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Fiat Lux: HOW TO UPDATE YOUR KITCHEN ON A BUDGET

Fiat Lux: HOW TO UPDATE YOUR KITCHEN ON A BUDGET

Does your kitchen make you feel like you’re stepping into a time warp? Are you sick of the way it looks and the way it makes you feel? Are you avoiding your decades-old kitchen and opting to eat out more?

It’s time to make some changes. Here are seven easy ways to update the look of your kitchen so you’ll enjoy spending time cooking and eating—even if you are on a budget!

 

1. Let There Be Light

A welcoming kitchen is a light and bright kitchen. No one wants to prepare food, cook, or eat in a cave. So let the sunshine in!

Remove heavy or dark window treatments and go with light, white and bright colors. Or consider “naked” kitchen windows.

Add more light with inexpensive under-counter strips and led lighting on open shelves to help brighten your workspace. Easy-to-install plug-in pendant lights or track lighting are budget-friendly options for illuminating cabinets and countertops.

If you have an overhead light fixture or recessed can lighting, ramp up the wattage of bulbs, because “soft lighting” doesn’t cut it in the kitchen.

 

2. Clear the Clutter

Few things make a kitchen look as dated as crowded countertops and random clutter. Open surfaces will give your kitchen a user-friendly and inviting appearance.

If a plethora of small appliances is creating clutter, determine which ones you use daily and put the rest away, to be pulled out only when needed.

Eliminate any kitchen utensils you haven’t used in the last six months, either tossing or storing them.

To prevent your everyday utensils from using up valuable counter space, install a hanging bar or wall-mounted canisters. Magnetic strips, used alone or built into wall-mounted utensil racks, will help keep your favorite knives in easy reach.

Find other ways to use vertical space to help keep surfaces clear. For example, cookbooks stored on countertops should be moved to a cabinet or on a wall shelf.

 

3. Clean

Clearing out kitchen clutter will also make it easier to clean! Kitchens are notorious for accumulating a dingy layer of grease and smoke on the walls, cabinets, and ceilings, which makes everything appear duller.

Start with your windows. Kitchen windows get dirty faster than windows in any other room. Plus, clean windows will bring more sunlight into your kitchen.

Scrub and polish any pans that are on display—along with any other metal surfaces—to take advantage of metal’s light-reflecting properties.

If you have gas or electric burners with worn or stained drip pans, replace them. Make your cooktop sparkle!

Cleaning under appliances and refrigerator coils will make your kitchen look and smell better, while also helping your appliances last longer, saving significant money in the long term!

 

4. Paint

Paint is the fastest way to give a kitchen a facelift! It’s also an easy DIY, budget-conscious way to make a major, visible change in a short amount of time.

Lighter cabinet colors reflect more light, keep your kitchen looking modern, and offer a clean, fresh background for kitchen activities.

If you have wood cabinets and want to lighten them without paint, consider refinishing with a light stain or a pickled effect.

If you think white-on-white styles are boring, consider going white, but adding a small punch of color or texture for a wow-inducing effect.  

 

5. Adding That Pop of Color

Accent color effects can be achieved with paint, tile, or other textured materials.

For example, your sleek white cabinets may look great with a backsplash using colored tile, metal, wood, glass, or stone for a custom and decidedly modern twist to a lighter kitchen.

Or, you may prefer breaking up all-white cabinets by using a darker color on an island or a peninsula of lower cabinets. Another option is to paint one wall for a more intense pop of color.

For a cohesive, polished effect, carry your accent color across the room in a couple of other places—perhaps a rug, or pendant lighting, or a large framed print.

 

6. Update Your Hardware

Old cabinet pulls and hinges can make an entire kitchen look tired and dated.

Most older kitchens will benefit from updated hardware. However, it’s especially important to replace knobs, pulls, and hinges if you’re going to the trouble of refinishing or painting your cabinets.

Go with a modern hardware style or fill the holes and install “push-to-open” hardware that will provide sleek, unbroken lines while eliminating the need for pulls and knobs!

 

7. Modernize Your Upper Cabinets and Pantry Door

In addition to painting and refinishing, there are other ways to update the appearance of upper cabinets.

For example, consider removing some doors and painting the cabinet interiors to match the wall for a built-in open style that “disappears” into the wall while showcasing the items stored on the shelves.

Or, replace as few as two cabinet doors with clear or frosted glass. Add LED strips to create dramatic backlighting

Consider replacing a standard, hinged pantry door with a modern, sliding door made of frosted glass or a wooden barn-door style.

 

When you have more time than money, a kitchen facelift is still well within your reach. It just requires a little cash and lots of creative ideas!


Posted on July 25, 2019 at 10:26 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Home Care & Maintenance, Selling a House |

June 2019 Sales Statistics for ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA – SFRs & Condos

June 2019 Sales Statistics for ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA 
(Single-Family Home)- http://rereport.com/alc/

June 2019 Sales Statistics for ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA – SFRs & Condos

(Condos/Town Homes)- http://rereport.com/alc/

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Let me help you navigate the East Bay real estate market! Visit: www.carlosfcamargo.net | Call: 510.798.5016

#BHGRE #CarlosFCamargoPhD #RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateBroker #RealEstateLife #NoPlaceLikeHome_EastBay #OaklandCA #Realtor #RealEstateForSale #RealEstateExpert #Broker #HomeForSale #HouseForSale #PropertyForSale #realestatemarket #HouseHunting #ExpectBetter #BHGRealEstate #bayarea #BHGReliancePartners #contracostacounty #alamedacounty #reliancepartnersbhgre #RealEstateLifeStyle #RealEstateTips


Posted on July 18, 2019 at 9:45 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in N.A.R. - C.A.R. Update, Real Estate Market Update |

Monthly Market Report | EAST BAY | June 2019

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Let me help you navigate the East Bay real estate market!
Visit: www.carlosfcamargo.net | Call: 510.798.5016


Posted on July 18, 2019 at 8:58 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in N.A.R. - C.A.R. Update, Real Estate Market Update |

Market Snapshot for July 2019: A New Peak … but Will Home Prices Continue to Rise?

Market Snapshot for July 2019: A New Peak … but Will Home Prices Continue to Rise?

California home prices continued to rise as the market approached the peak of its home buying season. After

setting a record high in April 2019, the state median price inched up again and reached a new peak in

May. A typical existing single-family home was sold at an all-time high of $611,190 in May in California, an

increase of 1.7 percent from the same month of last year and an increase of 1.4 percent from the prior month.

🏠___Let me help you navigate the East Bay real estate market!

Visit: www.carlosfcamargo.net | Call: 510.798.5016

#BHGRE #CarlosFCamargoPhD #RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateBroker #RealEstateInvestor #RealEstateInvesting #RealEstateLife #NoPlaceLikeHome_EastBay #OaklandCA #Realtor #RealEstateForSale #RealEstateExpert #Broker #HomeForSale #HouseForSale #PropertyForSale #realestatemarket #HouseHunting #ExpectBetter #BHGRealEstate #bayarea #BHGReliancePartners #contracostacounty #alamedacounty #reliancepartnersbhgre #RealEstateLifeStyle #RealEstateTips


Posted on July 16, 2019 at 4:09 AM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Buying a House |

SmartMoves – JULY 2019 | VOLUME 3 | ISSUE 7 

SmartMoves – JULY 2019 | VOLUME 3 | ISSUE 7 

+ 7 Steps To An Organized Home Office
+ Homeowner Tip: Check Your Bathtub Caulk
+ Keep your Home Safe During Your Summer Vacation
+ Red, White, and Bleu Burgers

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Let me help you navigate the East Bay real estate market!
Visit: www.carlosfcamargo.net | Call: 510.798.5016


Posted on July 15, 2019 at 8:17 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Newsletter-CFC, Real Estate Market Update |

Thinking About Buying Your First Home?

Thinking About Buying Your First Home?

Buying your first home can be intimidating, so take some proactive steps to make the process more manageable

A house could be the biggest purchase you will ever make, and the process of shopping for a home and obtaining a mortgage can be overwhelming. However, there are steps you can take to make the process more manageable and the purchase more attainable.

Download the FDIC Guide Today:
https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/june2019.pdf

 

1. Know Your Credit History and Score

One of the key factors in getting approved for a loan is your credit score. Your credit history determines your score, and the higher the score, the better the loan terms become. You are entitled to a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus: Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. Go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com, the official site for consumers to obtain free credit reports, or call 1-877-322-8228. If you notice any errors on your report, work on correcting them as soon as possible. The Federal Trade Commission offers helpful suggestions on how to fix errors on credit reports at Disputing Errors on Credit Reports

A high credit score helps you not only get approved for a mortgage, it also improves the terms available. Here is a breakdown of the five major components that make up your credit score.

    • Payment History – Reported payments account for 35% of your total credit score. Late payments will affect your score negatively, so it’s important to consistently make payments on time.

 

    • Credit Utilization – How much of your credit is in use makes up 30% of your score. If you reach the credit limit on your credit cards, it lowers your credit score. Do your best to start paying down credit card balances to free up your credit.

 

    • Length of Credit History – How long you have been using credit and making payments as well as the amount of time each of your credit accounts have been open is 15% of your total credit score. If you’re trying to clean up your credit, closing accounts may not necessarily be the answer. It may be best to pay off accounts and keep them open to maintain long standing accounts.

 

    • New Credit – Be cautious when opening new credit accounts, which accounts for 10% of your score. Opening too many new accounts in a relatively short period of time could hurt your score.

 

    • Credit Mix – The remaining 10% of your score relies on the variety of credit accounts you have. Having a mix of revolving credit accounts, such as credit cards, and installment loans, including auto loans and student loans, with positive payment histories show that you can manage different types of credit and will increase your score.

 

Remember, the higher your credit score as a potential buyer, the lower the risk to a potential lender. 

2. How Much Can and Should You Spend?

When reviewing mortgage applications, lenders pay close attention to your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). DTI shows how much of your monthly gross income – your income before taxes or other deductions are taken out – goes to monthly debt payments. Many lenders prefer that your total monthly debt payments, which include housing payments, auto loan payments, student loan payments, and minimum credit card payments, not exceed 40% of your gross monthly income. Some lenders prefer a DTI of 36% or less. Others may accept a higher ratio. 

When looking at your finances to determine how much you can afford for a monthly mortgage payment, keep in mind that the payment will include not only the loan principal and interest but also taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and possibly mortgage insurance (lenders require you to pay mortgage insurance when your down payment is less than 20% to protect the lender in the event you default on the loan). While you will need more information to get an exact figure of the house price you can afford, such as the interest rate on your loan and how much of a down payment you will have to put toward the purchase, look at your DTI as discussed above to get a better idea of the monthly payment that will fit your budget. 

Many websites have calculation tools that can help you determine how much you can afford and the amount your monthly payment will be under different scenarios. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) maximum financing calculator is a good place to start and can be found at FHA Maximum Financing Calculator

For more information on figuring out how much you can afford, visit: 

Money Smart – Making Housing Decisions 

Money Smart – Buying a Home

Mortgage Moves: How much can you afford?

Decide how much you want to spend on a home

3. Save, Save, Save

Having savings makes it easier to purchase a home. Saving can be hard given the challenges many first-time home buyers face with high housing costs and student loan debt, but most lenders require a down payment, and you will likely be responsible for closing costs. You will also want to have money available once you complete the purchase for maintenance or repairs in your new home. So let’s look at the possibilities. 

To increase your savings, see if there is a way to tighten your budget and lower your current housing costs. Automating your savings may help keep you on task with obtaining your savings goals too. Check with your bank about linking a savings account to your checking account and creating a regular automatic deposit to the savings account. In addition, automatic savings apps, which help you save by rounding up certain purchases to the nearest dollar and setting the money aside, can add a little extra to your savings. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission have useful resources for those interested in learning more about ways to save. Visit Start Small, Save Up and Make a Budget

You may also be able to take advantage of down payment and closing cost assistance programs offered by government agencies and non-profit organizations. Be sure to take the time to research what is available and what your qualifications are to apply for these special programs. Start with HUD’s website for more information about assistance programs in your state: HUD – Local Information

HUD also provides lists of approved housing counselors in each state that can help with the home buying process: 

HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies 

For suggestions on how to save money with worksheets to help you plan to save visit: Money Smart – Your Savings 

4. Start Organizing Documents

When you apply for a mortgage, most lenders will want one or two months of paystubs, two years of tax filings, three to six months of bank account statements, information about any retirement savings, and other documentation specific to your financial situation, such as explanations of any recent large deposits or withdrawals from your bank account. It can be overwhelming to pull together so much information in a short timeframe, so start early. By getting these documents in order at the beginning of your house hunting journey, you give yourself time to ensure you have all of the documents the lender requires. 

When you’re ready to buy a house, understanding the costs and benefits, researching your credit and housing options, and building your savings are the best first steps toward owning your first home. In next month’s article, we’ll take a look at the next step in the home buying process: applying for a mortgage. 

 

 


Posted on July 5, 2019 at 11:57 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Buying a House, Credit & Home Finance, First-time Buyer |

NEED-TO-KNOWS ABOUT REAL ESTATE CONTINGENCIES

 

You’ve found a house you’d like to purchase, and you’re ready to make an offer. It’s time to take a closer look at the purchase contract—perhaps the most important legal document for real estate transactions—and decide how you want to modify its terms, including adding various contingencies.

 

Contingencies? Yes, it’s an uncommon word. The real estate industry is filled with unfamiliar terminology. A contingency refers to particular provisions in a standard purchase contract. If the condition isn’t met, you’re allowed to back out of the purchase, without penalty.

 

Contingencies are a good thing, in terms of protecting buyers. They can also backfire if you insist on too many contingencies or are competing with less demanding buyers.

 

Here are several key points to keep in mind.

 

1. Know the market.

In a seller’s market (when there aren’t many properties in a specific price range or a particular geographic area for sale), contingencies will encourage sellers to find a more accommodating buyer.

In fact, in a strong seller’s market, some buyers severely limit their contingencies and offer more than the seller’s asking price, potentially triggering a bidding war.

In a buyer’s market (when there are more properties for sale than there are interested buyers), sellers are more likely to accept buyer contingencies.

Don’t know what market your area is experiencing right now? That’s okay. Your Accredited Buyer’s Representative specializes in staying current on that information for your local market. Just ask!

 

2. Understand which contingencies are common (and which aren’t).

Your buyer’s representative can also provide the best advice on which contingencies are appropriate and commonly accepted in your market. Every area operates under different standards and conventions.  

A few examples:

  • Home inspection – If something is seriously wrong with a house, you’ll want to know before you buy, not after the closing, when it’s too late to address the issue with the seller. Inspections are primarily designed to evaluate the structural and mechanical condition of a property, although specific conventions vary by market. Inspections may also check for mold, radon, pests, lead, septic systems, or other specific concerns. A home inspection (at the buyer’s expense) is a highly recommended contingency clause.

 

  • Attorney review – The seller, the buyer, or both may request a certain number of days to have their attorney(s) review the contract for sale and the closing documents.

 

  • Mortgage financing approval – Smart buyers secure a pre-approval letter from their lender before submitting an offer. However, your mortgage financing could still fail to reach final approval due to findings in the property inspection, a too-low appraisal, or a final review of your financial situation.

 

  • Approval of homeowner association (HOA) documents – If you are buying a property governed by an HOA, you can request these documents before making an offer to ensure the HOA is on solid financial ground. Alternately, this can be a contingency item.

 

  • Early occupancy (with payment of rent) or furniture move in – If your timeframe requires a critical move-in deadline, such as the start of a school year, you may want to stipulate this as a contingency.

 

  • Appraised value – The appraisal may come in lower than your offer, in which case an appraisal contingency can provide an option to attempt to renegotiate the selling price. Also, note that lenders can reject your mortgage application if an appraisal comes in too low.

 

  • Home warranty – A buyer may make the sale contingent on their ability to secure a home warranty on the property. Be aware that some home warranties require a home inspection before purchase to prove that a warranty claim is not a pre-existing condition.

 

  • Sale of a current home – This contingency requires the seller to agree to delay closing until you’ve found a buyer for your current home. It’s a tall request, especially in a seller’s market. If the contingency includes a “bump” clause or “kick out” clause, the seller can continue marketing their home in hopes of finding another buyer.

 

3. Watch those dates!

If your contract includes deadlines related to contingencies, be sure to monitor them carefully. Your buyer’s rep will help you stay on top of these too.

Dates matter, since even a one-day lapse could put you in jeopardy of non-performance of your contractual obligations, potentially resulting in the cancelation of your purchase contract and loss of your earnest money.

Add any critical deadlines to whatever calendar system you rely upon, as well as alerts a couple of days before the deadline hits.

KNOW YOUR CONTRACT CONTINGENCIES: CALIFORNIA’S REAL ESTATE INSPECTION CONTINGENCY 14(B)(1)

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“Buyer’s offer has no contingencies.” This phrase has become increasingly common in the Bay Area’s competitive real estate market, where buyers are looking for every advantage to stand out from the crowd. Whether you are the buyer or seller, it is important to know what contingencies are and where to find them in your contract.

In this three-part series, I will explain the typical real estate contingencies and help you identify them in your California real estate contract.

What Are Contingencies in Real Estate?

A contingency is a condition that must be fulfilled before the sale of a home can close. In California, these conditions are typically found in the buyer’s offer. The most common form we use to write an offer is California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) Form RPA-CA.

Real estate contingencies typically fall under three major categories: appraisal, home inspection and mortgage approval. Think of these contingencies as a buyer’s and seller’s safety net. If a home does not appraise at a certain value, if an inspection reveals a major problem, or if the buyer cannot obtain adequate financing, the parties can back out of the contract without penalty.

In addition to specifying contingencies, your contract will set specific deadlines. For example, the buyer will have 17 days to complete inspections (see below). It will also state when and how notice of cancellation must be given and received.

California’s Inspection Contingency: 14(B)(1)

home_cutawayIn California, the default inspection contingency gives the buyer a little more than two (2) weeks – 17 days – to complete all inspections.

C.A.R. Form RPA-CA, section 14(B)(1) reads:

BUYER HAS: 17 (or ___) Days After Acceptance, unless otherwise agreed in writing, to: (i) complete all Buyer Investigations; review all disclosures, reports, lease documents to be assumed by Buyer pursuant to paragraph 10A and other applicable information, which Buyer receives from Seller; and approve all matters affecting the Property; and (ii) Deliver to Seller Signed Copies of Statutory and Lead Disclosures and other disclosures Delivered by Seller in accordance with paragraph 10A.

During this 17-day contingency period (or the timeframe agreed to between the parties), the buyer typically hires independent inspectors to look at the home’s roof, foundation, structure (termites, mold, etc), and any other areas of the home the buyer sees fit. Contact your real estate agent for referrals to trusted inspection professionals.

If any major problems are found, a buyer may then ask the seller to make repairs or may request a monetary credit for repairs at closing – see section 14(B)(2). The seller, however, has no obligation to respond to either request.

Lifting The Buyer’s Inspection Contingency

After the agreed upon inspection period has passed, the seller must request that buyer lift their inspection contingency. If seller does not obtain a contingency removal, buyer’s inspection period remains in effect, “based on a remaining contingency.” See 14(B)(4). This means that technically buyer’s inspection contingency can remain in effect all the way through the deal — meaning buyer can back out and recover any earnest money deposited with escrow.

Sellers, your agent will likely send a “Notice of Buyer to Perform” (NBP) requesting that buyer either remove the contingency or back out of the contract. This will allow you to move on to other back-up offers if buyer fails to adhere to the agreed-upon inspection timeline.

Should I Write a No-Contingency Offer?

Well, that depends. Has your seller already had a professional inspection completed? What did the inspection reveal? Was the foundation adequately inspected? What about the roof? How old is the home? What updates have been recently done by the seller? Were permits obtained for any structural work?

I have represented Bay Area buyers who successfully wrote offers with no contingencies and I have represented buyers whose succesful offers included more contingencies than are typical. No home is the same and I think your offer should reflect your comfort with the home’s condition, your ability to obtain financing (or pay cash), and your overall risk tolerance.

I recommend that buyers do as much due diligence as possible before writing an offer. There is no substitute for being 100% confident in your offer before it is sent on to the seller. This will set the tone for a smooth transaction all the way to the closing table.

 


Posted on June 27, 2019 at 10:49 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Buying a House, Credit & Home Finance, Credit & Home Finance, First-time Buyer |

REAL ESTATE NEWS – Monthly Update – June 2019

June 2019

REAL ESTATE NEWS

Brought to you by Carlos F. Camargo, Ph.D.

Gen Xers Driving Multi-Generational Housing Trend

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MultiGen LivingThis Is Us. Jane the Virgin. Black-ish. What do they have in common? They are all family television programs that have members of multiple generations living under one roof. But the reality of multi-generational living is more than sitcom fodder. 

According to the 2019 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), multi-generational housing continues to be a growing trend among homebuyers. This trend is driven largely by Gen Xers, who are the second-largest band of homebuyers today at 24%. Of that cohort, one in six purchased a multi-gen home, half of whom cited accommodating adult children as their reason for doing so. 

When it comes to millennial buyers, nine percent purchased a multi-generational property they could share with aging parents, per the report. 

Whether you’re looking to accommodate aging parents or making room for your boomerang child, these tips will help you find the right place to make it work. 

Look for a home that was built with multi-generational living in mind.
Schumacher HomesLennar, and Plantation Homes are just a few of the builders offering a multi-gen solution in a brand-new residence. 

Tailor your home search.
If custom built multi-generational home isn’t doable, look for a home that’s easily convertible. A downstairs bedroom and bath is key for older residents, and an en suite bathroom is even better. A home with a basement or attic may seem like an ideal place to turn into a grandparent’s haven, but stairs can be dangerous and obviously wouldn’t work for a parent using a walker or wheelchair. 

A property with a guesthouse or enough land on which to place a granny suite or tiny home is another option. Just make sure the land is zoned properly to accommodate this type of structure. 

Make smart renovations.
Taking down walls to create an open floorplan is a smart move that can have a positive impact on your home’s value and also make it more accessible for aging parents. 

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Aging-In-Place Remodeling Checklist recommends a “5-foot by 5-foot clear/turn space in living area, kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom.” They also suggest wide hallways that measure a minimum of 36-inches across, good lighting, and non-slip flooring.

6 Kitchen Design Trends Inspired by Restaurant Kitchens

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Not all kitchen design trends stand the test of time, but a restaurant kitchen is meant to be as functional as possible for as long as possible. Taking a few cues from restaurant kitchens can help you create a residential kitchen that you’ll be sure to love for years to come!

Restaurant Kitchen

1. Forget the Island
A kitchen island allows for lots of prep space and storage but can also make even a large space seem cramped and crowded. A work table in place of the kitchen island still provides plenty of room to work, offers shelving underneath for storage, and can be moved easily when not in use.

2. Consider a Stainless Steel Backsplash
Stainless steel is durable, doesn’t absorb microbes, and is fire-resistant, which is why it’s long been a popular material for commercial kitchen backsplashes. It’s also easy to clean and coordinates with most kitchen styles.

3. Hang Utensil Rods
Rarely do restaurant kitchens keep utensils in drawers, as this is a surefire way to create a cluttered, jumbled mess. A utensil rod or two will keep all your kitchen tools organized, in plain sight, and close at hand.

4. Install a Magnetic Knife Strip
Much like utensil rods, many commercial kitchens include magnetic strips along walls to hold chefs’ knives. Storing knives on a magnetic wall strip reduces the risk of cutting yourself while rooting around in a drawer and also allows you to easily see each knife blade type and size. A magnetic knife strip also eliminates the need for a bulky knife block on the countertop.

5. Use Wire Shelving in Your Pantry
Wire shelving allows for air circulation around your stored foodstuffs, reducing damage from heat and humidity. Wire shelves also don’t need cleaning as often as standard wood shelves.

6. Install an Open Shelf Over the Stovetop
Many commercial kitchens feature an open shelf or two over the stovetop, for holding pots and pans, spices, timers, and even a recipe or prep instructions. Consider asking your kitchen contractor about an open shelf over your new stovetop, for added convenience and to break up the look of a bare wall behind the stove.

QUESTIONS? VISIT http://carlosfcamargo.agent.rpeastbay.com/

 


Posted on June 14, 2019 at 11:49 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Newsletter-CFC, Real Estate Market Update |

Five DIY Projects to Tackle this Memorial Day Weekend

The long Memorial Day weekend is often considered the unofficial start to summer, but it’s also known as one of the biggest home improvement weekends of the year.

Not only do you have an extra day off from work to devote to a significant home improvement projects, many big box hardware stores hold some of their biggest sales of the year over the Memorial Day weekend.

Check out these five affordable, do-it-yourself projects that will add value to your home, and, better still, can be completed over the long weekend:

 

  1. Paint: A quick coat of paint, whether interior or exterior, is one of the easiest ways to spruce up your home with a big return on investment. If you’re looking to sell your home, consider selecting neutral shades. Depending on the size of the space and how much prep work is needed, painting can take as little as one to two days. Be sure to budget about $50 on average per 12-foot by 12-foot room for paint and supplies.

  2. Revive an old deck: A fresh deck not only beautifies your home but also sets the stage for a world of outdoor activities. Wood decks require regular waterproofing to keep them preserved—and, best of all, it’s a relatively low-cost project that will give your home a major facelift. No deck yet? There are many excellent and affordable options for building one from scratch—or consider alternative patio solutions, such as pavers. 
  3. Refresh interior doors: Several things can quickly reveal your home’s age, such as once-trendy finishes, out-of-date carpet and old appliances.. But one often overlooked tell-tale sign of your home’s age are the interior doors. Consider swapping out plain-looking flat-slab doors for more decorative, Colonial style six-panel doors or one of the many other styles available. Updating the trim around the door casing will add a fresh sense of style as well. A full door with casing can cost $90 to $250 a piece. Be sure to measure before you buy—many entries are not made to standard sizing.
  4. Replace light fixtures: Why throw money away with your electric company when there are so many exceptional low-wattage lighting options. While you’re at it, consider how and why you’re lighting your rooms. Perhaps a corner accent light is all you need in your living room? Or maybe you’d like to replace those bright strip lights in the guest bathroom. Whatever your decision, be sure to consult an electrician before diving too far into any electrical projects. 

  5. Install Drip Irrigation: Save water by replacing your old, outdated sprinkler system with drip irrigation. Not only will you be save money, you’ll improve the look and feel of your yard. While you’re at it, remove any dead or less-than-attractive plants. And, if you’re in hotter climates, consider replacing water-thirsty sod with water-efficient landscaping. You’ll improve your curb appeal and save significant money in water and maintenance!

Posted on May 24, 2019 at 4:56 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Home Care & Maintenance |

ACHIEVE MORNING PERSON STATUS

ACHIEVE MORNING PERSON STATUS


Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!

  1. Create a morning schedule. Physically write down the things you’d like to complete in the morning and set a time for each. Then stick with it. Once you force yourself out of bed early one or two weeks consistently, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to do. 
  2. Let the light in. Whether natural or artificial, light tells your brain its time to get up and get going. If your room lacks large windows where you can open the blinds up, consider investing in a timed lamp or alarm clock with a light. 
  3. Prep and eat breakfast. Although there are many of us who chose the skip breakfast, it is key to perking up your energy in the morning. Try prepping protein-focused meals the night before or grab a yogurt or fruit and try to consume it right after you wake. 
  4. Get your body moving. Whether it’s a short walk around your neighborhood or a rigorous 5:30 am spin class, getting your blood pumping will help wake up your body and has a ton of other benefits, like stress and anxiety reduction. 
  5. Feed your mind. Stimulate your brain and do something you enjoy first thing in the morning. Try reading a favorite book, catching up on the news, doing daily meditation, or setting intentions. 

Posted on May 22, 2019 at 11:22 PM
Carlos Camargo | Posted in Home Care & Maintenance |