No More Walls Between the Kitchen & Family Room

Kitchen DesignBuyers today are all about functional space in their homes. They like open spaces – especially from the kitchen to the family room. If in the kitchen cooking they want to be part of what is happening with the kids in the family room or if entertaining being accessible to their guests.

Buyers Want Cozy, Connected Kitchens

The walls in kitchens started coming down in the 1980s and 1990s, Serra says. First to go were walls separating the kitchen from the dining room and now home owners are saying goodbye to walls between the kitchen and the living room. Kitchens also are being designed in a less utilitarian way with larger windows, fewer cabinets, and softer lighting according to Susan Serra a home designer in Huntington NY

Do I Have to Take Down Walls to Sell My House?

Here are some tips from designers around the country:

Install a kitchen island. Kitchen islands not only have functional benefits but also provide space for entertaining, informal dining, and extra storage. If your listing doesn’t have one, consider a portable island, which can range from a butcher block to a breakfast table with bar stools. “Just make sure that the style you choose is consistent with your existing decor in the kitchen and the size is appropriate,” says Ashley Whittenberger, founder and owner of Interiority Complex, a Texas–based staging and design company. She recommends at least 3 feet between the island and walls so there’s plenty of space to move around. If the kitchen island is large, add chairs to show it can serve as an extra gathering place.

Look for comfy chairs. Skip the typical wooden stools for an upholstered bar stool with a back, recommends Whittenberger. Switch out traditional chairs around the kitchen table for wing chairs, a love seat, or even an upholstered bench.

Soften the light. Use accent lights and sconces, usually associated with a hallway or den, Serra says. Numerous small lamps also will create a softer effect. Whittenberger suggests hanging a chandelier or light fixture over the kitchen island.

Add storage. Buyers are always drawn to extra storage. Add a standalone cabinet, cupboard, buffet, or wall shelving. Stage cabinets with craft supplies to show that the space can serve many purposes.

Display quality pieces. Take the artwork you may have once reserved for the living room and display it in the kitchen. Accessorize shelves with collectibles or books.

Make sure the basics are strong. “If the bones of the kitchen aren’t strong, fix those first,” Whittenberger says. “The condition of countertops, hardware, flooring, appliances, and cabinets aren’t going to be covered up by creating a cozy atmosphere.”

Source: Realtor.org Magazine

Brokers’ Tour New Listings March 10

There were 40 houses open this week for the Real Estate community to preview. Because the space of time to vie  the properties is limited, it is a matter of selecting between 10 to 12  properties. I choose different areas each week so that I can stay aware of what’s new and price points for Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, San Ramon and Diablo. Today we were able to preview 12 homes and here are the highlights. Oh and did I mention that the majority of the Realtors hosting the open house feed us.

3 New listings in Greenbrook– all single story ranchers. Read the rest of this entry

Do I Really Need a Realtor?

The Importance of Using a Realtor In Your Home Search

Even though many home buyers are using the Internet to search for homes they underestimate the value of working with a Realtor right from the get go.

The Internet is indeed a place to start as it will give you some understanding of home prices in neighborhoods and the types of homes in those areas. And using the Internet to start your search will in many cases save you time. But once you determine the neighborhood and your price range, it is advisable to contact a local Realtor. Read the rest of this entry

Mortgage Investors Suing Banks – More Trouble for the Mortgage Industry?

Buyer beware is not just a caution to the average consumers, but should also be caution between company mergers.  Bank of America who purchased Countrywide Mortgage back in 2008 to rescue the company believed it was a great opportunity, according to the CEO of Bank of America as cited below:

“Countrywide presents a rare opportunity for Bank of America to add what we believe is the best domestic mortgage platform Read the rest of this entry

San Ramon – Danville This Week’s New Listings

This weeks broker tour had over 30 new listings to showcase. In order for me to stay on top of the market, I faithfully preview as many listings each week as possible between a time frame of 10:30 to 1:30. I was able to preview 11 homes in Danville and San Ramon. Here are some of the highlights:

For those wishing to be within walking distance to downtown Danville there are 3 new listings all very nice, ranging in price $1,025,000 to $1,299,950 – all one story. Two of the homes have had some fabulous redo work, one which was completely taken down to the studs.

The home on Verona Avenue is deceiving on the outside. While the exterior displays the original brick, once you walk into the home it is completely transformed, 3100 square feet, 4 bedrooms with an in-law or nanny unit. Hardwood floors throughout backing to Iron Horse Trail.

All three properties are worth seeing located on Verona Avenue, Glen Rd and Emerald Drive.


For the first time home buyer a great buy located at Serene Place (just the name sounds relaxing), Danville. Read the rest of this entry

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