5 Tips from the Pros to Expertly Organize Your Home

5 Tips from the Pros to Expertly Organize Your Home

How much would you pay to have a truly organized home? Whether you are deciding to stay in your home and simply want to enjoy it, or you are selling your home and have gotten good advice on how to sell your home, organizing is not as difficult as it may seem. Read on to get five tips from the pros. If you don’t have the room to properly organizing, consider buying a home that will better fit your needs.

  1. Have a Plan Before You Get Started
  2. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to just dive in without a plan. They get halfway through and feel overwhelmed. This is why the professionals recommend that everyone knows how they want to use the space, has an idea of what they need to get the organization done, and has all tools and resources on hand.

  3. Use Hooks
  4. You do not need to have custom shelves installed to organize your home. There are many other solutions that look great – such as adding a few great hooks. They can be great for organizing blow dryers and curling irons in the bathroom, cords and chargers in the home office, brooms and towels in the kitchen, and backpacks and purses in the bedroom.

  5. Use Your Simplest Math Skills
  6. Don’t get worried – this really is simple math. It is called the subtraction method and it helps to remove things you are not using. Your goal when you start is to remove as many things as possible. For example, if you are beginning with the dining room, take anything that does not belong in there and put it in a box. When you have done all the rooms you can go back to the box and you will likely find that either those items now have an obvious place to live or you do not need them after all.

  7. Have Drop Zones
  8. When we say drop zone we are referring to a specific place for each family member to drop off their stuff. For example, you can have a table outside in the garage for one child, a table in the kitchen for your spouse, etc. When your child comes in from their sports team, they can drop off their backpack and sports gear. When your spouse gets home and comes into the kitchen, they can put their keys and such on their table.

  9. Remove Distractions
  10. The unfortunate truth is that in today’s world, there is a seemingly endless stream of distractions that come for everyone. From phone calls to texts to social media updates, from children who need a snack to pets who need to be walked, you can find plenty of distractions to keep you from getting the organizing done. Set a specific time when you can turn off all distractions and get the job done.

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Are You Considering a Cross Country Move? Make Sure You Follow These 5 Essential Tips

Are You Considering a Cross Country Move? Make Sure You Follow These 5 Essential Tips

What’s harder than moving to a new home? Moving to a new home across the country. If you are considering making this significant change then we recommend you keep reading to get a few tips. If you are planning to buy a home in Southern California, let Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties help you from afar. Just call us at 310-373-0021 to get started.

  1. Be Smart About Your Move-Out Date
  2. Timing is essential when you are planning a big move. It is most expensive to move during a holiday, on a weekend, or at the end of a month. If you can move on a weekday you are likely to find more availability and a better price. Generally speaking, May through September are the busiest months to move though this can vary based on the location.

  3. Reduce the Amount of Belongings You Are Planning to Take with You
  4. Before moving cross country, go through your old bins of clothes, movies you don’t watch now that streaming is so easy and common, your drunk drawer, and your kids’ old toys. If you do not use something then get rid of it, whether you give it to a friend, donate it to a second hand store, or throw it away. Do not take things cross country that you are not going to use.

  5. Sell Anything That Has Value
  6. If you have items that have value, try selling them through a moving sale, online, or at local consignment shops. This not only helps you reduce what you must move with you across the country but it can help you get a little extra money for the move.

  7. Plan Your Meals if You Are Driving
  8. If you’re going to be moving cross country, one of the worst mistakes you can make is to pull over for quick fast food every time you get hungry. Not only will this waste money but it can also lead to you feeling tired and fatigued sooner than you otherwise would. Instead, pack a picnic lunch and use the time to get out, stretch your legs, and stay comfortable.

  9. Let the Professionals Handle Your Move
  10. Will it cost more to hire a professional moving company to move your belongings from one side of the country to another? Yes – but not as much as you might think. The truth is that renting a truck can be nearly the price of having someone else handle the move for you. When you hire movers, make sure that your items are insured so that if something happens you are covered.

Just as you should work with professional movers, you should work with an experienced real estate agent who can help you find the best home for your needs. You have found that in Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Contact us now at 310-373-0021 and we will get started working for you right away.

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Do Not Buy a Historic Home Without First Reading This

Do Not Buy a Historic Home Without First Reading This

There are all types of buyers out there, from people who want brand-new, super-modern homes to those who are interested in nothing but historic homes. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we can find both of these folks buy an incredible home but we also work to ensure they know what they are getting into. That’s why we have created this handy guide to buy a historic home.

Do we recommend that our clients steer clear of historic home? No! But we do want to make sure that if you are going to make this investment, you know about the challenges that will come with it. All homes can potentially challenge their owners and it is our job to ensure that our clients have a great idea of the homes available to them and the long-term commitment they are making.

There May Be Restrictions if the Entire Neighborhood is Historic

If you are considering a move not only into an historic home but into an historic neighborhood, make sure that you are aware of any restrictions within said neighborhood. Restrictions may have been set by zoning and planning commissions that affect how you can renovate or alter the home – especially its façade. Any repairs or changes may require the need to be approved from a local organization.

In some landmark districts, the city has a lot of control. This can make renovations take longer, cost more, and best less personal. If you are moving into a move-in-ready, recently restored home this may be fine. If you are planning on doing moderate to significant rehab then you should be sure you know what your options are before you buy the home.

Finding Replacement Parts Can Be Expensive and Impossible

Depending on how old the home in question is, and what style it is, you may have a very difficult time if you need to replace wainscoting, crown molding, picture rails, etc. In some cases, this may not be possible at all. Even if you do find them with a salvage company, the price can be very high.

You Could Need to Make Significant Repairs

If you fall in love with a historic home and you want to take on the expense and time of making repairs and turning it into your home then this could be a very satisfying project. At the same time, you should know how extensive those repairs may be. For example, if you think you can simply update the plumbing in the bathroom to install a stand alone tub, you may be surprised to learn what other tasks are required.

We strongly recommend that you get a thorough inspection of any home you are going to buy – especially an historic home. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we are standing by to help you find the exact home that will make your dreams come true.

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Learn How to Avoid Three of the Most Common Moving Disasters

Learn How to Avoid Three of the Most Common Moving Disasters

Finding your dream home is an exhilarating experience and can lead to feelings of excitement and joy. Unfortunately, those feelings are often quickly followed by dread about the moving process. Moving is never fun but there are a few things you can do to avoid three of the most common moving disasters. Read all about them and then, if you need help buying or selling a home, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties for help.

  1. Working with Bad Movers
  2. There are many ways in which a mover can create a disaster on moving day. They could be late, they could not show up, they could be careless with your belongings, or they could be inexperienced and not know how to properly pack and protect your things. The worst possible scenario is that they would be scammers and hold your belongings hostage until you paid additional money.

    There is good news though: A little research can help you find respected movers in your area. Choose a company that is licensed and has experienced workers. You can also buy moving insurance so that you are covered if something does happen.

  3. Issues with Traffic or Accidents
  4. Traffic jams or accidents can slow down the movers. If they are forced to sit in traffic, you may be responsible for paying for that time, depending on whether you have a flat fee or an hourly fee. The truck itself could break down, which could result in yet another delay. Not only will a new vehicle have to be sent to replace it, but your belongings will need to be moved from one truck to another. Finally, you could end up with issues if there is nowhere for the truck to park.

    While you cannot prevent traffic or the truck breaking down, you can work with an experienced moving company that knows how to deal with these and other issues. They will be more likely to have well-maintained trucks and informed drivers who know alternate routes around town. You can prevent the parking issue by reserving a place in front of both your new home and the home you are moving from.

  5. A Lack of Organization
  6. There is no way around it: A successful move requires organization. If you do not take time to organize you could end up dealing with packing chaos, items that won’t fit in the truck, furniture that doesn’t fit through doors, spending more than you expected, issues with paperwork, and even safety issues. Talk to your movers to find out what they recommend you do in advance of your moving.

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we have years of experience working with clients moving to and from homes. We can also add a few additional moving tips when you work with us by calling 310-373-0021.

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Buying a Home with a Small Kitchen? Learn How to Make the Most of the Space

Buying a Home with a Small Kitchen? Learn How to Make the Most of the Space

It is rare for a person to find a home that is perfect in every possible way. The key is to know what your must-haves are. If you would like to have a large kitchen but it’s not a must-have, then you may decide that a home with a smaller kitchen is still the right one to buy. In that case, consider the following ideas to help the small kitchen on your new house look and feel bigger.

Create Room

There are likely areas in your kitchen that can literally create room for you. For example, buy a cover that goes over the sink so you have extra room for chopping. Do a similar thing to cover the burners on your stove to transform them into a workspace. Installing a fold-up table into the wall to pull down when space is needed. Look at any space that is not utilized or is not always utilized and see if you can find a way to make it more useful.

Make Use of Vertical Space

It is likely that are vertical spaces that are not being utilized. Is there a wall above your stove? It may be the best place to hang a pegboard from which you can hang pots and pans. Small spaces under cabinets or above sinks can be outfitted with magnetic strips that hold knives or spices. Don’t forget that you can also use the space on your refrigerator for chalkboards, hooks, and much more.

Use Small Bookcases

Adding a few small bookcases to your kitchen can be very useful. They are narrow, come in many different heights, and provide great storage options. Of course you can use them to store cookbooks, but you can also use them for storing pots and pans, food items, storage containers, dry goods, baskets – the list goes on. Then add hooks to the side for storing aprons and similar lightweight kitchen goods.

Upgrade Your Lighting

It can be very hard to get lighting levels in kitchens right. You may have lighting fixtures that are outdated, which can be upgraded just by cleaning off the bulbs and adding new covers. If you do not have enough light on your prep space and workspace, add lighting under the cabinets with adhesives.

If you have tract lighting or other lighting that allows you to direct it, make sure it is pointing to the “kitchen triangle.” This means the well-worn path from the stove to the fridge to the sink. If you do not have enough lighting, add some.

These are just some tips to help you better enjoy a home that has a small kitchen. If a larger kitchen is a must-have, then you will appreciate the tenacity of the professionals at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties who will work tirelessly to find you your dream home. Call us now at 310-373-0021 and let’s get started.

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Complete These 3 Tasks Before Listing Your Home for Sale

Complete These 3 Tasks Before Listing Your Home for Sale

Deciding to list your home for sale is a big decision to make. You will need to decide when to do so, which real estate professional to work with, and how to get your home ready. When you choose to work with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, we can help by offering some detailed tips on how to get your home ready for sale. For example, the following three tasks should be completed before you list your home.

  1. Clean and Declutter Your Home
  2. First and foremost, you need to clean and declutter. Start by getting rod of clutter. This is the perfect time to get rid of everything you don’t need. You can make piles to pack, piles to keep, and piles to donate or throw away. If you have a large metal item, contact a local recycler or scrapper to see if they want it.

    Once you have gotten out as much as you can, give your home a deep clean. Get everyone involved. Make sure you give extra attention to your bathrooms and kitchen, and clean both the inside and outside of your windows. Remember that people touring your home may open cabinets or closest, so resist the urge to hide things away. In fact, try to make every area of your home as organized as possible.

  3. Make Small Repairs
  4. Some people who want to sell their home will invest significantly if they believe they can get more back in equity than they spent on the upgrades. Even if you do not want to make major changes, it is likely that there are small repairs you can make that would make a big difference.

    For example, before you start showing your house you should fix any leaking faucets, fix running toilets, check your lightbulbs and replace any that are burnt out, replace old caulk around showers, sinks, and tubs, freshen up grout if needed, repaint walls to a neutral color, and fix any cracked or broken windows.

  5. Focus on Curb Appeal
  6. You want potential buyers to fall in love with your entire home but that all starts with their first impression. The goal is for them to drive up to your home and instantly be impressed. Get the exterior of your home ready by trimming bushes, trees, and shrubs. Ideally, you will want to ensure that vegetation doesn’t touch your roof or your home’s siding. Clean out and repair downspouts and gutters if necessary.

If necessary, add new mulch. Clean up any concrete areas and get rid of weeds that are coming up through the cracks. Put out pots of flowers and otherwise make your home’s exterior more inviting. Before you know it, you’ll have buyers begging to view your home.

If you need help listing your home, or buying a new home, be sure to reach out to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 to speak to an experienced real estate professional.

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Focus on These Simple Curb Appeal Boosting Projects When Selling Your Home

Focus on These Simple Curb Appeal Boosting Projects When Selling Your Home

There are a lot of things to focus on when selling your home. Whether you’ve already bought the perfect home or you are still working on buying a home, you’ll also be worrying about how to sell your home for the best price in the shortest time possible. By focusing on the following simple tasks that can improve curb appeal, you could be making a huge difference.

Start by Cleaning Up

The simplest and easiest way to make a dramatic improvement in your home’s curb appeal is to take a weekend and clean up the exterior of your home. This should include things like trimming your bushes, sweeping, mowing your lawn, cleaning the driveway and sidewalk, washing the windows, and otherwise tidy up the exterior of your home.

Install Shutters

Think about what makes your home unique or special. For example, if you have custom windows, install shutters to accentuate them. The same trick can be used if you want to showoff large windows, or if you want to add visual interest on the exterior of a home that is otherwise somewhat bland. We generally recommend choosing a color for your shutters that will pop against the color of your home.

Paint Accent Areas

There is no better way to instantly boost curb appear than with a fresh coat of paint. Of course, you don’t want to paint your entire home but by focusing on one or two essential areas, you can make a big difference. This might be the trim, the door, or the shutters. Find a gallon of paint for $20 – $30 grab a few paintbrushes, and you will be ready to get started.

Add New House Numbers

There are a few reasons that adding new house numbers is a good idea. First, it is a great way to make a house feel homier. Second, you want to make sure that potential buyers can easily find your home. You can find metal hose numbers for as little as a few dollars each. Just paint them, hang them, and enjoy the look. There are also many alternative ways to display house numbers, such as painting them on terra cotta planters, or on a front porch stair riser.

Contact an Experienced Real Estate Professional Today

There is no time to waste – if you need to sell your home then you need to talk to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Through our unique resources like Sellers Advantage and home value reports, we can make each step of the process easier than you can imagine. Call us now at 310-373-0021 and we will be delighted to get to work for you.

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The 7 Steps Involved in Selling a Home in Southern California

The 7 Steps Involved in Selling a Home in Southern California

Who ever said selling a home would be easy? We do! At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we can make the process as smooth and simple as possible. That said, if you are thinking of selling your home yourself, then you should be prepared to handle the following seven steps on your own.

  1. Clean Your Home. When a potential buyer comes into your home, you need to make a good first impression. If they see a dirty home, they are going to assume that you have not taken care of the home and may make a lower offer or be less interested.
  2. Have your home preinspected. This is not a must, but many sellers get a pre-inspection so that they will have no surprises later on when the inspection is completed by the buyer’s agent.
  3. Make minor repairs and touch-ups. How significantly you want to repair and touch up your home will vary based on whether your home is in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market.
  4. Get an appraisal. Once again, this is not required but it can be very helpful in deciding on a listing price and showing potential buyers what the home is worth.
  5. Staging the home. If you are still living in the home then staging may consist of decluttering and getting rid of family photos and other personal effects. If you have moved out, then it is likely you will want to hire a professional stager to better showcase your home.
  6. Price your home. If you decided to get an appraisal then you likely have a price in mind. At this point, you can count on Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties to offer a wide range of tools and resources to help you competitively list your home.
  7. Market your home. If you do this on your own, it can bet expensive. There are many reasons to work with a Realtor, including the fact that we handle the marketing. If you are selling on your own, hire a professional photographer to get photos of your home and perhaps a video walk through. Put up a sign to show that your home is for sale and list it in local real estate listing guides.

Do these seven steps seem overwhelming? Do you want to find the best way to reduce the amount of work you have to do while also maximizing the asking price you can expect? Then you want to work with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. To find out more about the many ways in which we can help sell your home, contact us at 310-373-0021 now.

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Should You Renovate Before Selling Your Home? Consider the Cost of Doing So

Should You Renovate Before Selling Your Home? Consider the Cost of Doing So

If you are considering selling your home then you may have wondered if it’s a good idea to renovate your home. The answer is not as simple as yes or no – it depends on numerous factors. One of those factors is the cost. Keep reading to find out about various renovations, some minor and some major, and then contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 for tips on selling your home.

Painting a Room

Depending on the size of the room, it will cost around $200 to $400 to paint a room and will take an average of one day. A good option is to update your walls to a neutral color. While white is an ever-popular choice, a warm gray can help add personality while still allowing buyers to imagine themselves living in the home.

If you decide to hire a painter instead of doing it yourself, then you are better off painting more than one room. Why? Because you’ll get a better value. You will end up paying more for more of their time, but the cost of getting them to your home and set up is the majority if the cost. Adding another room or two is comparatively inexpensive.

Installing Crown Molding

This project will take a few days and cost between $300 and $500 per room. It may seem like a small item but it can make a big difference and lead to a better sales price. Generally made from wood, crown molding is added to the top edges of door frames, walls, and cabinets. It adds a class, elegant, and vintage look to a room. The project involves painting, prepping, and installation. This is also an option for covering up problem areas on walls, around windows, or around doors.

Remodeling the Bathroom

This is a major renovation that will cost at least $35,000 and can cost as much as $65,000 or more. It will take anywhere from three weeks to three months, depending largely on inspections. This is obviously a much larger financial investment but it can be a deciding factor for a buyer. Today’s homeowners simply don’t want tiny bathrooms. They want natural light, a soaking tub, and his and hers sinks. If you want to go all out, you can add luxurious touches like heated floors or a spa bathtub.

Are Any of These Renovations Wise for Your Home?

If your neighborhood is in a seller’s market and your home is in good shape then you likely don’t need to make any renovations to get buyers interested. However, if you live in an area in which homes sit on the market for months and months, then investing in a renovation could be what gets your home sold before everyone else. Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 to learn more about your options and to get your home listed.

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Learn How to Create the Illusion of More Room When Selling a Small Home

Learn How to Create the Illusion of More Room When Selling a Small Home

It can be a hard sell to get a potential buyer to get interested in a home but there are ways to do it. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties we will offer you personalized tips for sellers that will help you get your home moved as quickly as possible. Today we will cover a few tricks that can help your space look larger. When you’re ready, contact us at 310-373-0021 to find out more about listing your home.

Get Rid of Furniture

The simplest way to make an instant difference is to get rid of some of your furniture. The items that stay should be rearranged. If possible, create walkways through the space. For example, don’t leave a couch in an area that blocks foot traffic. This makes a room look and feel smaller.

Upgrade Appliances to Steel Surfaces

If your stove is white or, worse, black, then it is making your kitchen look smaller. Ideally you would replace those appliances with stainless steel so that it will give off a bright color that subtly reflects light. However, you may not want to invest in new appliances just to sell your home. In that case, they make very high quality stainless steel covers you can adhere to the surface of your fridge and stove.

Paint All the Walls White

If you have colorful walls then your home looks smaller than it is. A warm white helps to make rooms look bigger. If you have a lot of dark wood in a room, consider painting that white as well. Remember that though you may like more personality in your wall colors, potential buyers are looking for somewhere that reflects their needs. Neutral colors like white make it easier for them to picture changes they could make to create the home of their dreams.

Focus on Lighting

If you have a dark room then it looks smaller than it is. If you have a kitchen with just a few lights, remove them and replace them with recessed lighting. For living rooms, add lighting that comes from numerous directions – lamps on the floor that light up the ceiling, lamps on tables, and lamps overhead. The more light you have, the bigger a room will look.

Create a Bonus Room

If your home is small, then showing buyers that they have a “bonus room” could help them live with the smaller space. For example, if you have basement, create a room down there. If you have a garage, turn it into an office. If you have a large cubby closet, take out the shelves and make it a small room.

These are just a few tips to make your home more appealing to buyers. If you are ready to list your home, or want more tips on how to do so, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021 today.

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