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How to Stage a House That Sells

What if your home could look bigger without a costly add-on? What if a simple coat of paint could transform an outdated space into a haven that buyers will want to call their own?

Home staging is an art designed to show off your home in its best light. Professional home stagers understand the current market—from flooring that’ll make buyers swoon to paint colors that can make you money. They can even help maximize each room so that the coziest nook feels downright spacious.

By utilizing your own furniture in a new way, swapping outdated pieces for show-ready ones, or added touches of outdoor life, home staging makes the most of your home by helping buyers focus on its features rather than its flaws.

Home Staging Tips for the Whole House

To make the biggest impact, stage your home before your listing photos are taken. You want a potential buyer to have the best first impression possible. Here’s our list of favorite tips to get you well on your way to a home that buyers will want to make their own.

Spring Into Cleaning

Don’t just tidy up: think spring-cleaning on steroids. From the baseboards to the ceiling light fixtures, the kitchen appliances to the windows, and the nooks to the crannies, everything should be spotless and gleaming.

Don’t have time to put that much elbow grease into your home staging? Hire a professional for approximately $100 to $400 for a true deep clean.

Goodbye Clutter, Hello Storage

Haven’t used it in years? Give it to someone who can. Whether it’s in the pantry, attic, basement, closets or kitchen cabinets, move the extra out and streamline the rest. Overwhelm buyers with the simplicity of the space, not a hodgepodge of clutter.

One of the keys to staging well is to show off your home’s space—not your stuff. Storage sells!

Make room in your closets, leaving them at least one-third empty. Store any out-of-season clothing elsewhere. Open your closet doors so potential buyers can see how much space they could have.

Still don’t have enough space? Pack the extra gizmos and gadgets and ask a friend to house them temporarily. If it’s too much to handle yourself, companies like Clutter.com or Makespace.com can pick up and store the items for you; it’s cheaper than you’d expect.

Don’t Assume Buyers Won’t Look “There”

It’s easy to assume buyers would never look in spots we’ve tried to forget about, like that junk drawer you keep meaning to clean out. But when you’re staging your home, be prepared for buyers to look behind closed drawers and doors. Nothing is off limits. It may be your home, but they’re wondering if it can become their own.

Keep the Pets Away

Pets are family. But they’re your family—not your prospective buyer’s. You may be accustomed to the scent and mounds of fur they bring with them, but one whiff of Snowball and that winning first impression could disappear.

Before you and your pets leave prior to a showing, remove the telltale signs of your pets by storing away food bowls, transferring the litter box to the garage, and tucking away pet toys.

Fix What’s Underfoot

If your carpets look worse for wear, steam clean them to get rid of stains and odors. But what about carpet that’s beyond repair? Replace it with new plush carpet or a hardwood floor that buyers will love.

If your hardwood floors are in poor condition, you could refinish them for $3 to $5 a square foot. 2 Don’t want to refinish the floors? Strategically placed area rugs can help with a positive first impression. Just be prepared to disclose any damage to prospective buyers.

Home Staging Tips Room by Room

Now that you’ve got the big picture in mind, let’s dive into the details. Here’s how to stage each room so every inch of your house is ready to wow potential buyers!

How to Stage a Living Room

When people walk through the front door and into your living room, they should feel like they’re already home.

Adding a neatly folded newspaper and a vase of flowers to your coffee table can help with that. But don’t stop there! Here are some other things to help your living room stand out from the rest.

Let the Light In

Most buyers want to see that a home has plenty of natural light. Remove heavy draperies and open up the blinds. Hide an unattractive view with sheer window coverings that still allow in light.

Replace any outdated light fixtures, upping the wattage in each light bulb to its maximum safe capacity. Aim for about 100 watts every 50 square feet. Need some extra light? Add lamps in any dark areas. Quickly update outdated lamps with clean white drum shades.

Win With Striking Walls

To ensure your home appeals to the widest audience possible, stick with sophisticated neutrals for the most widely used paint colors.

Just a few coats of paint can transform a dated space, giving it a more modern feel. Try warmer neutrals like an oatmeal-colored living room or a honey-colored hallway.

Embrace the Awkward

Have a space you’ve never known how to utilize? Show potential buyers it’s a functional space by finding a fun way to show it off. Turn a short wall into a chalkboard family message center, transform an alcove into a charming workspace, or display a hanging planter to bring life and texture to a bare nook.

Don’t Block Traffic Flow

Keep natural walkways clear and arrange furniture in conversation areas that frame outside views—rather than obstruct them.

How to Stage the Bedrooms

Bedrooms are often the most personalized rooms in the home. And why shouldn’t they be? They are your rooms, after all! But when you’re staging a house, you want to leave room for the buyers’ imagination.

Now is not the time to be sentimental. Your goal as a home seller is to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. This is one time where it really isn’t personal; it’s business—and it’s time to depersonalize.

Broaden Your Audience

Now is not the time to break out the kitty comforter Grandma quilted for you back in grade school or to hang up your stuffed squirrel collection. Do your best to keep spaces as gender-neutral as possible so they’ll appeal to the widest audience.

Empty Out the Space

To make rooms look spacious, try to make sure each room has no more than three pieces of large furniture—a bed, a nightstand and maybe a dresser. That’s it!

Add a Splash of Color

Some bright throw pillows neatly placed on the bed, a small plant on the nightstand, and a piece of artwork or two on the walls could bring some life to the room. These additions will draw the buyers’ eyes to different areas throughout the bedroom so they notice the entire space.

How to Stage a Kitchen

You need to show buyers that your kitchen is a bright, clean and fresh space where the whole family can come together to enjoy delicious meals and wow guests with fancy culinary creations.

The good news is, you don’t have to spend a small fortune on an expensive remodel to do that! A few small changes can make a big difference.

Add Some Character

Swap out that boring utensil holder for a decorative mason jar and fill it with your best wooden serving spoons. Fill a wooden bowl with fresh fruit and place it on your kitchen table.

But don’t leave too many items on display beyond a clean toaster and cute coffee maker. Having a lot lying around could leave an impression that there’s not much space in your kitchen.

Update the Cabinets and Hardware

Are your kitchen cabinets rather dated? If you have the time to put in the work, then update them with a few coats of paint or a darker stain. You may have to strip them beforehand, but it will likely be worth it afterwards. Or update an outdated cabinet style by buying new faces for doors and drawers. While you’re renovating your cabinets, double-check that all doors and drawers slide open evenly. Buyers will check them even if you don’t!

Get rid of outdated hardware and aim for a brushed brass or nickel, polished chrome, oil-brushed bronze, copper, or even a stately iron.

Don’t Forget to Do a Sniff Test

To keep your home smelling fresh and clean, pass on cooking seafood or your favorite garlic bread for the time being. Go the extra mile and light candles with buyer-friendly scents like citrus or vanilla.

How to Stage a Bathroom

You don’t need to have the perfect bathroom in order to create the kind of luxurious feel found at high-end hotels and spas. A few subtle additions and tweaks can help buyers see your bathroom as a soothing space where they can find solitude after a long day.

Breathe New Life Into Your Bathroom

Bring dingy tubs and tile back to life by grouting the tile and caulking the tub again. Finish up the makeover by washing or updating your bathmat and shower curtain.

No one wants to see your toothbrushes and razors laying around! Keep all personal items and toiletries packed neatly under the sink, and stage the bathroom counter with fluffy white towels and decorative bars of soap.

Transform Your Bathroom Into a Spa

Give the room a spa-like feel with calming scents from a small potted orchid, a vase of fresh flowers, or scented candles and lotions. Jasmine and lavender scents can create a nice calming effect for guests.

Try painting the bathroom walls a pale, serene blue or a light, calming beige to create a peaceful and welcoming environment.

How to Stage Outdoor Areas

When it comes to staging a house, what’s on the outside matters just as much as what’s on the inside. Curb appeal is a real thing, and nothing will send buyers driving off faster than a front yard overrun with weeds or a porch that’s falling apart. Don’t let buyers pass you by before they even get through the door!

Fix That First Impression

In addition to keeping the yard beautifully manicured, power wash your driveway and sidewalk. Show the exterior of your home a little love by giving it a good once-over. Sand and repaint any old or chipped areas. And though it would be a big undertaking, add a new coat of paint to the siding, shutters, or garage if they need it. While you’re at it, give that dull front door a makeover with a fresh pop of color, lay out a new mat, and flank it with flowers that will weather the season well.

Bring Relaxing Back

Make the most of your backyard or porch with a swing, a café table and chairs, or a relaxing hammock with your favorite throw. Whether you have a small balcony or acres of land, buyers need to be able to picture themselves unwinding there after a long day. Show them at least one way you love to use the space!

How Much Does Home Staging Cost?

By now, it’s pretty clear that home staging doesn’t have to break the bank! Some of the most important things you can do to get your home show-ready won’t cost you a cent. But if you’re not comfortable staging your home yourself and want to bring in outside help, you don’t have to look far to find a suitable staging company. A good real estate agent should have multiple recommendations.

An initial consultation with a home stager that includes a written plan should cost you around $250 to $750.3 When it comes to the actual staging process, monthly costs can range from $350 in Iowa to $2,400 in California for a furnished home. If you’ve already moved out and your home is vacant, monthly costs can vary from approximately $975 in Indiana to $5,500 in California. Homes over 4,000 square feet can cost upwards of $9,000 a month.

What Are the Financial Benefits of Staging a House?

According to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Profile of Home Staging, nearly one-third of buyers’ agents believe staging a home increases the offer price a minimum of 1–5%

So how do those numbers break down for you? On a $250,000 home, just a 2% increase means an extra $5,000 tacked on to the buyer’s offer. If you handled the staging yourself without any added expenses, that’s $5,000 in extra cash you get to put in the bank. If you paid $3,000 to have your home staged professionally over a three-month contract, that’s $2,000 more in your pocket. If your agent is paying for the staging, you can put the entire $5,000 toward your new home or stash it away in your emergency fund.

While there’s no guarantee staging your home will bring a bigger offer, it should help you stand out among the competition by making your home look move in ready, maximizing your space, and adding little touches that make a big difference.

Find a Real Estate Agent

We hope these practical tips will help pave the way for a smooth home staging journey and show buyers a home they will soon want to call their own!

To make the most of your newly staged home, don’t settle for second best. Choose from any one of our qualified realtors to get your home sold in no time! https://www.houseofbrokers.com/

Originally posted on https://www.daveramsey.com/

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Business For Homeowners home House of Brokers Market News Marketing Tips Mortgage Rates Mortgage Tips Real Estate News Real Estate Tips Selling

2020 Real Estate Trends: What You Need to Know

Wow, 2020 has been a challenging year. With so much happening across the country, you might be wondering how the current crisis is impacting real estate trends. Well, surprisingly, median home prices are all the way up to $320,000!1 Will the rest of 2020 bring more of the same results? How will the housing market shake out in the current economic climate?

Whether you’re selling, buying or staying put, here are the 2020 real estate trends you need to know!

Real Estate Trend #1: Home Prices Are Still Rising Slowly

Okay, let’s start with home price trends. In April 2020, home prices grew by a teeny-tiny 0.6% compared to last year—down from the nearly 4% growth rate in March!2 This slower growth trend is likely due to the craziness of the coronavirus and market uncertainty.

But within the third week of May, home prices moved their way back up to a 3% growth rate—almost to pre-COVID levels!3 So there’s a chance that home prices might be regaining some momentum.

Find expert agents to help you buy your home.

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun believes home prices will make their way back up to 4% growth overall in 2020.4 So, you’ll likely see home prices continue to creep up, but they probably won’t knock your socks off with rapid growth like we’ve seen in previous years.

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun believes home prices will make their way back up to 4% growth overall in 2020.

What Higher Prices Mean for Sellers

A nice profit may be on the horizon! But also keep in mind that a lot of buyers are being priced out of the market at the moment, which could lead to fewer offers for your home. So, what should you do about this? Be aware of your competition.

With less offers to go around, you want your home to really stand out from similar ones in your area. Prepare your home for potential home buyers and work with a real estate agent to help you list your home at the right price.

And be sure to wait for the right offer. Some buyers may try to gut punch you with a low number. If you aren’t in a hurry to move, wait for an offer that gives you the most profit. Remember, the less desperate person always has the upper hand when negotiating!

What Higher Prices Mean for Buyers

If you’re going to buy a home in this expensive market, you absolutely must find out how much house you can really afford. Crunch the numbers yourself with our free mortgage calculator and figure out a monthly payment your budget can handle.

Commit to staying within that budget amount. Don’t rush into a home purchase that doesn’t make financial sense for you no matter how much pressure you feel watching competitors pluck good homes off the market. You could screw up your finances!

If you can’t put down at least 10–20% on a 15-year fixed-rate conventional loan, then you probably can’t afford a house in this market. A down payment that’s less than 10–20% will strangle your budget with massive monthly mortgage payments. But if you want to get prepared to buy and you’re committed to your budget, here are some options to consider:

  • Keep saving. If you stay patient and motivated, you can save for a five-figure down payment by this time next year.
  • Sacrifice some wants. If you can’t afford to buy the house you want, be willing to give up some “nice-to-haves” for your “must-haves.” Find the least expensive home in the best neighborhood you can afford and you can upgrade as your income and savings increase over time.
  • Expand your search. What if the location where you’re planning to buy is what’s busting your budget? You might be surprised at the gem you can find in a less popular neighborhood. Working with a real estate agent who really knows the area is the best way to find a home that fits your budget and lifestyle.

Buying a home can be stressful, but our Home Buyers Guide will streamline the process! It’ll help you think through all the important parts so you can rest easy when your dream home is officially yours.

Real Estate Trend #2: Mortgage Interest Rates Are Super Low

Mortgage interest rates have been trending down—even before the pandemic. In May, the average interest rate for a conventional 15-year fixed-rate mortgage (the cheapest type of mortgage and the only kind we recommend) dropped to 2.69%—the lowest it’s been in over seven years!5

In May, the average interest rate for a conventional 15-year fixed-rate mortgage (the cheapest type of mortgage and the only kind we recommend) dropped to 2.69%—the lowest it’s been in over seven years!

Economist geeks think interest rates will continue to stay low until the economy is close to normal again. But interest rates probably won’t go so low as to hit rock bottom since lenders still have high demand from current homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower rates.6

If you want to refinance or get a smart mortgage that helps you pay off your home fast, talk to our friends at Churchill Mortgage.

What Lower Rates Mean for Sellers

If interest rates stay low, buyers will be more motivated to buy your home sooner than later. But if interest rates do start to increase later in the year, just plan for your house to be on the market a little longer. A mortgage is a big commitment, and adding higher interest rates to the mix will make many buyers pause.

An experienced real estate agent can help you set the right expectations on how much money to sell your house for and how long you’ll have to wait for the best offer.

What Lower Rates Mean for Buyers

Even though interest rates are super low, be smart and go for a conventional 15-year fixed-rate mortgage (unless you can buy with cash). Avoid getting locked into paying the extra interest and fees that come with rip-off mortgages like FHA, VA, USDA and adjustable-rate ones. That way, you’ll know exactly what your payment will be over the life of the loan and you’ll pay it off faster!

Real Estate Trend #3: Millennial Home Buyers Are the Majority

That’s right, our final trend is about who is buying homes. And once again, millennials took the lead as the largest group (38%) of home buyers last year.7

What is a millennial exactly? Well, the technical answer is anyone born between 1980 and 1998. The easiest way to spot a millennial home buyer? They can’t wait to post a pic of their new home on Instagram!

What Millennial Buyers Mean for Sellers

Here are three important words: Know your buyer. In a nutshell, millennials are internet savvy and do their research before house shopping. Here are some tips:

  • Upgrade your online listing. Virtually all millennials (98%) use the internet for their home search—and 78% of them found the home they purchased on a mobile device last year.8 So, make the best possible impression on the internet by investing in high quality listing photos. You might even need to take video footage to give potential buyers a digital tour of your home.
  • Highlight perks over size. Yes, square footage matters. But millennials are more concerned about their commuting costs and how close their new home is to schools. In fact, most millennial buyers said they were least likely to compromise on school and neighborhood quality when deciding which home to buy.9 So, highlight the benefits of your home’s fabulous location instead of wasting time trying to sell on its size.
     
  • Know popular features. Here are some of the top home features millennials want: laundry room (86%), patio (81%), garage storage (80%) and a walk-in pantry (79%).10 If you’re thinking of making some upgrades to your home, choosing one of those might have millennials showering you with offers when you’re ready to sell.

What Millennial Buyers Mean for Buyers

Okay, if you’re looking for a three-bedroom, single-family home in the suburbs, expect to have a lot of competition. You may have to reprioritize what you want in a dream home. Follow these tips:

  • Know what you want. Decide what you absolutely need in a home. If you’re married and house hunting, you and your spouse need to agree on must-haves. Compare your individual lists and combine them for your real estate agent to use as the foundation of your home search.
  • Write a letter. Sending a personal story to your seller might be just the thing that makes you stand out from similar offers. Nashville couple Abby and John included a personal letter when they made an offer on their home. “We sent the sellers a personal letter with our offer,” Abby said. “The best thing you can do is to include in the letter things you love about their house. If they have a deck or screened-in porch, tell them how you envision using the space. We did that and the sellers accepted our offer—out of multiple offers—within 24 hours.”
  • Hire an experienced pro. Last year, 92% of millennial home buyers used real estate agents to purchase their homes.11 Think they’re onto something? You bet! Save yourself the stress of trying to buy on your own. Get the help of a real estate pro so the home-buying process is smooth for everyone involved.

What if I’m Not Buying or Selling a Home This Year?

You may be thinking, All this is great, but I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. We hear you, and here’s what you should know for now:

1. Equity is unlikely to decrease through 2020.

With most housing markets at low risk for a downturn, the 2020 Housing and Mortgage Market Review estimates home prices will continue to rise for the next couple of years.12 Woo-hoo for sellers! If you sell your house before 2023, you’ll likely still make a nice profit. Continue to monitor how much your home is worth to make sure your equity (what your home is worth minus how much you owe on it) is going up.

2. From what we can see, the real estate market isn’t going to crash.

With the uncertainty around our current economic crisis and price growth slowing down, some folks are wondering about the future of the housing market and if it could collapse again. Well, it’s impossible to know for sure, but economists suggest a housing crash is unlikely.

After all, the super low mortgage rates are motivating buyers to enter the market, which increases demand. But there’s still a record-low supply of home listings. This is keeping home buying somewhat competitive and allowing home price growth to stay steady.13

3. Regardless of your neighborhood, buyers are interested.

Since home prices have experienced rapid growth over the past few years, some buyers may be less choosy. In fact, determined ones might be willing to consider neighborhoods that don’t have easy access to highways or aren’t in close proximity to a big city. If you think you live in an unpopular neighborhood or believe your home isn’t what buyers are looking for, think again. Now may be your perfect time to consider selling.

Take Control of the Trends With a Top-Notch Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re selling or buying, you can take advantage of the current trends by partnering with a professional real estate agent. Through our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program, our team will match you with agents we recommend in your area. Our real estate ELPs are top-performing professionals in your market who’ve earned our seal of trust by actually caring about your financial goals.

Find your real estate agent today!

Posted on https://www.daveramsey.com/blog

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For Homeowners

National Homeownership Month [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights

  • National Homeownership Month is a great time to reflect on how we can each promote stronger community growth.
  • Homeownership helps families build financial freedom, find greater happiness and satisfaction, and make a positive impact on our local communities.
  • Let’s connect today if homeownership is part of your future plans.

Posted on Keeping Current Matters

Are you ready to own, or move on to your next home? Talk with us TODAY to get started!

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For Homeowners

Top Reasons to Own Your Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights

  • June is National Homeownership Month, and it’s a great time to consider the benefits of owning your own home.
  • If you’re in a position to buy, homeownership might help you find the stability, community, and comfort you’ve been searching for this year.
  • Let’s connect today to determine if homeownership is the right next step for you and your family.

Posted on Keeping Current Matters

Ready to buy? Visit us today to get started!

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For Homeowners

10 Essential Things Your Garage Needs This Summer: Do You Have Them All?

Aneese/iStock

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY-er, hobbyist, or casual tinkerer, the garage is almost certainly going to be one of your go-to spaces. But, with all the tools and random items that accumulate there, that very same garage can easily feel cluttered, claustrophobic, and not all that comfortable.

But it doesn’t have to be that way—if you stock a few garage essentials.

So now that summer has nearly arrived, here are a few items to keep your garage organized and comfortable. Add a few, or all of ’em, to make your garage your new favorite place, and kick off those home improvement projects you’ve been wanting to tackle with gusto!

1. Storage locker

A storage locker acts as a mini mudroom in your garage.amazon.com

Having a “drop-zone in the garage is essential,” especially in areas that get a lot of rain or snow, says Rebecca Langman, designer and owner of Revision Custom Home Design in Billings, MT.

“No more tracking muddy boots or dripping wet coats into the house,” she says.https://www.realtor.com/myhome/homewidget

storage locker ($155.72, amazon.com) gives you a spot to kick off muddy or wet clothes and shoes, and has space to store supplies. It’s a great solution for homes without a mudroom, says Shelly Isaacson, an interior designer based in Stillwater, MN. Think of it as a mudroom in your garage!

2. Workbench

A solid workspace with lots of storage is a plus for just about any garage.walmart.com

Every garage needs a good workspace where you can tackle all your projects, no matter how handy you actually are, says Bette Abbott, a commercial and residential interior designer in Napa Valley, CA. This workbench ($137.43, walmart.com) includes a usable surface, tons of storage, and a light.

“Even the least handy of us need a spot to tinker with projects not destined for the kitchen table,” she says. “Having a dedicated workspace in the garage is invaluable for larger and small projects alike—and a great spot to keep your tools organized.”

3. Cushioned flooring mat

Cushioned mats keep you safe and comfortable as you work.wayfair.com

If you’ve ever stood on a hard concrete floor for a long time, you know the toll it can take on your feet and your back. Rolling out a cushioned mat ($73.99, wayfair.com) will let you tinker away for hours with no pain.

“This awesome mat will soothe your toesies and keep you from slipping, no matter how greasy your workspace gets,” says Justin Riordaninterior designer, architect and founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency in Portland, Seattle, and Los Angeles.

The mat also protects the floor from chemicals, paint, or any other substance you may spill in the garage, says Karen Gray-Plaisteddecorator and home stager of Design Solutions KGP.

4. Wireless speaker

Wireless speakers let you listen to your favorite tunes while you DIY.anthropologie.com

Playing music or your favorite podcast will help you get lost in your project and make it more enjoyable, says Isaacson. (You already knew this, right?) A wireless speaker ($199, anthropologie.com) is the easiest solution.

And why not throw in a little style along the way? The retro style of this speaker will brighten up any garage space, Abbott says.

5. Shop light

Extra lighting is a garage essential.walmart.com

Extra light is an essential for any garage: A well-lit space is safer, more functional, and easier to keep organized, Abbott says.

This LED shop light ($31.99, walmart.com) attaches to your existing ceiling light fixture. That’s a big plus, says Langman, since you can add extra light without needing to run any new wiring.

“And the light output—wow, this illuminates the man cave to a whole new level,” Isaacson says.

6. Mini fridge

Keep beverages cold and handy with a mini fridge in the garage.walmart.com

Keeping a stash of water, beer, or other beverages in the garage will help you keep working in the zone, Isaacson says. A mini fridge ($169, walmart.com) will keep all your drinks cold and easily accessible.

A garage mini fridge also helps you avoid going in and out of the house.

“When you’re in the middle of a messy task, you’re not going to want to track that mess into the house just because you want something to drink,” Langman says.

7. Ceiling storage

Ceiling racks provide extra storage and free up space in the garage.wayfair.com

As we accumulate more and more stuff, extra storage in the garage is truly essential, Riordan says. This overhead storage rack ($136.99, wayfair.com) keeps items you don’t use as often out of the way.

The ceiling storage will make your garage feel bigger and is a great space-saver for storing holiday decorations, luggage, or out-of-season clothing bins, Abbott says.

8. Mobile toolbox

A mobile toolbox keeps everything within easy reach.homedepot.com

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to hunt for a tool that you need while working on a project, Isaacson says. A mobile toolbox ($34.97, homedepot.com) gives everything a place.

Since it has wheels, you can move the toolbox around the garage so your tools are always at your fingertips, Gray-Plaisted says. There are also different-sized compartments for larger power tools and smaller ones for screwdrivers and hammers.

9. Portable fan

A fan can help keep you cool in the garage.wayfair.com

Most garages don’t have air-conditioning, so a portable floor fan ($62.99, wayfair.com) will keep you cool even when you’re tinkering away on a sweltering summer day.

Fans also provide much-needed ventilation, which many garages lack, Langman says. If you are working with paint or chemicals, a fan can keep you safe from fumes.

10. Ceiling-mounted heater

Stay warm as you tackle home projects.wayfair.com

Are you jonesing to dabble in a few home improvement projects, but are deterred by the fact that the weather has turned cold?

ceiling-mounted heater ($46.99, wayfair.com) provides “radiant heat while you stand in one place to work on your project,” Riordan says.

Since it mounts to the ceiling, the heater will stay out of your way, saving space and keeping you safer as you work, Langman says.

Posted by Erica Sweeney on realtor.com

Categories
For Homeowners Selling

Why Home Equity Is a Bright Spark in the Housing Market

Firework Display At Night

Given how we have seen more unemployment claims than ever before over the past several weeks, fear is spreading widely. Some good news, however, shows that more than 4 million initial unemployment filers have likely already found a new job, especially as industries such as health care, food and grocery stores, retail, delivery, and more increase their employment opportunities. Breaking down what unemployment means for homeownership, and understanding the significant equity Americans hold today, are important parts of seeing the picture clearly when sorting through this uncertainty. One of the biggest questions right now is whether this historic unemployment rate will initiate a new surge of foreclosures in the market. It’s a very real fear. Despite the staggering number of claims, there are actually many reasons why we won’t see a significant number of foreclosures like we did during the housing crash twelve years ago. The amount of equity homeowners have today is a leading differentiator in the current market. Today, according to John Burns Consulting58.7% of homes in the U.S. have at least 60% equity. That number is drastically different than it was in 2008 when the housing bubble burst. The last recession was painful, and when prices dipped, many found themselves owing more on their mortgage than what their homes were worth. Homeowners simply walked away at that point. Now, 42.1% of all homes in this country are mortgage-free, meaning they’re owned free and clear. Those homes are not at risk for foreclosure (see graph below):

Equity Chart

In addition, CoreLogic notes the average equity mortgaged homes have today is $177,000. That’s a significant amount that homeowners won’t be stepping away from, even in today’s economy (see chart below):

Graph 2

In essence, the amount of equity homeowners have today positions them to be in a much better place than they were in 2008.

Bottom Line 

The fear and uncertainty we feel right now are very real, and this is not going to be easy. We can, however, see strength in our current market through homeowner equity that has not been there in the past. That may be a bright spark to help us make it through.

 

Posted by The KCM Crew

Contact us today to sell your home!

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For Homeowners

Millionaire to Millennials: Owning Your Home Can Help You Retire Sooner!

In a CNBC article, self-made millionaire David Bach explained that: “Buying a home is the escalator to wealth in America. Homeownership can also help you retire early, that is, if you pay your mortgage off.

Bach suggests that homebuyers should, “Take out a 30-year mortgage, but with the intention of paying it off in 25, 20 or ideally, 15 years.”

How does he suggest you do this? Here’s the secret:

“…If you were paying $1,000 a month, now you’re going to make $1,100 payments every month. Inform the bank that you are doing this and that you want the extra $100 a month to be applied to the principal (not the interest).”

What will happen to your mortgage?

Bach explains that, “If you keep this up, you’ll wind up paying off your 30-year mortgage in about 25 years. Increase your monthly payment by 20 percent, and you’ll have that mortgage retired in about 22 years.”

Bottom Line

Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – buy a home and pay off your mortgage early so that you can retire sooner with the money you will have saved!

Who is David Bach?

Bach is a self-made millionaire who has written nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers. His book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists.

He has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show, appearing more than 100 times, as well as a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS. He has also been profiled in many major publications, including the New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader’s Digest, Time, Financial Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, Redbook, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investors’ Business Daily, and Forbes.

 

Posted by The KCM Crew

Categories
For Homeowners

Americans Rank Real Estate Best Investment for 5 Years Running! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Real estate has outranked stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the best long-term investment among Americans for the last 5 years!
  • The generations agree! Real estate is the best investment!
  • Generation X leads the way with 37% believing in real estate as the top investment.

Posted by The KCM Crew

Categories
For Homeowners

How to Love Your Home Again

If you’re not “feelin’ the love” for your home that you did when you first moved in, that doesn’t mean it’s time to “up anchor” and find a new place to live – often all it takes is a few changes to make your house feel like home again.

Start by remembering where it all started.

Think back to when you first moved in. What was the first meal that you cooked…you know…the one you made after all of your dishes, pots and pans were put away and the new place finally started to feel like home?

Or the first birthday party or anniversary? Then ask yourself…what’s changed?

Once you’ve figured out what’s different, you can do what you need to do to love your home again.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Banish clutter and disorganization

You might not realize it, but clutter adds to stress and can impact the love you feel for your home in a big way.

Are your closets stuffed to capacity? Do dishes try to slide out of your cabinets when you open the doors?

How much time do you waste looking for things that you’ve misplaced?

Clear out the clutter and you go a long way to feeling more affection towards your home.

Baby steps

Don’t let the idea of decluttering and organizing your home add to your stress. Set aside as little as 15 minutes each day to tackle your mess and it will be done in record time. It’s better to do a little every day than overwhelm yourself getting it done over a weekend.

Decorative storage

Once you’ve rid your home of things you no longer need or love, it’s time to organize what remains. Decorative storage (e.g. a wicker basket or vase) serves double duty as both a place for your things and a beautiful piece that makes you smile.

Use aromatherapy

Use a mister or scented candles in a fragrance that you love to wind down after a long day. While you might be tempted to save them for only those times you have company, don’t – when you bathe your senses in beautiful scents you’ll reduce your stress level and feel more affection for your home.

Put wasted space to good use

Have a spare bedroom that’s filled with clutter or a back entryway that’s sitting unused?

Repurpose those areas of your home that aren’t being used or that can be repurposed. For example, if your dining room table is also home to your computer, reclaim the table for family dinners (instead of eating in front of the tv).

Place a beautiful centerpiece and/or placemats and keep clutter from reclaiming it and you’ll be surprised just how much you’ll love having your dining room table back!

Revamp your existing furniture

Nobody said you had to spend thousands of dollars on furniture to give you warm fuzzies about your home.

Once you know how to do it, it’s really not that hard to change the feel of your home by modifying your existing furniture. Products such as chalk paint and milk paint work wonders and can really breathe new life into a tired (boring) piece of furniture.

Finally, remember that your home is your escape from the stress and pressures of everyday life. All it takes is a few small touches of colors, textures, lighting and beautiful fragrances to help you fall in love with your home all over again.

 

Posted on HomeZada

 

Categories
For Homeowners

5 Reasons Homeowners Can Throw Better Super Bowl Parties! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Highlights:

  • Watching the big game at home with your friends & family offers many advantages.
  • There’s more room to entertain a large crowd and you don’t have to worry about complaints to your landlord if you cheer too loudly!
  • The kitchen is big enough to make as many appetizers as you want, and if some of your guests are only there to watch the commercials, they can do so on a different TV in another room!

 

Posted by The KCM Crew