Brunswick County NC Real Estate and Community News

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May 4, 2017

Staging Tips for Small Rooms

When selling a house, small rooms can lead to big problems. Staging can be the key to making a small room look functional and help entice buyers to put an offer on your property.

Living Rooms – Proving your living room can fit a full size sofa is of upmost importance. A love seat is an immediate red flag for most buyers as one cannot lie down on a love seat. To make a full size sofa fit in your small space opt out of using end tables. Instead consider floor lamps, which can be pressed right up against the side or back of the sofa. By removing the end tables, you can reduce the overall space needed for the sofa set-up by up to 48 inches.


Photo credit: Spade and Archer

Bedrooms – Scale is the key here. Use the largest bed possible that still allows all the doors in the room to swing freely. Avoid pressing the side of the bed up against the wall. Instead, opt for a nightstand on each side of the bed. Use a “Hollywood” metal frame under the mattress with a wall-mounted headboard. By eliminating the footboard and side rails, the overall size of the bed is greatly reduced while still providing a good reference point on the scale of the room. A bedroom that could fit a full size bed with a bulky frame headboard and footboard can easily fit a queen with a metal frame and wall-mounted headboard.


Photo credit: Urban Outfitters

Never, ever use a platform bed in a small room. By lowering the bed and adding the platform, you actually can end up making the room feel smaller. This is most certainly not what we are looking for here.

Dining Rooms – We all know the kitchen is the heart of the house. If that is true, then dining rooms are the lungs. The kitchen is useless if there is no place to sit down and eat the wonderful food made there. The staging of the dining room is highly dependent on the size of the house. If a house has three bedrooms, you must include an eating area for a minimum of six people. Look at it this way: With three bedrooms, the potential buying family will have two adults and two children. They will also want to be able to entertain at least two other people at a time. Two kids plus two parents plus two guests equals six seats.


Photo credit: Spade and Archer

The key here is using a dining set that is small enough so that people can walk around the set once it is in place. Using armless dining chairs makes this issue easier to deal with. Armless chairs can be placed three on one side and three on the other verses two on each long side and one captain at each short side. A larger piece of art can be placed on the wall over the table to anchor the dining set. This set-up would be similar to a booth layout in a restaurant.

Bathrooms – Most bathrooms are small. It is the very nature of bathrooms. They tend to be the smallest rooms in the house. The least expensive way to deal with a small bathroom is to paint the entire bathroom white with white fixtures, linens, and accessories. By removing contrasts from the room, it simply appears clean and functional. A single piece of colorful art placed preferably above the toilet can add a single focal point for the room and thus pull the eye away from the size of the bathroom and toward the art. Adding lots of color and contrast to any bathroom will serve to make it feel smaller and dirtier. Do not, ever, paint any bathroom green, yellow, brown or red. (Trigger warning… this is gross.) These are the colors of mold, urine, feces and blood, not the things we want to think about when we are shopping for our new bathroom in our new home.

Posted in Real Estate News
May 2, 2017

Annual Oyster Events










July 5 & 31

Join a multi-generational team committed to building a living shoreline at Waterway Park during the annual SJP oyster events, set for 9:00 AM on Wednesday (7/5) and 8:00 AM on Monday (7/31). Both events will go until lunchtime. Volunteers will place bagged oyster shells in reefs and plant Spartina Grasses along the Intracoastal Waterway. UNCW professor Troy D. Alphin will direct the program, with help from his Benthic Ecology Lab students and Ocean 17 campers from across the country attending UNCW's MarineQuest Camp. And for the fourth year, youth from the Boys and Girls Home of Lake Waccamaw will also participate. Bring along your own youth of all ages! We all learn from the UNCW students, as they do from us. Look for more details in upcoming editions of ThisWeekStJames. For further information, contact Taylor Ryan, (910) 253-8818.

Posted in Community Events
May 2, 2017

RE/MAX Vs. The Industry 2017

More countries and territories, more brand awareness, and more per-agent productivity. Compare RE/MAX to other real estate brands, and you’ll quickly see the difference. Check out this chart and a special new video.

2017 RE/MAX vs The Industry

Posted in Real Estate News
May 2, 2017

16 Do's and Don'ts for Deck and Patio Maintenance

Keep your deck or patio looking as good as new by following some simple steps — and avoiding time-consuming mistakes.

To see more CLICK HERE .


Posted in Home Maintenance
May 2, 2017

From for Sale to Sold: Your Wish List Is Our Checklist

Most people have an idea of what their dream home would look like (and if you need inspiration, we've created several Pinterest boards). You can't always get everything you want in a home – but how do you make sure your new home will come close? Work with an experienced professional – like a RE/MAX agent. Among other things that make your home hunt successful, RE/MAX agents know things like:

1. The neighborhood

Your agent will have the inside scoop on the neighborhoods you're looking at, from walkability to upcoming development projects that may affect the value of your home. They'll help you put the neighborhood's statistics into perspective so you can make an informed decision.

2. How to maximize your money

With in-depth knowledge of the market and what you're looking for, your agent can help you get the most house for your money. When home shopping on a budget, they can suggest which fixer uppers can be easily (and inexpensively) updated, and which ones might be a money pit.

3. How to save time

Your agent can do much of the time-consuming legwork of house hunting for you, so you don't waste time sorting through properties that ultimately aren't a good fit.

4. How to negotiate

As professional negotiators, agents spend years honing their skills. They know how to read the situation and how – and when – to employ the right tactics to make sure you get a fair deal.

If you're looking to buy a home, let the knowledge and experience of a seasoned RE/MAX agent help guide you through the process. Find an agent on

Posted in Selling Your Home?
May 2, 2017

Mushroom is the Color Taking Over Pinterest And Homes in 2017

Here are 10 unique and gorgeous ways to incorporate the elegant color throughout your house.

Warmer than gray but cooler than taupe, this neutral, earthy shade is popping up everywhere. Here's how to make the color work in every space. To see more CLICK HERE .

Posted in Home improvement
May 1, 2017

RE/MAX vs The Industry

April 28, 2017

6 easy, affordable smart home features that could help you sell your house faster

Fresh paint on the walls, professional staging and an asking price that ends in 999 — when you're selling your home, you'll do whatever you can to help it stand out and sell faster. Because the National Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth for the 2017 real estate market, as a seller you want every edge you can get. And on the heels of the popular Consumer Electronics Show in January, perhaps that edge is a smarter home.

"Smart home features are designed to make homes more convenient, appealing, secure and energy-efficient — all of which are bonuses when you're trying to sell a house," says Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX, LLC. "Sellers who want to move their homes faster may benefit from adding smart features that make their properties more appealing to tech-minded buyers."

According to IHS Markit and CNBC, 80 million smart home devices were delivered worldwide last year. That's a 64 percent increase from 2015.

Here are six trending smart home features that might catch buyers' attention and help sell your home faster:

Keyless/remote entry door locks

Have you ever left the house and worried that you left the front door unlocked? If your home is equipped with a keyless/remote entry door lock — available from multiple manufacturers — you can use an app on your smartphone to lock the door from wherever you are. Some manufacturers make versions that will also send a text or email to your phone when the door opens. Locks that can be programmed with multiple entry codes also allow you to see who comes and goes and when.

Smart lighting

From lighting automation that allows you to control lights remotely and wirelessly, to energy-efficient LED bulbs that can change color to match your mood and decor, lighting has come a long way. Some smart lights work in tandem with home automation systems to allow you to turn them on or off, or even dim them, from an app on a smartphone or tablet. Others require no communication hub and can be controlled directly from your mobile device. You can also put some smart bulbs on timers (using your wireless device), sync them with certain TV shows or movies, and integrate them with security cameras and thermostats.

DIY security systems

Don't want to sign a contract or deal with complex security systems? Install-it-yourself security systems are affordable and offer security features like cameras, sensors, motion detectors and alarms or sirens, without the need for a security service to monitor them.

Smart appliances

The Internet of Things (IoT) — everyday objects that have network connectivity — includes a growing list of smart appliances. Many manufacturers are offering washers, dryers, refrigerators and other home appliances that can communicate with you — and each other — wirelessly. Many can be controlled remotely from your smartphone — so if you leave the house and can't remember if you turned off the stove, you can check in and turn it off using your smartphone app.

While appliances aren't always included in a home sale, they do make for interesting features that keep your home top of mind to buyers.

Smart plugs

One of the easiest, most affordable smart home upgrades you can make is to add smart plugs to your home. These Wi-Fi-enabled plugs fit existing outlets and can be controlled from a smartphone app. Plug anything into a smart plug, like lights or a television, and you can turn it on or off remotely, track energy consumption, or even create an on-off schedule.

Temperature controls

Programmable thermostats were just the beginning; today's home temperature controls are even smarter. Like other smart home features, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your mobile device. You can program them to make automatic temperature adjustments and then use your smartphone to override the program like turning up the heat on a particularly cold day. Some smart thermostats learn from household behavior and adjust the temperature to meet your family's needs and save energy, while others adjust based on the number of people in a room. And several can now be operated via voice-controlled virtual assistants.

"Many of these smart home features are surprisingly easy and affordable to install," Lewis says. "Sellers who are open to the idea of investing a little money to possibly help get a speedier sale, may want to consider adding the smart features buyers will be looking for in 2017."

If you're thinking of selling your home, find more helpful information at

Posted in Selling Your Home?
April 28, 2017

Top 5 Home Maintenance Tips

Trying to save money? Home maintenance is so much more affordable than emergency repairs. Here are five routine maintenance projects that can help prevent unexpected costs and save you money year round.

1. Clear out gutters

Stock image of 'Various DIY tools on the table'

Water from clogged gutters can overflow and leak into your home. Heavy, ice-packed gutters can tear away from your house in the winter. Grab a ladder, gloves and hose and clear them out while the weather is still warm.

2. Re-caulk windows

Drafty windows and doors can suck money right out of your budget from high energy bills. Check the caulk and weatherproofing strips around doors and windows to make sure they're not dried and crumbling. If they are, they're easy (and cheap) to replace.

3. Clean the fireplaces

Have your chimney professionally inspected and potentially cleaned annually to prevent creosote, a flammable byproduct of wood burning, from building up. It can create a fire hazard and elevate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Before each use, make sure your damper closes tightly and clear remaining ashes from the bottom of your fireplace.

4. Check your filters

Clogged furnace and air conditioning filters not only make your HVAC system less efficient, they also can spread unhealthy pollutants and allergies in your home. Dark and mucky filters should be replaced. You don't even need tools.

5. Flush the water heater

Neglected water heaters have a way of getting back at you when you least expect it (and that way is usually soggy and expensive.) Clear out sediment particles that collect over time by regularly flushing out water through the drain valve.

Looking for your own home you can maintain with tender-loving care? Visit to find a real estate agent near you.

Posted in Home Maintenance
April 28, 2017

Guest Post: 4 Tips for a Surprise Room Makeover

Today's post is by Cory Vasquez, Director, PR & Social Media, at RE/MAX Word Headquarters.

It could be a bad idea – surprising a loved one with a room makeover, especially when that loved one is your 12-year-old.

For parents of preteens, you know this is an age of uncertainty, which is precisely why we decided to surprise our daughter with a new bedroom. We want our new middle schooler to feel confident and we believe confidence begins at home. So we decided to upgrade her room from pretty in purple, filled to the ceiling with stuffed animals, to sophisticated and study ready with touches of the things that make her unique.

Before...and after!

But did we get it right?

Here's how we did it and how we recommend you pull off your own killer surprise room makeover:

Know Your Subject. Of course we know our own daughter, but do we know her well enough to design the room she wants without her input? We carefully studied her interests, style choices and even online searches for several weeks to pinpoint what makes her unique. We determined the following:

1) She's a pack rat and needs lots of options for storage and organization.

2) She loves to make things her own, so we gave her magnetic walls, bulletin boards and a chalkboard so she could design, stylize and pin at will!

3) She loves animals, feathers and fun art which we used as design elements throughout her room.

Timing is Everything.
As with any DIY project, we created a plan including a budget and timeline. Because the new room would be a surprise, we planned a two-day, getaway trip for both kids with grandma and grandpa to give us just enough time – including a few very late nights – to pull off the transformation.

Purchase Ahead.
With a plan and budget in hand, I spent weeks gathering items for her room. Every time I went to the hobby store, I picked up a few more things from the list – most of them red tagged, YAY! – and stashed them in a secret bin in the garage. I searched local online community sale sites for bigger ticket items like a chandelier and purchased things online that she'd already stashed in a cart.

Have your camera ready. Because if you've done it right, the reaction is priceless and something you'll want to have forever. My husband was in the room and I followed our daughter in to be sure we caught it all – shock, tears and hugs. It's a moment none of us will forget.

Posted in Home improvement