Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Transform a small room with Curtains!

It is amazing to me how transformative something as simple as drapery can be. Especially in a small space. You might think that a small room can't handle curtains, but I beg to differ. By using drapery panels, you can soften a space (especially good in the bedroom), add drama, texture, pattern and color.

What's really interesting is that the drapes can make a ceiling feel a lot higher by drawing the eye upward when you enter the room. Also, the volume of the drapes used vertically on the wall trick the eye into making the room appear larger. Another bonus is that the fabric helps to muffle sound.

When having drapes custom made, it's a good idea to have them interlined and lined. This means that there is a lining and another lining in between the backing of the curtain and the curtain fabric. This treatment further muffles sound and helps to darken a room when the drapes are pulled. This interlining is also recommended for delicate curtain fabrics like silk. It will help to protect the curtain fabric from fading and will extend the life of the curtains and will help the curtains to drape better as it increases the weight of the curtians. This is a lot more expensive than ready made curtains available at stores like Ikea, Pottery Barn, West Elm, etc., but it will pay off if you're spending the money for an expensive fabric and custom made drapes.

The other benefit of hanging curtains is that it can make the windows feel much larger and attract the eye to a nice view. Many old houses have bedrooms with one window on the bedwall. Solution: dummy panels. This means to hang curtains on the existing window, and then hang curtains right over the wall in the space that would make the window symmetrical. This is especially effective where you have the bed in between a window and a fake window with nightstands and lamps in front of the drapes for a lush, layered look.
In the example shown here of before and after, a new listing of mine had an unfinished and cold look in the bedroom. The window behind the bed didn't center at all with the bed and there weren't a lot of options for bed placement in this small bedroom. The solution was to drape the window and wall space behind the bed to make the entire space behind the bed feel like a large window with the curtains pulled. This look made the bedroom feel much more inviting and luxurious.

My tips on hanging curtains: hang the rods about 3-4" below the crown molding or ceiling for maximum height to make the ceiling feel taller. Make the window seem larger and wider by hanging the drapes beyond both sides of the window by 12" or more. This way, a 3' wide window will feel more like a 5' wide window and the room will feel larger, taller and more dramatic.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Atlanta Real Estate Market Condition/ 2nd Quarter 2010

The numbers are in and have been crunched and we have a pretty good snapshot of how the Metro Atlanta market is doing. On a bright note, my company, Keller Williams Realty became the number one real estate company in total sales in Metro Atlanta last quarter. WooHoo! Keller Williams has been increasing market share every year since 2005. I'm so proud.

While sales through last quarter rose above 2nd quarter of 2009 by +4.5%, they were still -5.7 lower than the 2nd quarter of 2008. The government home buyer incentives added to the 2010 sales growth during the first 5 months of this year. Now that these incentives have expired, we will watch with baited breath to see how sales go for the remainder of the year.

There was a big gain in number of sales in the $300,000-499,000 price range- those sales rose by +17% last quarter compared to 2nd quarter 2009. We also saw the percentage of foreclosure sales decline in this year's 2nd quarter after increases the previous 2 quarters. We hope that foreclosure sales will continue to decline to help the overall market improve and gain in sales price. Still, more than 1 in every 3 sales last quarter were foreclosures. If you add short sales into the mix, nearly half of all 2nd quarter sales were distress sales. Now you can see why your home's market value has not skyrocketed (to say the least).

However, the median sales price last quarter did rise by +6.1% compared to the same quarter last year. With 2 consecutive quarterly increases in median sales price, it appears that the bottom may have already passed and more stable pricing has returned. For all you buyers waiting for the bottom- you may have missed it, but there are still GREAT deals out there. When you factor in the lowest interest rates since prehistoric man decided to mortgage caves, it is still possibly the best time in history to buy.

For a more in-depth view of what is happening to real estate values in your neighborhood, please contact me for a free consultation. I have the numbers broken down by specific areas and neighborhoods and can help you understand how the national and local markets may be different than your own area of town. Also, I will be happy to show you what you can expect to get for your home and how long it might take to sell in today's market.

Thanks for reading my blog. I really appreciate your support.