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

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Hardwood Flooring – DIY or Go with a Pro?

If only life were like HGTV. Rooms would be transformed in 30 minutes. Debris would magically disappear. And all the work would be done by model-quality contractors. Reality can be much different – especially when it comes to installing hardwood floor.

If you’re ready to update your flooring, here are some considerations to help you decide if DIY or hiring a pro is the way to go.

What type of floor do you want?

Laminate flooring, like Pergo, can be fairly easy to install on your own. These boards arrive pre-finished and install without nails or glue. Real wood is not only more expensive, but much more difficult to install. Your decision to hire a contractor might depend on how much you can afford to spend fixing mistakes (after the cost of materials).

Are you comfortable with power tools, or is your electric toothbrush a challenge?

True wood flooring that needs to be finished on-site requires more technical skill. If you decide to forgo a contractor, make sure you have enough knowledge of power tools to be safe during installation.

What is your time frame?

Life happens. A day job, unexpected visits from the in-laws or running out of materials can all add delays to a project. Are you okay living with an unfinished floor in the meantime? A good contractor can complete the job within a set timeline, so you can get to enjoying your updated home sooner.

When in doubt, call a pro, at least for an opinion and a quote. Your agent can also help you decide which home improvements are worth the investment and find reputable professionals to work with if you decide to go pro. One thing you can easily do yourself? Contact me; I’ll be happy to help!

The Best Paint Color to Sell a Home

Lure potential buyers with a simple and clean palette. Shades of white and off-white are the top colors for a quick home sale, Jody Finglas of Finglas Painting in Ossining, N.Y., told USA Today.

“White is the foundation that anchors the home,” adds Friley Saucier, a broker-associate with Sotheby’s International Realty in Naples, Fla. “This is absolutely what is most requested when I’m working with home buyers.”

Finglas says less is more. “We’re seeing a lot of requests for lighter, brighter colors,” he notes.

When working with a white backdrop, the trick is to add in color through the furnishings and accessories, Finglas says. He says selecting the right shade of white paint isn’t easy. “A white kitchen can mean 40 different colors,” Finglas says.

Homeowners should still bring home paint swatches, says Dwayne Bergmann of Dwayne Bergmann Interiors in Fort Myers, Fla.

“Whites can have a more blueish hue or more of a brown or even pinkish hue depending on the exact lighting,” Bergmann says. “Even a pure white is going to look different.”

Source: REALTOR® Magazine Online and USA Today

Drastically Improve Your Home With These DIY Projects

Looking for some home improvement inspiration? Here are a few suggestions for projects that won’t break the bank or steal more than a weekend or two.

  1. Make an entrance

The entrance to your home is a focal point and a few simple changes can leverage its impact. Sand and repaint your front door or invest in a brand new one. Add some bling with new address numbers, knobs, doorbells or knockers. Frame the door with planters to help complete the picture.

  1. Class up your cabinets

You don’t need to buy new cabinets to give your kitchen a new look. Add a fresh coat of paint, or try out new cabinet hardware (buy knobs and pulls that are the same size as the ones you have to save installation time) for details that give the upgrade an added level of elegance.

  1. Make a splash

You don’t need to be a pro to install a new kitchen backsplash. Many home stores offer quick classes, or you can cruise YouTube for “how-to” videos. Customize your kitchen with ceiling tiles, glass or ceramic tiles, wood or stainless steel.

  1. Crown yourself

Crown molding around your walls is a simple addition that can add a ton of character. If you don’t have woodworking tools, don’t panic. Home improvement stores can cut strips of molding to your measurements.

  1. Look to the little things

You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference swapping out old switch plates, outlet covers and doorknobs can make.

Do your ambitions extend beyond a few small projects? Maybe you’d like to tackle an entire fixer-upper? Or perhaps you know of someone else who would? I’ll be happy to help; contact me today!

What Owners Want in Kitchen Remodels

Kitchen revamps tend to be one of the most popular home remodeling projects. About 10.2 million American households tackled a kitchen remodel or replacement work in 2015, according to a recent report from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Homeowners tend to want new flooring, countertops, cabinets, sinks, and faucets in their kitchen remodels.

The majority of homeowners aren’t spending big bucks in their renovations. Forty-one percent of homeowners’ work in their kitchen remodels was devoted to replacement projects costing less than $1,500. Twenty-two percent of respondents say they had minor remodeling done, between $1,500 to $5,000; 18 percent of homeowners had major remodels completed that cost between $5,000 to $10,000; and 19 percent completely remodeled their kitchens, spending more than $10,000.

Read the full article on REALTORmag…

5 Ways to Save on Home Renovation Costs So You Don’t Go Broke

Is your kitchen hopelessly outdated, and your bathroom a blast from the past? Then it sounds like you’re overdue for some home improvements. There’s just one problem: Remodeling can be a huge undertaking—and a costly one at that. The average kitchen remodel will set you back $60,000; a bathroom overhaul, $17,908. Ouch! But hey, that’s just the average price homeowners pay. Plenty of home renovations can fall way under that wire if you know some tricks to keep your home improvement budget in check. Check out these smart ways to save on home renovation costs to achieve the home of your dreams without blowing wads of cash.

How Trees Benefit Home Values

The U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station says that planting a tree in front of a house increases the home’s sale price by an average of $7,130. So, in essence, money can grow on trees.

Planting a tree on the west side of a home can reduce a home’s energy bills 3 percent within five years and 12 percent within 15 years. Specifically, west-side trees can bring summertime electric bills down by an average of $25 a year and reduce air conditioning use by 30 percent, according to the Forest Service.

Trees and other landscaping can also lower the impact of damaging winds on a home, potentially reducing 35 mph winds to 10 mph, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. This also lessens the load on the furnace working to heat the home on those cold, windy days, which can bring energy bills down by 30 percent.

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