Articles Tagged "Decorating"

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Going to open houses is part of the home search for some buyers. While many like to wander into homes and just take a peek, there is some intentionality behind deciding which homes are the best to look at and how to know what to look for on those tours to get the most information out of them. Having a strategy that helps determine whether a home is a good fit is a good start. Let's get started on what other ways home buyers can inform their searches with the right tools.


The way a person designs a house with their personal touch can make the difference between an enjoyable experience and one that feels like you walked into a museum. Although sellers are told to make the house look 'like nobody lives there' so a potential buyer will see themselves in the space, sometimes it is a bit too stoic and not enough effort was put into thinking how it might come across to buyers. Personal touch aside, whether a home is designed with mid-century modern furniture or floral patterns should not be the biggest concern about a home's potential. Don't focus here too much, as there are other, bigger, structural things to be concerned about since the furniture will not be staying and walls can always be painted. 


Lighting schemes and features are smaller elements that can make a home look elegant and nice. Smaller appliances that are present (or absent) can tell a lot about a home owner's upkeep around the house. These cosmetic features are not going to break the bank when it comes to redecorating. They do not impact overall safety but do provide space to put a personal touch into the home. With this in mind, fix your eyes on the bigger pieces of this puzzle when it comes to appliances, whether they function properly, and any safety hazards to be mindful of that may seem invisible at first. 

Suspicious Smells

Homebuyers need to open all five senses walking into a property. If you are hit with a musty odor coming in the door, that might repel you to leave right away. Your nose can actually uncover issues that may linger in the home. Mold and mildew are two problems that can be detected by smell. This may be hazardous to your health and resolving it may be hazardous to the pocketbook, eventually. 

Some Other Considerations

Looking around a home, there are some things to watch for that are helpful when finalizing a decision during an open house tour:

  • What condition the walls and floors are in. Look for cracks, warping, watermarks, and other signs the foundation or walls have issues that go deeper than surface-level
  • Systems that include wiring, HVAC, and water heaters or furnaces should be evaluated. Leaking issues, old hardware, and lots of nonfunctioning appliances may be a sign of issues that will need to be addressed before going forward with the home purchase
  • Permit issues: any buildings on the property or additions and remodels done without permits can cause a surprise after a home sale. Unpermitted construction can be a safety concern if not done properly, as well as fines that may come with it to bring the work to code later (falling on the current owner if not listed ahead of time).

These are just starting points to the conversation when walking through during an open house. The in-depth details can get worked out later, but things that stand out immediately as a potential hazard can spell disaster down the line. It is best to try and get out while you can and save yourself the aggravation if it seems the home is not kept up properly. For mostly cosmetic things, that can be dealt with later to add personal touches and maybe a sign you could put some money down on the property and try to make it your own.


Looking for that perfect home is sure to be met with lots of questions and searching. At Choice Properties, we make the home buying process easier and more streamlined. With so many options available, we strive to give you the best service when it comes to helping you find the home of your dreams. Give us a call if you are ready to start the process of buying your next home. 


Buying a home offers the chance to completely make the space unique to you and your family. The blank slate allows those to fill the space with their style, expressing their personality in every room. Whether you're comfortable in a rustic home, modern, or country-chic, it is entirely up to you! If you're looking for something new and fresh, consider trying the design trend on the rise: minimalism. Minimalism means inviting only the essentials into your space, while limiting clutter and miscellaneous items. Here is how you can bring minimalism into your newly purchased home. 

Choose Neutral Colors 

The first step to introduce minimalism to your space is selecting a neutral color scheme. It is suggested to go with soft whites or light gray for a minimalistic-feel, which allows natural light to pour into the space while making the room feel welcoming. If you crave more color, go for a powder pink! 

Furniture and Materials

Similar with colors, you will need to find a balance of materials. Combining different materials, such as natural wooden floors with a metal coffee table creates an industrial, yet warm style. Incorporating organic materials into your custom build will always be on trend. The most important key is still choosing furniture that you find comfortable. Don't settle for a stunning couch that offers zero comfort!

Declutter and Add Storage

Perhaps the biggest aspect of choosing a minimalist design is decluttering. If you don't feel comfortable donating items you are currently not using, consider using a storage unit for the time being. More homeowners are opting for a minimalist design as a way to start fresh and live simply. Decluttering and only keeping the essentials allows you to do this, feeling rejuvenated and stress-free in your personal space. 

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.


Along with budgeting to purchase your first home, you may want to consider budgeting for items you will need to go along with your new house. Buying a home is an exciting time and can easily overtake your thoughts! However, you may not have thought about the list of items you need with a home that you did not need with an apartment. Stay tuned to learn what to purchase after buying your first home, leaving you fully prepared for tackling this journey head-on. 

New Locks

The first step when moving into a new home is changing the locks and updating your keys. There's a chance the previous owners gave friends or family a number of spare keys. Avoid any misunderstandings or worries by changing your locks. 


For those who do not plan on hiring a lawn care service, purchasing a lawnmower definitely makes the top of the list. Take time to research brands and pricing to find one that fits with your needs and budget. 

Gardening Tools

While browsing lawnmower options are your local improvement store, don't forget to look through other outdoor necessities! Most likely, you will need a garden hose to wash cards, water flower beds, or to keep your grass green. Along with a hose, you should also consider a rake for leaves, weedwacker, or shovels for snow. It's best to be fully prepared when moving into your new home. 

Handyman Tools 

Buying an older home may mean small repairs here and there. It's highly advised to have a stocked tool box for last minute fixes, or for DIY projects! When purchasing a tool box, be sure it comes with:

  • Hammar 
  • Assorted screwdrivers
  • Hacksaw 
  • Pliers 
  • Plumber's wrench
  • Power drill 
  • Staple gun
  • Tape measure 

Miscellaneous Items to Purchase for Your New Home

Along with the essentials, you may also feel the need to purchase:


  • Patio furniture 
  • Outdoor grill 
  • Window coverings (blinds, drapes, curtains)
  • New kitchen appliances 
  • New linens and towels

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.


5 Tips for Beginning Gardeners

With the warm weather comes perfect timing to tackle outdoor projects. If you have recently moved into a new house, gardening is the perfect way to ground yourself and make the space feel like home. The beauty of gardening is that there is always something new to learn. It takes trial and error, but with the right guidance you can have a green thumb in no time. These 5 tips for beginning gardeners are perfect to start this new adventure with!

Don't Go Overboard

When beginning to garden, it's important to start small and not take on more than you can handle. Gardening is a hobby that takes a certain amount of devoted time. If you run a busy schedule, don't feel down about starting with a small garden! It is suggested to start with containers or a raised bed to manage your seeds. Over time, you can slowly expand your garden and add more plants as you please.  

Purchase High Quality Gardening Tools

Most plants are sensitive and require a level of care, from both you and your gardening tools. Purchasing a hose that won't kink will save you time and worries, but be sure to pair it with a gentle watering faucet. Consider investing in stainless stool tools as they can handle weather elements not rust.

Incorporate Mulch in the Garden

Spreading mulch is one of the best things you can do for your garden. Mulch helps limit time spent watering since it is able to hold moisture. Adding 2-4 inches of mulch on your garden beds will help plants thrive.

Add Compost

Not only is composting a sustainable way of life, but it adds great value to gardens. The secret to a healthy garden is the quality of soil, and compost is a great way to boost the nutrients. Start composting with grass clippings or fallen leaves, while incorporating kitchen waste. This includes:

  • Egg shells
  • Fruit and veggies scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Houseplant trimmings
  • Tea leaves/bags

Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.



Read This Before Buying a Fixer Upper

Whether you're a first time home buyer or experienced with the home buying process, purchasing a house is an exciting time! Taking time to discuss your desires in a home with a trusted realtor will help make your dreams come true. For some, this may be newly built home with extra storage on a limited budget. Others may prefer to purchase a "fixer upper", which requires an open mind and deep conversations. The agents at Choice Properties suggest you read this before buying a fixer upper, preparing you with questions to ask along the way.

Questions to Ask Your Agent

What is the value in this neighborhood?

It's important to keep in mind the area in which you're looking to purchase a fixer upper. Considering your investment in the long run is critical with these projects, as you don't want to get stuck in a house you can't sell down the road.

Is the home located in a historic district?

Purchasing a victorian home to renovate is a dream had by many. Featuring original crown molding, wainscoting, and beautiful stained-glass windows. Your agent should make you aware of this, but homes in historical districts often have to be renovated with an association or to a city standard. This means obtaining approval for projects and updates, which also comes with a price tag.

Questions to Ask Yourself

How is the overall layout of the home?

Although changing the layout is possible, it's also an extra cost along with time added to the project. Considerations for how existing rooms flow and which walls are able to be knocked down to create a larger space should be kept in mind. Make note of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you are seeking versus what the house currently offers. Will you have to add another bedroom or bathroom?

Do you have the time, patience, and energy for a fixer upper?

Choosing to completely renovate a home is a large project that requires many considerations. Are you prepared for unexpected issues or delays? Asking yourself these questions will help you decide if a fixer upper is truly what you are seeking.

Flipping a house is a big project, but can be done with determination!

Fixer uppers can be great investments in the long run, but require a promised commitment. Ask yourself if you are truly ready for a big project and tackle it head on, creating the home of your dreams!  If that answer is yes, it's time to call a Choice Properties agent to discuss the current options on the market!



Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. Whether you are looking to purchase a fixer upper or move in ready home, our team is ready to help. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you.

Call us to get started on your dream home search today.




A small living room can be a challenge to decorate but there are ways to maximize wasted spots, tricky corners or areas that seem difficult to use. Learn some tips on how to get the most out of a living room space, no matter the shape or size of your new home.


Up and Over

The space above a doorway in the living room is often overlooked but it can be an important, even fun, place to utilize. When looking at this underappreciated spot, think of it as a handy place for storage. Think about using narrow shelving units above and down the sides of a doorway to maximize wall space.


Maximize Slim Alcoves

Clever storage choices are the way to go to ensure no space goes unused in a living room. Thinking creatively and outside the box can expand the space in a room while keeping clutter to a minimum. For instance, full-height cabinets may not work in a shallow spot so try a single row of closed base units that slightly extend into the room and use narrow shelving to display the rest.


Custom Built-ins

Tricky corners and shapes in a living room can be challenging to make work without wasting precious space. Building a bench seat, shelving or using ottomans with included storage are all ways to help create a beautiful space with practical design features.



If nooks are the bane of a living room's existence, try some creativity before giving up on the space. Squeeze in more function by tucking a tiny office corner next to a fireplace with a desk and a few shelves. This tiny workspace can still be neat, tidy and look like part of the room without taking away from the aesthetic.


Wall Space

Walls behind a sofa are great places to install a shelf for books, art or accessories in ways that use a forgotten wall in new and unique ways. Ledges can be installed, one above the other, for twice the storage.


Bay Windows

Use a bay window to a room's advantage by maximizing the view. Screen some of the window with blinds or shutters to keep it looking fresh even if the view is not utilized as much or feels like wasted space. Window seats can also be a great way to introduce new concepts into an older space or one that needs freshening up.


If you are ready to start the search for a home or are selling property in Logan County, contact Choice Properties Real Estate to speak with award winning agents ready to help you get started.


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