Your Guide to September

Goodbye summer, hello fall!

 

National Wildlife Day

The U.S. has over 1,300 endangered species.* Be an advocate for wildlife by supporting your local zoo or animal sanctuary and educating others to do the same.

 

 


Grandparents’ Day

There’s nothing like the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. Learn how you can #DoSomethingGrand at grandparentsday.org.

 

 


Patriot Day

Help turn a day of tragedy into a day of doing good. Make a positive impact by volunteering on this National Day of Service and Remembrance.

 

 

National Cleanup Day

Whether it’s picking up just one piece of trash or joining a team cleanup event, do your part to keep Mother Nature litter-free.

 

 

First Day of Fall

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” — Stanley Horowitz

 

 


 Rosh Hashanah Begins

Two days of introspection and jubilation usher in the Jewish New Year and begin the 10 days of penitence that end with Yom Kippur.

 

 

 

 

September is Hispanic Heritage Month — an invitation to celebrate Hispanic and Latino culture across America and recognize the numerous ways Hispanic Americans have contributed to our nation.

Pro football is back! The NFL opening game kicks off Thursday, September 5.

On September 5, 1774, the first Continental Congress was called to order, serving as the first government of the 13 colonies and eventually the United States.

 

Low-Cost Staging Tips and Why They Work

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First impressions are everything–especially in real estate. When buyers tour a home it better look its best, or buyers will quickly move on to the next.

Furnishing the space helps potential buyers visualize their life within the walls. And, bonus points, staged properties sell on average 73% faster than non staged homes.To help you out, we rounded up a list of successfully staged homes that have used price-conscious or zero-cost strategies to make your listing look great without breaking the bank.

1. Clutter-Free

The last thing you want when you’re showing a home is for personal items (ahem, toothbrushes) to distract your clients. You want potential buyers to envision their own belongings in the space, not fixate on the current owner’s hair filled hairbrush.

In occupied homes it is crucial that sellers are on board with hiding clutter and personal belongings when it’s time for photography and showings.

 2. Furniture That Fits the Space

It’s probably common sense that a 600 sq ft condo shouldn’t be furnished with the same living room furniture as a 2,500 sq ft family home. When working with a smaller space, consider the appropriate size of furniture for the space. Oversized furniture makes rooms feel crowded and  well sized furniture creates the illusion of a larger space.

If your client already has a living room set, think about splitting up the sofa and loveseat into two seperate rooms to maximize resources and space. Also discuss rearranging furniture in order to create the best flow of the space.

3. Minimalistic Decor

Less really is more when it comes to staging. You want to keep the focus on the bones of the house, not the superficial  decorations. You want the space to appeal to a larger group of potential buyers.

4. Real House Plants

There are many benefits to real plants versus fake ones. For starters, fake plants are actually more expensive than their living counterparts. You can buy real house plants at your local stores for under $20. Also, live house plants won’t become dusty over time (not cute!).

Plants are perfect for vacant and non vacant houses, they add life to any space. You can even give them to the buyer as a congratulatory gift once the deal is closed.

5. Neutral Rooms

It’s difficult to envision how you are going to style the guest bedroom when it’s painted bubblegum pink with ‘Princess’ hanging over the bed. Moral of the story: Buyers want to be able to walk into a room and not have to worry about all of the things they will have to change later on.

Your clients might resist painting before listing, but it is best practice to prepare a neutral space.  White walls might seem dull, but they act as a metaphorical blank canvas for buyers to paint their life onto.

6. A Lived-In Feel

There is a fine line between a house that feels over-staged (cue the giant bowl of 20 lemons in the dining room), and a well curated home. Adding thoughtful accessories makes the house feel lived in and more attractive to buyers.

The key is to be authentic. Think of what you would actually use in the space, like beautiful utensils or local magazines (pictured above). It is a good idea to keep a stash of staging items handy for final touches–A stack of books or a lit candle goes a long way.

7. Natural Light

Do not underestimate the power of ambient lighting. Place furniture around windows so sunlight can shine through and brighten up the room. Sunlight in a home can physiologically influence our happiness without us even knowing. If you have a killer view, be sure to show it off by positioning furniture so it is the focal point of the room.

If your client has dark window treatments, switch to a sheer white option or remove them altogether. Letting in daylight will immediately elevate the space.

8. Mirror, Mirror

Mirrors create the illusion of a larger space, making even the smallest rooms feel open and inviting. Mirrors reflect the light in the room and intensifies its design power. Plus, they are useful!

Oversized mirrors can be expensive but overstock stores like Homegoods have great options at serious discounts. Plus, they can be reused for future staging.

9. Al Fresco Approved

Residential architects have ranked outdoor living spaces as the no. 1 “special function” room amongst consumers. Potential buyers see outdoor areas as an extension of living space and should be staged accordingly.

Investing in a small patio set for staging purposes if your client doesn’t own one might get the listing sold even faster. Extra points if you add a nice bouquet of fresh flowers.

Staging a home can be hard work, and it can take some creativity to get results without breaking the bank. Investing time upfront will get you a better results in the end.

 

Your Guide To August

Wrap up summer with these key dates.

 

National Night Out

A night of neighborhood block parties designed to promote stronger, safer communities. Find a local event near you

 

 


Purple Heart Day

Recognizes recipients of the Purple Heart Medal — the oldest military decoration — which is awarded to soldiers wounded or killed in combat.

 

 

 

National Garage Sale Day

One person’s junk is another person’s treasure! Plan a successful garage sale with these tips.

 

 

International Youth Day

This year’s “Transforming Education” theme highlights the need for inclusive and accessible education for young people across the globe.

 

 

 

National Nonprofit Day

A day dedicated to all the charitable organizations that exist to make the world a better place. How can you give back?

 

 

Senior Citizens Day

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” — Frank Lloyd Wright

 

 

 

 

Sandwiched between the Summer Blockbuster season and the back-to-school rush, August is considered a “dump month” for movie releases.

On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency following the Watergate scandal.

This year’s U.S. Open runs Aug. 26 through Sept. 8. Game, set, match!

August is the birth month of Lucille Ball, Louis Armstrong, Neil Armstrong, and Julia Child.

How to Conserve Water at Home

Ways To Save Electricity During The Summer

Your Guide To July

Hot fun in the summertime.

 

 

Wimbledon Championships Begin

Started in 1877, Wimbledon is the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis championship.

 

 

 

 

World UFO Day

Do aliens exist? Are flying saucers real? Look to the skies: The truth is out there!

 

 

 

 

Independence Day

It’s America’s 243rd birthday party, and we’re all invited! Happy Independence Day!

 

 

 

 

World Emoji Day

 When you’re unsure what to say, let emojis do the talking!

 

 

 

 

National Ice Cream Day

The perfect way to take a break from the summer heat. Go ahead, get that extra scoop.

 

 

 

International Day of Friendship

“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” — Edna Buchanan

 

 

 

 

 

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the MLB All-Star Games, first held on July 6, 1933, in Chicago’s Comiskey Park.

The month of July was named after Julius Caesar.

The “dog days of summer,” which run from July 3 through August 11, are often thought of as the hottest days of the year. While that may be true, the phrase actually refers to the sun’s orientation with Sirius — aka the Dog Star.

In honor of flag day!

As a child of career military father, a flag was always present at our home and I proudly display mine at my home.

People show their love for America by displaying flags along streets, hanging them from porches, and proudly carrying them in the town parade. Old Glory is everywhere. But did you know there are official rules on properly displaying the U.S. flag? This guide from USAGov, based on the Federal Flag Code, can help you show respect for the flag:

  • When: You can display the flag outside from sunrise to sunset. If you want to fly it after dark, it will need to be lit. Don’t fly the flag during bad weather, unless it’s an all-weather flag.
  • On the porch: The union of the flag–the blue section with white stars–should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended from a rope on a pole extending from a house, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
  • On the wall or the window: When the flag is displayed on a flat surface like a wall, the union should be at the top left.
  • On the street: The flag should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, so make sure it’s hoisted at the proper height.
  • At the office: Suspend the flag vertically with the union to the observer’s left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north when entrances are to the east and west, or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east.
  • On a vehicle: The staff should be fixed firmly on the right side of the vehicle. Do not drape the flag over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or a boat.
  • Half-staff: During periods of mourning, it is common to see the flag flying at half-staff. Only presidents can proclaim such periods for a national remembrance. Governors can also declare mourning periods at a local level. In some cases, heads of federal agencies can order the flag flown at half-staff on grounds under their supervision. Traditionally, states and local governments follow the president’s proclamation during a period of national mourning.

Take care of your flag. Many dry cleaners will clean U.S. flags for free during the months of June and July. Store your flag in a well-ventilated area. If it gets wet, make sure it’s completely dry before storing it. If the flag is damaged or worn out, it should be burned and disposed of with dignity.  Many American Legions will hold a disposal ceramony on flag day if you need a place to drop of your old flags.

This Flag day, show your patriotism by proudly displaying the old Red, White and Blue!

How to fold the Flag

Step 1

To properly fold the Flag, begin by holding it waist-high with another person so that its surface is parallel to the ground.

Step 2

Fold the lower half of the stripe section lengthwise over the field of stars, holding the bottom and top edges securely.

Step 3

Fold the flag again lengthwise with the blue field on the outside  .

Step 4

Make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the open (top) edge of the flag.

Step 5

Turn the outer (end) point inward, parallel to the open edge, to form a second triangle.

Step 6

The triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in this manner.

Step 7

When the flag is completely folded, only a triangular blue field of stars should be visible.