YOUR HOME THE
R EAL ES TATE IS S UE
Compliments of Dawn Hoffman & Ulrich Korff
Thinking of a Change of View? Make Your Real Estate Vision a Reality.
Dawn Hoffman Ulrich Korff
Hoffman Korff Hoffman KorffGroup Group
If you’ve been thinking of downsizing, upsizing, or even a complete change of view, this moment is the ideal time to realize your real estate dreams. Inventory levels are historically low, and buyers are out in force, giving you unparalleled opportunities to transform your life. Not sure where your next move might be? The Hoffman Korff Group is dedicated to finding new homes for our clients, whether the property is on, or off market. Let us help you find the lifestyle that transforms you.
Dawn Hoffman 239.404.6445 | Ulrich Korff 239.404.9860 | luxenapleshomes.com Property information shown is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, multiple listing services and county records, and may include approximations.
We Deliver Results We wish you a happy and healthy Summer 2021!
Dawn Hoffman Ulrich Korff
Hoffman Korff Hoffman KorffGroup Group
Olde Naples Market Statistics COMPARISON CLOSED TRANSACTIONS 1/1 - 6/1 2020
1/1 - 6/1 2021
Sold - Price per SF
Living Space SF
Days on Market
COMPARISON ACTIVE VS PENDINGS (AS OF 6/1/2021) ACTIVE
Days on Market
List - Price per SF
Living Space SF
Number* Asking Price
Dawn Hoffman 239.404.6445 | Ulrich Korff 239.404.9860 | luxenapleshomes.com Property information shown is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, multiple listing services and county records, and may include approximations. * (absolute number; all other data calculated as average). Accuracy of the information is not guaranteed and should be independently verified if any person intends to engage in a transaction relying on such data
HANDCRAFTING HOMES, BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS FOR OVER 30 YEARS
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VOLUME 4 ISSUE 4
16 2 digital dish Home inspiration and design online
3 realtor tips
16 staging to sell Put your best foot forward with a perfectly staged home
Buying and selling advice from our local Florida experts
20 on location
home for all
28 choosing your realtor
Tour a luxury Port Royal remodel
Helping out of town homebuyers
Questions to ask your real estate agent
envision their Naples life
before you work with them
14 mortgage made easy
30 your home marketplace
Tips for securing a mortgage loan
32 ideal design A sophisticated transitional home on Florida’s east coast
40 pizza night perfection Take pizza night to a whole new level with these fun, homemade recipes
46 big moves Moving advice to make the process less stressful and more manageable
Form meets function with these kitchen and bath products
YOU R HOM E M AG A Z I N E ® | 1
WHAT'S HAPPENING ON WWW.YHMAGAZINE.COM, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND BEYOND
F U R NITUREP ICK
P UB LI SHER
CHANNEL GREEN VELVET OFFICE CHAIR
Channing Spano A R T D I RECTO R
Make a statement in your home office with this chair designed by Mark Daniel of Slate Design. The rich green velvet office chair with pleated channels sits atop a sleek, brushed brass base. Gas lift and casters make it easy to adjust height and placement. A CB2 exclusive. Available from cb2.com $599.
Tarra Wood P RESI D ENT
Tony Spano CO N TRI B UT I NG WRI T ERS
Oliver Nash Kitt Walsh
W I S H L I ST
natural flax linens These 100% French flax linen throws from Bed Threads are for people who like to get cozy. Because of the temperatureregulating properties of flax linen, these throws act as natural insulators—keeping you warm when it’s cold and comfortable and cool in the heat. They can be seamlessly styled with Bed Thread's other signature linen pieces. Available in a variety of colors from bedthreads.com for $180-$240.
LET US FEATURE YOUR HOME PRODUCTS AND SERVICES We are always on the lookout for new and innovative products and services that our readers would enjoy knowing about for their fine homes. Give us a call at 239.235.3170 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how effective content marketing can be for your company. Your Home Magazine® is sent to you courtesy of the real estate professional(s) that specialize in your neighborhood. If you’d like to change your mailing preferences, please email us at email@example.com.
FAVO RI TETREN D
VINTAGE DESIGN Bring the elegance of an 18th century chateau to your home with the Olivier French Country Antique White Burlap Dresser from Kathy Kuo Home. The solid wood frame features delicate details and beadwork with hand-painted burlap drawer fronts and ornate ring pulls. Available at kathykuohome for $1610.
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@yourhomemagazine | www.yhmagazine.com
Your Home Magazine® is published by Your Home Magazine, Inc © Copyright 2021. All right reserved. All prices, specs, and financing rates & terms are subject to change without notice. All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.” We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis. Advertisers in Your Home Magazine should not be considered referred or endorsed by Your Home Magazine or any other advertiser. If your home is currently listed, this is not an offer to sell your home.
Realtor Tips from Florida Experts
IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT THE REAL ESTATE
market in Florida is the busiest it’s ever been. With people flocking to the state for a variety of reasons, and as fewer people leave, inventory is down and homes are being sold at a premium. Many are sold sight unseen as buyers scramble to find any home that’s available. This market can seem like a daunting one for both buyers and sellers. For buyers, securing a home is a bit of an emotional roller coaster. For sellers, the rapid booking of showings and offers can be stressful. But there are ways to be prepared and educated as you tackle the real estate process in Florida. We have compiled a list of tips from some of the best Realtors in the sunshine state. Take a look at their advice and then for more local insight, contact the Realtor who sent you this magazine. They are available to help you as you look for a home or put your current residence on the market.
“The market is interesting because it is a great time to buy and/or sell. The market is unique in that interest rates are still at historic lows, buyers are more qualified for mortgages than ever, and the state of Florida is in high demand. Especially around the coastal and touristy areas, the market is competitive. It’s critical to work with a broker that has a great team to help navigate the showings, offers, financing and has the patience to ensure you get the home that best matches your needs with the best terms possible.” —LINA C.
“Get a professional appraisal before listing and price your home at the appraisal price. This will attract the largest buyer pool in the market which will get you the best offer. I also suggest paying for a high quality video. According to the National Association of Realtors, homes listed with video get four times the inquiries than homes listed without video, especially in a market with so many out of town buyers. Ask your Realtor to put the listing video online. You can get an additional 15,000-20,000 views on social media. I always list homes on Thursday and don’t allow any buyers into the home until the first open house. I instruct the buyers’ agents that no offers will be reviewed until after the open house. Once you begin accepting offers, start narrowing down to the strongest buyers. Let them bid and drive up the offer. Remember: a great offer is not just the price, but the terms!” —JOHN G.
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“For buyers: I am helping my buyers feel comfortable making offers on properties sight unseen by using Facetime or adding visual contingency addendums to the contract. This allows my buyers to secure a property and gives them time to hop on a plane without having to worry about losing the property For sellers: I like to inform my sellers that they can protect themselves with a seller contingency which will allow them time to find a new home if their home sells, and if they cannot find a new home within a certain time period then they can cancel the contract.” —RYAN S.
“As a buyer, be prepared to make an offer quickly which means if you are obtaining financing, you must have your pre-approval letter and if you are making a cash offer, be sure to have proof of funds to your agent in advance. Think outside the box. While buyers like to have homes renovated or almost new, keep an open mind about the physical location of the home, the views, amenities, and the community lifestyle as well. Homes can always be renovated but finding the perfect location can be difficult. For sellers, it’s wise to look at all the components of an offer and not just price. Be mindful that other terms like contingencies, financing amount, and type of contract the offer is written on are also very important things to consider when accepting an offer. While it certainly is a seller’s market and there is high demand, be sure your home is clean, smells fresh, and is organized to get the highest value for your home!” —JENNIFER S.
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“In the current market with so many buyers, so few listings, and quality properties in multiple offer situations, when you find a property you are really interested in, you need to put your best foot forward and make your best offer first. Don’t worry about what another buyer is going to offer. There is no way to know that information. All you can do is identify what you are willing to pay for the property and lead with that offer. The last thing you want to do is lose out on a property you really want for a couple of thousand dollars because you ‘would have gone higher’ if they countered. In this market, we do not have the luxury of negotiating on most properties. So always lead with your best offer.” —CORYE R.
“My advice to sellers in this fast-paced market: hire an agent who understands marketing. The right agent will bring all the tools you need to help you stand out in a competitive market plus gain top dollar for your property. This should include professional photography, staging, a strong online presence, and engaging marketing materials. Ask to see what kind of marketing they’ve done for other sellers and what their plan for your home would be before you list with a Realtor.” —JUDY W.
“As a seller you need to know where you’re going to live next or have contingencies in the contract which protect you from having to find a short term living arrangement. Homes sell so fast that you could find
yourself in a situation where you have nowhere to go. Make sure you work with a Realtor who understands that aspect of the selling process. As a buyer, please be prepared to make an offer quickly. If you see a property you love, you can absolutely bet someone else loves it too and it will be gone quickly. Because inventory is so low in this seller’s market, the opportunity to negotiate terms, furniture or anything else can be difficult, so be prepared to make some concessions going into the buying process. Don’t sacrifice the good for the perfect.” —NITA R.
“Buyers: Because of the current market conditions, it’s imperative that you make sure you have a pre-approval letter from your mortgage company before putting in an offer on a home. Additionally, because homes are selling so quickly, put in your highest and best offer as soon as possible. You should also consider offering incentives when presenting an offer, such as a no contingency clause, or a quick closing date to help mitigate losing out to an all-cash buyer. Sellers: One of the most important things a seller can do in order to get the best price for their home, is for them to thoroughly clean and declutter, especially kitchens, showers, and bathtubs. If they don’t, they are leaving money on the table. Addressing small items like broken door handles or leaky faucets is also a huge help. Buyers want a well-cared for home with no larger issues hiding around the corner. Of course, a fresh coat of paint not only makes the home look great, but can help eliminate bad odors as well.” —LOIS R.
market, but waiting will keep you making a mistake. Just like dating, if you know what you want and are ready when the right one comes along, you will be much happier in the long run!” —CHRIS W.
“I am a strong believer in staging the property. Regardless of the market condition, staging helps not only increase the value but also helps to sell faster. The purpose is to show buyers the home’s true potential and to create the feeling of wanting to live there. Sellers often believe that staging the property is extremely expensive, which is not always the case depending on what company they work with. Sometimes staging may involve just a few accessories, rugs, wall art, and re-arrangement of the current furniture. The investment is far less than carrying costs on the property.” —JOLANTA J.
“I pride myself on keeping my buyers focused on finding the property that best fits their needs. Does the home’s location, price, fees, size, and style meet their criteria? Buyers can be easily thrown off track and distracted by continually surfing the internet. An agent should show only the communities and properties that match their clients’ preferences. Showing a buyer every home that looks appealing from photos is not productive! An experienced local agent will help buyers tailor their search, and buyers who trust their agent’s knowledge will have a less stressful and more fun house-hunting experience!” —LAURIE B.
“As a listing agent, I work with many sellers. As the market settles down a bit after the recent buying frenzy, I am telling sellers not to get greedy. Buyers are being turned off by overpriced properties and deciding to let things cool down before buying an overpriced home. The National Association of Realtors is predicting the market to slow in the fourth quarter and into 2022. Sellers should not overprice their property, but instead, list it reasonably, letting the buyers push it higher with multiple offers. That’s a much better position to be in, rather than having buyers skip over your property.” —KIMBERLY W.
“Sellers: De-personalize your home to give buyers a chance to see themselves in the space. Pay for a pre-listing home inspection and make needed repairs so there isn’t anything unexpected that might slow down the closing process. It can be difficult, but accommodate shortnotice showings. You don’t want to give interested buyers a reason to look somewhere else. Also, make sure you have gathered important documents like your home insurance, land survey, and title for your listing agent to help speed things along. And finally don’t ignore your first offer. It’s usually the best, for a newly listed home. Buyers: Get a survey. This will give you peace of mind and no one wants to get in a land dispute with their new neighbor. Set realistic expectations. No home has all the amenities you want, so focus on the top three you need a home to have to be happy there. Once you know what you want, be prepared to move quickly. Sellers don’t need to wait on you in this market so you don’t have the luxury of “sleeping on it” when you do find the right property. And finally, be patient. It can be easy to be caught up in this
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HOME FOR ALL Helping Buyers Envision their Naples Life
BY CHANNING SPANO | PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICK BETHEM
LOCATED IN QUAIL WEST in Naples, this beautiful home from Stock Development showcases why people are moving to South Florida in search of a slower, more thoughtful way of life. Partnering with the builder, the team at Diana Hall Design was brought in to create an interior that would showcase a Quail West lifestyle, while also appealing to a wide range of people. “When we are involved in a spec home like this, we have to keep the end user in mind,” says Diana Hall, Principal and owner of Diana Hall Design. “We have to think about how someone would want to live in this home but also in the community. The interior needs to appeal to potential buyers from all backgrounds, with different family types. One way we accomplish this is by keeping the colors neutral, with a pop or two of universally loved colors for variety, which helps people envision their own palette in the home.” Throughout the home, the visual interest comes from the textures and materials used with perfectly placed accents of blue. Diana Hall Design’s signature elements like applied moulding, fabulous light fixtures, and elegant window treatments create an interior that welcomes anyone looking for a piece of Southwest Florida paradise.
G RE AT S PAC ES A beautiful foyer with tile inlay and niches with driftwood art pieces opens into the home’s great room. Here, the challenge was to create seating that felt intimate, but not minimized by the size of the room. The solution was to create a space for entertainment with a chat area behind, giving the new owner multiple entertaining areas. Facing the wood-clad television wall with floating shelves, modular sofas with unique picture frame design on the back, allow flexibility while providing plenty of space for people to take in a game or movie. Between the sectionals and the kitchen, Hall and Senior Interior Designer, Elizabeth Manchego created a chat area, a Diana Hall Design signature. “I love this round seating arrangement because it facilitates conversation for everyone,” says Hall. “It’s the perfect setting for conversation, or it can be used for a game night.” Above the room, faux wood beams were added to give the room scale and more livable proportions. The ceiling has been finished with white painted tongue and groove for contrast. Two matching chrome ring chandeliers circled with Edison bulbs were used to add cohesion to the two sitting areas.
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SUBT LE CONTR AST In the kitchen, Hall and Manchego focused on contrasting high-end finishes to create a neutral-colored, yet design-forward kitchen. Immediately catching the eye, the natural backsplash is finished in a herringbone pattern that has been continued up the entirety of the wall for maximum impact. A custom hood in a dark bronze finish with nailhead details pops against the tile and enhances the elegance of the off white cabinets from Omega Cabinetry. Floating shelves have been given the same stud details for continuity. Faux wood beams have been added to the recessed ceiling to link the great room and kitchen together. A large island offers plenty of storage and drawers and the seating area makes it a great charging station for laptops and phones. Stools with metal frames and woven seats are light, airy, and a favorite accent piece in the home.
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WO R K FLOW A space for focused productivity, the home office is more masculine than the other rooms in the home, while still maintaining the same feel of neutral elegance. “We had the shelf and cabinets custom built for the space and created an optional desk area with a niche,” Hall says. “The two-toned cabinets and counters are accented by recessed lighting and two small sconces with button details which subtly pick up on the other metallic accents in the room.” The substantial feel of the second desk from Hickory Chair grounds the space and is topped by a light fixture with sculptural qualities. A textural chain link area rug pulls from the color of the accent pillows on the seating area’s arm chairs. “The room was large enough from us to create a second reading space, so we chose chairs with dark metal frames, and added a hide which compliments the other textures in the room so well,” explains Manchego. Over the seating area, the team chose a two-toned organza drum shade chandelier. A simple window treatment adds interest while not obstructing the view and is finished with nailhead details.
COZY S E ATING Next to the kitchen, the nook with built in shelves and a coffee bar offers an area for casual dining. “We chose dark cabinets here to contrast with the lighter kitchen,” explains Manchego. Black metal doors were sourced locally and complement wood drawers and trim. “We both love the French cafe feeling in this space and we wanted to add lighting that enhanced that aesthetic,” says Hall. Chairs with a linear weave and driftwood tone table from Bernhardt offer plenty of seating and contrast beautifully with the dark wood and metal. A banquette adds more versatility to the room.
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E V E N I N G E N T E RTA I N M E N T The dining room is a beautiful space accented with soft blue tones and natural wood. “The room is long and narrow, so we needed to come up with a way to create storage and serving space while not intruding into the walkway around the table” says Manchego. “Our solution was two matching, floating ledges flanked by faux columns. We topped both with hand painted art that pulls blue into the room and added recessed lighting and sconces.” The Vanguard table comfortably seats eight and is surrounded by linen-clad chairs with dark metal frames. Hall and Manchego added beam details into the tray ceiling, lit from behind for maximum effect. Two large fixtures fill the air space above the table. Their thin frame helps to balance out their height, creating the perfect accent to the room. Anchoring the space, the same wood floor used throughout the home has been laid in a herringbone pattern to create texture and an area rug-like effect.
BOT T LE S E RV I C E Metal doors with chunky handles lead into the temperature controlled wine room which offers plenty of space and storage options to the most avid collector. Racks and cubbies provide room for red and white wine, and beautiful tile work has been extended up the wall for dramatic effect. “This room is in a very visible space and because of the glass walls we knew whatever design elements we chose would be clearly seen from other rooms. We loved the look of this simple, yet elegant accent tile for this space,” says Hall.
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MAST E R RE T R EAT Filled with natural light and warm, neutral tones, the master suite is a relaxing space away from the busier parts of the home. The wood floor carried throughout the main living areas is also used in the bedroom, covered with a soft area rug. The view is prominently featured through large windows, a feature Hall and Manchego wanted to highlight, but not cover through pleated drapes. A Vanguard settee with elegant, flared arms and nailhead details is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the light and outside views. The bed has been placed against a wall finished with padded cloth squares and flanked by mirrors. Hall explains “The design resembles the windows and adds a subtle design detail to the room.” She and Manchego chose nightstands from Vanguard’s custom design program so they could better control the color and design for the space. On top, Flo Decor lamps with chrome base and a suspended glass ball are modern and their slim profiles match the shape of the nightstands. Two full-sized chairs have been placed at the foot of the bed for seating and help extend the bed area into the large room for a cozier feel. Details on the accent pillows and linens, like Mother of Pearl shells and a Greek Key pattern, add texture to the room.
TRANQUIL BAT H R OO M “This bathroom was so large, but only had one area for his and hers sinks so we made sure to design a vanity that offered enough storage while still being very design-forward,” says Manchego. Topped with a chunky marble, the floating vanity with cabinet lighting pairs perfectly with the mother of pearl chiclet tiles used to create a backdrop for the contemporary sconces. “The window lets in such great natural light but we wanted to create a more cohesive look so we added a mirror under the window, like we normally would, but then decided to also add a mirror above the window,” Hall explains. The effect is an optical illusion that blends mirror and window for a polished look. Next to the vanity, the large shower with a rain head shower has been clad in Calacatta marble with stripes of Mother of Pearl laid in a chevron pattern for subtle contrast. Marble has also been used as flooring in the bathroom for cohesion. Above, a chrome chandelier with rectangular glass panels finishes the space.
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OU T DOOR D INING In Florida, outdoor spaces are an important area to any home. This unique and functional outdoor kitchen and dining area features a large kitchen island. “Indoor kitchens all have islands that are one height while most outdoor kitchens still have the counter and a bar height eating area,” says For more information about this home Hall. “We wanted to create the look of an indoor kitchen outside, so we created one large island and added plenty of seating from CabanaCoast more like it in behind your area, contact for easy entertaining.” The island is wrapped with decorative bands of tile which pick up on the colors used inorthe backsplash the gas grill. the Realtor sent thisThe magazine. Pecan-colored wood cabinets from NatureKast are durable enough to be used outside while keeping up with the designwho inside theyou home. ceiling is finished with beams and stained tongue and groove, a nod to the inside rooms while inverting the colors for a unique feel.
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MORTGAGE MADE EASY IN TODAY’S BUSY HOME MARKET, BEING INFORMED IS MORE VITAL THAN EVER. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING A MORTGAGE. A LOAN IS THE FIRST STEP TO HOME OWNERSHIP, SO IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW A FEW THINGS BEFORE YOU SET OUT TO SECURE ONE. HERE IS SOME HELPFUL ADVICE TO CONSIDER AS YOU APPLY FOR A LOAN.
KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE
A credit score can make a big difference in how much home you can afford. For example, if you are applying for a 30-year mortgage on a $200,000 house and you have a FICO® score of 650, you can expect to pay over $25,000 more in interest over the life of the loan than someone with a credit score 680. To keep your credit score high, make sure you are paying all your bills on time and keeping credit card balances as low as possible. Also, keep current credit cards
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open. Closing a card will increase the portion of available credit you use, which can lower your score. Lastly, track your credit score. Many banks and credit card companies offer this automatically through their website or apps.
ESTIMATE HOW MUCH YOU CAN BORROW
Use an online mortgage payment calculator to estimate monthly payments for mortgages of different sizes. As you think about getting
a loan, remember that your monthly housing payment (including taxes and insurance) should be no more than 28% of your pre-tax income, according to fool.com. Also, your total debt (including your mortgage payment) should be no more than 36% of your pre-tax income. The ratio that produces the lower payment is what the lender will use. Many lenders have more generous qualification ratios, but these are traditionally the most common. Just because you qualify for a certain amount doesn’t mean that
the monthly payments really fit in your budget, so make sure you don’t overextend yourself.
SAVE SAVE SAVE
There are quite a few costs associated with buying a home but here are the three main expenses you should be saving for. DOWN PAYMENT This will be based on the type of mortgage you choose and the lender. Some conventional loans for first-time home buyers can be as low as 3% down while the national average is somewhere between 6% to 12%. However, if you put down less than the traditional 20%, you will have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). Down payments can be challenging to save, so use a down payment calculator to help you select your goal, and then set up automatic transfers from checking to savings to help you reach your needed amount. CLOSING COSTS These fees and expenses are paid to finalize your mortgage, and typically range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Sellers can be asked to pay a portion of your closing costs, and you can save on some expenses, like home inspections, by shopping around. MOVE-IN MONEY Moving is expensive (see our moving tips on page 46 for help getting those costs down), so you will need to have money saved for movers, new furniture, immediate home repairs, set up costs for utilities depending on your state or city, and a little emergency reserve in case you run into issues after you move in. Everyone knows someone who moved in and within days had to replace the water heater, so prepare for the unexpected.
EXPLORE MORTGAGE OPTIONS
A variety of mortgages are available with varying down payment and eligibility requirements. Here are the main categories:
• Conventional mortgages are not guaranteed
by the government. Some conventional loans targeted at first-time buyers require as little as 3% down.
• FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and are designed for low-to-moderate-income borrowers. They require a lower minimum down
payment and lower credit scores than many conventional loans.
• USDA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are for rural home buyers and usually require no down payment.
• VA loans are guaranteed by the Department
of Veterans Affairs. They are for active duty and veteran military service members and usually require no down payment.
GET YOUR DOCUMENTS READY
Now that you know how much you need for a down payment, the amount you can afford per month, and the kind of mortgage you might qualify for, it’s time to get your paperwork together. You’ll need to document your income, employment situation, identity, and more. It can be a good idea to start gathering the necessary documentation before you walk into a lender’s office. Make sure you have these documents:
• • • • • • • •
Recent tax returns Bank and brokerage statements Pay stubs W-2s Driver’s license Social Security card Marriage license (if applicable), Contacts from your employer’s HR department
GET A PRE-APPROVAL LETTER
This is an important piece of paper in this busy market and most sellers won’t even consider an offer that doesn’t have a pre-approval letter attached. A mortgage pre-approval is a lender’s offer to loan you a certain amount under specific terms. Having this letter shows home sellers and real estate agents that you’re a serious buyer, and that can give you an edge over home shoppers who haven’t taken this step yet. Apply for pre-approval when you’re ready to start home shopping. A lender will pull your credit and review documents to verify your income, assets and debt. Applying from more than one lender to shop rates shouldn’t hurt your credit score as long as you apply for them within a limited time frame, such as 30 days.
BUY THAT HOUSE!
Now that you’ve secured your pre-approval letter, it’s time to house shop. This can be a daunting task as homes fly off the market in a matter of days and hours in some cases. Working with a real estate agent who has the expertise to navigate the city or neighborhood you’re trying to purchase a home in will make your experience much easier and much more enjoyable. For help buying a new home, or if you would like to sell your current home, contact the Realtor who sent you this magazine!
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STAG I NG TO S ELL by K i t t Wa l s h
SELLING YOUR HOME CAN FEEL LIKE A REAL CHORE.
From finding the right Realtor to moving day, there are so many things to consider when you do decide to sell. One of the top concerns can be competing with other homes for sale. How do you make your home stand out in this competitive market? Here are a few home-staging tips that will help separate your home from the rest, and get a contract in hand quickly. The exterior of the home is what potential buyers will see when they first approach your driveway, so make sure it is clean and well-kept. Start by cleaning the outside windows. Condo owners, make sure your screens are fit in place. Replace the mailbox, and the house numbers if they are peeling or faded. Have everything pressure washed—walks, driveway, porches, decks, and walls (which should also be checked for damage). Set out new welcome mats. Remember, it will cost you more to lower the asking price of your home than it will to invest in some minor home improvements. With that in mind, it may be a good idea to paint the exterior of your home, especially if there are chips or extensive fading. While that may seem a tad extensive, it will only raise the value of your home and help your real estate professional expedite a sale. Pay attention to your home’s landscaping. Have overgrown trees, shrubs and bushes trimmed, stray leaves and palm fronds removed, and unused garden beds attractively mulched. Plant colorful flowers in beds, window boxes, and in pretty container pots near your doors. On the interior, take the time to scrub every surface, from ceiling moldings to baseboards and floors. Have the carpets professionally cleaned, or replace and update your floors if they are beyond cleaning. Make all the windows sparkle. Don’t forget to clean the vents, fans and behind appliances. Replace any missing caulking around plumbing, tubs, and sinks.
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Consider removing extra clothing, furnishings, and décor that you may have accumulated over the years, reducing clutter. Donate, sell, or give-away unnecessary items instead of cluttering the garage. This will make your home appear larger, while saving you time during your move once your real estate professional sells your home. This step is especially important in storage areas. An overfilled closet, kitchen cabinets, or garage can make buyers wonder if there is a lack of storage in the home, rather than show them how much you can fit in these spaces! De-personalize your home so buyers can visualize the space as their own. The home should still have style and charm, but remove the personal touches like family photos, certificates, kids’ art, etc. During the decluttering process, pack away as many clothes as you can so you can keep them stored away and out of sight, and clear bathroom counters of personal items. It can feel a little odd to live in a home that isn’t personalized to you and your family, but it will help you get a better offer quicker. Give each room a fresh coat of paint. Go for neutral colors with complementary accents on moldings and baseboards, so that the buyer can easily envision their furnishings in the home. Accents and accessories should also be kept neutral, but stylish and up-to-date. Throw out and replace that accent pillow you bought in 2005. If you can’t find a replacement, it’s better to not have that accessory at all. When staging rooms, go for a strong balance of hard and soft surfaces. Avoid combining cushy sofas, overstuffed recliners, and a hassock used as a table on
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a fluffy carpet. The room will look like it’s sinking. Also, stage where it counts to get the most for your time and money. Not all rooms are considered equal, and you want to focus your efforts on the rooms that have the biggest potential to influence buyers’ decisions. These are the living room, master bedroom/bath, and kitchen. Focus on these spaces and don’t worry as much about the ones that have less influence, such as guest bedrooms, children’s bedrooms, and bathrooms. Artistic accessories should usually be kept neutral, so pack away brightly colored items and pieces that are highly personalized to your own taste. Always group accessories in threes, it’s been shown to be the most pleasing visually. On hard surfaces, place three items displayed in a triangle like a plant, a book, and a lamp. Take your picture frames off the piano. More than three items is too crowded and overwhelming in design. If needed, rearrange or store some of your furniture to create open, walkable space. Extra seats, an oversized recliner, or a large coffee table might help you live well in the home, but they make rooms look small and block walkways. This will also help buyers better visualize their own furniture in each room. Put extra furniture in storage, especially oversized or damaged pieces. With the furniture that’s left, rearrange it to make the room look and feel as spacious as possible. Staging a home to sell doesn’t have to be expensive, it’s about smart decisions. If you have questions, ask your agent about specific changes they suggest you make. Make sure your home smells warm and inviting. Mist your rooms with a light floral scent or diffuse some mild essential oils. Keep scented wipes for quick cleaning. Put a sliced lemon down the garbage disposal to freshen it, and consider lighting a cinnamon-scented candle in the kitchen. You can even pop a tray of your favorite cookies in the oven before a showing, so buyers will feel immediately at home when they walk through your front door. Once you are done staging, walk through the front door to see what buyers will first notice when they enter. Remember, your potential buyers will get their first impression of your home the second they walk in. Make adjustments, and then stand back while your real estate professional works their magic.
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O N LO CAT ION A Beautiful Remodel in Port Royal
BY OLIVER NASH | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL ANDERSON
today’s hot real estate market, homes don’t sit for long and buying something sight unseen is common. Buyers place their trust in their Realtor and commit to making changes or remodels needed to get a home in their desired neighborhood. For Realtor Chris Wells, that happened with this 5,521 square foot, Port Royal home. Only on the market for one day, the buyer bought it over the phone, knowing it had good bones and great potential. “One of
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the things I was drawn to about this home was the uniqueness of the rooms and I knew he would enjoy an Executive Ranch style home,” says Wells. Sold on the idea of working with Wells and Designer/Developer Kristen Williams, the new owner purchased the home knowing there would be a significant amount of work to create the kind of home he was looking for. “Location is such an important thing for most of the buyers I work with, and this situation was no exception.”
NEW S TA RT
The exterior of the home was improved with a landscaping change. “Judy from Judy Austin O’Donnell Landscapes really helped us bring the home to life. There wasn’t one plant or one blade of grass she didn’t touch,” says Wells. The new landscape design is an elegant mix of trees and shrubs that add privacy and highlight important areas and architectural features. The symmetry of the design enhances the new look of the home’s interior as well.
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I N TEREST ING ANGLES
Inside, the home was gutted down to the studs so new wiring could be put in for the Quantum Electric and AV smart home technology. This also allowed the team to move walls and open doorways to add flow to the layout where needed. Wells explains, “While the unique shapes in the room provided Kristen and I with some challenges as we created layouts and picked furniture, I think the shape and angles add to the beauty of the project.” Here, original dark wood trim sets a West Indies tone that Williams then accented with more contemporary pieces to create a modern Naples home.
K I TCHEN U PDATES
The new kitchen offers plenty of prep space thanks to two islands topped with a beautiful natural stone from Classic Stone. The two-toned cabinets from Kitchens by Clay are the perfect balance of rich grey, driftwood tones, and light cream, creating a modern space which feels warm and inviting. “Originally, the homeowner wanted more vibrant colored islands and this really became a ‘trust us’ moment as Kristen picked the more natural color. She was right and he loves the final result,” says Wells.
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MEAL T IME
Conveniently located between the kitchen, living room, and family room, the dining room is now the perfect place for a more formal meal or party. The room sports unique angles accented by beautiful moldings and wainscotting. Grasscloth wallpaper warms the room, while a contemporary glass top table with chrome legs continues the modern theme. The large chandelier fills the airspace above, tying the colors of the room together.
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Comfortable and filled with natural textures and warm colors, the family room’s new look is the perfect representation of coastal chic. A mix of linen-clad sofas and leather armchairs provide comfortable seating. Light wood tones are accented with deep blue and burnt orange pillows, picking up the colors of the aquatic art.
WORKING HO URS
“The home office became one of our favorite rooms once we were finished with the project,” says Wells. “Kristen added more storage though the built-ins and sourced really interesting tiles for the front of the fireplace.” The ceiling was given a stained tongue and groove insert to match the floors and existing door trim and a practically sized desk has been placed in a way that keeps the office open and easy to move through.
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W E ST I N DIE S R E T R E AT
In the master bedroom, the beautiful woodwork in the home really shines. Here, Williams softened the contemporary style of the home in favor of a more West Indies feel. Soft lines with subtle blue accents and dark, walnut-stained furniture complete the space.
SPA SPAC E
The master bathroom, once small and choppy, has been opened up to create a light and airy room. “The original design separated his and hers areas, but put the shower in his area and the tub in hers. It just didn’t make sense to keep it that way; we knew the new owners would get a lot more out of a bathroom that was an open space without the odd separation that was there before,” Wells explains. The new master bath now features an oversized vanity from Kitchens by Clay topped with white Venato marble counters from Classic Stone. Rohl fixtures and a DXV Soaking tub provide a luxurious bath experience. Chrome is used as a subtle accent and shell-like material can be seen on both the sconces and the delicate chandelier above the tub.
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C OASTAL C HI C
The cabana guest room embodies the feel of a coastal hideaway. Shiplap, nautical colors, and natural elements like rattan and grasscloth come together to create a comfortable space for out of town friends. Separate from the main house, the cabana guest room offers extra privacy as well.
HE AT ING U P
During the remodel, a space for a sauna was created to give the new owners the ultimate resort experience. Wells says, “We really wanted to create a traditional sauna. The look of red cedar is so beautiful and it’s a really practical material that’s been used for generations. We found a company on the east coast, Innovative Saunas & Cellars, that did a really wonderful job fabricating and installing it in the home.”
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POOL PE R F E C T I O N
The decking around the pool is a carry over from the new owner’s previous home. Loving the look of the Diana Royal marble pavers, he wanted to add them to the refinished pool and newly added spa. The water feature and raised spa area is clad in neutral tiles that pick up on the brown, tan, and cream colors more outdoor information about this been home of the pavers. Down a set of stairs, a second garden area provides For a private oasis and has orof more it inFrench your area, contact landscaped by Judy Austin O’Donnell Landscapes. Across the back the like home, doors lead tothe a Realtor who sent you this magazine. covered lanai with roll down screens for bug and sun protection.
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Choosing Your Agent
16 Questions to Ask Before You Buy or Sell Hiring a Realtor is an important step when selling or buying a home. If you’re selling, you can do it on your own, but in this fast-paced market you risk pricing your home incorrectly, leaving money on the table, and losing out on great buyers. There are also contracts to be considered with all the contingencies that come along with the process of selling. Working with an agent can help create a smooth sale while you focus on other things, like packing for your big move.
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As a buyer, hiring a Realtor who is an expert in the market is imperative to finding the best homes on the best timeline. These agents know of homes that are coming soon or unlisted homes that might work for you. They can help you move through the process from start to finish and protect you as you go over contracts and contingencies. Before you hire an agent, here are some questions you should ask:
1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AN AGENT?
Look for someone who has enough experience in the market and is ready for any situation.
2. CAN YOU PASS ALONG A LIST OF REFERRALS?
Good agents will have a track record of people happy with their experience. Ask to see a list and be wary if an agent can’t offer even a few clients willing to take your call.
3. WHAT ARE YOUR LISTINGS’ AVERAGE DAYS ON THE MARKET?
It’s important to know how long their listings sit on the market. Compare it to other agents interviewed, and if theirs is oddly high, especially in this busy market, ask for an explanation.
4. HOW MANY HOMES DO YOU HELP BUYERS PURCHASE EACH YEAR? HOW MANY HOMES, TOTAL, DO YOU HELP CLOSE?
The average number of homes closed per year for a real estate agent is usually 12. In unique times and markets this can vary but it’s a good starting point.
5. HAVE YOU SOLD HOMES IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD?
Communities differ greatly and to sell a home, agents are also selling the neighborhood and its amenities. If an agent has experience in your specific neighborhood, it’s a major advantage.
6. HAVE YOU SOLD HOMES IN THIS PRICE RANGE?
Price range alters how a home is sold and the approach a Realtor will take. If a Realtor has never sold a home in your price range, that could pose a problem. However, a good agent will be able to adapt, so ask for examples of how they will better market your home.
7. WILL I BE WORKING WITH YOU INDIVIDUALLY, OR WITH A TEAM?
It can be alarming to be handed off to an assistant if you don’t know in advance that might happen. Clarify who you will be dealing with primarily, what the agent will handle, and what gets delegated to their support staff.
13. DO YOU SEE ANY MAJOR RED FLAGS WITH THIS HOUSE? WHAT ARE YOUR CONCERNS?
An agent will often be able to see problems with a home you might not catch, so take advantage of their experience and expertise.
14. WHAT SHOULD I OFFER THE SELLER? SHOULD I ASK FOR CONCESSIONS?
If you’ve found a home you love, make sure your offer is the best it can be. Your agent should be able to guide you as you decide what to offer based on your budget, the home itself, and they can sometimes feel out the listing agent and get an idea of what it will take to buy the home. They can also let you know what concessions they would ask for and what contingencies they would wave to make your offer more attractive.
15. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE INSPECTOR FINDS SOMETHING?
Talk with your agent about how they’ll handle unforeseen problems. Usually, terms can be worked out with the seller in the form of repairs or concessions to make up for any issues uncovered during the inspection.
16. WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT CLOSING COSTS?
Expenses involved in buying a house like attorney fees, lender costs, title fees, can sneak up on you. Ask your agent to help you understand how much potential closing costs will be.
8. CAN YOU RECOMMEND A ____?
Your agent should have recommendations for a mortgage broker, appraiser, inspector, real estate lawyer, general contractor, moving companies, and anything else home-related. This shows a good relationship with important people you will need as you move through the buying/selling process.
9. HOW DOES YOUR COMMISSION WORK?
As with any financial transaction, get a good understanding of how an agent is compensated before entering into a relationship with them.
10. HOW DO YOU HELP BUYERS COMPETE IN THIS MARKET?
In today’s competitive market, standing out from the competition is essential. Ask your prospective agent how they’re going to help you stand out in a multiple offer situation.
11. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE HOMEBUYING PROCESS FROM START TO FINISH?
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you will want an agent that can explain the process to you from beginning to end. Ask for clarifications you need along the way. Some good topics to cover are how offers work, what home inspectors will look for, what happens once an offer is accepted, how the closing process works, and how long the process will take from start to finish.
12. CAN I SEE A CMA FOR THIS HOUSE?
A CMA, or comparative market analysis, compares similar properties in your community or neighborhood to determine a home’s value. This will help you know if the home you’re selling or if the home you’re looking at is priced right.
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YOUR HOME MARKETPLACE
form & function
Focused on fun accessories for your kitchen or bathroom, this issue’s Marketplace will help you curate beautiful spaces that are also functional. Featuring beautiful colors, handmade items, and practical solutions, don’t miss these items and more at our online store. To learn more about this collection, visit yourhomemarketplace.com or scan the QR code.
1. Copper-Colored Stainless Steel Measuring Cups; $45 2. Pineapple Print Cotton Apron; $36 3. Gold Dotted Ceramic Coffee Mug; $30 4. Non-Stick Cookware Set; $49 5. Teak Spoon Set; $83 6. White Ceramic And Black Iron Vase; $47 7. Ceramic Marbled Soap Dispenser; $36 8. Iron Grid Invisible Shelf; $53 9. European Retro Metal Plate With Handles; $70
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IDEAL DESIGN SOPHISTICATED TRANSITIONAL IN SOUTH FLORIDA
BY CHAN NING SPANO | PHOTOGR APHY BY 360 VIEW PHOTOGR APHY FOR MOST PEOPLE, Florida is the premier destination for second homes as snowbirds flock to warmer weather in the winter. For one New York couple, this lakeside home in Boca Raton was located in an ideal area and offered them the opportunity to remodel and design the retreat they had always dreamed of. “The goal when they brought me into the project was to create a home they and their family could enjoy seasonally,” says Karen Press, President and Lead Designer of Panache Designs. “They wanted a comfortable space that was also design forward and reflected their personalities. This was a fun project because we all clicked so well and they felt comfortable giving me reins, as I picked everything from the outside color and landscaping to the furniture to the towels in the bathrooms.” As an owner of a luxury boutique firm, Press is able to focus her time and energy on all aspects of the design for each client she takes on. “This gives me the ability to bring in elements that are more personalized and feel authentic to the home’s owners. I really have the availability to get to know the people I am working with, and that only helps create a better finished product.” Press’ personalization went beyond picking out towels and sofas. “I printed out a photo of the couple and had it framed. When they walked into the home for the first time they saw themselves in their new home and it just helped bridge that gap from a project to a home they could love.”
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BIG CHA NGES
The home’s transformation started outside. The exterior was dated and the owners knew curb appeal was an important aspect of creating their dream home. Press designed a modern exterior through landscaping, removing old and overgrown vegetation and replanting with a fresh and modern eye. Part of creating a better exterior was also changing the driveway pavers to match the new color of the home and removing an in ground planter and tree in the middle of the driveway. She also added stone to the columns and garage face, updated lighting, and painted the roof to finish the new exterior.
The formal living room greets guests with a punch of blue set against the serene background of creams, silver, and grey. “You can see through to the pool and lake when you first walk into the home and the owners wanted to emphasize that view,” says Press. “I chose furniture and accessories that are elegant and contemporary, but don’t take away from the natural beauty outside.” Low sofas with soft curves keep sight lines open and their minimal profiles prevent them from feeling too heavy in the space. A custom area rug provides a base for the room and brings in more of the main accent color. On the wall, a large triptych, each panel measuring 30 inches by 84 inches, brings gold into the room and the abstract cloud pattern takes its cue from the sky views outside the large windows. “I love finding the right art and accessories for each room and I spend a lot of time sourcing unique pieces for my projects,” says Press. “For example, I was able to find a sculpture that looked like the clouds in the art above. It feels like it’s come out of the piece and creates such a beautiful, finished look.”
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The family room is comfortable with plenty of seating for movie nights or entertaining guests. “I wanted to bring in a sectional that was interesting and modern,” says Press. “This sofa is plush without looking old, and I added texture through Cheetah print pillows and faux fur throw blankets.” A custom coffee table with shagreen finish and acrylic frame perfectly complements the area rug and drapes. In the kitchen, simple updates were made to freshen the space and to make it a great space for the modern cook. New lights were installed and cabinets were repainted for an impactful change.
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A round table with a glass top was added to the nook. Press used the same fabric on the bar stools at the island and the chairs around the dining table to create a cohesive look. The curvature of the chairs matches the curvature of the table as well. Press says, “I love this table base, it reminds me of a pot on a pottery wheel, as you can see each ring like you would if you were hand throwing a piece.”
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In the master bedroom, Press wanted to create a resortlike feel through texture and soft colors. “The master suite should be calming with a couple romantic touches, I want my clients to feel like they are walking into a luxury hotel room every time they enter their bedroom,” explains Press. Textured wallpaper by Thibaut brings in the colors found in the artwork and creates a beautiful focal point for the headboard wall. The bed frame is a mix of wood covered in velvet and the headboard features metal insets for a chic, retro effect that matches the look of the nightstands. The carpet creates a cozier room and pulls together the colors of the linens and the accent chairs.
The master bath is a mix of original and new. The homeowners chose to keep the cabinets, so Press updated the important elements around them. New knobs were added, lighting was updated, and mirrors with interesting, yet subtle acrylic frames brought it to complement the new wallpaper. A beautiful chandelier with shell-inspired accents finishes the space.
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SMALL BUT MIGHTY
The tone on tone powder bath shimmers in the light and has come a long way from the dated room it used to be. Press offers, “While I can’t say I absolutely have a favorite room in this home, the powder bath has so many special elements that I am so proud of.” Providing a pop of visual interest, people are drawn to the modern, floral print Scalamandre wallpaper. Made from vinyl, the texture is almost three-dimensional, adding to the beauty of the finish. The walls on either side of the room have also been given a wallpaper treatment which features a shimmering chevron pattern. “The room was totally gutted and everything from the floor to the hardware to the mirror has been custom made for this space,” says Press. A floating vanity with grey laminate doors looks like a heavy concrete structure. On top, a glass sink bowl with small checkered patterns matches the vanity and counter. Cylindrical acrylic sconces flank the tall mirror while above, a chandelier with crystals in the bottom diffuses the light though the room.
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The home’s lanai and pool area really sold the home to the seasonal visitors looking for warmer winters. “Between the lake and the pool, they knew this was the kind of water view they wanted to have in their own backyard,” Press says. Silver and grey Brown Jordan furniture provides seating while a slight hint of orange elevates the design. Dark tongue and groove boards have been run the length of the sitting and dining area to help designate the wide open space. In the pool, blue tiles were used to compliment the home’s new coat of paint.
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For more information about this home or more like it in your area, contact the Realtor who sent you this magazine.
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pizza night perfection There is something so satisfying about a fresh slice of pizza. Cheesy and warm, topped with classic ingredients or new favorites, hosting a pizza night is a way to bring together kids of all ages and adults who are still young at heart. Pizza is also one of those foods that can be made at home and tastes as good, if not better, than what you get at a restaurant. This summer, we suggest having regular pizza nights, and we’ve compiled some amazing recipes to help inspire you in the kitchen.
traditional dough The foundation is a good pizza dough and you should always start with fresh, raw dough that can be baked right at home. While you can purchase it fresh from many grocery stores or restaurants, it’s not hard to make and will take your pizza game to a whole new level. Here is a simple, yet delicious recipe to kick off your pie making experience.
Combine 1 cup of flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add olive oil and warm water and use a wooden spoon to stir well. Gradually add another 1 cup of flour. Stir until the dough forms into an elastic ball and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be slightly sticky, but manageable with your hands. If you are not achieving the desired texture, add additional flour as needed—up to ⅓ of a cup. Drizzle a large bowl with a generous amount of olive oil to coat the sides. Lightly dust your hands with flour and form your pizza dough into a round ball and transfer to your prepared bowl. Use your hands to roll the pizza dough along the inside of the bowl until it is coated in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot. Allow dough to rise for 30 minutes or until it’s doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, use your hands to gently deflate it and transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth (about 3-5 times).
2 - 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour or bread flour, divided 1 packet instant yeast (or 2 ¼ tsp) 1½ tsp sugar ¾ tsp salt 2 tbsp olive oil ¾ cup warm water
To create the pizza, use either your hands or a rolling pin to work the dough into a circle or rectangle, depending on your pan’s shape. Transfer dough to a parchment paper lined pizza pan and either pinch the edges or fold them over to form a crust. Before baking, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the pizza and brush the entire surface of the pizza, including the crust. Use a fork to poke holes all over the center of the pizza to keep the dough from bubbling up in the oven. You can store the dough in the fridge for about a week or the freezer for up to three months.
classic sauce The easy option is to buy pizza sauce, but you can also make your own and freeze large batches for future use. 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tsp minced garlic 3 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh)
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 10-15 seconds, then add tomato paste and stir. Cook while stirring for one minute, spreading paste along the bottom of the pan to cook out the raw tomato taste and heat thoroughly. Remove from heat, stir in crushed tomatoes, herbs, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread over pizza dough or store in the fridge for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.
Now that you have your dough and sauce, the topping combinations are endless. On the following pages are a few of our personal favorites.
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perfect pepperoni pizza Dough (homemade or store bought) Pizza sauce (homemade or store bought)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic , finely minced
20 slices pepperoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Red pepper flakes (optional)
dough Preheat oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, roll and stretch dough on your work surface, then transfer to your pan and stretch the dough out to the proper pan shape, while creating a rim along the edge. Using a fork (without piercing all the way through) pierce dough. You will want to do this all over the surface of your pizza.
toppings In a small bowl stir together olive oil with garlic and brush evenly over top and edges of pizza, then evenly spread about 2/3 cup of the pizza sauce over pizza (leaving rim uncoated). Top evenly with cheeses (again leaving rim uncoated) and pepperoni slices. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from oven, sprinkle top with red pepper flakes if desired. Cut into slices, serve, and enjoy!
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burrata and prosciutto pizza Dough ½ cup pizza sauce 1 pound burrata 3 oz. prosciutto ¼ cup slivered fresh basil leaves or 1 cup baby arugula 1 tbsp hot honey or 1 tbsp regular honey plus ¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 475°F. Roll or press out the dough on baking sheet, allowing it to rest midway so that it can relax, creating a large rectangle that’s ¼ to ½ inch thick. Spread the pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a ½ inch border unsauced. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pizza is almost cooked and golden around the edges. Remove the pizza from the oven and use your hands to pull apart the burrata and place small pieces over the sauced area of the pizza. Bake for another 3 or 4 minutes or so until the burrata just starts to melt. Remove the pizza from the oven, and then distribute the basil or arugula over the top. Tear the prosciutto and drape over pizza. Drizzle the honey over the toppings. Cut into slices and serve immediately. Enjoy! Note: If the burrata has too much liquid in the middle, leave the sauced pizza crust in the oven until the crust is cooked through, and then add the torn burrata at the end, rather than baking it at all. This will keep your crust nice and crispy!
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pear and gorgonzola pizza Dough
1 tbsp butter divided
11/2 tsp olive oil
6 oz gruyere cheese shredded
small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 oz gorgonzola cheese
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper
2 d’anjou green pears cored and thinly sliced
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup hazelnuts or walnuts chopped
dough Preheat oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, roll and stretch dough on your work surface, then transfer to your pan and stretch the dough out to the proper pan shape, while creating a rim along the edge. Using a fork (without piercing all the way through) pierce dough. You will want to do this all over the surface of your pizza. Par-bake the pizza dough for 5 to 6 minutes.
toppings Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 tbsp of butter. Add the pears to the pan and cook until they soften a bit, about 10 minutes. Be 44 | YOU R HOME M AGA Z IN E®
careful not to overcook. Remove from the pan. Add the other 1/2 tbsp of butter to the pan, and add the sliced onion. Season with a pinch of salt, and cook on medium low or medium for 15 to 20 minutes. Combine the fresh thyme, honey, olive oil, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Brush this mixture onto the par-baked pizza. Distribute the cooked onions evenly on top of the pizza, then sprinkle over the gruyere. Layer on the softened pear slices, and crumble over the gorgonzola and chopped nuts of your choice. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven, serve and enjoy!
grilled bbq chicken pizza Dough
1–2 tsp olive oil
Heat your grill to 425°F and make sure your grill is clean and the surface is well-oiled once the grill comes to temperature. On a pizza peel or clean counter, roll and stretch dough to a 12-inch round (or make a longer, oval shape for a more rustic look), while creating a rim along the edge. Using a fork (without piercing all the way through) pierce dough. You will want to do this all over the surface of your pizza. Brush the top and bottom of shaped dough lightly with olive oil, to prevent sticking to your grill.
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp BBQ sauce of choice 1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 2/3 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced fresh cilantro for topping (optional)
toppings Cover the dough evenly with 1/3 cup BBQ sauce leaving the crust uncovered. Toss the cooked chicken with the remaining BBQ sauce, then scatter all around the pizza. Add the cheeses and red onion. Bake pizza directly on the oiled grill for 12-15 minutes, making sure to place the dough over indirect heat so you don’t burn the pizza before the toppings have time to warm through and melt. When done, top with fresh cilantro, if desired. Remove from the grill and enjoy!
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location before or after they come to your new home. Also give yourself enough time to assess the box situation. If you are gathering boxes from grocery and liquor stores, this can take some time. If you are buying boxes, buy one of each size from a packing store so you can see how much you will be able to fit in each box. Then you can more accurately calculate how many boxes you will need. Even if you are just moving across town, make a plan for the food in your refrigerator and pantry early on. Moving frozen chicken or glass bottles of pasta sauce isn’t fun so consider eating what you can and donating the rest of your unopened food to a local food bank.
DECLUTTERING YOUR HOME
Moving is easier when you don’t pack things you won’t need in your new home. This will save you time on both ends of the move and money. Most movers will charge you by the hour locally and by weight if you’re moving across the state or country, so paring down items you don’t need to move will help your budget. This also goes to our earlier point of getting a head start on your packing if possible. It’s easier to assess if you aren’t rushed. CLOSETS Start with clothes and go closet by closet for your family. If it doesn’t fit, is out of style, and/or you or they haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it.
BIG MOVES Moving usually means change and no matter how wonderful, it can still be stressful. Whether you’re moving closer to family, starting a new career, retiring to your dream location, or just need a change of scenery, a move will test even the most organized of people. Thankfully, you can mitigate the stress and create a move that will go as smoothly as possible by implementing a few tricks of the trade.
By Oliver Nash
The temptation to put off packing or to wait till the last minute to take care of other moving related tasks can be tempting, but you will be so much happier when moving day arrives if you start early. There are a lot of things you can accomplish before you pack up that first box to help facilitate an easier move. Call the utility and internet companies as soon as you know you’re moving. You’ll not only get it out of the way early on, you’ll also ensure you don’t forget to do it later. There’s nothing worse than moving to a new home and realizing it’ll take days for your internet connection to be hooked up, especially if you are working from home. Moving can be expensive, so getting quotes right away will help you set a budget. Also, movers are handling your personal belongings and precious items, so take the time to look at reviews, call references, and interview your options before hiring a company.
PACKING AND STORAGE
When you get to your new location, will you be moving into your permanent home? If not, you will likely need storage options for items you won’t unpack in a temporary residence. Make sure you have a storage space reserved ahead of time so movers can easily drop off boxes at that
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KITCHEN Items in your kitchen can be heavy and difficult to pack so
make sure you really need all those gadgets in your new place. If you are downsizing, your kitchen storage situation will more than likely be smaller and you can alleviate stress by only bringing the things you really need (or that still work) during your move. If your new kitchen is larger than your old one that’s still no excuse to bring unused or broken items with you.
BATHROOMS Another room where storage can be at a premium is in the bathroom. There’s no need to pack half full shampoo bottles or expired beauty products so merge and purge your bathroom supplies. GARAGE AND SHED Think about what you will need in your new
home. Maybe you are moving to a community where lawn care is provided by the association so all those mowers and clippers won’t be needed. Sell or donate those. Now is the perfect time to go through children’s toys that no one plays with anymore so you aren’t packing something that won’t be used in the new garage either. Make sure you properly dispose of chemicals like fertilizer before you move.
You’ve reached the packing portion of your move. Probably the most time consuming, it can be difficult to figure out the best order in which to pack your items so you aren’t living without dishes for weeks or have too much left to pack at the last minute. The best packing tips help you cut our unnecessary work, saving you time while protecting your belongings.
Take your drawers out of the dresser but leave the items in there and secure them by wrapping up the drawer in plastic wrap. For light dressers (kid’s dressers or nursery, you can simply wrap the dresser, drawers and all. Keep clothes on their hangers and either group them up and wrap them in large garbage bags or hang them in a wardrobe box. Wrap up breakables like glasses or perfume bottles in socks for serious padding, and use linens and towels to provide cushioning for fragile, difficult to wrap items like lamps and vases. In the kitchen, use dish towels to securely wrap up knives and other sharp objects. Use pots to hold small items which will help you maximise boxes. Instead of wasting additional boxes for small kitchen items like spices and gadgets, fill up your large pots and sealable containers with them. You’ll save a ton of space. Use your suitcases to pack heavy things since their wheels make them easy to move. Color coding your boxed will save time. Grab a sheet of different colored
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stickers and assign a color to each room. You’ll be able to identify what needs to go where quickly, and you won’t have to hunt for the marker every time you seal up a box. Snap a quick pic of the inside of boxes after they’re packed in case you need help remembering what’s where later. Take a picture of the back of your TV or other electronics while it’s plugged in so you’ll remember how to set it back up later. It can be difficult to remember where all those wires go. Pack a small duffle bag or suitcase with the items you’ll need during your move and right after you’ve arrived at your new place, such as important documents, medications, chargers, basic toiletries, clothes, etc.
MONEY SAVING MOVE GET MULTIPLE QUOTES Done early in the moving process, this will ensure you are getting the best price and you may even find that a company is willing to reduce their estimate if it means getting your business. You should get a quote from at least three companies.
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be completely packed before your movers arrive or it’s time to pick up the rental truck. That way, you can focus right away on accomplishing the task at hand.
MONEY SAVING MOVE FIND FREE PACKING SUPPLIES Great for younger people and college students, you can often score free boxes by calling up local retailers or grocery and liquor stores.
Moving day has arrived. Stressful, tiring, physically demanding no matter how much help you have - it’s not the most fun day you will ever have. Here are some tips to help make this day better and get you settled in quickly.
Pack a cooler with easy-to-grab items like water bottles and quick snacks. Put it in your car or moving truck so you can access it whenever you need to. If your kids are too young to help on moving day, they can help the most by hanging out with friends or family to relieve a bit of your stress and keep them safe. The same goes for pets. If you can, arrange alternate plans for your little ones and your furry friends—you’ll all be happier. Last minute packing can slow down your entire day. Make it a goal to
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You’ve finally arrived, but there’s still more to be done. Here’s how to stop procrastinating and speed up the unpacking process.
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Getting the kitchen done first will give you a big sense of accomplishment right away and allow you to fully focus on the easierto-unpack rooms. Give yourself a deadline by scheduling a housewarming party or get together for a few weeks after your move. This will give you a set unpacking end date. Music makes everything better so skip the distraction of the TV and put on some good tunes to motivate yourself while unpacking. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to get every single box unpacked right away. Get the major things done, and then devote just ten or fifteen minutes at a time to unpacking; so give yourself short and manageable unpacking sessions. Dump a box onto your bed or in your bathtub so that you have no choice but to clear it all out and put everything away if you want to use that space. As soon as a box is emptied, break it down and recycle it. This will give you a physical marker of progress and clear up much-needed space in your new home.
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