Category Archives: Chic on the Streets

Chic things I see on random people

15 Fab Ways to Stage Your Home

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The summer buying season is heating up, and that means sellers will be flocking to list their homes. With so many homes on the market, it’ll be stiff competition for sellers who are looking to get out of their current home and into a new one. How do you get your home to rise to the top?

I know staging made a huge difference for my husband and I when we were buying our home. There were some homes that were empty and it was tough to see how you could use the various spaces. Then, there were some that were too cluttered and too personal, or unclean and unkept with a fixer-upper to-do list that gave me anxiety just walking around.

Remember to de-clutter and de-personalize your spaces!
Remember to de-clutter and de-personalize your spaces!

So, while you feel at home in your house, think about how those potential buyers will feel when they walk through instead. Staging with these 15 fab tips will help to sell it (and hopefully sell it quickly so you can start living in your dream home sooner rather than later!).

1) Clutter – Simplify, simplify, simplify! Too much furniture can make rooms look smaller. Same goes for the small stuff, too. Pack up any unnecessary items and personal belongings that you won’t need for a month or few months.

2) Great lighting – Increase the wattage of your lamps and fixtures to 100watts for each 50 square feet. Make sure you also have ambient lighting (general / overhead), task (pendant, reading, etc) and accent lighting (wall, tables, etc).

3) Neutral and appealing colors – Go for neutral paint colors that anyone will like. Bold colors have a way of appealing to a smaller market and reducing offers, so go for neutrals, especially in large spaces.

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A few updates and a little cleaning go a long way — especially in bathrooms!

4) De-Personalize – Remove family photos and make it less personal so the future buyer can picture their family there, not yours.

5) Flower arrangements – Search your yard if needed! Pull summer blooms into a vase to welcome those viewing your home. Or run to the nearest store and get a small bouquet of flowers.

6) New Facings – If you can’t afford new cabinet doors but want to make them look updated, add new hardware and just new doors / new drawer fronts. Same with the dishwasher – you may be able to get a new front panel from the manufacturer.

7) Finish those unfinished projects – They will become eyesores to your potential buyers. Make sure you update them prior to listing your home.

They say kitchens sell homes, and updating appliances is an easy way to boost the appeal!
They say kitchens sell homes, and updating appliances is an easy way to boost the appeal!

8) Invest in updated appliances – They don’t need to be best or newest model, but stainless steel is a huge selling point for future homeowners. Make sure to spray stainless steel cleaner prior to showings to make sure there are no fingerprints. New kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers in all of our markets!

9) Update bathrooms – Grimy bathrooms are a huge red flag! Even if you can’t afford to do a full update, make sure to get rid of surface mold. Give the room a new coat of paint, clean grout, replace the shower door and/or paint your tiles to give inexpensive but effective improvements.

10) Give the fireplace a facelift – If you have a fireplace, update the fireplace screen. Get a heat resistant spray paint to give the screen a facelift.

11) Curb appeal – Online people are first going to see the exterior of your home so make sure that this first impression gives the perfect impression! Paint the exterior, add new flowers, pull weeds, re-stain your deck, power wash your home, and wash your windows – inside and out! A welcome home mat and flowers on the porch are also nice touches to make those feel welcome.

Don't forget to stage the outdoor spaces of your home, too!
Don’t forget to stage the outdoor spaces of your home, too!

12) Floors – Have your floors professionally cleaned for carpets, and have wood floors cleaned or refinished if needed. You could even utilize discount sites like Groupon, Angie’s List, etc to find inexpensive ways to update these items.

13) Clean out! – Clean out your closets, cupboards, pantries, etc. Typically you can hide things in these, but these will all be opened when your home is up for sale. Buyers want to see storage areas and they definitely do now want to open the door and have items fall out or worse, hitting them on the head!

14) Pets – We all love our own pets, but potential homeowners probably don’t want your pet hair all over. Make sure to remove pet odors and stains from floors by getting them steam cleaned. Also, try to send pets (dogs and cats specifically) to daycare on when your house is being shown. Don’t have a daycare? Reach out to a friend or neighbor to see if you can have your dog stay their for a few hours! Make sure to vacuum extremely well to remove hair! Pets, as well as their smells and allergens, can deter potential buyers.

15) Outdoor Staging – Staging doesn’t stop at the door. It’s important to stage your outdoor living spaces, too. This includes your front porch, deck, patios and around the pool. This not only warms up the spaces and makes it feel like home, but it also gives buyers an idea of how useful the spaces could be to their lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a new home in the Cincinnati market, make sure to check out these gorgeous new homes. You won’t have to worry about any of these issues, since they are brand new!

Nine Looks for Less!

We all love those “Look for Less” design shows and features in magazines. So, I found three fabulous M/I Homes models, and found lots of great looks for less that I think you’ll love! Check them out!

The Walden Classic Model Home in Mason (click here to learn more about this model home)

Walden great room copy

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walden den copy

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The New Ainsley II Model Home in Maineville (click here to learn more about this model home)

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The Nicholas Model Home in Lebanon (click here to learn more about this model home)

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If you’re interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes or seeing one of these models in person, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com.

Turnbridge Grand Opening June 2!

They say variety is the spice of life, and that’s exactly what you’ll get at the Turnbridge Grand Opening event!

It’s M/I Homes’ new homesite, Located in Liberty Township, and the grand opening festivities will have a fun Fiesta theme! So, mark your calendar for Thursday, June 2 from 5-8pm. Enjoy Mariachi Band, taco bar and margaritas. Plus, we’ll have an exciting ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:45 with the Chamber of Commerce. Its going to be SUCH a good time! Click here to learn more and RSVP!

The location of this gorgeous community offers you the feeling of being tucked away in a Butler County country setting, but still gives you quick and easy access to everyday amenities. It’s minutes from I-747, I-129 and I-75 — easy to get to Cincinnati or Dayton. Plus, it’s minutes from Kings Island, The Beach Waterpark and the new Liberty Center Mall (my new favorite place to shop!) Turnbridge is in the Lakota East School District, which received the state’s highest rating of “Excellent with Distinction.”

The community itself features a picturesque setting of winding roads, a backdrop of mature trees and beautiful park settings. In fact, there are 48 acres of green space designated for residents, walking trails, a large stocked pond with a large fountain and an awesome playground! Click here to learn more about the community!

The model that you’ll get to view at the Grand Opening event is the Keating floor plan. This 3,932 square foot, four-bedroom home is designed with luxury and function in mind. Everything from the magnificent two story foyer area with cascading staircase to the soaring two story great room with stunning windows… this model says “WOW!” The kitchen is the perfect blend of function and fashion with its open design concept. The first floor also offers a study and a den, perfect for the busy family who needs extra space. Enter the beautiful master retreat through double doors and enjoy the luxury spa-like master bath. With a huge walk-in shower and double vanities, this is the bathroom of your dreams! The master retreat also features a huge walk-in closet (no more storing half your clothes in the guest bedroom and basement!). The second floor laundry is conveniently located just outside the master retreat. Plus with three other bedrooms and two more bathrooms on the second floor, you have all the space you need… and then some! This home is beautifully decorated by Mary Cook & Associates and is a MUST see! Click here to learn more about the model!

I can’t wait to check out this gorgeous model home at the grand opening event…. and maaaaybe one of those yummy margaritas!

If you’re interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com.

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Greenshire Commons Community, Model Home Grand Opening Event!

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Dream home… dream location… dream no more! There’s a new community on Cincinnati’s west side that can make it all a reality.Greenshire_Commons_0004_Loft2.160310

This brand new, absolutely beautiful, single-family home community is located near I-74, I-275 and only 15 minutes from Downtown Cincinnati! This community is also proud to be a part of the Oak Hills School District, which is the third largest school system in Hamilton County.Greenshire_Commons_0004_FormalDining.160310

You get to have the best of both worlds, though – close to everything but feel away from it all! Located on the West side of town, this community features three community lakes and over 18 acres of natural green space. Situated on Old Hillview Golf Course, Greenshire Commons has natural beauty that allows you to feel like you’re in a remote location, but in reality, you’re just minutes from the city and all your conveniences! Click here to see a video of the community!Greenshire_Commons_0004_GreatRoom.160310

Greenshire Commons is opening in style with a grand opening event and model home tour. The event takes place on Saturday, May 21st from 12pm – 5pm. You can click here to get more details and RSVP!

And fair warning: Be prepared to fall in love the moment you walk in this AMAZING model home! The model is a Nicholas, one of M/I Homes’ best-selling plans. Its 4,423 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, finished walkout basement with a bar. It walks out to a paver patio and fire pit. Screened in porch off the kitchen. Gourmet kitchen, wood beams on the ceiling in the kitchen and great room. First floor study with built-in library. Second floor Greenshire_Commons_0004_Kitchen1.160310laundry. Master suite with a vaulted ceiling, master bath has a walk in garden shower. Home backs up to wooded views. Whew! That’s just scratching the surface! You have to see it for yourself!

At the grand opening event, you’ll not only be able to tour the brand new, professionally decorated Nicholas model home, but you and the family can also enjoy food, entertainment, kid’s activities, prizes, and much more!

Greenshire_Commons_0004_Kitchen2.160310They will have Chicago Style hot dog vendor and a Empanada food truck and a kona ice truck. They will also have face painters and a balloon artists for the kids! Plus, every half-hour they will be giving away prizes! So fun! Bring your hunger and your family, and we’ll see you there!

If you are interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com.

15 Fab Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

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Kids are almost out of school, and people have more time to shop around (and move in) during the summer, so as the weather heats up and so does selling season! If you’re trying to sell your home to get into a new home – use these suggestions for boosting your curb appeal!

Curb appeal is your first impression as someone drives by or walks up to get a closer look. And as they say, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression, so here are 15 helpful ways to make sure it’s great!

  1. Clean Windows: A quick wash to make the windows sparkly clean will not only make your home gleam, but it gives the impression that the home is clean and cared for. Plus, your home is covered in windows, so you don’t want people to walk up and immediately add something to their cleaning to-do list before they even walk in the door.CH_SERENITY_ELEV_01_HDR
  2. Fix the front door: The door is the first physical contact that a potential buyer will have with your home, so make sure you WD40 the squeaks, tighten any loose knobs, fix the storm door, clean any glass, and re-paint if it needs a new coat.
  3. Paint the front door: If you do paint the front door, give it a color that makes it pop!
  4. Remove/update rotted wood around the home: Give your home a good once-over and fix any wood that may have gotten damaged over the years. An inspector will always spot this and have you fix it anyway, so you might as well do it now
  5. Powerwash your home, walk ways, patios, driveway etc. It’s amazing how a good powerwash removes years of dirt, mildew and build-up to make it look almost new again.
  6. Give your porch and deck a facelift: Restain if you can, or another option is to use the “Deck Over” product from Home Depot, which gives a similar look to fresh stain without all the work.
  7. Paint fences, mailboxes, house number: While you’re restaining, cleaning and painting, make sure your fences, mailboxes, and house number all look pristine too!
  8. Bold house numbers: While we’re talking about house numbers, make sure these are bold and easy to spot. The worst thing is to have someone searching for your home from the MLS and not be able to find it.
  9. CRB_AINSLEY_ELEV_01_HDRGive some love to the landscaping: New mulch is such an easy way to give a fresh look to your home’s façade! Try the red mulch for a great pop of color!
  10. Change up your porch lighting. Get a beautiful pendant light, or solar lights along your front walk way.
  11. Paint your Garage door, or if you’re really up for a challenge, repaint your home! You’ll be amazed at what some new paint can do to an older home.
  12. Add a new door knocker: New hardware will give it an updated, modern, cared-for appeal. Plus, you’ll be able to hear when people are knocking on your door for all of those showings!
  13. Add window boxes, potted plants to the exteriors, etc. Think about those things that are constantly catching your eye when you’re on a walk or driving. Make your home truly stand out with these items.
  14. Plant perennials of different colors throughout your home: Think of eye-catching color combos like reds, yellows and oranges!
  15. Last but not least…Think like a buyer! Don’t think of this home as your home anymore. Think about it this way – you’re window shopping at the mall. What attracts your attention and is going to make you want to look at that item more? Do this to your home.

Once you have your home sold, make sure you start looking into purchasing a new home. You’ll be amazed at the layouts and different options that you can put into your home.

If you are interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes, call my friend Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com.

Top 10 Considerations – New vs. Used Home

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 4.58.04 PMOk. You’re on the hunt for the perfect home, but you can’t decide if you want a fixer-upper or a move-in-ready new home. Obviously, my friends at M/I Homes are a little biased on this topic, but they’ve also overheard a lot of home-buying discussions. They compiled this list of real reasons real people told them why they chose new homes versus new, and I thought it was interesting so I’m sharing!

  1. HERS RatingYou can design your “Dream Home” exactly how you pictured it. You get to put your personal touches into your home, without having to do an entire home remodel, or find a used home that checks the most things off your “must have” list. New home builders have specialists to help you design your home. Yes, that means you can bring yourPinterest inspiration boards to life in your new home!
  1. Energy consumption/new building requirements = low cost of ownership. HERS index is your home’s rating. The lower HERS score, the better. Think of it like MPG in your car, but for your home. You want more MPG for your car, but for your home you want a lower HERS score. The lower the HERS score, the lower energy your home is consuming, which equates to lower energy bills. In fact, you can click here to calculate the savings you could have with a new home’s lower HERS score.
  1. Bye bye replacement/repair bills! Everything is new, so you won’t have to worry about updating your air conditioner, repairing the water heater, replacing the floors, getting a new roof, etc. All of those items are brand new, so time and money spent on replacing those is in your savings (or shopping) account instead. Those items typically all come under manufacturers warranty as well!
  1. Resale Value. Communities that are building new homes are large business ventures for home building companies. They are building in areas that are expected to grow and have spent a lot of time researching the area to ensure they have an area that’s a good value. Costs of these homes build in an upward or growing area will only increase, vs. purchasing a home in an older area of town that might be declining in value
  1. Warranty. New homes come with warranties from the builder, and typically have warranties on all of the appliances and products within the home. With a resale home, unless everything was recently remodeled and includes warranties, there won’t be warranties available on those homes.
  1. Less personal time spent on home projects. Let’s face it. There are only so many hours in a day. Do you want to spend all your free time covered in sawdust, realizing that it looks a lot easier on HGTV? Since you can decide what items you want in your home as it’s being built, you will spend less time working on home improvement projects. Things like remodeling your bathroom, upgrading the floors, etc won’t be an issue since you can choose to have them completed for you! You’ll have more time to enjoy your home, throw parties, spend time at the community amenities, etc.
  1. Keypad Locks - TechnologyAdvanced technology and design. Since your home is brand new, so will all the technology that comes with it. And in today’s tech-savvy age, EVERYTHING has some sort of technology attached to it. For example, M/I homes come with things like Schlage Keypad locks (which offer key-free touchpad entry), built-in thermostats, and many other high-tech appliances.
  1. Choose a floorplan, layout and homesite that meets your needs. Want to be on a wooded homesite with three-car garage? You might spend months, or even years looking for that perfect home that’s already built, but with a new home, you can select your homesite and then the floorplan that fits your family’s need. Again, saving you time (see a trend here?).
  1. Comfort and air quality. My husband has really bad allergies, so this one especially hits home (pun intended) with me. Because new homes have the latest building standards for a home, you will get a better “sealed” home that keeps your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter! That also means you get state-of-the-art ventilation and the best air quality possible.
  1. What’s your Homestyle? Last but not least, this one’s all up to you. We have a new “What Homestyle are you?” quiz on our website, so click here to take it and see if you’re a good match for new or used!

If you’re interested in learning or talking with someone at M/I Homes, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com.

New VIP Communities – Jackson Woods and Ambleside Meadows!

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Lots of exciting news from my friends at M/I Homes this week! They just announced, not one, but TWO new communities: Jackson Woods in Loveland and Ambleside Meadows in Mason!

You know who found out about them first? Everyone on the M/I Homes VIP list! Click here to make sure you’re on this free VIP list to get all the latest updates on these VIP communities and more!

I did a little digging and put together the overviews below of both areas where the new communities will call home (and you could, too!). Seriously excited for both of these!

Jackson Woods
It’s only appropriate that “woods” is in the name of the new Jackson Woods community because that’s exactly where it’s nestled: a beautiful, wooded setting. The community of new homes is located right off of Wards Corner Road in Loveland, Ohio with easy access to I-275, so you can feel like you’re away from it with easy access to all the amenities the city has to offer. If you and your family love to spend your free time outdoors, this is the place for you because you’re super close to golf courses and bike trails to parks and rivers. Hit the course at Oasis Golf Club and Hickory Woods Golf Course or spend your weekends being active at Lake Isabella Park, the Loveland Bike Trail or even rent a canoe with my friend Dirk over at Morgan’s Canoe Livery.

Better yet, you don’t even have to leave the community to get your fresh air fix, as Jackson Woods community includes a pond with a fountain and a pocket park to enjoy in a suburban setting with 10.6 acres of open space to enjoy. Several lots back up to the woods for privacy and exploration. This beautiful community is located within the Loveland School District that features a Primary School, Elementary School, Intermediate School, Middle School, and a High School.

I learned from their Internet Sales Associate, Laura, that they are offering a gorgeous series of homes called the Premiere Series, which offer a ton of gorgeous options already included in your home. She also mentioned that there are going to be 35 homesites available, with two cul-de-sacs, and they are expecting this community to sell quickly!

Ambleside Meadows
It’s funny, I was JUST in Mason waiting for my Kroger Groceries (the Mason location is one of the few locations where you can order online and pick-up curbside without even having to get out of your car), thinking about how cool of an area it is, especially for young families. In fact, my friend Kristen founded a site called “Masonmetu” a few years ago and it’s filled with things to do, places to go, where to eat, events coming up, etc. in the area. If someone’s full time gig is trying to keep up with all the fun things to do and places to go in your area, you know it’s good!

Ambleside Meadows is a community of new homes is located in Mason just minutes from LOTS of family fun places like Kings Island, the Beach Water Park and Great Wolf Lodge. It’s located off of US 42, so it’s near 741 and I-71, making it easy to get anywhere that you need in and around Cincinnati! You’ll love the convenient location and the proximity to shopping (Deerfield Towne Centre is just minutes away!), dining and entertainment throughout Mason, Ohio. Parks and golf galore, too, as you’re right down the road from Mason Sports Park, Heritage Oak Park and Four Bridges Golf and Country Club. Lots of large corporations call Mason home, too — like Proctor and Gamble, Cintas, Luxottica and Children’s Hospital – so your commute could be a snap! Ambleside Meadows will feature new homes in Warren County that are a part of the Mason School District. With the convenient location, amazing school system and access to everyday needs and amenities, this community is SUCH a fab find!

The Warren County-based Ambleside Meadows will be in a gorgeous community that will include a clubhouse, a community pool, pond and nature trails that run throughout the community. It will feature new single family homes that will include 60′ wide home sites with cul-de-sac homesites available as well. There will be 122 homes available from M/I Homes and are expected to sell quickly! Join the VIP List today to get information about these homes as it is released!

I know these communities really peaked my interest. If you’re interested in learning more about Jackson Woods or Ambleside Meadows, please call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com. She’s super helpful and helped answer all of my questions!

 

New Dayton/Centerville “Wynstone” Community by M/I Homes!

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If you or a friend are looking for a new home north of Cincinnati near Centerville, listen up! M/I Homes is building a brand new community called “Wynstone and it’s going to be BEAUTIFUL! Not only that, but it’s in a great location, with a great school district, and near some fabulous shopping! We just did a few stories recently on some awesome new Dayton/Centerville based shops popping up, so you’re definitely going to find some great stores to enjoy while living in this community!

You know what they say about shopping for a new home, location, location, location. This gorgeous new community features new homes in Montgomery County in the Centerville City School District. If you’re not familiar with this school district, it’s one of the only 7 districts to have received the Ohio Education Departments’ highest rating of Excellence each year since the schools rating inception in 2000. It was also awarded the United States Department of Education’s highest honor by becoming a Blue Ribbon School. I know that when looking for a new home that school districts are a big deal, as well as the general location of the community. This community is in a super convenient location with easy access to 75N, 1-675, 48 and 42, allowing you to get to both Dayton and Cincinnati quite easily! And another perk is its located close to the largest super regional mall in Dayton – Dayton Mall!

Wynstone_0002_Exterior.160413After learning more about the new homes they are building in this community, I can’t wait to see their model home at their grand opening opening event next week. They have such a great variety of homes ranging from ranch or single story homes to 2-story single family homes, with a variety of options to make the home really yours without the expense of building a custom home.   I fell in love with the Ainsley floorplan, with the option to have a 2-story family room or even an optional in-law suite built on the first floor! I can’t wait to walk through this floorplan now that the community is open!

Wynstone_0002_GreatRoom.160413With this new community just opening, they are hosting a Grand Opening of their stunning model home on Thursday, April 21st from 5-8pm. This event is going to be quite the celebration with the grand opening of a brand new professionally decorated model home called the Monroe. At the event you’ll get to see how Mary Cook Associates decorated and designed this gorgeous model home to utilize every inch of space. They will also be serving hors d’oeuvres and some delicious sweet treats, and will have raffle drawings and plenty of giveaways. If that’s not enough to get you there, they are also having live entertainment! I know I want to attend and hope to see you there – RSVP Today!

Check out all of the details about this community regarding the location, information on the homes, as well as more about the builder, M/I Homes on their website. They even have an aerial tour for you to get an idea of the where the community is!

For more information, contact:

Laura Kornaker
(513) 268-8460
SalesCinci@mihomes.com 

My New Favorite Brand: Haley and the Hound

 
It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with my new Haley and the Hound shirt {worn it approximately 1,789,276 times in the month I’ve had it}. It’s just so cute and fits so well!  Oh and yes mom, I was outside without a coat on in December! FYI, you can get this top at Monkees of Madeira in case you’re wondering. But be careful, this shirt will now be known as the “gateway shirt” in my book, because I now own four Haley and the Hound tops and I love love love them all. As in, I’ve been doing laundry a lot more often because I can’t wait to wear them again! Haha! I love the fit, colors, fabrics, just everything about them. They are a little on the pricy end (this top is $76) but I’ll be the first to say it’s so worth it based solely on how much I’ve worn them already, let alone how great I feel in them! Ow ow! Over the next week or so I’ll post pics of my other Haley and the Hound tops I got so you can see what I’m talking about!

The Chocolate Bee Grand Opening

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If you have a sweet tooth, listen up!

The Chocolate Bee, home of Bee Haven and Chocolats Latour (my friend Shalini’s business), just celebrated their grand opening this weekend. They’re located at 4037 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45223 or you can check them out online at www.chocolatslatour.com.

You can also find Chocolats Latour at Findlay Market and at Coffee Emporium, among a bunch of other places. We recently did a story about Chocolats Latour and some of their other new developments. Click here to read it!

Questions? Contact shalini@chocolatslatour.com