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With a flooded market and tons of competition, selling a home in the summer can be worrisome for sellers  but it really shouldn't be. As any experienced real estate agent will tell you, houses sell every day in the summer, as long as they are priced right and are appealing to a buyer. Here are five essential summer staging tips to give your home the competitive edge it needs for a successful summer sale. 

1. Maintain Curb Appeal 

Curb appeal is essential, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Pull any dead shrubbery or plants and keep healthy ones trimmed back. Weed your garden, and consider placing a hardy ground cover, such as bark mulch, to keep weeds down and provide a finished look. 

Walkways, patios, and entrances are key points to consider, so edging sidewalks, the driveway, and weeding patio stones are key tasks that don't cost a penny. Finally, consider painting your front door and laying a new doormat to create a welcoming space that beckons buyers inside. 

2. Make Functional Outdoor Space 

During the summer months, it's important for buyers to see your outdoor area as added living space, rather than just another space to maintain. If you don't have seating on your front porch or backyard, now's the time to create a functional space that echoes the relaxation of lazy summer days. Online buy and sell sites are great places to pick up outdoor furniture at a fraction of the cost. 

Add a pop of summer color by placing bright throw pillows on existing outdoor furniture, and matching it with coordinating annuals or potted plants. Stage outdoor spaces with candles, place-settings, or fresh-cut flowers for showings to kick-start the imagination of potential buyers. 

3. Bring the Light In 

Natural light is a desirable trait in a home. But, even if you don't have much of it, you can successfully pull off the same vibe and give buyers what they want. Simply cleaning the windows in your home - inside and out - will let the light reach your rooms unfiltered. Replace heavy drapes with something light and gauzy. Open blinds and drapes for all showings and consider the role of wall paint in your staging. Some colors tend to absorb light rather than reflecting it back into the room, so consider painting over dark colors with a neutral shade. 

4. Pare Down 

An essential part of staging is clearing the clutter and depersonalizing the space. This does two things to help sell your home: It creates the feel of more space and helps buyers picture themselves in your home. A storage unit is a great investment to hold any extra furniture, unused or off-season items, and allows you to showcase the true potential of your home. 

5. Coddle the Kitchen 

It's no secret that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes in any season, but when selling in the summer, many buyers are considering how they can use the space to entertain. Providing an attractive place to do that just may be the difference that gets your home sold. If you don't have a backsplash, it is a quick and inexpensive way to add a finishing touch. Clean your cupboards and replace worn or tarnished hardware for modern appeal. Clear the counter of clutter, and leave only those small appliances that highlight the function of your kitchen. 

When it comes to summer staging it's all about bringing the inside-out and the outside-in. A whole-home approach will help buyers feel at home from the moment they pull up to the curb and will ensure that the great summer weather works for you. 

Reposted from www.coldwellbanker.com 
http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/5-essential-tips-for-staging-your-home-in-the-summer/

 
If you're shopping for a home, it's nice to think you won't settle for anything less than perfection. But come on, that's kind of like holding out for the 'perfect' partner-romantic, but unrealistic. Get a grip, folks! 

"No matter what stage of life you're in, you'll never find a house that meets all your needs forever," says Carrie Benuska, a Realtor at John Aaroe Group in Pasadena, CA. "And if you're too detail-focused, you could pass up one that suits you now or only needs modification." 

No, we're not telling you to just settle. But we want to make sure you aren't one of those overly hard-to-please, pie-in-the-sky idealists who'll end up with no home at all. 

Check out these signs your pickiness level is off the charts and could stand for some tapering back. 

Sign No. 1: You know exactly what you want-to a fault 

It makes sense to house hunt with a few basic criteria in mind (open kitchen, quiet street). But if your wish list is airtight and hermetically sealed (i.e., you pass up a home because your furniture doesn't fit in the bedroom), a great place could slip right past your radar. 

"People often think they know what kind of house they want before they start looking, but they usually don't," says Wendy Flynn, owner of Wendy Flynn Realty in College Station, TX. "Checklists should evolve as people visit more homes with priorities rising and falling." 

So, the less ironclad your wish list, the better. Flexibility is your friend. 

Sign No. 2: You're searching for your 'forever home'-even if it's your first 

They're called 'starter homes' for a reason: Odds are you won't stay there forever. Starter homes may be too small, or too far from your office, or even a tiny bit too unattractive, but if it's within your price range and satisfies some basics on your checklist, maybe you shouldn't pass over it so fast. 

Yet that's exactly what many home buyers are doing these days: According to Bank of America's Homebuyer Insights Report, 75% of first-time home buyers say they plan to forgo buying a starter home and instead are saving for homes that they'll love for a lifetime, with 35% wanting to retire in the first home they purchase. That's all nice, but you could end up waiting a whole long time before you can afford that. Why not build equity in a first home for five years before upgrading instead? 

So whether you're scouting school zone districts or making space for grandchildren before you're pregnant (yes, this happens, says Flynn), don't let fantasies of forever impair your judgment for the home you pick here and now. 

Sign No. 3: You think home improvement reality shows are actually realistic 

On TV shows such as 'House Crashers' and 'Property Brothers,' fixer-uppers are transformed into eye-popping showpieces in a matter of days. In reality, such renovations are extremely costly, complex, often nightmarish, and always time-consuming. Details are glossed over onscreen, raising people's real-life expectations. 

"I can tell right away if a client is super picky if he wants to make massive renovations to a home that aren't reasonable for the property or the neighborhood," says Flynn. "Other times, I'll jokingly say, Now, look, this isn't HGTV." 

Sign No. 4: Your real estate agent's getting exasperated 

Good Realtors genuinely want you to buy a home you adore, so defer to their industry expertise whenever possible. 

"I like to give my buyers the time they need to make their own discoveries and decisions," says Flynn. "But I also respect their deal breakers: If a home isn't a fit, let's leave right away and not try to convince each other it will work." And yet: Indecision can cause an agent to run circles around a client who won't consider perspective beyond their own. 

"Years ago, I had a client who always found a problem with every home I showed him, even ones he loved," says Benuska. "Eventually, I had to sever our working relationship-to this day, he still hasn't bought a home." The good news: "Oftentimes, the root of pickiness is fear," says Benuska. So if you've found a fantastic home and are nitpicking over the kitchen tile, ask yourself if you're truly ready to buy. 

Written by Elise Sole for realtor.com http://goo.gl/7y3Id3 

 
CAYMAN ISLANDS (January 22, 2016) - A doctor from Massachusetts is alive today thanks to quick reactions by hotel employees, first responders, and the skilled medical teams and surgeons at Health City Cayman Islands, and he now plans to partner with the facility that saved his life. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Judy Josephs, whose husband Leon had cardiac arrest while on a treadmill at the gym at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman last month, described the coordination of the hotel staff, many Caymanians and the Health City medical teams as a "Christmas Miracle." 

After vascular surgeon Dr. Leon Josephs collapsed, Caetano Barrato, Lead Loss Prevention Officer at The Ritz-Carlton, and other hotel employees recognized the symptoms of a cardiac event and administered CPR as well as two electric shocks, before the stricken American doctor was taken to the government hospital (Cayman Islands Health Services Authority). 

Once at the hospital, urgent measures were taken and arrangements were made for Dr. Josephs to be sped to Health City Cayman Islands where he arrived unconscious and on a ventilator. "Within 30 minutes he was taken to the cath lab and an emergency angiogram was done that showed one of the arteries was totally occluded and the other two were more than 95 percent blocked," said Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, Senior Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon at Health City Cayman Islands. 

The blood thinners Dr. Josephs was taking threatened uncontrollable bleeding, so immediate surgery was not wise. Health City doctors decided to delay surgery for 48 hours and used the time to run a battery of tests to ensure the operating team had as much information as possible by the time they started the bypass procedure.  

"The surgery took around five and a half hours and he came out of the operating room in very stable condition. After he came to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), within two hours he was taken off the breathing machine and his recovery was quite smooth and straightforward," said Dr. Binoy, as he is widely referred to. 

The Massachusetts doctor, Acting CEO and Vascular Surgeon of Reliant Medical Group, was unstinting in his praise for the medical teams at Health City: "I'm amazingly pleased with my care. I'm a vascular surgeon at home so I see plenty of patients after cardiac surgery and my care, my recovery, in my opinion, was as good or better than (anything) I've ever seen." 

He continued: "I saw my nursing care teamed with a doctor much more than I do at home. I found my doctors to be very easy to speak with. My physical therapists (were) very involved in a team with my physicians. So I really felt that there was a team-based care here that was really focused completely on the patient being the center of that. And I really don't think that it has anything to do with the fact that I'm a healthcare executive, or the fact that I'm a physician. I think that's how they treat everybody who comes through the doors of the hospital." 

After four days, Dr. Josephs was discharged from Health City and he retains positive memories of his post-operative care at the Health City campus with grounds carefully landscaped by a world class gardener. "This actually was a beautiful recovery ...the focus on patient satisfaction is visible and palpable. They live it every day and they're really good at it," said Dr. Josephs who disclosed his company will consider sending some of its patients to Health City for their care "because the model here is a model that the United States healthcare system is striving to get to." 

Senior cardiologist Dr. Ravi Kishore explained Health City is known for its care of patients and their loved ones because of its family approach: "I always think I'm part of the family, so I establish vibes very quickly with the patient. If it's only science it is going to be very tough. And only compassion is meaningless. You have to sensibly mix these things." 

Noting the Caribbean's reliance on tourism, Dr. Binoy suggested it was vitally important to ensure that there be more facilities capable of handling such urgent medical needs for locals and for visitors. It is different now for the Cayman Islands "because visitors can enjoy their holidays, knowing if anything happens we have a very well established tertiary care hospital here." 

The Cayman Islands will benefit from several more visits by Dr. Josephs as he will eschew U.S. doctors to undergo his follow-up checks with the Health City specialists: "In fact, we'll make a couple of trips (for) post-op checks that I would typically do at home but I think I'm actually going to just come down here and see Dr. Ravi (and) see Dr. Binoy instead just because I feel good about that. They were excellent." 

Health City Cayman Islands and Dr. Binoy will also benefit from Dr. Josephs' experience. "We're forming a partnership, actually. He's coming up for me to teach him some newer vascular techniques. Hopefully the day will come when I actually come down here and do some of those with him. That's kind of the plan we started to develop," said Dr. Josephs. 



Dr. Leon Josephs and Judy Josephs 

About Health City Cayman Islands 
Health City Cayman Islands, the vision of renowned heart surgeon and humanitarian Dr. Devi Shetty, is supported by two major healthcare organizations, Narayana Health and the U.S.-based Ascension, which is that nation's largest faith-based and nonprofit health system, providing the highest quality care to all with special attention to those living in poverty and struggling. Health City Cayman Islands provides compassionate, high-quality, affordable healthcare services in a world-class, comfortable, patient-centered environment. Offering healthcare to international, regional and local patients, Health City Cayman Islands delivers excellence in adult and pediatric cardiology, cardiac surgery, cardiac electrophysiology, medical oncology, orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatric endocrinology, gastrointestinal and bariatric surgery, neurosurgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, and pulmonology services. 

For further information, visit www.healthcitycaymanislands.com.

 
BANGALORE, India (January 13, 2016) - One of the world's top cardiac surgeons, Dr. Devi Shetty, is applauding the decision to clear the late Mother Teresa's path to sainthood. 

Mother Teresa, widely admired around the world as a champion of the poor in the slums of India, is expected to be declared a Catholic saint this year now that Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to her intercession. 

"I had the privilege of meeting Mother as a doctor, and I ended up becoming her disciple," said Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, chairman and founder of Narayana Health and Health City Cayman Islands, who served as Mother Teresa's personal physician for the last five years of her life. 

"Although I am a man of science, I recognized easily that this woman of faith was different. She possessed a divine compassion for all those who suffered, and she offered love in a way that surpassed anything I have ever witnessed," he recalled. 

Inspired by Mother Teresa's compassion for the poor, Dr. Shetty, 62, established a highly regarded network of 26 hospitals throughout India and one in the Caribbean. 

The Indian philanthropist and cardiac surgeon has applied economies of scale to provide affordable healthcare in south Asia and the Cayman Islands, bringing to life his vision of ensuring that high-quality healthcare is available to all in need, especially those who may not be able to afford such care. 

By improving efficiencies and employing highly trained doctors working with the latest technology, Dr. Shetty's skilled teams provide advanced technical surgeries at a fraction of the cost incurred in the United States. 

"Being in Mother Teresa's presence always transported me to a world of peace and calm," said Dr. Shetty, who credits the Catholic nun for his passion to make healthcare accessible to all. 

"Today, although I don't feel her physical presence, she always remains in my thoughts and prayers guiding me at every crossroad and keeping me on the right path no matter how trying it may be," said the doctor who has performed more than 15,000 heart operations in his career. 

Mother Teresa died in 1997 at age 87.  

About Health City Cayman Islands 
Health City Cayman Islands, the vision of renowned heart surgeon and humanitarian Dr. Devi Shetty, is supported by two major healthcare organizations, Narayana Health and the U.S.-based Ascension, which is that nation's largest faith-based and nonprofit health system, providing the highest quality care to all with special attention to those living in poverty and struggling. Health City Cayman Islands provides compassionate, high-quality, affordable healthcare services in a world-class, comfortable, patient-centered environment. Offering healthcare to international, regional and local patients, Health City Cayman Islands delivers excellence in adult and pediatric cardiology, cardiac surgery, cardiac electrophysiology, medical oncology, orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatric endocrinology, gastrointestinal and bariatric surgery, neurosurgery, minimally invasive spine surgery and pulmonology services. 

For further information, visit www.healthcitycaymanislands.com.

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