Archive for February, 2012

America’s Finest City: Vacationing in San Diego, CA

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

It’s really no wonder people from all over flock to America’s Finest City, San Diego, California. It’s a beautiful city in Southern California, that’s on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The city is well known for its mild year-round climate, gorgeous deep water harbor, and it has a surprising large population of 1.3 million people, spread over a 324 square miles. The vastness of the city gives it the appeal of living in a small city, but yet it remains California’s second largest city, second to Los Angeles. That’s why vacationing in San Diego is so popular!

When the real-estate bubble burst, some of the hardest-hit markets were sunny destinations like San Diego, which saw the median price of homes fall nearly 37% from their peak in 2006. So, what better time than now to purchase a vacation home in your favorite vacation spot, San Diego? And what’s better, is you can even rent furniture to fill that home. This way, your personal items won’t feel the wear and tear when you decide to also rent your vacation home. After-all there really isn’t an ‘off-season’ for America’s Finest City.

Although San Diego felt its share of the economic housing adjustment, it continues to sparkle as it always has. The downtown has been revitalized, and there many bargains, especially vacation homes. After all, people still love the consistently warm climate of San Diego.

It’s never been easier to buy your vacation home, and it’s even easier to rent furniture. From small furniture for condos, to kitchen tales, renting furniture is much better  than Ikea. More and more vacationers are choosing to purchase cozy condos and beach front homes instead of cramped, impersonal hotel rooms when they travel. And as market demand has surged, companies like Signature Furniture Rental can help you furnish your vacation home.

Thankfully San Diego doesn’t have the ‘glamour of Hollywood,’ so it continues to rank on the top ten list for nearly everything else: It may not have the glamour of Hollywood, but San Diego, further down the California coast, ranks on top 10 lists for everything else; wealthiest and safest cities to live, great beaches, parks and rivers, weather (more than 200 days above 70 degrees, the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.

*photo contribution:


Is Home Staging Part of Your Marketing Plan?

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Over the past two years, we have seen a huge spike in home owners wanting home staging, and now that the home buying and selling market is turning around, the overall
employment market expanding, the demand is growing even more. People are looking to buy homes in LA, San Diego, Riverside, or Southern California, and home owners are now looking to sell. Home staging is one of the best ways to make your home move from comfy to glam overnight. Home staging, as we like to say, is about decorating your house to sell quickly for top dollar. It’s turned into an art. Is home staging part of your marketing plan yet?

All said and done though, we have seen an additional change, and this change is recent. In the past, home staging was driven mainly by real estate professionals. They are still critical in the world of home staging but we’ve notice the home seller posing the questions before the realtor even makes the suggestion. With the increase in bank-owned properties and short sales the competition is aggressive in attempts to sell homes, and it appears to be working. Taking this into account though, the average home seller is seeing the competition and pushing to stage their home as aggressively, if not more.

In order to get wins all around, and to ensure the home seller gets the most from their sale, many real estate professionals are making home staging part of their marketing plan. What’s better than that though, is home sellers are already working toward home staging by removing excess clutter, rearranging (sometimes removing or renting) furniture within or between rooms, solving lighting problems, rearranging art and accessories, styling book shelves, painting, cleaning and repair suggestions, and other cosmetic changes that are relatively inexpensive but yield significant results.

Often times, though, a home seller is not able to see the bigger picture. They’ve decorated to their own tastes and feel others will like that too. This is where it gets a bit dicey, and a great real estate professional needs to sell the idea of home staging. It is important the home seller still feel good about their design decisions, but made aware that my doing so they might limit the people looking to buy. That’s when a home stager steps in to improve the marketability of the property.

In today’s real estate market, with home staging, there is a potentially significant return on investment (ROI). Typically, most houses sell above asking price, if the price right to begin with.

*Photo by

Rental Furniture for Traveling Nurses

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Traveling Nurses Need FurnitureOver the past number of years in the United States, a severe shortage of nurses has given rise to the popularity of traveling nurses. These traveling nurses are currently responding to temporary shortages in big cities as well as in towns. The draw for most nurses is higher wages, relocation assistance, housing, bonuses, personal adventure, and professional growth and development. Because many travel agencies and organizations are involved in the process of connecting traveling nurses with hospitals and clinics, the housing is already established beforehand.

Often times though, these preselected apartments, which have apartment furniture, are located an hour or more away via public transportation or vehicle. Have you ever tried to drive in LA, Riverside or any other part of Southern California during rush hour? Well, if you have, you surely know the dilemma we’re referring to.


Furnished vs. Unfurnished Apartment Furniture

Needless to say, there are other options concerning apartment living, and an even greater option concerning apartment furniture for short time rental. Most, but not all, traveling nurses tend to work under short term contracts that range from 3-13 weeks. These contracts are generally extended, or even a permanent position is offered. In the meantime, if a Traveling Nurse decides to take a stipend from the money spent on an out of town furnished apartment and apply it to an unfurnished apartment closer to work they have the option of renting apartment furniture that fits their needs and more importantly their tastes.

Good vs Bad Interior Furniture

Rent Your Apartment Furniture

If you’re weighing the financial benefits of a furnished apartment outside the city limits the best thing you should do is ask your recruiter, placement officer, or whatever other service you use, what your housing allowance is during the contract. Typically this amount is found in your contract, and then you can determine whether or not you can afford a centrally located apartment and rent apartment furniture for the length of your nursing contract.

Often times you will find the travel time and expense will make up the difference. This is usually a win-win for both the staffing company and the Traveling Nurse, as it saves time and money, and the nurse usually ends up with better, more comfortable temporary accommodations.

Image Sources: Ugly House Photos, Home Painting Blogspot

Guest Post: S Interior Design

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

The following post was written by Suzanne Lasky, owner and founder of S Interior Design in Scottsdale, AZ. We hope you enjoy her fun post on accessories which we all agree is vital to any home!

Accessories – Your Home Isn’t Fully ‘Dressed’ Without Them

When S Interior Design develops a budget for a design project, there is ALWAYS a line item for accessories.

Accessories to add to your bar

The analogy I will offer is this; you can put on a stunning clothing outfit but unless you then proceed to put on jewelry and make-up you will look less than stunning.

At times, a professional designer is called in to select and place these finishing touches. Sometimes it is not clear to a homeowner why a room full of brand new furniture doesn’t look so fabulous like it did in the furniture store. You can get insights into how to accessorize from shelter magazines, on-line design web sites (one of our favorites is HOUZZ) and the furniture stores.

When it comes time to choose your accessories, function should be considered as well. For example, if you have young children, breakable objects on low table tops may not be the best choice. I often put a decorative box on a coffee table in family rooms to store all the many remote controls we use to operate the TV etc.

Dry Bar Accessories

Two people can start with the same basic furniture and once the accessories and artwork are added the rooms will look not at all alike. Can you imagine how unfinished this entry area below would look without the decorative accessories and plants???

Entry Way Design

About Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID

Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID, is the owner and founder of S Interior Design, the exclusive provider of Pawprint Design Services, Suzanne works with her clients to develop a winning combination of design elements that result in warm, comfortable and functional spaces that reflect each client’s personal style. Suzanne and her team specialize in residential, contract and hospitality interior design, from simple color selections, to office build outs, to restaurant, spa and hotel designs. Suzanne shares her years of expertise through the power of social media. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at her blog. To speak to Suzanne about your interior design needs, please call 480-220-4659 or visit her website at

Design to Sell: Home Staging Ideas

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Over the past number of years, home staging’s increasing popularity is in part due to homeowners now understanding that the process of selling their home is a business decision. Once the homeowner moves beyond the emotional attachment, if any, to their home it comes down to wanting to make the most on the sale. To do that though, they need to look beyond their own home designs and come up with home staging ideas that will appeal to the home buying masses..

With the overall housing market being tougher than in years’ past, most people agree you need to make a strong first impression when selling your home. For example, if you’re selling your home in San Diego then you should stage your home to meet the overall feel of San Diego, and not necessarily the feel of the Swiss Alps. Here are five home staging ideas to help you.

1) Knick-knacks – Collectibles such as figurines, plates, and other curiosities are true personal gems for those who have taken the time to select, purchase and display them. However, to the average home buyer, displayed collectables often come across as clutter. The prospective home buyer doesn’t share the same personal feelings. As the home seller, you want to be sure your personal valued belongings are stored away for safe keeping. Think of it this way: there will be less to pack later when you sell your home.

Remove knick knacks for home staging

2) Family Portraits – Of course you love your


and having pictures of them adorning your walls is only natural. Unfortunately, prospective home buyers don’t know your family, so if you have pictures and portraits hanging on the walls, lined up on shelves, or in other special places you should dust them off and place them in a dresser drawer or even box them.

3) Furniture – Here’s the thing about strong first impressions and furniture. If you feel your furniture looks a bit worn down, then prospective home buyers will most likely feel like the furniture is very worn. Whether or not it is true, this often influences the home buyer to a.) offer a lower price because they feel the seller needs to move because they cannot afford to live here anymore, or b.) to not consider buying at all because if the home owner cannot care for their furniture how can they care for their house. If you need to, store your current furniture and rent something more modern, or use new slip covers.

fab furniture rental san diego

4) Repaint – If it so happens you love the color pink or orange and you’ve painted a room or more that color then you should invest your time and money in painting that room, or rooms, to a neutral color. The colors potential buyers see when they enter your home should be neutral so that the buyers will not be distracted by someone else’s style. They should see the walls of your home as a blank canvas on which to project their own preferences and style. Neutral doesn’t equal ‘white,’ it is a more subtle color such as olive, gray, beige and tan.

Paint Your Home for Home Staging

5) Internet — Most real estate professionals who are connected with today’s market understand potential buyers want to see the general layout of your home before they step foot in your house. Internet photos and virtual tours make a crucial first impression. A typical buyer will scan through numerous online home listings, so it is important to grab them when you can. Some real estate agents will set you up with a talented decorator for some great home staging ideas that will make your property appealing to a larger spectrum of people.

Whether working with a


or doing it yourself, home


and real estate agents should focus on

low cost

home staging ideas that effectively showcase the true value of your home.

Images: Hoigaard Village, Interior Ideas