How to keep your pets safe and happy this 4th of July

4th of july

 

With all of the celebrating and commotion that goes on on the 4th of July and the weekend that follows – the fireworks, parades, alcohol consumption, and general loud noises, there is no wonder our furry friends go run and hide. The loud booming noises from the fireworks can be especially frightening and have your dog running to the hills!

 

Here are some helpful tips you can try to keep your dogs happily distracted from all the fun going on outside:

  • Keep your pets secured within your home. Make sure to relieve them ONLY on leash if you must take them out.
  • Give them a safe place inside. Put them in a crate in an inside room of your house. An ideal place is a walk in closet.
  • Use ambient noise to mask the sound of the fireworks. Leaving a television on or playing the radio with soothing music can help diminish the sound of the fireworks as well.
  • Make sure their collars and identification tags are on securely.
  • Keep them busy with toys and lots of company.

We love our wonderful pets and want to help you keep them safe and happy this Independence Day as well as throughout the weekend!

NextHome Utica Properties

Luke Day – What a Success!

Luke day 2019

 

 

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What is Luke Day?

 

 

An integral part of our brand identity and culture, NextHome wouldn’t be the same without our beloved mascot Luke. In honor of his birthday, we have declared June 15th our company’s annual day of community outreach – Luke Day. On this day, NextHomies across the country step away from their business and come together to serve their local communities and the animals that thrive there. By organizing pet adoption events, hosting vaccine clinics for local veterinary centers, or raising donations for our national charity partner, Canine Companions for Independence, our franchise network joins forces to make a difference on this special day. Luke Day is about collaboration and service, bringing the local community together to support a great cause.

 

Luke Day 2019

Luke Day 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For our Luke Day celebration we decided to have a booth at our local farmers market in Angels Camp to support our local Guide dogs for the Blind Puppy Club. We invited all of our friends and family to join us in the fun of music, great food, and of course puppy cuddles! We raised $300 for Guide dogs for the Blind by selling home-made dog treats swagged out with our beloved NextHome orange and selling custom made recycled climbing rope leashes. The day was such a hit! Being able to talk to our community about the work that both the Guide Dog puppy raiser and puppy in training go through to give someone in need a new life was so rewarding and our office is honored to participate in such a fantastic event!

We LOVE NextHome

NextHome Utica Properties

 

The Importance of Great Photography

 

Research has shown that one of the most important elements that make buyers click on property images is ensuring that the images accurately represent reality. The most noticeable element of reality that is most often distorted in real estate photos is vertical alignment, or what real estate photographers refer to as verticals.
WHY ARE VERTICALS IMPORTANT?
Look at the two images below:

crop_verticals_off

Skewed verticals

crop_verticals_on

Correct verticals

 

Notice how the vertical lines in the first image are skewed and distorted? This has the unappealing effect of disrupting the viewer’s ability to connect to the image since it misrepresents real life.

In the second image, all the lines that are vertical in real life are vertical in the image, creating a much more lifelike and engaging experience. Buyers connect with the property on an emotional level, leading to clicks, showings, and ultimately sales.

Research shows that if our eyes see something that looks different than our brains think it should look like in real life, we find it hard to relate to what we’re seeing. That’s when your listing gets overlooked.

NextHome Utica Properties

How to Sell Your Home in the Summer

This Article By ELIZABETH WEINTRAUB entitled “How to Sell a Home in the Summer: 10 Sizzling Summer Home Selling Tips” was just too good not to share!

Spring is the most popular time of the year to put a home on the market. Fall is the second most popular time of the year to sell a home. It astounds most people that summer is not usually a popular time to sell a home. For that reason, selling a home in the summer can be a bit tricky.

Why It Isn’t Ideal
Summer is a good time for a lot of things, but home selling is not necessarily one of them. If you don’t have to sell in the summer, you might get more for your home if you wait until school starts. Why? Because in the summer:

People go on vacation.
Kids get out of school and require attention.
Summer activities distract homeowners.

Basically, there’s just too much going on during the summer to pay close attention to selling a home. Most sellers would rather wait until everything calms down in the fall. Further, most buyers are looking in the spring or fall, so there are fewer buyers to compete for your home in the summer.

If You Must Sell Your Home in the Summer
Not everybody can wait until fall to sell and relocate. Some people might be transferred to a new job in another state or be experiencing a pressing “life” issue that could necessitate an immediate sale. Here are a few things you can do to attract a summertime buyer.

Mow the Lawn Twice a Week

Grass grows faster in the summer so mow your lawn regularly. Every other lawn cutting, try mowing on the diagonal to add dimension and curb appeal.

Create Summer Curb Appeal

Curb appeal attracts people in the market to buy homes. Trim the bushes. Plant flowers. Scatter mulch. Paint your house number on the curb. Sweep the walk. Make your entrance welcoming and warm.

Decorate With Summer Accents

Look around your home for color inspiration. Add vivid blue decor items for a calming effect. Replace dark-colored accent pillows and throw rugs with brighter, summer hues.

Bring the Light Inside

If you have heavy drapes, remove them. They make rooms look smaller. Pull window blinds to the top and tape the strings underneath. Consider using tie-backs to hold open lighter-weight curtains. The only time you would leave blinds closed is if there was an undesirable element on the other side of the window, i.e., a neighbor’s trash can, and even then, open them slightly.

Have Flexible Showing Hours

Some people like to skip out of work early due to daylight savings in many states. You might find buyers are more interested in touring your home during twilight hours, just after the dinner hour.

Move Furniture Outside

Not only does moving out furniture free up more room inside the home, but it creates an outdoor living space with items you already own. It’s an illusion created for a buyer that says yes, you too can own this lifestyle.

Deliver Sparkle

Gold or silver or brass or pewter? Doesn’t matter. Mix them, if you like. Old rules don’t apply. Metals are summery. Vases, picture frames, mirrors, utensils, goblets, hanging planters, and garden gnomes all work.

Offer Summer Beverages and Snacks

Classic summer means red-and-white checkered tablecloths, potato salad, hot dogs and mustard and roasted corn-on-the-cob. Every part of the country has its own summer food traditions. Fill the sink with ice cubes and chill bottled beverages for visitors and offer a few light snacks.

Use Natural Air Freshener

Fill the air in your home with natural fragrances such as those from fresh cut roses, grown in your garden as commercial has no scent.

Control Air Temperature

There’s nothing worse than a stuffy room on a hot day. Circulate the air in your home. Even if you have to place floor fans about the home, keep the air moving. Turn down the air conditioning to a level just below your comfort zone on extra hot days. A cool indoors will keep visitors indoors viewing your home for longer.

NextHome Utica Properties

Landscaping Projects that BOOST your Curb Appeal

Ever get the itch to do a DIY project? Whenever we do, our favorites involve getting outdoors and mixing up our landscaping features. Bonus, if you’re interested in selling these simple projects will add a tremendous amount to your homes curb appeal!

Whether it’s as simple as installing some lighting or a little more time-consuming like re-plotting plants, a fresh look for the lawn always gives your home a fresh look as well. Here are our top five easy landscaping projects!

Create a pathway.

To guide you and visitors throughout your yard and link different areas together, install a pathway. You can use materials from a variety of materials, including reclaimed pallet wood, flagstones, gravel, and more to add texture and color.

Add a wall or border.

Installing a flagstone, rock, or brick wall around flower beds or trees adds a sleek, clean look to your landscaping and helps separate different sections of your yard.

Install a water feature.

Nothing says zen quite like the sound of trickling water as you relax in your backyard. You can start simple with by purchasing and installing a small feature powered by a solar panel or create a larger focal point in your yard by installing a waterfall wall or small pond.

Light your way.

An easy way to transform your yard is to strategically use lighting. Place cool-colored lights high in trees to recreate a moonlight feel, use pathway lights to naturally guide the eye, or highlight objects or plants.

Plant upwards.

Expand your yard space by drawing the eye to the sky with a trellis fence or screen made of wood or metal. Once you install your trellis, select your climbing plants and vines and get to planting!

DIY Landscaping projects

Fire Season Evacuation Plan *Don’t forget about your pets!*

An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially living in Calaveras County where fires are high a possibility. Many homeowners create evacuation plans for their homes and practice them with their kids, but far fewer have considered one for their pets. Take these steps to add your pets to your evacuation plan.

YOUR WILDFIRE ACTION PLAN CHECKLIST
Create an evacuation plan that includes:

  • A designated emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area. This is critical to determine who has safely evacuated from the affected area.
  • Several different escape routes from your home and community. Practice these often so everyone in your family is familiar in case of emergency.
  • Have an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock.
  • A Family Communication Plan that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation. (It is easier to call or message one person and let them contact others than to try and call everyone when phone, cell, and internet systems can be overloaded or limited during a disaster.)

 

Be Prepared:

  • Have fire extinguishers on hand and train your family how to use them (check expiration dates regularly).
  • Ensure that your family knows where your gas, electric, and water main shut-off controls are located and how to safely shut them down in an emergency.
  • Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit for each person, as recommended by the American Red Cross.
  • Maintain a list of emergency contact numbers posted near your phone and in your emergency supply kit.
  • Keep an extra Emergency Supply Kit in your car in case you cannot get to your home because of fire or other emergency.
  • Have a portable radio or scanner so you can stay updated on the fire.

 

Assign pet evacuation to an adult. Everyone should know how to act during an evacuation, and that includes assigning one parent or adult to the pets. This allows the other parent and the children to focus on their part of the evacuation plan, so there’s no confusion during a high-stress moment when time is of the essence.

Keep evacuation maps and pet carriers readily accessible. If you need to evacuate, you should know exactly where every important item is. If you pets require carriers, keep them in a place that you can access easily.

Practice your plan. Include your pets in your home evacuation drills. It’ll help you see how they will respond and make changes to your plan if necessary. Getting your dog out of a window may not be as simple as you think!

Be prepared in case you get separated from your pets. No matter how much you drill your evacuation plan, it’s possible that a dog or cat will run off while you’re focusing on keeping your family safe. A microchip or a GPS-compatible tag can help you find your pets once it’s safe to return to the area.

 

Prioritize Your Tasks Before You Move In

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

Change the locks

Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money.

Steam clean the carpets

It’s good to get a fresh start with your floors before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It’s pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner—your local grocery store may have them available.

Call an exterminator

Prior to move-in, you probably haven’t spent enough time in the house to get a view of any pests that may be lurking. Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be hiding in your home.

Clean out the kitchen

If the previous occupants wanted to skip on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Wipe down the inside of cabinets, clean out the refrigerator, clean the oven, and clean in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances.

Connect with our Updater.com

Updater.com is a great and free resource provided to you to direct you through the moving process. With online tools to order moving trucks, to easily forwarding your mail, and even getting your cable and internet connected all from the comfort of your own home.

All About Conference 2019

Through the week of March 25th through the 29th four of our NextHomies Jeff Rasmussen, Tammy Dillashaw, Diane Bateman, and Omar Mansour traveled to Las Vegas Nevada to attend the 3rd annual NextHome Conference 2019. There they sat through training, motivational speeches, and all about what is Next for the company.

Now back with all of the knowledge they could possibly bring back, we are here to share that knowledge with you!

1. We are excited to be doing more than ever for you!

With new marketing techniques and products available to us it makes our job even easier to advertise your home. Options such as video marketing, social media optimization, and eye-catching designs for all of our physical products we offer, we are determined to improve your home buying or selling process.

2. Our brand is bigger and better than ever!

With Luke as our fearless leader, the homes we sell automatically look more attractive to the average buyer. NextHome is new, NextHome is fresh, and NextHome is different! At conference corporate announced so many new vendors they have partnered with including how we advertise your home. NextHome has re-imagined what a yard sign should look like in front of a home. The colors we use pop and draw attention with a reflective coating that is easily seen all day and night. The shape, content, and layout offers a clean, professional look in the front of your home.

3. NextHome is where you feel like family.

Our name is representative of what we do and how we help people buy and sell properties everyday. It speaks to our industry, our careers and our passion. NextHome is representative of the steps and transitional moments experienced by clients and our communities. We are dedicated to giving our clients the best service and success when they sell and buy their next home.

5 Negotiating Tactics That Kill A Sale

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

  • Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
  • Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  • “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
  • Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
  • Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.

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