Maureen Tatum's Blog
While home ownership can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience, it does bring with it a new set of responsibilities and demands. Whether you're buying a brand new home or a fixer-upper, several things will have a major impact on your lifestyle.
One of them is the need is to personally handle or manage your own repairs, decorating, and home improvements. In many cases, you can (and should) hire a professional to do the actual work, but there are a lot of projects you can do more cost-effectively on your own.
The first one that comes to mind is interior painting. If you want to keep your home looking fresh, well maintained, and visually appealing, repainting your walls and ceilings every few years is a necessity. How often you need to break out the paint brushes, rollers, and drop cloths depends on several factors. For example, some rooms are subjected to more wear and tear than others. Bedroom walls, hallways, and bathrooms often seem to need the most attention, but kitchens, family rooms, and other areas of the home are usually not far behind.
If you've been noticing that one or more of your rooms are starting to look scuffed, faded, or dull, then it may be time to roll up your sleeves and give those walls a fresh coat of paint! It always makes a dramatic difference in the look and feel of that room, and it typically can be completed in less than a day -- especially if you team up with an energetic spouse, friend, or family member. If you're focused and organized, a room-painting project can often be completed by lunchtime. (Depending on who's providing the help, however, you might be expected to provide lunch!)
When procrastination is a problem, taking small steps will often help you gather momentum and keep moving forward on your painting project. An easy, but necessary first step is to pick out and bring home an assortment of color samples from your local hardware or paint store. Holding them up to your walls and seeing whether they complement existing furniture, flooring, and decorating schemes will help you choose a color you'll be satisfied with.
If you're not ready to tackle the project right away, you can still purchase the paint, rollers, and other supplies. Assuming you're not going to postpone the project indefinitely, you'll be a lot more likely to get started in the near future if the supplies are already in the house. You'll be streamlining the process and nudging yourself to get the job done soon by purchasing the painting supplies and having them close at hand.
While motivating yourself to do projects around the house may sometimes seem to be the biggest hurdle to clear, starting small and gaining momentum as you go is often an effective way to keep your home looking its best at all times!
One of the most used rooms in the house is the bathroom. You do spend a lot of time in there. You want your bathroom to be an oasis of sorts. Making changes and renovations to your bathroom will not only make you happy but make potential buyers for your home happy as well. Below, you’ll find some trends to keep your bathroom stylish and a place that everyone wants to spend (at least some) time in.
Beware Of Design Trends
There’s a lot of trendy designs that just aren’t timeless. They don’t look very good in a bathroom after the initial install and tend to give the bathroom a drab feeling after awhile. Whether it’s a crazy color scheme or something bland that lacks texture, you need to think about the longevity of a look before you go after it in your bathroom. Some trends to look out for:
- Too much white
- Too little in the bathroom
- Funky color schemes
- Gigantic bathtubs
- Certain kinds of tile and finishes
- Hardware accents
Really, the bathroom needs to be about balance. There are trends that come and go. Some people are more receptive to certain designs than others. This is because their needs are suited. Take the his and her sink as an example. Many designers are shying away from this trend. For your routines and needs, this could be exactly what your bathroom needs. No hotlist can tell you what’s best for you.
Storage Is A Necessity
If you do only one thing in your bathroom, make sure that you have enough storage. There’s quite a bit that needs to go in the bathroom like toilet paper, towels, cleaners, medicines, as well as bath products like soap and shampoo.
Add Pops Of Color
If your bathroom has all white tile and you don’t have the time or the resources to actually change the tile, you should try and add pops of color where you can. It’s simple to do this with towels, floral rugs, curtains, and even bath accessories. You can really vary the color in the room and make it special. This is one renovation that doesn’t cost much to do but can make a big difference.
Remember What Sells
More neutral colors tend to sell better no matter what room of the house we’re talking about. It’s fine to mix neutral colors with pops of something bolder, but don’t go overboard. Remember that when someone goes to buy your home, they want to make it their own as well. They probably can’t achieve that with a lime green bathroom.
A home seller may dread the thought of dealing with an aggressive property buyer, i.e. an individual who submits many requests for property improvements or price reductions prior to the closing of a home sale. Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of dealing with an aggressive homebuyer.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a home seller get the best-possible results when he or she deals with an aggressive property buyer.
1. Keep Your Cool
Let's face it – an aggressive homebuyer may test your patience. But if you remain calm, cool and collected when you deal with an aggressive homebuyer, you may be better equipped than ever before to accomplish your desired home selling results.
Remember, the ultimate goal of the house selling journey is to maximize your property sale earnings. If you remain open to communication with a buyer, both you and this individual can work together to find common ground. And as a result, you and a buyer can collaborate to achieve the optimal results.
2. Know Your Options
If a buyer makes exorbitant requests during the home selling journey, it is important to keep in mind that you have options. And if problems start to escalate, you may be able to walk away from a property selling agreement.
For example, if an aggressive buyer conducts a home inspection and asks for a massive price reduction following the evaluation, you can still negotiate with this buyer. And if you and the buyer cannot come to terms, there is no need to stress. At this point, you can move on from a potential home sale and re-list your residence.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Dealing with an aggressive homebuyer can be worrisome. For sellers who want to avoid the potential dangers associated with dealing with an aggressive buyer, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent.
In addition to guiding you along the property selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to help you negotiate with a buyer and his or her agent. That way, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a quick, profitable house selling experience.
Typically, a real estate agent will serve as a liaison between you and a buyer. And if a buyer requests property upgrades or a price reduction prior to closing day, a real estate agent can offer recommendations about how to proceed with these requests.
A real estate agent also is available to respond to any of your home selling concerns or questions. This housing market professional understands the property selling experience can cause a seller to worry, especially if this individual is forced to deal with an aggressive buyer. But with a real estate agent's assistance, a seller can take the necessary steps to minimize potential property selling hurdles.
Simplify a negotiation with an aggressive homebuyer – use the aforementioned tips, and any home seller can seamlessly navigate a negotiation with any buyer, at any time.
You’ve closed on your new house, moved all your boxes, and started planning how to arrange your furniture. Your family can’t wait to settle in and regain a sense of normalcy after the chaos of moving. But before you get back to your normal routine be sure to add these tasks for new homeowners to your to do list. Each takes just an hour of your time and will help you to stay on top of maintenance as well as familiarize yourself with your new domain.
Start by finding out where your main water shutoff valve is located. This is not something you want to have to find when you are in an emergency. In colder climates, it’s most likely to be found in your basement and if you are in a warmer climate you should find it outside. If you keep a binder for home updates add a note of the location within.
Make sure your attic insulation is the correct depth. You want at least 6 inches and even more in northern states. Ensuring that your insulation is the correct depth will help you to save money throughout the year on heating and cooling costs. If you’re attic doesn’t have the correct depth or is damaged be sure to have it replaced as soon as possible. Oftentimes you can get incentives for improving your insulation and thus creating a more energy efficient home.
Check the temperature of your hot water heater and be sure it is set at 120 degrees tops. If you have an older model add a hot water heater blanket to help retain heat. If you find that your heater leaks you want to replace it immediately. A small leak can quickly lead to a major one, flood your home and cause serious damage. Again, be sure to keep note of the month and year you replaced your heater or which year your current model is.
Replace air filters right away so that you will know when they’ve last been replaced. Add monthly reminders to your calendar to stay on top of this quick maintenance task. You can make this task even easier by buying them in bulk. If you love to be organized label them for each month so you know exactly when you’ll next need to replace them.
Change all of the locks on your home. This is simple enough to do on your own and is an easy proactive safety measure for your family. While one hopes there are no lingering keys out in the world of your home, you can’t be sure of who may have a spare key.
Take note of any cracks in your basement. If you find any mark their length with a piece of masking tape and mark with the current date. Watch closely to see if the crack spreads beyond the mark. If you find that the cracks are lengthening be sure to get them taken care of by a professional. This is a serious repair you don’t want to wait on.
Buying a new home is an exciting time. Especially after you’ve closed on the house, can begin to move in and start settling into your routine. Before you get too comfortable be sure to add a few tasks to your to do list. Familiarizing yourself with your new home right away will help you stay on top of maintenance and have peace of mind.
Sometimes it can feel like we spend all of our free time cleaning. Especially, when we cohabitate with children, animals and/or a particularly messy partner. Creating quick habits that become second-nature helps to keep a clean, inviting home. Here are a few things that are (relatively) simple enough to do (almost) every day.
Put coats away in an orderly way. If you don’t have a closet in your entryway make sure there are hooks installed either to the nearest wall or schedule a weekend project to make a classy, stylish storage bench. Creating a storage bench has the added functionality of a place for everyone to stop and take their shoes off and even place them in a designated cubby underneath.
Wipe down counters daily. Even in the bathrooms. Keep disposable cloths or, for an eco-friendly option, a microfiber towel on hand to quickly wipe down surfaces. This not only keeps them crumb/gunk free but also keeps them cleaner for longer. Which means less elbow grease when it comes time to do your weekend deep clean.
Empty the dishwasher every morning and fill (and then run) it each night. Keep dishes off of counters and from building up in the sink. The sooner you get it in the machine the easier everything comes together so you can just hit “run” before heading off to bed. By allowing dishes build up throughout the day and then choose to load them we unwittingly create an enormous, daunting task.
Create a tidy way to hang towels after a shower. If you only have two hooks but multiple family members using the same shower it’s time for an upgrade. Hooks along the wall with frames overhead creates a stylish setup. For those lacking wall space, seek out an over-the-door hanger with more breadth to accommodate every family member.
Eat at your dining room table most nights. Life happens and sometimes we just want to kick back with takeout while binging on Netflix after a hard week. However, make this an occasional exception to a rule. Avoid spills, crumbs and piled up dishes throughout the house by keeping meals restricted to a table. This comes with the added bonus of spending quality time with your family catching up on the day's events before getting caught up in your favorite shows.
Use psychology and the senses to your advantage. Pull back the curtains and open the blinds, let in as much light in as you can! It brightens up the room and puts everyone in a great mood. And on that note, light some candles, diffuse oils or spritz some linen smells. Light, fresh scents make us feel like we are in a clean environment… even if you forgot to dust!