Redecorating Your Child’s Room? Start Here

Redecorating Your Child’s Room? Start Here
Redecorating a child’s room is enjoyable. Figuring out creative ways to make your kids’ spaces whimsical yet functional is a fun design challenge. And watching their faces light up when it’s all done? Priceless.

Home design website Houzz conducted a survey of users who have “recently completed, are working on or are planning a home project with kids in mind.” The results provide an interesting look at what’s currently trending in the world of children’s rooms. If you’re about to embark on creating a special room for a child, keep the following in mind:

  • Close to 70% of respondents said their kids’ rooms have themes. The most popular looks, in order: nature, animals, sports, and princesses. But note: kids grow up quickly and tastes change just as quickly. Today’s trendy decor may look dated tomorrow.
  • Functionality and maintenance are top priorities. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they wanted a space that was easy to clean and maintain, and 64% said they needed a functional setup. Be sure to incorporate washable and durable materials, and include labeled storage boxes and bins.
  • Blue reigns supreme. Fifty-nine percent said blue is the dominant color for kids’ rooms, followed by white, gray, green, and pink.
  • The cost of redecorating a kid’s room varies. Of respondents who had completed their project, one-third spent $1,000 or less. Establish a budget before starting; it’s easy to get carried away with cute decor and playful features. And unlike adults, kids don’t notice the difference between the more expensive option and a more affordable one.
  • Nearly 70% of participants cited clutter as a challenge. Make toy management a priority in your kids’ rooms. Oversized bins in fun colors and/or closet storage systems are key to keeping toys and “stuff” out of sight and out of mind.

Finally, involve your kids in the decisions. After all, it is their room.


Add a New (and Fun) Twist to This Year’s Holiday Entertaining

Sick of hosting yet another sit-down dinner, or the usual holiday open house? Mix it up this year. Your guests will enjoy the new twist. Best of all, so will you.

Here are four new takes on holiday parties:

Do it after Christmas

Finding a December date that works for everyone can be tough. Why not wait until after the craziness dies down and host a relaxed, post-holiday bash? Everyone will still feel festive but probably not stressed.

Order in

Who says hosting means cooking? Order in instead. Offer a selection of gourmet pizzas, sushi, or Chinese takeout. It’s fun, delicious – and easy. Don’t fuss with cutlery; supply chopsticks and lots of table napkins. Set out a variety of beverages, add a simple dessert, and you have a dinner party!

Try brunch

Host a brunch. Waffles, fruit salad, eggs, bacon, and French toast can all be whipped up quickly and served buffet style. Skip the dining table and eat in the living room for a relaxed party atmosphere.

Turn it into a game

Potlucks can be boring, but not when you add the element of competition. Host a contest. Call it “TV Chef: Holiday Edition,” and ask each guest to contribute a dish. Assign categories, such as appetizers, salads, mains, sides, and desserts. (Hint 1: ask what they’re bringing ahead of time to avoid duplication.) You’ll need volunteers to judge. (Hint 2: kids might enjoy being on the judging panel.) The winning dish gets a fun prize. You relax. Everyone enjoys. It’s a win-win!


Trivial Pursuits: Why Do We All Love Trivia So Much?

In 1979, two Scrabble lovers, Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, decided to create their own game – Trivial Pursuit. And the rest is game history: Trivial Pursuit sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and earned more than a billion dollars. Because, as Haney and Abbott knew, everyone is fascinated with factoids.

Why people find these tiny bits of useless information so endlessly fascinating is anyone’s guess. Some experts believe the attraction comes from a competitive need to demonstrate superior intelligence. Some attribute it to a curious mind. Others believe it’s considered a method of brain training. And still others believe it’s just great entertainment.

In fact, trivia games are also good for us. Great bonding activities, trivia competitions also make people happy and reduce stress hormones. Notes Allquizquestions.com: “It enhances our focus, learning and thinking abilities.” Whatever the reason, as The Point Magazine points out: “Quizzing, sometimes referred to as ‘trivia,’ has been a part of popular culture for many decades.” In the 1940s and ’50s, for example, families gathered around their radio to hear The Quiz Kids – five super-bright youngsters who answered audience – submitted questions.

With the arrival of TV, “The $64,000 Question” and other trivia-based contests filled much-needed programming space. The public loved them.

And people still do. The wildly popular trivia show “Jeopardy!” was introduced in 1964 and became one of the longest-running TV game shows ever. And as game-show authority Steve Beverly told CNN Entertainment, it’s “still the best mental exercise on television.” I’ll take Trivia for $200, Alex…


Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, I’ll be able to help.

Click the market report below or select San Antonio Real Estate Market and complete the requested information about your home!


‘Urbys’ Offer a New Approach to Housing Millennials
What do millennials want when it comes to housing? The answer: pretty much everything.

The “Urby” – a mixed-use residential development that brings a little bit of city, a little bit of community, and a little bit of entertainment to a little apartment – may be the answer. Emphasizing “New Urbanist” principles such as walkable neighborhoods and access to public transportation, Urby developments are designed to attract successful urban professionals.

New Jersey-based Ironstate Development Co. calls its Staten Island complex Urban Ready Life (URL), and describes it in a recent CityLab article as “an all-encompassing living experience for today’s urbanite.” Each apartment complex includes ultramodern living units, ground-level retail stores, and amenities that include fitness centers, heated outdoor pools, and keyless entry via a phone app.

Key to an Urby such as this is providing opportunities for social interaction. The goal is to use common areas to organize activities for millennial apartment dwellers; coffee shops in the lobbies, communal kitchens, and a cultural director offer many chances for interpersonal connections between residents. URL residents, for example, can gather for stand-up comedy in the café, flower arranging in the workshop, or stump-the-chef in the kitchen.

The apartments themselves are inspired by European design and use European techniques for making small spaces feel bigger. While planning, the developer considered what its millennial market would and would not live without. The result: built-in shelving, pocket doors, and kitchen and bathroom “stations.” Nonessentials included room to entertain, as the entertaining takes place in communal spaces. Sounds ideal for this work-hard, play-hard generation.

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Should You Sell Your Home Yourself?
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Tomato and Mozzarella Pockets
Yields 18 pockets for a colorful Holiday appetizer
1 box puff pastry
1 8-ounce jar oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella
18 large leaves basil
1 egg lightly beaten
Finely ground sea salt and pepper to taste
Store-bought balsamic glaze to drizzle
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Place one sheet of puff pastry on each tray. Cut each sheet into 9 equal squares (3×3 inches). Place a rounded teaspoon of tomato in the center of each square, spreading it out to opposite corners. Sprinkle a tablespoon of cheese along the same area and place a basil leaf on top. Fold opposite corners together. Press firmly to hold in place.

Brush with egg wash and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly then drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve warm.


Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
Should I buy a home first or sell mine first?

The answer: it depends on where you are. Your approach may change depending on whether it’s a buyer’s or a seller’s market in your area, and in the area where you want to buy.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests that prices, which are expected to increase by 5% by the end of 2017, will rise by 3.5% in 2018, making it a seller’s market in many parts of the U.S.)

Typically in a seller’s market, you would be inclined to buy first, as there are more buyers than available properties, and it might be harder to find a home you like. But it’s a great time to sell your own property.

In a buyer’s market, you may want to sell first, as there are more available properties than there are buyers. You will want to list first, as your home may be on the market for some time, and you don’t want to carry both. The bottom line? Do what’s best for your family.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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