Selling Your Home

8 Home Renovations That Add Value to Your Home

8 Home Renovations That Add Value to Your Home

Looking to up the value of your home with a few significant upgrades? Whether you’re thinking full-on reno—hello, brand-new kitchen!—or minor improvements here and there, the more you refresh your space before it hits the market, the more likely it is to earn you a higher return when it sells. Today, we’re focusing on some of the bigger, more impactful home updates you can make, the ones that will earn you a several-thousand-dollar boost in resale value when you make the sale.

1. A Complete Kitchen Upgrade— By and large, most real estate experts agree that the kitchen renovation is still the best way to boost your home’s resale value. The fact of the matter is that buyers prioritize the kitchen above virtually everything else, and they’re especially keen on things like a new refrigerator, lighting, flooring, and countertops. While full kitchen renovations tend to yield the highest return on investment (ROI), small updates—such as painting the walls and adding an attractive backsplash—can also boost value for a low upfront spend.

2. A New Bathroom— Bathroom renovations fall just behind kitchen renovations in terms of home upgrades that yield the highest return. No surprise there, since buyers rank the bathrooms among the most important factors of a new home. Some of the best ways you can use this info to your benefit include adding an en suite bathroom to the master bedroom, adding a first-floor bathroom or renovating the master bath.

3. All Smart Everything— Today’s buyers are crazy about the idea of smart appliances and home automation,...

How To Select The Best Offer For Your House

How To Select The Best Offer for Your Home

Our current seller’s market has been a result of low housing inventory compared to the number of homebuyers searching for houses. Often, home sellers end up with a multiple offer situation when placing their home on the market. It seems like knowing which offer to accept would be an easy decision. While choosing the highest offer seems obvious, it may not always be the best choice. Below, I’ve outlined other important factors when it comes to accepting an offer from a homebuyer.

Pre-Qualified And Pre-Approved Homebuyers

Most offers will include a letter from a financial institution indicating that a homebuyer is either pre-approved or pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. While people often use these terms interchangeably, there is a significant difference between the two.

Once a homebuyer discusses their financial situation with a mortgage lender, they can be issued a pre-qualification letter,  which is an estimate of the loan amount a buyer will qualify for. At this point, the mortgage lender has not verified the accuracy of the provided information. A mortgage lender might produce a correct estimate for a homebuyer who is very knowledgable about their financial profile. However, home sellers should be aware that a lender has not yet verified income, assets, debt, or cash available for a down payment. In other words, a pre-qualification letter does not provide much confidence that the buyer will be able to close...

Sell Your Home In 3 Easy Steps

There are 3 important steps to remember when selling your home.

As you begin thinking about all the details involved with selling your home, you may start to feel overwhelmed. There are so many factors to think about - when you should put your house on the market, how to pack everything up while you're still living in the home, what to do about showings when you have children (or pets) at home. The list just keeps going.

Fortunately, I've paired it down to the three most important steps on which you should focus. While I cannot promise everything else will go smoothly, I am positive that if you follow these instructions, your home will sell fast and for top dollar.

1. Determine Why You Want To Move

Before putting your home on the market, it’s important to know why you really want to move. As you start to think about selling your house, you’ll probably have multiple ideas about the advantages or disadvantages that are involved in that process. In the end, some sellers realize that they are not really motivated to move, which can prevent the home selling process from being successful.

You also want to ensure that all parties involved in selling the home are in agreement when it comes to the list of reasons to move. When co-owners don’t agree about the end goal, there are sure to be some road bumps along the way. For example, it’s important to make sure that your expectations for the selling price are in line with current market values. If they don't match...

Home Updates That Can Make a Big Difference

Painted floor project to update a home.

We all crave a home that could be found in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens–one that boasts the perfect balance of comfort and state-of-the-art additions. But realistically speaking, our busy schedules and the high cost of such a project may deter us from treating our homes to a much-deserved facelift. Fortunately, updating your home doesn’t need to be painful. By making a few modest updates, you can make a noteworthy difference.

Simple as Adding a Fresh Coat of Paint

You would be surprised by what a fresh coat of paint can achieve. For those feeling adventurous, it can sometimes be exciting to reward your home with new paint colors–head-to-toe, inside and out. However, that is a commitment not all can manage. If this is the case, try just painting your front door or shutters. Warm colors such as yellow and red are found to be much more inviting than their cooler counterparts. If you want to focus on the interior, painting an accent wall draws attention to an area of a room that may have an aspect worth showing off, such as a fireplace or unique molding. Accent walls also tend to open up a room and offer the opportunity to rearrange furniture around your room’s new focal point. If your house offers the option, painting the back of recessed wall niches or even built-in bookshelves creates an interesting visual appeal on a smaller scale.

Floors also endure their fair share of bumps and bruises, whether they are hardwood, laminate or tile. If your floor can handle it, it is worth considering a coat of paint and a nice finish. For those wanting a more design-oriented floor, try painting a chessboard or a hexagon pattern onto the wood. Though more unconventional, if done with a steady hand, such a floor would be...

When Something Goes Wrong: 5 Common Moving Day Problems and How to Manage Them

Manage Moving Day ProblemsNo matter how organized you are, there’s always a chance something unexpected could derail your carefully-crafted plans for moving day. Anticipating and creating a plan for managing unexpected problems will help you overcome any challenges you may encounter.

To help you navigate any unforeseen complications, we’ve created a list of 7 of the most common moving day problems, along with our tips for keeping your move on track:

1. Illness

The best way to manage illness is to avoid getting sick in the first place. If you come down with a slight case of the sniffles or a minor cold, you can most likely progress with your move as scheduled. For more serious illnesses, you may need to reschedule.

If you notice yourself starting to feel under the weather in the days leading up to your move, there are a few things you can do to limit the impact:

  • Try to get lots of rest and fluids.
  • Stock up on tissues, cough drops, and any other supplies you might need, including cleaning supplies so you can prevent others from getting sick.
  • Schedule a doctor’s appointment for a diagnosis and a prescription, if necessary.
  • Get help from friends and family. There’s nothing wrong with letting someone else take the lead on your move if your brain is fogged up on cold medication.

If your kids get sick, enlist the help of family, friends, or a trusted neighbor to watch over them. If no one is available, set up a comfortable spot out of the way where they will have access to everything they need, and where you can keep an eye on them while you continue packing.

2. Injury

Avoiding injury is easy if you take a few steps to keep yourself and your helpers safe while you move:


Hidden Costs of Moving: 11 Unexpected Costs to Include in your Moving Budget

Moving According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of an interstate move is approximately $4,300. That’s no small chunk of change.

Whether you decide to hire movers or rent a truck and move yourself, budgeting for your upcoming move—local or long distance—can help you plan accordingly and take steps to reduce the costs as much as possible. But between accounting for the cost of movers, packing supplies, and other costs—not to mention the inevitable confusion of actually packing up your house—it’s easy to forget about some of the common hidden costs of moving.

To help you plan for any unexpected costs, we’ve put together a list of 11 of the most commonly-missed hidden costs of moving:


1. Your Movers

If you solicited quotes from multiple moving companies for your upcoming relocation, you probably have a good idea of how much your moving service will cost. But the way your movers are compensated can impact how much you end up paying:

  • If you’re paying movers by the hour, they may not move as quickly as you’d like, which can increase your bill. 
  • If you’re paying movers a flat fee, they may rush through your job so they can get to their next customer. This increases the risk of loss or damage.

Hiring the company that provides you with the cheapest quote may save you money up front, but it can lead to increased costs that you may not have predicted, such as the costs of repairing or replacing stuff that got broken by poorly qualified movers or movers who rushed through your job.

2. Fine...

Does My Garden Add Value to My Home?

garden home

If you are an avid gardener, or if you are thinking about embarking on a gardening campaign at your residence, you may wonder whether a garden adds value to your home. As is the case with many things in life, the answer to the question of whether or not your garden adds value to your home is not a simple "yes" or "no."

The Garden that Detracts

Before we dive into an examination of how a garden can add value to your home, a discussion of how a garden can detract from a residence is important. There are some common mistakes that even the best intentioned homeowners make when it comes to gardening on their properties.

Perhaps the most common mistake a homeowner makes when it comes to gardening is overdoing. In other words, a homeowner litters the property with a myriad of flower beds and assorted plants, all lacking a sense of cohesion and organization. This can prove to a particular problem when a homeowner wants to sell. This type of garden menagerie can lower the value of a property, and sometimes rather significantly so. In the end, the property looks like something that would be a major headache -- and expense -- to maintain (or eliminate, depending on the goals objectives of a person who might be interested in purchasing the residence).

Even gardening done at a residence in proper proportions must be well-tended. Another of the common mistakes a homeowner makes is failing to properly tend to and care for gardens on the premises. A poorly tended garden not only looks bad, but it sends a loud message that a homeowner is not diligent in caring for the premises. The combination of these two factors can knock down the value of residential property.

The Proper Garden and the Value of Your Home

Understanding that a garden can detract from the premises, can lower a property's value, a more...

How To Sell Your Home Quickly & For Top Dollar

Home For SaleThere are many reasons why you may need to sell your home quickly. An unexpected job offer may mean a new life and new location. Maybe you’re getting married and merging lives and homes. Perhaps you’ve inherited a house that is going to be a financial burden if you don’t sell fast. It could be that the market is hot and you know it’s the right time to get a high offer and sell.

Whatever your reasons, selling your home quickly will save you time, money and a lot of the stress that comes with this big life decision. Below are 11 tips to help you get your home sold quickly.

Keep an Eye on the Market

Check local real estate blogs and monitor industry trends. Are certain neighborhoods selling like crazy? Did schools re-zone recently, changing the demand for a particular location? Knowing what’s going on with the market can help you determine the best time to sell.

According to Time Magazine, 60% of those who move, do so in the summer. The grass is green and natural light is flooding through your windows making everything look cheerful and presentable. It’s a time for new beginnings, and armed with tax refunds; buyers are poised to spend.

If this situation sounds familiar to you, now is the perfect time to declutter and get your home ready for a quick sale. Moving in the spring and summer is a lot easier than dealing with moving on a cold and rainy Tampa day.

Make the Right First Impression

When you’re getting ready to sell, think about what attracted you to the home in the first place and capitalize on it. Your home should stand out and have instant curb appeal. Simple and inexpensive changes like painting your front door or investing in professional landscaping will immediately up the ante according to experts at HGTV. An uncluttered...