Ways To Save Money Around Your Home

Once you have purchased your home, it costs money to maintain. There are some surprisingly easy ways to save your hard-earned cash when it comes to day to day living in your home, as well as home maintenance. Her are some tips.

#1: Minimize your use of traditional light bulbs.
Incandescent light bulbs cause homeowners to throw away a lot of money every month due to high electric bills. Replacing your old bulbs with LED bulbs can help save you huge amounts of money over time. Over its life span, traditional bulbs can use up to $180 worth of electricity, whereas LED bulbs will use only $30 per bulb.

#2: Fix leaky faucets.
Leaky faucets not only waste gallons of water, which is a precious resource, but you’ll end up paying a lot of money for unused water. Getting your faucet replaced is an important task and could end up saving you a lot on your water bill.

#3: Install a programmable thermostat.
Programmable thermostats are an amazing invention that allow homeowners to customize the temperature of their homes the way they like. The best part: you’re not wasting energy running your heating or cooling system while you’re away at work or on vacation. For example, if you plan to be away at work for most of the day during a hot summer day, program the system to shift up a few degrees while you’re gone, then set it to turn back down shortly before you turn home so it’s nice and cool. There is no use heating or cooling an empty home.

#4: Check your windows and doors.
Are the windows or doors in your home leaky? This is a great way for air to leak in or out and ultimately cause homeowners to pay excessive amounts in wasted energy. Be sure to caulk leaky windows and seal doors with rubberized weather-stripping on the sides and bottom. If your windows and doors are old and inefficient, consider replacing the windows and doors fully in your home. This will not only allow for energy efficiency, but it will also help add value to your home.

Summer is winding down. Are you ready to make the leap into home ownership this fall or are you ready to sell your home and move into your dream home? I have more than two decades of experience as a Realtor® and can help you start the process and can provide tips along the way. I love working with people around Clark County and am glad to help you with the information you need to start your adventure.

 

Posted on August 23, 2018 at 3:52 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 3 Ways To Make Your Home Look More Expensive

If you’re considering listing your home for sale, there are probably a lot of “to-do” items on your list to get everything ready to go on the market. When you go to sell your home, you’ll want to make sure you get the most that you can and that means you’ll need to make your house look great. A home that is well maintained and has great showing potential can help bring in more buyers and help you get the price that you want out of the home sale. So how do you make your home look more expensive? There are some great ways to do this.

#1: Paint.
Interior and exterior paint can make a huge difference. It gives your home a bit of a makeover and potential homebuyers often respond to a space that appears to be clean and fresh. Interior colors should be neutral, as more unusual colors like bright blue or dark purple could cause buyers to react negatively. Instead, ivory or gray could be a good choice because they are basically neutral and appear classy.

#2: De-clutter.
Your home should come across as a place of comfort and relaxation, but if it’s cluttered, it can distract people from seeing the true beauty and unique nuances that your home has to offer. In addition, rooms that are cluttered with extra items could make the space feel closed in and smaller, sometimes smaller than it actually is! As you think about moving, start going through closets and rooms and get rid of the extra “stuff” that has built up over time. Organize one area at a time and load up different bins with items you want to keep, donate, recycle, or throw away completely.

#3: New fixtures and appliances.
Updated fixtures and appliances makes your home stylish and desirable to potential homeowners because they know they won’t have to take care of replacing these items for many years down the road. Older fixtures could make the home appear outdated and if you have them replaced, it shows that you’re committed to keeping the home up with current trends. Newer appliances are also very appealing, because homeowners won’t have to worry about going out and buying something that fits the home and they will be able to rely on those appliances for a long time. This is a huge selling point and is well worth the investment.

If you’re looking for other ways to freshen up your home and update it before you plan on listing it, I’m glad to help you with what home repairs, updates, or remodels can yield the best return for you.  Give me a call today to discuss.

Posted on December 5, 2017 at 1:26 am
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Things That Immediately Increase Your Home’s Value

Homeowners oftentimes ask me what types of home renovations or improvements they should complete to help increase their home’s value, especially if they’re considering putting their home on the market soon. There are a variety of things that can help update your home and if you do it right, they can bring in good returns when it comes time to sell the home. It’s important to note that some home remodeling or home improvement projects will add more value than others. Here are four things that can help increase your home’s value right away.

#1:  Updated bathrooms.
A freshly updated bathroom can bring in great returns when it comes time to sell your house. You don’t need to do a full remodel, either. Simple updates like new sinks and toilets or updated flooring can be easy and inexpensive ways to increase value.

#2: Updated kitchen.
A fully remodeled or updated kitchen is one of the best things you can do to add value to your home. New cabinets, flooring, and countertops make all the difference when it comes to selling your home. If you decide to list the home without doing any updates or repairs to the kitchen, it’s common for prospective buyers to think they must remodel the kitchen space completely from scratch, overestimating how much a remodel will be.  A kitchen remodel may be less than a buyer might think, so it’s great to get this part done so you can yield the returns when it comes time to sell.

#3: Exterior maintenance.
New exterior paint can do wonders for curb appeal! In addition, stay on top of other exterior maintenance to make sure it’s free from dry rot or other issues that could cause a potential buyer to worry. Make sure your roof is cleaned regularly and that a roofing professional checks it for leaks or missing shingles, but do not pressure wash it. If these aren’t repaired and come up during an inspection, it could mean an expensive repair or a price reduction in your home, so it’s better to get things maintained and taken care of before the house goes on the market.

#4: Updated color palette.
Looking for an easy and inexpensive way to create a relaxing ambiance inside your home? Freshen up the paint in your home to make sure it is updated to some currently popular colors that could be appealing to a broad audience. Fresh paint goes a long way. You’ll not only make the space feel brighter and cleaner, but painting with an updated color palette will give prospective buyers the opportunity to better envision themselves living in the space.

Not sure where to start when it comes to picking reliable companies or contractors to help you with your home maintenance or home remodeling projects? I am happy to give you some names of local contractors that I work with regularly and I’m also glad to visit your home and help you decide which to-do items would be the best bang for your buck.

Posted on November 6, 2017 at 10:07 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Things That Will Increase Your Home’s Value

I often have people ask me which home updates will provide the most value, especially when they’re looking to list their home for sale soon. There are several home remodeling projects that can reap good returns when it comes time to sell the house – some renovations add more value than others. Here are some home improvements and upgrades that can increase your home’s value.

#1: Updated kitchen.
A remodeled or updated kitchen can bring a great return. If you list the house with a kitchen that needs significant updating or repairs, a potential buyer could come in and think that they need to completely redo it and overestimate how much it will cost, when a kitchen remodel could actually be less than a buyer might think.

#2: Updated bathrooms.
Similar to updating your kitchen, remodeling or revamping your bathroom can yield great returns when you sell the home. Simple updates like new sinks and toilets or new paint and flooring can be a great way to add value.

#3: New windows.
Old windows – especially those in older homes – are usually not energy efficient and can get drafty, allowing cold or hot air in throughout the year. Replacing the windows in your home will not only add value to your home, but they’ll keep your home cooler and warmer during the year and can even provide a cost savings on your monthly utility bill.

#4: Updated flooring.
Floors have a big job and over time, they’ll show regular wear and tear. Updating your flooring can make a huge difference in the look of your home and can also add some big value. Adding new carpet or new hardwood or laminate floors is a great investment and if you have old hardwood floors, you can consider refinishing them to their original state instead of completely replacing them.

#5: New paint and caulking.
This is a simple and fairly inexpensive way to create curb appeal and add value at the same time. If the exterior of your home hasn’t been painted in a while, springtime is a great time to repaint. New coats of paint for the inside of your home is a great idea too and while you’re doing that, caulk around the windows and doors.

If you’re looking to make some upgrades to your home, call me for the names of some local contractors. Or, I am happy to do a quick preview of your home to help you decide what should be done for the best return.

Posted on March 17, 2017 at 3:53 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winter Energy Savings Tips

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Winter weather has arrived and we’re likely to have more snow and ice in the coming months. When the frozen weather hits, we want to stay warm and cozy, but not break the bank on heating bills. Here are some simple winter energy savings tips that can help you save energy and keep your heating bill under control.

Tip #1: Don’t let air leaks go unattended.
If your home is leaking cold air in and warm air out, you’re likely wasting hundreds of dollars every year. Be sure to caulk and seal around any small openings around windows or doors. Door frames should have weather stripping secured around door frames, especially if they are showing signs of deteriorating. If you have old ductwork in your home, call a professional heating and cooling company and ask about duct sealing. This can be an affordable and effective way to seal air duct leaks and will help keep harmful particles out of the air you breathe inside the home.

Tip #2: Service your furnace.
Plan on having your HVAC system serviced once a year. These regular check-ups are helpful because technicians can take a close look at the furnace or heat pump and be sure that everything is working at its peak. They’ll replace air filters, offer solutions on how to make the system more efficient during the winter, and will point out any problems that may need repair.

Tip #3: Turn your thermostat down.
When you keep your thermostat in the 60 to 70 degree range without changing it all the time, you can save up to 5% on heating costs. If you keep your thermostat down to 68 degrees at night and instead use extra blankets while you sleep, you could be saving a lot of money every year. In addition, if you plan on being away from your home for an extended period of time, set the thermostat to 55 or 60 degrees. There’s no need to keep the heat on in an empty house.

Tip #4: Replace old appliances.
Has it been a while since you’ve replaced your appliances? Did you know that old appliances (especially old refrigerators) are huge energy drains! Replacing your old gas or electric appliances with those that have Energy Star® labels can be a great way to save energy and decrease your monthly utility bills.

These tips aren’t just helpful in the winter, either. They’re helpful all year long! Stay warm this winter!

Posted on December 22, 2016 at 12:03 am
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latest options for dining room lighting

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Your dining room is a gathering space – the perfect place to entertain guests and to relax with some good food and fun conversations. If you’re planning on updating your dining space and you need the perfect light fixture to help bring all of your interior design ideas together, there are a lot of great options out there to choose from. Whether it’s a grand chandelier or track lighting that add ambiance, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll want to pick a light fixture that not only provides enough light, but one that complements your overall style and is sized correctly for the room and its furniture. Here are some of the most popular light fixtures out there right now.

Option #1: Chandeliers.
If you have an elegant space that you want to add a touch of sophistication to, a chandelier is a great way to do that, while also adding an instant focal point to the room. Crystal chandeliers are incredibly popular right now, especially for homes that have traditional dining room spaces. Chandeliers with dangling crystals can really accent dark wood floors or trim and they also provide plenty of soft light.

Option #2: Wall sconces.
This type of light fixture is mounted directly on the walls of the home. If you already have enough light for general lighting, wall sconces can be used as an accent feature by installing them into wall corners. They can help create a cozy, more intimate feel to dining rooms, especially when combined with candles.

Option #3: Pendant lighting.
This type of lighting is very versatile and can be incorporated into a variety of décor preferences. Pendant lights hang from a single chain and let off light throughout the room. They can come in bright colors or light shades so you can contrast your décor with the light easily. If you prefer a more traditional style, there are chandelier pendant lights that illuminate the space with classic elegance.

Option #4: Track lighting.
Track lighting is very popular for homes that have modern, contemporary, or industrial design themes. This lighting is very bright and it’s easy to install, either being installed flush to the ceiling or dangling from chains. They hold a variety of light styles including spotlights, mini-lanterns, and much more.

No matter what style you prefer for your dining room, there is a light that will make the area warm and inviting. A stand out light can transform the whole room!

Posted on August 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Budget-Friendly Bathroom Updates

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Taking the plunge into a full bathroom remodel is a big decision. It takes money, time, and a lot of patience, but in the end, an updated bathroom can be a great investment that will add value to your home in the long run. Maybe a full remodel isn’t necessary, you might just need to do some light updating. A few simple updates can make a big difference and if you’re on a budget, you can still update your bathroom and make your quality of life better!

Update #1: See your bathroom in a whole new light.
If you change outdated light fixtures and replace them with something that’s new and dramatic, it can really transform the space.  New light fixtures can range in price, starting at just $100 or so ranging up to thousands.and range into the thousands. Determine what style fits your bathroom and what your budget is, then install it. Your bathroom will sparkle!

Update #2: Refresh the paint.
This is one of the easiest, most inexpensive things that you can do to transform your bathroom and make it fresh once again.  If you have a small bathroom, avoid super dark colors, as it can make it feel smaller and more enclosed. Instead, choose light colors that make it feel airy and spacious.  

Update #3: Small features that make a big impact.
Add some glamour to your bathroom with small, affordable features. A unique mirror, a new towel bar, accent shelving, a new vanity, or rustic antique pieces that have been restored can all serve as décor that will brighten up the space and make it look like new.

Just like other parts of your home that are decorated to your tastes and sense of style, your bathroom should also express who you are. Check out different bathroom styles online to see what you prefer – modern, classic, or a little bit of both. So, if a full remodel isn’t in your budget, start small. Little updates can go a long way!

Posted on July 17, 2016 at 11:40 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Things to Know Before You Start a DIY Deck Building Project

Planning on building a new deck? There are a few must-knows before you dive in and tackle a deck building project on your home. Here are some tips that will help you plan and prepare for a successful DIY project.

Tip #1: Research what design will work best for your space.
First, you’ll need to decide exactly where your deck should be placed. Do you want it freestanding, attached to a back door, or on the second level of your home? Research what design and style will work best. A well-designed deck will help you create a list of materials based on that design. It will also ensure that the outside area of your home is put to use the best way possible without any empty or wasted space. 

Tip #2: Research the permit process.
Check out the local city building codes to see if you need a permit. Oftentimes a permit is needed if the deck is over a certain height. Be sure that you check what the total size requirements are for the city as well to make sure that it isn’t too large. When you go to sell the house and need to go through the inspection process, you don’t want to run into a problem because the permit process was not followed.  In addition, you should always check to see what your Home Owner Association (HOA) rules are. Most HOA’s require approval of any outdoor project.

Tip #3: Research your material options.
When it comes to deck materials, there are a few different options. While wood is traditionally the type of material that is most used for decks, there is also composite decking that can be used. The cost is usually more than traditional wood, but if you plan on using the deck for a long time, it can actually save you money in the long run when compared to cleaning, refinishing, and replacing wood boards. Composite decking usually comes with a warranty as well, so you are covered in the event of something going wrong.

Once you have completed your research and have all of the proper tools necessary for launching into building the deck, you’re ready to get started. It’s a big project, but one that will pay off well! Having a beautiful deck is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and it will also add value to your home.

Posted on July 7, 2015 at 3:27 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,