Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Considering an Update to Your Home?

“I want to sell my house, what up-dates should I consider?”  Is a question we are asked over and over.  Well…..

·       In the Kitchen, new appliances, counter tops and cabinets are awesome!  Granite is gorgeous but some man-made materials like, Silestone, look nice and get the job done.  To change the look of an older kitchen, cabinets can often be painted with new hardware added.  It is a good idea for all appliances to be the same color.  A counter-depth fridge can open up a walk-way and make the room look and feel larger. 
·       Depending on the condition of the bathroom shower and bathtub, often a new tub or shower surround, repainted cabinets with new hardware and plumbing fixtures make a huge difference in the eye of the buyer.  New toilets are a plus but replacing them depends on the condition of existing toilet(s).
·       We've heard it said that paint and carpet sell houses; both are inexpensive compared to updating kitchens and bathrooms.  Choose colors that are neutral in both cases.  Also, an upgraded carpet pad does wonders for a lower grade carpet!
·       Tile can be tricky… several different tile colors and styles through-out the house can be a turn off for buyers but taking up tile and then replacing tile is expensive.
·       Ready for a suggestion that is free…..put your buyer’s hat on and walk through your house!  What do you see?  Do you need to declutter or “thin out” as we like to say?  When your home is listed, items can be organized in the garage or a storage unit.
·       Have you checked the closets?  In the Master closet especially, hangers should be 3/4 inch apart with floor space organized and decluttered.  All closets should be decluttered and organized, this makes them look larger.
·       Clean, clean, clean….the house should sparkle from day 1 of listing!
·       Don’t forget curb appeal, flower beds should be clean with fresh mulch, place colorful plants in several front beds or pots.  The backyard should be rid of animal waste with patios clean and inviting.  Cut shrubs and tree limbs away from the roof and lawn should be mowed and edged.

As a seller, what you do to prepare your home for the market is your choice. However, “thinning out” and “cleaning to a sparkle” is a must!  The preparation must be complete before pictures are taken and the first buyer allowed to walk through the door.  Through experience, we know that in today’s market, the home should be in the top 30% of condition and updates to sell quickly and for the best dollar.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TEAMPRZADA's annual Food Drive

We are pleased to be able to support three different charities that do good things for people and animals in need.  For the fourth consecutive year we have organized a food drive in early November to support the Plano Food Pantry and Second Chance SPCA.  It is incredibly rewarding for us and to feel we are giving back to our community.

The Plano Food Pantry is in Plano just off Jupiter and 18th street.  This year they had specific needs:  canned veggies, crackers, pancake mix and dried milk...They are a well established pantry, helping meet food needs of people for several years.  Sharon is the director and is always appreciative of the contributions we bring.

Included in our food drive is Second Chance SPCA.  Their needs this year are Pedigree canned dog food, soft treats, bottled water and two pocket folders.  The thing I love about this shelter is they go get animals in other shelters whose time has run out!  It is a very small facility so they don’t have huge numbers but as soon as one of their animals is adopted into a “lifetime home” they rescue another.

We also support the SPCA of Texas.  The SPCA of Texas is a local, independent non-profit animal welfare organization serving North Texas.  This organization does such a great job healing, loving and finding loving families for dogs and cats but horses, donkeys and others.  James Bias is the president and we are happy to help out through donations. 

Currently, our drive is small.  We collect from our Sunday School Class, our street and Karen’s street and friends, but we through the kindness of our friends and clients, we manage to fill two SUVs for the Plano Food Pantry, and a third SUV for the animals of Second Chance SPCA.  We understand that the needs grow each year and so we want to expand and have big plans for our 2012 TEAM-PRZADA Food Drive. We have found it to be true that the hearts are big in North Texas so if you would like to help next November, give us a call.  We pick up!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Short Term Pain for Long Term Gain

Short term pain for long term gain…..yes, that is the way I feel today!  We recently made the decision to move forward to the final three major updates to our 1973 vintage home!  That would be removing the last of the wallpaper and "popcorn" off the ceiling of our Master area, repainting the paneling in the Family Room and finally, adding granite to the master bath!  Yea!  Here, eleven days before Thanksgiving, my house looks like a disaster!  Thank goodness for the next eleven days!

 The good news is, after two days of living in the kitchen and guest bedroom, we are beginning to see the beautiful job our painter and his crew have done for us.  It seems the stress of choosing the right colors and texture has melted into, WOW, I think we made some great choices. 

In the Family Room, on the previously painted paneling, we chose for the first coat to be oil base Kliz,  and second  Latex.   This dries a very creamy color with depth.   Finally, all our wood trim through-out the house is now painted Navajo White by Sherman Williams.  It is a soft color with slight golden hues, which really brings our home together.

In our master, we chose Ivory for the walls. It is in the same color pallet, just a shade darker.  The room looks pretty great with the lighter trim, way nice texture in the bath area with tea glaze, new light and plumbing fixtures.

The hinges on our cabinets can’t be found and are hard to replace because of how they were installed in 1973!  We were introduced to a product that you can spray on metal or wood to change the color.  In this case, we wanted to go from antique gold to oil rubbed bronze.  This magic product is RUST-OLEUM, UNIVERSAL Advanced Formula, Metallic, All Surface Paint which can be purchased at Home Depot.  We LOVE it!!!

I guess the moral to this story is, when time and $ permit;  go through the short term pain for the long term gain to make your home special.  You will be glad you did, after all, you can enjoy it daily for a long time and when it is time to sell, you have increased your home's value.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Time for Another Wonderful Recipe from Karen Secor!

TEAM-PRZADA's wonderful assistant, Karen Secor is a FANTASTIC cook.  Check out her guest blog to see why!!

The weather is finally getting cooler and it time to think about cooking foods that make you feel warm inside and give you comfort. Soup is one of my favorite foods to prepare. There are so many ways you can change it up and make the recipe your own. You can always add a different spice that you are fond of or change the vegetable to your liking.  The only rule:  just don’t be afraid to be creative when you’re cooking. That is what I have done with my potato soup recipe. I found a recipe that had the basics of potato soup, but it just sounded a little….well…bland.  I love spicy food so I added red pepper and green chile. Of course, it does not have to be that spicy. If heat is not your thing, then try something else.  However, I do recommend adding some spice to give it a great flavor. Want to make it a meal?  Add a sandwich or a salad and you are set!

Karen’s Potato Soup

  • 2 cups Half and Half or Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 to 4 Large Russet Potatoes (Pealed and chopped in bite size pieces and boil until tender)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 to 3 celery ribs (chopped)
  • 2 tsp. butter or margarine
  • 3 to 4 cans of chicken broth
  • ½ tsp.Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp.Red Pepper
  • Tsp. salt
  • 1 Carton Green Chile (optional) (Frozen Bueno Green Chile from Central Market)

Take Chopped Celery and Onion and sauté in butter until tender. In a large pot add Celery and Onion, Chicken Broth, Spices and Green Chile

Take ½ Potatoes and put in food processor add cream or half and half and make it creamy. (Potatoes should not be runny just whipped and soft like mashed potatoes)
Add to soup mixture cook and cook for about 10 minutes. Add cooked pieces of potatoes just be for serving. Make sure it is warmed thru-out.

If you try this recipe please let us know how you liked it!