Get Your Home Ready for the Change of Season

Fall in the Pacific Northwest is stunning. The leaves are already starting to change, the mornings are crisper, and the sun is starting to set earlier. Autumn is the perfect time to cross off some things on your home maintenance checklist, that may seem small but can make a big difference in the long run. Here are some important things you can do to get your home ready for the change of season.

#1: Get the gutters prepped.
Autumn in the Northwest brings a fair share of rain, so that means your gutters are going to need to kick into overtime soon. Your roof will drain thousands of gallons of water from the exterior over its lifetime, and in order to keep that process flowing, your gutters need to be cleaned out regularly. Clogged gutters not only disrupt the flow of water, but they could also lead to damage on your foundation or leakage in your basement. Before the rainy season starts and leaves start falling, be sure to get your gutters cleaned, either by doing it yourself or by hiring a professional gutter cleaning service.

#2: Get leaks sealed.
If you have leaky windows or doors, be sure to seal them with proper caulking before cold, windy days settle in. Weather stripping is an easy and cost-efficient way to reduce your heating and cooling costs, all year long because they can reduce drafts and keep warm air inside where it should be on those chilly fall days. If you have already sealed the areas around your windows and doors and you are still noticing drafts because your windows and doors are old and inefficient, it may be time to consider replacing those items in your home. New windows and doors will not only be energy efficient and reduce noise, but they will also add value and curb appeal to your home should you choose to sell it later down the road.

#3: Review safety procedures.
It’s a great idea to check safety products around your home as well as review safety procedures you have in place. Replace batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, be sure you have fire extinguishers on each level of your home, and then review your fire escape plan to ensure that you have an exit path should a fire occur in your home. Be sure that your windows aren’t blocked with furniture and have rope ladders available in rooms that are on the upper level.

Part of being a homeowner means staying on top of home maintenance to-dos. Keeping your home maintained well will keep it in great working order no matter what kind of weather happens outside during this year’s fall season. Ready to start your adventure in home buying or are you ready to sell your home this fall? I’ve been helping customers of all kinds for more than two decades. As a Realtor®, I can help you start the buying or selling 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.

Posted on September 19, 2018 at 8:40 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Maintenance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yard Staging Projects That Can Help Sell Your House

When it comes to selling your house, first impressions really matter.  If you are spending time to ensure the inside of your home is in pristine condition, you should also put some time and effort into making your yard look great too. After some hard work in the yard, your efforts can pay off. But what to-dos will reap the most reward? Here are some yard staging projects that can help sell your house.

#1: Lawn clean-up.
Imagine driving up to a home that you’re thinking about buying and seeing that the lawn is overgrown and full of weeds. Not the greatest first impression, is it? If you have grass in your yard, potential buyers will notice how it’s taken care of. Be sure to keep it cut short and invest in having a landscape team professionally edge it.

#2: Goodbye, clutter.
The outside of your home should look as clean and tidy as possible. Stash kids toys and bikes in the garage or in a shed, get rid of any personal belongings that are out front, and move your garbage cans and other recycling products to the side of the home or to the back where it’s not as visible. Don’t forget that the porch or front doorway entry is where the realtor and potential buyers will be standing when they are getting the key from the lockbox, so the area should be clean and welcoming.

#3: Hello, color.
Head over to your local garden center and stock up on flowers to brighten up your yard, as well as your walkways. Use large pots and other hanging baskets for added color around your front doorway, porch, or patio. New bark dust can also freshen the space and help reduce weed growth. A little bit of color goes a long way and if you invest in perennial flowers, the new owners will be able to enjoy the beauty in future years.

Remember that your yard is part of the overall ambiance of your home. When prospective buyers see your home, think about what memorable impression you want them to have. The better the home shows, the better chance you have to sell your home with ease.

Ready to talk through listing your home this fall? I have more than two decades of experience as a Realtor® and can help you start the process and can provide tips on the whole process, including what you should do to get your interior and exterior ready. 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 7, 2018 at 11:06 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Summer porch & patio decorating ideas that bring beauty & increase home value

Summer officially begins this week and the warm weather is here to welcome us into the new season. Now is the time that Pacific Northwesterners enjoy a break from the rain and can get outside to relax and enjoy the scenery. If you’re looking for some fun summer porch and patio decorating ideas that bring beauty and increase home value, here are some simple ideas to help you get started.

#1: Bring the inside outdoors.
Rugs and throw pillows can work wonders in creating a warm and inviting patio or porch space. They add color and ambiance. In addition, consider adding some umbrellas or curtained areas that can provide both privacy and shade from the scorching summer rays. In addition, if you have old furniture that you may have considered junk, it might be able to be given new life as a piece of outdoor furniture. For example, if you have an old dresser, paint it with a coat of exterior paint and put it to use as a place to pot outdoor flowers, or as a place to serve lemonade or cocktails during your next entertainment event.

#2: Lights, lights, and more lights.
Lighting makes all the difference. Flood lights are important to have for safety reasons, but when it comes to outdoor entertaining or relaxing in the evening warmth, ambient lighting with programmable battery-operated LED candles or twinkle lights are a great option.

#3: Add landscaping.
Landscaping is one of the easiest ways to add beauty to your outdoor space and it can also enhance the value of your home. Shrubs, trees, potted flowers, or fresh flowers that are planted along walkways are affordable ways to beautify your space and increase curb appeal. Group in odd numbers and mix and match colors and shapes to create some uniqueness.

#4: Upgrade windows and doors.
If your home’s doors or windows are old and outdated, they’re likely not energy efficient and could be wasting precious money each month due to leaking air in or out. Replacement windows and doors will add value and beauty in an instant! Not to mention, they can reduce noise and help maintain even temperatures throughout your home, no matter what the weather is doing outside.

I have more than two decades of experience as a Realtor® and can help provide tips on what you can do to help increase the value of your home! I love working with buyers and sellers around Clark County and am glad to help you with the information you need to start your adventure in either buying or selling a home.

Posted on June 21, 2018 at 4:51 am
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is the top decorating color for 2017?

In 2016, common décor colors used in homes were known to be soft, calm, and tranquil, but 2017 will bring brighter, more vibrant colors to the home decorating scene. Green has been named this year’s top color choice for decorating, which is sure to add pizzazz to any space. Here are some great ways to incorporate this color into your home’s style.

Incorporate natural greenery:
If green is the color of the year, integrating natural greenery into your home a great option to make your home warm and inviting. Real greenery throughout your home will bring new life to your space. Potted plants with brightly colored ceramic pots are great options. Or, consider adding indoor hanging succulents or other hanging plants with trailing stems for dramatic beauty in any room of your home.

Pillows, pillows, pillows:
If you don’t want embrace green completely, but you’re looking for an added pop of color, green accent pillows can be a good way to bring in the green to living room or bedrooms. Or, add green throw blankets to your couches, love seats, or beds.

Change out window dressings:
New window coverings can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a room. If you’ve considered making a change to your window dressings, green curtains could be a fun option. Curtains can make a dramatic statement, even on a small budget.

Add color to your walls with new wallpaper and paint:
Wallpapers today are elegant and gorgeous, unlike wallpapers of the past that curled easily or were almost impossible to remove. If you’re not sure about using wallpaper on all of the walls, put it on just one wall, then find an accent paint color that will make the room stand out. There are some unique tropical wallpapers and other bright floral wallpaper designs available right now that could be a great way to change the whole look of your favorite room in the house.

There are lots of ways that you can integrate green into your home’s decor this year. No matter how big or small your decorating budget is, it can add distinct color and vibrancy to the space that it may have been missing before!

 

Posted on February 7, 2017 at 11:26 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Weatherize Your House During Autumn Weather

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Autumn has arrived and that translates to falling leaves and wet weather. Weatherizing your Pacific Northwest home for the fall weather is important. Here are some tips on how to keep your home warm and dry during the new season.

Tip #1: Weatherize your windows.
Do you have drafty windows? Older windows can allow cold air to creep in and can also bring in rain water into the window sills, causing mold and moisture build up. Consider caulking your windows so there is no leakage and if you have any cracks or broken panes, replace them right away. Replacing these will also save energy, which means you’ll pay less on your utility bill.

Tip #2: Keep gutters cleared out.
Autumn can bring heavy wind and rain, which means your gutters will be put to the test. Make sure that gutters are kept free of debris, twig, or leaf buildup. If they’re overflowing, it will cause the gutters to work harder and could cause leakage onto your roof or siding, which could cause damage later down the road.

Tip #3: Seal up doors.
Leaking doors, like leaking windows, can cause drafts and moisture build up. Make sure that the seals around your doors are working properly and if you notice any cracks or issues with caulking, get it fixed right away.

Tip #4: Be sure to check your roof.
Weatherizing your roof is key, especially once we head into the cold winter. Inspect your roof regularly, checking for missing, cracked, or curled shingles. If you see anything noticeable, call a roofing specialist right away. If you don’t get things repaired, water could creep in and threaten the overall integrity of the roof.

If you need advice on where to call when it comes to weatherizing your home for autumn, I can help with some local, reputable contractors and companies. Keeping your home maintained well will help you stay comfortable during the upcoming cooler months!

Posted on October 15, 2016 at 10:51 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Housing Trends for 2015


Are you a home owner that is always up to date on the latest trends in home design? There are a lot of hot housing trends for 2015 that are already proving to be unique in helping homes stand out from each other. Experts predict that there are going to be a variety of trends happening this year, so in the next series of blogs, we will cover what some of these are.

  1. Hello, open living!
    Well, it’s no secret that open floor plans are very desirable, but home buyers entering the housing market are predicted to demand even greater amounts of open spaces, even in traditional condo buildings or small suburban starter-homes. For homeowners that already own a home and are looking for ways to make their spaces feel even more open and brighter, consider adding additional windows or skylights to tie the inside and outside together.
     
  2. It’s tub time.
    For many people, a nice soaking tub in the bathroom is a must-have item, and it’s looking like 2015 is proving this fact. Freestanding tubs are becoming a popular item in home design this year and it’s likely that freestanding decadent tubs will make a prominent appearance and push the traditional shower/tub combination to the back burner.  
     
  3. Burn, burn, burn!
    Fireplaces and fire pits are all the rage in home design today. There is just something comforting and romantic about sitting around a fire, whether it’s with a fireplace inside the home or a fire pit outside. Fireplace design that you will generally see this year will be more compact with fewer venting concerns.
     
  4. Posh Porcelain.
    If you want to step outside the box of carpet or traditional hardwood, porcelain floors are becoming a unique option. It is relatively inexpensive and can be found in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes including small tiles or long and linear planks. Surprisingly, this type of flooring wears very well, so the most common places you’ll see porcelain floors are in hallways or other high traffic rooms.

     

    Trends like these are fun to follow, but it is important to remember that even though you may love the idea of following along, it may not be the right move for your overall home’s style or your budget. Consider what ideas will work well for your home and how it can enhance the space.

Posted on April 1, 2015 at 8:00 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,