Things to Consider Before You Consider Moving

Relocating is one of the biggest decisions you can face, whether it be across just moving across town or across the country, it can be a daunting task to even think about. Packing. Shutting off services. Work. Finding things in a new place…Before you overwhelm yourself with worry you should know the good news is that you have experienced home professionals close at hand to help you along the way. We’ve put together a few tips that will help you prepare for relocating before you even start considering making a move!

Think About a Yard Sale
Maybe several of them! Having less stuff means having less stuff to move, so even if relocating might be something not on the books until next year you can start making that process easier by getting rid of things you might not need this season.

Think About Visiting Your New Town
If you already have some idea where you will be moving to it never hurts to start touring the area. You’ll likely get somewhat familiar just in your home search, but make sure that you add some intentional destinations to your list as well – important things like hospitals, city offices, and coffee! If you’ll be relocating across country you could even take a mini-vacation there in advanced to scope out potential new favorite places to get excited about.

Think About Starting a List
It can seem like the most nerdy thing you’ll ever do, but start making a list. This should be a list not only of tasks to complete before you move but also items to include in the move itself. Consider getting a dedicated planner so that you have plenty of room to take notes and keep track of important progress, especially once the real estate transactions begin. Having a clear, drawn out idea of what you need to do can be an invaluable tool in getting things done.

Most of all know that you don’t have to go it alone! We’re here to help you at every step of the way, from finding your new place, or selling your current one, and even just helping you get to know town.

Little Things That Could Be Sabotaging Your Home Sale

A thousand and one things go into selling your home quickly and for the best price; unfortunately that means there’s at least a few hundred things that can sabotage things as well. To help you get your home ready for sale we’ve put together a few of the little things that you may not have thought about that can throw a wrench into the selling process.

A Bad Yard
Dead grass, dog piles, and general unkempt appearances in your yard can really stop things in their tracks – especially if it’s the front yard. Make sure to spend a little time getting the outside of your home looking good as well as the inside.

Cobwebs
Speaking of the outside of your house! Spiders are great for keeping bugs away, but they can scare away buyers too. If people see a bunch of cobwebs and dead bugs everywhere it can be a bit of a concern. A quick dusting or soft wash of your home can really make a big difference.

Clutter
Clothes piled on the couch, boxes stacked in corners, and just general clutter make spaces feel smaller and more cramped. Make sure you clear surfaces of personal items and anything that may detract from the open feeling of the home. Consider using organizer cubes, or move things into the garage while showing the home.

No Furniture Feng Shui
It may seem silly but having your furniture arranged awkwardly can make it hard for potential buyers to envision themselves in the space. While you don’t have to hire a home stager (necessarily) you may want to consider how your furniture creates a flow through the home and remove any bulky pieces. You may love your fuzzy footstool and Chicago Cubs food tray beside the couch, but unless it’s included with the house you may want to go ahead and clear them out as it may not be to the buyers taste.

These may seem like little things, but they can add up. Most importantly you want to present your home in a manner that allows prospective buyers to be able to see themselves living there. If you’re having trouble getting your home ready to sell, or just don’t know where to start get in touch!

Renovations to Get Your Home SOLD!

home selling helpWith Spring time quickly approaching many homeowners have already started looking into the prospect of selling their home on the fresh market. It’s always a good idea to take a look down the road and plan early for this transition before it’s time to make the move…and of course, when you sell you want to get the most back for your investment.

Good news! We’ve put together 3 renovations that will help you not only get that home sold FAST but also likely for even MORE in your pocket…

PAINT!
There’s nothing quite like some fresh color to breathe new life into things! You will be amazed at how this most simple of changes can make a big impact. You can certainly do this on your own and save a few bucks but it never hurts to at least check into a professional painter – they’ll have insight into the latest color trends and more.

The Master Bath…Or Shower!
A dark, drab bathroom is no way to show things off; considering the large amount of time we will spend in this room over the years it really makes sense that you want it to look nice. This can be as easily done as some fresh paint and fixtures or all new cabinets and tiles – a little goes a long way!

Quartz Counter Tops
Quartz has been a hot trend for a few years and in 2020 it’s tops! This material is a great choice as it is strong, durable, as well as easy to maintain. New styles of quartz are even able to mimic the patterns and textures of marble for an extra rich detail. Even if you don’t go quartz you may want to redo your counter tops if they’re looking outdated. The kitchen after all is one of the other rooms we spend most of our time in!

Don’t know where to start? Know you need to sell your home but feel completely lost? Don’t Panic! We can help – just get in touch!

Update Your Bathroom Without Breaking The Bank!

bathroom updatesEveryone knows the kitchen is the “heart of the home”, and while the bedroom may be where you spend the most hours dreaming, it’s often the bathroom where a lot of the living gets done and also the room most likely to be used by guests. Isn’t it important then to make sure it looks great? We think so too! So we’ve put together these get ideas to help you give your bathroom an updated look without spending a small fortune on a full remodel.

Frames
If you have a free standing shower one way to really open the space is to ditch the framed in glass. Going frameless helps take the hard edges off of corners and gives the shower a more open feel. Adversely, consider taking the frames off any mirrors in the bathroom as this lends to a more modern feel.

Paint
Seems like a no brainer! Changing up the color palette in a room is one of the best ways to change it up without knocking down walls. Take this time to patch up any dings and scratches on the walls too.

Fixtures
Update that faucet! Swap out that sink! Or hey, just change the knobs on the drawers. Just changing the hardware in your bathroom can make a big difference. It’s more than okay to splurge on that fancy infinity sink you’ve been wanting too!

Lighting
Consider changing the lights as well! Fixtures themselves, or even just a different style of cool bulb can add a real flare of personality. Lights literally light up our world, so the tone, brightness, and color can all make a big difference on how you feel in a room.

Hopefully these quick tips will get your ideas flowing! There are tons of ways to change up your home and keep it fresh and new for years after you’ve moved in. Stumped? Let’s talk – as your chosen REALTOR® we’re always happy to help any way we can!

Tame the Clutter! With These Kondo Tips!

homeowner helpMarie Kondo is the start of an outrageously popular Netflix series called “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” where she helps homeowners tame their clutter by embracing the things they love in their home. She has some very creative and imaginative ideas for organizing your living spaces, and since the change of seasons is just around the corner it’s a great time to get started thinking about Spring cleaning!

Here are some tips we’ve put together to help you apply some of Marie’s techniques to transform your home into your oasis of tranquility!

Visualize Your Goal
It might seem like a small thing, but it helps to picture in your mind the end result you want before you even begin! Believe it or not this helps the idea of this change seem more real in your mind, and thereby also more achievable.

Does It Spark Joy?
A big part of Marie’s method is to go through items that may be cluttering up your home and ask yourself: “does this item spark joy in me?”. If the answer is not YES! Then it’s no; chances are the item is just something you’re holding onto. Free yourself! Get rid of things just taking up space and make room for what really makes you happy.

Treat Your Possessions Like They’re Alive
Seems kinda nuts doesn’t it? But think about it. A lot of the clutter and disorganization in our lives comes from haphazard habits; only respecting the items when we put them to use. By treating your possessions like they have feelings it makes it easy to treat them properly and put them in their proper places.

Call A Professional
Even if everything goes smoothly and you’re de-cluttering like mad there’s still the problem of where to put all the stuff you’re getting rid of! If you have a truck it’s not such a big problem but otherwise you may want to hire a professional junk hauling company to come pick things up. Some of them even take donations to thrift stores instead of just throwing it all away!

Keeping your home tidy is an essential part to the overall health of your home! You will be absolutely amazed by how much better a clutter free home feels. It’s about more than just cleaning  up – it can help improve every moment you spend in your house.

Dreaming Of Owning A Home? Here’s 3 Tips To Help!

idaho dream homeAfter renting for years you’ve decided it’s about time to think about buying a home. Maybe it’s just the desire for more equity in your finances, or you’re tired of landlords and the uncertainty of month to month living – whatever the reason, it’s time, but you aren’t sure where to even start.

As exciting as it feels to think about buying a home, it can also be pretty intimidating tool. To help ease you into things we’ve put together a few quick tips to jump start the process of home ownership right away!

Start With Finances
It’s the part everyone dreads, so best to get it out of the way first. Know your credit score and have a recent report ready. If you spot any credit issues you will want to work towards repairing them at least 6 months before buying a home. You can also seek out a lender who can help you get all the paperwork you’ll need in order – a REALTOR® should be able to recommend a few.

Start Looking
It’s never too early to start looking. Use the web or even spend some time driving around the areas you’re interest in to start getting familiar with what’s available. Consider things like location in relation to amenities, schools, and drive time to work while you’re out scouting.

Start Saving
Moving day will be here before you know it! You don’t have to think just about the money for the down payment and closing costs but remember to prepare for additional things like time off needed to relocate, cost for hiring movers, and cleaning costs for your old place as well. It never hurts to start socking away a little money in an extra account specifically for these uses; you’ll be glad you did in the long run.

And of course, of course always start by working with a qualified REALTOR® who knows the market! An experienced real estate agent can do a lot more than just move paperwork around, they will be an invaluable ally on the road ahead, so make sure you choose one who is knowledgeable and who also fits your personality.

Homeowner Emergencies: What You Should Know!

It’s not something any new homeowner wants to think about. EMERGENCIES!

The ink on the paperwork is just barely dry and you finally got all the stuff moved in…when disaster strikes!

And to be fair, emergencies happen when we least expect them so it’s not a matter of if so much as a matter of when something unforeseen will arise in your new home.

The thing to do is to be prepared – so we’ve put together some tips to help!

Black Out
Whether it’s somebody up the street digging or a big storm blowing through, power outages are one of the most common things you will deal with as a homeowner. Make sure you have candles as well as several flashlights readily available and with working batteries on hand. Keep your refrigerator closed – you can’t tell how long the power might be off and you don’t want food to spoil. It doesn’t hurt to have a few gallons of purified water on hand as well as a small propane fueled heater for winter time.

Lock Out
Oops! Lost the keys, or left them on the counter and locked the door on your way out. It happens, you get locked out of the house, but a little pre-planning can be a life saver! There is of course the old tried and true hollow rock method of hiding a key in a nearby flowerbed. Alternately you might consider leaving a spare key with a *very* trusted friend or neighbor.

Water Woes
These can come in many forms from busted pipes to water heater troubles or even betrayal from your trusted dish washer. Whatever the cause the first immediate cure should be simple: Turn Off The Water! Turn it off at the source — usually near your water heater. Once that’s done you will be able to assess the situation and contact a plumbing professional if their help is needed.

Kitchen Fire!
Fire is one of the most terrifying things a homeowner might face. First, do not panic! Keep a box of baking soda on hand as it can be used to extinguish many small flare-ups. For stove top flames NEVER USER WATER! Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and do not open it until the flames have had  a chance to die down. A fire extinguisher is good, but educate yourself on the types of extinguishers and how to use them as not all are good for grease fires and may even cause the flames to spread!

Above all cool heads will prevail! Whenever something happens take just a second to think first, stay calm, and then act. Over the course of a lifetime in a home unexpected emergencies are bound to happen, so be prepared! Keep a list of emergency numbers right on the fridge – ask your agent, they likely can get you one!

Home Tips For Fall!

homeleavesThe embers of Summer time are slowly cooling and fading to memories as the golden leaves of Fall explode into color.

All that flowery talk doesn’t change the fact that Fall time means the list of home improvement projects exponentially increases as the days get shorter and shorter! To aid in your progress from crunching leaves to crunching chips on the couch we’ve put together this great checklist of home improvement tips for Fall.

Start At The Top
Examine your roof. Roof woes are bad any time of year but you definitely don’t want to have issues when old man Winter comes a howling down the pass in mid-December. If you roof is in poor shape talk to a professional to see what needs to be done in order to get it in tip-top shape.

Get Your Mind In The Gutter
This is the old tried and true has to be done every year task that most people know about, even if they don’t remember it. Truth is it’s not something to overlook! Leaves and gunk can clog up your gutters leading to overflow and possible water damage.

Stop The Draft
Go from window to window with a lit candle and hold it around the edges of your windows – doors are much the same way also. If you see more than a little flickering chance are you have drafty windows and could be losing heat from your home – increasing energy costs over the long months. You can easily buy caulking or other products to seal windows yourself, or talk with a professional handyman to get it done up fast.

Spend Time In The Yard
Running over the yard for that last of the season trim isn’t where it ends! Take a little extra time in the yard to cut back overgrowth, tidy up fallen leaves, or even to re-mulch the beds. Don’t forget about removing outside hoses from the house and closing foundation vents if you have a crawlspace. Taking a few minutes now can save you time when Spring comes!

Home ownership means continually maintaining your home. Cooler temperatures and the change of seasons make a great reminder that it’s time to evaluate and make any needed repairs – or desired upgrades! – before the snow flies. Being a great REALTOR® means more than just shuffling paperwork – we strive to build relationships that will last long after the signatures dry. Contact me today to find out how I can help your house feel more like home!

Selling Your Home? Here’s Things NOT to Do!

home seller helpThe market is heating up and with the prospect of selling a home is looking very enticing.  As with any major change, it’s not something to be rushed into, and while it’s easy to start dreaming of where the next chapter of your life will take you there are some very real things to consider to make sure it’s a smooth transition. Everyone knows the basic things like prepping for staging and curb appeal, but here are a few things you might want to NOT do that may not have crossed your mind.

Don’t Hide Things
Now, we’re not talking about tucking the kids toys into the closet or hiding the dog bed when guests come over. This is more about not hiding problems with the home, like cracked foundations, mold, or other real issues that potential buyers will need to deal with. Not only is it dishonest, but it only serves to be a problem issue later when they get the home inspect and it’s found out.

Don’t Over Price
Look at other similar homes for sale in your area, and of course talk with a real estate professional about the market conditions. These are the two best ways to gauge the price you should be selling your home at; your agent should have good insight into the perfect initial price. Don’t worry if they mention reducing the price in a few weeks – this tends to be fairly common in the market.

Don’t Hire The First Realtor You Find
Don’t just type ‘find a realtor’ into google and go with the number one result. Who knows, they may be awesome, but it’s wise to at least check around a little bit to find the right real estate professional for you. Look at not only their experience and track record but also how they interact with you – you will after all be spending at least a decent portion of time with this person, it’s best if you enjoy each others company.

We hope these tips will help you steer clear of these potential pitfalls! It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of a change of life, especially once the process has started, but one sure way to stay on the right path is to work with a REALTOR® you can trust.

Best Kept Home Buyer Secrets

home buyer helpEverybody loves a good secret, a little wink wink inside tip, that in itself is no hidden knowledge.

Buying your first home can be really intimidating and first time home buyers are often full of questions, never having experienced real estate from the inside before; whether your new to the process or an old buying pro we’ve put together some good insight and guidelines to help you get the most for your dollar.

Keep It In Your Pocket
One of the worst things you can do when you’re considering buying a home is to start spending money. In fact, it’s likely wise to put a hold on big expenditures before you even begin looking for a home. Not only will you need all those funds for closing costs, moving, and other things but large purchases – specifically with credit can reflect poorly when it comes time to qualify for a home loan.

Get Pre-Qualified
Boom! Biggest, likely best thing you can do. Talk to a lender – your agent should be able to recommend a few – and see what you’ve got going on in the finance department and see what you still need to take care of. Getting pre-qualified for that home loan will take a lot of the hassle and waiting out of the first part of your home purchase; also keeps you from running around looking at houses that aren’t within your price range.

Don’t Play Romeo
It’s easy to get excited and emotional about the idea of a new home – especially when you find one that is just THE perfect one – but check your emotions at the door. Emotional buying at the market is bad, emotional buying a home can be devastating. Emotions change, your lifestyle will change, and so it’s important to look at your potential new home with a practical eye.

Always Get An Inspection
No, really. ALWAYS. Not having the home inspected is akin to buying a car site unseen without even sitting behind the wheel – much less taking it for a test drive. A home inspection can help you spot major issues as well as minor ones and will save you a lot of pain in the pocketbook.

Bid Boldly, But Be Smart
This isn’t a market for the feint of heart! Big boldly but understand your bid should be based on two things: how much you think the home is worth and how much home you can actually afford. Look at what other homes in the area that are similar have gone for and use that as your metering stick. Don’t be afraid to give a non-round number as a bid either, whether it’s a Jedi mind trick or just science, for some reason sellers often like an odd number as it stands out from all the typical offers they’ve received.

The best advice that’s no secret at all of course is to work with a qualified real estate professional who puts your needs first and listens to what you’ve got in mind. Haven’t found on yet? Get in touch!