Basement Remodeling Ideas for the Most Return

A basement can be a valuable asset for a homeowner, and as it turns out it’s also one of the areas of your home where you can often make the most return on remodeling.

Remodeling your basement yields an average ROI of about 70%, so you will typically get $700 back for every $1,000 spent. But not all remodels are created equal, so what options make the most sense?

Here’s some ideas to help you get the most out of your basement while you live in your home as well as when it’s time to move.

Keep It Clean
More than anything cleanliness is most important. In fact, a finished but minimal basement is often the most recommended option for the most return. Give the new owners a blank slate to create their own space.

Avoid Permanent Personalizations
While you live there, hey, go nuts. Paint the walls with your visions of space viking warlords riding dragons across a rainbow sea of kaleidoscope gumdrops – after all you can paint over that when you get ready to move. You might want to avoid more permanent changes like built-in bars, hot tubs, and other things that will potentially change the structure of the house and cause a remodeling nightmare for the new owner when they claim their dream home.

Wired and Plumbed
It’s one of the bigger things you can do but adding all the connections for your basement to easily become a media room, or having light plumbing added so you have an accessible bar sink or half-bath can really take your value for space over the top. Not everyone has this in the budget, but if you do it’s one of the upgrades that will almost make you reconsider selling.

Speaking of Paint
Even if you’re happy with the color of your walls in the basement it might not be a bad idea to give it a fresh coat – even if it’s just to touch up dings. Try to keep things neutral but don’t be afraid to follow up on current trends as well.

Improve the Lighting
One of the best things to invest a little time and money in is lighting. Adding a few lights, or half-windows can really brighten what can be an otherwise dark and confining basement space.

Still not sure? Need to sell and want to get the most value for your home?
Talk with a qualified REALTOR® to find out what the market is doing as well as to get great ideas on what you can do to maximize your returns.

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Home Improvements To Reconsider

It’s natural to think about upgrading your home, especially if you’ve lived in it for some time or are thinking about selling in the near future.

While updates can be good, and cleanliness is a must above all else, there are some upgrades that can actually hurt your home value rather than help it.

We’ve put together a quick list of these possible improvements gone wrong that can have a negative impact when it comes time to move.

Wall to Wall Carpeting
Believe it or not flooring is a very personal thing. While some love the plush, soft feel of carpet others recognize it can be a cleaning nightmare to keep up with, or simply just don’t prefer it. Regardless, installing new carpeting throughout the house may be a costly investment that could be better applied elsewhere.

High End Landscaping
While curb appeal is very important and you want your yard to look it’s best going overboard with exotic plants and waterfalls may be a bit much. Your potential buyers taste might not match yours, or they simply might not want to inherit all that upkeep, so keep your yard simple and trim.

Built In Electronics
Home automation is all the rage these days. Set your thermostat from your phone, have your house ask how your day was when you walk in the door – if you can imagine it they are finding a way to make it possible. Some people don’t want all this technology however; some in fact out right oppose it. Beyond that it may be too complex for them to even figure out and no one wants to be stuck in a home with a thermostat set for “Arizona Summer” year round.

Wild Quirky Colors
Chartreuse is trending! And it’s fine to stay up on trends, or to even paint the kids rooms in a fun way, but you may want to keep from applying huge swaths of unconventional colors to rooms. Yes, potential buyers can always re-paint them later, but a big part of the sale comes from them being able to picture themselves in the home and that’s hard to do with bright yellow and pink stripes on all the walls.

Live in your home, make it your own and love every single minute of it, but when it comes time to find your next place keep in mind these things to help make the transition as easy as it can be. The new owners will appreciate your consideration and you’ll have a whole new house to transform into your dream home.

 

Must Do Items Before You Sell Your Home

Spring is fast on it’s way and the market is already hotter than a Summer day in July; it’s a great time to think about selling your home!

Even though you love the home you live in and may already have started getting it tidy for possible sale there are always a few things extra you can do to really make sure your house looks it’s very best. To help out we’ve put together some suggestions to help get you started!

Clean Up The Yard
It’s the first thing people will see, so it’s a good place to start. Winter has been fairly kind this year but it’s likely the yard could still use a little trim and tuck. Whether it’s raking leaves, or giving the shrubs and early trim there’s plenty to do to get the yard straightened up.

De-personalize
It might feel a little sad to start taking down pictures and keepsakes but you want your home to be presented in a way that potential new buyers will be able to see themselves living there. That can be hard when there’s your favorite sports team throw over the couch, or the trophy mount from last year hanging over the fireplace.

Light Bulbs and Polish
Little things matter. Make sure you go through your house and replace any burnt out bulbs, wipe down counter and surfaces regularly, and give the fixtures a little polish to make sure everything is nice and shiny.

How To Maintain A Clean House Before Your Move

Keeping a spotless house is an impossible task at the best of times, much less when you’re trying to sell your home and get ready to move. Unfortunately, having your home look presentable can play a big part in attracting buyers to get you moving into your new place.

Don’t fret! We’ve put together some great tips to help you get your place looking great and keep it that way until the closing papers are signed!

Clean As You Go
This is the biggest simultaneously easiest and hardest thing to do! Good news is if you can get it down as routine you’ll save a lot of time cleaning. Start with putting things away in their place when you’re done with them rather than leave them out. Make a mess, clean it then, don’t wait to come back to it later.

Make Time
Set aside a little time every day to clean. Just pick an hour or so at whatever point in your day that fits best, this might be after the kids are off to school, or at night when everyone is asleep.  We’re not talking about taking on major remodeling projects here, just take a few minutes each day to hit some of the smaller day to day items – picking up stray laundry, wiping down the counters, and other quick items.

Recruit the Troops!
If you’ve got kids, or a spouse, or room mates there’s no reason you have to do it all yourself. They share the space they can help clean it! In the case of kids, make cleaning a sort of game and reward help with fun time. In the case of roomie’s and spouses you may have to get creative with incentives but stick to your guns – you don’t have to go it alone!

It doesn’t have to be hard, and with even just these three simple steps you can tame the clutter and get on to having a home that’s easier to maintain while you live there and easier to sell when the time comes!

 

Tips for Selling a Small Home

Everything is moving in this market! …At least that’s what you’d like to think, but fact is sometimes having a unique home, or a small home can present unique challenges when it comes time to sell – even in this hot market.

To help we’ve put together some tips for how you can make the most of small spaces and get that home sold FAST!

Have a REVERSE House Welcoming Party
At a regular house warming party friends show up with gifts, but at a reverse house warming party you invite friends over and ask them to find something they want to take home with them! Make some appetizers and play a few games – make it a happening! This is a great fun way to get rid of extra clutter that you don’t want to have to move and get the house ready for showing.

Pack Early
Start putting unneeded items away early. Box things up and stow them in the garage or storage if you’re not using them. This is all about creating more available space; the less STUFF you have everywhere the bigger your small space can look.

Change Your Drapes
Heavy or dark drapes can really bring a room down. They let in less light, which can be bad in small spaces, and hide the windows. Consider switching our heavy thick drapes for lighter airy ones that let the light come in more strongly, it will help make your home feel more cheery.

More Mirrors Fewer Prints
If you’ve got a lot of pictures up, especially if the color palettes are wild, you may want to consider taking them down – or even better yet swapping them out with mirrors! Unlike pictures mirror can give an amazing illusion of depth and make a small space feel much larger. Now that’s something to reflect on!

Like any home a small or unique space just needs to find the right buyer.  Applying these helpful tips can present your home in the best light possible; that’s an important part of attracting the right buyers. If you’re thinking about selling your home, or struggling trying to do it on your own we’d love to help!

Home Seller Mistakes To Avoid

Everyone knows the real estate market in Idaho is as hot as the temperatures right now and while it’s easy to get complacent when things are moving it’s still important to do your due diligence when it comes to selling your home.

With real estate going so fast right now selling your home may not be very challenging, but getting the most for your investment can come down to the details so we’ve put together these helpful tips!

Hiring Family
You want to use the services of someone you trust, and you know that if you don’t talk to Uncle Bob about it first you’ll never hear the end of it at the next family reunion…but that’s still no reason to outright hire a family member – unless they are qualified. Plus, should things go badly it could end up making for awkward situations for years to come.

Hiring A Yes-man
You want experience. You hire a real estate professional for their knowledge and skill. That means just having someone say yes yes yes to everything defeats the purpose. By all means, find a agent that is agreeable, but is still confident enough to tell you how things are when necessary.

Hiring Fast
Signing with the first agent you meet without even looking at others, or asking for references and experience history can land you in a bad spot. While it’s not necessary to spend a lot of time window shopping for agents you do want to take a little time and make sure they have the skills you will need.

Hiring Cheap
Hey, everyone wants to save a dollar, that’s no secret but like Ben Franklin used to say: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten“. Price isn’t everything – that goes for hiring expensive too! – just because an agent offers a lower commission rate doesn’t mean they are not good; likewise having an expensive commission doesn’t guarantee their services will be anything better either.

I hope this has given you some things to think about if you’re currently looking for a real estate agent! It can seem tough to find an agent that not only fits your needs but also your personal preferences, but it can be done with a little time and care. We hope you will take a moment to contact us if you have any questions – we would love to be the agent that helps you find your way home!

REALTORS®: More Than Just Finding Homes

It’s no secret these days that just about anyone can get online and search for homes anywhere in the country. You’ve likely even seen tv commercials showing how easy it is to do even from your phone. So why do people still need real estate agents?

A truly qualified agent will do more than just give you a list of homes, they should be a qualified professional with insight into the market who can help you navigate the real estate transaction process with greater ease as well as understanding. But what are some other reasons you might want to work with a professional?

Comfort
Buying or selling your home is one of the biggest decisions in your lifetime and it often involves major changes to living situations as well as finances. Real estate can seem like a treacherous undertaking, especially if you’re a first time buyer or seller, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing you won’t be facing it alone is worth it’s weight in gold — just like a good agent is!

Knowledge
Whether you’re buying or selling an agent familiar with the industry will be invaluable throughout the process. Offers, counter-offers, amendments, all of these steps can be overwhelming to take on alone. Even just knowing where the prices are in the market and how to negotiate will be well worth a commission when it brings you greater return on your investment.

Resources
This is especially important for sellers! A full time real estate agent will have marketing resources you yourself couldn’t hope to have on call without huge cost. They will be able to list your home, showcase it on their real estate website, share it on social media, and do many other things to get your home not only sold more quickly but generally for a higher amount. For buyers? You’re not left out either! An experienced agent will likely have many personal contacts and other options for finding you the perfect place.

These are just a few of the things many people don’t consider when thinking about buying or selling their home; it’s easy to understand – if you’ve never dealt with real estate before you can’t understand the value of a real estate experts experience. Don’t let hesitations keep you from reaching out to a Realtor® in your area with questions, you may be surprised to find how much easier working with a local pro can be!

Sellers Market? BUYERS MARKET!

92297_1081You’ve likely heard by now that we’re in the middle of what industry experts like to call a “sellers market”, and while it’s very much true that right now is a great time to sell your home there are a number of reasons why it’s also an amazing time to buy!

How can it be both?
Granted, sellers are especially motivated right now because of low inventory and high demand – which almost guarantees a better return on their investment – but even with prices likely being higher there are still some great benefits to buyers.

It’s About Timing
Compared to last year home buyers are more ready to buy now. With the cold Winter months and the uncertainty of the elections out of the way many people are feeling more comfortable with finances.

Supply Vs Demand
Home inventory is low right now; even if there wasn’t a rush on listings their general scarcity adds a sense of urgency to the market. What if the home you want gets a better offer? This drives a lot of potential buyers off the fence and to the signing table much faster.

The Sky Is Falling
Many would be mover-uppers and potential home buyers are motivated right now because they’re afraid the mortgage rates are going to go up – and they likely should be. How does that aid in making this a buyers market within a sellers market? Because RIGHT NOW the rates are still low!

Price Check
Of course money is always a factor, but with inventory being low and demand for homes being high it’s almost a certainty that home prices will also be going up. For the savvy home buyer this is a sure sign that if you’re thinking of buying any time this year it’s likely the sooner the better.

Are you considering buying a home and just having a terrible time finding the right one? Your dream home is out there and we can help you find it! Contact us or use our website to search for the current available homes today!

Don’t Make These De-cluttering Mistakes!

cabinetsYou wouldn’t believe it from the icicles and ice berms stacked up everywhere, but Spring is just around the corner – and that means Spring cleaning!

Getting things cleaned up and tossing out old clutter is a big part of getting ready for the new season but you’ve got to keep a few things in mind if you want to avoid sabotaging the whole idea and ending up with a living room that looks like tornado alley for the next six months. Here’s some great tips to make your hoard disappear!

Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Until Tomorrow?
Procrastination…putting it off til the last minute can absolutely stymie any productive effort. And sometimes, it’s not a matter of being too busy, just a matter of not making things a priority – or even plain outright laziness. Regardless, don’t keep pushing back your plans to get things done. Claim a weekend to start and stick to it.

Taking It All On At Once
Another sure fire way to sabotage your efforts is to try and do it all at once. Be realistic in your goals, especially if you have a lot to get done, and realize it may not all get done in a day, a weekend, or even a week. Set short achievable milestones for best results; maybe even just go room by room to keep from feeling overwhelmed.

Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail
It’s true. You need to start with just putting together an idea of what you want done – even moreso if your tackling multiple rooms. Make a list of important items in each room before you even begin, or maybe create a loose timeline of your goals. Taking just a little time before you begin to think of where you want to end is always a good idea.

Struggling to tame the tide of stuff? Considering just moving to get rid of it all? Don’t despair! As your real estate profession I have the resources to help you get your home ready if you’re considering a sale, or can put you in touch with the services you’ll need to make your home happy while you’re in it! GET IN TOUCH!

Cheap and Easy Tips for a Cozy Fall Spaces

cozy-coffee-pexels-photoCooler temperatures are finally showing up across the country, the leaves are changing to gold ; there is a crispness to the air that lets you know Winter is on the way!

That means it’s time for big sweaters and boots, scarves and hot cocoa and making the home warm and welcoming. We’ve put together some easy (and cheap!) ideas for making things around the house perfect for friends and family!

Layer Up!
A blend of fabrics and textures is a big part in feeling snuggled and warm, so be sure to include a few new big pillows or fluffy throws on the couch to bundle in the cozy feelings. This goes for bedrooms too – a change in pillow cases and sheets can completely change the bedtime feel.

Centerpieces
Even if you’re not having a particularly large gathering at your home a nice table or counter top centerpiece is a great way to change the mood and ring in each holiday.  The possibility of a scent warmer or candle and you can add a great aromatherapy element as well.

Scents!
It’s something that really goes unnoticed, but the smells of your home can really change the whole mood. Consider scented warmers or candles, or even an old fashioned stove top pot of cider to get those rich warm smells flowing. Think warming spices like orange, clove, apple spice, and cinnamon. Here’s a great cider recipe too!

Trappings of the Season
This could be something as simple as swapping out a few of the decorations on the mantle, or hanging a wreath on the front door or near the entry way. Adding a touch of evergreen to your home has been a long tradition for the colder seasons to serve as a reminder that the icy nights won’t last forever – and of course the notorious mistletoe is ever popular come Christmas time.

How do you welcome the seasons and it’s guests into your home?
We’d love to hear about them; if you’re still searching to find a place to call your own get in touch!