RE/MAX real estate Newsletter - July 2018 Edition

In This Issue -

Home Value, Brought To You By Instagram

Who says Instagram is all about filters and trendy decor? We collected some fab home projects posted by Instagrammers that do more than just lure likes: More efficient bathrooms. IKEA storage hacks. Kitchens that function better. And (of course) they look #sogood, too.

An Instagram-Worthy Home

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Yesterday’s chic home colors were teal and brown, today’s are a muted palette of gray, lavender, and blush. Tomorrow, who knows?

If only you could get away with simple, easy white.

Psst. You can. Check out Instagram. White rooms get so much Insta-love. And no wonder, because white for interior walls is a no-brainer for home value. See why:

White Shows Off Your Home's Best Features

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Like a canvas, this pure hue acts as a backdrop for your home’s highlights, making floors, cabinetry, fireplaces, and doorways pop.

And every time those easy-to-spot architectural details give you a little “wow” moment, remember who else they’re sure to wow: future home buyers.

Plus white walls work with any architectural style.

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Even better, if your home’s bones are a little-bit-of-this, little-bit-of-that, white can tie it all together.

It's the Best Color to Paint a Kitchen

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REALTORS® rank a kitchen remodel as the project most likely to have the “wow!” factor that will help sell a home quickly. You’ll spend less (White appliances cost about 10% to 20% less than other options) if you choose white for that remodel.

Plus, white is clean and fresh, two words you definitely want to associate with your kitchen.

And no future home buyer is going to walk away saying, “Can you believe that white kitchen? What were they thinking?”

It Looks Fresh and Clean

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Like your kitchen, “clean and fresh” are words you want your entire home to evoke. Dirt, mold, mildew, water stains — none of them can hide against white surfaces.

And the sooner you see the grime, the easier to deal with it.

Houseplants (and Humans) Love It

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Whether you share your home with giant fiddle-leaf figs, wee succulents, or every green thing you can get your hands on, white’s knack for maximizing light makes houseplants super happy.

Which, in turn, is likely to make you happy — because plants clean the air, giving you a home that’s not just beautiful, but healthier, too.

It Makes Bedrooms Serene

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Your home should be an escape from the color and chaos of daily life. Your bedroom should do double duty in that regard. White will do that.

Make your bedroom whites feel warmer with classic lighting — like bedside sconces or a small chandelier on dimmers. Use warm light bulbs, rather than lights with a blue tint (like some LEDs) since blue light works against white’s calming powers.

White Makes Rooms Look Bigger

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In the same way white makes rooms look brighter, it can also make rooms look bigger. (It’s the magic of color reflection at work.) Painting the walls and trim all white lets the eye flow around the room without stopping, which helps create the illusion of largeness.

It Puts All Eyes on Color

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Choosing white doesn’t mean divesting the entire room of color. After all, color is a major way to make your home feel like you. Using white as your home’s base makes the colors you do use steal the spotlight, putting more you into every square inch.

It's Not Really Cold and Sterile

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White gets a bad rap for being cold – even sterile — at times. But these rooms? We’re ready to move in.
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5 Inventive Ideas We Found On Instagram To Boost Bath Equity

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Try wall-mounted faucets to add precious space to a tiny bath.

The best bathroom updates aren’t just easy on the eye: They make life easier — and they add to your home’s value.

For inspiration, check out these #bathroomrenovation ideas from Instagram that pack style, function, and a whole lotta’ equity into one little room.

#1 A Doorless Shower Design

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Um, hey. The shower head in this sweet bath is hanging out there with no tub or enclosure below it.

It’s not an oversight.

With this liberating doorless shower design, there are no door tracks to clean (or trip over), no glass panels to bang your knee on, or mildewy shower curtains to wipe off. #loveit!

To drain your suds properly, you’ll need a slightly sloped floor in the shower area, great drainage, and probably a skilled contractor to make it all work.

#2 Budget Bath Update

A complete bathroom do-over can run $30,000! But you don’t have to risk defaulting on your student loan to get an oo-la-la before-and-after.

Keep as much of your bathroom’s pricey bones in place as possible — in this Instagrammer’s makeover, the wall tile, tub, and shower were keepers.

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That brought the cost of this DIY project to just $3,000, which covered a new vanity, mirror, flooring, lighting, window treatments, and paint.
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#3 Wall-Mounted Faucets

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Got a tiny bath? Get a little extra elbow room by mounting sink fixtures on the wall. (And without those tight crevices around the faucet to navigate, cleaning your sink will be a lot less awkward.)

Wall-mounting can cost a bit more, and may require additional insulation (especially if it’s on an exterior wall), but isn’t any bit of extra room in a small bathroom worth it?

#4 Attic Conversion to a Bathroom

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If you’re constantly juggling for bathroom time, the peacekeeping solution could be right overhead: your attic can serve a higher purpose as an extra bath.

To save thousands, situate it above an existing bath or kitchen so you don’t have to redirect plumbing lines.

And look at all the built-in character that sloping roofline adds to the space that’ll surely wow future buyers.

#5 Built-In Shower Shelf

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Speaking of built-in character, you can build some into your shower with a little vtioning bathroom.

If you already have plans to gut your shower surround, recessed shelving is an easy add to the project. (Just think, no more gunky shower caddies!)

Adding niches during construction won’t add much to your budget or schedule, but the result is sure to add to your home value (and Instagram ♥s).

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The Best IKEA Hacks for Built-In Storage (Stolen From Instagram)

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You know it’s a good investment. You just need a way to do it with less money and time.

When dreaming about built-in storage, you’re probably thinking costly custom or a DIY project that’ll take you foreeeeever.

Enter Ikea.

Despite the pervasive Swedish retailer’s reputation for, shall we say, semi-permanent furnishings, you can easily hack Ikea stuff so it looks like it was always there. Here are five super clever Ikea hacks we found on Instagram:

#1 Ikea Closet Hack

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Ah, the charm of pre-war architecture — and the agony of closet-less rooms. Besides being a day-to-day pain, they can hurt resale value because most buyers expect built-in closets.

Hack away that pain with some Ikea Pax Wardrobes ($159 each).

When secured together and to the wall, then jazzed up with trim and hardware, no one would ever believe you hex-keyed them together.

Tip: Hit Ikea on a weekday, when sales are slower, and an associate might have extra time to help measure and plan.

#2 Kitchen Island From Ikea Bookcases

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Ooo. A stunning, custom-built kitchen island. Wipe your drool, look closely, and you might make out Ikea’s famed Billy bookcases ($29-$39) under all that fancy beadboard.

The trim and butcher-block countertop add gravitas to the lightweight shelving.

For longevity’s sake, consider solid wood versus wood-covered particleboard so you can refinish it when needed.

#3 Window Seat

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If you’re adding built-in storage, why not build yourself a seat, too? Some painted MDF turns Ikea’s Kallax shelving ($46) into a dreamy built-in window seat.

While Kallax is among Ikea’s most flexible storage systems (want baskets in those squares? A box? More, smaller shelves?), it only comes in one length.

So before committing to this Ikea hack, make sure your window bay is 58 inches or less — and not so much wider that MDF can’t fill in the gaps.

#4 Entertainment Center

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This hack brings the versatility and simplicity of Ikea kitchen cabinets into the living room. And a little quartzite countertop and MDF make these cabinets look like they were born in that cove.

Tip: There’s just one Ikea cabinet box: Sektion ($111). But it comes in a bajillion options. Dive into the website as well as your local store before settling on the first door and hardware pairing that fits your space.

#5 Efficient Entryway Storage

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Mount a bunch of Ikea Trones ($39.99) in a row, top them off with a slim shelf, and you can leave your days of tripping over shoes (and leashes and mail and hats) in the past.

While this built-in trick works especially well in foyers, any slim spot desperate for storage will get a functionality boost from this hack.

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A new year, a new opportunity to make your kitchen swoon-worthy. Whether your most-used room is in need of a total refresh or a few simple tweaks, make this year, the year that you fall in love with your kitchen all over again.

Let these nine stylish (and doable!) ideas serve as your inspiration for a kitchen that’s more “you” this year.

#1 Go Retro

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Yesteryear’s color palette has made a comeback. Whether it’s avocado green or mustard yellow that speaks to you the most, give your backsplash or cabinet doors a vintage feel with a kitchen color palette that takes inspiration from your chic grandma’s house.

#2 Opt for Slide-Out Shelves

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Make it easy on yourself already. With pull-out shelves, you can see exactly what you have (and how much of it) without having to tear apart your kitchen to find your red lentils.

#3 Use the Inside of a Cabinet Door for Storage

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Put the tools you use most right where you need them — no more rifling through a cluttered drawer to find the right measuring cup. A handy painted chalkboard chart, like this one, can make double-checking your measurements a breeze.

#4 Wallpaper the Inside of Your Cabinets

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You love your dishes. Why not give them a backdrop? A budget-friendly idea for updating blah, boring kitchen cabinets: Add decorative glass to cabinet inserts, then line the interior with whimsical wallpaper.

#5 Add Colorful Knobs

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It’s all in the details. An inexpensive way to transform the overall look of your kitchen in under 15 minutes: Swap out cabinet knobs and drawer pulls for something with a little more spunk. These teal ones tie the kitchen’s color palette together.

#6 Switch to Sleek, Long-Handled Cabinet Hardware

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Bye, builder-grade hardware. Put your kitchen cabinets’ best face forward with contemporary kitchen hardware that look and feel fancy. They’re easy to clean and easy to grab — especially when your hands are full and in the throes of cooking up a feast.

#7 Maximize Your Storage Space

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Cabinets running out of room? Look up. Not only does open shelving up high let you show of your shiny, new pro mixer, it lets you take advantage of every square inch of storage space your kitchen has to offer. And a rolling library ladder makes it easy to access all your beloved cookware.

#8 Put Spices in a Drawer

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If spice racks have failed you, and organizing your kitchen cabinets feels next to impossible, move your spices to a drawer so that they’re easy to locate. No more fumbling around in a dark cabinet for the spice you need.

#9 Give Floors a Pop of Color

Say “goodbye” to boring, worn-out kitchen floors once and for all. Show your surfaces some love with a paint project, like the one below, that is easy on the budget and the eyes.
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Or swap out your dingy floor tiles for something a lot more durable and cool. Dress up an all-white contemporary kitchen with glazed ceramic tile floors that’ll stand the test of time.
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The biggest home-improvement mistake that folks make

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Homeowners are expected to spend a near record $317 billion on home improvement this year. The trend is expected to continue, as areas have fewer homes for sale and homeowners have little incentive to move from homes with record low fixed mortgage rates, experts say.

What’s the biggest home improvement mistake that most folks make? Over-improving one’s home can be the costliest, housing experts say. Remodeling magazine found that only attic insulation netted an immediate return on investment (108%). A new entry door was next best (91%). Even the popular minor kitchen remodel only netted an 80% return.

In time, these improvements will net a return. But sometimes homeowners customize and overspend, thinking they’ll sell at a profit in the future, but are unlikely to ever recoup their investments.


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Catching the latest box office hit doesn’t mean you have to head inside. During the warmer months, make your way to two local drive-in theaters offering new release films in a classic setting.

Lehigh Valley is home to Shankweiler’s Drive-In and Becky’s Drive-In, both offering contemporary films for the whole family to enjoy. Pack the family in the car and head out to one of these two venues to catch a double feature under the stars.

Shankweiler’s Drive-In, located in Orefield, is recognized as the oldest operating drive-in theater in America, continuously operating since 1934. This venue was the second to exist in the country and the first in the state of Pennsylvania.

Though a historic venue, Shankweiler’s offers digital quality films with sound that can be enjoyed directly through the FM radio in your vehicle. The theater is open April through September, offering weekend showings before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. In between those two holidays, you can catch showings each and every night.

Travel slightly east and you’ll find Becky’s Drive-In. This theater boasts two separate screens each presenting a double-feature experience, with one screen being dedicated to family-friendly films. Becky’s Drive-In has been the recipient of many awards, including being ranked on the New York Times list “10 Drive-Ins Worth the Detour.”

For your viewing experience, you can opt to take in the film from the comfort of your car, from chairs surrounding your vehicle, or by making yourself comfortable in the grassy area at the front.

No matter which theater you choose to visit, be sure to arrive early to grab the best viewing spot! Pack along some snacks (but be sure to hit up the concession stand to satisfy your movie cravings) and a boom box to play the sound if you opt to sit outside your car.

Now kick back, relax and enjoy a film under the stars!

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