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Ideas To Spice Up Your Life In 2016


New Year? 2016 has a lot of potential, but like me you probably won’t visit the gym more than twice. So, instead of buying a month of gym membership you won’t use how about change up your home to really feel like you’ve impacted your lifestyle.

The easiest way to do this would be to change your furniture. There are plenty of new designs and styles 2016 has waiting for you. Most of these are going to be minimalist, with some sort of rustic chic. Every home has a different taste and a different look, so do a little research and you’ll find out pretty quickly what style suits your home. Maybe you’ve been itching for a new couch or new kitchen table. Well now you have an excuse.

You could also paint your walls a different color. Changing the colors of your home has a huge impact on you whether you realize it or not. Check out a post I posted a few weeks ago if you’re interested: New Colors for Your Old Room.

Renting? You could move out of that tiny rented apartment and maybe move up to a spacious home. Look at your budget, if you can get away with spending less than a third of your take home money on a new house for rent, go for it! It’d be a great way to start off the year. Your friends will love it, and so will you.

OR You could also just buy a new house! There are plenty of new rules and regulations in 2016 that allow borrowers to get a mortgage loan much easier. So why not? If you’re thinking about it its best to keep more than a few things in mind. First off you’re going to need a real estate agent. Why? Well having your own real estate agent allows you to keep from doing paper work, lots of paperwork. An agent also knows the ins and outs of the business, allowing you to find better house quicker and even arrange tours. Having your own agent as a buyer and a seller will also save you from being swindled by other people taking advantage of unwary ignorance. Secondly, be pre-approved by a lender, like National One Mortgage (shameless plug). Not only will you know how much money you can spend, but it will also help you significantly speed up the overall process. This information will also impress your seller, as he or she will know you can actually pay for the home, making it easier to decide between your offer and someone else’s. This will allow you to shop in your price range which is important! New Year does not mean new unpayable debts. Only buy what you can pay for.  Also learn to be flexible. If you’re the wound up type of person it’s not going to help your search. Rarely are you going to find the perfect home. Sometimes you’ll get more for your money if you buy an older home that needs a little work. Look past the ugly wallpaper and dirty carpet, remember that can be changed, and visualize your trendy new 2016 finishes.

What next year holds is only somewhat of a mystery the rest is up to you! “New year, new you” requires you. If you’re interested in a new house whether rent or for purchase don’t hesitate to call National Realty Group at (800) 406-9606, visit us at or stop by our office. All the agents and staff at National Realty Group would like to wish you a Happy New Year, and wish you the best during 2016.


Quick Christmas Clean-up Tips


With Christmas around the corner there are stockings to stuff, presents still to buy and probably in-laws to impress. If you’re hosting Christmas at your place, you’re probably ready to explode. Fortunately there are plenty of easy ways to make your house impressionable for guests, without losing your mind.

First off, declutter your house by throwing things under the bed. I doubt your guests will be visiting the bedrooms, and even if they do it won’t be terribly noticeable. This will clean up your home quickly so you can get to the important stuff. If under your bed is already full, think about utilizing your car’s trunk for the day.

Next, be sure your kitchen is clean and smells nice. You can have an awesome looking kitchen, but no one will notice if your garbage can or your sink’s garbage disposal stinks. Fix? Clean the trash can after you have emptied it, and run the garbage disposal with a quartered (half if you’re desperate and brave) lemon in it. It will freshen up the garbage disposal as well as give the room a nice citrusy scent.

Next make sure your bathrooms are spick and span, no one likes using a dirty bathroom at a party. If you have glass shower doors, clean those too. Clean shower doors look real nice, and if no one notices them clean, it’s still better than someone noticing that they’re dirty.

Clean your microwave. If your guests need to reheat their food, a dirty microwave is a big turn off. A cool trick for this is to put a bowl of water in the microwave for three minutes. The steam will soften up the stuck on food making it really easy to wipe out.

Clean your walls and base boards. This will add a little extra gleam to the house, emphasizing how clean of a family you are, even if you aren’t. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will blow through dirt and grime from the wall without hurting the paint or the drywall. Next take a dryer strip to the base boards, it will freshen them up whilst collecting dust and other such making them nice and clean again.

Clean your carpets. If you don’t have time to deep clean the carpet put baking soda, wait 20 minutes and vacuum the powder up. That will at least ensure it doesn’t smell.

Buy extra soap, paper towels and toilet paper. Your guests will use the bathroom to wash their hands and for other reasons, especially after a big meal… if you get the picture.

Desqueak your doors with a little WD-40 on the hinges. Nothing is more annoying than squeaky doors, especially in a busy home.

Crayons and printed out coloring pages can turn a boring, superfluous table in the corner into a kids table.

Lastly, put on a smile. It’s Christmas, and even though your annoying brother/sister/cousin/weird uncle/mother-in-law is coming, nothing will keep your and your family’s spirits better, than a big smile on your face.

As always, if you’re considering a home don’t hesitate to call National Realty Group at (800) 406-9606, visit us at or stop by our office. All the agents and staff at National Realty Group would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, and wish you the best during the coming holidays.

Considerations When Buying a Desert Home


There’s a lot to love about the California Desert. There are breathtaking sunsets, a unique eco system, and when we’re not in a severe drought, exciting storms. The sun is almost always shining, keeping those cold winter blues at a distance. Whether you’re looking to move permanently or perhaps trying get away from a frigid northern state a few months out of the year there’s a couple of things you should know before moving out here.

First, make sure your home is built with the right materials. A good desert home will most likely be built a little differently than houses in the rest of the country. They cannot be built out of wood, because even the best wood will warp in the intense summer sun. Keep an eye out for a house that’s built from stone, adobe, or ICF concrete. These materials will help keep your indoors cool and can withstand the harshness of the sun. Also, see if your prospective home has treated or tinted windows. This will help your home stay cool despite the windows and cut down on cooling costs.

Next, you’re going to need to make sure your prospective home has excellent temperature control. Regardless of how good your tinting is, or cool your materials, it’s going to get hot inside. Now you’ll need a powerful AC unit but you do not need it running 24/7. Instead, a well-designed desert home will have high ceilings and ceiling fans keeping the air circulating and helping avoid it from being too hot.  Deserts, though hot during the day can get very cold when the sun goes down, so well positioned windows can help get a nice night breeze blowing through your home.

Lastly, you’re going to have to embrace your new yard. It’s probably the most drastic change a new desert home owner has to deal with. Though a beautiful and lush green lawn is certainly possible, it’s quite the endeavor to maintain. So, most people have a more desert style landscape. Many plants like desert sage, hop bush, and of course cacti, are easy to look at and do not require a lot of water to maintain. You can also place gravel to help retain water, and adds a nice, different cosmetic. You can also place cobble stone rocks as a path through your yard, adding to that desert feel. All these things will add a lot to your yard, making it a prime spot for evening parties, and a great festive place to watch majestic sunsets and barbeque.

So if you’re considering a home in the desert, or anywhere else, don’t hesitate to call National Realty Group at (800) 406-9606, visit us at or stop by our office. We’ll set you up with agent who will find you the hottest, I mean best, home the desert has to offer

How to Have a Successful Last Minute Showing

So you’re enjoying a peaceful afternoon, when suddenly your phone starts to ring. It’s your Realtor, she is bringing a client for a showing, oh and they’ll be there in twenty minutes. No problem, other than your house is a complete wreck. So you scramble, clutter up the house a little more by accident, and jettison out, leaving it unnoticeably cleaner.

Last minute showings happen all the time, and if you want to successfully sell your house, you have to be prepared for them. So here are a few tips to succeeding, despite a last minute showing.

First, you should keep a stylish or good looking trunk that works with your furniture in every room. This way, you and your family can toss all your clutter in them and easily deal with it later. It’s a mess in there, but it’s better than a messy room.

Next you should make sure all of the surfaces are wiped down with a non smelly cleaner, and replace all the dirty dish, bath, hand, and face towels with fresh ones. You can do this by keeping clean towels on standby somewhere in the house. When you’re done cleaning, run and grab those new ones.

After that, dash to your medicine cabinet, and straighten it out. It’s rude to look in someone’s medicine cabinet, but we do it anyway. So clean it up a tad, and be sure to remove and personal or weird items from the drawers of the bathroom and medicine cabinet. It might even be smart to keep the weird personal stuff in a bag to quickly grab and/or hide when you go to leave. It’s weird, but people will look through them.

So you’re all cleaned up, now what? Run around the house and turn on all the lights. This will give the house a warm welcoming glow, especially if its rooms without good light from windows. Lots of light not only show buyers all the good features, but it also unmasks imperfections. Use the proper discretion with your lights.

Lastly make sure you have an escape plan for you and your kids (if you have them). This will allow you to get out of the house as quickly as possible without disrupting the buyers. Build rapport with a neighbor, (bake them cookies or something) and see if you can stay with them during showings.  If you have kids, and the day is nice, maybe take the buggers to a park. It’ll keep them entertained, and you can relax in the cool breeze as you wait for the showing to be over.

Do these things and you should leave a good looking clean house with ten minutes to spare! If you want, it might be a good idea to practice in the event you only have a few minutes. This way you’ll be sure to finish on time.

If you have any questions about selling your home, or perhaps scheduling a last minute showing of your own, don’t hesitate to call National Realty Group (951) 684-2600 or visit Oh and don’t forget to like us at


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