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Having a unique, well-designed living space doesn't have to be expensive. With a little creativity, you can repurpose old items into new furnishings or art pieces. Here are four ways you can incorporate repurposed items into your decor. 

1. Antique Trunks
A repurposed trunk that serves as decorative storage is a whimsical look that can add a rustic feel to your home. If you have an antique trunk from grandma, or if you find a great piece at a garage sale, use it in your living room as a unique coffee table. It can double as easily accessible storage for extra pillows and blankets.

2. A New Use for Vintage Ladders
Everyone needs a few house plants to add greenery to their home. A vintage wooden stepladder can become a tiered plant stand and add a creative touch. This impromptu plant stand will let light in at varying heights, but won't take up too much space. And it can be easily moved to help your plants get the sun and shade that they need.

3. Pick a Cohesive Color Scheme
Paint isn't just for walls. If over the years you have collected various types of coffee tables, end tables, and frames, then eventually you're house might start to look a little too mishmash. Pick a paint color that you love then update all pieces by sanding and refinishing them. This paint job will make your furniture look more like a cohesive set with very little effort—and money! If painting seems like too much work, try spray paint. There are durable spray paints available that will help ensure you don't miss any of the nooks and crannies.

4. Unique Wall Art
Hanging the things you love, whether it's a guitar, record albums, or maps, can bring a personalized artistic touch to your home without additional costs. If you don't want to invest in new artwork, turn your favorite items into art by displaying them. Make sure that items are safe behind sturdy frames, or if mounting instruments, that you're using the appropriate wall hangers.

Whether you are buying a new home or selling your old one, "comps," or comparable sales, are important. As a seller, they can be used as benchmarks to properly price your house. The last thing you want to do is undervalue it, which could end up losing you money, or overvalue it, which could make your property sit on the market for way too long. As a buyer, comps provide a ballpark figure that you can expect to pay in the current real estate market and, thus, help prevent you from overpaying for a property. The following are three things real estate agents keep in mind when looking at comps:

Look at the Location
As a seller, one of the first things to consider when looking for comps is location. This means looking at homes sold in your neighborhood. The same goes for buyers, who should compare nearby houses for sale to determine their house's value. If you can't find comps from the same neighborhood, then keep other boundaries in mind, such as school districts.

When Was the Home Last Sold?
The real estate market fluctuates a lot over the years, which means values can rise and dip substantially over time. If you can, look at houses that were sold within the last six months for a good comp. Even better, look at pending sales. Pending sales are deals in place between buyers and sellers that haven't gone through yet, which means they are the most up-to-date comps you'll find. Obviously, pending sales are something you don't have access to on your own, so it's helpful to have the assistance of a real estate agent who does have access to that kind of information.

What Are the Home's Features?
Location and time frame are huge factors in finding a good comp but so are the home's features. A one-bedroom, one-bathroom home is a bad comp for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. These aren't the only features that should be compared, though. A house with a luxury kitchen full of updated, energy-efficient appliances may sell for more than a house with a normal kitchen full of outdated appliances. Obviously, the odds that you'll find a perfect comp, whether you're a buyer or seller, are pretty slim when you consider that most houses have different features. It's something you should keep in mind, though, when evaluating comps to get a better understanding of how the home you want to buy or sell compares in terms of value.

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Tom Smith Team
Coastal Properties Group International
423 Mandalay Ave., #102
Clearwater Beach FL 33767
(727) 776-3375