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Karla Beatty

Sales Associate

Karla's Blog

Choosing Your Dream Home...

4/20/2011

There's a lot to think about when it comes to buying your dream home. Every decision, small to large, is important! Let's look at a list of common issues that buyers face.

1. Neighborhood: Deciding on what neighborhood you desire is tricky. You must consider your wants and needs. They vary by person. Do you have children and need to live within the boundaries of a specific school district? You might want a short commute, a neighborhood with historic homes, or homes that are near night life and restaurants.

2. Square footage: What size of home fits your needs? The average home in the United States is 2,195 square feet. Thirty years ago the average size was just 1,645. The trend has been for larger and larger homes, with special purpose spaces, such as exercise rooms, offices, studies, and media rooms. This trend is now receding.

3. Floorplan: Architectural styles offer a wide range of choices! Open floor plans might appeal to you, with their great flow for entertaining. Or you may have a more traditional aesthetic, preferring cozy rooms. Think about how you live your life and what style best fits your needs.

4. Finishes: There are different grades of homes. Take your kitchen, for example. You can find a wide range of beautiful laminate counters, just as you can find a wide range of beautiful granite ones. These choices dramatically affect price. Think carefully about what you want in your dream home. Do you want stone floors or will ceramic suffice? Are you looking for green building materials, such as zero-voc paint, bamboo floors, and recycled counters?

5. Amenities: Our homes extend past the borders of our property. We live in the parks, shopping, and restaurants that surround us. Be sure to think outside the "box" of your house when you buy.

6. Landscaping: A large yard can mean lots of entertaining potential, but it can also mean a lot of work. Be sure to consider your needs now and down the road when it comes to yard maintenance. Many buyers prefer a townhouse or condo as their "dream home". These options afford buyers with much less responsibility when it comes to upkeep!

If you choose me to represent you on your next purchase I will take all of your choices to heart. I will help you know what items on your wish list you can get in your price range and will help you on your dream home search! Call me today!

Sell Your Home Now with These Tips...

4/19/2011

In this buyer's market, selling your home can be more than frustrating, especially if you make mistakes than slow down your sales opportunities. According to Zillow, 36% of homes nationwide sold for a loss in January. Spring is rolling in and buyers are heading out in droves to shop for their perfect home. They are shopping however with a critical eye because they are overloaded with choices due to excessive inventory. If you avoid common seller mistakes, you can save yourself time and money in the long run.

First be competitive when pricing. Base part of your sales price on comp-based pricing, recent sales count. Studying and understanding the comps in your area will give you an idea about how much buyers are willing to pay for homes in your neighborhood. The other part of your sales price should be based on what your REALTOR® thinks your home could sell for in this market. Your REALTOR® is out in the trenches everyday and knows the market.

Compare your home to the homes that are currently for sale. Do you see a particular benefit that may attract buyers to those homes over yours (schools, neighborhood parks, open floor plans, new appliances, and close access to highways). Now, take a look at your home from the buyer's perspective and search for a few more unique features worth noting.

You should not list your home based on what you paid for it. You don't sell a car based on what you paid for it. Not all homes appreciate. Houses most certainly can build equity but they can also lose value too. Getting what you paid or more for a home depends on many factors, including when you purchased it, current market conditions, economic factors, length of ownership, improvements, and home much time you have to sell. Listing your home based on how much is still owed can cause a seller to list the home for too much. This will cause a painful cycle of price reductions signaling to the buyer that there's plenty of negotiating room on price.

Curb appeal. Curb appeal is the art of making your home appeal to buyers from the moment they first see your home. This must transfer to web appeal. That means that any and all pictures and virtual tours of your home should create web appeal (instant attraction) drawing the buyer into your home for an in-person look. If you have clutter or dim lighting, your home won't appeal to the buyers browsing eye. With so many of the searches for homes originating online, it's worth it to invest in the best photos you can of your home, a picture is worth a thousand words.

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4/17/2011

RE/MAX + Your Street

4/16/2011

A Spring Cleaning Extravaganza: Part Five

4/15/2011
Whether your dining area is used only on Thanksgiving, or seven days a week, spring cleaning is a great time to get the room in pristine condition.

1. DUST DOWN THE CEILING AND CORNERS: Consider if the walls in your home need to be washed. Don't forget air vents.

2. DUST AND CLEAN ALL WALL ART: Be careful when cleaning framed art and photographs. Never spray cleaner or water onto the frame. The liquid can seep behind the glass and damage the pictures. Instead lightly wet a clean cloth to wipe the frame and glass.

3. CLEAN THE CEILING FAN: You know what's worse than a fly in your soup, a large chunk of dust from your ceiling fan in your soup. Dust the fan and fan blades. You may need to use a gentle cleanser like Murphys Oil Soap mixed with water and a cleaning cloth. Take down light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.

4. TAKE DOWN DRAPERIES AND CURTAINS TO WASH OR HAVE CLEANED ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS: Dust down any blinds and other window treatments. Dust down and wash window sills and corners. Wash the inside and outsides of windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.

5. WASH DOWN THE DINING TABLE, CHAIRS, AND ANY OTHER FURNITURE THOROUGHLY: If you have wood furniture that needs to be oiled or waxed, do this now. If your chairs have an upholstered seat, spot clean the seats.

6. CLEAN THE CARPET AND RUGS: You can choose to use a carpet professional, rent a cleaning machine, or vacuum and spot-treat according to soil level.

You have finished all your Spring Cleaning CONGRATULATIONS! Your home should be shining and smelling like new! Potential buyers for your home will not be able to resist your homes new found charm! Call me today if you would like a FREE comparative market analysis done on your home! This is the best time to buy and sell!

A Spring Cleaning Extravaganza: Part Four

4/14/2011
Your sanctuary is beginning to look more like the last place you want to be. Take the time to spring clean your bedroom. Spring cleaning your bedroom will give you back a peaceful night's rest.

1. START WITH THE 15 MINUTE BEDROOM CLEANUP: This will help get the room into a workable place for you to begin.

2. DUST DOWN THE CEILING AND CORNERS: Consider if the walls in your home need to be washed. Dont forget air vents, doorknobs, and switch plates. Dust and clean all wall art. Be careful when cleaning framed art and photographs. Never spray cleaner or water onto the frame. The liquid can seep behind the glass and damage the pictures. Instead lightly wet a clean cloth to wipe the frame and glass.

3. CLEAN THE CEILING FANS: Dust the fan and fan blades. You may need to use a gentle cleanser like Murphys Oil soap mixed with water and a cleaning cloth. Take down light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.

4. TAKE DOWN DRAPERIES AND CURTAINS TO WASH OR HAVE CLEANED ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS: Dust down any blinds and other window treatments. Dust down and wash window sills and corners. Wash the inside and outsides of windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.

5. WASH ALL BEDDING, COMFORTERS, MATTRESS PADS, PILLOWS, ETC.: Vacuum and flip your mattress over to provide even wear. Clean out from under your bed. Replace bed with clean bedding.

6. DUST DOWN ALL ACCENT LAMPS AND KNICKKNACKS: Use a vacuum attachment or duster to clean the lamp shade, lamps, and any extra decorative items.

7. DUST DOWN ALL DRESSERS, CHESTS, AND NIGHTSTANDS: Clean any mirrors.

8. CLEAN FLOORING: Dust and mop for hard floors. Professionally clean carpet, or vacuum and spot treat for mildly soiled floors.

9. USE THE 4 CONTAINER METHOD TO GO THROUGH YOUR CLOSETS: Put the keep items back into the closet.

These nine steps will ensure that you will wake up rested the next day after cleaning your room! Call me to give you a FREE comparative market analysis of your home!

A Spring Cleaning Extravaganza: Part Three

4/13/2011
PART TRES:

We have tackled the kitchen and the bathrooms now it's time to move on to the main place we hang out in - THE LIVING ROOM. While we may be doing an excellent job or maintaining our living room, occassionally we need to do more than maintenance.

1. BEGIN WITH A 15 MINUTE LIVING ROOM CLEANUP: This will clear out the clutter and give you room to do the actual spring clean up.

2. DUST DOWN THE CEILING AND CORNERS OF WALLS: Determine if the walls need washed in dirty spots. Spot wash, remembering air vents, doorknobs, doors, and switch plates.

3. DUST AND CLEAN ALL ART AND PHOTOGRAPHS ALONG THE WALL: Be careful when cleaning framed art and photographs. Never spray cleanser or water onto the frame. The liquid can seep behind the glass and damage the pictures. Instead lightly wet a clean cloth to wipe the frame and glass.

4. DUST AND CLEAN THE CEILING FAN: There is nothing more embarrassing than turning on a ceiling fan and having large chunks of dust fall down on your guest's head. Use this spring cleaning time to dust down the fan and fan blades. You may need to use a gentle cleanser like Murphy's Oil Soap. Take down any light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.

5. TAKE DOWN DRAPERIES, CURTAINS, AND BLINDS TO WASH OR HAVE CLEANED ACCORDING TO THE MANUFACTURER'S DIRECTIONS: Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.

6. DUST AND CLEAN OUT THE COUCHES AND CHAIRS: Use a vacuum cleaner with attachment to clean out couch crevices. Check to make sure none of your missing items have found their way into the abyss of the couch. Clean slipcovers, accent pillows, etc. Use an upholstery attachment on a rug shampoo machine to clean soiled couches and chair surfaces if needed. If a light cleaning is needed use upholstery spot cleaner. Test in a hidden area first.

7. DUST DOWN AND CLEAN ALL ACCENT LAMPS AND KNICKKNACKS: Use a vacuum attachment or duster to clean the lampshades, lamps, and any extra decorative items.

8. REMOVE BOOKS FROM BOOKSHELVES: Dust down the books and the shelves.

9. DUST DOWN ACCENT TABLES AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTER: Unplug and dust down all the electronics. Check cords for fraying and wear. Dust down the television screen.

10. CLEAN THE CARPETS AND RUGS: If your carpets and rugs are heavily soiled it may be time to call a professional. You can also rent cleaning machines to use. Be sure to ask for one with an upholstery attachment. If your carpets are only lightly soiled vacuuming and spot treating may be all that is necessary.

11. TAKE THE TIME TO CLEAN THE DOORMATS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE YOUR DOORWAYS: Wipe them down. Dust them off. Whatever needs to happen so that shoes don't transfer the dirt of your mat to your home.

Now you have finished cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms, and living area - isn't your house looking and smelling better! Don't forget that no house is too big or too small for me to sell!

A Spring Cleaning Extravaganza: Part Two

4/12/2011
PART DEUX:

The medicine cabinet is overflowing. You can't remember what color the tile in your shower used to be. An invisible person wouldn't be able to recognize himself in your dingy mirror. Have hope. This spring cleaning how-to will get your bathroom back in shape.

1. BEGIN WITH THE 15 MINUTE BATHROOM CLEANUP: This will get rid of trash and laundry, enabling you to deeply clean the room. Don't do the floors in the 15 minute cleanup.

2. DUST DOWN THE CEILING AND CORNERS: Dust and clean all wall art. Be careful when cleaning framed art and photographs. Never spray cleaner or water onto the frame. The liquid can seep behind the glass and damage the pictures. Instead light wet a clean cloth to wipe the frame and glass.

3. DUST DOWN THE VENTS AND FANS: Dust the outside of vents and fans. You may need to use a gentle cleanser mixed with water and a cleaning cloth. Take down light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.

4. TAKE DOWN DRAPERIES, CURTAINS, BLINDS, ETC, TO WASH OR HAVE CLEANED ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS: Dust down any blinds and other window treatments. Dust down and wash windowsills and corners. Wash the inside and outsides of windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.

5. SCRUB THE SHOWER AND TUB: Don't forget fixtures. Launder or clean your shower curtain and replace the shower curtain liner. Clean shower doors. Dissolve soap scum buildup with commercial cleaner or natural cleaners. Do not use lemons and vinegar or other acidic cleansers on tile grout. The cleansers will eat away the grout.

6. SCRUB DOWN THE TOILET: Don't forget the handle, crevices on the outside, and underneath.

7. WASH THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF MEDICINE CABINETS, LINEN CABINETS, ETC

8. WASH DOWN THE SINK AND FIXTURES:
Don't forget to thoroughly clean your mirrors. Since your spring cleaning, use cotton swabs to scrub in tight spots on your sink.

9. SHAKE OUT BATHROOM RUGS: Launder them and hang to dry.

10. SWEEP AND MOP THE FLOOR: One of the best ways to get a floor REALLY clean is to use a rag or towel while on your hands and knees. If this is not an option try going barefoot and scooting a large towel around the floor with your feet. It provides more contact and pressure with the floor. Press gently, and be careful and slow. Even though this is the last step, the floor is not the best place to rest.

11. EMPTY AND WASH OUT THE TRASH CAN: Lining the trash can will save time when it needs to be emptied, and help keep it cleaner longer. You can buy small commercial trash sacks, or use leftover grocery sacks and help recycle.

Remember if you are getting ready to sell your home this is a great tip to keep prospective buyers interested in your home. Nobody likes a dirty and dingy bathroom - especially buyers!

A Spring Cleaning Extravaganza: Part One

4/11/2011

Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and our house has the winter blues. If your "Oklahoma" allergies are getting to you and you can't go outside just yet to enjoy the weather; this checklist will help you get a head start on the hectic season of spring cleaning.

Give Your Kitchen a Spring Clean-Up...

1. BEGIN WITH A 15 MINUTE KITCHEN CLEANUP
: This will clear out the clutter and dirty dishes and give you room to do the actual spring clean up.

2. DUST DOWN THE CEILING AND CORNERS OF WALLS: Determine is the walls need washing ing dirty sports. Spot wash, remembering air vents, doorknobs, doors, switch plates. Walls will likely need to be washed more often in this room than in others. You may not have noticed that the hand mixer or blender sloshed goop all over the wall. Take your spring cleaning time now to clean the grease, grime, and spilled food from your walls.

3. DUST AND CLEAN ALL ART AND PHOTOGRAPHS ALONG THE WALL.

4. DUST AND CLEAN THE CEILING FAN:
You may need to use a gentle cleaners like Murphy's Oil Soap. Take down any light fixtures and wash them before replacing.

5. TAKE DOWN DRAPERIES, CURTAINS, AND BLINDS TO WASH OR HAVE CLEANED ACCORDING TO THE MANUFACTURER'S DIRECTIONS: Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.

6. APPLY OVEN CLEANER TO THE OVEN AND CLEAN REFRIGERATOR: Leave the windows in the kitchen open to avoid the overpowering small. Don't forget to vacuum the coils of your unplugged refrigerator. This is a great time to sweep and mop underneath it too if you can find some help to move it. Be careful not to scratch your floor.

7. WHILE THE CLEANER WORKS, BEGIN SORTING THROUGH THE FREEZER AND REFRIGERATOR.

8. TAKE THE KNOBS, BURNERS, BURNER COVERS, AND SPILL CATCHERS OFF THE STOVE

9. WIPE DOWN AND CLEAN THE TOASTER, BLENDER AND OTHER SMALL APPLIANCES

10. CLEAN OUT KITCHEN CABINETS:
Reline if needed. Take out anything that isn't being used on a regular basis, Reorganize and wash down the insides and outsides of cabinets.

11. RUN THE DISHWASHER EMPTY: Try adding vinegar or baking soda to the empty dishwasher before running it. If your dishwasher has trapped food in the bottom, clean it out. Wash down the outside of the dishwasher.

12. WASH DOWN THE COUNTERTOPS IN YOUR KITCHEN

13. WIPE DOWN AND CLEAN OUT ANY DRAWERS

14. WASH DOWN THE SINK

15. SWEEP AND MOP THE FLOORS:
Don't forget baseboards. One of the best ways to get a floor really clean is to use a rag or towel on your hands and knees. If this is not an option try going barefoot and scooting a large towel around the floor with your feet. It provides more contact and pressure with the floor. Press gently, and be careful and slow. Even though this is the last step, the floor is not the best place to rest.

Remember if you are getting ready to sell your home these Spring Cleaning Tips will put you ahead of the game in getting your home ready for the Spring Market!

Buying a Home This Spring?

3/11/2011

Spring is just days away which means that is time for fresh starts and positive changes.

From coast-to-coast, "For Sale" signs will start to crop up like flowers in yards of neighborhoods. Moms and dads box up their possessions and ponder what awaits them on a new block or new town and young couples start looking to plant some roots.

But is it a good time to buy or sell a house?

That's a definite yes. Like most buy-sell situations, it all depends on motivations. April through July outpace the balance of the year in sales, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. So there will be more home inventory and variety on the market this Spring and Summer.

Remember, if you have been considering buying or selling, call an experienced REALTOR®!

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