Can New Kitchen Appliances Increase the Value of Your Home?

Next to a major kitchen renovation, replacing appliances is the most expensive way to upgrade the space. So, if you’re purchasing a new refrigerator, stove or dishwasher in order to make your home more attractive to buyers, you want to make wise purchasing decisions.

The most important consideration is how the appliances will look in the kitchen. Ideally, they should match in color and style. They should also be the right size for the space. The last thing you want is a fridge that’s so large it dominates the room, or a stove that’s a completely different style and looks out-of-place.

Appearance is important, but so are the features. Buyers viewing your home will scrutinize the appliances. They’ll notice if the fridge has a cold water and ice dispenser. They’ll ask if the dishwasher has noise-reduction features. Double ovens and quick-heating burners (which are now available on electric stoves) will also get a buyer’s attention.
Power consumption is also a big issue these days. Increasingly, buyers are interested in the energy efficient features of a home – appliances included.

Kitchen appliances may seem minor compared to the overall appeal of your property, but they do make a difference. Purchase wisely!

Should You “High Ball” Your Listing Price?

One of the most important decisions you make when selling your home is setting the listing price. It can be tricky. After all, if you price your property too low, you leave money on the table – perhaps thousands of dollars. On the other hand, if you price your home too high, many buyers won’t even bother to view it because they believe it is too expensive.

Even with that reality, there are some sellers who contemplate setting a high listing price in the hopes of a windfall. They want some unsuspecting buyer to fall in love with the home and buy it – even though it’s overpriced.

That rarely, if ever, happens.
Instead, the listing often languishes on the market because its listing price is conspicuously much higher than its market value.

Think about it. If two similar homes, side-by-side, are for sale, and one is priced $40,000 higher than the other, wouldn’t you wonder what was going on? That’s exactly what the market thinks. “Why is that home priced so high?”
Of course, many buyers, who might otherwise be interested in the property, won’t even consider seeing it, simply because it’s outside their price range.

It gets worse. When an overpriced home sits on the market with no offers for several weeks, the price will often need to be adjusted down. That helps the situation a little. However, you’ve lost the excitement created by a “new listing.” Yours is now an old listing struggling to get attention.

There’s a better way…
Set your list price at or near the market value and it will be much more likely to generate interest from qualified buyers and maximize how much you make on your home.
That market value may even be higher than you think!
Interested in finding out what that value is in today’s market? Call today.

4 Home Hazards You May Not Know About

You have smoke detectors. Your doors have good locks. The bathtub has a slip-free pad. By all accounts, your home is a safe and secure place for your family to live.
However, there are some hazards that many homeowners don’t consider or even know about.

For instance:

  1. Blocked eavestroughs. Eavestroughs clogged with leaves and other debris can cause rainwater to overflow next to your foundation and create a leak.
  2. Clogged dryer vents. High temperature air combined with lint is an ideal condition for a fire. Check and clear the dryer vent at least once a year.
  3. Dirty faucet heads. Kitchen and bath faucets often have built-in screens to spray the water evenly. Unfortunately, dirt and other contaminates can build up on these and possibly affect the quality of the water. Clean faucet heads regularly.
  4. Tripping hazards. You could step around a loose section of carpet for years and then one day, in a moment of distraction, trip over it and fall. When you see a potential tripping hazard in your home, don’t ignore it. Fix it.
    Being diligent about home safety takes a little bit of time. But, if it prevents one injury or illness, it’s worth the effort.

5 Unusual (But Effective) Home Staging Ideas

“Staging” your home is all about making the space in your home as appealing as possible to buyers. You may already know the basics, such as eliminating clutter, and removing personal photographs. Here are some other tips that are less well known yet very effective:

A chandelier. Surprisingly, installing a chandelier is one of the simplest ways to make a foyer, dining room or living room look dramatically more eye-catching. You can buy a nice chandelier for only a few hundred dollars.

New linen. This is something many home sellers don’t consider, but should. Believe it or not, new linen makes a big impression on buyers. Before listing, replace any worn linen – sheets, coverings, and towels – with new ones.

Pedestal sinks. It may not be practical for you to replace a bathroom sink. However, if you are doing a renovation, keep in mind that pedestal sinks – especially in small washrooms – are a big hit with buyers.

New appliances. A brand new fridge, stove and dishwasher are motivating selling features to buyers. New appliances can make the whole kitchen look brand new, or at least much fresher.

Avoid multi-use rooms. Have a spare bedroom that doubles as a home office? That’s a turnoff to buyers. Whenever possible, stage each room so that it has a singular purpose. A guest bedroom, for example, should only be for sleeping.

Want more tips on how to stage your home so that it attracts buyers? Call today.

Gentle Ways to Deal with Insects in a Home

A growing number of homeowners are uncomfortable using traditional pesticides for a variety of reasons, including health and environmental concerns. If you’re among them, here are some natural ways to deal with insects in your home:

• Use a mixture of unsweetened lemon juice and water to deter spiders. Spray the solution near doorways and window sills where these arachnoids can enter.
• Combine an equal mixture of vinegar and water to create an effective deterrent for a variety of crawling insects, particularly ants. Spray the solution on floors and countertops that are close to these creatures’ food sources.
• Believe it or not, invest in a fake wasp nest (which you can purchase at your local home improvement store) to deter real wasps from building a nest on your property.
• Experts recommend that you test any surface spray you plan to use to make sure it doesn’t stain or otherwise harm the surface.

Will the Neighborhood Go Up In Value

When you purchase a home, you hope it will continually go up in value – just like a good investment.
However, there’s something else that you also want to see increase in value: the neighborhood. In fact, the neighborhood plays a key role in what the home will be worth in the years to come. If the neighborhood goes down in terms of desirability, so will the market value of the home.

So, when you’re shopping for a new home, get a feel for the value of the neighborhood, and whether or not it’s on the upswing.

How do you do that? One way is to simply take a walk. Look at the properties. Are they well maintained? Is the landscaping groomed and attractive? Those are signs of “pride in ownership” – a clear indication that owners value their homes and the neighborhood.


Another way is to do some research. Has crime gone up in the neighborhood? Are there improvements planned, such as new parks? Is the neighborhood attracting the kind of people you want as neighbors? How do the neighborhood schools rank?

Some of this information may be difficult to get on your own. As your real estate agent, I can help. Call today.

Should You Buy the “Less Than Perfect” Home?

When you’re shopping for a new home, you want to find a property that has all the features and characteristics you want. Perhaps you’re looking for a large deck surrounded by picturesque landscaping, a beautiful kitchen with gleaming marble countertops, or a cozy living room with a fireplace.

You should be looking for the ideal home. You deserve it! But some home buyers become fixated on finding the “perfect” property, and pass too quickly on those homes that don’t quite measure up.

That can be a mistake, because some of those less-than-perfect properties have the potential to become your next dream home.

First, a home that is lacking some desirable features will probably cost less. Those savings may be more than enough to cover any needed appliance upgrades or bathroom renovations.

Secondly, if you look at a home in terms of its potential, rather than the features it happens to have now, there will be more properties available on the market for you to consider.
If you’re determined to have a large wrap-around deck for entertaining, for example, don’t cross homes off your list that don’t have this feature. At least not yet. Instead, view these properties with an eye on potential. Is the backyard big enough to accommodate a large deck? How would that look that deck look if it were added to this particular property? How much would such a renovation cost?

There’s no doubt about it. You want to find a home that has the features and characteristics you want. If you work with me, there is a good chance you’ll find a property that has most, if not all of them.

But, keep an open mind. Sometimes a “diamond in the rough” can – with an upgrade or renovation – become a home you’ll treasure for years.

Four Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Current Home

It’s not uncommon for couples with growing families to trade in their compact cars for something roomier, like a mini-van. The same thing happens with homes. Sometimes families simply outgrow them.

How can you tell if that’s happening with your property? Here are some sure-fire signs:

  1. You need more space.
    This is the most common reason people upgrade to a new home. They need more room. For any number of reasons, you might want an extra bedroom, a larger living room, a bigger backyard, or a more spacious kitchen. Rather than put up with feeling cramped, consider exploring the extra space a new home can provide.
  2. A renovation won’t fix it.
    Sometimes, when a property doesn’t fit its owners’ needs anymore, they consider a renovation. For example, if they need more space for a home office, they convert a spare room. However, a renovation doesn’t always fix the problem. For example, building a double, rather than single driveway and garage, may not be possible given the constraints of your property. Only a new home can solve that problem.
  3. You’re interested in a new neighborhood.
    The neighborhood may have been perfect for you at one time. But needs evolve. You may now be looking for something the area doesn’t provide – like closer access to a recreational activity your family enjoys, or a more convenient commute to work. If that’s the case, it might be time to look at other neighborhoods you’d like to consider, and see what types of homes are currently available there.
  4. It’s time for a change.
    Sometimes you simply feel it’s time for a change. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t feel you need a practical reason to sell and find a new home. If this feels like the right time for you and your family to move, go for it.