A Modern Lifestyle: The Benefits of Smart Home Technology

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Technology has been integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives, helping to improve convenience and comfort for all to enjoy. Are you taking advantage of the smart home technology features that are available for your family? Whether you are building a new home or looking for ways to upgrade your current home, it is essential to evaluate the ways that you can use home technology.

Smart Home Technology: Stay Connected When You Are Away

Even if you are gone on vacation or spending the day at work, you can still maintain a connection to know what is going on at home. There’s no need to turn around after running out the door because you can’t remember if you closed the garage. Now, smartphone apps can be used to see real-time updates about your garage door, security system, climate control, and more.

At the same time, these technology features also give you the benefit of improving your daily lifestyle when you are in the house. For example, you can adjust the thermostat setting using an app, without the need to walk to another part of the house where the thermostat is installed on the wall.

Ideas for Smart Home Upgrades

What features should you install in your home? Here are some of the ways you can enjoy technology to upgrade your lifestyle:

  • Climate Control: Use technology to program the air conditioner based on your typical schedule. For example, if you are gone throughout the day, then you might have the air conditioner kick on 30 minutes before you typically arrive home from work, so the house is cooled down and comfortable for the evening.
  • Door Access: There’s no need to carry around a bulky set of house keys when you can unlock the door using technology. Your phone can be used to open the garage door or other doors in the house. You could give garage access to a neighbor remotely, then shut the garage after they are done.
  • Connection: WiFi and digital entertainment can be programmed so that children can only access it at certain times of the day. Parents often prefer to shut down the WiFi connection after a certain time each night, preventing the kids from playing games all night when they should be sleeping.
  • Appliances: You can connect appliances through internet access, or program these appliances to turn on at specific times. Schedule the coffee maker to kick on 15 minutes before you get out of bed. Or, use this digital access to turn the slow cooker on or off.

One of the greatest benefits of smart technology is that you can improve the energy efficiency of your home by reducing the electricity used for the lights and HVAC systems.

At DUFFY Realty, we want to help you find the home of your dreams. If you have questions about buying or selling a home in Atlanta, you are welcome to contact us any time for assistance: (678) 318-1700

Design Tips to Make a Small Bathroom Look Spacious

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You don’t need to increase the square footage in your property to create a home that is spacious and comfortable. A little bit of design magic can go a long way to open up your rooms and give you the feeling that you are living in an open floorplan.

One area that should be considered is the design and layout of your bathroom. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Add Mirrors: It is common for a mirror to be placed over the sink, but that doesn’t need to be the only location for mirrors in the room. Look for other wall space where mirrors can be installed. Multiple mirrors help to increase reflected light and make the room feel bigger.
  • Improve the Lighting: Not only should you add brighter lightbulbs; also consider replacing the light fixtures. When the room is dark, it will feel smaller than it actually is. On the other hand, bringing in more light will brighten the corners and improve the feeling of the room.
  • Repaint the Walls: Another option to brighten the bathroom is to add a lighter shade of paint on the walls. Use the same color of paint on the walls and ceiling. When different paint colors are used, then it chops up the space into different sections, making it feel smaller.
  • Improve Storage and Clutter: One of the fastest ways to make a bathroom look small is by filling the counters and cupboards with a lot of stuff. Look for ways that you can streamline the storage systems to avoid storage containers that stick out from the walls. Also, get rid of anything that isn’t used regularly. If you aren’t using the item, then don’t store it in the bathroom.
  • Glass Doors: Consider the option to install a glass door on the shower. Swinging doors and shower curtains block off half of the room, making a small bathroom feel smaller. On the other hand, glass is a great solution so that you can protect the bathroom from the water without closing off the space. For the best results, choose a clear, frameless shower door and skip the frosted glass and bulky hardware.
  • Eliminate Cupboards Under the Sink: A pedestal sink is a way to remove some of the bulk in the room. If you don’t have much to store in the vanity, then a pedestal is the way to go so that you can use a smaller amount of space.

DUFFY Realty is here to help you create the home of your dreams. Whether you are preparing to sell your current home or you want to make a few changes to a home that you are buying, these tips can be used to make the bathroom look great. Contact us any time for more information about the ways that you can improve your home before selling without spending a lot of money on major renovations: (678) 318-1700

Kitchen Design Trends to Watch for in 2019

Kitchen Design Trends to Watch for in 2019

Have you set a few goals to improve your home in 2019? Now that we’ve welcomed the New Year, it’s time to look forward and determine the things you want to improve in your life in 2019. Whether you are preparing to sell your home or you want to make a few improvements to update your current home, don’t overlook the importance of home renovations especially kitchen design trends.

Kitchen Renovations to Improve Your Home

There’s no question that the kitchen is the “heart of the home.” This room is the area where families gather for meals, fun cooking activities, and casual conversations around the table. It is important that the kitchen is designed to be a relaxing, functional workspace so that you can enjoy this area of your home with your loved ones.

In fact, many people agree that the kitchen design should be a priority when looking for a new home. Upgrading your kitchen can make it easier to sell the property. These strategies can also be used if you are planning to stay for a while and want to refresh your living space.

Current and Upcoming Kitchen Trends

Here are some of the kitchen design trends that will be popular in 2019:

  • Counter Space: Plenty of surface space is every chef’s dream. Not only do homeowners want a lot of working area for meal prep, but it makes it easier to spend time together when there is enough counter room to invite family members to participate in meal preparation. The most common design method is to add a spacious island.
  • Butler’s Pantry: Storage space is another aspect that needs to be considered in the kitchen design. Home buyers love the idea of a walk-in pantry with ample shelving for food, small appliances, and more.
  • Color: White and grey have been the most popular colors in past years. Now, designers are going bold by adding color back into the paint. Black and other darker shades are starting to make an appearance as accent colors in the kitchen.
  • Open Floorplan: It is common for buyers to be looking for a “great room” with an open kitchen, dining, and living room. If you are investing in major renovations, explore options to open up the space to create a spacious environment.
  • High Tech Appliances: Not only are new appliances convenient because of the smart technology that can be built in, but they are also helpful to reduce energy costs. Select appliances with Energy Star ratings if you are looking to cut utility bills.

It can be helpful to tap into professional services when you are preparing for home renovations, kitchen design trends or upgrades. Talk to an interior designer as well as a real estate expert to learn more about the features that are desired in the industry right now. For more information about local real estate trends, call DUFFY Realty at (678) 318-1700


Home Maintenance Checklist: Staying Ahead of Common Repairs

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While buying a home is an exciting experience, this investment also brings in a new set of responsibilities that need to be addressed throughout the year. You no longer have a landlord to take care of maintenance and repairs. Now, it’s time for you to take the lead and manage the small tasks that will protect your investment.

It is rewarding to own a home. At the same time, you need to be ready to put in the hard work and dedication required to maintain the property. Here are a few things that should be on your home maintenance checklist:

Monthly Home Maintenance

Monthly tasks are easy to do… and easy not to do. Even though these maintenance items might seem small, they can have a long-lasting effect on protecting your home:

  • Mineral Deposits: If you notice that mineral deposits are building up on faucets and sinks, then it is important to maintain a regular deep cleaning schedule to stay ahead of the build up. Use vinegar as an inexpensive option to protect your drains, faucets, and fixtures.
  • Slow Drains: Are any of the drains slow to clear the water in the sink? Address these issues with a DIY solution. Or, call a plumber for assistance.
  • Flooring: Stay consistent with regular mopping and vacuuming to protect the flooring and reduce the chances of damage due to dirt and grime.
  • Yard Care: Ongoing yard maintenance tasks vary depending on the landscaping on your property. Common requirements include lawn fertilization, shrub trimming, weeding, and more.

Biannual Home Maintenance

Consider these options for twice-a-year home maintenance:

  • Detector Batteries: Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that the batteries are working properly. It might be a good time to replace the batteries so that you don’t run into issues between inspections.
  • HVAC Filters: Changing the filters on your heating and air conditioning system is important. Not only will new filters reduce the amount of dust and allergens in your home. But, these filters will also minimize the wear and tear on the HVAC system.
  • Tree Trimming: Do you have any overgrown trees on your property? It might be a good opportunity to cut back the large branches. This maintenance task reduces the likelihood of damage to the exterior of your home in case a storm blows through the area.
  • Gutter Cleaning: Ensure that water can flow properly through the gutters when it rains.

Annual Home Maintenance

A few tasks only need to be addressed once a year:

  • Roof Inspection: Look for damaged or missing shingles to identify areas that need to be patched.
  • Mortar and Seals: Check the seals around the home to see if any areas need to be repaired. Look at the weatherstripping around the doors and windows.
  • Overall Repairs: Are there any repairs, exterior or interior, that you’ve been putting off? Right now is a great opportunity to take care of the miscellaneous to-do list so that every aspect of your home is in good condition.

For more information about protecting your home, talk to us at DUFFY Realty. We offer the leading real estate services in the Atlanta area. Call for assistance with buying or selling a home: (678) 318-1700

If you enjoyed this article with the Home Maintenance Checklist: Staying Ahead of Common Repairs, please take a moment to read this one now:  How to Build Home Equity Quickly.

Easy Ways to Boost the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

Easy Ways to Boost the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

How much are your utility bills affecting your monthly budget? It can be hard to manage your spending if excess energy use is driving up the utility costs. Instead of paying these expensive fees every month, it is time to take charge by upgrading your home with the best energy efficiency features.

Here are a few affordable tips that will help with energy efficiency improvements, without breaking the bank:

  • HVAC Maintenance and Cleaning: Most of the energy usage is due to the HVAC unit. An annual maintenance appointment and cleaning can be a great way to optimize the performance of the unit, helping to reduce the energy that is needed to heat or cool your home. Call a professional team for assistance. You might find that it makes sense to replace the unit instead of paying for repairs on an old HVAC system.
  • Add More Insulation: Even the best HVAC system will struggle if you don’t have good insulation to keep the hot or cold air inside. Adding more insulation can help you use less energy for indoor climate control because you will reduce the temperature loss. Consider insulation in the walls or lofts, depending on the design of your home.
  • Invest in Solar Power: If you don’t want to worry about the cost of the energy that is being used, consider the option to invest in a residential solar power system. Many homeowners find that the equipment payment is comparable to standard utility bills. But, you will enjoy the benefits of free energy when the equipment loan is paid in full. Or, pay for the solar power system in full upfront so that you can eliminate your monthly energy payments.
  • Install a Smart Thermostat: A few degrees can have a big impact on the amount of energy that is needed to heat or cool your home. But, it can be hard to remember when it’s time to change the settings on the thermostat. Instead of manually making the adjustments every morning and night, install a smart thermostat to automate these temperature adjustments. Not only can you program the thermostat, but you can also adjust the temperature through a smartphone app. It is nice to have the control to adjust the temperature when you are away on vacation.
  • Upgrade to LED Lights: LED lights offer up to 100,000 hours of low-energy lighting for your home. They are durable and offer an effective way to minimize the energy that is used when the lights are turned on.

There’s never been an easier time to add energy efficiency upgrades to your home. You will love the results when you are finished with these renovations! Plus, you will gain the benefits of higher property value in the future. Many home buyers prioritize energy efficiency when searching for real estate properties.

For more information about making your home appealing to potential buyers, talk to the real estate experts at DUFFY Realty: (678) 318-1700

Simple DIY Projects to Create a Farmhouse Style in Your Kitchen

Simple DIY Projects to Create a Farmhouse Style in Your Kitchen

The farmhouse style is one of the strongest trends in the real estate industry right now.  This article will discuss simple DIY projects to create a farmhouse style in your kitchen. Whether you are improving your property to enjoy a beautiful home with your family, or you are looking for ways to make your property more desirable on the real estate market, you might consider the advantages of giving your kitchen a facelift. A few small changes can go a long way to help you create a fresh farmhouse look for your kitchen.

Simple DIY Projects for Your Kitchen to Create the Farmhouse Look

If you enjoy DIY projects and you have time to work on your home, then you might consider these strategies to improve the appearance of your kitchen. Another option is to hire a handyman or small contractor to help with the renovations that you desire. Here are some of the simplest projects that will have the biggest impact on the overall appearance of the room:

  • Open Shelving: Tear out some of the bulky cupboards and create more space in the room with open shelving. These shelves are easy to install; all you need is a piece of wood, a few brackets, and a stud finder.
  • Painted Cabinets: How long has it been since the cabinets where repainted? If you are sporting outdated colors in the kitchen, then it might be time to pull out the sander and paintbrush. White is a great color that goes with most farmhouse-inspired styles, although some of the latest trends are incorporating natural wood colors to bring warm tones into the kitchen.
  • Food Storage Containers: Wire baskets add a nice farmhouse feel and provide a great place to hold fruits and vegetables. Or, you might use wire as a place to store napkins or cooking utensils. Also, consider placing large glass canisters with ingredients that are commonly used, such as dried beans, rice, popcorn, flour, and more.
  • Metal Accents: Choose a color theme for the room, such as galvanized metal or copper. Then, look for ways that you can accent the room with metal highlights. For example, you might add metal hardware on the cabinets, a matching faucet at the sink, as well as chairs in the dining room to match.
  • Oversized Sink: A large, farmhouse sink is not only practical, but it creates a classy look. Home buyers love to see a big, deep kitchen sink that will facilitate all of the activities that will happen in the kitchen over the years.

There’s no doubt that you will love the results when you are done with your simple DIY  project that will create a farmhouse renovation kitchen. If you need inspiration for your home, then you might look at current real estate listings with similar designs. Or, do a quick search on Pinterest and you’ll find many images that can be used as inspiration for your project.

If you need help preparing your home for the real estate market, then DUFFY Realty is here for your family. We’re working hard to offer the best real estate services in the Atlanta area. Call today to talk to an industry professional: (678) 318-1700

If you liked this article on Simple DIY Projects to Create a Farmhouse Style in Your Kitchen, Here’s another article about making your home look great!

How to Build Value For Resale

How to Build Value For Resale

Your home might be one of the biggest investments that you will make in your lifetime, so it makes sense that you should be proactive to protect the resale value of your property. In this article we will be discussing how to build value for your resale.  Since the real estate market is strong right now, it is the perfect time to maximize your equity. Talk to an experienced real estate agent, and you will find that a few small changes can go a long way to increase the resale value of the property.

Here are a few proven strategies that will help with your home equity:

Create More Space

Buyers want to buy homes that are open and conducive to family gatherings. Consider the option to knock out a non-structural wall in the main room. Or, change the kitchen island so that there is more floor space.

You can look at home renovations that open up the floorplan. Also, don’t overlook the value of home staging. Getting rid of the big, outdated furniture can make a difference to create a room that is open and airy, setting the right tone for potential buyers.

Facelift for the Kitchen and Bathrooms

There is a reason why the kitchen is called the “heart of the home.” People like to spend time with their loved ones over a good meal. Make the kitchen an area that is stylish, attractive, and functional. These renovations might be as simple as replacing the flooring and refinishing the cabinets. Or, you could consider a full kitchen renovation if it is outdated.

Don’t overlook the benefits of bathroom remodeling. Freshen the room, install new fixtures and faucets, and see the difference that it makes to boost the appearance of the room.

Boost Curb Appeal

There’s no doubt that first-impressions matter when you are trying to sell a home. Buyers will form an opinion about the property when they pull up to the curb. So, you need to be sure that the landscaping and external features send a welcoming message.

If you don’t have time to work in the yard, then it is worth the investment to hire a landscaping company to assist. Also, consider other details such as a new front door or a fresh layer of paint on the porch.

Be Proactive with Maintenance

Buyers don’t want to feel like they will need to invest thousands of dollars into maintenance and repair work. Most people want the home to be “move-in ready.” As a seller, you need to cover the most important details that could impact the negotiation, such as new windows, plumbing repairs, roofing services, and furnace inspection and repair work if necessary. These small details can make a big difference to help you maximize the equity that is available.

Before you invest in home renovations, it is always best to talk to an experienced real estate agent to evaluate comparable properties in the area. Then, personalized recommendations can be made that will have a positive influence on your property value. For more information, talk to the leading team in the Atlanta area: DUFFY Realty. Call to learn more: (678) 318-1700

If you enjoyed this article about how to build value for resale, read this article next Give Thanks for a Beautiful Home to Share With Your Family.

Will Home Automation Impact Your Property Value?

Will Home Automation Impact Your Property Value?

Technology is changing at a rapid pace, and many homeowners are looking for ways to keep up with the trends in the industry. In this article we will discuss whether home automation will impact your property value.  It is amazing to see the conveniences that are available if you choose to integrate automation into your home. Whether you are building a new home or renovating an existing home, these features can make your home desirable to potential buyers in the future.

Improving the Convenience of Your Home with Technology

Home automation is the perfect solution if you are looking to reduce utility bills, improve convenience, and maximize security and safety in the home. Not only can you enjoy these benefits while your family is living in the property. But, these upgrades will make your home desirable for potential buyers when you decide to sell. People want to enjoy the luxury of an automated living environment, which means that buyers will pay more for properties that have these features installed.

Options for Your Home Upgrades

What automation features should be installed in your home? Here are some of the best solutions that will help with property value:

  • Smart Thermostat: Everyone is looking for ways to reduce utility costs, which is why smart thermostats are so popular. These products can be managed from your smartphone. So, you can adjust the temperature at home from any location.
  • Smart Lighting: How would it be to turn off the lights without getting out of bed? Smart lighting is another feature that can be controlled by a touchscreen device.
  • Smart Shades: Consider the time that you spend opening and closing the blinds each day. You want to bring in the sunshine, but it can be a hassle to manually open every window shade. Simplify this process by installing smart shades that open or close with the touch of a button.
  • Security Systems: You have the option to choose a security system that matches the needs of your family. Basic systems offer motion detectors so that you know when someone opens the door or is moving through the house. Or, select upgraded features that incorporate cameras so that you can see who is outside.
  • Keyless Entry: Are you one of those people who seems to always lose your keys? Or, maybe it is a hassle to dig the keys out of your purse when you get home. Keyless entry makes it possible to get inside, even if you don’t have the keys in hand.
  • Home Theater System: Make family movie night memorable by installing a home theater system. A projector and speaker setup offers the perfect solution to create a theater experience without leaving the comfort of your home. Also, consider installing a speaker system throughout the house if you want to listen to music in every room.

If you need other tips to improve the quality and value of your home, then DUFFY Realty is here to help. Call our team at (678) 318-1700

If you enjoyed this article on whether or not automation will impact your property value, read this The Best Gift You Can Give Your Family Is a Safe Comfortable Home.

Outdoor Features to Add to a Home to Improve Property Value

Outdoor Features to Add to a Home to Improve Property Value

Do you love spending time outside with your family, enjoying the warm summer evening and a beautiful yard? As a homeowner, there are many things that you can do to create a romantic experience in your own backyard. Consider a few of these features that will maximize your property and help you create the perfect environment to share with the people that you love:

  • Porch Swing: Put the kids to bed and then spend an hour on the porch swing with your spouse. Have a drink in hand, and take a few minutes to catch up on your day without the distractions of life. A porch swing is a cozy way to share a moment together.
  • Bench in the Garden: A beautiful flower garden can create the perfect place to spend a romantic evening. Find a stylish bench to place near the garden. You can have a good conversation while enjoying the delightful scent of the blossoms all around.
  • Gazebo: If you want something that makes a statement, then a gazebo is the perfect solution for your yard. This feature provides a little shade, giving you a place to enjoy during the daytime or evening hours.
  • Outdoor Kitchen: Do you love the idea of preparing dinner under the stars? Lay out a nice tablecloth, light a few candles, and have the convenience of an outdoor kitchen for your romantic dinner. An outdoor kitchen can include a grill, sink, counter space, and any other features that will be used by your family.

These suggestions offer options to create a romantic evening with someone that you love. But, they also help to boost your curb appeal. Homebuyers will see the value in the yard upgrades, and they will be willing to pay more money because of the unique features.

Don’t overlook the benefits of installing fun features as well. Set up a play area where the kids can have fun with their friends. Consider the benefits of a basketball hoop, trampoline, or even an outdoor pool. Then, you can plan backyard BBQs for the neighborhood, helping the kids stay entertained while the adults enjoy the evening at the same time.

Comparable Homes in the Area

If you want to boost the value of your home, then it is important that you talk to an experienced real estate agent for advice. We can offer suggestions about the features that will maximize your ROI. Our team is happy to help you look at comparable properties in the area. Then, we will support your efforts as you are preparing the sell the home.

Our team at DUFFY Realty has many years of experience in the real estate industry. We understand the best practices to maximize your home value and speed up the selling time as well. Want to learn more? Call today to schedule an appointment: (678) 318-1700

Stay Stylish with These 2018 Home Decor Trends

Stay Stylish with These 2018 Home Decor Trends

There are often two main motivations for homeowners to update the décor in their homes: they want to improve the lifestyle for their family, or they are preparing to list the property on the real estate market. Whether or not you are planning to move, it is essential that you consider the latest trends for your home décor.

Here are some of the most popular trends that are all the rage in 2018:

Simplicity and Clean Lines

Rather than over-filling the room with too many décor pieces, keep it simple with a few statement items. Some of the renovation trends are focused on clean, basic designs that add a touch of class without old-world finishes.

Shaker-style cabinets are out. Now, people are leaning towards flat-panel designs with minimal hardware. These cabinets are often designed with light wood coloring, or painted with a darker hue to contrast darker walls as mentioned in the next section.

Darker, Bolder Colors

White has been trendy for quite some time. Now, designers are leaning towards the darker colors to add more expression to the room. For example, instead of refinishing your bathroom and kitchen cabinets with white paint, consider black, forest green, or a deep shade of navy blue.

At the same time, many people are choosing neutral colors for the walls. Add contrast by choosing a light beige for the walls, then adding the darker colors as embellishments for the room.

Floral Prints

Not only are people wearing more floral clothing, but they are also incorporating these patterns into their homes. Bold, floral prints add life and excitement to the room. Designers are using these floral prints on accent items throughout the room, such as throw pillows, chairs, and draperies.

Matte Metal

Stainless steel has been the most common choice in recent years. While the trends are staying with the silver accents, more people are selecting matte finishes instead of the shiny silver. These matte elements can be incorporated on appliances, cabinet hardware, countertop décor, curtain rods, and more.

Open Shelving

If you are decorating a bookshelf or open shelves in the kitchen, think about the items that are both functional and stylish. The dishes can add a pop of color to the room, and open shelving creates the perfect platform for the storage of these dishes.

Open shelving is great because it maximizes storage space while creating an illusion of open space in the room. This design doesn’t require as much room as traditional cabinets and storage areas.

Are you planning to sell your home? Or maybe you are buying a fixer-upper? Consider the benefits of talking to a real estate agent to learn more about the ways these renovations will impact the value of your property.

At DUFFY Realty, we are always working hard to provide the best real estate services in the Atlanta area. Contact our team to learn more about the services that we offer: (678) 318-1700