Sally Vanjoske, Broker's Blog
Sure, it's possible to find a home with a fully equipped exercise gym, an Olympic size swimming pool, or a couple tennis courts on the premises, but who wants to spend that kind of money! Fortunately, there are house features you can look for that will help you stay in shape without having to win the lottery first! Here are a few ideas to consider when searching for the ideal home:
- Proximity to a park: Whether you're looking for a home in the city or nearby suburbia, most communities have bike paths or public parks where you can walk, jog, inline skate, bicycle, take your dog for a stroll, or play tennis. Parks with playgrounds are also a great resource for keeping your kids entertained, physically active, and engaged. Having a park or walking trail located within a mile of your house is ideal because if it's convenient, you'll be more inclined to go there frequently. While it may not be at the top of your house-hunting "wish list," proximity to a park, nature preserve, or walking trail can be instrumental in helping you and your family stay healthier and more energetic. Doctor-approved, regular exercise is also a proven way to counteract the effects of stress, elevate your mood, and maintain a healthy weight.
- Pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods: One of the advantages of buying a home in a quiet neighborhood is that it offers a safe and relaxing environment for taking daily walks. Going for walks near your house can also be a good way to get to know your neighbors and check out the latest yard sales. Although sidewalks can be a nice feature for homeowners who enjoy neighborhood walks, quiet streets with mostly local traffic is all you really need for favorable walking conditions.
- A finished basement or extra room: The problem with putting an exercise machine in your bedroom or even the family room is that, sooner or later, you're going to get sick of looking at it! Until somebody creates a treadmill, exercise bicycle, or elliptical machine that has aesthetic appeal as well as functionality, it's never going to complement your decor! More often than not, exercise machines are an eyesore and a source of clutter. The solution is to create a dedicated exercise space in either a finished basement, a rec room, or a spare bedroom. Half of a two-car garage can sometimes provide a good area for weights and exercise machines, too, but that's only if you're willing to park your second car in the driveway.
Many people consider building some type of outdoor space to add to their home. There’s nothing better than being able to enjoy nature right from the comfort of your own home. The outdoors become an extension of your home when you build these spaces. A deck is one of the simplest ways that you can add something to the house and be able to make use of outdoor spaces at the same time. The important thing to know is that a deck is an investment. Before you decide to add a deck to your home, you’ll need a budget in place as you don’t want any home improvement project to become financially overwhelming. With that budget, keep the returns you could make along the way in mind
Really, adding a deck to a home is about buyer appeal. It probably goes without saying that a deck is something that can add a lot to a home and add to the overall value of your home in the case that you are looking to sell it in the near future. The best improvements that you can make to a home are in fact those that add value. It’s estimated that the return you’ll get on building a deck is about 65-90%. The bottom line is that the investment of building a deck does add to both the monetary value and the pleasure of a owning home.
Consider The Area You Live In
Obviously the region or state that you live in has a big impact on just how much value a deck can add to a home. Especially in nicer climates, a deck will be great for just about any neighborhood. In regards to area, you should also think of the construction costs. Some areas will be more expensive than others to build in, but the overall investment could be worth it for the region.
How Will You Build It
The amount of return that you get from a deck depends upon how you build it. If you’re a DIY homeowner, you’ll get the most return by far. If you hire a contractor, the return will be less, but you may avoid hiccups in the building of the deck itself. The more complicated you make the deck, the more it will cost. These extras don’t necessarily mean that you’ll get as much of a return as you’d expect.
Focus On Your Needs
No matter what you decide, building a deck has to match your own personal preferences. You want to make the most use out of your new space with you and your family. Build a deck that works for you. Even if your goal is to add value to your home, you don’t want to undertake a project that you don’t love in the end. Keep all of this in mind when you build your deck, or any other outdoor space in your home and you’ll be able to enjoy your home in bliss.
Today’s home buyers see hundreds if not thousands of real estate photos when they’re in the market. Odds are that they’ll eliminate a number of homes from their search before ever even setting foot in them.
As you can imagine, that makes your home listing’s photographs all the more important to securing solid leads on your house.
In spite of the importance of photographs, a number of sellers get them wrong. To ensure that your home listing’s photos make a great first impression, we’re going to take a look at some of the common mistakes to avoid in your listing photography.
1. Not taking enough photos
In the age of digital photography, you can never take too many pictures. Experiment with different lighting, setups, and angles, and don’t be afraid to take as many photos as necessary to get the shots you want.
2. Going overboard with the uploads
It might be tempting to upload all of the pictures you took of your home, but it could hurt your overall presentation. Sort carefully through your pictures and pick one or two photos that best showcase each room and another one to three photos of the home’s exterior and land.
Visitors to your listing will get bored and click away if you have a slideshow with hundreds of images. Make it easy for them to find exactly what they’re looking for by limiting the number of total photos of your home.
3. Avoid close-ups
Your home should be spotlessly clean and tidy when taking photos. However, that doesn’t mean you need to get up close to each object in your home to take photos. Try to take wide shots that make your home feel spacious and welcoming.
4. Look out for mirrors and reflections and other distractions
If there’s one way to ruin an otherwise serene photo of your home, it’s when you spot the photographer accidentally showing up in the shot. Plan your angles so that you don’t get any flashes, glare, or reflections in your photographs.
And, while we’re on the topic of distractions, it’s a good idea to take your pets out of the room before your start shooting. Remember, potential home buyers don’t love your dog or cat like you do.
5. Don’t settle with your first shots
The different (or lack) of lighting your home receives throughout the day can make or break your photos. Try taking photos of your home at midday, when there are the least amount of shadows. Then, shoot some photos at golden hour (just before the sun sets) to capture warm tones. Finally, right after dusk, turn the lights on in your home and take some shots from outside. These photos give the illusion of a warm, cozy place where the light is always on.
Not all upscale upgrades have to break the bank. Often times small upscale upgrades can fit in most people's budgets. However, because it is associated with a high end and expensive home they assume it couldn't’ possibly work within the average wallet. Today we’ll focus on the details that are small changes but make a drastic difference.
To create a sleek, clutter-free workspace install a built-in soap dispenser. Say goodbye to unsightly plastic bottles with their gunked up tops. Built-in soap dispensers come in many finishes and styles you are sure to find one that matches your existing decor. Hide the neon green soap that clashes with your decor without giving it up altogether.
Peel and stick tile is a great option for two camps. The first is those looking for a quick and easy solution to add color and visual interest. The second is those who want a temporary solution they can easily swap out down the line. You can finally try out the subway tile look without the commitment to, or work of, the trend.
Bring in a fresh look to your kitchen by installing new faucets. Swap out your existing finishes for something updated and new. Alternatively, you can update your faucet with a new updated style. High arc faucets with a pull-down sprayer are a popular option at the moment. Or make a chic statement with a stylish 2 handle bridge faucet.
If your walls and cabinetry are feeling flat and boring adding millwork will make your kitchen feel one-of-a-kind with some old-school class. Measure out the perimeter of your walls, go out your favorite style of molding and get creative. Install millwork along where the walls meet the ceiling, where the walls meet the floor or even along the middle to create a chair rail.
Pick out a bright, new color to add to your kitchen and pick up a couple of cans of paint for a weekend project. Add a pop of color to white walls or if you have a colorful kitchen paint the walls white. Reach for a choice that contrasts with your current decor for the biggest impact. Neutrals make a room feel high end while bold colors can make a stylish statement.
New hardware can update cabinets without tearing them out to start anew. Depending on your flavor of luxury look for either more detailed options or those that are starkly minimalist. Bar handles are very on trend and perfectly encapsulate the minimalist look. For a more classy, detailed option look through Antique shops or on Etsy for vintage sets. And while nothing beats, the real thing there are many vintage-inspired options for those who don’t love the thrill of an antique hunt.
For those who want to enjoy a successful home selling experience, identifying your target buyer is key. Because if you understand why buyers may choose your residence over other available houses, you can promote your home to the right groups of buyers. And as a result, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline the house selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you identify your target buyer so you can promote your house effectively and speed up the home selling process.
1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective
Think about why a buyer should choose your residence. Then, you can find ways to promote your house's features to the right groups of buyers.
Ultimately, a home listing can make a world of difference, particularly for those who want to engage and inform prospective buyers about a residence. If you analyze the buyer's perspective, you can craft your house listing accordingly.
For example, if your residence is located just minutes from top beaches, you may want to include this information in your home listing. On the other hand, if your home offers multiple bedrooms, you may want to include high-resolution photographs of these bedrooms in your listing to show off the size and beauty of your house.
2. Conduct an Inspection
A home inspection generally is completed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer to purchase his or her house. But when it comes to identifying your target buyer, you may want to conduct an inspection prior to listing your residence.
During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and offer insights into any underlying issues. You then can prioritize home upgrades, and as such, make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
With a home inspection, you may be able to gain insights into your residence that could be difficult to obtain elsewhere. Thus, if you perform an inspection, you can find ways to improve your residence so you can make your house an attractive option to dozens of prospective buyers.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about how to target buyers, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert home selling advice any time you need it.
A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a house and can help you address such issues. First, he or she will develop a personalized home selling strategy and help you showcase your residence to the right groups of buyers. He or she next will host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can recommend whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
Devote time and resources to learn about your target buyer – you will be glad you did. If you use the aforementioned tips, you can identify your target buyer and map out a successful house selling journey.