7 Ways To Make Your Small Space Feel Bigger

Feeling closed in? Perhaps your entire house feels cramped, or maybe you need to create a larger feel to just one room. Here are some fresh and pretty decorating ideas to make any room feel more spacious:

Some living spaces simply aren’t endowed with generous dimensions. But it’s surprisingly easy to trick the eye into believing any room has space to spare. Here’s how:

1. Go big
It seems counterintuitive, but outfitting a room with fewer — and larger-sized — furnishings reduces visual clutter, making the space feel more open. Instead of a sofa and chairs, for example, opt for one larger sectional.
The same goes for artwork. The spacious dimensions of one slightly oversized piece will extend to the rest of the room.

2. Create spaces
Even when you can’t add square footage, you can create spaces. Just arrange your furnishings to make more than one seating area.
A minimally furnished reading corner or desk space could sit alongside a TV “room” anchored by a sofa and area rug. Use a floor lamp, ceiling-mounted pendant light, or mini chandelier to bring focus and definition to each space, without cramping tabletops.

3. Go monochromatic
A rainbow of colors might fill a space with cheer, but it doesn’t leave much breathing room for the eye. Instead, stick with slightly varying tones of one hue for a clean, open feel.
Pale, neutral colors reflect light, visually expanding a space, while bold, bright hues serve as a focal point, forcing what little square footage you have to fade into the background.

4. Get vertical
Even if you’re dealing with standard ceiling heights, bringing the focus upward helps you forget about limited floor space.
Try a single ceiling-height shelf, running the length of the wall or centered above a window, media cabinet, or headboard. Choose an unadoraned style that feels airy and doesn’t extend too far from the wall.

A simple strip of crown molding — painted the same color as the ceiling — is another easy way to accentuate a room’s verticality.

5. Drape a wall
Dealing with a drive-through-size window? The magic of drapery can expand the room’s horizons.
Choose a curtain rod that extends a foot or more beyond the window on each side — even extending the entire length of a slim wall. Install the rod just below the ceiling line, rather than just above the window frame, and pair with floor-length curtains.

6. Show some leg
A small room is not the place for a skirted sofa or chest that sits directly on the floor. You have to take advantage of every square inch of visual space, even that little sliver of floor beneath furniture, so opt for styles with exposed legs.

7. Create breathing room
When floor space is a premium, the natural instinct is to maximize open areas by keeping furniture tight to the wall. But sacrificing mere inches can pay off big.
Just angle a dresser or cabinet in the corner, or place a thin console table between the back of a couch and the wall. Suddenly, your room looks like it has space to spare.

If you’ve decided that you actually NEED more space, not just the APPEARANCE of more space, the Brandee Kelley Group can help you make the transition to a larger home. We’ll get your current home sold and assist you in finding a larger home that exceeds your expectations! We’ll handle every detail and together, create a pleasant and successful new home experience!

Please visit our website, where it’s so easy to search for a new home! You can enter your criteria into the search page (price range, number of bedrooms, square footage, etc.) and you’ll be presented with a photo listing of every home currently on the market that features those parameters.


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5 Buyer Turn-Offs, Part II

Continuing our discussion of home features and characteristics that may be big-time turn-offs for today’s buyers, the following is Part II of our post.

3. Carpet
Obviously, old, dirty, pet-impacted and/or bizarrely colored carpets are not a draw for buyers. However, current home buyers take their distaste of carpeted flooring even further, exhibiting a distaste for carpet – PERIOD. Concerns about the relative difficulty and expense of cleaning carpets, to the cost of replacing them when they want a decor change, to the tendency of carpets to hold pet hair, mites and other allergens are causing carpet to fall out of favor with today’s home buyers.
The majority of home buyers express a desire to have hardwood floors in their next home. Other hard floor surfaces, from bamboo to tile to concrete to cork, are rapidly outpacing the popularity of carpets. However, some buyers still prefer the softness and quiet of carpets in their bedrooms.

If you were thinking about replacing your carpets before you put your home on the market, consider replacing at least the living and dining areas with hardwood or another hard surface floor covering. If your home has carpet over hardwood, consider removing the carpet and repairing or refinishing the wood flooring. Many buyers prefer an imperfect hardwood floor over nice carpets.

4. Outdated Bathroom Fixtures
Outdated bathroom fixtures are part of a larger category of buyer turn-offs, which also include older appliances, finishes and décor that date back more than 10 years.
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Older-style gold and chrome bathroom and lighting fixtures, popular in the 1980’s and 90’s are seen as dated by many buyers, who prefer sleeker brushed chrome, pewter, bronze or white metal finishes. Of course, this is the current trend and it will gradually evolve over time (as trends do), but replacing outdated bathroom finishes, recessed lighting can covers and light fixtures, and even interior door hardware is a relatively inexpensive improvement to give your home a fresher and more up-to-date appearance.

5. Elaborate Gardens and/or Vast Landscaping
A large and beautiful backyard is a big draw to potential buyers. Your extensive flower and botanical gardens are lovely to look at, but most buyers are turned off by the thought of tending to and maintaining huge and elaborate gardens. Time-strapped and cash-conscious buyers are concerned about the upkeep required, and often are unwilling or unable to care for these lovely gardens.

Nothing about this should stop you from creating such an outdoor space if that is part and parcel of the lifestyle you want in your home. But it should be a factor you consider if you are concerned about reselling your home in the near future, and it might impact how you market your home if it has these features.

It may be painful, but it could be in your best interests to trim back and streamline some of your elaborate garden. The Brandee Kelley Group agents will advise you on the most appropriate steps to take regarding your landscaping, but if you feel it’s an integral part of the appeal of your home, we will highlight your lovely landscaping in marketing your home.

In addition to offering expertise in the effective marketing of your home, as well as experience in handling the legalities of closing your real estate transaction, the team members of the Brandee Kelley Group offer you, as a buyer OR seller, expert consultation into all factors in selling your home. We can advise you on the methods we will use to get your home sold in a reasonable time period, at the highest correct market price, and maximize your profit on the sale of your home. You can count on us for expert representation for all your real estate needs.

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5 Buyer Turn-Offs, Part I

5 Surprising Home Buyer Turn-Offs

The prospect of selling your home means that every detail of your home will be on display to buyers. We all know that buyers like to see homes that are pristine, huge and well-located. Sometimes, though, it’s much harder to recognize when our own homes might actually be triggering a buyer’s turn-offs.
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Here are 5 home features and characteristics that may be big-time turn-offs for today’s buyers.

1. Swimming Pool (but not in Texas!!!)
In certain parts of the country, pools are a negative for many buyers. However, in our hot Texas climate, a pool is highly desirable for most buyers.
The Brandee Kelley Group will feature your pool in marketing your home. However, you want to ensure that you have an attractive and nicely maintained fence surrounding your pool and the entire pool area is clean and well-landscaped. Make certain your pool is clean and free of dirt and algae, and steps and handrails are in good repair and free of damage.

2. Your Stuff
Yes – your taste is immaculate. But it’s your taste. What buyers are really looking for when they come to view a home is a palate on which they can envision easily applying their tastes. Accordingly, a primary goal of smart home preparation is depersonalization, by simply removing most or all of the personalized touches that make your home reflect YOU.

It’s possible that your things might not be as attractive, nice or tidy in the eyes of a buyer as you perceive them to be. Buyers can become easily distracted from seeing the true potential of a home when each room is loaded with personal memorabilia and knickknacks. Some buyers have a difficult time seeing their lifestyle in a home that reflects the current owner’s strong personal styles.

Simple staging that you may consider is to pack up most of your personal items and place them in storage. After all, you’ll have to pack them anyway when your home is sold and you move. Model homes by area builders are decorated and staged with only a very few strategic personal items, and your goal is to create that model home appearance, within moderation (after all, you DO live there!).
No matter what your decorating style, these 4 living rooms are good examples of tasteful decorating with no obvious personal items on display.

All the team members of the Brandee Kelley Group will provide you with valuable insight on how much is too much. We will consult with you on staging your own home if we feel it’s necessary in order to present your home to potential buyers in the best light possible.

Part II continues with the final 3 buyer turn’offs, so don’t miss it! We’ll discuss #3, flooring, #4 outdated fixtures and #5 your landscaping.

The Brandee Kelley Group Educator Appreciation Reward Program

The Brandee Kelley Group loves teachers!!!
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As a way of showing appreciation to those who contribute daily to the education of children, the Brandee Kelley Group Educator Appreciation Reward Program will give you cash back each time you buy or sell a home.

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Within 30 days of closing on your home through the Brandee Kelley Group, whether buying or selling, you will receive 10% of the net buyer or seller commission.

Additionally, a contribution of 2% of that commission will be made to your school or school district’s foundation, also within 30 days of the home closing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Education Appreciation Reward Program?

A. The Education Appreciation Reward is a cash incentive program offered by the Brandee Kelley Group for principals in a real estate transaction. Through this program, the principal in the real estate transaction will receive a 10% cash incentive each time they buy and/or sell a home. The incentive is based on the real estate commission earned by the broker representing the participant. The employee will receive the incentive approximately 30 days after the transaction has closed and funded.

Q. Who is eligible?

A. Full-time employees of Arlington ISD, Mansfield ISD, and Arlington private schools.

Q. What if I’m not ready to buy or sell right now?

A. There is no time limit on the program. You will remain eligible as long as you are employed by the school or school district.

Q. What determines the entity to which the 2% gift is given?

A. If it is an AISD or MISD school, the 2% gift is made to the district foundation. If it is a private school, the gift goes to the school.

5 Real Estate Rules of Thumb: Fact or Fiction – Part III

Our final “installment” in our 3-part Rules of Thumb: Fact or Fiction concludes with:

Rule of Thumb #5: Listing your home as a FSBO will save you money.
Fact or Fiction: Fiction (with the occasional exception)

The history and data is unequivocal: homes listed for sale by owner (FSBO) sell for less than similar homes listed by agents. Many sellers end up listing their home with an agent after wasting months of marketing time.

FSBO sellers also end up paying separately for services that are frequently included in an agency’s listing services. These include paying for a limited-service broker to list their property on MLS, and paying an attorney to assist them with the disclosures and contracts required for the sale. These sellers need professional help of legal, title and escrow professionals, and they must deal with the demands of scheduling showings to prospective buyers, who may not be qualified to even purchase their home.

Yet, the FSBO sellers still do not have the advantage of the objective pricing advice and marketing exposure that the Brandee Kelley Group brings to you, and it’s all included in the commission. selling your home The reality is that many sellers who don’t work with an agent and who manage to put together some level of listing services, find that they’re not actually saving much money when all the details of listing and the sale are completed. Sellers who think they can save some money soon learn there is NO savings if their house doesn’t sell.

The Brandee Kelley Group has worked hard to establish a track record in listing and selling homes for our clients. Since January 1, 2013, 65% of our listings sold AT or ABOVE the listing price; 60% of our listings sold in less than 10 days; and 68% of our listings sold in less than 30 days. Sold-wide - Copy We have accomplished this with a dedicated team of experienced agents and support personnel. Let us put our power to work for you! We will work hard to position your home correctly in the market, and provide extensive and targeted internet marketing exposure.

We hope you’ll visit the Brandee Kelley Group’s website, which contains a wealth of information regarding the methods we use to successfully sell our listed homes. You’ll find a free calculator to learn the current market value of your home, search functions for homes on the market, as well as links to helpful information about Arlington and the surrounding communities. http://brandeekelleygroup.kwrealty.com/
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Our preferred lender is Don Kelly with Affiliated Bank. Don and his team are experts in mortgage finance, providing experience and superior customer service to their clients. Feel free to contact Don with any questions or concerns you may have about mortgage finance, especially in regarding to selling your current home and financing a new home.
Affiliated Bank w Don Kelly Info

5 Real Estate Rules of Thumb: Fact or Fiction – Part II

Fact or Fiction: Fiction

If you are selling your home in a strong buyer’s market, your competition is steep. The home that presents the best value for the price is the one that will sell quickly. Listing your home higher than its true market value will eliminate a qualified buyer who is actively looking to buy immediately. Smart buyers who are ready purchase have done their homework. They’ve probably looked at many homes on the market and if your home is overpriced, they’ll know it and mark it off their list immediately.
Especially in today’s active market there are too many other great homes at realistic prices for sale. Overpriced listings are more likely to be a source of prolonged stress and handwringing to their owners (and the listing agent!) than a source of a successful sale.
When you work with the Brandee Kelley Group, we will give you a realistic and correct listing price and we’ll explain WHY it’s the right price. A new listing on the market will bring brisk showing activity by many agents when it’s priced right–and that equates to offers and, frequently, multiple offers.
Fact or Fiction: 100% baloney (Oooops, I mean FICTION!)

Few decisions in real estate are as nerve-wracking as the question of how much to offer for a home. Prospective buyers search online for comparables, run numbers, try to figure out how low they can go when making an offer.
This is another issue where you can place your trust in the Brandee Kelley Group’s team members. We are experts in the local market and we will provide you with guidance on how much to offer to insure the highest probability that your offer will be accepted. We will explain factors such as the seller’s motivation level—how eager or urgent is his need to sell. We’ll let you know if there are other offers coming in on that property. We know which neighborhood’s listed homes sell quickly, and if they typically sell at or above the listing price. The expertise we provide can make the difference in you getting the home you really want—or losing it to some other lucky buyer.
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5 Real Estate Rules of Thumb: Fact or Fiction?

5 Real Estate Rules of Thumb: Fact or Fiction?

We’ve all heard these Rules of Thumb regarding real estate. Are they fact or fiction? We hope to dispel the myths, and explain the facts to give you a better understanding of these issues.
The 5 Rules of Thumb are:
#1: Location, Location, Location
#2: It costs more to buy than to rent your home
#3: List it high, to give yourself bargaining room
#4: Always offer 10% below the asking price when making an offer
#5: Listing your home as a For Sale By Owner will save you money

Today, we’ll talk about Rules #1 and #2, and tomorrow, #’s 3, 4 and 5.

Rule of Thumb #1: Location, location, location
Fact or Fiction: Fact
One of the elemental truths of real estate is that almost everything can be changed about a home–except its location. By the same token, location is essential to our ability to afford and enjoy living in a place, given that it impacts everything from:

 *What schools our children will attend;
 *How much time and money we spend getting to and from work;
 *Our safety;
 *The beauty, quiet and convenience of our surrounding neighborhoods; and
 *The recreational, shopping and cultural options which become part of our daily lives.
Location determines whether you hear traffic sounds or bird songs in the morning, whether your neighbors bring you cookies or bring you drama when you move in. WHERE we live impacts our lifestyle, our enjoyment of home, and plays a role in reselling our home (and for how much).
The importance of location is one real estate rule of thumb that grows more powerful over time. However, the specifics of what makes a location desirable have and continue to evolve rapidly. For example, urban homes with super-short commutes to job centers have grown more desirable to buyers as their prices have come down and gas prices have gone up.

Rule of Thumb #2: It costs more to buy than to rent your home
Fact or Fiction: Depends on where you live

Most Rent vs. Buy studies show that it’s less expensive to buy a home than it is to rent. However, the type of home you might want to buy could be more pricey than what you’d be satisfied living in as a rental, and buying a home requires upfront costs (i.e., down payment, closing costs, etc.) that renters do not have to make.
But the objection from renters that they can’t afford to buy a home is usually proven to be incorrect. When you take all things into account, buying a home at today’s prices and low interest rates can actually cost the same or LESS than renting at today’s high rental costs in most areas.

The Brandee Kelley Group agents can help you do the math to accurately analyze your rental costs vs. a home purchase.
If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into home ownership, this is the perfect time to buy. The Arlington area home prices are low and mortgage interest rates are also low. Enjoy the freedom and satisfaction that home ownership provides, and start building equity and wealth–something you can never do as a tenant.

Check out the Brandee Kelley Group’s website to see homes currently on the market. You can refine your search in a number of ways so you see homes with the features that you’re looking for.


For excellent mortgage information, visit Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank’s website for valuable information on mortgage finance.


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