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Fabulous Fall Flowers

by Melissa Thompson

Fall is just around the corner and with it comes Fall foliage and a burst of majestic colors. But if you would like to add some of the glorious autumnal colors to your home’s landscaping, now is the time to start planning and planting.  Whether you are partial to yellows and golds, burnt oranges and rusts, or deep reds and burgundies (or if you like to mix it up with a variety of hues), there is something for everyone when it comes to fall flowers. Here are some favorites:

Chrysanthemums -  These popular flowers come in a variety of sizes. With seasonal, festive shades of yellow, red and orange they provide a perfect backdrop for all your outdoor fall décor.  Learn how to plant and grow chrysanthemums here.

Pansies - Found in just about every shade of the rainbow, these versatile flowers create a majestic ground cover and look equally amazing in hanging baskets.  If planted in fall,  pansies can last up to eight months, so you definitely get your money’s worth of beauty with these hardy plants! Growing Pansies

Goldenrod -  Many people think that goldenrod causes hay fever, but ragweed is the real culprit, not this beautiful fall flower!  It is a late bloomer, bringing a blast of gorgeous gold to late fall.  You can grow tall varieties to stand guard over your garden or dwarf versions for the front of your beds. John Muir, a naturalist known as “Father of the National Parks” said of goldenrod, “The fragrance, color, and form of the whole spiritual expression of Goldenrod are hopeful and strength-giving beyond any others I know. A single spike is sufficient to heal unbelief and melancholy.”

Croton - An ideal plant for autumn, croton has brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow and purple.  It works as a houseplant in cold-weather regions or as a shrub in frost-free areas.  It also can be grown outdoors as an annual. Be on the lookout for different varieties to find the best crotons to complement your fall garden. Care of Outdoor Croton Plants: How to Grow Croton Outdoors

Black-Eyed Susan - These golden-yellow stunners bring to mind happy daisies.  Bees and butterflies love them and they brighten up any landscape or container garden. Learn How to Grow Black Eyed Susans and create a blanket of color for fall!

Helenium - Also known as “sneezeweed” (don’t worry, it doesn’t make you sneeze…the name comes from when they used to make snuff out of their dried leaves) they look like small, copper hued coneflowers.  They can grow quite tall and add a burst of warm cheer to your fall garden. How to Grow Helenium

Take advantage of what’s left of late summer and start your fall garden while the days are still longer and the temperatures are still mild.  Before you know it, you will be enjoying the glory of Autumn!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson and let her help you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

Photo Credit: blog.gardenloversclub.com

Renovating Your Kitchen - Making It Timeless and Functional

by Melissa Thompson

Have you been thinking about remodeling your kitchen, but you’re not sure where to start?  Kitchens are important to resale value, so if you’re going to invest money in a remodel, you want to be sure that you end up with a kitchen that will stand the test of time.  So, instead of following fads that are currently popular, stick with classic features that will not only bring you joy, but will entice buyers should you ever sell your home.  Here are some tips for creating a kitchen that is timeless and functional:

 - Brighten up your kitchen using white as the dominant color. White is the most marketable color and never goes out of style. It is associated with happiness and new beginnings.  It makes small spaces look bigger.  And best of all, it’s easy on the budget due to its availability.

 - Install hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are popular among buyers of any age; both male and female.  Hardwood adds warmth and coziness to a home.  It’s great for open floor plans because it flows beautifully from one room to another. It’s durable and long-lasting. And if “going green” is important to you, hardwood is echo friendly.  It’s considered a “green” building material when it has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and comes from sustainably managed forests.

 - Choose cabinets that have clean lines, like Shaker Kitchen Cabinets.  The clean lines of these cabinets will be in style forever. Their beauty is in their simplicity.  They help limit the “busyness” of the kitchen, creating a soothing, peaceful vibe.  They also transition easily should the next homeowner want a change of style.  Whether you want a traditional or contemporary look, these cabinets will work for both.

 - Go with marble countertops; specifically, Carrara Marble.  Carrara marble has been used in homes for centuries.  It looks fantastic in a white kitchen, but also with other colors. It’s affordable and readily available and will last for generations.  You will find some critics who will tell you that it stains easily, but that can be avoided with proper sealing. If you want a truly timeless look, Carrara marble is the way to go.

 - Include smart storage.  If you currently store many of your kitchen supplies in other areas of the home due to lack of storage space, now is the time to change that!  Cabinets that are being made today feature a plethora of storage options including shelves and compartments that unfold, extend, slide and turn.  Have fun and be creative when designing kitchen storage.

You will love your new kitchen and future potential buyers will find it irresistible!

If you are considering selling your home, let Melissa Thompson and the Your Key to Memphis Team guide you through the process.  Give them a call at 901-756-8900 today!

Photo Credit: cnceptz.com

Budget Friendly Curb Appeal

by Melissa Thompson

Looking to spruce up your curb appeal, but don’t want to spend a fortune?  There are lots of ways to improve the look of your home’s exterior without breaking the bank.  You might be surprised by how much difference small projects can make.

  • Paint the front door, trim or shutters.  With Exterior Paint costing about $30 a gallon, painting is an economical way to brighten up your house.  Choose a color that pops, yet compliments the overall color of the home.  Make sure to properly prep all surfaces before you paint so you’ll get great results that will last for years to come. 
     
  • Upgrade your mailbox. If your current mailbox is looking shabby and old, you can fix it up or replace it at minimal cost.  You can find new mailboxes for as little as $20.  When installing a new mailbox, make sure to follow guidelines set forth by the city you live in. 
     
  • Plant a tree.  This is a common and easy way to beautify your yard.  When choosing the tree, be sure to consider how big it will get to make sure it is a good fit for your space.
     
  • Replace exterior lighting.  This is an easy way to upgrade the style of your home.  Exterior light fixtures can be found anywhere from $20 and up.  You may also be able to find unique, Vintage Lighting at second hand stores and salvage shops.  Make sure that whatever you choose, they adequately illuminate your entryway and make it safer.
     
  • Install flower boxes.  If you want to add color to your exterior, but don’t to paint, this is the way to do it!  They can be installed on front porch railings or below the windows. Window boxes are relatively inexpensive or can be built and installed in no time.  Choose flowers and plants that are easy to maintain and that will keep away pesky insects so that you can enjoy spending time outdoors.

These small, simple improvements can make a huge difference in the curb appeal of your home. Also, if you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, you will make a great first impression on potential buyers! Let Melissa Thompson and her team of professionals help you get your house listed and sold.  Call them today at 901-756-8900.

Photo Credit: lowes.com

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How to Love the Home You Have

by Melissa Thompson

When you’ve lived in a home for a while, it can start to lose the charm you first saw in it.  Day to day life can make it feel like a burden rather than a retreat.  Especially this time of year, when you’ve taken down the holiday decorations and the days are shorter and darker.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  February is the month of love and it’s a great time to remember what made you fall in love with your house to begin with.  Even if your current home is not your dream house, you can still create a place you will love.  Here is a list of ways to love the home you have:

- Declutter.  A messy, cluttered home can make you feel overwhelmed and embarrassed to have company.  Negative feelings about your home make it a place of stress instead of a place of peace and comfort.  Cleaning up the clutter can seem like a huge task, but once you’ve done it, you will be glad you did!

- Show the kitchen some love.  Whether you love to cook or not, chances are you spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  So, it makes sense to have a kitchen you enjoy.  Simple things like keeping the sink, drainer and counters clear will go a long way into creating a space you will feel good about.  Place some fresh flowers on your counter or eat-in kitchen table. Find a spot for a speaker so you can listen to music while cooking.  Make the time spent in the kitchen a joy and not a chore.

- Make your bedroom a retreat.  Your bedroom should provide you with peace, quiet and comfort.  When decorating, you might focus on the rooms that guests will see.  But don’t neglect your bedroom.  It is your sanctuary.  Your place to escape to when you want time alone.  Choose colors that give your bedroom a relaxing vibe. Splurge on luxurious bed linens. And don’t be frugal when purchasing a mattress and pillows. Sleep is so important to your overall health and having the right mattress and pillows greatly effects the quality of your sleep.

- Display favorite family memories. Like many people, you probably have hundreds, if not thousands of photos on your electronic devices.  Take some time to go through them and find photos of your favorite family memories to print and frame for display.  Need some ideas?  Check out Pinterest for lots of unique ways to display photos in your home.

- Design a room that works for you.  Do you have a room that doesn’t get used much (if at all).  For example, a formal living room that nobody in the family uses.  Perhaps it’s time to make use of that room in a way that works best for you and your family.  Don’t get tied down to the fact that is a “formal living room”.  It can be anything you want it to be. Do you love to read?  Create a cozy library with a comfy chair and book shelves.  Do you need home office space?  Then create a home office that makes you look forward to “going to work” each day.

Even if you are not currently living in your dream house, you can make small changes that will help you love the home you’re in! 

YOUR HOME SEARCH STARTS HERE            FIND OUT WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH  

Photo Credit: chicagonow.com

The Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan

by Melissa Thompson

Watch any of the home renovation or buying/selling shows on HGTV and you will hear people asking for open floor plans. Even in small houses, people want the feel of spaciousness that an open floor plan provides.  A “great room” with no wall between the kitchen and living space seems to be the most popular choice when it comes to floor plan considerations.  But is it the best choice for everyone?  Let’s look at the pros and cons of the open floor plan and see if it’s the right decision for you and your family.

Pros:

- You won’t feel isolated.  If yogu are cooking or doing dishes in a kitchen that flows into the family room,  you will be able to chat with family and friends or continue watching television instead of being stuck in a closed off room by yourself.

 - You will be able to keep an eye on the kids.  A great room with no walls allows you to watch your kids at play while you are cooking or cleaning.

 - More natural light.  Without interior walls, sunlight will flow through the house from the exterior wall windows.  You will also have an unobstructed view of the great outdoors.

 - Ideal for entertaining.  When you have guests over, they can congregate throughout the great room, so you won’t miss anything if you are in the kitchen cooking and serving food.

Cons:

 - Lack of privacy.  If your household includes people of various ages on a multitude of different schedules, an open floor plan can make things challenging.  For example, if your teenager wants to have friends over for a study group at the kitchen table, but you want to watch a movie.  Or perhaps you want to read quietly on the couch, but your daughter’s having a sleepover and they want to have pizza and bake cookies.  A separate, enclosed kitchen may be better for some families.

 - Limited wall space. Placing furniture in an open floor plan is tricky sometimes, especially if you have a lot of windows.  And if you are an art lover, you are going to want blank walls for displaying your treasures.

 - Overwhelming mess.  Smaller, enclosed rooms are easier to keep neat and tidy.  With open floor plans, stuff tends to spread out.  And you may not want kids’ toys in your main living space, so a smaller, enclosed room might be your preference for a play area.

 - Too noisy.  With an open plan, there are more acoustics, therefore noise travels further. A quiet conversation in the kitchen may not be possible with the television on across the way.

Remember, just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.  Think about what is going to suit your family’s needs before starting your home search.

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Keeping-Little-Ones-Safe-at-Home

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Maximizing-Small-Spaces

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Steps-to-Take-Before-Buying-a-Home-A-Guide-for-First-Time-Homebuyers

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Top 4 Home Renovations for Maximum ROI

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • Whether you are selling your home, just purchased your first home, or are a homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most “Return On Investment” (ROI).
     
  • While big projects like adding a bathroom or a complete remodel of a kitchen are popular ways to increase a home’s value, something as simple as updating landscaping and curb appeal can have a quick impact on a home’s value.

Contact your local expert’s at The Melissa Thompson Team 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com for all your Real Estate needs!

By: KCM Crew 

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Fall Curb Appeal

by Melissa Thompson

First impressions are crucial to successfully selling your home.  The first thing potential buyers notice when they drive past your house is your lawn and landscaping.  If you’re putting your house on the market this Fall, here are some tips for sprucing up your yard to make a fantastic first impression!

  • Rake, rake, rake.  Fall foliage is beautiful and can serve to make your property more attractive to buyers, but a lawn covered in leaves looks sloppy.  Keep up with raking so people notice the beautiful leaves ON the trees, not the dying leaves on the ground.
  • Plant Fall flowers.  An Autumn garden filled with vibrant color is a great way to add beauty to your yard.
  • Create a lush lawn by aerating so that water and nutrients can reach the roots.
  • When you do your last mow of the season, make sure to trim grass short.  Shorter grass helps prevent disease.  In addition, Fall leaves will blow across your lawn if they have nothing to cling to.
  • Trim ugly limbs.  There is nothing pretty about cracked, diseased or dead limbs. 
  • Get rid of annuals that have lost their luster.  Trim tired perennial foliage down to the ground.  This will prepare them for their next season and will tidy up your flower beds for a neater look.
  • Lay fresh mulch for cooler weather curb appeal.  Choose mulch that is aesthetically pleasing while also providing the benefits that keep your flower beds looking their best.

With summer winding down and Fall just around the corner, it’s a good time to start planning for creating beautiful curb appeal that will have potential buyers lining up to see your home!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/To-Stageor-Not-to-Stage-That-Is-the-Question

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Home-Maintenance-Projects-You-Should-Start-Now

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Hey-Millennial-Homeowners-It-May-Be-Time-to-Sell

Home Maintenance - Projects You Should Start Now

by Melissa Thompson

Summer is winding down and the kids are back in school. Before you know it, crisp Fall weather will be here.   Don’t wait to start preparing your home for the colder seasons.  Take advantage of warm weather and longer days to get the jobs done now.  Here are five home projects you can do now to prepare for Fall and Winter:

  • Get your heating system serviced.  Now is the time to have a technician come out to inspect your heating system and make sure it is clean and in good repair.  You will be glad you did this when that first cold night arrives.  Try to find a heating/air conditioning contractor that belongs to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and employs certified technicians.
  • Caulk and weather-strip windows and doors.  Caulking is an inexpensive and simple way to save energy and improve comfort in your home. Be sure to seal any areas where water and air can slip into your home.  The prime places where this can happen are gaps between the foundation and siding, cutouts for electrical conduits and pipes and all around windows and door frames. Replace any damaged weather stripping at the base of doors and windows to make sure they are effectively sealed. 
  • Make sure your roof is in good shape. Trust me, you are not going to want to go up on the roof in cold weather.  Take the time now to inspect it and make any repairs necessary.  It will serve you well to deal with roof issues now so that you’re not scrambling to get things fixed before the first big winter storm.
  • Make sure your fireplace is in good working order.  There’s nothing better on that first, cold Fall day than curling up in front of a warm fire.  And there would be nothing worse than trying to light that fire and discover that something is not right.  Make sure your fireplace is safe and ready to go.
  • Seal your driveway.  Check it for cracks and use driveway filler to repair any damage. Then coat it with a commercial sealer.  Sealing your driveway will protect it from the elements of cold-weather and extend the life of the asphalt.

Getting these projects done before the weather changes and the days get shorter will allow you to enjoy all the fun that Fall brings with it rather than spending every weekend doing chores!

 

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/5-Important-Things-to-Fix-Before-Putting-Your-House-on-the-Market

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Quick-Fix-Tricks-to-Make-Your-House-Sparkling-Clean

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Top-Home-Renovations-for-Maximum-ROI

Luxurious Laundry Rooms

by Melissa Thompson

The laundry room is probably not the first space you think of when you hear the word luxurious.  But it is a room you spend a lot of time in.  Doing laundry is a necessary part of life, so why not make it more appealing by creating a comfortable, practical and pretty environment that will make it feel less like a chore and more like a pleasant task. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your laundry room a calm and soothing work space.  There are opulent touches you can add that will improve your disposition while performing the essential duties of washing, drying, folding and ironing.

 
  • Paint the room in a soft, neutral color - choose from greens, blues or yellow.
  • Hang some art on the walls.  Pick pieces that you love or are meaningful to you. You don’t have to spend a lot of money…just choose paintings or pictures that bring 
  • you joy.
  • If you lack storage in your laundry room, add some simple shelves with clean lines.  Get some clear containers for your detergent, fabric softener sheets, clothes pins etc. so you can dispose of the unsightly bags and boxes they come in. 
  • Use baskets or bins to pre-sort clothes into whites, colors, sheets, towels etc.
  • If your laundry room is spacious, create a folding area.  You can have a table or if you are using front loading machines, design a counter to go on top of them.  Add a small, wall-mounted television and a comfy chair, and folding clothes won’t seem so boring anymore.
  • Add a small vase with fresh flowers.  Being amidst the beauty of nature will make you feel better about being stuck indoors doing laundry!
  • Remember, guests are not likely to see your laundry room, so make it all about YOU.  Be funky and unique with your décor and have fun with it!  Before you know it, you will look forward to doing all that washing, drying and folding.  Ok…maybe you won’t look forward to it, but at least you won’t dread it! 

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Quick-Fix-Tricks-to-Make-Your-House-Sparkling-Clean

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Top-Home-Renovations-for-Maximum-ROI

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Clearing-the-Clutter

5 Important Things to Fix Before Putting Your House on the Market

by Melissa Thompson

If you want the best price for your house, you may have to do some repairs before selling it. Potential buyers will be willing to spend more for a home that doesn’t need a lot of work.  Here are 5 important things to fix before selling:

  1. Exterior - When was the last time the exterior of your house was painted?  Is the paint faded and chipping?  Is wood rotting around the windows?  Is your front door dingy?  First impressions matter when it comes to selling your home and buyers will get their first impression when they see the outside of your house whether in pictures or in person.  Don’t forget the landscaping.  A well-kept lawn and simple, but clean flower beds will go a long way toward creating an enticing aesthetic for your property.
  2. Interior Paint - If the walls are looking a bit shabby and the trim a bit grimy, painting is a quick and easy fix.  The same applies if you went through a crazy color phase a few years back and decorated with hues that might not appeal to everyone.  Choose neutral colors that will allow buyers to focus on the spaces without being distracted.
  3. Kitchen - The kitchen is one of the most important rooms that buyers focus on when looking at a house.  So, if yours is looking run-down you will want to update it.  It will be worth the investment to replace appliances that are on their last legs or putting in a new granite counter.  Or it might be as simple as repainting cabinets and adding shiny, new handles.
  4. Bathroom - Nothing turns buyers off faster than an unsightly bathroom.  Sparkling, clean fixtures and a fresh coat of paint will go a long way toward impressing someone searching for their dream home.  Inexpensive touches like a decorative mirror or a lovely picture on the wall will add to the ambiance without breaking the bank.
  5. Flooring - If your carpets are stained or thread bare, it is worth your while to replace them.  Otherwise, buyers may ask for a carpet allowance when they make an offer on your house.  The same applies if your vinyl floors are in bad shape.  Hardwoods are always popular, but you may want to consider getting them refinished if they are looking old and scruffy.

It may seem counter intuitive to spend money on repairing or fixing up a house you are getting ready to sell, but at the end of the day, it will not only help you sell your house faster, but you will get a better price for it too.

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/75-of-Homeowners-Think-Now-is-a-Good-Time-to-Sell

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Quick-Fix-Tricks-to-Make-Your-House-Sparkling-Clean

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Tips-for-Showing-Your-Home-to-Potential-Buyers

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 17

Contact Information

Photo of Melissa Thompson Real Estate
Melissa Thompson
Crye-Leike Realtors
6525 N Quail Hollow Road
Memphis TN 38120
(901) 729-9526
(901) 756-8900
Fax: (901) 435-0620