Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi's Blog
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Designing your dream kitchen is a fun and exciting step in your home build or remodel. You’ll want to find the perfect cabinets, countertops, and sink for your new space. In addition to the aesthetic of the pieces you select, be sure to consider their functional value. Here are some smart ideas to keep in mind when designing your space.
Intentional Storage Solutions
You’ll want to have functional spaces that store your belongings in a well organized, easily accessible way. Consider pull out cabinets that have built-in racks for your pantry stock or food storage containers. Kitchen items can get lost in deep cabinets, select medium depth to shallow cabinets with shelves to keep things within reach. Introduce lazy susan cabinets to activate otherwise wasted space. Look for options with shelves that rotate out when the door is open. Hidden trash drawers are perfect for keeping your space tidy, closing up food smells and opening up floor space.
Space for Appliances
One of the more difficult things to account for is space for smaller appliances like food processors, blenders and mixers. You need to store them but you also need space to use them. Building your kitchen from scratch allows you to make smart decisions about where and how you will use appliances. Instead of creating two spaces for your appliances, consider creating cabinet space or shelving that has built-in electrical outlets. This allows you to use the appliances in the same place that you store them.
You may be concerned about having ample space for meal preparation. Consider adding an island or introducing workspace through pull-out counter spaces or cutting boards. Including vertical storage solutions like pegboards, hooks, and shelving will help to keep counters clutter-free.
Before you work through the design aspects of your kitchen remodel, think about how you’ll use the space and design it meet the unique needs of your household.
If you're in the process of preparing your home for the real estate market, get ready to roll up your sleeves and make your home as irresistible as possible!
While this may sound like an enormous undertaking that you don't have the time or energy to tackle, remember one thing: When you put your home up for sale, there's a lot at stake!
Generally, the longer your house stays on the market, the less marketable it becomes. If potential buyers learn that your house has been on the market for longer than, say, a few months, one of the first questions they'll ask or think will be "What's wrong with it?" Once questions like that start arising, the overall appeal of your home begins to decline. As you can imagine, your ability to get the highest possible price for your house also weakens over time. That's why it's important to do everything possible to enhance the look and feel of your home.
Home Staging Counts
Although effective home staging can be a crucial aspect of selling your house quickly, there is a point at which diminishing returns may come into play. Few home sellers have unlimited time and money to invest in staging their home, and it's easy to go above and beyond what's actually necessary to secure a buyer.
There are dozens of variables that affect a house selling strategy, including the real estate market and the condition of your home. If it's a "buyers' market" and there are a lot of comparable houses for sale in your neighborhood, then you might have to work a little harder to make your home stand out and attract offers. If you're fortunate enough to be in a desirable area and not facing a lot of competition from other home sellers, then the law of supply and demand should work in your favor! However, it's still important to make the most of your property's curb appeal and the overall appearance of your home's interior.
The cost of home staging can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, but your real estate agent can provide invaluable guidance on how to cost-effectlively maximize the "eye appeal" of your house and property. While perfection is generally an unattainable standard in home staging (or anything else), optimal results only come from putting your best foot forward.
Several words to remember and be guided by when preparing a house for sale are "immaculate", "spotless", "manicured" (lawn), "fresh" (looking and smelling), "updated", "well-maintained", and "charming". If prospective buyers are using those words and phrases to describe your home, then you know you're on the right track! Your agent can provide you with helpful insights and suggestions for making a great impression on potential buyers -- without having to spend more on home staging than necessary!
Every property has an assigned zone that controls how you can use it. In residential zones, for example, you often have to abide by restrictions regarding business activity and animal husbandry. Commercial and industrial zoning also comes with many restrictions for its use, limiting the types of businesses that can be operated in each zone. If you want to go beyond those usage restrictions, it is possible to request a zoning variance through the city. Here’s what to expect during that process.
Every city has its own process for zoning variance requests, though most follow similar procedures. To begin, you will likely need to fill out an application and pay a filing fee. Depending on the local requirements, your application may need to include blueprints, surveys, or photographs detailing your planned usage of the property.
Review of Request
After paying the filing fee, the application lands in front of the zoning board for review. The board members take a look at the property characteristics and proposed use of the land. They weigh how your planned usage will impact your neighbors and the surrounding environment. Depending on the nature of your request, they may send out a photographer and other officials to record information to use in the decision-making process.
Notification of Neighbors
Before the zoning board can make an official decision, they are usually required to notify your neighbors of your request. As a part of this notification process, you may need to display informative placards on the land. In addition to the details of your request, these notifications usually include the hearing date to allow all interested parties to attend.
Once notified, local property owners are given time to respond and air their grievances. The zoning board records all messages of support or objection that come their way, so they can take them into account during the official hearing. You can streamline this process by asking your neighbors for letters of support and include them in your application.
Hearing by Zoning Board
The hearing starts with a review of the notification procedures, verifying the board abided by the local laws. Then, the planning department is given time to inform the court about your zoning variance request and their findings.
After that, you are typically given a chance to plead your case and convince the board that approval is the right move. The planning department may be given time for rebuttals before they open up the floor to your neighbors. All interested parties have a limited amount of time to share their concerns or messages of support. Once they are finished, the fact-finding portion of the hearing is complete.
In some locations, the zoning board will immediately vote on the decision, while others make their determinations behind closed doors. If you do not receive an immediate decision, the zoning board will likely be in touch to schedule a final determination meeting. Either way, approvals are effective immediately, allowing you to move forward with your plans. If your request was denied, however, you may have up to 30 days to file an appeal.