Get Ready for Spring!
The groundhog appears to have been right and it’s hard to believe that spring will ever come. Now is the perfect time to finish some final winter projects so you’ll be ready when the flowers start to bloom. Consider working on these during your last few (hopefully) cold days to get ready for spring:
- Have your lawn mower blades and other tools sharpened, pick up some extra spark plugs and smoke alarm batteries, change the furnace filter, and check your garden hose for leaks.
- Take advantage of the end-of-season sales to buy next year’s winter gear for your growing kids.
- When you’re planning next week’s meals, make a couple of double batches and freeze the extras for reheating later. When summer comes and you want to spend all of your time outside, you’ll be thankful you planned ahead and already cooked dinner.
- After trudging in with dirty boots every day, your carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture might need a little TLC. Schedule a professional cleaning to leave your entire house feeling clean and fresh.
We’re at the end of January, but it’s not too late to develop goals for your home in 2018.
Now is the perfect time to jump right in and start fresh in your current home! Need ideas? Here are a few real estate goals that you can achieve this year.
Fix Those Pesky Maintenance Issues
Maybe it’s a leaky faucet. Maybe it’s a drafty window. Maybe it’s a clogged shower drain. You can probably think of one or two issues off the top of your head that you haven’t gotten around to addressing yet. The New Year is the perfect time to get those problems fixed. Continue reading
In the season of giving, many local organizations and businesses often accept donations of clothing, household goods, and other gently used items to help those in need.
Homeowners looking to downsize or preparing for a move (or just clearing up some space at home) can not only pay it forward by donating to a local charity, they can also take advantage of tax deductions. We’ve created this handy guide to tax-deductible donations in your home.
Belongings and Household Items That You Can Donate
Most organizations have guidelines about the specific items that they accept, but in general, you can donate these kinds of items to local charities:
- furniture, such as beds, desks, tables, and chairs
- clothing, such as shirts, shoes, and new underwear
- appliances, such as heaters, working TVs, and A/C units
- vehicles, such as cars or boats
- building materials, such as doors, windows, and wood flooring
‘Tis the season — for goal planning, that is! Many people spend December reflecting on the year and creating a list of goals to aim for in the New Year, and recent home buyers are no exception.
If you’re thinking about ways to preserve that “new-to-you” feeling in your home and keep the clutter at bay throughout the year, follow our handy month-by-month home organization planner.
January: Clear Out Any Cluttered Spaces
Decluttered spaces can keep your home looking and feeling like new (even if it isn’t). While you’re putting away holiday decorations, take some time to tackle any clutter that has begun to accumulate in catch-all spaces, such as closets, the garage, and any rooms that are still full of half-unpacked moving boxes.
February: Create a Home Organization Plan
Detailed planning is a great way to stay on top of your New Year’s home organization goals. Outline a list of tasks to complete daily, weekly, and monthly. This list can include indoor and outdoor maintenance as well as fun tasks like decorating.
Be sure to pin your home organization plan in a conspicuous space, such as on the refrigerator. You can also lighten your workload by divvying up the tasks to other members of the household. Continue reading
Winter is Coming – Cheer Up with an Indoor Garden
Many homeowners find gardening is an enjoyable outdoor activity with several additional benefits: enhancing curb appeal, creating bright pops of color, and even providing homegrown ingredients for meals.
But outdoor plants need just the right amount of sunshine, space, fertile soil, and maintenance to be able to flourish.
You don’t need to abandon your dream of having a garden if you don’t have the space or it’s not the right season — bring the garden indoors! Here are a few ideas to spice up your home with easy-to-maintain indoor plants.
Grow Herbs on Your Kitchen Windowsill
Cooking can be a breeze when you have fresh herbs within easy reach. Choose a spot in your home with a lot of natural light, plant your favorite herbs in a container with good drainage, and you’ll be all set. Continue reading
Nothing can transform a home quite like a simple seasonal color palette. Whether you want to embrace the fall foliage, some holiday whimsy, or a little winter coziness, you can do all that with a few coats of paint and some well-placed splashes of color.
The best part of all? Not only are these color schemes great for seasonal home decorating, they work wonders when staging your home to sell, too! Here are a few irresistible color schemes you can blend into your home this fall and winter.
Down to Earth: Rust Red and Terra Cotta
Connect with nature in the fall season using rich tones of red and brown. For an added touch of earthiness, incorporate natural elements like wood to really pull the look together. Continue reading
5 Frightening Home Staging Mistakes
Halloween is just around the corner. For many homeowners, that means carving pumpkins, hanging up Halloween decorations, and stocking up on fun-sized candy. But if you’re a homeowner who is thinking about selling this fall season, you might be preparing your home for buyers instead of trick-or-treaters.
Home staging is a crucial part of home selling preparation. According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 33% of buyers’ agents and 29% of sellers’ agents believe that a staged home increases the amount buyers are willing to pay up to 5%. On a $200,000 property, that’s $10,000!
But is your home effectively staged to sell? If you are preparing your home yourself, beware of these staging mistakes that scare away home buyers — and potentially thousands of dollars.
1. A Dark and Spooky Entryway
Your front entry is one of the first things buyers notice about your home. Peeling paint, deep shadows, and uninviting colors don’t create the best first impression. Turn your front entryway into a focal point by painting your door a bright color that complements your home.
2. Cobwebs in the Corners
At a showing, buyers are going to inspect virtually everything: light fixtures, closets, ceilings, you name it. Thoroughly clean your home from top to bottom (or hire a professional) to make it look like new. You can always ask a friend or neighbor to take an objective look at your home. Continue reading
10 Autumn Upkeep Tips
Fall is here! As the temperatures become cooler, it’s a great time to start thinking about autumn maintenance in and around your home. The last thing you want is to be trying to finish home improvement projects outside as the snow starts to fly. Here are 10 autumn upkeep tips that you should consider doing now so that you’ll have more time to prepare for the holidays later.
- SEPTIC TANK – In addition to regular inspections, you should have your tank pumped out by a licensed contractor every 2 – 5 years depending on usage.
- INDOORS – Replace screens with storm windows if applicable. Reverse your ceiling fan to spin clockwise for fall and winter to pull cool air up and warm air down. Pull out your quilts and comforters to make your home more cozy.
- DÉCOR – Why wait until it’s cold and snowy to hang holiday lights? Get the job done now while it’s warm and sunny, and then just plug them in when the time is right. Be sure to test everything before hanging and pick up extra bulbs if needed.
- HVAC – Have you changed your furnace filter lately? Consider scheduling your annual furnace inspection now before they book up. Have venting cleaned and/or inspected.
- FIREPLACE – Have your chimney cleaned and inspected prior to using your fireplace for chilly fall evenings. Have firewood delivered or find a reliable source.
- INSULATION – Add attic and/or wall insulation to lower heating bills over the winter. Purchase insulating film and window air conditioner covers if you plan to use them. Weather-strip windows and doors and install storm windows and doors if applicable.
- ROOF – Inspect your roof for damage or dampness and make or schedule repairs if needed. Clean out and inspect gutters. Consider installing heating cables if you have sustained damage from ice dams in the past.
- WATER – Turn off outside faucets and ensure that all related pipes have been drained to avoid bursting. Direct downspouts far away from your foundation to avoid flooding during spring thaws.
- OUTSIDE – Put away patio furniture, grills, and yard implements. Cut back perennials and clean out annuals. Winterize your lawn mower and have your snow blower readied for use. Purchase a new shovel before the stores run out after the first snow. Have salt and/or sand ready for your sidewalk and driveway.
- FINANCES – While this could be done any time of year, “earn” a little extra money for holiday shopping by calling your alarm, cable, and insurance companies to ask if there are any new promotions or discounts that might apply to you, especially if you have been a long-time customer. Doing a little research beforehand, such as calling a competitor for a bid, could result in significant savings from what you’re currently paying.
If you think you might be ready for a new home to improve, call us today and we’ll match you with a seasoned exclusive buyers agent at The Bouma Group, Realtors to guide you through the process. They have local knowledge and market experience and can help you find your new home for the holidays. Call 734-761-3060 or email email@example.com today!
To DIY or not to DIY? That’s the question on many homeowners’ minds when there are home repairs or home improvement projects on their to-do lists. The good news is that you can do plenty of things on your own. But for other projects, you’re better off hiring a licensed contractor, plumber, or electrician to do the work for you.
When undertaking a home improvement project, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you want to strike a balance between saving time by hiring a professional and saving money by doing it yourself. So here’s how to know when to hire a professional and when to go DIY.
Replacing Hardware — Do It Yourself
Need an upgrade from tarnished doorknobs, outdated cabinet pulls, or boring light switches? Pick up new hardware from a local home improvement store and go for it. Replacing hardware is a fairly simple fix that any homeowner can do on their own.
Replacing Roof Shingles — Hire a Professional
Unless you have significant roofing experience (and aren’t afraid of heights), you’re better off leaving this job to the professionals. Contractors can repair your roof in significantly less time — and save you risk of injury. Be sure to get a few quotes to ensure the best price. Continue reading