Blog | Avant Real Estate Group

Stay up-to-date on all of the latest information in the real estate industry. Check out our blogs for upcoming events and real estate tips for buyers and sellers.

Jan. 17, 2017

How to Save For Your Dream Home Year Long

 

This is part 1 of a 2 part article on saving for your dream home this year.

A new year brings a new set of goals, dreams, and resolutions. 2017 might be the year where you have “save for my dream homeon that list. Making the commitment to be in a new home by the end of the year is a wonderful decision, but as you know, it's also a huge commitment that requires planning, saving, and spending. It might be overwhelming at first, even seeming impossible. Start by thinking small: focusing on quarterly goals instead of year-end goals will split the planning into smaller, manageable chunks. Here, we cover steps you need to take in the first quarter, which involves taking action to prep your bank and savings account. Begin with these five things:

 

Know the costs.
Educate yourself. Study the market, mortgage rates, closing costs, typical expenses. Don't let yourself fall privy to one of the ten mistakes that most homebuyers make. Most importantly, learn how much you will need to start saving. A good goal is to save for 20% of the home's purchase price. This can be used later as your down payment. Planning for a 20% down payment will allow you better options for mortgage and interest rates

 

working

 

Check your credit.
In addition to planning to save for a down payment, know your credit score inside and out. Your ability to borrow is largely dependent on your score, so now is the time to make sure you will have the score you need for the mortgage rate you desire. Get in the habit of checking your score every month (there are free credit score websites that won't negatively affect your score, such as CreditKarma.com). If need be, plan to start raising your score. Extra payments, higher lines of credit, and reducing your interest rate can all improve your score. A good rule is to use 30% or less of your available credit on each card - plan now in this first quarter to stay under that number.

Open a savings account.
After planning for a down payment and knowing your credit score, another major thing you should do in this quarter is open a savings account just for your down payment fund. You will stay organized throughout the year if you have a separate account with a specific purpose and goal in mind. For more peace of mind, set up an automatic transfer from your checking to savings. An automatic transfer will take that extra money out of sight, meaning you won't be tempted to spend it.

planning

 

Stick to a budget.
How much to move from checking to savings? Ah, yes, the final piece of the puzzle is to establish (and stick to) a budget. Creating a budget is crucial to keeping a healthy credit and steadily growing savings so you can meet your goal by year's end. There are many tips to creating a budget, but most importantly, create a line between what is necessary and what is not. Rent, bills, loan payments – necessary. Spontaneous trips and lavish meals out? Maybe not as necessary – at least, not while you're saving to buy a home. Once you pin down what's left over each month after necessities, figure out how much of that needs to go into savings each month to reach your 20% down payment goal. 

Be realistic.
A 20% down payment goal might be quite high; it usually means a few thousand of dollars a month just into savings, which is often more than most can afford. This is where a budget is crucial. It will show you whether you actually can afford that dream house you've been having your eye on, or whether it will stay in your dreams. Taking a cold, hard look at your finances this quarter and making a plan – by getting educated, knowing your credit score, opening a savings, and creating a budget – is the first step into making your dream of home ownership a reality.

Stay tuned next week for part 2 of our article, which covers tips to help keep up with your plan year-long. Follow the AvantSF blog every week for more insight on buying, selling, home decorating, and more.

Posted in Buyers
Jan. 3, 2017

Imagine Talks and AvantSF Inspire for Social Change

 

Avant Real Estate Group is proud to be a sponsor for Imagine Talks, a collaborative event focused on entrepreneurship, empowerment, and inspiring the community to make a difference in the world. AvantSF luxury specialist Venus Zheng is on the committee for the event this year and will be providing live Facebook coverage for the event on January 14th. Venus was also instrumental in securing the event's venue this year, which will be at Pivotal Labs, an innovative software company passionate about changing the world. While on the sponsorship committee, Venus secured other name brand sponsors such as Glico and Itoen, who will be serving up snacks and beverages for the event.

 

Venus Zheng portrait

Venus joined the sponsorship committee because she is “passionate about their mission and what they are doing for the community,” she says. The goal of the talk is to inspire and mentor as many individuals as possible by using “innovation, art, new big ideas, and stories to make a difference in the world.” 


The talk will feature many prominent and important guest speakers to inspire change and new ideas. A few noted guest speakers include Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch.tv, Jessica Lim, Miss Asian America 2016, and Fiona Ma, member at the California Board of Equalization. Many other CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, and influencers are scheduled to attend and speak. The full list of speakers is available at the Imagine Talks website. The talk will be a great opportunity to network with those who are actively making social changes and promoting growth in the community.

Imagine Talks began in 2014 and is presented by the Asian American Foundation with Edge Interns. Their mission is to “promote mentorships, empower aspirations, and foster growth by sharing ideas, art, and stories of humanity.” Imagine Talks says they owe their success to the collaboration of speakers across many different fields of expertise, being limited only by their imagination.

Imagine talks is an all day TED-like event on January 14th; tickets to this one-day only event are still available. For those not based in the San Francisco area and don't want to miss out, Venus will be hosting live video features on the Imagine Talks Facebook page, giving a look behind-the-scenes at the event, as well as interviewing guest speakers.

If you're like Venus, and want to make a difference and impact in the community, you can still help sponsor or promote the event. If you're interested in becoming involved with this unique and inspirational talk, please contact Venus Zheng at venus@avantsf.com for more information.

 

Posted in General
Dec. 21, 2016

The Dos and Don'ts for Hosting Holiday Guests

Sometimes, hosting guests can seem more frustrating than fun. This is especially true during this time of year – add in the stress of holiday shopping, cooking, wrapping, and planning, and it's no surprise your home is chaos by the end. The holidays should be a time to welcome loved ones into your home and celebrate the season together. Our hosting tips below will let you focus on the joy of the season as you navigate having more bodies than usual in your home. Read on for our list of what to do (and of course, what not to do) when hosting guests over the holidays.

Do:

MAKE THEM FEEL AT HOME

This is an obvious first, but don't overlook the small touches you can add that make your home seem inviting. Simply clearing out your entryway and leaving spaces on your coat and shoe rack can make a guest feel more welcome upon arrival. Arrange for extra closet space for large suitcases - tucking these away will make guests feel more settled. A extra throw blanket and reading lamp are nice touches for the guest room. Techies will appreciate a charging station for electronics as well.

STOCK THE KITCHEN

Keep the cabinet full of quick snacks that guests can grab in a pinch. Especially for those late night grazers: leaving out a cookie jar or fruit bowl will make it easy for them to pick something quick. This goes for drinks as well; a simple drink station stocked with water, hot chocolate packets, and a coffee carafe can keep guests satisfied.

KEEP IT FESTIVE

Want to keep the holiday cheer alive? Sprinkle it around your home! Christmas lights, garland, wreaths, candles, music, and more can add that festive touch and keep spirits light. Check out our 20 DIY tips for decorating for the holidays for more inspiration and quick ideas.

MAKE ENTERTAINING EASY

Don't feel like you must keep your guests entertained 24/7. Set out family-friendly board games on a side table in the living room for easy access. In addition, a stack of classic Christmas films next to the entertainment center can hold over guests while you're busy around the house. These encourage family participation in a low-effort way.

ACCOMMODATE ANY SPECIAL NEEDS

If young children are coming to visit, make sure your place is toddler-proof first. It might not be obvious to you, but remember, children can usually find their way into anything. Double check your locks on cabinets holding hazardous or breakable items. The same goes for pets! In addition, follow up with your guests on any particular food allergies and diets. They will appreciate your efforts to ensure there's something in the house they can indulge in, too.

ENLIST HELP

Yes, they are your guests, but they are also most likely staying without charge at your home, so put them to work! Delegate simple tasks like cutting veggies for dinner or setting the table. Dirty work, like the dishes and trash, are best left to the guests you're more comfortable with, like family members (just don't get too bossy!).

Don't:

BRING UP OFF-LIMIT TOPICS FOR CONVERSATION

While you should create an inviting atmosphere, that does not mean you have to invite guests to speak rudely or hurtfully around the house. Set boundaries for what you will tolerate and, if need be, agree with guests on a list of topics that will simply not be discussed. A minefield of divisive conversations will eventually make your home explode.

LET THEM OVERINDULGE 

If you know your guests struggle with indulgence or addiction, don't enable these behaviors. Feel free to cut guests off if they've had more than their share. Don't let guests be a danger to themselves or others while under your roof. Take control of the rules of your home and enforce them.

STRESS THE SMALL STUFF

Is the centerpiece lopsided? A few ornaments broken? It's OK! Your guests more than likely won't notice these small details and won't judge you if you're not the perfect host. Don't fall into stress and drama with details that ultimately won't matter. Spending time with loved ones is what's important – foster that environment as much as possible.

TAKE IT PERSONALLY IF THEY TURN SOMETHING DOWN

If guests can't make a movie or dinner arrangement, don't feel personally offended. Traveling is quite exhausting, and many guests are simply looking to relax. It doesn't reflect on your hosting skills. It's always good to check with guests before they arrive if you've arranged any plans, and feel free to ask them what they would like to do while in town.


Overall, remember that guests have made this trip to see you and your family – and not to judge to state of your home. Opening your home to others shows generosity and compassion, and let that be your compass this season. Our tips above can help ease any tension and focus on what's important. Enjoy the season and your valuable time with those you love. 

Posted in General
Dec. 14, 2016

20 DIY Ways to Decorate Your Home for the Holidays

Once again, the holiday season is upon us, and it's a great chance to spread the festivity throughout your home. Decorating your home to fit the season can get you and your family in the spirit and spread the cheer to all who visit. While there are many traditional ways to spruce up your home - such as a tree or wreath - there are many new, innovative, and easy ways to change up your decor this season. Check out our favorite tips and tricks for easily decorating your home this holiday season:

ADD AN OUTDOOR TREE

Sure, we all know that the big fancy tree belongs in the house, but a lean, untrimmed, and bare spruce next to the door can add extra charm and set the tone before stepping inside.

CRAFT YOUR OWN TREES

Yes, the more trees, the merrier! This symbol of the season can be reinvented in many ways: stand-up felt trees, artfully arranged books, and even ornaments by themselves pinned up to resemble a tree can easily add cheer.

FILL YOUR HOUSE WITH GIFTS

Under the tree looking crowded? Spread wrapped gifts - or faux gifts from wrapped boxes - around your home. Stack boxes on a bookshelf, window ledge, or basically any corner that needs some love.

FILL UP THE ENTRYWAY

It's hard to limit the ornaments on the tree - add those extras to an evergreen garland and drape along a doorway or banister. You can also hang ornaments from ribbons around the home for an extra festive feel.

DRESS UP A CENTERPIECE

A bowl of candy or nuts is too commonplace - create a fun centerpiece with extra shiny ball ornaments, leftover wrapping paper, and a few candles for an eye-catching look.

REPURPOSE WINE BOTTLES

Wrap bottles in shiny wrapping paper and place candlesticks in the opening for an easy but charming holiday look.

MAKE YOUR OWN STOCKINGS

You can use secondhand sweaters, mittens, or even an old quilt to create your own rustic and personalized decor to hang from your mantle. There are many easy to follow stocking instructions if you're not so handy with the needle. Get sewing with these step-by-step instructions.

THE MORE GLITTER, THE BETTER

Lack of snow bringing you down? Silvery glitter is a great trick for giving your home an icy frost feel. Roll ornaments or faux fruit in white and silver glitter to give your accessories a winter shine.

DECORATE WITH NUTS

Skip the nutcracker bowl: use walnuts and cranberries to fill vases and jars for festive flavor throughout your home. Add a tall pillar candle in the middle to complete the look.

EMBRACE NATURE

Bringing in the green will keep your home feeling alive. Mix real evergreen clippings into faux garland or centerpieces, or let the clippings live in a small vase (watered daily) to add a real life mini-tree to the mix.

SHOW OFF THOSE HOLIDAY CARDS

All of those cards from coworkers and family can add to the decor with a simple framing. Attach cards to string lights or hang from a staircase to make you smile as you move throughout the house.

GIVE THE WREATH A SNOWY UPDATE

Add a touch of the winter chill to your standard wreath with glittered pinecones, berry sprigs, and a touch of faux snow to encourage that seasonal feeling. 

FAKE A FIREPLACE

Apartment living? No worries: stack logs and candles to create a fireplace effect, or simply chalk one up yourself!
These step-by-step instructions show you how to turn a canvas dropcloth into a faux mantel wall hanging that you can simply roll up and store when the holidays are over.

DON'T FORGET THE SNOWMAN

Use foam balls and fresh white carnations to create a floral and friendly snowman for your house. These tips and instructions make this a fun family project you can complete while watching your favorite holiday movie.

GET INVENTIVE WITH MASON JARS

Fill mason jars with Christmas lights to create festive lighting throughout the house. Or, add Epsom salt for a snowy look and tiny votives. Or, stack jars like a pyramid and wrap with garland to resemble your own mason jar tree - the possibilities are endless!

CREATE A COUNTDOWN

Advent calendars are popular holiday decor, but you can easily create your own! Pin up a board and get crafty with wrapping paper, ribbons, and gift tags to creatively count down the days. You can fill a handmade chicken-wire cloche with small wrapped gifts, colorful ornaments and ribbons. Download the advent tags and more (free!) holiday printables.

GET CREATIVE WITH GIFT WRAP

Holiday gift wrap isn't just for pretty packages; you can also put it to work to give everyday items, like serving plates, a holiday makeover. Just cut the paper to size and line serving ware for a festive look on the fly. Also, use wrapping paper to dress up kitchen cabinets! Just cut wrapping paper to fit the size and stick with double-sided tape.

DECK THE WINDOWS

Bring the feeling of chill inside by adding some frost to your windows. Use plain white copy paper and printable snowflake templates to string together cut-out snowflakes, creating a chilly curtain for any size window inside your home. Get crafting with these step-by-step instructions.

CHAIR ADORNMENTS

Create festive dining chair embellishments to coordinate with your tabletop decor. Wrap and tie a two-loop bow in the center of each chair using two-inch ribbon in your preferred seasonal colors. Embellish the center of each bow with greenery, pinecones and berries. Get step-by-step instructions.

CREATE UNIQUE ORNAMENTS

Scraps of wrapping paper look pretty as a picture when tucked inside nickel frames. In addition, vintage baking molds add a sweet touch to any tree; simply hot-glue ribbon loops to their backs and hang.

Many of these DIY holiday decorations can be completed today. Not only will these festive ideas spruce up your home, but the decor will also provide heartwarming fun for your family and friends to create together -- because isn't that the point of the holidays? Spend time with your loved ones and turn your home into a holiday wonderland.

Posted in General
Dec. 7, 2016

Feng Shui Brings Ancient Harmony To Modern Homes (Part 2)

This is the final installment of a series of two articles regarding feng shui and how you can easily incorporate the philosophy into your home.

As we mentioned in part one of our article series, feng shui is the practice of creating balance and harmony in your home by thoughtful arrangement of your living space. While there are feng shui experts you can hire to create this balance, there are also many easy, affordable steps you can take yourself to make your home feel a little lighter and brighter. Below is a practical list of many feng shui strategies professionals use that you can easily incorporate into your home today to bring balance and harmony.

1. Keep your home uncluttered and clean.

An easy first step, but one that is often overlooked. Don't let mail pile up on the table; make sure dishes are cleaned by the end of the night. A simple vacuum or mopping can make a room feel fresh and remove a layer of dust we often overlook. 

 

2. Open the doors and windows to let the fresh air in.

As often as possible, let your house be filled with fresh, outdoor air. This creates ventilation, which is an important principle of feng shui. In addition, keep all doorways unblocked to allow chi to flow into your home.

 

3. Keep indoor plants.

According to feng shui, plants represent life and soften the energy of the home. Plants also provide oxygen, purify the indoor air, and add a bit of greenery. 

 

4. Get a chiming clock or play music.

Background noise will make your house feel alive and vibrant. The steady ticking of a clock can create a rhythm and order in the home. 

 

5. Make sure your furniture is proportionate to the room size.

Overcrowding a room can feel stifling; it also limits the amount of air flow, which is important in feng shui. In addition, make sure to provide cozy, inviting fabrics and materials throughout your home. Remember, the choice of paint color can affect your mood, too. 

 

6. Have more square objects rather than round.

Roundness denotes movement while square denotes stillness and stability. In your home, this can have a calming effect and make your home feel less busy. 

 

7. Align bed against a wall. 

Particularly, not a wall where there is a toilet on the other side. Also, it is considered bad luck if the headboard of the bed is on the same wall as the bedroom door or under a window. 

 

8. Create equal amounts of bed space and floor space.

Make sure the surface area of the bed is not greater than half of the surface area of the entire room. Take proper measurements before bed shopping to make sure you can fit that king size in your space without throwing off the harmony of the room. 

 

9. Do not have reflective surfaces — such as mirrors or televisions — where you can see yourself while in bed.

Your time in your bed is your personal time when you are free from judgement or appearances. It is also not good to have "other people" depicted in your bedroom (paintings of other people, statues, etc).

 

10. Decorate bathroom space with plants and a large mirror. 

Plants and flowers are especially important in the bathroom to bring in vitality. Your bathroom shouldn't be cluttered, but your toilet shouldn't be prominently displayed either, as seeing a toilet represents money and luck going down the drain.

Posted in Buyers, General
Dec. 1, 2016

Feng Shui Brings Ancient Harmony To Modern Homes (Part 1)

This is part one of a series of two articles regarding feng shui and how you can easily incorporate the philosophy into your home.

We all want a beautiful, comfortable, and functional home in which to live and thrive. The environment and atmosphere of your home can have a huge impact on your daily mood, energy, and overall life outlook. Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that can aid in facilitating an optimal home environment.

Feng shui is the art and study of the placement of objects within your environment to achieve the greatest harmony. The meaning of this philosophy is showcased through its etymology: feng — meaning wind — and shui — meaning water. These two elements flow naturally and are essential for human survival. The essence of these two elements is called chi, meaning “life-force.” This symbolizes the practice of feng shui, as it enhances one's chi through harmony with the environment.

According to feng shui, everything is a part of the natural order and plays a role in the flow of life and energy. Every animal, person, plant, and object contributes to our world's energy landscape. Feng shui concentrates on our living area and the placement of objects in a way where the energy flow is balanced for a harmonious and fortunate life. Following feng shui principles puts us in touch with our chi and investigates the relationship between our living areas and our bad fortune — seeking to cure it, and thus creating good fortune. Therefore, the first step to a fortunate life begins in the home.

Feng shui uses many home “cures” to create harmony. For example, aquariums, crystals, and certain colors can all be used to improve the energy flow within the living space. The combination of textiles, patterns, shapes, and furniture placement are all crucial components to a balanced home. Essentially, the purpose of feng shui is to create a positive and harmonious environment for its dwellers.

If you are seeking to sell your house or have recently purchased a property, decorating with the philosophy of feng shui can add a beautiful spiritual balance while acting as a helpful road map for interior design. Whether buying or selling a home, you may want to consider hiring a professional in feng shui.

A feng shui practitioner uses two main tools: the compass (called “Luo-pan”) and an energy map (called “Bagua”). The Bagua is an octagonal grid containing the symbols of I Ching — an ancient Chinese divination book. The eight areas of the Bagua contain the different areas of your home that are specific to your life. For example, some of the different Bagua areas symbolize love/marriage, fame, career, and finances. The Luo-Pan is a compass used to access deeper information about the area in which is being worked. When a practitioner begins with an area, they will often draw a personalized Chinese astrological chart for the homeowner or home seller to visualize.

The practice of feng shui may seem daunting at first, but it is a great way to update your home while inviting good fortune into your life. If you're not looking to hire a professional feng shui practitioner, there are many easy, DIY tips for adding balance and harmony to your home. Stay tuned for part two of our series on feng shui for a practical and visual beginner's guide to creating a harmonized home. 

Posted in Buyers, General
Nov. 23, 2016

The Top 10 Biggest Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Make

Buying your first home is an exciting life event. However, it's easy to make simple and costly mistakes if a first-time buyer is not careful. Be warned: don't fall in love with a home and quickly sign a contract before you fully know what you're getting into. Home owning is a completely different world from renting, and there are many pitfalls that can trap renters when making that transition. If you're considering purchasing your first home, avoid these 10 common mistakes that most home buyers have made at least once in the process:

1. Assuming “Pre-Approval” Means “Approval”

Getting pre-approved for a home loan before talking to a real estate agent is a very common mistake many first time buyers make. A pre-approval makes many potential buyers feel overly confident; however, a pre-approval means you don't have the loan yet, and shouldn't act like you do. Assuming you have the loan secured can compromise the agent's ability to close a deal on your behalf.

2. Acquiring New Debt

Be careful not to take on any new debt during the home buying process. Because your credit score is crucial to this process, make sure your score is in excellent standing well before you start searching for your dream home. Avoid opening up a new credit card or making large purchases. Limit your card usage to minor daily expenses or emergencies, and make sure you can make timely payments. Avoid purchasing anything that requires financing, such as a car, as it will cause the lender to increase your mortgage rate.

3. Changing Jobs

Home owning should be done at a time of stability in your life, where your income and finances are not expected to change. If a lender calls your job to verify employment, only to find out you've left for a new position or are in-between jobs, your chances of receiving a loan are much slimmer. If you're thinking of leaving or changing jobs, consider waiting on buying your first home until you've settled in your new position for at least a few months.

4. Failure to Research the Neighborhood

Buying a home is a long-term commitment. This will be the street and town you live in for years. Consider the quality of the roads, neighboring homes, and overall neighborhood environment. Your home's neighborhood is like meeting the family of a new spouse; it's an essential step before signing up for a lifelong commitment.

5. Ignoring Your Employment/School Commute Time

As well as examining the neighborhood, consider school zones and distance from work. How far is the commute daily? Is there a major highway nearby that will cause noise and traffic? Don't allow yourself to be swept off your feet by a charming home only to lose sight of its lack of proximity to your place of employment and schooling.

6. Putting All of Your Savings into the Down Payment

Scrambling to put all of your money together to make a 20% down payment on a home is a huge mistake many first time buyers make. Many buyers want to make the 20% payment to avoid mortgage insurance (issued in case you default on your loan), but it's not worth the risk of having nothing left in your savings for emergencies. Taking the monthly mortgage insurance, while it may not seem like the most cost-effective route at first, will ensure you don't end up living in fear of an emergency.

7. Failing to Account for Closing Costs and Property Taxes

A mortgage payment is only one of the many expenses coming your way when you buy a home. Some home buyers only budget for a monthly mortgage payment and shop with this number in mind, ignoring any possible homeowner's association fees, insurance, and property taxes. Depending on the state you're searching in, insurance rates alone can add an extra $50 to $100 bucks a month. In the end, your monthly payment on your home is likely to be a few hundred dollars more than your mortgage payment alone.

8. Banking on Appreciation

Many first time buyers who have never made such a purchase make the mistake of assuming that any home will appreciate in value. This is a dangerous viewpoint that causes novice homeowners to make poor long-term decisions. Many buyers will place all of their savings into their home, seeing it as an investment that will turn a profit in six or seven years. The housing market can sometimes be fragile and tumultuous, and it is not always guaranteed that a home will increase in value.

9. Hiring the Wrong Inspector

It might be convenient to have a family friend or acquaintance inspect your new home for you, but your uncle or best friend is most likely not qualified to be a home inspector. Hire a professional to handle the task for you so that you are receiving your information from a trusted source. It's worth the up-front cost of having a professional inspect your home to save you future expenses that have been simply overlooked by a novice's eyes.

10. Lack of Comparison Shopping

Don't buy a home with your heart. While the first home you see might captivate your attention, be sure to shop around and compare it to other potential residences before making a final decision. Considering the rest of the items on this list, such as additional monthly payments, distances from work, and appreciation value can help you make a smart decision, not an emotional decision.

Choosing the right real estate agent to guide you through this process will help you avoid these common pitfalls and mistakes. 

Posted in Buyers
Nov. 17, 2016

AvantSF Attends Energy Recovery, Inc. Seminar and Lifestyle Event

Avant Real Estate Group at Energy Recovery, Inc.'s Event

Earlier this month, Avant Real Estate Group was invited to attend a real estate seminar hosted by Energy Recovery, Inc. Invited by Ed Dias and Daryl Thomas from Movement Mortgage, Senior Sales Associate Rommel Yema and CEO Matthew Ma of AvantSF were invited to give a talk on “Demystifying the Home Buying Process.” Check out the video below!

Beginning the talk at the Real Estate seminar

Rommel Yema presenting at the seminar on "Demystifying the Home Buying Process"

Matthew Ma presenting at Real Estate Seminar on "Demystifying the Home Buying Process"

Energy Recovery, Inc. is a Fortune 500 Company and an award-winning leader in innovative pressure energy technology and energy recovery solutions. Their mission to reduce waste and streamline efficiency of oil, gas, and water — all while saving clients money — aligns with the innovative thinking we believe in at AvantSF. 

Following the talk given on the 9th, Rommel Yema and Sales Associate Venus Zheng were invited back on Tuesday the 15th to hold a booth at the company's Annual Health and Lifestyle Event. The event was a great opportunity to mingle with vendors and make new connections and were overall informative, inspiring events.

Venus Zheng posing with slogan at Energy Recovery

Venus Zheng and Rose Nemet posing with slogan at Energy Recovery

Rose Nemet chatting with Sequoia at Energy Recovery's Lifestyle Event

Venus Zheng taking picture with Sequoia at Energy Recovery's Lifestyle Event

We want to give a special thanks to Energy Recovery, Inc., Andrew B. Stroud, and Rose Nemet for their hospitality, and Ed Dias and Daryl Thomas from Movement Mortgage for their invite.

Avant Real Estate Group is happy to visit with your company to talk more about real estate; contact us at info@avantsf.com today for more details.

Rommel Yema & Venus Zheng at Energy Recovery, Inc

Rommel Yema, Rose Nemet, Venus Zheng posing in front of Energy Recovery logo

 Rommel Yema, Venus Zheng with Daryl Thomas, Ed Dias from Movement Mortgage at Energy Recovery, Inc's Lifestyle Eveent

Posted in Buyers, General
Nov. 14, 2016

The Influence of Paint Colors on our Moods

The paint colors of the rooms throughout your house can impact your day-to-day life — influencing your moods. Since various shades can affect people in different ways, color scheme should always be considered while decorating or renovating rooms. When choosing paint shades for rooms in your home, one should not blindly follow color trends — as the trends are often short-lived. Instead, choose colors that have a positive effect on you.

Read on to know which colors are suitable for which rooms and how each one may affect your mood.

Blue:

Blue evokes a sense of calmness and creates a relaxing environment. Studies suggest that rooms painted blue can assist in lowering blood pressure and slowing the heart rate. It's most recommended for bathrooms and bedrooms, but it is advisable to avoid using this color in your kitchen, as its calming effect may suppress your appetite.

Green:

Shades of green can be suitable for any room in your house. It promotes comfort and togetherness — bringing a freshness in your rooms with a soothing environment. Many tend to choose green as a prominent household shade, since it is complementary with decorations of a variety of colors.

Purple:

This color symbolizes royalty and is considered to provide sophistication. It's an ideal color to make your home appear more luxurious. This color also inspires creativity, which is why some experts suggest to avoid using this color in your bedroom, since bedrooms should be a place to allow your brain much-needed rest.

Red:

Red raises the energy level of a room. Known to be an intense color, it stimulates energy and promotes liveliness. Red attracts attention, and most notably symbolizes love and passion. Many restaurants choose this color due to its natural energy boost — making it a perfect choice for the living room or dining room.

Yellow:

Yellow communicates happiness, making it an excellent choice for dining rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. Known as a cheerful color, it can make your home welcoming and bright. However, it's not recommended to use this as a prominent color throughout the house, as too much of yellow can cause anger and frustration. Studies have shown that babies also tend to cry more in rooms with yellow shades.

When decorating your home, consider mixing neutral colors like black, gray, brown and white along with the above-mentioned shades to create a balance. Additionally, it's important to know your personal preference when deciding on paint colors. These colors not only contribute to your home décor, but also to your overall well-being.

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Nov. 7, 2016

Top 5 House Upgrades To Increase Home Value

Are you planning on selling your house soon and want to increase the value? Although there are many uncontrollable factors that contribute to the sale price of your house — such as the state of the neighborhood or nearby schools — you can increase value through upgrades and renovations. Check out these 5 ways to potentially increase the value of your house.

1. Paint the House Exterior and Interior

One of the first aspects people notice about your house is its paint. Shabby looking paint wears out a house and makes it look less appealing. However, a freshly painted house makes a great impression and is welcoming to potential homebuyers. Think about first appearances — they really do go a long way. Also, remember that your house isn’t the only place buyers are considering. So, set yourself apart from the others by putting your best foot forward with a fresh coat of paint.



2. Update the Garage Door

If you own a house with a garage, updating the garage door can add a beautiful touch to the house's exterior. Especially when selling an older property, an outdated garage can age the house further. Although the cost of a new garage can be potentially expensive, consider weighing the return on investment. Adding modern updates and a sleek garage door could mean the difference between landing a sale or not. Speak with your agent to find out whether updating the house's garage door will increase the sale value.



3. Upgrade the Kitchen

Most potential homebuyers are keen to see the state of the kitchen. Think about it this way: The kitchen is the heart of the home — where memories are made and meals are crafted. If you can afford to replace appliances and floor tiles or have the cupboards repainted, it's often worth the expense. If you come to the conclusion that a kitchen upgrade isn't worth the expense, invest in home cleaners to complete a thorough cleaning of your kitchen.



4. Remodel the Bathroom

If you have the extra dollars to spare, you can extensively remodel the bathroom. This would involve replacing the bathtub, tiles, and lighting. However, if you are on a tighter budget, you can still increase your house's value by changing mirrors, faucets, and lighting fixtures. You will be amazed by how a few simple fixes can create a bathroom atmosphere that is visually appealing.



5. Maintain the Front Lawn

This can never be emphasized enough. Simply trimming your grass can affect the price of your house, as it reflects a tidy, well-kept property. Would you want to purchase a house that looks unkempt? Probably not. You don’t want people second guessing their decision to view your house based on how well you maintain the lawn. Always present a well-maintained and well-manicured lawn and front.

Renovations and upgrades can be expensive, which is why many sellers consider taking out a home equity loan to assist in increasing value. Do you know what your house is worth? Check out our blog, “How to Calculate Your Home Equity”, to find out.

Posted in Sellers