Julie Sagan GRI - Sagan REALTORS ®, Swampscott, MA Real Estate, Marblehead, MA Real Estate

2021 Design Trends: 

How this Year Changed Our Definition of Home

2020 changed what we needed in a home. What once were just houses, became an office, a classroom, a gym, and a spa. We brought the outside world in and transformed our houses into homes. Our homes became our safe haven where we knew we could stay safe and healthy. This past year has changed the way we look at real estate, and our potential dream homes. The list of wants and needs of the past, took on a new shape as we entered into the new year. So let’s take a look at some of the design and renovation trends we plan on seeing in 2021, that will reflect the changes we made this year.

As we enter into 2021, fashion meets function takes on a whole new meaning. When looking for a new home, or starting a new build, a home office wasn’t always on the top of the priority list. Many sought out a small extra bedroom to house a desk and small functioning workspace. This year, the home office is going to see some major changes. People are looking for spaces that double as regular living space and workspace. Gone are the days of a small dark office corner. Home design and renovation are taking function and self-care, and turning them into home offices that are big, bright, and built for productivity. Working from home isn’t just a luxury anymore, it’s a lifestyle. So the home office is going to bring some permanency to its place in the home.

2020 was all about self-care. We plan on seeing some major prioritization of bathroom design that will bring a whole new level of relaxation to the

home. This year, our families spent most of their time at home, which means a lot less quiet time for yourself. Plan on seeing a lot of focus on the at-home spa experience, including bigger bathrooms to accommodate luxuries like soaking tubs, and the maximizing of small bathroom space to create a spa-getaway right in your own home. 

Especially in regions that experience the four seasons, or extreme temperatures like New England, we tried to soak up every available minute of outdoor time we could. 2021 is sure to bring some interesting outdoor living space designs, to maximize the space you have and extend your livable space. Outdoor dining, transportable office furniture, and temperature control are going to be big features of our outdoor spaces. Home design is all about easy access and a design flow that makes sense. Large windows bring the outdoors in while you have to be inside, and cozy furniture outside makes it easy to view your outdoor space as an extension of your relaxing living space.

This year brought us a new perspective on what home and family mean to us. The new year makes us want to seek out a home that brings us peace and happiness and maximizes our functional living space. I am here to help you find your dream home, whatever that means for you. We are all excited to see what the new year brings in terms of home design and real estate, so let’s work together and give you and your family a fresh new start!


The Want Vs Need Wishlist: How to Determine What You’re Actually Looking For in a New Home

Searching for your dream home takes a lot of preparation, thought, and list-making. But sometimes, before you get out there and see what’s available, what’s possible, your wishlist and your need-list seem to mesh into one long list that pulls you in too many different directions. Let’s chat about the difference between what you want in a house, and what you need in a house. Even though we’re on a mission to find you your perfect home, you’d be surprised what compromises you are willing to make when you clearly see what you want and need to make it perfect for you and your family.

There’s nothing wrong with a wishlist, in fact that’s exactly where you should start. Your wishlist can be as long and extravagant as you want it to be. When you’re finished mapping out the home of your dreams, it will be easy for you to take a second look and see what you can easily eliminate, what is non-negotiable, and what would just be nice if it’s available. 

The more realistic you can be before actually looking at homes, the easier it will be to stay on track.

As you look at homes, you’ll quickly discover that many homes won’t be in the exact perfect condition and style you’re hoping for, but your real estate

agent can also help you see what is easily changeable after buying, and what things may actually increase or decrease the value by adding or removing them.

To get started narrowing down, establish a flexible budget with comfortable wiggle room for your agent to work with, and choose a prime location. This will give you a realistic picture of what’s available in that area within your budget and can help you to start prioritizing the features you really need in your home. A home in the heart of a city, might not be equipped with a pool and large yard. A home with nature views might be quite the commute to work. A historical neighborhood may not have many newly constructed homes, just like a new neighborhood might not have mature trees or colonial-style homes. 

When it comes to compromising in a home, it doesn’t necessarily mean giving up your dream home or everything on your wishlist. It means considering your timeline and your priorities. Is what you want now, what you’ll need in a few years? Do you need extra bedrooms for future children? Will maintaining a pool become a hassle quickly? Will you need a home office in the years to come? What you want to have, and what you’ll need soon are sometimes very different. Planning for the future can be just as fun as getting exactly what you want now. Think ahead, and think big picture!

Finding a home is a journey, one that really helps you examine your style, your needs, your wants, and the future you see for your family. I’m here to help you find your dream home with ease, and help you easily transition into your next chapter!


Don’t Touch Those Tools! 

3 Reasons To Wait Before You Renovate

You’ve just moved into your new home! It had just about everything you wanted, but you’ve already got some changes in mind to make it absolutely perfect! You may be tempted to grab the tools and get started, but there may be good reasons to wait before you renovate. Here are 4 reasons why you may want to hold off, and live in your home before you start changing it.

1. You just moved, and that was stressful. Whether you realize it or not, moving into a new home is a huge adjustment. It put a stress on your schedule, your body, and your wallet. Jumping immediately into a new renovation without cooling off a while, could be detrimental to the overall outcome. You’ve likely spent a large amount of money buying your home, moving, and acquiring the basics to get started. Take a deep breath and relax a little. Start with small fixes to make your house feel like home, but don’t feel pressured to make everything picture perfect in the first few months. This could add to your stress and result in overspending, over exerting yourself, and possibly making decisions you aren’t happy with in the future.

2. You haven’t gotten to know your home yet, and how you function in it. Your daily life a year from now, and your daily life right after moving in are going to be very different. It’s going to be hard to know exactly how you’ll function in your home before you actually live in it. It may surprise you what features of your home you’ll start to use, or not need anymore. 

As you adjust to your new life, keep a list of what works for you and what doesn’t before making any big adjustments.

3. Everything takes time. Major renovations take a lot of planning and budgeting. And that takes a lot of time. Starting a major project right off the bat could rob you of precious time getting used to your new home. Taking your time to figure out what you really want, can save you time, energy, and money. Getting the opinion of experts in each field of renovation could help you realize which areas you want to tackle first, and how much you’d like to spend. 

Our priorities in life change all the time. What’s most important is to find a home that keeps you and your family happy, safe, and healthy. 


Supplies & Demand: Surplus Storage Hacks

We have all been working together to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy during this trying time. No doubt you’ve gotten the supplies you need to be able to stay at home and do your part in these worldwide efforts to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. But this means you have more than the usual to stock in the pantry and closets, so here are some tips on how to stay organized!

You probably already have small storage areas around your home from everyday life: garages, pantries, closets…etc. Have you taken a look in those recently? While you have some extra time at home, take advantage of the spring cleaning opportunities! Going through items in those areas can help you determine what you can keep or toss, and create extra room for any supplies you acquire.

Keep or Toss to Organize

Although the situation can cause us anxiety, and make us want to grab everything we can, there is a smart and efficient way to go about stocking

surplus items. Buying mass amounts of food or products that will expire soon, may be a waste of money and space. Think carefully about how long you can keep certain items, and if you will actually be able to use all of them before the expiration date.

Keeping that in mind, there are ways to store typically perishable items. Freezing meat, and fresh veggies wisely uses your freezer space as a storage unit, and is an easy way to store items that may not be available in previously frozen packages.

Another great way to reduce wasted space, is to remove the packaging from your items. Large, and oddly shaped boxes and packages reduce the amount of usable space available. By removing the packaging, you also create a way to clearly see how much of each product you have, eliminating buying in excess.

This is certainly a stressful time, but not every part of our home life needs to add to it. Simple decluttering methods, and organization can alleviate extra stress and visual clutter around the home to give us a peaceful place to spend our time. I wish you and your family health, happiness, and organization! 


Let’s Get a Move On! 4 Tips For Selling Your House Faster

Once you’ve decided to uproot and move somewhere new, the last thing you want to do is wait around for months on end for your current home to sell. There are many variables that affect how fast your home will sell. Hiring a real estate agent is your best bet to gaining a hold on all these different factors, and making smart moves to move your home quickly! 

Here are four tips that can make a difference in how long your home stays on the market

  1. Price to sell. This may seem like an obvious move, but just a few small numbers can make a big difference. Your real estate agent will know the

    ins and outs of the current market, what homes in your area are selling for, and how to adjust your price to make it more attractive to potential buyers. Your home’s location, age, size, and surrounding neighborhood all play a part in what buyers think is a fair asking price. Pricing your home competitively will speed up the process by creating interest on the market, and drum up competing bids between buyers. When looking to buy, many buyers use online search tools to find a home in their price range. The price at which you list your home could affect whether it shows up on their list of results. Your agent can evaluate all these factors and more to guide you in choosing the right asking price, and how to proceed from there.

  2. Make small repairs before listing. When showing your home, small repairs add up in the mind of the buyer. Something like a leaky faucet, or loose door handle, may seem like a minor fix. If there are too many of them, potential buyers see their money and time dwindling. Taking care of these things yourself (patching up paint jobs, fixing loose tiles, changing lightbulbs) makes the daunting task of choosing a new home easier and seemingly more attainable for anyone looking at it.
  3. Hire a realtor who uses a professional photographer for listing photos. When searching for a home, photos will always be one of the most important introductions. 

    Without proper photos, your home may not appear as nice as it really is. Professional photographers know how to light and frame each room for maximizing appeal, and showing how inviting your home is. Wide-angle lenses allow for photos of the entire room, rather than a few quick cell phone shots. Making the small repairs mentioned before, will also help the photographic results to focus on the beauty of your home, and not what needs to be fixed.

  4. Be available and flexible for home showings. No one is going to buy a home without stepping foot inside it first. Especially if you want your home to sell quickly, you’ll need to be available for many, and impromptu showings. Your agent can guide you in setting up open houses, or private tours. Tidying up, and making small repairs, as well as staging your home to sell will boost the results of any showings. 

Selling a house is no small feat, but with the help of an agent like myself, it can be done! And fast! List your home with me and we’ll get started right away!