Category Archives: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate

Shopping for Antique and Vintage Furnishings

Mixing antique and vintage items with your contemporary furnishings can add elegance, character and personality to your decor. They can enhance a modern interior with an interesting eclectic vibe.

An antique must be 100 years old or older, while vintage is any item over 20 years old that’s iconic of an identifiable style like Mid-century or Craftsman. Take some time to train your eye to quality by visiting numerous outlets for specific furniture or accessories. Plumdeluxe.com advises that any piece with provenance in good condition can be valuable. You can get good deals on pieces that need work, but keep in mind that restoration experts such as upholsterers are expensive.

Look for craftsmanship like dovetail joints on tables and dresser drawers. Wood should have a rich patina and not appear dry, cracked or stained. Check for wobbliness, especially in chairs and tables. China, crystal, and silver should have service for at least six or eight, but you can find some missing pieces at Replacements.com or Classicreplacements.comAntiquelampsupply.com recommends looking at lamps for fine ceramics and other materials. Look for valuable finials such as bone, cinnabar, ivory, jade, or other rare materials. Fine linens can be found at Frenchgardenhouse.com. Other places to look online for furniture and accessories include Chairish.com1stdibs.comEstatesales.net, and Liveauctioneers.com, among others.

Sellers expect to answer questions and provide multiple photos online, so don’t hesitate to ask. Value is relative, but you should buy only pieces that you love. You’ll have years of enjoyment. 

Tree Trimming Basics

If you’ve got dead limbs, branches growing into power lines, branches overhanging your house, or tree growth that obstruct visibility for vehicles and pedestrians, it’s time to do some tree trimming.

Home insurer Allstate.com says there are three basic reasons for trimming your trees. In order of importance, they are:

1.    Safety. Falling tree branches are dangerous for anyone on your property and can cause damage to your home.

2.    Tree health. Dead or diseased branches harm the tree. Pruning helps the tree develop core strength.

3.    Aesthetics. Trimmed trees are more attractive and grow healthier fruit, flowers and leaves.

You can trim trees yourself with the proper tools, such as loppers, 12-14-and 16 foot tree pruners, hand pruners, etc., as long as you don’t need to get on a tall ladder, but trees taller than your extension pole are best left to professionals.

According to Homeserve.com, you can expect to pay an average of $460 but up to $1,500 for professional pruning of a tall tree such as an oak or pine. Tree removal begins at $750, but make sure that any quote you receive includes stump grinding, clean up and hauling away debris. 

If you choose to trim your trees by yourself, an excellent resource is the  USDA

publication How to Prune Trees. It provides a safe size guide for cutting branches no larger than four inches in diameter. Anything larger, contact an arborist. A good rule is that if you wonder whether to cut a branch, don’t. 

Buying Land to Build a Luxury Home

A primary or second home by the ocean, lake, mountains, or desert could be heavenly, but hard to obtain in today’s warp-speed real estate climate. So why not build the home of your dreams on your own land?

You may already have a favorite vacation spot or a location in mind. Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can help you acquire the lot or acreage you want or refer you to a qualified rural specialist. This is important because experts know what you can and can’t do on your land. They research easements, deed restrictions, zoning laws, pre-construction permits, floodplains and appropriate building sites, among other services.

According to Rliland.com, the main difference between buying land for building a home and buying a house is financing. Terms are brief compared to fixed-rate mortgages for existing homes, down payment requirements are much higher (as much as 50%), interest rates are higher, and types of loans available aren’t as plentiful. Buying land with cash is a good idea because the land can then be used as a down payment towards your construction loan.

Finding a builder could be tricky, too. If you want to build a luxury log cabin, for example, you’ll need a builder who is familiar with not only building with logs but with permits, fees and running utilities to the site.

Become familiar with nearby towns and what services they offer, including medical and educational facilities and opportunities for culture, entertainment and philanthropical participation.