10 things every newlywed couple needs in their home by Redfin

Know someone getting married soon? This is a great list you may want to share — “10 things every newlywed couple needs in their home” via Redfin

When you get married, “my home” becomes “our home.” Marriage equals commitment, which means you need to start thinking long-term when it comes to your household purchases. Ask yourself, “Will I still be using this five years from now?

Changing the way you think about your home purchases might mean spending more money up front, but some things are worth the investment in order to build a practical, functional, and beautiful home for both you and your partner.

1. Deluxe Towels

Cheap towels fray and tear easily—plus, they’re less absorbent. High-quality towels actually get the job done, last longer, and look and feel more luxurious, making them a better value despite the higher price tag.

2. A Household Organizer

Organization is key once you get married, and a household organizer goes a long way toward making sure everything has its own place. You can find a number of stylish organizers online, or you can try a DIY approach for a more personal touch.

3. Indoor Plants

Simple household plants can do wonders for your home. Air plants are especially good for homes, as they thrive best in filtered light. Plus, they help scrub toxins from the air! Or, you and your spouse can have fun learning about the meanings of different plants and choose one that you feel suits your personality as a couple.

4. A Grown-Up Dish Set

When you inevitably have guests over, the last thing you want is a mismatched collection of different plates, silverware, and glasses. Invest in a sturdy set of dishes that can withstand normal wear and are practical for any occasion. In general, white dishes are a solid choice, because they can be easily customized for any occasion with napkins, placemats, and other accessories.

5. An Advanced DVR

An advanced DVR can save you some headaches. Rather than juggling storage space and arguing over who deleted whose shows, upgrade to a DVR that can handle your recording needs. You’ll avoid some arguments, and you’ll be surprised that you can find deals to fit a newlywed budget.

6. A High-Quality Mattress

A good mattress is an absolute must. Take the time to research your options and figure out what will work best for you and your spouse. Get something that gives you the right amount of support and will hold up over time. And while good mattresses are expensive, remember that it’s something that you’ll be using for six or more hours every night for years to come.

7. Practical Knives

Good knives don’t only make food preparation easier— they’re also safer. You may also want to consider getting a blade sharpener. That way, you can keep your blades from getting dull without having to pay someone to sharpen them for you.

8. Art

You may love that poster you’ve hung in your bedroom since you were 14 or that portrait of Genghis Khan you picked up while traveling, but your partner may not. When building a home as a couple, you may want to consider ditching some of the art from your single days in favor of décor items that express your artistic taste as a couple.

9. A Tool Kit

Whether you’re renting or you own your home, having a decent tool kit is essential when it comes to maintaining your living space. Plus, it makes things a lot easier when you assemble furniture or hang artwork.

10. A Home Security System

Now that you’re investing more in your household, it makes sense to protect it. Modern home security systems can include video surveillance, monitoring, and even home automation features like light dimmers and door locks that can be controlled remotely. There are also home security systems just for renters that can be easily moved when it’s time to transition to a different home.


Hendersonville Daylight Savings & St. Pat’s Nearly Collide

SpringAhead-DayLightSavingsThis Sunday marked the annual “spring forward” sleep-robbing occasion: the switch to this year’s Daylight Savings Time. “Springing forward” may sound like a spirited, energetic exercise, but for Hendersonville residents like me who do our best to keep regular hours, this week it will inevitably produce, at minimum, an extra yawn or two.

If it sounds as if I’m a bit grouchy about the whole thing, it’s only partially true. I hardly missed the hour between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Sunday, save for how it made the night’s sleep an hour shorter. Intellectually, I know that the hour is actually in the bank: come fall, everyone in Hendersonville will get the hour back. Without interest, though.

Despite the Daylight Savings enthusiasts’ objections, the way the Earth and Sun naturally cooperate with each other seems perfectly satisfactory. The gradual lengthening of daylight proceeds slowly enough to give everyone in Hendersonville ample time to adapt without interference from outsiders. It’s never been clear why we are asked to abruptly reprogram our internal clocks the way DST promoters insist. Originally, they say the reason offered was to save fuel—but if that never seemed to make much sense, you’ll be gratified to know you aren’t crazy. A 2011 study in Indiana proved that 4% more electricity was required once Indianans started observing DST.

Given that fact, it might seem economical for North Carolina to stop observing Daylight Savings so we could save that 4%—but then we’d be out of luck trying to figure out how to sync up with everybody in the rest of the country (except for Hawaii and Arizona).

That issue hasn’t been enough to discourage some foreigners, though. The number of countries observing DST has been gradually falling in recent years. Between last year and this, for instance, Turkey and Mongolia dropped out. The world is now counting 75 observing countries, down from a high of 86 just eight years ago. If this keeps up, by 2030 or so, we may not have to discuss this at all!

This year Hendersonville’s calendar was complicated by the Daylight Savings kickoff being scheduled perilously close to Saint Patrick’s Day (Friday). This could result in more celebrants than usual nodding off during the festivities. Sleep-deprived party-goers might forget that they’ve already endlessly discussed whether green beer is a useful invention or whether St. Patrick really did drive all the snakes out of Ireland.

If they have fully recovered from Sunday, they might recall that there were never snakes there in the first place. “Snakes” was actually contemptuous put-down for the Druids, who were, in fact, driven from the Emerald Isle. As a group, they’d surely have grounds for a whale of a slander suit. There may be some Druids left somewhere (but probably not in Ireland).

Despite these distracting events, I can report that Hendersonville’s spring selling season is seeing the light of day and proceeding right on schedule. I hope you will give me a call if real estate matters will be part of your 2017!

5+ Tips to Reduce Hendersonville Relocation Stress

relocationIf you go looking for new ideas to make a relocation to or from Hendersonville NC easier, it’s amazing how often the words “stress” and “relocation” appear in the same paragraph. The most universally agreed-upon method is to separate the two by hiring relocation professionals—not surprising since many of the most-read articles are authored by people involved in the industry. But the runners-up when it comes to relocation are either work-related (for those who are making the move to change jobs) or moving-related (the nuts and bolts of a household move).

Since I’m involved in moving-day drama reduction on behalf of my clients, some of the tips are those I’ve seen work wonders. The first one is something you can get started on long before any move is on the calendar:

1. Stockpile cartons, bubble wrap, padding paper—even those peanut-shaped plastic fillers. More and more, Hendersonville residents are buying everyday items online, so the shipping cartons and packing materials inside are a lot easier to come by. The only issue is creating an area where you can hoard them.

2. As relocation day nears, be sure to have the other basic packing materials on hand: those disposable heavy-duty Scotch shipping tape rollers and a couple of magic markers.

3. Within reason, try to sell everything you can (they’re not called ‘moving sales’ for nothing). Especially if you are moving out of North Carolina using professional movers, the weight saved can make a meaningful difference on the expense side. If you are fond of shopping, there’s even the bonus of replacing shopworn items with new ones at the other end of the move.

4. Think forward; pack backward. Imagine the ideal order for unpacking (label an “open 1st” box, “open 2nd” box, etc.), then line them up backward, so that the “1st” box will be first to be unloaded and easiest to spot.

5. In connection with that earlier “sell everything” tip, once ensconced in your new home, resist the urge to rush right out to complete every room’s decor. Experts agree that this is one of the most common reasons that relos wind up with expensive cost overruns. Relax for a few low-stress days as you unpack at a leisurely clip. Plan to give yourself ample time to figure out what’s really indispensable in your new environment.

The single extra “Top Tip” that most relocation counselors agree upon? It’s Number 6—to avoid falling into the trap of assuming that a simple Hendersonville-to-Hendersonville move doesn’t also take some degree of preparation. Above all, pack fragile items as carefully as if they were headed across the North Carolina border!

Please don’t hesitate to call me for local recommendations when it comes to a move from or to the area: I’ve spent years collecting a solid slate of proven Hendersonville resources!

Hendersonville President’s Day Brings Housing Practicality to Mind

white houseThis week, as usual, Hendersonville celebrates President’s Day on the 3rd Monday in February. Ideally, Hendersonville’s citizenry observes the holiday by recalling the indispensable contributions of Washington and Lincoln and other Presidential patriots. When you compare today’s typical Hendersonville house with the one-room log cabin of Lincoln’s birthplace, you get a glimpse of how far we’ve come in little more than a couple of centuries. A lot of Presidents had a hand in getting that accomplished.

In the intervening years, keeping track of what, exactly, comprises the typical American home has been the subject of much measuring and reporting. But last week, as the nation prepared for this year’s President’s Day, the NAR put out a novel kind of civic-minded observation. “In the spirit of President’s Day,” they had a stab at chronicling today’s Chief Executives’ official digs with our own—their fellow citizens’ residences.

How Does the White House Compare to the Average Home?” didn’t deliver a warm and fuzzy “we’re all in this together” kind of takeaway—but the average reader probably didn’t expect that it would. The high points were presented in an infographic with colorful boxes and circles loaded with small print facts about the White House and the “Typical House.”

In fact, the White House has virtually nothing in common with the Typical House, which was represented by a picture of a nicely-painted row house. Most typical Hendersonville houses aren’t row houses, but if we ignore that for the moment, there were some interesting tidbits Hendersonville homeowners might find interesting:

The Typical House was built in 1991, so it’s newer than the White House which was built in 1792. (Not mentioned: the alterations made by the British when they torched it in the War of 1812).

The Typical U.S. detached single-family house as purchased is approximately 1,950 square feet—probably a good deal smaller than the White House, although the square footage isn’t listed (maybe it’s classified?). What is detailed is the White House’s 132 rooms. They include a jogging track, swimming pool, movie theater, billiard room and bowling alley.

The Typical House in the U.S. is a lot like a typical newer Hendersonville house, with a median of 3 bedrooms. The White House has 35.

Nationwide, the Typical House’s tenure with the typical owner is 12 years, whereas the White House’s inhabitants will have to call the moving vans after just 4 or 8 years.

  So it turns out that the White House isn’t really a lot like most normal Hendersonville houses. True, most purchases are also previously-owned, detached single-family homes; but since most of today’s families couldn’t use 35 bedrooms, there the comparison begins to crumble. Besides, few would want to cope with dragging the laundry basket up and down the 6 levels…

Here’s hoping that your own Hendersonville house is well-suited to the practical needs of your family. If not: I’m a phone call away!

5-Question Real Estate Quiz for Hendersonville Homeowners

real estate quizOne reason why Hendersonville real estate commentators like to offer quizzes is to make readers feel good about how much they know. Being that Hendersonville homeowners probably do more than an average amount of reading about Hendersonville real estate matters, you would expect that any real estate-themed quiz would succeed in creating that kind of warm, positive experience.

This is not that kind of quiz.

The quiz may not foster warm feelings of knowledgeability, but to compensate, it’s shorter than most of those web quizzes (who has time to answer 25 questions?).

Ready? Set! GO!

1) Which of the following features is likely to slow a home’s sale:

A) Swimming Pool   B) Big backyard  C) Small backyard  D) All the above

E) None of the above

2) Which of these is likely to help a home sell more quickly:

A) More than one story  B) Superlative renovations   C) Small backyard

D) Big backyard   E) None of the above

3) Which of these is likely to be worthwhile for a new Hendersonville homeowner?

A) Extended appliance warranty   B) Gardener    C) Shopping for insurance

D) Improving the yard   E) None of the above

4) Which of these trends are widely predicted for 2017?

A)  home prices will remain stable B) home sales will decline  C) average days on market will increase D) the Midwest will lead in home sales  E) none of the above  F) all of the above

5) Which of these is recommended for first time home buyers?

A) Less closet space than you think you need B) More closet space than you think you need C) Dining room D) No dining room  E) Add a koi pond  E) None of the above

Answers: 1) D. Studies show small backyards can retard sales, as can swimming pools and overly large backyards, due to maintenance concerns.    2) E. More people don’t like the hassle of stair-climbing than appreciate the exercise; big, ambitious renovations seldom return the investment; big or small backyards: same as above.    3) C) Shopping around for the best insurance offer is always wise; but appliance warranties generally don’t return their cost; paying a gardener vs. doing yard work yourself is often a financial loser (I disagree with the NAR on this one—for many busy Hendersonville homeowners, pro gardeners are worth their weight in gold); big yard improvements should wait until you’ve experienced all four seasons    4) E  this was the easiest to guess: A) expect home prices to rise B) expect 1.9% more homes to be sold C) the pace of sales is expected to quicken D) West Coast should lead in home sales    5) A and D. The most common first-timers’ regrets are paying for too much spare closet space and seldom-used formal dining rooms.

Top 9 Showing Offenses for Hendersonville NC Houses for Sale

monkey in hendersonville nc homeReal estate articles that are really just lists are now being called “listicles”—and there are certainly plenty of them around. The other day one appeared that just had to be read: Bankrate’s “7 things that could turn off homebuyers.”

The actual listicle may not have been the product of much real research into houses for sale, but it was amusing. In the best social media tradition, I’d like to add a few thoughts in order to come up with a modified/improved “7 things” (for starters, there are 9):

9 Things Bound to Offend Hendersonville NC Homebuyers

1. Monkeys.

2. All right, that first requires an explanation. It headed up the Bankrate list, with a picture of a rhesus macaque clinging to a balcony railing. I’d have to agree that monkeys freewheeling around a Hendersonville house for sale might drive some potential buyers away. Make number 2: uncaged rabbits.

3. Animal trophies. Better to pack them up. Dead animals can offend some non-Ernest Hemmingway fans.

4. Flags. I think an American flag is great, but Confederate flags just get people thinking about controversy instead of the house.

5. Sports teams memorabilia. This one is questionable, especially in a nicely understated den or TV room. Trash-talking posters, not so much.

6. Nudity. The Bankrate article was describing artwork—the point being that for some homebuyers, even tasteful artwork produces a degree of shock value. Universally showable homes strive to avoid shock value.

7. Locked rooms. Bankrate called this phenomenon ‘Mystery rooms’—but the effect is always the same: curiosity that’s not helpful. If the idea is to help potential Hendersonville buyers to picture themselves as owners, a locked door works against the goal.

8. Odors (bad or exotic ones, that is). Our sense of smell is a powerful memory trigger, and if the lingering aroma of a cigar or onions predominates, it could easily make buyers associate the property with something in their past. Whether the “something” is good or bad is anyone’s guess.

9. Owners. Even if the potential buyers turn out to be exactly your kind of people, that too is a distraction from the business at hand. It’s hard enough for buyers to visit a series of properties and remember which place had which features—so it’s a relief for them not to have to go through the social niceties of meeting new people—owners included.

This should be a fairly non-controversial listicle. Once we’ve all agreed that the monkey should step out for a cola with its owners while the showing is in progress, the rest will be easy to accept. For other proven ways to speed your own Hendersonville house for sale into the ‘sold’ category, give me a call anytime!