Central Coast Realty Group

Serving the Central Coast

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Set the Scene for Salability

DIY Home Staging TricksSetting the scene in your house is of the utmost importance if you want to sell sooner rather than later. You want to paint the picture of an idyllic life within those walls to prospective buyers. Your home should feel warm, welcoming and most of all, like a blank slate waiting for new memories to be made. Many times home owners turn to a professional home-stagger to complete the task, but there are many things you can do yourself to start staging the perfect scene.

Here are a few DIY home-staging tricks you can tackle yourself:

Let the light in. If you’re lucky enough to own a home that allows for an abundance of natural light, you’re off to a great start! Tie back those curtains and pull up the blinds. Brightening up your house, will also brighten up prospects opinion toward it. Working with something a little more in the shadows? Invest in some light bulbs of matching luminescence and flick on a few lights before showing.

Break out the broom. It seems like common sense, but too many homeowners overlook things like scuff marks on the walls or dust clinging to ceiling fans. Before your house is show ready, it needs to be clean and tidy. Just don’t overdo it with the cleaning products too close to show time. The chemical odors can set alarms off with some potential buyers that the scents are trying to cover up another smell, like mold or cigarette smoke.

Get painting. You don’t have to dive into a full-fledged paint job. Painting an accent wall in a lighter complimentary color or plain old white can add a sense of freshness and good maintenance. Even just a bit of touch-up paint can do the trick in a pinch. Be sure to take a paint chip to your paint store for color-matching because even if you do have leftover paint from the original, the color can fade over time making the touch-up stand out against the wall.

Tuck away the personal mementos. It may be painful to pack away photos of your children and family or your prized spoon collection, but all those items do is remind prospects that this is somebody else’s home. You want them to feel as if the house is a blank slate, one which they can fill with their own memories, and your personal items prevent them from letting their imagination take flight.

Clutter be gone. Are you a fan of the “lived in” look? Do you defend your mess with stating that it’s “homey”? All that has to stop now that your house is on the market. It’s time to clear the clutter, everything from the stacks of mail on the buffet table to items on your vanity. They all need to go. Replace them with tasteful, simple decorations such as a vase of flowers or a couple of books on the coffee table. It gives a clean, cared for look, as well as helping to draw the eyes of prospects to areas of your home that you’d like to showcase.

Do you have any other DIY home-staging tips? Share them with us in the comments!


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How to Improve Curb Appeal

Front Porch

Ever wonder why some houses fly off of the market while others straggle along? The answer could lay in the power of curb appeal. If you’re not familiar with the term, curb appeal is how alluring your house or property looks from the outside. The idea may seem a little frivolous. After all, prospects are interested in what your house has to offer, not the walkway in front of it, right? Well, not exactly. Your house will speak for itself, but how can prospects see how great it is if they never step a foot inside? The truth is, a potential buyer has already decided whether or not they’re going to buy your house before they ever see the inside. Decisions are made from the curb, so up your chances of selling your home with a few simple improvements to your property’s curb appeal. Here’s how:

Focus on the Front Door

Think of your front door like you’d think of meeting somebody new for the first time – it’s all about first impressions. Make a memorable impression on prospects by sprucing up the front door. Consider drawing attention to your door with a bright pop of paint or replacing it with something unique (stained glass, custom wood, etc.)

Updating old hardware is also a great method of adding curb appeal. Swap out dingy house numbers with a fresh, new set of numerics. Replace the door handle and lockset or add a light fixture alongside or above the doorway. If you can’t swing the replacements, at least do yourself the favor or cleaning off any dirt and grim in the front door area and polishing your hardware.

Driveways Drive Traffic

The driveway is an often over-looked area of a property, but it’s crucial to overall curb appeal. A driveway treated with care can lend a clean, stylish look to your home. Give that important plot of asphalt a face-lift by adding edging. Borders made of stone, brick, or pavers are great options to bring a little life to an otherwise boring area of your home.

Give it Life

Who can resist a property lush, green and full of life? It’s hard to pass up a great yard or garden, so spend a little time on yours if you want to increase property showings.

It’s simple really. Start by hiding any bald or brown patches of grass with natural elements – rocks, potted plants, etc. – or fill them in with mulch or sod. Then, add some color. Pick your favorite vibrant flowers and create a garden or flower bed on an easy-to-see area of your property. Finish up by tidying any unruly landscaping. Take a good hard look. Do the trees need trimming? Gardens need tending? Make sure existing landscaping isn’t being neglected in the revamps.

If you don’t have the time or space for planting a garden, don’t worry! You can create the same wow-factor with a potted garden on your porch or alongside your front door.


Have a great tip to improve curb appeal that we missed? Share it with us in the comments!

Autumnal Front Porch

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Decorating for Fall on a Budget

Autumnal Front PorchWelcome to the neighborhood! Now that the moving boxes have been unpacked and everything you need is settled into its place in your new house, isn’t it about time to have some fun with your home? Fall is the perfect time to add color and personality to your house, but after all of the moving costs, it can get expensive. Here are our favorite, budget-friendly, fall decorating ideas:

1.) Pick up some inexpensive faux pumpkins in place of the real variety. Many craft stores stock realistic looking decorative pumpkins for a reasonably low price. For the price of 2 real pumpkins, you can buy multiple faux pumpkins that can be used year after year. Keep them just as you buy them or get crafty and make them your own. Remember – pumpkins don’t have to be orange!

Bonus Tip: Place a few casually on your kitchen counter for a warm, rustic feel.

2.) Dress up a muted color palette by draping warm autumnal toned throw blankets and pillows over living and family room furniture. Add even more seasonal color to a room with a bowl full of crisp red apples – pretty, festive, and best of all, inexpensive.

3.) The front door is the centerpiece of your house. It’s the first thing guests will see when entering your new home, so give it a little decorating love! A twiggy wreath, pumpkins or gourds, and fresh autumnal flowers are all good choices to add a little color to your door step. Go with all three or just one, the choice is yours, but we guarantee that either way, it’ll grab some positive attention.

4.) Bring the outdoors in. Introduce a festive pop of color with flowers in shades of yellow, red and orange. Sunflowers and alstromeria are good bets for a tight budget as you can get at least one week of beautiful life out of them before they begin to wilt. Try them in entry ways, bathrooms, or a bedside table. Fall FlowersBonus Tip: Keep flowers fresh longer by removing any leaves below the water line, and be sure to change the water every few days.

Do you have any budget-friendly decorating tips you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments!

Backyard Improvements

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Home Extends Beyond the Walls: Backyard Tips and Tricks

WBackyard Improvementshether you’re buying or selling a home, the backyard is an integral part of your house. It’s not only a personal retreat where you can relax after a long day, or a place where your kids play, or even a summer hangout for friends and family. That little piece of paradise just outside your door is also a valuable piece of property that can add value to your house. So, do you really need any more reason to get started?

Here are some great ways to take your backyard from iffy to spiffy:

  • Build a patio – big, small, upper deck, lower deck, whatever it is, it’s awesome and generally recoups 65%-90% of the money invested.
  • Transform a small space – you don’t have to have a lot of space to create a charming backyard retreat. From creating layers, to statement pavers, there are plenty of options for tight yards. For inspiration, just have a look at these beauties.
  • Light a fire – literally. In a controlled space, of course. Add an outdoor fire pit to your backyard for an instant boost in ambiance. It can be functional, strictly aesthetic, or both. There are options for all style preferences.
  • DIY decor – ok, we’re not all Martha Stewart types, but there are a lot of simple ways you can add creative touches to your yard that will make it uniquely yours. A fold-down backyard bar, anybody? So easy it’s almost genius.   
  • Keep it private – keep curious eyes from prying into your yard. A fence is the obvious solution, but pergolas, lattice, and landscaping are great options to create some privacy, as well.
  • Add a pop of color – give outdoor furniture a facelift with brightly colored pillows and cushions. The best part about this update is that you can switch them out with the seasons.
  •  Think visually – take a good look at your yard. Is it a sea of green? Start a container garden or plant some colorful flower beds. How about lighting? Can you see all of those gorgeous additions you’ve just made? It’s all in the details.

With some inspiration and a little elbow grease you can create the ideal outdoor space. And the best part is, it’s all yours. Unless, of course, you choose to share it with good friends and neighbors, and with a backyard that looks this good, why wouldn’t you?