Take your patio to the next level with these 5 tips


Take advantage of your outdoor patio year round by following these simple tips:

  1. Use low-maintenance plants to merge your indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly.
    Succulents are excellent because they require minimal watering, freeing you to take vacations worry-free.
  2. Add comfortable yet stylish seating for two or more, depending on the size of your space.
    Also consider a hammock for reading or napping.
    What use is a patio if you can’t sit down and enjoy it?
  3. Make your patio fun for all seasons.
    If your patio is covered, install a ceiling fan to cool it down in the summer.
    Stash blankets in a bench for cooler months, or purchase an outdoor heater.
  4. If your patio isn’t covered, then add an umbrella to block the sun and give you a cool place to recline.
  5. Purchase lanterns to brighten up your patio after dark. These hold candles and can hang or sit on tables or the ground. Alternatively, consider festive outdoor lighting or torches.

Thinking of selling soon? Thoughtful outdoor spaces can make a home more attractive to buyers. Contact me for more tips on getting your home ready to sell!

Stella Bonin

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have offices around the country.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Chimichurri Recipe (Uruguay & Argentina)

Chimichurri, it is a popular sauce and marinade in Latin America used with grilled meats especially chicken and beef.
Also chimichurri would pair well with seafood, pasta, and salads.


1/2 cup of olive oil
2 tbs. of water
4 tbs. of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. of red wine vinegar
2 lg clove of garlic, minced
1 small red chili finely chopped
1/4 cup onions, minced
1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped finely
1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped finely
1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped finely
1/2 tsp. of fresh thyme, chopped finely
1/8 tsp. of salt
1/8 tsp. of pepper


For easier and faster results, use a food processor and pulsate everything until it is all blended.

If making this by hand,  mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Let the sauce stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

It can be prepared earlier than needed, and refrigerated for 24 hours.

I love it and I will add a couple of tablespoons over my chicken or fish to serve as I don’t eat red meat.

Preparation Time: 10-20 minutes

Call me today with questions about buying a home or listing your home!

Stella Bonin

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have offices around the country.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Condo


  • Affordability:

With the increase in the price of houses, buying a condo is more affordable for first home buyers who have a low budget. Less square footage also means reduction in the electricity bills, no water bill as this is commonly included in the monthly association dues, not yard maintenance and thereby lowering down the cost of living.

  • Maintenance:

In general, condos are smaller in size and require less cleaning and upkeep compared to houses. The maintenance of the gardens, lawns, pools and common property is also the duty of the maintenance professionals covered by your monthly dues.

  • Safety:

A residential complex offers a reasonable amount of safety. Top-notch safety measures are installed in such complexes. Security staff is appointed by the management for security purpose.

  • Location:

Most of these residential communities are located near to shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters, public transport and other entertainment areas. These complexes which houses innumerable units are the most sought after, booming haven for buyers.

  • Amenities:

The new condo complexes can include gyms, children playgrounds, swimming pools, spas, tennis courts and clubs to mention just a few. Community clubhouses present in these complexes can be rented to residents for a couple of hours for hosting parties.


  • Rules and Restrictions

Probably you must not be able to back your car into your parking spot or leave a pool towel out to dry on a chair on the patio or you will need approval before putting potted flowers in your patio.
You don’t want to move in and then discover you have to immediately sell your vehicle because you drive a pickup truck and trucks are not allowed and put the dog on a strict diet so he conforms to the maximum weight allowed.

  • Less Storage Space

Living in a condo you have to organize your stuff more efficiently or just get rid of much of it. Read the CCR’s about storage rules before move in.

  • No Yard

This can be a money saving a benefit for some home buyers, but some buyer may love that big, green field with grass and trees, and you won’t get it with a condo. With a condo you will get the share parks in the community.

  • Less Privacy

You’ll be much closer to your neighbors. The sound of high heels clicking on the tile floor above us was also annoying.

If you are concern with privacy issues. The condos with the most privacy might also be farther from the pool, mailbox and parking, so you’ll get more exercise.

  • HOA Dues

HOA dues could be high as $750 per month. Also, can be more than one HOA fee per month if it is a lake in the neighborhood or other amenity.
When dues are low, you need to look at the HOA budget and other financial documents.
Big deficits and/or a lack of reserves suggest that dues could increase soon.

Don’t convince yourself that higher dues are worth it because of amenities, unless you’ll use them.

Calculate the value of the amenities based on your lifestyle. If you use the pool and spa or you will never use it. The same with the other facilities available for the residents. If you don’t use any amenities the value will be zero.

  • Special Assessments

Sometimes the dues the association collects are not sufficient for the necessary maintenance and other costs the association faces. In that case, the HOA may have to implement a special assessment, which can be an unpleasant surprise and isn’t anything you can do but pay. You need to review the condo financial documents before you buy. Ideally, you want to see sufficient reserves to deal with unexpected problems.

  • Mortgage Rates

A condo mortgage may have an add-on charge of 0.75% of the loan amount. It’s usually rolled into the loan, effectively increasing your interest rate. However, there are several important things to consider here.

More importantly, if you’re borrowing substantially less for the condo than you would for the house, your payment is likely to be lower even if you pay the extra 0.75% for the condo loan.

Consult with your loan officer regarding available financing for condos in your area.


There are certainly many benefits of living in a condo over living in a house. Condo living is beneficial whether you are living alone or with your family. It is cost effective as you get to save on your monthly electricity bills, water bills (water most of the time will be included in the HOA fees), and you will have security patrolling the complex 24/7 in most of the complexes.

Picture: Camelot at Eastlake in Chula Vista, California. Great location with access to the lake, new shopping centers, freeway, and all schools. Community offers clubhouse with recreation room, playground, pool, spa/hot tub, and tennis courts.

Are you ready to sell or buy a condominium unit? I can help!

I will diligently market your property and ensure it’s priced to sell quickly.

Call me today to set up an appointment.

Stella Bonin

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have offices around the country.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies


1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounces) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


Preparation:  15 minutes
Cook:  10 minutes

1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 8 hours, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave cookies plain for frosting, or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or coloured sugar.

4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

Nutrition Facts:

Per Serving:
53 calories;
3.1 g fat;
5.8 g carbohydrates;
0.6 g protein;
11 mg cholesterol;
38 mg sodium.


Call me today with questions about buying a home or listing your home!

Stella Bonin

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have offices around the country.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Selling a Home While Still Living in It – 5 Tips for Success

1. Consider a Cleaning Service

When you are just about to list the home, you may consider hiring a professional cleaning service to provide a thorough cleaning of the surfaces, windows, and flooring.

If your home takes more than a couple of weeks to start bringing in offers, you might want to bring the service back every week or two to make sure the rooms are still in showing quality.

This will save you the time and struggle of scrubbing floors on your hands and knees, plus the endless spraying and be wiping off the windows.

2. Simplify Routines

When you have all the time in the world to get your home ready for something, you can take as long as you like in any particular task.

By comparison, if you need the home to be prepared for potential buyers in a moment, you should simplify your routines as much as you can.

Take complicated dinner dishes off the table for the time being, or make a bunch of meals on a non-showing day that you can serve every day with less cleanup.

It may relieve some stress to have a daily cleaning routine to get rid of small messes before they accumulate.

3. Create a Cutter management system

Decluttering is not merely an item that you can complete and then check off your home selling to-do list.

As you go through the selling process, you have to prevent clutter from creeping back in.

If the timing of the sale involves a seasonal clothing change, make a plan to quickly cycle out the off-season gear and clothing to a storage unit.

Set small garbage cans near all entry doors, so that everyone can throw away junk mail or old school papers as soon as they walk in the door—just make sure to put them away before open houses or showings.

4. Set Regular Showing Times

Obviously, you want to be as available as possible for buyers who would like to see your place.

This does not mean you have to vacate the home 12 hours a day, every day.

Ask your real estate agent for the most popular showing times for buyers, and try to open your schedule on those days.

Making an effort to accommodate buyers when they are more likely to need it will allow you the flexibility to live your life at other times.


5. Prepare for the Unexpected

Even with a firmly-set showing schedule, you understand that there may be surprises.

You never know when your agent might call you and ask if you are available for a showing in a couple of hours.

Prepare for this eventuality, so that you are never caught off-guard and in a state of un-readiness.

Stock your car with snacks and other necessities in case you have to be out of the home in a hurry.

Keep a cleaning tool caddy handy so that you can quickly walk through the home and wipe down counters and floors as needed.

Once you have listed the property, home selling often feels like a “hurry up and wait” arrangement. With these tips, you can preserve your home as clean as it looked when you listed it, without driving yourself crazy cleaning and organizing every day.


Talk to Your Pet’s Veterinarian First. Selling a home can be just as stressful for the pet as it is for the homeowner.

When selling a home with pets, at the very least, you should remove your them from your home when you are showing the property for sale.

Repair any damage. As much as we love our pets, they are still animals, and pet damage is never attractive when selling your home.

Remove Pet Odors and Stains. Cat Litter Box OdorsSavePets have accidents; and while it is possible to get used to the pet smell over time, new visitors to your home will be sure to notice the smells.

Clean Your Yard. Pick up any messes in the backyard, and have any sod replaced and other damage repaired as necessary.

Erase Signs of Your Pet for Potential Buyers. Remove Pet Photos as want to buyers to be as unaware of your pet ownership as possible. If they ask the question, you will have to answer honestly. However, you can often avoid this by taking necessary steps like those listed above. In addition, put away all pet toys, bedding, litter boxes and food – preferably at another location besides your home. (This last step is relative as many people are pet lovers as I am and they don’t mind that they are pet in the home and they will love to see the pets’ pictures)

Let me help make your home sale a success. If you’re ready to begin the selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Arizona Department of Real Estate # BR5550696000
California Bureau of RealEstate # 01222569


“Equal Housing Opportunity”

12 Top Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home is one of the most important things you can do.

That’s why you really need to think about your purchase and ensure you make the right one.

Here are 12 top tips for first-time home buyers:


1.Think in the long-term and consider resale value

Do you want to have kids?
Will you be taking care of your parents?
If your first home is temporary, then who will it be sold to?
You’ll find families with children won’t want to buy a home without a school nearby or on busy streets.

2.  Make a checklist

The home buying process is an emotional one.
You need to leave your emotions at the door when checking a house.
This isn’t possible.
So just write a list of everything your home must have and other essentials.
Take this checklist with you to each house and check off the things on the list. Take photos as well.
That way you’ll have to think about a home that you fall in love with but doesn’t have anything you need.

3. Consider all the expenses

There’s more to buying a house than the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.
There’s also the cost of utilities, commuting, and upgrading the house.
Call utility companies and ask for estimates and put together a real budget for the new home to ensure you can afford to live there.

4. Ask for the Homeowners Association CCR’s first

If the home that you are thinking to buy has an HOA.
Make sure you read twice the CCR’s that the HOA will provide you, and ask questions.
You wouldn’t want to buy a house to rent only to learn that the house can’t be rented out. Ask for the CCR’s in advance or download these online as many are available on the HOA Website when buying a home that’s part of an HOA.

5. Research funding sources such as grants

There are a lot of grants and sources of funding you might not even know exist.
Some of them are pretty generous too and are offered based on professionals and the location of the house.
Look through every finance option you have before deciding you wouldn’t qualify anyway.

6. Read the Purchase Contract before signing it

Your house will likely be the largest single purchase you ever make.
Read through – and understand – the Purchase Contract. If you don’t understand it your real estate agent it there to help you. Ask for help!
Talk to your mortgage broker and real estate agent about anything you don’t understand and fire them if they aren’t willing to explain it.
There are lots of people who would be willing to help if you need it.

7. Learn about the demographics of the neighbourhood

When living in a neighbourhood of renters, the whole neighbourhood can be brought down by some bad renters or landlords.
Also, would you be happy to live in a neighbourhood of single people when you’ve got young kids?
Consider your new neighbours.

8. Buy the view if you like it

You shouldn’t buy a house for the view unless you own the view as well.
There’s no telling when a new building project will pop up between your house and that stunning mountain or ocean views.
The view never is guaranteed! Anything can happen, other buildings or trees can obstruct your view.

9. Look beyond staging

No one really appreciates how much staging a house goes through.
Staged houses look infinitely better than occupied ones.
Sometimes the staged look of a home isn’t even possible; such as having lamps that look nice where there are no outlets!
Pay attention, not to the staging of the house, but the overall layout and structure.
You can always redecorate.

10. All that old advice you were given is true

Avoid buying above your means! Save your pennies!
You should always have an emergency fund; you should save for a 20% downpayment to avoid a PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)
if your down payment is below 20% to will have to pay for it in addition to the principal and interest.
You’ll need to save for closing costs, inspection fees and the cost to move.
All of this old advice is as true today as it has you heard it.

11. Credit Score & Loan Pre – Approval

Check your credit score.
You are entitled to a free credit report each year.
Before applying for a mortgage, find out whether there are any discrepancies on your report and where you can improve your credit score.
The better your credit score, the lower your mortgage rate.

You will need to get pre-approved from at least one lender for a mortgage, though getting at least three pre-approvals is preferred so you can get the best mortgage rate and terms. To start, use a simple online mortgage payment calculator to estimate how much house your desired monthly payment and down payment will qualify you for.

12. Narrow your home search.
Make a list of your favourite neighbourhoods, what kind of home features you can’t live without and any other criteria. This will help your agent target your search.


Finding the right agent to work with is key to getting an offer accepted on the home you want. I have years of experience assisting clients to find their first home. Contact me for more information!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Arizona Department of Real Estate # BR5550696000
California Bureau of RealEstate # 01222569

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Postre Chaja (Peach Meringue Cake) from Uruguay



Sponge Cake:

4 egg whites

1/2teaspoon cream of tartar

1cup sugar

1pinch salt

1/2teaspoon vanilla

1 Sponge cake recipe, baked in two 9-inch cake pans(or use an angel food cake mix)

Peaches and Peach Syrup:

6 or 7 peaches

1cup sugar

1cup water

1teaspoon vanilla

2tablespoons rum or peach-flavoured vodka (optional)

1 pinch salt

Whipped Cream Frosting:

2cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2teaspoon vanilla

1 pinch salt

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

7 eggs yolks

3/4 cup cold water

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 to 3 teaspoons grated lemon or orange peel

7 eggs whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


1. Preheat oven to 200F.

2. Prepare the meringue: Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks start to form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until peaks are very stiff and sugar is dissolved. Beat in the vanilla and a pinch of salt.

3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a pastry bag (or a ziplock bag with one corner cut off) to pipe small dollops of meringue onto the parchment, a little bit smaller than Hershey’s kisses. Or pipe the meringue in strips which can be crumbled once they are cooked and used to decorate the outside of the cake.

4. Bake meringue pieces for at least an hour and a half, until they are dry and completely crispy. Keep meringues in an airtight container or closed oven until ready to use.

5. Prepare sponge cake recipe or angel food cake in two 9 inch cake pans and bake. Cool completely in pans, then remove carefully.

6. Peel and slice peaches, and place sliced peaches in a strainer over a bowl. Toss peach slices with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. Let peaches rest for about 20 minutes, reserving the peach juice that drains into the bowl.

7. Bring 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and reserved peach juice to a boil, and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in vanilla, a pinch of salt, and optional rum or vodka, if desired.

8. Stir 2 tablespoons sugar into the whipping cream and whip until medium-stiff peaks form. Stir vanilla into the whipped cream, and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.

10. To assemble cake: Flip sponge cakes upside down and brush each cake generously with the peach syrup, soaking the cakes.

11. Place one cake layer right side up on a serving platter. Spread some whipped cream over the cake, then crumble some of the meringue pieces and sprinkle the crumbled meringue (about 1/2 cup) over the whipped cream. Add a generous layer of peach slices (reserving some to decorate the top of the cake), then top with the second cake layer.

12. Spread whipped cream around the sides and top of the cake. Press meringue “kisses” or meringue crumbs into the side of the cake, and decorate the top of cake with peach slices, more whipped cream, and/or more pieces of meringue.
Chill cake thoroughly before serving.

Note: Some people like to add a layer of dulce de leche to this cake. One option is to split the sponge cake layers in half and fill them with dulce de leche before moistening them with the syrup. Or simply spread a layer of dulce de leche over the first cake layer, under the whipped cream, to add an extra layer of richness!


Heat oven to 325F.

Into a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the centre of sifted dry ingredients; add oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla, and lemon peel. Stir with a spoon or beat on low speed until smooth.

In another large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until very stiff peaks form. Pour egg yolk mixture over whites, gently folding with a rubber spatula just until blended. Do not stir or beat.

Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube cake pan. Bake for 55 minutes; increase heat to 350F and continue baking for 10 minutes longer. Invert pan over bottle or position between two pans or racks so the pan hangs without touching a surface. Let cool. Loosen sides gently with a spatula to remove from pan.

I love desserts but I am also ready to take on your buying and selling needs when it is regarding real estate!

If you need someone trustworthy on your team, I am available to represent you in a sale or purchase. Please get in touch with me if you are ready to buy or sell, or send along my information to a friend.

If you have questions about the buying or selling processes or the market in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am always prepared to provide you with the best possible knowledge to inform your decisions. Together, we can achieve your homeownership goals!

I appreciate your interest and referrals, and can’t wait to hear from you!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Arizona Department of Real Estate # BR5550696000
California Bureau of RealEstate # 01222569

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

5 Home Buying Tips for Seniors

Don’t you wish that buying a house was simple and with not involve any paperwork or packing and moving time and stress?

The realtor meetings, selling legwork, house hunting, touring, driving, lender meetings, legal wording, and all of that paperwork stand in the way of just a little peace and comfort in a place you can call home.

You have been through this enough times to know the drill, but with all of the constant changes, it can feel like a brand new process every time.

The good news is that you don’t have to face it alone this time. There is a vast array of businesses that are ready and willing to assist you. You can also use these few tips to make this move more enjoyable:

1. Determine Your Home Preferences

Are you looking for a single story home with no stairs leading up to the front door? a
Are you interested in an open floor plan or a galley kitchen?
If you have a list of features you are looking for in a house, write them down and keep them in mind when you are touring homes.
This way, you will stay more focused on your goals and will not be easily swayed to purchase something that you won’t enjoy long-term.

2. Select the Right Real Estate Agent

Find a real estate agent that understands your specific situation, who is open and honest about the options in your prefered communities, and who knows how to negotiate well. If you are selling a home as well as purchasing a new home, find an agent that either specializes in both the selling and buying side of the real estate transaction or has a great team that can help cover all of the bases.

The difficulty with a ‘for sale by owner” route is having to complete an intense amount of research before signing anything.
If you choose this path, but you are not up-to-date on your market information, appraising details, and which costs you will be responsible for, you could end up losing money or losing the contract altogether.

3. Meet With Your Lender

Have you chosen a lender yet?
If not, have you looked into using a broker who could help you find a lender?
Do a little research on all of your options, and then set-up a meeting with your lender. Be prepared to ask all of the questions you may have regarding what type of mortgage you should consider and what terms would best fit your financial situation.

4. Clean Out Old or Unnecessary Items

The amount of things that can be squeezed into the attic, garage, or extra drawer in the kitchen is truly amazing.
Over the years we gain countless items that beg the question, “What did this piece belong to, again?”
It’s probably safe to say there are ways you can declutter before the big move.
Pull out all of the items that you forgot you owned and sort them into the keep, donate, or throw out piles.
This will save you from the hassle of moving unneeded items to your new space.

5. Hire Movers

There are loads of reputable moving companies that can handle all of the heavy liftings for you.
All you will have to do is pack up your belongings in well-labeled boxes and give the movers a few instructions about where they should place your items in your new home.

Your friends and family will likely be overjoyed about this option, and you can have a little extra peace of mind in knowing that all of your belongings will be in the hands of professionals.

Finding a home should be an exciting adventure, not an overwhelming one.
Determine all of your steps before you begin the move, and maybe even consult a friend or family member about your decisions.

Then use these tips to make this move an enjoyable, stress-free process.

I am a real estate agent representing buyers and sellers who are looking to buy or sell homes in 55+ communities.  Inventory is tight in senior communities and demand keeps on growing.

Need someone to help you coordinate a tandem sale and purchase? Give me a call!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Arizona Department of Real Estate # BR5550696000
California Bureau of RealEstate # 01222569

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Tips for Sellers: The Perks of Staging your Home

When it comes to selling, it’s all about the presentation.

That’s why people spend time and creativity in arranging the shop windows or making sure that all cakes are on display when you visit a café.
The same applies to the real-estate market, no matter if the new owners intend to tear down walls or renovate in completely different style.
But selling your home may require extra funds and time, besides creativity and eye for design, and not to mention that in this case, you must pay attention to both exterior and interior of your home.

1. Do some landscaping

What is the first thing your potential buyers will see?
Well, the front of your home of course.
If you’re selling a condo, you might place a few potted plants in front of your door, to create the hominess.
But when it comes to a house, it may be a little bit more effort and work involved. Besides mowing the lawn and clearing the walkways, you can plant some flowers to bring out the colors and give a personal touch to the house.
If your house has a porch, you can repaint the flooring and change the upholstery to the seating set, to refresh its look.

2. Refresh the front door and windows

Doors and windows will tell plenty about your home, as well as how you took care of it. If you can – change them all or at least make sure they are all in perfect working order. Otherwise, change the door handle and add a knocker, to make it more sophisticated.
Repainting the doors and window frames will certainly change the exterior and overall impression of the house.
One part in certain need of replacement may be the shutters since they’re exposed to the elements.
Wind chimes hang near the doors will be a nice touch to make everything more personal, as will some flower arrangements on the window panes if you’re selling your home during the sunny months.

3. Repaint the walls

When it comes to the inside of your home, one thing is necessary no matter what and that’s repainting the walls.
Research showed that color of the rooms can influence the price, meaning that some shades can raise the price and others can make it go lower.
Usually, lighter tones are more acceptable and attractive because they remind people of cleanliness and positive emotions.
But not all light walls are interesting to buyers. White bathrooms and pink bedrooms sell the house for less, while the blue dining room and brown living room raise the price.

4. Do some interior decorating

Your belongings made sense to you, but your buyers have a different idea.
The trick is to create a personal and private environment while living space for imagination to potential buyers.
This means that you can hire professionals to store your excess stuff.
Then, place a flower in a vase on the dining room table, in the foyer, and in the living room cabinet, a book on the nightstand along with some glasses, or fresh potted herbs and cooking utensils on display in the kitchen.
Your sellers don’t want to buy just space, but also the emotions it radiates.

5. Declutter your home

Never forget that your mess is not something to underestimate when it comes to selling your home.
If you’re governed with belief that buyers don’t care since they’ll change everything anyway, you’ll be wrong and make a mistake that will cost you the sale.
Majority of buyers find messy homes unattractive and would not make the purchase.
Clutter tells a story about the way you care for your home, and the more chaos you leave the more will the potential buyers’ opinion be worse about the state of your property.
This means they believe that they’ll have to deal with more repairs and renovations than planned, which can worry them because of the possible expenses and spent time.

6. Make them feel welcomed

There are several tricks real-estate agents like to use to make the buyers feel welcomed and more inclined to take the house into consideration.
First of all, they organize the open house, where all interested parties gather and look around.
Another nice trick is to make a fresh pot of coffee and batch of homemade cookies.
This will remind your buyers of their own home as well as relax them and make them feel welcome.
Also, you can prepare some historic or contemporary facts, something that will raise the home’s reputation, and you should also be able to highlight the benefits of the neighborhood such as stores, schools, parks and safety issues.

All in all

Potential buyers want to see how you managed at your home and what it looked like when you lived there, but on the other hand, they want to avoid more personal attributes like toothbrushes and dirty laundry, namely the thing we all hide when we expect guests.
Even though they will change your home to suit their needs once they buy it, never forget that you have to sell it to them in the order they can do that.

A well-staged home can make all the difference when selling. Want more pointers on prepping your home to highlight its best features and maximize its value? Call me today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Arizona Department of Real Estate # BR5550696000
California Bureau of RealEstate # 01222569

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

What’s Trending “In” Luxury Real Estate?

When it comes to the Luxury Real Estate market, it’s all about expressive creativity.

The definition of luxury homes has changed in recent times.

The buyers see their homes as a calling card and want the homes to reflect their financial and social status.

Until 2001, luxury was perceived to be the prime location, but later in few years, luxury has seen a transition and advent of high end technologies, international brand associations and boutique or customized homes.

Here are the six hottest trends in luxury real estate:

Smart Homes

Smart home technology has caught on so quickly is that it’s surprisingly easy to set up connected products in any home.

Things like home monitoring system aren’t revolutionary, but they have traditionally involved tricky wiring or installing bulky panels onto your wall.

As the technology necessary to produce these devices has become cheaper for companies, smart home technology has become more affordable and reliable for consumers.

Entertainment Rooms

Home theaters are more like ‘miniature’ theaters built in a home setting.
A home theater is a dedicated space that can be sealed off from the rest of the home and is centrally optimized to reproduce cinema-quality picture and sound , and benefit its projection system display media by producing the best home viewing experience possible.

Kitchen Upgrade

In the kitchen, luxury home-buyers want to be inspired.
They want it to feel like something out of a high-end restaurant.
Kitchen is where holidays are celebrated, delectable meals are shared, grand parties are hosted and unforgettable memories are made here.
Today’s Kitchen are equipped with all of the latest gadgets and hi-tech appliances available in the market.

Bathroom Fixtures

A bathroom has long been known as an in-home sanctuary where you can retreat after a long day and relax in your spa tub or steam shower.
New building technology continues to benefit owner’s , and smart technology heats radiant floors and towel warmers are on command.
Smart-glass turns a clear glass shower stall opaque when someone steps in.

Home Gym

Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can buy convenience and that’s one thing luxury home buyers definitely splurge on.

Having a gym down the hall cuts down on a lot of excuses. A home gym also means you won’t have to stand in line for the next elliptical machine.


This is certainly that closets continue to grow in size and opulence.
Large closets continue to be a highly desirable amenity for luxury home buyers. Closets are no longer confined spaces. The closet is really another room, not a storage center and has become almost recreational.

If you’re ready to find your dream home, I’m the expert you need to make that dream a reality.

As a specialist in luxury home sales, I have access to a wide range of high-end listings in your area. I can bring you the finest display of homes available and help you find the perfect property — whether you’re looking for stunning views or a sprawling estate.

Call me today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker



Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Arizona Department of Real Estate # BR5550696000
California Bureau of RealEstate # 01222569


“Equal Housing Opportunity”