Tag Archives: from the experts

Getting Your Home Ready for Sale Liz MacDonald Shelf Help 2

Getting Your Home Ready for Sale with Liz MacDonald of Shelf Help

It might have taken a little while to arrive, but wow, the spring market is here and it’s hot! If you are getting your home ready for sale, here are 5 staging tips you should keep in mind:

Create a good first impression with your home’s exterior

  • Invest in mulch. It will up your curb appeal
  • Seed or sod any dead spots in your yard
  • Create an inviting entry with no clutter, peeling paint or bugs in the light fixtures!

Showcase your home, not your stuff

  • Show off your gorgeous hardwoods – don’t cover them all with area rugs
  • Remove heavy drapery to let in as much light as possible
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure there’s nothing obscuring it

Remove distractions

  • Make rooms feel as big as possible by removing large bulky furniture
  • Remove family photos and any decor objects smaller than a soft ball
  • If you have built ins, make sure to leave space so they don’t feel crowded
  • Minimize what you have out on your kitchen counters

Make sure your rooms are shown as they are meant to be used

  • If you’ve created a home office from what is obviously supposed to be your dining room, convert it back. You don’t want buyers thinking there isn’t enough space in the home

Create flow

  • Connect rooms with a neutral color pallet
  • Stage and photograph your rooms from the perspective of their entries
  • Don’t decorate every wall. Give buyers space to imagine their own items

Remember, staging your home isn’t about your taste or decor (a tough pill to swallow, I know!), it’s about appealing to the broadest range of buyers possible. You’ll need to think of your home as a product while it’s on the market. This is tough while you’re still living there, but if you can make this mental shift, you’ll have an easier time keeping it “showing ready”.

Getting Your Home Ready for Sale Liz MacDonald Shelf Help 4

Liz is an interior designer with a background in video production. She married her two passions to create her video series Shelf Help. She works with clients to decorate their homes while they live there and then stage them once they are ready to sell. If you’re looking for vision for your home contact Liz at liz@shelfhelp.me

From the Experts 2 - Protecting Your Family through Wills and Trusts with Alison Gross and Once Upon a Time Creation

From the Experts: Protecting Your Family Through Wills and Trusts with Alison Gross

We are so excited to bring you this new blog series…From the Experts!  This second post is about something we don’t like to think about, but is so important: Protecting Your Family Through Wills and Trusts. 

Here at Once Upon a Time Creation, our mission has always been to support your love of family as you treasure special moments, both big and small. I love to hear the stories behind your cherished keepsakes and understand, through all of you, that each stage of life presents us with new challenges. As life twists and turns, there is always a new experience that keeps us on our toes, reminding us that the more we know, the more there is to learn.  I truly believe that “it takes a village” and that we are all in this together. 

To support you in those big events and small moments, we are partnering with experts in their field to bring you advice on topics relevant to today’s family. We have a fantastic line-up in store for you!

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us,


From the Experts 2 - Protecting Your Family through Wills and Trusts with Alison Gross

No one likes to think about dying—especially once you have kids.  It’s hard enough to find a babysitter that you trust, much less think about your kids navigating the world without you.  When you aren’t prepared, though, not having a Will and Trust created for your children can be the kind of thing that keeps you up at night.  Taking care of your estate planning gives you the reassurance that your children will be protected if something happens to you.

First, you want to make sure that you have guardians designated.  A Will can do that for you; without one, the courts will make the decision for you, and it is possible it would not be the person or people you would have picked.  Sometimes clients tell me that they aren’t ready to complete their Wills because they can’t decide who to name as guardian.  But a guardian designation is not final.  If you change your mind about the guardians named in your Will in the future, you may change the designations through codicils to your Wills or by executing new Wills.  It’s better to have something in place than nothing at all!

Wills and trusts can also protect any money you leave your children.  In Pennsylvania, when someone leaves over $25,000 to a child, the courts must get involved to appoint someone to manage the money for the child.  The court then supervises that person and his or her management of the money.  This requires hiring a lawyer, and spending money on legal fees and court costs.  It is much simpler and less expensive to create a trust in your Will that will name a trustee that YOU choose to manage your money if something happens to both parents.  Also, money left directly to children without a trust will be paid to them when they turn 18.  Even the most responsible and mature 18 year old would likely be overwhelmed by being responsible for your life savings.  A trust can be written to last until your children are older, while still giving your trustee the power to manage the money and spend it on your children’s education and living expenses.

Estate planning is an investment in your family’s future.  It ensures that, even if the unthinkable occurs, you are leaving your family with a well-ordered estate plan that saves them time and money and ensures that they are protected.  The right estate planning attorney can make the process easy and straightforward, and taking care of these important documents now will leave you with one less thing keeping you awake at night!

Alison Gross is a lawyer and mom of three that helps you protect your families through Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney.  Please contact Alison at alison@altmangross.com or 215-435-8524 to discuss how she can help you with your Estate Planning and guardianship designations.  Learn more at: www.altmangross.com.