7 Ways to Make Your Life Easier During a Home Renovation

A home renovation is as exciting as it is hectic. Between coordinating contractors and choosing fixtures, your home is all out of sorts – which is overwhelming in and of itself.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be a challenge. Keep these tips in mind if you’re struggling through a home renovation. When all is said and done, you’ll finish with a gorgeous addition to your home and a still maintain your sanity.

  1. Get Your Meals Delivered

On-demand food delivery services will become lifesavers when dinnertime comes along. This is especially true when renovating your kitchen, which leaves you cooking out of your living room or on the grill every night-all while dodging obstacles like your misplaced table and boxes of kitchenware.

  1. Delegate Your Laundry

Whether your laundry room is being remodeled, or you simply don’t have the extra time to get it done during the renovation, sending your laundry to a wash and fold service is a simple way to make your life easier. If there are a number of providers to choose from nearby, keep the following tips in mind:

  • What services do they offer?
  • What do the reviews say?
  • Is it easy to get a hold of customer service?
  • How affordable are they? (The key: avoiding hidden fees)
  1. Escape for the Weekend

Sometimes, you just need a break from the non-stop drilling and paint fumes. Take time to relax and get away from the chaos with a staycation, feeling all the benefits of a getaway without the costs or time away from work.

  1. Create a “Me Space”

The most difficult part about renovating your home is having to deal with the excess dust, dirt and clutter, not to mention being surrounded by the workers who are making it all happen. Create a “me” space within your home where you and your family can relax and enjoy quieter alone time.

  1. Tackle One Project at a Time

While it might be tempting to get a few home renovation projects done, it’s better to tackle one at a time. Planning to renovate more than one room will not only make it more stressful, but could also leave you with minimal working fixtures to use for everyday tasks like showering, cooking or cleaning. Don’t make your life harder than it needs to be during this time and focus on just one thing at a time.

  1. Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

A lot of things can (and will) go wrong during your home renovation. Budgets can be blown, contractors can unexpectedly quit, and pipes can break. To put your mind at ease, and be more prepared, Home Advisor shares a few common challenges you’ll likely face:

  • Cost and budgeting: “One of the biggest mistakes homeowners commit is not leaving cash in reserve in case anything goes wrong,” suggests Home Advisor.
  • Materials: Choosing materials on a whim that don’t fit with your home can be costly further down the road.
  • Contractors: Taking too long, charging unexpected fees, or not doing what is asked of them.
  1. Prioritize

When you’re being asked to make dozens of decisions in a short amount of time, your priorities have a way of getting lost in the mix. Stay focused on what is most important to you and avoid getting sidetracked or swayed into changing your original plan if you’re not one hundred percent certain. Keep your plans in front of you as you make changes or additions to what you’re doing so you never lose sight of what you originally wanted.

Stay Calm and Renovate

Home renovations take a lot of patience and planning, and these seven tips will help make your life easier and less stressful during that time. Delegate where you can-food and laundry-expect the unexpected, and keep your priorities front and center as options and ideas are brought to you from contractors. In the end, you’ll be able to say you survived your home renovation.

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The Top Landscaping Trends for 2018

Native plants, outdoor yoga spaces, and charging stations are among the hottest landscaping trends growing in consumer demand for 2018, according to a new report released by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Landscape architects were asked to rate the popularity of several residential outdoor design elements. Landscape architects noted a growth in the use of native plants, low-maintenance landscapes, and flexible-use spaces, for yoga classes or movie night.

Overall, landscape architects ranked the following outdoor design elements as the overall most popular in 2018:

  1. Fire pits/fireplaces
  2. Lighting
  3. Seating/dining areas
  4. Outdoor furniture
  5. Outdoor kitchens
  6. Decking (i.e. rooftop decking)
  7. Grills
  8. Movie/TV/video theaters, wireless/internet, stereo systems
  9. Outdoor heaters
  10. Stereo systems
  11. Pools and spa features (hot tubs, Jacuzzis, whirlpools, indoor/outdoor saunas)
  12. Utility storage
  13. Hammocks
  14. Outdoor cooling systems (including fans)
  15. Showers/baths

Source: RealtorMag

The Best Housing Markets for Home Flippers

House flipping activity surged to an 11-year high this year, with more than 207,000 homes flipped, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate data firm. But the key is knowing where to be and when. “The sweet spot for successful home flipping is finding the neighborhoods just emerging as the next hot neighborhoods in a city,” says Daren Blomquist, a senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. The firm says the average profit for a housing flip in 2017 was $68,100.

Realtor.com® ranked the 200 largest metros according to the share of all home sales categorized as a flip (defined as any type of home that is bought and resold within a three- to 12-month period). Researchers limited their rankings to two metros per state for geographic diversity and only included markets where the average profit was at least $30,000.

Read about the best housing markets for home flippers, according to realtor.com®.

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!

The 9 Hottest Interior Design and Decor Trends You’ll See in 2018

When it comes to home design and decor, we’ll be the first to tell you to stick with what you love, no matter what the pros say. But if you can’t escape that sinking feeling each time you walk through your front door that your decor is looking a little tired, well, don’t despair. We’ve got you covered! From splashy color palettes to bright yellow sofas and mixed metal everything, our stable of designers and tastemakers have given us the ultimate insiders’ scoop on what’ll be hot in 2018.

Read the Realtor.com article…

Online Resources for Caring for Your Home

The internet offers so many resources, it’s hard to know where to begin: endless images for inspiration and even step-by-step how-to videos to walk you through projects. Here are our favorite places to get started.

For cleaning advice:

Goodhousekeeping.com

The experts here have been helping people clean up their acts in one form or another since 1885, so you can be sure they know their stuff. The site features everything from recipes for DIY household cleaners to answers to age-old questions like: Does microwaving your kitchen sponge kill the germs on it?

Homeadvisor.com

While this site’s main focus is matching homeowners with professional service providers, it offers a handy library of articles about cleaning, including not-so-stainless stainless steel appliances and hard-to-reach windows.

For decorating advice:

Houzz.com

With a highly searchable index of over 11 million photos of professionally designed homes, this site provides inspiration and nuts-and-bolts practical design advice. Want to know how a dark-colored hardwood floor will look with stainless steel appliances? Search and browse tons of examples.

Apartmenttherapy.com

Whether you live in a house or a high rise, you’ll find nifty décor tips and inspiration to make your home more beautiful and livable. If you’re having trouble envisioning how things will look in your space, choose from a variety of free virtual room-planning apps to help you design room layouts, choose appropriate furniture sizes and even see what different paint shades will look like on your walls.

For landscaping advice:

Gardendesign.com

A resource from Garden Design magazine, this site offers instruction on landscape design principles in addition to inspirational pics and solutions, so you can begin developing an understanding of outdoor aesthetics before you start buying and digging.

For maintenance advice:

DIYnetwork.com

Here you’ll find a massive wealth of information about how to fix, renovate and maintain nearly everything home-related along with tons of videos (of course) that show you how it’s done.

Familyhandyman.com

The Family Handyman experts have been helping homeowners DIY since before the Property Brothers were born. Their website offers practical advice and step-by-step instructions and videos to help you do everything from fix a running toilet to install a dimmer switch.

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!