Debbie Caniff's Blog
If you're getting ready to sell your home, you're likely looking for relatively affordable upgrades that will give your home the most pizzazz. Taking the time to spruce up your property is a smart idea, but it really pays to be strategic. Because while buyers should be able to recognize a home with good bones, it's all too easy to gravitate towards a property that successfully highlight its strengths. We'll give you a few tips to get the best returns on each investment.
While it may be tempting to paint the walls a vibrant purple or install funky door knobs throughout the home, experts caution restraint. Theoretically, these tactics can help your home stand out in the minds of exhausted home buyers, but they can also alienate them.
If you're going to paint, choose a neutral, warm color that will inspire potential homeowners to picture themselves using and enjoying each room. If you're staging the home, choose one decor style and try to incorporate small touches throughout. For example, if you want a modern look, opt for sleek fixtures that catch the light. If you're going for French Country, look for crafts that will add color to a corner. You can express your personality and attract multiple bids on your home at the same time.
Learn the Ropes
There are subtle patterns that govern how buyers search for homes in different neighborhoods. Whether your area is full of millennials with young families or retired couples with a pension, sellers should have a good idea of what's important to the prospective homeowner.
So if you know that laundry rooms are in high demand, you can make an effort to make yours look as welcoming as possible. Or if you have plenty of garage space, now is a good time to show how it can fit everything from boxes to sporting equipment. If you're working on a limited budget, this is the best way to prioritize each upgrade so you get the most out of it.
Talking to a real estate agent can usually give you a better idea of how you can tweak your home without jeopardizing your profit margins. The only time it's ever recommended for sellers to splurge is if their home has experienced dramatic growth. If property values have risen a lot over the past few years, you can consider larger renovations that will attract affluent buyers who are desperate to make an offer.
19 Old Garden Road, Rockport, MA 01966
Do you buy plants for your home – just to find them shriveled up and browning just a few short days later? You may be purchasing plants that require too much care – or that are known for being tricky to keep alive.
Whether you’ve been cursed with a black thumb, have a busy schedule (that barely allows time to care for yourself, let alone plants) or are simply new to house plants, the following varieties may serve you best.
5 Plants that are Tough to Kill
Jade Plant: This emerald beauty looks stunning in just about any planter and is ideal for a desktop or tabletop. It is also nearly impossible to kill with neglect. The jade plant grows so well that simply poking a cutting of it into the soil will result in a new plant.
Air Plants: They don’t need dirt to survive – and need only occasional mists of water. If your plants die because you are too busy to care for them (or you simply forget about them) consider trying some air plants instead. These small beauties are particularly fun to work with, too. Tiny, artisanal pods, planters and baskets designed specifically for air plants can be found from a variety of vendors and make unique home accents.
Barrel Cactus: Most succulents are tough to kill, but this variety is particularly hardy. Round with large spikes, a barrel cactus stores water so it does not need to be cared for often at all. It also has natural defenses against pets and other plant predators, those spikes make it difficult and uncomfortable to pick up, but don’t cause lasting damage. Shallow roots make this one easy to transplant as it grows and ensure it can thrive even if left unpotted for days.
Aloe: This fast-growing, low care beauty has some medicinal properties, too. Just snap off a stem to treat sunburn or other mild burns. While aloe is incredibly easy to grow and care for, it is toxic to pets, so try this one as an office plant if you have pets at home. Short of setting it on fire, you can’t kill this one.
Spider Plant: This is a houseplant staple, and it is easy to see why. Spider plants are powerful air purifiers, very difficult to kill and even produce their own offspring. You can forget to water this one for days at a time (weeks in cooler weather) and it will not only survive, but grow and thrive. Spider plants are inexpensive and available pretty much anywhere plants are sold, so this is a solid choice if you are new to houseplants or have a few victims to show for your plant growing efforts.
Choosing one of these varieties can make it easier for you to enjoy the benefits of having houseplants, without the guilt that comes from throwing away another shriveled, dried up victim.
A small town home initially may have proven to be ideal. But if your current small town house fails to meet your needs, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can add your small town residence to the local housing market and relocate to a new city or town at your convenience.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why now may be the right time to sell your small town house. These include:
1. Your small town home no longer suits your present lifestyle.
If your small town home has become too big or too small for you, it may be beneficial to list your residence. That way, you can sell your current small town home and upgrade or downgrade as needed.
Before you list a small town residence, it generally is a good idea to study the local housing market. If you allocate time and resources to analyze housing market data, you can identify home selling patterns and trends. Then, you can use this information to establish a competitive initial asking price for your small town home – something that may help you accelerate the property selling journey.
2. Your small town home is far away from family members and friends.
If you find that you have to commute several hours to visit family members and friends, it is important to remember that you can always move closer to these loved ones. By selling your small town home, you can relocate near family members and friends any time you choose.
For those who want to sell a small town home and move close to family members and friends, it helps to plan accordingly. You should craft a strategy to sell your current residence as well as determine where you are going to live going forward. This will allow you to map out any home selling and homebuying plans and take the necessary steps to put your plans into action.
3. Your small town home fails to provide convenient access to attractions and landmarks.
If you enjoy lots of big-name attractions and landmarks, small town living may not be the right choice. Fortunately, city residences are available that provide quick, easy access to many entertainment options. And if you sell your small town home, you can pursue a city house that delivers convenient access to your preferred attractions and landmarks.
As you get set to sell your small town home, you may want to employ a real estate agent too. This housing market professional will learn about you and your house selling goals and craft a custom home selling strategy for you. Plus, a real estate agent will promote your small town home to prospective buyers, set up property showings and do everything possible to ensure you can maximize your home sale earnings.
Remove the guesswork commonly associated with listing a small town home. Hire a real estate agent, and you can receive in-depth assistance as you sell your small town residence.
Many home buyers seek out fixer-uppers or older homes as a way to save money. And, while this method can be a great way to save, it does come with a few caveats.
Upgrades and repairs can vary greatly in price. Some might be simple, whereas others can take weeks or months, require permits, and uproot your plans. For these reasons, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into with home repairs.
In this article, we’re going to cover the most expensive home repairs and upgrades. That way when you find a home listing that you’re interested in, you can rule out these costly repairs early if you aren’t willing to spend the extra money on them after buying the house.
1. Sewer and septic
Finding out you need to replace a sewer line or a septic system can be a nightmare. Sewer lines are most often damaged by tree root growth, leaving older homes the most vulnerable. On average, homeowners spend around $2,500 to repair a main sewer line.
If you move into a new home that previously only had one inhabitant, you may find that the septic system can’t keep up with the increased workload. Repairs for a septic system average around $1,500. And to replace the septic system and install a new one? You can expect to spend around $5,000 or much more, depending on your needs and location.
2. Foundation repair
Older homes are also subject to foundation damage over the years, which can cause many problems, including safety concerns and water damage.
Houses that have poor drainage and high soil moisture are particularly vulnerable to foundation damage. And, like sewer and septic issues, tree roots can also pose a problem.
For minor cracks, foundation repairs can cost as little as $500. However, more severe damage can cost up to $10,000. On average, Americans spend around $4,000 when they repair a damaged foundation.
3. Roof replacement
Roof replacements are inevitable, but there are ways to ensure you won’t have to install a new one anytime soon. For example, slate and metal roofs can last over 50 years. And concrete? A hundred years or more.
The most common type of roofs, however, are made from asphalt shingles, which last around 20 years. In terms of price, asphalt tends to be the cheapest as well, costing as low as $2,000 to replace. Metal and slate roofs are significantly more expensive, starting at $5,000 and $17,000 respectively.
4. Heat pump installation
Installing a heat pump can be quite costly, with the national average being around $5,300. However, if you live in a moderate climate, a heat pump can replace both your furnace and your air conditioning unit.
Furthermore, if you plan on staying in the home for several years, a heat pump tends to be much more energy efficient than older alternatives.
5. Kitchen remodel
Of all the household remodeling projects--basement, bathrooms, etc.--a kitchen remodel tends to be the priciest. Americans spend about $21,000 on a kitchen remodel. The most expensive part? Cabinetry and hardware at $6,000.