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Are you considering getting a smart lock for your home? You’re not alone. A good portion of homeowners are thinking about adding these smart devices to their doors.


#smart #tech #HouseExpert #RealEstateAgent #RealEstate #ListReports #themoreyouknow

Study shows blues and grays are the way to go for interiors and doors, ‘greige’ for exteriors

Homes with bathrooms painted in a powder blue or periwinkle shade sold for an average of $5,400 more — the highest sales premium of all colors analyzed.

When it comes to a home’s exterior, neutral tones, such as ‘greige,’ sold for $3,496 more than comparable homes in a different color.


Furthermore, homes with front doors painted in shades of dark navy blue to slate gray sold for an extra $1,514.

On the other hand, buyers seem to be put off by style-specific features such as terracotta walls, which resulted in a $2,031 dip in sales prices. But even more than that, prospective owners seem to hate white walls: Homes that had no color whatsoever sold for an average of $4,035 less. Ouch!

“Color can be a powerful tool for attracting buyers to a home, especially in listing photos and videos,” said Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell. “Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space.

“Incorporating light blue in kitchens and bathrooms may pay off especially well as the color complements white countertops and cabinets, a growing trend in both rooms,” she added.

If a seller is adamant about keeping color in the home, have them consider a pop of color on an accent wall using Pantone’s Color of The Year, Greenery, or have them incorporate jewel-toned decor pieces throughout the home.

BYMARIAN MCPHERSON     Email Marian McPherson.

Americans love their personal space. A new study by Point2 Homes finds that U.S. homes provide the most space per person when considering house sizes across countries. Americans enjoy 45 percent more personal space than the Brits or the French and 70 percent more space than homeowners living in Spain.

However, Australia still nudges out America when it comes to actual home size. Americans have the second largest homes among the nine countries studied, coming in at 1,901 square feet. Australians boast the largest at 2,032 square feet.

Point2Homes surveyed 29,000 people across nine countries — the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia. Though they’re living small, it seems Brits dream as big as their cousins down under. On average, respondents in the U.K., Australia, and Mexico identified a “good-size home” as one that contained more than 2,501 square feet. Americans settled on a smaller size to define this aspiration, between 1,501 and 2,000.

Source: “Home Sizes in the U.S.: Expectations vs. Reality,” Point2 Homes (Jan. 30, 2017)

These are some of the best “Smart Home” devices that may help to sell your home or increase the selling price of your home. Some may even help to lower the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Worth checking out. Let me know what you think or which ones you’ve utilized.


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What: The National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Annual Conference and Expo
When: November 4-7, 2016
Where: Orange County Convention Center West, Orlando FL

Network with Realtors from across the USA and from around the world. Learn about the latest products, technologies and legal issues. Take classes. Be aware of the latest scams-protect yourself and your clients. Join in on meetings. Find out about the best marketing tools. What do buyers and sellers want these days in a home and in their agent? See what benefits NAR has for its members. Expand your mind and have fun!

Hope to see you there!

Hope that you have a fantastic weekend, whatever you choose to do!
If you are thinking of remodeling or updating your house or yard, this is a great event to attend for ideas and to see the newest products.
Tampa Bay Home Show (All Weekend)
Home improvement experts will be at the Tampa Bay Home Show this weekend.  Exhibits, giveaways, door prizes, seminars, and  the latest trends in home remodeling: from kitchen and baths to flooring, to windows and home protection. Friday and Saturday from 10am-6pm, Sunday from 10am-5pm. Free admission and parking. Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive. St Petersburg, Florida
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Pub Crawl and Pokemon GO Day @ Jannus Live. (Not sure I feel about this-could be interesting.)
Pokemon GO has quickly become an international sensation. This Saturday, players from all over Tampa Bay will gather downtown for a huge Pokemon Pub Crawl. The festivities begin at Jannus Live at 2pm and will move to designated zones beginning at 3pm. This event is 21+ and is free to attend. Check with Jannus Live for details, 200 1st Avenue N.

Girls Rock Camp at The Local 662. (This is cool.)
The campers from the very first Girls Rock Camp St. Pete will be performing LIVE in front of an audience of friends, family, supporters and fans! 2-6pm. $10 for adults, $5 for kids 13 and under (cash only at the door). The Local 662, 662 Central Avenue. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chef’s Summer Tasting Menu at Stillwaters Tavern (next to our office-238 Beach Dr. NE. Great smells come drifting from the there. Oh, yum.)
Enjoy the new Chefs Tasting Menu at Stillwaters Tavern with 3 courses for just $19.99 Starter: House or Caesar Salad; Main: Grilled 5 oz Tavern Steak, Fish of the day, or Char Siu Chicken Ramen; Dessert: Brioche Bread Pudding, Almond Tart with Citrus Curd and Pears, or Summer Berries with Ice Cream. Available 4-7pm. Call 727-350-1019 for reservations. Stillwaters Tavern, 224 Beach Drive Northeast.

The Florida Bjorkestra: The Music of Bjork and Kate Bush, with Jamie Perlow and Whitney James at Palladium Theater. (This is something new and different to attend.
 Fifteen piece ensemble of local luminaries known as The Florida Björkestra bring the sound, arrangements and quirky harmony of Icelandic artist Björk delivering chamber-pop renditions of songs such as Human Behaviour, Army of Me, Hyperballad and I’ve Seen It All. The orchestra features strings, horns and chorale backed by bass, drums, guitar and piano. Vocalist Jamie Perlow fronts the group. 6pm. $15 in advance, $18 day of show. Palladium Theater, 253 5th Avenue North.

These residences are outfitted with the finest in workout equipment and space, proving that you don’t have to go far for fitness.

July 15, 2016 / Property Spotlight

Watching athletes from around the world compete in Rio de Janeiro for gold will inspire many to hit the track—or the pool, tennis court, or basketball court—and set a personal best. For most, that will involve a trip to the gym or at least another facility with the capacity for such activities. Not so for the owners of these luxurious retreats, where an on-site fitness center is a key attraction. From personal weight-training equipment to private saunas and even indoor basketball courts, upscale fitness amenities make it entirely possible to train like an Olympian right at home.

Mountain Retreat
Telluride, Colorado

Enjoy an après-ski workout with a view of the trees outside the windows of this Telluride estate, which also has an indoor basketball court.
Enjoy an après-ski workout with a view of the trees outside the windows of this Telluride estate, which also has an indoor basketball court.

This contemporary estate in the Rocky Mountain ski resort of Telluride, Colorado, presents stunning views of the San Sophia mountain range. With 8,000 square feet of interior space, the home includes three main living areas connected by a series of bridges. On-site recreational facilities range from a basketball court to a gym with views across the treetops outside. There is also a ski utility wing with access to Telluride’s world-class skiing facilities, which are just a short walk away.

Contemporary Cascais
Lisbon, Portugal

With its tempting view of the pool, this gym serves up a cool setting for a workout in this stunning Lisbon-area residence.
With its tempting view of the pool, this gym serves up a cool setting for a workout in this stunning Lisbon-area residence.

Situated within a gated residential community in the golfing community of Cascais about 23 miles from Lisbon, this striking property boasts a large game room with bar, a home theater, and staff quarters with private entry. A spacious leisure area includes a gym, sauna, Turkish bath, and indoor pool. Outside, the grounds feature manicured gardens, a barbecue, several dining areas, a large pool, and three tennis courts.Sleek Estate

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A compound composed of six individual penthouses, this impressive building at the edge of the exclusive golf course The Dutch has a separate gym and sauna.
A compound composed of six individual penthouses, this impressive building at the edge of the exclusive golf course The Dutch has a separate gym and sauna.

This newly built estate located adjacent to a famous and very private golf course outside Amsterdam is actually six independent penthouse apartments—all of which have the potential to be connected—boasting a combined total of 38,179 square feet of interior space. The modern structure, designed in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, is complemented by a carriage house with a pool, gym, sauna, and Turkish bath. Additionally, a butler’s house provides six bedrooms and kitchenettes. About a one-hour drive from central Amsterdam, this unique property combines the utmost in convenience and indulgence.

Lakefront Allure
Clayton, Georgia

Set up as a professional gym, the workout area of this lakefront house in Georgia provides ample space for exercising.
Set up as a professional gym, the workout area of this lakefront house in Georgia provides ample space for exercising.

This elegant lake home has warm accents such as reclaimed oak floors and beams, exposed brick and stone, multiple fireplaces, and hand-distressed wood kitchen cabinetry. Situated on Lake Burton—a reservoir of the Tallulah River in northeastern Georgia—the residence is ideal for entertaining guests thanks to its chef’s kitchen, waterfront porch, and fabulous home gym with its own sauna and steam shower. A workshop represents an additional outlet for expending energy and accomplishing a goal.

Modern Manse
Cannes, France

Taking an exercise break in this house is like escaping on a mini-vacation; the workout room with views over the hills of Provence also has a hot tub and sauna.
Taking an exercise break in this house is like escaping on a mini-vacation; the workout room with views over the hills of Provence also has a hot tub and sauna.

Perched atop a hill overlooking the ocean and the Lérins Islands, this expansive retreat offers 7,201 magnificent square feet of interior space that includes eight bedrooms. The dramatic grounds also feature a guest house, caretaker’s cottage, pool, and garage. The fitness room in this bright and airy house has large windows plus a sauna and hot tub. The property’s location in the French Riviera—one of the first modern resort areas—makes it an ideal getaway for active travelers, especially yachting enthusiasts.

Island Escape
Honolulu, Hawaii

The fitness room of this glamorous Honolulu mansion boasts majestic panoramic views of the Pacific, enhancing the appeal of home workouts.
The fitness room of this glamorous Honolulu mansion boasts majestic panoramic views of the Pacific, enhancing the appeal of home workouts.

Combining the glamour of Hollywood and the sophistication of New York City, this opulent hillside Honolulu retreat serves up panoramic views of Lanai, Maui, and Molokai from nearly every angle. The property itself is a magical setting complete with a koi pond, tea pavilion, outdoor spa with hot tub, and tropical waterfalls. The 9,166-square-foot interior features grand entertaining spaces, a chef’s kitchen with professional-grade appliances, plus a master suite with its own movie projector and drop-down screen. Fitness enthusiasts will appreciate the ocean-facing exercise room outfitted with an array of equipment and free weights as well as multiple television screens.

Spanish-Style Grange
Smiths Parish, Bermuda

With space for just about any type of weight-training equipment, this brightly lit Bermuda gym also has its own steam shower.
With space for just about any type of weight-training equipment, this brightly lit Bermuda gym also has its own steam shower.

This Mediterranean-meets-Bermuda residence offers seaside luxury and multiple amenities. Set on three acres with south-facing ocean views, the elegant 1947 home has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a cedar-panelled library with fireplace, a media room, and—for the athletically inclined—a spectacular home gym with its own steam shower. A tennis court with a shady pavilion and changing room—plus a pool with its own pavilion and wet bar—complete the package of this retreat located just moments from some of Bermuda’s best beaches and a nature preserve.

Glorious Georgian
New Vernon, New Jersey

The spacious home gym in this New Jersey Georgian-style home is roomy enough for a range of fitness equipment., and its wall of mirrors will help exercisers ensure that good form is second nature.
The spacious home gym in this New Jersey Georgian-style home is roomy enough for a range of fitness equipment., and its wall of mirrors will help exercisers ensure that good form is second nature.

Situated in a leafy town about an hour outside Manhattan and adjacent to a protected trout stream, this Georgian-style residence offers stately architecture, generously sized rooms, and wooded grounds with a pond. From the detailed millwork to the wainscoting and vaulted and tray ceilings, the residence generates an authentic Old World ambience. Woodburning fireplaces, custom built-ins, and handsomely crafted kitchen cabinetry add to its charm and warmth. The finished lower level has a spacious recreation room and a fitness room with a mirrored wall.   Discover more homes with exquisite gyms 

July 15, 2016 / Property Spotlight

There are three dominant trends in real estate that sellers should be aware of going into the new year. CNNMoney recently asked industry insiders to share what will be important when it comes to selling a home in 2016. Do you agree?

  1. A seller’s market dominates. Home prices have been climbing so much that they’re even matching their 2006 highs. Seller’s markets are more dominant in certain cities such as San Francisco, where bidding wars are widely reported and offers go well above asking price. “The more lucrative a region’s economic future appears to be, the easier you can expect it to be to sell a home,” according to the article.
  2. Mortgages will get pricier. Low mortgage rates have been the standard in the last few years, but that will soon change. The Federal Reserve is gradually beginning to raise rates, which will move mortgage rates higher and dampen affordability. Sellers should be aware that it may become more difficult for prospective buyers to secure financing.
  3. Tax benefits still abound. The largest tax break for ordinary taxpayers who qualify remains the exclusion on capital gains for the sale of personal residences. Single taxpayers are able to exclude a maximum of $250,000 in gains from the sale of a home. Joint filers get double that: $500,000.

Source: “Selling a Home in 2016? Here’s What You Need to Know,” CNNMoney/Motley Fool


Experts share their insights into the most sought-after comforts and conveniences in urban homes. from February 12, 2016 / Luxury Lifestyle

Cities are back in a big way: discerning buyers are increasingly looking for homes that offer convenience and culture without the commute, and global growth in the 21st century is becoming more concentrated in urban environments. According to McKinsey and Company, this phenomenon is especially evident in the world’s top-ranked “megacities,” which are experiencing extremely high rates of growth, making them global centers for the booming luxury sector. With both emerging entrepreneurs and retirees moving to central cities, “Today’s buyer is looking for a mixture of old and new, period features combined with the newest, most cutting-edge features,” according to James Forbes of Strutt & Parker in London. “The desired look is more homey and far less ‘hotel’ and impersonal. At this top end of the market, buyers…want things to be extra special and individual.” Craftsmanship and materials are of great importance, whether buyers are investing in renovated older buildings with period detail or newer properties built with an eye to green, eco-friendly design. This week, Luxury Defined shares insights from real estate experts in the world’s megacities to find out more about what today’s affluent home buyers really want. Read the rest of this entry »

Architects, developers, and designers are moving past green homes and open floor plans. Here’s what trend-conscious buyers need to know.


Much of the hype around healthy living these days centers on whether you’ve eliminated gluten from your diet or walked 10,000 steps today. But lasting health benefits may be better derived from fundamental changes in how we live. That’s the tack savvy building and design professionals are taking as they draw on technological advances and changing demographics to create a new vision for the home. It’s not enough to just be green anymore; tomorrow’s homes—both single-family and multifamily buildings—will be more sustainable and resilient to natural disasters. And we’re moving beyond open floor plans. Flexible spaces are giving way to homes that can accommodate multiple generations, communal gatherings, and universal design. These preferences will influence the size of homes and how they look—and function—outside and inside. In addition, they reflect where homes are built, as an increasing number of buyers—from millennials to boomers—want to shorten their commutes and walk more. You can become an expert resource for buyers and sellers by tuning into the forward-thinking trends that design and architectural pros are buzzing about.

While suburbia isn’t dead or dying, it’s clear that a groundswell of home buyers is heading downtown. For some, that means a dense urban metropolis like New York or Chicago where work, home, and retail are at their doorstep. But for others, what’s appealing is a suburb with a downtown core that offers walkability such as Highland Park, Ill., or Clayton, Mo. Even a more rural outpost like bucolic Red Hook, N.Y., with its robust town center, fits the bill.

The common denominator: People of all ages are tired of their car-centric lives and care less about square footage than finding a home in a location that’s compatible with their interests and values, says Bruce D. Snider, a building designer and architectural writer based in Belfast, Maine.

Healthier, Smarter Materials

The construction of houses and multifamily buildings is evolving. Designers and architects are seeking to make buildings that are weather-resilient, sustainable, safer, and primed for the latest technology.

  • Well buildings: Green buildings that steer clear of harmful paints and adhesives and highlight water conservation are well-regarded, but the newer focus is on design that enhances the quality of life for occupants. “Biophilic” planning involves placing windows to showcase outdoor greenery and doors that strive for seamlessness between the great outdoors and a home’s interior. An emphasis on natural light, along with LEDs controlled by dimmers and in colors that can be changed for nighttime and gray days, simulates circadian rhythms in the body to improve sleep patterns, another boon for healthfulness. Upcoming software will harvest daylight to provide more natural light since some multifamily building codes dictate smaller glass expanses and restrict certain lightbulb types, says sustainability consultant Brian Lomel, cochair of the Urban Land Institute’s South Florida Building Healthy Places Committee. In areas with small yards, pocket gardens are popular, and more rooftops will be planted on multifamily buildings and townhouses. And look for more landscapes with trees featuring interesting branch structures, even without blooms or berries, says Betsy Williamson with Williamson Chong Architects in Toronto.
  • Less maintenance: Whether it’s due to the financial burden or the lengthy time commitment of tending to yards and repairs, consumers are eager for materials and systems that are more durable and require less maintenance than in the past. “Many boomers and their offspring are less inclined to mow lawns and perform other tasks,” says architect Duo Dickinson, author of Staying Put (The Taunton Press, 2011). At Aventura ParkSquare, realistic-looking artificial turf will be installed, which will help conserve water. Other systems and materials there will need to be replaced less often. Individuals like mason and builder Clay Chapman of Atlanta’s Hope for Architecture also focus on materials with greater longevity, which is influencing the thinking of both design professionals and home owners. “Hand-built brick walls are labor-intensive but will last for centuries rather than for just one home owner,” he says. Architect Jon Handley of Pulltab in New York concurs. “The best way to be green is to build with quality that lasts,” he says.
  • Weather and energy: Communities on the forefront of energy and weather efficiency are setting guidelines for better waterproofing and strategically placed insulation. “The goal is to go beyond what’s required, not use energy at all and get off the grid,” says Philadelphia developer Nino Cutrufello. Going the energy-efficient route can be less costly than adding features such as solar panels and geothermal heating, he says. Structures are also being better designed to withstand severe weather. Aventura ParkSquare, outside Miami, is being designed to include well-insulated windows that block harmful ultraviolet rays, says principal Victor Ballestas. In parts of California where fires have raged, noncombustible concrete tiles, brick, and composites that imitate wood are favored, says New York architect Chris Garvin.
  • Healthfulness: Encouraging healthy living goes beyond including bicycle racks and gyms in multifamily buildings, Lomel says. To build Aventura ParkSquare, a community within a community, its developer Integra Investments heeded ideas from “Fit City Miami,” a collaborative effort with ULI to incorporate The American Institute of Architects’ “Active Design” guidelines. Results at the condominium development are retail options such as a boot camp and yoga studio, restaurants with rooftop gardens for growing produce, medical offices, an assisted-living facility, wider sidewalks, and a 131-unit condo building with glass-enclosed stairways to encourage walking rather than riding in enclosed elevators, says Ballestas. ULI’s South Florida group will showcase the project as a case study for healthy-living initiatives, Lomel says.
  • Smarter technology: Managing power needs will continue to be huge as more home owners seek to stay connected 24/7. Forward-thinking techies will develop more robust wireless hubs to provide power from a central source and make it easier and less costly to control everything from one app on a smart phone, says Garvin. Already, developers like Washington, D.C.’s EYA are bringing on board an automation consultant.

A Greater Sense of Belonging

The size and layout of single-family homes, condos, and rentals are being reconfigured with an eye toward fostering community and adapting to space challenges and changing demographics.

  • Seed to feed: Don’t call it a garden: Edible landscaping is appearing in single-family yards and multifamily building rooftops. Lomel predicts consumer and developer interest will lead to demand for organic gardening consultants. “They’ll satisfy people’s food-growing needs rather than [feature] nonedible plant materials,” he says. Communal space for cooking and dining are expected to be part of more development projects. “People want that sense of connection,” Garvin says. An even bigger trend is the “agrihood,” which makes a farm a key amenity in a residential development. Developer and architect Matthew “Quint” Redmond of AgriNetx in Golden, Colo., conceived the idea back in 2003, but the recession stalled construction. Ground will be broken this fall for his newest—Adams Crossing in Brighton, Colo., which will include 438 residential units on 101 acres with about half the land devoted to farms. Redmond says his two prime buyer targets are “boomers who would rather work in orchards than play golf and millennials who don’t want to live in a cubicle as their parents did.” Many sites are former golf courses, and he expects more little-used courses to be transformed.
  • Multigenerational togetherness: Multiple generations living together isn’t new; cultural traditions, economic pressures, and elderly and child care needs have long made such arrangements desirable for some. In the past, families had little choice but to offer up a spare bedroom when they needed to share their space. But architects are dreaming up new options for the 21st century family. Designer Marianne Cusato became an early proponent for planning ahead with her “New Economy” house; its first-floor suite with a private entry offers independence for older adults and boomerang children. EYA is designing townhouses with private quarters on one floor that can be converted to other uses as needs change.
  • Open plans on a smaller scale: Open floor plans still dominate, but to differentiate smaller spaces, designer Seth Grizzle of Graypants in Seattle likes to add whimsy, reflecting the desire for customized spaces. “People want a fun edge that makes them smile, and they’ll give up space to get some uniqueness,” he says. Examples can include a door that becomes a bookshelf, a phone charging station in a desk, or a softly glowing wall lit from behind. In multifamily buildings, developers are including larger shared and mixed-use spaces to make up for smaller-sized dwelling units. David Baker Architects’ 1178 Folsom Street building in San Francisco will include units that average just 290 square feet but have access to large common areas such as a rooftop deck and ground-level retail. Sarah Barnard, a designer in Santa Monica, Calif., sees the trend mushrooming as millennials shift from renting to buying. “They’re a generation that is less materialistic and more concerned about the environment and that has a debt burden, so they have less to spend,” she says.
  • Universal design: A recent AIA Home Design Trends Survey found respondents were interested in having greater accessibility inside their homes including wider hallways and more visible handrails. Yet, many still resist features, such as grab bars in showers and bathtubs, that signal that residents are aging. Future designs are expected to incorporate such adaptations in more subtle, creative ways. As the built environment evolves, how it looks will reflect a more contemporary sensibility.”We won’t look to the past. Modern design is the future,” Williamson says. “All this amazing technology and other changes go part and parcel with much more forward-looking designs.”

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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