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Latest News Blog

It's getting increasingly colder out there as we head into the heart of winter. And if you haven't taken a moment to winterize your home, there's no...
So you’re getting ready to buy a home and you have noticed there are a few things you would really like to have fixed before you move in. The question is,...
It is so tempting to use flowery language to sell your home to potential buyers. But did you know that there are certain words that actually hurt more...
We all have well-meaning friends who want to help when we consider buying or selling a house. But friendship doesn't mean you should take their...
Many of us fantasize about clearing all the junk from our homes, to de-clutter and simplify our lives. Some take that thought further and flirt with...

‘Luxury’ Defined by Home Buyers

Everyone's idea of what makes a home luxurious is different.

Maybe you think a hot tub is the pinnacle. But someone else might think a walk-in steam shower is the bomb.

Or maybe a high-end kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops is your idea of heaven.

No matter what you look for in terms of luxury, there are homes that offer those things and more. In fact, there's a whole market of luxury homes.

What a luxury home isn't

But first let's discuss what a luxury home is not.

"It is not a cookie cutter home in a subdivision tract, even if it is magnificently appointed," according to LuxuryHomeDigest. "Why? It is probably lacking in presence, in architectural originality and may very well be lacking in coveted location."

How you define luxury

So what makes a luxury home, well, luxurious? Again, it depends on your perspective, but there are certain features most of us consider luxurious.

According to Freshome.com, these include:

• Open floor plans
• Technology like wireless home automation devices
• Warming drawers in the kitchen
• Wine cellar
• Good location
• Theatre/game rooms
• Spa bathroom
• Large, open bedrooms
• Massive amounts of storage space

Luxury isn't determined by price, either.

"It is location, property entry, architecture, decor, decadent amenities, entertainment capability, lovely grounds and myriad other details that help a home stand out from the ordinary," LuxuryHomeDigest says.

Where luxury starts in Omaha

Okay, you decide you want a luxury home. You're ready to make that move upward. Perhaps you just want a little something extra but aren't sure where to start in a city like Omaha.

The good news is, Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing Agent at NP Dodge, can help you figure it out. Luxury homes are one of her specialties.

Get your list of must-haves ready and call Cassidee for your free consult at 402.706.2901.

Try a House Before You Buy It

You test-drive a vehicle before you buy it.

But did you know there are ways to "test drive" a potential new home?

"Most 'try before you buy' arrangements are agreed to by sellers who have most likely vacated the property, so they wouldn't be as inconvenienced if a buyer spent several hours in the home," according to WallStreetJournal.com.

The hope is to let potential buyers stay in a home for a few hours or overnight so they develop an attachment to the property and buy it.

Plus, it's a great way to figure out if the house suits your particular needs.

'Test drive' possible new home

An article on WallStreetJournal.com talks about one particular buyer who tried out a home before he bought it.

"Mr. Crivello says his test-drive prompted him to add an outdoor storage shed to his property, and to request the windows be placed to maximize his view of the outdoors. He also figured out that cooking larger meals was doable if he also used an outdoor grill on the patio."

Another buyer who decided to test drive a house found his fear of roadway noise was unfounded.

The noise "did not disturb the family as much as he had originally feared," HSH.com says. "However, he says he did have problems with appliances that wouldn't have been discovered unless he spent the night in the house."

Other things to check

In addition to spending a few hours or the night in it, there are other things you can check while you tour a house.

Trulia.com, for example, says to check the plumbing.

"How hard is the water pressure? How quickly does it heat up? Test the bathroom and kitchen sinks while you're at it. Water pressure shouldn't be a deal breaker, but low pressure could indicate a damaging leak and more water problems (and expenses) down the road."

Check each kind of light

FoxNews.com recommends looking at the house in every kind of light.

"Is the street poorly lit at night, creating a safety hazard for your kids? Will your commute be a lot worse than you thought? If you are able, make several visits to your prospective home in order to check it out at various times of day."

Assess noise levels

Listen up! How loud are the noises outside your possible new home? Is there a lot of traffic? Can you hear trains? Airplanes?

"Once you've assessed noise levels, you should determine how sound travels within the home," Trulia.com says. "Turn on the dryer to hear how loud it is. March around in the guest bedroom to determine how thick the walls are. If you'll need to invest in sound insulation and throw rugs, it's better to know now."

A house is a huge investment. It pays to take your time and do your research to assure you get the home you want without major surprises.

Ready to test drive your next home and need some help? Contact Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing Agent at NP Dodge today, 402.706.2901.

Ways to Build Your Home’s Color Palette

When it comes to painting your home, it’s a good idea to select colors that not only please you but also would appeal to potential buyers.

Here is professional advice on how to select the best colors to use for your home:

From the top…

If you need to repaint your brown roof, Trulia.com suggests you “steer toward a warm siding color, like Sherwin-Williams’ ‘Avenue Tan’. “If you have a gray or black roof, you can go cooler – Olympic’s ‘Coast of Maine’ is a popular choice.”

And Trulia.com says to factor in the color of any unpainted elements on the outside of your home. These will affect your possible color choices.

Moody interiors

Something to consider when painting any room is the mood you try to achieve.

“In a bedroom do you want the feeling to be restful and soothing or dramatic and intimate?” HGTV.com asks. “Soft, cool colors and neutrals usually create a quieter feeling while stronger colors are for drama.”

Remember the neighbors

Want to paint the exterior of your home?

“Before you even begin looking at the endless array of paint swatches at your local paint or home improvement store, look around your neighborhood to see if there is a common palette,” Houzz.com says.

“If you find that most of the houses on your street are painted very neutral shades, you may not want to paint your house, say, lavender.”

A final color tip

“Painting with cool colors such as blues, greens and purples makes small rooms appear larger and more airy while colors such as reds, yellows and oranges will give a room a more vibrant appearance,” DIYNetwork.com explains.

Don’t know where to start? Set up your free consult with Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent at NP Dodge, who offers an interior and exterior walkthrough when she advises home sellers. 402.706.2901.

How to Peacefully Co-exist With Your Neighbors

It's great to celebrate the differences between ourselves and others. But sometimes, familiarity really can breed contempt.

We may not get to choose our neighbors, but we can choose how to deal with any conflicts with them.

Here are five things you can do to help keep peace with your neighbors:

1. TorontoSun.com advises quieting down, "especially if you are planning a party or having people over late. It is wise to let your neighbors know in advance, especially if things are likely to carry on into the wee hours."

Tip: Invite your neighbors to your party and they're less likely to complain about noise (even if they don't attend).

2. Put your best foot forward. "Be friendly. If you are new to the neighborhood, a friendly smile and hello can go a long way toward establishing rapport with neighbors," Houzz.com says. "Introduce yourself when you run into a neighbor you haven't met yet."

Tip: When someone new moves in, take him or her some cookies or brownies to welcome them to the neighborhood. A small gesture goes a long way to establish friendly relations.

3. If your neighbors approach you with a valid complaint, address it. This could be anything from a tree whose limbs hang over your neighbor's yard to a trash pile that has sat outside an excessively long time.

"Demonstrate your willingness to not impact their life in a negative manner – you will build trust with them if you follow through on the issue they brought to your attention," righttothrive.org encourages.

Tip: Pets are a frequent point of contention. If your dog does his business on your neighbor's yard, clean it up. This demonstrates respect for your neighbors.

4. Park in the right place. Follow local parking etiquette. "Always try to park in front of your own house if possible, and never block neighbors' driveways," Houzz.com recommends.

"In some neighborhoods with narrow streets, it is the custom for everyone to park on only one side — even if it's not an official rule, it is best to follow suit."

It's possible to peacefully co-exist with neighbors different than us. It all comes down to communication and respect.

Looking for your next home and need some help? Contact Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing Agent at NP Dodge today, 402.706.2901.

4 Essential House Hunting Strategies

When you look for a new home, use all the tips and information you can get.

You never know what details you might need or what source might help you get the best possible deal on your next house.

1. Don’t focus just on the surface. With good staging and shiny, new appliances, it’s easy to get potential buyers focused on a house’s aesthetics rather than, say, possible infrastructure issues.

Trulia.com recommends you get a home inspection. The things to look for include these foundation flaws:

• Cracks in the walls wider or longer than 1/8 inch
• Doors and windows that stick
• Sloping or uneven floors
• Noticeable damage to the foundation’s exterior

2. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves, you could buy “the cheapest house in the nicest neighborhood,” PhillyLiving.com says.

“Now, there will be a reason it’s the least expensive – maybe it needs new carpet, the cabinetry is from the ‘80s, or the wallpaper resembles a rose garden. But if you’re willing to put in the work, you can have your dream home at a great price.”

3. Write a cover letter. To buy a house? Yup, that’s right. When the market is competitive or the seller gets multiple offers, aside from bidding higher, set yourself apart by writing a personal letter to the seller.

“A seller attached to a home is typically more inclined to accept an offer from a buyer they like,”  Forbes.com. says.

Write about why you want that particular house. What features you find most appealing. Which details clinched your decision. Why it will feel like home.

4. Visit your potential new home at all different times. You definitely want to check the traffic flow on weekend evenings and during the school day.

“Stop by at 9 p.m. on Friday night to see if your potential neighbors are being loud,” PhillyLiving.com advises. “Most homes (and neighborhoods) look great on a Sunday afternoon when there’s not much traffic and people are out grilling or spending time with family.

“Know what to expect all the other days by visiting at random hours.”

By putting the time and effort into your house search, you can find a good home at a great price. Home, sweet home, awaits.

Need help finding your next dream castle? Contact Cassidee Reeve today at 402-706-2901.

 

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