Major retailers have their displays of holiday decor stocked and ready for the upcoming holiday season. Before you stock up on new ornaments or lights to deck your halls, it's important to have a plan in place for storing your holiday decorations.
This helps you keep your home organized and ensures that your decor remains in good shape for years to come. Our real estate agents suggest using these ideas for storing your holiday decorations.
With a little time and planning, you can keep your holiday decorations organized and protected when you're not using them. Interested in purchasing a home with more space for holiday festivities? Contact us to list your home for sale!
If you want to update your home's features or make the space more useful for your household, a home remodel can help you accomplish these goals. Our real estate agents recommend checking out this guide about the cost of a remodel by room to help with your planning.
A remodeling project is an excellent way to make your home's space more usable for your family and allow your property to adapt to your needs. Looking for a new home to customize to your family's needs? Contact us to get started!
If your home no longer fits your needs, you might be thinking of building an addition. A new wing, great room, or even bedroom can make your current house feel more like your home. You may also consider an addition if you find an awesome home for sale that's simply lacking in a few ways. We've seen plenty of Belleville homes for sale with additions that blend in well with the original architecture. Here are some key things to know if you're thinking about having an addition built.
Home additions can open up a space and make your home a more enjoyable place to be. However, we encourage you to also consider moving to a home that's already built to suit your needs. Contact us if you're looking for a real estate agent to guide you. Our real estate agents are local experts and can guide you through the buying process.
You took your time looking at Belleville homes for sale, finally found the right one, and moved in. Now, you're looking at your front yard and thinking it could use a refresh. Sound familiar? You're not alone. Front yards do need a little revitalization from time to time to keep them looking fresh and inviting. Here are some ways you can spruce up your front yard and enhance your home's curb appeal.
With these ideas, you can transform your front yard in just one weekend. If you're still looking for the perfect house to call home, contact us soon. Our real estate agents can guide you through the process.
Are you feeling dissatisfied with your home? If it's starting to feel a little stale or like it doesn't meet your needs anymore, it could just be that it's time to rearrange your furniture. Changing your room arrangements can breathe new life into your home and remind you why you love it. Or if you're getting it ready to list, rearranging your furniture can help stage the space better for potential buyers. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for a winning room arrangement.
Rearranging your furniture can go a long way toward making your home feel fresh again, but if you've truly just outgrown your space, it may be time to look for a new place. If this sounds like your situation, contact us today, and we'll help you get your search started.
Tired of having to search through multiple cabinets to locate the pot or pan you're looking for? Feel like your cabinets and drawers have a lot of wasted space?
Organizing your kitchen helps you quickly find what you're looking for and makes cooking more enjoyable. Follow these tips from our real estate agents to get your kitchen organized and clutter-free.
With a little time and planning, you can improve your kitchen's organization so that it's a better fit for your needs. Interested in a home with a larger kitchen? Contact us today to start your search!
The spring real estate market is here and is sure to continue to heat up! If you are looking into Belleville homes for sale, you are likely considering the down payment you'll have to invest. Saving adequate money for the down payment is a hurdle for many, but a solid savings plan makes homeownership possible. Our real estate agents have compiled an easy guide below to get you closer to owning your dream home.
Most homeowners hesitate to start the homebuying journey because they can't make a 20% down payment. While many mortgage lenders demand a 20% down payment, you can put as little as 3% down with a fixed-rate conventional loan. You may pay for even less or no down payment if you qualify for a VA or USDA loan.
The best strategy is to start saving well before you start house shopping. Use your pre-approval amount or home budget to determine how much you need. For example, if your budget is $200,000, plan to save $20,000-$40,000, that is 10-20% of the down payment.
The down payment amount may be intimidating, but it's attainable with some creative strategies. These tips include the following.
Saving for a down payment is taxing but entirely possible. In addition to a savings plan, you can simplify the buying process even further by consulting a seasoned real agent who understands your needs. Contact us to explore your options.
One popular feature in today's kitchens is a coffee station. While some people design their kitchen remodels with dedicated space for a coffee station, you can get the same effect in your kitchen today while making minimal changes. Here are a few ways our real estate agents recommend incorporating a coffee station in your kitchen.
Even if all you do is rearrange or bring in a new cart, a coffee station is a great way to stage your kitchen for potential buyers. If your current kitchen just isn't cutting it and you're in the market for a new house, contact us today.
Spring will be here before you know it! If you're like most people, once the seasons change, you'll focus on cleaning your home and getting it ready for the warmer months ahead. It's not too early to start planning your spring cleaning routine, especially if you're planning on listing your home in the near future. Our real estate agents have some tips to help you with your spring cleaning endeavors.
Spring cleaning is a great way to freshen up your living space, restore its functionality, and make it feel like home again. Of course, if you're still looking for Belleville homes for sale, we'd be happy to help. Contact us to learn about our real estate services.
The holidays are just around the corner, so it's time to fill your home with seasonal decor that creates an inviting atmosphere. While the holidays can be a difficult time to sell your home, our real estate agents have some staging tips that will impress holiday buyers.
The holiday season is a busy time of year with travel, family gatherings, holiday parties, and special events. With crunched schedules and strained shopping budgets, 'tis the time of year when home sales usually slow down. Buyers looking for Belleville homes for sale may need a little nudge to pique their interest. Staging your home for the holidays can be a great way to attract even the busiest buyers. Follow these tips to make a lasting impression this holiday season.
Clean and Declutter
Before you focus on holiday staging, it's essential to clean and declutter your home. Dusty floors, stained upholstery, and cluttered shelves and countertops are never appealing, but holiday decorations added to a cluttered interior are a definite turnoff. Before the holidays arrive, do a thorough cleaning or hire a professional cleaning crew, so you have a clean slate for holiday decorating.
Add Some Lights
Lighting up your home's exterior will increase curb appeal and attract more potential buyers. The holidays are the perfect time to add twinkling string lights to trees and shrubs, pathway lights to walkways, and spotlights to special outdoor architectural features. It's best to keep outdoor lights white or all one color to avoid a busy, overwhelming effect that may be an unpleasant distraction for buyers driving by the house.
Showcase the Tree
Your tree can create a lovely focal point that emphasizes a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Most homebuyers will relate to a beautiful tree filled with lights and decorative seasonal ornaments that feel like home.
Decorate for the Holidays
Home staging is all about neutralizing and paring down to make your home look larger and more appealing to buyers. Your holiday decorations should emphasize a warm, comfortable interior where buyers want to live. Think cozy quilts and throws, fresh garland with berries on the mantle, vases with seasonal flowers around the house, glowing candles and tealights, and a beautiful holiday centerpiece on the dining room table.
Fill the Air with Fresh Scents
Holiday scents are a wonderful way to welcome buyers. Whether you choose scented candles, potpourri, or freshly baked cookies, buyers will feel very welcome when they enter your home. Everyone associates the holidays with smells of fresh pine, juniper, and spruce, cinnamon and nutmeg spices, roasted chestnuts, pumpkin pies, and gingerbread cookies.
Complement Your Color Palette
Before you start decorating, make sure your holiday decorations complement your home's color palette. If your living room is designed in cool shades of ocean blue, skip the clashing red garland and opt for silver garland or white snowflakes. If you have an earthy color scheme, choose decorations with accents of gold, cranberry, and forest green. For a subtle white or neutral color palette, decorations in gold, silver, or metallic will add a sophisticated ambiance.
If you're considering buying or selling a home during the holiday season, contact us for more ways to make your holiday real estate venture a complete success.
Did you know that National Stress Awareness Day is on November 3rd? This important day always falls on the first Wednesday in November, as Wednesday is typically the most difficult and stressful day for Monday-through-Friday workers. The day was made an event by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) to recognize how much stress people carry and the harm it does both physically and psychologically, as well as to promote methods of managing stress.
There are many techniques that can help you deal with stress more effectively, but did you know that your surroundings can play a big part in how stressed you feel? Here are a few interior design tricks our real estate agents recommend for minimizing stress in your home.
The perfect home may not be able to completely resolve your stress, but by following these tips, you can create an environment where you can rest, reset, and recharge. To start your search for the perfect refuge from life's stressors, contact us today.
Fall is the ideal time to make a few cozy upgrades to your home. A cozy, inviting home makes the transition from long summer days to shorter, chillier fall days (and eventually frigid winter days) less daunting.
When it's time to add your property to the inventory of Belleville homes for sale, potential buyers will appreciate these homey, inviting upgrades. Here are a few projects to add to your to-do list.
Looking for a new space that you can decorate with all your cozy essentials? Our team can help. Contact us today!
As if landscape design hadn't been breaking new frontiers in recent years in so many inventive ways, here comes the latest: outdoor walkway ideas that promise to dazzle your visitors and set the neighborhood talking. Whether your walkway design is brick, wood, stone, tile, or gravel, it can become a real talking point -- or selling point, if you plan to list your home among Belleville homes for sale.
Let's take a walk through some of the fabulous outdoor walkway design ideas that might be right for your new home.
When you have a home that you love, it's important to have security features to keep you and your family safe.
Our real estate agents know that a few simple changes make a significant difference in the security of your property; these upgrades also make your home appealing to potential buyers. Here are some security upgrades to consider adding to your home.
Interested in selling your property? Contact us today to start the selling process!
When you're getting ready to list your home on the market, many sellers primarily focus on their home's interior, but it's important to remember your outdoor space too. Your home's exterior is your first chance to make a good impression on potential buyers. A beautiful exterior is an excellent way to attract attention to your listing.
Our real estate agents always encourage sellers to focus on sprucing up their outdoor space before listing their home, as it can actually have a positive impact on the home value and sale price. Below are some tips to help you get started today:
Outdoor areas are very appealing to prospective buyers looking at Belleville homes for sale, especially during the summertime. Make sure to give off a good first impression by devoting some extra time to refreshing the space. For more home staging tips, contact us today.
Homeowners routinely forget about their gutters when it comes to warm weather maintenance chores. However, there are a number of reasons you should check your gutters each year so that they're in good working order and you avoid potential damage to your roof. If you're listing your home among Belleville homes for sale, you should check out your gutters to ensure they are in good repair. Here's the lowdown on gutter maintenance for the summer.
If you don't have gutter covers, you will likely need to do a thorough cleaning. You can hire the work to be done, and if you need rain gutter repair, that might be the best plan. Otherwise, put on a pair of gloves, get a sturdy articulating ladder that goes up and over the gutters rather than an extension ladder. The ladder should not be leaned against the gutters.
Work your way around the house, cleaning out debris such as sticks, leaves, and dirt. Backed-up gutters can cause rain damage to your roof; in the winter, melting and refreezing ice in the gutters may cause ice dams that can damage your roof.
Once all the debris is removed, follow these tips.
So many of us are spending more and more time working from home these days, so there has never been a better time to revamp your home office. Whether you want to impress your colleagues during your video conference call or simply want a more comfortable working space, improving your home office will improve your happiness and productivity. Our real estate agents love creating beautiful home offices, and they've been compiled a list of tips for giving your working space a refresh:
Creating a comfortable place to work inside your home has never been more important. Contact us today for more tips on how to make the most out of your home office.
Home improvement shows are perfect for lazy weekend binge-watching. An easy home renovation that's completed over the weekend and delivers dreamy results (complete with décor accessories) – who wouldn't want that? The popularity of home renovation shows has dramatically skyrocketed and perhaps changed the way viewers think about buying and renovating a home. However, things that happen on these shows are out of line with reality and can be misleading if you're looking to remodel or buy Belleville homes for sale. As you enjoy these shows, take everything with a healthy dose of cynicism. Here are some important things the shows get wrong.
It's possible to bring your home improvement fantasy to life, but you need to keep your dreams grounded in reality. If you're thinking of taking on a home renovation project, you can count on our real estate agents to help you renovate and sell smart. Contact us for more information.
Some plants take a lot longer to grow than others, which can be challenging for us gardeners who live in cold weather climates. But there is a secret to getting ahead start on the season: start your garden indoors!
Planting your seeds indoors is actually a great way to get ahead start on the gardening season. Starting indoors allows you to really maximize your harvest and ensure your plants are in full bloom for the start of spring. Broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, and onions are some of our real estate agent's favorite plants to start inside. In fact, we thought it'd be helpful to pull together a list of tips to help you get started with your own indoor gardening this year:
We're always looking for new ways to step up our gardening game. If you're thinking about starting a home garden this year, contact us for more tips today!
Sure, you worked hard all spring and summer with DIY and cleaning projects, but we bet you overlooked something. Plus, now that the holidays have come and gone, chances are you've let some things slide in your cleaning routine. Be sure to follow these tips for getting your home sparkling clean this winter. Once you're finished, if you need help listing your home or buying a house from Belleville homes for sale, your local real estate agents are ready to help.
While cleanliness is always a feature of Belleville homes for sale, the concept has taken on a whole new importance this year. Protect your family and display your new home in its best light with this guide to pre-move-in deep cleaning.
By the time July rolls around, many people believe planting season has come and gone - but the truth is, July can be the perfect time to plant many edibles and herbs from seed. Many cooler weather plants only need about 60 days to fully mature. Since the first frost can be as late as October or early November in Illinois, mid-summer is the right time to be thinking about a second harvest.
Maintaining a garden is not only a great hobby, but it can also significantly improve the appearance of your outdoor space. For those who are planning to put their home on the market this fall, starting a mid-summer garden can be a great way to make your yard more appealing to potential buyers and compete with other Belleville homes for sale.
If you're looking to spruce up your yard this summer, below are 5 plants you can easily add to your garden this July:
If you're more interested in ornamentals than vegetables, fast-blooming wildflowers such as cosmos, zinnia, and alyssum can make a great addition to your garden in July.
Gardening is a great way to improve the appearance of your yard and may even help you to sell your home faster. Just remember that your plants will need some extra water, care, and maintenance in the intense summer heat. For more tips on how to improve the appearance of your outdoor area, our real estate agents can help. Contact us at Strano & Associates Real Estate. We've been experts at serving the southern Illinois real estate market since 1981.
Your unfinished basement may be a useful space for storing unsightly odds and ends. However, you can take things a step further and add to your home's habitable square footage by converting the basement into anything from a workout room to an entertainment area.
Our REALTORS® can give you ideas to get you started. Your finished basement could turn into one of your home's most desirable selling points -- yet another way to stand out from other Belleville homes for sale.
Have a look at these five suggestions for your unfinished basement.
Turn that extra square footage beneath street level into a selling point. Contact us today.
Stainless steel appliances lend an air of sleek, modern elegance to any kitchen -- but only if they're gleaming and smudge-free. As you go about your spring cleaning, be sure to spiff up your stainless steel appliances, as well as your sinks. It's not difficult, and shining it up to polished perfection will make a great impression on a potential buyer.
How to Make Your Stainless Steel Shine
To make stainless steel appliances shine, address those messy fingerprint smudges, water drips, and food splatters as soon as they happen. Fortunately, stainless steel is fairly easy to clean.
Stainless steel cleaner is highly recommended. It's also a good choice to prevent scratching the steel. However, there are other products you can use. But do avoid steel wool, bleach, ammonia, and scouring powder, or you'll diminish the steel's shine. Mineral-laden tap water may also leave stains. You should also avoid any chlorine-based cleaners or anything with chloride in it.
Some products that you may have in your cupboard that will work well:
Always rub stainless steel appliance surfaces in the direction of the grain. Rubbing in the right direction helps eliminate streaks; with stainless steel sinks and pots, you can use a circular motion. Sinks and pots can stand a bit more effort since you need to scrub away sticky food from pots and soap scum from sinks with more abrasive cleaners and methods of cleaning.
With so much to do after a big move, it's easy to overlook some smaller details. Things you'd never forget normally can slip through the cracks when you're celebrating – and resting up! – after moving into one of the great Belleville homes for sale.
Our REALTORS® strive to make every part of buying a home more comfortable, including the move. Many of our clients have reached out with stories of things they forgot to take care of, so we decided to delve deeper and find out what goes undone the most.
In the chaos of packing and unpacking, important administrative tasks can fall by the wayside. And the further you're moving, the more valuable it is to remember to do those things promptly.
Let's take a closer look at five things people forget to do after they move:
Moving can be hectic, even when you're on your way to the home of your dreams. Strano & Associates makes it easier with expert advice and courteous service backed by years of experience here in Illinois.
To find out more about local real estate opportunities, contact us today.
The first day of spring is Tuesday, March 19 – and our REALTORS® are looking forward to it!
At Strano & Associates, we know people have many motivations for buying a home. Some are starting a family, others want to make space for their dogs, but one thing is for sure: Certain things are just more satisfying in your very own home.
Gardening is one of them!
Luckily, these greenhouses will get you off to a wonderful start on spring with gorgeous flowers, trees, and shrubs.
Here are our five favorites:
Find the perfect home for you and your garden! No matter what kind of property you're looking for, we make it simple by understanding your needs and supporting you every step of the way.
It's about time to find the perfect space for that garden you've always wanted ... and the home to go with it. Contact us to discuss opportunities or start your home search.
You've probably seen all the house flipping shows on TV and wondered to yourself what it would take to get started in the flipping game. There are a lot of pieces that need to be in place to successfully flip a house for a profit, but luckily our REALTORS® are here to help. Here's what you need to know before you get started.
Improving energy-efficiency within your home will trim a significant sum from your monthly utility bills. It will also enhance the home's curb appeal in an increasingly eco-conscious real estate market. As you think about the things you can do to reduce your energy usage, our real estate agents recommend you pay close attention to the following:
Contact us for more information about the most common eco-friendly upgrades we see in Belleville homes for sale. It is our pleasure to help you choose the improvements that will help your home stand out.
Everything tends to look a little gray and dreary in the winter, so if you're selling your home during this season, you'll have to pay particular attention to curb appeal. The weather might be colder, but your home should still look warm and inviting. Winter curb appeal can make your home look more vibrant and inviting when compared to other area homes.
Our real estate agents recommend the following 8 ways to improve your winter curb appeal: