Category Archives: Miscellaneous posts

That makes sense. Why not.

Fan Pull Chain

Fan Pull Chain

I think every fan should come with these.

correct outlet screws

I have always wondered why they still use regular head screws.

A Spring Cleaning Guide to Prepare Your Home For Sale

Spring Cleaning Photo

Spring is one of the most popular seasons for selling and buying houses. This makes it a perfect time to freshen up your home and to make prepare house for sale checklist. However, you don’t have to wait until Spring, to do a Spring clean. Whether your home is already for sale, or you’re considering listing it, a spring clean can air out your home and increase the appeal for potential buyers. Even if you are an excellent housekeeper throughout the whole year, there are few tricks and tips to ensure that even forgotten areas are covered and help to sell your home quickly

spring cleaning you home

Your Baseboards:
This is one aspect of the flooring which is often missed. However, in order to achieve a bright finish, you might not necessarily need to repaint. Cleaning your baseboards can also provide a fresh look. Be sure you avoid cleaning your baseboards until you have finished your floors, otherwise you may find dust or debris is transferred to the freshly cleaned surface. You may find the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner useful in removing surface dust. This will allow you to then use a detergent spray to clean the baseboard and make it shine.

Your Lighting:
Newly cleaned light fittings and ceiling fans will immediately lighten and brighten your home. Use the attachments from your vacuum cleaner to remove any surface dust or debris. You should then wipe down with an all purpose cleaning product. Ceiling fans need not be dismantled for cleaning. Spray a cleaning solution on the inside of an old pillowcase. This can be then placed over each blade and wiped the full length of the blade, to clean both sides.

Your Walls:
Many home owners go the extra expense of applying new wall coverings, or fresh paint to make their walls appear fresh and clean. However, this may not be necessary, as cleaning alone can create a fresh appearance. You should ensure that all spider webs are removed from the corners and use the brush attachment to dust the wall. This will remove any surface debris or dust, you can then clean the wall. Use a cloth and an all purpose cleaning product, but be sure to remove excess liquid to avoid soaking the wall. To avoid streaking, don’t spray any cleaning products directly on to the wall.

Your Windows:
Natural light is the key to presenting your home properly, so your windows need to be cleaned very well. Freshen up any drapes or blinds following the specific cleaning instructions. However, your cleaning efforts should not stop there. The frames, glass and screens should also have a good clean. While there are a number of products available for glass cleaning, a mixture of vinegar and dish detergent will usually create a great finish. Simply mix one part detergent to one part vinegar and dilute it with water for a streak free shine. Clean with a microfiber cloth and dry off the glass with kitchen paper.

Cleaning window screens can be a little more tricky and you will find that the best way to clean them is to remove the screens for washing outdoors. Use your garden hose with a soft brush and an all purpose cleaning product. For ease of rehanging be sure to label the screens and fittings as you remove them. Take care to use the brush softly to avoid damaging the screen. This is also a great time to repair any damaged screen before rehanging them.

Your Home Exterior:
While you have your garden hose out, it is a great time to clean the exterior of your home. Wash down your driveway and siding. Any oil stains on the driveway may need additional detergent to fully remove the mark. Use a long handled soft brush and warm soapy water to avoid damaging the paintwork on the siding. If you do use a power washer, be sure to use a low power setting to avoid causing damage.

Whether you already have your home listed for sale or you are just considering selling, a good spring clean is a great idea. This will ensure that your home looks bright and feels fresh for you and your potential buyers to enjoy.

A Basic Guide to Choosing a New Color Palette for Your Home

Color Swatch for Repainting Your Living Room

For a great number of homeowners, the thought of changing the color scheme of their home can be a little daunting. Many people are often a little overwhelmed by the prospect of changing the color palette of their home. Decorating in more daring colors, from delicate pastels to bold vibrant tones, can dramatically alter the ambiance of your home. Color can be an excellent way to make a statement and enhance a desired mood. However, by carefully considering your color palette, you can ensure that the rooms in your home reflect your creativity, taste and personality.

color palette for your home

Don’t be afraid of white:
White is one of the most popular colors of paint and decor. It is a neutral and safe color, which can be the perfect complement to all types of flooring and furnishings. Despite being a very flexible color, it can sometimes be a little bland. However, white can create a very clean and contemporary look, providing an excellent way to showcase bright accessories and personal belongings. By ensuring that you have plenty of color accents, your room should feel bright without feeling cold and sterile.

Create warmth with earth tones:
Earth tones such as browns, beiges and reds are becoming increasingly popular in home decorating. Even adding small accents of these colors can add an opulence and rich warm texture to your home. The spectrum of these shades can vary very dramatically, from rich browns and bold reds through to softer terracotta or beige tones. This enables earth tones to be used in a number of rooms throughout the home, to create romantic sumptuous effects in bedrooms, cozy comfortable moods in rest areas or a bold ambiance in a kitchen.

Consider blues:
Blue shades were traditionally reserved for decorating boy’s bedrooms. However, the wide spectrum of blue tones has had a revival in the last few years. Blue tones can actually be very versatile. They can be used to create an energetic mood with bolder shades or a relaxed atmosphere with warmer more muted tones. Blue is also a very contemporary color for bathrooms and kitchens, as it can be used to create a crisp clean ambiance. The color is also great to use in complementing other colors including yellows, greens and whites. These color combinations can be used to create themes such as sunny beaches, nautical or even warm oceans.

Experiment with a feature wall:
If you are lacking the courage to commit to a full bold color transformation in your home, why not experiment with a feature wall. This allows you to use a bolder color on one wall, while keeping the remaining walls neutral and subdued. The colors can be from the same shade palette for a dramatic effect or use contrasting colors for a sense of vibrancy and fun. Using this technique can allow you to gain confidence in your choice of colors without making a big commitment. However, you should consider the colors of your furnishing or accessories in order to ensure that they complement your new color choices and are showcased properly in the new room.

Experimenting with new color palettes for your home can be a fun way to improve your home and allow the rooms to reflect your creativity and personality. It is worth taking a little time to consider the type of ambiance you wish to create in your chosen room before deciding on your color choices. This will ensure that your chosen colors enhance this atmosphere and complement the theme of the room decoration. When you are considering redecorating your home, don’t just purchase the same old shades of off white but try having a little fun with color, you may be amazed at the dramatic effects that you can create.

Top Tips to Remodel Your Kitchen on a Tight Budget

Beautiful Kitchen Photo for Realtors

Most people that look into remodeling their kitchen, take one look at the prices and quotes, and immediately shelve the idea. A kitchen remodel can cost literally thousands of dollars, it’s beyond the reach of many people that are selling their home or on a tight budget. However, there are ways to drastically cut costs and still get a great end result.

kitchen remodel on a budget

1. Plan and Stick to a Budget

Be realistic in what you would like to achieve and work out a budget. It’s very easy to get carried away and add a few dollars here and there. The next thing you know the budget is totally out of control. Consider what you really need your kitchen for, or if you’re looking to sell, imagine what a potential buyer would expect. If you eat a lot of take-out, a multi-burner cook-top and double oven is probably overkill.

2. Frugal Shopping

Always look for the best price that you can get, if you need to update expensive items this is crucial. Getting a saving of 10% on an appliance, will really help your budget and give you funds to spend elsewhere. Stay away from professional appliances, as they are expensive and many manufacturers now have cheaper product lines. These appliances mimic the form and function so well, few would notice the difference. However, it’s not just big ticket items that you need to keep an eye on, many smaller purchases like faucets, can really add up into bigger costs, so always be looking for the very best deal possible, on everything.

3. Work with What You Have

It may be that some of the elements in your kitchen just need freshening up. Cabinets could be repainted or perhaps only the doors need repainting. Replacing a few cracked tiles would cheaper than getting a whole new backsplash. If you have cheaper cabinets, they can be updated with some smart new pulls and knobs.

4. Create a Tile Counter Top

Everyone would love to have a granite or stone counter top, but they are very expensive. This one item would put a huge dent in your budget and should be avoided. However, all is not lost as you could create an interesting counter top using tiles. There are many types to choose from in a wide variety of colors. Stone tiles are especially great in the kitchen, as counter tops, backsplashes and floor coverings. Expensive tiles can be used as an accent, coordinating with cheaper tiles to save even more money.

5. Create a Custom Backsplash

Even if you only have rudimentary DIY skills you could make and fit a custom backsplash in your kitchen. You don’t have to be restricted to tile or glass, any surface that can be easily wiped down is fair game. Let your imagination run wild, metal sheeting like: copper, stainless steel, tin or galvanized aluminum can really make a kitchen pop. Metal sheeting can be had fairly cheaply and it’s easy to work with. For those with artistic sensibilities why not make a mosaic backsplash using pottery shards, glass or pieces of tile.

6. Accent with Modern Storage

A kitchen can get a contemporary lift with some modern budget storage solutions. Many furniture stores such as IKEA, carry a budget range of metal furniture suitable for the kitchen. These pieces can add a smart clean industrial look to a kitchen. Some kitchen supply stores, can supply low cost stainless steel shelving units and rolling carts with sliding side doors. Used in moderation, these units can create an interesting professional accent to your existing kitchen. If used more extensively, you could change the tone of your kitchen completely.

If you can stick to your budget and resist the significant temptation to spend more, it is possible to remodel your kitchen on a tight budget. Effective planning, budgeting and frugal shopping habits are crucial. Hopefully by following these tips you can get your kitchen remodeled and save a lot of money.

Five Top Tips and Tricks for Staging Your Home on a Budget

living room photo for staging your home

Many people considering listing their home for sale, or having a property which has been stuck on the market for a while may have thought about staging their home. The techniques of home staging tend to be a little more complex than simply repainting your walls in a neutral palate of colors and baking a loaf of bread. Successful home staging requires some careful consideration, but it need not cost a fortune. Here are the five top tips and tricks for staging your home on even the tightest budget.

staging your home for sale

1. Highlight the amount of space:
This is one of the best strategies for maximizing your selling potential and showcasing your home. You need to allow any viewers to see how spacious your home actually is, which will create a greater level of interest. To make the best possible use of the space in your home, you should clear away any excess furniture, which could be making the room appear to be cluttered. Although, you may need a large dining table and several couches for large family occasions such as the holidays, you probably don’t use them everyday. If you have an extending dining table, collapse it down to the smallest possible size and remove the extra couches. You should also pack up any of your belongings which you are currently not using. This will create additional space in closets and storage areas. However, avoid placing these items in the garage or basement, as your potential buyers will also want to view all of these areas. Instead consider asking family or friends for help with storage or using a short term storage unit.

2. Give each room definition:
While many of us have multipurpose rooms in the home, in order to successfully showcase the beauty of your home, each room needs to be given clear definition. The bedrooms should feel inviting and relaxing, so any pieces of gym equipment in the corner will act as a distraction. Your bathrooms should feel bright and sparkling clean, so hide away any personal items and toiletries in a storage cupboard.

3. Don’t make the rooms too sterile:
This is a common mistake that many people staging their homes make. Many people will advise removing all personal items but this can be detrimental. Instead you should aim to make the home feel welcoming and warm. It can be a good idea to refresh the paint color on the walls with a neutral shade, but be sure to use your soft furnishings and ornaments to create color accents. To soften the rooms, make sure all the drapes or blinds are open to give an airy and bright ambiance. If a room is lacking in natural light, you may wish to consider adding a mirror to reflect any light and create a feeling of space.

4. Avoid sensory overload:
Many people rush to put on the coffee pot and fire up the oven with a loaf of bread or cookies, when they have a viewing arranged. This can be a big mistake. Although you will want to remove any pet odors or stale smells from inside your home, creating “welcoming” smells such as these can actually raise a red flag with your potential buyer. Many people will assume that you are trying to hide an issue, so it is best to just ensure that you home is fresh and clean. If you wish to add a scent, choose one which complements your home. For example, if your home has natural wooden features, you could create a lovely ambiance with a slight hint of pine. However, if you are unsure about scents, it is best to err on the side of caution and just ensure the home is thoroughly clean.

5. Tell your Realtor:
This is one of the most important tips after you have gone to the effort of home staging. You must tell your real estate agent / Realtor and have them update your listing with new photographs. This will ensure that you maximize interest and actually get viewers through the door to appreciate your efforts.
Staging your home can be one of the most effective ways to sell your home for the best possible price, quickly. However, it can be inadvisable to spend a great deal of money on staging. Following these tips and tricks will enable you to stage your home on a budget and create a welcoming environment for your potential buyers.

5 Ways to Revamp Your Curb Appeal for Peanuts

Picture of Home for Sale

Right or wrong, first impressions count and that goes for your home too. If you wish to sell your home, the curb appeal has to be right, in order to get prospective buyers interested. You may be thinking, that it would cost a lot of money to enhance that first impression, but it need not cost much at all. With a little imagination, some elbow grease and very little money, you could really enhance your homes curb appeal. Here are five simple ways to get started.

curb appeal tips on a budget

1. Paint for Success

Exterior paint is pretty cheap at approximately $25 per gallon and it’s available in a wide variety of colors. So why not take a day and repaint your front door, trim and shutters? Unless you have a huge house, this will probably cost less than $100. If you pick the right color, it will make the front of your house pop and make a real difference to the curb appeal. Just make sure to match the color you choose to the rest of your house and make it sympathetic to your area.

2. Upgrade Your Exterior Lights

If your exterior light fixtures are looking a little tired, you can replace them with a new unit that can cost as little as $20 each. The lights you choose should be powerful enough to light up the entrance way and be sympathetic in style to your existing fixtures. If the lights you buy have an identical mounting system to your existing fixtures they will be much easier to fit.

3. New House Numbers

A faded old house number could be a replaced with a more modern brass or stainless steel one for only $2. A more elaborate plaque that is customized, may cost anywhere between $50 and $100. It’s a good idea to make sure that the numbers chosen match your existing fixtures. Coordinating for maximum impact in this way will give you the most bang for your buck.

4. Replace Your Mailbox

This will depend upon any local city regulations that are in place, which must be adhered to. A new mailbox can be had for between $10 and $100. This project will take an hour or two to complete, but at the end, you will have an attractive fresh new mailbox. The benefits of this upgrade may not be immediately noticeable to you, but a prospective buyer may notice.

5. Soften Facades and Add Color with Flower Boxes

Flower boxes can make a real difference to the curb appeal of your home. They can add colors and soften the front of your home, making it more inviting. A flower box can be bought for as little as $25 and can be mounted on porch railings or underneath windows. Try to pick plants with colors that complement your home. One important consideration with this tip, is that you will have to buy the soil and the plants, and it’s easy to get carried away. Remember your budget and keep an eye on what you’re spending. It’s also worth mentioning that the plants will need upkeep, until you sell your home.

All of these tips are easy to carry out for even a novice to DIY projects. They will enhance the curb appeal of your home and will not cost you a lot of money. Hopefully, by doing one or more of these simple DIY tasks, you will be able to increase your homes visibility and curb appeal to get those potential buyers interested and secure the sale you want.

How To Ensure Your Garage Appeals to Potential Buyers

Clean Garage Photo

When preparing their home for sale, many home owners make sure that their windows are clean and bright, their yard looks neat and tidy and their interior is beautifully staged. However, garages are often left forgotten. While you may not fully use your garage, this feature is often highly sought after. Your potential buyer may want to store their vehicle or simply prefer to have additional space for storage. Therefore, it is important that your garage holds maximum appeal to your potential buyers.

garage organized

Clear the clutter:
Since you are aiming to move within a matter of weeks, this is a great time to have a yard sale. You may have items in the home that you no longer want, but it is worth looking through any boxes and cabinets in your garage. You should aim to organize all shelves and cabinets to ensure that any remaining items look neat and tidy.
Organize, organize, organize!

Once you have cleared any unwanted items, you should properly organize all the items inside your garage. If storage space is limited, consider adding heavy duty hooks to lift larger items off the floor space. Consider installing some free standing shelving, which could also be used in your new home. Organizing items off the floor will ensure that the garage looks spacious and tidy. Make sure that any harmful chemicals, dangerous tools or flammable materials are stored safely away. Potential buyers may have children with them for the viewing, so they should feel safe and confident.

Clean up:
Most garages have suffered from spills and stains, and they are also home to years of spider webs. These should be cleaned away to allow the garage to look neat and tidy. Clear any oil spots from the floor, by using sawdust to absorb the liquid, before washing away with laundry detergent. Any windows should be cleaned to allow plenty of natural light.

Check all the features:
It is also important, to check that any electrical features are in proper working order. Potential buyers may obtain the impression that the home is neglected if lighting or door openers are not fully functional. You should check all switches, lights and features on your garage door opener. Replace any fuses or bulbs before they are forgotten. You may wish to consider installing a smoke detector as it will be a positive safety feature for potential buyers.

Dress the exterior:
Once the interior of your garage is looking great, be sure to dress the exterior. Adding a fresh coat of paint to woodwork and cleaning the siding can really enhance the curb appeal of your home. You could also make the exterior look more attractive with potted plants to showcase your appealing garage.

Highlight the special features:
While other properties in your area may have a garage, you should be sure to highlight any unique or special features which are particular to your garage. This could include work benches or storage solutions. You should ensure that your real estate agent is aware of these extra features, so they can be highlighted to any of your potential buyers.

Generally, a poorly presented garage will not cost you a sale. However, in a more challenging real estate market, a well presented and appealing garage, could be the feature which gets you the sale. This could give you an advantage over other properties in your area and help to secure a quick sale.

What is the difference between a Broker, a Realtor, and a real estate agent?

This is based on Indiana laws and regulations. Your state may vary.

In 2014 all real estate agents are required to get their Brokers license. All new agents will get their Brokers license from the beginning. The state of Indiana is doing away with the basic licensing for an agent. It used to be that to manage other agents you had to have a brokers license. Getting a Brokers license requires more training and a more in depth understanding of real estate as a business.

The terms REALTOR® and real estate agent or broker are not interchangeable titles. In fact, real estate agents or brokers can only use the title REALTOR® if they are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

REALTOR® Code of Ethics
The Code establishes time-honored and baseline principles that come from the collective experiences of REALTORS® since the Code of Ethics was first established in 1913. Those principles can be loosely defined as:

  • Loyalty to clients;
  • Fiduciary (legal) duty to clients;
  • Cooperation with competitors;
  • Truthfulness in statements and advertising; and non-interference in exclusive relationships that other REALTORS® have with their clients.

Since the word REALTOR® is a registered trademark with the word itself being in all caps, only its membership can use the title and logo in their marketing and advertising collateral.

 

 

Your Realtors Job Explained in Josh Terms

Realtor Logo

What is your Realtors Job?

realtor-logo-med

To make it short and sweet: Represent a buyers or sellers needs as they would if they were buying and selling their (the Realtors) personal home.

My opinion of what my job is:

  • Answer when you call or return the call as soon as possible.
  • Listen to what you want and need. Not impose what I want for you.
  • Give my professional opinion and help you with anything you need.
  • Make the buying and selling process as smooth and painless as possible.

 

A more technical explanation:

To explain a little more in depth: Represent clients in the buying process, selling process, renting, and management of real estate . Perform duties,  interview prospective clients, such as study property listings, discuss conditions of sale,accompany clients to property site, and draw up real estate contracts.

I am not here to give legal advise. I am here to give you my professional opinion if I was in your shoes. My value comes from my insight into the market and how to handle the transaction to make it as simple as possible for you.

For Buyers:

  1. Answer all your questions about the buying process.
  2. Help with getting qualified for a loan and explain your option depending on the property type.
  3. Get a good understanding of what you are looking for and find homes that meet your needs.
  4. Schedule showing with the listing agent.
  5. Help get you all the details to make an educated and well structured offer.
  6. Get all contracts and forms perfected to protect you during the process.
  7. Negotiate the terms of the sale and help through the home inspection.
  8. Schedule closing and get all the final paperwork to the title company.

For Sellers:

  1. Research the market and comparable houses to find the market value.
  2. Design an active marketing plan to get your home sold. Every home is different and every neighborhood has different types of people moving in and out.
  3. In a listing agreement it does not require a Realtor to perform any type of advertising. It only asks for permission to put it on the MLS. This gives other Realtor access to the information. Make sure the Realtor you are using explains their marketing plan in depth. if it does not impress you; find another Realtor.
  4. Present offers and give you their opinion. A Realtor is obligated to show a seller every offer that is submitted, no matter how low or unreasonable it is. A bad deal is a bad deal no matter how you look at it. A good Realtor will tell you that and move on without feeling the need to just complete the transaction.
  5. We will be there to help you negotiate the terms of the sale and help with any problems that might arise during the inspection process.
  6. Constantly be in contact with the lender and buyers agent, title company, and contractor (if needed) to make sure the deal does not hit any snags during the process.
  7. Arrange the closing and get you your money.

 

This is just a brief over view of what we do. Every Realtor is different and their business reflects it.

 

5 Top Tips to Remodel Your Bathroom on a Tight Budget

Bathroom Remodel on A Budget

The time has come to remodel your bathroom, but you need to do it on a small budget. Perhaps you want to sell your home and would like to keep costs down, or you just need to save money. In either case, an average bathroom remodel costs $10,000 and if you want luxury, it can be a lot more. However, there are a few tips to follow that could drastically reduce the price. In some cases, it may even be possible to get the job done for as little as $1,000.

Bathroom Remodeling on a budget

1. A Lick of Paint

This is a very cheap and effective way to give your bathroom a completely different look. If you have undergone painting projects before, the bathroom is a little different. Allow for more time to do a good bathroom painting job, as there are a lot of areas to carefully paint around. Take time to use painters tape on every edge and corner, remove wall mirrors and switch-plates to get a good finish. Use a high quality paint, preferably with a satin finish for the walls, with a mold resistant paint on the ceilings. The color should be clean and fresh, ice blue, white and mint, all work well, but be sympathetic to your existing or new bathroom fixtures.

2. Add Clean Lines with Grout and Caulk

This can literally be done for a few dollars, but it can give your bathroom a brand new appearance. Simply clean out the old grout and caulk around the tub and the sink. Then add fresh new lines and smooth them in with a wet finger. This will give the bathroom a clean look that really makes an impression. Make sure to get anti-fungal products and take your time, as the smoother the finish is the better it will look.

3. Replace Fixtures

Sometimes, just updating the little things can make a huge difference. The fixtures in your bathroom may be a little tired or perhaps they don’t fit with a new color scheme. In either case, replacing bathroom fixtures is a pretty easy job and it can be done in very little time. Evaluate your light fixtures, towel racks and drawer pulls. Replacements can be bought at Home Depot or IKEA for very little. For bonus money saving points, why not check out Goodwill or even buildings that are being remodeled. Sometimes, contractors throw out perfectly good stuff that their client doesn’t want and you could benefit.

4. Update Sink Faucets

This is quite easy to do, but many people can be intimidated. There are many places to find out how to do this and you only need basic tools. It’s important to evaluate the faucet when it’s been removed. Some older antique faucets can be revived, by soaking them overnight in a bath of cola. Then they can be scrubbed with warm water and are as good as new. However, you may need new rubber seals if they appear to be damaged. If you prefer a newer faucet, there are many to choose from and they are easy to fit. A new set of faucets can add a really clean sparkle to a bathroom and they are pretty cheap to buy.

5. Piles of Tiles

If you need to do some tiling in your bathroom, it can get expensive quickly. It’s a good idea to do the job yourself if you can and it isn’t too hard to learn how. Save money by limiting the tile to essential areas such as the floor and inside the shower stall. Other areas of the wall can be painted cheaply. If you have your heart set on a particular expensive tile, why not use it in a row or pattern as an accent to cheaper tiles. In this case the expensive tile will probably pop more and be very noticeable.

Updating a bathroom need not be expensive, with a few compromises and a frugal mindset you could save thousands of dollars. Sources such as Craigslist, Ebay and Esty can provide up-cycled and refurbished fixtures at a modest cost. This will ensure that you create a fabulous bathroom regardless of your budget.