Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to Best Showcase Your Harbor Country Home to Potential Buyers!

As a longtime Harbor Country real estate agent, I frequently receive questions from those considering selling their home. Many want to know how to best showcase their home for potential buyers and ensure that it feels warm, welcoming and cared for during showings. Harbor Country homeowners know that the region is desirable for both year-round and seasonal residents and oftentimes need a little help to ensure that their property's very best features are pointed out to those who may be interested in buying. Here are a few basic tips for keeping your home in tip-top shape for potential buyers:

First Impressions Matter. Ensuring that your Harbor Country home appears cared for and well-maintained will go a long way in capturing many homebuyers' interest and increasing your chances for a second showing. By doing small things, such as trimming hedges and bushes, mowing the lawn and ensuring driveways and walkways are clean and uncluttered, you will be giving your property an edge in the Harbor Country real estate market. Curb appeal matters and you want to ensure that potential buyers want to view your property - Instead of passing it up for another. 

Housekeeping is Key. While it can be difficult to live in a property while keeping it showing-ready at all times, it is essential to keep it clean and clutter-free. When selling a home in Harbor Country, you want to be sure that your property appeals to a wide range of buyers - Put away personal items, magazines, newspapers, mail and other unnecessary items. By paying attention to small details and doing things such as taking out garbage, clearing surfaces, vacuuming and dusting, your Harbor Country home will look, smell and feel fresh for showings. 

Use a Local Harbor Country Real Estate Agent. Nobody has a better understanding of Harbor Country and its scenic communities, such as Union Pier, Lakeside, Harbert, New Buffalo, Grand Beach, Michiana, Three Oaks and Sawyer, more than our Prudential Rubloff real estate agents. By depending on the expertise of a local agent, you can ensure consistent attention on your property throughout the year - Whether you're a full-time or seasonal resident. We understand the ins and outs of buying a home in Harbor Country and can professionally guide our clients to realize the most beneficial solution in their real estate transaction. 

Lighten Things Up. Dark and poorly lit properties rarely show well to potential buyers. By letting natural light into your home, space can look larger and more welcoming. Open blinds, draperies and curtains before a showing to let light filter in and showcase your beautiful home to those seeing it for the first time. 

Get in touch with us today with any questions about the Harbor Country real estate market, whether buying or selling. We look forward to using our experience and expertise to help potential clients navigate desirable Harbor Country.

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Harbor Country Events You Won't Want to Miss this Weekend!

Our team here at Shoreline Property Advisors hope you’ve enjoyed the summer along beautiful Lake Michigan!  If you’ve vacationed in New Buffalo, Union Pier, Grand Beach, Three Oaks, Harbert or Sawyer; you’ve been able to experienced one of the best areas along the Lake Michigan coastline!  

You may even be still anticipating your getaway to our shores before the fall season starts, or you’re lucky enough to be a permanent resident of Harbor Country. Oftentimes vacationers will come for a weekend and stay for a lifetime!  Whether you’re visiting or you live here all year long; we wanted to highlight some fun events taking place this weekend that you won’t want to miss!  Take a look!

Chicago Live in Concert
Silver Creek Event Center at Four Winds Casino
11111 Wilson Road, New Buffalo
Friday, July 26th at 9pm

- Don’t miss your chance to see one of the best loved rock and roll bands of all time: Chicago!  This night of incredible music, which features the songs that made the band reach record sales topping the 100 million mark, will be taking place at the Silver Creek Event Center at the Four Winds Casino.  For more information, please visit the Silver Creek Event Center website

Umbrellas of Harbert
Along Red Arrow Highway, Harbert
Now through August 17th
- If you haven’t ventured over to Harbert yet to see their beautiful display of umbrella’s you’ll want to do so before August 17th!  The “Umbrellas of Harbert” event features a display of original, hand-painted 9 foot market umbrellas designed by various artists.  This popular summer event has raised thousands of dollars for local charities, and is an opportunity to add some unique art to a patio or garden. The umbrellas are  displayed along Red Arrow Highway throughout the summer and sold at a live charity auction which takes place at the Center of the World Showroom on August 17 beginning at 5pm. The event features live music, wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres!  Take time to view your favorite umbrella now and then attend the event to be sure to take it home with you!  To learn more, visit the Harbert website.  
We hope you take advantage of these fun events, or find time to get out and explore all that Harbor Country has to offer!
If living or vacationing in Harbor Country is something you’ve dreamed of, but aren’t quite sure about navigating the Harbor Country Real Estate market; we’d be happy to talk with you!  We work with buyers relocating to the area or who haven’t yet experienced our beautiful shoreline and our goal is to give them a well rounded approach to buying a home in Harbor Country.
Feel free to contact us today to get started! 

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

10 Safety Tips to Take You Through the Rest of Your Harbor Country Summer!

It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the middle of summer, but it’s great to know that there’s still much to enjoy in the Harbor Country towns of Lakeside, New Buffalo, Union Pier, Grand Beach, Harbert, Three Oaks and Sawyer!  Out of town guests have been enjoying their beautiful vacation homes along the Lake Michigan Shoreline, and those that call Harbor Country “home” have been soaking in the long summer season.  

While there are a number of things to do in the summer throughout the area such as hitting the hiking and biking trails, fishing, shopping, experiencing local attractions and trying out local restaurants; our beaches are what tend to draw people in year after year.  

Because of this, we wanted to take time to point out ten lake safety tips that you’ll want to keep in mind as you finish out the summer months.  As Prudential Rubloff Real Estate agents and advisors serving the Harbor Country area, we want to help make your entire experience as enjoyable as possible.  We’re not just here to help with buying or selling a home, but to give you a greater understanding of the lifestyle and help you get the most out of your time on our shores.

Safety is always a key issue in the summer and taking note of these ten tips will allow you to enjoy our Harbor Country beaches to the fullest.  

10 Lake Safety Tips:
1. Supervision – Never turn your back on your child around water. It takes just seconds for a child to be in serious trouble. If you have children swimming in Lake Michigan; it’s important to have at least one adult watching them at all times. Segment the supervision responsibilities so there are never questions about which adult is “on duty”.
2.  Bright Colors – Dress your child in bright colors when going to the lake or a more crowded area around Harbor Country. Use a bright color so all family members have a consistent image of what the child is wearing.
3.  Pictures – When venturing out to any of the activities on or around Lake Michigan; make sure you have a recent picture of each child in your group.  This way, if one of the children wanders off, you have a reference to show people when asking about the child.
4.  Cell Phones – Your cell phone is VERY important. You may want to protect it from the water by putting it in plastic bag, but make sure you always have it on you and completely charged.
5.  Survival Swimming – Before the children begin swimming in Lake Michigan, be sure to go over the basic survival tips in case they were to go unnoticed in the lake and need help.  Go through treading water techniques and a system of signaling for help if they find themselves in trouble. It may be a good idea to attach a whistle to a bracelet for each child to wear in the water. Self-Rescue swimming is an added layer of protection.
6.  Dock Safety – Have a hook, rope and throw ring attached to the dock that can be used at a moments notice. Teach and practice their use and make sure each child understand the importance of using them only in times of emergency and not as a toy.
7.  Rope off a wading/swimming area – Begin at the shore and extend a rope out to a depth of your choice. Allow your children to swim off of the shore ONLY in this area. It reduces where you might have to search, and provides a safe limit that makes everyone more comfortable.  If you aren’t able to rope off the area, be sure to have a marker such as a buoy to give guidelines. 
8.  Go no further line – Paint a ‘go no further line’ 2.5 feet in from all edges of the dock. Teach young children to hold an adult’s hand between that line and the edge of the dock.
9.  Life Jackets – Life jackets must be worn in a boat at all times and around the water for children who don’t know how to swim. However, life jackets are not a substitute for adult supervision. When picking out a life jacket, please read the warning labels as some of them will not float a child face-up, and make sure the life jacket fits the child well.
10.  Floaties – Flotation devices such as floaties, inflatable rings, etc., can often times provide a false sense of security for parents and children. These items can easily deflate or fall off your child’s arm leaving them in a potentially dangerous situation.  While these are fun to play with and use, make sure you’re still taking every precaution for safety by watching your child.
Be sure to go over the safety tips and rules with friends and family before heading out to Lake Michigan.  While some of these items may seem basic, it’s good to have everyone on the same page to help ensure safety. 
We hope these tips serve as a good reminder for enjoying our beautiful lake for the remainder of the summer!
If you’d like to learn more about vacationing in one of the charming Harbor Country towns, or are interested in buying your own home along the Lake Michigan shoreline; please feel free to contact us today

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff