Fri Jun 03 16:00:15 UTC 2022

Defying Mediocrity is Game Changing

Posted by: CENTURY 21 Albert Foulad Realty

21 Years with the CENTURY 21® brand When Jamie Skeen boldly purchased his town’s largest brokerage after fewer than two years as an agent and…

The post Defying Mediocrity is Game Changing first appeared on Century 21®.

21 Years with the CENTURY 21® brand

When Jamie Skeen boldly purchased his town’s largest brokerage after fewer than two years as an agent and just two years out of college, some thought he was crazy. But this game-changing move kicked off an illustrious professional path as the broker/owner of CENTURY 21 Legacy in Northeast Tennessee.

In his (quite fittingly) 21st year with the CENTURY 21® brand, it’s no surprise that Jamie has been named to the 2022 RealTrends Game Changers list. Honoring those who have dramatically grown their brokerage in the past five years – a time when the real estate industry was shuttered by a global pandemic and the virtual halting of the economy – Jamie significantly grew his brokerage.

CENTURY 21 Legacy is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of Northeast Tennessee, boasting 10 offices that stretch from Athens, just north of Chattanooga through Maryville to Knoxville, the tourist meccas of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Townsend, and up to Greeneville, Johnson City and Kingsport, just south of the Virginia border. A Greeneville native, Jamie is passionate about the local communities and the picturesque mountains, which he explores on his two American Quarter horses.

Starting with just 24 agents in 2003, CENTURY 21 Legacy has skyrocketed to 330 agents. Last year, CENTURY 21 Legacy was the #1 CENTURY 21 company in Tennessee in units, and the #8 CENTURY 21 company in units in the US.

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Best Thing That’s Ever Happened to My Business

After acquiring the former CENTURY 21 Billy Williams & Associates, Jamie continued to sell real estate personally while managing his growing brokerage. Just five years into business, the subprime mortgage crisis hit, forcing him to quickly change his priorities. He found the most crucial need was coaching nervous agents on how to handle the challenging market and recession. But in crisis, he found a new purpose. He quit personal production and began devoting all his time to running the brokerage and providing the services, coaching, tools and training agents needed to handle the challenging market and recession. Ensuring agents had the ability to be relentless and succeed became his top priority.

“It was a tough time, but it was probably the best thing that’s ever happened to my business. I realized I couldn’t continue to run a company that size and continue to sell. You get to the point where you ask yourself: am I going to work in my business or on my business? It was a big change in mindset, but I knew I couldn’t do it all and do it well.”

Jamie’s experience has taught him that each market has its own unique set of circumstances. In 2008, inventory was high and sellers were desperate, but there were few buyers. Today, buyers are plentiful but exhausted by the low inventory, and competition for listings is fierce. Despite the two markets being almost complete opposites, the impact on agents can be quite similar.

“Regardless of how the market is performing, agents want the same things — support, services, more leads, better training and a beneficial split.”

That’s when working with the CENTURY 21 brand, the most recognized name in real estate and the most respected brand in the industry* is invaluable. Jamie shows agents how the C21® brand offers quality leads, industry-leading tools that help agents work more efficiently, as well as valuable support and coaching, which agents can use to significantly impact their success. In the end, Jamie knows these resources can position an agent to relentlessly manage any market.

One Big Family

After 21 years with the CENTURY 21 brand – considerable longevity for any broker, but especially one who joined so early in his professional – Jamie says it’s had a tremendous impact on his business.

“It’s like one big family. From the brand team to the brokers, they care and are always willing to help. From day one, I’ve had great learning opportunities and the support to help me succeed as I grew in my profession. I can still call the brand team or other C21 affiliated brokers, and they’re always available to offer advice and answer questions. The C21 brand has given me what I need, and the collaboration has helped me so much.”

Jamie particularly values the sharing culture, especially among the broker/owners. From the start, he focused on building relationships with larger C21 affiliated brokers to ask questions and hear their perspectives on challenges and opportunities. It’s something he continues today, and he also readily passes on what he’s learned to other brokers who are starting out.

Creating a Legacy

Throughout his professional growth, Jamie’s business philosophy has been simple – do the right thing.

“When you focus on doing the right thing for your agents to succeed, consumers will achieve their homeownership dreams. By running a business based on solid ethics, you usually win in the end.”

It’s clear that giving back is baked into the brokerage’s DNA. Jamie created a ”Leaving a Legacy” fund, which enables agents to contribute part of their commissions as a charitable donation, and Jamie matches a portion. At the end of the year, part of the fund is donated to Easterseals by the brokerage — the CENTURY 21 brand has supported Easterseals since 1979. Then each office gets to choose a local community charity to donate the rest of the funds raised, so they make a local impact.

Through this program, CENTURY 21 Legacy is the #1 contributing CENTURY 21 company in Tennessee for Easterseals and has donated more than $200,000 dollars to Easterseals and local charities since 2017.

With CENTURY 21 Legacy’s focus on giving back, you might assume the name CENTURY 21 Legacy was chosen because Jamie wanted to create a legacy of charitable giving. But it was actually inspired by the previous owner.

“Billy Williams was someone I really looked up to. He was one of the first brokers in Tennessee to start a franchise, the president of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS® and was always just the most professional, progressive guy. I saw he was leaving a legacy in our community, the real estate industry and within the CENTURY 21 network, and I wanted to continue that legacy.”

It must be working, because Billy’s son, Mark Williams, remains affiliated with CENTURY 21 Legacy and is a top-producing and CENTURY 21 Hall of Fame agent. “He’s just as solid as his dad, too.”

Jamie has a message to any brokers considering becoming a CENTURY 21 franchisee: “This is probably the number one move you can make for your business. The level of support is incredible, and the tools and systems will make a significant difference.” 

Would he ever consider leaving the C21 family? Jamie admits that during one renewal, he did shop around with other brands, and he’s glad that he did.

“It was an important business decision, so I wanted to make sure that I was making the right choice. And what I found just reinforced that I was in the right place. There was no comparison, so I ran back and renewed. I didn’t really realize how far ahead the C21 brand was, until I looked!”

The post Defying Mediocrity is Game Changing first appeared on Century 21®.

Wed Sep 08 16:37:00 UTC 2021

Robert Hirsch 2020’s- It’s a trusted name, and we’re cutting edge.

Posted by: CENTURY 21 Albert Foulad Realty

If you’ve been following our series, we’ve been revisiting each decade, since the start of C21. We’ve strolled through the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, the ‘00s,…

The post Robert Hirsch 2020’s- It’s a trusted name, and we’re cutting edge. first appeared on Century 21®.

If you’ve been following our series, we’ve been revisiting each decade, since the start of C21. We’ve strolled through the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, the ‘00s, and we are wrapping up with 2020 and beyond. We’ve accomplished so much, as a brand, and we’ve been celebrating our 50th, with our #relentless affiliates who continue to defy and deliver, day in and day out.

We spoke with Robert Hirsch of CENTURY 21 Downtown in Baltimore, Maryland and he began to share his sentiments on how impactful its been, is, and will be, as a CENTURY 21 Real Estate agent. We’ll be honest. We had no intentions of speaking so futuristically with Robert but once he began to share his thoughts of where the brand is going and what it means for him, well, keep reading.

Joining the ranks of our #relentless in 1975, Robert has been with CENTURY 21 Real Estate for his entire career.

“I never imagined you could have a career that would last 45 years.”

Robert says he believes that C21 has provided him with everything he’s needed, over the years to grow his business and it’s survived even through the most challenging times of real estate. He says, with such a trusted name, like CENTURY 21 Real Estate behind you, you’re a player in the game, despite the competition.

As Robert shared the things he remembered most, throughout his career, he talked about every intention the brand has made to remain progressive to help affiliates have an edge in the market. From the gold blazers to being one of the 1st real estate brands to leverage television for advertising, he recalls a simpler time to when Co-Founders Art Bartlett and Marsch Fisher would personally visit the awards parties, hosted by offices across each region.  

“They were approachable. Corporate is still very approachable.”

Over the course of Robert’s 45 years in real estate, he posed a question.

“ The C21 technology makes us a player, right off the bat. Are you brand new? You’ve got all these resources.

Why reinvent the wheel, when you don’t have to?”

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When he started as a small office with two dozen agents, he realized he was surrounded by other real estate companies who were larger and who had been around longer. Robert says, because he was with C21, he had all the print material, support, and marketing collateral he needed, which he says, made him equal to the companies that had a dominant market share. He didn’t have to invent a mailout or a door-hanger. Robert says, this was a game-changer, and it made him a player.

Robert believes that because the brand has always worked to stay ahead of the curve, with technology, it’s given him an edge and that same edge will take his business to the next level.

“It’s a trusted name, and we’re cutting edge. You still have to talk to people, despite things like social media and things becoming generally electronic. When people see C21, by your name, people will talk to you because it’s a nationally recognized name.”

Even when recruiting new agents, Robert shares his sentiment on the direction the brand is going with leveraging the latest technology.

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“C21 is cutting edge and I press this in recruiting meetings. I tell potential recruits that we are a high-tech organization. I mean, you can access our tools, courses and, technology from your bedroom. That is our culture today. It’s become a selling point in how new agents will be able to leverage C21 technology right from where they are.”

Robert believes that as new technology emerges, CENTURY 21 Real Estate will remain ahead of the curve, for the industry. In continuing to take on the latest advancements, and making them available for affiliates to access them, wherever they are, is the leverage, Robert believes, makes CENTURY 21 Real Estate the brand that can take your business to the next decade and beyond. #OurBrandofRelentless

The post Robert Hirsch 2020’s- It’s a trusted name, and we’re cutting edge. first appeared on Century 21®.

Tue Aug 31 18:14:00 UTC 2021

Bathroom design trends for 2021

Posted by: CENTURY 21 Albert Foulad Realty

Your master bathroom is your oasis. It’s where you go at the end of a long day to wash away the stress, to practice self-care,…

The post Bathroom design trends for 2021 first appeared on Century 21®.

Your master bathroom is your oasis. It’s where you go at the end of a long day to wash away the stress, to practice self-care, or to prepare for the day ahead. The bathroom is more than just another room in the house; it’s a sanctuary for relaxation, reflection, and continued well-being.

Not only that, but your bathroom is where you literally and figuratively bare your authentic self, so your interior design should be a reflection of what that means to you.

Recent events have left many of us feeling anxious and drained. As a result, today’s remodeling trends lean heavily towards comfort and relaxation. Spa-like bathrooms with high-end amenities and eco-friendly textiles are the way of the world right now, and there are many exciting possibilities to consider.

Exploring Design Styles

In years past, we’ve seen an explosion of stark and minimalist bathroom design trends. Many homeowners love this look because of its clean, sleek, and enduring aesthetic. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the classics: black and white are bathroom color staples that have endured in one form or another through the decades. There has also been a rise in Scandinavian-inspired simplicity, a style that reflects an affinity for warmth, depth, and the beauty of nature.

Ostensibly, the less cluttered your bathroom is, the less cluttered your mind will be—and that’s sure to appeal to many modern homeowners.

And while this modest style is not going anywhere, we’re also starting to see some bathroom design that leans away from simplicity.

For some homeowners, it’s all about embracing beautiful things. Forget minimalism: some people just want to appreciate the finer things in life! That’s why you might start to see bathroom trends that take a more no-holds-barred approach to self-care and relaxation. In many cases, this means style and glamor, with plants in gilded pots dangling fronds over bathtubs, intricate tilework, and a variety of items (think sculptures, freestanding towel rails, and even luxurious furniture) that make the home’s occupants feel happy.

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No matter what style makes you feel most at home, there are no wrong answers. Indulge your senses, and it will always feel just right.

Choosing Countertops

Quartz has become one of the most popular choices for countertops in recent years. It’s beloved for its beauty, hardiness, and stain resistance, making it the perfect choice for the bathroom. Quartz is a processed natural stone that comes in a veritable rainbow of colors, textures, and patterns, so it lends itself to any décor palette. It is dense, non-porous, and heat-resistant, so it stands up to hairstyling appliances, water splashes, bumps, and scrapes. Plus, unlike other natural stones like marble, it needs minimal care to stay fresh and gorgeous. Finally, because quartz is an engineered stone, it can be cut to any size or shape, making it perfect for oddly sized bathrooms or custom vanities.

Quartz countertops are an investment, but they’re significantly less expensive than natural granite—another popular countertop option. Although both are lovely and durable, quartz is much more versatile and long-lasting. The classic elegance and durability of quartz countertops will serve you for many, many years to come.

If you’re looking for an alternative to stone, concrete is a popular choice in modern design. Although it’s not traditionally viewed as something you’d see in a high-end bathroom, you might be surprised at its beauty and versatility. Concrete countertops are smooth, sleek, and beautiful in their simplicity, and the options for colors and finishes are rapidly expanding. And depending on how you design the rest of your space, they don’t have to look industrial—unless you want them to. Concrete is naturally eco-friendly, highly durable, and low maintenance. Cleaning up spills promptly is necessary with concrete, but if you invest in sealing and waxing the countertops periodically to help maintain their finish and protect them against stains, maintenance is a snap. When you invest in concrete countertops, you can be sure you’re getting something unique, elegant, simple, and ultimately versatile.

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Bathroom Flooring and Tilework

Tiles have been the go-to selection for bathroom flooring for eons. Bathrooms are, as dictated by function, wet, and the floor and walls require a surface that can stand up to moisture. That’s why so many homeowners choose tile: both ceramic and porcelain are non-porous and highly durable, making them ideal for a steamy bathroom setting.

Subway tiles are an eternal favorite for bathroom décor. These days, they’re so ubiquitous that some feel they’re overused, but we tend to think of them as an enduring classic. This neat, bricklike design with a twist is an ideal choice for homeowners who want to be stylish, and there are some great ways to steer clear of a clichéd look. To liven up your subway tiles, play with patterns, like herringbone, or use contrasting grout colors to create a three-dimensional effect.

In 2021, homeowners are forgoing tiles with tiny, dizzying patterns in favor of bold, eye-catching designs. That’s not to say that every bathroom floor or backsplash has to be screaming for attention, of course; a single-color bathroom with a statement floor tile design can be very effective. Tiles with block colors, oversized prints and patterns, saturated hues, unique shapes, and even colored grout are an excellent way to boost your bathroom’s style factor without doing a complete renovation.

Texture plays a big part in tile selection, as well. From raw, matte surfaces to glossy, hand-painted finishes, there’s a wide array to choose from. There are even tiles designed to look like wood, which is a great way to incorporate a “natural” element into your bathroom without having to worry about warping and rotting.

Whether you’re using eye-popping tile as your focus feature or allowing it to subtly complement the rest of your design, don’t be afraid to play around with tile in your bathroom. And tiles don’t just have to be relegated to the floor! Visually appealing tile is great for a bathroom wall or accent, too.

Fittings, Fixtures, and Finishings

The soaker tub is having a renaissance in 2021. Much more versatile and space-efficient than its traditional built-in counterpart, the soaker tub is as stylish as it is luxurious, and can be used as a statement or focus piece in the bathroom. These freestanding beauties come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them suitable for almost any space—and the name of the game is a good, deep soak, which is undoubtedly what you’ll get when sinking into one of these luxuriant tubs.

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Homeowners who enjoy a moody and minimal look will be attracted to the “dark fixture” trend. Black, matte fixtures are modern, stylish, and visually striking without being garish. As any fashionista will tell you, black goes with everything, so this trend complements any palette. And for individuality, brushed black fixtures are a gorgeous alternative to the glossy chrome that’s been everywhere for decades.

Metallics are incredibly trendy in 2021; copper, brass, and gold are having a moment. Of course, silver fixtures haven’t gone anywhere—you’ll still see them in many a stylish bathroom—but 2021 is giving other metallic tones an extraordinary chance to shine. Whether it’s bright and glossy or brushed matte, you can’t miss with metallic fixtures in your bathroom.

Smart Features

Weird as it might sound, the digital age is coming to a bathroom near you. While you’re probably most focused on the style of your fixtures, consider that you can also upgrade them with smart capabilities. Now, it’s possible to preset your shower temperature and turn it on with the tap of a button. You can also monitor water usage, warm your toilet seat, adjust the bathroom lighting, and even check your emails and the weather on your smart mirror. Customize your bathroom to be the most relaxing, efficient space possible, and you won’t want to leave.

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The most important thing to remember about your bathroom décor is that trends come and go. Classic design, high-quality materials, and reliable fixtures will always be in style. And when you’re considering your budget, weigh it against the upgrade to your comfort and quality of life. Ultimately, if it makes you feel happy and relaxed in your home, you can’t ask for more.

The post Bathroom design trends for 2021 first appeared on Century 21®.

Thu Aug 26 17:58:00 UTC 2021

TRENDING: Best cities for state fair enthusiasts

Posted by: CENTURY 21 Albert Foulad Realty

Want to live close to the party? These cities are home to the biggest state fairs in the U.S.: Syracuse, NY – 1.2 million visitors…

The post TRENDING: Best cities for state fair enthusiasts first appeared on Century 21®.

Want to live close to the party? These cities are home to the biggest state fairs in the U.S.:

  1. Syracuse, NY – 1.2 million visitors
  2. West Springfield, MA – 1.5 million visitors
  3. St. Paul, MN – 2 million visitors
  4. Dallas, TX – 2.25 million visitors
The post TRENDING: Best cities for state fair enthusiasts first appeared on Century 21®.

Tue Aug 24 18:22:00 UTC 2021

Moving Forward: The Role of the Home in Well-Being and Productivity

Posted by: CENTURY 21 Albert Foulad Realty

Recent events have made the spaces in our homes more important than ever—to our productivity, well-being, health and comfort. As we head into a new…

The post Moving Forward: The Role of the Home in Well-Being and Productivity first appeared on Century 21®.

Recent events have made the spaces in our homes more important than ever—to our productivity, well-being, health and comfort. As we head into a new future, how can we make sure that our homes serve us better?

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While homes have always been central in our lives, they have never had to shoulder as much of a load as they have this past year. Since the stay-at-home orders, our homes have had to provide us with everything we need, much of which they were not designed for—from office spaces to classrooms, gyms and sanctuaries.

Our relationships to our home environments have changed, and the psychological impact of being at home, becoming familiar with the new demands on our spaces, and being confronted with all of our “stuff” is not a minor thing.

The effects of this reassessment of our home spaces on our behaviors have been numerous: from making small changes, like seeking to repurpose the spaces in our homes for more practical use (work, recreation, quiet time), or removing various unneeded furniture or objects from our homes, to larger decisions like moving to a house that is more suitable for our own personal indoor-centric lifestyles.

Now, the number of vaccinated Americans is increasing, and a pinprick of light is growing stronger at the end of the COVID tunnel. Does this mean that we will return to pre-pandemic behaviors and forget the adjustments that we’ve made in our homes?

Sally Augustin, an environmental and design psychologist, uses the practice of science to inform design projects in both commercial and residential spaces. She believes that, while we will be glad to be out of our homes again when things become slightly more relaxed, we will also use what we’ve learned from the recent past to inform how our spaces should work for us moving forward.

“We’re a social species, so we like to mix with others,” Augustin says. “We’ll go back to work; we’ll start to see our families again. We’re all pretty sick of our own cooking and all the things we can get delivered, so we’ll go out to eat again. I think people will resume, to a large extent, their previous lives, but they won’t forget their current experiences.”

So, what does that mean for how we design and live within our existing homes, and what we should look for in future property purchases?

SMALL CHANGES

For those who are working within the confines of the spaces that they already have, there are small changes that can be made that will make a significant impact on quality of life at home.

Augustin is quick to list a few things that can make a big difference—noting that they’re not new design elements born out of the pandemic, but rather things that have always helped us to create healthy and happy living spaces, and that can be implemented to great effect in these changing times.

“For most of us, happily, all of our sensory systems are working at same time,” Augustin says. “Always think about the full range of sensory experiences you’ll have in a space.”

To create a more relaxed environment, Augustin recommends playing nature soundtracks at a very low volume in your office or living room. And she says that smell—yes, smell—can also play an important part in how comfortable you feel at home.

“There’s been a lot of rigorous research done on smell and how it affects what goes on in people’s heads,” she says. “You might consider making your home office smell like lemon, which has been linked to cognitive performance. Throughout the home, you might want a lavender scent, because the research shows that the smell of lavender is relaxing.”

Most of us default to sight as the primary sense when we evaluate a space for suitability, and there is plenty you can do to improve the visual impact of your home environment.

“Seeing wood grain is great at alleviating our stress—whether it’s on floors or other surfaces in our homes,” Augustin says. “Relatively light and unsaturated colors (which have always been good for use in a home) are still good. And natural light is like magic for us as humans. Being in natural light improves our cognitive performance—even our creative thinking. Plants were great inside before, and they’re great inside now, in terms of helping us refresh mentally and feel calmer.”

On top of color and light, Augustin notes that the way that we allow our belongings to dominate a space can have a big effect on our mindset.

“It’s really important to think about visual clutter in a space,” she says. “I think sometimes people let that get on top of them. I’m not talking about creating a place that’s stark—being in white box without much going on visually stresses us out—but you’re really looking for a middle ground.

“You want to think through the palette of colors that are in a space, make sure it’s well-managed, have only a couple of patterns in a space, have some personalizing objects on tabletops or hanging on walls, like photographs or art, but don’t let things get away from you.”

Rebecca West, interior designer and founder of Seriously Happy Homes, agrees, adding that clutter can take your space away from you.

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“People used to have all these spare rooms, like the guest room or the home gym that wasn’t used much,” she says. “Now, that space has become so much more precious. The demands on the space have become a lot more profound, and people are thinking, ‘This is our reality now. How do we make it work?’

“If you’ve got a space that has been storing stuff that you haven’t touched in five or 10 years, you really got to think, ‘Could I use that space better?’” she says. “This is very helpful for people who feel like they don’t have enough house. You’re just seeing it with blinders on, having lived there for so long that you can’t necessarily see any other way of using the space.”

West notes that, until recently, it’s been much easier to ignore the things in our homes that weren’t working.

“I think that a lot of people were able to ignore that psychological baggage in their home, because they always left the house for work, or they could go out with friends,” she says. “[Since the pandemic], they haven’t been able to escape those psychological cues anymore.”

To create a space that best serves your well-being, West recommends taking a look around your home,

and identifying the things that don’t make you feel good.

“You can take action on the stuff that has been nagging at you, but you weren’t really able to put your finger on,” she says. “Figure out what makes you happy and showcase it, because half the time we hide the stuff we love in a box in the garage. Get rid of the stuff that seems like it should be functional—maybe it was expensive, maybe you have guilt because it was given to you as a gift—but doesn’t make you happy. Who are you serving by holding on to all that?”

Once you have assessed the elements you can bring into your home for well-being, as well as those you should get rid of, the job is not done—you still need to keep on top of what’s coming into the house, and make sure you keep shifting things out, West says.

“A house is never done, because the people in it are always changing, and there’s always stuff flowing in—whether that’s junk mail or groceries or Amazon purchases,” she says. “If we don’t think about the house as this living, breathing organism—where things are breathed in, so they must be breathed out—then we either end up with a totally stale house, or we end up with too much stuff.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE

While there are several things that you can do to improve your space that don’t require remodeling or moving house, sometimes taking a big step and making those larger changes is necessary.

Both West and Augustin note the need, during times when we’re spending more time indoors in close proximity to others, for spaces that can be closed off for work or quiet, but that won’t make residents feel closed-in.

“There’s this competing priority of, ‘I need a door to close so that I can take whatever meeting, or find a mental quiet space,’” West says, “but also, ‘I don’t want to feel super isolated, or trapped in a lot of tiny, small spaces.’”

She says that we can have both space and sanctuary, through having large rooms that can be segmented if necessary—using things like barn doors, sliding doors and room dividers.

“A lot of people will have memories of this event that will guide their future actions. The next time they’re looking to buy a house, they’ll make sure it has some space where they can work effectively from home. People will perhaps be looking for spaces with a little more internal segmentation from one space to another, because they’ll remember how nice it was to be able to isolate a bit when they were confined to their home with all the members of their family for weeks on end.”

Aside from the practicalities of working and schooling from home, we should also look for spaces that prioritize our mental and physical health, West says.

“I certainly think that people will be looking beyond the footprint of their home. Walkable neighborhoods and outdoor spaces are more important than they were pre-pandemic. It’s about the home, but it’s also about what’s outside your home. Do you have an outside gazebo or some outdoor space where you could have friends over if you’re worried about social distancing?”

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West also recommends thinking about the multigenerational living that many of us are now doing, and making sure that there are spaces that are useful to the different members of the household—things like study spaces for children, workout rooms for active people, hangout areas for the family, and comfortable quarters for elderly relatives.

“Then there’s privacy,” she says. “What do the windows look out onto? Are they looking into your neighbor’s home? Will that make you feel more trapped? And what kind of light are you going to be getting throughout the day, especially during the hours you want to be more alert or more rested?

“As you’re looking at a new house and trying to imagine your furniture in the space, really go through the exercise of thinking, ‘Where would I sit in this room? How would it feel for me to sit in this room while spending 12 hours working in this space?’”

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For Augustin, the senses are again an important consideration when evaluating a home for suitability.

“When you first see a home that you might buy, often you’re looking at like an online listing, which is pictures. But make sure you read the words, too, because maybe you’ll find out that the house is next door to a preschool or something. Some people might love the sound of little kids laughing in the morning, but if you’re going to be up all night because you’re an emergency-room physician, maybe you don’t want to live next door to a preschool.

“There was a neighborhood in Chicago that for decades smelled like chocolate because it was right near the Brach’s Candy Factory. It was a perfectly nice neighborhood, but if you didn’t like chocolate or [had dietary health concerns], that probably wasn’t the place for you.

“In general, keep in mind that your house is more than what it looks like.”

Beyond what a house can offer in terms of practical considerations, there’s the need for us to feel… well, at home. In a time when security and safety are top of mind for most people, familiarity can provide comfort. So how can you create that feeling in a brand-new home, which is—at least to begin with—unfamiliar?

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Augustin recommends giving thought to what makes your house really feel like home to you. “If you can continue to use the same furniture, or look at the same art, that increases feelings of familiarity and safety,” she says. “Is your furniture or your art going to fit in the new home? If you’re coming from an apartment with lots of solid, interior walls, and you go to a home that’s open plan, with very few interior walls and lots of windows, you’re not going to be able to hang as many paintings. If that art is meaningful to you, a new home where you can’t put it up and see it is not going to be the best place for you to be.

“You have to think through where you were already, your good experiences there, and how many of those you’ll be able to carry through to the new space to make it familiar. If you’re going to make a big change, why? Is it likely that you will be happy after you make it, based on where you’ve been happy previously?”

Home is the most personal space that any of us have, and we need to make decisions according to what feeds our own individual sense of well-being. Identify the things that make you feel comfortable, make your home feel practical, and ensure that it serves you and your family in the best way possible. Then, make the necessary changes, or, if you need to, purchase a house with those things in mind. In a nutshell, create your space intentionally.

Or, as Augustin says, “Just manage things. Be active. Take control. Don’t let your house just happen to you.”

The post Moving Forward: The Role of the Home in Well-Being and Productivity first appeared on Century 21®.

Fri Aug 20 17:57:00 UTC 2021

SELLER: All about disclosures

Posted by: CENTURY 21 Albert Foulad Realty

Disclosure is key to the house selling process. While the form may seem overly long and confusing, filling it outright is important. Failure to disclose…

The post SELLER: All about disclosures first appeared on Century 21®.

Disclosure is key to the house selling process. While the form may seem overly long and confusing, filling it outright is important. Failure to disclose some problems or entering false information can leave you open to a lawsuit, even after closing.

Federal, state and local

You must obey federal, state and local laws for disclosures. There aren’t many federal requirements, but one very significant one is lead paint disclosure. If your home was built before 1978, you must disclose any known lead paint in the house and provide potential buyers with an EPA pamphlet.

As for state and local laws, these vary across the country. Common disclosure requirements include:

  • Pest infestations
  • Water infiltration
  • Mold
  • Smoke damage
  • Structural problems
  • Environmental hazards
  • Death in the home

Put it in writing

Disclosures must be in writing for potential buyers. Verbal disclosures, no matter how thorough, don’t count.

Patent vs. Latent

When filling out a disclosure form, you may see the terms patent and latent. A patent defect is visible and usually doesn’t need to be disclosed, while a latent defect is hidden and should be disclosed.

What if it’s been fixed?

In most cases, even if you’ve completely remediated the problem, you still need to disclose it as part of the house’s history.

REALTORS® to the rescue

With a qualified local REALTOR®, you’re much less likely to make a mistake during the disclosure process. They can help you identify what needs to be disclosed, when it’s appropriate to say that you simply don’t know, and more.

The post SELLER: All about disclosures first appeared on Century 21®.

Tue Aug 17 18:19:00 UTC 2021

Reservations Are Now Open for Space Perspective

Posted by: CENTURY 21 Albert Foulad Realty

You don’t have to be a Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos to head to space. Now, you can book your own history-making flight via Space…

The post Reservations Are Now Open for Space Perspective first appeared on Century 21®.

You don’t have to be a Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos to head to space. Now, you can book your own history-making flight via Space Perspective.

The Florida-based luxury spaceflight experience company recently announced that reservations are now open for their six-hour flights aboard Neptune One, which will reach the edge of space with balloon assistance.

The post Reservations Are Now Open for Space Perspective first appeared on Century 21®.

Thu Aug 12 13:30:00 UTC 2021

We may finally be reaching this seller’s market peak

Posted by: CENTURY 21 Albert Foulad Realty

With houses flying off the market, bidding wars, and supply shortages pausing new construction, house shopping can’t get much crazier. For months, there’s been no…

The post We may finally be reaching this seller’s market peak first appeared on Century 21®.

With houses flying off the market, bidding wars, and supply shortages pausing new construction, house shopping can’t get much crazier. For months, there’s been no sign of things easing up. But now, at long last, there are some signs of calmer days ahead.

By the numbers

Median home prices remain at a record high, and inventory continues to be low nationally. So buyers currently in the middle of a house hunt aren’t feeling much relief yet. However, other numbers are looking a little less white-hot.

Since peaking in January, the number of existing home sales has been falling over the past four months. At the same time, data from Redfin shows that housing inventory across six major metro areas has stabilized, albeit at the previously mentioned low levels. Their data also indicates more sellers are lowering their price, a good sign that demand is genuinely beginning to slow.

Still a ways to go

Even if we have passed the peak of this market boom, some experts don’t foresee a quick decline. The return to normal is likely to come slowly over the next year or more. So if you’re holding out for significantly lower house prices, you’re going to have to be patient.

The post We may finally be reaching this seller’s market peak first appeared on Century 21®.

Tue Aug 10 18:15:00 UTC 2021

$350 Million ‘Palace on Rails’ Luxury Train Concept Unveiled

Posted by: CENTURY 21 Albert Foulad Realty

French designer Thierry Gaugain, a frequent collaborator with renowned designer Philippe Starck, has unveiled his vision for a “palace on rails.” The $350 million private…

The post $350 Million ‘Palace on Rails’ Luxury Train Concept Unveiled first appeared on Century 21®.

French designer Thierry Gaugain, a frequent collaborator with renowned designer Philippe Starck, has unveiled his vision for a “palace on rails.”

The $350 million private “G Train” project reimagines the luxury rail travel experience with the modern yacht experience in mind. The 400-meter long train consists of 14 cars and glass so technologically advanced that it can switch from opaque to complete transparency. Passengers can also change “the interior ambiance of the train in whichever section they are,” says Gaugain. If they want a view to the outside, they can switch to transparent mode. If they want to create their own views, they can simply change the glass to opaque with any scene they want.

The romance of the G Train is not so much travel speed — but the journey itself.

The post $350 Million ‘Palace on Rails’ Luxury Train Concept Unveiled first appeared on Century 21®.

Fri Aug 06 18:00:00 UTC 2021

Don’t get scared off by these 8 common house problems

Posted by: CENTURY 21 Albert Foulad Realty

When house hunting, it’s hard to see past flaws. However, there are lots of minor repairs and aesthetic fixes that should never keep you from…

The post Don’t get scared off by these 8 common house problems first appeared on Century 21®.

When house hunting, it’s hard to see past flaws. However, there are lots of minor repairs and aesthetic fixes that should never keep you from buying an otherwise perfect home. If you love the neighborhood, the style, the size, and the backyard, don’t let these eight easy fixes get in your way.

  1. Damaged window screens. If the screens have small tears, simply bond the edges together with clear nail polish. If they’re completely shot, pick up a DIY window screen repair kit for fast, inexpensive replacement.
  2. Ugly caulking. If the caulking around the tub, toilet or other fixtures is nasty, don’t worry. With caulk remover, a putty knife and a caulking gun, you can make your bathroom look brand new in an afternoon.
  3. Holes in the wall. Holes up to the size of your palm can be easily (and cheaply!) fixed with spackle. To blend the repair, use a sanding sponge and a fresh coat of paint.
  4. Old, sticky drawers. Older wooden drawers often stick and squeak, but a quick coat of household paraffin wax along the slides is all you need to fix the problem.
  5. Bad wall colors. As overwhelming as a bad paint color can be, never forget it’s one of the simplest fixes. One person can repaint an entire room in a day.
  6. Missing smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. These alarms are inexpensive, easy to find and very easy to install on your own.
  7. Outdated appliances. Replacing old appliances with new ones is an easy (if a bit expensive) process. Don’t let bad appliances turn you off from a great house, especially if it’s under budget.
  8. Boring or patchy landscaping. When the yard is plain or patchy, you can easily create your own garden beds, add plants and apply lawn treatments to fix things up.

It’s easy to feel nervous about buying a house that needs work. But when the fix is quick, inexpensive, and straightforward, you shouldn’t let it scare you off from your dream house. Pull Quote: If you love the neighborhood, the style, the size, and the backyard, don’t let these easy fixes get in your way.

The post Don’t get scared off by these 8 common house problems first appeared on Century 21®.