Getting ready to put your home on the market?  Kitchen has good bones but is out of date?  Dumping thousands into a brand new kitchen you won’t get to enjoy or get your money back on is not the way to go. However; there are things you can do to Freshen it.

Paint Your Cabinets

White brightens and gives a clean fresh feeling. Adding a pop of color on some lower cabinets draws the eye warming up the space.DIY-painting-kitchen-cabinet-ideas_4x3Source: DYI Painting Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

Replace Old Laminate Counter-tops with Butcher Block

Granite, Quartz and Marble can be expensive and very taste specific. Butcher Block goes with a variety of cabinets, fixtures, and appliances. Butcher Block can be stained any color.

Add a Back-splash

Glass Tile in a Neutral Shade blends perfectly with your newly painted cabinets and the light reflects off of it brightening small spaces and large spaces. Easy maintenance, just wipe and go.Glass Tile BacksplashesSource: Glass Tile

Sweat equity makes a difference to your bottom line when done right.


First Time Buyer To Do’s

Are you thinking about Buying your first home? Purchasing a Home will be the largest investment you will make in your life and doing it with the right know how will not only make the process go smoother but you will feel more confident in the process.

#1 Get a Real Estate Agent

A Real Estate Agent will see you through the process of buying a home. They will show you homes, negotiate on your behalf, guide you through paperwork, set up inspections, be your advocate.

#2 Must Have Pre-Approval for Mortgage

Now that you have a Real Estate Agents you need a pre-approval to move forward. A pre-approval is given to you by a lender letting you know how much you can actually afford; so when you find a house you want to buy the Seller is more likely to accept your offer over other buyers who have only been pre-qualified.

#3 Time

Buying a home takes time. You will look at many homes, take notes, and try to remember which house had what. Patience is the key with the right Real Estate Agent to guide you.

Being a Home Owner comes with home maintenance, insurance, utilities, and new responsibilities. Love your New Home don’t Stress about it.


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Neutral colors set the backdrop for your home while splashes of color draw in the eye.

Most times you get one chance to make a good impression and you want to appeal to the largest number of buyers when doing that.

1. White mixed with soft blue’s and beige in a variety of textures.  The warmth of the cloth covered chair, functionality of the leather benches at the end of the bed, soft touches in the pillows, use of straw hats on the wall as decoration, with the rug grounding the space together. Giving it a open airy feel.

Source: Better Homes & Gardens



2. Gray isn’t dull. You have a barely there gray couch next to the richer gray arm chairs centered with a neutral coffee table. Pulled in by opposite white on gray pillows and gray on white rug with a splash of yellow to brighten it all up. A fire glowing in the background making it warm and inviting.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens



3. The smallest pop of color mixed with rustic furniture really transform a space.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens



4. Mixing your uppers and lowers with a blend of neutral and warm tones is not only a classic look both holds a modern clean feeling. The natural light and touches of plants bring the outdoors indoors creating a cozy feeling.

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

Selling you Home? Appeal to more people. Paint, furniture arrangement and splashes of color are the key.


Spring Seller Tips

Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and you might be thinking about selling your home. That means it’s time for a little Spring Cleaning.

The First impressions are the Lasting ones. The Entrance is the 1st place people see, usually followed by a Family or Great Room, Kitchen and Bathrooms can make or brake a home, followed by outdoor maintenance.


  • Wash walls from floor to ceiling, even the front door
  • Put away your warmer coats
  • Take a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to smudges and fingerprints

Family/Great Room

  • Have a rug or carpet? Vacuum then get it cleaned, they hold a lot of oders
  • Wash all your windows and sills
  • Clean walls from top to bottom then floors
  • Dust lamp-shades, ceiling fans, pictures, blinds, door casing, anything that collects dust
  • Check your batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Vacuum and clean furniture to keep fresh and clean


  • Get out the Clorox and deep clean toilet inside, out, and around base
  • Scrub Floors and any wash any bath mats or replace
  • Clean Counter-top Vanity and Cabinet, cleaning out cabinet and making it tidy
  • Clean trash bin
  • Scrub Shower/tub and shower liner getting rid of all mildew buildup
  • Window foam cleaner makes fixtures, couter-tops, and mirrors sparkle


  • Deep clean sink and counter tops, might need to reseal counter-tops depending on the materials. Declutter
  • Clean out refrigerator and freezer going through all drawers and shelves. The top and outside get a cleaning as well
  • Use a degreaser on kitchen cabinets, don’t forget to wipe down afterwards
  • Deep clean the stovetop, oven and oven door.
  • Wash walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Clean dishwasher with Lemi Shine dishwasher cleaner
  • Clean all lights and light switches

Don’t forget the outside

Plant drought resistant plants – Cactus and flora don’t have to be boring or rough looking/feeling. There are many options like “Cousin It”  “Calliandra” “Lavender” and “Rosemary” to bring texture and fragrance without the need to fertilize.

Pressure Wash  – Clean the outside walls, driveway, patio, and walkways around your home getting rid of pet, dirt, and mildew buildup.

Gutters – Clean out all gutters. With the flowers come the showers, avoid debris blockage by cleaning out the downspouts.




Spring Garden Week 4

Sewing Seeds Week 4 2017

Garlic Transplant Week 4

Tip of the Week:

Spring is officially here!

Garden Edibles – Watering Wisely Class by: Orange County Master Gardeners

This hands-on workshop series offers gardeners opportunities to learn and practice new skills. The series is wide-ranging, and covers current topics of interest.

The workshop series will be held at South Coast Research and Extension Center, 7601 Irvine Blvd, Irvine.

The cost for each workshop is $20.00 per person.

Saturday March 25, 2017, from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon

Registration required


Tomato and Sage Photo Week 25

Make Your Own Mason Jar Patio Lights

These charming lanterns brighten an evening barbecue spread, and they’re a cinch to make from supplies you can pick up at the home center.

For wire-free outdoor illumination, try these DIY solar lanterns, which give off a warm glow well after the sun sets. This easy project uses wide-mouth mason jars, with each lid’s metal insert replaced by a piece of plexiglass to allow the sun’s rays to power the solar cell through the lid. We coated the interiors of the jars with Rust-Oleum’s Frosted Glass Spray (about $6; to give the lanterns a hazy, aged-patina look, and glued the solar-cell assembly of a mini pathway light from the home center (about $4 each) to the underside of each lid. Once assembled, leave the lights in a spot where they’ll get direct sun, and you’ll never be left in the dark again.

Remove the lids from the mason jars and set aside. Spray the interiors of the jars with a light, even coating of frosted-glass spray. Place the jars right-side up to dry.


Trace the Inserts

While the jars are drying, remove the metal inserts from the lids. Use a permanent marker to trace the shapes of the inserts onto the plexiglass sheet.


Cut Out Plexiglass Circles

Use aviator snips to cut out the plexiglass circles. (We found it easiest to cut a square around each circle and then trim off the corners.) Smooth rough spots with sandpaper until the circles fit inside the lid rings.

Step FOUR // 

Assemble the Solar Cells and Lantern

Remove the top portion of each stake light, which houses the solar cell and lightbulb. Apply glue to the perimeter of a solar cell and press it onto the center of a plexiglass circle. Repeat for the remaining lights. When the glue is dry, assemble each lantern by inserting the circle into the lid ring and screwing the ring to the jar. Set your finished lights where they’ll receive direct sun, and watch them glow in the dark later on.


Tools for Making Solar Lanterns From Mason Jars

black marker

Permanent marker

Aviation Snips

Aviation tin snips


Shopping List

Three wide-mouth mason jars in various sizes

One 8-by-10-inch plexiglass sheet, about 0.05 inch thick

Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass spray

Three mini stainless-steel solar stake lights, about 2.5 inches in diameter

Fine-grit sandpaper

Super glue

Spring Garden Week 3

Sewing Seeds Week 3

Garlic Transplant Week 3 with Walla walla onions in the background week 24

Asparagus Transplant Week 3 I’m letting it flower to seed for more growth.

Baby Tomatoes

Tip of the Week:

Ever get dirt under your fingernails while gardening even with gloves on? Rub your nails across a bar of soap and then wash or pick out.

Tomato and Sage Photo Week 24.

Window Treatments

Window treatments provide both form and function in your home. They can be a stylish statement while also performing important tasks. Learn about the latest trends and functionality of popular window treatments to make a choice that works best in your home.

The Improved Functionality of Today’s Window Treatments

Whether you choose curtains, blinds or shades, each option provides more than just a fashion statement.

  • Control Sunlight in Your Home: Window treatments, especially shades and blinds, provide you with sunlight control, making it easy to brighten or darken your living space. With blackout shades and curtains, you can achieve complete darkness in a room, making it conducive to a good night’s sleep. With solar shades, you can keep out UV rays while still keeping your view.
  • Increase Your Home’s Privacy: A variety of window treatment options prevent others from looking inside your house. Today’s styles can even allow sunlight in while still maintaining privacy.
  • Protect Your Furniture and Household Accessories: Window treatments enable you to protect your furniture and household accessories against UV rays that otherwise may cause fading or cracking over time.
  • Save Money on Your Energy Bills: The Department of Energy (DOE) notes awnings, blinds and other window treatments can help you reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, allowing you to cut your annual energy expenses.
  • Show Off Your Personality: Want to reinvent your home’s decor? Window treatments are available in a variety of colors and designs, ensuring that you can bolster your home’s decor and show off your personal style.

Today’s Most Popular Window Style Options

Gone are the days of only choosing between plain roller shades and ornate drapes. Now there is everything in between, so you can go with an option that matches your home’s decor.

  • Faux Wood Blinds: Faux wood blinds replicate the appearance of wood perfectly and are available in a variety of finishes and styles. They are available at a fraction of the cost of their wood counterparts and offer superior moisture resistance for long-lasting durability. Unlike traditional wood blinds, faux wood varieties consist of a synthetic material that is easy to clean. That way, you won’t have to worry about allocating significant time and resources to keep faux wood blinds looking great.
  • Patterned Drapes and Shades: Window treatments that feature stripes and bold prints have become exceedingly popular over the past few years, and it is easy to understand why. As homeowners search for ways to reinvent their living spaces, patterned shades and curtains allow property owners to go bold with their decor without having to worry about breaking their budgets.
  • Silk Panels: For those who appreciate the finer things in life, there may be no better option than silk panels. While silk panels may prove to be more expensive than many other window treatments, they can bring a touch of luxury and sophistication to a setting’s decor instantly. Options abound, with panels that consist of embroidered silks, plaid silks and jacquard paisley designs representing timeless choices for homeowners who want to create an elegant living space. When combined with shades or blinds, panels can provide style as well as privacy. ​
  • Environmentally-Friendly Window Treatments: Did you know that some window treatments can help you fight off allergies? Environmentally-friendly window treatments that consist of mildew-, mold- and stain-resistant fabrics are gaining popularity among allergy sufferers nationwide. Allergy sufferers can reap the benefits of green window treatments without having to sacrifice their personal style. Environmentally-conscious homeowners also can choose shades and curtains that feature non-toxic dyes and fabrics.
  • Honeycomb Shades: Honeycomb shades consistently rank among the top window treatment options for homeowners. These shades deliver superb insulation and noise reduction, along with light-blocking and light-filtering capabilities. Plus, top-down and bottom-up honeycomb shades are available for supreme light and privacy management. Honeycomb shades come in numerous pleat sizes and can be paired with drapes to maximize style and privacy.

Today’s options can fit into any style and budget. Maximize style, efficiency and privacy with a combination of today’s most popular window treatments.

Article by Katie Laird, director of Social Marketing for and a frequent public speaker on social media marketing, social customer care and profitable company culture.

Call usToday for your Real Estate Needs! Karen and Kathy @

Home Renovations That Can Hurt (and Help) Property Value

Home Renovations That Can Hurt (and Help) Property Value

By Brooke Nally

If you’re into renovation projects, then updating and revamping your home can be a lot of fun. But before you get too excited about knocking down walls and setting up a custom movie room, you might want to consider resale value. Flashy renovations don’t always yield the best returns, so you’ll need to take care when picking projects.

To make things easier for you, here are four remodels to avoid and four to invest in.

Remodels to Avoid

Luxury Rooms
An indoor basketball court, wine cellar, sauna, or even a movie theater won’t often recoup the high building costs. Luxury add-on rooms are hard to pitch to buyers unless you’re living in an upscale housing market—the average homebuyer won’t be willing to pay for them. Further, rooms that depend heavily on wired electronics, like home theaters, are hard to keep current because TVs and speakers are constantly advancing.

Swimming Pool
The average cost to build a pool is $39,084—a hefty price tag that is seldom recovered once the home is sold. It’s widely accepted throughout the industry that a homeowner will lose money by adding a swimming pool. Homebuyers don’t want to deal with the maintenance cost of a pool (which can cost as much as $2,000 a year), the added insurance premiums, and—if they have young kids—the safety issues.

Gaudy Accents
Though gold-plated crown molding or mosaic-tile backsplashes may feature prominently in your ideal vision for your home, they often turn out to be the average homebuyer’s worst nightmare. Passing fads or niche trends rarely stick around long, so if you miss the brief window when your remodeling choices are in, you’ll end up paying for it later.

Changes Contrary to Area Standards
If you aren’t watching the trends common to your area, you could end up losing a lot of money. A home that totals $600,000 after all the renovations won’t sell in a neighborhood where homes are netting half that price. Likewise, knocking down the walls of extra bedrooms for an open layout won’t be appealing in a family-oriented neighborhood.

Remodels That Pay

Steel Doors
You don’t want to go cheap on a standard front door. At roughly $1,000, steel doors are comparatively affordable, durable, low maintenance and burglar resistant. As an added bonus, the National Association of REALTORS® reports that steel door upgrades show the highest return on investment of any home remodel, at over 100 percent of the cost.

Solar Panels
As the price of solar panels continues to drop, the energy payback on installing them is becoming greater and greater. The average rooftop solar system is now paid off in seven-and-a-half years. After that, panels are a big money-saving asset. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory notes that homebuyers “consistently have been willing to pay more for a property” with solar panels—a premium of around $4 per installed watt, on average.

New Siding
The exterior of your house is the first thing potential homebuyers see, and you want to make the best first impression. This is part of the reason redoing your siding is so profitable. New siding recoups around 80 percent of the initial cost, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, thanks largely to the increased curb appeal and improved energy efficiency it provides.

Broadband Access
Access to broadband speeds is considered an essential utility for today’s connected homebuyer. Research shows that faster internet speeds increase your home value by as much as 3 percent. Homeowners can prepare their homes for higher broadband connectivity by working with area providers to install requisite equipment and wiring. Building out wall ports and cable-hiding baseboards is a good move to attract buyers, too.

Even if you’re not considering selling your home just yet, keep potential selling benefits in mind. Intrepid homeowners know that the best remodels will increase both quality of life and listing price, so take care to invest in projects that will net the biggest returns.

We are here to help with your Real Estate Needs, Call us!