Maximizing Space In Your Small Kitchen

small kitchen

Flickr / TrickyKid

Many times, when people begin to envision their dream home the kitchen layout is one of the first things that come to mind. Unfortunately, not all of us will have the opportunity to create our dream cooking area from the ground up.

Space is one of the biggest complaints when it comes to the kitchen area. A small kitchen can make cooking seem like a chore, rather than an event.
With the winter holidays approaching, spending time in the kitchen is almost essential.
These tips on maximizing space in your small kitchen area will greatly increase the satisfaction that comes with whipping up a masterpiece.
Begin planning now and add some items to your holiday wish list!

Maximizing Space In Your Small Kitchen:

Eliminate Clutter

Even a very large, spacious kitchen can appear to be very limited if the area is cluttered. Your first step upon increasing the productivity in your kitchen should be a solid cleaning session– toss away that bent silverware and the cracked measuring cups. If you have not used an item in the last year, let alone month, there is a good chance that you never will. After you finish your cleaning, you then know how much more room you truly need

Intelligent Storage

One the most efficient ways to make your small kitchen seem larger is my increasing storage space. By eliminating clutter, you will expand your work area. Pullout drawers are a relatively easy addition for the amount that you gain. If your kitchen already has pullout drawers, consider widening them and increasing their depth to increase their capacity.

Space-Saving Appliances

Many companies now offer appliances with small spaces in mind.
Look around your kitchen– most likely the refrigerator and oven take up a considerable amount of space. Another way to clear up counter space is by mounting your microwave under your cabinets or a counter.

Add Lighting

A dark room can appear to seem smaller than a well-lit room. Open up the space by allowing your eyes to open up more. There are many options on the market to add creative lighting to your home. One example is an LED strip that can easily mount beneath cabinets and in drawers. This type of lighting uses very little energy and really packs a punch. You would be amazed on how much of a welcoming feel your kitchen will have.

Glass Doors

This illusion is along the same line as adding lighting.  It shows off more detail, which keeps your eyes moving. The more places for your eyes to explore, the larger the area will appear. Rather than blocking your vision by bulky wooden doors, a modern glass door will keep your eyes entertained. Be sure to keep everything neatly organized in the cabinet though if you go this route. You want the area to look tidy and appealing.

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Lifestyle – City vs. Suburbs – Which Is Best For You?

Choosing a style of living can be tricky for some, and a no brainer for others. Living situations can depend greatly on where you are in your life– young professional or settling down– but it does not dictate it 100%.
Some people love city living and the fast-paced excitement no matter what, while others prefer some space and a little bit of tranquility. Major metropolitan areas provide a wide range of living styles, whether they are in the heart of the city or 20-miles out.

Seattle skyline sunset

Flickr / Howard Ignatius

City Life:

City life provides never ending excitement, in the sense that there is always something going on around you. Many times, more options than you can even imagine. Neighborhoods are tailored to different types of life. Certain areas attract successful business men and women, while others brings in the younger crowd of all social statuses. The nightlife varies greatly from area to area. If you choose to live in the heart of the city– the more expensive stores, restaurants, and bars will seemingly surround you. Night clubs and social status seem to play a larger role in going out for the night. It is a nice touch to have so many options around that you can essentially go to a new restaurant every week for year and still barely graze the surface.
Some areas are taken over with dive bars, while some have nightclubs and ritzy water-houses. For single people looking to meet others, the city offers opportunities around every corner. I am not saying the suburbs do not provide opportunities, but with a mass amount of people, comes a mass amount of options.

There is a price that is paid to have access to all of these amenities though. Depending on the city, higher taxes make living costs seem outrageous. High rent cost will limit your square footage quite a bit. A cozy flat in the city, can be the same price as a nice couple bedroom house in the suburbs– with a yard. The amount of people can seem overwhelming, and the noise is non-stop. Traffic can be a nightmare, and if you personally drive– you have to watch out for pedestrians like deer on the side of the interstate. However, that does not bother some people in the slightest. They yearn for that fast paced life and the endless opportunities. The excitement that everyday can bring something new, whether experience or people.

Some will sacrifice the life for work in the suburbs and no longer want to make the commute. Some will take-off seeking a better, calmer life in the suburbs for a family– not to mention the better school systems. Others will just get over the city feeling and want to experience life in a different manner.

Suburb Life:

The suburbs provide a fantastic quality of life. Affordable prices on homes and typically cheaper restaurants and bars can be very appealing. As I mentioned earlier, this is your opportunity to have a yard and some space between you and your neighbors. Going outdoors can also potentially mean a little slice of nature. Driving is a lot less of a chore and can actually be enjoyable. If you want to make it to the city, many suburbs have great public transportation that is very accessible. The nightlife may not be quite as extensive as the city, but you can guarantee that there will still be a wide-variety of restaurants to feast in and bars to quench your thirst. This is another to each their own– but mowing the grass, firing up the grill and lighting a bonfire with your buddies is actually a pretty superb way to spend the evening. If yard work scares you, there are businesses that can take care of it for you.
When it comes to family– some will still prefer the city, while others would rather raise their children in a more relaxing atmosphere. Suburbs generally have a better school system than cities as well.

For the very adventurous soul, the suburbs may not be the ideal place. The suburbs still have plenty to do, but when compared to the heart of the city– it can be a little slow paced.

Conclusion:

You could argue that both forms of living have their pros and cons– however, one person’s pro is another’s con. Take all of this into account, reevaluate your life and you will end up where you belong. If at all possible, I recommend experiencing both sides.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––Real Estate Pipeline specializes in verified home buyer leads and verified home seller leads. If you need an extra boost in your real estate game, we have the knowledge and power.

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Real Estate Agent = Dangerous Job?

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Most would not think that being a real estate agent could be a dangerous job, but in the light of last Thursday’s incident.

Beverly Carter, a Little Rock, AK real estate agent, proceeded with her day in hopes that her home showing that evening would turn into a closed deal. Unfortunately, things did not continue as planned. She met a potential client at the home around 5:30pm, not be seen again.
Her husband ventured out to the home, he had become worried when he could not get in contact with her. Upon arrival, he found her vehicle in the driveway and her purse inside– she was nowhere to be found.
In an area that is vast with swamp-land and waterways, the search continues.

With proper precautions, incidents like this should not need to happen again. This is a very troubling event that can possibly be prevented with some added steps.
Having a meeting and prescreening with any potential client should rank high on the to-do list. Usually, only serious buyers will take time to meet up.
This meeting will give you a feel for who you are working with, as well as other people having visual contact with them if you work with others.

In this incident, the agent did make everyone aware of where she was going to do the showing that night, fortunately. However, when possible it is not a horrible idea to bring someone with you– whether another agent or even a friend. They do not have to be part of the showing– but just having another body there can increase safety and peace of mind immensely. If that is not possible, let someone know of your arrival time and have them call you 10 minutes after you are due to arrive. Setup a code word for distress, that way you can alert your friend and not the potential ‘client’. If you do not answer, have your friend call the police with the address.
This tactic can be vital if you encounter a squatter.

When doing an open house, it is very good practice to lock all of the doors after each visitor leaves. There have been incidents of people sneaking in through unlocked backdoors during open houses.

Most important of all, go with your hunches. If you feel uneasy, then it is not worth risking your safety. If someone is truly interested in the home, they will be fine to reschedule and you will have time to setup a meeting with backup.

Stay safe out there.

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Millennials Are Taking Over

millennials verified home buyer leads

The time of Millennials is now. People born in the early 80′s to 2000 are entering young adult-hood and beginning their professional careers in force.
Some areas of the United States are more attractive for these new up-comers.

Austin, Texas

With a booming economy, mainly revolving around technology, Austin is becoming a hot destination. Job growth is at 4.2% and shows no sign of slowing.
Apple, Google, Facebook, and Intel all have ties to Austin, and are looking at expanding. The University of Texas also helps with the attraction. Many people visit Austin for the first time during SXSW music festival, and have a hard time leaving. On average, 110 people move to Austin each and every day. With this influx, housing is becoming tight– but there is enough room around Austin to expand.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

This may not be the first place that comes to your mind, but a combination of a healthy economy and affordable housing makes Grand Rapids very appealing. Between 2010 and 2012, 27% of the new residents flocking to the city were young. Between the ages of 24 and 35 to be exact. Grand Rapids is taking notice and also revamping their city structure to further increase appeal. Many older downtown areas are being converted to condos, boutiques, and coffee shops.

Dallas, Texas

Texas hits hard again with Dallas. With jobs increasing at a rate of 3.9%, housing that is below the national average, and jobs spreading across energy, tech, telecom, and healthcare– it leaves residents with a lot of options. The metro population has grown an outrageous 5.5% over the past three years– that is twice the national rate. Plus, football and bbq never hurts.

Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines did not always look so promising– for quite some time their future looked bleak. With recent startups and organizations making it easier by providing co-working spaces, funding and more opportunities to young companies, it is becoming a hot spot. Des Moines has a very low unemployment rate, and you do not necessarily need to be a specialist to snag a job. The finance and insurance industries are booming right now. The job growth is healthy and the home prices are very reasonable. The Renaissance is upon them!

Ogden, Utah

Ogden has become appealing for many reasons. First off, it is situated close to Salt Lake, which makes it easy access to events and nightlife. It is also a short jaunt to get in touch with nature– via fishing, hiking, skiing and more.
Ogden has a media home pricing of $184,000, which is obtainable with the media income being $68,500. Good schools, with higher than average graduation rates, make this appealing for young families as well. According to the National Association of Realtors, 30% of new residents are Millennials.

If you are interested in real estate in any of these areas, buying/selling/realtor, Real Estate Pipeline specializes in connecting the real estate world.
Through verified home buyer and verified home seller leads, we get consumers in touch with trusted real estate agents in their area.
There is no better time than now to act.

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Enjoy The Great Outdoors, Inside

real estate pipeline verified home buyer leads patio inside

For the avid outdoor enthusiasts – being inside might as well mean being locked away in prison. When the weather is not cooperative with your adventurer needs, make staying at home seem more enjoyable with these simple steps.

– Starring at walls is what give you that feeling of entrapment. Maximizing light-flow is key. Adding large windows, preferably with a view, helps immensely. It opens up the room, as well as your eyes.

– If adding windows are out of the question, then consider photos. Do not skimp out and settle for an 8×10. Multi-Panel photos add an entirely new dimension to a room. Consider nature inspired accenting pieces as well. It does not have to be tacky, just get creative.

– Consider giving the room a new shade of color. If you are more of a forest fan, then pastel greens or browns, with dark or white accents can really liven up a room. For the hot weather, beach lover – pastel yellows and oranges can really warm a room up.

– Part of the reason we can fall in love with a location is just because of the way it smells. Skip using the aerosol cans, it is very simple to create your own aromas with natural ingredients. Every time you walk through the door, your nose should twitch and put a smile on your face.

– Bring the vegetation inside. Plants really change the feel of the room – they make it feel alive. On top of it, they filter the air that we breath. Not only does the room benefit, but so does your health. Choosing plants that require low lighting is a plus – such as palm tree, Chinese evergreens, rubber trees, ferns and ivy.

– This may seem like a strange idea, but it truly does work. That patio furniture that you have outside.. bring it inside. Seriously. Plastic chairs may make you reminisce of your college years, but wicker and other wooden furniture is actually quite nice these days. A breakfast room or den can really benefit with this addition.

You would be amazed how much of an effect all of these would have on your home and mood – you just need to do it.

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Real Estate Pipeline provides real estate agents with verified home buyer leads and verified home seller leads. I you are ready to take on new business, give us a call.

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Where Should You Be Living?

 

The United States has a vast geological map that ranges from deserts, to swamps and mountains. Maybe you are already living in your happy-place, but if you are still searching.. here is a little guide to help you out. Here are some of the best place to live at crazy low home prices.

golf course haines city florida

Golf Fanatics:

If you are looking to spend time on the green everyday, Florida may be perfect for you. Haines City houses some of the best golf courses in the nation, and median home pricing is crazy affordable. The average home price is $123,000 – new homes can be built for as little as $50-$60 per square foot!

Wilderness Fans:

This may not be the perfect place if you are envisioning lush forests and massive mountains, but it is not a bad place to call base camp for exploration.
Thousand Palms, CA is under an hour away from Joshua Tree National Park – which is great for hiking and rock climbing. Big Morongo Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and San Bernardino National Forest are also nearby. For weekend excursions, Death Valley and Sequoia National Parks are about five hours away. Yosemite is another great escape that is not much farther.
Median house price is just $160,000.

Shore Liners:

Florida takes this spot as well. Port Salerno is a historic fishing town that still has a working fleet, but focuses mainly on its resort. Homes go for around $143,000. Boating and relaxing on the many beaches are the huge attractions here. Their seafood is another no-brainer.

Theme Park Lovers:

Living close to major theme parks may not be for everyone, but if you crave constant roller coaster action I have fantastic news for you. Davenport, FL is less than twenty-minutes from Disney World. The median home price goes for a mere $110,000. That is correct. The town is quaint and quiet, providing ample rest in between screaming between thrill rides.

Florida definitely sweeps the board when it comes to affordable living. We know that some people desire other locations, but we aimed to discover the cheapest places to own a home, while still being able to enjoy the things you love.

Real Estate Pipeline provides services to real estate agents that is based around verified home seller leads and verified home buyer leads. We offer some of the best standards in the industry.

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NYC Is Turning Into An Investment Bank

 

New York Luxury Real Estate

via Flickr :: marco isler

The New York City real estate market has been the chosen destination for wealthy foreigners to invest the extra funds that they have floating around. Rubles, yuan, and dollars are sweeping through the streets in search of that perfect American investment property.

The majority of the investors are not looking for a place to purchase for personal use; they are looking at it as a long term investment.
The appeal of luxury condos rising up into the clouds, near Wall Street, is something that attracts both buyers and renters.
The luxurious 20 Pine sky rise is a premiere location – it was also greatly effected economically after 2011.

New York Mag broke it down this way, “The one-bedroom the Italian was looking at, on the 27th floor, had a view of the Woolworth Building, sleek finishes, a bachelor-size kitchen, and access to an exclusive terrace reserved for upper-floor residents. It was first purchased by an investment banker in early 2008 for $1.3 million, was resold in 2011 for $850,000, and was now back on the market for close to its prerecession price. Rosabianca told the Italian it would rent for more than $4,000 a month, enough to assure a healthy cash flow while its value appreciated.”
$1 million dollars is a lot of money to put up front on a place when you are a new cat on Wall Street trying to make your way up the ladder. Fortunately, $4,000 can be decently reasonable (to some).

The foreign investors are snagging properties, and paying with cash out of pocket. After they hand over the cash, all they have to do is sit back and collect their monthly rent check. According to a luxury building firm, Corcoran Sunshine, 35% of its sales since 2013 have been to International buyers.
Investing in high end real estate remains a very risky trade, as the original investors of 20 Pine quickly discovered after 2011.
Even with that risk, New York City continues to attract.
Let us be honest, with that many people living in New York City – someone is always going to be looking to rent.

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Real Estate Pipeline provides real estate agents with verified home buyer leads and verified home seller leads. I you are ready to take on new business, give us a call.

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Letters To The Seller – Get Your Foot In The Door.

 verified home seller leads verified home buyer leads personal letter

The real estate market is a very competitive sector. The more ideal the home is, the more people are going to be lusting over it.

When you find yourself feeling like you have finally found your dream home – break out your creative writing skills and write a personal letter to the seller.

When there are multiple people seeking out the same home, writing a letter to the seller can sometimes put the field in your favor. Before you begin writing, you must gather information on the seller to be sure that you gear the letter in the correct direction.

If your seller has been emotionally attached to the home, find a way to equally connect on a personal level. “A buyer in San Francisco, for example, once wrote a very sappy letter to an elderly gentleman who had been in the home more than 60 years. His wife had recently died, and all of his kids had moved out and had families of their own. This buyer, a newlywed with his first child on the way, talked about “continuing the seller’s legacy” and assured him that he would take care of the very well-constructed work area the seller had built out in the basement. He got the house,” according to Zillow.

Speaking with your real estate agent will help immensely. They have much information on the property, as well as the people behind the home. They can give you insight in how long the residents have been in the house, reason for selling, and any other experiences that have been brought up in conversation.

For the less emotional short-sellers, scan the home as you do a walk-through. Do they have the same taste in style as you, art lover, or maybe you are from the same home state? In this case, the personal level can pertain to your background.

Writing a personal letter to a seller requires you to open up; as well as do a little research. By taking this extra step your offer can rise up above others. Do not expect a low-ball offer to overpower, but with a very competitive offer it could make all the difference.
Sellers are curious about who is going to be continuing the legacy in their home. Connecting on a personal level will skip the guessing game and can assure the seller that their home will be in good hands.

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Real Estate Pipeline specializes in verified home buyer leads and verified home seller leads. If you need an extra boost in your real estate game, we have the knowledge and power.

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Walking & Biking Raise Home Values

cyclists in Chicago during sunset real estate leads

We know that having major name-brand stores nearby raises home values – along with parks, schools, ect. A new study conducted by the CEO of Smart Growth America, which, in conjunction with George Washington University School of Business concluded that the more friendly an area is to walking and biking, the more value the homes will have.

“Walkable, urban for-sale housing is by far the most expensive housing in the country. The range depends on the market, between 40 percent and 200 percent greater than drivable, suburban housing,” said GWU’s Chris Leinberger, author of the report. “Twenty-five years ago that relationship didn’t exist because walkable (cities back then) was not valued.”

People are beginning to utilize their own power more than horsepower these days. Being able to jump on a bike to make a quick trip to the store, or even to get to work is a refreshing way to travel. In some cases, walking or biking can even be quicker that hopping into your car – if you live in a high traffic area.

Another factor is rising fuel prices. Driving everyday can begin to take a toll on the wallet. Using your own power not only saves money, but it also improves health.
With America starting to realize just how important their health is, many may choose to ride bike to their nearest McDonalds rather than drive through the convenient window.

“Cities that want to thrive in our new economic and demographic realities will need to find ways to create and support more of these dynamic, productive walkable districts that are in high demand,” said Geoff Anderson
It is a welcome change of pace to see people demanding ways to make alternate forms of transportation more accessible and safer.
Sidewalk maintenance, crosswalks that are electronically regulated, and an increase in bike lanes are essential additions with the changing of times.

You may want to attend the next city council meeting and put in your two-cents on making sure your city is implementing these changes.
Even if you are an avid driver, you may find that if you have easier access around town via walking or biking – you may just leave the car in the garage more often.

It is important for real estate agents to know just what neighborhoods are well equipped for pedestrians and bikes. Having this knowledge can be the difference between turning those real estate leads into sales, or having them pedal away.

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Top 5 Questions Clients Ask Real Estate Agents

real estate leads

Choosing an agent to sell a property is a huge commitment. People are placing a lot of trust in someone to sell quite possibly the biggest investment of their life.

By having these five questions answered confidently, clients can feel more at ease and the selling process can begin.

1. How long have you been in the business?
People base a lot of on experience. It could be an agent’s first year in the field – they could be killing sales – but some people would not see that as enough. People also like to know how many properties and clients they have dealt with over the years. If an agent has impressive numbers, especially with property that is closely related to the potential client’s, their chances just increased exponentially.
People are also curious if their possible client is a full-time agent that is fully dedicated, or if they are a part-time agent that just dabbles in the business [maybe helping friends and family].

2. What geographic areas and types of properties do you handle?
Being well versed and knowledgeable in a certain area can make an agent excel over others that dabble in a little of everything. Knowing the ins and outs of certain neighborhoods, or a certain type of living [ranches for example] means a lot to clients. By being an expert, it reassures them that the agent will be able to market their property to the fullest degree. The same goes with clients looking to buy – they want to know that the properties that they are viewing are optimal for their surroundings.

3. How will you communicate with me?
Communication is key. People prefer to work with an agent that can respond quickly to questions and comments. A delayed response can be the difference between deciding on one house over another, or on the bigger scale – it can mean missing an offer on the dream property. Making themselves available to their client is a huge step that every agent should take. Availability should be available in all forms, but agreeing on the main forms of communication is key to assure that no messages are missed.

4. Can you share references?
People seem to be interested in communicating with an agent’s previous clients. By getting first hand feedback, they feel like they are gaining the most valuable information possible. Having a list of previous clients that are willing to reach out to prospects can be a huge help to agents. In a world of self-promotion it is nice to have a handful of people that are willing to promote for the agent to their potential real estate leads.
Having references is really a benefit for everyone.

5. What will it cost me to sell this property?
Ding Ding Ding! This is the main question in everyone’s mind. People want the best value possible, while still retaining quality. Rather than just throwing out a number, having a breakdown of the costs – along with all of the benefits that a client will receive is huge. This shows quality control, organization, and a better understanding of the ultimate expenses.

An agent that is prepared to answer these questions will seem a lot more confident and be able to convert those real estate leads into real estate clients.

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At Real Estate Pipeline we pride ourselves on being an industry thought leader for the exciting world of Real Estate! Our goal is to blog about top industry news and trends that we feel are most beneficial to not only the Real Estate Agents who currently utilize and love our Lead Generation and Marketing services, but also for the agents who are yet to become our partners.

We encourage you to leave your feedback and comments on the blogs that you find most interesting, as well as ideas of what you would like to see us blog about in the future. Another great resource for Real Estate tips and news is our Active Rain Blog.

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