Increase the Value of Your Home with These Five Tips

If you’re planning on selling your home in the coming years, now is the perfect time to start making home improvements that will increase the value and demand of your home once it’s on the market. Increasing the market value of your home, however, isn’t just a matter of replacing old appliances or dressing up rooms to look more luxurious. Follow these five expert tips on how to increase your home value without wasting time or money on projects that won’t pay off.

Paint everything

One basic improvement that will almost always pay off is a fresh coat of paint in each room of your home. It isn’t a very costly improvement, and it can both clean up and modernize rooms that are in need of an update.

Remember that your walls make up the majority of what buyers see when they walk through your home. The wall paint makes up the big picture that all of the small details of your home fit in, therefore your paint colors should be chosen to fit the style of the home and the time that we live in.

Avoid colors that are too dark or too blindingly white. If you’re at a loss for which colors you want to use, try out a free color palette creator online to experiment with different schemes.

Door replacement

As a new home buyer approaches your home for the first time their eyes are going to be locked on the door. Take advantage of good first impressions with a quality door. One that compliments the exterior color of your home will do wonders to improve the overall appearance of your home.

Aside from their aesthetic value, doors also provide insulation and security. Choose a door that is EnergyStar certified to keep the heat in, but also make sure it has top rate locking mechanisms so the next family to live in your home feels safe.

Increase storage space

Storage capacity is highly sought after in the house market. No one wants to drive to a storage container just to get their belongings. Having all of your property in one place makes things less complicated. Increasing storage space can seem difficult or impossible, but there are a few tricks that will help convince potential home buyers that they won’t run out of room. Here are four of our favorites:

  • Install storage beds in the bedrooms
  • Buy a kitchen table with a storage cabinet
  • Put a bench in the mudroom that has storage inside
  • Install cabinets in your garage or shed to take advantage of unused vertical space

Kitchen and bathroom makeover

Two rooms in your home that will attract the most attention are the kitchen and bathroom(s). The kitchen has endless opportunity for upgrades. Installing a new sink, cabinets, and a hanging pot rack can all give your kitchen a modern makeover.

In the bathroom, surface level upgrades like a new toilet seat and shower curtain and bathroom mirror go a long way. Upgrading an old bathtub, shower head, and toilet are also great ways to increase the value of the room. Keep in mind energy efficiency when purchasing any of these items.

Know the neighborhood

Determining which home improvements will most increase the value of your home is dependent on many factors, including the neighborhood you live in. It is possible to “over-improve” your home to the point where it looks too luxurious next to your neighbors’ homes. Ask the experts–real estate agents and contractors–for advice about improving homes in your neighborhood.

All of the Fun Things About Owning an Old Home

Many first time home buyers think of the age of a home like a time bomb. With age comes costly repairs and renovations that are often avoided (or at least prolonged) if you buy a newer home. While it is true that older homes are prone to needing more upgrades, they also have many advantages over newer homes.

What you don’t often hear is that if an old home is maintained properly, it can be as good if not better than living in a newly built one. Old homes often come with perks that are forgotten or ignored in the buying process. In this article, we’ll go over some of the best reasons to own an old home, and some of the things to look for when house hunting.

1. With age comes wisdom

Old homes are filled with history. From the people who built and lived in the home, down to the tiny architectural details, these houses will shed light upon what life was once like in your neighborhood. For those eager to learn about the history and culture of their neighborhood, it has never been easier to access historical data from internet archives or your local library.

Aside from being historically significant, old homes are also aesthetically interesting. Depending on the architectural style and location of your home, it could have been built using any number of materials and techniques. Today, mass production has made home-building much more streamlined and efficient. Unfortunately, that has come at the cost of some originality in style.

2. Cost

In many instances, old homes are cheaper to buy than new ones. One reason is that sellers assume that buyers will have to pour money into the home to keep it updated and adjust the asking price. Another is simply that your average homebuyer values new homes over old ones. If you enjoy older homes, that gives you a financial advantage.

For those homebuyers interested in do-it-yourself repairs and upgrades, buying a “fixer upper” is a great way to save money. However, be aware that some repairs should be better left to the professionals, especially when dealing with hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos.

3. Location

America is a young country. So the oldest homes tend to be built in centralized and urban areas. That often means easy access to things like grocery stores, schools and highways.

Aside from being convenient, old neighborhoods also tend to have developed communities and landscapes. The streets are probably lined with aged trees that provide plenty of shade, and there’s a greater likelihood of having nearby parks or ponds.

4. Prime land picks

Older homes tend to have the best plots of land because, well… they got the first pick. As a home buyer, this could be a huge if you’re looking for a larger backyard or one with great natural features like aged trees and natural bodies of water.

 

When you’re out hunting for new homes, don’t look past the older homes. You might find that they have many benefits that are great for you and your family.

 

Hardwood Floors or Carpet, Which is Better?

Hardwood floors are generally easier to clean than carpeted floors, particularly on a weekly basis. On the other hand, they are more expensive to install than carpet. Hardwood floors can also increase the value of your home in the eyes of buyers. In fact, some buyers will only consider a house that has hardwood flooring.

But, you’re not going to get the soft comfort, especially while walking barefoot at home,that you can enjoy with carpeted floors. It comes down to a matter of price,taste and lifestyle. Which flooring type you go with will affect your home’s appearance, cleanliness and again, value.

Carpeted Flooring Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Foot protection is a real plus with carpeted floors. Sink your feet and toes into a plush shag carpet and you may not want to put your shoes back on. Carpeted floors are especially welcomed if you have sensitive, tired or injured feet.
  • Carpet insulates the rooms of your house,lowering noise levels. This benefit is most realized if you’re walking on the second or third floor of your house. Walking on carpet keeps your family on lower levels of your home from hearing your feet echo across the floor.
  • Go barefoot on carpeted floors and you probably won’t get a splinter.
  • Young children will have padding to crawl on. Toddlers who are learning to walk will also have padding when they tumble to the floor.
  • Cold air won’t nip as hard at your feet during cold months.

Cons:

  • Despite your best cleaning efforts, after several months, your carpet may get stained. You could scrub the stains on your hands and knees and not get all of the spots out.
  • Carpet fibers hold dirt and allergens. Deep cleaners and regular vacuuming are needed to keep fibers free of allergens.
  • Let snags develop in your carpet and you could see a run stretch several feet across the floor.
  • You’ll have to eventually replace your carpet to keep your home in stop condition.

Pros and Cons of Going with Hardwood Floors

Pros:

  • A broom and a mop can keep hardwood floors clean for months.
  • If hardwood floor tiles get damaged, you can sand or refinish them instead of replacing them, saving money.
  • Allergens and dirt have less places to hide.
  • Should you track mud in the house, you can clean it up in seconds with a wet rag.

Cons:

  • Similar to tile floors, hardwood floors can buckle, especially if it gets humid.
  • Polish is required to keep hardwood floors looking good over time. This may not be so bad if you don’t mind operating a buffing machine a couple of times a year. As a tip, only buff floors that are not made with refinished wood.
  • Termites can get in hardwood floors.

Both carpeted and hardwood floors get spots on them. Your floors can get spots from water, grease and other harsh cleaners. To reduce flooring damage, consider using environmentally friendly cleaners. Also, protect carpet and hardwood floors from too much sun exposure, as too much sun exposure can take the shine out of carpet and hardwood coloring.

4 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Let’s face it – selling your home is no simple task. As such, you’ll want to find a real estate agent who can guide you through the home selling process and ensure that you’re able to maximize the value of your residence.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to find a real estate agent to help you sell your residence, including:

1. Industry Experience

A real estate agent will possess comprehensive industry experience that makes him or her exceedingly valuable. This professional understands the ins and outs of the real estate sector and will be able to assist you in several areas.

From determining the best price for your home to offering home improvement tips, a real estate agent knows what it takes to sell a residence in any real estate market, at any time.

2. Local Knowledge

Selling a home in a big city can be very different from selling one in a small town. Fortunately, a real estate often recognizes the key attributes of selling a home in a specific area and will work with you to find interested homebuyers consistently.

The local knowledge that a real estate agent possesses can make him or her a great resource, particularly for home sellers who are hoping for a fast sale. This professional will work with you throughout the home selling process, and ultimately, ensure that you are fully satisfied with the end results.

3. Expert Negotiation Skills

A real estate agent represents you throughout the home selling process and will operate as a liaison between you and a homebuyer. That way, if a homebuyer wants to negotiate for a better price for your residence, your real estate agent can serve as a facilitator who can help you get the best price for your home.

Negotiating can be a stressful, exhausting experience, particularly for home sellers who are offering their residences to homebuyers for the first time. Thankfully, your real estate agent will help you streamline any negotiations with a homebuyer.

4. Friendly, Professional Approach

A real estate agent understands that the process of selling a home is rarely simple and is happy to respond to your concerns and questions at any time.

Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date as he or she tries to find homebuyers. This professional will take a friendly, professional approach to promoting your home to a wide range of prospective homebuyers, hosting open houses and home showings and ensuring that you get the attention you deserve while you try to sell your home.

With the right real estate agent to help you sell your residence, you can enjoy a stress-free journey through the home selling process – one that is likely to conclude with a home sale that satisfies your needs.

Choose the right real estate agent as you prepare to add your home to the real estate market. By doing so, you can take the guesswork out of promoting your home to the right homebuyers and increase your chances of a quick sale.