4 Ways to Use Your Tax Return to Boost Your Home’s Exterior

Planning to receive a nice chunk of change with your tax return? Consider using it for home improvement projects that will increase your home’s curb appeal. The following upgrades are all under $3,000.

  1. Replace door No. 1

As one of the first things a prospective buyer sees, your front door is critical to your home’s curb appeal. Buy a new door and spruce it up with shiny new knobs, locks and knockers. An energy-efficient door can help you save money on bills and may make you eligible for federal tax credits next year.

  1. Refresh the garage

That dented garage door panel you no longer notice? Prospective buyers will. Two new garage doors will set you back just under $3,000 and do wonders for spiffing up your home’s exterior.

  1. Get lit

Illuminating your walkway, installing motion-sensor lights or adding lighting fixtures that highlight your home’s architectural features or landscaping help your property look as appealing at night as it does during the day. Added light also helps keep your property secure.

  1. Add outdoor living space

Decks and patios are among the top features buyers look for. Use your refund to install a stamped-concrete patio or a small deck, and it’s almost like adding another room to your home.

All spruced up and ready to sell? Or know someone else that’s considering a move? Contact me; I’ll be happy to help!

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3 Design Tips to Enhance a Home’s Good Vibes

A space can have an instant effect on your mood. How can you make sure a home gives off positive energy and style? A recent article at The New York Times shares tips from designers on creating a home that supports a person’s well-being. Some of these tips could also apply to creating a more welcoming vibe in the staging of properties.

Embrace the two-foot rule.

Justina Blakeney, author of The New Bohemians Handbook: Come Home to Good Vibes, abides by a rule that passageways within the home be at least 24 inches between furnishings. “Even in small spaces, if you can leave two feet for these passageways, you tend not to bonk as much and get as cluttered,” she told The New York Times.

Let more light flow in.

“If I had to pick one tool that makes a home feel good, I would pick natural light,” Blakeney says. “Having a big window where there was none is a huge game changer. I would choose that over the sofa of my dreams.” Mirrors can also help add in more light by strategically reflecting whatever natural light the space does have.

Add in more plants.

“Anyone who spends a day hiking in the forest can attest that being in nature is good for the soul,” Blakeney says. “Why not bring that feeling home?” She has 52 houseplants in her 1,100-square-foot home. The plants range from small succulents to large palms in every room. “Living energy in your home is positive energy,” she said. “It’s people, pets, and plants that make a home.”

Source: “Designing a Feel-Good Home,” The New York Times (Jan. 23, 2018)

4 Feng Shui Staging Tips

The Chinese system of Feng Shui is believed to bring people into harmony with their environment. The practice uses design to manage the way chi, or energy, flows through a building. Could feng shui help you, your guests and potential buyers enjoy your home even more? Here are a few general tips:

  1. Energize your entry

Give your front door a fresh coat of paint, preferably in a color that contrasts with your siding. This helps invite energy (as well as guests and prospective buyers) into your home. Add a potted plant on each side of the front door. The living plants attract energy. Plants with rounded leaves are more welcoming than plants with sharp, spikey leaves, which can give off a more aggressive impression.

  1. Create a “room of first impression”

Draw everyone to the most attractive room in the home by arranging the directional flow of furniture toward it. Or hang a bright piece of art in the room where it can be seen, like a beacon, from other parts of the home.

  1. Produce positive energy

Clear your kitchen counters of clutter and set out a bowl of fresh fruit. Food, especially round produce, symbolizes wealth and prosperity.

  1. Lids down

Martha Stewart would surely tell to you to close the lid on your toilet. Feng shui advocates the same, but for a different reason. The philosophy holds that water, energy and good fortune can swirl right down the drain.

Considering a new home, or know of someone who is? I’ll be happy to help; contact me today!

Black Accents Make Comeback in Home Design

Black is making a comeback in home design, with black fixtures, appliances, and furniture emerging as hot trends for the new year. Ryan Brown of Brown Design Group in Southern California predicts that black fixtures will replace brass as the most trendy home hardware in 2018. “They look great in modern applications, as well as transitional homes,” he told realtor.com®. “And the best part is no water spots to clean off.”

Matted black furniture also will gain popularity in 2018, says Amy Chernoff, vice president of marketing for AJ Madison, an appliance and fixture retailer. Black goes with anything, and in matte finishes, it’s easier to clean than lighter, polished metals. Also, Chernoff predicts that black stainless appliances—an alternative to the shiny finish of stainless steel—likely will become trendier in the new year. “The smudge-resistant, minimal and sleek look was in line with 2017 kitchen trends,” Chernoff told Kitchen & Bath Design News.

Source: REALTOR Magazine

Scents that Attract Home Buyers During an Open House in the Fall & Winter Months

Believe it or not, when a person walks into a home for the first time, the smell that first resonates, is the memory they will hold in their mind moving forward about the home they have entered. It is their “first impression” for the house, therefore it’s important that their first impression or in this case “first smell” is one that is inviting and not overpowering.

During an open house it is even more important to have an inviting smell upon the initial foot in the door. The first smell attracts people to come in, look around & feel like they are at home. Finding an odor that is attractive without being overpowering is the trick to a successful open house.

Read the full article on RealEstateAgent.com…

The Front Porch Is in Demand

The front porch—a classic feature of American homes—is making a comeback but with a twist.

Younger crowds are literally turning porches into stages. “Porchfest” is growing in popularity across the country, in which neighborhood music festivals pop up that are enjoyed from homeowners’ front porches.

The Atlantic Monthly’s CityLab reports: “In the Instagram age, the front steps have become places to see and be seen, throw a rocking concert or party, and to foster metropolitan community in a walk-by, stop-in-for-wine sense.”

Read more on REALTORmag…

6 Easy Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

The exterior of the home counts big for creating first impressions. Here are a few things you can do to enhance the curb appeal to your listing:

1. Paint colorful flowers.

Adding colorful flowers, like yellows or pinks, to your landscaping can be the pop of color needed to attract buyers. Visit the local nursery or garden center to learn which varieties are the most hardy for where you live.

2. Freshen up the mailbox.

The mailbox counts too in adding curb appeal. Consider a new mailbox, or try to save the old one with a fresh coat of paint. Add new numbers to the box to spruce it up too.

3. Pressure wash.

Driveways can develop oil stains and a deck can show some wear and tear. To remove pesky stains, power wash the deck and driveway to get them clean.

4. Add lighting to walkways.

Beckon buyers to the front door by adding lighting to the path to the door. This will also create a clean border along your walkway. Select solar-powered LED outdoor lights, which don’t require any wiring, to brighten up the exterior pathways.

5. Revisit the front door.

Invest in a new door if the current one is looking too old and dingy. A fresh coat of paint may help improve an existing one, if a new door isn’t in the budget. Consider a new color, like red. Also, replace the hardware, like the doorbell and locks, to give the front door a fresh new look.

6. Repaint the shutters.

Painting the entire house may not be in the budget, but sellers can still make a big impact to the exterior by painting just the shutters. They might even want to consider changing up the color to boost their curb appeal.

Source: “Foolproof Upgrades That Will Instantly Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal,” Cheetsheet.com