4 Important Reasons To Install A Home Generator

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 18th, 2018

4 Important Reasons To Install A Home GeneratorHome improvements are key investments when it comes to quality of life and property value. While decks, solar panels and smart technologies are trendy options, installing a home generator may be even more valuable. That’s because backup generators not only improve market value, they also protect you and your home during severe weather incidents.

Consider these four reasons why a home generator makes good sense.

Protect Against Severe Weather

The impact of severe weather can reach catastrophic proportions. Thousands of people are left without electricity for days — even weeks — after storms. Heat waves also put an inordinate strain on the power grid when all of those air conditioners and HVAC go into 24-hour overdrive.

The consequences of extended power losses are generally fouled foods in the refrigerator and freezer, unbearable temperatures and an inability to take corrective measures to the physical property itself. When the grid goes down, you may be left powerless as the losses mount.   

Keeps Critical Systems Operational

When the power goes down for an extended period of time, important electronics become inoperable. If you work from home or rely on electronic devices to earn a living, either you’re putting in for vacation time or losing money. But beyond the financial implications, many people need power for vital medical equipment to function. It’s simply too risky to not have a backup plan if you or a loved one suffers from a health condition.

Backup Generators Improve Home Security

We have all seen the national news coverage about post-storm or brownout crime waves. Looting and burglary ran rampant when residents are evacuated. That’s because criminals know full well that your alarm system went down with the power.

Consider the accumulated wealth you have at home and irreplaceable personal items. Those could be lost if your home gets robbed during a power outage. Fortunately, installing a home generator will allow you to keep the lights on and thugs away. Just having your lights on at night demonstrates that you have electricity and that acts as a powerful deterrent. A backup generator provides peace of mind against theft.

Backup Generators Improve Property Values

It only makes sense that a home generator will increase your property value. After all, home generator installations are direct financial investments.

According to Consumer Reports, installing a home generator can improve your home’s value by as much as 3-5 percent. Similarly, Remodeling Magazine indicated that the return on investment for a home generator installing can range as high as 150 percent. Of course, those figures may be weighed against the money you saved by being powered up when the grid was down as well.

The point of this discussion is that while new kitchens and smart homes are exciting ways to amp up your home’s values, improvements such as backup generators have a quiet value worth considering.

Your trusted real estate agent is available to suggest other home improvement tips that can help to improve the value of your property when you are getting ready to put it on the market.

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Can Color Help Sell Your Home?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 27th, 2018

Can Color Help Sell Your Home?Color psychology is not an exact science, but there are basic principles that marketing pros use to sell everything from greeting cards to automobiles. Much of it has to do with color. Yes, the colors you put on your walls, or on your front door, can help clinch a home sale!

Humans have emotional reactions to color, and sensory perceptions of color are remarkably consistent. Even though individual reactions can vary, it is acknowledged that some colors evoke generally positive response, while others typically generate a negative reaction. Learning the basics of colors can be as simple as studying the color wheel. Forget about the trends, and rely on your own feelings.

Warm and Cool Colors

All colors are derived from three primary hues: Red, yellow and blue. The way they are mixed and combined results in all the colors of the spectrum, divided into warm and cool tones. And that’s where it can get a bit complicated: Humans are able to perceive millions of different color variations, and subtle differences can result in unique reactions. 

So, while the simple answer to whether color influences buying decisions is a qualified yes, there is more to the story. Neutral tones are often recommended because they allow people to add their own color personality. 

Color Dynamics

Both on a home’s exterior and inside each room, color plays an important part in attracting — or discouraging — potential buyers, so if you’re thinking of refreshing your home’s color scheme before listing it for sale, it’s wise to study the basics of color psychology. The goal is to appeal to the widest possible pool of buyers, and that’s why real estate agents tend to recommend staying with neutrals.

But the “safe” route is not necessarily the only path to a quick sale. Take the time to drive different neighborhoods and visit open houses. Take note of exterior trim colors that seem especially appealing. Study interiors: Look beyond the furnishings and visualize rooms as they would appear empty. Analyze different color options, and notice that the most appealing homes typically have a unifying theme. That doesn’t mean that every room is the same color, but simply that color choices throughout the home are related and always compatible.

Develop a Plan

By taking the time to assess your reactions to different colors, you can assist your realtor to market your home. If you love energetic red, consider painting your entry door and adding red accents in many of your rooms.

On the other hand, if sunny yellow makes you feel happy, emphasize that mood with variations of cream and warm golden tones, with accents of daffodil or saturated sunflower yellow throughout.

Color is very personal, just like a home. If your home reflects your unique personality, it will no doubt appeal to others.

Your trusted real estate agent will be able to assist you with additional color tips and so much more to help you get the most value from your property.

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In-Law Apartments Provide Tangible Benefits For Home Owners

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 26th, 2018

In-Law Apartments Provide Tangible Benefits For Home OwnersMany homeowners are looking for ways to maximize on their investment. One idea that is gaining popularity is a space set aside for aging parents known as an In-law apartments. These additions are living spaces that can set a property apart from others on the real estate market.

In-law apartments generally enjoy a private entrance and include things like a private bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and living room. Although generally smaller than the main residence, in-law apartments provide all the elements of a home. Because these living spaces are often built after the original floor plan was conceived, spaces such as walk-out basements, garages or separate wings of a homes are converted.

The size and location of this unit is also dictated by adherence to local zoning ordinances and building codes. Once they are established, the door to turning them into a straight rental unit may be opened. If you are considering buying or selling a home with an in-law apartment, consider these benefits.

Benefits Of An In-Law Apartment

In terms of buying or selling a property that includes a separate residence, there are pragmatic reasons they are seen as attractive. These may include the following.

  • Elder Care: Our valued parents and grandparents will come to a point where they require some assistance from younger loved ones. An in-law apartment allows homeowners to offer them a private living space while providing effective care. In-law apartments are wonderful spaces that allow you to give back to aging family members in a dignified setting.
  • Building Relationships With Grandparents: The economic and time pressures placed on working families often compels parents to place children in daycare or after-school programs. While these are certainly viable options, they may be secondary to family members. An in-law apartment may create an opportunity to have a grandparent or other family member spend quality time with your child. In-law units can enhance the bonds of family while maintaining a level of privacy.
  • Guest Space: With family members relocating for employment opportunities, the ability to spend time together has become increasingly difficult. An in-law apartment provides a space for extended stays.
  • Rental Income: An in-law apartment that gains approval can be an excellent revenue-generator. That extra income can help offset mortgage, insurance and tax costs. That makes homes with rental units attractive to buyers.
  • Increase Property Value: Home improvements such as decks, smart technology and other amenities tend to add to a property’s value. Not only does an in-law apartment include all of the necessities of a living space, it can also bring in revenue. That’s why in-law apartments provide added value for home sellers.

If you are considering buying or selling a home that may include an in-law apartment, contact your trusted real estate professional.

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6 Essential Home Fixes Before Selling

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 22nd, 2018

6 Essential Home Fixes Before SellingNot every buyer may want a fixer-upper. While your home for sale doesn’t need to be turn-key or move-in-ready, there are certain fixes that are important to many buyers and that can help make the sale.

1. Landscaping

It all starts with curb appeal. Landscaping helps set the mood and makes the first impression. It can be worth the time and money to replace missing mulch, pavers, or rock. Remove dead plants and shrubbery. Trim bushes and prune trees, especially lower limbs that hang over walkways or brush too close to the house. Add pops of color with planters and healthy blooming, flowers. 

2. Exterior Spruce-Up

Curb appeal continues with the exterior of the home. If the paint is faded, cracked, and peeling, consider a fresh coat. Replace broken or missing pieces of siding and repair stucco. Walk around the perimeter and check for windows with cracks or wood rot; these may need to be professionally repaired/replaced, but may add value when selling the home. 

3. Update Lighting

Buyers appreciate a bright, cheerful home when doing a walk-through. Before placing the home on the market, update the interior lighting where needed. This may be as simple as replacing old bulbs and thoroughly cleaning domes and other coverings. Consider changing an out-of-date single light over the kitchen island to stylish pendant lights. Another easy update, are new switch and outlet covers. 

4. Kitchen Make-Over

For many sellers a full kitchen renovation isn’t in the budget and may not offer enough return-on-investment. Instead, opt for a kitchen make-over:

  • Fresh paint on the walls
  • Replace an old, tired backsplash with new subway-style or mosaic tiles
  • Reface the cabinets, typically costs less than replacing
  • Update cracked, stained countertops with new

If the cabinets are in good shape, but you want to give them a quick and easy update, change out the hardware. New hinges and handles can give the cabinets a whole new look.

5. Bathroom Refresh

Deep clean the bathrooms. Give them a refresh to impress buyers by steam-cleaning tiles, regrouting, repainting, and updating light fixtures. Add bulbs with a brighter wattage and replace any missing/broken towel holders. Even replacing a worn-out shower curtain can make a difference in the overall feel of the room. 

6. Flooring

Look at low-cost options for updating floors before the first buyer takes a tour. From high-end laminate to stylish wood plank tiles, it can be worth the time and effort to replace carpeting. Older homes may have hardwood just waiting to be discovered underneath the carpets. If this is your home, consider having those original wood floors restored to add value when selling.

Beyond clearing the clutter, deep-cleaning, and organizing to maximize the space, keep in mind these six essential home fixes before listing your home for sale. 

Your trusted real estate professional will have even more advice to get your home in tip-top selling shape. If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, make contact today!

 

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5 Inexpensive Ways To Boost Your Curb Appeal

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 14th, 2018

5 Inexpensive Ways To Boost Your Curb AppealIt’s no secret that we’re in the midst of a hot seller’s real estate market. That means that good homes are going fast, usually at or above list price. This is largely the result of low inventory, where good homes are scarce, keeping competition for them – and listing prices – high.

Bottom line: If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, there’s no time like the present. But before you put your home on the market, it pays to put some work into it to make it more attractive to potential buyers – and while it’s the interior that often leads to the eventual offer, it’s the exterior that first has to hook the potential buyer and capture their interest.

With that said, here’s a look at five simple, inexpensive ways you can boost your home’s curb appeal:

Paint The Front Door

Being that the front door is often the first thing that people see when accessing your property, painting it in a bold color can really help make it stand out. Just be sure that the color complements the house facade and doesn’t clash with it.

Pressure Wash Your Siding/Brick

Siding, especially siding that is light in color, can get dirty over time. What’s more is that it can often bleed its color onto any brick that is located below it. The good news is that for about $50 you can rent a pressure washer and give your siding and brick a good thorough cleaning. You may be surprised at how nice it looks afterwards.

Upgrade Your Mailbox

While the mailbox may seem like a big project, you can actually purchase a nice new one for only about $20. So if your home’s current mailbox is rusted, dented or just doesn’t complement the overall look of the house, buying and installing a new one certainly won’t break the bank.

Flower Boxes

Is your front porch a little bland and in need of some color? If so, then flower boxes are a great way to do it. Put these in the windows or along the bottom of the front porch, and be sure to pick out some flowers that really pack some oomph when it comes to noticing and appreciating the house.

New House Numbers

A nice house number won’t just make it easier for potential buyers to find your home, but if it’s done the right way it can greatly enhance its exterior. There are many different finishes and styles you can choose from for this, and they’re all fairly inexpensive.

For more information on some affordable ways to give your home a boost in curb appeal, contact your real estate agent today.

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Selling Your Home? 4 Ways To Get Your Garage Ready

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 13th, 2018

Selling Your Home? 4 Ways To Get Your Garage ReadyAre you selling your home? If so, then don’t forget to stage this vital area of your house.

The garage is often the last thing on seller’s minds when it comes to home staging. It is prudent to make sure your kitchen and bathrooms are perfect for showings. Make sure that you don’t neglect your garage when getting your home ready to sell.

A good-looking garage can be a great selling point. Has your garage become a greasy, junk-filled space that you don’t like to visit? If so, then buyers won’t want to see it either. Fortunately, it is easy to get your garage in top shape before your showings. Up the appeal of your garage with these easy tricks.

Get Rid Clutter

The first step to getting your garage in tip-top shape is to remove all of the clutter. The garage often becomes a storage place for random things. Purge everything that you don’t need. Getting rid of junk can help make moving easier and more comfortable, as well. Divide your stuff into piles: trash, donate and keep. Get rid of all garbage. Recycle broken items. You can give things that you don’t need anymore to Goodwill or another charity.

Organize

Buyers love organized homes, and this goes for the garage too. Organizing your garage can also help make your move easier. Install a pegboard on your wall. Pegboards are inexpensive, and they can make a garage look neat and clean. You can use ceiling space to hang items. Ceiling-mounted racks are easy to install and not too pricey. Buyers will appreciate the extra storage space as well.

Paint the Floor

Is your garage floor stained with rust or oil? A dirty garage floor can turn buyers off. You can brighten up your garage and make the concrete look brand new with a couple of coats of epoxy garage floor paint. It isn’t very costly or time-consuming to refinish your garage floor. This is a project that most people can do in a spare weekend.

Add Light

Most garages don’t have windows. As a result, they tend to be dark and dreary. The first step in adding light to your garage is to replace any light bulbs that aren’t working. If your garage still looks dark, consider installing additional lighting. You can replace your standard bulb with a multi-directional LED fixture if you only have one lighting fixture in your garage. These are kind of pricey but they don’t require expensive rewiring. They simply screw into your existing socket and offer about four times more lighting compared to a traditional 60-watt bulb.  

Contact your trusted real estate agent for more valuable tips like these to get your home market-ready in no time.

 

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Fix and Flip: Forget What You See on Television

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 5th, 2018

Fix and Flip: Forget What You See on TelevisionThe drama of home and garden TV shows may be fun to watch, but no matter what you think, reality shows are not at all like real life. If you think it’s easy to buy a house that needs updating and turn it quickly for substantial profit, you might want to think again. 

That doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that you should shy away from the idea of buying a “fixer-upper” — just that you should approach such a home purchase with eyes wide open. 

Here are some valuable tips:

  • Buying a house that needs cosmetic updates can make financial sense, particularly if you’re handy with a paintbrush, or don’t mind tackling DIY projects in your spare time. The willingness to make a house your home through ongoing TLC can be rewarding in terms of both dollars and good sense, if the structure is sound and all systems are in working condition.
  • Modern appliances, updated lighting and water-saving plumbing fixtures and faucets — even new carpeting and tile — are all items that can be replaced over time as your budget allows. But if the existing home systems aren’t in working order, you may be in for big surprises that can be hard to handle. 
  • Buy a house that needs a new roof, major structural work, new HVAC or major kitchen renovation only if you can roll the work into a home improvement loan and, preferably, complete the rehab before you move in. If a house isn’t habitable, it’s really not a bargain! 
  • Always pay for a home inspection prior to making an offer. While an independent inspection is not a guarantee that all systems are “go,” it should allow you to plan the next move. The best strategy might be to walk away and look for another well-priced property.
  • Remember that homes are priced under market for a reason. Sometimes the reason has nothing to do with physical problems and everything to do with the seller. Older homes in stable neighborhoods often represent great deals for sellers and buyers alike!

The best way to find a great deal, though, is to work with a professional REALTOR who is familiar not only with the local market, but who can advise you about real estate trends, financing options and the best ways to realize an appropriate return on your investment.

If you have dreams of becoming the next HGTV phenomenon, take the words of Chip and Joanna to heart: Their book confirms that they worked long hours, faced plenty of discouragement and experienced a fair amount of luck. In fact, as they note, their “overnight success” took many years!

After all, owning your own home, even if it does require some fixing, is still the American Dream!

 

 

 

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Thinking About Buying A Fixer-Upper? Know These Top Resources To Make The Most Profit

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 24th, 2018

Thinking About Buying A Fixer-Upper? Know These Top Resources To Make The Most ProfitIf your financial situation is limited, yet you’re handy with a hammer and nails, then purchasing a fixer-upper home can be an attractive option. Fixer-uppers typically require a bevy of updates and repairs to bring the home up to current market conditions. Because of this, the listing price is often considerably less than a move-in ready home.  Your trusted real estate professional can help you find the best projects to buy and sell.

Getting Started

Fixer-uppers aren’t for everyone, but there are plenty of resources available if you plan to do most of the repair and upgrades yourself. Let’s take a look at a few top resources to tap into if you’re in the market for a fixer-upper or if you’ve already purchased one and you are ready to get started.

  • At Home: A Blog by Joanna Gaines: Chip and Joanna Gaines are well known HGTV personalities who’ve made it their mission to fix up homes. A visit to Joanna Gaines’ blog is a gateway to renovation and decorating tips, products and real-time photos of projects in action. It’s a great place to go for inspiration.
  • Hands-On Workshops: If there’s a Home Depot near your home, chances are you frequent it for many of your hardware needs. There’s another reason you should stop in: Hands-On Workshops. If you want guidance on things like installing bath vanities, tile backsplashes, hanging ceiling fans, or measuring and installing flooring, there’s likely an upcoming workshop at the store that can give you the know-how and confidence necessary to do it yourself.
  • Jeff Patterson’s Home Repair Tutor: This YouTube channel boasts almost 120,000 subscribers and its how-to videos have racked up more than 30.5 million views. Videos include everything from how to tile a shower floor to installing a motion sensor light switch. If you need detailed step-by-step instructions on how to perform a particular job, chances are good this channel has it.
  • The Craftsman Blog: Written by DIY fixer-upper and author Scott Sidler, this blog is packed with how-to advice for home improvement and restoration projects as well as general tips and information about repairs like painting, plastering and restoring windows. This is a blog for a DIY fixer-upper written by a DIY fixer-upper. 
  • Your local hardware store: The big box hardware stores are great for finding just about any sort of tool you’ll need and for hosting how-to workshops. Generally, however, it’s your local, smaller hardware store that can really give you some great one-on-one advice as it pertains to your projects. These stores are typically family owned, and part of the reason they’re able to stay in business is because of their high level of customer service. This often includes guiding you on certain projects.

A fixer-upper can seem like a daunting project when you are getting started. Knowing where to look for the right resources can make a big difference.  Your trusted real estate professional is available to assist you and offer additional advice on your new endeavor.

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Steps To Take To Prepare Your Home For Sale

Posted in Home Selling Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 20th, 2018

Steps To Take To Prepare Your Home For SaleOnce you have decided that you want to put your home up for sale, you should start taking the steps necessary to get it ready to go on the market. While some homes may be almost picture perfect and ready for a showing, there are others that may need some work.

It is always a good idea to evaluate the condition of your home as soon as you know you will be selling. Use these steps to not only determine what you need to do but to also guide you through your home sale preparation. 

Tips To Prepare Your Home For Sale

 

  • Have a home inspection done. Many things can be identified that are cosmetic in nature just by taking a walk around the inside and outside of your home. Often times, the best way to detect underlying problems that you will need to fix before selling your home is to rely on a professional home inspector. This is a great way to know exactly what needs to be improved and to avoid uncovering any surprising, and potentially costly, repairs during the commission of the sale. 
  • Make all necessary repairs. Once you know what needs to be done around the home, you should start prioritizing and making the necessary repairs. Some of the repairs may be costly so creating a budget and a plan of action can help you stay organized and efficient as you make these necessary improvements. 
  • Clean up the yard. If your home has a yard, it should look clean and tidy. You do not need to have the whole yard professionally landscaped but mowing the lawn and removing any unsightly tree limbs or shrubbery will help with the curb appeal and first impression of your property.
  • Clean up the exterior and interior of the home. It is essential that your home is clean and tidy as well so that your real estate agent can take quality pictures that will appeal to the most buyers and for your home to be ready for showings. If you are residing in the property, you should remove any personal effects, such as photos. This can make it easier for potential buyers to imagine this space as their own. You will also want to make sure to avoid clutter including dirty dishes or laundry. The home should not look lived in because you want the viewers to be able to see themselves living in the property. 
  • Consider adding new paint. It is amazing how much of a difference a new coat of paint can do for a property. You may want to consider painting all of the interior rooms as well as the exterior of the home. Fresh paint is an easy way to present a clean, fresh face-lift for your property. Keep in mind that neutral tones in paint color will appeal to the most buyers. 

As you can see, there are quite a few things that need to happen before a property is ready to go on the market. Your trusted Real Estate Professional can guide you through this process and offer additional tips to help you achieve a successful home sale in your area. 

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Should You Improve Your Home Before Selling Or Not?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 7th, 2018

To Improve or Not to ImproveSelling your home is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever go through and one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. However, there’s a lot more to selling your home than just sticking a sign out in the front yard. Most likely, your home will need a little work before it is perfect.

Therefore, you’ll have to decide whether you need to take care of home improvement issues yourself or, to sell with the expectation that the buyer will be the one to do so. We put together a few pros and cons to doing it each way to make your decision a little easier.

Do The Improvements Yourself

Choosing to complete needed improvements yourself means that you will likely get a higher sales price for your home. In addition, with less work to do, it opens up your home to more buyers than one that is a fixer-upper does. Selling will usually be faster and closing more likely to go smoothly.

On the other hand, chances are good that you will not get the full value you put into those improvements at the closing table. In addition, when you are moving, money may be tight making this an even more difficult proposition.

Sell It As A Fixer Upper

The main benefit of selling your home as a fixer-upper is that you will not have to put that money in up front. If you are in a difficult financial situation or selling your home at a loss, this may be necessary. Additionally, you aren’t the one that has to deal with the contractors and calling around to get quotes on all of the work.

One of the downfalls to selling your home as a fixer-upper is that you’ll likely get a lower price and some buyers won’t even come out and check out your house if they think there is too much work that needs to be done. Plus, depending on the type of work that needs to be done, you may wind up in a pickle during the inspection process. Certain problems can prevent lenders from closing on the deal. You often find the closing process is slower and fraught with more concerns.

The reality is, it really depends on whether doing the improvement yourself or selling it as a fixer-upper is the right choice. Discuss your concerns and speak honestly about your financial picture with your trusted real estate professional and perhaps you will have a better idea of which of these options is the smart choice for your situation.

 

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