Tag Archive for home improvement
- Decide on your budget and schedule. You’ll need to know exactly how much money you have available for your remodeling projects and how much time you want to dedicate to it. You absolutely need to have these figures decided before starting anything!
- Make a list of what needs to be done and what would be nice to have done. It may turn out that your budget and schedule can only accommodate half your needs, or maybe you’ll find you have the time and money to cover your needs and at least one “want.” Look at your list, prioritize and decide which projects to tackle now.
- Don’t let Pinterest get the better of you; just like a celebrity hairstyle, what looks good in a photo might not work for your space (or your head.) Be realistic about what can be achieved in your home, based on its current “bones” and your budget.
- For financial reasons, it can be tempting to try to Do It Yourself. But unless you’re extra handy, turn to the experts to make your project dreams come true. An experienced, reputable contractor will find any flaws in your plans, make suggestions and produce a final product that not only looks good, but is secure, safe and strong.
It’s hard to put a value on landscaping projects. A study by realestate.com indicates the return on investment for landscaping and/or man-made garden architecture can be as high as 150%, while others suggest a more reasonable 15% to 20%.
The bottom line, however, is that everyone wants a front yard with curb appeal and a secondary living space in the back. And while it may increase the value of your home, it also improves your quality of life. Particularly for those in cooler climates, summer is short, and a landscaped outdoors can be, well, priceless.
That said, landscaping can prove a very costly proposition indeed. The generally recommended figure for a landscaping budget is 10% of your home’s value, although that varies according to your local area. The majority of projects reported in a study of landscaping by houzz.com cost from $1,000 to $5,000 for minor planting or mulching, and $50,000 or more for “complete overhauls.”
Remember, time is also money, and even small projects can take longer than you think. According to the Houzz survey, smaller projects averaged approximately three months of planning and three months of work to complete. Having spent time and money on landscaping, there are ways to reduce future costs:
- Lawn care alone can cost upwards of $100 a month, so do as much of the maintenance as possible yourself.
- Construct decks, stairs, and pergolas of maintenance-free materials such as composite decking.
- Artificial grass can be a big expense up front, but it saves on maintenance (mainly the cost of water) in the long run.
- Consider using recycled bricks instead of expensive rocks in your landscaping plan.
- Perennials are a great choice, as they reduce the need to buy new plants every year.
- Edible gardens can be lovely as well as a good source of delicious vegetables and herbs.
Now, step away from the lawn mower, take a break, and enjoy your newly landscaped property.
Everybody has that insider insight when it comes to tips and tricks to sell your house. But, what about what NOT to do? It’s easy to forget the little things that you’ve grown accustomed to since you’ve been living in your home. Once it’s time to sell, you’ll want to make sure that you address all the issues that might get in the way of your greatest opportunity!
Guidance Realty Homes wants to share some great insight we’ve learned about the number one issues that can be easily fixed to make sure your home sells well. Here’s a list of the main elements that could lose you that sale.
Poor Curb Appeal
Buyers won’t even go inside your home if the outside looks unappealing. Clean up your front yard by tidying plants and pulling up weeds. Make sure the outside of your home looks well cared-for by painting the trim, mowing the lawn, and placing attractive potted plants by the door.
You may not even notice bad odors, but buyers surely will. Smoking and pets are the prime causes, so smoke outside while you are selling your house and consider what to do with your animals. Allow the house to air out thoroughly before viewings – don’t just try to mask the odor with another scent.
Loud and Scary Pets
Apart from the odor of some animals, a big dog or noisy bird can be off-putting to some buyers. So keep your dog away when you have viewings so your potential buyers aren’t distracted or, worse, scared. Some owners may even like a big, loud dog, but not everyone will so consider who is coming to view your home before locking Spot out back or having a friend care for them.
Signs of Damp
Problems with damp are a big turnoff to many buyers. Make sure your basement doesn’t smell damp and that there are no signs of damp on the walls. It’s much better to fix problems now than to wait until buyers point them out to you.
Dirt and Grime
Although dirt is usually only cosmetic, it deters buyers, who will start to think the house isn’t well cared for. Make sure your kitchen and bathroom, in particular, are clean.
Although your home’s décor shouldn’t matter, to many buyers it does. That’s because many want a house they can move into right away. So, replace any tired or out-of-date carpets or wallpapers with a more neutral, modern scheme.
If your house it too expensive compared to similar properties on the market, you’ll turn away viewers. Take your agent’s advice when it comes to setting a price for your home.
Everyone loves summer and with good reason: after a long winter, the bright sunshine beckons young and old alike to sit by the pool, enjoy a little music, and soak in the warmth. Summer is the most popular time to buy or sell a home; and by investing a little time and energy into these summer projects, your home will look its best whether it goes on the market next week or next year.
Fencing: Families with pets, young children or those just seeking a little additional privacy will appreciate the functionality and appearance of an attractive, sturdy fence. Major home improvement stores sell everything required for the do-it-yourself type, including attractive, low-maintenance PVC options. If your property is already fenced, take the time to make sure it’s well maintained.
Outdoor Sanctuary: With a little creativity and a few hundred dollars, it is easy to turn a problem spot into the center of attention. Get creative with an easy to install garden pond, butterfly or flower garden, wind chimes, and some outdoor seating. Consider adding a decorative fire pit to encourage family time on those cooler evenings.
Update the Paint: Indoors or outdoors, painting is a simple way to give your home a fresh new look. If it has been more than five years since your home has had a fresh coat, make it a priority to paint. Do not stop with the house: concrete stains and unique drive-way art are other popular options designed to attract attention. Just be sure to keep them neutral.