Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

Now that Summer is over…

Now that the summer is over, with Fall and Winter around the corner, some of you may be thinking about the possibility of storm season, and maybe even next season’s snow. If you need any information at all, from whether to consider trimming or even removing a tree  to prevent potential damage to your property or for resale purposes, or suggestions on perhaps re-planting a tree that may have perished in Irene or Sandy, give me a call. We have a lot of experiences along with real life stories to share with you on the pros and cons of trees on and around your property. I love our neighborhoods around Flushing, Bayside, Whitestone and the surrounding areas. Our local landscape and the values in the area are my main focus, in every sense of the words! So email me your confidential questions, at judy@ energizedrealtygroup.com, or call me at 718-353-6000.  I would always welcome your call!

Tis the Season in North Queens

North Queens is glowing!  It seems like 5 or 6 homes on every block has put on their brightest most spectacular decorations this year.

A few homes that you must see is:

  • 166th Street and 23rd Avenue (corner house) in Whitestone
  • 212th Street and 32nd Avenue (corner house) in Bayside
  • Utopia Pkwy and 21st Avenue in Whitestone
  • 188th Street and Union Tpke in Fresh Meadows… Santa will be there this Sunday (12/23)

Any other places we left off?  Please let us know.

Easy and Festive Fall Harvest Decorating

Posted in Home, Life, NY, Uncategorized by admin | No Comments »

Get into the Autumn spirit!  We did the searching for you and found great innovative and easy ways to decorate you home for the fall. Enjoy!

Letter Perfect Leaves

Mark your front door with a leafy monogram. Paint a papier-mache letter and let dry. Hot-glue dried or silk leaves to the front. Shape a piece of wire into a hanging loop, and hot-glue it to the back of the letter.

 

Pumpkins & Candles

Transform miniature pumpkins into beautiful candle holders, perfect for the autumn season. Drill or cut out a hole in the top of the pumpkin the same size as a candle’s tapered base. Hot-glue miniature pinecones, berries, and dried moss around the hole. Insert a candle and light it to add a little glow to your harvest nights.

 

Curb Appeal

Lush potted mums add color to this front stoop, as do paper lanterns hung from the portico. White pumpkins add contrast and a harvest wreath defines the solid wood door.

Harvest Corn

Tie a grouping of Indian corn ears together and hang from a cabinet door. Display jars filled with dried corn and seeds behind glass-front cabinet doors.

 

 

Autumn Planters

When cold weather arrives, gourds, winter squash, Indian corn, and small pumpkins can fill the planters that once overflowed with flowering annuals; tuck some colorful leaves into any gaps. There’s no better way to capture the spirit of the fall harvest season.

 

Fall Foliage Wreath

Long after the last leaves on the lawn have been raked away, this autumnal wreath will hold on to its crispness and color.

Cut from kraft paper, the faux foliage is accented with additional leaves cut from shimmering metallic paper.

The decoration can be hung year after year. When the season changes, store the wreath in a covered cardboard box until next year.

Tools and Materials
Kraft paper, from hardware or art-supply stores

Similar shimmering metallic paper in Gold (P_L32222) and Antique Gold (P_L32227), $13.50 per 50 sheets, from Paper Presentation

Wreath form, 20-inch double-rail wreath ring (DRWR20), $2.95, from mainewreathco.com

Brown satin bow

Stapler

Scissors

Paper Wreath How-To
1. Cut several long, 1 1/2-inch-wide strips of kraft paper. Wrap around a wreath form (ours was 20 inches in diameter) to cover; staple.

2. Cut several 5-by-10-inch rectangles from kraft paper; fold accordion-style. Cut out multiple leaves.

3. Cut more 2 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch rectangles from metallic papers; fold on the diagonal, at a slight curve.

4. Cut out single leaves; gently pinch to create a curved shape. Staple all leaves to wreath form, overlapping. Embellish with a brown satin bow.

Pinecone Lamp Finial

Bring a bit of the forest indoors by decorating a lamp finial with a pinecone, plain or spray-painted silver. If your lamp doesn’t already have a basic finial — the small piece that screws onto the top of a lamp’s harp — you can buy one at the hardware store.

  1. Lamp Finial How-To
    1. Sand the bottom of the pinecone to create a smooth surface.2. Dab a bit of hot glue onto the flattened area, and press the pinecone onto the top of the finial. 

Home prices up for fifth straight month – NBC News Economy Watch

 

Home prices up for fifth straight month.

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

A “for sale” sign is seen outside a home in New York in this June 19, 2012 file photo. U.S. home prices have risen for the fifth straight month, according to a new survey.

By Reuters

Home prices rose more than expected in June, the fifth month in a row of gains in a fresh sign of improvement in the housing market, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 0.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, topping economists’ forecasts for 0.5 percent, according to a Reuters poll.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, prices were even stronger, up 2.3 percent.

“We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, said in a statement.

“The market may have finally turned around.”

Prices in the 20 cities rose 0.5 percent compared to the year before. Atlanta fared the worst, tumbling 12.1 percent from a year ago. Phoenix continued to bounce back from poor conditions and was up nearly 14 percent.

Although prices in June likely got a boost from the traditionally strong summer buying season, the gains on both a monthly and yearly basis boded well for the housing market, said Blitzer.

The report affirmed “that the overall market is healing, albeit at a frustratingly slow pace,” said Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.

Humphries said he expects to see prices weaken in the latter half of the year, though the period of sustained declines are likely in the past.

For the second quarter, seasonally adjusted national prices jumped 2.2 percent compared to the 1.4 percent gain that was seen in the first quarter.

Financial markets saw little reaction to the data as investors had their attention turned to a highly anticipated speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the end of the week.

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

A “for sale” sign is seen outside a home in New York in this June 19, 2012 file photo. U.S. home prices have risen for the fifth straight month, according to a new survey.

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Staging vs. Decorating: What’s the Difference? by Kristie Barnett

Staging vs. Decorating: What’s the Difference?

Unlike decorating, staging your home isn’t about personal style — it’s about creating ambiance and appeal for buyers

By Kristie Barnett

Selling your home means selling a lifestyle, but not necessarily your own. In home staging, you’re striving for a look that is fresh and welcoming yet not really taste specific. People with varying tastes need to feel that they can make the home their own if they purchase it.

This is the distinction between decorating your home and staging it to sell. It can be hard to understand at first, but if you don’t know the difference, you might not sell your house as quickly as you like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Rachel Reider Interiors

 

Although everyone has different tastes in decor and furnishings, most people want a home that is welcoming, functional, peaceful and organized. Tailor your house so that buyers will describe it in those terms rather than by your style of decorating. Getting rid of clutter and having fewer but larger accessories is a great place to start.

Making sure your home isn’t taste specific doesn’t mean your rooms should be devoid of color. Instead, keep color schemes simple and dose them with an on-trend neutral, like a clean tan, a soft gray or a warm white.

 

 

 

 

 

by Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

 

 

 

 

 
by Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

If you have a distinctive decorating style — whether it’s Tuscan, shabby chic or modern — you’re going to need to scale it back a bit. If you don’t, your home will appeal to the small percentage of potential

buyers who love your chosen style. Staging is about strategic editing and depersonalizing, rather than decorating and personalizing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Andrea May Hunter/Gatherer

Dated is dreary. Strive to stage your space with a current and fresh feel. Use updated neutrals on the walls and furnishings that are clean-lined and simple. Punches of color are great; just use them sparingly. A room arranged symmetrically and centered on the architecture reads as peaceful — one of those important aesthetics every buyer is drawn to.

 

 

 

 

by Andrea May Hunter/Gatherer

This guest bedroom is full of great staging ideas. It has lots of on-trend design details, but it’s sparse on accessories and other distractions. The color palette is simple, easy on the eyes and would be attractive to both men and women. Most potential buyers would remember this appealing room long after leaving the house.

 

 

 
by Warline Painting Ltd.

This clever arrangement draws attention to the unique architecture in the space and illustrates a smart use for the area under the stairs: an office nook. This area is nicely decorated, not staged.

If I were staging this area, I would keep the desk, chair and lamp, remove overly personal items such as family photos, and leave a few pieces of art and an attractive notebook and pen. Simple accessories can help draw attention to a functional space.

 

 

 

 

by HomeTech Renovations, Inc.

If you are updating a kitchen or bath before putting your home on the market, keep the finishes neutral and classic. This is not the time to show off your personal style. You want to broaden your buying audience by appealing to a wide variety of tastes and preferences. This bathroom would definitely appeal to buyers with either traditional or contemporary taste, and could later be personalized with the new homeowner’s preferences for color and accessories.

 

 

by Reflections Interior Designs

Sure, this may not be what normally sits on your countertop, but doesn’t it look better than the usual bills and coupons? Remember, you are selling an idealized lifestyle, not your reality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Reflections Interior Designs

The bottom line is that you have to get outside your head and inside the mind of a potential home buyer. It’s very difficult to be objective about your own home, but it’s crucial if you want to sell it.

Tell us: Do you believe there’s a difference between staging and decorating? Let us know in the Comments!

Saint Luke’s Carnival – June 6th – June 10th

The Energized Realty Group works hard, therefore, we need to play hard too.  We are always looking for fun things to do in the neighborhood.

Check out St. Luke’s Carnival, 16-34 Clintonville Street, Whitestone, NY 11357  from June 6th – June 10th.  The weather calls for lots of sun and warm temperatures, so get out there and enjoy a little fun with the entire family!

Zillow program aims to improve accuracy of listings

Brokers, MLSs get more control over display of property data
By Inman News
Inman News®
Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Popular real estate search and valuation portal Zillow is launching a program designed to improve listing data accuracy on its site through what it says will be mutually beneficial partnerships with brokers and multiple listing services.

“Zillow is committed to partnering with MLSs and brokers to get reliable and timely information to its more than 32 million unique users each month,” said Bob Bemis, Zillow’s vice president of industry relations, in a statement.

“We have a common goal to provide accurate listings for the benefit of agents and consumers.”

Zillow recently hired Bemis and Phoenix-based broker and blogger Jay Thompson as part of its partner outreach team in an effort to improve its relations with brokers and MLSs.

Under the Zillow Partnership Platform (ZPP), Zillow makes several pledges toward giving brokers and MLSs greater control over how Zillow displays listing information. These include:

  • Always showing the listing agent and listing brokerage adjacent to their listings and including contact information and links to broker, agent or MLS websites free of charge. Agents who sign up for a free Zillow profile receive prominent placement on their listings. In addition, the name of the data provider will always be displayed or immediately available upon request, Zillow said. Providers can also ask to have their name link back to their contact information.
  • All parties will be clearly identified, including listing agents, buyer’s agents, Zillow Premier Agents who buy advertising on the site, and property advertisements.
  • Zillow will never resyndicate, redistribute or sublicense listings for display on other sites without express written consent. This does not include Yahoo Real Estate, with whom Zillow has an exclusive advertising partnership. Zillow provides for-sale listings to Yahoo Real Estate and sells ads featuring real estate brokers and agents that appear on both sites.
  • Zillow will also take steps to stop scraping and misuse of listing data and monitor traffic to its network. Suspect sites will be cut off from access to Zillow.
  • Broker and MLS feeds will override all others.

“In the current environment, Zillow must resolve discrepancies among a myriad of data sources by removing duplicates and deciding the trump order of listings, which consumes considerable resources for everyone involved,” Zillow said in a document explaining the program to brokers and MLSs.

“ZPP is a clear solution that supports the business objectives of each party by receiving listing data from the source closest to the origin.”

In the document, Zillow emphasized that brokers and MLSs must “work together” to clean up listing data on Zillow.

“The MLSs serve a critical, but often undervalued, function of compliance and rules enforcement, which results in the best listing data available anywhere. But the impact of that data is lost if it is not delivered in a timely manner to the destinations consumers value most,” the company said.

“Frankly, real estate agents and consumers expect Zillow and the brokers (and) MLSs to work together to improve the supply chain. ZPP strives to purge stale data, while entrusting the final decision of where to publish listing information to the broker.”

Zillow also pledged:

  • To remove or correct listings with the wrong status or inaccurate information within one business day of receiving notice. Partner brokers and MLSs will have a direct phone number and dedicated email address to flag a listing for immediate review, Zillow said, and listings will not be reposted unless verified by the source broker or MLS. Listings will be updated at least once a day and as frequently as every five minutes.
  • To honor all intellectual property rights. The company will also honor any broker’s decision to opt out of sending listing data to Zillow.
  • To share traffic statistics on listing pages to the data feed provider.
  • To restrict agents to advertising or claiming only those listings they have a legal right to claim. Listing “piracy” is uncommon on the site, according to Zillow, but not unheard of. Earlier this year, two Orange County, Calif., real estate professionals reported that their listings on Zillow had been wrongfully claimed by other agents.
  • Not use listing data delivered to one Zillow business in support of any other Zillow business without express written consent of the provider. Zillow specifically refers to data fed to its subsidiary Diverse Solutions for use in agent websites that provide Internet Data Exchange (IDX) listings. Similarly, data licensed to Zillow for display on the Zillow portal will not be used by Diverse Solutions without permission, Zillow said.

Two MLSs dropped Diverse Solutions as a provider of IDX listings for their members’ websites after Zillow acquired the company in November. The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, which owns the Santa Barbara MLS, cited “concerns of misuse of our data” in ending its relationship with Diverse Solutions, and said “Zillow is not a friend to organized real estate.” Diverse Solutions maintained that it “does not share data with Zillow without MLS authorization.”

Each partner MLS or broker participating in the ZPP program will be assigned a dedicated account executive. As of today, the program applies to all renewal and future MLS and broker contracts, Zillow said.

“The objective of ZPP is to create a strong contractual relationship with each partner (broker or MLS), grounded in transparency and accountability, to build a foundation of mutual respect and trust through a long-term relationship that results in increasing value for all parties,” the company said.

“Zillow is prepared to make commitments to its partners in writing as defined in the data license/contract.”

Zillow and other third-party listing portals, including Trulia and Realtor.com, have come under fire from some brokers in recent months over both listing inaccuracy and ads and lead forms for competing agents that sometimes appear next to listings on the sites.

A few brokers have decided to stop providing listings altogether to third-party sites not affiliated with a multiple listing service or Realtor association. HomeServices of America Inc. subsidiary Edina Realty announced in November that it would pull its listings from third-party real estate search sites, though the brokerage has continued to provide listings to Realtor.com, and last month was still in negotiations with the site’s operator, Move Inc.

San Diego-based broker ARG Abbott Realty Group made a similar announcement in January and, earlier this month, Austin, Texas-based brokerage the GoodLife Team stopped syndicating its listings to Trulia and canceled its advertising on the site because the firm objected to ads for competing agents appearing next to their premium listings.

Trulia has since revamped its broker offerings and in the coming weeks will remove any display advertising for competing agents from featured listings. The revamp is part of what Trulia CEO Pete Flint said was a “major investment” in the interests of brokers and a recognition that Trulia needs “to partner with the industry to be successful.”