Make your home more appealing for yourself and potential buyers with these quick and easy tips:
- Trim bushes so they don’t block windows or architectural details.
- Mow your lawn, and turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes before the showing to make the lawn sparkle.
- Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.
- Install new doorknobs on your front door.
- Repair any cracks in the driveway.
- Edge the grass around walkways and trees.
- Keep your garden tools and hoses out of sight
- Clear toys from the lawn
- Buy a new mailbox.
- Upgrade your outside lighting.
- Buy a new doormat for the outside of your front door.
- Clean your windows, inside and outside.
- Polish or replace your house numbers.
- Place a seasonal wreath on your door.
Now that spring is here, it’s finally time to get to those do-it-yourself projects. Give your home a mini makeover and increase your curb appeal with these DIY-friendly projects.
1. Clean your gutters. After a rough winter, remove any debris or obstructions from your rain gutters to prevent any water around your foundation. For the true do-it-yourselfer, consider replacing your gutters if you notice any rotting or cracking.
2. First impression. Your entryway is the focal point of your facade and leaves a lasting first impression on guests. Consider painting the front door and adding or updating light fixtures on either side of the entryway.
3. Snail mail. Replacing your mailbox is a quick and easy way to improve your front yard. House numbers can be purchased and added for a minimal expense.
4. Refresh and refinish. Stain outdoor wood decking and furniture. Remember to sweep and scrub surfaces before applying the stain. The fresh coat will make wood look like new.
5. Pave the way. Budget-friendly stones can be purchased at most garden supply stores. Line either side of your driveway to achieve a crisp look without the expense of pavers.
Saving money on energy costs is always a good investment. With winter fast approaching, it is that time of year when families must determine how much they want to spend on energy costs. There are, however, some simple tricks to cut costs while turning up the heat.
1. Turn off unused electronics: Everyone has heard our Mom or Dad tell us to turn off something when we are done with it. This still holds true today. When you leave a room, turn off the light. When you go to bed, close your laptop. If you go on vacation, it might be a good idea to disconnect the garage door opener.
2. Use power strips: Simply having appliances plugged in drains energy, so when possible, plug as many electronics into power strips as you can. When those items are not in use, easily switch them off by using the switch on the power strip.
3. Unplug chargers: Many houses have multiple devices that require charging. From laptops to tablets to smartphones, chances are that on any given day one could have a few items charging at once. When the device is fully charged, unplug it. Even though it is charged it still uses energy from the outlet.
4. Invest in a power monitor: Having a power monitor is a good idea for any home. It tells you how much energy you are using, and which household items are draining the most power. By knowing where large amounts of your bill are going, you can adjust your usage accordingly.
5. Use appliance programs: A lot of new household items have self-regulation options. Take advantage of them. This can range from power management options on a computer to programming setting for heat or air conditioning. Many appliances have some form of power-saving settings, and it is beneficial to utilize them.
6. Be smart in choosing light bulbs: Light bulbs have changed a lot the past few years. LED bulbs and compact fluorescents are much easier on power than older bulbs. They are also inexpensive, so there are multiple benefits to updating your light bulb inventory.
7. Use cold water in washing machines: A cold wash will keep clothes just as clean and uses less energy than hot water. Another fun fact: Hot water can make colors run and helps stains set, crises avoided!
The buying or selling process of your home can be stressful, especially when mixed with the emotions that come with moving to a new neighborhood.
Below are a few tips that will help your children cope with these changes:
1. Be positive about the move. Your emotions can set the mood for the entire experience. Remain positive and upbeat about the changes that lie ahead.
2. Answer questions openly and honestly. Make sure young members of the family know they can count on you for answers. Their questions will give you an idea of how they are feeling about the situation and can guide your efforts to help them relax.
3. Assign young family members specific tasks. Help everyone get involved by creating a to-do check list, then assigning age-appropriate tasks to each member of the family. Creating a sense of ownership can give everyone a feeling of responsibility.
4. Plan ahead. Before the move, start investigating programs and activities that your family would enjoy. Register your children for sports programs or other activities similar to the type of activities they will participate in. You want them to be introduced to other people of their age and start making friends as soon as possible.
Who doesn’t love a deal? The list below is possibly the best time of year to buy certain household items in order to score the biggest bargains.
January: Furniture, new flooring, and bedding and linens
February: Air conditioners and older model televisions that will soon be moving out for newer models
March: Gardening tools, china, and flatware
April: Vacuum cleaners
May: Barbecue equipment, patio furniture, and home office furniture
July: Kitchen appliances, such as refrigerators and ranges
August: Linens and storage containers
September: Grills and lawn mowers
October: Appliances and clearance patio furniture and outdoor items
November: Electronics, appliances, and tools
December: Televisions, electronics, and small appliances like toasters and blenders
■ Are your steps and sidewalks clear, and free from toys, tools, ice and snow?
■ Is your yard free from glass, nails, yard tools and any other sharp items?
■ Do you check play equipment and lawn furniture for safe use?
■ Are clotheslines strung high – so no one will walk into them?
■ Do gardeners wear protective clothing and limit time in the hot sun?
■ Does the person using the power mower wear sturdy shoes?
■ Are children kept away from power tools when they’re in use?
■ Are gas and charcoal grills kept clean and lit carefully?
1. Unmatched cabinets: Cabinet colors and materials are being mixed, such as darker colors for the base cabinets and lighter colors being used for upper cabinets to “provide a sense of openness,” according to the blog.
2. Downsized kitchen islands: While bigger used to be better with kitchen islands, more home owners are finding they can make do with a smaller kitchen island that doesn’t take up as much space.
3. Covert appliances: Dishwashers, refrigerators and ovens are being hidden behind cabinetry or made to match the cabinetry so much so that you can barely even spot them at first glance in the kitchen. Also going invisible in the kitchen, kitchen cabinet knobs, creating a more clean-panel look.
4. Smaller faucets: The big, “gooseneck” faucet was all the rage up until recently but now more home owners seem to be opting for lower profile faucets for a more subtle statement. Some of the faucets have even shrunk to bathroom scale, but they still feature the detachable spray nozzle.
“As kitchens have opened up and become more integrated into our homes, they have begun to feel less ‘kitchen-like,’” according to the Home Design Find blog. “The trend toward mixed cabinetry and integrated appliances, door pulls and sinks suggests we are looking for a space that flows seamlessly into the rest of our spaces.”