January 2015 news letter


Window Treatments for Glass Sliding Doors Offer Several Options

Window treatments for glass sliding doors allow you to view the beauty of nature while protecting you from the elements. These window treatments let you control light, but should also be easy to operate. Sliding glass doors may be an attractive and efficient way of letting light and air into your home, but they’re also a big source of heat loss. Additionally, if you don’t have the right window treatment for glass sliding doors, they can be an eyesore and lead to an unattractive décor.

Some main considerations when choosing window treatments for glass sliding doors are how much traffic the door causes and how much light you want to receive through the glass. Additionally, working with sliding glass doors requires a good sense of design and proportion. Some rooms can use the sliding doors as a focal point, while other rooms are thrown off balance if they already have a major design feature, such as a fireplace or a cathedral ceiling.

If your doors are the focal point of a room, there are several ideas to try. An elegant solution is a Japanese wood and rice-paper screen called shoji screens. If you’re willing to put in a bit more time and effort, you can have sliding shoji doors mounted on your sliding glass ones. This imparts the look of shoji on the inside and the practicality of glass on the outside. Another option would be to create your own shoji screen out of semi-transparent or translucent fabrics stretched over a wooden frame, resulting in a look that is a cross between quilting and stained glass.

If you prefer a subtle, updated look to your window treatments for glass sliding doors, consider Vertiglide shades, which move horizontally along a track. However, if you like unfiltered light and privacy is not an issue, treat your glass doors like a window and mount a swag over the top. Or check out indoor shutters for an oversized, playful look. Fabric panels are also a popular choice, and sheer fabrics will give the room a sense of spaciousness. Vertical blinds allow complete light control and operate very easily. Choose metal blinds with small slats sizes for a contemporary, clean appearance. Another option is pleated shades or small cell honeycomb that impart an elegant look.

Finally, you can conserve energy and save money with window treatments for glass sliding doors. A simple and effective way of keeping the cool in and the heat out is to shade your windows from the sun. The most effective way to do this are external shading devices that reduce heat before it penetrates the glass, such as small aluminum louvers, fiberglass mesh, or tough metalized polyester film laminated to vinyl shade screens. Although interior shades are not as effective, they do block a certain amount of the sun’s heat.

Removable window treatments for glass sliding doors will allow you to let sunlight and solar heat into your home in the wintertime. These environmental-friendly treatments will also save you money on heating bills. Your glass sliding doors may be just right for your room, but there are times when you’ll have to make up for their shortcomings in terms of appearance with the way you cover them. As you can see, you have more options than you may have realized.

Which is the Best Season to Sell Your Home?

Realizing the time has come to sell your home can create a lot of confusion. Timing is everything in real estate; however, some also believe one season is better than another to sell your home.

If you ask a real estate professional when you should sell your home, most will say, “Now is the best time to sell your home”.

Real estate today is a year-round business, and most agents will agree that they do nearly as much business in December as in June.

If that is the case, then how do you decide which is the best time of year to list your home? Each season has its own characteristic. Let’s review each one.

According to most real estate professionals, spring is the busiest time of the year for buyers and sellers — spring offers the opportunity to showcase their home at its best. There’s always something nice about listing your home when it’s not too hot or too cold out and the air is fresh.

If you have a green thumb, summer might prove to be the best time to show off your garden. Potential buyers come through houses looking for such amenities as a well-cared-for garden. Also, if your kids are away for the summer, you might be able to keep their rooms clean from one showing to another. If you have central air, this season is also a great time to show it off. This is also a great time to boast about any access to summer recreational activities such as a beach, a lake, or community tennis courts or swimming pools.

A potential downside to showing a house in the summer is that most kids are home, and you’ll have to work harder to ensure their rooms are maintained clean enough for buyers to get through them.

Even though falling leaves could make for extra work in the fall, with children back at school, daytime showings might be easier to accommodate. The tax benefits of home ownership can be a push for homebuyers to get into a new home by December 31.

Fall is historically a shorter selling season. A home that doesn’t sell in the fall can be stigmatized as being held over on the market until the New Year. An old listing number in the MLS can give buyers the misleading impression that a home has been on the market for a long time and the seller might be willing to accept a lower offer.

Real estate professionals agree that only the most motivated buyers and sellers are active in the market during the winter season.

If you decide to sell your home in the winter, expect the unexpected. You will come across buyers who want showings at odd hours, or during your family holiday parties. At this time of year, you can expect potential buyers to track mud, snow, and salt through your home

In conclusion, how do you decide which is the best season to sell? As discussed, every season offer some plusses and minuses. If you want to list your home in the spring, you might want to list in mid-January, rather than waiting for February or March. On the other hand, you might get even more attention if you wait until mid-March, when many of the spring houses have already come on the market and buyers are hungry for something new.

Real estate is an industry of immediacy. It’s always a good time to sell your home if the price is right, no matter what the season.

Tips for Single Homebuyers

There are probably few things in life that are as exciting–or as nerve- racking–as the search for a house. With an organized home buying plan, you can minimize a great deal of the emotional impact. By determining your buying power, your wants and needs, and having an organized search plan, your chances of a stress-free experience are much better.

Certain types of homes may appeal a bit more to some single homebuyers. For example, since most of the maintenance will be done by one person rather than two, many single buyers prefer homes such as townhouses and condominiums where some or all of the exterior maintenance, landscaping, snow removal, etc. is handled by the homeowner’s association. In addition, some single buyers prefer the community aspect of these types of homes and the sense of safety that may be conveyed by having neighbors close at hand.

Many single homebuyers are single parent families, and a common mistake made is to tailor their purchase too closely to their current needs and not enough to future resale. For example, a one bedroom, two-bath single-family home with a huge great room and kitchen may be perfect for you, but it could be next to impossible to sell. It would be far better to have an additional bedroom or two sit empty (use as an office, exercise room, etc.) than to not have it at all.

Gertrude Singer, a real estate agent with National Realty in Palm Bay suggests that single buyers consider a few issues when preparing for and purchasing a home. According to Singer, the single homebuyer should

  • Run before walking. This is easy to do once the decision to buy a home has been made. It means rushing off looking at homes, surfing the web or calling on advertisements before doing some up-front preparation.
  • Don’t over-buy the first time. A large and beautiful home with little or no furniture tends to be empty and cold. A life where almost every dime of your earnings goes to the support of your house wears thin very quickly and is a frequent cause of family stress. Leave yourself some breathing room!
  • Compare mortgages. Don’t simply accept the first plan presented to you. Spend time comparing to get the most advantageous plan for your requirements and financial situation
  • Get mortgage pre-approval. Pre-qualification and pre-approvals are a necessary part of the home buying process. Not only will it give you an exact price range for your purchase, pre-approval will add a great deal of strength to your offer
  • Don’t wait for the “perfect” home. Many first time buyers make the mistake that they will, if they look around long enough, find a home that has a full 100% of their needs and wants. Instead, it makes sense to determine the most important of your needs and the most desired of your wants and selecting a home that meets the majority of them.
  • The inspection process. This can involve skipping a whole house inspection completely in order to save the relatively small amount of money involved, or it may involve using a friend or relative with limited experience to conduct the inspection. In either case you run the risk of not exposing potentially expensive–or even hazardous–defects in the property. Protect yourself by investing the $200 to $500 for a professional inspection.

John Kuehne, a real estate agent with Pruitt Real Estate, Inc., advised that once the decision to buy a home has been made, you take the time to prepare before you go on your home search.

  • Get your financial house in order first!
  • Determine what your budget will comfortably allow and stick to it.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
  • Get familiar with the different housing types available to narrow your search.
  • Determine your minimum requirements as well as any desired additional features-your needs and wants.
  • Take note of any items that you don’t want in a house.
  • Determine the desired location (schools, work, public transportation, etc.)
  • Choose an agent that you feel comfortable with and who understands your needs.

Kuehne also suggests that as you are searching, you use a scorecard to compare homes. “A scorecard is a great tool when it comes time for comparisons (and for remembering which home had which features).”

If you ever wish to buy or sell property please let USA Houses experts with Scott Brown Realty know.