it’s 2019 – gone are the days of status quo. Buyers in today’s real estate marketplace expect the best and are willing to test drive more than one agent to find the perfect fit. Many buyers walk in the door armed with extensive research on neighborhoods, the number of bathrooms they want and how many cars should fit in their new garages. As a buyer, it’s great to be armed with data, but make sure you find an agent that understands your vision and goals of the house hunt.

Asking for More
Homebuyers expect more from an agent in today’s marketplace as they look for a return on their time, energy and money. Many agents showcase their individual talents from experience, niche expertise, negotiation skills and other valuable personal assets that can help you find the right agent for you.

Even armed with up-to-date real estate knowledge – homebuyers still need an agent who can swoop in to assist, navigate and offer valuable insight to the homebuying process. Winston Realty Group is here to take care of that for you. While you will always be involved in your home search, we can lead you in the direction you want to go and make sure you stay on track. 

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. 

Reprinted courtesy of Remax Blog

Mid-Winter Landscaping Tips

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Get Your Lawn & Garden Equipment in Shape Early

It never hurts to get a head start on getting your tools and equipment ready to go. With plenty of time still to spare before things really begin to start growing, now is a good time to get your mower and other gasoline or electric equipment into your local service center before the spring rush starts and turn-around times are much longer.

  • Have your mover and edger blades professionally sharpened.  You'll use less fuel and your finished results will look much better as well.
  • Closely inspect your hand tools such as rakes, shovels, shears and pruning equipment for loose or missing parts.  Make sure the handles are clean and still securely fastened. Put a few drops of WD-40 on all the moving parts as well,

​​Trimming Your Trees, Shrubs and Perennials

Weather permitting of course, the 'dormant months' are ideal for pruning and trimming perennial plants as well as the vast majority of your shrubs and hedges.

If you're thinking about pruning your trees, now is also a great time to prune both evergreens as well as your deciduous trees.  To properly prune your trees you generally just want to cut back only the dead branches and/or any branches that are hanging so low that you have to duck to walk under them when mowing the lawn.

If you're thinking about actually removing any trees or branches requiring anything taller than a step-ladder to reach you might want to consider hiring a professional tree service.

Remember - both light winter snows as well as late winter freezing rains can turn even live limbs, not to mention dead ones, into falling hazards when you least expect it.

Walkways, Patios, Decks & Driveways - The 'Freeze-Thaw' Cycle

Just like your trees and plants, these outdoor surfaces often require special care to weather the cold, winter months.

Walkways, patios, wood decks and driveways can really take a beating in cold weather, especially year-over-year.  The repetitive 'freeze-thaw' cycle over time can cause concrete patios, exterior brickwork and even your driveway pavement to expand and contract.  This damaging cycle can cause at best just uneven surfaces, but at worst, major cracks that are not only dangerous, but only tend to get worse if left untreated.

Anywhere there's a 'joint' or 'seam' in between two surfaces, or, where water can get underneath a surface, this process can cause extensive damage. Repairs can easily run into the thousands of dollars if not taken care of quickly.

Keeping these areas free of standing water buildup as well as debris such as dead leaves or limbs during the winter months will help reduce the chances of damage. If you notice water or ice accumulation take steps now to provide proper drainage.

This can be as simple as a small gravel drainage channel next to a walkway or re-routing a rain gutter onto steps or flagstones.

If you are ready to sell your home or buy a new one, contact me today. 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 courtesy of skitterphoto/pixabay.com 

Millennial Monopoly: 4 Real Estate Trends in 2019

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

By Kayla Roofe

What’s behind the rise in homeownership? Growing interest from millennials. Here are the 2019 millennial real estate trends you need to know about this year.

Empowered with Knowledge 
First-time, homebuying millennials are much more informed when it comes to renovations, repairs and real estate process than other generations. Growing up during the development of the internet has made them very tech and research savvy and able to find ways to access important information such as listings, neighborhood reports, HGTV home renovation videos and other types of industry information on their own. In 2019, they will rely on real estate agents to share information that they can’t find online such as neighborhood developments, local market forecasts, local housing regulations and more.

Buying homes – despite rising rates
Millennials continue to make up the largest segment of buyers, accounting for 45 percent of mortgages, compared to 17 percent of baby boomers and 37 percent of Generation Xers. While first-time buyers will struggle, older millennial move-up buyers will have more options in the mid-to upper-tier price point and will make up most of the millennials who close in 2019. As their housing needs adjust over time, millennials are on track to make up the largest share of homebuyers for the next decade.

Sweat Equity
Many millennials grew up watching renovations and makeovers on HGTV, which means many of them are ready to invest sweat equity in their new home. Millennial homebuyers, overall, are more aware of the costs, work and implications of renovations than the previous generations. This is good news as interest rates rise and buyers should be prepared to settle for homes in need of TLC.

New Buying Strategies
Social media continues to impact millennial homebuying habits. They rely on online reviews to make purchasing decisions, and a strong online reputation for real estate professionals is a must in catering to this market. In fact, a recent study showed that millennials would prefer to buy a house from a real estate agent influencer over a traditional real estate agent. Showcasing a home on social media, especially on visual-heavy platforms like Instagram, is essential for appealing to millennial buyers.

If you are ready to sell your home or buy a new one, contact me today. 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 courtesy of mohamed_hassan/pixabay.com. Reprinted from remax.com 

5 Reasons to Get Dirty Indoors

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie
By Kristina Phelan

Baby, it’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your green thumb ’til spring. Bring the outside beauty of nature indoors this winter with an indoor garden space – it adds natural beauty to a home or supplies edible herbs to spice up those winter meals. We found five positives to planting a winter garden:

  1. Breathe Easy

Do you smell that? It’s clean air! Plants absorb carbon dioxide and in return provide clean oxygen to help purify the air in your home. Although the exchange of carbon dioxide to oxygen is small, every little bit helps when you’re trying to keep a healthy home during flu and cold season.

  1. Fresh Food

Growing fresh herbs is one of the best reasons to start planting indoors. Pluck fresh herbs to add a little texture and taste to your dinners. Bonus-growing your own herbs cuts one more item from the grocery list.

  1. Stress Less

Studies show that indoor plants help to decrease stress levels within the home. Place plants in visible spots throughout your home to help reduce stress and create a sense of natural peace.

  1. Let Them Learn

Starting an indoor garden is great for beginner gardeners who want to start small before graduating to bigger outdoor areas and cultivating indoor plants is a great way to educate others about life and how plants grow. Children love to get their hands dirty and you can lead them through the different stages of the plant growing from seed to maturity. Don’t be surprised when visitors ask about your plants as well!

  1. Low Maintenance & Cost

It’s not only economical to grow indoors, but a little elbow grease goes a long way when it comes to cultivating inside. You won’t be spending hours digging in the dirt or pulling weeds and all you need for success is a container, potting soil and seeds. Add some water and sit in a sunny spot and you’ll be an indoor gardener in no time!

Looking for a home this winter season that has great sunlight for your indoor garden? Let me help you find a home where you and your plants can flourish. 

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 courtesy of riala/pixabay.com. Blog reprinted from remax.com 

A Successful Move Is All in the Details

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

By Jessica Thiefels

If you’re about to leap into the exciting, yet hectic, process of moving into a new home, you’re not alone. Nearly 35.5 million Americans move each year, according to data from Move.org. With so much to think about, from organizing and packing to lifting and moving heavy boxes, it’s easy to forget the little things that can make your life a little easier during a move. We’ve considered all the small details you may have overlooked – tips to make any move smoother and stress free.

Unplug Carefully
Don’t just pull the plug on expensive electronics and toss them in a box – a little planning will help you protect expensive gadgets, like TVs, laptops and stereo systems. Think before dismounting that big, flat-screen TV by yourself. Follow this step-by-step TV dismounting guide to make sure nothing is damaged. Place all user manuals in a folder so they don’t get lost in the shuffle, but don’t panic if you’ve misplaced them because you can usually find manuals on manufacturers’ websites. Consider a professional mover for your more delicate electronics. Atlas Van Lines suggests using a qualified professional to uninstall any wall-mounted AV equipment and to call in advance to schedule an appointment so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.

Food for Thought
Don’t forget about dinner – you still need to eat during a move. Packing up the kitchen is usually the last, most challenging part of the moving process, but if you make plans you won’t go hungry.

  • Donate: Think about donating canned or unopened food to your local food bank. This leaves one less thing to pack and supports your community.
  • Meal Plan: Use the foods still left in your fridge and freezer for meal planning. Take inventory of the foods you have available leading up to the big day. Home Cooking Memories has some tasty ideas.
  • Label and Organize: Don’t pack up those cooking utensils just yet. Label your moving boxes to easily access the kitchen gadgets you still need to whip up a quick dinner. Consider the packing order of appliances you won’t need, like the blender, and place everyday items, like spatulas, on top for easy access.

The Essentials
You’ve unloaded the last box and you’re ready to shower, eat and relax – only to remember that your toiletries are buried in a dozen boxes, spread across the house. Avoid this all-too-common mistake by packing one or two “essentials boxes” that contain extra clothing, towels, toiletries, medications, bedding and phone chargers that will last up to three or four days.

Know Your Limits
It may be tempting to save money by doing the moving yourself, but don’t get in over your head. Know your limits, suggests OZ Moving and Storage, “If you’re not sure if you can accomplish some part of your move without professional help, don’t try. We were called up once by a trio of college students who had gotten their couch stuck in a staircase. Getting in over your head and having to call emergency help is not ideal.” Get quotes from a few moving companies to determine what needs to be moved or packed by a professional.

A successful move is all in the details – but, with a plan in place you won’t forget the small stuff. Keep calm and call me to help make your next move.

Reprinted from remax.com

Is Your Home Smarter Than You?

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

By Jason Lindaman

How smart is your home? In 2019, it’s possible your house is smarter than you. Designed to provide energy efficiency, security and comfort conveniences, the smart home can do it all on command. Control lighting, heating, cooling, appliances, televisions, computers and other security features with smart technology that communicates with each other and can be remotely controlled via a smart phone or online. Internet connectivity and cloud storage makes all this smart home technology possible by bringing convenience and electronic intelligence right to your fingertips. If you’re technically-challenged, don’t worry – we suggest starting small to go big with technology with three easy technologies to make your home smarter this year.

  1. Set Smart Temperatures
    Most thermostats only read the temperature in one area (usually the hallway) which can make other rooms too hot or too cold. Technology like ecobee4 or Nest comes with room sensors to help manage hot or cold spots. When sensors are placed in the most popular rooms, the smart gadget can read the temperature, detect occupancy and adjust the temperature so it’s just right.
  2. Sensing Leaks
    Smart leak detection sensors monitor your home’s plumbing with the purpose of discovering leaks and malfunctions. They can assist you in preventing water damage and the growth of mold and mildew inside a wall due to a slow leak.
  3. Open and Shut
    If you have ever left home for the day or, even worse, been on vacation and suddenly you’re unsure if you left the garage door open – a smart garage door opener offers convenience, improved home security and peace of mind. Check the open or closed status of your garage door via an app on your smartphone as well as open it or close it remotely – in other words, it’s possible to be on the other side of the Earth and still control your garage door.

Working with the right real estate agent who has the knowledge of the latest gadgets and amenities available in your area can make all the difference. I work hard for my clients to provide you the exact service you are looking for. 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. 

Fireplace Safety and Maintenance

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Ongoing & Preventative Maintenance

Wood Burning Fireplaces

Most of the following may sound like common sense, but it never hurts to have a checklist to run through each year just to make sure everything is in good, working order.

  • Have the chimney inspected by a certified inspector each year. Not all states have licensing requirements, but two 'certifications' that you can look for are "NFI Certified" and "CSIA Certified" when choosing an inspector or servicing company.
  • "How often should I have my chimney swept?"  That depends on how often you use it and what types of fuel you're burning. This is a great question and can be most accurately answered after having your chimney inspected. Click Here to read more about this very important issue.
     
  • Make sure that the chimney cap on top of the fireplace is secure and that there aren't any holes in the wire mesh. This mesh serves as a "spark arrestor" which prevents sparks or burning embers from reaching your or your neighbor's roof.
  • Confirm that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are the closest to the fireplace are in good, working condition. 
  • Closely inspect the bottom and sides of the firebox for any cracks in the mortar between firebricks on in the concrete if it's a smooth concrete floor. Special "fire rated" mortar, or "refractory grade" concrete is required for any repairs done inside the firebox.

Gas Burning Fireplaces

While simpler and cleaner than wood burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces have issues all of their own. It is highly recommended that you use only a licensed plumber in your state to make any actual repairs to your gas fireplace's supply system.

Below are a few items that would normally be inspected on a gas fireplace by a certified technician:

 

  • Adjust the millivolt output.
  • Clean and adjust the logs and/or embers.
  • Clean the fan and air circulation passages.
  • Clean any glass doors or panels.
  • Check the batteries in the carbon dioxide detector.
  • Ensure that the exhaust vents are unobstructed.
     

If you are going to use a fireplace, it is important that you take the time to properly maintain it. It can make a difference in your safety. 

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 courtesy of AndyG/pixabay.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 74

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Contact Information

Photo of RE/MAX Excellence Realty Real Estate
RE/MAX Excellence Realty
Heidi and Michael Winston
4435 South Buffalo
Las Vegas NV 89147
Heidi: 702-277-6599
Michael: 702-219-8692
Fax: 702-974-2288