Miriam Keri's Blog
Build quality is the first factor to look at. All materials should be above the standard. From the construction to the wood flooring and marble countertops. Almost everything is custom with detail and care put into each element. One-of-a-kind hard-to-find features make a home feel luxurious and certainly a cut above the rest. Many buyers are now seeking out homes built from sustainable materials and boasting eco-friendly features.
The second factor is location. It could be acres of land isolated from the hustle and bustle of city life but full of stunning views. Or in the heart of a city that is always on the pulse with a sweeping scene of the lights and glamour only stacks of buildings can create. No matter the surrounding population you can be sure a luxury home will have a high degree of privacy. And many times equipped with security necessary to keep that treasured privacy from being disrupted.
A third is the prestige of the build. A home designed by an esteemed architect has much of the same appeal as buying a painting from a renowned painter. Alternatively, a home with an interesting backstory and/or history adds intrigue and exclusivity. They often boast state of the art features and are completely bespoke to the owner and landscape. A current trend is understated builds that feel seamless and non-disruptive to their surroundings.
Amenities not otherwise found in standard homes set a luxury home apart from the herd. Think theater rooms, fitness centers, an indoor pool, or wine cellar. And in many cases all of the above. Large balconies provide the homeowner to take in the impressive views of their chosen surroundings. While meditation gardens and outdoor showers transport to another world. Bringing outside luxuries onto the premises makes these homes an insulated oasis from the outside world, for their owners to kick back and relax.
Quality and individuality coupled with privacy make a home highly coveted. The resources that go into crafting the experiences these builds provide make for a luxury home. Many think it’s simply the price tag. However, this is simply a representation of how much time and thought was put into the creative process of building a truly luxurious home. When house hunting keep these factors in mind as they absolutely determine the value and cost of each of the homes that find their way onto your wishlist.
- A step stool and a ladder You'll use both of these quite often, especially when you're moving. In my house there are a few top kitchen cabinets that are just out of reach, so I'm constantly pulling out the step stool. However, they're also useful around the house like in closets or reaching high spots while cleaning and painting. Equally important is a ladder. You won't want to mess around climbing on unsteady chairs for changing lightbulbs or smoke detector batteries. Plus you'll need one for access to the roof of your shed or house.
- A whole-house fan or air conditioner When you move into a house, especially in the summer months, you're going to want to stay cool while setting up and cleaning your new home. A great way to bring lots of fresh air into the house is to use a whole house fan which draws air into the attic and therefore causing air from outside to flow into your open windows. Window fans are a suitable substitute, so long as they have an exchange mode to bring air in and out.
- A bucket and a wheel barrow Both of these items are easily overlooked but will be invaluable when it comes to cleaning your house and maintaining your yard. Reddit user shuggins points out some of the myriad uses for a bucket: mopping the floor, pulling weeds, watering plants, washing the car, washing the dog, and even turn it upside down for a stool when you need a break from all those chores. And in the unfortunate event that someone is sick and queasy, a bucket can be a lifesaver.
- Drain stops and screens It won't take long for your drain pipes to get clogged up with food in the kitchen and hair in the bathroom without drain screens. Plus, having a drain stop for your sink will turn it into--you guessed it--a bucket! Buckets are the best.
- New locks Who knows who has copies of the keys in and around your home. It's important to change all the locks, including padlocks to your shed. There are many horror stories of new homeowners getting all settled in only to be burgled soon after.
- Batteries all sizes Reddit user typhoidmarry accurately describes the necessity for extra batteries when they write, "Your smoke detectors battery WILL die at 2am. It will." Play it safe and get extra batteries for your all of your electronics to avoid frustration and rage when you can't watch Netflix because your remote battery died.
Decorate like you'd want to sleep thereUse bright, but calming colors on the walls, put a bedside table with a beverage coaster near the bed, use curtains that can be closed to block out the morning sun or opened to let in as much light as your guest would like. The important thing to remember is to avoid clutter and personal objects. If your guest feels like they're surrounded by junk they won't feel very at home. Similarly, if there are personal items like your photos, notebooks, or clothing in the room they will feel like they're intruding in your space. Instead, keep your personal items in your own bedroom or office and think of the guest room as more of a hotel within your home.
Essential itemsWe won't discuss the obvious necessities of a bedroom (i.e., beds and beddings). Rather, here are some items you may not have thought to include in your guest room that will make your guest feel more at home.
- Cell phone charger. Odds are your guest only brought one charger with them. But if you have an iPhone or Android (micro USB) charger ready for use on the bedside table, it will let them keep their own charger in their bag for use outside the house.
- Wi-Fi name and password. Write the Wi-Fi name and password down on a notepad and place it on the bedside table. This way your guest won't have to worry about disturbing you late at night to remind them of the log-in info. It's also a good idea to leave a pen with the notepad in case your guest wants to leave themselves any notes.
- Empty storage space. To help your guest feel organized, make sure they can use the closet or dresser to unpack their clothes and belongings and store away their suitcase.
- Tissues and wastebasket. A common, but overlooked, courtesy to include for your guest is a box of tissues and a wastebasket.
- Ear plugs. Even if you don't live in a noisy neighborhood there may be some late night sounds that have become white-noise to you but that your guest isn't familiar with (i.e. trains, heating or AC sounds, wildlife).
- Shower caddy with useful items. You can buy a small shower caddy at the dollar store and fill it with useful items for your guest, such as: soap, shampoo, shower sponge, razors, Q-tips, headache medicine, and band-aids. Your guest can bring this back to their bedroom and won't feel like they're taking up space in the bathroom.
Step 1: Setting up the yardAs important as how you take the photo is what you're photographing. Even the best photography will fall short if they lack the right subject to shoot. Before you even reach for your camera, you'll need to do some work in the yard. Freshly mown grass is one of the most important aspects of outdoor real estate photography simply for the reason that it takes up so much of the frame. A full, lush yard will pop in the photo, plus it will tell your potential home buyers that the lawn is well-manicured. Aside from the lawn, it's important that other landscaping features be tidied up. That doesn't mean you have to go out and buy new lawn decorations. Simply make sure that the lawn is edged neatly, that any mulch is fresh and not faded looking, and that trees, bushes, and plants have all been pruned and trimmed. It's also a good idea to clean your doors, windows, shutters, and siding of your home. A pressure washer works wonders, but you can often get them clean enough with a good car wash scrubber.
Step 2: Setting up your shotThere are many techniques to photographing the exterior of a home. Some photographers wait until the sun is setting and turn on all the lights in the home creating the sense that the house is the warm center of the property. Other photographers prefer to shoot in the day time with a sunny sky to show of the home's architectural details. Whichever way you choose, there are two important things to remember when taking your photos: First, make sure you have shots with the entire house in the frame. Not only is it more aesthetically pleasing this way, but it also allows potential buyers to see what the house would look like with the naked eye. Second, be sure to take detail photos of any aspects of the home or property that are of particular interest, such as a pool, patio, or excellent view.
Step 3: Camera settingsAs a rule, you'll want to take your outdoor shots using a tripod. Camera shake can cause blurry, out of focus photos even indoors. But when you're outside, you also have the wind and uneven ground to deal with. Move around and take shots rom several different angles. You'll likely find that shots taken head-on with the house feel flat, whereas shots taken diagonally create more space, making the home and yard appear larger and more interesting.
Choosing the right hook for the jobOver the years several cutting edge innovations have occurred in the work of frame hooks that you may never have even heard about. Monkey hooks, for example, weren't front page news when they hit the shelves, but they should have been. These painfully simple hanging hooks push right into your drywall and secure themselves on the back side holding up to 50 pounds (wow!), no hammer necessary. You can also go with tried and true nails, anchors, and wall plugs. The important thing to remember when using these methods is to consider the weight of your frame. A 10-pound monster of a frame shouldn't be put on the shoulders of one lonely nail that isn't even penetrating a stud. That's a for-sure way to break your frame and rip up your drywall as it comes crashing to the ground.
Placement is keyIt isn't a picture hanging party without someone standing behind you saying "up a bit more" for 10 minutes while you lose circulation in your arms. You'll need a partner standing back a bit to tell you exactly where it should go. It's essential that they tell you where it should be hung so they can't blame you if they don't like the placement later on. If you don't have the luxury of a picture hanging partner, try tracing a part of the frame (extremely lightly in pencil) on the wall and standing back. If you're hanging a gallery or a frame that you want to align with another object on the wall, don't try to "eyeball" it. Get out the tape measure and be meticulous when measuring the dimensions for the other object.
Hanging HacksThanks to the internet, there are several picture framing hacks that will make this whole process a lot easier. They are:
- Use painters tape for marking and leveling. If you want the frame to line up with one near it, simply run the tape along the lower edge of the frame that's already hung to where you want the new one to be.
- For frames with two hooks, run a wire between them and hang it on a single nail. It is virtually impossible (for me anyway) to get two nails exactly level for hanging a picture.
- If you must use two nails, use your level as a ruler. Put one nail into the wall and rest one side of the level on it. Move the other side up or down until it's level and then mark exactly where the next nail should be.