Thursday, July 30, 2015

Four Inexpensive Ways to Boost Your Property Value!

If you are planning to sell your home soon, you are probably thinking about home improvements. But the good news is that you do not have to spend a fortune to give your house an edge on the market.

Traditionally when we think of increasing property value, new kitchens and bathrooms immediately come to mind. And for good reason. According to the National Association of Home Builders, adding just one extra half bathroom to your house adds about 10.5 percent to your property value. But there are other ways. Ones that would not cost you thousands of dollars but will make a big difference for potential buyers.

Here are four inexpensive home improvements that you should definitely consider:

1. Clean and declutter

This may not have made your list of “home improvements” since it might seem a little obvious. But you would be surprised just how important this improvement can be. According to, cleaning and clearing out a home can increase its value three to five percent. And this cleaning process does not have to be expensive either. This checklist from Veterans Alliance breaks the work down room by room so you don’t forget anything. It is a lot of work, but no matter how much sprucing your house needs, put in the elbow grease and you are sure to see results.

Start by scrubbing down the entire house from top to bottom and removing as much clutter as possible. The goal is to make your house look fresh and roomy by clearing out the closets, removing any over-sized furniture, and decluttering all your shelves as much as possible. If you do have some money to spend, consider renting a storage unit or hiring a professional carpet cleaner. The cost will be worth it in the long run.

2. Improve your curb appeal

Yet another improvement that does not cost a lot but can boost your value between two and five percent. The old adage of not judging a book by its cover really does not go far in real estate because if your house does not look great on the outside, no one is going to see the inside. So make your house look like a million buck both inside and out.

Every house could stand for a good power washing to spruce up those windows. And having a well-mowed lawn is a must. Planting a few inexpensive bushes and spreading fresh mulch in the flower beds will go a long way too without breaking the bank. And be sure to make minor repairs to your sideboards and roof if necessary.

3. Paint those walls

Nothing updates a home faster than a fresh coat of paint, and repainting your house is not as expensive as you might think. A gallon of paint costs about $15–30, and it only took two gallons to paint the entire living room in my old apartment. Of course you can always pay someone else to paint your house for you, but if you are really looking to save some cash, reach out to your friends and family to figure out who can give you the best painting pointers. Then do it yourself.

A word of the wise: steer clear of bold colors. Neutral is your best bet when painting a house to sell, so if any of your walls are too dark or too white, paint those first. As a side note, investing in good lighting that shows off your new paint job is also a good selling technique. Even during the daytime, turn on all your lights when someone comes to look at your home.

4. Add storage space

And no, I am not talking about knocking down walls. I am talking about installing shelves in odd spaces and adding organizer solutions to your closets. Anything you can do to show potential buyers just how much they will be able to store in your home. Storage space is a top selling point for houses, so do whatever it takes to maximize yours.

If you have lots of wasted space in the tops of your closets, put attractive storage bins or low shelves. Hit up IKEA for some simple storage boxes or some organizers. They do not have to be fancy or expensive, but do pick something that looks clean, classy, and durable.

Owning property, or more specifically a home, is usually the largest asset any one person or couple will own. Since so much of your nest egg is tied up in your own roof adding value to it is a no brainer! What tips or DIY projects have you taken on other than these to make your house a home...a more valuable home!? 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

How to give the illusion of more space in any room!

Feeling claustrophobic? Living in cramped spaces tends to cause feelings of stress and discomfort in an atmosphere where people should feel the most relaxed. With climbing real estate prices, people want to make the most of every square foot. Gone are the days of cramped space and clutter! More often than ever, people are adopting a minimalist and functional style of décor. We want more space and order without sacrificing style. Aside from expensive and extensive remodeling, there are more practical alternatives to give the illusion of more space. Of course, no actual space will be added, but these techniques will make any area appear more spacious.

Clutter is the biggest and most obvious offense. Start with the non-essentials and items that you probably have not used or thought about in months or years! You can also start to consolidate items or move them into storage if you are not quite ready to let go. Once something is out of sight and unused for months, you will realize you do not need it and it will be easier to part with. Often times, this initial step can be overwhelming so take your time with this.

Once you have simplified your space, there are a few tricks that can make the room appear more open. Lighting plays a major role in the way a room feels and looks. The current trend is to let natural light in and open the view to the outside scenery. If your room has windows, consider the type of blinds you might have. Plantation shutters offer you privacy when needed, but unlike conventional blinds- they allow in more natural light. They also expand the view to the outside, which makes a room feel more open. Generally, curtains and drapes can make a room feel smaller, but if you must have them, choose a light and sheer fabric that reflects light. Also, keeping fan and lamp lights reasonably and comfortably bright so that there are no areas hidden in shadow.

Color is a critical component for opening up a living space. Color schemes are all about optical illusions. Think light and bright and a few pop of color contrasts. Light colors are reflective and will be enhanced by the natural light coming in. It is been shown that color influences mood and ambiance, so you want to pick a scheme that makes the room feel comfortable and inviting such as creams and soft tones of blue.  You can also play with a graduation of shading color on opposing walls to visually lengthen a room.

Finally, you can use furniture to maximize space. Look for pieces that double in function: sofas that are made with hidden compartments for storage and coffee tables that can fold and expand or double up as a bookcase. Size is another important factor when shopping for furniture. You do not want grand, oversized furniture in a smaller space. Avoid excessively tall furniture as it could make the ceiling feel lower than it is. Adding a mirror also gives the illusion of increased space and depth in a room. These are just a few, budget-friendly ways to create practical spaciousness in any room but most importantly, do not forget to add your own unique style.