Archive for August, 2021

Real Estate Q & A

Friday, August 20, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

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Over the past few months I have answered real estate questions posed by the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Gate. Here are a few of those editorial Q & A’s.

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What Role Does a Buyer’s Pet or Pets Play in the HomeBuying Process?

Of Millennials who purchase homes, 33 percent say the decision to buy was prompted by the presence of or desire to adopt a pet. That outstrips those who bought homes because of a marriage (25 percent) and those who bought to accommodate children (19 percent).*

Homebuyers really do take into consideration their canine, feline or other pets when deciding to purchase a home. Oftentimes condominiums have a pet limit and size restriction, thus a Home Buyer would not opt to purchase a condo should that be the case and be more likely to purchase a home which is not governed by an HOA.

Home-buyers consider their pets part of the family, so when it comes to making a big life decision such as purchasing a home they will give their Realtor certain criteria that fits both their needs and those of their pets. Here are a few examples of the sorts of amenities dog owners may seek: a fenced in yard is number one; they want to be sure Fido is safe from escape. Sidewalks might be a consideration so when it is time to walk the dog, there is a safe place to walk for both the canine and his/her owner. Other pluses might include being within close proximity to a park, pet stores, a pet hospital and/or groomer. All of these amenities are not so different than when a Home Buyer is purchasing a home with their family — the amenities are similar to those who have children.

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*A survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage 

 

Best Housewarming Ideas for Your Friends and Clients

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

Quentin Bacon

Your beloved friends have recently moved into their dream home. Now that they have finally settled, they’ve decided to host a housewarming party. And guess what? You’re invited! It’s customary for attendees of such an event to bring with them a present. The only problem being, you’ve got absolutely no idea what that should be! But don’t worry! I’ve made it my business to hunt down the best housewarming gift ideas for your friends. Stay here for a wee bit longer to find out what they are!

Best Housewarming Gift Ideas for Your Friends Hosting One

Before we dive deeper into housewarming party gift suggestions, let’s make it clear that no present is essentially good nor bad. They don’t say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure for nothing. What you consider useless, others may very well consider extremely useful. The following are just ideas of what you could bestow on your friends. Of course, as you know them best, I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one of these they may like or need.

A Bottle of Quality Wine and a Corkscrew

There’s hardly an adult who doesn’t enjoy sipping on a glass of quality wine every now and then. Chances are your friends enjoy drinking it too, so how about gifting them a bottle of their favorite one? Pair it up with a corkscrew because they may want to give that bad boy a try straight away! Choosing the right wine can be a bit tricky, though. Especially if you aren’t sure of what kind they prefer. Try learning of their preference by asking their family members or mutual friends. If you fail to get an answer, skip the wine altogether and opt for a set of glasses instead. Better that than buying something they won’t enjoy even remotely.

Framed Artwork

Are your friends into art? If so, the housewarming party may be the perfect time to gift them a beautiful piece of wall art. If you are close, you probably know what kind of style they lean towards. Try matching that style, if possible, or wing it. Maybe you’ve also got a picture of all of you lying somewhere. Get it framed, pack it nicely, and bring that instead!

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Tool Kit

In an ideal world, homes require no upgrades and no repairs. And while your friends’ house is probably new or at least patched up, that doesn’t mean it won’t ever require work. Should that happen, they’ll definitely need a set of tools as first aid. Be a good pal and give them one! And if they haven’t dealt with fixing up the home yet, offer your assistance as well. Perhaps you’ve got more experience dealing with touch-ups than your friends do. Once you finish that project, help them make everything spotless. The importance of cleaning and disinfecting in today’s age is not to be neglected.

Potted Plants

Flowers are surely lovely, but potted plants are a much better choice when deciding on the best housewarming gift ideas for your friends. Why? Well, for starters, they don’t die as easily. Flowers have a short life span, while regular plants can last for years depending on the species! Not only that, but they’ll drastically improve the air within your friends’ home and liven the whole area up. As a bonus, a bit of greenery can serve as great decor, too, and also brings one’s feng-shui game to the next level.

Pet Toys & Treats

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For many of us, furry friends are considered family, and that’s the way it should be. If your friends have got one or a few pets, they are probably having a hard time adjusting. Remember, even people need time to get used to a new environment. But for pets, that adjustment period is drastically more complex. Most animals are dependent on routine, and when that routine gets disrupted, anxiety kicks in. Show that you care not only about your friends’ well-being but about the well-being of their pet(s) by purchasing some yummy treats and toys. This is sure to bring their mood up and thus, help them forget about the new living arrangement. The one they didn’t sign up for!

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Gifts Intended for Couples

Having recently moved in, your friends have undoubtedly lost plenty of nerves and energy during the process. Now that all of that is over, they deserve a break. So, how about you treat them to one? A visit to the cinema, for example, could relax them enough to get their mind off things, even for just the time being. Of course, you would be the one responsible for arranging the tickets. If they don’t like movies, there’s also an option to get them theater tickets or organize a spa day to relax them further. Truth to be told, a couple’s massage does sound like one of the best housewarming gift ideas for your friends!

Smart Home Features

Thanks to technological advances, our lives are constantly becoming easier. Let’s simplify your friends’ lives by gifting them a smart home device. There’s a vast pool of these to choose from, ranging from smart locks, thermostats, lights, surveillance systems all the way to home hubs. Whatever the choice, I bet they’ll appreciate the added convenience these remotely controlled features bring.

A Gift Basket

Perhaps a bit cliche, but a gift basket is always a good housewarming present. You can put one together by including some or all of the following items:

  • Scented candles
  • A diffuser
  • Essential oils
  • Bath salts
  • Body scrubs and lotions
  • Soap
  • Towels
  • Candy

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The sky is your limit, so feel free to incorporate anything you deem necessary into the gift basket. You can also take to the Internet for inspiration. It is precisely on it that some of the additional best housewarming gift ideas for your friends might pop up.

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10 Easy Ways to Transform an Affluent Kitchen to a Minimalist Kitchen

Sunday, August 15, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

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Are you considering living like minimalists? If yes, you’re doing a great favor not only to yourself but to others around you.

Starting a minimalist life could be challenging, but it’s worth every second of your life. In this post, we have shared only ten ways to transform your grand kitchen in to a minimalist kitchen. Most of the upgrades are easy to do, and anyone can do them. But there are some areas where you might have to hire a professional.

Let’s begin our journey to living a minimalist’s life.

Tips to Create a Perfect Minimalist Kitchen

Clutter-free Kitchen

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The easiest step to a minimalist kitchen is to get rid of the clutter. And by clutter, I don’t just mean taking out the trash.

Start with cleaning the kitchen from tip to toe. And then take out the unwanted items.

The key here is to get as much space as you could. 

Hide Your Silverware and Dishware

The next tip is to place everything accurately in a comforting zone. Starting with silverware and dishware, assign a proper place for these items. I’ll suggest drawers with suitable cases for each item. If you live in a condo and don’t have enough space in your kitchen, use a combination of cabinets and drawers for the silverware and dishware.

And if you’re still short on space, use some creative ways to store utensils.

Remove Extra Knives

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Minimalists aren’t a fan of excessive items, like knives and other silverware. And if you want to live a life like that, get rid of unused knives and other cutlery.

If you want to keep all of them (and use them often), at least find a suitable case for these sharp items.

Say Good-Bye to Unused Dishes

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Minimalists don’t like to stuff things up. They only try to keep things they use (and we all should be like that). Just like removing extra cutlery from your kitchen, take out that extra dishware from your home. I’m sure there’ll be many dishes that you haven’t used in years, and you still don’t want to ditch those. But it’s always better to keep things simple and clutter-free.

Ditch Add-ons

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Our kitchens usually have more things than we need. If yours is like that, get rid of the extras. If ditching these extras is not an option for you, you could at least pack them and hide them in an unused space in your home.

Hide Away Appliances

Hide Away Appliances

So you might not agree with me on it, but I’m confident you would agree once you hear my justification for that.

Kitchen appliances like toasters, coffee makers, spice racks, etc., are almost daily used items. But they take a great deal of your kitchen’s space. And if I’m right, they also create a mess once you’re done using them (like the bread crumbs dropping from the toaster). 

So to give a minimalist look to your kitchen, you may have to do some extra chores, but it would always pay off once you’ve cleared the space.

So an excellent way to hide them is in the cabinets. The challenge is when you’re living in a condo. The space is usually less. So you might have to think of other ways.

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Relocate Your Microwave

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Microwaves and other appliances are best hidden. Remove your microwave from the countertop and have it built-in –above or below your kitchen counters.

Get Rid of the Knobs

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Now that you have cleared up the mess, it’s time to do the minimalist makeover.

The first thing that you could do is get rid of the knobs and replace them with plain, solid-colored doors without knobs. If this goes beyond your budget, think of replacing pointy knobs with bar handles. And if that still doesn’t work for you, try using solid-colored knobs (or paint them matching the cabinet tone). Do the same with the drawers.

Replace Faucets

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Choose the sleekest and modern faucets to give a more minimalist approach to your kitchen. If you already have one in your kitchen, no need to replace it.

Give an Elegant Tone to Your Kitchen

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That’s going to be one of the best things to do with your kitchen (and it’s my favorite one). Use a solid color palette (preferably neutral tones).

Try using the same color or a bit of variation. But keep a similar tone.

Do You Want to Transform Your House into a Minimalist Home?

Meet Guest Author – Jessica Watson

Jessica is a passionate content marketer, primarily working with real estate businesses in the USA and Canada. She loves writing for the web. In her free time, she likes watching movies and hanging out with friends.

All In The Family

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

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Chase Betta is the next generation of a family of real estate professionals dating back to the 70’s when his grandfather Vince DiMaggio syndicated his first building in the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland. Chase has worked for Vince for as long as he can remember, and grew up learning valuable business acumen from his parents Adam and Debbi at HIGHLAND PARTNERS. A Piedmont native and longtime Bay Area resident, Chase has a special understanding of the markets in and around the flagship brokerage of HIGHLAND PARTNERS. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies and Communications, which he aims to use to further support his clients as they navigate the nuances of their own journey. Chase’s additional experience working for a commercial brokerage in Los Angeles adds to his already strong base of real estate fundamentals. 

Chase is back in the Bay after travelling throughout Asia before the pandemic. While in the Philippines, he worked at a freediving facility where he met and made new friends daily. In his pastime, Chase likes to travel and stay active. As his passion for lacrosse shows, Chase is a strong team player — he has always skillfully combined interpersonal communication, physical activity, and a drive towards a common goal. He is excited to bring this tenacity to HIGHLAND PARTNERS and looks forward to meeting you!

Adam and I could not be more thrilled to welcome Chase into the family business and the DiMaggio & Betta Group.

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Top 5 Home Staging Props

Sunday, August 1, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

Estates Editorial Spreads - 10

1. ORCHIDS & HIGH QUALITY FLORALS

Orchids are an incredibly versatile prop. They are beautiful, elegant, and add class into any interior, regardless of the style of home. They will pair well with just about any room. You can add them into a bathroom for a spa-like feel, group them into containers for a grand entryway centerpiece, or make them the highlight of the dining room. Adding high quality florals can be the perfect way to decorate any space, and the variety of flower types and arrangements can blend into any decorating theme.

2. BOOKS

Books are wonderful space fillers and can introduce subtle pops of color into your living space. They can also be used as risers to add dimension to your room by propping other decorative pieces.

3. BOWLS, TRAYS, & VASES

Ceramic containers can add a calming and organic effect to a decorative scene. They are beautifully subtle, and can be just the right touch to bring a room together. Using vases, trays, and bowls allow a lot of versatility. Vases can be used as a creative way to hold utensils in a kitchen and bowls can be used for small plants. The right container, paired with the right filler, can set the scene and create a warm and inviting space.

4. FILLERS

Fillers are the perfect addition to the types of containers noted above. Fillers can be wicker balls, moss balls, faux lemons or other fruits, bread, flowers, and just about anything else you can think of. Fillers can bring a lived-in look to any space, warming up what could otherwise feel like a bare room.

5. LIFESTYLE ELEMENTS

Having lifestyle elements in your home can really set the stage for the theme you want to incorporate. Lifestyle elements are things that breathe life into any room, and help to prevent it from feeling too staged. These can be things such as a teapot on a night stand, a bowl of fruit on a dining room table, little figurines on nightstands, books on a coffee table, etc. You can even add a breakfast tray on a set bed. Use lifestyle scenery sparingly so it doesn’t come off as too cheesy and over-done.

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