Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How Do Mortgage Buyers Compete with Cash Buyers?

In the past 90 days, just over half the single home sales in Venice were to cash buyers.  Banks that are selling foreclosures prefer cash buyers, as do home owners selling on the open market.  Here's some tips to make sure your purchase offer with a mortgage is as attractive as possible to a seller.

1) Be prepared:  You have to be ready to show the seller you are a serious buyer by having a pre-approval letter from your lender.  Go do it.  Now.

2) Put as much escrow deposit down as possible: The more skin you have in the deal, the better it looks to a seller.  $1000 escrow deposits might work in certain price segments of the market.  But, if you really don't have more than $1000 to put down, are you qualified to buy a home in the first place?

3) Do your inspections quickly: FL contracts allow a 15 day period for home inspections.  You should offer 10 days.  You look like a more eager buyer who doesn't want to use the inspection contingency period to potentially back out of a contract.

4) Don't haggle: I know, your first reaction to reading this is "Wait, don't you work for me?".  According to the MLS, the Venice FL single family median sales price is 3% off the list price.  In other words, you should plan on a final price that is 97% of the list price.  My job as your buyer's agent is to work in your best interest, and your best interest isn't beating up a seller in a negotiation in this market.  Your best interest is in getting in the market now, before prices increase even further.

Every situation is different.  When you are ready to buy a Venice FL home or condo, please contact me to assist you in all your real estate needs.

Market Update: Venice FL Homes for Sale Cash vs Finance

If you need to get a mortgage to buy a Venice FL home or condo, you'll be competing with a lot of cash buyers.

According to our MLS, in the past 90 days, there have been 229 single family homes sold with all cash terms and 217 single family homes sold with conventional, FHA, or VA mortgage loans.

Median sold price: $218,000
Median days to contract: 26
Median sales price % of list price:  97%

Median sold price: $226,000
Median days to contract: 26
Median sales price % of list price: 97%

Bottom line:  Whether you are paying cash or financing your Venice FL real estate purchase, properties are selling fast and at very close to list price.  Please contact me to assist you with your real estate needs.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Coming Soon in Sarasota

One of my clients is renovating a home in Sarasota that is walking distance to Phillippi Shores Elementary School, just north of Proctor Rd. and east of Tamiami Trail.  It should be ready for sale by the end of January.

home for sale coming soon in Sarasota
The open floor plan of this coming-soon home in Sarasota has lots of light and beautiful solid hardwood floors.

This 3/3 home with bonus room/office/4th bedroom features all (real) wood floors, upgraded cabinetry (some hand-crafted), all new appliances, new roof, A/C, and lots of closet space. The master bedroom will have a dual vanity, a spa tub and separate shower stall, and his and her's closets.  The lot has plenty of room to add a pool.

If you'd like more information about this home please contact me.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Investing in Sarasota and Venice FL Real Estate

There's been some news about real estate investors tapering off their purchase activity as housing prices increase.  That doesn't mean that the smart investors are giving up, because there's still good deals out there and a lot of rental demand in both Sarasota and Venice.

For years after the real estate market downturn in 2008, it was easy to pick the low-hanging fruit of a $100K foreclosure, fix and flip it, or clean it up to rent for cash flow property.  In today's market, smart investors are factoring price appreciation in their formula for picking properties.

Sarasota and Venice real estate is appreciating at healthy rates, but the higher overall price point of Sarasota versus Venice makes Sarasota a more difficult area for a newer investor to dip their toe in the market.

Let's look at a side by side comparison of the two areas:


  • Target price range $150-$200K
  • Highest rental demand:  Bahia Vista south to Clark Rd, west of Beneva and east of Tamiami Trail
  • Estimated rental rates:  $1300 to $1700 per month for annual tenant
  • Housing types: single family home resales, 1300-1500 sq ft, minimum 3 bedroom 2 bath
  • Estimated major expenses: $900 per month mortgage with 30% down on a $175,000 loan, $2500 per year in homeowner's insurance, $3000 per year property tax, and management fees of 7-10% per month on the gross rent
  • Appreciation:  7-9% annually
  • Many homes have NO HOA fees

Potential Sarasota investment property $159,900


  • Target price range $120-$150K
  • Highest rental demand:  Geographic area surrounding Tamiami Trail, south of Center Rd, and the area surrounding Hwy 776 south to Manasota Beach Rd.
  • Estimated rental rates: $900-$1200 per month, annual tenant
  • Housing types: single family home resales, 1100-1400 sq ft, 2 bedroom and 2 bath minimum
  • Estimated major expenses: $670 per month mortgage with same terms as above, $2500 per year homeowner's insurance, $2000 per year property tax, similar management fees to Sarasota
  • Appreciation: 7-9% annually
  • Homes are available with NO HOA fees

Potential Venice FL investment property $133,900 with pool

If you are thinking of investing in Sarasota or Venice FL real estate, please contact me to help you find the right property.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Waiting Costs Money

If you've been looking for Venice FL real estate, or just starting out, you may or may not know that we have more buyers than homes for sale.  Homes are selling quickly, and that is creating frustration for some and a "wait and see" attitude for others.

For those waiting for just the right house to come along, the old saying "time is money" is never more true than in real estate, at least in Venice.

Let's take a look at what waiting to buy could potentially cost:

Home sales price $150,000 for a 2 bedroom 2 bath in Venice
Interest rate 4.125%
Mortgage monthly payment with 20% down: $581.58

Spring 2015:
Estimated future home sales price $165,000 for a similar 2/2 in Venice
Interest rate 4.35%
Mortgage monthly payment with 20% down: $657.11

Housing inventory is expected to stay low, rates could go higher, and prices are projected to increase between 7%-10% .  Waiting to buy could cost you $76 per month, or approximately $912 per year.  What could you do with an extra $912 in your pocket, especially if you are retired?

If you are thinking of buying a home in the area, please contact me to get started.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Another Great Looking Flip in Venice, FL

I ran across this Venice FL flip for sale in the MLS.  Overall, this is a well-executed flip of a 2 bedroom, 2 bath home with large lot available for sale for $199,000, with city water and sewer.

The home has new laminate floors installed throughout.  It looks nice in the pictures, but I'm not a personal fan of laminate.  Ceramic tile would have been a better choice.  If you are flipping investment property, it's much easier to get a neutral tile that will appeal to more potential buyers.

The kitchen is pretty close to a perfect "10".  The lighting is a nice designer touch, and the white cabinetry and light color counter tops are excellent choices.

I'm glad to see that the seller opted for a muted tile backsplash.  The open floor plan makes this 1,290 sq. ft. home see much larger.

The bathroom successfully repeats the same winning formula as the kitchen:  a simple white vanity and light colored countertop, with a couple of designer sinks, creating a memorable selling point with a neutral palette most buyers will appreciate.  Note the curbless shower, a growing design trend.

This home has a really nice-sized back yard.  As with a previous analysis of a home flip in Sarasota, I would have recommended the seller put in french doors to open the home to the outside.  This would make it easier for a potential buyer to imagine adding a pool or lanai, and would add value to the home.

Overall, the seller has done a wonderful job with transforming this home into a modern residence.  I think it's an excellent value and I would be happy to provide a tour.

To view the property listing from the MLS, please click here.  If you are thinking of flipping and selling your Venice, FL investment property, please contact me for a marketing and staging consultation.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Home Flipping: I Analyse an Active Listing

I recently saw a home come up for sale in Sarasota in the South Gate area as I was searching for clients.  The home is a renovation, and the seller did most things right and a couple things that could have been done better.  Here's my analysis.

The color palette is perfect.  The light gray walls and painted fireplace are exactly what buyers are looking for.  The large tile floors are also a good choice, but I bet this home had terrazzo floors.  I would have preferred those be refinished.

The sectioned dining room could be improved.  This should have been opened to the living room, and the mirrors removed.

I can't find much fault with the kitchen.  I really like the timeless simple white cabinets and flooring choices, as well as the pickled planked ceiling.  It definitely adds a memorable selling point to this home.  I might have chosen lighter color counter tops, but most buyers won't quibble with these.

A lot of homes in South Gate have an enclosed lanai, like this one, that became part of the living area.   I would have added french doors where the windows are now.  The home isn't very open to the pool area.

See what I mean here about the pool.  It's a nice sunny spot, begging for french doors to open the home to the outside.  We're in Florida, after all.

The wood paneling here in this bathroom doesn't work.  It would look much better painted white.  It just doesn't go with the rest of the house.

You can view the MLS report for this home in this link.

Small changes can make a big difference in how a buyer sees your Sarasota or Venice real estate renovation, and will maximize it's value.  If you are thinking of getting into the market, or putting your investment property up for sale, please contact me for a staging and marketing consultation.

Monday, November 17, 2014

White Kitchens

I've been advising a client of mine who is renovating a home for sale, coming soon in Sarasota, about keeping everything white.

The home is small, and using white will create the illusion of a larger, airy space that a potential buyer can imagine with their furnishings, art, and accessories.

Here's a great example of how a small kitchen using simple materials looks spacious and contemporary:

Subway tiles are a timeless classic.  The lack of cabinet pulls creates a streamlined effect that would work well on simple and inexpensive stock cabinets from places such as Ikea or Home Depot.  There are no jarring colors to distract the eye, which makes the space look larger.

The goal in a successful "flip" is the balance between spending frugally on the renovation, while appealing to as many potential buyers as possible.  The simple lines and materials in the above example would appeal to any buyer who prefers a beachy aesthetic, or a rustic look by adding more personal items to the space, or a buyer who likes a minimalist contemporary feel.

If you are thinking of selling your Venice, FL investment property, please contact me for a design and marketing consultation to maximize your sales price in the current seller's market.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Slow Pace of Sales on Manasota Key

I just checked the sales data for the past 90 days for Manasota Key single family homes.

Only 9 homes had sold, and of those, the median list price to sales price ratio was 86%.  This number is far too low in a seller's market.  Even worse, the median number of days on market for these sold homes was 571.

You can view the report here.

If you are thinking of selling your luxury home on Manasota Key, it's obviously time for a different approach.  I invite you to contact me to learn about Berkshire Hathaway's Luxury Collection, a powerful marketing program designed to put your property for sale in front of the most qualified potential buyers.

You can learn more about the Luxury Collection here on my website:  http://www.davidbarrhomes.com/#!bhhs-venice-luxury-collection/c11zl

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pet Friendly Condos for Sale in Venice FL

As a fellow dog lover, I am acutely aware that many people who relocate to the Venice FL area are bringing their pets with them and need to know exactly which condos allow pets.

Pet friendly Brohard Beach in Venice FL courtesy of bringfido.com

On my real estate website, you can search Venice FL area condos and villas for sale that are specifically pet friendly: http://www.davidbarrhomes.com/#!venice-pet-friendly-condos/c1xbi

Monday, November 3, 2014

Coming Soon: 2BR West of Trail in Vamo Sarasota FL

I will be listing a completely renovated 2 bedroom one bath cottage style home west of the Trail near Sarasota Square Mall in the next few weeks.

The home will have an all new kitchen and bath, new roof and windows.  Here's a preview of the kitchen renovation.

If you are looking for a smaller home that has an open and light feel, please contact me for a preview showing.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Get Inspired for Your Venice FL Kitchen Update

I'm always looking for new ideas and watching trends in design for my real estate business, as I have a couple of clients who rely on my input for updating or renovating their Venice FL area investment property to sell.

I'm a big advocate of the sparse use of color with a heavy emphasis on white.  This picture from modernize.com makes a statement in the use of white:

Contemporary kitchen from modernize.com

White cabinetry and a light counter top color, such as this marble, create the impression of a much larger space.  The unusual glass back splash perfectly creates a focal point without a sharp color contrast.

If you are thinking of selling your Venice FL area residence or investment property and want to maximize it's value, please contact me for a consultation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Selling Venice FL Real Estate: Increase Your Curb Appeal

I've been writing a lot about increasing the value of your Venice FL home or condo for sale by simple improvements inside the property and outside, like adding a pergola.

Curb appeal is the first emotional connection a buyer will make with your home and it happens within seconds.  Don't neglect landscaping that improves your home's curb appeal.

Here's some plants I have personal experience with that grow easily in Florida's climate and will add visual impact:


Bougainvillea grows quickly and produces a lot of color, especially in the winter months here in FL.  Bougainvillea can be trained to grow on a trellis or a privacy fence, or trimmed into bushes or privacy hedges.  Once they "start", they really take off.  I've transplanted what I thought was a dead bougainvillea and it came back to life with little effort.  Make sure to get the purple variety with the smaller leaves.  The larger varieties with heart shaped leaves seem to be harder to grow.

Firercracker plant, aka crossandra

Firecracker flower in my own garden

Firecracker flower or Crossandra is native to India but loves Florida's heat and humidity.  Make sure to water these deeply at least twice a week and fertilize with a slow-release product such as Osmocote.  I planted these in my own garden and they are no longer called "firecracker flower" since they are now waist-high and have formed a nice tiered hedge.  They flower all year long.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Counter Tops: Create a Memorable Selling Point for Your Venice FL Real Estate

I have worked with a lot of Venice FL home buyers over the years.  Buyers take their time to make a decision on which property to purchase and are looking for a WOW factor to help make that decision.

If you are thinking of sprucing up your Venice FL real estate to sell, consider something different for kitchen countertops: stainless steel.

Photo courtesy remodelista.com

Stainless steel counter tops are not for the budget minded investor or seller, but it can give that WOW factor to a property and help it stand out in the mind of a potential buyer.  Consider installing a stainless counter top in just one part of the kitchen.

Stainless counter tops mix well with a butcher block island

If you have a section of counter top in a standard cabinet width, check out restaurant supply websites that sell prefabricated counter tops: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/advance-tabco-vctc-243-25-x-36-flat-top-stainless-steel-countertop/109VCTC243.html?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Selling Your Venice FL Home? Increase It's Curb Appeal with a Pergola

We don't seem to see many of these in Florida, but a pergola can add curb appeal to your home and make even a simple ranch home more inviting.

A pergola adds architectural appeal to a bland facade

Pergolas can be added to liven up a bland facade, to emphasize a walkway, or provide shade in the back yard.  Used in any of these ways, a potential buyer for your Venice FL home will remember your property as "the pergola house".

Taylor Morrison's new homes in Arbor Lakes feature a pergola

This backyard pergola has a retractable fabric shade

You can really make your Venice FL home for sale stand out from the rest by adding a relatively inexpensive pergola.  Please contact me if you'd like to discuss a staging and pricing analysis for your Venice FL real estate.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Interesting Flooring Options for Venice FL Homes

If you are considering Venice FL real estate and thinking of flooring options, consider vinyl plank floors.

What, you say? Vinyl?  Most people think of the ugly peel and stick tiles and old style sheet vinyl floors we grew up with in the 70s and 80's.  Fortunately, those days are long gone and vinyl has had a renaissance.

Remember this vinyl from the 70's and 80's?

Because most homes in Venice FL are built on a cement slab, wood floors most people are familiar with cannot be installed.  The concrete wicks water vapor from below, and causes solid wood floors to buckle and become moldy.  Engineered wood and laminate flooring require a vapor barrier and a foam pad, which increases the overall expense of an installation.

Dramatic wood look for a fraction of the price.

Vinyl plank flooring floats over an existing concrete slab and requires no moisture barrier.  They can be scored with a utility knife to length or width.  Vinyl planks are completely resistant to water and are among the cheapest solutions for flooring on the market today.

Create a beachy feel or an upscale appearance with vinyl plank flooring.

The rooms pictured here used TrafficMaster Allure vinyl plank flooring from The Home Depot.

If you are thinking of selling your Venice FL home and need tips on how to successfully renovate it to attract a buyer for top dollar, please contact me.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Should You Buy a 2 Story Home in Venice FL?

I'm seeing some 2 story homes being built in some new home communities in the Sarasota and Venice areas.  I am often asked if buying a 2 story home is a good idea.

2 story homes offer a lot of square feet and are usually a good solution for a large family, or an extended family with older relatives.  Otherwise, I believe 2 story homes should be avoided whenever possible.

2 story home elevation in Taylor Morrison's Arbor Lakes at Palmer Ranch in Sarasota

Older folks seldom like to climb stairs.  2 story homes limit the number of potential buyers when you decide to sell.

2 story homes usually require higher insurance costs.  They have a higher profile against wind and wind-borne debris.

Bottom line:  Say yes to a 2 story home if you have a large family or need a lot of square feet and plan on staying in the property for a long time.  Say no to buying a 2 story home if you plan on selling or downsizing in the near future.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Venice FL Home Buyer Trends: Terrazzo

I recently analyzed a report from Google Trends about what home buyers are searching for online, and how it applies to our local Venice FL real estate market.

One of the things buyers are looking for is vintage, and nothing is more vintage in our area than terrazzo floors.  I am a huge fan of rehabilitating old terrazzo floors in real estate investment property and property renovations.

Terrazzo is a mixture of concrete, marble, glass, and granite or quartz, and is poured over the home's concrete slab foundation.  The surface is polished to a fine gloss, and is common today in commercial applications such as retail stores and airports.

In the 50's and 60's, many Venice and Sarasota home builders used terrazzo floors.  Unfortunately, wall to wall carpeting came into wide use just after this period, and many of the homes with original terrazzo floors now look like the "before pictures" below when it's time for a renovation.

Typical terrazzo in an investment property: carpet tack strips and holes.  These can be repaired to like new condition.

Looks scary, but with a relatively small investment, terrazzo can be made to look like new.

Typical kitchen renovation, but the terrazzo looks fantastic.

Don't let ugly terrazzo scare you into covering it up with tile or more carpeting.  You can save money on a restoration, and have a home feature many home buyers are looking for.

If you are thinking of selling, please contact me for a pricing, marketing, and staging analysis to maxmize your property's value.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Great for Windows AND Your Bath

Here's a teriffic idea to spruce up your bathroom if you are getting ready to sell your home or condo in Venice.

Valances look great on windows, so why not use them to hide those shower curtain rods and rings?

As I've been blogging about in my renovation and staging posts for Venice FL home sellers, note the spare use of colors and the monochromatic approach used in these examples.

If you are ready to sell your Venice FL home or condo, please contact me for a pricing, marketing, and staging consultation today.

20 Easy Ways to Modernize Your Outdated Venice FL Kitchen

Are you getting ready to sell your Venice, FL home or condo?

You may not have to spend a lot of money on a kitchen makeover to attract a buyer and get top dollar for your property.

A fresh coat of paint on walls and wood cabinets makes a huge difference.  Note the colors in this kitchen, and how the white and gray colors are punctuated with wood tones.  The space also appears bigger because the flooring color softens the transition to the walls.

Photo courtesy of modernize.com
Read the entire set of 20 easy ways to modernize your Venice FL kitchen in this link from modernize.com

When you're ready to sell, please contact me for pricing, staging, and marketing solutions that will help sell your home.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Venice Real Estate 101: Listen More, Talk Less

I just read an interesting Tweet from my Twitter feed  (follow me here: @sarasota_homes) that is Sales 101, but many in real estate don't put in practice.

People buy for their own reasons, not yours.  Listening to the needs of the customer is key in any sales position.

Lots of Realtors think having a "big personality" and talking a lot is "selling".  I learned a long time ago to let the customer talk, but ask them questions to zero in on what their primary motivations are for buying or selling their property.

So Realtors, talk less, listen more, and sell more.

Manasota Key

For a change of pace, I thought I'd post some pictures of Manasota Key from a morning bike ride this past weekend.

We are definitely getting into fall.  The mainland just off Manasota Key has to be one of the foggiest places on Earth.

These were taken from the south bridge to Manasota Key at Beach Road.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Listing: Home for Sale in Gulf View Estates Venice FL

I just listed a home for sale in Gulf View Estates in Venice, FL.

The home is in the sought-after Gulf View Estates neighborhood, just north of Manasota Beach Rd. off Hwy 776.

1444 Roosevelt Drive is a move-in ready 3/2 pool home with rare preserve view for $224,900.  Most every room has a view to the caged pool.  The split bedroom plan includes an open kitchen/family room combination, with separate formal living room and breakfast room.

Take a video tour of this property on my YouTube channel:  http://youtu.be/IO-z4BekyFQ?list=UUN9oQagjL5CDn5DndLXI1UQ

Please contact me to schedule a tour of this home today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

4 Great Venice FL Home Improvements

Warm year-round temperatures and spectacular natural beauty makes Venice, Florida one of the most desirable real estate markets in the country. You can modernize your home and make it more useful for your needs — and improve its market value — by making a few popular updates.

1. Repurposed Sunroom

The sunroom is a standard feature of many Venice homes. However, these screened porches often need an update to allow them to be used more effectively. Glass enclosure is one method, to add more usable space under air for daily living. Generally, extending the heating and air conditioning system for this remodeling task is not difficult. Another idea uses a series of French doors as the exterior of the sunroom area. This method allows easy access to outdoor areas and creates a classic look for the interior. Making the sunroom more comfortable can allow you to use it as a lovely dining area with a view of the outdoors. You can also use comfortable outdoor furniture to make it a picturesque reading and relaxing area.

2. Streamlined Landscaping

Venice weather conditions can make landscape plants take on a jungle-like appearance. Streamline your outdoor areas with low-maintenance xeriscaping that uses native plants, clever irrigation design and creative materials like stone and gravel to produce a neater outdoor landscape that is easy to maintain and attractive for outdoor strolling.

3. Skylights

With all the Florida sunlight available, why not bring it into interior rooms that need a bit more light. Adding a skylight to a bathroom can bring in beautiful natural light that soothes the spirit and enhances the bathing and grooming experience. A skylight in the bedroom can give a needed boost to available light and helps to improve relaxation. A kitchen skylight makes the whole room brighter for cooking tasks, entertaining and spending time with family.

4. Outdoor Kitchen

Another popular home improvement in Venice is the outdoor kitchen. With Florida’s year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, outdoor entertaining is a natural. You can engage your guests in the food preparation experience while enjoying the fresh air and pleasant temperatures. Good design helps to make outdoor kitchens more functional, with good electrical connections, available water and plenty of storage for cooking equipment.

These four improvements are found in some of the most sought after properties on the market in Venice, FL. They will help you to enjoy your property more while you live there, and make it more valuable when it’s time to sell.

Tim Smith writes for Modernize.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Redecorating Your Home in Venice FL? Avoid the Color Red!

There's a lot of home and condo buyers in the Venice FL area, and over half of them are paying cash.  This suggests two things about our market:

1) Cash buyers are renovating and flipping;
2) Cash buyers are holding and renting for cash flow.

In either scenario, how you stage the property for sale and the colors you pick create an emotional (positive or negative) reaction in a potential new buyer.

One of the things that can create the biggest emotional reaction is paint color.  And there's one paint color you should avoid in FL at all costs:  RED.

This bathroom color may be great in cold Norway, the NE US or Canada, but the color red does not work in Florida.

Red is hot.  Red is danger.  Red means stop.  Florida is hot.  So don't use this color in your home.  Florida home buyers want soothing, cooling spaces after being out in the Florida sun and heat.

The pale green glass tile makes this bath feel more sedate and cool.

If you are selling your home or condo in Venice and have a red room or red accent wall, you will get better results by painting it a neutral or pale pastel color that will appeal to today's home buyers.

Photos courtesy modernize.com

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another Brokerage Cuts off Zillow

Inman News (one of the real estate industry's leading news providers) posted a story online about another brokerage cutting off their feed of listings to Zillow's website.

Northwood Realty in Pennsylvania has announced they have stopped syndication of their company's residential listings to Zillow.  Northwood Realty has more than 1000 agents that serve the metro Pittsburgh area.

"While we embace technology and promote it as a tool fo rour clients, it has become apparent that the level of inaccuracy on Zillow's website is misleading, inaccurate, and outdated," CEO and President Tom Hosak wrote in an email to agents.

I have been saying for a long time that Zillow is a detriment to real estate consumers, and this decision by a large brokerage is further proof of that.

Read the entire Inman article here.

Read more about how Zillow does business on my website:  http://www.davidbarrhomes.com/#!debunking-zillow-sarasota/cftb

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Venice FL Kitchen Design Ideas

I've been blogging about how Venice FL home owners and real estate investors can make the most of their property for today's home buyers by using light colors to help create an open feel in any space.

This kitchen, from modernize.com, is a perfect example.  The light counter tops, cabinets, and wall color all combine to create an appealing, timeless kitchen design.

Notice the spare use of color I have mentioned in previous blog posts.  I also thought the pine flooring was an example of the vintage appeal buyers are searching for, as evidenced by a recent report from Google Trends.

Wood flooring is not the best choice for a Venice FL home, especially if the home is constructed on a concrete slab.  Concrete slab foundations emanate water vapor from the ground, which will cause warping, mold, or decay, of real wood floors.

You can mimic this look by using wood-look ceramic tile, available in Home Depot or Lowe's.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Venice FL New Home Kitchen Design Ideas

Today I took a tour of a home builder's design center and found some interesting contrasts in design elements they are presenting for kitchens in their Venice FL new homes for sale.

One of the trends is for a contrasting cabinet color for the kitchen island space.  The white color of this island makes it seem like it is floating in space against the light floor, retaining the feeling of openness in it's use in an open floor plan.

The builder also provided more traditional cabinet colors and stone counter top colors.  The counter top material on the island in this picture is actually a laminate, with an embossed natural stone pattern.

There are 4 different counter top choices in this kitchen below.  Notice how the dark cabinets draw the eye in, as opposed to a light or a white cabinet that would blend and make the space appear bigger.

Remember, design is a personal choice.  But, if you're preparing a home for resale, or buying a starter home and need ideas to maximize your investment, today's buyer prefers light colors and a vintage feel.