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Date Archives: July 2016

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July
28

A homeowner who desires a property to stand out from the competition must view everything as a business transaction. Emotional attachment to a home can impact potential buyers and make it difficult to detach from the property. Sellers who transition away from emotional connection into investment mode reap more financial rewards. Learn what potential buyers are looking for and how to make an existing property for sale more marketable.

 

Wish Lists

Homes sell quickly that have desirable features on a buyer's wish list. Retailers work to understand this market and corner it for profit. The same goes for selling a home. Mentioning the top features in a listing description can net a premium in how fast the home sells and the final sale price. Features such as 'barn doors' or 'subway tiles' can net as much as 13 percent more than expected and nearly 60 days faster than homes without the features. Carefully worded listings have an impact on a person's impression of a property.

 

Some of the following features are on the top of buyers wish lists in the current market:

  • Barn doors: homes with this description net 13.4 percent more than expected. Rustic sliding doors can be found in craftsman-style homes, in bedroom closets or kitchen pantries.

  • Shaker cabinets: homes featuring this item sold for 9.6 percent above expected value and 45 days faster

  • Farmhouse sink: homes with the trendy but functional kitchen sink net a nearly 8 percent sales premium

  • Subway tile: the added aesthetic and design feature of subway tiles catch a buyer's eye and sell for nearly 7 percent more than expected and 63 days faster.

  • Quartz: typically found on kitchen or bathroom counters, listings with the word 'quartz' sold for a 6 percent sales premium while homes with 'granite' only saw a 4 percent sales price boost.

 

Buyers in today's market prefer turnkey homes to renovations, updates and bells and whistles. The more features to entice a potential buyer, the better.

 

Big Rooms

Two of the biggest spaces in a home that have potential to sell a property are the kitchen and bathrooms. If a kitchen or bathroom is outdated, modest upgrades can really add value to the home and overall appeal to potential buyers. Splash some white paint on the cabinets, freshen the look, buy some stone countertops and replace old faucets with shiny, new ones.

 

Buyers Market

Certain features help sell a home more quickly. Even with time at a premium, it is beneficial to hire contractors to come in and do some minor upgrades to help sell a property with features from a buyer's wish list. Subway tiles in the kitchen or bathroom, barn doors and craftsman features have a proven track record of selling homes faster. Play up the features to help sell property in today's market.

 

Get more advice on how to create a home that attracts buyers.

Contact one of our agents today.

July
13

Taking an outdoor space from drab to fab does not have to cost a fortune. Any space can be made over with some simple tips for creating the look and feel of a brand new space which is easy on the wallet and freshens things up a bit.

 

Shape Matters

Tables and chairs can make a space wonderful for hosting friends and family outside. Consider a circular or oval-shaped table rather than square or rectilinear. Rounded tables make for easy access around the space and accommodate additional guests without a fuss without putting anyone into a corner.

 

Garden Walls

Most people focus energy on improving the ground space in a garden. Fences and walls can offer a wonderful design opportunity for the right space. Repurposing what already exists into planters, for example, can spruce up a patio and add a different look and feel. Small patios especially benefit from creating the perception of more space.

 

Top to Bottom

The top of a garden wall can be just as important as the ground space or erected walls. Planters can create a new look while providing a screen for any less-than-desirable views or privacy curtain from neighbors. The idea also works for someone who wants to plant more than available ground space provides. Utilizing more space can create flow and balance in the garden while putting some carpentry skills to use in the process.

 

Noise

Depending on where a person lives, the sounds in one's backyard may incorporate elements of nature such as chirping birds and buzzing bees. If this is not the case, including sounds from nature can help nurture the mind and soul. Including a fountain with running water which provides relaxation, masks traffic and other unwanted noise from the outside world. A free-standing fountain can provide just the right atmosphere with do-it-yourself kits available at many nurseries.

 

Draperies

Curtains or draperies can add softness and sun protection while also providing privacy. Cozy up a space with outdoor fabric for areas exposed to the elements. Panels with weighted bottoms don't blow around in a breeze and sheers provide nice protection from sun and rain while keeping bugs at bay.

 

Lights

A string of lights is an inexpensive way to transform an outdoor space. Design options are many from small to large, round to decorative. Paper lanterns are also an option in a covered area with less exposure to the elements for a fun, decorative patio.

 

Personalize

Take creative license to express personal taste with vintage finds or spruce it up with some artwork such as a mural. Friends and family will cherish the personal touch and style.

 

Reuse

The attic, basement and garage may hold underused pieces to make the outdoor patio shine. Hanging baskets can be made from old colanders or old crates can be made into a planter. The sky really is the limit on making a patio shine with just a few personal touches.

 

Get more advice on simple and inexpensive ways to give life to your patio!

Contact one of our agents today.

July
11

Moving houses can be one of the most stressful endeavors any person experiences. Problems may occur at any stage in the process, particularly when relocating personal items. Find out what some of the common moving problems can be and how to avoid being a victim.

 

Bad Movers

Many horror stories surround poor companies or personal movers who promise but do not deliver. Some of the common problems include:

  • Late movers or no-shows. Once an agreed-upon time comes and goes with no sign of a moving van, this can signal trouble. Stress and wasted time can make the process more difficult.

  • Careless or inexperienced movers. When movers arrive late, with a smaller than requested moving truck or lack proper knowledge and equipment for the job, relocation can quickly turn into a nightmare. Amateur movers may ruin property in the moving process.

  • Scam artists. Worst case scenario, an individual falls victim to a moving scam whereby movers request money for extra services and hold items hostage until the fee is paid. Some may steal expensive belongings and discard the rest.

 

Careful research and a thoughtful hiring process can make sure people deal with licensed, experienced professionals who can be trusted. Insurance for belongings can bring peace of mind to the process and save aggravation down the road.

 

Traffic

Traffic and road accidents can make a move more difficult. For instance:

  • Traffic jams: a moving truck is delayed, postponing the relocation goals until the next day or some days down the road.

  • Traffic accidents: a moving truck has to wait until damaged vehicles are removed and normal traffic is restored prior to moving on after a road accident. All possessions may be lost or in bad condition if something happens to the truck.

  • Breakdown: a moving truck may need to wait for help if the truck breaks down on the way to pick up belongings. In another scenario, items are damaged in transit.

 

Not much can be done to prevent accidents or breakdowns but selecting a moving company with experienced drivers with a positive reputation is a good place to start.

 

Get Organized

Many problems can be avoided when moving house if relocation plans are meticulous and done in advance. Some of the following ordeals may ensue, otherwise:

  • Packing more than movers agreed to relocate including items which won't fit in the truck, mislabeled boxes or not being ready when movers arrive.

  • Large furniture which does not fit in the doors may force items to be left behind or request additional services to move.

  • If utilities aren't transferred, electricity, gas and water will not be ready move-in day. License and registration needs to be updated or fines accrue. Documents can cause wasted time and money.

  • Booking movers last minute will surely cost more than booking in advance. Set a realistic moving budget, pack items after sorting and stick to the plan.

  • Avoid injuries and accidents by practicing safety first.

 

Get more advice on how to make sure you avoid these moving nightmares.

Contact one of our agents today.

July
6

People are visual when looking at homes. Curb appeal begins with most homes by looking at garage doors and spaces. If a garage door is in poor shape or is not well maintained, a home's appeal can go up rather quickly with a few adjustments and updates to suit any budget and style.

 

Timing

Replace garage doors during warm, dry weather. Hire a pro to help get the job done within a few hours.

 

Hiring

A garage door professional will have the most experience and expertise to fit and install the garage door and do the work needed to make it look nice.

 

Permits

A reputable pro will be able to say whether a permit is needed or not for the work. Contact the city or county government agency in the home's area to find out regulations and requirements before starting work.

 

Materials

The following are some materials which will be needed to get the job done:

  • Wood offers the widest range of options for design and works well in all climates. Cost is higher for wood than other materials.

  • Steel is less expensive than wood but can also rust and is not recommended in coastal areas.

  • Aluminum costs more than steel but does not rust. Coastal homes often benefit from the use of this material.

  • Tempered glass in an aluminum or wood frame can be well suited to modern and contemporary homes.

  • Fiberglass and vinyl are budget-friendly options which do not rust but may offer limited design options. Materials may also crack in colder weather.

 

Door Types

Several types of doors exist to fit any style or budget:

  • Sectional doors are the most common type. The doors typically roll up and down on tracks

  • Sliding doors are also known as barn-style doors that require a wider garage wall to accommodate the door once open

  • Swing-out doors are double doors that swing out when open. This style is not a good fit for cold climates with snow drifts that may block the doors from closing.

 

Expect doors to run anywhere from $300-$10,000 depending on the type of material and installation costs associated with having a professional remove, dispose of and install the new doors.

 

Design

Match the style of the new doors with the home, keeping in mind architectural features, materials and colors. Some tips to follow include:

  • Update Spanish colonial with a wooden garage door with iron hinges

  • Add rustic barn-style door to the farmhouse

  • Add a wooden garage door with rectilinear windows and trim to a Craftsman home

  • Match a modern home with a glass-paneled garage door

 

Getting Started

Follow these tips to get started on revamping the garage:

  • Browse photos online for ideas

  • Ask for recommendations from friends, neighbors and professionals

  • Have a professional measurement done, especially if custom doors may be needed

 

Get more advice on all the creative ways that you can revamp your garage.

Contact one of our agents today.

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