Monday, August 29, 2016

SOLD! Flexible Floor Plan in a Prime Location: 97 Pine Forest Drive

Nestled in a neighborhood minutes from the new Bluffton Parkway flyover and the HHI bridge, close to shopping and restaurants, and quite near charming Old Town Bluffton, this 3 bedroom, 3 bath home offers an open floor plan with a bedroom split that works perfectly for multi-generational families, roommates, or plenty of entertaining. 

An open living and dining room sits under soaring ceilings, with plenty of natural light.  The dining room opens onto a galley-style kitchen, with a breakfast bar and sink that overlooks the living area.  An open floor plan like this provides a great entertaining and living space.

Tiled floors in the dining area provides a definition to the space, with upgraded chair rail and crown molding details.

The kitchen offers lots of cabinet space and an upgraded stainless steel range, with tile floors and Corian countertops.

Just down the hallway, a huge laundry room offers plenty of room for storage.  The space can be used however you'd like, and the simple addition of cabinets, a utility sink, or even more shelving will create a fully functional and completely enviable laundry room.   

Two bedrooms and two bathrooms sit at the end of the hallway, both overlooking a back patio and yard.  The first, a spacious guest room, features two large windows and a nice-sized closet and uses a nicely upgraded hall bath. 

The first of two master suites sits on the other side of the hallway, a room bathed in light from four windows and with access to a back patio from a private door.  Spacious and private, the downstairs master suite also offers am upgraded and large walk-in closet along with double vanities. 

Upstairs, walk-in attic space offers an incredible amount of storage. Situated above the one-car garage, it's well lit and easy to navigate, making it an enviable addition to this home.

The second master suite in the home sits at the top of the stairs, next to a flexible loft space and accented by double French doors. The room is large, full of light from both the window that overlooks the backyard and the light from the living area below. The loft space can be used as a second living area, a playroom, an office, an exercise or hobby room, or in any number of ways.

The master bath upstairs has both a stall shower and a garden tub, along with room for storage.

The backyard is shaded by a large mature tree, and offers just the right amount of open space for two or four-legged friends to play.  

Easy to maintain landscaping, a prime location, and a community with a pool and a playground just a block away? It's hard to beat those amenities, plus a fantastic floor plan--especially at this price! Make an appointment today to see if this adorable home fits your needs--before it's gone!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Why Choose a Home Warranty?

One of the first things that I suggest to my home sellers is to offer a home warranty as a perk to what is already a great listing.  It might seem like an added expense that you might not want to tack on to the closing costs of selling a home, but it really does offer a tremendous amount of value.


A Home Warranty Offers Peace of Mind for Sellers and Buyers

Buying a home can be a very expensive proposition. Between down payments, closing costs, moving expenses, and just the general money drain that random trips to Target to outfit the new home, finances can be tight. Thinking about having a large enough emergency fund to cover major home issues, like a broken dishwasher or a blown air conditioner or a roof leak, can seem impossible. A home warranty offers peace of mind to buyers, who know that for a year, at least a portion of those expenses will be covered.

For the seller, a home warranty can be retroactive as of the date the property went on the market. That means that if you are selling an empty property, or one with renters occupying, or just your own home, you are covered if something happens. You don't have to worry about having to pay for major repairs either.  The peace of mind is worth the expense!

A Home Warranty Makes a Property More Likely to Sell

According to Angie's List, homes covered by a warranty are more likely to sell.  A warranty is a great marketing tool, and can make the difference between similar homes and comparable price points.  In fact, a warranty may actually lead to higher offers because buyers feel more secure providing more of their upfront cash to the seller when they have a safety net in the warranty.

A Home Warranty Isn't a Bumper to Bumper Fix

It's important to understand what a warranty covers. Most warranty companies will offer different packages, at different price points, that cover a varying amount of systems in the home.  You may opt for a basic package, which really covers the four walls and the major systems (AC, water heater), or you may choose an upgraded package which covers all of the appliances as well as some other options. It's important for both sellers and buyers to read the fine print, so that they understand what a home warranty will and will not cover.

When I list a home, I always suggest a warranty--and often provide it myself, from the proceeds of the sale.  It's a worthwhile investment that brings additional value to the home and to the listing. 

Bright, Spacious, and in the Perfect Location: 31 Hopper Ridge Road

Commanding impressive curb appeal on a quiet, friendly cul-de-sac, this Mill Creek home boasts Charleston-style influences, tons of natural light, and incredible spaciousness along with a thoughtful floor plan in more than 3000 square feet.  With five bedrooms, three and a half baths, and a location that offers resort-style amenities and a prime location near shopping, schools, and entertainment, this home is everything you'll need with room to grow.

Beautiful, with double porches and a lofty peaked roof, this property welcomes you immediately into a smartly planned first floor.  A bright entry, framed by a beautifully upgraded transom door, opens onto the staircase to the right and a formal dining room to the left. 

With windows overlooking the cul-de-sac and front yard, the dining room is bathed in natural light, contrasted with beautiful updates like the dark hardwood floors and bright white wainscotting and crown molding.  Even the light fixture is modern and inviting, and the openness to the entry and the kitchen keeps an open flow even as the room remains a distinctly separate space.

A beautifully upgraded kitchen sits in the heart of this first floor, between the formal dining room and the living area.  Stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are combined with staggered dark wood cabinets to create a kitchen that any home cook would be proud to call his or her own.  Recessed lighting, a separate pantry, and an open overlook into the living area round out this kitchen, though there is plenty of room for an island in the middle if so desired. The hardwood floors continue throughout to contribute to the open feeling of the first floor living spaces.

A wall of windows make the living area beautifully bright, overlooking a spacious backyard that is waiting for you to put your stamp on it. A fireplace creates a focal point for the room, and the openness between the kitchen and living area make it ideal for entertaining and daily living.

The outdoor space is immense, with tons of room for two or four legged friends to play.  Flat and easy to maintain, the backyard also includes a patio that could be easily extended for more entertaining space.  This yard is a blank canvas, which is really exciting. Leave it as is for a wide open and beautiful place to play and wander, or create several different outdoor spaces to maximize your entertaining and outdoor living. The options are endless!

The first floor master bedroom, along with a powder room perfect for guests and a door to the two-car garage, also overlooks the beautiful backyard.  Spacious does not do this master bedroom justice--the incredibly large bedroom offers plenty of space not only for a sleeping area but also offers flexibility to include a sitting area, home office, exercise area, or whatever else you'd need to make this your master retreat.  A walk in closet provides storage, and a wisely-planned master bath capitalizes on the natural light.

I love the plan of this master bath, with the double sinks in the corner and the wraparound mirror. It bounces the natural light from the window into every corner of the bathroom, which also features a separate garden tub and glass shower.

Upstairs, you'll find four additional bedrooms, along with a spacious bonus room that sits above the garage. The landing serves a hub for the upstairs, and could easily be used practically as a sitting area or strategic storage area.   The laundry room is also located upstairs, which is incredibly convenient.

The bonus room is truly something special.  The pictures give you some sense of the scale of this room, but it's quite large and could easily be used as a second living space, as pictured, or a play room, office, hobby room, exercise area, or even as a 6th bedroom with the addition of a closet space. 

The front upstairs bedroom offers, in addition to spaciousness and bright windows, access to the second floor porch.  This would make a great second master, with access to a hall bath.

Three additional spacious bedrooms sit on the main upstairs hallway, along with another good-sized bathroom. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Staging Your Home for Listing Pictures

It's a big decision to put your house on the market, deciding on the right real estate agent and a sale price that works best for you.  But then the hard part begins, and while it's something that a good real estate agent can advise you on, it's not something they can do for you. 

Staging your home.

Since HGTV has taken over with shows geared toward real estate, you may know that term. What does it mean? Really, it just means that you're creating an environment in your home that allows prospective buyers to picture themselves living there.  It can seem completely overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! A few quick tips will help you create a home that photographs beautifully, gets more showings, and, ultimately, sells for the best price possible!
  • Empty Surfaces.  This is going to seem impossible, but you want to banish all clutter. Even in places like the kitchen or the bathroom, where everyday life makes it almost impossible to keep surfaces clutter free, you need to be aggressive.  Find another place for the breadbox, get rid of the toaster, put your toothbrush away--clear the clutter so the beauty of your home can shine.
  • Start Packing.  Everyone has more "stuff" than they probably need, and some of it can be packed up earlier than the move. Start packing away the extras so that your pictures show a home with space, not bursting at the seams. Yes, that even means your closets! 
  • Clear Some Personality Out of the Room.  Family pictures, very personal artwork, and even bold paint choices may need to be removed to make your home more of a blank canvas. This move may be understandably difficult, but remember: your goal is to find the new owners. 
  • Create Understandable Rooms. If your dining room has been used as a game room, that may work beautifully for your family but can confuse new buyers.  Find a way to stage each room to show its intended use--a dining room should be a dining room, etc. You can also find a use for seemingly wasted space; a nook can be a reading area or an unused loft can become a playroom or media room.  Help prospective buyers understand what they are seeing!
  • Turn on the Lights! Make sure your realtor knows when your home shines. When is the natural light the best? When should the photographer come so that s/he can capture the reason you fell in love with this house? When you are photographing the home, or when you are preparing for a showing, open the blinds.  Turn on the lamps.  Make sure there's plenty of light.
  • Clean, clean, clean.  A photograph can be unforgiving. Make sure that as you are staging your home, you are preparing it by giving it a good clean.  Think about cleaning carpets if they need it.  Touch up paint that needs work.  Take the time to prepare your home properly and you will reap the benefits. 
It can be hard to say goodbye to a home that you have loved.  Taking the time to prepare it well for listing photos will help you find the right buyer much more quickly.  These photos are the first impression a buyer has of your home--make it count!

Friday, August 5, 2016

SOLD! One of a Kind Luxury in Growing Bluffton: 159 Station Parkway

In the heart of the growing part of Bluffton, the community of Lawton Station offers timeless design and beautiful homes within a secure neighborhood with plenty of amenities. The Cambridge section of this neighborhood offers even more of the same upgraded, spacious living that Lawton Station is known for, and the Westgate model is one of the most popular.  The builder, in fact, has NO Westgate inventory available for months--and that's only one of the reasons why 159 Station Parkway is incredible. 

This four bedroom, three bathroom home, with more than 2700 square feet of livable space, offers comfortable and beautiful one-level living with a flexible floor plan that offers plenty of privacy and entertaining space. 

The open living area that makes up the heart of this home includes both formal and casual dining areas under soaring vaulted ceilings.  Beautiful hardwood floors keep the continuity of the space throughout, with a fireplace and a beautifully accented plank wall provides beauty and subtle design features. 

A beautifully updated kitchen anchors the space, with upgraded stainless steel appliances that would make even the best home cooks feel at home.  Granite counters and tall cabinets offer plenty of space, as does the large island that provides a breakfast area lit with pendant lights.  An eat-in breakfast nook overlooks the backyard and is accented with a rustic wooden accent wall. 

Both the breakfast nook and the living area have access to a spacious screened porch through a set of disappearing sliders, which extends the living and entertaining area outdoors no matter the weather.  


Just off the kitchen is one of the home's most impressive upgrades: an incredible laundry room.  With plenty of cabinet space and a countertop/sink area perfect for handling cleaning or maintenance chores, the laundry room not only offers a place to take care of your chores but also an extra storage area. 

On the same side of the house as this gorgeous laundry room are two spacious bedrooms, connected by a Jack and Jill bathroom.  Each bathroom has its own sink and vanity, with a closet behind, and share a toilet and bathtub area. This allows both bedrooms to maintain some privacy and allows for more efficiency as well.  



Across the house, on the other side of the living area, is an incredible master suite.  A large bedroom, bathed in natural light from two walls of windows, is attached to an incredible spa-like bathroom.  Connected by a walkway with his and hers walk-in closets, the master bath has both a large tiled shower and a garden tub, along with a double vanity with upgraded marble and brushed nickel finishes. 

Just next to the master suite, another bedroom sits at the front of the house.  Currently used as a hobby room, it can be adapted to whatever needs you have.  This is also the case for an upstairs bonus room, which can become a 5th bedroom or work as a fantastic bonus media room, play room, or office.  It sits at the top of a staircase, sitting right off of the laundry room and has a half bath close by.

An additional huge benefit of this beautiful home is the outdoor space.  In addition to the screened porch, a patio looks out onto a huge yard.  Two and four legged friends will love it, and looking out onto a wooded view makes for a fine place to entertain or relax.

This home will definitely not last. Interest is huge and you can't wait--give Kristy Gonzalez a call at (843) 298-3808!