Curb Appeal Upgrades That Can Add Value

As a homeowner, you shouldn’t ignore curb appeal.

Keep it in great condition, and you’ll likely see high property values and serious marketability when it comes time to sell. Let it slide, and the opposite could happen.

Even if you’re not planning to sell anytime soon, refreshing your home’s exterior can add value or give you a head start if you choose to sell later.

It just takes a little effort and a touch of creativity.

Here are four ways to up your curb appeal:

Plant a garden.

A pop of color goes a long way, so plant a few flowers or a flowering bush in front of your home. Opt for perennials, which can last more than two years.

Upgrade your mailbox.

Forget the standard old mailbox that came with the house. Try a brick model — or revamp your existing one with a fresh coat of paint or a new post.

Make your front porch more inviting.

If you’re looking for an easy project with a big impact, add some charm to your porch. Get some potted or hanging plants, a brand-new welcome mat and a couple of cozy chairs.

Freshen up your door.

Give it a new coat of paint, add some new fixtures and a kickplate, and maybe update your address numbers, too. They might seem like small fixes, but they can make a big difference in your home’s overall appearance.

Curb appeal matters — especially if you’re considering selling your home soon.

Looking for more tips on boosting the value of your home? Get in touch today.

5 Gift Ideas for Essential Workers

It’s easy to focus on what you can’t do while you’re stuck at home these days. But here’s something you can do: Show thanks to the essential workers in your life.

Health care professionals, grocery store employees, first responders, mail carriers and many others are still going to work every day. They’re risking their health to help our community.

We might not be able to spend time together in person, but we can still be there for our friends and neighbors.

So how can you show your appreciation? Consider sending one of these gifts.

Gift Cards: Essential workers might not have as much time to cook for themselves, so give them gift cards to local restaurants or food delivery services.

Entertainment: They could probably use an escape now more than ever. Help them take a mental break with a streaming subscription, a book or a preloaded e-reader.

Home Essentials: Your favorite frontline workers are also braving the grocery store for the basics. Gift them a healthy stash of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and other must-haves to save them a trip.

Self-Care Items: Everyone deserves a few minutes to relax each day, no matter how busy work might be. Help local essential workers take a load off with soothing soaps, lotions and bath bombs.

Thank-You Note: Sometimes the best gifts are the simple ones. You can leave a handwritten thank-you card, send a friendly text message or write a thoughtful email.

Remember: We’re all in this together, and supporting each other is important during these uncertain times. For more ideas on celebrating the amazing people in our community, get in touch today.

How Tech Helps You Buy or Sell a Home

With much of the country mostly staying home, it’s not your typical spring homebuying season.

You might think social distancing has made it difficult to meet with lenders, view properties and sign paperwork, but fortunately that’s not the case.

In fact, prospective buyers and sellers continue to move forward with their housing needs and doing so with safety in mind.

While the process may look a little different, modern technology is making it possible and, in some ways, more convenient.

So how does it work?

Virtual Open Houses and Showings: Facebook Live, FaceTime and Zoom are all being used to show properties. And many listings include a prerecorded tour of the home.

3D Floor Plans and Interactive Walk-Throughs: Online tools make it easy to create interactive 3D walk-throughs and even allow for decor and furniture placement to give buyers a more lifelike feel of the space.

Electronic Signatures and Deed Filings: E-signing technology means there’s no need to meet in person to sign offers, contracts or any other paperwork needed in the process.

Desktop and Drive-By Appraisals: If sellers are hesitant to have an appraiser visit their property in person, desktop and drive-by appraisals are a good alternative. These use city data, prior appraisals and comparable sales information to assess a home’s value. Homeowners can video chat with the appraiser to show them the interior and exterior elements of the property.

The way we buy and sell homes may have changed for now, but it’s still an active and essential market. If you have any questions about making a move, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How to Create Your Ideal Home Workspace

Working from home is one of the many challenges Americans are facing during the coronavirus outbreak. And while the arrangement may have its perks — like no commuting or office attire — it also has some serious setbacks.

The biggest one? That’s finding the motivation to stay productive. With kids, pets and that comfortable bed calling your name, it can be hard for even the most diligent of workers to stay on task.

Are you struggling in your efforts to work from home? If so, these workspace tips can help:

Pick your area. Separate personal time and work time by designating a spot for your work. It could be a desk, a corner of the dining room table or even a surface in a cleared-out closet. Just make sure it’s yours — and that your loved ones know it too.

Keep it tidy. Nothing can slow you down like disorganization. Set yourself up for success with the right folders, shelves and other tools you’ll need to stay productive. You should also make an effort to clean up your space after signing off each day.

Make yourself comfortable. You might not have a cushy office chair, but do your best to add some comforts. Put a fluffy pillow or warm blanket on the dining room chair you’re using, or grab a footstool from the living room so you can lean back during conference calls.

Add personal touches. You’ll be spending a lot of time in that spot, so make sure you’re happy there. Use photos or fresh flowers to personalize your space.

Are you looking for more ideas on turning your space into a work-from-home haven? Get in touch today.

4 Tips for Decorating a Small Space

Whether it’s a cramped bedroom or an office nook, many homes have a small room that’s difficult to decorate.

Do you wish you could add more charm without forgoing square footage? Well, just because your space is limited, it doesn’t mean your style has to be.

Make your tiny area more usable and trendy with these four tips.

1. Create a focal point. Designing without a focal point can make your space look cluttered. Instead, arrange a single, standout feature at the center of the room. Organize a gallery wall with several of your favorite photos or hang one attention-grabbing piece of art.

2. Take decor to the top. If your home lacks high ceilings, use tall floor lamps and curtains to elongate your walls. You can further give the illusion of height by installing vertical shelves closer to the ceiling instead of at eye level.

3. Make it bright. Bring in natural light by hanging sheer window curtains. You can also add a mirror to the wall opposite a window to reflect light.

But if your small space doesn’t have windows, consider these ideas to illuminate it:

Overhead lighting, such as bright bulbs in ceiling fixtures.
Diffused lighting, like opaque glass or shaded floor lamps.
Task lighting, including desk or reading lights.
Arrange multiple levels of lighting so your gaze moves to various areas of the space, which can make it feel larger.

4. Add decorative storage. When a room is full of stuff, it tends to feel smaller. Use your walls for storage by installing hooks or racks to give your items a rightful place.

If you want more space-saving ideas — or if you’re ready to start looking for a larger home — reach out today.

Do You Want More Space When You Retire?

When you think of the home you’ll retire in, a new house may come to mind. Or maybe you’re contemplating moving to your favorite vacation spot or somewhere closer to friends and family.

With so many choices, how will you know what’s best for your lifestyle?

Here are three questions to consider before making a move for retirement:

1. Will you relocate? Maybe you have a favorite beach town in mind for your retirement, where you can relax year-round. If so, be sure to account for the price of moving and the costs of your new community. If the cost of living is higher, make sure you have enough money saved to live comfortably.

2. Should you downsize or upgrade? The kids have likely moved out, so you could opt for a smaller house or condo. But a more substantial property may offer additional space for visitors and hobbies. Think about what’s best for your family, then consider sitting down with a financial planner to evaluate your assets to be sure you can afford your options.

3. Is the timing right? If you’re not quite ready to retire but thinking about moving, it may be better to buy property while you still have a steady income. On the other hand, you can take your time looking if you start after you’ve left your job. Either way, explore your options to ensure you’re making the most of your investment and your retirement.

Is retirement in your near future? Are you ready to start looking for a new home? Reach out today to discuss your next steps.

Does Your Home Inspire Wellness?

When you think of wellness, does your living space come to mind? Today, people are taking wellness beyond diet and exercise and into their homes. So, if you want to improve your quality of life, you might be interested in wellness-focused interior design.

This style of design uses natural elements to boost your mood, increase your productivity and influence your mental well-being.

Here are four ways you can bring this trend into your home:

1. Let in the light. The sun’s light can elevate your mood and promote alertness. Take advantage of daylight by arranging workspaces near windows, using light-filtering curtains or strategically hanging mirrors to reflect more light. Natural light can recenter your sleep cycle and promote vitamin D production — two keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

2. Promote air circulation. Proper air circulation provides a regular temperature, removes impurities and that “stale” feeling, and prevents mold. For better air quality, use ceiling fans, open the windows and install attic vents. The more space there is in a room, the more air can circulate.

3. Add more plants. Being close to nature can improve your overall well-being. Plants add color to your home, purify the air and may even reduce stress. Bring the outside in by adding plants to every room in your home, especially the spaces where you spend the most time.

4. Design a calming space. Create a private sanctuary that’s free of distractions, like clutter and electronic devices. Dedicate time to this space so you can calm your mind, gain a fresh perspective and reflect on your day.

Interested in boosting your home’s wellness factor? Or thinking about looking for another home to call your own? Get in touch today.