4 New Year’s Resolutions To Improve Your Home
Whether you enjoy making New Year’s resolutions or scoff at the idea, there’s something inherently motivating about seeing a fresh page on the calendar. If you don’t want to join the masses who hit the gym or vow to go on a digital diet, you may want to resolve to set some goals on behalf of your home.
Chances are, you spend a lot of time in your home, so why not make sure it’s as energy-efficient, safe, and comfortable as possible? If you’re a homeowner, making some New Year’s resolutions—and then following through—may pay dividends all year long.
Take a look at four improvements that are easy to implement and won’t break the bank. In fact, some may even put money back in your pocket.
1. Conserve energy
If you’re not quite ready to install solar panels on your roof, you can still save energy (and money) by conducting your own energy audit.
Are lights often left on in rooms nobody is in? Is electricity powering things that aren’t even in use? Commit to turning off lights in rooms you’re not using and unplugging gadgets that aren’t being used or charged. According to Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC.org), Americans waste approximately $19 billion on inactive electronics or devices every year. From your coffee maker to your laptop computer, you may be squandering energy and dollars. Give a quick look around and see where you can conserve and save.
Moving on to larger items, be sure to properly maintain your heating and cooling systems so they’re operating optimally. If you have an older model unit, you may want to consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient system to save money and enjoy a more comfortable environment.
Also, look for leaks around your windows...
Painting. It seems like such a simple, straightforward home task—and, in many ways, it is. But it can also be a task that goes terribly wrong. If you’re not careful, that deep red hue in the dining room or the art deco-inspired accent wall in the entryway can cost you more than just the price of paint.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to painting, but there are certain paint mistakes you definitely want to avoid if you’re thinking about selling your home (or if you just don’t want to kick yourself every time you stare at the wall). But what, exactly, are those mistakes? According to a recent article from Apartment Therapy, design experts claim baby-inspired hues (like baby blue or pastel pink), accent walls, and painting your ceiling in anything other than flat paint are major painting no-no’s—and if you want your house to appeal to buyers, you need to avoid those mistakes like your home sale is depending on it (which, ironically, it does).
You can paint your home in whatever way strikes your fancy. But if you’re thinking about putting it on the market, it’s not about what strikes your fancy—it’s about what strikes the fancy of potential buyers. So make sure to consider these tips, and paint with a potential buyer in mind.
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Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff - put it in storage.
You're moving! Now it's time to decide how you're going to get there. Before you start filling boxes with your belongings, consider which moving options work best for you.
So you've made the decision to pack up and put down your roots in a new place. Maybe you've found a better apartment across town or a dream job across the country. Maybe you're buying your first home or retiring to a cozy cottage in the woods. Now it's time to decide how you're going to get there. Before you start filling boxes with your belongings, consider which moving options work best for you.
- Move consultant. If the mere sight of a cardboard box leaves you feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring someone to handle the nitty-gritty of your move. These consultants are the relocation industry's answer to wedding planners and travel agents -- they can arrange for movers, pack your stuff, switch over your utilities, and transfer school and medical records. If you can swing the price tag, or if your company is ponying up for relocation costs, a consultant can make your move relatively stress-free.
- Moving company. A professional mover does the heavy lifting while you supervise. (For an extra fee, most companies will handle the packing, too.) Prices and reliability can vary widely between...
Make your home warm and inviting
to boost your home’s value and
speed up the sale process.
The first step to getting buyers to make an offer on your home is to impress them with its appearance so they begin to envision themselves living there. Here are seven tips for making your home look bigger, brighter, and more desirable.
1. Start with a Clean Slate
Before you can worry about where to place furniture and which wall hanging should go where, each room in your home must be spotless. Do a thorough cleaning right down to the nitpicky details like wiping down light switch covers. Deep clean and deodorize carpets and window coverings.
It’s harder for buyers to picture themselves in your home when they’re looking at your family photos, collectibles, and knickknacks. Pack up all your personal decorations. However, don’t make spaces like mantles and coffee and end tables barren. Leave three items of varying heights on each surface, suggests Barb Schwarz of Staged Homes in Concord, Pa. For example, place a lamp, a small plant, and a book on an end table.
3. Scale Back on Your Furniture
When a room is packed with furniture, it looks smaller,...
Don't. Just don't. Ariel Skelley/Getty Images
Contrary to what you might have heard, a buyer’s first impression is no longer that special moment when they first pull up to check out your curb appeal. In fact, more often than not, they've already checked out your place from front to back online—and for all you know, they may have decided to cruise right by.
Most buyers spend weeks stalking perusing online listings, making Pinterest dream boards, texting must-see homes to their agent, and, well, judging.
And what is the key difference between a home deemed a HILF (home I’d like to finance) and one doomed to be mocked on social media? Photos.
Photos are the curb appeal of the digital age, and those shots have to be good. Freaking out? Don’t. Check out these pro secrets instead.
1. It doesn’t matter how many megapixels your (or your agent’s) smartphone has
To get a good photo, you need the right equipment, including a high-end camera and some full-featured editing software.
The bigger sensors of a professional-grade camera capture more information,...