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Storage in Smaller Home

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

More and more homeowners are downsizing, especially as they enter retirement years. Average new home sizes have scaled back from previous years. While this often means getting rid of - or acquiring fewer - belongings, there is still a need for accessible, efficient storage throughout the home. Making better use of existing space is a leading trend in home design and usage patterns throughout the home in both remodeling and new construction.

Most people use a back or garage entrance to the home rather than the front door. These entryways are now incorporating “drop zones”, where everyone can unload their backpacks, shoes, bags, sports gear, and outerwear. Baskets under benches provide both seating and storage. Some drop zones incorporate shelves or cubbies for each family member’s gear. A tray or shallow box for mail keeps it visible but doesn’t let it pile up too high. As a high-traffic area, a drop zone should be well organized and systematic in order to really work. If one system doesn’t quite function well for a particular family, it will always be better to try another arrangement until settling on one that really works.

Home offices are another area where storage is at a premium as functionality changes. These spaces are now used not only as an office, but for homework, projects, and more. Effective storage can now mean adding shelving and drawers to a closet to replace hanging rods. A dresser can be used to store project materials for easy access. With multiple users, this multi-function room, like the drop zone, needs to have a workable system that everyone can follow.

In the kitchen, pantry space has become more important as more people cook and eat at home. In large homes, a pantry might even be a separate room with plenty of space for storing everything from china to dog kibble. Newly popular smaller homes, generally with smaller kitchens, need to at least accommodate kitchen staples and larger, bulky items that aren’t often used such a large mixing bowls, seldom-used small appliances, and serving pieces. Pantry shelving for food items should be somewhat shallow so that everything is easy to find and reach. This type of shelving can even be added to a niche in the wall between two studs.

Home sizes may indeed be shrinking. But with efficient, practical storage solutions, even a smaller home can accommodate the needs of almost any family.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at


Source19th Edition of CRS Chapter Newsletter (July 12th, 2012) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

Save Energy and more with smart appliance choices

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Who hasn’t oohed and ahhed when watching home improvement shows or thumbing through the latest home design magazines? Perhaps no room gets more attention than the kitchen, and deservedly so. It’s where the family gathers for all kinds of reasons – not just cooking and meals, but homework, bill paying, TV watching, and everyday conversation. But beyond the cosmetic improvements everyone talks about, there is real opportunity in upgrading your kitchen appliances. They’ll look great, work better, and save you money and energy over time.

Not only does a new refrigerator or dishwasher change the look of the kitchen, advances in energy saving technology mean that these appliances are more efficient than ever and can save both energy and money. For proven energy efficiency, look for Energy Star rated appliances, which are available at almost all price points. In order to meet Energy Star qualifications, a new refrigerator must use at least 20% less energy than non qualifying units. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, replacing a refrigerator from the 1980s – and yes, there are plenty of those still out there – can result in savings of more than $100 on your utility bill each year. That adds up quickly over just a few years. And while you may be tempted to put that old unit in the garage for extra refrigerating capacity, this defeats the purpose of upgrading the first place. Most appliance retailers will remove and properly dispose of your old refrigerator; in many communities the components are recycled to avoid contributing to landfill mass.

The dishwasher is another appliance that lends itself to upgrading. Newer Energy Star qualified dishwashers not only save energy, but use far less water than their older counterparts. EPA figures show that a dishwasher built before 1994 wastes 10 gallons of water per cycle. Switching to a new dishwasher will help that, but choosing an Energy Star qualified model means use an average of 33% less water than new, non-qualifying dishwashers. Think washing by hand is a better way to go? Consider this: using a fully loaded Energy Star dishwasher instead of hand washing can save more than 5,000 gallons of water each year!

With some research and solid information in hand, you can make smart choices for replacement appliances that will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at


Source18th Edition of CRS Chapter Newsletter (June 30, 2012) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

What buyers desire in 2011

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

If you’re selling a home, whether being in Florida, Thailand or Costa Rica, then you should know what the buyers in your area are looking for this year. Buyers today want it all. Having spaces that mix indoor and outdoor living, like patios and decks, and a little luxury with high quality appliances will help give buyers what they want. Buyers want to drive a hard bargain and get a great deal.

Buyers demand a home in well-maintain condition. Buyers don’t want an unknown expense hanging over them after they move in. They would rather spend more to move in at first. Very few people want fixer uppers anymore. Buyers today only have enough money to buy the house, not buy it and fix it up. Having a well maintained house will help you sell your house.

Buyers aren’t going to settle, because they known they don’t have to. They will negotiate to get a better deal. Repairs, updates, cleaning and staging will help you win over potential buyers. Kijner & Sons International Realty can give you a few other hints as well.

It can’t be stressed enough the buyers are very interested in outdoor living areas. Consider screened porches, outdoor kitchens and two way fireplaces. It’s a selling point if your house already has it.

Green features are on the top of buyers lists. Not only because it’s good for the environment but because it’s easy on the wallet. Having energy efficient appliances and triple glazed windows is a selling point.

Open kitchens interest buyers as well. Having an open kitchen in your home can appeal to a lot of buyers. The kitchen is becoming part of a gathering room, and blocking if off doesn’t appeal to new buyers.

Buyers are buying smaller homes and want to be able to use every inch of it. The formal rooms are disappearing. Buyers want rooms they will use all the time rather than a formal room used only a hand full of times a year.

Small touches of luxury are an affordable way to give buyers in Florida, Thailand or Costa Rica, the luxury they crave, without breaking the bank for you. Slightly more expense finishes give the feeling of luxury.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3




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