Spring is here, and with spring comes another anticipated time of year: home selling season. Traditionally, spring is one of the most popular times to list a home for sale. It’s also an excellent season for spring cleaning and trying out a few home-improvement projects on the weekends.
If you’re thinking about selling your property, or simply want to up its resale value down the road, take a look at our most recommended DIY upgrades. Not only are these projects simple and affordable, they’re sure to increase your home’s overall value.
Two Key Places to Start Your DIY Upgrades
Can you guess which two areas of a home are most important to buyers? The kitchen and bathrooms. This is because these are the rooms where people tend to spend a lot of time.
Oftentimes, the kitchen is the first place potential buyers rush to when they’re touring a home for sale. This room is considered the “heart of the home.”
While the idea of updating your kitchen can be scary (all those expensive new appliances!), improving this room doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many projects you can complete to upgrade your kitchen that cost less than $1,000.
These inexpensive kitchen improvements include: Continue reading
4 Home Staging Shortcuts to Avoid
Thinking of selling your home? Home staging is a major player in a home sale. How your home looks, feels, and even smells can influence buyers’ decisions, so it’s important to present your home in the best light.
Cleaning, decluttering, and rearranging furniture are essential to preparing your home for showings, but it can be tempting to take a few shortcuts to get your property on the market faster. Out of all the home staging shortcuts that can hinder your home sale, these you should avoid at all costs.
Keeping Your Interiors Too Dark
Your property needs to shine on the market — don’t dim your home’s sparkle.
Natural light works wonders to maximize space, especially for small floor plans, so it’s important to let in as much sunlight as possible when staging your home.
Throw open the curtains, trim any shrubs blocking the windows, and polish the glass to welcome in the natural sunlight. Continue reading
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.
Washtenaw County Real Estate Report for 2017
2017 was another very competitive year for the real estate market in Washtenaw County. Continued strong employment growth which creates demand, along with historically low interest rates and a shrinking inventory has fueled an increase in average sales price for the 8th year in a row. Average sales prices in Washtenaw County bottomed out in 2009 at $182,287 and since then have increased in value by 66% to $303,087. Meanwhile, the average sales price for a home in Ann Arbor increased to $422,667, a 7.8 % increase over last year.
In spite of the low inventory, we have begun to see some mixed signals. While active listings remain in short supply, we are seeing a decrease in the pace of sales, a reluctance by buyers to enter into multiple offer situations, a lack of over list price offers, buyer’s remorse after an offer is bottom-lined, and buyers negotiating very hard after the building inspection. Because buyers are paying top dollar, they become very intolerant of any problems that may arise during the building inspection. The market also remains susceptible to wider changes in the economic landscape, with slowly increasing interest rates, new construction coming to the market, key tax plan changes, and the anxiety that comes from 8 years of strong price increases and buying at the top of the market. Continue reading
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
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
What is the Truth About Homeowner Equity?
A recent article from a reputable news source was titled: Here’s why some homeowners still can’t sell. In the opening bullets of the article, the author claimed, “Negative equity is one of the main reasons why there are so few homes for sale.” The article then goes on to soften that stance, but we want to bring better clarity to the equity situation.
A recent report from CoreLogic (which was quoted in the article) revealed that over 80% of all homes now have “significant equity,” which means the home has over 20% equity. That level of equity allows the homeowner to sell their home if they so desire. (There was no reference to significant equity in the article.) 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