Styling Tips to ‘Wow’ Spring-Time Home Buyers

By Patti Stern, PJ & Co. Staging and Interior Decorating

The new year and the upcoming spring season brings with it a fresh outlook and new beginnings. What will prospective home buyers be thinking about while searching for their new “happy place”? For sellers preparing their homes to sell this spring, that means engaging buyers by showcasing a warm, welcoming and cheerful property that others can easily envision living in. The following are our spring décor styling tips to help sellers prepare their property to stand out among the sea of new listings.

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Natural Elements Paired with Metallics

One of our favorite trends is plants of all shapes and sizes–succulents, trees or plants in baskets and colorful planters, and fresh or synthetic garden flowers in vases and wreaths. Since metallic accents continue to be on-trend, we love pairing the two together for an elegant touch to appeal to today’s buyers who like to feel close to nature.


Pops of Bright Accents

Pair bold pops of colorful accessories such as accent pillows, throws, artwork, glass bowls filled with fruit, and fluffy bathroom towels against a neutral backdrop to give any room a boost of energy and warmth. Mix and match different textures and patterns for added depth and a modern style.


Update Paint Colors

Whether you repaint an entire room or an accent wall, a fresh coat of paint works wonders to instantly brighten and open a space to make it appear larger. To spruce up your curb appeal, try a fresh coat of a trending spring color such as Benjamin Moore’s Caliente for your front door to create a welcoming first impression.


Fresh Bedding

To create a spring-like oasis in the bedroom, switch out winter bedding and replace it with fluffy duvets in white, or on-trend floral patterns paired with a soft, cozy throw and accent pillows in different sizes, colors, and textures.  To complete the look, add soothing nature-inspired wall art in complementary colors.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit

PattiABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is principal, interior decorator, and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating. She has been decorating and staging homes since 2005. She and her team provide turnkey, full-service home staging and interior decorating to clients across Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts. She also developed an award-winning staging program for the luxury homebuilder, Toll Brothers. Her company received the Houzz 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Awards for Customer Service.

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Instant Reaction: January Housing Starts

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to this morning’s release from the U.S. Commerce Department on January new home construction:

“Terrific news on housing starts in January with a solid 10% gain. This rise in single-family housing construction will help tame home price growth, and the increase in multifamily units should continue to help slow rent growth. The large gain in housing starts in the West (10.7%) is especially welcomed, as that region has been facing acute housing shortages. Ultimately, there is still large room for improvement given the fact overall housing inventory is currently near historic lows.

This boost in housing supply not only helps the economy, but may also help the Federal Reserve temper the pace of future short-term rate hikes. That’s because the slow upward creep in the broad consumer price inflation is principally being driven by rising housing costs. Simply put, more housing supply means a lower inflation rate, and potentially a slower pace of interest rate increases by the Fed.”  

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Home Prices at All-Time High in 63 Percent of Metro Areas

We reported yesterday that single-family home prices rose in 92 percent of NAR’s measured markets during the final three months of 2017. Add the 5.3 percent price growth overall last year, and the cumulative price gain nationally since 2011 is an impressive 48 percent.

This multi-year streak in price appreciation has been a welcoming sign for homeowners throughout most of the country, and especially for those who were unfortunately in a negative equity situation following the Great Recession.

Click here for a list of all metro areas where home prices are now at their all-time high.

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Home Improvement: Adding and Insulating an Outdoor Receptacle

By Steve Willson Home builders usually place a handful of receptacles on the outside walls of any house. Unfortunately, they aren’t always located in the best places. You can make them work with long extension cords, but it makes more sense—especially from a safety point of view—to install receptacles where they’ll be most convenient. The […]

The post Home Improvement: Adding and Insulating an Outdoor Receptacle appeared first on RISMedia’s Housecall.

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Fall in Love with Your Home Again

As with new relationships, there’s always going to be a honeymoon period between homebuyers and their new home. Those feelings can soon fade, however, especially if certain things aren’t maintained and taken care of as they should be. It’s Valentine’s Day, so there’s no better time to discuss how to fall back in love with your home! […]

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7 Ways to Add More Romance to a Home’s Decor

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day this week. But a romantic flair to warm up your home design may very well be in style year-round.

In fact, one-third of homeowners say they intended to renovate their master bedrooms to create a more romantic or intimate space, according to a 2015 survey of more than 1,500 homeowners conducted by Houzz, a remodeling website.

How do you achieve a more romantic style with your décor? Here are a few ideas.

1. Fluffy pillows

The more pillows on the bed, the better. Decorative pillows can add a softness to a room. Read tips from stager Audra Slinkey from the Home Staging Resource: How to Use Pillows in Staging


2. A lush Rug
A faux sheepskin rug under the bed may add a touch of luster to the flooring.


3. Whites and pastels
Softer colors can add a more romantic vibe. Pristine white mixed with soft pastels may add warmth to a bedroom. Try whites or pastel bedding and accessories up against a slightly darker wall color for just the right contrast.


4. Fireplace
Illuminate a space with the glows from a fireplace or candles.


5. Flowers
Fresh flowers can spruce up any room in the house–and as an added bonus they often bring a pleasant scent too. Even small bouquets can still make a statement.


6. Chandelier
Add in more glam in the bathroom with a crystal chandelier that can reflect the light and bring a little sparkle.


7. Intimate outdoor spaces
You can get romantic with your landscaping outside too. Set a scene with a small table and chair set, greenery surrounding, and strung lights to create a cozy spot to unwind or dine.

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Realtors® win pro-real estate provisions in budget deal

The federal budget deal passed by Congress and now on its way to the President’s desk contains a number of wins for real estate, including a temporary extension of federal flood insurance and extension of several National Association of Realtors®-backed tax provisions.

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall issued the following statement:

“The National Association of Realtors® is glad Congress came together to extend funding for the federal government, as well as extend retroactively for 2017 tax relief from debt forgiveness, the deductability of mortgage insurance premiums, and several energy-efficiency related provisions, which provides long-term budget certainty and valuable tax breaks for homeowners. While we avoided another lapse in the National Flood Insurance Program, we now urge Congress to speed passage of legislation to reauthorize and reform the program for a longer term and end the current stopgap approach.”

Here is a rundown of what’s in the budget deal:

Flood insurance:

Extends the National Flood Insurance Program until March 23, giving lawmakers time to work on a longer term reauthorization and reform legislation. It also adds $27 billion in mitigation and resiliency funds to address issues arising from last year’s hurricanes. And it makes $12 billion available under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to fund U.S. Army Corp of Engineers flood mitigation projects.

Tax Extenders:

Retroactively Extends for the 2017 tax year:

  • Mortgage Debt Forgiveness: Prevents homeowners who were forced to sell their home through a short-sale last year or who faced a foreclosure from being taxed on the “phantom income” they received when a lender cancelled their debt.
  • Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums: Allows approximately 4 million homeowners to deduct the mortgage insurance premiums they paid as part of their mortgage. NAR estimates that roughly 2 million homebuyers annually purchase a home that is subject to mortgage insurance. This provision helps make homeownership more affordable for first time and entry-level homeowners.
  • Deduction for Energy Efficiency Improvements on Commercial Buildings (179D): Extends the deduction for the cost, up to $1.80 per square foot, of energy-efficient commercial building property. Increasing the energy efficiency of commercial buildings not only helps the environment, it saves building owners and tenants money they can use to grow their businesses and the economy.

Real-estate Related Extenders:

In addition to these three major tax extensions, there are also several more minor extenders that affect real estate, as follows:

  • Non-business Energy Property Credit: 10 percent of amounts paid for qualified energy efficiency improvements [e.g., energy-saving roofs, windows, skylights, and doors] and 100 percent of amounts paid for qualified energy property [e.g., high-efficiency water heaters, air conditioning units, and furnaces], with respect to the taxpayer’s principal residence
  • Residential Energy Efficiency Property Credit: Extends and phases down the temporary components of the section 25D residential energy property credit for fuel cells, distributed wind property, and geothermal heat pumps
  • Credit for energy-efficient new homes: extends the $1,000-$2,000 credit for construction and sale of qualified new energy-efficient homes

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4 Steps to Take Before a Home Showing

By Hannah Whittenly Buyers want to know exactly what they’re getting when purchasing a home. As it’s a major investment, all potential homebuyers will want to inspect your entire property while keeping an eye out for any signs of damage. What can you do to make sure your home is ready for public scrutiny? Here’s […]

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