As they say real estate is about 3 things: location, location, location.  Finding the perfect city, town, or village to live can be difficult especially if you have a family to take care after. If you are still midst-career and not looking to retire you probably want to live close to work (maybe not too close) , family, and to what is important for you to live in town.

The first tip is simple, you can use sites such as city-data.com to find out more about the area.  City websites with a .gov domain can provide a lot of insight, but don’t forget to do a simple google search or look at the Wikipedia page of that place when they are available.  You can find out just about anything these days:  population, school systems, cost of the average house, and even average city income of the residents.  Most of this information is available thanks to the census of course, so this is a great time to do research as the information was last collected in 2010 as part of a 10 year cycle.

Google maps has a great feature called my places.  Other maps offer similar features if you prefer another, but essentially what you do is create your own map.  There is a link to take an interactive tour underneath the big red create map button if you need help.  It is a very well made tour.  After all of your important locations are marked and labeled you can zoom out a bit and see all of the locations clearly.  There are certain exceptions such as highway access, but somewhere in the middle is generally a good place to start looking.  Combine this with the town information you can find and suddenly you are well on your way to being an expert on the area.  You can even generate driving directions and estimates to and from each location. This is great news of course, because the more you know, the better your decision will be.

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Painting your home for staging purposes is a little different than painting your home for personal pleasure. While your daughter may love having her walls painted Barbie pink, a potential buyer may see this as a distraction. Choosing neutral colors will enable buyers to imagine themselves in your home much easier. And while a fresh coat of paint on your walls may initially seem to be a costly endeavor to undertake, consider that painting your home can increase the value of your home by a few thousand dollars in some cases. Below is a basic guide to what colors you should have in mind if you plan on painting your home for show.

The Kitchen – Kitchens do well with yellows, oranges, and reds. As long as the shade is neutral, these colors will serve to highlight home appliances, kitchen size, and overall comfort. Picking these food-friendly colors will definitely kick your kitchen up a notch.

Bathrooms – Bathrooms, because of their size, are best served by very light colors such as tan or pale yellow. The darker you go, the smaller your bathroom will look. In addition, Light colors will also give a sense of cleanliness to a bathroom. If you happen to have a bathroom that already boasts a robust color due to architecture or tile, then pulling colors from these may be an option. For instance, if you have a tile floor in the bathroom with a blue or red in it, then drawing from these colors and choosing a paler shade for the walls could potentially work for the overall flow of the bathroom.

Bedrooms – Bedrooms should always steer clear of bright colors, but other than that, you can have a bit more freedom here. Things to keep in mind include the color and style of flooring and fixtures, and whether or not your master bedroom has a master bathroom. Be sure to pick colors that compliment each other if so.

Hallways and the rest – Again, you get a bit more freedom here. Salmon-hued paints have a tendency to make people look lively and energized, while beige and blue tones can convey a sense of tranquility and calm. Beige with green tones can be energizing, so it may be something to consider once you reach the living room. Bright reds should probably be avoided in hallways, as they have a tendency to keep people from fully relaxing. This may sound a little crazy, but it’s true.

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