Blog :: 2015

5 Tips to organize your kitchen like a professional chef

If your kitchen were designed by a professional chef...

With the holidays upon us, you may find yourself spending more time in the kitchen than usual. House Logic interviewed two renowned chefs to find out how they set up their own home kitchens. Their tips are easier than you might think! Here's what they had to say...

 

Check out the full article here. Want to design your own dream kitchen? We can help with that! Take a look at new construction opportunities in your area.

From Our Home To Yours...A Thanksgiving Tradition


There is nothing like the smell of a turkey cooking to bring back fond memories of time spent with loved ones over the holidays. We'd like to share a delicious recipe with you, that has been a Thanksgiving staple for years in the hopes that it brings joy to your family. Maybe it will even become a tradition! Bon appetit!

Sweet Potato Souffle

Base

- 6 Large sweet potatoes cleaned, peeled and cut into chunks

-1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk

-4 TB Butter

-1 TB Maple Syrup

-1 TB Allspice or Pumpkin Pie Spice

-I TB Cinnamon

-1 TB Vanilla Extract

Topping

-1 Cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts

-1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

-2 TB Melted Butter

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Boil sweet potatoes until fork tender then drain

3. Add Coconut Milk and Butter to Sweet Potatoes and mash until smooth

4. Stir in remaining Base Ingredients until well comined

5. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into a medium sized casserole and set aside

6. In a medium sized bowl, add the brown sugar to the melted butter and stir until combined

7. Stir in chopped nuts until well coated (add more melted butter or sugar to taste)

8. Sprinkle the Topping over the sweet potato mixture coating the top thoroughly

9. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy immediately! 

Win A Mexican Vacation!

We owe our success to our great customers and we are excited to be offering a FANTASTIC Mexican Vacation to one lucky past client! See entry instructions above and call (802) 872-8881 with your referrals. Best of luck!

8 Costly Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid

The housing market is on an upswing as spring ushers in a new batch of homes for sale. Before you list your property for sale, take a look at this list and avoid these common pitfalls. 

 

1. SELLING YOUR HOME ALONE. 

There are a plethora of details involved in selling a property...there's a reason Real Estate Professionals are licensed! Trying to navigate the complexities on your own is a recipe for disaster. The facts don't lie; homes listed without licensed representation spend more time on the market and sell for less. Save yourself the stress, and get every penny you can for your home...enlist professional help.

2. MISPRICING YOUR HOME.

Finding the correct asking price without overpricing or underpricing your home is crucial. You want to attract potential buyers without selling yourself short. Your agent will go over comparable homes in the area that are currently on the market, as well as ones that have recently sold, to help set the ideal price for your home. 

3. NEGLECTING NECESSARY REPAIRS.

Take care of repairs before potential buyers have the chance to notice them. If you wait, you run the risk of recieving lower offers, or having buyers ask for credits to complete the repairs before closing. Your home will be more attractive if buyers don't see it as a project. Your realtor can assist you in pointing out any potential problems and giving you contact information for specialists to assist.

4. NOT KEEPING YOUR HOME IN "SHOW" CONDITION.

Buyers want to picture themselves living in your home and unfortunatley, your family photos and knicknacks take that ability away. Pack up anything that creates clutter to create more open space in your home. You want buyers to think back and remember what your home looked like, not the pile of dirty laundry or the dishes in the sink.

5. LISTING A VACANT HOUSE.

While your space shouldn't be cluttered, it also shouldn't be completely bare. If you've already moved, consider leaving a few pieces of furniture behind to set the stage of how the home could look. 

6. LETTING YOUR EGO GET IN THE WAY.

When it comes to negotiating, keep your head in the game. Buyers will most likely try to bargain...do not take it personally. Remember, this is a business transaction and both parties are looking for the best possible outcome. Look for a win-win scenario.

7. NOT DISCLOSING EVERYTHING.

Many sellers have lost big money by not being forthcoming about all property imperfections. Being upfront with potential issues will prevent many potential issues that could arise later in the transaction. You don't want a deal to fall apart at the last minute because of something simple that could have been taken care of early on.

8. USING SUB PAR LISTING PHOTOS.

Too many listings are uploaded with dark, crooked, blurry or otherwise unappealing listing photos. With over 90% of buyers beginning their home search online, it is CRITICAL that your home looks picture perfect on the web. You and your agent need to work together to take the best listing photos possible; as a seller, make sure to have your home spotless and neat before photos are taken. Take a look at your agent's current listing photos and examine the quality. If you have concerns, bring them to your agent's attention! Showcasing your home in the best possible light is of the utmost importance. 

Allergens: The Unwanted House Guests

It's that time of year again when the sun comes out of hiding, the breeze is (finally) warm, and the trees are about to bud. Spring is here! If you're an allergy sufferer, Spring may be bittersweet. We can't control the air outside, but we can control the atmosphere in our homes. Let's talk about how to remove and prevent allergens from invading your space.

 

1. Banish Dust. It goes without saying that dust will aggrivate allergies. The first obvious step is to sweep, vacuum and dust every surface thoroughly. After that, it's time to look at unsuspecting dust magnets. One of the worst offenders are fans and window binds. Solution: Take apart any standing fans and clean all of the pieces thoroughly - there is no sense in blowing that dust around the room! If you can, replacing your typical blinds with roller shades will cut down dust accumulation immensely. If you cannot, take your blinds down and soak them in the bathtub to remove any buildup.

2. Fight Mold. Your bathroom and kitchen will likely be the worst offenders when it comes to mold. Solution: Take down your shower curtain and liner and replace them periodically. If it's not time to replace them yet, wash them in hot water with a touch of bleach before hanging back up. Next, mix a solution of bleach water and spray it on kitchen and bathroom plumbing before wiping clean. 

3. Soft Surfaces. Cleaning hard surfaces is simple, but it's the soft surfaces in your home (think curtains, furniture, rugs, bedding...) that really trap allergens. Solution: Wash any fabrics that you can in very hot water. Rent a steam cleaner to deep clean furniture and rugs - not only will the cleaner suck allergens out of the fabric, but the steam will kill any that may be left behind. 

4. Purify. Now that your home is allergen free, you need to keep it that way! Solution: Invest in an air purifier to rid the air of allergens before they have a chance to settle in and make themselves at home. Check out this list of the best air purifiers on the market.

 

2015 COTS Walk

Support the Signature Team in this year's COTS Walk!

 

The Community On Temporary Housing provides homeless, and marginally housed, members of our community with the support they need to get back on their feet.

 

Homelessness is a cause that is near and dear to us at Signature Properties. We are committed to raising as much as we can for this great cause. If you are able and willing to donate to our team, you may do so here. No donation is too small, and all encouragement is greatly appreciated.

 

Together we will make a difference. 

 

Meet The Team! Elliot Rocheleau

Signature Spotlight...Elliot Rocheleau!

 

 

You may have encountered Elliot while inquiring about a rental property, or on a home showing. Let's learn a little bit more about Elliot...

 

What is your favorite part about working at Signature Properties? 

 

The variety of the work I do on a day to day basis...no two days are the same, and I truly enjoy a continually changing work environment. 

 

What is your favorite part of being involved in real estate? 

 

Meeting different people from all walks of life and getting to see/tour all of the great properties our region has to offer. It's a very interesting experience. 

 

Give one piece of advice to someone thinking of buying a home today.

 

Take your time and ask questions. There are tons of resources available to consumers today to help with the home searching and buying process. Although the process can seem daunting, there are plenty of people available to help you navigate the everchanging market. 

If your clients, or friends, were asked to describe you, what would they say?

 

I think they would describe me as: Friendly, Hardworking, Upfront and Helpful...at least I hope that's what they'd say! 

What do you like to do when you're not at the office?

 

I love to be outside. Snowboarding, and pretty much any outdoor activity I can get my hands on will keepy me happy. My family recently bought a home of our own, so I spend a lot of time doing upgrades and all of the maintenance projects that come with homeownership. Of course, I also like to spend as much time as possible with my family. 

 

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be and why?

 

Everything...seriously though; I truly believe anyone can learn anything they put their mind to if given enough time. If I had unlimited time and money to learn, I would like to learn a little bit more about everything. If I had to pick a starting point, it would be renewable energy because I feel that technology is so important to our future. 

 

Who is your biggest inspiration?

 

My wife and my family are by far my biggest motivators. They help push me to learn and to better myself every single day.

 

That sounds like a great support system. Tell me more about your family.

 

I have an extremely energetic and fun 6 year old stepson, a beautiful and supportive wife, and a daughter on the way...I'm excited to say the least!

 

Tell me about your proudest achievement. 

 

I know this sounds rather cliche, but purchasing my first home for my family and myself has probably been my proudest achievement to date. I had a goal, I stayed dedicated to it, and I achieved it...what's more personally satisfying than that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daylight Savings Time Begins!

 

Spring is on the way!

Daylight Savings Time Begins Sunday March 8th.

 

Don't forget to set your clocks ahead 1 hour this Saturday before going to bed. Yes, we may be losing an hour of sleep, but we'll be gaining an extra hour of daylight each day!

 

This is also a great time to test your smoke detectors and change their batteries. 

 

With temperatures on their way up, you might be in spring cleaning mode. Check out these tips to spruce up your home for spring, and holding a successful lawn sale to clear out any extra clutter. 

 

10 Clever Gardening Tips

 

Believe it or not, spring is almost here! Now is the time to start your seeds and plan your garden. Give your green thumb a boost with these 10 clever tips...

 

1. Start seedlings in citrus rinds

Not only will they look adorable perched in your windowsill, but the citrus will provide moisture and nutrients to the seedlings. Poke a hole in the bottom of the rind for drainage, fill with soil, plant your seeds and watch them grow. When it's time, plant the rind and all for continued fertilization!

2. Or...use eggshells

Eggshells are rich in calcium and will help seedlings get a healthy start. Delicately fill the shells with soil, add a seed and put back in the carton for storage. Bonus - you're able to label the shells! When it's time to plant, you can use the shells for a later trick..

3. Create a mini greenhouse with plastic bottles

Seedlings thrive in warm, moist climates. Luckily it's as simple to create that environment as cutting the top off of a plastic bottle and covering your citrus or eggshell starter plants! 

4. Use those eggshells as fertilizer

When you're ready to plant your seedlings, crush the eggshells you used and sprinkle around the garden. The calcium will break down and fertilize the soil all season. Bonus tip - snakes do not like eggshells as they are uncomfortable to move over; if you're squeamish this is a good way to keep the serpents out of your garden!

5. Save the water from your steamed veggies...

...and put it to use as fertilizer! Drain the water you use to cook your vegetables, let it cool and use it to water your plants. Not only will you be saving water, but you'll be recycling the nutrients lost in the boiling process for an added boost.

6. Start roses using stems and potatoes 

Starting beautiful rose bushes is as simple as pushing a clean cut stem into a potato and planting. Use a nail to make a hole 3/4 of the way through a potato, then push a rose stem into the hole. The potato provides moisture and helps the roots of the rose start. Plant the potato, fertilize regularly and watch your roses grow!

7. Epsom salt is a cure all 

Sprinkle a bit of epsom salt into the soil before planting to provide a growth boosting punch of magnesium and sulfate. Thereafter, dissolve a tablespoon or two into your watering can each month to keep your vegetables and flowers looking luscious.

8. Use packing peanuts to fill oversized pots

 Huge pots of flowers make a gorgeous statement on a deck or patio, but also require A LOT of soil to fill, and don't even think about moving them with all that weight! Save the soil and fill the bottom half of the pot with packing peanuts instead. Not only will it lighten the load, it will also provide drainage to let your plants thrive.

9. Make a Rubbermaid mobile garden

Short on space? No problem, you can still grow a garden! Pick up a large rubbermaid container with a lid and you're nearly there. Poke drainage holes in the bottom of the container then fill with dirt (or halfway if you use our earlier packing peanut trick!). Plant your vegetables and move the container as necessary - this is perfect for apartment living. Place the filled container on top of the lid to allow excess water to drain out without causing damage. 

10. Earth friendly weed killer

Make an earth friendly - and magically effective - weed killer using ingredients you already have on hand! 

Mix:

1 Gallon white vinegar

1 Cup table salt

1 Tablespoon dish detergent

Put in spray bottle and apply to weeds while in direct sunlight for best results. 

*Caution* This will cause damage to grass, so be careful while spraying. 

 

Happy Gardening!