All posts by schatzi

How to Make Your House Painting Stand Out?

Do you want your home to stand out? Choose a color that shows personality. Oftentimes, color makes you feel that your home is unique, especially to those people who live in a housing development wherein homes are built with similar style and architecture. In these areas, House Painting is the only way to distinguish themselves from the others, so when it is time to get your house painted, then it sure requires some thought.

Picking house paint colors makes the House painting process more complicated. You may already have a color in your mind, but still not sure. If you pick colors that are dull, your house may seem flat and featureless. However, if the colors you pick are too bold, they might overwhelm the architecture and eventually upset the neighbors. Once you get your color right, house painting will highlight the most beautiful features of your home.

Quality house painting can even disguise architectural and design flaws, boost up the curb appeal and increase market value of your home. If you are renovating, it may contribute some to the cost and transformation of your house, but inexpensive compared to other renovations that you can have done. With a few tweaks of colors it could restore the glow of your house as it was before.

Your house must blend with its surroundings when choosing an exterior paint color combination, because if you don’t subscribe to the norm, your house will stick out like a sore thumb. If that happens, you will stand out in a negative way. Get color ideas from the house next door, but don’t copy. Just choose colors that set your house apart without clashing with nearby buildings. To be safe, stay in a single color family, although clashing of colors draw attention, too much of it detracts the details which doesn’t look good.

Try to maintain the balance of color over your entire house. A burst of a single color on just one part of your home may give it a lopsided appearance. Also, Consider blending into the nature around you. The landscape around your house is full of colorful expressions. It will be more appropriate if you live in areas full of trees, to use greens or browns. Along the beach might suggest blues, turquoises, and coral colors. Even the flower garden in your front yard can be a source of color to craft the color theme of your home.

If you’re planning to paint an older home, use a historically accurate color scheme, but if it’s new, use modern colors to dramatize architectural details. Different colors have different longevity and maintenance. Dark shaded colors for siding will make your house look smaller and will draw more attention to details. Dark colors with lighter trim will highlight details. So if you have a lot of trim, go for dark shaded colors for siding.

Although dark colors can conceal surface blemishes, they fade easier when exposed to direct sunlight, so frequent maintenance is imposed. Light colors make the house look larger and can reflect more light which makes your house vibrant. However, stains will show up more on light color shades, but fading is less noticeable.

House painting is a serious matter because paint colors can transform the overall appearance of your home. Studies shows that it can affect your mood. Therefore, it is recommended that if you live in the home, make sure you like your color choices and that they truly compliment the style of the home. Home itself is an amazing thing, and house painting just amplifies its beauty.

How to Sell a House Fast – Overprice Your Home in the Current Market and it May Never Ever Sell!

The first thought that enters most people’s minds when they need to sell a house fast is to make it look as homely and presentable as possible. Next, would be to get your home advertised as well as you can. However, the major factor in how to sell a house fast is the price!

A good guide as to whether your home is overpriced is to compare how long your property has been on the market compared to other homes for sale in your local area. For example, if properties in your neighbourhood are selling within 2 to 3 months, but your house has been on the market for over 6 months, then you know you have overpriced.

Another reason to perhaps reduce the price is that potential buyers view properties that have sat unsold for a long period of time suspiciously. A buyer’s mind will fill with all sorts of negative thoughts, but mainly that there must be something wrong with your home!

The biggest risk with overpricing is that, the longer your property is on the market, the more often you may need to drop the price. Eventually using this method it may take up to a year to sell and you will receive much less than you had ever hoped for.

One best methods of pricing your home and how to sell your house fast is to visit local open houses. How does the property compare to yours in size and structure? Then visit local real estate websites and again find properties comparable to yours.

Next for pricing, go as close to the market value as possible, but allow yourself room to drop the price lower. Also steer clear of rounded numbers. A property priced at $199,950 is likely to get far more attention than a home priced at $200,000. It’s only $50 difference, but this could save you months of having your home on the market.

Four Home Renovation Projects That Increase the Value of Your House

Spiffing up every space in a home allows the owner to create a personalized design. However, it’s important to consider the immediate benefits of improvements as well as the long-term financial benefits. Ideally, it is wise to invest in home renovation projects that offer the biggest payoffs. This is particularly important if a property owner considers selling in the future.

1. Kitchen Remodeling

For most people, the kitchen is the heart of the house, and it deserves a place on the project list. According to HGTV, homeowners can expect to recoup 60 to 120 percent of the investment in a kitchen remodel. Using modern colors to paint the kitchen goes a long way in giving it a fresh look. However, avoid paints that contain harmful chemicals, such as benzene, and opt for low-VOC paints. Replacing old appliances with Energy Star rated appliances that use less energy and are environmentally friendly is also a worthwhile investment.

2. Bathroom Addition

If a house has one bathroom, adding a second one can help reap substantial returns on the investment. When deliberating which room to convert into a bathroom, take a look at underutilized spaces, such as closets or areas below the stairs. Like any other home renovation project, the cost of this remodel depends on the additions and accessories that homeowner wants.

3. Energy-Efficient Additions

Many homeowners are always looking for ways to minimize their utility bills. Adding insulation to the attic and sealing all the cracks around the house is a wise energy-saving move. A contractor can use a thermal leak detector to find leaks around the house and fix them. Using CFL light bulbs can also decrease power usage, as they use 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs. Other viable updates include installing a programmable thermostat and getting Energy Star rated windows.

4. Room Additions

Creating more space in the house can be a good idea for homeowners who live in a hot real estate market. A homeowner can add two or more rooms, such as a sunroom, attic bedroom, and guest room, to add more space for their grown-up kids or guests. Some people also want more dedicated rooms for entertainment, hobbies, and crafts, and all these investments add to the overall home value. In some markets, purchasing a new house when a household grows can be considerably expensive. Therefore, it makes sense to add a few more rooms to accommodate all family members.

There are many home renovation projects that an individual can execute to improve the value of his or her house while ensuring optimum comfort. Taking the time to inspect the home and decide what renovations to prioritize in a project is important. Additionally, the whole project can be easier if a professional contractor is involved in each and every step.

Tips for Choosing A Perfect Home Inspection Company

Purchasing a new home is a big investment. Before investing your hard earned money in buying a house that you have dreamt of, it is important that you check every aspect of it. One of the most significant aspects is getting the entire home inspected before you sign any contract in the process of buying a house.

The industry of home inspection is full of competent home inspectors. There are dozens of home inspection companies that offer reliable home examination services to their clients. But along with the availability of professional home inspectors, the home inspection industry is also plagued with fraud companies who call themselves competent home inspectors. So, it is a must to screen and qualify a company before hiring their inspection services.

There are a number of things that you must keep in mind while selecting a good home examiner for inspecting your new house. Some of them have been mentioned below:

Experience– You must consider hiring the services of a professional who performs at least 300 inspections per year. House inspectors having more years of experience are most desirable for the job of home inspection.

Knowledge– The home inspection company you choose must be knowledgeable enough to understand every system in a home. Professionals having a relevant degree in the field of engineering or architecture are considered best for the work of home assessment. Professionals dealing in general construction are also considered ideal for the role of house inspectors.

Reputation– When you are dealing with a professional company, it is important to note the reputation of both the company and the inspector who will be performing the work of inspection for your house. You must always request your hired company to send you a trained and reputed inspector for inspecting your home.

Getting relevant reports– Ensure that your hired house inspection company provides you a report that covers all the aspects of scrutiny. The inspection of your new house must include a signed report that describes what inspection was carried and also it will include the conditions of the inspected items. There are a number of home assessors who provide a checklist of items that they inspect. On the other hand, there are professionals who provide a written description of all the items that are inspected.

The cost of the inspection – Before you hire the services of a professional home examination company, you must also ask them to give you an estimate of the total cost associated with the inspection of the house. Once you get an estimate, you can compare it with other companies before hiring any particular company.

You must consider all the above points because at the end, it is the knowledge and experience of the home examiner that matters a lot in the work of home inspection.

Home Selling Tips to Make Your House More Attractive to Buyers

Remember, first impressions count when selling real estate, which is why it is important to make your home stand out. There are several simple and basic things you can to do to sell your home.

Increase Curb Appeal

Landscaping can make a powerful impact to curb appeal. With spring on the way, there are several easy things you can do to make your home appealing from the outside.

1) Mow your yard with diagonal rows to make your yard appear larger.

2) Edge the lawn along driveways and sidewalks. This will show the buyer that you care and pay attention to detail.

3) Transplant tulips or other spring flowers near the walkway or anywhere in the front. Use bright colors, especially yellow because it stimulates happiness. Consider container plants also in groups of three to five and place near the entrance.

Home Staging

Stage your house as a home potential buyers can imagine themselves in. Remove extra furniture that clutters the space and arrange with maximum impact. This is a technique that model homes have been using successfully for many years.

When potential home buyers visit your home, remove all clutter and store out of sight (e.g. children toys from the family room, bills/mail/papers from the den, or make-up/products/appliances from the bathrooms).

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

Another thing you can do is to paint your walls white (or a neutral color) if they are not already. A fresh coat of paint will make everything look cleaner and white walls let the potential home buyer imagine their own personal style in the home instead of yours. White walls also make every room feel bigger. Avoid dark colors which can discourage a buyer if they do not like the color and makes the room look smaller.

Pay Attention to Details

Remember to do the little things to make your house stand out. Details matter. Here are a few examples:

1) Wash the windows inside and out. Clean all the mirrors.

2) Set out fresh flowers with a clean and inviting smell.

3) Polish hard wood floors to shine and vacuum right before any showing.

4) Offer a shoe mat at the entrance and even an umbrella stand. This will encourage prospective buyers and agents to remove their shoes and help keep your floors looking great.

5) Fluff pillows and put out fresh towels in bright colors. Even consider replacing these items because they are inexpensive and can add interest to a room.

Use Green Cleaning Products And Clean Your Home With Help From Professional House Cleaners

Had a party or returned home after a great holiday? You are definitely not going to come to a fresh house. Dirt, dust, and grime will be strewn all around which will not be easy to clean. Better hire professional cleaners who will do the cleaning job for you at minimum rates. Get your floors, furniture, household articles and carpets immaculately spotless again, take help now.

The house cleaning services are extremely professional and they deal with everything systematically and in an organized manner. The dust that accumulates in the corners, on ceiling fans, blinds, window sills, inside attics, tiles, upholstery, sticks strong and is almost impossible to get rid of. You need to get rid of all this muck to have a spic and span house. Get grouting, vacuuming, steaming, cleaning, dusting, mopping, removal and application of wax and a lot more done by skilled courteous, fast and high-quality cleaning services, now!

From the arrival updates to the scheduled cleaning procedure, everything is carefully calibrated by the house cleaning services. You don’t have to get them in every week, you can ask for their services once a month, once in 6 months or at your own convenient time. The staff has nimble hands and deal with each delicate object very carefully, providing a thorough cleaning at a fair price.

Floor polishing of the living rooms, tile cleaning of the bathroom, dusting the home and spring cleaning the carpets, all are an easy task if done methodically by cleaning specialists. The proficient staffs are respectful and understanding and can plan a visit to your home according to your convenience. By paying an affordable amount of money you can get recommended and trained service professionals. These specialists leave the house spotlessly clean within no time.

To maintain clients, the cleaning services have to ascertain that they have a very good cleaning reputation and client base. Every facet of cleaning is an easy task with the professional techniques and equipment used skillfully by the cleaning staff. This may not be possible for us at home; we do not have the expertise, correct products or paraphernalia needed for the tasks. These professionals need to work up a name and you can give them that by advertising their excellent service and proficiency to others. Superior and effective quality service is what the cleaners promise us!

Find a reliable company with a name in the market because individual cleaners through newspaper or online advertisements may not be well trained and they may not have extensive experience in the cleaning field. You may just end up paying loads to the cleaner. Hire trustworthy cleaners and get discounted deals and standard pricing. Get a time-efficient cleaner who is bonded and insured, on a consistent basis so that you can keep your home sparkling spick-and-span all the time. Try to ask for green cleaning products for your home. While you are at it, do your bit for environmental protection as well!

House Insurance Deals Tips: 5 Things to Do In Order to Find Good, Affordable Home Insurance

Are you looking for more affordable home insurance? It’s really not as difficult as you might think to get house insurance deals. There are many companies out there, and it’s all a matter of finding the one that offers the best solution to fit your personal needs. With a bit of planning and forethought, you should be able to find an affordable solution.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Review your current policy. Take the time to review it at least once a year. You never know what kinds of changes can take place over the course of several months. For instance, the value of the home might have changed, for the better or worse. You might have more valuable contents inside the home, or maybe your yard was torn up by extreme weather. It’s important to check and see if these changes affect your policy to the point where you might want to consider getting a new one.

2. If you think you need a new policy, then compare quotes from multiple companies. It’s essential to shop around for the best policy for your needs. Don’t necessarily go with the cheapest rate since it might have hidden fees, and you might end up having to pay more money in the long run.

More Tips for House Insurance Deals

3. Do research on each and every company that offers house insurance deals. Which ones have high ratings with the Better Business Bureau? If there are any complaints, have they been resolved? Longevity is also important. It’s a good idea to go with a home insurance company that has been in business for many years – the longer, the better.

4. What are others saying about a particular company’s claims processing? Are a lot of users listing “fast and easy claims processing” as a pro in their reviews? Are there different options available, such as filing a claim online or via app? How fast does the company process the claims? You’ll obviously want to avoid any organization

5. Try your best to maintain a good credit score. Your credit score is an important factor in determining what kind of quotes and rates you are going to get. It will be difficult to get house insurance deals if you have poor credit. If your score is low, do whatever necessary to make improvements.

Which home insurance company should you consider? One place to begin your search for house insurance deals is with Lemonade. Most Lemonade Insurance reviews are extremely positive, and the company has transparent policies and fast claims processing.

Home Sellers! Are You Guilty of the 7 Sins of Home Selling?

Greed: This one is a biggie. It was easy in a seller’s market to get in touch with your greedy side. Feeling like Midas, anything you asked for from a buyer turned to gold in your hands. Drunk with that kind of power, buyers were often left feeling helpless to comply if they wanted your home. In a balanced market, or even in a buyer’s market, many sellers have not kicked the greed habit. Ironically, greed is costing those sellers money. Ask any real estate agent and they will tell you stories of deals that were blown because of a $300.00 item that could not be agreed upon. No longer with the advantage, many sellers are refusing to make any concessions if it means less money in their pockets, but now the buyer’s are free to move along to the next house on their list. A seller may balk at fixing a $500.00 item in the house, or providing an inexpensive home warranty, but when the buyer moves along to an accommodating seller, the greedy seller is left to wait for another buyer – all the while making mortgage payments on the house they can’t sell. Bad move.

Unrealistic Expectations: Anyone who has sold a home in a seller’s market is going to have a hard time grasping a buyer’s market. If you want to sell your house, you have to forget everything you remember about selling your house in the past. Odds are that your home will not sell in a week, nor will you receive multiple offers. Unrealistic expectations are the foundation of blame and resentment, and they keep you from selling your home. The first few weeks of having your home on the market is filled with hope, anxiety, and irrational exuberance. It’s completely normal to believe that your home is somehow more special than the others on the market, and yours will be the exception to the tough market. Once it becomes clear that the bidding war has not materialized, and your home still sits along with the others, a home seller with unrealistic expectations is crushed. Stay positive about your home, but don’t blind yourself to what selling it will entail. A home seller with a realistic view of what it takes to sell a house in a balanced or buyer’s market, can easily adapt to changing market conditions, use constructive feedback to improve their home, and in return sell their home faster.

Pride: If you really want to sell your home, make the promise right now that you will never utter the following phrase: “I’m going to send that buyer a message.” If you enjoy sending messages, then perhaps you could raise carrier pigeons. If you want to sell your home, drop that phrase from your vocabulary. The message that sellers send, when they respond to buyers that way is “I don’t want to sell my house to you. You have insulted me.” In the end, all you are left with is your pride, and that house that just will not sell. As an active Ebayer, I have never witnessed a transaction in which the seller of an item got indignant at the lowest bidder. It’s all business. Divorce your emotions from the home selling process, and you have an advantage over the angry sellers in your area, because the buyers that they turn way with their “messages”, are going to buy a home – just not theirs! The message to send to a buyer should be in the form of a counter-offer. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Impatience: You want this home sold. Now! The impatient seller can’t understand why their home hasn’t sold in the first week. By the third week on the market, the impatient home seller is fuming, and wondering how to get out of the listing agreement. Are you an impatient home seller? If you’ve chosen your real estate agent carefully, and believed when you signed the listing agreement that they are up to the job, then sit back and let the market work. The impatient seller calls their agent more than once a day for updates, even if there has been no activity on the house. The question, “why isn’t it selling?” is regularly pleaded over the phone. Are you, the impatient seller, doing everything you need to do to get your home sold? Have you done the things your agent suggested to get your home in selling condition? Did you really listen to the comparable pricing data your agent provided you? Or did you have a set price in your mind and refused to move from it when listing the home? The impatient seller can create an enormous amount of stress for everyone involved in selling the home, and it’s totally avoidable. In the end, the timing of the sale of your home will be a combination of price, condition, and luck. No amount of impatience is going to change that.

Ignoring the market: Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is disaster for a home seller. Yes, we know that your neighbor sold their home for the same price you want for your home, but that was four months ago. The residential real estate market is more fluid than ever now. Educate yourself about current market conditions, not last year’s market, not even last month’s market. A home seller who ignores the market will interview a few real estate agents, read the data provided by the agent, then ignore the data and list with the agent that gives them the least argument about pricing their home unrealistically. Real estate agents do not price homes, sellers do. The agents will provide valuable information and input to help a seller choose a price. Some agents will refuse to take a listing if they feel the seller is unrealistic about pricing, but many others will take the listing with the caveat that the seller be open to reducing the price later. With so many other properties on the market, an overpriced home will sit there like a deli tray at a gathering of vegetarians. Then, the seller will be chasing the market by lowering the price after watching the prices around them fall. Eventually, the house may sell, but the price will be determined by the market, as it always is. If you are guilty of ignoring the market, you can save yourself a lot of time and headache by scheduling a meeting with your real estate agent to go over the current sales data for your home, and setting a realistic price, now.

Stubbornness: When selling your home it’s best to imagine yourself as a supple tree gently swaying with the wind, instead of a donkey with its heels dug solidly into the dirt resisting all attempts to be budged. Stubbornness can show up in many situations. When you are contacted to schedule a showing, do you leave the house? Though it’s a fact that your home has a better chance of selling if you are not there for the showing, do you refuse to be inconvenienced by having to leave? You may tell yourself that the buyers can work around your schedule. They won’t. The chance for a sale often vanishes because a buyer feels uncomfortable with the homeowner in the house, and cannot freely assess the house. Expect to be inconvenienced when you sell your home. It’s part of the process.

Being Uncooperative: Are you a partner with your real estate agent when it comes to getting your home sold? Do you resist all suggestions by your real estate agent to make changes to your home that will help it sell faster? I’ve had this conversation with home sellers many times. Is it fair that people judge your home based on the things that are not going to be in it when you move out? No, probably not. Do buyers judge your home based on those things? Absolutely. I’ve seen buyers lose their enthusiasm for a home based on a decorating theme that didn’t suit them. No matter how many times their real estate agent might remind them that they can decorate in their own style, it’s too late. The home is now referred to as the “duck home”, or the “doll home”, or the “pink home.” Every house gets a nickname when buyers are shopping. Don’t let your refusal to cooperate stop your home from being the “perfect home.”

The sale of your home requires the cooperation of countless people, many of whom you’ll never meet. The key word here is “cooperation.” We, as home sellers, expect those that are working to complete our sales transaction to be cooperative. What about you, the home seller? Are you willing to meet the buyer halfway in negations? Are you willing to work within someone else’s schedule to get something signed? Remember, you may be selling a property, but in the end, real estate is about humans. Be a good one.

Home Staging Can Help You Sell Your House Quickly

Real estate prices have hit record levels in the United States during the last five years. In some parts of the country, prices have tripled. For those selling houses in the first half of the decade, business was very good, indeed. Rising interest rates and sticker shock have slowed the market down, however. In some parts of the country that used to be hot, sales have slowed to a crawl. In those markets, people who want to sell houses are now waiting months when homes used to sell in days or weeks. What can a homeowner who wishes to sell as quickly as possible do to accelerate the process?

A relatively new service called home staging may be the answer. Staging a home essentially means setting it up so that it makes its best possible presentation to the market. Professional home stagers will, for a fee, come to your house, examine your property, and make recommendations as to what you might do in order to make the house as sale-friendly as possible. In some cases, they will simply recommend a coat of paint, a bit of landscaping, or some new drapes. In other cases, more dramatic help may be needed.

It is often difficult to sell a home that has been vacant for a while. Buyers have a hard time imagining what their belongings might look like in an empty house. A good staging company will have in their inventory a selection of different types of furniture, lamps, decorative accessories and more so that a vacant home can look like a showcase. A fully and tastefully decorated home is much easier to sell than a vacant one.

The service isn’t necessarily inexpensive. Homeowners might expect to pay several hundred dollars for an initial consultation as well as a fee of several times that amount for the first month of a fully furnished, professionally decorated home. Rates for subsequent months tend to be lower than for the initial month, but many homes that have been professionally staged aren’t on the market much longer than a month. In fact, studies have shown that staged homes often sell in half of the time of other comparable properties.

Having your home professionally decorated in order to sell it isn’t something that everyone needs to do. But in markets with slowing real estate sales, staging a home may be the difference between selling the house this week and selling it three months from now. For many sellers, the investment is more than worthwhile.

Home Ventilation In An Older House

Home Ventilation For A Renovated House

According to NASA, human related activities such as chemical plants have contributed greatly to the number of greenhouse gases which have in turn caused an alarming warming trend leaving serious side effects in its wake. It’s little wonder then that one of the factors that most people look for when shopping for a house is a properly working ventilation system. But what about if you are moving to an old home that is not fitted with a modern ventilation system? The likely solution would be to install one. If you choose to go the DIY route, you may want to have a few tips in mind.

How Home Ventilation Works

In the same manner in which we need clean air to breathe, so does a house need it to stay fresh. It is important that the air that is expelled by the house’s inhabitants is replaced with fresh air. In some cases, simply opening some windows is enough to let in clean air. However, if you have installed a home heating or cooling system, then allowing in air through the windows or doors may affect its functionality.

A home ventilation system works by expelling used air and introducing clean air from the outside into the house. This works because expelled and used air is lighter and floats to the top, while cold fresh air is denser and flows to the bottom; a ventilation system facilities this flow of air.

Tips On Home Ventilation In An Older House

Below are tips on how you should go about ventilating an older home.

1. Assess how the former owner maintained the home. If the house seems to be in a general state of neglect, you may need to replace the whole system. However, if the previous owner did a fairly good job of maintaining the system, then you may need to replace only a few parts of it.

2. Do not depend on a home inspector to determine the state of your ventilation system. This is because although he/she may be trained to look at a house in general, only a ventilation system specialist will be able to truly determine whether or not a system is good enough to function.

3. If the house you are living in is approaching the 10 year benchmark, then you may want to set aside money in order to have your ventilation system replaced.

Advantages Of Having A Well Ventilated System

Once you repair an old or buy a new ventilation system, there are a number of advantages you will enjoy.

1. Regulate your air. A good ventilation system will know when to bring in fresh air, as opposed to bringing in fresh air all the time which can lead to high energy bills.

2. Without proper air circulation bacteria, damp air, pollutants and allergens will buildup which in turn will cause the air inside your home to become more polluted than the air outside.