Real Estate Tips

    • 4 Home Upgrades You Should Think Twice Before Adding

      29 May 2023

      There are an endless number of upgrades you could make to your home if given infinite time and resources. Searching any home improvement site will show you a plethora of options, so how do you choose? While some upgrades are automatic ROI generators, there are some that should be avoided. 

      Swimming Pool
      Swimming pools require a lot of maintenance annually and not everyone is interested in that upkeep. This is particularly true for homebuyers who live in areas where it is not pool weather for more than half of the year. Pools can also be a liability and can even increase insurance premiums. Be certain you want a pool before adding it to your home and be aware that future buyers may not see it as an asset.

      A fresh coat of paint may go a long way to improve a room, but wallpaper can make future owners cringe. Since wallpaper is so difficult to remove, it can deter prospective buyers. If you truly love the idea of a pattern on your wall, consider painting it yourself (and paint over it before you sell). Alternatively invest in a good brand of removable wallpaper that can offer the look without the hassle.

      Bedroom to Home Office
      Home offices became popular at the height of the COVID pandemic, and many still value a home office today. Home offices may be coveted for those who wish to have a space for remote work, hybrid work, or hobbies, but not everyone wants a home office. Taking a bedroom and converting it to a home office by building in furniture can severely devalue your home since the number of bedrooms is the first thing homebuyers look at when evaluating a home. Feel free to use your spare bedroom as an office, but remember that customizing it too much can diminish your home’s value and limit prospective buyer interest in the future.

      Fish Pond
      Fish ponds–like swimming pools–can pose a danger to curious small children. For this reason, ponds can be a liability and could even increase insurance premiums in the same way a pool can. Fish ponds can also require a good deal of outdoor maintenance. While having a water feature in your yard filled with koi and lily pads sounds beautiful, it may be a deterrent when it comes time to sell your home.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Things to Consider Before Adding a Pool to Your Yard

      29 May 2023

      Adding a pool to the yard can be an exciting and fun thought, but many homeowners can get ahead of themselves when it comes to pool planning. Before you begin planning your yard and making plans for a pool installation, be sure you consider all the aspects. 

      Local ROI
      A pool can seem like an automatic asset, but your climate can largely affect your local ROI when installing a pool. A pool requires a lot of maintenance and this means a time and financial investment for potential buyers. If your climate is temperate throughout the year, a pool can be a reasonable asset. In areas where weather is cooler for a lot of the year, you will want to investigate the ROI in your local area. A pool may be a fun upgrade for your family, but don’t assume it will automatically add value to your home.

      Your Homeowner’s Insurance
      Be sure you understand your homeowner’s insurance policy and how a pool can affect your insurance premiums.

      A pool can entail liability if an accident were to occur. From your insurance’s perspective, a swimming pool is considered an “attractive nuisance,” which is a dangerous condition on a property that may attract children onto the land and pose a safety risk.This means that liability applies to invited guests and curious children who attempt to explore the pool without anyone’s permission or supervision. guests they invite, as well as to inquisitive children who may invite themselves into the pool without anyone's knowledge. You may want to increase your liability coverage for this reason. 

      Additionally, you’ll want to understand how your insurance will cover the pool if something were to become damaged or broken. Your pool may be covered under personal property limit or replacement cost value if your insurance policy considers it part of the home.

      Pool Safety
      No one wants to be part of a tragedy. Understanding your liability on a legal and financial level is vital, but pool safety is crucial to protect any children in your family and other neighborhood children as well. Pool safety and maintenance can be time-consuming, so be sure you understand all the safety laws for pools in your area and whether you want to commit to that maintenance or potential liability.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Areas to Add New Plants to Boost Curb Appeal

      29 May 2023

      Investing in curb appeal improvement can get expensive. From landscaping plans to lawn maintenance, the costs can add up quickly. While curb appeal is certainly an investment that will provide you with a good ROI, if you’re not ready to lay down a lot of cash to landscape your yard, adding plants to a few key areas can have a big impact. 

      Hanging Baskets By Front Door
      Your front is the first impression of your home, and a great-looking front door can boost your home’s value by a hefty sum. While painting your front door is key, make your front door look phenomenal by adding hanging baskets to the front door. Choose a vibrant floral basket to add a pop of color that contrasts and compliments your home’s color. Flowers right at the front door will feel welcoming to guests and potential buyers alike.

      Front Yard Edging
      Edging is a classic area to add strategic plants to for an upgraded yard. A few bushes and grasses can be a higher-investment option to add texture and interest throughout all the seasons, while bright blooming flowers are excellent low-cost options to ensure a vibrant addition to your yard.

      Window Boxes
      Window boxes are classic–almost romantic–additions to your home’s exterior. From stylish and modern, to classic and quaint, window boxes are available in a multitude of options, and make excellent additions to many home styles. A well-maintained window box with a thoughtful selection of annuals or perennials can act as the cherry on top for your home’s exterior appeal.

      Pots In The Yard
      Large pots can take the place of a strategically-placed flower bed in your yard. Use a large decorative planter pot to create visual interest and break up a large grassy yard without needing to create a fully landscaped flower bed.

      Improving your yard, particularly if you are in the market to sell soon, is always a good idea. And while you’re likely to get a great ROI when boosting your curb appeal, not everyone has the funds to invest in a full landscaping revamp. Thankfully, planting in some strategic areas can significantly elevate your outdoor spaces.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Kitchen Remodeling Guide

      10 March 2023

      Remodeling your kitchen is one of the wisest home upgrades, considering the financial return on your investment and the livability factor. As a space that is typically the hub of the home and gets the most use, having a kitchen that functions as efficiently as possible and aligns with your aesthetic results in a space that you will crave spending time in. If you have a kitchen remodel in your short-term plans, use this kitchen remodeling guide to know what to expect.

      Spend the Most Time Planning
      Planning, and even over planning, every detail will result in a space that achieves your must-have list of features and design elements and will be the best way to stay within budget. Every change you make during a renovation requires a change order, which is a subsequent fee and will cause the overall costs to rise very quickly. 

      Factors to Consider During Planning

      • How you currently use the space and assess what works and what doesn’t work. Perhaps you love your existing layout and want to keep that, or maybe you despise appliances sitting on the counter and want an appliance garage to keep these hidden.
      • Your existing traffic patterns. Pathways in the kitchen should be between three and four feet wide, to be able to comfortably maneuver around, especially when there are multiple cooks in the kitchen.
      • Be familiar with your home’s entry points. If you purchase an extra wide refrigerator or oven range, ensure that you have a doorway large enough for it to enter the home.
      • Think beyond the standard kitchen cabinet functionality. Incorporating pull-out shelves that adjust up and down can make the kitchen more comfortable to navigate.
      Have Selections Made Before Beginning the Project
      Knowing the materials you want to include in the project will enable your builder or contractor to give you the most accurate estimate. This will ensure your project stays on budget and allow the most time for items on backorder to arrive when it’s time for the installation.

      Plan for Going Over Budget and Past the Timeline
      No matter how meticulously planned the kitchen is, you may slightly exceed your budget. To avoid any surprises, plan for overage costs of approximately 20%. Additionally, your project will likely extend past the promised completion date. If you are determined to be in the home before the holidays, plan on starting the project several months earlier than you originally intended.

      Don’t Skimp on Storage
      When in doubt, add more storage instead of more space. Taking the cabinets to the ceiling will offer more storage throughout the kitchen, and customizing the cabinets and drawers to maximize storage solutions will ensure you take advantage of every square inch.

      Consistently Communicate
      Your builder or contractor should be proactively communicating with you during your renovation, but if they aren't, stay on top of regular communication. Check in on the project daily, maintain regular email or texting updates and communicate any concerns before they evolve into more significant issues.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Select a Color Scheme for Your Home

      10 March 2023

      Selecting a color scheme for your home can be an overwhelming undertaking. With so many color choices available, choosing the shade that will work best with the lighting and decor in your home can be a difficult task. However, by following a few guidelines, you can select a color scheme for your home that is cohesive and results in a visually soothing environment. Read on for tips on choosing a color scheme for your home.

      60-30-10 Rule
      The 60-30-10 rule is a decorating guideline that has stood the test of time. This means that 60% of a room should be a dominant color, 30% should be a secondary color and 10% should be an accent color.

      Selecting Color for an Open Floor Plan
      An open floor plan can feel challenging to select a color scheme since the area may feel like one large room. The whole space doesn’t have to be the same shade of paint, but the colors should flow together. Staying within the colors on the paint sample card is one way to ensure that the colors all have the same undertones, which is the best way to create a visually cohesive space. Bringing color to the trim and ceiling is another way to infuse additional color selections into a large space. If the open floor plan has shelving or bookcases, you can also paint or wallpaper the back to add different coordinating colors.

      Determine the Feeling You Want the Home to Have
      Knowing the color tones you gravitate to will help you establish a color direction. For example, if you prefer warm neutrals, select various shades of white, cream and greige. In addition, incorporate plenty of textures and elements that add dimension, such as wainscoting or other molding to give the space depth. Alternatively, if you crave bold, saturated colors, select a palette that is all jewel tones or all bright coastal colors to prevent it from feeling too overwhelming.

      Test the Colors in Various Lighting
      Once you’ve narrowed in on your ideal palette, test several variations of the colors on the wall and assess it during different times of the day. The color on the paint sample doesn’t always transfer to the wall, and the paint may also appear different in the morning sun than it does during the evening.

      Create Contrast
      To prevent all the rooms from looking the same, reverse the color order. For example, you may paint your entryway walls a pale color and the trim a darker color. Then, in the connecting living room, you can apply that dark trim color to the wall, with the pale color on the trim. This will create a different look that is also cohesive.

      The ideal color palette for your home makes you feel the most relaxed at home and works best with your home’s lighting and design. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.