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Posts Tagged ‘Home’

Tips for Selling Your Home Effectively

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

When the time comes to sell your home, whether you choose to enlist professional services or to sell without an agent, you will need to present your property at its best. Nobody will instantly love your house as much as you do; potential buyers need to be able to see the house as a home – their home, not yours. While it can be tricky to make a house that is still being resided in look like it’s not being occupied by others, there are some ways in which a vendor can depersonalise their home sufficiently to attract an enthusiastic buyer.

First impressions really do count, not least in the impressions formed when a property is entered and viewed for the first time. While we have little control over factors such as weather conditions when presenting a property for viewing, it’s not difficult to showcase your property to its best advantage.

Paint and lightiing
A fresh coat of paint gives you more bang for your decorating buck than anything else. Even if your current palette is relatively new, any scuffs or wear marks will channel an unkempt vibe. And an unusual colour choice – even if the height of fashion – may limit your home’s appeal. So break out that roller and slap on a couple coats of crowd-pleasing warm white or sand paint. About your home lighting, replace any old light fixtures asap. How can you tell if it has to go? If it’s over 15 years old and looks it – yet isn’t a vintage (50-75 years old) or antique piece (older) – it should probably go.

De-clutter
Take the collectibles off the mantel, put the mismatched armchair into storage (or better yet, donate it) and pare your closets down to what you’re actually wearing this season, packing away the rest. Ideally, all this extra stuff would head to charity (if in good, saleable condition), the garbage dump, or into storage. The more you store onsite, the more cluttered and small your home appears.

Give dated bathrooms a facelift
A nice bath helps sell a house but, don’t invest in a total renovation. Renos are costly, and you won’t recoup your costs unless you find your exact décor doppelganger. Bring an out-of-date bath up to speed with gleaming white walls whether via a fresh coat of white bath and kitchen paint or ceramic tile and new lighting (Home Depot excels at affordable, stylish bathroom vanity lighting). Buy neutral new shower curtains, a simple new bath mat and vanity set, and have fresh flowers in the room during open houses.

Take down curtains
Dated window treatments need to come down, pronto (if it’s over 10 years old, get rid of it). If privacy isn’t an issue, just leave the windows bare to maximize natural light and make the room’s dimensions seem more generous. Otherwise, buy basic-issue cotton or linen drapes from Linens ‘N Things or another well-priced retailer. Always tie drapes back during viewings and open houses.

Put up mirrors
Make small rooms appear bigger and dark rooms seem brighter by adding an attractive wall mirror. A boxlike dining room will benefit from a leaning floor mirror (Lowes sells well priced ones, and HomeSense often has great deals) and an entranceway more welcoming with a console mirror.

Update porch hardware
Increase your home’s curb appeal by updating the hardware on your front porch. Buy a doorknocker or bell, mailbox, kick plate, doorknob and lockset in a set or in complementary styles. Brushed nickel is a neutral finish that will never date, while oil-rubbed bronze is another favourite. Update your porch light to coordinate with the new hardware, if needed. They don’t have to be an exact match or even come from the same period, but the finishes and styles should look pleasing together.

Spiff up the front yard
Refresh your front yard according to the season. In spring, summer and fall, trim back dead plants and foliage and plant attractive annuals or perennials in flowerbeds. In winter, keep the walkway shoveled and cut back any tree or shrub branches damaged by heavy snowfall. A pair of planters flanking the front door and filled with seasonal arrangements instantly conveys pride of ownership.

Tend the backyard
Simple fix-its will make the most of your existing yard layout. Replace any damaged boards on your deck or fence, and apply a fresh coat of paint, or stain and sealant if the finish needs it. Weed and groom your garden and add some perennials for colour when in-season. If kids’ toys are taking over the space, put some in storage. Think “tidy,” “update” and “refresh”: never do anything costly or major like adding a swimming pool or pond, which may put off potential buyers.

How to Choose a Vacation Pool Home in Cape Coral

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

When locating your vacation home in Cape Coral, a vacation rental with a private swimming pool is an ideal choice during your stay. But before making your decision, make sure you find out the amount of sun you can expect and how the water temperature is maintained. Additionally, if you are traveling with children, you should find out what safety features are in place.

Sun

To get the most enjoyment out of any Cape Coral vacation rental pool, it should face west or south. This provides maximum sun exposure during the day which is what most vacationers want. However, if you want a shady pool, choose a Cape Coral rental where the pool faces east or north.

Pool Heaters

During the winter months of November to April the swimming pools in Cape Coral lose their heat during the cooler nights and can become quite chilly. To compensate for this, choose a vacation home with a heated pool and be sure to put the thermal covering on each night.

Electric or solar heaters can adequately maintain the pool temperatures – but you need to investigate a little bit before booking a house with solar heat.

According to swimming pool experts, solar heated pools can be effective IF the surface area of the solar panels is equal to the surface area of the pool. The problem arises because many builders of Cape Coral property offered solar heated pools as a free add-on to their homes but placed insufficient panels to adequately heat the pool.

You can easily determine if the surface area of the pool and panels is equal for yourself by looking up the property on Google maps and selecting “Satellite view”. If the panels on the roof cover roughly as much area as the pool, like the Cape Coral rental pictured above, the heater will be as effective as electric. If, however, the panels cover less surface area than the pool, it will not be as effective as electric – choose that home for a summer rental and go elsewhere in the winter.

Safety

If you are traveling with children, pool safety is an important consideration. Choose a Cape Coral vacation rental with either a safety gate around the pool, child safety locks on the doors to the pool area or an alarm systems that sounds when an exterior/pool door is opened.

While parental vigilance cannot be replaced, you do not want to spend your vacation in a state of paranoia because your children love the pool in your back yard! Make sure the home you rent has one of these aids – to help you maintain your sanity and your child’s safety.