Blog :: 12-2013

What Does Your Front Door's Color Say About You?

colorful doors 2

The entrance way of a home is the first thing people notice. Much like a tie defines an outfit, a front door sets the tone for a home and establishes a focal point.

A front door is symbolic of an entry point where energy, opportunities and abundance will greet us. Who knew a color choice could have such an impact?!

 Let's take a look at some popular door colors and their meanings:



 Traditionally, blue has been symbolic of sky, water and abundance. It is also known to conjure up feelings of safety, refuge and retreat. Consider using blue to give your home a feeling of prosperity.



Green suggests health, tranquility and harmony. Choose a shade of green to reflect feelings of comfort and peace.



Black is a power color. When used on a front door it conveys strength, power and authority.




Red has traditionally been a symbol of welcome when used on front doors. Otherwise, the color is associated with passion, energy and excitement.




Brown is a natural choice. The warm look of wood conveys stability and reliability.




A yellow front door tells passersby you are bold, energetic and full of merriment. It's a fun, attention grabbing choice.




Purple is a color associated with opportunity, positive energy and good luck. It may be a good choice if you're hoping to attract good fortune.


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8 Hot Kitchen Trends

 A kitchen is the heartbeat of a home and a common gathering place for friends and family. Find out what trends will keep yours up-to-date. 

open kitchen2The 8 top picks that homeowners revealed about their kitchen remodeling plans may surprise you...

1. Cozy is Okay. Kitchens don't have to be huge to be attractive to homeowners. What is important is having an open feel despite the smaller area. One way to achieve that spacious feeling is by adding an island, or bar area, with seating for guests and removing extra full length walls if possible.

2. Open The Floor Plan. Families and friends naturally tend to congregate in kitchens. Homeowners have continued to design their kitchens to accommodate a more social experience. In fact, 77% of re-modelers will be opening up their kitchens to surrounding rooms for a more spacious feel. An open floor plan keeps the home cook involved in conversation, and creates a warm, fun gathering place for company--a win-win!

3. Choose Granite. Granite and quartz counter-tops are the most popular choices among home re-modelers. Although the initial investment is large, their durability and timeless quality prove worth the expense. Available in limitless colors, both options work well with any decor.

4. Mix and Match. It is not only okay, but trendy to play with mixing various materials, colors and finishes. Gone are the days when everything must match perfectly to be stylish. Try playing with the finishes of your appliances--think brushed nickel with black. If you're nervous about mixing finishes with more permanent fixtures, try adding a splash of color with accent tiles, your paint choices or the finish on an island. Tip: For a bold 'surprise' try painting the insides of your cabinets an unexpected, fun color.



5. Choose Neutrals. Modern kitchen re-modelers tend to opt for conservative, neutral colors more often than not. The neutral tones allow for cohesion in the popular open floor plans in many houses. Try bringing in colors from surrounding rooms to tie in the space and add flair.

6. Style Changes By Generation. Younger homeowners tend to opt for more modern, minimalist designs featuring clean lines and sleek surfaces. More mature homeowners are likely to prefer a more traditional feel with warmer wood tones, ornate lighting and extra ornamentation. Both are beautiful. If you're undecided, take a look at the rest of your home to find a suitable direction for your kitchen.

7. Bye, Bye Linoleum! No longer is hardwood flooring reserved for living spaces and walkways. In fact, hardwood has become the top choice for kitchen re-models, followed closely by tile. Available in a wide range of color options, choose a wood tone to accent your cabinets and counter top choices. Durability is key for a kitchen floor, so be sure to keep wood floors oiled properly to minimize wear and tear. READ: How To  Care For Wood Floors. 

8. Green Is In. Nearly half of homeowners believe that purchasing eco-friendly appliances is important. Not only are energy efficient models good for the environment, they will also help you save electricity, water and money. The investment in new appliances will pay for itself sooner rather than later.

*Statistics from a 2013 Houzz survey of 7,812 home owners.

3 Reasons to Buy this Winter

If you're house hunting this winter, you're likely in serious need of a new home--and fast! You may be thinking this isn't an ideal time to be scouring the market, but in fact there are 3 key benefits that make winter real estate transactions very favorable.

1. Less Competition. Typically, unless buyers have a pressing need for a new home, they wait until spring to begin their search. This means that winter buyers have fewer competitors to contend with, less chances of multiple offers on their choice home and a much lower risk of bidding wars. These combine to create a money-saving tri-fecta for you!

2. Serious Sellers. Much like winter buyers, winter sellers have an urgent need to move. Often sellers have taxes in mind and are anxious to sell before years end. This means you'll have an easier time negotiating a favorable price and concessions.

3. Faster Mortgage Approval. Lenders tend to be less busy during the winter than any other time of the year. With less mortgage applications to process, they are able to approve loans faster. Many lenders also reduce fees during the off-season to encourage more borrowing. It is still important to shop around for the best rate and a lender that works well for you. We always encourage clients to finance through a local bank--our area is lucky to have a number of responsive, knowledgeable lenders who keep their clients best interests in mind. We suggest you begin your search with any of these great institutions: NEFCU, VT Federal Credit Union, Mortgage Financial, Union Bank or Prime Lending.

With lower prices, less competition and faster transactions, Winter buying may be real estate's best kept secret!

Are you interested in buying or selling this winter? A Signature Agent is always available to help you get started!

5 Tips to Stage Your Home for the Holidays

The holidays are here again! With them come the sounds of carols, feelings of good cheer and the hustle and bustle of busy shoppers. This is a great time of year to connect with home buyers looking to start the New Year fresh in a 'new' home.

Turn your home into a Winter Wonderland and woo buyers with these 5 easy tips:

1. Spruce The Place Up. Literally. Hang a wreath on your front door or mailbox for instant impact. Taking the time to dress up the outside of your home shows buyers that you care and invite them to come inside and see more. Carry the evergreen trend indoors by adding pine boughs or cedar garland to a staircase or mantle. The look will not only be festive, but give off a wonderful wintry scent.

2. Twinkle, Twinkle. Adding outdoor lights, preferably white, will make your home instantly more attractive and inviting. Not only will they serve a decorative purpose, but as the days get shorter, they will also help your home be easily found at night by interested buyers. Add lights to a favorite outdoor tree, on a deck or add electric candles to the insides of your windows for a homey feel. You can purchase an inexpensive timer to automatically turn lights on and off at certain hours to be sure your home always looks warm and appealing to passers by. Just remember, while your home is on the market, keep outdoor decorations simple and universally appealing.

3. Warm Tidings. No matter how beautiful the wreath on the front door is or how carefully the lights were hung on your maple tree, buyers will not want to stay inside if your home isn't warm and cozy. Be sure to keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature to encourage buyers to take their time and have a thorough look. Keeping a home heated is especially important if you have already moved and the property is vacant.

4. Pops of Color. Try adding a red throw to your couch to make the living area look cozy and welcoming. A bright poinsettia, vases filled with cranberries or festive centerpiece will make greenery pop and help move buyers' eyes around your rooms. Remember, though, just as with outdoor decorations, keep things simple and understated. Holiday staging is all about enhancing your home, not distracting from it.

5. Scents of the Season. Scent is the sense most closely linked to memory, so to leave a lasting impression with buyers choosing a favorable smell for your home is extremely important. Pine, peppermint and spice scents are all reminiscent of the season and often bring back fond memories for people. Scented pine cones are widely available and look nice in baskets by a fireplace, or mixed in with garlands. Scented candles and room sprays are also great options. Again, subtlety is important--the goal is to create a pleasant experience for buyers to remember not to send them home with a headache. Keep scents separate and cohesive.

During the winter months, your home should be a cozy refuge from the cold. When buyers walk in and don't want to leave, you'll know your holiday staging has worked.