The enjoyable days of winter are dwindling to an end. It’s time to do some spring clean-up before the desert heat sets in! In order to make your home efficient and keep your utility bills down, here are a few things to make sure your home is running the way it should:
Clean Those Dirty Gutters!
Debris and water can collect in your gutters and create a host of headaches (wood rot and foundation damage to name a few) if you aren’t paying attention! If you’re a little iff-y about climbing onto the roof yourself, hire a professional to clean every six months.
De-Bug and De-Pest
Terminates and other insect can wreck havoc on a home. Hire an exterminator (if the problem is mild, bug bombs can also do the trick) to thoroughly inspect your home for problem.
Check the Roof
Your roof is literally what hangs over your family’s head every night. Make sure it’s in proper order to make sure there are no missing shingles, loose pipes, or cracks. Similar to the gutters, if you don’t feel comfortable checking out the scenarios yourself, hire a pro. Preventive roof work is a must for good home maintenance!
Get A/C Tune Up
If you have ever had your A/C unit give out on you in the heat of summer, you know how expensive it can be to get it serviced or replace the entire thing! You may want to invest in a good A/C maintenance package that includes condenser and blower unit cleaning, coolant level check and refill, electrical connection securing, duct work inspection, and temperature difference measurement between supply and return. It may save you lots of money in the long run!
Change A/C Filters
A clean system will help preserve the life of your unit and keep your utility bills in check. Set reminders to change them out every two months.
Check Irrigation System
If you have ever had a busted pipe, you know how you dread the next water bill! Irrigation lines are apt to deteriorate in extreme heat, which may result in broken pipes. Make sure your system is running through the proper channels and watering your lawn (and not the street!).
For more home ideas and real estate advice, follow my blog!
You probably had to read the headline twice. Today? You mean, today. Yes, we mean TODAY. Why the urgency? The 2017 housing market shows that now is the time to sell. January unveiled great numbers which paths the way for a strong housing market for this year.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, said:
“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home. Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate…”
And CNBC says consumer confidence in the economy is fueling the market:
“U.S. home resales surged to a 10-year high in January as buyers shrugged off higher prices and mortgage rates, a sign of growing confidence in the economy.”
A depleting inventory leaves a challenging market. In order for a balanced market of homes for sale and interested buyers, the inventory would require a full six-month supply of homes. The current situation is that there is less than a four-month inventory which means a 7.1% decrease from last year.
Admit it. These statistics are make you look a little more closely about selling. The increasing demand and low home supply provides the perfect climate for selling your home for the best price. I’m more than happy to help you in this process to see if the market is hot in your neighborhood.
You may not even realize it but it’s possible that you are making your home look messy. It’s easy to overlook decorating mistakes that can make your home look unorganized. If you are staging your house to woo potential buyers or you want to impress weekend guests, make sure that you are avoiding these to create an organized and clean space.
An Unbalanced Room
Think of it like this: You would never place large furniture in small quarters. It can become overwhelming and greatly affects the flow of the room. Allow the furniture (and the larger objects in the room) to naturally float opposed to lining them against a wall. Most importantly, find pieces that balance the room nicely.
High Maintenance Fabrics
High maintenance comforters or cheap slipcovers are easy to wrinkle and have the potential to create a rumpled effect . Well-ironed fabrics present a more polished look for guests as they enter a room. A carefully folded throw blanket and properly placed pillows are important, too.
Ignoring Your Foyer
Most guests enter your home through the front door so naturally, you must pay special attention to keeping the floors clean and avoiding the area as a place for backpacks, junk mail, and sports equipment. Keep the area reserved for representing your home. A great tip: find a functional rug for wiping dirty shoes at the front door.
Exposed Wires and Cords
In this age of laptops, TVs, gaming systems, and Roku boxes, you are bound to have a tangle of cords and wires lying around the busiest room. At times, you have to creatively think of way to hide them behind a couch or under the carpet. Out of sight, out of mind.
Skimping on Furnishings
Invest money in furnishing specifically rugs. A rule of thumb to remember is that a better quality rug in a bigger size (appropriate to the room) will save you in the long haul. Rugs are often trampled and cheap rugs don’t hold up as well. Pairing strategic furniture placement along with a good rug will present a clean, well-maintained room for all to enjoy.
If you enjoyed this article, please follow me on my blog for more home and real estate ideas! I want to help you to find and create your happy space for you and your family to love for many years. Please call me at 480-466-8193 if I can help you find the place of your dreams!
When you purchase a new home, you are met with a range of emotions. Excitement. Nervous. Anticipation. Overwhelmed. Whatever you are feeling, buying a home is one of the most important decisions (and investments!) you will ever make. Stumbling blocks will happen from time to time but research and guidance will inform you along the way.
Here are some resourceful tips to remember as you begin the process:
Location, Location, Location
This cliqued line is true. While the potential home tends to be the focus, take a look at the surrounding location. Research the community to make sure it’s the right location for you (and your family) to ensure that fits your needs and wants. Factors to consider are school districts, traffic, and convenience. Most importantly, look at other local community to narrow and finalize your decision.
What do you need?
The average American lives in their home for nine years so think long-term for your needs. A young couple may think that a small condo will work but as their family begins to grow, the home will feel like it shrunk. Reflect upon your future goals when looking at homes. Can you envision your life there in nine years?
Hire an experienced, licensed inspector
The truth is that it’s easy to walk into a home and see all the cosmetic beauty. However, major issues can be covered up. When you hire a home inspector, they can uncover potential problems from wiring to plumbing to foundation. An experienced inspector will explore every inch of the home to ensure you know exactly what you are purchasing. You should be well-informed about your home investment to avoid stress, time, and money in the future. The inspector may scare you with what he/she finds but you want to know all about your new home!
Look beyond the furnishings and décor
When you walk into a home, envision the home without the seller’s belongings. How does the layout and space work for you? Will it accommodate your lifestyle and what you want in a home? You want to look for efficiency and function. For example, an open floor plan with plenty of storage may work for a couple with children than a home with enclosed rooms and limited closet space.
Read between the lines
At times, sellers use persuasive jargon to move their listing. Be wary of these phrases used to draw you in inspecting an underlying reason. For example, selling a home “as-is” can usually mean to count lots of work on your end. A “motivated seller” may wanted to expedite a sell by negotiating on a price but make sure that a thorough inspection has taken place to eliminate pricey factors. When you read “cozy and charming cottage”, you may translate that to a small home. Have realistic expectations for listings and see homes for yourself during showing to see if this is the home for you.
Resist purchasing the expensive home in the neighborhood
You won’t get the same return on investment with the biggest house on the block and more than likely, you will find that you may run into obstacles when you decide to sell. It’s important to consider how this home compares to the other ones in the neighborhood in terms of price and space. Research to see if other local comparable homes are selling before settling.
Show me the money
The first step before buying is to work a qualified lender that can direct you about the lending products in today’s market. They will ask you questions and run your credit. We do not want you to “fall in love” with a home that is beyond your financial means. Sometimes there are items on your credit that you didn’t know were there. Often, there are down payment assistance programs that can help you. A lender will the first step in the process.
While the process of finding and purchasing a home can be a long and stressful process, stay persistent in finding the home that right for you. I’m happy to talk to you about what is on the market and be your source for real estate market. New homes are always cropping up and I’ll keep you consistently updated.
As you are making way for changes in the new year, you may be scheming a plan to update your home or possibly staging your home for possible buyers. While some fads have already had their hay day in the golden sun, new trends are making way in homes for 2017. Here’s a look in what we’re seeing in homes now……
The Industrial Look
If you love antique clocks, textured shutters, and chippy antiques, you will love that this is still the look in modern homes. It takes a keen eye to balance metals and woods but yet make a room inviting. Think reclaimed wood.
Black Stainless Steel
The tide is turning kitchen trends. Black stainless steel is replacing the traditional stainless in kitchens with a warmer feel than the cold look. While this tends to be a more expensive trend, it has the potential to transform a kitchen.
Eclectic Mix of Metals
This look works particularly well in any part of the house. Think outside of the box and mix metals in the kitchen with copper, steel, and nickel (pares well in a farmhouse!).
Antiques always seem to be in trend. Give old books, glass, tables, and chair a breath of fresh air by sitting them next to updated piece to make it pop. Remember that your best treasures may be found in your grandmother’s attic.
Cherry cabinets have taken more of outdated look these days and quickly being replaced with a white coat of paint. This clean look plays up a light gray wall. A weekend project can transform a kitchen!
Like it or not, lucite furniture is turning heads even in more formal spaces like dining rooms. Matching the pieces with a refined table and decor to make it work well.
2016 Trends That Here to Stay in 2017……
- farmhouse style
- natural colors
- open shelves
- chalk-painted furniture
- sanctuary bedrooms
- home offices
- natural fiber rugs
- mid century accents
Whether you have just moved into a new home or staging your current to place on the market, these ideas will help make your place cozy and warm. If you are thinking of selling your home, please call me so I can help you raise the potential of top dollar. I’m more than happy to help you sell and find the home of your dreams!
Scratch whatever you may have heard about the spring and summer to be the best times to sell your home. The time is NOW! I know you must be thinking if there could be a more HECTIC time but the truth of the matter is that if you’ve even considered moving on from your current home in the next year, here are several reasons that will drive your decision to make the move now:
- Presentation: Your home looks great with all of your Christmas decorations and lights. You may even keep your home more organized and spotless than usual with unexpected guests knocking at your door to visit while they are in town. Why not take advantage of it? Make sure your decorations are tasteful and updated to appeal to all possible buyers.
- A Less Competitive Market: For the exact reason that you are pondering why you should you put your home on the market during this time of year, you can be sure that lots of people are thinking this. This creates less competition in the home market which gives YOU the driving edge for possible buyers looking in your area. Less inventory means more foot traffic through your home which increases your chances of getting the offer you want.
- Serious Buyers: As we inch toward the end of a year, many corporate moves happen during this time. People also think about making a fresh start in a new home. The most important role that you have as a seller is to provide a flexible showing schedule to accommodate those who want to see your home. Think of like this: they wouldn’t look if they weren’t serious. Last year, I had two buyers that bought homes in December and this year, I have four qualified buyers that are seeking to buy their next home now! Please let me show you how I can sell your home and help you achieve your real estate goals!
We’ve all been stuck with the challenge of finding the perfect gift for at least one person on our list! We want to be original and thoughtful without the (extreme) sticker shock. Here are some fresh budget-friendly gift ideas (2016 edition!) that will make your friends and family jump for joy!
For the traveler– You may not be able to give them a trip to Dubai but in the world of box deliveries, Try The World specializes in experiencing food from around the globe without leaving the comforts of your own kitchen. Chefs expertly craft every box to tailor it to a part of the world to ensure you are enjoying an authentic meal. Can we say YUM?!
Retail value: $29-39 per box
Photo credit: trytheworld.com
For the thrill-seeker– Escape Room Games are original experiences to find the clues, solve the puzzle, and escape the room with your team. It’s fun for the family or even for date nights! Even better? You can find Groupon deals for local escape room venues in your area!
Retail value: $28 and up
For the tech-lover– The Amazon Echo Dot is the latest voice-controlled gadgets to help streamline everyday life with voice commands. The device is compatible to stream Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, or iHeartRadio and to control other wirelessly controlled lights, fans, and sprinklers. It also works as an alarm clock! This is the perfect gift to make tasks easier for the busiest person you know!
Retail value: $49.99 amazon.com
For the teen or tween– Think of the Skewb Ultimate as the classic Rubki’s Cube on steroids! The updated twist includes a 12-sided, 12-color spatial challenge based closely to the classic puzzle’s concept. Get them away from their screens and give their minds a bend as they twist the sides to mix up the shades and solve by getting one solid color to take up every side.
Retail value: $20, mcachicagostore.org
For the book lover- Even in the digital age, the classic book lover enjoys flipping the pages of a good book. Book of the Month Club offers the five hand-picked best books voted notable journalists and bloggers each month. The reader selects one book each month and the book is delivered in a custom-edition hardcover print. Imagine their excitement of opening up that package even after the holidays are over! Retail value: Subscriptions are $44.97 and up
For the sentimental– If you know somebody who loves decorating their home with photos, this canvas print is the perfect gift that will circle all of the things that they love most. This personalized canvas art brings the best memories into a beautiful art piece.
Retail value: Canvas prints vary $27.95 and up, www.personalizationmall.com/canvasart