Archive for December, 2011

I’m often asked for referrals from clients who are looking for local amenities or help with home repairs. So, with the new year, I’m adding a new feature to my blog called “5 Questions.” Throughout the year I’ll ask local experts I frequently recommend five questions about the work they do so as to better acquaint my clients with the variety of talent to choose from in our area.

Home staging is an important step in listing your home for sale — I’ve seen a number of homes transformed by the process and easily able to recoup the cost of the service. In fact, I feel so strongly about it that I routinely cover my client’s initial consultation fee. As I wrote in the 3rd Quarter Stats Review in October, homes are selling significantly faster than in previous quarters — the recent trend of optimistic pricing combined with strategic home preparation is clearly delivering results.



Janet Thompson, Owner
Rye, NY  (914) 806-4007

What exactly is home staging?

Home Staging is a marketing tool for sellers to help them get top dollar for their property. Each staging job is different but it can include anything from simply removing clutter and years of accumulated “stuff”, to rearranging furniture or removing furniture to highlight the spaciousness of the home, or adding furniture and accessories to “warm up” a particular room.

Why should I stage my home?
Staged homes sell faster and for more money. Since your home is probably your largest asset, staging is a smart investment. The investment that you make in staging your home will be much lower than any price reduction you might have to make. Buyers are wary of a house that has been on the market too long – staging your house before it’s listed will give it a “leg up” so that it sells quickly.

Why can’t I stage the house myself?
Homeowners are emotionally attached and financially invested in their own homes and can’t be objective. You need a trained professional with experience and a trained eye to create that “wow” factor that will sell your home.

Do you have a favorite project you’d like to share?



The before and after pictures above show one room in of one of my favorite home staging jobs. This was a large and beautiful home that had become very tired and outdated and in need of some serious sprucing up. We went through stacks of papers and old magazines, date books, mail, etc. and removed or organized, took out the torn and faded wall-to-wall carpet, removed dated wallpaper, and removed much of the out of style furniture. We refinished all of the beautiful floors, put on a fresh coat of paint, and brought in some furniture and decorative accessories to give a finished look. As you can see in the photos below, the change was dramatic. The owner was thrilled with the finished product and with the neatly organized and labeled boxes of important papers and mementos.

Does Willow Home Staging have a specialty?
Willow has a team of stagers all of whom have different strengths – some are very organized and can tackle the clutter with ease, some prefer the finishing touches – editing and re-styling the bookcases, arranging the accessories to create that warm and lived in look, and some have a great eye for space and making a room appear larger and to flow well. All of the stagers at Willow have a warm and personal touch that appeals to homeowners and makes them feel comfortable and accepting of the changes being made to their home. Willow is unique in that we will work right alongside a client sorting through and organizing papers, closets and kitchens, children’s bedroom’s ; doing part or all of the home for the client.

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A Preview of 2012

If this property is any indicator, it seems 2012 will be a great year for buyers! Coming onto the Rye market in January will be a 4 bedroom renovated shingle-style center hall Colonial – its most recent master bath renovations completed only last week!

At 2600 square feet, the spaciousness of the home is readily apparent in the kitchen, which features a large island with stool seating, ample breakfast and sitting areas as well as a household desk space. Besides these luxuries, the kitchen is replete with amenities such as granite countertops, custom cabinetry, double wall oven and Subzero refrigerator.

This is just a taste of whats to come – give me a call at (914) 329-5329 for more details or watch my blog in early January for the specifics once I officially list it.

See you in 2012!

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Driving around Rye and Harrison during the holidays, I love seeing all the different ways the front doors of homes are decorated. So, this year thought I would share a few (12 to be exact!) of my favorites with you! I’ll post one photo each day for twelve days on my Facebook page starting today.

Here is today’s first photo, and I hope the next 11 days of photos help carry forward the holiday spirit into the new year and remind us of the beauty that surrounds us daily in our lovely community.

My best wishes for a wonderful holiday, Joan

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Looking for things to do with the kids during vacation next week? Here are some local suggestions, whether you’re looking for fun day trips or all day camps:

(Register soon, only a few spots left in each)

RYE YMCA (December 26-30 and January 1-2)
Choose from half day basketball, Mix It Up, Gymnastics Camp or full day Gymnastics Camp and Fun Club Camp. Call (914) 967-6353 or click here for more details.

(December 27-30, 10am – 2pm)
Pre-school and elementary students can bring their lunch and spend some time learning about nature in the winter and the habits of local wildlife as the days grow colder. Call (914) 967-5150 or click here for more details.

GREAT PLAY in Scarsdale (December 26-30)
Play camp and Sports Clinic with a focus on creative physical education and sports skill building for kids up to 5th grade. Call (914) 713-3470 or click here for more details.



THE CLIFFS AT VALHALLA  Indoor climbing fun for all ages!

PLAYLAND ICE CASINO  A local favorite!

FUNFUZION in New Rochelle is a great arcade featuring glow-in-the-dark bowling and a fun go-kart track.

SPORTTIME USA in Elmsford has a complete arcade with lazer tag, bumper cars and batting cages.

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The only thing nicer than spending the holidays with family and friends is being hosted by them! Show your gratitude with this list of lovely hostess gifts I found while doing some holiday shopping around town last weekend—

WISH (3 Purdy Avenue, Rye, 914-967-2910) features a wide assortment of candles, soaps, artisanal food items and home decor. They’ll even customize a gift basket for you and fill it with delicious seasonal treats like holiday bark and hot chocolate.

Pink Deux (Rye Ridge Shopping Center, Rye Brook, 914-305-5775) offers a nice selection of room-specific scented candles by Lafco New York including cilantro-orange kitchen candles and walnut and sage library candles.

Blooming Buds (373 Halstead Avenue, 
914-381-0333) has beautiful single-stem orchids and seasonal custom arrangements including amaryllis.

Ralph’s Wines and Spirits (498 Forest Avenue, Rye, 914-921-1847) carries Comb Vodka, a light and flavorful vodka distilled from orange blossom honey that’s manufactured nearby in Port Chester at StilltheOne Distillery.

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123 Soundview Avenue, Rye

I’ve followed the evolution of this house on my blog since the beginning of 2011  — the build is now complete and this weekend is a great opportunity to tour the fantastic results! Join me on Sunday, December 4th from 2-4pm at 123 Soundview Avenue, Rye for  a tour of this 5 bedroom new construction by CAD Development.

Quality design and spectacular craftsmanship define this classic beauty, and lovely architectural details abound throughout the home. Stunning gourmet dine-in-kitchen with custom cabinetry, stainless appliances and granite counters will impress the most discriminating chefs. The eat-in-kitchen flows to a spacious family room with a fieldstone fireplace and golf course views. High-end detailing includes Red Oak hardwood floors, crown molding/wainscoting, stone chimney, flagstone walks/patio and more.

If you aren’t able to attend the open house, please view the home in my featured listings under “New Classic Colonial – Pre-Construction” for more information or give me a call at (914) 329-5329 to schedule a personal tour!

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