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Tips for selling your home to a younger generation: Millennials and Generation Z

If you plan on selling your home soon, it’s a good idea to consider how to make it more appealing to a younger generation. As Millennials and Generation Z make up more than a third of the home buying market (and growing), making a bigger profit might depend on how millennial-friendly you can make your home.

Who are Millennials and Generation Z?

While there is no concrete definition, people who are considered Millennials or Generation Z are generally young adults ranging in ages between 18 and 34. These are the children of the internet, people born into a technology book that continues to roll forward at an amazing rate. They were learning to use computers at the same time they learned to walk, they’ve grown up in a world where working from home and entrepreneurship are the norm, and they are exposed to cultures, lifestyles and trends that their parents never had access to. This gives them a unique perspective of what homeownership should look like, and unique challenges and opportunities for current homeowners to reach out to them.

If you’re ready to sell your home, it’s a good idea to be aware of this demographic of home buyer and utilize a few of the tips I’ve gathered here to catch their attention.

Home selling tips for Millennials and Generation Z

#1 Add smart technology to your home

Ready for a home that they can interact with as much as they interact with their phone, smart technology throughout a home will definitely catch some attention. Things like smart door locks, surveillance cameras and doorbells, and smart garage door openers are budget-friendly and easy to install. Take it one step further with Wi-Fi thermostats that can be controlled from the road, security systems and whole-house voice-activated tech that allows you to control everything from the temperature to music to refrigerator with just a few words.

Here’s a tip that’s often forgotten during a home sale process, but definitely very much appreciated: For all smart technology installed in the home you are selling, be sure to provide information to the new owner for accessing accounts, changing passwords, etc.

#2 Be move-in ready

Millennials want their homes to be simple and easy to move in without planning for big renovations or upgrades. Always on the go, they will be looking for homes that won’t need a lot of work to move in. This means up to date appliances, neutral colors, wifi-ready, and expert staging to show them how easy it will be.

#3 Stage for the Millennial lifestyle

Speaking of staging, be sure to discuss with your Realtor or staging consultant for ideas to make your home appeal more to the younger set. Even if you’re an empty nester who is moving on to your dream retirement home, you’ll want to make your home a place where younger buyers can visualize themselves living. For instance, the Millennial and Gen Z workforce consists of a much larger percentage of entrepreneurs and people who work from home. Therefore, a home office space will be a priority. Even if you don’t have a home office now, designate a room or space to be cleared and then staged as a home office so they can see it in real life.

#4 Green up your home

In addition to growing up with technology, today’s youth have also grown up with a decidedly “green” focus on things like eco-consciousness and environmentalism. Adding energy efficient features to your home such as smart thermostats, high efficiency appliances, organic gardening, composting, and low-maintenance native landscaping are a great way to appeal to someone looking for a great house that leaves a small footprint.

#5 Multi-functional outdoor space

A large majority of Millennials want multi-functional, relaxing outdoor spaces that allow them to expand their home outside its walls. Decks, gardens, and features that allow them to take their work, play, food and friends outside are what can make the difference between your home and the one for sale a few blocks away. Not to mention adding curb appeal that creates the perfect first impression.

If you live in Arlington, Virginia or the surrounding area and would like tips for making your home for sale more appealing to the majority of homeowners on the market, please feel free to call or contact me. As one of the leading real estate professionals in the area, with more than 30 years of local experience, I can help you connect with the right buyers for a successful sales experience.

How to find the best Arlington real estate agent for you

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Arlington, Virginia, then finding the best Arlington real estate agent near you is a great way to get started. If you live in the Northern Virginia area, we’ve got you covered. If you live outside our area, don’t worry, these tips will still work to help you find the best options.

When people want to find an experienced local Realtor located nearby, they often sit down at the computer and type in the search “Realtor near me” or “best real estate agent near me.” That’s a good place to start and likely to get you a list of professionals in your area. But narrowing it down even more is essential.

The next thing you need to do to find the best person to fit your needs is to focus your search even more. Some people try to do this by searching for “best Arlington Virginia Realtor for me” or “best real estate agent in Arlington for me.” That’s OK, and you might even get some good results worth looking into, but there are more steps you can take that will help you ensure you find the best real estate professional who is perfect for you, your family, your business relocation move, military reassignments, or whatever makes you need to buy or sell a home in Arlington, Virginia.

Local Arlington Real Estate Agent

Start by verifying that the real estate professional you are considering has extensive local knowledge and experience required for a successful home buying and home selling experience. You want someone who has personal knowledge, long-term experience, and a clear handle on the housing market in the area you are selling or buying.

Next, ask family, friends or coworkers in the area for referrals or for their thoughts about the list of Arlington Realtors you are considering. Ask them about their experiences working with any agents they recommend, and always ask if they would work with them again. The answer to that last question will tell a lot and help you to narrow down your list of the best local real estate agents near you.

Experience counts for a lot. You want to be sure that the real estate agent, company or Realtor you choose to work with is knowledgeable and can answer questions about such topics as:

Best Realtor in Arlington, Virginia

Now that you’ve narrowed the real estate professionals you are considering down to a short list, it’s time to make a choice. Check out each agent’s websites to see if they maintain an active presence online. Real their blog articles and scan their local listings to see how up to date they are, the types of homes and clients they work with and if they seem like someone you would want to work with. Social media is also a good place to research comments and see what former clients have to say about their experiences.

For the best real estate agents in Arlington, Virginia, or the best Realtors for you in Arlington, Mike Pugh is someone who should be at the top of your list. If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Northern Virginia areas of Arlington, McLean, Falls Church, Alexandria, Fairfax County, and other nearby areas, there’s a lot of great information Mike shares on his website and social media about the local real estate market plus advice and tips for buying, selling or investing in real estate, no matter what stage of life you’re at. Mike has decades of experience that he’s happy to share to help you make the best decisions for your real estate needs. Give him a call at 703-593-6320 or email

Arlington, VA Real Estate

Home office decorating tips to boost work quality, productivity

Home office décor can have just as much as effect on your work as getting the right technology set up. Here are a few tips and tricks that experienced entrepreneurs and telecommuters swear by to create a more pleasant, productive and business-boosting home office experience.

The best lighting for your home office

If you can’t see, you can’t work. OK, it’s a little more complicated than that, but let’s start with the idea that more natural light is better. For work in the office by day, open curtains or blinds and let light in. Be sure to arrange your desk and computer in a way to take advantage of natural light without affecting your ability to read your monitor.

If you tend to work when it’s dark outside, lighting in your home office should be adequate and layered. Just the light from your monitor is not enough and you’re bound to get headaches if you try to read by it. Place a few lamps in different positions and elevations around the office and be sure to have light that is behind you if you’re working on a computer during night hours.

Stylish surroundings that energize

Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean your office doesn’t deserve corporate-level comfort. Invest in ergonomic seating for your desk, but also splurge in a comfortable reading type chair for times when you want to read a book, go over a presentation, or just take a break with a cup of tea. Choose paint colors that make you feel energized. Add wall art and decorative items that fit your style and inspire creativity. If you can’t work without coffee or tea, splurge on a fancy setup so you can indulge without breaking your routine.

Breathe deeply

If you spend a lot of time in your home office, making sure the air you breathe is clean should be a top priority. Indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, VOCs, and carbon monoxide can cause headaches, fatigue, and brain fog – all productivity killers. Studies have shown however, that common houseplants work like nature’s air filters to absorb harmful gases and remove toxins from the air we breathe. Houseplants are inexpensive and easy to care for, so next time you are at a garden center, pick up a few of these proven air-cleaners for your home office: Rubber Plant, Boston Fern, Philodendron, Sansevieria (’Mother-in-Law’s Tongue’), Dracaena, Ficus or Spider Plants.

Reduce Stress

Work can be stressful, but the beauty of working from home is that you can take a quick break whenever you need it without feeling guilty. Create a relaxing space in your home office you can retreat to when you need to disconnect and recharge. Remember the comfy chair we talked about earlier? Settle in with a non-business-related book for 10 minutes. Studies have shown that just 10 minutes of sustained reading can reduce stress by 68 percent. Or have a yoga mat rolled up in a corner you can pull out and use the next time you need to relax, refocus and refresh for whatever challenge comes next.

Set the Stage

If you have the space, try to dedicate a corner of your office as a studio for YouTube videos, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, tele-summits, conference calls and anything video so you don’t have to keep setting up and breaking down backdrops and lighting.

If you don’t have enough space to do this, think about setting up your main working area to be video friendly. Even though people in videos often look like their desks are floating in the middle of the room with sophisticated art and lots of room behind them, don’t be tempted to try this. Putting your desk that far out from a wall means you’ll have power-source dilemmas for your computer, lighting, etc. Instead, set your desk just far enough away from the wall to give it that floating look, hang some great art, but still be able to run cords and plug everything in. Be careful with your cords, of course, and incorporate safety covers, strips, or any solution that keeps them from being tripping hazards. Office supply stores have lots of great ideas for this.

You might also be surprised at one other thing that will benefit from having a desk that looks into a room – your eyes. Staring at a computer all day is stressful for hardworking eyes. By facing into a room, or even toward a window with a view, you can look up from the screen regularly and focus on objects at varying distances to help your eyes refocus and relax.

Interior Design Trends for 2019

While Virginia may have its own unique style, interior design trends are fun to watch, and some might even inspire you for your own home. I’ve rounded up a list of the top trends experts say will be hot this year so you can see if anything catches your eye.

Talk-To-Me Technology

People here in Arlington, Virginia like to be on the cutting edge, so the smart home trend definitely will fit in. In 2019, smart homes will keep getting smarter with the addition of even more technology that allows you to control your environment and perform tasks just by using your voice. You’ll see smart faucets, fans, window coverings, mirrors and even smart toilets (yes, toilets!) that can all be voice-controlled. And technology like Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomePod will keep them all connected to increase the functionality of the modern home.

The “Etsy” Effect

Custom, handmade, crafted products will still be stylish in 2019 and used throughout homes to add a softer, more homey tone that offsets all the modern smart technology. Chunky hand-woven blankets, pillows, art and furniture made with natural material in soft neutral colors will be popular for bedrooms, living rooms, home offices and children’s rooms.

Bedroom Reboot

According to House Beautiful, bold accent walls in the bedroom are out, but softly textured wallpaper all around is in for 2019. Sticking to subtle textures and colors, using wallpapers in interesting patterns or inspired by nature will add a visual pop without overdoing it.

Pickers Rejoice

Another trend for 2019 that antiquing fans, pickers, and junkers will love is the design world embracing anything-goes for furniture throughout the home. No more buying all the furniture for your living room or bedroom at the same store so they all match. Designers are saying this is the year to choose furniture that you love and not worry about being all matchy-matchy. Mix up styles, use antiques next to contemporary pieces, and don’t be afraid to show off your personal style.

As winter moves along for us here in Virginia, it’s a great time to think about ways to freshen up your interior either using what you have – or getting out of the house and checking out what’s new in the showrooms. And no matter what, it’s always a good idea to stay true to your own personal style.

How to budget for a new home

How do you know how much home you can afford? Understanding the financial responsibilities of homeownership and setting a budget before you start touring open houses will ease the process and help ensure a successful home buyer experience.

Luckily, budgeting for purchasing a home doesn’t require an accountant’s degree and high-tech calculators. Identifying how much you can afford, and a general household budget that will enable you to maintain that home, can be estimated using the following tips.

Start by adding every source of income that flows into your account each month. Paychecks, freelance work, investment income, etc. This number is your total monthly income.

Next, make a list of your monthly expenses. This is a great exercise as you might think you know what you spend each month but writing it all down in black-and-white is very eye-opening. Consult your bank statements, credit card statements and cash receipts for this exercise. Expense categories can include: charities, savings, utilities, food, clothing, entertainment, pet care, health care, transportation, childcare, etc.

If you have the time, calculate your monthly expenses for at least 3 separate months, add them together and divide by 3 to identify your average expenses. Certain months will have more expenses than others (holidays, vacations, etc.) so figuring an average is a better way of estimating a true value for your expense output.

Now, take your average monthly expenses and subtract them from your total monthly income. The amount left is what you have to cover monthly housing costs. This includes a mortgage payment as well as home maintenance and repairs. You can estimate a total home price by using a free mortgage calculator online. Your best option, however, is to take these budgeting figures to a local, experienced Realtor. He or she can help you use  those numbers to decide on the best home price range for your needs. Your Realtor can also help you figure out down payment numbers, moving costs, monthly maintenance figures and all the little things you might not think of to give you a realistic financial view of homeownership.

Planning your budget for buying a home doesn’t have to be scary. Just remember, your odds for a smooth and successful experience are much better with the right real estate professional on your side. If you’re ready to buy, sell or learn more about the real estate market in the Arlington and surrounding Northern Virginia communities, as a highly experienced Arlington Realtor, I’m here to help! Give me a call at 703-593-6320 or email

7 reasons your home is not selling

The market is hot – so why isn’t your home selling? While you shouldn’t panic if your home has only been on the market for a few days without offers, you might want to take a closer look if those days turn into months. During my career as one of the top Realtors in the Arlington, Virginia area, I’ve helped clients avoid the following issues that can turn away potential buyers. If you’re wondering what’s keeping the offers from rolling in, this list might help:


Curb appeal is the first impression potential buyers have of your home. Things like messy yards or peeling paint can make people wonder about the condition of the rest of your home and mentally start adding numbers for repairs and upgrades. Even worse, a bad first impression can result in an immediate “no” before they even get out of the car. Ask someone to give you an honest first impression of your home’s curb appeal and fix anything you might have missed.


If your listing photos aren’t good, your home won’t get the attention it deserves. In today’s high-tech smart-phone world, most buyers will see photos of your home on websites, on social media, and via real estate apps like Zillow at least several times before making the decision to visit in person. Make sure photos are high-quality, professional-grade images shot with plenty of light, wide angles, and showcasing your home’s best features.


If your home is overpriced, it won’t sell, it’s as simple as that. An experienced Realtor can give you an accurate value of your home and help you decide on the best asking price that gives you maximum profit while still attracting buyers.


You might think you’re being helpful, but always hanging around during open houses, showings, and any time potential buyers are touring your home will drive prospects away. Let your agent handle the showings without you, and just let them know you are available by phone if there are any questions they can’t answer. Buyers want to feel they can talk freely, explore, and discuss the details of a home without worrying about owners hovering nearby and listening in.


Your home is cluttered and dirty. Your windows are streaked with dirt, your floors are tracked with the dog’s paw prints, and your teenagers forgot to clean their rooms – again! Dirty, cluttered, and messy homes will turn people away within minutes. It’s hard to imagine living in a home when you’re distracted by the mess. And buyers might make snap judgements and worry that the home hasn’t been taken care of either.


Your kitchen tile was new and gorgeous – 20 years ago. The garage door is hanging slightly askew and the guest bathroom pipes make a weird sound when the sink is turned on. Small repairs like leaking pipes and off-balance garage doors should be done before putting your house on the market. Any upgrades should be discussed with your Realtor, who can give you advice on the best projects that will increase the value of your home and give you a profitable return for your investment.


You can see throughout this article how important it is to work with an experienced, local professional who has detailed knowledge of the area you are selling or buying in, the current state of the real estate market, and the right actions you need to take to improve your chances for a speedy and successful home-selling experience.

If you’re thinking of selling a home in Arlington, VA or the surrounding area, please feel free to give me a call at (703) 593-6320 or email me at for ideas, information, free resources and all the help you need.

Real estate trends on their way out for 2019

If there’s one thing we learned from shag rugs and chevrons, some trends become classics, while others (thankfully) fade away. Here’s a quick list of disappearing real estate trends to be aware of if you’re planning a move or changes to your current home in the near future:

#1 Oversize is out. Secretly stylish is in

In this era of frugal mindsets and eco-conscious living, opulent statement homes and massive square footage aren’t appealing to as many homeowners. That’s where low-key luxury comes into play. Ostentatious and overdone homes aren’t what buyers are looking for when they think luxury these days. So take a second thought about adding swirled marble floors, 6-figure custom wall treatments or overly-themed décor. Instead, home buyers are looking for all the extras without all the drama such as game rooms, climate-controlled outdoor sport and living areas, expansive back yards with year-round kitchens, panic rooms outfitted with bathrooms and communications systems, wine cellars with full bars, and spa-like retreats – all hidden behind subtle facades that blend in with the neighborhood.

#2 Remote locations aren’t so great anymore

Today’s home buyers want to simplify their lives. That means they want their homes located near shopping, schools, work, dining and other services. An extra 10 or 20 minutes added on to a commute because of locked gates, remote roadways, extended entrances, etc. are not considered a luxury anymore, but rather an inconvenience.

#3 No more white-on-white kitchens

While white kitchens dominated the last few years of home design, in 2019 we’ll see a move toward natural materials and colors such as stone, copper, concrete, and granite. Bolder colors, painted cabinets, geometric patterns, and appliance finishes in more than just stainless will be seen more and more. In fact, According to a recent Zillow Paint Color Analysis, which examined more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country, homes that used blue or blue-grey paint colors in kitchens and bathrooms sold for thousands more than similar homes that used white paint.

#4 Accommodating all generations

Families are looking for homes that will accommodate the entire family and everyone’s special needs. By 2040, there are expected to be almost 80 million seniors accounting for 21 percent of the population. Many homes on the market aren’t equipped to accommodate the aging, so in 2019 expect to see more homes with walk-in showers, and master suites on the main floor, ADA compliant entrances or walkways, and features such as comfort-height toilets that will boost the value and comfort of the home for all.

The secretly stylish home next door

Take a peek inside that discreet rambler just a few doors down and you just might find some jaw-dropping amenities you never expected. In a real estate trend I’ve been watching, homeowners with big budgets are choosing to have it all by adding low-key luxury features to the homes they already love.

Here in the Arlington, Virginia area we’ve got our fair share of older homes, homes that have been handed down through generations and neighborhoods that people never want to leave. So when homes start to feel like they need an upgrade, moving isn’t an option. Instead, homeowners are focusing on adding luxury to their living spaces while leaving the exterior curb appeal just as it is.

In this era of frugal mindsets and eco-conscious living, opulent statement homes and massive square footage aren’t appealing to as many homeowners. That’s where low-key luxury comes into play.

Pull up to a single-story rambler with a subtle exterior and you may not expect to be wowed. But go inside and some of the features you might find include game rooms, climate-controlled outdoor sport and living areas, expansive back yards with year-round kitchens, panic rooms outfitted with bathrooms and communications systems, wine cellars with full bars, and spa-like retreats.

No matter the location, it’s always possible to reinvent the interior of a home to fit each homeowners’ personal design style without altering how the home fits into the neighborhood. For instance, if you’re a modern-design loving person who lives in a neighborhood that favors craftsman-style homes, the front of your home can feature a traditional, modest facade as seen from the curb. Inside, however, you can indulge your love of all things modern with Carrera marble, geometric patterned floors, and walls of windows that make a statement.

Backyards are a great place to indulge as well by dressing up decks and creating patio paradises. Designing outdoor living spaces are a great way to increase the feel of your home’s square footage as you let what you love to do inside spill over into adjacent spaces outside. Start from the ground up with flagstones, brick or tiles laid in intricate patterns to define your space. Water features such as extravagant inground pools, spas, waterfalls and even picturesque ponds are great ways to up the wow factor of your backyard. Intricate landscaping with twisting hidden paths and fairy gardens, she-sheds or getaways, art studios and outdoor kitchen and entertaining areas are even more ideas for adding some low-key luxury to the home you love.

If you want to live in Arlington Virginia and like the idea of buying a home with character on the outside and all you ever wanted on the inside I can help. Give me a call at 703-593-6320 or email

Luxury real estate trends that elevate any home

Throughout the United States, 2018 has been a year that defies expectations when it comes to the luxury real estate market. Even though frugal living and tiny homes are hot topics, buyers are still making the choice to pursue their dreams of multi-million-dollar homes.

Arlington and surrounding areas in Virginia are no stranger to the luxury home market. Beautiful properties with stunning homes can be found throughout Washington DC, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church and McLean. Even though these properties can be very unique, a few common trends are emerging that can be applied universally for anyone who wants the very best in their own home, no matter how big or small.

Tech-savvy smart homes

In today’s high-tech world, homes wired to adapt to the apps we use to control our daily life are highly desirable. Luxury homeowners demand the latest in wiring and accessibility for every corner of their homes. Every homeowner can benefit from adding some technology, however, to the point of elevating them in buyer’s eyes if they list for sale. Check out this Home Technology article for ideas to upgrade your home.

Strategic use of space

Luxury homes mean exceptional quality, but don’t require thousands of square feet to get there. Even in this market, homeowners want just the right amount of space with everything they need – and nothing they don’t. Instead of a dining room you never use, knock out a wall to create a stunning kitchen, or create a space you’ve always dreamed of like a yoga room or cozy library.

Spectacular kitchens

The heart of the home is the same no matter what size your home is. No matter if you’re a professional cook or just love to putter around with grandma’s recipe book, a luxury kitchen is appreciated in all areas of the real estate market. Trends we’ve seen include spacious islands with second sets of appliances built in, His and Hers Kitchens, and setups equipped to handle everything from grand galas to extended family reunions.

Unique Factors

High-end homeowners want custom finishes and features that reflect their personality and taste and add a certain wow-factor to their homes. Hand-crafted, specialty items can be incorporated everywhere in a home. Hand-carved doors make dramatic first impressions. Custom outdoor cooking areas, firepits and sculptured landscaping create unique and memorable living spaces. Love to travel? Specially-sourced items from exotic locations displayed in your home are a great way to highlight your unique personality.

Private Getaways

Homeowners are taking the idea of creating a special place within the home to new levels by creating luxury retreats that cater to their particular interests and give them a place that feels like they are removed from the cares of the world, without the time and travel it takes to jet around the globe. From backyards to basements and everywhere in between, this is a home trend worthy of taking a look at for creating unique and creative getaway zones in the comfort of your home. For ideas, check out this article: Luxury Retreats Just Steps From Your Front Door.

The staging area most people forget about – outside!

When you’re ready to sell a home, staging is always a good idea. But there’s one space often forgotten – outside! Outdoor living and entertaining areas are high on home buyers’ lists, so we’ve rounded up a few tips for maximizing your outdoor appeal.

The first thing you need to do for patios, decks and any outdoor space is declutter and clean. Store or give away furniture you don’t use, toys, lawn care and gardening supplies, and anything else that makes it hard to walk around your property or makes the space feel cramped or busy.

Thoroughly clean lawn furniture, freshen up cushions and pillows, and get rid of all cobwebs, dead leaves or anything else in corners, around furniture, or stuck to light fixtures. Make sure all landscaping and other outdoor lights are in working order as well, and timers are all functioning correctly.

Finally, remove all weeds or dead plants from landscaping or containers and replace with fresh, colorful seasonal flowers and plants.

Now it’s time to have some fun staging your outdoor areas. Many home buyers will be considering the potential of your outdoor space for entertaining, play time, or just relaxing after a long day. That’s why it’s important to make the outside of your home as appealing as the inside.

Creating outdoor living areas

Homebuyers want to be able to use their yards, patios and porches as extensions of their home. Staging areas outside to function like living rooms, dining rooms, entertainment areas, and even kitchens puts a spotlight on the potential of your home’s outdoor space.

Arrange furniture and add extras to create the ambiance you desire. For outdoor cooking or dining areas, set tables with linens, plates, silverware, glasses and fresh flower arrangements. Create cozy seating areas by adding pillows and cushions to armchairs places ready for a group to sit and chat. Add a center or side table with coasters, wine glasses and candles to make it more functional.

For small spaces such as balconies set up a bistro table and chairs with a coffee set, newspaper and flowers for early showings, or stage it as a cocktail hour for later showings.

Speaking of later showings, if home buyers will be touring your home at dusk, set a welcoming tone by turning on all landscape and decorative lighting, placing flameless candles on your table settings, and lighting gas fireplaces or firepits. (Always be sure to check with your Realtor about any open flames for safety’s sake.)

Whether you’re selling your home, or just want to freshen up the home you love and live in right now, I hope you’ve found some fun ideas you’re excited to start working on. Setting the stage both inside and outside your home for sale is a great way to show home buyers the potential of your home and motivate them to start enjoying it as soon as possible. Have questions, need a free home value assessment? I’m here to help at 703-593-6320.