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 Older fixtures could make the home appear outdated and if you have them replaced, it shows that you’re committed to keeping the home up with current trends.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 , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The dreaded inspection—jargon, issues, and “make or breaks”

If you’re buying or selling a home, the inspection process can be nerve-wracking for people. It often brings up questions or concerns that may be a little bit overwhelming at first. The inspection provides an overall evaluation of the home’s condition. Inspections can be complex, depending on the home and its condition. Every inspection provides a detailed look at all the working systems of a whole house. Then, depending on the home, there can be additional inspection processes that look at the sewer, oil tank, roof, or radon levels.  Doing an inspection should be written into your sales contract, so you can expect to have one from the get go.

When you’re getting an inspection, be sure to use a licensed inspector. These people need to complete continuing education courses and are experienced with inspecting a variety of different styles and homes of various ages. Your Realtor will give you advice on a recommended inspector or inspection company.

How the process works:
When a buyer gets an inspection done, the seller may not know what the results are for a couple of days. When the buyer gets the results, they will get a copy of the report and determine what they want to ask the seller to fix, if anything. Most often, the buyer has 10 days to get repair requests to the seller. The Realtor will help the buyer determine which “to-do” items are reasonable to ask for and what isn’t.

Once the seller gets the list, they are given some time to get quotes or bids on the items that need completion. Having an experienced Realtor to work with you during this process is important, as the back-and-forth process can create much dialogue. It is critical that everyone understands each other and having an agent you trust here can help guide you along through some of the confusing details. Many times, the inspection process requires negotiation and a Realtor can be an asset in this part.

As a seller, this time can be nerve-wracking, as you are waiting to get quotes done and wondering what the result will be! Your Realtor will help you decipher the requests that come in, determine what is customary, and negotiate on your behalf. Again, your Realtor will play an important role in helping you get through the many hoops that can sometimes happen with the inspection process.

Buying and selling a home requires many different steps and it’s okay to have a lot of questions along the way. The inspection process can be very involved, and I am happy to sit down and talk with you about it if you need additional clarification.

Posted on November 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Avoid Contractor Scams

Looking for a contractor or local company to help with some of those home improvement projects around the house that you’ve let go during the winter? Spring is a busy time for contractors and unfortunately, it’s a time where scammers go through neighborhoods and start offering seasonal services to homeowners. Whether it’s a window repair, window washing, leaf raking, or HVAC installations, there are people out there that will make promises on doing a great job, take your money, then never deliver the service they agreed to do. In addition to asking me for recommendations on reputable contractors, here are some other ways to avoid contractor scams.

Tip #1: Know what some of the popular scams are.
Most of the time, the person pretending to be a reputable contractor will come to your door and claim that he or his team is already in the neighborhood doing work on other people’s homes. The company or individual will claim to provide you a large discount because they’re already in the area doing a job. Then, the person will ask for partial payment upfront in order to secure your place, then will promise to return the next day after he finishes his other job in the area. It’s likely that the person will take your money and run – you’ll probably never see him or that money again.

Another common scam happens when contractors enter your home to work on it and they start adding in extras to the job that were not part of the original price and scope of work. If the contractor does not want to write up something that includes all of the details regarding what work will be done and how much it will cost, this should be a red flag.

Tip #2: Know how to protect yourself from scams.
There are several great ways to stay alert to possible scams. First, work with reputable local businesses. To find out if someone is part of a reputable business, ask for proof of their business license, ask for a business card or examples of estimate sheets, and look to see if their vehicle has professional signage on it. Next, do your research online to see what kind of reviews are there. Look at sites like Yelp, Google, Better Business Bureau, or Angie’s List to start. If you notice a lot of negative reviews, you should probably consider looking for a new contractor.

One of the unique services I offer is the ability for you to call me and ask for recommendations on contractors or companies that are reputable. If I don’t have a specific recommendation for what you’re looking for, I can check with over 120 Windermere agents in Vancouver who do.

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 12:23 am
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How New Thermostats Can Benefit Your Home

Winter isn’t over yet and chances are, your heater has been working hard already these last couple of months. But did you know that your heater can only do so much in keeping you comfortable? Your thermostat plays a direct role in how your heating and cooling system operates. If you have an old thermostat, consider upgrading it. Here’s why:

Reason #1: The temperature in your home will be accurate.
Older thermostats are likely not efficient and usually, they have great variation between temperatures. This could mean that the rooms in your home could be unevenly heated on those cold days of winter. In addition, inefficient thermostats can also cause utility bills to increase, which means you’re paying more than you need to every month. By upgrading to a digital thermostat, you’ll be able to use digital display or push buttons that can help you set the temperature to exactly what you want. This ability to have an accurate set temperature translates to having a warmer, more comfortable home throughout.

Reason #2: Convenience.
Programmable thermostats will change how you interact with your home’s heating system. You won’t need to worry about manually adjusting your thermostat every time you want to make an adjustment. Instead, set the temperatures one time and let the thermostat do the rest of the work. For instance, if you program the thermostat to turn off or turn down the heat when you go to work, then have it set to come back on right before you get home, you’ll save yourself time.

Reason #3: Utilize smart technology.
Technology is always changing and it’s integrated into almost all parts of our daily lives. Your thermostats, heating system, and other appliances in your home aren’t any exception. If you choose to upgrade your thermostat to one that uses “smart technology”, you could connect it to your Internet and keep track of your energy usage. You could also set it up so you can program your thermostat while you’re away from the home and you can even access energy reports, which could help offer tips on how to minimize any negative impact you’re having on the environment.

There are a variety of smart thermostats on the market today for your home. You can contact your local heating and cooling supplier or make a trip to your nearest home improvement store to see what is out there. Research which one might work best for your specific space and soon you’ll be comfortable while saving money!

Posted on February 7, 2017 at 5:24 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Budget-Friendly Bathroom Updates

bathroom1

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DIY Project: Painting Vinyl Siding

 

Painting the house: no doubt, this is a big task to take on, but if you know how to paint vinyl siding the right way, the end result will be a successful do-it-yourself (DIY) home project that will leave your house looking great!  With some helpful, simple tips, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently paint the vinyl siding on your home.

Tip #1: Time to clean.
A thoroughly cleaned and dried house before you start is necessary, so start by making sure that the siding is free of dirt, mold, or other debris that tends to accrue over time. If you avoid this step, you may run into some problems with painting, and that will just make you more frustrated and slow you down.  Pressure washers are usually the fastest and easiest way to clean off the vinyl siding.

Tip #2: Choose the color.
This seems pretty obvious, but there are a couple of things to take note of before you pick your color. Be sure that you look for paint that is labeled “Vinyl Safe.” This type of paint is designed to reflect heat rather than absorbing it. If you don’t use a paint that is specifically made for vinyl siding, it could cause damage, such as distorting or buckling.

Tip #3: Ready, set, paint!
Now, it’s work time! Plan on putting at least two coats of paint on the siding and don’t paint on extremely hot days or days that there is wind and rain. Cool autumn days or dry spring days are good options for painting. And once the job is complete, remember that you will need to take care of the vinyl. It’s not the same maintenance-free material you once had.  It should be treated like other types of painted surfaces and every 10 years, you should plan to reapply a new coat of paint.

If your siding is failing altogether, a paint job probably won’t do much.  Instead, you should look around and get some information on replacing the siding completely. This will help protect the home’s structure while adding great curb appeal!  

Posted on June 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Remodeling Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,