Archive for Around The Home

Three Hot Renovations That Will Boost Your Home’s Value Without Breaking the Bank

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 14th, 2021

Three Hot Renovations That Will Boost Your Home's Value Without Breaking the BankAre you feeling the “renovation itch” or perhaps looking for a fun project that you can take on which will provide you with a return on your investment? There are numerous home upgrades and renovations that can add value to a home without costing a large sum of money to complete.

Let’s take a look at three popular home renovations that can increase your home equity without draining your bank account.

Paint Your Home Inside and Out

Painting the interior or exterior of your home costs very little when compared to how much it can freshen up your home’s appearance and increase its value. Painting is also an excellent time to get rid of any old wallpaper or other decor touches that are outdated. Spend some time browsing through Pinterest or through home improvement websites in order to choose a color palette that is warm and inviting without being too bold. Remember, if the goal is to increase your home’s value you’ll need to paint using colors that buyers will find attractive.

Upgrading Your Windows

If your local environment is cold or wet during parts of the year you may find that upgrading your windows improves your home’s appearance and provides you with some additional savings in the form of reduced energy costs. Look for windows that are energy-efficient and that are guaranteed to eliminate drafts. Depending on the area of the country that you reside in, you may find that windows that are insulated with vinyl or aluminum are your best bet.

Finishing Your Basement into a Suite

If you have an unfinished basement which has a lot of space and running water you may want to consider finishing it in to a full basement suite. Some buyers will be enticed by the additional rental income that can come from a suite, while others will be excited at the opportunity to provide an older child or family member with their own suite inside of the same home.

You’ll find that investing a little time and money in your home now can pay huge dividends later when it’s time to sell and move on.

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Build A Home Gym For Your New Year’s Resolution

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 12th, 2021

Build A Home Gym For Your New Year's ResolutionWhile many people claim every January that they are going to exercise more, a lot of them give up after the first couple of months. It takes a great deal of effort to make it to the gym before work or have the energy to go afterward.

So don’t make a New Year’s resolution you know you won’t keep. Set yourself up for success by bringing the workout to you. Build your own home gym.

Designate A Space

The ideal situation would be to dedicate an entire room to your new home gym. That way you can close the door, crank up the music, block out the children arguing and focus on you.

However, a section of your garage or the back of your basement will also work. You just need enough room for a set of weights, a mat, a bench and a cardio machine, if you have one.

Prepare The Area

Put down a rubberized floor, especially if you’re in a basement or garage with concrete surfaces. You can purchase them pretty cheaply in foot-by-foot interlocking squares. Then hang mirrors.

This is important so you can watch your form when lifting weights. Also, you might want to put in a stereo system and TV for when you want to listen to music or watch instructional videos.

Decide How Much To Spend On Cardio Equipment

Cardio machines can get expensive and there are many types to choose amongst. If you’re a marathon runner, then you’ll probably want a treadmill. However, you can choose as many or as few as you want, such as an elliptical, stair stepper or stationary bike.

If you don’t want to break the bank for a fancy machine, then a good old jump rope will do the trick.

Choose Your Weights

You can go with a barbell weight system with resistance pulleys or just a set of dumbbells. Make sure you get a bench, so you can vary your lifting routine and properly stabilize yourself for certain exercises.

Make Space For Your Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are great for padding your knees, hands and back when doing abs and stretching — or for actually practicing yoga.

Many people don’t take the time to stretch after a workout, but it’s extremely important in order to improve flexibility, correct posture and prevent injuries. If you create a defined plan to limber up, then it’s more likely to become a regular part of your routine.

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Prevent Icy Drafts with Our Easy Three-Step Guide to Weatherizing Your Windows

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 8th, 2021

Prevent Icy Drafts with Our Easy Three-step Guide to Weatherizing Your WindowsIn the cold winter months, you’ll probably want to be outside enjoying the snow when you get a chance – perhaps building a snowman or having a snowball fight with the kids. However, you’ll get cold, and you’ll want to come inside to your well-heated home.

While you may have dealt with insulating your attic, walls and other areas of your home, if you’ve neglected your windows you may find that they become a source of very cold drafts.

In today’s blog post we’ll share a quick three-step guide to weatherizing your windows which will keep you warmer and help to prevent wasted energy and high heating bills.

Between Window Frames and Walls

The first step to weatherizing your windows is to check for spaces in between the window frames and the windows. You can often see any gaps clearly as they will allow you to see straight outside. If you’re dealing with small gaps you can use caulking as a temporary solution.

If you’re dealing with larger gaps, you’ll want to have professionals come in to repair or rebuild the wall.

Between Window Frames and Windows

If you have windows that can be open and closed, you’re going to need to check these to ensure they seal tightly and that the weather-stripping hasn’t worn away. Weather-stripping is typically sold in rolls, and most types have at least one adhesive side so that you can quickly apply it to your windows and frames. Note that there are different types of weather-stripping on the market, so be sure to purchase a type that will work with your windows.

The Window Panes

The window panes themselves can be used to your advantage. On sunny winter days, you can open the windows and let the sunshine in to warm up your home. At night, close the curtains or blinds to help make a sort of insulation to keep out the cold. The thicker the curtains or drapes are, the more they will help insulate your home and prevent heat loss through your windows.

The benefits of weatherizing your windows will serve you well past this winter if done right. Don’t forget that doing the opposite with curtains or blinds in the summer will help keep your home cool, and the value of a house goes up when these kinds of details are covered. When you’re ready to sell your home, be sure to contact your local real estate agent and they’ll be happy to assist.

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Winter is Here: Prepare Your House with These Three Home Maintenance Tips

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 4th, 2020

Winter's Coming: Prepare Your House with These Three Home Maintenance TipsHave you prepared your home for the winter? With colder temperatures starting you’ll need to spend an hour or two getting your home ready to deal with the possibility of harsher weather and below-freezing temperatures, depending on where you live. Let’s take a look at a few quick home maintenance tips that will help you get your house ready for the cold of winter.

Check Your Roof, Gutters and Spouts

Your roof is one of the most important structural elements in your home and one that is going face the brunt of any inclement weather that passes through your area. If you feel comfortable on a ladder, climb up and quickly inspect the roof for damage or missing shingles. You’ll also want to clean the gutters and drain spouts, removing leaves and other gunk so that water can flow freely from your roof to the ground.

Drain Your Faucets, Hoses and Irrigation System

If you have exterior faucets and hoses you’ll need to flush out and drain any remaining water before storing them away for the winter. In-ground irrigation systems should have an anti-freezing treatment performed by a professional as freezing can cause a significant amount of damage to pipes and outlets.

Check Your Doors and Windows for Drafts

Leaky windows and doors can cause your heating bill to skyrocket, so spend a few minutes going around the house to inspect seals and frames to see if anything is leaking. Pay close attention to any single-pane windows as leaks can appear over time due to expansion caused by temperature fluctuations. It takes just a few cents worth of caulking to save many dollars in wasted heat.

Store Your A/C and Prep Your Furnace

Finally you’ll want to ensure that your air conditioning unit has been fully shut down and properly stored. If you have an in-ground unit, you’ll also need to cover it to protect it from rain, snow and wind. If you use a furnace to heat your home, be sure to clean or replace its air filter and consider firing the entire system up so you can check the ducts for leaks.

These home maintenance tips will help keep your home in peak condition and prevent damage that can reduce your resale value. If you’re thinking about selling your home, give your local real estate agent a call and they can assist you with getting the process started.

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Stay Organized Under The Kitchen Sink

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 23rd, 2020

Stay Organized Under The Kitchen SinkKitchen space is a valuable commodity. If you feel stretched for storage space, you could throw away all the flatware your mother-in-law gave you, or you could keep the flatware and learn to use the space you have – more efficiently.

The number one most likely spot to find extra storage space is right under your kitchen sink. Organize your under sink area and it will free up space all over your kitchen.

Clean It Up

The cabinet below the sink has a nasty reputation. It’s home to rusty pipes, water stains, and dead ladybugs. First thing is first – clean it up. If it still looks a little dingy, give it a fresh coat of white paint. That will lighten things up. You can also get a simple cloth mat to lie down. You can find one for less than five bucks.

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’

You can find a home for just about anything under the kitchen sink. It’s a good spot for pots and pans, cleaning supplies, a trash can, or dog food. (Maybe not all of those things together – yuck.)

No matter what you decide to store in this wonderful space, it will be easier to access with the help of a rolling organization shelf.

With one of these bad boys, you won’t have to stick your head in the cabinet to find the right tool. You can find some that are made specifically for this space. Be careful though. They can get a bit pricy.

Get Hooked

The key to saving space is to build vertically. Buy some plastic hooks, and hang things under the kitchen sink. It’s a great way to store things like dishwashing gloves or dishrags. One clever trick is to secure a narrow dowel rod across the opening of the cabinet. Then you can hang any cleaning sprays across the rod. They come with a built in hook – the spray trigger.

Top Shelf Storage

You can buy amazing under-sink shelving at home store. Many of them snap easily together like Legos, and you can build them around your sink’s pipes. If you fill the cabinet with shelving, then you’re more likely to keep things organized.

If you’re like me, then after a couple of weeks, you’ll let your organized cabinet go to pot. With shelves, hopefully you won’t end up just throwing everything underneath the sink.

If you’re feeling short on kitchen space, try reorganizing. It’s a lot cheaper than getting new cabinets, and you’ll be amazed by how much space you already have. The space under the sink is a whole world of storage possibilities. If you have wasted space under the kitchen sink, then use it!

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Five Excellent Reasons to Choose Hardwood Flooring when Remodeling

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 15th, 2020

Thinking About a New Floor? Five Excellent Reasons to Choose Hardwood Flooring when RemodelingIf you’re remodeling, you should seriously consider updating your flooring. A new hardwood floor will give your home an impressive look and prevent scratches and stains. Here are five very good reasons why you should consider a hardwood floor for your next remodeling project.

Hardwood Is More Durable Than Other Materials

Hardwood is much more durable and longer lasting than many other flooring materials. If there’s a lot of traffic in your home, hardwood floors are less likely to get scratches and dents than vinyl tiles or laminated floors. On weaker floors, damage is often permanent – but with hardwood floors, any imperfections can be sanded and refinished to make your floor look as good as new.

Hardwood Offers A Wide Array Of Styles

Hardwood flooring is very versatile, and it comes in a wide assortment of styles and colors. Hardwood is also available in a variety of textures to compliment any decor or color scheme. It’s easy to buy small area rugs that match the flooring rather than having wall-to-wall carpeting installed that may have to be replaced when it gets worn.

It’s A Good Long Term Investment

Hardwood flooring is one of the most practical investments you can make in your home. Carpeting, vinyl tile, linoleum, and laminate flooring will eventually need to be replaced. Although the initial investment of installing hardwood floors in your home is more than you’d spend on some of the alternatives, hardwood lasts much longer than other materials – so you spend less money in the long run.

Selling Your Home Is Easier

Hardwood flooring is an extremely attractive material that a lot of homeowners love. It also increases your home’s value. If you put your home on the market, you’re making a good investment by making your home more appealing to buyers.

You’ll Experience Fewer Allergy Problems

Carpeting can cause symptoms from allergies to get worse, because dust and other allergens like pet dander can get trapped in the fibers. Doctors often recommend that patients with severe allergies get rid of the carpeting in their home and replace it with hardwood flooring. With this type of flooring, it’s a simple matter to sweep or mop the floor, so allergies are no longer an issue.

Hardwood flooring is a highly popular interior design choice that is taking modern homes by storm. If you’re renovating your home in the near future, consider installing hardwood flooring as a means of giving it a classic floor that you and your guests will adore. For more great design ideas that will increase your home’s value, contact a local real estate agent today.

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Kitchen Space Saving Designs To Maximize What You’ve Got

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 9th, 2020

Kitchen on the Small Side? 4 Space Saving Designs to Maximize What You’ve GoSo you’ve found the perfect home, but there’s just one problem: the kitchen isn’t as big as you’d like it to be. At first glance, a smaller kitchen might seem like a deal-breaker, especially if you love to cook.

With a few space-saving design tricks, though, you’ll have all the space you need and then some. It’s all about making the most of what you’ve got. Here’s how you can turn even the smallest kitchen into an efficient cooking and dining space.

Fill Up The Walls: There’s Ample Storage All Around You

Walls are a surprisingly underused surface area in most kitchens. From spice racks to towel racks to magnetic knife boards, walls can offer a wealth of space options. Ditch the bowl fruit painting and throw up some hooks and shelves.

Not only will everything you need be within reach, you’ll open up more space in your cabinets and on your counters. For the gadget obsessed, rack storage will give you the chance to show off your nifty kitchen gadgets.

Repurpose Your Corners with Shelving And Other Amenities

In a small kitchen, sufficient counter space can be hard to come by. While knife blocks and spices racks tend to encroach on what little space is available, not all space saving designs are about reclaiming lost space. Sometimes it’s about repurposing forgotten spaces like corners.

Most homeowners dismiss the corners of their kitchens, thinking the space is too awkwardly shaped to be of any real use. Take advantage of corners by installing clever storage like a lazy Susan system for under the countertop, built-in shelving for above the counter, or for a really creative update, dedicate the corner to an invaluable feature like the kitchen sink.

Hang Your Pots and Pans

Pots are bulky and often difficult to store without taking up several cabinets. A circular pot rack mounted to the ceiling allows you to take advantage of the height of your kitchen in the open space right above your head. In fact, pot racks can be used to store all kinds of cookware and cooking utensils that are too cumbersome to store in drawers, like ladles and colanders.

Placing a rack in the empty space above an island or by the stove can provide excellent storage space and easy accessibility. Ceiling and wall-mounted pot racks often have hooks to hang your cookware from, so make sure you mount yours in a place that doesn’t force visitors to navigate an aerial obstacle course just to make it to the sink.

Invest In A Rolling Tea Trolley

Kitchens with very limited counter space can gain an extra work area as well as storage space with a tea trolley. A mobile work surface means to you can roll it anywhere in your kitchen to do your dicing and slicing, and then store it away when you’re done. Add multiple shelves to the trolley to create even more storage.

There’s no need to be discouraged by a cozy kitchen. Not only can these space saving tricks help you gain extra space, they can also give you the chance to explore new ways to express your personal style.

For more advice on homeownership and making the most of your home’s various features, or to find your next home, contact a real estate professional today!

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It’s Not Just Car Storage: How to Transform Your Garage into a Brand New, Highly Usable Space

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 25th, 2020

It's Not Just Car Storage: How to Transform Your Garage into a Brand New, Highly Usable SpaceIn some homes, garages are used only for car storage. They may appear to be bare and without real functional use for homeowners. However, other garages may be an envy of the neighborhood – they may have floor to ceiling shelving systems, and they may be the picture-perfect image of organization.

With a bit of planning and creativity, you can turn your garage into a much more functional space. Here’s how you can make your garage the most useful space in the house.

Determine What You Need To Store

One of the most important steps to take when improving the functionality of your garage is to determine which items you need to store. The last thing you want is to invest in a shelving system or cabinets for your garage only to later realize that your belongings do not fit in the features you have purchased. Take an inventory of the items you want to put in the space as well as their sizes and dimensions, and then take stock of the space available to store these items.

Invest In Storage Features

There are numerous types of storage features that you may choose to invest in for your garage, such as cabinets, drawers, wall pegs, shelves, overhead storage features, and bins.

The best storage features for your garage are those that take into account your accessibility needs. For example, seasonal items that you may rarely need access to may be placed in overhead storage features that hang over the cars. On the other hand, screwdrivers and other tools that you may need to use more frequently should be placed in a more accessible area.

Consider The Look Of The Garage

Some homeowners truly do not care what their garage looks like, but you should keep in mind that this is a room that is revealed to the outside world each time your garage doors are raised. This can indeed affect curb appeal and others’ impressions of you. Therefore, think about investing in a full garage storage system rather than piecing together different items.

If your garage looks like a war zone, you are wasting valuable storage space and compromising your property value. Investing in aesthetically pleasing and highly functional storage solutions can turn your garage into a major selling point and a great multi-use space.

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3 Quick Painting Tips That Will Help Take Your Walls from Tacky to Tasteful

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 7th, 2020

3 Quick Painting Tips That Will Help Take Your Walls from Tacky to TastefulWhether you happen to be a painting pro or you’ve never dared to pick up a roller, there are a few tricks of the trade that professionals use to make a paint job look its best. If you want to take an old, outdated paint job and turn it into something you can be proud of, here are a few tips from those who know best.

Start With A Perfectly Smooth Surface

If you’re trying to rush through it, sanding might seem like an unnecessary step in re-covering your walls, but it’s very important in order to level out the spackle paste and ensure that no ridges will appear in the paint around the nails. According to one professional painter, you should start by sanding from the baseboard to the ceiling with a fine grit sandpaper, and then move on to a horizontal sand that will make for a smooth wall finish.

Forget About The Plastic

The proper floor coverage while painting is just as important as the paint when it comes to getting the job done properly, so opt for a large canvas cloth instead of linens or plastic. Paint on linen can sink through to your floor and stain it, while paint on plastic takes a long time to dry and may end up smearing all over other things. A canvas cloth will keep any paint splotches away from your floor and ensure they aren’t tracked throughout the home after they fall.

Stick To One Wall

It can be tempting to get done the rudimentary step of completing the corners and trim before you move on to painting, but this can actually make for a less smooth finish. Instead of finishing one task at a time, complete the corners and trim on one wall and immediately reach for the roller. This is something professional painters do to ensure that the brushed and rolled paint will blend together more seamlessly.

There are a few simple steps you can follow when painting a room that will make it look like a professional did the job. By using a canvas cloth to cover your surfaces and sticking with one wall until the job is done, you should have a smooth new surface you can be proud of. If you’re currently painting your home and preparing to sell, you may want to contact one of our local real estate agents for information about your options on the market.

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Maximize Your Backyard’s Privacy With These Unique Ideas

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 29th, 2020

Maximize Your Backyard’s Privacy with These Unique IdeasIf you’re a homeowner, your backyard is probably a space where you look forward to spending private, quality time watching your children play or entertaining dinner guests.

The privacy you and your family treasure could suddenly be put at risk if your neighbors finish renovations allowing them to see into your backyard, or if a tree that once hid your backyard from view needs to be removed.

If you’re looking to reclaim the privacy you’ve lost in your yard, here are some options you will want to consider.

Your Property Line Is A Natural Barrier That You Can Use To Reclaim Your Family’s Privacy

The first option you might consider if you’re looking to reclaim your yard’s privacy is probably building a fence – but depending on your budget, your relationship with your neighbors, and the look you want in your yard, a fence might not be the best option.

Consider planting a fast-growing hedge or other greenery along your property line instead. Italian cypress, for instance, will look great, grow very quickly, and will eventually give you all the privacy you need. 

Break Up Your Nosey Neighbors’ Line Of Sight By Installing Raised Beds Or Berms

If you already have a green thumb and love nothing more than working on your backyard garden, you can have your cake and eat it too by replanting your current backyard plants in raised beds or berms.

Raised beds will add up to two or three feet of height to your plants without taking away the area or square footage in the rest of your backyard, making it an ideal option for homeowners will smaller backyard spaces. Installing raised beds or berms could also be a great solution for your garden if you have trouble planting due to the presence of clay or simply poor soil.

Lumber Isn’t Your Only Fencing Option

Though fencing seems like an obvious and possibly boring option to liven up your backyard and improve the aesthetic of your space at the same time, there are ways you can get creative with fencing that you might not have considered. Putting in latticework can alleviate the claustrophobic feeling that might come with enclosing your space fully with a solid fence, giving you some visibility through the lattice.

You can spice up the look of your enclosure by weaving plants through your lattice, or if you have the patience, get some ivy growing through your enclosure.

Maximizing the privacy of your outdoor space is easy if you’re creative and you enjoy working outdoors. If you love nothing more than pruning and shearing, then try to reclaim your space through planting rather than installing a fence or another permanent structure that you can’t change and therefore might regret later.

If you’re worried about how your backyard transformation could affect the value of your home, or if you’re looking for more privacy options, contact a real estate professional that you trust for the backyard design help you need.  

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