The Amazing Art of Home Staging

It’s true that many homeowners are a bit reluctant to stage their home. It seems like a lot of work, and does it really make that much of a difference in the sale of the home? Sellers Fran Sarro and David Waite, quickly learned their answer.

Despite the advice from their realtor, they decided to list their apartment in June 2014 without staging the interior. The result was quite dismal. It sat on the market for over 6 months and the asking price was continually cut from 1.85 million down to 1.4 million. With hundreds of showings and not one decent offer, the sellers were desperate to try something different. They arranged to haul out their outdated furniture and bring in a collection of contemporary designs. After skillfully staging the apartment, what happened next was amazing.

The newly staged property was relisted in April for $1.495 million and the place was swarmed at the first open house. After an intense bidding war, the apartment soon went into contract for 1.8 million dollars. Success? I think so.

home staging before and after
Before and After: Staging a Home

I can’t believe how it worked out,” Ms. Sarro said. “I still shake my head.”

The practice of home staging has long elicited strong reactions. Agents and professional stagers point to examples like the Sarro-Waite apartment, and say staging can usually help a home sell faster, and for a higher price, offering a larger return on the investment.

To read the full story, check out the original article: The Art of Home Staging via the New York Times.

The post The Amazing Art of Home Staging appeared first on Realtor Sarah Sitar Interior Design.

from Realtor Sarah Sitar Interior Design http://ift.tt/1OWmx7S
via Sarah Sitar Interior Design

Micro Minnie Trailer Gets Stylish Makeover

Minnie Micro Trailer Gets Stylish Makeover

Today, I want to invite you to have a sneak peek at the process of converting this little trailer into a comfortable and stylish home on wheels. Follow along with me!

micro minnie trailer

As a real estate agent in Orange County, CA, I love the buying and selling process…but I have a confession to make: I’ve always been an interior design enthusiast at heart! Graduating from the Interior Design Institute of Newport Beach, I took what I learned and went on to accomplish some exciting projects like building a home from the ground up as well as total transformations of several homes, which typically sell with all the furnishings!

But not all of my projects are this large of scale. In fact, I recently just remodeled a much smaller space, the newest edition to our family – the mini micro trailer.

I love traveling and this year I wanted to make more of an effort to venture out and see the world. Which led to my search for the perfect mini trailer. After determining that vintage is cool but not quite efficient for off road camping, I happily decided on a Micro Minnie Winnebago.

Micro Minnie Interior – Before

The exterior of the micro minnie was in great shape, but when we stepped inside, we quickly discovered that the interior decor was depressing.

before remodel crop

I’ve had a lot of experience transforming outdated spaces into beautiful new designs – and this trailer was no exception. I saw great potential and couldn’t wait to put a little effort into some small changes on the interior to bring some joy to the inside with color and whimsical touches.

Micro Minnie Before and After Photos

As you can see, this little seat was dated and anything but welcoming. So we decided to ditch the dark brown color palette and update it with a modern, geometric design for the back and use a deep, burnt orange color for the seat. The pops of cream and blue really tie it all together.

trailer seat  geometric pattern chair

The outdated valance above the windows were a little too 70’s in design so we picked an interesting bittersweet pattern, and by squaring them off, created a more modern feel:

before remodel crop tiny trailer redo

As you can see, the geometric design is carried throughout the tiny trailer, and the nature-inspired pillows add a great touch.

trailer remodel

micro trailer remodel

My family and I are very excited about traveling with our two rescue pups, Buster and Grace. Grace can’t wait to snuggle in as soon as we open the door. :)

Thank you for joining me today! What’s your favorite part of this remodel? Comment below.

The post Micro Minnie Trailer Gets Stylish Makeover appeared first on Realtor Sarah Sitar Interior Design.

from Realtor Sarah Sitar Interior Design http://ift.tt/1UuVJ1M
via Sarah Sitar Interior Design

More Interior Design Photos ~ 2056 Sea Cove Lane

This beautifully upgraded home is designed with a Spanish hacienda style and has nearly 1800 sq ft of living space. The lower level consists of living area with a fireplace of tile and a distressed antique mantel. The beautiful kitchen includes new cabinets with glass uppers, lots of counter space, stainless appliances and a steel light fixture that doubles as a pot rack. kitchen remodel sea cove lane remodel6hacienda style flooring costa mesa real estate Sea Cove Costa Mesa sea cove lane bath2056 Sea Cove outside
Still want to see more? Take a virtual tour of the home here:

The post More Interior Design Photos ~ 2056 Sea Cove Lane appeared first on Realtor Sarah Sitar Interior Design.

from Realtor Sarah Sitar Interior Design http://ift.tt/1To8jiR
via Sarah Sitar Interior Design

2056 Sea Cove Lane Costa Mesa, CA Remodel Tour

Before and After Interior Design ~ Sea Cove Lane

Every now and then, I am given the opportunity to infuse my interior design passion into the real estate world. And today is just that day! When I first listed 2056 Sea Cove Canyon, I knew there was quite a bit of remodeling work to be done. The bones of the home are beautiful, but the interior needed some love. So today, please join me as I take you on a before and after makeover tour of this Seabluff Canyon Village home.

old lviing roomcosta mesa real estate

Talk about a makeover! See the photos on the left? I promise this is the same living room as the photos on the right. A little hard to tell, huh?

2056 Sea Cove Sea Cove Costa Mesa

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for marketing a new home for sale.

And check out this bathroom transformation. The master bath and regular bath had three awkward openings to the dining room, which we enclosed. A crisp coat of paint and great photography make a HUGE difference as well:

  

I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to take great photos when listing a new home. These two photos capture the same exterior space, but can you guess which one will sell this home? Not hard to tell! ;)

before exterior exterior

Let’s not stop here…I’ve got some more stunning interior design photos of this Costa Mesa home:

remodel kitchen 2056 Sea Cove
The dark, traditional style cabinetry pairs well with the brick backsplash. And don’t you just love that light fixture? Statement piece!

kitchen remodelnew kitchen remodel Costa Mesa

Another one of my favorite features in this kitchen is the Spanish hacienda style floors. It really ties the whole look together. Plus, the stainless steel appliances add a great modern touch.

Unlike some HGTV shows may suggest, remodeling is not all glitz and glam, and there are no perfect steps to follow. It’s great to have a gameplan, but it’s best to be prepared for the inevitable curveballs that will be thrown your way. Remodeling is hard work and it takes a professional who knows what they’re doing. With that being said, it’s exciting and completely rewarding to see the end result.

If you’re interested in taking a tour of this beautiful Seabluff Canyon Village home, please call me today for a private viewing: 714-323-00973 Looking for more design goodness?

Check out more photos of this Costa Mesa home HERE.

The post 2056 Sea Cove Lane Costa Mesa, CA Remodel Tour appeared first on Realtor Sarah Sitar Interior Design.

from Realtor Sarah Sitar Interior Design http://ift.tt/1To8gDM
via Sarah Sitar Interior Design

8 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Home

Sarah Sitar new Real Estate blog post1. Potential Resale Value When purchasing any home future resale value may seem irrelevant at the time of purchase but consider this, building equity and great resale value can make you money in the long run. Ask your Real Estate Agent to pull home sales in the neighborhood you’re buying. If you figure that a […]

from Sarah Sitar Real Estate – Orange CountySarah Sitar Real Estate – Orange County – Real Estate Professional http://ift.tt/1Ehnt7b
via Sarah Sitar Real Estate

Best Kept Secrets in the West Bluff Neighborhood (Westside Costa Mesa)

Sarah Sitar new Real Estate blog postMost people living in Orange County know that Costa Mesa is split into eastside and westside, what most may not know is that the West Bluff neighborhood is one of the best kept secrets. Located on the border of Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach, West Bluff has so much to offer. Living in Westside Costa […]

from Sarah Sitar Real Estate – Orange CountySarah Sitar Real Estate – Orange County – Real Estate Professional http://ift.tt/1MJcKFw
via Sarah Sitar Real Estate

7 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home When Selling

Sarah Sitar new Real Estate blog post

Any good Real Estate agent will tell you prior to selling your home that small upgrades can make a big difference. Give these suggestions consideration when selling they may help you get more than you expected.
1. Think About Curb Appeal

Regardless of the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover,” homebuyers will jump to conclusions when they see the outside of a potential home for the first time. Upgrade your curb appeal by cleaning up your yard, add color with flowers and give some thought to investing in a gallon of paint to clean-up a weathered exterior.

2. Stage Your Home like a Model
Add value by keeping the decor simple — there’s something special about walking into a model home and loving how they’ve decorated it. Apply this simplicity and to your own home to prep it for potential buyers. So, when in doubt start packing early, get rid of the clutter — keep counters, tables, desktops clean and don’t forget to put kids toys (if you have them) in the closet.

18484416933_c71e909203_z

3. Hire a Professional House Cleaner
Everyone has a different perception on “clean,” to be sure that you’ve hit all of those nooks and crannies, hire a professional house cleaner. Have them wipe off blinds, clean the outside of cabinets, dust baseboards and scour tubs. Here is a great list of the items to check-off the list.

4. Repaint Your Walls
If you have bright colored walls think about repainting them with neutral tones. A new coat of paint and a neutral color will appeal to a larger group of buyers who have may want to envision their own decor in your home.

5. Upgrade Your Windows
Outdated single pane windows can be a concern for buyers due to increased energy costs. If you can afford it, install double-pane windows and have your Realtor use it as a key selling point with potential buyers. Not only do dual-pane windows save energy, money, they also help to reduce outside noise.

19788261892_c861bc9169_z

6. Clean Your Windows
Hire a professional to clean the inside and outside of your windows. This immediately shows a homeowner that the home has been taken care. This tip is especially true if you have large windows in your living room, kitchen or bedrooms that let in a lot of light.

Chocolate_Chip_Cookies_-_kimberlykv

7. Bake Cookies for Your Open House
There’s nothing quite like a homemade chocolate chip cookie. Imagine the nostalgia that a simple baked good could invoke for a potential homebuyer. Not only will your house smell great, but homebuyers may just imagine themselves in your kitchen. Offer one to every guest that enters for great success!

from Sarah Sitar http://ift.tt/1MQvvGO
via Sarah Sitar Real Estate

Four Summer 2015 Events To Attend in Orange County

Sarah Sitar new Real Estate blog post

Looking for some summer fun? Orange County offers its residents so many opportunities to enjoy the summer and weather, at some of the best cultural events. Whether you live here or you’re here for a visit check out these local events — just by attending and participating you give back to local businesses and nonprofits.

Processed with VSCOcam with e2 preset

Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach (July 25 – Aug 2, 2015)
It’s only appropriate that this event is hosted in Huntington Beach — Surf City, USA, and it’s all for the love of surf, sand and sun. The Vans U.S. Open of Surf is hosted over eight days and draws large crowds, not just because there is no cost to attend but because the entertainment lineup has something for everyone — live music, surf, skate, and bmx. While you’re there check out downtown Huntington Beach and grab a hamburger at 25 degrees or some Hawaiian fare at Aloha Grill both local favorites.

FOA_facade_hires
(Image via)

Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts/Pageant of the Masters (July 5 – Aug 31, 2015)
If you admire arts and culture then this is the summer event for you. The Festival of the Arts runs through the end of August and features 140 artists and artisans who show and sell their work. You’ll find everything from from painting to ceramics to sculpture. This event has been around for more than 80 years and held in the heart of Laguna Beach just minutes from the beach. In addition to the festival, you can attend the Pageant of the Masters — a once in a life-time opportunity to see famous pieces of art brought to life on stage. The costumes, makeup and art direction make this production almost too good to be true.

Here’s a tip: if you purchase a ticket to see the Pageant of the Masters you’ll gain free entry to the Festival otherwise Festival of the Arts tickets are sold separately.

chilicookoff
(Image via)

Hi-Times Chili Cookoff in Costa Mesa (August 2, 2015)
This event has been going strong for for 9 years straight and has proved to be an amazing time for many Orange County locals. Set-up in the parking lot of Hi-Times, a well known wine and liquor store with an amazing selection off of 17th street in Costa Mesa. When you attend you’ll be eating bowls of chili, drinking beer, wine and cocktails.

In addition to food and beverages, they’ll showcase some local bands to keep the vibe going from noon to 5:00p. Be prepared to get your fill of sun and fun all day long Sunday, August 2! Admission and 20 raffle tickets is only $20 (and all of it goes to The Boys and Girls Club of the Harbor Area)

orangestreetfair-300x199
(Image via)

Orange International Street Fair (September 4-6, 2015)
How often do you get to experience International food and entertainment so close to home? The Orange International Street Fair features 15 ethnic streets of 42 food and alcohol booths and 8 entertainment stages with local bands playing ethnic music. You’ll have a chance to try everything from a bratwurst from Germany to a Polynesian treat like Kalua Pork sliders. Admission to the street fair is free but be sure to bring your best walking shoes and some sunscreen because it gets hot out there.

 

from Sarah Sitar http://ift.tt/1Ia5oUI
via Sarah Sitar Real Estate

Four Summer 2015 Events To Attend in Orange County

Sarah Sitar new Real Estate blog post

Looking for some summer fun? Orange County offers its residents so many opportunities to enjoy the summer and weather, at some of the best cultural events. Whether you live here or you’re here for a visit check out these local events — just by attending and participating you give back to local businesses and nonprofits.

Surfer_at_Huntington_Beach_Pier
(Image via)

Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach (July 25 – Aug 2, 2015)
It’s only appropriate that this event is hosted in Huntington Beach — Surf City, USA, and it’s all for the love of surf, sand and sun.  The Vans U.S. Open of Surf is hosted over eight days and draws large crowds, not just because there is no cost to attend but because the entertainment lineup has something for everyone — live music, surf, skate, and bmx. While you’re there check out downtown Huntington Beach and grab a hamburger at 25 degrees or some Hawaiian fare at Aloha Grill both local favorites.

FOA_facade_hires
(Image via)

Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts/Pageant of the Masters (July 5 – Aug 31, 2015)
If you admire arts and culture then this is the summer event for you. The Festival of the Arts runs through the end of August and features 140 artists and artisans who show and sell their work. You’ll find everything from from painting to ceramics to sculpture. This event has been around for more than 80 years and held in the heart of Laguna Beach just minutes from the beach. In addition to the festival, you can attend the Pageant of the Masters — a once in a life-time opportunity to see famous pieces of art brought to life on stage. The costumes, makeup and art direction make this production almost too good to be true.

Here’s a tip: if you purchase a ticket to see the Pageant of the Masters you’ll gain free entry to the Festival otherwise Festival of the Arts tickets are sold separately.

Screen-Shot-2015-07-01-at-10.47.28-PM
(Image via)

Hi-Times Chili Cookoff in Costa Mesa (August 2, 2015)
This event has been going strong for for 9 years straight and has proved to be an amazing time for many Orange County locals. Set-up in the parking lot of Hi-Times, a well known wine and liquor store with an amazing selection off of 17th street in Costa Mesa. When you attend you’ll be eating bowls of chili, drinking beer, wine and cocktails.

In addition to food and beverages, they’ll showcase some local bands to keep the vibe going from noon to 5:00p.  Be prepared to get your fill of sun and fun all day long Sunday, August 2! Admission and 20 raffle tickets is only $20 (and all of it goes to The Boys and Girls Club of the Harbor Area)

orangestreetfair-300x199
(Image via)

Orange International Street Fair (September 4-6, 2015)
How often do you get to experience International food and entertainment so close to home? The Orange International Street Fair features 15 ethnic streets of 42 food and alcohol booths and 8 entertainment stages with local bands playing ethnic music. You’ll have a chance to try everything from a bratwurst from Germany to a Polynesian treat like Kalua Pork sliders. Admission to the street fair is free but be sure to bring your best walking shoes and some sunscreen because it gets hot out there.

 

from Sarah Sitar http://ift.tt/1OLTxRl
via Sarah Sitar Real Estate

Buying a Home? Here’s What You Need To Know About the Prequalification and Preapproval Process

Sarah Sitar new Real Estate blog post

17123235909_bc94df9fcd_b

The home-buying process can be confusing, especially if it’s your first time. Sometimes just learning about where to start can he helpful and there are some basics, like prequalification and preappoval that can set you up for success during your purchase journey.

Benefits of a Prequalification

Get started early with the loan prequalification process. It will help you better understand what you may be able borrow when purchasing a new home and set expectations as to what your monthly mortgage may be.

What You’ll Need To Get Prequalified

The first thing you’ll need to do is find a lender who can help you with the prequalification process, there are no costs or commitments associated to getting prequalified. Speaking to your realtor, friends or family members may be a great place to start for a recommendation.

The prequalification process begins with the lender asking questions about your  income, assets, current budget,  debts, and potential down payment to help estimate the amount you could borrow. While going through the process, it’s helpful to collect other important financial documents which will make the preapproval process go more smoothly. These documents can include, proof of employment, proof of income (w2, tax returns, and bank statements), investment, asset statements, and any other documents that show viable income.

Once you’re prequalified you’ll have a better idea of what investment you’re able to make on a new home. With it comes the confidence that you’re making the right financial decision for your future.

The Difference Between Loan Prequalification and Preapproval

As mentioned, there are no commitments between lender and buyer during prequalification for a loan, it’s a bit different when working with a lender for preapproval. It’s recommended that potential homebuyers find a lender who provides desktop underwriting approvals, which is the best form of qualification to purchase.  This process takes a little more time and work on behalf of both parties. Depending on the lender, there can be a small application fee. You’ll want to be sure that the lender you choose for preapproval is a reliable partner and someone you’d like to work with during the home buying process.

Once you’ve selected a lending partner and worked through your preapproval, be sure to ask your lender for a letter of commitment to help both you and your realtor understand your buying power when looking for a home. The bank will provide an approximate dollar amount that they’d be willing to loan for your home purchase. It’s important to remember that this dollar amount is contingent upon numerous factors including, appraisal, credit and financial verification, among other items.

If you’re looking for a trusted real estate professional with several reputable references in the area to help guide you through the preapproval process and ensure success when purchasing a new home, email or call Sarah Sitar, real estate professional. She specializes in the home buying process and can put you in contact with the right lender.

from Sarah Sitar http://ift.tt/1LXQgQp
via Sarah Sitar Real Estate