You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and trends to community events. Please reach out if you have any questions; we would like to talk with you!

 

May 5, 2021

How to Prepare Your Home for Showings

How to Prepare Your Home for Showings

Sellers, you never get a second chance to make a first impression so please follow these suggestions to get your home ready to show. The perfect buyers for your home could be coming at any time, so your home needs to be ready at all times. 

THE 3 C’S OF GETTING READY TO SHOW YOUR HOME

Clean   Spotless kitchen, baths, patios and decks.

Clutter free   No personal items. Model home look.

Color   Warm rooms with color accents.

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What to Do When You Have a Showing

You can have as much or little notice as you require for showings, but keep in mind that you want to sell your home and it is best if you can be ready within an hour or so for an agent to show your house. Showings are scheduled during the week AND on the weekends.

It is ideal to have you gone when the prospective buyer arrives. They are more likely to stay a while and imagine their new life in the house if you are not there. Give them space to make the buying decision.

If you have pets, please crate them or take them with you as not everyone is comfortable with pets.

Put away any personal items you had out including laundry, dishes and even your toothbrush. You want this buyer to feel like a buyer, not an intruder.

If you are available to turn on all the lights before a showing, please do. It adds to the nice atmosphere.

If you have any special considerations, let me know. I will inform our staff of the special instructions for showing your home. If they change, please tell me and I will update our staff.

April 30, 2021

Tips for sprucing up your landscaping

Putting your home on the market this spring or just looking to give your yard a fresh look this spring and summer? Consider sprucing up your landscaping, lawn and outdoor areas. Administering a little TLC can go a long way and may even help increase the value of your home.

Grab a shovel and some gardening gloves and complete one (or several) of these simple landscaping projects to get your home in tip-top shape!

Plant Bright + Cheery Flowers

Add an instant dose of color to your landscape by planting some bright and cheerful flowers to your garden, particularly in the front of the home. Include a combination of larger blooms with dainty flowers to add variety. 

Add Mulch

Spread mulch around your plants for an instant boost. Mulch adds a clean, finished look to your yard, keeps weeds from growing, and helps to hydrate your plants. A fresh layer of dark mulch adds contrast to bright and colorful plants and flowers. Plus, mulch is relatively inexpensive!

Spruce Up Small Pots + Containers

Add a little interest and beauty to the spaces where potential buyers will be entering and exiting the house, such as the front door or back entrance. Frame the doorway with beautiful planters filled with tropical greenery or colorful flowers.

Shape/Trim Trees + Shrubs

Take some clippers to overgrown bushes, trees and shrubs. This simple grooming shows that the property is well-maintained, both inside and out. Keep in mind that it is okay to prune deciduous trees and shrubs any time of the year.

Plant a Tree

Adding a small tree to the yard can provide immense value for someone down the line. Although it may not provide shade at the moment, it will grow tall and is a beautiful addition to your landscape.

Power Wash

Power washing is a simple yet effective way to spruce up your outdoor space. Rent or buy a power washer to clean off paved walkways, the driveway, patios, decks, outdoor furniture, and even brick and vinyl siding.

Install Outdoor Lighting

Showcase your beautiful landscaping work with some outdoor lighting. Consider installing path lights, spotlights, floodlights, deck lights, well lights, or string lights to illuminate your property at night.

Put Your Best Foot Forward!

 

Curb appeal can make a big impact and can help showcase your personal style. By spending a little time and energy in the yard in the spring, you can enjoy a beautiful yard all summer long!

April 28, 2021

Ways to Maximize Your Home's Storage

Ways to Maximize Your Home's Storage

Shoe Storage

As you get settled into your new home or reorganize a home you’ve lived in for years, you may find yourself searching for additional storage. There are several ways to maximize storage in your home, whether that means buying creative furniture or renovating to add shelving, cabinets or drawers.

Declutter Each Room

First and foremost, you can often solve a few storage issues simply by decluttering your home. Go through cabinets, drawers and closets to determine what you need — and donate or sell the rest!

Incorporate Shoe Organizers

Avoid shoes piling up on your closet floor by adding a shoe organizer on the back of your door or a shoe rack to neatly display your shoes. Organize by style to make the collection look more cohesive. Or find a creative way to build shelving for your shoes in a small nook around your home!

Install Toe-Kick Storage

If you are struggling with storage in the kitchen, you might consider installing toe-kick drawers under the base of your cabinets. These can hold thin items like cutting boards, baking pans, user manuals and more.

Consider Floor-to-Ceiling Storage

Bookshelves or shelving that does not extend to the ceiling does not use all available wall space. Consider buying a bookshelf or installing more shelving that goes from the floor all the way to the ceiling to maximize the space — and make the room look taller! Or, for a more affordable option, consider getting baskets that can be filled and placed along the top of cabinets and shelving.

Store Items Under the Bed

The space under your bed is prime real estate for additional storage. This is a great place to store extra bedding, sheets and pillows, or even seasonal decor, luggage or other seldom-used items.

Invest in Multifunctional Furniture

Purchase creative pieces of furniture to add storage in unexpected places — including the living room! Search for ottomans, benches, coffee tables and beds with secret storage compartments.

We hope this helps you maximize every square inch of your home!

Posted in Home Organization
April 25, 2021

Affordable Ways to Spruce Up Your Home's Interior

You don’t have to undergo an intensive remodel to make some pretty significant changes in your home. In fact, doing just one or two of these cost-effective upgrades can go a long way in sprucing up your home’s interior. With some creativity, a few dollars and a little bit of time, you can update your home with one of these affordable options!

Add a fresh coat of paint. Applying a fresh coat of paint can completely transform the look of a space. Use a lighter tone to brighten up a room that feels a bit dark, or go bold with an eye-popping hue. You could even paint an accent wall for less of a commitment — and less money!

Collect some antique or thrift store finds. Shop at your local thrift or antique store for some truly unique gems. Display them as is or upcycle them with a simple DIY project.

Install new faucets and light fixtures. Replace outdated or rusty faucets with brand new ones in your bathroom or kitchen. Similarly, adding unique light fixtures makes a big difference. Consider installing a statement piece in the dining room, kitchen or living space to add interest. You might even consider adding dimmers to a few fixtures to create a cozy ambiance.

Upgrade cabinets with knobs, handles and paint. Update your kitchen cabinets or built-ins throughout the home by painting them a different color and swapping out old knobs and handles. Consider painting them white to significantly brighten up the space.

Hang mirrors or new artwork. Add a large mirror to make a room feel larger and reflect light from windows, which will brighten up the space. Or add a piece of art or two that expresses your personality and unique style.

Swap out bedding and bath linens. Purchase new bedding, like a comforter, linens and pillows, and add new bath towels and shower curtains to freshen up your bedrooms and bathrooms. This is an opportunity to incorporate a new color scheme in your home as well.

Bring the outdoors in. Add potted houseplants or display flowers from your yard in a vase. You could also incorporate found objects in nature, like branches, shells, stones and more.

Rearrange furniture. This no-cost option is an easy way to breathe new life into your space. Rearranging the layout of a living room or bedroom can create an entirely new look with existing furniture and decor.

 

We hope these upgrades help add beauty to your home — without subtracting too much from your wallet!

Posted in Home Update Ideas
April 22, 2021

Maintenance Tips for your Home

Keeping your home well-maintained and cared for helps ensure it stays in great condition for years to come and will retain its value when it comes time to sell. 

The benefits of a clean house are innumerable! By decluttering and deep cleaning your home, you can help reduce stress, improve your efficiency and even eliminate seasonal allergens! Below are a few tips to help get you started off on the right foot. 

Create a Cleaning Checklist

Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of detailing your entire home. Instead, create a checklist and start scheduling tasks and delegating chores. There are a lot of free resources, checklists and templates online you can tailor to fit the needs of your home. Then, turn on some music, open a window and start working your way through the list one room at a time! 

Declutter Your Space

A great place to start is by decluttering your home and donating the items you no longer want or need. With fewer items taking up space in your home, it’s also much easier to clean! This is also an opportunity to swap your wardrobes and store seasonal items elsewhere so your closets and drawers stay organized. 

Deep Clean Neglected Areas

Rid your home of hidden dirt and grime by dusting areas that may be neglected during a regular cleaning, such as blinds, slipcovers and drapes. You will want to tackle the big-ticket cleaning items next, including vacuuming behind and under furniture and appliances, cleaning windows, and wiping down walls and cabinets. When it comes time to deep clean your floors, consider having your wood floors waxed and your carpets professionally cleaned. 

Do a Safety Check

Many people tie-in annual reminders such as replacing their smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries into their spring cleaning routine. This helps ensure all safety measures are working properly and gives you more peace of mind.

Add Life to Your Home

Now that your home is clean, think about adding some fresh flowers or houseplants to celebrate the new season! It’s amazing what a little greenery can do to lift your spirits and help fight a case of spring fever. 

Recharge Your Mind

At the end of a busy spring cleaning session, don’t forget to set aside some time to recharge and reward yourself for all of your hard work!

As always, if you have questions on your home or the current real estate market, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are happy to assist!

 

Posted in Home Maintenance
April 20, 2021

Ways to Conserve Energy in Your Home

Ways to Conserve Energy in Your Home

Conserving Energy

There are many ways to conserve energy in your home, from minor adjustments to major home improvements. Making these small changes at home can go a long way in protecting the environment and potentially cutting down your utility costs.

Utilize Natural Light

Open blinds and curtains during the day, and turn on lights only when needed at night.

Use Power Strips

Plug multiple electronics or appliances into a power strip and turn off the power strip when they are not in use.

Only Wash Full Loads of Dishes and Laundry

Don’t waste water and energy on half-full loads.

Replace Light Bulbs

Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs, such as halogen incandescents, CFLs or LEDs. If you can’t replace all bulbs, just replace the most frequently used ones.

Use Less Hot Water

Try to take shorter showers and fewer baths to limit your use of hot water.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature when you are asleep or away.

Replace Appliances

If you have older appliances, you might consider replacing them with newer, energy-efficient products to save money long-term.

Insulate

Insulation helps keep heat (and cold!) in, reducing wasted energy. Insulate heating ducts, hot water pipes and water heaters, and make sure your home as a whole is well-insulated.

Seal Air Leaks

Sealing any air leaks keeps both hot and cold air in.

Turn Off Electronics

Turn off and unplug any electronics, such as computers or TVs, when they are not in use, especially when you are away for a long period of time.

Wash Clothes With Cold Water and Air Dry

Washing clothes in cold water and air drying them can significantly reduce energy waste during your laundry routine.

We hope these tips help you save energy (and money!) at home.

Posted in Conservation
April 15, 2021

5 Factors that Affect Your Credit Score

FICO® credit scores range between 300 and 850, with scores above 640 considered to be the minimum for obtaining most mortgages. The following factors affect your score:


1. Your payment history. 

Did you pay your credit card obligations on time? If you paid late, then how late? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also impact your history. 

 

2. How much you owe.  

If you owe a great deal of money on numerous accounts, it can indicate that you are overextended. However, it’s a good thing if you have a good proportion of balances to total credit limits. 


3. The length of your credit history. 

In general, the longer you have had accounts opened, the better. The average consumer's oldest obligation is 14 years old, indicating that he or she has been managing credit for some time, according to Fair Isaac Corp.  You may want to think twice before closing accounts you’ve had for a long time.

 

4. How much new credit you have. 

New credit, either installment payments or new credit cards, are considered more risky, even if you pay them promptly. 


5. The types of credit you use. 

Generally, it’s desirable to have more than one type of credit — installment loans, credit cards, and a mortgage, for example.

For more on evaluating and understanding your FICO credit score, visit www.MyFICO.com as well as speak to a professional lender.

 

It is not advisable to contact creditors or collection agencies without first consulting with a professional lender who can guide you through the process.  To obtain your free credit report allowed from each bureau each year, go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com.  The three different credit bureaus and their contact information are listed below.

 

Equifax – www.equifax.com -1-877-322-8228

Experian- www.experian.com – 1-888-397-3742

 

TransUnion – www.transunion.com – 1-800-493-2392

 

Posted in Finance
April 10, 2021

Why Should I Use an Agent to Purchase a Home from a Builder?

The advantages of having me help you purchase a new home are the same as those for purchasing a resale home. I can provide you with valuable insight into the new construction industry, help you find the perfect home or home builder more quickly, negotiate the price and terms based on the quality and amenities of the property.

The builder has a professional real estate representative who watches out for his or her best interests, and you need and deserve the same expert representation watching out for yours. Buying a new home is a little more difficult and time-consuming than buying a resale home. I can guide you through this process. Having spent years working with builders, RE/MAX Properties, Inc. has a rapport with local builders.

It is very important that your interests be professionally represented when you are entering into a contract for a semi-custom or a build-to suit home. These transactions are complex and the contract details must be exactly in order to protect you and to ensure that you get exactly the home you want!

MAKE SURE THE BUILDER KNOWS YOU ARE WORKING WITH A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL

Many builders will require that you give up your right to representation if you visit their model homes without an agent on the first visit. Therefore, please call me if you would like to look at some model homes, so you are given the representation you deserve! The builder will pay the buyer’s agent’s fee just like the seller pays in other real estate transactions.

If you happen to be out driving and see a model home that you want to check out, give them a copy of my business card and fill out their “registration” form with your name and mine. Call me right away and tell me if their homes interest you so we can discuss the benefits of that particular builder and community.

April 5, 2021

Market Update March 2021

Posted in Market Updates
April 3, 2021

Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Home Exterior with Plants

You know what they say! First impressions are everything. Whether you are putting your house on the market in the near future or you simply want to spruce up the exterior for your personal enjoyment, it is wise to upgrade your home’s curb appeal. Here are a few easy ways to boost curb appeal!

Plant Some Flowers or Shrubs 

This is an obvious but effective way to improve your home’s curb appeal. Add vibrant flowers to planters or window boxes for an easy pop of color. Or consider creating a more complex garden with greenery and flowers, adding mulch to create contrast.

Maintain Your Lawn

Keep your lawn in pristine shape to improve the overall look of your property. Keep it mowed, fertilized, and free of leaves and weeds. Use a lawn edger to maintain clean lines.

Paint Your Front Door

Change things up without having to paint your entire exterior. Instead, paint your front door a bold hue for added interest.

Install Outdoor Lighting

Illuminate your garden, walkways, trees and the front of your house with some outdoor lighting. This ensures visitors can always admire the yard — even after the sun sets!

Add Some Decor or Furniture to Your Porch

If your house has a spacious porch, create a relaxing and inviting place to sit and unwind with some outdoor furniture and decor.

Swap Out Hardware or House Numbers

Switch out your house numbers to match the style of your home. Or upgrade the door latch, mailbox and other small details surrounding your home’s entrance.

Power Wash Surfaces

Power wash your driveway, walkway, siding and porch to remove all grime and dirt.

Create a Stone Pathway or Wall

Consider adding a stone pathway to make your home look more put together and inviting. Or build a stone wall to create a clear border around your garden and give it an overall clean look.

Enjoy the process of boosting your home’s curb appeal — and take time to admire your hard work. We hope it is love at first sight!