Saturday, February 11, 2017

7 Things To Do Before Selling Your Home #HomeSelling #Homebuying #Homeowner

Selling your home is probably one of the bigger financial transactions you will ever encounter. Before actually putting it up on the market, consult your local real estate agent to see what you could reasonably sell your home for. She should be able to give you a list of homes that have sold in the area over the past few months. While your agent works on that, here are a few tips you can use to improve the appeal of your home to give it a pop and get you a higher sales price.

  1. Keep it tidy – cleanliness implies that a home has been well taken care of and your prospective buyers will definitely notice these things. Even the small things can make your potential buyer hesitant, such as excessive dust or dirty dishes in the sink. Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions and you want to make sure you come across as though you’ve treated your house like a million bucks (or more).
  2. Choose your colors wisely – putting on a fresh coat of paint can make the difference between night and day. If you have “colder” colors on your walls now consider repainting. Warmer or neutral colors are more inviting, make the rooms appear larger and are more modern. Keep in mind that you always want to know what your buyers are looking for. Something as small as changing the color of your walls can go very far and oftentimes is a great return on your investment.
  3. Get packing – clutter is a huge turnoff for any potential buyer! They don’t want your old worn-out stuff and could be that last, final observation that keeps them from putting in an offer. Not only that but it makes the room looks smaller, it keeps some natural sunlight out, and makes it very hard for your buyer to envision their furniture in that same space. Take the time to throw away or donate any unused items and give your home some breathing room – your buyers will appreciate it.
  4. Get the carpets cleaned – if your carpets are beyond being salvageable then have them replaced, otherwise, it would be In your best interest to hire a professional carpet cleaner to erase some of those stains due to normal wear and tear. Not only that, but if you have pets, they help remove any pet stains or odors that could be buried deep in the roots of the carpet or locked within the fibers. Addressing the high traffic areas in your home is also important as this is where a lot of stains, dirt and debris will collect. In addition, your carpet cleaner will also finish off your carpet with a nice scented fragrance to leave the air smelling pure and deodorized. Doing this one thing gives you a huge bang for your buck and a nice return on your investment.
  5. Keep the plumbing in order – If you live in a rural area or your home is on the older side, you may have a septic tank. Septic tanks are individual systems to hold and rid your home of waste water and matter. You can give your buyer sound peace of mind by letting the know that you just performed a septic tank pumping recently. This will not only give them another 3-5 years without having to pump the septic tank again, but will keep the longevity of the septic system going well into the future. Not taking care of your septic system can cost you well over $15k in replacements if you don’t perform periodic maintenance.
  6. Window treatments – these are important because they can stage the mood of a showing. If your treatments aren’t properly adjusted, they can affect a room’s temperature by not allowing enough sunlight to enter. Make sure to adjust shades or blinds appropriately when showing your home in the morning, afternoon or evenings.
  7. The back side – part of selling your home quickly includes having great curb appeal and backside appeal! Clean up the area in the back as much as possible. Home owners like to see nice green grass that has been freshly cut. Again, it gives the appearance that you have really taken care of the home. If possible, plant some flowers and shrubbery to make the backyard more inviting and so that it encourages you to want to stay.

Implement these 7 tips when trying to sell your home and you are sure to realize the upside potential you were hoping for. Remember, staging your home is vitally important for a quick, top-dollar sale. Don’t skimp on the smaller ticket items, and P.S., great smelling candles also help.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

15 Ways to Warm Up Without Cranking Up the Heat #Frugal #Winter #KeepWarm #Cheap

So many people plan ahead for winter, but it’s easy to forget how long the season can be in certain areas of the country. The shortened days, icy road conditions and cold temperatures can really take their toll once the holidays are over.
After a long winter with larger utility bills, the last thing you want to do is crank up the heater. Space heating is one of the biggest energy uses in the home, taking up nearly a tenth of the annual cost of electricity. While the weather is finally warming up outside you can use a few hot tricks to stay comfortable indoors without adjusting the thermometer.

Throw on a Beanie
A lot of heat is lost through our heads. Even though it only takes up 7-9% of our body surface, our heads account for about 10% of heat loss. Pulling on a fleece beanie can feel almost the same as bumping the temperature up a few degrees inside.

Throw on Some Socks
Another part of the body that can get chilly quick is the feet. The University of San Diego has conducted studies that found when people had cold feet they felt colder overall. Parents can pull on a pair of wool socks for warmth, but kids can be a little trickier. Seamless socks for kids are a great option for layering since they’re warm, comfortable, and less bulky. Just be sure the little ones are careful when they walk around on hard surfaces.

Throw on a Sweater or Two
Layering your clothes can help you keep warm outside or inside. In the late stages of winter an extra sweater is usually all it takes to get comfortable indoors. But it’s sometimes hard to stop kids from shedding their clothes. Like their socks, you’ll want to make sure sweaters are extra comfy so they keep them on.

Throw on Some Blankets
While you’re vegging out in front of the TV or asleep in bed layer on an extra blanket or throw. It may get a little cold when you get up but you’ll be toasty while you’re sitting or lying down.

Sip on Hot Beverages and Soups
Sipping on hot liquids can warm you up from the inside. Plus, they’re a delicious way to enjoy colder weather before the spring sets in.

Move Furniture Away From the Walls
Cold can seep in through the windows and walls. If your furniture sits right up against the wall you’re more likely to feel it.

Use Your Curtains Strategically
If you’re at home throughout the day use your curtain to let heat in and keep it inside. During the warmest part of the day open the curtains to allow heat and light in. Once it starts to cool off close them again.

Stay Physically Active
If you start to feel cold and want to warm up then get on your feet. A few sets of squats or a quick kitchen clean up is enough physical activity to warm up the body naturally.

Plug in the Humidifier
A lot of things contribute to the temperature of the air, including humidity. The more humid it is inside the warmer the air will be. Don’t have a humidifier? Then keep the bathroom door ajar when you take a shower to add more moisture to the air. Also, don’t use the vent when you shower or it will suck the humid air out.

Reverse the Turn on Your Fan
At the start and end of winter, you can actually benefit from keeping ceiling fans on the lowest setting as long as the circulation is reversed. Fans have a switch that allows you to control the direction that they turn. During the winter set the fan so that it turns clockwise to draw cool air up to the ceiling and push the warm air down.

Weatherize Around the Doors and Windows
If you haven’t already, weatherize around the doors and windows. This means sealing all the cracks and crevices around the edge where air leaks in. For about $10-15 you can make the temperature inside more comfortable year round with caulk and weather stripping.

Use Your Fireplace
If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace this is a great way to warm up the immediate area without a heater. Just make sure to close the flue when a fire isn’t going.

Change the Sheets on Your Bed
Staying warm while you’re asleep largely comes down to your bedding. Instead of cotton sheets use fleece or flannel materials.

Warm Up Your Bed
Before crawling into bed you can make it warm and snuggly with a hot water bottle or hot soapstone.

Close the Doors of Unused Rooms
To help direct the heat into the living spaces keep doors to other rooms closed. If you have a guest bedroom or office that’s rarely used shut the vents to the room as well.


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