Latest Event Updates

Spooky! 6 Frightfully Fun Homes in Horror Movie Cities

Posted on Updated on

The idea of settling down in an area known for its horror-filled past may seem counter-intuitive, but for some horror movie buffs, living in a legendary horror movie town is worth the potential chills.

We peered through the darkness and found six cities with reputations as iconic horror destinations.

And before we stroll further down this dark and creepy path, here is a giant disclaimer: None of the homes featured below were featured in their city’s infamous screen presence.

However, if you’re a horror fan in need of some spine-tingling inspiration, here are some starting points.

1. Washington, DC, “The Exorcist” — 2706 N St NW, $999,000

The infamous Exorcist Steps are on M Street in D.C.’s tony Georgetown neighborhood. We found a cute brick row house located just a block away.

———

2. Evans City, PA, “The Night of the Living Dead” — 455 Jefferson St, $179,900

This old Colonial stands just across the creek from the Evans City cemetery. That burial ground is where the opening scenes of the iconic zombie flick were filmed in 1968.

———

3. Burkittsville, MD, “The Blair Witch Project” — 212 E Main St, $169,000

Shaky hand-held camera not included. Whether you decide to venture into the nearby woods is entirely up to you.

———

4. Amityville, NY, “The Amityville Horror” — 53 Bennett Pl, $975,000

This lovely home is less than a half mile away from the infamous movie address of 112 Ocean Avenue. The beautiful and welcoming facade are nothing to be afraid of.

———

5. Martha’s Vineyard, MA, “Jaws” — 6 Anthiers Lane Ln, $4.495M

This mega-mansion on the east side of the posh island offers pond frontage—where it’s probably safe to go in the water.

———

6. Monroeville, PA, “Dawn of the Dead” — 1259 Harvest Dr, $179,900

This modest split-level is about 15 minutes away from the Monroeville Mall. You can make a stop at Monroeville Zombies to stock up on gifts for the family.

This post was originally published by Erik Gunther on realtor.com. See it here.

7 Ways to Keep Your Property Safe After Moving Out

Posted on

If you’re moving out while your home is still on the market, your vacant property could attract more than potential buyers—it could attract criminal activity.

7 Ways to Keep Your Property Safe After Moving Out
Fuse/Thinkstock

An unoccupied property is at risk for a break-in, and removing all your belongings doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Graffiti, damaged appliances, stolen copper wiring and broken windows can all add up to thousands of dollars in repairs.

Remember, don’t forget to let a REALTOR® know your moving plans. Your agent will want to take extra precautions once your property is vacant, and to keep your investment as safe as possible, you’ll have to convince passerby the property is still occupied.

Here’s how to pull it off.

1. Ask for Backup

When you’re moving out, tell your immediate neighbors, the head of your neighborhood watch and your local police department that your property will be vacant.

With more eyes on the house, you’ll have a better chance of getting quick assistance if someone does break in.

2. Maintain the Lawn

An unkempt yard is a surefire sign a home is vacant. In the warmer months, make sure the lawn is mowed regularly, the flowerbeds are free of weeds, and there is no loose trash around the curb or driveway.

In the cooler months, clean the rain gutters, rake leaves off the lawn and clear the driveway and walkway if it snows.

3. Don’t Let Paper Pile Up

As soon as you’re finished moving out, forward your mail and newspaper subscriptions to your new address.

Ask a family member, friend or neighbor to stop by your home regularly to check for phone books, flyers and any mail that might have been accidentally delivered.

4. Make Repairs

A few times a month, check the outside of your property for any needed repairs. If you find any obvious problems, make repairs as soon as possible.

A cracked window, broken porch railing or loose shutter are small problems—but problems a live-in owner would fix.

5. Use Your Driveway

If you have a driveway attached to your home, ask a neighbor to park a car there. Many families with more than one car will be happy for the extra space, and a car parked in the driveway is a great deterrent.

6. Leave the Curtains Behind

If at all possible, leave the curtains or blinds on the windows in the home when you’re moving out.

Keep the curtains drawn and the blinds closed, even at the back of the house, in case a potential vandal hops your fence to see what’s inside.

7. Keep the Lights On

Purchase lighting timers, connect to inexpensive lamps and place the devices strategically throughout the house. Set the timers to go on and off in different rooms at the appropriate times of day or night.

Some would-be thieves or vandals will watch a property for days before breaking in. If they see lights in different rooms, they’ll assume the property still is occupied.

This article was originally published by  on realtor.com. See it here.

Quick Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

Posted on

A home is a product and it should be marketed as such, says one stager.

Buyers will notice sparkling countertops. Source: Leona Piro Interiors.
Buyers will notice sparkling countertops. Source: Leona Piro Interiors.

There are a number of tactics you can employ in an effort to sell your home quicker, but one of the top tricks is to stage the house.

“When a seller decides to put their house on the market, they need to recognize that they are now selling a product and that product should be marketed as best as possible,” explained Nicole Rorem of Su Casa Staging. “This is where staging comes in.”

Not only that, says Lori Livers of Interiors by Lori, home buying can be emotional and staging a home can help the buyer feel that connection.

“Buyers purchase the house they are most drawn to — the house they want to make their home,” she said.

Here are five quick tips for staging a home to sell.

Forget about empty

The empty kitchen and living room area, prior to staging. Source: Su Casa Staging.
The empty kitchen and living room area, prior to staging. Source: Su Casa Staging.
The living room and kitchen area after staging. Source: Su Casa Staging.
The living room and kitchen area after staging. Source: Su Casa Staging.

An empty house makes it hard for the new buyer to visualize themselves living there. Empty rooms can also appear smaller than they are, without furniture to provide context to the space.

“We think about placing furniture to make the space feel large, open, functional, warm and inviting,” said Rorem.

Lead the eye

The fireplace is elegantly staged in a way so that it becomes the focal point of the room. Source: Su Casa Staging.
The fireplace is elegantly staged in a way so that it becomes the focal point of the room. Source: Su Casa Staging.

When arranging furniture, make sure it enhances the room’s best features. Don’t block huge windows, or crowd furniture next to a statement fireplace. Often, less furniture is more.

You can even arrange the furniture so it “downplays the negative characteristics, by leading the eye of potential buyers,” says Livers.

Remove personal items and clutter

A simple, styled room makes a bigger impact on buyers than one cluttered with personal effects. Source: Kariel Staging & Decor.
A simple, styled room makes a bigger impact on buyers than one cluttered with personal effects. Source: Kariel Staging & Decor.

The easiest thing to do to prep a home for staging is to hide personal decor and accessories.

“Put away all extraneous items like papers, personal bathroom items, pill bottles and personal collections,” said Rorem. “You want buyers to see all the features of the home and fall in love with the space as soon as they walk in. If the house is full of personal items and collections, the buyer may get distracted.”

If you are still living in the home and want to display personal items, store them in a decorative basket during showings.

Create a sense of comfort

A bed piled with blankets and pillows makes a room appear inviting. Source: Su Casa Staging.
A bed piled with blankets and pillows makes a room appear inviting. Source: Su Casa Staging.

Fluffy, luxurious towels in the bathroom and pillows arranged on the couch or bed will give your home a more luxe look and are easy additions to a space. Decorative candles, even when unlit, are a great styling tool and provide a light scent in the room.

Clean

Buyers will notice sparkling countertops. Source: Leona Piro Interiors.
Buyers will notice sparkling countertops. Source: Leona Piro Interiors.

No one wants to tour a dirty house. Cluttered, dusty rooms will be the first thing the buyer notices, rather than the great view your home has, or the convenient open kitchen. Cleanliness matters when selling.

And, if all else fails, call in a professional. Many real estate agents offer staging services, or can connect you to a staging professional that can help you see your home objectively and make changes that a potential buyer will enjoy.

This post was originally published by Erika Riggs on Zillow Blog. See the original article here.

6 Common Obstacles Remodelers Face

Posted on

Learn from others’ past experiences to overcome frequent home improvement hurdles.

6 Common Obstacles Remodelers Face

The do-it-yourself movement is on the rise, and while revamping your home’s interior without professional assistance is a financially savvy move, it’s also one full of potential roadblocks.

To help you stay on the right path, we’ve asked 12 DIY writers for their been-there, done-that advice for completing a project without becoming discouraged.

1. Settle on a theme

“When tackling home design my biggest problem is trying to keep it cohesive and flowing from room to room.” – Danielle Leonard of The Frugal Navy Wife

Solution? Go eclectic. While cohesive style is classic, assorted designs are trending. Mix and match without going overboard by combining large, traditional living spaces with small, bright and bold powder rooms or entryways.

2. Prepare ahead of time

Planning is the biggest challenge: gathering supplies, blocking off time, getting up the guts to start and then doing all the prep work.” – Jessica Davis of Nest Studio

“There are so many times I’ve rushed through a project because I was so excited to get to the end result, but then had to start all over because it didn’t turn out as well as I anticipated.” – Katie Nathey of Upcycled Treasures

You need to prepare for your project, both mentally and physically. Purchase a DIY day planner to keep track of timelines, to-do lists, materials and reminders. You’ll likely fall slightly behind – or skip ahead – but a written plan is a helpful guide.

3. Stick to the budget

“We did anticipate finding several problems in a 112-year-old house, so we budgeted a good amount for miscellaneous. But we still went over budget!” – Sarah Gaylor of 702 Park Project

It’s a great feeling when a project is successfully completed and for a fraction of the costs of hiring a professional.” – Audrey Kuether of Oh So Lovely.

Most homeowners attest to spending more on their remodels than initially planned. Unfortunately, there’s no way to combat unanticipated, yet necessary, expenses. Make fixing structural problems a priority, even if it decreases the budget for aesthetic trimmings.

4. Remain flexible

“If you are renovating an old home, sometimes you just have to go with the flow.  There isn’t much you can do about the uneven floors and crooked walls in a historic home.” – Kelly Raether of Corner of Main

“I’ve learned to expect something to go wrong and now nothing ever does. That may sound cynical, but I swear it helps things to go more smoothly.” – Jourdan Mclaws of Little Yellow Barn

Keep optimistic, and consider yourself lucky if you only hit minor roadblocks, such as purchasing the wrong paint colors or misplacing necessary tools.

5. Project a realistic timeline

“We thought we’d have the house completed a couple of months after moving in. Four years later we are about half way done!” – Amanda Bassetti of Simply Maggie

Two to three hours of work daily in the evenings seemed exhausting after a whole day of work, and the time to finish the project was prolonged.” – Beauty Harmony Life

Don’t expect results to happen overnight. Many homeowners choose to delay their plans until their busy lifestyles can accommodate demanding projects.

6. Take advantage of resources 

“Tackle the project with a friend or spouse. Having someone help you will ensure you double-check each step so it is correctly done, but it is also more fun to do a new project with someone you enjoy working/talking with.” – Rachel Pereira of Shades of Blue Interiors

“If you’re really stuck, call a friend or hit up Google. Chances are, someone else ran into the same problem as you.” – Bre Bertolini of Brepurposed

“We are so fortunate in having the Internet as a resource.  It has given us encyclopedia of knowledge at our fingertips.” – Anne Davis of DesignDreams by Anne

Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration. Even seasoned professionals consult friends and colleagues from time to time.

This post was originally published by Jennifer Riner on Zillow Blog. See it here.

Why You Should Sell Your House Now!

Posted on

School is back in session, the holidays are right around the corner, you might not think that now is the best time to sell your house.  But with inventory below historic numbers and demand still strong, you could be missing out on a great opportunity for your family.

Why You Should Sell Your House Now

1. Demand is Strong

Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at home right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are more prospective purchasers currently looking at homes than at any other time in the last twelve months which includes the latest spring buyers’ market. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

As we get later into the year, many people have other things (weather, holidays, etc.) that distract them from searching for a home. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply is still under the historical number of 6 months’ supply. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.

Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. Any delay in the process is always prolonged during the winter holiday season. Getting your house sold and closed before those delays begin will lend itself to a smoother transaction.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by this time next year.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

This post was originally published by Keeping Current Matters. See it here.

Getting Your Home Ready for Trick-or-Treaters

Posted on

Consider these tips to ensure a fun and safe Halloween night.

Night Light
Source: Photo Dean via Flickr Creative Commons

At summer’s end, once school is back in session, many of us start looking forward to Halloween. It’s a holiday adults can enjoy as much as kids. But, homeowners do have one serious obligation on this fun night: If you expect trick-or-treaters, you must make sure the path to your door is a safe one.

Take no trips

Inevitably, some giddy ghosts and ghouls will race excitedly to your door. Be prepared. In the full light of day, inspect your lawn, driveway and front path for trip hazards like exposed tree roots, cracks in concrete or missing pavers. Make repairs where possible or, at the very least, cut off access to unsafe areas. Meanwhile, if you’ve decorated the front yard with decorations like light-up pumpkins and animated figures, relocate the electrical cords so they’re not in anyone’s way.

Light the way

Make sure the path to your house is bright enough for trick-or-treaters to approach safely. You don’t need to install a full suite of year-round landscape lighting simply to accommodate visitors on Halloween night. There are plenty of temporary and affordable options for illumination, from glow sticks to tea lights. And though it may seem more in keeping with the mood of this spooky night to switch off your porch light, it’s much safer — not to mention more inviting — to keep it on.

Resist flammable decor

Whether vandals or accidents are to blame, there are many more fires on Halloween than a typical October night, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Holiday decorations are often quite flammable, involving materials such as paper, hay and dried cornstalks. If you can’t resist adorning your home and yard with such potentially dangerous items, then be sure to keep them away from candles and other heat sources. If jack-o’-lanterns or luminaries figure into your celebrations, illuminate them using LED tea lights, not open flames.

Curb your dog

Chances are yours is a friendly dog. But if some Halloween costumes are so convincing as to be frightening to small children, those same getups could be equally disturbing to your pooch — particularly on such a high-energy night. It’s good sense to contain your dog in an indoor space that’s both comfortable and secure.

A festive parade of goblins and ghouls, princesses and superheroes will soon be marching to your house. Do your part by clearing the path and lighting the way. Be safe out there, and have a Happy Halloween!

This post was originally published by Bob Vila on Zillow Blog. See it here.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

‘The Castle’ Inspired by Beer Barrels

Posted on

A copper brewing kettle isn’t out of place in this home.

from Zillow
from Zillow

7525 S Highway A1a, Melbourne Beach, FL
For sale: $2.95 million

from Zillow
from Zillow
from Zillow
from Zillow

Cars seem to disappear when they arrive at “The Castle” on Melbourne Beach. Like a medieval keep, a metal gate leads into three stories of fortified concrete.

from Zillow
from Zillow
from Zillow
from Zillow

“Unique is definitely the word,” said listing agent Marion Thacker of Engel & Völkers Orlando Winter Park.

The home was built to withstand hurricanes, but the curved design was inspired by beer barrels.

“It’s owned by a corporation, and one of the corporation owners used to own a brewery,” Thacker explained. “He put a lot of thought into it.”

A solid copper brewing kettle from Germany accentuates the home bar, serving as a light fixture and storage space.

from Zillow
from Zillow

The home is also lined with high-end European antiques and furnishings including a German kitchen stove dating back to the 1800s, a German wood-burning fireplace and high-end Italian tile.

from Zillow
from Zillow

“The bar backdrop alone holds tiles valued at $25,000,” Thacker said.

But the home’s main selling point isn’t inside. Overlooking a premier surfing spot just north of Vero Beach, the house features tranquil ocean views from nearly every room.

from Zillow
from Zillow
from Zillow
from Zillow

“[The original owner] wanted an ocean view from wherever he was in the house,” Thacker explained. “When you lay in the master bed, you can see the pool and the ocean.”

from Zillow
from Zillow
from Zillow
from Zillow
from Zillow
from Zillow

Photos by Harvey Smith and Walt Simpson.

This article was originally published by Catherine Sherman on Zillow Blog. See more photos and the original article here.