7 Tactics to Try if Your House Isn’t Selling

what to do when your house isn't selling

It can be so frustrating and disheartening to see your home sitting on the market for so long. You may wonder why your home hasn’t had any offers within the first month or so after you’ve listed it. Why can’t potential homebuyers see how great your home is? If you haven’t had a bite within a month or so, you may have to help steer buyers in the right direction. Here are some key tactics to try if you’re struggling to sell your home:

Rethink Your Staging

It might seem strange that buyers aren’t putting down an offer simply because of what you have inside your home. After all, they’re not shopping for furniture, right? The truth is that many potential homebuyers struggle with imagining themselves living in another home if there’s too much clutter or distraction. Take the time to de-clutter and pare down your furnishings. Even temporarily sending some extra chairs and shelves to a storage unit will be worth it! While you’re at it, replace your family photos with tasteful artwork and paint the walls with a fresh coat of gray, cream, or off-white paint.

Get Creative with Your Listing

You know just how awesome your house is – now it’s time to really show buyers what they could be missing out on. Team up with your agent to craft a powerful description of your home. Think about the elements of your home that enchanted you – the sunshine streaming through the kitchen windows in the morning, quiet afternoons reading on covered deck, or curling up by the fireplace in the evening. Tap into those feelings, play up your home’s unique features, and work on selling homebuyers their dream.

Show Your Home in the Best Light (Literally)

Everyone wants to walk into a house that’s bright and inviting. If buyers haven’t made any offers, dark colors or dim rooms might be scaring them off. Install some high-watt light bulbs and do everything possible to allow natural light to spill in through the windows. If the walls are darker, opt for lighter, neutral shades to brighten the room (and make it appear larger!). Take a look at the photos on your online listing as well. If they don’t show well, consider asking a professional to take eye-catching photos of your home!

Amp Up Your Curb Appeal

First impressions matter. If the outside of your home isn’t looking its best, it could send a message to house hunters that the interior might not be as promising either. Take the time to upgrade your landscaping, trim bushes, plant flowers, seed bare spots in the lawn, and clean your gutters. Even something as simple as a fresh coat of paint on the front door can work wonders!

Consider Making Improvements

It might be time to take a hard look at some of the cosmetic features of your home. Are the cabinets in need of a good facelift? Is the bathroom outdated? Updating parts of your home can have a positive impact on how buyers view your property. Consider asking your agent if buyers made comments about any potential undesirable aspects of your home. If many of them are saying the same thing (say, the wall-to-wall carpet should go), it could be a smart idea to work on replacing or fixing the issue!

Reduce the Price

Some aspects of your home – location or basic square footage, for instance – just can’t be changed. If this is the case, it could be time for a price drop. Lowering the amount can help generate new interest and may attract new homebuyers. Work with your agent to help determine how much you should lower the price.

Consider Renting Instead

If push comes to shove and you don’t want to pay for two mortgages, renting your home could be another option you can try. This strategy can help you buy some time and save money until you choose to put it on the market once more. Just remember, if your home isn’t selling after being on the market for a while, all is not lost. Making the right changes in your home can help you seal the deal. The key is to be flexible, open-minded, creative, and motivated. Of course, you need a dedicated agent to help get the job done as well. Count on The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties to help you sell your home! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started.

10 Tips to Make Your Next Outdoor Movie Night a Smash

tips for outdoor movie night

It might be September, but summer’s not over just yet! What better way to savor those warm summer nights a little longer than with an outdoor movie night? Whether you want to cozy up with your significant other, hang out with your closest friends, or even host a showing for one under the stars, now is the time for some last-minute outdoor cinema fun. Here are 10 invaluable tips to help make your outdoor movie night a complete hit!

Set Up a Screen

Give everyone a great view with the right screen! Even affixing a simple white bed sheet to a wall or fence will do the trick. If you want to make outdoor movies more of a thing in the future, consider investing in an outdoor projection screen, which can be rolled up and stored until the next movie night.

Prep Your Projector

Now you’ll need a way to project the film onto the big screen. Your laptop, DVD player, or smartphone can do the job, or you can choose to find a portable projector instead. Make sure you have enough extension cords for the projector in question before the big night!

Test It Out First

Maybe you’ve tried your hand at outdoor movie nights in the past and you’re feeling confident that your setup is flawless. It’s still wise to give it a once-over before the screening and confirming that your connection is strong if you’re streaming. While you’re at it, secure and cover the cords as well as you can. You don’t want anyone to trip!

Give Bugs the Boot

Do you remember inviting any creepy crawlies to your party? Unless they’re fireflies, probably not. Keep mosquitoes and other annoying bugs out of your outdoor theater with the help of bug spray and strategically placed citronella torches. You can even give your guests a choice of using sprays, patches, or handy bug repellant bracelets as an option that’s less heavy on the smell.

Serve Up Some Sweet and Salty Snacks

If you don’t have snacks, did you even go to the movies? We think not. Set up your very own concession stands filled with seasoned popcorn, movie-style candy, and a variety of drinks for guests of all ages. Up your game by providing a few tasty popcorn toppings like garlic and olive oil, sea salt and asiago, or chocolate sauce for your more adventurous guests!

Think About Your Seating Situation

Keep things simple by asking your guests to bring their own lawn chairs and outdoor blankets to your screening. Try to stagger seating as much as possible so everyone can get a good view of the film. Moviegoers with blankets and pillows should be placed in the front while those with chairs can sit behind them. The nights are beginning to cool down a bit more quickly, so don’t forget to provide some cozy throws, just in case it gets chillier than expected!

Add Soft Lighting

Make the scene enchanting by hanging a little bit of lighting for your outdoor movie night! Soft holiday lights, fairy lights, or decorative lanterns hanging from the trees work wonders in creating a cozy atmosphere while illuminating your path to the snack bar (because yes, snacks are that important!).

Keep Your Audience in Mind

It can be tricky finding a movie that everyone will like. Keep your guests in mind and work on finding a film that appeals to everyone. Shoot for a movie that doesn’t have too much quiet dialogue or many dark scenes. When in doubt, everyone loves classic comedies!

Don’t Keep the Neighbors in the Dark

In an ideal world, you’ll want to alert your neighbors that you’re planning on hosting a movie night. Besides, nothing can ruin a fun night of laughs than a frustrated neighbor. Keep them in the loop and ensure that the sound is at a reasonable level so everyone can have an enjoyable evening. Summer nights were made for outdoor movies with friends. If you wish your current backyard were bigger, we can make your dream come true! Trust The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties to help find the perfect home for you. Call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started!

7 Ways You Can Seek Solace in Your Own Backyard

peaceful backyard tipsNow more than ever, it’s essential that we make time for ourselves to unwind, drop our worries at the door, and do what makes us feel happy and whole. You don’t have to go very far to experience it – serenity can be found right in your own backyard. Try these 7 tips to help make your backyard a welcoming oasis:

Invest in Comfortable Seating

It’s a fact: if you have a cozy spot to lounge, you’ll be more likely to spend more time there. Give careful thought to your outdoor seating situation. Perhaps a deep-seated sofa, hanging chair, or a padded swing will help you feel more relaxed and closer to nature. When in doubt, set up the epitome of relaxation: a hammock!

Gather ‘Round the Fire

There’s just something comforting in sitting in front of a fire with your closest friends by your side. Find peace in front of a fire pit or even an outdoor fireplace. They make the perfect place for making s’mores, stargazing, and talking with the ones you love the most!

Steal Away to a Secret Garden

Have a green thumb (or want to work on cultivating one)? Gardening may be the perfect answer for you! In fact, this healthy hobby not only brings you peace of mind, but it also touts several other health benefits. Make plans to begin landscaping a swoon-worthy garden, or strategically add your favorite plants and flowers to what you already have in your yard. Aromatic flowers like lavender and peppermint can also promote relaxing vibes!

Go On, Feed the Birds

Did you know that 40% of Americans regularly feed birds in their backyards? It’s no wonder why – it’s a peaceful hobby that benefits both you and your feathered friends! Set up a bird-feeding station somewhere in your yard. Read up on your favorite birds and set out the type of seed that will attract them (hint: sunflower seed is a big hit with many birds!).

Add a Water Feature

Water can have such a calming effect, which is why you should consider installing some sort of feature in your backyard. Start small with a running water feature in your lounge area or a gorgeous koi pond filled with colorful fish. If you have the space and budget, you can add a hot tub or a swimming pool to soak up all your troubles at the end of the day!

Amp Up the Privacy

You can’t quite relax when you can see neighbors or passers-by from your backyard. Create some much-needed privacy by installing some screens, walls, or even a fence to give you a sense of security. Turn it into an even more inviting oasis by providing plenty of shade and some soft lighting around the area!

Create an Area Just for You

No matter how much or how little space you have in your backyard, you should design a spot for you to do the things you love the most. Turn your patio into a place that you can easily enjoy the latest page-turner or practice yoga. That slab of concrete you have no idea what to do with? Add a few chairs, a table, and some potted plants to create your own hangout spot for you and your friends. The possibilities are endless!

Your backyard should be your own private sanctuary and a source of happiness in your daily life. Looking for a bigger or more inviting backyard? Enlist the help of The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! We can help you find the home (and backyard) you’ve been dreaming of all this time. Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started!

Unpacking: How to Maximize Home Storage

Unpacking boxes

Congratulations on moving into a new home – what an exciting time to be alive! There are many possibilities ahead of you and one of those is where to put everything. Before you move any of those boxes off the truck, consider developing a strategy. You don’t want to get caught up with clutter right away. Here are 6 unpacking tips to maximize home storage.

Identify the Obvious Storage Spaces

Start by going room to room in order to make a mental or written note of the places that are clearly storage spaces. The obvious ones will include closets, shelves, counters, and drawers. There are so many benefits to each, but especially with closets. Closets can be customized for almost any use like storing clothes, linens, and food.

Start with the Kitchen

Speaking of food, people spend more time in the kitchen than most other rooms. That means it should take priority when you’re unpacking. Break out all of your dishes, utensils, gadgets, and appliances to find the best location for them. If you had a difficult time finding items before the move, take advantage of this opportunity to organize ahead of time. Fill the cabinets, drawers, and utilize counterspace accordingly.

Move to the Bedrooms

The bedrooms are up next! Unpack your wardrobe, jewelry, and other personal belongings. In the master, the placement of the bed is important as it could give you extra floor space for dressers and shelving units. Once those systems are packed, along with the closets, consider purchasing rolling storage boxes for underneath the bed. Guest bedrooms are perfect for miscellaneous articles and spare beds/furniture.

Continue with the Bathroom

It takes skill to perfectly arrange a bathroom. If there’s a closet, store your towels on the middle shelf with the cleaning supplies above and the toilet paper/tissues below. Plungers or scrub brushes can sit in their holders on the floor. For those without closet space in the bathroom, invest in shelving units that can withstand moisture. You can also purchase smaller shelves for the shower itself to hold soap, shampoo, and conditioner.

Don’t Forget the Living Room

With most of the essentials now unpacked, it’s time to revisit the living room. A lot of reading and TV watching will occur here so determine where the furniture will go first. Then decide on the placement of bookshelves and an entertainment center. Entertainment centers come with shelves and cabinets where you can hold your TV, movies, gaming station, and much more. A bookshelf’s purpose is obvious, but you can also use one to hold picture frames, knickknacks, and overflow from your DVD or video game collection, too.

Locate Other Storage Areas

Your house is filling up quickly but the truck still has a few pieces of property left inside. It’s a good thing that basements are known for storing anything and everything. Garages and sheds are incredibly useful as well. These spaces can easily hold workout equipment, recreational games like pool, lawncare equipment, tools, and other items you don’t mind not seeing every day.

For Those Considering a Move

Still thinking about making a move? If you’re not quite ready to pack up all your things because you have to find your dream home, let The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties assist you. View our listings online and call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298.

6 Ways You Can Avoid Homebuyer’s Remorse

avoid homebuyer's remorseThe house hunting process is undoubtedly an emotional experience. A house is the most expensive purchase you will probably ever make, so it’s understandable to feel a wide range of emotions – and to question yourself during the entire process. After purchasing what you initially felt was the home of your dreams, you may come to regret signing your name on the dotted line. A barrage of “what ifs” creep into your mind: What if you jumped too quickly and your true dream home pops up on the market next week? What if you paid too much? What if I made the wrong choice?

It happens to the best of us. In fact, according to a recent study from Trulia, about 51% of homebuyers experience the phenomenon known as homebuyer’s remorse. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to regret your next house choice. Follow these 6 handy tips to help you avoid homebuyer’s remorse!

Revisit Your List of Wants and Needs Frequently

It can be easy to get distracted and fall in love with a high-end home that’s out of your price range – or the opposite: settling for a home that “sort of” works. Center yourself during the house hunting process and keep your needs and wants in mind. Is the home in the right location and neighborhood? Is it the right size and within your price range? What will your daily commute look like? Make sure that the house you’re thinking of buying matches your needs and hopefully some of your wants as well!

Take Multiple Tours of the House

If you’re only seeing the house once before buying it, you’ll more than likely experience buyer’s remorse. Avoid it by requesting a few additional viewings so you can see it more objectively. If possible, view it at different times of the day to gain a stronger perspective of what your future home might look like. Definitely tour the home privately at least once – you’ll feel much less rushed, which can help you evaluate the home with a clearer mind.

Stop Looking at Other Houses

We understand – sometimes it can be fun to look at listings online and imagine your life within those walls. But if you’re under contract to buy a home and you’re still checking out the newest houses to hit the market, you could be setting yourself up for homebuyer’s remorse. Once you’ve chosen your home, unsubscribe from email alerts and delete the listing apps from your phone. Remember, the grass is always greener on the other side!

Do Your Due Diligence

Before you make an offer, you’ll want to investigate any disclosures available. Find out if there have been any previous inspections or additional reports you haven’t seen yet. Ensure that you’re getting all of the details about the property and its past before you make your decision. If you’re too busy to review the information, you probably shouldn’t make an offer.

Refrain from Nitpicking Your Home

No home is perfect. You will always find something “wrong” with the house, no matter how much you work to fix it to your liking. Instead of constantly finding faults with your new home after you purchase it, change your mindset and focus on the parts you absolutely love about it! That morning light in the library, the enchanting window seat, the cozy nook by the fireplace where you read all your favorite thrillers – start listing off everything you love to remind yourself why you bought it in the first place!

Listen to Others, But Trust Your Gut

It’s always nice to consider the opinion of others, especially if they are a trusted source. But sometimes, family and friends can have the opposite effect and cause you to question your choice. If you know deep down that this is the home for you – even if your mother feels it’s setup leaves something to be desired – then trust yourself! Do, however, rely on your real estate agent for input. If he or she tries to steer you away from a home that truly doesn’t fit your needs and wants, that’s a sign of a good agent looking out for your best interests.

Of course, sometimes your concerns may be valid and you’ll need to back out of your offer. If there are issues with the title, if the seller won’t handle your requested repairs, if the house doesn’t appraise out, or if the inspection reveals some concerning issues, you might want to reconsider your offer!

A good real estate agent will help you find the right home for you. The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties is dedicated to listening to your needs, wants, and concerns and works tirelessly to match you with the home of your dreams. Avoid homebuyer’s remorse by relying on us! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or view our listings online to get started!

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Installing a Pool

As the thermometer rises throughout the blistering summer months, there’s one home improvement project you won’t be able to get out of your head – installing a backyard swimming pool. When it comes to shopping for one, don’t just dive in headfirst! Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before installing a pool.

Do I Have Enough Space for a Pool?

The best place to start when considering the installation of a pool is your backyard. Look around and ask yourself if you have enough space. An average rectangular pool can be 10 x 20 feet or larger while round pools can reach sizes greater than 10 feet in diameter. If you’ve answered yes to this question, move on to the next one. If you don’t currently have this kind of space, view the last question in this post.

Should I Choose an In-Ground or Above-Ground Pool?

There are many intricacies that come with both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools. The trick is finding out what works best for you. Here are a few benefits of an in-ground pool:

  • Increases the value of your home.
  • Completely customizable from the shape to the color of the tiles.
  • Less prone to damages over time.

And here are a few benefits of an above-ground pool:

  • Simple installation.
  • More budget-friendly upfront.
  • Less risk for accidents to occur.

Can I Maintain This Long-Term Investment?

Buying a pool is sort of like adopting a puppy. You might be excited right now to get one installed, but can you maintain your pool over the years to come? Pool owners have several maintenance-related responsibilities including understanding how their pool functions, when and how to properly clean it, knowing what to do with it during the winter, and more.

What’s My Budget?

If you’re still reading this then it means you’re ready for the next step – budgeting. Let’s look to HomeAdvisor who offers the cost of an in-ground pool. According to their numbers, installing an in-ground pool can range between $36,740 and $66,486. Factors include the location of where you live, the size of the pool, and any additional landscaping that may need to be done. Above-ground pools, however, tend to run between $1,000 and $3,000 for their installation. Accessories such as pool decks, lights, and diving boards will increase the overall cost for both.

Is it Time to Buy a New Home?

If you don’t have enough space in your backyard for a swimming pool or the cost doesn’t fit your monthly budget, then maybe it’s time to start looking for a new home. Trust The Massey Team to find the perfect home with everything you have ever wanted – including a pool!

Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, and view our current listings on our website.

5 Smart Tips to Consider Before Buying a Fixer Upper

what to know when buying a fixer-upper

They say love is blind, and well, we’d have to agree. We’ve seen it happen so many times before – as soon as a prospective homebuyer walks through the door, their jaw drops, their pupils dilate, and their breath catches in their throats. Love can strike you at any moment when you’re house hunting, even when the house of your dreams happens to have ancient wiring and creaky stairs.

If your heart is set on a fixer-upper, keep in mind that you’ll need to put some love and care into the house to bring it into the 21st century. And while money can’t buy you love, it will certainly become a big factor in your satisfaction when it comes to owning and face-lifting a fixer-upper. Here are a few factors you should consider before you say, “I do” to your future home!

Consider the Location

You’ve heard us say it before – location is the most important thing in real estate. No matter how beautiful a house is, no one will want to buy it if it’s in an undesirable spot! Think about the neighborhood this fixer-upper is in. How is the school district? Are people moving in or out? Are businesses doing well? If you can answer these questions with positive answers, then you can feel more at ease in creating a true diamond in the rough.

Check the Zoning

Before you begin envisioning all the updates you’ll make to the home, look into its zoning. This will tell you what you can and cannot do to the property. Just visit the website of the fixer-upper’s municipality to learn about zoning requirements, or you can meet with a staff member who can completely outline all the legalities you need to know!

Call in a Professional Home Inspector

Let’s say you’re in the process of buying the fixer-upper. Before you make the purchase final, you’ll want to hire a home inspector to fully assess the entire property. He or she will look inspect the foundation, wiring, plumbing, roof, and other aspects to advise you on what may need to be replaced. Set aside plenty of time to listen to your inspector and ask questions. It’s wise to get to know the property as well as you can before buying it.

Ask an Architect

Now it’s time to tap a professional to help you reimagine your future home! Find a qualified architect and ask them for their perspective on how the house could look. An architect will be able to find load-bearing walls and can give you some keen insight regarding the changes you could make.

Be Realistic with Your Budget

You may think that renovating a fixer-upper will work out as (seemingly) smoothly as all those reality shows. However, fixing a home takes a lot of time, money, patience, and resilience. Be honest with yourself in what your budget looks like and if you’re truly committed to making the changes. You’ll also want to consider if your hard work will yield a good return on investment – if not, you may want to continue your search. Don’t forget that you may also run into any unexpected issues that need to be repaired during the renovation process as well.

Whether you’ve got your eyes on a fixer-upper, want a turnkey home, or are looking for something in between, the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties have your back. Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to start your search today! You can also get a head-start by viewing our listings at www.MasseyTeam.RealEstate.

6 Simple Steps to Create a Grilling Paradise

Outdoor kitchen on a brick exterior patio

While summer is on its way, there’s another season that has already started – grilling season. A lot of folks broke out their grills on Memorial Day and they’re not putting them away soon. The same should go for you! In fact, it’s now time to start making your patio into the grilling paradise you’ve always dreamed about. How can this become a reality? Check out these 6 simple steps to learn more.

1. Get Inspired

Inspiration is key when it comes to design. Luckily, there are many other people who have already done the legwork for you. Check out websites like Pinterest or even Forbes, which offers 13 upgrades for your outdoor grill area. You’ll have more than enough ideas by the time you’re ready to move on to step two!

2. Draw It Out

Like with any remodeling plans, it’s important to draw every detail out first. Start with the patio space so you can get an idea of how much room you have to work with. Next, place the grill where you think it fits best. Use this as a focal point and add as much or as little around it as you would like.

3. Consider Functionality

While you are carefully drawing out your grilling paradise, don’t forget about functionality. Think about your patio furniture, which can make an excellent spot for prep work. You can also get creative and invest in outdoor countertops. Each of these options will give you plenty of space for seasoning, dicing, and cooling. Adding additional appliances like a sink or mini fridge could also save you a few trips inside your home.

4. Make Room for Friends

Grilling is more than just for cooking a tasty meal, it’s also for the people you prepare it with. Make sure there is plenty of room for chairs and a place for friends to eat. We’re talking about backyard barbeques after all – eating inside is for dinner parties (and rainy days)!

5. Start Putting Everything Out

You’ll never know if you enjoy your new setup until you test it out. Get everything together and put it all out just like you had planned. Notice something that doesn’t work? It’s important to be flexible and make adjustments when necessary.

6. Add Your Own Style

Every grill master has a different preference when it comes to style, so make it your own! If you want to add those countertops, choose from a variety of materials including wood or granite. Don’t have a grill just yet? They come in all shapes and sizes as well as in multiple colors. You can then purchase all matching accessories including grill covers, mitts, and more!

All of this hard work is going to result in an updated patio space that will make you proud. Start the grill and let us know what you have done to create your grilling paradise in the comments below!

7 Ways to Create an Outdoor Space for Summer Fun

outdoor space for summer funThe sun’s out, the birds are singing, and the weather feels absolutely amazing. It’s no wonder that you want to get outdoors now more than ever! Fortunately, you don’t have to venture too far to find fun – excitement and relaxation can both be found just outside your door! Here are 7 creative ways you can turn your backyard into your favorite place to spend your days and nights this summer:

Freshen up the Deck or Patio

After a long, harsh winter, your patio or deck deserves a bit of love. Switch out tired outdoor cushions for fresh pillows in your favorite color. Throw in a rug to tie your look together. Feel free to add a decorative plant or centerpiece to your outdoor table to make it look even more inviting!

Add Some Privacy

Don’t want passers-by to look in and start chatting you up while you’re busy relaxing? You’ll want to add an element of privacy to your space! Choose a chic set of curtains to hang from the deck or roll up your sleeves and create your own plant privacy wall.

Keep the Mosquitos at Bay

Mosquitos do a great job when it comes to ruining any party. Don’t let them win! Keep them away with a few strategically placed citronella candles and torches. If you’re enjoying a meal or snack outside, cover them up with some simple mosquito netting to deter mosquitos and any other curious bugs!

Create Your Own Movie Showing

There’s nothing like watching your favorite movie under the glow of the stars! Set up a projection screen to be viewed from the comfort of your deck, patio, or pool. You can keep built-in speakers hidden behind rock walls or planters for more of a surround-sound effect as well. All that’s missing is the popcorn!

Throw Some Shade

Whether you lack shady trees or want to shield yourself from the summertime weather, you’ll want to add some shade to your backyard oasis. You can add a large umbrella, get creative with curtains, or tap into your DIY skills by building a pergola. Your covering will help you stay out of the sun’s harmful rays and keep you dry should a storm pop up.

Roll Out the Mini-Bar

Don’t want to go all the way back inside to fix up a drink? Bring them to you with the help of a mini-bar! You can either purchase a proper cart or try your hand at creating your own by repurposing an old table to keep your drinks cold and nearby.

Add in Your Personality

Of course, your space isn’t truly yours until you add a few personal touches. Let your personality shine through with funky or vibrant decorations. Adorn your space with pillows, blankets, and a rug in your favorite color, add some quirky accent pieces, and hang strings of LED lights for a romantic touch in the evenings.

If your current home lacks sufficient outdoor space for memorable summertime activities, we can help you find the home of your dreams! Call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. We’re eager to find the right home that fulfills your wants and needs!

6 Tips to Make Your Home Office Work for You

tips for working from homeFor countless Americans, especially those working in industries deemed non-essential, WFH (working from home) has become the new normal. While many are discovering some amazing benefits from working from home – more time for sleeping, spending time with the family, exercising, and working on our hobbies – there are certainly some challenges. Fortunately, you can make your home office efficient, even if it’s at the kitchen table – and it won’t cost a thing. Here are a few tips to get your newfound workspace up and running!

Claim Your Own Space

If you don’t have a designated room for a home office, don’t fret – just about any space in your home can work as your new temporary office! Choose an area that offers fewer distractions, plenty of outlets, and adequate lighting. Yes, that means you definitely need to get out of bed! Set up your station in your library, carve a space at the dining room table, or corner off a section of your basement. Whichever spot you choose, make sure it’s one that will help you get into a work mindset and keep you from getting derailed!

Minimize Distractions

Whether you live by yourself or with others, interruptions are bound to happen. There are a few ways you can reduce them, however! If you find yourself wanting to binge the latest documentary on Netflix, work away from the TV and listen to some music instead. Working in your own room? Close the door to shut out distractions. Finally, if you’re living with others, keep them up to speed about what’s on your plate for the day so they can work more easily around your schedule (and vice versa!).

Clear out the Clutter

Speaking of distraction, clutter can really drag you down and kill your workflow. Take some time to straighten up your desk and toss out anything that’s unnecessary. Keep your workday essentials like pens, notebooks, and your agenda nearby to help you tackle your to-do list like a boss!

Keep Inspiration in View

Now more than ever, your surroundings should inspire you and help motivate you to do your best. Put your favorite photos of your loved ones front and center. Create your own inspiration board filled with photos of your goals and your travel destinations that you’ll visit one day and hang it on your wall. These little things can help you stay positive throughout the day!

Do a Background Check

Are Zoom calls becoming more regular? If so, you’ll want to look behind you and see if your surroundings need any sprucing up. Kick out that pile of laundry and any unsightly clutter. Show off a bit of your personality by displaying some of your favorite decorations on a bookshelf or two behind you. Make it fun and inviting while remaining professional!

Set the Right Tone for Success

Now that you’re working from home, you can control your environment a lot more. Put your headphones to the side and blast a motivating playlist from your computer or speaker. Light a candle in your favorite scent to help relax you. Keep a cozy throw nearby to warm up under throughout the day. Take advantage of this time now to help make working from home as comforting and positive as possible!

What are you doing to help you feel more productive and settled in your home office? Tell us in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!