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TRANSITIONING OUT HOLIDAY DECOR

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

TRANSITIONING OUT HOLIDAY DECOR

The presents have been opened, the dinner dishes and leftovers have been consumed, and holiday parties are no longer filling your weekends.  Yes, Christmas, it seems, is over, and it’s time to put the festive decorations back in storage.  A mistake that many people make around this time is to rid the house of all evidences of the holiday season without bringing anything new to their spaces.  This creates a sparse and cold feel to your home in what is the coldest (and most depressing) time of the year in most of the country.

The cold and crisp New Year decor doesn’t need to be a downer this winter if you put some of the following tips into practice.  

  • Switch out bowls of Christmas baubles for bowls and containers of wintery pine cones.  This adds texture to your spaces, and also brings a bit of nature inside.
  • Replace your front door wreath.  Instead of allowing your front door go bare in the frigid winter season, try replacing it with a simple grapevine wreath embellished with berry sprigs or burlap bows.
  • Keep evergreen decor inside and out. While taking down your Christmas tree is essential to transitioning out of the holiday season, consider leaving in place any other evergreen decor.  Simply remove any Christmasy embellishments, and you have beautiful decorations to take you through the winter.
  • Switch out holiday pillows for comfy but simple alternatives, and any holiday candles with more subtle fragrances.  Pillows and candles will ensure that your home stays cozy.
  • Consider relocating white Christmas lights from the tree to windows and walls to provide warmth and ambience to your home.

Last but not least, the new year is a great time to have a proper clear out.  Clearing your clutter, and taking a carload of unwanted items to your local donation center not only improves the look of your home, but will also provide you with the warm and fuzzy feeling you may be missing from the holiday season.

Happy New Year!!!

5 Home Upgrades that Pay Off

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

5 Home Upgrades that Pay Off

If you’re planning to build your dream home from scratch, it is a good idea to not only include features that you and your family desire, but also to include upgrades that will increase the value of your new home.  With the endless array available, here are 5 upgrades that will pay off.

  1. Energy Efficiency - Though the idea of ensuring your new home is energy efficient may not be exciting enough to make your heart skip a beat, this is a top upgrade to consider.  Not only will this pay off when it comes time to sell, but it will also provide huge savings on your utility bills.  A popular energy related upgrade to consider is spray foam insulation over the basic insulation your builder offers.
  2. Floor Heating - Most of us have heard of installing radiant floor heating in bathrooms to keep our toes toasty in the winter, but house-wide radiant floor heating is an upgrade that can also increase the value of your home.  This method of home heating is much more energy efficient than blowing heat into the air because it works by sending the heat upwards.  
  3. On-demand Water Heater - Another innovative home upgrade to consider is an on-demand water heater.  Not only will this type of water heater provide you with on-demand hot water, but it will also provide you with substantial water and gas utility savings.  Because your water is only heated when it is needed, your water heater won’t be constantly “heating.”
  4. Home Generator - Installing a natural gas generator has many benefits for a home-owner, but also makes the short-list for upgrades that will pay off in a higher home-value.  As a society, our demand for power is higher than ever, and a power outage is much more traumatic than it was 20 years ago.  Not only can it stop your family in their tracks and affect your quality of life, but it can also have monetary consequences when you lose a freezer-full of food!  A home generator will keep your home warm in a winter storm, or cool in an excessive heat wave, keeping your family safe.
  5. Kitchen Upgrades - American’s love their kitchens!  This is a room that is used everyday, and a top consideration of home buyers.  Starting your new home with high quality cabinets, fixtures and fittings will pay dividends when it comes time to sell your home, and will keep you from having to spend money on replacements.

Best Experiences

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

PEACE ON EARTH

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

FUN GAMES FOR CHRISTMAS DAY

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

FUN GAMES FOR CHRISTMAS DAY

The lead up to Christmas Day is often full of excitement and anticipation for everyone, with events, shopping, and dinners to attend, most of us have little time for boredom.  Christmas Day; however, can often be another story.  Once the gifts are opened and the dinner is done, many Americans will be found lounging in their living rooms, watching an endless loop of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

One surefire way to avoid the after-dinner slump is to roll out a few fun and festive family games this Christmas!

  1. The Decorating Game

The first step to a successful round of this game is to find someone in your family that is a good sport. Once you’ve determined the best family member for the job, the idea is to decorate that person as a Christmas-sy object or figure.  Some ideas are a Christmas Tree, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, an Elf, or a reindeer.  Provide decorations like crepe paper, aluminum foil, wrapping paper scraps, bows, and of course, tape, and then watch the hilarity ensue!

  1. Christmas Trivia

Tis the season for a Christmas trivia showdown!  Pull some trivia from online lists like Santa trivia, Christmas tree trivia, or trivia about Christmas traditions from around the world, and have at it.  This is a good activity at the dinner table, or for lounging in your living room (with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation playing in the background).

  1. Present Scramble

This last idea does take a bit of prep work, but it will definitely pay off when the time comes to play.  First, wrap a small gift in a small box, then wrap that box in a larger box, and repeat until you’ve exhausted your box stash.  To play, choose a number, and have everyone take turns rolling the die.  The first person to roll the chosen number can start unwrapping, but there’s a catch.  The unwrapper must wear oven mitts!  As they are unwrapping, the remaining family members continue to roll the die until someone again rolls the chosen number, and they take the mitts to continue the unwrapping. Continue playing, and the person that unwraps the actual gift can keep it.

Change

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

Fear and Change

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

Best Things in Life

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us—time for festive decorations, shopping, parties and general cheer.  Make sure your pets stay safe during the busy holiday season with the following tips below.  Forward this on to family and friends who have pets to ensure that they remain healthy and safe.

DO LISTING PHOTOS REALLY MATTER?

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

DO LISTING PHOTOS REALLY MATTER?

The short answer: Absolutely.

Gone are the days when the first stop on the home search was a drive-by.  In today’s market, the average buyer begins their search on the internet, and contacting an agent or taking the time to view the exterior of a property comes second and third.  As a result, the first impression most buyers have of a home is from the photos that accompany the listing in online real estate searches.  If your listing photos don’t measure up, buyers will simply move on to the next listing.

In order to make your home’s listing photos count, it is important to invest in good quality equipment, and to take the time to think through the highlights of your home.  The only type of pictures you should use for your listing are high resolution, properly lit photos.  Using a smartphone may be tempting, but a good camera can make all the difference.  Many home sellers use experienced photographers when creating their listings, so that is also something to consider.  Looking through nearby home listings will give you a good idea about the caliber of photos required.

While a high quality photograph is an essential step towards creating a lasting impression, not even the best camera equipment can make an unattractive room appealing.  You may have never imagined your home in a lifestyle magazine, but now is the time to awaken your inner stylist.  Both you and your agent should spend as much time and preparation on your home’s photo shoot as on preparing for an open house.  Some quick tips for a successful photo shoot are the following:

  1. Schedule the shoot for when your home has the best natural light.
  2. Clean your spaces before the shoot.  
  3. Try to declutter your home as thoroughly as possible.  Your collection of vintage figurines may be appealing to you and your family, but clearing them out of the shot may make your home more attractive to a broader audience.

Consider your home a product, and your listing photos the catalog shots.  Try to capture your rooms at their best, your time and effort will make all the difference!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 22

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Contact Information

Photo of Vicki Graham, Broker Associate Real Estate
Vicki Graham, Broker Associate
#1 Properties
6106 Yellowstone Rd.
Cheyenne WY 82009
(307) 631-6884
307-773-8454