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Displaying blog entries 381-389 of 389

Color the Path to Your Home with the Right Umbrella

by Melissa Dierks

brighten your home with umbrellasFall is right around the corner, and that means rain will be hitting near your home. While the earth can use all the moisture, the gray skies can get a little wearing. Brighten your rainy season and your home with a few fun umbrellas. If you come into your entryway or mud room and see a bright umbrella and rain boots, you’ll be more likely to skip outside for a little puddle jumping. That’s a whole lot more fun than trudging through the puddles with a black umbrella and galoshes.

While an inexpensive, dark umbrella from the drugstore will get you through a few storms, you’ll probably have to replace it a few times if the rainy season lasts very long. Why not invest a little more and get something that will last and cheer you up at the same time?

There are umbrellas for every style and taste. Many gorgeous, bright umbrellas, including the rainbow color wheel umbrella are available from MOMA on Amazon.com. Many of them are perfect for the artist in your home or anyone who needs something cheerful on a gray day. Marimekko makes umbrellas with bright colors and bold patterns, too. They’re perfect for adults or kids.

To make a rainy day a fun day for the kids in your home, find a color changing umbrella. MOMA has several with splotches that change from white to red, orange, green, yellow, blue, and purple when wet. Keep your eyes open for fun umbrellas to lift your spirits and improve the look of the mudroom in your home.

Communicate More Easily About Your Home with Houzz

by Melissa Dierks

questioning how to redo your homeAs you’ve thought about your home and its many needs, chances are you’ve visited Houzz.com. Design ideas for both inside and outside your home abound at Houzz and luckily they have now added a “Real Estate Agent” category!

This is good news for you and your home because it gives you an easier way to communicate when it comes time to buy or sell your home.

Perhaps you are in the market to buy a home… simply show favorite home ideas to your real estate agent to see if any similar properties are currently for sale. You could also show your ideas and ask how they compare to your price range.

As a home seller, you can use the millions of photos and idea books to decide quick fixes to get your home ready to be placed on the market.

With photo spreads, both buyers and sellers benefit. There is no longer the need to labor over how to express yourself with words when it comes to explaining a home look. You can even see post renovation shots that are similar to projects you are considering for your home. However, viewing some the pictures may have you reconsidering whether or not you really want to buy or sell your home, too!

One other benefit you’ll find on Houzz is the compilation of excellent contractors and renovators found there. Many have uploaded projects and idea books in the Houzz galleries, too, complete with reviews on their services, to give you a very clear understanding of how each one works.

Houzz reports that 10% of Houzz home owners and 50% of Houzz renters plan on buying a home in the next 2 years. Additionally 10% more will be building a custom home, according to the 2013 Houzz & Home survey. Using Houzz as a tool may make the buying process smoother in ensuing years. If you’ve had a positive experience explaining your home needs through photos, please let us know.

Don’t Forget To Inspect Your Home in the Excitement!

by Melissa Dierks

inspections in your homeFinding the right home, your home, can be an exciting time.  So exciting that sometimes home buyers forget some essential steps.  One of those steps is completing your home inspection.

Before the sale is closed and the deed transferred, you will need to have a professional inspection done anytime you purchase a home.

A full report can be completed in about two hours and will leave you with peace of mind and an awareness of potential issues in your future home. You may even choose to have a professional licensed in asbestos, lead, chemicals, mold, mildew, or pests inspect the home, too, to notify you of any unknown dangers.

Your home covers  the basics concerning:

  •  
    • walls
    • ceilings
    • floors
    • your roofs
    • firewalls
    • windows
    • your foundation and slab
    • electrical power
    • water supply and pressure
    • gas lines

Landscaping, walkways and driveways will also be evaluated.An inspector will note grading and drainage.  Any exposed general framing in beams, attics, roofing, HVAC and plumbing systems will be inspected, as well. Generally speaking the age and condition of roofing materials, plumbing and rain gutters will be noted, too, giving you an idea of your home’s maintenance history. Water heaters, fireplaces and the sprinkler systems, if applicable, should also be evaluated, as should appliances, alarms, and smoke detectors being left in the home to ensure a safe move-in.

Choosing to Improve Your Home

by Melissa Dierks

remodeling tips for your homeIf you want to make improvements to your home, you may want to take a second look at Houzz.com. Cited as a source for inspiration and collaboration and research for home owners everywhere, Houzz is also a source for hiring local contracting professionals, too.

With more than sixty categories of home related projects to choose from, including interior remodeling contractors and outdoor living space professionals, Houzz is more than just a place to get great ideas for your home. Houzz is also a great source for you to find the interior designers, architects, and landscapers for your home who created and constructed those designs in the first place!

Increased home values often result in homeowners deciding to make changes in their homes, whether due to a potential sale or just a quality of life improvement, and technology makes this process so much easier.

“Homeowners and professionals alike are telling us that they are moving forward with more building, renovation and design projects this year,” said Liza Hausman, VP Community at Houzz. “Houzz provides homeowners with the absolute best resource to find the right professional for their project.”

As a homeowner, ideas for improving your home may come in many forms, but Houzz.com is definitely a resource to be considered. Another resource to consider when determining whether a home improvement will add to your home value is your local real estate expert. If you would like some tips on projects that will help to increase the resale value of your home, please give me a call!

Competing Against Multiple Offers For Your Home

by Melissa Dierks

Multiple Offers On Your HomeHome buyers everywhere are bemoaning the lack of inventory and if you happen to be in the market to buy your home, there are a few things you should know.

When you find the perfect home, make an offer.

Don’t wait, don’t bargain.

Offer your best possible price and a high deposit with all your personal details, including a fantastic story about why you want why you NEED that house to be your home!

You see, the offer you write may be your ONLY chance to win the home, your home, and you want to give it your best shot.

In a housing market, like ours, where inventory is low and homes are only staying on the market for a short amount of time, multiple offers are being submitted on each home. Most are near or at asking price and some are beyond it.

Home sellers need to evaluate several offers and if yours is one of many (your agent should be able to tell you if other parties have indicated interest), it needs to stand out. That’s where your story comes in (along with your best price offer and earnest deposit).

3 Steps to Writing the Best Offer For Your Home

 

  1. Offer up as much cash as you can in the form of an earnest deposit with the best possible price you can pay.
  2. If you need lending, get pre-approved and formalize it by including a letter from your lender as part of your offer.
  3. Write a from the heart appeal that explains your feelings about the house and why you need their home to be your home. If you have a good personal story, share it as well. Some home sellers are motivated by more than price and if they can “see” you in the home, it could make a difference.

Determining the Landscaping for Your Home

by Melissa Dierks

Your Home and GardenImproving the landscape around your home is not just about good looks. Home value can also increase with fine-tuned and maintained landscaping. Before hiring a landscape designer to reconstruct your home, it’s helpful to compile a list of questions. You may share images of design styles and verify license and insurance, as well. The right landscaping combines local elements and weather conditions, as well as energy efficiency.

Your outdoor landscaping can also serve as a sound or visual barrier. Many options are available from furniture placement to the planting of tall shrubs along a home’s border.

According to Better Homes and Gardens, the Top Trends for Your Home in 2013 Include:

  • Fragrance Producing Gardens
  • Variation in Color of Flowers & Greenery
  • Bulb Gardens
  • Vegetable & Fruit Combination Gardens
  • Grocery Gardens
  • Old Fashioned Looks
  • Paver Designs Incorporated in Gardens
  • Garden Seating
  • Herb Gardens
  • Butterfly Gardens
  • Hanging Plant Gardens
  • Texture Gardens

Whether you are in a new home and just beginning your gardening plans or are in the home you’ve had for years, many of these gardening ideas may appeal to you.  As you consider your home and the landscape style that will surround it, consulting with a professional landscaper may give you additional perspective and save you from a expensive mistake.  Please call me for recommendations, should you need a referral.

Closets and Your Home – the Other Mommy Make-Over

by Melissa Dierks

Closets & Your HomeSearching for more organization in your home but hesitant to start a big project? Consider revamping your closet space! Known as the “Other Mommy Make-Over,” a newly dressed and carefully arranged closet is sure to bring a smile to your face (and make any Mommy cheer, too!)

Before you start removing, adjusting, and purchasing closet materials, however, you should take a step back and really study your closet and it’s contents. Perhaps you have need for multiple rods or find that shelving is a must to keep your sweaters, camis and boots organized. Maybe your closet doubles as a dressing area necessitating space for a mirror and the ability to twirl. It may even be feasible that your closet needs a sitting area if you anticipate spending much of your time assembling your clothing ensembles or sorting through shoes.

No matter your personal needs for closet space in your home, there are some universal principles that apply to a well-designed closet space, regardless of the system and style you implement in your home.

  • Closet rods and the items which hang from them need breathing room. Generally speaking leave 13-15” between the closet rod and the closet wall and hang multiple tiered rods in at least 40-44” intervals.
  • Cleanliness is essential to keep your clothes smelling fresh and looking their best. While it may initially make sense to keep your clothes hamper in your closet, it may be wiser to find an alternate location in your home.
  • Do it up! Repainting the interior of your closet while the contents are removed may introduce a cheery aspect to the space and, if you have the means to replace the flooring in your closet, consider using materials that are easy to clean and do not attract mildew and dust.
  • Use florescent lighting as a safe non-heat-producing lighting option. Lighting from a nearby window could cause uneven fading of clothing over time so it’s best to consider a light fixture that will illuminate your clothes, while still preserving them, and allow you to see well enough to distinguish between black and navy apparel. Make sure the light is above your clothes and located in front of where you will stand, so you will not shadow your shelving and items as you piece together outfits!
  • Plan the use of bins, boxes, buckets, bowls, and other brilliant organizational tools to make the most of your space and have them match accordingly. You’d be amazed at what you can find in most organizational stores these days. Have fun as you embark on recharging your closet and yourself as you complete your “Other Mommy Make-Over.”

Curb Appeal for Condo Sellers

by Melissa Dierks

shutterstock_88948273You know that curb appeal is important to buyers of single-family homes, but you are selling a condominium in a large building full of similar units. How do you make yours stand out? Here are a few tips for prompting that positive first impression that makes your home memorable:

  • Make sure the entry way is clean, clear and clutter free. Relocate bulky furniture that makes the entry seem smaller. Avoid coat racks and umbrella stands that jut out from the wall as well.
  • Consider placing a fresh potted plant inside the doorway to bring the outside in. Make sure the plant is healthy and in an attractive pot, does not block the walkway and does not shed or drop leaves.
  • If you have a mail slot and your home is likely to be shown after delivery, make sure to place a basket under the mail slot.
  • Make sure the insides of your windows are clean. If your HOA is responsible for the outside windows, request that they be cleaned before showing your home or having an open house.
  • If you live in a bug prone area, be sure to have your condominium treated for pests—and make sure you sweep up any dead bugs.
  • Make sure the hallway or walkway to your unit is clean. If you need, to, sweep it yourself. Make sure to pick up any junk mail or papers cluttering the outside.
  • When your home is likely to be shown, turn on the lights and have soft music playing. This may raise your utility bill slightly, but will give a warm greeting to visiting homebuyers.
  • As with any home, make sure the countertops and floors and clean and personal effects are out of sight. Consider placing a bowl of fruit or bouquet of flowers on the table to add some color and interest.
  • If you have pets, consider boarding them while your home is being shown, or ask a neighbor to collect them before the potential buyer shows up.

Most of all, call your real estate agent to learn what features to play up (or down) in your unit to place it in the best light.

Create the Best Jack-O-Lantern for Your Home

by Melissa Dierks

Jack-o-lantern for your homeAs the days count down to Halloween you may find yourself trying to determine the best way to enliven your porch pumpkin.  While many techniques have been developed for jack-o-lantern carving and design, the following basic principles can guide you to well-lit spooky success as you entertain trick-or-treaters who visit your home and neighborhood.

Choose Your Pumpkin - Traditional jack-o-lanterns are round, but you may want a flat pumpkin or one that’s been scarred if it works better with your overall design.  Variety is rampant in pumpkins these days, allowing you to get just the right style and color for your home.

Carving Prep – Before beginning your project, gather your materials from around your home, from knives and scoops to newspaper and patterns, so that you can create quickly and avoid making a big mess.  Prior to carving your pumpkin face or design, you’ll need to create a cap or lid by cutting a circle/zigzag shape around the stem at a slant so you can scrape and scoop out the pumpkin insides.  Another option is to cut from the base to avoid interference with a patterned pumpkin.

Determine Your Design - Choose from a combination of basic shapes or explore using paper to create a stencil pattern once you begin designing the look of your jack-o-lantern.  Once your stencil is in place, use a pushpin to transfer the design from paper to your pumpkin and then carve by following the pin pricks.  You can also draw directly on your pumpkin with a washable marker and carve on the lines.  Carve the smallest areas of your design first as they can be tricky and if you mess up, you’ll be able to modify your design if needed.  When your carving is complete, simply wash off any remaining marker to see your finished product.

Choose Your Light - While a candle will definitely contribute a more eerie glow, if you have small children or pets, it may be wiser to use LED lights for your jack-o-lantern.  Disposable glow sticks are a possibility, too, if you prefer to try out differing colors at little expense.  Either way, make sure your pumpkin is well lit on Halloween, so that little goblins and ghouls will know that they can visit your home for a special treat.

Displaying blog entries 381-389 of 389

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Melissa Dierks
The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals
7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101,
Glendale AZ 85308
Direct: (623)229-0154
Office: (623)643-1092
Fax: (623)201-7562

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