Wrought Iron, A Simple, Strong, And Beautiful Addition To Any Modern Home

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 17th, 2014

Wrought Iron: A Simple, Strong, and Beautiful Addition to Any Modern HomeWrought iron is a classic accent that has been used to beautify homes for centuries. Its strong and simple elegance is a wonderful addition to any modern home and can be incorporated into home design in many different ways.

A Masculine Addition To Any Design

Wrought iron is considered to be masculine from a design standpoint. It is a great way to add depth and balance to a home.

It works well with both light and dark palettes, and can be incorporated into most modern home designs.

Because it is fabricated by welding, wrought iron has a strength beyond that of most construction materials. It also adds a dramatic finish to exposed beams and ceilings.

Wrought Iron Railings Are Strong And Supportive

These railings are durable and can be fabricated in many beautiful designs. They have been a popular choice in home design not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because of their strength.

Railings of all kinds can be done in wrought iron. Staircases, landings, and decks are just some of the places we are seeing more wrought iron in modern homes. Entry gates in wrought iron make a rich and dramatic statement. They are impressive, add great appeal, and are quality security features.

Showcase Natural Woods And Make Them Stand Out

There is something so striking about the combination of wood and iron. Accenting a wooden gate with large wrought iron hinges and handles gives the gate new depth and beauty.

Staircases are also an excellent place where wrought iron and wood can be combined to create eye-grabbing features in modern architecture.

Wrought iron décor items make the richness of wood stand out beautifully. A couple of small sculptural pieces on a wooden mantle or floor will bring attention to the natural beauty of the grain.

Furniture For Both Outside And Inside Of The Home

Wrought iron furniture finds a fitting home in modern architecture. It has always been a popular choice for exterior design, but is being incorporated more into interior design as well.

Wrought iron patio furniture and trellises are used as focal points in outdoor landscaping, and the same can be done inside. Wrought iron in a modern kitchen or any room is quite striking. Tables, chairs, and beds can all be found in unique wrought iron designs.

Find Functionality With Wrought Iron Fixtures

Wrought iron lighting fixtures are dramatic and beautiful. From sconces to chandeliers, lighting fixtures are a functional way to bring wrought iron into a home.

Some designers like to showcase the entry of a home with an impressive chandelier. The theme is easily carried through a home by using these lighting fixtures in the dining room, hallways, and kitchen. Impressive outdoor fixtures and light posts can light the way for visitors to your doorstep.

Wrought iron is a simple, strong, and beautiful addition to a modern home. It is a great way to add appeal and value to your house and property.

Tags: , ,

| Comments off

Three Mobile Apps That Make Home Automation Tasks Quick And Easy

Posted in Home Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 10th, 2014

Three IPhone Apps That Make Home Automation Tasks Quick and EasyThese days, efficiency and productivity are the keys to life, which is why it’s no surprise that home automation is a bigger topic than ever before.

As more and more people become tech savvy and get used to working with handheld devices, home automation becomes a natural fit for your smartphone or other handheld device.

After all, it’s a true pleasure to be able to control nearly everything in your home from just one device! You have so many things to do each and every day that it could be too much of a hassle to do everything separately and to control everything independently.

Home automation solves that problem for you. Here are the three iPhone apps that will make home automation tasks much quicker and easier.

The Haiku Home Automation App For HAI

Sure, this app will cost you $50, but it’s well worth it in order to have everything controlled at the tips of your fingers. You can use this app from anywhere on the planet or simply while you’re plopped down on the couch… your choice entirely!

It incorporates HAI’s solid home automation controls with an amazing user interface experience to deliver convenience and efficiency to users. So far the app has received excellent ratings from users. Out of 112 ratings, it’s averaged a 4.5 out of 5 score on iTunes.

Try The Revolv Smart Home Automation Solution

This iOS app from Revolv Inc. allows you to unify and centrally control a slew of various, connected home devices. Examples include locks, smart lights, outlets, sensors, thermostats and even wireless music systems, just to name a few possibilities. The app taps into the iOS system to empower you to seamlessly and effortlessly complete a bunch of automated tasks.

This app lets you create several automated directives from geo-location, time and on-demand triggers and sensors. Such convenience and control is both practical and highly rewarding.

Finally: The Loxone App

The Loxone app allows you to control your residence from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The possibilities are endless because, with this app, you can regulate everything from your home’s blinds and heating to the music that’s playing in any given room. All you have to do is make a few taps on your iPhone’s screen, and you’re done!

This makes the Loxone app one of the most ideal and efficient home automation apps out there. It’s definitely a good idea to install this app on your iPhone today. You won’t regret it, and running the devices inside of your own home will be something you’ll look forward to, rather than something you dread.

Thanks to these home automation apps, you’re in good shape to feel in control of all of the devices in your home. Whether it’s the blinds, the heating or an entertainment device like your stereo, these apps have you covered so that you can proceed efficiently and productively.

Tags: , ,

| Comments off

How To Build The Ultimate Tree House For Your Children In Just Seven Steps

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 3rd, 2014

How to Build the Ultimate Tree House for Your Children in Just Seven StepsBuilding a tree house is a time honored tradition for many families. One of the benefits of having a yard is the ability to build a tree fort for your children.

If you’re planning to build a fun fort for your kids, here are seven steps to help you create the ultimate tree house.

The Ultimate Plan For The Perfect Playhouse

The best projects are often the most thought out. Sit down with your children and lay the plans for their tree house. Let them contribute their thoughts and ideas so they feel a part of the planning process.

Although you won’t need an engineering degree to build a quality tree fort, it’s important to calculate all the measurements and specifications of the build.

A Solid Foundation For Your Tree House

Prepare the location for your future tree house by trimming away any precarious branches or boughs on the tree you plan to build on. Ensure that your tree house will be well supported, and reinforce any questionable spots.

If your tree fort is being built from the ground up, make sure you’re working with a level foundation.

Have The Right Tools For The Job

Make sure you have all the tools you’ll need to construct your tree house. Power tools and construction equipment can be borrowed from friends and neighbors or rented from your local hardware store.

When the time comes to gather your building supplies, be creative and consider re-purposed supplies. These materials are less expensive and add character and charm. You can find recycled and salvaged items at various recycled construction supply companies and through online classifieds like Craigslist.

Construct Your Tree House With Confidence

When you’re constructing your tree house, make sure it’s structurally sound. Watch tutorials online – you’d be amazed at the things you can learn from watching YouTube videos!

Make sure to measure twice and cut once. Using the proper cutting tool for each cut will help you achieve cleaner, more precise cuts. Also make sure to obtain any permits that may be required for the project.

A Personalized Theme Encourages Creativity

Choose a theme that relates to your child. If they love fairies, use that as the inspiration for your design. Pirate forts and superhero lairs are perfect places to spark imaginative play and creativity.

Incorporate cannons, cupboards and ropes with pulleys to create a unique and fun space for your children to play.

A Colorful Paint Job Brightens The House

When the walls are up and the building is done, it will be time to choose paint colors. Bright colors are a great way to brighten and liven up an outdoor space.

You could even consider creating a mural. Choose something in fitting with the theme. This is something that you and your child can do together, or that you can do on your own as an added surprise.

Perfecting Your Child’s Play Space

Once your tree house is built, it’s time to get it ready for play. Decorate the space with fun decor, and functional items. Throw pillows and rugs can add color and personality to a child’s play space. Window coverings can be made from scrap fabric or flat bed sheets.

Creating a tree fort for your child is a memorable experience and a labor or love. A unique space that sparks imagination and nurtures creativity is a wonderful gift to give a child.

Call your trusted local real estate agent today to find the perfect yard for your ultimate tree house.

Tags: , ,

| Comments off

3 Surprising Spots in Your Home That Might Be Aggravating Your Allergies

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 21st, 2014

Three Surprising Spots in Your Home That Might Be Aggravating Your AllergiesEnvironmental allergens affect the way many people live their lives and clean their homes. Allergens make their way into our houses, and can settle in some unexpected places – but knowing where these irritants can hide can help you eliminate problematic allergens from your home.

If your house has you sneezing and wheezing in every room, here are three allergy-triggering places where you wouldn’t expect to find allergens in the home.

1. Allergens Lurking In Your Living Room

Visitors to your home brings allergens with them. Allergens are easily transferred from your visitors onto your carpets and couches. Even if you do not have pets of your own, animal dander can easily find its way in with visitors from pet-friendly homes.

Your couches and cushions are hot spots for irritants. If you are find yourself exhibiting allergy symptoms in your living room, look to your cushions to find some relief.

These cushions and throw blankets can be placed into the dryer for a few minutes to get rid of irritating dander and dust mites.

Items that cannot be placed in the dryer should be cleaned regularly according to the manufacturer’s directions. A good vacuum with a HEPA filter can pull allergens out from flooring, drapes and couches.

2. Steaming Kitchens May Make You Sneeze

The kitchen may be home to mold that triggers your allergies. Steam from cooking and cleaning carries moisture into the air, and can cause damage not only to your health, but also to your home.

Dishwashers and other appliances can contribute to mold growth in a big way. Areas that are not regularly cleaned and properly maintained could be triggering allergic reactions. To get allergy relief, clean and sanitize the rubber seals of all your appliances.

If you suspect mold may be an issue, have a professional test your home. Whereas surface mold can be killed and cleaned, more serious mold problems may require renovation and cause serious harm.

3. An Attack On Your Sinuses While You Sleep

Dust mites flock to a surprising and unsettling place in our home. If you find your allergies are causing unrest, it may be where you are placing your head to sleep.

Pillows are problematic because they are not washed regularly with the rest of our bedding. There are many different solutions for this, and some are more effective and comfortable than others. Replace your pillows annually, or consider a different material or type of pillow – pillows with a tight woven covering will be harder for mites to penetrate, and allergy-proof pillow covers can be washed regularly.

Your bedroom is meant to be a place of rest, but where the room is placed could be causing you discomfort. Allergens from trees and plants out your window can make their way into your bedroom. Air purifiers can help, and in some instances you may want to consider having the irritant removed.

Pinpointing the source of a reaction can be a challenge, especially if the allergens are hiding in unexpected places in the home. Allergies in the home shouldn’t cause residents constant problems. Seek out the culprits that plague your sinus, and breathe easy knowing that your home can be your sanctuary.

For more information about available services and possible solutions to your allergen problems, call your trusted real estate agent today.

Tags: , , ,

| Comments off

DIY Play House: Easy Play House Designs Your Kids Will Love All Year Long

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 9th, 2014

DIY Play House: Easy Play House Designs Your Kids Will Love All Year LongWhen it comes to creating a play house for your kids, you are limited only by your time, imagination, and to some degree, your budget. Most play house designs are constructed out of affordable wood products, and the plans are generally box-like in appearance. If you have the appropriate tools on hand, the project can take only a couple of weekends to construct.

Whether you choose a simple “look out” fort or a fully gable-roofed design, your kids will thank you for years to come.

Of course, the benefit to you is that they will have something to do to occupy their imaginations and get them away from the television. Instead of running out to the big box stores for pre-made forts, consider building one yourself.

Create Your Kids’ Home Away From Home

You can enhance simple playhouse designs by incorporating a climbing wall, a rope swing or even a slide (if you are able to build high enough.)

You can place a rubber climbing apparatus on the outside as long as there are some safety features installed as well, such as a soft area of wood chips or rubber pellets placed at the base of the wall. Also remember that climbing on the roof can be a falling hazard, so consider adding railings.

If you’re hoping to create a play house with some functionality, why not add some shutters and quaint furniture? Just remember to use furniture that is intended for outdoor use in order to prevent mildew and rot.

Play House Designs For The Cold Months

Outdoor fun doesn’t have to be restricted only to the summer months. It’s not impossible to simply run an electrical extension and attach a heater so your fort can be used all year round.

It’s an important cautionary note to be sure not to use any heating equipment that is powered by propane or gasoline. These heaters can emit toxic carbon monoxide that can build up inside a small space, which is an extreme health hazard. Instead, consider safe methods to install and insulate electrical heating devices, especially those designed for outdoor use that are resilient against water and snow.

 Backyard Play House Designs: No Construction Needed

If you’re all thumbs when it comes to picking up a hammer, why not make a teepee? Simply by purchasing some six-foot long, wooden sticks (bamboo works best) and some twine, you can create a teepee form in less than 5 minutes.

Once your form is complete, dress the top with sheets held on with clothespins. While this won’t withstand the elements nor last through seasons, it can quickly provide a shaded play area that comes down as quickly as it goes up.

In many ways, having your kids help to design and build their “dream home” is the main goal of any DIY project, so first and foremost: enjoy the process. While this “addition” to your home doesn’t have a tangible economic impact on the value of your house, it prepares your home to be viewed as family friendly, if nothing else.

For more great home project ideas, call your trusted real estate professional today to discover how easy and fulfilling building your youth-oriented dream home can be.

Tags: , ,

| Comments off

Baby On the Way? Baby Proof Your Home In Just One Weekend

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 24th, 2014

Baby on the Way? Baby Proof Your Home in Just One WeekendOne of the most exciting times in a parent’s life is the time before a baby’s arrival. Between anticipation and preparation time passes in an instant, and before you know it you will be holding your little one in your arms.

Although newborns are too small to get into too much trouble, in only a few short months your child will be looking to explore the world around them. Make sure your home is ready for the adventure, and baby proofing is done in advance.

Over the course of a single weekend you can transform your home into a baby friendly safe zone, ready for discovery.

Getting Down To Have Look Around

Cupboards and corners are potential hazards, but are not the only places baby can run into trouble. Cracks and crevices can trap and scratch little fingers, and an exposed baseboard nail could lead to unneeded tears and medical attention.

These problems can be avoided with minimal time and a little filler. By bringing yourself down to baby level, you can easily get the low down on your home’s toddler readiness. Another down and dirty danger is electrical outlets. If you have lots of cords in the home, consider using power strips to keep the number of plugs needed to a minimum.

These are easy to unplug and replace with a cover when not needed, or when baby is at play. Not only will this make things easy at the outlet, but it will also save you money by minimizing wasted energy.

Switch To Greener Cleaners And Keep It Up

Of course keeping chemical cleaners and cleaning supplies out of reach is an important part of baby proofing your home, but what about the freshly mopped kitchen floor? Baby’s soft skin can easily pick up the chemical cocktail that is most traditional cleaning solutions.

Switching to natural cleaners is a safe choice for both your home and your family. With green cleaning products, you won’t have to wait until baby is away or napping before chipping away at the daily chores.

Keep Baby In Bounds And Block Danger Out

There is a contraption for every possible danger, but regardless of the measures taken, accidents can always happen. Once you have baby proofed hazardous zones like bathrooms and offices, you can add extra assurance by placing baby locks or latches on the outside of doors.

Baby gates can block off areas of the home beyond the staircase. You can use these safety gates to section off nearly any area, and portable gates are easily moved throughout the home.

Babies grow quickly, and sometimes we as parents feel unprepared for the phases and milestones that lay ahead. Knowing your home is ready to go from newborn to toddler will give the peace of mind needed to enjoy each moment that you share with baby in your home.

If there are structural challenges that simple baby proofing cannot overcome, call your local real estate professional today. Connecting buyers with just the right place is both our pleasure and priority. Finding the perfect home for you and your growing family can be a great way to transition into a new normal.

Tags: , , , ,

| Comments off

The Ultimate Guide To Winning At Auction! Don’t Let Your Dream Home Slip Away

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 10th, 2014

The Ultimate Guide to Winning at Auction! Don't Let Your Dream Home Slip AwayWhile the traditional method of trawling for sale listings, making bids, and negotiating with the seller has been a popular rite of passage for many home buyers, buying a house at auction is swiftly becoming a favored way to purchase property.

Buying a home through auction can be tricky, so it’s best to do your research and keep your cool on auction day, lest you find yourself stuck with a less-than-ideal place to live for a price you didn’t expect to pay. If you’re in the market to buy through auction for the first time, here are some things you need to know.

How To Find Houses Up for Auction

Real estate agents will often use the same methods to sell a house by auction as they do in a traditional sale: adverts in newspapers and online, posters in their office windows, and signs outside the property.

Depending on the reason for the sale, a home auction may be held at a local courthouse, an auction house, or, in some cases, online.

Viewing A House Before Auction

It’s always best to try before you buy, so make sure you are able to view the house prior to the auction. Some real estate agents will insist on exterior views of the home only, but, if you’re a new buyer, this may not be enough.

Seasoned home buyers can often pick a house by looking at the exterior and reading a description; buyers new to the game should bank on seeing inside first.

Checking The Price Of An Auction

Look into the price that is offered for the home you seek to buy; sometimes, if a house is in foreclosure, the starting price of the home may be the balance of the mortgage, or a lower price to get people to begin bidding. Lenders, such as banks, are not permitted to make a profit from selling a foreclosure and may often sell homes at a loss; look out for these bargains when checking house prices in your local area.

Bidding At An Auction

On auction day, make sure you enter the auction knowing the general value of the house and the maximum amount you are willing to pay; having these parameters set out will help prevent you from getting swept up in the auction process and bidding more than what you have or what the house is worth.

On the day, bring a cashier’s check – auction holders ask winners to pay for auction fees, bidding fees, and a deposit on the purchase. If you are successful on auction day, you will then have to close the deal with the seller just like any other property purchase.

If you need financing, you may wish to be pre-cleared by your lending company before the auction. Also, be aware that your winning bid may not be accepted. Many homes have a reserve price, and if the reserve is not met, the house will not be sold on the day.

If you are interested in buying a home through auction, go into the process knowing that auctions can be riskier than buying a home via traditional means. Also remember that just because a house is up for auction doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a good price. Some houses sell for a lot of money, and others sell cheaply but have hidden costs, such as urgent maintenance.

When you’re ready to find your new home by auction, call your local trusted real estate professional for information, answers, and the best deals in town.

Tags: , , ,

| Comments off