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Mark Rutstein's Blog

By Mark Rutstein | Agent in Washington, DC
  • Pinterest for Home Ideas

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate, Design & Decor  |  January 28, 2014 12:21 PM  |  128 views  |  No comments

    Written by: Mark Rutstein
    Pinterest for home ideasPinterest for Home Buyers

    Some people are great at articulating exactly what they want in their next home. But some of us know what we want yet find it tough to explain that vision to someone else. It usually comes out something like this: “I’ll know it when I see it.” But seeing tons of listings can be frustrating and can waste your time unnecessarily. Enter Pinterest – the social network that lets you collect all those dream house mental pictures that are often hard to put into words.

    Pinterest has become a favorite online hang-out for home buyers and those who plan to build or remodel a home. After all, knowing what you want is half the battle in finding or creating it. With a few simple searches, Pinterest users are exposed to thousands of photos they can use as inspiration in their house hunt. High-end and creative home features are one of the most heavily populated areas of Pinterest so there’s no shortage of ideas to sift through. Some users have created virtual “pin boards” for each room of their dream house and yard, making it easier to organize ideas and find them later. Do a simple search for “bathroom” in the search bar and you’ll find everything from rustic cabin outhouses to over-the-top luxury master suites.

    If you’re having a tough time explaining your vision to your agent, consider sharing your Pinterest photos with him or her. Seeing what you like best can guide your agent’s selections for which listings are most likely to interest you. Of course, no one can make every Pinterest dream come true in one house, but it’s a good way to get on the same page and narrow down the choices of which houses to see and which ones to skip. Pinterest photos can also guide your decisions when looking for a house with “good bones” that can be remodeled into your dream house.

    Pinterest for Home Sellers

    For sellers, Pinterest can be a great way to get insight on what potential buyers are hoping to find during their house hunt. If the same type of living room photo keeps cropping up on Pinterest, you can bet it’s representative of a style that’s trending right now. Consider using that photo as a guide for how you might update, rearrange or stage your own living room to reflect the current trend. Pay special attention to wall colors, room layout, window treatments and floor coverings. Appeal to visual thinkers by making your home’s online photos as “pin-worthy” as possible.

    Cleaning and organization are also huge areas of interest for Pinterest users, and the tips found in these “pins” can help as you prepare to put your house on the market. Clutter and half-hearted cleaning attempts can thwart a deal with potential buyers. Use the tips collected on hundreds of Pinterest boards to find new ideas for eliminating cluttered areas. You’ll also find innovative ways for simple household fixes like repairing nail holes, cleaning baseboards and dusting window blinds – all things that discerning home buyers will notice.

    Whether you’re buying, selling, building, remodeling or just plain “nesting,” Pinterest might become your favorite online tool for finding inspiration, advice and friends who share your vision.

    –Mark Rutstein | DC Realtor–
    Email: Mark @ IKnowDC.com
    Phone: (202)498-1198

  • 5 Home Maintenance Tips

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate, Design & Decor, Home Ownership  |  June 20, 2013 4:48 AM  |  202 views  |  No comments

    home maintenance tipsWritten by: Mark Rutstein

    Summer is here and it’s time to take a look around your home to see what, if any, preventative maintenance is needed. With this checklist and a couple of weekends you’ll feel secure knowing that your home is being well-maintained.



    5 Tips To Maintaining Your Home

    1. A yearly inspection of your HVAC system should keep air flowing nicely through your home, at the temperature you prefer. You can do this yourself or hire a professional to make it easy. At the very least, change the air filter (this really should be done monthly).
    2. Evaluate the siding, particularly if it is wood, on your home. Repair any that has been exposed to moisture before it becomes a larger issue and complete any needed painting while the weather is warm.
    3. Check the slant and grade of the ground around your home. It should flow away from the foundation, not towards it, to avoid flooding and puddles during storms.
    4. Consider pruning plants and determining the health of large trees to avoid future problems.
    5. Review your roof, attic, crawl space, basement, and fireplace chimney, making sure all pieces and parts are securely attached to avoid leaks and further damage.

    Checking over these areas in your home and making any necessary repairs will allow to enjoy your weekends more this summer and take advantage of any available sunshine! Enjoy the warm weather!

    –Mark Rutstein | DC Real Estate Agent–

    Follow our blog at www.iknowdc.com

    Mark Rutstein



  • Renovation Realities: Is DIY Safe For You and Your Home

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate, Design & Decor, How To...  |  May 22, 2013 5:30 PM  |  212 views  |  No comments

    Written by: Mark Rutstein
    Renovation RealitiesAre you a “Do-It-Yourselfer” when it comes to making repairs and improvements to your home?

    May is National Home Remodeling Month and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers are using increased seasonal awareness to outline risks that a DIY approach can bring in terms of safety, time and hidden costs.

    Reports from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau show that 37 % of home remodeling projects completed in 2010-2011 were done by homeowners themselves.

    “Remodeling can be complex and often times full of surprises, even for experts like our members,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bill Shaw, GMR, GMB, CGP. “DIY projects should be rewarding and fun, but if your DIY can’t be completed in the planned price range or your safety is at risk, leave the work in the hands of professional remodelers.”

    NAHB suggested a review of these tips before commencing a remodel project on your home.

     

    Safety - If it requires licensing to complete or compromises the integrity of your structure, walk away and hire a professional. Wear proper protective gear and be especially careful when using new tools as unfamiliarity increases risk.
    Cost - Review quality and warranty specifications of your purchases. Incorrect installation can result in a warranty being disputed.
    Time - Contractors are required to provide timelines, progress updates, and projected finish dates. If time is important to you, a recommended contractor can get the job done according to your schedule. Would you be able to do the same?

    Click here to access the Directory of Professional Remodelers.

    Also check out our previous blog posts on more renovation and remodeling tips. Click HERE.

    –Mark Rutstein | DC Real Estate Agent–

    Follow our blog at www.iknowdc.com

    Mark Rutstein

  • Enjoy the Backyard of Your Home More

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate, Design & Decor  |  April 30, 2013 10:25 AM  |  126 views  |  No comments

    Written by: Mark Rutstein
    small backyard ideasSpring is in the air and its time to journey outside your home and enjoy the crisp air, beautiful flowers and sunshine.  Chances are you will find yourself spending more time outside enjoying this new season and catching up with the pruning, trimming and gardening around your home.

    You may have recently bought a home and have plans to create a playground in your backyard or outdoor kitchen, too.

    Whatever your reason for stepping outside, you’ll probably notice some areas you can improve around your home, before summer comes and you begin a season of entertaining outdoors.  As you look over your backyard or patio, take the time to notice the feelings you have in that space.  

    Is the yard of your home relaxing and inviting?

    Your week is filled with the hustle-bustle of life, with time constraints, and demands placed upon you by others, shouldn’t your evenings and weekends be a time of enjoyment and reflection?

    If you agree that your home and its exterior space should be an oasis of sorts, start small and consider adding a fountain or fire pit to your landscaping to make your yard more retreat-like.  Perhaps a backyard swing or an outdoor kitchen is more to your liking.  Gather your dreams inonline ideabooks on websites like Houzz or Zillow digs and plan out the next project for your home.  Just thinking about it will make you smile.

    –Mark Rutstein | DC Real Estate Agent–

    Follow our blog at www.iknowdc.com

    Mark Rutstein

  • Renovation Realities: Add value to your home through backsplash

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Washington, Remodel & Renovate in Washington, Design & Decor in Washington  |  March 25, 2013 5:22 AM  |  147 views  |  No comments

    Written by: Mark Rutstein
    renovation Realities The renovation realities of adding value to your home. The color of your walls, the hardware on your cabinetry, and your choice of flooring all can increase a value of a home.

    The easiest way to add pizazz to your kitchen is with a new backsplash. You can go from country to modern in a snap with a variety of options for finishes and colors. To save money, time and frustration, consider the peel-and-stick tile options now available. It’s an inexpensive Band-Aid for updating your kitchen.

    Often used in kitchens and bathrooms to protect wall surfaces from splashing water, your backsplash can pull together accents in your room or create drama when contrasting materials or shades are used. Correctly placed spot lights can add to your overall impact, as well.  You would be surprised at what an amazing upliftment a simple backsplash can provide to a bland kitchen.

    For a little investment, you can get a brand new kitchen backsplash installed in your kitchen. Kitchen renovations add some of the highest returns to a house on the market. Its also easy to install yourself or pretty cheap to get installed professionally. Either way you choose, the overall cost is nothing to sweat over and will increase your home price on the market.

    –Mark Rutstein | DC Real Estate Agent–

    Follow our blog at www.iknowdc.com

    Mark Rutstein

  • Renovation Realities: Add value to your home through backsplash

    Posted Under: Home Selling, Remodel & Renovate, Design & Decor  |  March 20, 2013 8:37 AM  |  109 views  |  No comments

    Written by: Mark Rutstein
    renovation Realities The renovation realities of adding value to your home. The color of your walls, the hardware on your cabinetry, and your choice of flooring all can increase a value of a home.

    The easiest way to add pizazz to your kitchen is with a new backsplash. You can go from country to modern in a snap with a variety of options for finishes and colors. To save money, time and frustration, consider the peel-and-stick tile options now available. It’s an inexpensive Band-Aid for updating your kitchen.

    Often used in kitchens and bathrooms to protect wall surfaces from splashing water, your backsplash can pull together accents in your room or create drama when contrasting materials or shades are used. Correctly placed spot lights can add to your overall impact, as well.  You would be surprised at what an amazing upliftment a simple backsplash can provide to a bland kitchen.

    For a little investment, you can get a brand new kitchen backsplash installed in your kitchen. Kitchen renovations add some of the highest returns to a house on the market. Its also easy to install yourself or pretty cheap to get installed professionally. Either way you choose, the overall cost is nothing to sweat over and will increase your home price on the market.

    –Mark Rutstein | DC Real Estate Agent–

    Follow our blog at www.iknowdc.com

    Mark Rutstein

  • Renovation Realities: Using Your Mobile Phone

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate, Design & Decor  |  February 11, 2013 10:51 AM  |  77 views  |  1 comment

    Written by: Mark Rutstein

    renovation realitiesNo matter where you live, outdoor entertaining at your home increases in importance as the weather warms. Adding a patio or balcony to your home can allow a quick escape from the daily cares of life and also is a way to truly enjoy your outdoor landscaping and available sunshine!

    Besides being a great way to increase the usable space of your home, the addition of pavers, walkways, or textiles and out of doors furniture can really enhance your home satisfaction.

    But the years of cutting photos from magazines, evaluating work samples, and “trying” to convey your ideas to a contractor are waning quickly. Traditional methods are evolving as more consumers seek home improvement ideas online and even on their phones! According to Houzz, a top online resource for home remodeling, 40 percent of their users are utilizing mobile devices to remodel their homes!

    As you consider home additions, improvements, and landscaping for your home, where do you turn and what do you use for research? Houzz reports that 65 percent of their mobile audience uses iPads and 18 percent are Android users. The ability to show images, color palettes, materials and finishes directly with contractors and designers brings home remodeling to a new level.

    Of course, consulting with your favorite realtors to discover recent trends and the improvements that will contribute the most to your home value is always helpful, too. Call me to discuss your home and what you can and “should” do to improve it and your outdoor landscaping.

    –Mark Rutstein– DC Real Estate Agent–

    Follow our blog at www.iknowdc.com

    Mark Rutstein



 
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