Pros and Cons of Replacing Your Roof Before A Listing

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 22nd, 2019

Pros and Cons of Replacing Your Roof Before a ListingYou might be wondering whether to replace your roof before listing your property. Most reputable real estate agents will advise you only to do so if your current roof isn’t likely to pass inspection or if replacing it will significantly raise the value of your home. 

Here is some valuable information to help you decide.

Pros Of Replacing Your Roof Before You Sell

Buyers are attracted to homes with curb appeal and online photos highlighting a new roof will attract a lot of traffic. That means you may sell your home more quickly. Roofing replacements also help you when it comes time to negotiate a sales price. Buyers will be willing to pay more for the security of knowing they won’t need a new roof anytime soon.

Cons Of Replacing Your Roof Before A Listing

Putting on a new roof is a huge financial commitment. It may not be one you’re willing to assume before moving into a new property. Other problems may arise that delay construction or cause cost overruns. Both of these scenarios impact your ability to look for a new home right away, meaning you can’t put the current one up for sale.

Consider Repairing It Instead

If your roof is in decent shape, talk to an expert about whether it needs to be repaired. If there’s structural damage, chances are an inspector or appraisal will request repairs prior to closing anyway. You may want to just get it taken care of. If the roof is in good shape but doesn’t look great, it may just need to be cleaned and spruced up. A roofing expert can give you some great ideas that are within your budget.

Should You Replace Your Roof?

Ultimately, it’s your decision. It’s important to determine how much a new or repaired roof adds to the price you’re likely to get. Dealing with construction on a home that no longer meets your needs is stressful. If the roof needs a lot of work, it may be worthwhile to offer a concession to the buyer — you essentially give them the money to fix it when they move in — so you can move out and move on sooner. Your time frame is another factor to consider. If you don’t have a lot of time, leaving this task to the buyer may be your best option.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional.

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4 Easy Ways to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Living Space

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 17th, 2019

4 Easy Ways to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Living SpaceIf you want to maximize your outdoor living areas, the ideas below will help you do so. Backyards are seldom used to their full potential. No matter how large or small your yard is, a makeover can create cozy sitting areas and larger spaces that are perfect for entertaining.

Here are four ideas to transform how you use your yard:

1. Move Your Kitchen Outside
Outdoor kitchens let you enjoy fine weather while you cook. It also makes feeding a large gathering easier since there’s probably a lot of room to expand. Setting up a fully stocked outdoor kitchen gives you a multi-purpose space that can double as a lounge or dining area. It’s all about choosing the right furnishings, such as convertible picnic tables that turn into comfy benches.

2. Decorate To Attract Company
Patio and deck parties are fun and easy — especially if you can get everyone to come to you. Put up umbrellas or add an overhang to keep out the worst of the sun. Plushy seating with room to place snacks or meals keeps guests comfy and satisfied. It’s a great place to host poker night, a girls’ night in or your kids’ soccer team.

3. Create Green Space
Gardens have come a long way from your mom’s veggie patch. Reinvigorate your outdoor space with fresh ideas, such as raised beds that save your back when it comes time to harvest your tomatoes and cucumbers. Add brightly colored flowers around trees or in window boxes for a lush look that transforms your yard into a botanical retreat. If you really have a green thumb, consider building a greenhouse where you can grow things most of the year.

4. Light It Up

Area lighting really looks fantastic during nighttime get-togethers and lets you determine when the party’s over, not the sunset. Solar lights save energy and work well as guide lights along pathways. String lights create a magical effect around gazebos and patios. However, you’ll need brighter illumination if you have guests over. This may mean adding a circuit and hiring an electrician to put up spotlights and security lighting. The good news is that the changes also make your home more secure.

If you are interested in purchasing a new home or if you are ready to list your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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3 DIY Home Improvement Projects You Can Complete Before Thanksgiving

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 11th, 2019

3 DIY Home Improvement Projects You Can Complete Before ThanksgivingIt’s the time of year when many people are making their holiday plans: booking travel, making shopping lists, and getting their home ready for guests. Hiring a house cleaner, having the carpets steamed, and buying new furniture ahead of the holiday season are all common, but what about completely updating a room (or two)?

It’s easy to think that home improvement projects are too expensive or will take several weeks or even months to complete. However, there are several simple, affordable do-it-yourself projects that can be completed in a weekend to give outdated rooms a fresh new look — in plenty of time to host holiday guests. 

Refinish Kitchen Cabinets The Easy Way

Painting cabinets is an excellent way to totally transform a kitchen. This fun budget-friendly project can be done in a weekend or spread out over a couple of weeks if necessary. With adequate preparation and attention to detail, the “new” cabinets will look great for years to come.

Minimal supplies are necessary for this project and there is no limit to the looks that can be created using different paint colors, stains, and seals.

Create A Shiplap Accent Wall

Arguably one of the most popular home decor trends is the rustic farmhouse look, and shiplap is at the center of that. Using basic tools that are likely already in the garage and some plywood from the local hardware store, it’s easy to create a unique shiplap wall and dramatically change the look of a room.

The most fun part about DIY shiplap is that it’s so customizable. Use reclaimed or pallet wood, paint unfinished planks, or try using boards cut to different lengths. 

Update Flooring With Vinyl Or Laminate

Replacing outdated flooring is perhaps the biggest bang-for-the-buck DIY project that can drastically freshen up a space. Changing the floors in even one room can have a tremendous impact on the look of the entire home. 

With so many budget-friendly options such as click-together laminate panels and peel-and-stick vinyl tiles, choose different looks for different rooms or go for one cohesive look throughout the house.

Giving a home an entirely new look doesn’t have to involve a complicated renovation project. Major home improvement stores and websites have step-by-step tutorials to make it as simple as a few coats of paint and some elbow grease.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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4 Cool Green Material Ideas For Your New Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 4th, 2019

4 Cool Green Material Ideas For Your New HomeIf climate change is foremost in your mind, you may be interested in reducing your new home’s carbon footprint. Choosing green materials is one way to promote sustainability and ensure you’re doing your part to help the planet.

Green Flooring 

Flooring takes up all the square feet throughout your home. If you can opt for green flooring that will do a lot to reduce your new home’s carbon footprint. Bamboo is a sustainable flooring option to consider. Bamboo grows at a rate that far outpaces any hardwood. For that reason, it’s become a popular choice for homeowners looking for green material options. Bamboo flooring now comes in a wide variety of colors, textures and styles. You’re sure to find something that matches with your style and décor.

Green Insulation

It’s now easier than ever to find green insulation options at just about any hardware stores. Green insulation is frequently made up of recycled fabric. The benefit above being sustainable is that there is no fiberglass to worry about getting into your skin or lungs. Green insulation is available in the same forms as some other kinds of insulation, including as a rolled up “blanket” that can be trimmed to match your insulation spaces.

Green Countertops

Countertops are often made of stone and granite, which may be considered green materials. However, the processing of such materials and the energy needed to transport them from the source to your home may not be so green. Consider investing in concrete countertops for your kitchen and bathroom. Concrete is a renewable and sustainable green material. Concrete countertops can be created in the same general location as your new home. They are mold and pest-resistant, fire resistant and offer a permanent countertop solution for those who are eco-conscious. 

Green Roofing

Green roofing is harder to find, but in most areas, eco-conscious homeowners still have plenty of options. One such option is to have a copper or metal roof. While copper and other metals do require a labor-intensive process to extract from the earth, they last far longer than traditional roofing materials. Your copper or metal roof could last for a lifetime or more, whereas traditional roofs typically only last a maximum of 20 years. 

These green material ideas for your new home will ensure that your home is leaving as small a carbon footprint as possible. For more green material ideas, contact your local contractor. 

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

 

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Using Smart Home Technology To Help Sell It

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 5th, 2019

Using Smart Home Technology To Help Sell ItSmart home technology is useful for many reasons. It improves security, helps improve energy-efficiency, and makes it more convenient for the home’s occupants. There is also a new trend in the use of smart home technology as a sales tool to help sell a home or a condominium.

A real-estate agency in Atlanta, Georgia is using Alexa® devices, along with nicely-framed display cards, to help prospective buyers learn more about a condominium that is for sale in the Districts Lofts building.

There are now more than 53 million personal assistant devices, such as the Alexa® device from Amazon and the Google Assistant®, which are in use. Many people are very comfortable using them to ask questions and get the answers spoken back to them in a calm, soothing voice.

Alexa® Tell Me More

The innovative trend in home sales is to place an Alexa® device in each room, preprogrammed with the answers to frequently asked questions. Display cards that sit on the counter next to the Alexa® device encourage the potential buyer to says things like “Alexa, tell me about the kitchen.” or “Alexa, what are the amenities in the neighborhood?”

These systems work with chatbot technology that uses artificial-intelligence, voice-recognition programming to understand the questions and provide the answers from a stored database of information. Also, if the chatbot cannot answer the question, the Alexa® device can connect the potential buyer to a live human operator to answer the question.

Friendly, Effective, And Cost-Efficient

Using the Alexa® device and similar devices can be less intimidating for many people than having to speak with a human salesperson. These devices can deliver the answers in a professional and consistent way.

Not needing to have a human being waiting around for a potential customer saves an enormous amount of labor expense and time. Moreover, the Alexa® device can be always available for extended hours to show a model unit when it is convenient for potential customers.

Conclusion

Using Alexa® devices to better inform potential buyers is interesting. The devices can be preprogrammed with all the information needed and can also collect customer information, which the customers voluntarily give, for follow-up purposes.

After Alexa® answers all a potential buyer’s questions, it can then ask them if they would like a brochure emailed to their email address to build up a mailing list for the real estate agency. This kind of personalized customer service, using advanced technology, is the wave of the future for real estate sales.

Of course, technology can only go so far. Your professional real estate agent and mortgage lender are the best resource for making a decision on which home is the right one for you and helping you negotiate your best deal. 

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6 Smart Ways Hardware Can Upgrade Your New Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 4th, 2019

6 Smart Ways Hardware Can Upgrade Your New HomeDecorating and putting the finishing touches on your new home is definitely one of the most fun parts of moving. It’s satisfying to fill your new home with furnishings and décor choices that reflect your personality and lifestyle.

One of the most overlooked aspects of decorating is the hardware. However, hardware changes can dramatically transform your home in unexpected ways. Here are some ideas to use.

Install A New Door Knocker

If your new home has a door knocker, replace it with a new one. If it doesn’t already have one, it’s easy to install a door knocker using a simple household tool box. 

Install A Peephole

Your front door will be more secure with a peephole installed. Modern peepholes give a broad range of vision that will allow you to see to the far right and left of the front door. Be sure to install it low enough that older kids can look out of it easily, too.

Replace Doorknobs

If your new home is actually just new to you, it may have old and worn doorknobs. New doorknobs will make the actual door look brand new, too. Consider decorative doorknobs, which are a step above the standard brass doorknobs we’re all familiar with. If you aren’t comfortable replacing doorknobs, consider hiring a handyman or locksmith to do it for you.

Upgrade Wall Outlet Covers

Wall outlets are in every room, yet few homeowners think to upgrade them. You can find decorative wall outlet covers in various patterns, colors and images in hardware stores and online. If the idea of switching out all your wall outlet covers is overwhelming, consider just a few in special places, like your child’s bedroom or in the kitchen.

Upgrade Lighting Pull Cords

Those ceiling light pull cords leave a lot to be desired. Most of them are utilitarian but definitely not decorative. Consider adding an attractive fob to the end of each lighting fixture pull. Your local hardware lighting section will have many to choose from, and they’re very easy to install with not tools at all.

Replace Kitchen Cabinet Handles

Your new kitchen cabinets will get a facelift when you replace the old handles with new ones. Be sure to also get matching drawer pulls for the best overall effect.

Now you can see that changing out or adding new hardware can make such a big difference in the way your new home looks and feels. Just one afternoon of doing this easy project will make your new home look amazing for years to come.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate agent.

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Pros And Cons Of Installing A Pet Door

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 19th, 2019

Pros And Cons Of Installing A Pet DoorIf you’ve just moved into your new home and you have a pet, you may be thinking of installing a pet door. A pet door is a permanent door feature that is cut into the bottom third of an entry door. Before making a permanent alteration to your door, consider the pros and cons of installing a pet door. 

Pro: Your Pet Can Come And Go As Needed

A pet door could cut down on indoor pet accidents if that’s a problem you’ve had to deal with in the past. This is especially convenient if you get home late to let the dog out, or if they have a temporary gastric illness that requires more frequent outings. 

Con: An Unwanted Visitor Could Get Inside

Pet doors are designed to give egress to pets, but your pet door might give indoor access to an unwanted animal. It’s not common, but it does occur, particularly in areas where wildlife is abundant.

Pro: You Could Do Without A Litter Box

Cats can be trained to go outdoors instead of using a litter box. With a pet door, you can dispense with the odorous litter box entirely, knowing your cat will always be able to take care of business outside.

Con: It’s Something Else You Must Remember To Lock

Most pet doors have a locking mechanism for times when you need to secure the home, such as at night. But this is just one more thing you’ll have to remember to do, along with setting the alarm and locking windows. And, the more you have to remember, the more you could forget.

Pro: Better Energy Efficiency

Anyone with pets knows that they can ask to go out and come back in numerous times per day. Every time you open the door you’re letting hot air in, cooled air out, or vice versa. With a pet door, your conditioned air stays in the home much better because there’s a smaller opening, and less time spent with the door open.

Con: New Homebuyers Might Not Want It

If you ever sell your home, the new homebuyers might see a pet door as a negative. Since a quality new door costs around $500, they could ask for a price discount on the home purchase.

A pet door can be a huge convenience, but there are some drawbacks as you can see. However, depending on your view (and the opinion of your pet!) the pros may outweigh the cons.

If you are interested in buying a new home or listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

 

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7 New Home Upgrades that Could Save Your Life

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 5th, 2019

7 New Home Upgrades that Could Save Your LifeOne of the best things about moving into a new home is personalizing it and really making it yours. From hanging wall art to arranging furniture to finding the perfect spot for your grandmother’s hand crocheted afghan, it’s a real joy to decorate.

But are you forgetting about the big investment you just made? Consider the following important home upgrades that will protect your home and your family.

1. Smoke Alarm

Take an afternoon and upgrade all your new home’s smoke alarms. Smoke alarms save lives and it’s not worth it to assume that just because it’s there it’s working. 

2. Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Do the same upgrade with your carbon monoxide alarm. If your new home doesn’t yet have one, go ahead and pick up the latest model. Even if your home has all electric appliances, it’s worth it to have this added protection.

3. Trim Bushes

It’s lovely to have a home that’s nestled behind evergreens, but you should know that this gives intruders easy cover around the perimeter of your home. Trim bushes so they are no more than four feet high so intruders have nowhere to hide.

4. Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting adds to the curb appeal of your home and also deters intruders. Install solar lighting to highlight attractive areas and motion sensor lighting around windows and doors. 

5. Security System

Consider enrolling in a security alarm system for your new home. Several companies offer this option. These systems come with cameras that you can have in/or around your home. The mere presence of cameras is often enough to ward off unwanted persons. 

6. Fire Extinguishers

Stock every room with a fire extinguisher. Many times people only put these in the kitchen, but a candle or electrical fire can break out anywhere, including the garage. This isn’t technically an upgrade, but this could save your live and your property.

7. Door Alarm

If you have children, consider installing a door alarm on your sliding patio doors. This is especially helpful if you have a backyard swimming pool. A door alarm can be picked up at the local hardware store and installed within minutes if you’re even a little bit handy.

These seven tips will help to ensure that both you and your home are well-protected. After this, you can get back to decorating comforted by the knowledge that you’ve taken care of the important points first.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

 

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How Color Can Affect Your Home and Psyche

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 11th, 2019

How Color Can Affect Your Home and PsycheAre you dreaming in color of your future new home? You probably can’t wait to get your hands on a paintbrush and a bucket of beautiful new paint. But how will you choose the colors to decorate your new home?

If you’ve been to a paint store recently, you know there are thousands upon thousands of shades to choose from. Choose wisely, because color can affect your home and psyche.

Shades of Purple

Whether you call it purple or eggplant or violet or plum, purple evokes feelings of warmth and vitality in a home. The dustier shades of plum are ideal for walls in the dining room, where taste buds are tantalized. Light lavenders and lilacs are perfect for a little girl’s room, perhaps dotted with white and yellow daises as a border around the baseboard.

Crimson Reds

Red is a dramatic color to use in the home, yet it works in many contexts. Try dark red in a bathroom with dark wood cabinets for a sophisticated look. Burnt red in the bedroom is sultry and inviting. A statement wall of red in a home office denotes serious business and power.

Bluesy Blues

Blues can evoke serenity and peace, but they can also spark creative thought. Blue green colors are ideal for vintage kitchen themes, whereas navy blue in a boy’s bedroom is a classic look. Try white tinged with blue for your new home’s ceiling; it’s said to make a room feel more spacious because it simulates the sky.

Going Green

Kelly green isn’t a color that most people would use in the home, but sage green is perfect for a bedroom in which you want to instill tranquility. Sea foam green is a classic choice for a bathroom even if your home is miles from the ocean. Lime green can be surprisingly uplifting, especially when used in the kitchen. 

Pinkies

Though little girls seem to adore pink, it’s been psychologically shown to be a color that induces upset. It’s not a particularly passive color, but in pastel shades, pink can be soothing, especially when combined with calmer colors like beige or blue. 

Sunny Yellow

If you want a room to feel happy, consider painting it a shade of yellow. Yellow makes you smile; it’s cheery and friendly. Of course, if you get into the neon shades of yellow, it can have the opposite effect, so to stay safe, stay on the lighter side of yellow.

Color can certainly affect the way your home looks and feels, and how you feel in it. The wonderful thing about paint is that it’s an easy way to make a house a home.

If you are in the market for a new home, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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Renovations That Improve Resale Value And Those That Don’t

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 7th, 2019

Renovations That Improve Resale Value And Those That Don'tThose who want to renovate a home usually do this to make it more spacious, improve its condition, and to add amenities. However, it is also important to consider if the renovation has the potential to add value to a home.

Unless the plan is to live in the same place for life, there is a strong likelihood that, at some point, the home will go on the market for sale. It is nice if it sells for a high price and there is some profit for the seller in the transaction.

It is not the amount spent on renovations that is the key consideration. In fact, spending a lot of money making certain renovations may not improve the sales price, when the home sells. This guide helps decide between renovations that add value and ones that do not add value.

Renovations That Add Value

Renovations that add value are those things that almost everybody wants, which include:

  • Upgraded Kitchen: Having a professional-style cooking area and all the appliances with matching stainless steel-finishes creates an attractive upgraded kitchen. Many appreciate having an island area in the center for use as a working area when cooking large meals that doubles as an eating area for breakfast.
  • Luxurious Master Bedroom and Bathroom: Homes with a large master bedroom with big windows and a king-sized bed usually sell for a top price. If the master bathroom has a large renovated bathroom with a big tub, then this is a plus.
  • Extra Bedroom: Having another bedroom puts a home in a higher-valued category.
  • Lots of Closet Space: Many think that adding an extra bedroom is sufficient; however, adding extra closet space is also a great idea, especially when adding walk-in closets with his/hers vanity areas that are accessible from the master bedroom.
  • Green Systems: Solar energy systems that reduce the monthly utility bill are desirable. Energy-efficient windows are also attractive.
  • Smart Home Systems: These systems offer computer control of the home for energy efficiency, security, and convenience for the occupants.

Renovations That Do Not Add Value

  • Carpeting: Carpet colors are a matter of personal taste. If the carpet is not brand-new or thoroughly cleaned, it will lower the interest in the home. It is better to have nicely-finished wood or tile flooring with rugs strategically placed to create different usage areas. Offer to sell the rugs for their value with the home or to take them away.
  • Excessive Front Yard Decorations: There are a few homes that have so many garden gnomes in the front yard that adding another one is nearly impossible. Avoid this because not everybody appreciates this style.
  • Swimming Pools: For many, this is potentially negative. The cost of building a new, in-ground, swimming pool is not usually an amount recouped in the selling price. Some like pools; however, many others do not like the idea of continual maintenance and monthly expenses. Families with young children may see pools as very dangerous.
  • Bright-Orange Exterior Paint: It is not surprising to learn that most people do not like houses painted this color and other garish colors. Even if the paint is new, they do not usually sell for a higher price.

Summary

In general, in order to add value with renovations, do the things that most people appreciate. Complete the project for a budget to add to the purchase price of the home that will not exceed the average market value of a home of a similar type.

Homeowners who follow this general rule, get to enjoy the renovations and get their money back, perhaps with some profit, when the home sells.

If you are in the market for a new home, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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