Earth Day on April 22nd can be a pretty energetic day, with people celebrating environmental health at festivals and other events.
Let that enthusiasm motivate you to start the home projects that you’ve been putting off.
Whatever your goal, be it saving money or the earth or both, some simple energy efficiency upgrades and habit changes can save some money and create an healthier, more comfortable living space. Plus, by tapping incentives and rebates, you often can reduce your upfront costs.
1. Rebates and incentives. Each province provides an array of incentives to help you save money on your energy bills. Those in Newfoundland and Labrador, for example can find insulation rebates (http://bit.ly/2DClLhm), those in Alberta (http://bit.ly/2FHePoX) will find incentives for energy efficient lightbulbs, shower heads, and programmable thermostats. And a program in Manitoba (http://bit.ly/2piKeE1) offers loans to pay for things like new windows and doors, insulation, home sealing, and water heating equipment. Search for incentives specific to your province at Natural Resources Canada (http://bit.ly/2GBTkmP).
2. Smart technology. Smart home technology is evolving quickly and some of the tried-and-tested basics could save you money. Programmable thermostats like the Nest, for instance, learn your occupancy habits and automatically turn down the heat and air conditioning when you’re not home. Motion sensors and automatic timers can reduce your lighting costs with little effort on your part. Other smart technologies – locks, carbon monoxide detectors, and cameras – can improve safety and convenience. In addition, smart technology may help you better market your house when you sell. A January 2018 Coldwell Banker survey shows that potential homebuyers prefer to have smart technology already installed in a prospective home.
Smart products that interest them most include:
• Thermostat (77 percent)
• Fire detector (75 percent)
• Carbon monoxide detector (70 percent)
• Camera (66 percent)
• Lock (63 percent)
• Lighting system (63 percent)
3. Replacing aging equipment. Investigate the newest systems and appliances so that when your current unit is on its last leg, you’ve done all the upfront research and know what you want to buy. That way, you’re not making buying decisions under pressure and potentially losing out on the best products and deals. Look at options for new appliances, on-demand water heaters, and HVAC units. Also search for any rebates and incentives available for each system.
4. Reduce consumption. Small changes in your daily habits can reduce your monthly utility bills. Shut off lights, take shorter showers, and turn down the temperature on your water heater. Also insulate your pipes and get a blanket for your water heater.
5. Low-maintenance, fire-safe landscaping. Spring gardening season is nearly upon us. Consider a gardening strategy that relies on plants native to your region, which reduces the need for water and chemical inputs. Plus, if you remove your lawn and opt for native plants and grasses, you can drastically reduce the cost and time associated with yard maintenance. And if you live in an area prone to wildfires, consider creating an outdoor space that resists fires. That entails things like creating safe zones around your house, choosing high-moisture plants, opting for trees that are less flammable than others (maple, poplar and cherry, rather than pine and fir trees), and creating fire breaks with things like rocks and flower beds. Learn more: (http://bit.ly/2c1o7ct) and (http://bit.ly/2tTwX9s)
First-time Buyers’ Must-haves
If your market features lots of first-time buyers and you’ve been tweaking your home to appeal to that audience, you may be interested in a recent National Association of Homebuilders’ poll. It lists the top home features this group consider essential. They are:
- Living room
- Laundry room
- Dining room
- Garage storage
- Walk-in closet in master bedroom
- Both shower stall/tub in master bath
- Front porch
- Great room
- Two-car garage
- Kitchen double sink
We’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, but first impressions usually impact our decision-making, whether we care to admit it or not.
Therefore, a well-staged home typically has a better chance of selling at a higher price than one that hasn’t been staged.
We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to discover why sellers shouldn’t have “stage fright” when it comes to selling their home.
Faster sale, higher price
Our Influencers agreed that effective staging will help sellers get the deal done quicker, for a higher price.
“I guarantee sellers that, while I don’t know the exact amount they will receive as a result of staging, I know they will get more than their money back and they will sell their home in a shorter period of time than they would without staging,” said one RE/MAX Influencer.
A buyer can tap into his/her imagination when a home is shown in its best light. When potential buyers can see themselves living in your home, they will be motivated to make a reasonable offer.
The ‘Wow’ factor
Simply put: Homes look their best when they are staged.
Staged homes are also depersonalized, which is important because buyers don’t want to feel like they’re purchasing somebody else’s home. They want it to feel as though it’s theirs.
Stagers understand how to professionally present homes to appeal to the emotions of the broader spectrum of prospective purchasers. Photographs of a staged home are also more likely to garner increased interest online.
When potential buyers walk into a home, they’re thinking beyond what their eyes are showing them. They’re visualizing themselves living in the space. Is the home an ideal place for their children to grow up? Does the house have what they need to enjoy retirement?
Personal clutter can often hinder these visions, which is not ideal for the seller. A professional stager will take an objective look at the property and make sure prospective purchasers will be able to see themselves in the space.
A positive first impression
First impressions are incredibly important. On many occasions, buyers will form their opinions by the time they’ve taken a few steps into your home. A bad smell, a crooked frame or a bit of dirt on the floor can be the difference between whether or not you get an offer.
Great books deserve stunning covers; great homes deserve to be staged.
Don’t get overwhelmed right out of the gate when starting your home search; peruse your options with confidence, knowing you are comparing apples to apples as much as possible.
Are you in the market for a new house? These 9 items top the list of things to consider whenever you tour a home:
Keep in mind all the places you need to go, and how far away they are from this current house location. Calculate the distance to your work, schools, groceries stores, and favourite nightlife spots. Wherever you frequent the most, such as your job commute or gym, should be your top location priority. Also, see how close you are to gas stations and freeways. These aren’t always considered, and it can be a pain to have to drive a long distance just to get to the airport or to fuel up.
If this is important to you, stop a few minutes at each window in the home you’re touring to check out the view. Take note of the direction the windows are facing to see if you’ll get that brilliant sunrise or sunset everyday. Also, check out how close you are to your neighbours, and see if they can easily look into a room.
Before you step into a potential home to tour, drive around the neighbourhood a little. Take a look at how people landscape their yard, if they have kids playing in the street, and if a block ends on a busy intersection. This is especially important if you have young kids that will be playing a lot outside. Your neighbourhood also plays a huge role in your home’s overall value.
This might seem like a small detail, but a poorly designed driveway can cause some serious stress. Make sure all your family cars can comfortably drive on it to easily access the garage. Some homes have a pillar dividing two or more spots, which can lead some larger vehicles unable to maneuver inside. Also, make sure you don’t have anything blocking your line of sight when you back out, such as tall shrubs or blind corners.
Size and Floor Plan
Pick up a floor plan while you tour a home, and revisit it and keep the house’s layout fresh in your memory. Imagine yourself walking between each room, and note any troublesome areas. Consider the overall space of each room, and know that a larger space will require you to run your heater longer, add more furniture, but will be perfect for a larger sized family. Measure your current furniture to get an idea of where you would put things like couches, beds, dressers, and any other bulky items. Some furniture might not fit, so make sure you factor these purchases into your budget.
Room Count: Beds and Baths
Consider your family’s needs, and if you will eventually need an extra bathroom or bedroom after a few years. Smaller homes can actually benefit a bigger family since they will be easier to clean, plus they transition well once all the kids have moved out. Take into consideration what you currently have now, and ask yourself if this amount of rooms truly meets your needs.
Ideal Kitchen Layout
Do you enjoy cooking? You’ll want to make sure your kitchen flows well, and that all the appliances you need are easy to access. When you’re touring the kitchen, walk through a typical dinner preparation, from cutting board counter height to oven door clearance space; it should all be tested. Ask your REALTOR® what appliances will stay in the kitchen so you can budget for the missing ones, such as a fridge.
Ask your REALTOR® to show you homes with varying layouts so you can experience how each one might work for your unique cooking needs.
Open every single closet while you tour. Take detailed notes of each storage space on your floor plan of the home, then see if it will work for your needs. When people move, usually they like to de-clutter, but there will still be some items you’ll need to store in your new home. Bring a tape measure with you so you can get exact measurements.
Windows and Finishes
Having natural lighting in each room will cut down on your energy bill drastically. See where each window is placed throughout the home to get an idea of how much sunlight you’ll be getting. Ask your REALTOR® how old the windows are, and if they might need to be replaced. Also, notice the finishes in each room such as the hardware style, molding, and focal points - like a fireplace. These can be changed out or disguised, but it’s best to find a place that already meets your expectations. Bring a camera or use the one on your smart phone to snap some photos of the details that drew you in, then file them with each house’s paperwork for future reference.
It might sound like a lot of prep work to do before touring a home, as well as a lot to think about during the showing, but this will ultimately make your final decision much simpler. You don’t want to miss out on a charming home if you can’t make up your mind, so make it easy on yourself by sufficiently preparing ahead of time, and you’ll be guaranteed to find a perfect home that meets all your needs.
*This article is syndicated and licensed from Realtor.GetWrittn.com.
Here are 7 features that date your home and tips on how to improve them:
Wacky Bathroom Colours
It's unlikely that you will find pink toilets making a come back anytime soon. They instantly give your home an outdated vibe. You're better off leaving the colorful bathroom at your Grandma's house. If your bathroom is sporting too many colours, consider replacing what you can in crisp white. Paint the walls a warm neutral tone and add soft white towels, as well as a solid subdued shower curtain. Designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz suggests, “ For a clean, modern look, paint all surfaces with white epoxy paint to make everything one colour. “That way,” he says, “you can make the room's story be about textures. Do the accessories all in white as well.”
No matter how lovely the home, a room covered in wood paneling takes the buyer on a time-warp back to the 70's. Not only does wood paneling date the home, it also makes the room look smaller, which can give potential buyers a negative impression from the start. Andrew Leahay of Design Media shares some removal advice, “Removing wood paneling is not a particularly difficult job in and of itself. Removing the paneling and not damaging it, or removing the paneling and replacing it with drywall, can be a more difficult task. Having a good sense of what is behind your paneled walls will dictate the amount of work involved in the project.” If tearing the wood paneling off the wall is not an option, a fresh coat of paint will help give your home a more modern appeal. Elizabeth Weintraub, a Home Buying/Selling Expert suggests, “ Even if your wood paneling is not real wood but composite, you can paint it. Dated paneling must go. Older wood paneling such as walnut, mahogany, cedar and pine, it's all gone out of style. Paint it a neutral and soft color after priming it.”
Walking into a home with nasty old carpet is a huge turn-off for potential buyers. Nothing is quite as distracting as an ugly pattern, scary shag, or mystery stained rug. If the carpet has to stay, you should have it professionally deep cleaned. Hardwood flooring certainly offers a cleaner more updated look, and according to HGTV, it is the top desired request among renters and buyers when searching for a new home. Buyers also tend to prefer hardwood as it cuts down on the allergy inducing problems associated with old carpet. With that in mind, it might be worth the extra expense to ensure a faster, more rewarding sale.
Brassy, flashy, gold-plated fixtures had their hay day and now they tend to give an outdated first impression. If you are unable to stretch your budget too far, consider spray painting your fixtures. When done right, you will have a high-end looking durable solution without having to replace each piece. This will save you money and amp up the appeal of your home to potential buyers instantly. Ashley a creative and self proclaimed DIY enthusiast will show you how with these easy steps:
Home Improvements—Painting Old Chandeliers and Light Fixtures.
Sponge painting, fancy wallpaper, and hand painted murals might hold special meaning for you and your family, but they are more likely to scare potential buyers away. Busy walls are not only distracting, but they can close a room in making it appear smaller and darker. Beth Jaworski shares her Realtor insight by suggesting, “Buyers just do not like wallpaper. It's so personalized. If you go into a wallpaper store, there are thousands of patterns. Why is that? It's because people are very particular.” Neutralize your walls, by pulling down that busy wallpaper or painting over any flashy colours with a soft subdued tone.
Old countertops can be a deterring factor for potential buyers. Retro tiles, dirty grout, and cracked laminate just make a house look old. Don't be overwhelmed though, if replacing your countertops is not within the budget, there are still things you can do to help update the look of your home. There are many different approaches you can take when updating your counters, but it depends greatly on how much you want to invest and what look you are trying to achieve. Rose Kennedy of HGTV, offers these tips for painting over your laminate countertops.
Not only because of asbestos, but popcorn ceilings in general remind us of days gone by. Potential buyers prefer a ceiling that does not resemble cottage cheese. According to Armstrong.com, “Removing a popcorn ceiling is a messy, time-consuming job—and in most cases, it's not necessary because you can easily cover up that unsightly texture with ceiling panels of planks. They install directly over your existing popcorn ceiling in a few easy steps that you can do yourself using common household tools. In as little as a weekend, you can hide that ugly ceiling and enjoy a decorative ceiling style that will completely change the look of your room.” However, you should consider having your ceiling tested for asbestos, as this could be the motivation you need to have it permanently removed.
It might be overwhelming to think of trying to fix all of the retro quirks in your home at once, but by starting with just a few of these, you'll save yourself the disappointment of having your home passed over due to it's awkward retro quirks.
The following 6 tips will help you prepare your home for a quick and successful sale:
Walking into a home with bare countertops provides an instantly well-kept first impression. The minimalist counter also highlights extra space in the kitchen that could otherwise be lost under too much clutter. Cambria Bold, the design and lifestyle editor from The Kitchen says it best, “Messy countertops—heck, even countertops that have pretty things, but just too many of them—can make a kitchen feel untidy and claustrophobic, whereas mostly clear countertops are invigorating and inspiring. They also invite you to cook, instead of feeling like your kitchen is unready for you.”
Make-Over the Refrigerator
Quirky magnets, colorful art, and postcards might remind you of special memories, but when it comes to selling your house, less is best. Avoid turning the front of your refrigerator into a gallery wall. This not only takes away from the functionality of the kitchen, but it can be extremely distracting to potential buyers who are trying to envision their life in your home. After you've successfully cleared the front, make sure you give the inside a thorough cleaning. Go through your fridge and toss expired, leaking, or odour causing foods. Try to keep your shelves clear and organized, in order to display the storage capabilities of your main kitchen appliance.
Keep it Kitchen
For most families, the kitchen is typically one the busiest gathering places of the home, which is why organization is key. It's easy for a kitchen countertop to become the dump zone for miscellaneous household items, but if it isn't kitchen related, it must go. Keep a bin on the end of your counter as a catchall for the random things that end up cluttering your space. Then at the end of each day, go through the bin and re-home all the wayward items. This will cut down on the time you have to spend tidying up before each showing. Rather than spend precious time corralling all the bits and pieces, the catchall also makes it easier to store out of sight in a hurry for those last minute showings.
Stage the Pantry
Your pantry might usually look more on the haphazard side of things, but when preparing your home for sale, great staging can cinch the deal. Use your pantry to play up the functionality and storage capacity of your kitchen. Laura Gaskill of Houzz shares, “Pare back the contents of your pantry until you have some open space on each shelf. Organize what's left into a set of matching food storage containers or open baskets. This may mean removing a bunch of food—just remember that a staged kitchen is not necessarily a practical kitchen! As with items from your cupboards, keep extra pantry goods in a box out of sight during showings if you must.”
No one wants to cook up something in a kitchen that already smells questionable. Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink and purge the refrigerator of old food on a regular basis. Kathleen Squires of Real Simple advises, “ Place a box of baking soda in the freezer and another in the refrigerator to absorb and neutralize smells; replace them every three months. Alternatives: a mound of charcoal; coffee beans in a bowl; or a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract and kept in the refrigerator until dry.” You can also keep nasty odours at bay, by using odour blocking garbage can liners, and play up that 'freshly baked' smell by using a candle warmer in a welcoming kitchen scent.
Potential Buyers want to explore the space in your kitchen, as they imagine what their life might look like within those walls. Go through your cupboards, drawers, and pantry with the objective to only leave items that are frequently used and essential. Professional Organizer Debbie Lillard suggests, “The kitchen is a very practical place, and most people I meet have more stuff than storage. So only keep what you use on a regular basis. If there is something you use only a few times a year (ice bucket, punch bowl, warming tray, etc.) those items can be stored away in a basement or closet.” Streamlining will not only cut down on clutter before showings, it will enhance the important features, so that your kitchen can truly shine.
When you’re preparing your house for sale, the basement is often overlooked when it comes to home staging. While rooms such as the living room and bedrooms take staging center stage, any smart buyer will want to explore all the rooms of your home – and that includes the basement. A clean and finished basement is an excellent addition to any home, and can really add some zeros to your home’s market price tag. It’s clear that it’s in your best interests to get your basement up to speed with the rest of your home staging efforts, but where should you start? And what should you stay away from?
Do: Clean It Up, No Matter What You’re Planning
Of course, whether you’re planning on an aggressive basement improvement project or just getting things together for an open house, the first step is to clear and clean the basement. Pack up boxes and move them into storage, mop and clean the walls, and air out the room if musty smells have taken over. Give potential buyers a clear view of what your basement looks like – a finished basement is a plus, but an unfinished, clean basement won’t make them bat an eye. A messy, smelly basement, however, will remain a black mark.
Don’t: Ignore Water Damage
A well-built basement is bone-dry, and if you’ve got pools of water or drips in the walls, you’ve got water problems. These can easily damage your home’s foundation and encourage mold growth, resulting in your responsibility for some costly repair bills. You’ll want to take care of the issue before any buyers come calling, even if you’re not planning on any more intense finishing projects. Many home improvement contractors offer consultations, tests, and services for waterproofing basements, but there are some simple fixes you can perform yourself. Cracks and gaps in pipes and walls can be plugged with caulk or cement, but if water is seeping in along the floor, you may need to consult with a professional to determine the cause and your options. Solutions can range from pump installations to landscaping changes.
Do: Insulate Your Walls
An insulation project is one of the easiest ways to add a bit of comfort to your basement, without trapping yourself in a more complicated project. Moreover, it’s inexpensive, and generally quite easy to DIY if you do your homework. Insulation will keep in the warmth and the cold, and covering it with a wall installation will give your basement a clean look. Before installing any insulation, however, be sure that your basement is entirely waterproofed – insulation and moisture will make for mold city. Even if you don’t have obvious water leakage problems, be sure that no condensation is coming through from the outside with hairline cracks and holes: tape plastic sheeting to the walls, and leave it there undisturbed for a few weeks. If you return to dry plastic, you’re golden.
Don’t: Bite Off More Than You Can Chew With Finishing
Remember: you’re trying to sell this house. Thus, you don’t want to tie yourself to it with a basement finishing project that could potentially take years to complete. No sane buyer will purchase a home with a basement project abandoned half-finished, so you’ll need to consider what you can really handle in the time frame you’ve decided on. If you have the money to spend, a professional job can give you the speedy results you need, but take care with your finances: you don’t want to wind up spending more on the project than the returns it’ll grant you on your home’s price tag.
Do: Familiarize Yourself With Your Local Codes
Housing codes vary from area to area, and when undertaking any kind of home construction project, you’ll need to make sure you don’t wind up in hot water by accidentally violating an obscure footnote. Codes address everything from ceiling height to water and electrical rules, so no matter what you’re planning, you’ll want to pay attention. A consultation with a home improvement professional is a great help in this area, even if you’re determined to DIY: they’ve got expert hands-on knowledge, and a more down-to-earth understanding of what local codes mean and how they apply to you and your project.
Don’t: Get Too Determined to DIY
We understand the DIY urge, especially when you’re tempted by the thought of increasing your home’s value – if you’re out to get more money in the long run, why spend money now on professional work that you can do yourself? (Theoretically.) The fact of the matter is, a home’s basement is an entirely different ballpark than any other above-level rooms. There are foundation and water factors you have to take into account, and when things go wrong here, they can potentially affect the rest of your home in the worst of ways. YouTube tutorials and online articles can only give you so much assistance, and a contractor with years of hands-on expertise is going to have an edge no matter how many blog posts you’ve read and how-to videos you’ve watched. By all means, you’re free to try your hand at basement finishing projects, but if you wind up out of your depth, don’t be ashamed to call in a pro to consult. They’ve got a passion for home improvement that’s a great addition to any team.
Finishing your basement is a great way to add value to a home you’re getting ready to sell. Basement improvement jobs are excellent undertakings due to their flexibility: whether you’re just out to add some insulation and soft lighting fixtures, or if you’re out to transform it into a fully-functional social room, any level of effort can spell big results when it comes to selling your home. Consider what you have time to go through with, get the pros on the line to lend a hand, and go forth to improve.
Selling your home is all about appealing to the market. You’re putting a product out there, so of course you have to take steps to make it appeal to your prospective customers. Some flaws are excusable: not having a fireplace in the living room, kitchen tiles that are slightly out of fashion, and so on. When your home has certain flaws, however, you’ve got to take steps to improve or downplay them – otherwise, they’ll send any sane home buyer dashing for the door.
Utilities Gone Wild
Water, heat, and electric are the first things any smart buyer will check in a prospective home, so you’d better make sure yours are up to code and working at full throttle. Get your home inspected before you sell to get aware of any issues at hand, and have them taken care of professionally unless you’re a licensed technician – home inspectors can tell when something’s a DIY job, and you don’t want to get slapped with legal fines down the line if something goes wrong. These utilities are serious issues that could end disastrously without an experienced hand, so don’t let that DIY itch get the best of you.
A Home So Cozy That We Can’t Turn Around
It’s always tough to sell a small home, especially if you and your real estate agent don’t do your part to make the house an attractive purchase without denying the issue. Buyers know when a house is small, but you can expand it to the eye with clever staging – clear out clutter, stage with small furniture, and let in plenty of light. Don’t forget to sell your buyer on the benefits of living small: cheaper utility bills are no joke, especially to first-time home buyers and retirees looking to downsize.
This Place Has Really Let Itself Go…
Some buyers don’t mind a small home improvement project waiting for them when they move in: laying new tiles, repainting rooms, and tearing up carpets aren’t overly expensive undertakings, and can help a new buyer to settle in to a new place. However, there’s a difference between “we should tear up these tiles, they’re not really our style” and “we should tear up these tiles, I think something’s building a civilization beneath them”. Do your part to take care of the big home improvement projects before you even put the house on the market. Your house will sell faster, and you won’t have to take hits on your desired price tag.
Those Aren’t Termites! The Walls Are Just Rustic!
Insect and vermin infestations don’t need to be as severe as a termite attack to have an adverse impression on buyers, and they don’t even need to be infesting the house itself. If your lawn and garden are home to some nasty beasties, your buyers will be able to tell with even the briefest inspection that something iffy is buzzing around – especially when it’s buzzing right in their face.
For severe issues such as the aforementioned termites, a professional exterminator is absolutely essential – the exterminator will not only work to get rid of the bugs, but will also assess any potential damage to the home and its foundations. If you’re lax on getting this inspected and professionally fixed, be prepared for legal repercussions. Less pressing problems, like a booming mosquito population, can usually be improved or eradicated with a little bit of detective work, instead of smelly, lawn-damaging pesticides. Check online for what kinds of environments your given insect invaders thrive in – that long grass is prime real estate for ticks, and stagnant water attracts mosquitos. A bit of lawn improvement can go a long way.
Is That a Lawn or a Jungle?
Many home sellers neglect to include their home’s great outdoors in their prep work, and do so to their own peril. A messy, unkempt lawn will impress no one: not only will it put your home’s curb appeal in the toilet, but if things are especially dire, you might find that potential buyers refuse to even take a step outdoors. Are lions and tigers lurking in that unmowed grass; or more reasonably, ticks and fleas? Are they going to need a tendonitis shot for being in the proximity of your rusted lawn furniture? No buyer wants to be saddled with the responsibility of cleaning up the mess of a yard that you’ve left them, so do your part beforehand and get some gardening done.
In This Neighbourhood, It’s Always Party Time
Noisy neighbours (and their noisy children, noisy pets, and noisy guests) are one of the biggest deal-breakers out there when trying to sell a home, and unfortunately, it’s usually an issue that’s completely out of your control. Noise is only one of the many sins that bad neighbours can commit: there’s also the nosy neighbour, the rude neighbour, and the messy neighbour. A neighbour that parties into the night is just as bad as a neighbour that peeps into your windows, a neighbour that refuses to give back children’s toys that have gone rogue into their yard, or the neighbour whose yard is so messy that they couldn’t give the toy back if they tried.
In the end, the only thing that can solve this issue is communication. If politely requesting that a neighbour cease their bad habits doesn’t work, consider building a privacy fence to block out at least some of the issue – if the problems are severe, you may have to get local law enforcement involved. In any event, it is heavily advisable for you to speak about the issue at hand to your real estate agent so they can devise an appropriate plan to keep prospective buyers informed, but still interested.
Taking care of these deal-breakers before your home even goes up for sale will do a lot for your selling prospects. Homes that are well-maintained and attractively staged consistently spend less time on the housing market, and go for more money, than those that could do with some TLC. Put in some elbow grease, and you and your prospective buyers will be thankful for it in the long run.
From, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post
Gearing up for summer? Now is a great time to get your home in top shape for the months ahead. Whatever your weather, caring for your home now will help to ensure a worry-free, comfortable summer. Follow a few of these tips each week and you'll be done in no time.
- Inspect siding for cracks and make any needed repairs.
- If paint is peeling, cracking, or chipped, repair and repaint now to limit damage to the underlying materials.
- Remove window screens and clean with a soft brush and soapy water. Repair any holes or tears or replace the screen material before reinstalling.
- Have air conditioning units serviced to ensure good operation. Promote air circulation around the unit by keeping surrounding shrubs and plants trimmed.
- Clear debris from gutters and eaves to allow rainwater to drain properly.
- Seal cracks in the driveway and keep walkways clear of debris and overgrown plants.
- Test irrigation/sprinkler systems and replace any broken sprinkler heads or emitters. Check for proper water coverage and adjust if necessary.
- Power wash decks and patios and seal surfaces as appropriate.
- Vacuum or brush off refrigerator coils to help maintain energy efficiency.
- Empty dehumidifier pans and clean hoses according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- If possible, take area rugs outside and hang them over a deck or porch rail to air out.
- Adjust ceiling fans for proper balance and change the rotation to the summer setting. While you're at it, give the unit a good dusting.
- Switch heavy bedding out for lightweight summer fabrics. Have the winter bedding cleaned before storing it away for the season.
- Close the chimney flue to prevent insects from entering and to help keep cool air in.
- Repot houseplants to give their roots a fresh start for the summer.
- Check door and cabinet hinges and lubricate any that stick or squeak.
Open windows on cooler days to keep fresh air flowing throughout the home.
by Rowena List, Getting it Together
Do you dream of a stress free move?
Would you like support from the experts?
How would you like to be really organized?
Tip#1: Hire movers. Gone are the days of trying to do everything yourself. You are busy. Your friends and family are busy. Professional movers have all the right boxes, packing supplies, dollies and manpower. They can get you packed and moved quickly and efficiently
Tip#2: Pack a suitcase. Pretend you are going on a 2 week camping vacation. Pack a suitcase with clothes, your kid’s favorite toy or doll, towels, exercise attire, toiletries and a good book. This saves you time searching in your boxes for some much needed necessities.
Tip#3: Start early. People seem to underestimate how long it takes to pack up a house or condo. Start early by packing non seasonal clothing, china, books and any other items that are not needed day to day.
Tip#4: Pack a cooler. On moving day pack a cooler filled with must have food items. Have snacks for the kids, movers and yourself. Remember some of your favorite drinks as well.
Tip#5: Hire an organizer. Did you know a professional organizer will support you in a stress free move? You will save time, energy and most importantly, money. You will only move items you love, need and use. Unpacking will be a dream.
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