Tag Archives: Friendswood

Staging your home to Sell in Summer!

Any home stager will tell you that “staging is staging” and the principals remain the same throughout the year—keep things clean, clutter free and colorful. But that doesn’t each season comes without its own brand of staging magic.

For summer, there are a number of things you can do both inside and outside to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

Barb Schwarz, creator of Homes Staging® and CEO of Stagedhomes.com, suggests adding splashes of color to your porch with potted flowers. She favors larger pots placed on each side of the front door bearing tulips or daisies with greenery in the middle.

Bringing spring colors into a home is just as easy, especially with accessories like throw pillows, area rugs, artwork, towels and bedspreads.

“Change accessories and the whole house changes,” Schwarz said. Swap-out decorative pillows on a sofa for a fresh, new look. “This year nature colors are really in; green is really big and hot orange is an accent that is strong.”

Designers recommend using other knickknacks that speak of spring, such as pears, eggs, sea shells, nature, leaf patterns in fabrics, wicker, real leather and rust metal as contrast.

Schwarz said it’s also a good idea to replace the drapery panels in a home or office. She recently changed a den from a daisy pattern in blue to cream plain panels that went from ceiling to the floor “and the whole room looked bigger and more elegant,” she said.

Of course, all rooms in the house are important and there are ways to liven up each one as the spring season blooms. You want the buyer to buy the whole house, not just one or two rooms staged, so it’s important to create a cohesive design.

Yet don’t forget your “great outdoors.” Clean up your yards, remove fallen leaves and dead plants, and trim bushes and hedges.

Indeed, spring brings more buyers so take advantage of all that the season has to offer.

We can refer you to our own staging and remodeling folks if you prefer not to do it yourself!  Should your home need more than just staging, a bit of cleanup could mean replacing your carpet or changing out the old tired tile in the baths.

We are Sell This Place Now.com and  BuyThisPlaceNow.com!   We can help you if you are buying or selling!

Call us at 713.818.0829



Home Staging Should Include the Male Perspective

Professional home stagers consult with homeowners on ways to sell their homes quickly and for the most money possible, but often lost in the design process is the fact that men are involved in buying decisions as well.

When having your home staged, it’s important to remember to appeal to both sexes and do some things that will pique a man’s interest just as much as a woman’s.

Professional stagers take into account buyer demographics, buying psychology, and utilize design elements in planning out the rooms and space and the use of lighting and its effect on the space. Don’t be afraid to let them know if the home is leaning too far on the woman’s side.

Women tend to look for cozier settings or rooms that facilitate intimate conversations, while males gravitate toward rooms with gadgets, televisions and electronics.

Open spaces and higher ceilings are also a draw for men as psychologically they have a larger sense of personal space. Professional stagers with men in mind try to create rooms where a man can feel as if he can walk through the house easily without stepping around all sorts of furniture.

When it comes to men, the garage and yard tend to be high up on the priority list, so it’s important to get these areas as perfect as possible.

Garages that have painted walls, clean floors and enough storage for various male-oriented hobbies will impress. Shelf space is almost always looked at as a good thing here and a place to hang tools or a workbench would make a fine addition to attract male buyers. And remember, an empty garage looks much bigger than one with a car parked in it.

With the yard, showcasing a well-maintained lawn will help sell the male. Thick, healthy grass, minimal bushes to trim and easy to clean garden beds will meet the landscaping criterion the male buyer looks for.

Appealing to both sexes when staging and selling a home requires an emotional investment that will pay off in the end for all parties, just don’t forget that men need a connection, too.

At SellThisPlaceNow, we can guide you in getting your home professionally staged. Call us today at 713.818.0829

Norman Frenk can be reached at 713.818.0829.

Flood Insurance for Coastal and higher risk areas

A little known act which is only now rising to the attention of all of the U.S. coastal cities is now becoming a nightmare to homeowners. The Biggert-Waters flood insurance reform act of 2012 is now set to affect millions of homeowners from the coasts of Maine down to Florida through Texas and then over to the west coast.

This act appears to have the effect of raising insurance rates from $500 to $2500 to $10,000 and higher. In addition, the increased amount of homes drawn into the flood plains by raising the base flood elevation (BFE) in areas means that homes that did not previously require flood insurance may now require it or those that already required it are now placed in even higher risk categories – all of this with just the stroke of a pen – increasing the BFE.

The Biggert-Waters Act is first reforms began Oct. 1 and the first round of people affected are those with subsidized flood insurance.

For years, homeowners with subsidized insurance were allowed to pay lower rates because their homes were built before the original flood maps were adopted decades ago. Now, those with subsidized insurance on businesses, secondary homes, or homes that have flooded multiple times are seeing rates increase substantially.

Rates are also spiking for new purchases, dating back to July 2012. Thus, if you purchased a home prior to July 2012 that is your primary dwelling your rates could be grandfathered in. If you purchased a home in August of 2012, for example, you probably have already received your notice of rate increase. Grandfathering of current rates for those homeowners who purchased before July 2012 is also set to disappear in a future round of the reform act.

Donald Matter, former Mayor of Nassau Bay said that his rates could hit as high as $30,000 per year just for flood insurance on his $685,000 home.

Congress passed and President Obama signed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. It extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years. It also calls for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies to make changes to the way in which the NFIP operates.

The act makes several major changes. Higher insurance premiums will be charged for homes and businesses below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Rates for some homes in high-risk areas will increase 25% of the newly established premium each year over the next four years starting in 2013. No discounts will be given to homeowners for properties below the BFE, even if they met the building code at the time they were built.  Older structures built before a community’s first flood map was issued are known as pre-FIRM buildings. The grandfather rule applies to homes that were built in compliance with the flood map that was in effect at the time the structure was built. Finally, subsidized insurance rates will be phased out for all properties except pre-FIRM primary residences that have not lost their qualification for the rate.

What does this mean to you?  Even more – what does this mean for the country?

If the Biggert-Waters act continued, homeowners would be driven from their homes in (pardon the pun) floods – leaving because they cannot pay the insurance rates. Foreclosures would rise and no one would be there to purchase those properties anywhere near the previous values.  Values along all coastal areas would plummet to land value where people could obtain the land and build structures that are higher than the current BFE.  Biggest losers?  Current homeowners, banks holding those mortgages, cities and businesses wherein those homes are located.

Will this really happen?  Well, this IS a government program and let’s see how the Post Office is doing. How about Social Security?  Freddie MAC? FannieMAE? Now let’s throw Obamacare in the mix – and, well – you see how this is going – all programs that are government run are failing or destined to fail.   FEMA is no different – another failed system.

In all actuality we will see increases in insurance rates for those on the coast.  Will it ultimately be $30,000 as Matter believes will happen for his home in Nassau Bay – leading to devastation across the country?  Very doubtful.  We will finally have some resolution that makes sense and keeps home values virtually intact.

Norman Frenk, M.B.A. is a Realtor at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate – Gary Greene (www.SellThisPlacenow.com and www.BuyThisPlaceNow.com) and owner of Modern Home Designs (www.RedesignMyPlace.com)