Surprising Color Trends in Decorating

The 2016 Color Trends Are …

If you like to stay up to date on the latest in home design, you may be interested to hear the color trends predicted for 2016. From Benjamin Moore’s Simply White to Behr’s Ivory Keys, the leading color trend is white, which serves as a neutral backdrop for other dramatic elements.

But before you go out and buy gallons of white, note that this year’s on-trend whites have color and warmth to them. These subtle variations in tone make them the perfect accompaniment to other hot colors highlighted this year, so keep that in mind as you select accent colors.

To update your space using the neutral white trend, take the following steps:

  • Create a blank canvas — Paint an entire room in your favorite warm white. Starting with a neutral background lets other elements in the room stand out and become the focal point. Neutral rooms tend to be minimalist, so scale back on accessories and let the major pieces support your design.
  • Experiment with hues — Try layering with several shades of white. Create a clean, classic look with a white room and an occasional pop of color. The design possibilities using a white color palette are surprisingly endless.
  • Add contrast — Bold accent colors and crisp lines create sharp contrasts against white walls. Consider creating a feature wall with one of the other 2016 trend colors, like Blue Cloud from Olympic Paints or Paradise Found by PPG Porter Paints. You can also add other architectural elements in a dark wood or with geometric patterns.

I look forward to helping you find your next home!



Your Presale Checklist


Add These To-Dos to Your Presale Checklist

Before booking your market evaluation appointment to discuss listing strategy, here are a few things you can do to prepare for a speedy sale.

Handle Repairs – Take care of easily fixed repairs that may be potential red flags for buyers. Common quick fixes include repairing drywall, repainting walls and oiling hinges.

Declutter – Take this opportunity to get rid of those seldom used items that are cluttering up your home. Remember, it costs to move them so now is the time to let them go!

Start Packing – Store out-of-season clothing, sports gear and small appliances you know you won’t need before the move. Too much stuff crammed into cupboards and closets will make your home seem small.

Downsize Furniture – Consider removing extra or large pieces of furniture that make your home look smaller. You may want to stage specific rooms to highlight potential uses for the space.

Depersonalize – Tuck away family photos, collectibles and any other personal items. It’s important to make your home a “blank canvas” for potential buyers to imagine themselves in.

Check Curb Appeal – Plant colorful annuals along sidewalks and in containers, and remove any debris or clutter from around your home. Many buyers will preview a home from the outside before deciding whether or not to schedule a showing.

sandymueller2I look forward to helping you buy and sell your next home!!

Sandy Mueller
Baird & Warner Real Estate

Housing’s impact on the national economy

homeownershipA nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) measures the economic performance of the country and is defined as “the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.”3 In short, GDP measures how well a country, state or region’s economy is performing.

Housing has contributed to more than 15% of GDP for the past 2 years.

According to the NAHB, housing contributes to GDP through residential investment (e.g., home building and remodeling) and housing services (e.g., rent including utilities, the estimated cost of an owner renting their residence and utility payments). It also indirectly impacts consumer spending—when homeowners have more expendable income or increased access to credit, they may buy more goods and use more services, which benefits the overall economy.

Housing comprised 15.45% of the nation’s GDP at this same time last year. Home building and remodeling made up 3.14% of this.

Homeownership Benefits the Community

Homeownership bolsters a community’s treasury through the collection of property taxes. The money collected from property taxes helps support infrastructure, police and fire protection, education and community programs. Additionally, studies from the National Association of REALTORS® show that homeownership has many social benefits, including:
• Increased civic participation and charitable activity
• Better health for homeowners
• Less crime
• Higher student test scores and high school graduation rates
• Higher social capital

Sandy MuellerThinking of Buying or Selling?
Get a detailed report showing market trends in your neighborhood, including recent listings, sales prices and average time on market. Call Sandy Mueller at 847-494-8868.

Housing & The Economy


Buying a home not only impacts the homeowner’s financial situation, it also impacts the local and national economies. Since 2016 is an election year, there’s no doubt the economy and housing’s role within it will be a hot topic in the news. Let’s take a look at the impact of housing on the local economy and on the larger national economy.

Housing’s impact on the local economy When you buy or sell a home, you not only build your financial portfolio, you benefit your local economy as well. Typically, there are 26 services involved in a single real estate transaction in the 30 days before and after a real estate transaction has closed. Buyers and sellers may use services such as movers, painters and contractors during and after a transaction has closed. Additionally, buyers may continue to use these services and more while they own the home.

The Impact of New Homes While the true economic impact of new home building varies by community, the National Association of Home Builders calculated the figures for a typical metro area.


The Impact of Remodeling Renovations contribute to the economy through the use of local labor and businesses, as well as permitting and other government-related fees. The National Association of Home Builders also conducted a study on the one-year impacts of residential renovations on the local economy. Spending one million in remodeling generates an estimated $841,000 in private income and an estimated $71,000 in government revenue.* It also creates an average of 11 local jobs.

Sandy MuellerHome prices are rising!

Don’t undersell your home.  Choosing the right realtor makes all the difference. Get more money for your home. Call me first at 847-494-8868!


Save Money this Holiday Season

save money holidaysFeeling big on Holiday spirit with a small budget?

You don’t need to break the bank on gifts and decorations to make the holiday season memorable for your loved ones and friends.

5 Ways to Save on Gifts

1. Make a list and stick to it. It’s easy to succumb to impulse buys while you’re shopping. If you want to watch what you spend, be sure to stick to your list.

2. Get daily deals delivered to your inbox. Sign up for emails from sites like and, which offer discounts on popular brands for women, men, kids and the home each day.

3. Take advantage of in-store pickup. In-store pickup allows you to save money on shipping fees by having your items delivered to your local store, instead of to your home or office.

4. Hit the sales. Research sales circulars before you shop to make the most of your trip and enjoy big savings.

5. Play Secret Santa. Do you come from a large family or have a large group of friends? Instead of buying gifts for everyone, each person draws a name from a hat and purchases a gift for that person. Be sure to set a spending limit that keeps everyone’s budget in mind.

5 Holiday Décor Ideas for Less

christmas decor for lessLooking for creative ways to decorate for the holidays without spending a fortune?
Here are some inspired tips below.

Get inspired by your surroundings. Collect natural materials such as pinecones or branches and decorate them with ribbons, paint and glitter.

Host a décor or ornament swap. If you’re bored with your holiday décor and you have family and friends who feel the same about theirs, invite them over to exchange items. It’s less expensive than buying new items and you may find some new holiday favorites.

Get crafty. Consider DIY decorations to save a bundle. Pinterest and other craft sites are treasure troves of inspiration for all holidays.

Check out pre-Christmas sales. Many craft supply stores offer discounts on holiday décor and ornaments before the holidays. Although the best time to stock up is after the holidays, when discounts are often up to 75% off, you can still find major deals a few weeks beforehand.

Organize a holiday cookie exchange. Instead of baking dozens of different cookies, organize a cookie exchange with family, friends or neighbors. Each person bakes several dozen of one type of cookie and then everyone trades what they baked. Be sure to clarify what everyone is baking to ensure that each person receives different kinds of cookies.

3 Ways to Save Money on Holiday Cards

1. Send postcards. It costs less to send a postcard than a regular letter or greeting card.

2. Make your own cards. Websites such as allow you to upload photos and personalize your message for less.

3. Send e-cards. Sending e-cards from websites such as or is a great alternative if you have a large holiday card list.

8 Great Benefits of Gratitude

gratitudeExpress gratitude every day and reap the benefits!

Here are 8 key benefits of expressing gratitude all year round.

– Improves your attitude. Expressing gratitude makes you feel more positive and optimistic, which can reduce stress and help improve your overall mental fortitude.

– Builds stronger relationships. A simple ’thank you’ lays the groundwork for a stronger relationship, whether you’re expressing gratitude to a loved one or to a stranger. Saying ‘thanks’ is a way to acknowledge a person for their help, which encourages them to feel special.

-Improves your mental health. The next time you feel upset or frustrated, write down what you’re thankful for. Studies show that
expressing gratitude helps you to deal better with your emotions and may even reduce depression.*

– Enhances your physical health. Studies show a strong correlation between gratitude and health. Put simply, people who are thankful tend to be healthier. Not only do they exercise more frequently and visit the doctor for their annual checkups, but they report feeling healthier as well.

– Boosts your self-esteem. Taking stock of what you’re grateful for helps you maintain perspective and makes you less likely to compare yourself to other people.*

– Promotes better sleep. Jotting down what you’re thankful for each day boosts your mood and reduces your stress, which can help you sleep better at night.*

– Increases your empathy for others. Gratitude may make you more sensitive toward other people’s feelings. Studies show grateful people are less likely to resort to
retaliation when they experience negativity from others.

– Spreads happiness! Gratitude positively impacts your overall well-being, making you happier and more satisfied with your life.

Want to Learn More about Gratitude?
Check Out These 3 Insightful Books!

1. Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier By Robert Emmons, Ph.D. explains the science behind the benefits of expressing gratitude.

2. Gratitude: A Way of Life By Louise L. Hay is a series of essays about the power of incorporating gratitude into every day.

3. Gratitude: A Journal By Catherine Price is a journal in which to record what you’re grateful for each day. Stay inspired with quotes and writing prompts.

I Appreciate You!

Sandy Mueller

I enjoy people and it is wonderful to help them with their life changing home purchases. I also love to assist people with the sale of their property to maximize their investment. It is my desire to build strong, lifelong lasting relationships…one person at a time.