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Latest Bathroom Trends and Features

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

According to a recent Houzz & Home survey, homeowners are investing more on bathroom renovations than in previous years, largely due to outdated designs and finishes. What types of upgrades are they spending money on? Here are some of the latest trends and tech updates being used in bathroom design.

Aesthetic Additions
You don't have to tackle a full overhaul to make a big impact in the bathroom. Smaller changes can often bring big rewards, both from a resale perspective and by adding value to your daily experience. 

Cosmetic favorites, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association's 2016 bathroom trends, include polished chrome finishes and neutral colors like white and gray. And bathrooms are becoming more streamlined with floating vanities, open shelving and undermount sinks. When larger changes are made, homeowners are incorporating amenities such as no-threshold showers and higher vanity heights that allow for aging in place.

Tech Touches
When you consider updating the appliances in your home, you may automatically think of doing so in the kitchen, living area or laundry room. Many, however, are quickly adopting technological advances in pursuit of the smart bathroom. Some of the more popular add-ons available include:

  • High-tech toilets: The most basic bathroom appliance now has seat-warming options, LED lights, motion sensors and automatic dryers.
  • Accessorized soaking tubs: You can take a basic bath, or you can soak in a chromotherapy tub with mood-enhanced lighting. Or enjoy an air bath, with massaging bubbles similar to a hot spring. 
  • Digital faucets and showers: Along with reduced flow, which conserves water and money, faucet features also include touchless technology and programmable settings like a timed shower option.

Which market trends and tech updates appeal most to your family? When done well, these upgrades can improve your quality of life and increase the value of your home.

6 Tips for Preventing a House Fire

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

Devastating house fires can happen in an instant, and many begin due to human error. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that cooking tops the list of residential building fire causes (50 percent), followed by heating equipment (12.5 percent) and electrical malfunction (6.3 percent).

Make your fall and winter seasons merry, bright and fire-free with these essential fire safety tips. 

  1. Schedule a chimney inspection at least once a year. Creosote, or condensed smoke, builds up on the flue and can catch fire. An annual cleaning and inspection can help prevent chimney fires.
  2. Keep flammable items at least three feet from heat sources. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, 56 percent of fatal home heating fires ignite from items being placed too close to heating equipment. Make sure everything is a safe distance from heat sources, including the furnace, space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves.
  3. Check smoke detectors frequently. Approximately 60 percent of house fire deaths happen in structures with no working smoke alarms. Test your home's smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries each year. 
  4. Have a family escape plan and practice it regularly. All household members need to know all exit strategies in case a fire breaks out, as well as where to meet once they're safely outside. Have a semiannual drill and practice at different times of the day.
  5. Cook safely. Never leave the room when boiling, frying or baking, keep pot holders and dish towels away from the flame, and immediately turn off appliances when not in use.
  6. Be mindful of holiday decorations. If you choose to decorate with strings of lights, always check their condition first. Throw out those with exposed electrical wiring, and be sure to read over the manufacturer's instructions.

Adding Privacy to Your Backyard

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

A yard or patio is the perfect spot for enjoying the outdoors, whether that means playtime with your kids or quiet relaxation after a long day. And while you may like your neighbors, you may not want to see and hear them every time you venture into your backyard. If more privacy interests you, consider these options below: 

Fencing -- Probably the most straightforward solution, fences have long been the go-to for homeowners seeking seclusion. Be sure to check city ordinances and HOA policies before installing one.

Hedges -- Shrubs like boxwood and privet are commonly planted along property lines. Choose an evergreen variety for year-long privacy. Make sure it's suited for your climate and matures to your desired height.

Screens -- Stylish and effective, folding wood-panel screens add a nice visual element while blocking unwanted views. Opt for a weather-resistant screen designed for the outdoors.

Trellis -- The lattice configurations on these simple wooden structures offer an element of privacy. They're also a perfect host for climbing vines and plants if you'd like additional coverage. Just be sure to check the sunlight and care requirements for the vegetation you plant.

Pergola -- A pergola helps block views from second-story windows and balconies. It can be as simple or intricate as you'd like and will offer a degree of shade along with privacy.

Drapes -- Budget-friendly and chic, panels help screen off your patio and can be moved as desired. Make sure the fabric is suitable for outdoor use or spray it with a water-resistant coating.

Vertical Garden -- If you're looking to increase privacy and also want to grow your own herbs, consider a living wall. You can buy prefabricated tower planters for easy installation.

If neighborly noise is a problem, a water fountain is a relaxing, sound-muffling solution. Consider your outdoor space and choose the privacy-adding options that work for you.

Make a Statement With Your Front Door

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Your front door is one of the first things guests notice when visiting your home. In addition to providing security and protection, your front door can make a bold statement and reflect your personal style.

But whether or not your current front door matches your home's interior and your taste, if you feel a draft, see any cracks or hear squeaky joints or scraping sounds, it may be time to replace it. Consider your options with some of the most common front door materials and features.

Materials

  • Wood: Though beautiful, solid wood doors are expensive and sensitive to the elements. Some modern wood doors come with steel cores to minimize warping and reduce cost.
  • Fiberglass: A durable and cost-effective option is a fiberglass composite door. Their foam cores are good insulators, and they can withstand harsh climates.
  • Steel: Strong but subject to dents, steel doors are the least expensive of the three. They have shorter life spans and aren't well-suited for extreme climates, but depending on their core, they can be energy efficient.

 

Styles
There are multiple styles to choose from, including:

  • Solid panel doors
  • Arched doors
  • Dutch or split doors
  • Double doors
  • Decorative doors with glass inserts
  • Frosted glass doors with ornamental wrought iron overlaid for added security

You could even complement your front door with sidelights or a transom window while also letting in more outside light.

 

Colors
The color of your front door should depend mostly on the exterior style and colors of your house, your personal taste and the type of door chosen. If your house is mostly neutral in color, don't be afraid to go bold with your front door.

Use these tips to help make your front door an inviting entrance that not only offers protection from the elements but also reflects your personal style.

Make Your Own Household Cleaning Products

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Whether you're looking for greener ways to clean your home or you just want to save money at the store, there are simple household cleaning products you can make on your own. Use the recipes, tips and precautions below to help you get started.

All-Purpose Cleaner

Create your own inexpensive and effective all-purpose cleaner with liquid castile soap, tea tree oil, vodka, washing soda (not baking soda) and white vinegar. Boil the vinegar in the microwave, mix in the remaining ingredients according to the recipe and put the solution in a spray bottle for easy cleaning.

Laundry Detergent

Avoid questionable foaming agents and heavy fragrance by making your own laundry detergent. Measure the correct amounts of soap flakes or grated bar soap, borax and washing soda, and store in an airtight container.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Avoid mix-ups by labeling and dating each cleaning product when it's made.
  • Add a few drops of essential oils like tea tree, lavender and lemon to scent your homemade cleaning solutions.
  • Substitute vodka for vinegar if you want a lighter smell.
  • Before using a homemade cleaner on delicate surfaces like hardwood floors or marble, first test it in a small, hidden area.

What to Avoid

  • Do not mix bleach with ammonia or vinegar. The dangerous combination can damage your respiratory system.
  • Keep hydrogen peroxide and vinegar separate at all times. Together they create peracetic acid, a highly corrosive compound that can lead to chemical burns.
  • Don't use vinegar on reactive metal surfaces like aluminum or cast iron.
  • Refrain from using large amounts of any cleaning solution, homemade or store-bought, in unventilated areas.

When mixed and used properly, homemade cleaning solutions can work as well as, if not better than, commercial cleaners, plus they're also easier on your wallet. Make sure you know the basics before you make your own cleaning products.

Design Tips for Displaying a Prized Collection

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

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Are you a collector? Whether you have a passion for art, photographs, action figures or something else entirely, here are some options for displaying your memorabilia.

Mount It on a Wall
Family photos and art pieces are commonplace, even among those who don't consider themselves collectors. Fortunately, there's no shortage of creative ways to display wall art.

The trick is to focus on the frames. For instance, one method is to use frames of the same color but of varying sizes and designs. This creates visual interest and unites the collection. Figurines and other small items with depth can be housed similarly using shadowboxes or a divided case.

Hang artwork at eye level for optimal visual appeal. For museum-quality results, keep the center point of your display or collection between 57 and 63 inches from the floor.

Showcase It on Shelves
Curio cabinets and other types of shelving work well for arranging collections and giving individual pieces a chance to stand out. Whether you're into vintage dishes or figurines, consider grouping your collection according to color or pattern.

If you have glass or crystal items, sunny windows are ideal spots for your display. And avoid overloading shelves; open space can help make a visual impact.

Arrange It on Furniture
When it comes to displaying eclectic items or combining collections, look to the top of your favorite furniture pieces. On the surface of a credenza or console table, mix tall and short items as well as various shapes and textures along a horizontal line, similar to a cityscape.

What's the best window treatment for your home?

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Is it time to replace your window coverings? If they're worn, damaged or dated, it's probably time to start "window" shopping for something new. The good news is that now more than ever there are endless styles and colors to choose from. Find the right window treatment by considering your various options.

Determine Your Style -- Take a look at your decor and decide if a traditional or more modern style of window coverings would suit your home. Nowadays window coverings come in a wide variety of finishes, colors and styles.

Choose Your Material -- Determine what type of material fits your budget and maintenance preferences. Options include fabric, vinyl, aluminum, wood and even faux wood. You could frame your windows with curtain panels, opt for pleated or Roman shades, hang asymmetric swags, or mount horizontal or vertical wooden shutters.

Assess Your Functional Preferences -- Think about your light control and privacy concerns. For example, you may require blackout blinds for a media room or bedrooms but not for the less private areas of your home where sunlight is welcome.

Choose Custom or Off-the-Shelf -- Decide if you want to go with custom window coverings that are manufactured to fit the interior dimensions of your windows, or if an off-the-shelf window treatment will suit your needs.

Consider Energy Efficiency -- Think about your heating and cooling needs. Cellular shades help regulate heat loss or gain in addition to controlling the light. If you're likely to forget shade adjustment as a means of temperature regulation, consider upgrading to motorized shades.

Garden Ideas From Around The Globe

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

 

Beautiful garden inspiration can come from all parts of the world. From the neat and pristine gardens of France to the peaceful meditation gardens of Japan, there are many design styles to help you create a pleasing outdoor space that suits you best. Here are some international ideas to help you get inspired this spring:

Traditional English -- "Romantic" and "dreamy" are words often used to describe classic English gardens. They typically feature meandering pathways, sculpted shrubs and abundant sweeping flowers, like climbing roses. Recreate the look with plenty of climbing greenery and bright pops of color.

Formal French -- Indulge your inner neat freak with the clean lines of a formal French garden based on order, symmetry and geometric shapes. Arrange sculpted trees in straight lines, add a small fountain with a round or rectangular pool, or create a mini courtyard with neatly trimmed boxwood hedges for a French-inspired garden.

Japanese Zen -- Serene Japanese gardens often feature water, rocks, sand and gravel, all of which represent spiritual or philosophical ideas. They're characteristically minimalist, asymmetrical and elegant. Plant a symbolic cherry blossom tree as the main focal point, or create your own tranquil setting with a stone pathway, bamboo fence, backyard waterfall or koi pond.

Fragrant Tuscan -- Delight your sense of smell with a Tuscan-style garden. These traditionally include aromatic herbs such as lavender, sage, rosemary or flowering thyme. Ornamental grasses add soft texture while low-maintenance, native plants do just fine in the hot summer sun.

Considering a second home?

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

 

Whether you're thinking about buying an investment property for steady cash flow, a vacation home for your family or a temporary home for your college-bound son or daughter, there are a few things you should consider before making the investment:

Local Market -- Both the local resale and rental markets are important factors. Are home prices on the rise, increasing the possibility of a profitable sale in the future? Is the rental market tight, causing average rent prices to go up? You'll want your rental income to be able to cover mortgage costs, taxes and expenses.

Maintenance -- When calculating costs, include routine maintenance and potential repairs. If purchasing a property to rent out, note any requirements and safety obligations for your area. If you're not the handy type or your desired property is far from your primary residence, consider hiring a property management company to handle ongoing maintenance concerns.

Insurance Costs -- Find out if you need additional disaster coverage such as flood or earthquake insurance. In general expect to pay higher insurance costs, especially if you plan on renting out the property.

Financing -- Plan on being subjected to more scrutiny than you were on your primary residence. Banks often require a higher down payment on second homes, and interest rates may be higher as well.

Tax Implications -- Make sure you understand the tax implications of owning a second property. If you plan on renting it out, you'll need to report the rental payments as income. On the other hand, operating expenses, such as insurance, utilities and repairs, may be considered deductions.

Home Staging Tips

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.
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Thoughtful home staging is more than just tidying up and cleaning every room. It could mean a quick sale and higher selling price if done right. Here are five ways you can leave a positive impression on potential buyers.

Eliminate Clutter -- Clear the clutter from around your home. It's easy to overlook things you see every day, so try to approach all spaces with fresh eyes. Consider having a friend come over to help point out unnecessary items. Larger pieces like coat racks and side tables can make a room feel smaller.

Clean Out Storage Spaces -- Make space in kitchen and bathroom cupboards, closets and other storage areas. Pack up items you don't regularly use, and put them out of sight or donate them. Leaving these areas completely full may give potential buyers the impression that your home doesn't have enough storage space for their needs.

Clear the Way -- Make sure potential homebuyers can move through your house easily. Remove furniture that blocks the natural flow of traffic or hinders sight lines into other rooms. 

Remove Personal Items -- Family pictures, children's artwork and other personal items should be removed or pared down to avoid distraction. Personal belongings can also make it hard for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the house. 

Remember Curb Appeal -- Make a strong first impression by sprucing up your front yard and entryway. Replace the house numbers and exterior light fixtures if necessary. Keep the lawn mowed, the yard free of clutter and toys, and the plants well maintained.

Displaying blog entries 21-30 of 32

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Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC
RE/MAX Dynamic Properties
3350 Midtown Place
Anchorage AK 99503
Bethany (907) 223-1632
Bonnie (907) 223-0005