Get a new start — it’s September

Summer flew by. The older kids are back to college, and the younger ones are about to start. It is time to get back on track and back to a routine. Even if your kids have been out of the house for years, there is that feeling that September is the beginning of a new year. At least it is for me. Read more

Prepping your home for sale? This expert ‘Nailed It!’

During a staging consultation, I walk with the homeowners to offer suggestions on how to prepare their house for sale before putting it on the market. When questions come up, the best way to find the solution is to ask an expert. If I can’t answer it, I’ll find someone who can.

This column provides the answers for questions from recent consultations. The expert to answer them is Corinne Courtney, owner of Nailed It! Hardware Corp. on South Street in Washingtonville (496-3755). Read more

Reclaim your garage: Tips from a local pro

It is yard/garage sale season and if you are like me, the garage becomes the catchall area of items you don’t want in your house. It is also the place you put things you may want, don’t want, need to fix, repurpose or are just not sure what to do with.

Fred Day of Hudson Valley Closets in Warwick has provided a plan on how to organize and reclaim your garage.

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When is the best time to sell?

The best time to put your home on the market is when both you AND your house are ready. Whether you are selling ASAP or have a much longer timeline, don’t rush the process if your house is not ready. Sellers can sabotage the sale of their home if they are too anxious or too attached. Homes sell all year round, but the key is to prep before making it pretty.

Redesign is an instant makeover

By simply reworking rooms with what you already own, you can have a “new” room by rearranging furniture and accessories. Shop the home, move stuff around. During a recent staging consultation, I redesigned a living room in less than 15 minutes.

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Embrace the sweet memories and smile

“I believe that the objects that bring us pleasure and comfort, that make us feel everything’s all right in the world, have their origins in the styles and sensibilities we were exposed to growing up.” — Nate Berkus

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Surround yourself with your favorite things

Home is where we surround ourselves with things that we love, including our favorite colors. Your home should tell the story of who you are. The best interiors are never instant, but develop over time.

Whether it is for a redesign, which is using what you already own, or for staging purposes when time to sell, I work with clients who have items they love hiding in closets and basements. Incorporate what you love into your decorating, and display it authentically. These are the things that have special meaning to you. Or if you have too much stuff, scale back so you can see what you love.

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Sweat equity + staging magic = sold

A big misconception is that staging is expensive. Depending on the condition of the home and its contents, staging can be quite affordable with a huge return on investment.

Do not remodel your home to sell. Do it for you to enjoy while living in it. There are cost-effective things to do to refresh your home. Replacing countertops with granite in a dated kitchen or bath is not one of them. Saving my clients from overspending by not over-prepping sells their home.

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Happy spring clean out: De-clutter, help community

Finally, spring! Besides spring-cleaning, this is a good time to get rid of anything that is no longer serving you. Many organizations have fundraising yard sales. Or start gathering up goodies for your own. Sort your stuff into piles: trash/donate/sell.

On the flip side, watch for local yard and garages sales to purchase “new-to-your-home” items. You never know what you might find, and the price can be remarkably lower than buying new. Look for Facebook online yard, too. Just as you are looking to change the look in your home, someone else is, as well.

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As Seen on TV “HGTV’s House Hunters!”

Laurel Lustgarten of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty was recently selected to film an episode of House Hunters for HGTV, after a multi-stage audition process.

The episode followed Lustgarten and her buyers, Daphne Garcia and Rudy Rodriguez, during their home search in the Goshen and Middletown area. Three properties that were listed for sale at the time were toured, as well as various locations in Orange County. The House Hunters episode is set to air at 3:30 p.m., Feb. 21 on HGTV. Look for reruns to air titled, “Moving Up in New York State”.

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