Real Estate, Zen Tips

Tidying Up

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Your house is nothing like “Hoarders”! Marie Kondo would come in and… ask if your “collection” of baseball cards really sparks joy. Take steps to clear out the clutter in your life. You may just wind up transforming your home!

Marie Kondo Your Life
There’s a great reason the KonMari Method became a craze; it’s a simple way of helping you decide what is — and what isn’t — important to you is a great way to shed some belongings. Follow these steps to get started on “Marie Kondo”-ing your own home.

Be Thankful
Your house is where you get to build your life with your family. Start by thanking your home for providing shelter.

Pile It Up
Going room-by-room, pile things up by category. For example, put all of your clothing in one place. This will help you visualize how much of each item you have.

Does it Spark Joy?
Item-by-item, ask yourself if it sparks joy in your life. If it does, then it’s not a big deal to keep it. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. Don’t keep things just to keep things! This is what causes clutter to pile up.

Stand Things Up
After you’ve decided what sparks joy and what doesn’t, it’s time to find a home for everything. Hang up or fold clothes, and give each item its own spot. This way, your letter opener doesn’t just hang out somewhere on the counter; it goes in your brand new, dedicated stationary drawer.

Tiny Boxes
Think about your junk drawer. Most likely, it’s everything crammed into one spot. Tiny boxes can help organize miscellaneous items.

Organize By Size
If you can’t prop things up so that you can see them, organize them by size. This makes it easy to know exactly where in the closet or drawer you need to be looking for something.

Decluttering in No Time
Sometimes you just need to declutter fast. Simplify your decluttering method into five different categories. Get a bin or basket for each category, and clearly label to its corresponding category to make decluttering go even faster. To keep things from getting overwhelming, take it one room at a time, and clean out your baskets at the end of each room.

Put Away
Honestly, how did the cheese grater end up in the laundry room? Use this category for anything you want to keep and desperately needs to be put away.

Recycle
Yes, you were going to read the newspaper from three weeks ago, but now you have four more issues to catch up on. Toss any newspaper, plastic, glass, or paper into this category.

Fix or Mend
That broken button or dirty pair of shoes can be tossed into this bin. Instead of letting the stuff you’ve been meaning to do pile up, keep it in one place to come back to at another time.

Trash
Some things are simply trash. Use this category to get rid of anything you don’t want to keep and cannot be donated or recycled.

Donate
You may not need three copies of the same book, but your library might! Toss any items that you want to get rid of, but are in good condition into this category.

Decluttering your house is the first step to zen living. If you find your home is in need of a complete upgrade, Zen Living Realty can help during the Orlando realty process. By getting to know you and your needs, we can make sure you’re getting the home of your dreams! Give us a call at (407) 499-3919 to speak with a Realtor® about your dream home.

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For Buyers, For Sellers, Real Estate

Your Guide to Downsizing

It can be hard to imagine downsizing your house. After all, most of us think that bigger means better. But a smaller home can mean less cost, less cleaning, and more time for you to actually enjoy the house you live in. While downsizing may seem scary, living in a smaller home can help simplify your life and take away the pressure of upkeep that comes with a larger home.

Benefits of Downsizing
The math on this is simple — less space means less cost. There’s less square footage to heat and cool down, and less space means your utilities will cost less. Downsizing also leads to minimal maintenance and less time spent cleaning. This leaves more time for you to do the things you actually want to do. All the Saturday mornings you spent cutting the lawn are now wide open. You can take the dog for a walk, relax with a cup of coffee, or even sleep in. A smaller house means fewer chores waiting for you.

Ask Yourself Questions
Downsizing is scary; once the extra space is gone, you might miss it. But how often are you actually using all of the rooms in your house? To find out, try the sticky note method! Put a sticky note on the door of each room in your house. Every time you enter a room, write down why you went in that room. After a few weeks, you’ll have a good idea of how much of your space you’re actually using. Some other questions to ask yourself are whether or not the size of your house matters to you, if you think you’ll miss having extra (even if unused) space, and are you willing to get rid of extra clutter?

Getting Rid of Clutter
Less space means less room to store things. But if minimalism isn’t your style, there are a few ways you can start shedding extra belongings. Start with a “new in, old out” rule. For each new item you bring home, give an old one away. Not only will this make you think about what you’re bringing home, it will encourage you to only keep the pieces you love! If pieces are still in good condition, consider giving back to your community and donating them.

Downsizing your home can lead to less clutter, fewer chores, and more time for you. If you’ve decided to make the switch to a smaller home, Zen Living Realty can help. By delivering personalized, top-notch service, we strive to make the Orlando realty process peaceful. Give us a call at (407) 499-3919 to speak with a Realtor® or visit our home page at: zenlivingrealty.com.

 

 

 

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For Buyers, For Investors, For Sellers, Real Estate, Zen Tips

To Paint, or Not to Paint; That Is the Question

 

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The first question you might ask yourself after putting your house on the market is “Do I really need to paint?” The answer, for the most part, is often a resounding yes. A fresh coat of paint is attractive to potential buyers; it means less work and maintenance that they have to do, which increases the value of your home.

Exterior
The color of your house is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Homes painted neutral shades, like the popular “greige,” or grey-beige, saw up to $3,496 more than the expected price of the home when selling.

Kitchen
It seems like white kitchen updates are in style; from white cabinets to white countertops, bright kitchens seem to be trending. However, that trend doesn’t look like it’s going to last! Painting your kitchen a blue-gray is a safe bet and can make your home sell an average of $1,809 more! But don’t limit color to just the walls; homes with bold cabinets often sell faster.

Dining Room
Similar to the kitchen, blue-greys are all the rage in the dining room. Compared to white dining rooms, homes with more matte colors had a value of approximately $1,926 more. Stick to lighter colored accents to contrast the muted grey-blue.

Bathroom
A blue bathroom is a classic, and for good reason! Studies have shown that houses with bathrooms painted a light blue bathroom netted an average of $5,440 more than expected. Spruce up decorations with nautical or beach themed pictures.

Bedroom
If you’re noticing a trend, blue is it. Bedrooms painted a soft, matte cerulean sold higher than expected. Pair the blue with bright, white baseboards to make it pop, and add natural wood accents to create a relaxing, tranquil environment for potential buyers.

Living Room
Greige was all the trend in 2018, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon! Light beiges and greys help make homes feel cozy and welcoming and can increase your home value by $2,000. Stick with neutral accents to keep the room feeling clean and comfortable.

Blue is overwhelmingly the color of 2019, and honestly who’s surprised? The color blue has been thought to lower stress, increase productivity, and inspire a sense of tranquility. If you’re unsure what color is right for your house, Zen Living Realty can help. By developing a relationship with each client, we get to know you and what your needs are, making the Orlando realty process a breeze. Give us a call at (407) 499-3919 to speak with a realtor about what color is right for you and your home.

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Stress-Free Realty

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For the indecisive, deciding where to go for dinner can be a nightmare. Do you want Thai or Italian? Takeout or dine-in? What seems like a simple problem can turn into an endless cycle of “I don’t know. You pick.” And when it comes to bigger decisions — like real estate — that overwhelming feeling of indecisiveness can feel debilitating. Guarantee your Orlando realty process is stress-free with Zen Living Realty.

Be Informed
Three or four bedrooms? One or two stories? Do you need a home office? A nursery? How far are you willing to commute? Do you want to renovate? If you’re unsure of what you want in a home, all of the options can be overwhelming, and your real estate agent can’t read your mind. Before you meet with your real estate agent, take some time to reflect on what you picture in your new home. Consider things such as:

● Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
● One-level or multi-level
● Square footage
● Type of housing (condo, duplex, single-family, etc.)
● Distance to work
● Distance to shopping and expressways
● Distance to places of worship
● Walkability
● School districts
● Neighborhood
● Amount of required maintenance and renovation

Be Flexible
Unless you’re building from scratch, it will be difficult to find your dream home (as much as we all dream of a mid-range, two-story, single-family home that has brand new appliances, minimal maintenance, and just so happens to be a five-minute walk from work). Keep your mind open to new ideas, whether that’s an unconventional floor plan or a few necessary upgrades. Don’t concede on major requirements, but be open to compromise.

Be Patient
If the home buying process is anything, it’s long, and most of that time is spent waiting; waiting for the perfect home to go on the market, waiting for answers, waiting for offers, waiting for mortgages, waiting for paperwork, waiting for surveys. It’s important to remember that this is a long process!

Be One With Your Realtor
When buying a house, your Realtor is your rock. They’re the Alex Trebek to you’re Jeopardy; they simply have all the answers. Your Realtor should work with you, get to know you, and understand what you’re looking for in a house. Zen Living Realty develops a relationship with each client, getting to know your needs and ensuring a smooth and relaxing process.

Be Zen
Throughout this process, it’s important to take some time for you. Grab a coffee, go out to dinner, and relax. Check out some of our favorite spots:

● Orange County Brewing: Brewed in-house, Orange County Brewing is a great place to grab a local beer and play some board games.
● Find Your Zen: Yoga is a great way to channel your inner peace. Attend events such as rooftop yoga at The Balcony or take a Thai and Wine Partner Stretching class.
● Oudom’s Thai and Sushi: From fried rice served in a pineapple to every sushi roll imaginable, Oudom’s is a great place to treat yourself to a mouthwatering meal.

Buying a home is an exciting milestone; it shouldn’t be weighed down by stress. Discover peace in Orlando realty by working with Zen Living Realty. We believe that every person deserves top-notch, personalized service. By building a strong relationship with every client, we can help you find the home of your dreams, stress-free. Give us a call at (407) 499-3919 to speak with a Realtor or visit our website and start your VIP home search or to receive a free home valuation!

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The Incredible Joy of Owning Your Home

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If you haven’t bought a home yet, you’re missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, “Finally, it’s ours (or mine)!” And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that’s a real feeling!

We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don’t often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home.

There is a sense of security, and a sense of “this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment,” that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can’t be beat.

Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. And we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July and New Year’s Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships.

Buying a home isn’t about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it’s just about the joy of owning your own place, and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you’ve been longing for this, contact me today and I will make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!

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The Catch You Shouldn’t Fall For

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With the growth of online tools, companies are quickly building products to serve the real estate community. After all, it’s a lucrative industry, home buying and selling will always be a thing – even if it does slow down, and companies around the world are diving in to make as much money off consumers as possible.

What are they selling? The ease. The ease of buying or selling a home online. The catch? You actually don’t benefit from these online quick-sale services. In fact, you could find yourself out of tens-of-thousands in cost difference. If you’re in the market to buy or sell, and are considering foregoing a real estate agent for an online service, be sure you read the fine print. You’ll often times find that you aren’t benefiting at all. Will they buy your home upfront to resale, so you don’t have to worry about the headache? Sure, but you may have been able to get $50,000 more for your house using a Realtor. Can you see and purchase your dream home through said services and “save” on agent commissions? Sure, but you’ll probably be overpaying for the home anyway.

The real estate industry is heavily regulated for licensed professionals to ensure the consumer is always getting the best representation for the best savings. These online services don’t require regulation and licensing, therefore, they can get away with fine print “scams.”

Be sure you do your research. A Realtor is there to make YOU the most money. Quick online services are focused on making their business the most money – not focused on how much you can sell your home for or how much you can save when you buy. Licensed professionals exist for a reason, be sure you don’t lose more than you can afford to by using a gimmicky online service that dubs buying and selling an “easy” process. Any good agent will make the process easy, minus general lending issues that may arise.

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Real Estate, Zen Tips

Using Baking Soda In Your Laundry Room

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That orange box of baking soda tucked away in your fridge or kitchen cabinet can also be an inexpensive, and earth-friendly, solution for your laundry needs. It’s safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers and is one of the best products available to reduce your dependence on chemicals. Let’s take a look into the top 5 ways baking soda can be used in your laundry room:

1. Reduce and Remove Laundry Odor
The body odors found on our clothing and linens are caused by different types of bacteria. These bacteria are removed when the detergent’s molecules break them up and flush them away from the clothing. Less expensive detergents generally don’t have strong enough enzymes to remove all of the bacteria, so baking soda will be a great boost to your detergent’s bacteria fighting power. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to each laundry load to make your detergent work more effectively.

2. Boost Bleach Performance
Bleach is often used to removed odors and stains from our laundry; however, if the water is to acidic, bleach doesn’t do it’s job as effectively. Just as it boosts detergent performance, baking powder can also help how effectively your bleach works. Which equates to less use of bleach and it’s negative impact on our environment.

3. Use As A Natural Fabric Softener
Baking soda is great for regulating your water’s pH level in your washer. It does this by making sure the rinse water is not too acidic or full of alkaline. 1/2 cup of baking soda to each rinse cycle with balance the mineral deposits in the water and keep them off of your clothes. It’s the minerals that make your clothing feel stiff, baking soda is a shield for your clothes from these minerals.

4. Great For Cleaning Irons
Baking soda is a gentle and earth-friendly abrasive. The face plate of an iron is notorious for building up starch and scorch deposits. To remove this build-up, mix a paste of water and baking soda and rub the paste over the face of the cool iron with a white cloth. Gently wipe the build-up away. You can finish with a wipe of white vinegar with a fresh towel.

5. Controls Water Suds
If you accidentally use regular laundry detergent on a washing machine that requires HE detergent, you’ll get a mess of suds. They might be fun to look at, but they are a pain to clean up. If you make this mistake, just grab a box of baking soda and sprinkle it directly on the suds to break them down. The baking soda is good at absorbing the moisture and will make clean-up much easier.

 

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