Fall Remodeling Tips

The Newsletter

Fall Remodeling? Don’t Start Without Reading This
As temperatures cool down, and we prepare for a season of shorter, darker days, it’s time to think about the inside of your home – how to make it as glorious on gloomy days as it was during the brilliant sunshine of summer. Oh good: Projects!

But wait. Don’t let the excitement of improving your home get in the way of proper planning. Rushing your project list can lead to unnecessary spending and less-than-thrilling final results. Here’s what you need to consider before picking up a hammer or swiping a credit card:

  • Decide on your budget and schedule. You’ll need to know exactly how much money you have available for your remodeling projects and how much time you want to dedicate to it. You absolutely need to have these figures decided before starting anything!
  • Make a list of what needs to be done and what would be nice to have done. It may turn out that your budget and schedule can only accommodate half your needs, or maybe you’ll find you have the time and money to cover your needs and at least one “want.” Look at your list, prioritize and decide which projects to tackle now.
  • Don’t let Pinterest get the better of you; just like a celebrity hairstyle, what looks good in a photo might not work for your space (or your head.) Be realistic about what can be achieved in your home, based on its current “bones” and your budget.
  • For financial reasons, it can be tempting to try to Do It Yourself. But unless you’re extra handy, turn to the experts to make your project dreams come true. An experienced, reputable contractor will find any flaws in your plans, make suggestions and produce a final product that not only looks good, but is secure, safe and strong.

Espresso Book Machines: Just What the Bookworm Ordered

While these days, newspapers are mostly online, some enterprising book stores are still managing to hang on. In a recent CITYLAB article, Eillie Anzilotti, writes: “An old shop in Paris is holding onto its place in the city by embracing new technology.” As strange as it sounds, that shop is a book store without books.

A new wave of book stores are banking on technology to keep them relevant; the so-called Espresso Book Machine is a print-on-demand device that lets buyers choose from potentially millions of books and sip coffee while waiting for their selection to be printed. The process takes minutes.

According to Anzilotti’s article, can On-Demand Printing Bolster Bookstores? The first Espresso Book Machine dates back to 2007, when one was installed in the New York Public Library. “Since then, the printers have cropped up in a handful of libraries and stores in cities throughout the world,” Anzilotti notes.

Book stores have been struggling to remain profitable over the last decade. Initially, big box book stores squeezed out many of the independents. Then it was competition from e-commerce. The latest fear is that people simply don’t read any more.

And, in fact, many book stores of note have failed despite adding coffee shops, stationery departments and e-readers to their offerings.

For those individuals who still enjoy reading on paper, the Espresso Book Machine may be just what the bookworm ordered. It’s a future-forward solution that enables book stores and libraries to stay relevant in a high-tech world. Readers rejoice!

Three Easy Ways to Cut Household Expenses

For many of us, it can be shocking to see how quickly our household expenses add up; it may feel like our entire paycheck goes toward paying bills!

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to cut back on our monthly expenses to relieve those financial burdens.


With the emergence of so many available streaming services like Netflix and Apple TV, there are few reasons to have intense cable packages. Reduce your bill by downgrading to basic cable, or cut out your cable service entirely. Not only will you save money on your cable bill, but in reducing your TV viewing, you’ll cut costs on your electric bill. Win-win!


It can be a major investment in time and energy, but it will pay you to renegotiate your home and car insurance. According to a Forbes article, “you could be missing out on a lower rate if you don’t shop around for new insurance at least once a year.” Insurance rates are always fluctuating, and it’s a very competitive industry. So it’s in your best interest to make sure you’re paying the lowest possible rates (while at the same time ensuring your insurance policies give you the coverage you need.)


Although it’s easier to pick up cleaning supplies at your local store, you’ll save money by getting rid of these expensive products altogether. As writer, Clare Hudson, points out in a Lifehack article entitled 30 Ways to Cut Your Monthly Expenses, you can easily make your own cleaning products with household staples like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. And they’re just as effective (and usually less damaging to your family’s health) than the expensive stuff.

It will take a concerted effort on your part, but there are ways to cut back on your monthly expenses.

Give it a try: the savings just might surprise you.

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!

Decorating For Today: If it Works for You…it Works
From the shag carpets of the 70s to the neons of the 80s, each era brings its own styles and designs. But today’s trend is actually a non-trend: It’s a celebration of the beauty (and functionality) inherent in personal taste: if it works for you; it works.

Decorating today is about expressing your personality in your home. If you like those shag carpets from the 70s, get one. If Pantone’s pastel colors of the year leave you cold, warm up with lemon yellow or tangerine orange.

While coming to terms with your own decorating personality is liberating, it can also be scary. Here are some ideas; make them yours:

Remember “flower power?” – If you love flowers, you’ll find floral prints on pillows, rugs, drapes and furniture. You can be subtle – add a floral cushion or two – or create an all-out garden in your space.

Oversized art – Fill a focus wall with a big painting or print that you love to look at. Large, bold pieces look great and don’t have to cost the earth. Some people are opting for stick-on photo art murals instead of wallpaper to give your room that very personal feel.

Make it shine – Today’s metal accents are subtle (think brushed brass, copper or soft rose-gold) – but if it’s glitzy you want, there are still lots of shiny things around.

Go bohemian…in a modern way – The modern boho trend encourages you to break all the rules. Combine vintage finds, antiques, personal accessories and modern furniture to create a style that shouts – ME!

SA Realty Watch Group
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Want to Sell Your Home Fast? Get My Free Guide
Preparing your home for sale can make the difference between getting the price you want – or ending up disappointed.

Discover some easy things you can do by requesting my free guide, “50 Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Speedy, Top-Price Sale.”

Just reply to this email and I’ll send it right out to you.

Quick Quiz
Each month I’ll give you a new question.

Just reply to this email for the answer.

Why do some people call sloths the Mona Lisas of the animal world?

Recipe: Broccoli and Shredded Chicken Salad
Serves 6
1 large head of raw broccoli
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
6-8 slices cooked bacon, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups halved green seedless grapes
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Break broccoli down into even sized florets and add to a serving bowl with chicken, almonds, bacon, onion, grapes, celery and raisins.

In a smaller bowl whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar and vinegar. Add to serving bowl and toss to coat evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Can be kept refrigerated for up to four hours before serving.

Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
What do buyers need to know about my home?

Sharing your knowledge will help – and impress – future buyers. Arm yourself with the following information to make your home buyer-friendly:

The information should include the age of the home and dates of any major rebuilding projects, as well as the costs of gas, electricity and water, according to Suzanne De Vita, writing in RISMedia.

Also tell buyers what you want to take or leave. Include everything from the kids’ sandbox and swings to fixtures and ceiling fans. And do consider throwing in window coverings and appliances.

You may want to have an inspection done and share the information with buyers. But discuss this with your agent. With price wars in many areas, buyers are filing offers without any contingencies, such as home inspections, to make the offer more appealing, and gain an edge. Be guided by your agent.

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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