Our Real Estate Blog
Giving the interior of your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to revitalize drab-looking rooms and make scuffed walls look new again.
While there are plenty of home improvement, repair, and decorating projects that are best left to the professionals, interior house painting is usually a task that can be successfully tackled by homeowners.
Advanced skills are not a prerequisite for doing a respectable job, but you do need patience, attention to detail, and the right tools. When you don't start out with the right supplies, wall painting can end up being a frustrating and stressful task -- not to mention messy! Here are a few pointers to help make the project go more smoothly.
- Wear the appropriate clothing: If paint gets on your everyday shoes, your new jeans, or even a good watchband, it will basically ruin those articles of clothing. No matter how neat or precise you think you can be with a paintbrush or roller, it's almost impossible to avoid dripping a few drops of paint in the wrong place or even accidentally brushing up against a messy ladder, paint can, or freshly painted surface. By taking the time to change into clothes you don't care about, you'll be saving the aggravation of messing up a favorite pair of pants, shirt, or shoes. Wearing a painter's cap with a brim and disposable vinyl gloves can also minimize the amount of paint that gets on your face, hair, and hands. By making it easier to keep yourself clean, you'll find painting to be a much neater and more satisfying experience.
- Choose the right drop cloths: The temptation for many do-it-yourselfers is to save money and cut costs whenever possible. While this certainly makes sense in principle, there are certain cases in which it pays to spend a few extra dollars to get quality supplies. The perfect example is drop cloths -- an essential item on your painting supplies list. Floors, furniture and appliances can get permanently damaged (cosmetically) if they're not properly covered up while the wall and ceiling paint is being applied. The really cheap drop cloths that you'll often find at hardware stores and other retail outlets are difficult to keep in place and could easily tear, become bunched up, or move a few inches from their intended spot. Those really light-weight, plastic drop cloths don't stand a chance of staying put when breezes from open windows, fans, or doors exert the slightest bit of air pressure on them. The solution is to either purchase canvas or heavy-duty plastic drop cloths. (In a pinch, old bedsheets can often do the job, too!)
- Painter's tape is crucial: One of the most time-consuming, but necessary aspects of room painting is taping the edges of surfaces to be painted (or not to be painted). While not everyone takes the time to do this step correctly, it helps produce a professional-looking job you'll be proud of.
Preparing to list your home is a process, that when done correctly, can help you to achieve the best possible price as well as aid you in selling your home more quickly. Before you sell your home, there are a few small home improvement projects that you will want to have completed before your first showing.
Address Any Floor Issues
Carpet stains, worn areas, scratched wood, and crack tiles, can all be a turn off for potential buyers. If you have a newer carpet, performing a deep clean may suffice, but if it is older and worn, you should consider replacing it. Tile flooring should be replaced if cracked and if in good enough condition to keep, take the time to thoroughly clean the grout to get your floors looking like new. For hardwood floors, consider having them refinished so that they can look like fresh again.
Update Your Home's Hardware
Door knobs, drawer pulls, cupboard handles, and hinges can easily make a house look dated. This is an easy upgrade that can be made and requires little labor. Choose more modern designs and finishes and make sure that the theme is consistent throughout the room in your home.
Remove Popcorn Ceilings
If your ceilings are still covered in popcorn, now is the perfect time to be rid of it, to give your ceilings a more modern look. The good news with this improvement is that it will only cost you a little in ceiling paint and mainly requires time to complete. While scraping all of your ceilings may seem like a daunting task at first, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much it can change the look of the room.
Declutter Your Closets
Before you list our home, you will want it to seem as spacious, as organized, and as neat as possible. While most people know that closets are typically filled in most homes, when they are filled too much, it can make it hard to judge the available space. Declutter and get rid of anything that you no longer need. If your closets are still brimming, you may want to consider packing anything that you will not need until after your move and having it placed in storage.
Address Minor Repairs
Now is the ideal time to address any minor repairs that you have been putting off. Fix any plumbing issues such as clogs and leaks, repair any damage to walls and door frames, and replace any burnt out light bulbs. You want buyers to know that the house is well-maintained. It will make them more confident that major problems are less likely.
Tackle the small improvement projects above to get your home ready to list to help put you in the best position to get what you are looking for out of the sale of your home.
There is always an undeniable appeal to move into a brand new home. After all, there shouldn’t be any problems with a new construction home, right? While shiny new appliances and brand new flooring can be appealing, there are many advantages to buying an older home.
It may seem obvious, but older homes are less expensive than newer homes. You might be able to get a bit more for your money if you decide to buy an older home.
Older homes tend to have a bit better quality in their construction. Some aspects of older construction homes cannot even be reproduced with all of the technology that we have in the present day. It’s often true that “they don’t build homes like they used to.” Certain building materials of the past are actually more sturdy than the materials that are used in the present day. Older homes have stood the test of time for a reason!
The Location Is An Established Neighborhood
If you’re not looking to move into an up and coming neighborhood, you could be better off buying an older construction home. You’ll know that a neighborhood has already been established and that people have enjoyed living in the area for years before you got there when you find an older home to purchase. In finding a neighborhood, you’ll look at the important factors like the school district, the walkability of the area and the crime rate. Older homes tend to be in more stable areas. Keep that in mind.
Older Homes Have More Personality
Sure, you could move into a street with new construction and be happy there. Yet, if you move into an older home, you will find a lot of advantages. The landscaping may be more well-established, allowing you to find your favorite features on the outside of the home right when you move in. In a new home, it could take years to establish the same type of curb appeal that you’ll get from moving into an older home.
There’s More Space In An Older Home
An older home may afford you much more yard space and overall square footage. As the world gets more and more developed, space runs short. Older homes were constructed at times when space was at a maximum. These homes were built on larger lots, giving homeowners the advantage of more space.
While you may think that buying a new construction home is the way to go, older homes offer many different things that newer construction homes just can’t bring to the table. Broaden your search and look for older homes, you could be very surprised!
Are you an experienced homebuyer? If so, you may be better equipped than others to enjoy a quick, worry-free homebuying experience.
Ultimately, a veteran homebuyer can learn a lot from his or her past experiences, including:
1. How to Avoid Paying Too Much for a House
The housing market offers many opportunities for veteran and first-time homebuyers alike. However, a first-time homebuyer may struggle to pounce at an opportunity to acquire a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price. On the other hand, an experienced homebuyer likely knows what it takes to acquire a house at a price that matches or surpasses his or her expectations.
As an experienced homebuyer, it generally helps to think about how you narrowed your price range when you most recently searched for a home. This experience may guide you as you look to establish a price range for an upcoming house search.
Furthermore, a veteran homebuyer may know exactly what types of housing market data to examine before entering the real estate market. By evaluating the prices of recently sold houses and available residences in cities and towns where you'd like to live, you can use assorted real estate market data to accelerate your home search.
2. How to Get Home Financing
If you struggled to get a mortgage for your first home, there is no need to deal with home financing problems once again. Instead, a veteran homebuyer can allocate the necessary time and resources to get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.
To receive pre-approval for a mortgage, it usually is a good idea to meet with various banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can educate you about myriad mortgage options and help you select the ideal mortgage based on your homebuying needs.
3. How to Differentiate a Buyer's Market from a Seller's Market
Regardless of whether you previously bought a house in a buyer's or seller's market, you can use your past homebuying experience to help you assess the current state of the housing sector. Then, you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
If you notice houses are selling quickly at prices above their initial asking figures, you may be preparing to enter a seller's market. In this scenario, you may need to act quickly to acquire a great house.
Comparatively, if you find that homes are lingering on the housing market for many weeks or months, a buyer's market may be in place. In a buyer's market, you may be able to purchase a stellar house at a discounted price due to the sheer volume of houses that are available.
Before you launch a home search, it is important to note that even a veteran homebuyer may need help at times. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert support throughout the homebuying journey. In fact, this housing market professional will make it easy for you to discover a superb house in no time at all.
Household recycling has become easier than ever. Many towns and cities offer free recycling pickup, and even private waste management companies are implementing recycling programs.
There are a number of advantages to recycling. It helps protect the environment by reducing the amount of waste and making it easier to reuse raw materials. But, recycling is also advantageous to homeowners who don’t want to pay hefty fees for trash pickup when they can often recycle for free.
One of the more difficult aspects of household recycling is the learning curve of actually learning what is and isn’t recyclable. Homeowners might think something is recyclable because it’s made from plastic, only to find out later that it’s a specific type of plastic that can’t be recycled. On the other hand, you might be throwing some items in the garbage, filling up your bin each week when you could be recycling it instead.
In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the lesser known items you could be recycling. We’ll also cover some items you shouldn’t throw in your recycling bin, and give you tips on how to tell which is which.
Things that shouldn’t find their way into your recycling bin
It’s easy to assume that just because something looks like paper, plastic, or glass, that it can be tossed into your recycling bin. However, that isn’t always the case. Look out for these items that may not be recyclable in your area.
Used paper food containers. Pizza boxes are one of the biggest culprits that end up in recycling bins when they shouldn’t be. Items like paper food containers, use paper towels, and paper plates are all soiled with grease and other food residue making them ineligible for recycling.
Those glossy drink cartons made from unknown materials. There’s a good chance that if you can’t find a recycling logo on it somewhere it can’t be recycled. However, a growing number of cities are accepting milk cartons, so be sure to check on the rules in your area.
Plastic shopping bags. Those flimsy bags that you get from the supermarket? You can’t recycle those. As a result, many cities and stores are encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags. If you forget your bags at home, however, fear not: many supermarkets now accept your used plastic bags to be recirculated.
So that eliminates a lot of common household waste from being recycled. However, there are plenty of items you might not be aware of that can be tossed into the recycling bin.
Lesser known recyclable items around the house
Even if something isn’t eligible for curbside recycling doesn’t mean you should just toss it into the trash. There are many items that you can drop off or donate. Here are just a few items that are likely sitting in your house right now:
Old cell phones and electronics. Our gadgets are becoming obsolete at an ever-increasing rate. That means many of us have a lot of old tech junk sitting in boxes in our basements. The good news is that several stores accept free drop-offs of old electronics for reuse and recycling.
Mattresses and furniture. Large items like mattresses and old furniture are a pain to get rid of. They’re also likely useful to someone out there. For mattresses and box springs, try contacting retailers to see if they reuse them for materials. Furniture that is still in usable condition can be placed on Craigslist or donated to a thrift store like Goodwill or Salvation Army.
Oil and ink. Run out of ink in your printer? Online retailers will often pay you for your old cartridges. Also, if you recently changed your oil, drop it off at an auto parts store to be recycling into other automotive materials.