Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group



Posted by Donna Coffin on 7/12/2019

There is no shortage of smart home devices available to property owners nationwide. From light bulbs to thermostats, there are lots of devices that you can pick up to transform an ordinary residence into a smart house.

Ultimately, there are plenty of reasons to invest in smart home devices. These reasons include:

1. Smart home devices offer unmatched convenience.

A smart home device is designed to simplify a myriad of tasks. Plus, a smart home gadget is easy to use, regardless of your technical background or expertise.

When it comes to automating chores around the house, there may be no better option than a smart home device. For instance, a smart vacuum now enables homeowners to control a vacuum from any location, at any time. This means you can use a smart vacuum to keep your house neat and tidy – even when you are not at home.

2. Smart home devices are proven to perform.

Smart home gadgets are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Additionally, they are constructed from heavy-duty materials to ensure they can serve you well both now and in the future.

And let's not forget about the savings that smart home devices can provide. For example, a smart thermostat may be used to activate your home's heating or cooling system at different times during the day. As a result, this thermostat may help you save hundreds of dollars on your heating and cooling expenses over the course of a year.

3. Smart home devices won't break your budget.

Many smart home devices are available, and they are sold across a wide range of price points. In fact, some smart home devices may require a minimal upfront investment, and the savings that they provide may quickly exceed this investment.

Of course, smart home devices may help you boost the value of your residence as well. With smart gadgets installed throughout your home, your residence may prove to be an attractive option to buyers if you ever decide to sell it. Or, if you decide to remain in your current residence, you can continue to enjoy your smart home gadgets for years to come.

4. Smart home devices can help protect your residence.

Smart security cameras are available that make it simple to monitor your residence on your smartphone or tablet. Meanwhile, these cameras allow you to track activity outside of your home and limit the risk of theft or property damage.

Some smart security cameras also may allow you to lower your home insurance costs. Insurers may provide discounts based on home security investments, and as such, smart security cameras may allow you to reduce your home insurance expenses in the foreseeable future.

Clearly, there are many reasons why homeowners choose smart house devices. By reviewing the smart home devices at your disposal, you are sure to find some that will serve you well.





Posted by Donna Coffin on 7/5/2019

Seeing your desire to buy a waterfront property through is a big accomplishment. Before you sign on the dotted lines, there are a few things that you should know about the process of choosing the perfect waterfront property for you. 


Decide What You Need


The first step in finding the right property of any kind is understanding your own needs. How do you want to use the property? Will it be your year-round home, or will you be there only a portion of the year? Really map out what your priorities are when it comes to searching for waterfront properties. From here, you can figure out what areas you’d like to search in and what type of property you want to find to suit you. What types of activities will you be doing at your property? Will a lake property do the job or do you need an ocean escape? Is canoeing or kayaking a part of your dream, or is simply sitting by the water enough enjoyment for your needs? Answering all of these questions can help you to narrow down your needs for a waterfront property. 


Touring Properties


As with any other type of home search, you should take the time to scope out the properties that you’re interested in. This means not only looking at the properties themselves but looking at the communities and neighborhoods as well. What does the area have to offer you? Is it near a town or nestled away in a secluded spot? Remember that with a typical house the size of the home is what contributes to the majority of the value of the home. With a waterfront property, the surroundings are key. The closer to the water you are, the more valuable your piece of real estate is. Consider all of the typical factors when looking at properties along with the additional concerns of being close to the amenities and natural pleasures that you crave. 


Other Important Things To Consider


Other things that you should consider in finding your perfect piece of waterfront heaven are things like:


  • How close is the beach?
  • Does the beach or lake have easy access?
  • Is there an adequate amount of privacy at this property?
  • What kind of view is there?


The more breathtaking the views and the more space between you and your neighbors will give you an advantage not only in your own living situation but in renting out the property and even selling it in the future. 


There are a lot of things that go into making the decision of finding the right waterfront property. Sometimes, hiring an experienced realtor in the area can be just what you need to understand all the aspects of your investment from the area to the type of home you choose. Don’t be afraid to hire an experienced realtor to help you in your search.   






Posted by Donna Coffin on 6/28/2019

Build or buy is the age-old question humanity has asked ourselves since the dawn of time, or since real estate became a thing. So which should you choose, and why? Ask yourself the following questions to help simplify the decision for you and your family.

How long do you want to wait?

Buying a finished house has the advantage of almost immediate occupancy. It only takes the drafting of a contract of sale and its signing by you and the seller in the presence of your attorneys for you to become a homeowner. Constructing your own home can take a fair bit of time, depending on the availability of funds and the complexity of the design.

How much do you have?

At first, it might seem more economical to build your own home, but that is almost always not the case. Studies have shown that constructing your own home could cost 30% more than if you bought a similar ready-made structure. 

The opposite might also be true, mainly if you bought a house that has been standing for a few decades and doesn’t have the newest construction. The cost of sprucing up and maintaining an old house might be quite high as some fixtures may have outlived their usefulness while a newly built home requires little to no maintenance.

How ‘you’ is the house?

A ready-to-occupy house will have some features and design decisions that you probably don’t suit your aesthetic. You might have chosen to buy it anyway because it was the next best thing to your dream house, and its mortgage repayments were manageable. Moreover, with the squeeze that saving for the house’s deposit and the monthly repayments put on your budget, you might not be in a position to change those features immediately. 

Building your home gives you the luxury of dictating where every last screw will go. You can pick the color scheme that reflects your personality and the tile design that makes you feel most at home.

How long for that dream garden?

Another downside to constructing from scratch is that you might have to wait a couple of years for your dream garden to take shape. That pretty rock garden you saw in that house available for sale took months and months of tender loving care to look that way. Moreover, it probably contributed a fair bit to that asking price.

Still not sure of the best choice for you? Take your answers to these questions and sit down with your real estate agent to review your purchase and building options.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Donna Coffin on 6/21/2019

In today's ever-busy world, many homeowners don't make use of their formal dining room except for special occasions, like Easter holiday. The fall of the dining room can be attributed to the kitchen. Often regarded as the heart of the home, the kitchen is now used as the dining area in most homes.

Although the dining room table and chairs are not frequently used, they are still precious pieces of furniture. So, it is vital to be extra careful when preparing and moving your dining room furniture to prevent it from damage. Follow these expert tips to make sure every item gets packed safely.

Get the necessary packing supplies

If you are planning to move out of your house, the first thing you need to do is gather all the necessary packing supplies. These include:

- Sturdy boxes in different sizes with flaps that can be completely closed

- Packing paper

- Bubble wrap

- Tissue paper

- Paper pads

- A marker for labeling the boxes

- Packing tape for sealing the boxes

Packing the furniture

When packing the furniture, the first thing you need to do is dust it properly. After that, make the furniture easy to transport by unscrewing the legs from the table. Place it gently into the boxes and label it for easy identification when you get to your new home.

Packing fine china 

When packing breakable items like fine china make sure to line the bottom of the boxes with extra padded with crushed paper. For easy wrapping of fine china, start from the corner and all the paper diagonally across it and tuck in the overlap edges. Ensure you place them on their bottoms in the box.

Packing Stemware

Stemware can be quite tricky to pack. To make sure you are doing it right, the first thing you need to do is roll up a sheet of clean packing paper and carefully wrap it around the stem of the glass. After you have successfully covered the stem, take another sheet of clean packing paper to wrap up the rest of the glass.

Packing a chandelier

If your dining room has a chandelier, request for a special box from the moving company or allows them to help you pack it if it is very expensive.

Packing Vases and other fragile items 

Always wrap your vases and other fragile dining room items like your silverware in bubble wrap with a good paper pad around the outside.

When moving to a new home, It is essential you pack your furniture safely especially treasured dining room tables, vase, and chandeliers. Doing so, you will be able to make use of the items for many years in your new home.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Donna Coffin on 6/14/2019

If you missed the first part of this series, it’s important to note that green living and protecting the environment is the responsibility of everyone who lives here. With resources becoming less available, cutting down on usage, reducing waste and reusing anything where possible can all lead to a longer lasting green environment. Going green doesn’t have to be expensive, add these three new hacks to the original set and start saving the planet and money today!

Reduce the Amount of Waste Generated from Your Home

Waste accounts for a more significant percentage of both land and water pollutants. With tons of waste generated daily, the number exceeds the recyclable amount. Instead of creating more waste, why not use green-living alternatives for your daily activities? Plastics, for example, are a non-biodegradable waste. No wonder surface waters harbor trillions of plastics every year. To combat this problem, you could opt for tote bags for all your shopping errands in the stead of plastic bags. Also, a durable water bottle is a great option to replace plastic bottled water.

Natural Materials are Just as Beautiful.

New homeowners or old homeowners looking to make a new purchase for their home décor can opt for natural materials. They are just as beautiful! Thanks to the sustainable living movement, natural materials such as terracotta flooring, wooden furniture, marble countertops, etc. are now the go-to interior design choice for most homeowners. What’s more? These materials are less expensive, and they last for an extended period. You would end up saving the environment and a little extra cash for other errands. Go natural!

Plants can Grow Inside Too.

An excellent way to clear the air inside your home is to grow plants such as Boston ferns, palm trees, spider plants, and rubber plants indoors. Plants are natural air filters. They help clear the air while also absorbing harmful pollutants from your electronic equipment, furniture, and carpets. Let the plants come inside!

Going green in your home does not involve putting out tons of dollars or putting up with an outdated lifestyle. A little change in your daily routine has a role or two to play in sustaining the environment. Employ these little green living hacks to help you revamp your home into ‘home green home’ today. Go green, save the planet!

If you’re looking for a home with built-in green qualities, contact your local real estate professional today.




Categories: Uncategorized