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Articles Tagged "home presentation for sellers"

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June
20

What You Can Do if you Get Bad Home Inspection Results

Home inspections come with a nervous feeling of "what if," with the results potentially scaring away an interested buyer. Although home inspections are required, they should not be a step in the process you stress over. Remind yourself to stay relaxed and calm during the inspection, knowing you are equipped to tackle any results. At Choice Properties, we know the anxious feeling associated with the process, so we created a list of what you can do if you get bad home inspection results.

Be Prepared

Although you should not always expect the worse, being prepared for shocking news allows you to mentally process in a healthy way. Going into the inspection knowing you have physically and mentally prepared will let you welcome the results in a breeze. It can be hard to stay patient during this process as you are one step closer to selling to a potential buyer, but repairing any damages or concerns without rushing will ensure a promising reward.

Repair As Needed

When receiving a bad report, your mind is probably running circles wondering where to start. Take each project with a grain of salt, and remember to discuss with your trusted realtor and interested home buyer to develop a plan of action. If you agree to help the buyer with repairs, it is common to have them waive liability for later problems in exchange.

Even if you are surprised by the inspection findings, it's best to keep quiet until the buyer has presented you with a request of repairs or price reduction. The potential home buyers may not interpret the report as negativity as you do, saving you the stress and effort. If the buyer is interested in resolving the issues, schedule a chat with your realtor to review and discuss standard negotiating.

Selling your home the easiest way possible comes with learning to accept what you cannot control. Don't get ahead of any repairs before speaking to your realtor and determining a logical solution.




Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

April
5

Going Green: 6 Tips for Planting Your Spring Garden

Spring fever has come with the arrival of some warmer days and longer hours of daylight. This is the time people start to dream about rejuvenating the outdoor garden and picturing beautiful landscapes. Mulch, weeds and other things can get in the way of the dream garden. Learn more about how to choose the right plants to boost the appeal of a home garden that everyone can enjoy.

Plant a Spring Garden in Indian Lake

Dirt Matters

A soil test is the best way to see what is going on underneath the dirt in the yard. The local agricultural extension office can provide helpful information such as what will grow and how to improve the soil quality. Some of the follow are tips to help get started:

  • Add organic matter to the soil
  • Start a compost pile or add bags of composted manure
  • If soil is drained, plants that tolerate wetness are recommended or a dry creek bed can be installed to prevent standing water

 

Tree Challenges

The trees planted in a person's yard can make a huge difference to the health of a garden. Some trees drop seeds all over and others can dwarf a person's house over time. It is important to select a shrub or tree for the garden with the following considerations in mind:

  • Size
  • Form
  • Habit
  • Avoid planting trees with weak limbs or susceptible to pests

 

Know the Garden

There is more to a garden than 'full sun' and 'partial shade.' Too much sunlight can burn foliage and compromise plant health. Too little sun can make plants weak. Selecting plants that thrive for a person's specific conditions is key to making the whole thing work properly.

  • Eight or more hours of direct sun is a perfect spot for vegetables, fruit trees and most flowers
  • Partial to full shade is most ideal for growing perennials, ferns and small trees typically found in the understory of a forest

 

Have Confidence

Look for healthy plants. Inspect foliage at the place of purchase and check the plant for firmness along with healthy roots. The best place to buy is a local garden center or online from reputable nurseries.

 

Four Seasons

Choose a variety of plants to start that offer interest at different times of the year. Summer-blooming plants like canna, coneflowers and guara keep showing until fall while others can take over as fall foliage. Winter plants like trees can add architectural beauty through the colder months.

 

Divide and Conquer

Some of the best plants are perennials or ornamental grasses that can be divided up to grow across a garden over the years. Digging up and dividing plants help keep them actively growing. A healthy amount of water helps keep the plants establish in the ground and grow healthy. This is best done every two years to support a cohesive look to a person's garden.

 

Spring gardening has endless possibilities. Be sure to try the above tips to find the best ways to help grow a sustainable, interesting garden for years to come.


August
2

Whether a first-time buyer or one with experience, inventory is slim but lots of competition exists which can lead to a frustrating seller's market. Quick, easy sales are best for buyers. Sellers and buyers can benefit from some of the following tips for maximizing home selling and buying and the current competitive market.

 

Sellers and Buyers

The following tips will help any person selling a home or purchasing know what to look for when stepping into the current market.

 

Seller: Prepare, inspect, disclose and plan ahead. The market is less forgiving if a person makes a mistake. A home which goes 'back on the market' may mean less money in an eventual sale. Holding onto the first buyer is critical. Put issues out front for potential buyer. Be prepared to disclose any issues such as a leaking roof or other defects that may kill the deal before it is sealed.

 

Buyer: Be ready to move. Buyers are aggressive, motivated and ready to go. To compete with the market, be serious about becoming a homeowner. When a desirable listing pops up, make time to go see the property as it may not be available for long. With a seriously motivated seller, the buyer make work with the seller and take it off the market which leads to disappointment for other potential buyers who missed the boat.

 

Seller: Have a strategy. Don't move too quickly on an offer if others may come in. Work with a reputable agent who knows going in what to expect from the market (and prospective buyers). It may work to wait a week to 10 days, have more showings then review offers. It may also work to act on the offers that come in. The wrong approach may result in missing a better offer to come or lose momentum of the current (motivated) buyer.

 

Buyer: Win some, lose some. A few houses will go by the wayside before the right one comes along. Go with the flow to avoid frustration. Missing out can be a motivating factor to up the ante next time.

 

Seller: Know the competition. A smart seller will hit open houses well before homes hit the market. Pricing is key in a competitive market, especially with today's herd mentality. When someone wants a home, it must be desirable and have value to other people. Well-priced homes that show well grab immediate attention of buyers and sell faster (often for more money).

Preparation

Real estate is not a cheap investment and the process can be stressful. Sellers and buyers need to be on top of the game to find success. Sellers have the advantage to plan in advance of going on the market. Buyers must be reactive and prepared to move on a dime. It may feel like a wild ride, but the home of one's dreams is worth fighting for in a hot market.

 

Get more advice on the tips to this year's seller's market.

Contact one of our agents today.

 

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.

June
23

A home which provides eco-friendly features can sell well in today's market. Geothermal systems, solar panels, Energy Star-rated appliances and LEED certification go far when selling a home. Home builders and sellers of upgraded homes that provide 'green' features spend a fair amount but whether a prospective buyer cares about it depends on many factors. Learn what the factors are and how to position a home with 'green' features for the marketplace.

 

Feature, Fixture or Finish

Prospective homeowners look for features to touch, feel and show off to friends and family. Spa-like bath, media room or a chef's kitchen all have buying power. A buyer may not necessarily pay extra when it comes to home improvements that cannot be seen (such as the roof, boiler or new plumbing). Green features fall somewhere in the middle. A buyer may pay extra for 'cool features' such as an energy-saving thermostat which can be controlled from a mobile phone but will not necessarily pay extra for reclaimed hardwood and unique air filtration systems.

 

Savings

A consumer will not spend a huge chunk of money on a home but if a green home means savings, short term or down the road, buyers usually listen. Resale value such as a high-tech thermostat or remodeled kitchen can present a great scenario for buyers who receive value from the feature while also having built-in equity.

 

Green vs. No Green

Most buyers will make a cost-benefit analysis with new constructions. With extra cost must come extra value to the consumer in the form of an immediate tax credit or other benefit to make the purchase worthwhile. The cost of a new system which provides such benefits and requires zero out of pocket cost has great curb appeal. A buyer is able to realize savings in lower energy bills and savings over the long term but not everyone wants to pay for green features, regardless of savings. Overall, buyers who plan to be in the home a shorter time have less to benefit from the cost savings than those who plan to stay long term. A future buyer likely will not pay extra, especially in a down market.

 

Growing Market

Some new buyers are concerned for the environment and want to give back, financial features of a home notwithstanding. Whether or not the features are cool is not significant as an environmentally friendly focused buyer will pay extra anyways.


Green features are becoming a mainstay in the housing market. Today's consumer likes to see some of the features when shopping to consider environmental impact alongside cost savings. This, weighed against particular real estate decisions, can ultimately add up with personal considerations such as location, floor plan, number of bedrooms and, of course, green features. All of the above add up to choices worth prioritizing when searching the market for that perfect home.

 

Get more advice on ways you can get started on creating an Eco-Friendly home.

Contact one of our agents today.

June
14

The start of seller season in real estate begins April 1st, which also happens to be April Fools' Day. The time to sell a house is list it now and get ready. Homes show better in springtime. A seller is more likely to move a house quickly at good market value this time of year. In a competitive market, sellers may make a mistake by waiting to list property. Spring is a great time to showcase a home's best assets and help people envision living in the property. Some simple, yet effective, tips can position a seller's home on the market, save stress and help retain power of negotiation for fair market value.

 

First Impressions

Curb appeal is very important when selling a property. Landscape can take time to maintain. Instead, go with low-water grass and drought-tolerant plants. Visit the local garden center and explore native plants. Spruce up the front yard and back patio. Potential buyers love to see how relaxation and entertainment is possible in a new space. Make the front porch and entryway as attractive as possible as potential buyers will stop at this point to get into the home and have time to look at surroundings.

 

Model Home

The emotional connection to a home is an important selling point.. A home that sells fast is one which follows these get-ready tips:

  • De-personalize the space to help potential buyer envision living there

  • Remove family photos and kids artwork

  • Edit collections, books, closets, cabinets, pantry and end tables

  • Make home look as big as possible to showcase rooms

  • Focus on big spaces in the home which will be used often like the kitchen (functionality, neutral design choices)

  • Splurge on a few main spaces which have a lot of resale value (master bath, living room)

 

Marketing

A house will not sell itself without some help. Think of the process in three parts: pricing, listing, showing. View comparable properties in the area then set a competitive price point to ensure a quick sale.

 

Get more people to the open house by listing the property on a Friday before opening the home the following Sunday. The long exposure helps before showing. Following the open house, compare all offers on Sunday night. In a good market, multiple competing offers will be given and the home can sell at or above the list price.

 

Competitive markets may be more aggressive. Direct mailers may be needed to potential buyers to let everyone know about the property for sale. A 'broker's open' invites brokers and real estate agents to view the property before an open house to receive feedback on selling more quickly.

 

Forget Perfect

Highlight the positives of the property such as access to schools, health clubs or green space like parks. A positive approach will help the property sell quickly and easily, a win-win for all parties involved.

 

Get more advice on how to get ready for this years selling season. It's a hot one!

Contact one of our agents today.

June
7

The entryway is a high traffic area in most any home. Coats, backpacks, shoes and accessories tend to be dumped as soon as people enter the door which leads to an accumulation of stuff which makes it difficult to wade through. Learn some practical tips and ideas to help manage a high traffic hallway with minimal effort.

 

Display accessories. Outdoor clothing is usually stored near the exit but does not have to be hidden from view. Find attractive hooks to hang coats, hats and scarves to avoid a messy pile up. Swap out the winter accessories for sun hats, beach bags and blankets in the summer.

 

Add furniture. Create more surfaces to place items such as an upholstered bench, basket and coat rack for the hallway to provide spots for outerwear. The space will also look more cozy and welcoming with a personal touch.

 

See through a child's eyes. Kids need dedicated pegs to hang coats and hats easily without throwing items in a heap on the floor. Let kids choose a hook and give lessons on how to install safely for a fun learning opportunity which can motivate kids to use the hooks.

 

Repurpose dishes. A small dish or plate on a table can create order with minimal effort. Creating a small space to drop items quicklysuch as keys or loose change keep things orderly.

 

Use ledges or shelving to elevate items. Install a small shelf or ledge to place bags or purses on the wall. Not only will this save space but makes it easier on the body by not lifting heavy objects off the floor.

 

Opt for open. Rather than hiding the family's items from sight, create a system of open storage that makes it easy to grab and go. Separate pieces can add character to the hallway.

 

Line up baskets. Crates, baskets and salvaged drawers are an affordable yet visibly appealing way to create extra storage. Make the most of a series of containers against the hallway wall.

 

Make a feature. Get creative by making a beautiful backdrop for coats and bags and other bobbles which accumulate around the hallway. Frame the space with antiques such as a dressmaker's mannequin to hold coats or hats and similar pieces which add a bit of fun and flair to any space.

 

Stay hidden. Large pegs and shoe racks help keep items hidden with minimal fuss behind doors. Install shelves and hooks where needed and work out where the family will place individual shoes, gloves, helmets and other items to keep the space clutter free.


Upgrade the umbrella stand. The messiest item in the house (aside from muddy boots, children coming in from outside and pets) is a dripping wet umbrella. Leave it by the door in a fancy stand which keeps water from the floor, avoiding a potential slipping hazard.

 

Get more advice on unique ways to keep your hallways tidy!

Contact one of our agents today.

November
24

When staging your home to sell, there are a couple of key points you want to keep in mind. First, is that first impressions really do mean everything. Second, less is more. A potential buyer wants to walk into an aesthetically pleasing space which they can easily imagine themselves living in, not some place that is cluttered or decorated with bold bright colors or other personal touches.

Any professional stager will tell you it's all about selecting great décor pieces which utilize the existing space. The ultimate goal is a positive impact on potential buyers.

 

Here are five staging suggestion tips to turn a home listing into a sold home;

Spend some time with your realtor and get to know your potential audience. Remember, you aren't selling to yourself but to a broad market. Trust your realtor to help you stage to the buyer demographic most likely to be viewing your home.  

 

We can't stress enough that you want to remove your personal touches when putting your home on the market. First thing you should do is pack up the family photos. Empty walls are much easier for a potential buyer to see as a canvas of possibilities should they decide to purchase the house.

 

Design trends do tend to have a short lifespan; however, a well-staged and marketed home should have a short list time as well. Taking a gamble on a current fad, like airy aqua or bright Mediterranean blue accents, could give you the leg up with a 'fresh' feel to the property, so don't be afraid of trends.

 

While you want a space to overall be neutral—a blank space for the buyer to visualize with—adding a splash of color can go a long way to making a property memorable. Think subtle, but striking. A room with the main walls painted a beige tone with an accent wall in teal can then be finished with teal and cream accent items throughout the room. The result will be a chic, trendy space where the buyer has room to add their own personal touches, but can see the potential the space has because of the decorating start.

 

Continuing the idea of showing the buyer a space's potential, you'll want to stage a space with as many functional pieces as possible. Avoid overcrowding. Simple, practical, and functional furniture pieces will demonstrate how livable the space is.

 

For more tips on how to stage your home with the buyer in mind.

Contact one of our agents for special advice.

 

November
10

Want to give your home a face lift but don't have a magically refilling wallet? With a budget of about $5,000 and a solid game plan, you can get a fresh new feel for your home this winter!

Home Improvements on a Budget

When working with limited funds, it's best to focus on the kitchen and bathrooms. These are the areas which are used the most, and if there's a chance you'll be selling your home anytime in the future, these are also the areas that buyers will show the most scrutiny over. With some finesse, you can even look at adding living space by enhancing your available outdoor areas.

Kitchens

A functional kitchen is a beautiful kitchen so start by assessing your cabinet situation. How practical are they? Could you use deeper cupboards? Taller? Wine-racks and spice storage might be beneficial, as well as a walk-in pantry to not only make better use of the space, but give you better control over your food supplies. Knowing what you have on hand will ultimately help out your grocery bill!

If you're happy with the cabinetry, other areas you can consider upgrading/updating are lighting and plumbing fixtures. Again, look for replacements that are not only 'pretty' but have 'green' benefits. These will eventually pay you back in utility bill savings, not to mention you can claim eco upgrades on your taxes. Win-win: help the environment AND put money in your pocket.

Bathrooms

Carry the green theme into your bathrooms. Update lighting and plumbing. While you're at it, consider giving the outdated tub/shower a facelift. Nothing says luxury like a tiled shower area, complete with a bench and a shelf area to house your assorted soaps and shampoos.

Outdoor Improvements

Create an outdoor living area to give your usable living space a boost. Actually building on new rooms can get quite costly, but a few dollars can go a long way toward turning a bland patio into an oasis. Things you'll want to keep in mind when creating your outdoor escape:

  • granite, pavers, or flagstone for the 'floor'

  • mulch landscape beds for visual appeal (if you don't have landscaping, consider a few potted plants)

  • provide shade by building a pergola or installing a retractable awning

  • if in a hot climate, consider installing outdoor fans and/or a misting system

  • water features will help with temperature as well, and can provide an audible escape


If you're looking to bring some life and energy to your home, a $5,000 budget can add quite a bit of flair and improvement to your house. Homes in Logan County are always beautiful but the upgrades keep them fresh. If you've recently updated your home, let us know!  Send us a picture and we'll feature it on our blog!

 

For more tips on how to upgrade your home with the buyer in mind.

Contact one of our agents for special advice.

 

October
7

Selling a home rarely happens overnight, yet sellers can find it frustrating if it seems that too much time is passing without closing the deal. On average, a home shouldn't take more than six weeks to sell—if the market is strong and the property is priced appropriately. If it sits much longer, buyers can become wary, so let's look at some ways to generate interest if your home isn't selling as fast as you'd like.

 

Location, Price, and Condition

While you can't just move your home to a different part of town if traffic is low, you can reassess the price you're asking, and whether it's comparable to other homes in the area in addition to what the property itself offers.

If you've got some time, and have received consistent feedback over issues with the house, then you may want to go ahead and take the house off the market for a short time to address those issues. There are low-budget fixes you can do to make a house more desirable. Sometimes it's as simple as decluttering, slapping on a coat of a fresh paint, and putting out fresh flowers. In other instances, it could take a little more . . . maybe updating the kitchen and/or baths will be what it takes.

If you are unable to spare the time or money for a remodel, or the location is out of your hands no matter how nice the house actually is, another option is to go ahead and reduce the asking price.

 

Do You and Your Realtor Have the Same Goal?

As large an investment as a home is, you want to be sure that your Logan County real estate agent has your back. Be honest with your expectations from the first meeting with them. Also, be open to their suggestions and recommendations. Remember, they do this for a living and it's their job to know the market you're trying to crack. A good agent won't let you undersell or overprice, and will be willing to pursue offers by following up with any potential buyers who've shown interest.

 

If you are having trouble selling your home, let us help!

October
7

Fall is in the air and the days are getting cooler. Time to pack up summer, then pull out the winter gear. This is also the perfect time to give your closets a good tidying. Here are some suggestions from professional organizers for organizing your closet space.

 

Sort 

The chief design officer for California Closets, Ginny Snook Scott, suggests the first step you need to take on is pulling everything out of your closets and then sorting the stuff into four distinct piles.

  • Now Pile—often used and worn

  • Someday Pile—special occasion clothes that still fit

  • Never Pile—face it, you're never going to put these items on again (Geralin Thomas, who is the president of Metropolitan Organizing in Raleigh, North Carolina, recommends that any "trophy garments," those that do not fit or you're keeping only because you paid a small fortune for it but are honestly never going to wear again, need to go. The money isn't coming back and all these items are doing are cluttering your space.)

  • Seasonal Pile—self-explanatory

Ms. Scott recommends going through your Someday Pile once again, see how much you can move to the Never Pile.

 

Sort Again

The first step is always the easiest, but now comes the hard part. Eliminating. For real.

Most people find that their Never Pile is often much larger than they anticipated it would be—up to 40% or more of the closet content. With this discovery usually comes motivation to keep going, to do more. Use this mindset to revisit the Now Pile; see just how much of it you can shift to the Someday and Never Piles.

 

Keep Up Your Resolve

Get that Never Pile boxed and bagged, ready for repurposing by either donating them to a goodwill store, passing them on to friends or family who can and will use them, or setting aside for a garage sale. DO NOT STORE these bags where you will be tempted to sift through or have 'one last peek'.

 

Organize the Seasonal Pile

  • Wash (or have dry cleaned) anything that is getting packed up. You don't want any lingering toiletry products on the clothes as this will draw insects. **Make sure all items are completely dry before they get stored. Unpacking your clothes to discover them threaded with mildew is nobody's idea of fun.

  • Use air tight, clear plastic containers which have been clearly labeled with what is inside.

  • Store the bins out of sight, but in an easily accessible place.

 

"Never store clothes in plastic bags like those from dry cleaners. Store them in cotton zip-up bags. No mothballs. No exceptions."  ~ Geralin Thomas

 

You're Almost Done!

 

Take advantage of the fact that the closets are empty by getting in there with the vacuum. You want to suck up all those lingering dust mites which destroy fabric and play havoc with people's allergies.

This is also a good time to evaluate your hangers. Wire hangers should go back to the dry cleaners or get recycled; these are meant for temporary use, using them long-term will stretch and ruin the shape of your clothes.

As you return the Now Pile items to your freshly cleaned closet, professional organizers suggest you "group" like items, i.e. shirts, dresses, pants, et cetera. If you want to go all out, you can do each group by color or style.

 

Enjoy the fruits of your labor. It's okay to go treat yourself to one or two new items, just don't go too crazy.

 

Get more advice on organization in any space.

Contact one of our agents today.

 

October
5

 

Plants are essential to the human way of life. We produce carbon dioxide, a poisonous gas which the plants take and convert into the oxygen that we need to breathe. Pretty important.  And they're beautiful, so why not decorate your Logan County home with a splash of life.

 

Strategically Place Plants to Maximize their Aesthetic Functionality

Kitchen. Herb gardens are functional while cooking, as well as pleasing to the eye—and perfect for apartment living where space is limited and major decorating may not be allowed. Also consider low-maintenance plants which are vine-like or create long tails as beautiful additions to upper alcoves (if you're willing to climb up and water them once a week).

Use tall, open-styled bookshelves as plant stands—they are decorative and practical. Avoid bookcases for clustering as any plants you put toward the back will not get the light and ventilation they need.

Create an oxygen-rich lush atmosphere in your dining room with a few well-placed large potted plants. If you like the 'jungle' look, you can also cluster smaller pots on windowsills or side-credenzas. Consider hanging one or two from the ceiling with macramé plant holders for a bohemian feel.

If continually changing out floral arrangements isn't your thing, consider a planted centerpiece. Wheatgrass, cat grass, and herbs are good options for the dining table, though any small, low-lying potted plant will work (you want to see the person across the table from you). Protect the table from drips with saucers underneath the plants to collect water.

Are you fortunate enough to a sun room or greenhouse? Load that bad boy up, and even have a go at something exotic or tropical. These rooms are often humid and full of direct sunlight.

Fresh greenery in your bedroom will help clean the air, refreshing the atmosphere while you sleep.

 

Not Everyone Has a Green Thumb (and even those who do, don't have it all the time)

At one time or another we've all killed a plant, it happens. Don't get discouraged. Go ahead and give it another try with these growing tips:

  • Look for healthy plants at a reputable nursery (knowledgeable staff will help you choose the right plant for your situation)

  • If you're bad about watering, use the alarm feature on your smart phone to set TIME TO WATER reminders

  • Fussy plants (like ferns) love to take a bath … or at least be in the warm "tropical" atmosphere created by steamy bathrooms.

  • If you don't trust yourself to spread the plants out, cluster them up. You'll have one place to stop and water, plus this allows the plants to create their own little ecosystem and micro-climate (good for preventing water loss).

September
21

 

From mid-century ranchers and ramblers to 21st century Mediterranean villas and works of abstract architecture, in the half a century plus which has elapsed since the '50's, home floor plans have changed. They've grown in size, number and use of rooms, and even lighting has evolved to be more 'natural' . . . skylights and picture windows favored by many for the outside hues they let in.

Let's take a look at the main rooms that have transformed over the years.

 

The Kitchen

Then: Appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers were a novelty in the 1950s. Not everyone had them, and those that did, wanted them displayed. As a result, over time walls have been removed to open up floorplans, leading into today's open kitchens with islands that are often the central gathering place of a home.

Now: The more decked out, open, and inviting the kitchen space, the more appealing the house is overall to potential buyers.

 

The Dining Room

Then: Hosting dining parties where everyone gathered in a separate dining room was a way to show status and station in life. A well-liked hostess was one who could ooh and ahh her guests—and making her husband proud, Mrs. Cleaver-style—with each dish she brought out from the kitchen.

Now: Meals are no longer the formal affair they were, gatherings are reserved for holidays and special occasions, and so most designated dining areas tend to be used as offices or play spaces for younger children.

 

The Living Room

Then: The living room was considered the family room and was often placed toward the back of the house, away from the front entertainment areas, for privacy. In the '70s, designers began incorporating conversation pits or sunken living rooms, and gradually, these rooms were brought more to the forefront of the floor plans.

Now: A shared space, the living room is a space that tends to open into other rooms, making the house inviting and welcoming to guests. Not only are the spaces larger, design trends have gone taller … vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and open lofts are all quite common.

 

The Bathroom

Then: Bathrooms were purely functional—get in, do your business, get out. One to a household sufficed on most occasions, and was often "shared" by household members. While little Johnny brushed his teeth, baby Davey was getting his bath . . . that kind of thing.

Now: Floorplans now account for at least a 2:1 ratio of bedrooms:bathrooms, but it's not uncommon for the ratio to be higher, so that nearly every occupant in the house gets their "own" bathroom.  Master bathrooms can be turned into private retreats, racking up the expense with specialty tubs, showers, vanities, and flooring materials.  

 

The Master Bedroom Suite

Then: Bedrooms weren't a place to hang out or relax. Closets were small, as were wardrobes, and available floor space was compact.

Now: Following the mindset for the master bathroom, the master bedroom has typically been given more square footage than any other room in the house, next to the living room and kitchen, in today's floor plans. It's not uncommon for master "suites" to have sitting areas, walk in closets, and of course, the attached spa-like bathrooms.

July
22

Has the time arrived for you to put your home on the market? Buying or selling a home in Bellefontaine and Greater Logan County is considered one of the most stressful events you can experience in your lifetime. Here are a few tips to reduce the stress and help you stage your home to sell in Central Ohio.

 

Tip 1: Invite a Pro In

Getting a realtor or interior designer to check out the property is the best way to make plans which will work with your home. Most realtors are happy to do this as a courtesy, but if you seek out an interior designer, then plan on paying a consultation fee (check around, average rates should be about $100/hour, and an hour is all you should need with them at this stage). What you're looking for are suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement, which can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home.

 

Tip 2: Get a Home Inspection

While it would be nice to think that a little elbow grease and a fresh coat of paint will make your house buyer friendly, not every homeimprovement is cosmetic. If you don't know something with your structure is damaged (like deteriorating roofs, possible termite infestations, plumping issues, or outdated electrical systems) then you can't fix it. An inspector will come in and check out the areas that you don't think about or normally see.

 

 

Tip 3: Now It's Time to Paint

You've met with the professionals and have a game plan; you're first step will probably be paint—one of the simplest, most cost-

effective improvements. Freshly painted rooms give a clean updated feel, which says value to buyers. Keep in mind that neutral tonesappeal to the greatest number of people when choosing your colors. You can bring in a professional or save a few bucks and do it yourself, or even plan a block paint party!

 

Tip 4: Inspiration is All Around

A professional designer not in your budget? Have no fear, you can always browse design-themed magazines, books, TV shows, and websites. When you find an idea you like, tear it out or write it down and start your own shopping list. Keep it simple when remodeling or fixing up on a tight budget.

 

Tip 5: Cleanliness Counts

First impressions are priceless. Don't ruin yours by not having the house clean and show ready when your Choice Properties Realtor begins scheduling viewings. If it's in your budget, consider bringing in a cleaning service to give the house a thorough top to bottom scrub to make it shine.

 

Tip 6: Increase Square Footage Visually

While you can't physically increase your home's square footage without building on, there are some things you can do to give the appearance of a bigger space. Replace weighted draperies with vertical blinds or shutters to let light in. A sunny room feels larger and more open. Mirrors are a great accessory to double the optical space; strategically placed, they can give the impression a room is twice as big as it actually is. Lastly, get rid of the clutter and knick-knacks to diminish the cramped feel an abundance of these items can leave behind.

 

Tip 7: Make the Bathrooms a Priority

Bathroom remodels or updates are always a good idea. Even if you can't afford a full overhaul, tiny changes like addressing old wallpaper or faux finish treatments, replacing light fixtures, or bringing in new linens will make the space welcoming. We spend a lot of time in our bathrooms, so buyers are extra picky about these rooms.

 

Tip 8: You Can't Go Wrong With Energy-Efficient Fixtures

How modern are your light and other ceiling fixtures? Is your thermometer digital? Besides upgrading these to be aesthetically pleasing, by replacing outdated fixtures with energy-efficient ones you'll lower the overall cost of running the household and be helping the planet.

 
July
17

 

Your home is an investment, and protecting your asset—whether it's a short term or long one—should always be a consideration. Maintenance and regular upkeep of your home and landscaping will save many headaches down the road. Here are a few suggestions for getting the most out of your investment while enjoying your Logan County home.

 

INSIDE:

  • Check with your utility company about having a free energy audit done. They can make improvement suggestions for maximizing the energy efficiency of your home. Not only will keeping your house updated put more pennies in your pocket now, it'll make the property appealing to future buyers.

  • Want a bit luxury without spending a lot? Install a water filtration system in your kitchen. These systems purify your water, they'll lower your grocery bills if you're a bottled water consumer, and once again, are appealing to potential buyers.

  • Are your ceilings outdated? "Popcorn" is no longer a desired design element. REMEMBER! Older ceilings could contain asbestos, so if there is any uncertainty in yours before taking on this project, get it tested by professionals. Tackling popcorn DIY style? Click HERE for a how-to.

  • There's nothing worse than bad air quality—which can have many culprits from outside seasonal allergens to hidden filth in your home. Older carpets might be harboring contaminants and allergens, especially if you have pets. You can hire a professional company to test the indoor air quality. If the results call for replacement, choose natural products like tile or laminate floors that are friendly on the environment. BONUS: Non-carpeted floors are easier to clean and will give your home an updated look.

 

OUTSIDE:

Curb appeal is everything, even if you aren't in the immediate market to sell. A satisfied Home Owner's Association along with happy neighbors translates to a quality way of life for you as an Indian Lake homeowner.

  • Short term: If it's in your budget, hire a lawn care company to be responsible for weekly grooming on your lawn and any shrubbery. If it's not in your budget, then do it yourself. Or put your teenager to work. Keep your lawn watered, trimmed, and free of insect infestation.

  • Long term: Landscaping. Mature shade trees provide curb appeal, reduced cooling costs when strategically located, and help the environment by providing habitat for wildlife, something that is dwindling the more we develop lands. Another thing to consider for enhancing curb appeal are shrubs and colorful flowers. Purchase plants that are found in 'your neck of the woods' for best results. If possible, look at drought-tolerant varieties as well to help your water bill. Here are some suggestions from Better Homes and Gardens for native plants.

May
12

 

A beautiful home in Logan County is only partly about the house itself. A great deal of the value of a real estate property is the level to which you maintain and care for the lawn and landscaping. With summer getting here and the grass starting to grow again, now is the time to get some control over your landscaping in order to present the best possible homes on the market in Logan County. In order to help you prepare for lawn mowing season, we've prepared a few general tips and best practices to help you get in the spirit of summer.

 

Mow Your Lawn Weekly

Grass grows at a steady rate in Ohio and most healthy lawns require mowing every week or at least every other week. A good three inch height for grass is healthy and allows it to continue to stay green and lush.  Anything shorter runs the risk of cutting it too close to the roots and it will lose its color and health. The hotter and drier the weather, the slower your lawn will grow so you may not have to cut the grass as often when things get really hot.

 

Water Your Lawn for Health

Brown grass is as bad as no grass at all so when it's hot and dry, it's important to keep the lawn watered.  A well-watered lawn will grow fuller and greener which always looks better when someone pulls up to look at the property. Watering the lawn can make your grass stand out from the neighbors if they aren't giving the grass a good shower every few days. If you use automatic sprinkler systems, set them to go off every other day rather than daily, to conserve the local water table.

 

Fertilizer and Weed Killer

A healthy lawn benefits from organic and natural fertilizer products to provide extra nutrients to the soil that help grass to grow green and healthy. You can always tell the difference in yards that use some sort of fertilizer and those that don't. If your yard has a problem with weeds and dandelions, try a post-emergent herbicide designed to kill broadleaf weeds without destroying the turf grasses.  These are safest on the lawn but should only be applied when temperatures are below 85 degrees.

 

Remember that when home buyers are shopping for houses for sale in Logan County they want to see a well-manicured healthy lawn surrounding your house.  Keep it trimmed and pristine and you'll have better luck selling a house in Logan County.

 

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