Weve explained within a over-all awareness exactly what makes a great essay, however its constantly helpful to consider precise good examples and hear how admissions officers examined them. Included under is usually a test essay. Its well-put together and helps prevent typical entrance essay traps discussed in previous video lessons (itemizing from successes much like a return to, talking about some other individual instead of making it individual, and so on.), so its not effortless to learn how an admissions representative will take action. [Read more →]
A functional and beautiful kitchen, flowing floor plan, plenty of storage, and spacious master bathroom will help win buyers’ hearts.
However, often before they see those areas, they see your landscape. It’s the curb appeal theory that I’m talking about. Some buyers will decide based on the look of the outside of your home whether they’ll even bother to come inside.
If your front yard is cluttered, your exterior paint is chipped, driveway cracked, you’ll find that the for sale sign in your yard won’t attract as many buyers as it could if you spent some time to clean up and create curb appeal.
Fortunately, you don’t have to hire a landscape company to come and renovate the entire area. There are things that you can do that are fairly simple and will attract buyers.
Pull out the dead plants and debris. Start by removing dead plants, shrubs, and debris. Doing this step will create space in your yard and allow you to find a few potted plants to fill in the empty space to bring some color into your yard.
If you get a lot of fallen leaves, make sure you have someone rake and sweep up regularly. Remember your home is on the market every day, not just when it’s being held open. So, keep it up daily. Just like when you go out to eat, you like to dine in pretty restaurants that are clean, buyers want to see your house in its best condition and that starts at the street.
Treat your lawn to a fresh coat of paint. It might sound odd but you can, indeed, paint your lawn. Large patches of brown lawn can lower the value of your home or turn a buyer off completely. It might not be practical to completely remove your lawn. So, you might try hiring a company to spray paint your lawn. Companies that do this can match the color of your lawn so that it looks natural.
Some cities have used this method to clean up lawns on foreclosed homes. Painting lawns has been used on commercial properties for decades. The paint is typically made from a non-toxic vegetable oil so it’s not harmful to people and pets.
Lawn paint is similar to dying your hair. It’s a semi-permanent color that stays on the grass and won’t wash off but it will fade over time, usually about three months.
Fix broken windows and dents in the garage door. Take a walk around the exterior of your home and note which areas need repairs. If you have paint chipped areas get them fixed. It’s likely that the cost won’t be that much and yet the payoff of repairing these items will help improve your home’s overall value.
Add a splash of color. I saw a home the other day that had a yellow front door and a matching yellow umbrella in the front yard. Frankly, I don’t remember much else about the landscape except that I thought the home was charming. The bright yellow door stood out and the umbrella made it seem quaint. Nothing else about the landscape was that spectacular, but adding some eye-catching color made the home shine.
The time and money you put into cleaning up your front yard will help attract buyers and keep them from bypassing your home.
Home decor is all about reflecting your own personal style. It’s an opportunity to use your home as a blank canvas and paint a masterpiece that is decidedly you. And that style is never more apparent than in your living room—the spot where your guests gather and your personality is most on display.
We’ll never tell you to betray your decor desires in this room (or the rest of your home). But if you’ve gone nuts painting your living room in wild colors or spent thousands laying down Moroccan tile, bear in mind how potential buyers might perceive your choices.
Buyers need to picture themselves living and loving that space: throwing parties, entertaining guests, enjoying a lazy Saturday with a book. If your favorite living room design looks are dated or divisive, buyers might give your home a pass. So ditch these seven polarizing decor choices while you still can—before they sink your chance of a sale.
“Today’s buyers are interested in beautiful, serene rooms with seating revolved around a focal point of beauty,” says Chicago interior designer and stager Kara O’Connor. A personality-free black box is neither serene nor beautiful.
Heads up: If you’ve already mounted your television on a wall or over the fireplace, you may have to remove the evidence after you take it down. No buyer wants to see unpatched holes in your walls.
Obviously you’re not leaving dead mice lying around your living room (we hope!). Perhaps you should get rid of the enormous steer head hanging over your fireplace, too.
“We totally get it. Cowhides and taxidermy are super kitschy and trendy,” says Justin M. Riordan, a Portland designer with Spade and Archer Design Agency. “The combination of creepy and beautiful is all the rage. Unfortunately, for many, the creepy is far more powerful than the beautiful.”
Real or not, you don’t have to say goodbye to your animal skulls. Just tuck them away until the home is sold. Far away.
Yes, your deep teal walls look rad alongside your dark wood credenza and velvet chaise. But all potential buyers see are dollar signs.
“More likely than not, your home’s next owner has some very distinct taste in furniture, which they recently spent quite a bit of money on,” Riordan says. “They are not going to buy new furniture to match your saturated wall colors.”
Many buyers do repaint before moving in, but painting over saturated tones requires more coats, more time, and, naturally, more money. And some buyers don’t want to deal with any of that.
To get the highest selling price—and the most interested buyers—paint the entire place in simple neutrals.
5. Outdated furniture
Buyers bring their own furniture. But picturing their gorgeous modern furniture in your space can be daunting if everything you own is outdated and overwhelming.
“If the furniture distracts the buyer from the square footage, a focal point, or hardwood floors, then it should be carefully edited out,” says Jill Hosking-Cartland, an interior designer in Windham, NH.
Not only might they struggle to see themselves in your place, they might also worry about the quality of your home.
“Old furniture can leave a buyer with the impression that there is a lack of attention to routine maintenance and updating,” Hosking-Cartland says.
New baseboards and crown molding can take a room from blah to bangin’ with an afternoon’s worth of work. But make sure the sizes and designs you choose look modern.
“Crisp, white baseboards that are a minimum of 5 inches high are preferable to the dated, 2- or 3-inch baseboards from the ’90s and early 2000s,” O’Connor says.
Teeny-tiny baseboards might not be a deal breaker, but they can make a room feel kind of off. Beware of going too big—though it is possible to overwhelm a room with your molding. Find the right size trim for your space before you embark on that weekend project.
You might hate ordinary paint, but funking up your living space with a faux finish can be a sticking point. Even if your DIY job looks amazing, buyers see only another thing they need to change. Paint over your fake Venetian plaster, reclaimed wood, or “textured” walls before the first showing.
“Asking a buyer to adopt your specific design style is risky,” Hosking-Cartland says. “Most buyers see these polarizing design elements as work they will have to do and spend money on to make the home a reflection of their own personal style.”
Going green has been a trending topic over the last decade and will continue to be one of the real estate industry’s most talked about subjects moving forward. Unfortunately, many homeowners feel that improving the environmental friendliness of their home is an expensive and unattainable goal. The reality is that most green improvements actually save you money in the long run. So, as good weather returns and extra money from tax returns arrives, it’s the perfect time to take a fresh look at green home projects you can do now–at different price points that will meet your specific budget.
1. Replace your traditional light bulbs with LED bulbs
The price of LED bulbs has fallen drastically in the last few years, but homeowners can still get sticker-shock at seeing the upfront cost of replacing all their light bulbs (anywhere from $2 to upwards of $30 each). That being said, due to their long life and significantly lower energy use, LED lights have the potential to save homeowners a significant amount of money over the course of their lifespan as well as decrease the overall amount of greenhouse emissions. Energy.gov states that “widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States.” This is a simple step that any homeowner can take to make their home more green and save money. Depending on your budget, you can replace several of your most used bulbs at once or simply replace one at a time.
2. Seal your ducts
Experts estimate that air leakage from ducting in homes can reduce heating and cooling efficiency by 20-30%. Sealing ducts is a very inexpensive solution that can save you up to $100 per year in energy bills as well as decrease the burning of fossil fuels. Sealing ductwork can be a DIY project that anyone willing to put in a little work can do successfully. For less than $40 and a few hours of time, you can make your home more efficient and save money on cooling costs during the hot summer months that will soon follow.
3. Replace fixtures with low-flow options
Water heating is the 2nd largest energy expense, so those long showers can really add up. Not only does it cost you more on your monthly bill, it increases water usage, and burns fossil fuels to heat the water. Swap out your showerhead with a low flow option for as low as $20 and you will see immediate savings. You can also move to low-flow faucets to further improve your water and energy use.
4. Landscape using water-saving methods
Spring is the perfect time to update your landscaping. If conserving water and lowering your bill is important to you, seek out ways to make your yard more environmentally friendly too. Use drip systems to water flower beds or gardens rather than over the top irrigation, which uses considerably more water. Look into swapping out that grass parking strip for bark and plants, which conserves water and provides curb appeal. In dry climates, ditch some or all of the grass in favor of drought-resistant plants or xeriscaping. Depending on the size of lawn, these changes can save tens of thousands of gallons of water yearly.
5. Find a Green Builder
If you are truly committed to going green with your home and you are looking to move in the near future, building a new home might make the most sense for you. Green home builders are in high-demand because they can seal, insulate, and use the right products so that your home is as air-tight and energy efficient as possible. Doing this during the building process is usually more cost-effective than trying to do it later as a remodel. A Boise home builder recently stated, “Green Building means two things: homes that are easier on the planet, and easier on your wallet.” If this is your philosophy and you have the means available, green home building might be the right option for you.
6. Replace Old Windows
A more expensive, but very beneficial green upgrade is replacing your old windows with energy efficient windows. New windows can make a substantial difference in the efficiency and comfort of your home. Estimates show that adding new double-paned windows can reduce heating costs by 15% and add savings of as much as $2000 over the life of the window; triple-paned windows can save even more. Low E (emissivity) coatings on your windows are also so energy efficient that they often completely pay for themselves in just a few years.
7. Consider investing in Solar Panels
Solar Panels have a high upfront cost, but government-sponsored tax rebates, the decreasing price of the technology, and competition in the industry have made solar panels an attainable goal for those seeking a green home. With the increasing cost of electricity nation-wide, solar panels provide a renewable form of energy that you can feel good about and can save you money long-term. While the vast majority of people see a great return on invest for solar panels, many factors influence how beneficial they will be, so be sure to talk to a professional in your area.
Whether you have a lot of money to spend or just a little, green home improvements are within your reach. Make changes today that will increase the value of your home, protect the earth, and add a little more money to your pocket.
That headline might be a little aggressive. However, as the data on the 2017 housing market begins to roll in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME!
The February numbers are not in yet, but the January numbers were sensational. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, said:
“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home. Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate…”
And CNBC says consumer confidence in the economy is fueling the market:
“U.S. home resales surged to a 10-year high in January as buyers shrugged off higher prices and mortgage rates, a sign of growing confidence in the economy.”
The only challenge to the market is a severe lack of inventory. A balanced market would have a full six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, there is less than a four-month supply of inventory. This represents a decrease in supply of 7.1% from the same time last year.
With demand increasing and supply dropping, this may be the perfect time to get the best price for your home. Contact a local real estate professional today to see whether that is the case in your neighborhood.