5 Ways to Upgrade Your Bathroom for Under $50

Did you know that you can give your bathroom a well needed facelift without totally bathroombreaking the bank? By following these simple suggestions you will be able to update and essentially renovate one of your most used rooms. (and one of the rooms that potential buyers pay especially close attention to)

* Paint Your Cabinets: You are not doomed to have those light wood colored cabinets forever.  All it takes is a little elbow grease in the form of sandpaper and paint.  One of the most popular colors now is white or a light colored paint that not only modernizes but also makes the space appear brighter and bigger.

* Tile It: What is so great about tiling now is that you don’t need to go through the long, labor intensive process of actual tile but instead use the peel and stick tile.  The final result is almost eerily the same and the cost and work is much lower.

* Paint the Door: While you still have your paint supplies handy you may want to paint the interior door to the bathroom an eye popping color.  This gives the entire room a focal point and brightens it up.

* Change Your Lighting:  More specifically change the glass covering on your lighting.  This is an inexpensive way to purge your old looking bathroom and give it a modern makeover.

* Change Your Towels and Bathmats: This seems simple enough and you will be amazed at the overall change.  As a side note: even if your bathmats come with a fluffy toilet seat cover… don’t use it.  It makes the entire bathroom look very dated!

Tips for Getting Your Home Winter Ready

As beautiful as the fall leaves are and as much as I enjoy the crisp autumn air and sipping cloud with logoon hot cider I can’t help but look at these as just a precursor to the cold weather that is headed our way.  And while I have already drug my sweaters out of storage and stashed an extra set of gloves in my car it is also time to get my house ready for the inevitable cold, snow, and falling temperatures.  Here are a few tips that I have picked up over the years for getting your home winter ready.

* Protect Your Pipes: This should be done even before the first frost.  Simply remove your garden hose from the spigot and then locate and close the shut-off valve (usually located in the garage).  You also will want to keep the outside spigot open to allow it to drain.

* Inspect Your Outlets: Behind the outlets in your wall there is very little (if any) insulation which can allow a draft to flow through these areas.  The simplest and most cost effective solution is to remove the cover plate, add an insulating gasket (usually costs about 10 cents) and then reattach the cover plate.  It is as easy as that and can save on average about $30 per year on your utility bill.

* Clean the Chimney:  This should be done regularly if you use your fireplace but I highly recommend hiring a trusted professional to do this job.  Not only is this a basic home maintenance issue but keeping it clean of soot and debris helps to protect you from house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

* Insulate Basement Pipes: Wrapping hot water pipes found in the basement or crawl space with insulation can save you money on your utility bill as well as help the shower heat up quicker in the winter.

* DON’T Cover Your AC: Many places sell covers or products to “help protect” your exterior AC compressor but in actuality these products lead to rust and potential animal infestations.  These units are built to withstand the elements.

* Get Your Trees Pruned: It is ideal to have your trees trimmed up before the snow hits.  By doing this you can help reduce the possibility of over-grown or dead limbs being covered in ice and snow crashing down.  This is especially essential if any of these limbs branch over your house, driveway, or power lines.

* Fill In All Gaps: Keeping the outside weather outside is the key to keeping your house snuggly and warm.  The best way is to seal up any and all cracks or gaps leading to the outside with an insulating spray.  Check your attic, basement, around windows and doors, and outlets.

Benefits of Listing Your House in the Fall

I think it is common knowledge that listing your house in the spring time is the most fall photo with logopopular time but did you know that fall listings can be just a successful.  Think about it… most people who are house shopping want to make sure they have found their new home before the harshest part of the winter hits.  This ensures that those buyers are more serious, make quicker decisions, and want to speed the process along just as quickly as you, the seller, does.

Curb appeal is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of selling a home. If you can’t get them interested from the outside there is not much of a chance they will even take the time to see the inside.  And really, what better backdrop can you have to your home than the deep, rich, and beautiful colors of the fall leaves.  You can’t buy this type of home staging!

The fall weather also helps to encourage potential home buyers to set up roots.  With the chill in the air the desire to nestle into a cozy, warm home is almost instinctual.  Increase the appeal by lighting a fire in the fireplace, baking a batch of cookies, and adding warm, earth tones to the interior of your home.  All of these will help the buyer feel at home and comfortable.

If you are considering selling your house soon but thought you should wait until spring… don’t! We can help you figure out the best home selling plan, price, and timeline.  Feel free to contact us with any questions! We look forward to hearing from you!

A Blog on a Blog

It’s probably not too often that you see a blog about a blog…. rather ironic really.  But what blog logoI really wanted to convey with this is the usefulness of our two blogs “Pendleton Real Estate Pro” and “The Real Estate Pros“.  Both blogs address the big questions that many of you have for realtors such as “Qualities and Traits a Realtor Should Have“, “The Benefits of an FHA Loan“, and “Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a House.”  In addition to tips and tricks in real estate we also cover local events, spotlight local businesses, and even include fun and creative recipes, crafts, home decorating tips, and talk about our love for our four-legged friends as well.  These blogs can be an excellent resource for anyone looking to buy or sell a home as well as any current home owners or those living in the Pendleton/Anderson area.  Be sure to check out both blogs and feel free to ask us as many questions as you like!

The Benefits of an FHA Loan

Before we delve into the benefits that come along with an FHA loan we should first cover loan with logowhat exactly an FHA loan is.  Essentially an FHA loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration.  The thing that makes FHA loans different from many other loans is that the borrowers are required to pay for mortgage insurance which protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan.  In doing so this allows the FHA lenders to offer more benefits because they are at a lower risk.

Another benefit that comes with using an FHA loan is that you don’t have to have perfect credit.  In fact, a score of 580 or better is usually all it takes to qualify for an FHA loan.  Additionally, for those borrowers with a score under 500 have an opportunity to under certain circumstances get a loan for “nontraditional credit history” on a case by case basis.  It is worth checking out your options for loans.

The down payment for FHA loans are lower than many other similar loans as well.  On average an FHA lender only requires a down payment of 3.5%.  Additionally, with FHA loans the closing costs may be covered.  This is because the FHA lenders allow home sellers, builders, and lenders to pay some of the closing costs.

FHA loans are especially popular for those buyers that need to do essential repairs to the home they are buying.  The advantage of this type of loan (called a 203K) is that the loan amount is based on the projected value of the home after the repairs are done.

Last but certainly not least, FHA loans have a financial hardship relief allowance.  Some loan servicers can offer some financial relief to FHA loan holders who have suffered a financial hardship in the form of temporary forbearance, lower interest rate, or deferral of part of the loan.  Check with your lender for any of these options.

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a House

We all know the saying, “live and learn” and that is certainly a mantra in the home buying oops with logoworld.  That is why I am letting you first time home buyers in on some of my hard earned experience and sharing with you some mistakes that I as well as some clients have made.

* Don’t go it alone.  I’ve seen many potential buyers think that they can navigate the home buying process without the assistance and guidance of an experienced realtor.  Unfortunately, all too often this ends in headache and financial loss.

* Don’t forgo the pre-approval from your lender.  There is truly no worse feeling then watching the house of your dreams slip through your fingers because you didn’t get the loan pre-approval.  This way you can also help determine your price range.

* Don’t exceed your budget.  While the new house prospects out there are all very tempting you have to remember that there will be other expenses that arise as well.  It is important to be financially responsible so that you don’t end up over your head in expenses.

* Don’t EVER skip a home inspection.  Sure the house may look great or you may not want to spend the money on an inspection but be rest assured, it is the best money you will ever spend.  You would be amazed at the unforeseen issues that may arise.

* Don’t get hung up on the little things that are easy to change (i.e. paint, carpet, fixtures, drapes, etc.) You wouldn’t want to pass up on a great house because of the color of the kitchen, which would cost on average $50 to repaint.

* With that being said, don’t ignore the bigger issues that aren’t so easily fixed (i.e. not enough natural light, layout of the home, location, etc)

 

7 Home Improvements Under $25

Whether you are fixing up your home to sell or just wanting to spruce up your abode, one thing to remember is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a big difference.  Below are a few of my favorite improvements that can be done for less than a pair oproj 1 sinkf new shoes and will make a noticeable difference!

1.) Replacing your faucet.  You may think you need an entire bathroom overhaul but you will be surprised at the effect new fixtures can have on a rooms overall appeal.

2.) Update your counter-tops.  There are a few ways that this can be  done and sproj 2 counterstay within a budget.  Many hardware stores offer kits that   you can paint your countertops and the results are amazing but even those can be                 somewhat pricey.  I came across this handy blog that actually showed how to use contact paper to update your counter tops and the results are breathtaking.  Plus the total cost should be under $10!

3.) Update your vent covers.  I’m sure most of ours are that dingy proj 3 vent coversmetallic color but with a can or two of rustoleum spray paint you can spruce up the vent covers and not spend much money in the process.

4.) While we are on the subject of spray painting things, another cheap, easy, and quick update you can do is to paint your door handles.  By eliminating those brassy colored door knobs and replacing them with your updated silver or dark colored knobs it immediately updates the entire door.

5.) Switch plate covers are another way you can give the illusion of grandeur.  Most proj 5 switch covershardware stores will sell these thicker type switch plate covers that appear as if you have put trim around the switch.  These are especially important in areas where the switch plates are more obvious.

6.)  proj 6 garage doors Update your garage door and add a bit of class to the exterior of your home with a $7.00 bracket purchase.  They have kits that contain all of the brackets and hardware you will need to transform     your current garage door into one that appears to be carriage doors.  This is not only a cheap update but it adds to your overall curb appeal.

7.) Bathrooms are a huge deciding factor for people in buying a house (for better or for proj 7 mirrorworse) and framing your mirror can instantly make your bathroom look more expensive, put together, and durable.  This is a simple project that you can do in an afternoon!