Robin Spangenberg
Northeast Signature Properties, LLC | 508-277-4144 |

Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 6/18/2017

Shopping at yard sales is an art. First you have to find the good yard sales, then hunt down the best deals while avoiding distracting impulse buys, then you have to smartly negotiate your offer. Sure, there will be a lot of competition out there, but with the right planning you can give yourself enough of an advantage to find the hidden gems amongst all of the junk that people get rid of at their yard sales. In this article, we'll give you a crash course in yard sale shopping. Come Sunday afternoon, you'll be heading home with a smile on your face and that perfect addition to your home in your trunk.

Finding the right sales

The first step to finding the best yard sale deals is to find the right yard sales. Sure, it can be fun to aimlessly drive around your area Saturday and Sunday morning looking out for yard sale signs, but there are smarter ways to use your time.
  • Craigslist. Many people post announcements on Craigslist when they're going to have a yard sale. They'll often specify a date, time, and the type of things that will be for sale. If someone says "MASSIVE multi-family moving sale" you can be pretty sure there will be lots of good stuff there.
  • Facebook. Search Facebook for local community pages for your town or city. Oftentimes people make pages for buying and selling in their area, or just to have heated debates about local happenings. Sometimes, however, people post about their upcoming yard sales.
  • Local news. If your local newspaper has a classifieds section they might advertise yard sales as well.

Making your shopping list

When you go to a yard sale you should be prepared in terms of what you're looking for. You want to avoid making impulsive buys on things you don't need, but you also can't expect to find the exact color and model of vacuum cleaner that's on your Amazon wish list. Think of some things you'd like to look for and determine whether getting them at a yard sale makes sense. Plan your transportation accordingly. If you're looking for big items, make sure you bring a truck or SUV that can fit what you're looking for. Bring bungee cords, rope, a tarp, and whatever else you think you might need. Then head out to the sales.

When you find that must-have item

So you've found the exact vacuum cleaner you were looking for AND it's in great shape. It has a tag on it for $30 and the proprietor of the yard sale is going on about what a great vacuum cleaner it is. Before you start throwing money at them, consider these tips:
  • Research. With a smartphone in your pocket, you basically have instant access to valuing any object. While you browse other items, pop open your phone to read reviews, check used prices, and see if it's a deal that makes sense.
  • Be friendly. Sure, yard sales are all about making a quick buck, but neighborhoods are about community. Don't be afraid to share some small talk with the proprietors of the yard sale. It might pay off in the end.
  • Negotiate. There are general rules of negotiation that have been proven to get you better deals. Your first offer should be lower than what you're willing to pay. For example, if the vacuum is $30 and you're ready to pay $25, offer the salesperson $20.

Tags: home   yard sale   sale   shopping   garage sale  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 4/23/2017

Leading a minimalistic lifestyle isn't a modern trend. Simple living dates back to various religious and spiritual traditions of the Orient. In the mid 1900s, minimalism found its way into the world of art and music, with artists creating sparse paintings and writing simple songs with few instruments. In the United States many of us are constantly surrounded by excess. We have endless options at the grocery store, channels on television, and apps in the App Store. All of this can be overwhelming, and as a result some people are choosing to live a simpler life. Here are some ways to take that simplicity to your home.

Why make your home more minimalistic?

It's nice to own things you like. It's fun to shop for them, too. So why should you aim for less? There are a number of measurable benefits associated with simple living. Sometimes we get so caught up in the process of acquiring things that we forget to stop and wonder why we want those things in the first place. Here are some of the more pronounced benefits:
  • Reduce stress. Do you put in extra hours at work to support your lifestyle? Do you lack sleep, or wish you got to spend more time with your family or just relaxing alone? Minimalism can help with all of these by cutting back on unnecessary expenses.
  • Less cleaning. Owning fewer things means having fewer things to clean and clean around. All of that time cleaning adds up.
  • A more relaxing space. Cluttered rooms are not very inviting. It's hard to feel relaxed or be productive in them.

Ways to make your home more minimal

Which parts of your home you want to be more minimal is up to you. If you want to create a minimalist haven in your home office, maybe that's the only room you need to alter. However, there are some shared traits that minimal rooms have in common.
  • Clear surfaces. Many of us have developed a tendency to cover every surface in our home with stuff. Floors, countertops, and desks can all quickly become cluttered. Take a look around your home and ask yourself if those items are adding any value to the room.
  • Use storage smartly. One natural extension and benefit of minimalism is that you'll need less storage because you'll have less things. That enables you to use the storage you do have wisely. Keep things you aren't using stored out of sight to create a more open atmosphere.
  • Get rid of extra furniture. It's easy to find yourself with too much furniture in your living room. People have a tendency of buying new chairs or benches and putting the old ones somewhere else in their house. The same is true for pillows, tables, and so on. When you buy new furniture, sell or donate the old items to get them out of the way.
  • Simplify your wardrobe. This is the most difficult for many people. It's hard to give away clothes because you have the nagging thought that you might want to wear them again some day. Open up your closet and think about your wardrobe. Are there items that don't go well with your other clothes or that you hardly ever wear? Do you have multiple things you only need one or two of (bathing suits, belts, etc.)? Simplifying your wardrobe is a great exercise in simplifying the rest of your life.

Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 11/17/2016

Selling or buying a home in the winter time seems counterintuitive to many of us. Everything seems to slow down during the colder months. Roads are made slippery with snow, animals go into hibernation, and humans spend their long evenings indoors having Netflix marathons. It seems only natural that houses would not sell as well in the winter.

However, recent data shows that homes listed between December 21 and March 21 are the most likely to sell within six months. On average, homes listed during those three months are on the market for 26 days compared with 32 days for spring and summer, and 34 days for fall.

In pre-internet times, when people had to commute to see a home, it may have been more difficult to sell your house when the days are shorter and temperature colder. However, now that countless homes are just a click away, it has become much easier to shop for your dream home during the winter.

Benefits of Selling a House in the Winter Time

Now that we’ve talked about the data, let’s discuss some of the other reasons you might want to sell a home during the winter.

  1. Easy curb appeal.  Depending on where you live in the U.S., you might benefit from not having to put too much extra effort into landscaping. The grass won’t need to be mowed as frequently and you don’t have to worry about caring for flowering plants. Plus, if you live in a place where it snows, having a home that looks warm and cozy covered in snow adds a lot of free curb appeal.

  2. Less competition. Since most people assume they shouldn’t list their home in the winter, that means you’ll have fewer houses to compete with on online listings.

  3. Necessity. Most people don’t choose to move in the winter. It can be difficult to commute and move boxes in the cold, and dealing with utilities can be harder. Some people are relocated by their jobs to start the new year in a new location. Others may need to find a home quickly for others reasons. Either way, a buyer’s short timeline is another incentive for them to buy your home now.

How to Prepare a Home for Sale in the Winter

  1. Handle the heating issues. You’ll want to make sure your heating system is in great working condition and that the thermostat is set to a comfortable temperature when potential buyers come to view the home.

  2. Show diverse photos. Show off your home in all different conditions online. Someone may come visit your home in the winter but they’ll want to know what it looks like during a sunny, summer afternoon as well.

  3. Make your home seem easy to live in. Winter hardships like shoveling snow, clearing roofs, cleaning furnaces or pellet stoves, or removing salt marks and melted ice from your floors all can make a home seem less desirable to potential buyers. To avoid making a bad impression, take care of all of these problems beforehand.

Tags: Real estate   home   january   sell   house   winter   december   february   benefits  
Categories: Uncategorized