Easy and inexpensive way to update older kitchens 

we recently decided that we couldn’t take the look of our 90’s kitchen, but didn’t want to spend $15,000 on a remodel. The cabinets we had were fine, but they were just a dark cherry with brass hardware. It basically looked like the kitchen cabinets from the move Home Alone. After watching a few videos and reading some articles on the Internet, we decided to tackle the project by ourselves. It didn’t hurt that I had some experience in painting and a sprayer at my disposal either. For less than $100 we were able to complete the project and did it in 1 day. We used all existing hardware and sprayed it with an oil rubbed bronze to give it a fresh look. We used a Behr alkyd paint for the cabinets and did it with one coat. Turned out fantastic and gave our kitchen a fresh new look. 






Questions about CMA adjustments

Q. How much is a garage worth in our market

A. Each property will vary, but a general adjustment would be $5,000 for a single car garage and $10,000 for a two car garage.

Q. Is there an adjustment for a busy road vs. subdivision streets

A. Yes. According to a local appraiser there can be as much as a $5,000 per lane deduction if it is a very busy road, but typically the adjustment will be between $5000-$10,000.

Q. Will adding a pool to our property increase the value and will we ever see our investment back?

A. A pool is a very unique situation because there is no middle ground. Some prospective buyers will like the feature and others will automatically rule your home out because of that pool. This will probably cut your potential buyers by 50%, but chances are there will be that buyer that loves it. The investment will probably never be recouped. Your investment in the pool will be for your enjoyment and just because you spent $25,000 on a pool, don’t expect the blue of your property to increase by $25,000.

Q. Is square footage really worth $100 per additional sq. ft?

A. No. Just because your house is bigger than your neighbors house by 300 square feet doesn’t mean your home is worth more by $30,000. I think anyone that thinks about this logically will see that 20 additional square feet can’t be worth a $100 bill per sq ft. An appraiser will give your property a packaged price and that can be valued per square foot, but additional square feet does have some value, but at a greatly reduced dollar amount. From what I have seen it is somewhere around 25%-30%.

Home cooked and Healthy

Sweet Potato Mushroom Tacos with a Mango Chili Salsa

Large sp tacos a

These sweet potato mushroom tacos are inspired by our friends at Fig & Honey who have created a delicious whole food dish that we know you’ll love! The base of the taco uses crushed avocado, and then adds layers of sautéed mushrooms, sweet potatoes and a delicious mango chili salsa. The flavors are incredible – but don’t take our word for it – order it this week and find out for yourself!


Medium sp tacos ht 1
  • 1 large ripe mango
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper**
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder**
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder**
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder**
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 6 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided*
  • salt and pepper to taste*
  • *not included
  • **Spice Blend


Medium screen shot 2015 04 24 at 9.55.05 am
Step 1 »

Rinse and dry all produce. Preheat oven to 400° F. Peel and dice the mango discarding the pit. Mince the garlic. Peel and dice the red onion. Slice the jalapeño pepper in half lengthwise, discarding the top, inner membrane and seeds. Mince the pepper and use as much as you like, depending on your affinity for heat. Slice the avocado in half lengthwise, discard the pit and set aside. Roughly chop the mushrooms. Remove cilantro leaves from stems, discard stems and roughly chop the cilantro. Slice the tomatoes in half.

Medium sp tacos ht 2
Step 2 »

Place sweet potato into a medium mixing bowl, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the spice blend of cumin powder, chipotle powder, cinnamon and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to taste, toss and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until potatoes are slightly browned and soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Medium taco mango salsa  1 of 1
Step 3 »

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño and mango in a medium mixing bowl. Add cumin and toss well to incorporate.

Medium mushroom saut   1 of 1
Step 4 »

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan, and sauté until mushrooms are softened and browned, about 7 minutes.

Medium mexican polenta ht 2  1
Step 5 »

Spoon out the flesh of the avocado in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado so that you can spread it onto the base of a tortilla shell.

Medium sp tacos ht 3
Step 6 »

Warm the tortillas in the microwave in a microwave safe dish for 30 seconds. Spread a tablespoon of avocado on a tortilla; add a tablespoon each of potatoes, mushrooms and salsa. Garnish with cilantro. Repeat for all 12 tortillas, and enjoy!

Easy updates to your kitchen

If you are like us and have a house built in the 90’s or just have cabinets that you would like to paint, here is a great video with amazing results. We are in the process of renovating out kitchen and turning it into a DIY project to save money. It is very easy if you follow the steps in the video.

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