Sellers whose homes aren’t in tip-top shape may need to spend extra money or put in a little elbow grease to get their properties in market-ready condition. But what are the most important repair or maintenance tasks that support a higher asking price? “Smaller and less expensive updates in combination with good staging will have a great return,” Susanna Haynie, GRI, a sales associate with Colorado Real Estate Group in Colorado Springs, told HouseLogic. The National Association of REALTORS®’ consumer-facing news service highlights some of the most important items to address before putting a home up for sale.
In 2019, it’s possible your house is smarter than you. Designed to provide energy efficiency, security and comfort conveniences, the smart home can do it all on command. Control lighting, heating, cooling, appliances, televisions, computers and other security features with smart technology that communicates with each other and can be remotely controlled via a smart phone or online. Internet connectivity and cloud storage makes all this smart home technology possible by bringing convenience and electronic intelligence right to your fingertips. If you’re technically-challenged, don’t worry – we suggest starting small to go big with technology with three easy technologies to make your home smarter this year.
- Set Smart Temperatures
Most thermostats only read the temperature in one area (usually the hallway) which can make other rooms too hot or too cold. Technology like ecobee4 or Nest comes with room sensors to help manage hot or cold spots. When sensors are placed in the most popular rooms, the smart gadget can read the temperature, detect occupancy and adjust the temperature so it’s just right.
- Sensing Leaks
Smart leak detection sensors monitor your home’s plumbing with the purpose of discovering leaks and malfunctions. They can assist you in preventing water damage and the growth of mold and mildew inside a wall due to a slow leak.
- Open and Shut
If you have ever left home for the day or, even worse, been on vacation and suddenly you’re unsure if you left the garage door open – a smart garage door opener offers convenience, improved home security and peace of mind. Check the open or closed status of your garage door via an app on your smartphone as well as open it or close it remotely – in other words, it’s possible to be on the other side of the Earth and still control your garage door.
Expect to see more coral hues in home design next year. Pantone, the corporation known for its paint forecasts, unveiled “Living Coral” as its 2019 Color of the Year. The color, an orange shade with golden undertones, embodies “warmth and comfort,” Pantone says.
Living Coral can make a bold statement as an accent color, and forecasters expect to see it in more shag rugs, cozy blankets, and upholstery to “create a warm, comforting, and nurturing feeling in the home.” “With its ebullient nature, Pantone’s Living Coral adds a dramatic pop of color to any room setting, whether in decorative accessories, tabletops, or on the wall,” Pantone said in a statement.
Living Coral succeeds Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, Ultra Violet. Other paint companies have been offering their picks for the 2019 Color of the Year. Behr chose a rich, bluish hue called “Blueprint,” while Sherwin-Williams chose “Cavern Clay,” a warm terra cotta color.
Grays, mixed metals, and farmhouse styles are some of the most popular trends for remodelers taking on sprucing up their master bathroom.
The 2018 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study is based on a survey of more than 1,100 homeowners who are planning or recently have completed a master bathroom renovation. Some of the trends that emerged from the report:
1. Seeing gray: Gray colors continue to dominate for walls and flooring in the bathroom. Gray cabinets are also gaining popularity, climbing from a 10 percent share in 2016 to 16 percent in 2018.
2. Taking the upgrade: More homeowners are upgrading their master bathrooms with special features when they remodel. The most popular premium features are dual showers, one-piece toilets, vessel sinks, and built-in vanities.
3. Mixing up the metals: Two in five renovating homeowners do not match metal finishes across fixtures and hardware in master bathrooms. Of the 58 percent of renovating homeowners who do match metal finishes, the most popular options are matte nickel and polished chrome (38 and 28 percent, respectively).
4. Going a little country: Farmhouse styles are jumping in popularity. While contemporary style continue to be the leading choice among renovating homeowners, the style has dropped over the past three years. Farmhouse style, on the other hand, has more than doubled in popularity, from 3 percent in 2016 to 7 percent in 2018.
5. Making it accessible: The majority of baby boomer homeowners (ages 55 or older) are addressing aging-related needs during master bathroom renovations. Nearly half of renovating baby boomers are changing the bathroom layout, and one-third are removing the bathtub. Other upgrades include installing accessibility features like seats, low curbs, grab bars, and non-slide floors in upgraded showers and bathtubs.
6. Building a master suite: The study found that homeowners are focusing on their master suite as a whole, not just the bathroom in their updates. Nearly half of master bathroom projects also were accompanied by master bedroom renovations (46 percent). Some homeowners are making their master baths even larger than their bedroom. One in ten master bathrooms is the same size or larger than the master bedroom (11 percent).
Source: REALTOR® Magazine
Your home’s curb appeal could be make or break for the amount of showings you have. In the same way curb appeal can attract potential buyers through your door, a less than spectacular home front can also be a detractor. From upgrading landscaping to refreshing paint, consider these eight affordable ways to boost your home’s curb appeal and entice buyers to add your home to their “must see” list:
- Update Outdoor Lighting
An easy way to instantly add interest and depth to an outdoor space is to replace dated lighting fixtures with new ones. There are many lighting options on the market in a wide range of colors and styles. Most choices are quite affordable and you will be amazed at what a few dollars can do in upgrading the overall look of your outdoor space.
- Keep It Mowed
A freshly mowed lawn is essential to boosting your curb appeal when trying to sell your home. Mowing your lawn on a weekly or 10 day basis will allow it to grow enough between mows so that you don’t damage the grass. Make sure to also allow time for edging and clear away any clippings before your house is shown to potential buyers. Keeping your lawn in top condition is always a good idea to boost curb appeal.
- Fix The Small Things
Do a thorough look through your front porch to find any small issues that have gone unnoticed for years. Fix small things like a slit in the window screen, tightening the mailbox, or replacing a burned out lightbulb. Attending to these small things can add up when it comes to receiving an offer for your home.
- Add Some Flowers
Pick up a few beautiful sets of flowers from the garden center and plant them in a pot next to the front door. Colorful flowers will add instant beauty to the space and welcome guests into your home. Consider adding a few different colors to help create an interesting and inviting atmosphere.
- Trim Up Shrubs
Get out your shears and trim up bushes and plants that have overgrown their spaces. All you need is a little bit of elbow grease to freshen up your landscaping. Trim bushes into eye pleasing shapes with rounded edges and give every plant in your garden enough room to shine while still being a part of the overall landscaping picture.
- Touch Up Paint
You most likely have a can of leftover paint in the garage or basement. Use this to touch up areas of your house that could use a fresh coat of paint. Consider items like the mailbox, house numbers, or plant pots that have seen a few years since their last painting. If your front door needs some help consider painting it to add a fresh look to your home.
- Power Wash It
You will be amazed by the amount of dirt a good power washing can lift from your home. Renting a power washer for a day is also a good and affordable way to add curb appeal to your home. Another affordable option is to consider borrowing one from a friend to save on expenses. Pay close attention to the outside of your home as well as gutters, patios, walkways, and patio furniture.
- Add Some Mulch
Picking up a few bags of mulch at a garden center is a great way to add instant curb appeal to your landscaping. Mulch not only looks great but it also provides essential help to plants by helping to retain water as well as keeping weeds at bay. Simply add a few inches of mulch around trees and garden beds to instantly raise the overall look of your home.
There are many ways that you can instantly increase your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank. Consider ways that you can help your home for little to no cost. Doing any of the above tips can help boost your home’s resale value.
Bathroom makeovers can help enhance a property, but homeowners should be careful not to be too trendy or it may have the opposite effect. HouseLogic detailed several recent bathroom trends that homeowners might want to reconsider, including:
Mosaics of tiny colored tiles may be on-trend and offer a retro vibe to your bathroom, but they’ve also earned a reputation as being a pain to keep clean. Tiny tiles mean more grout to clean and maintain. Instead of doing a large space of tiny tiles, HouseLogic recommends using them as an accent, such as the wall surrounding your vanity. Choose a place where they won’t get wet on the floor, in the tub, or in the shower so that cleaning them is less of a chore.
The flooring may be a hot choice for the rest of your home, but they can be a pain in the bathroom. “It will warp next to a shower or tub if not dried after each use,” Tanya Campbell, a designer for Virdis Design Studio in Denver, told HouseLogic. “Also, tile is more sanitary.” If the wooden look is what you want, opt for something that resembles the exterior, but is actually tile.
Colored tubs and sinks
Color is gradually entering more bathrooms. But don’t forget the lessons from the 1950s pastel bathroom craze that brought in pink and aqua sinks. That had renovators ripping them out a few years later in favor of white, a safer choice for the long term. “The bathroom is one of the most expensive rooms in the house to do, and so I try to be very safe because the parts are going to be expensive to change out—like a tub,” Suzanne Felber, a designer in Dallas, told HouseLogic. If color is what homeowners want, opt for painting the walls instead; it’s easier to change later on.
Catch more bathroom trends worth reconsidering at HouseLogic.com.
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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.