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Many make staging a mission to neutralize a space’s color palette from top to bottom. While this isn’t a bad strategy (and we’ve recommended it often!), don’t forget that color can be your friend when you’re engaging buyers.
A bright area rug that draws attention to floor inlays or bright flowers beside a high-end vessel sink can signal buyers where they should really look in photos and during tours. Add color around features guaranteed to wow buyers to make sure they aren’t missed.
More than ever, listings are competing in clusters of homes and developments where everyone was served the same off-the-shelf features. In these neighborhoods, one major way to stand out (which can be accomplished by doing it yourself) is a lighting upgrade.
Ridding the home of generic fluorescents and boring ceiling fans can create a lot of buyer love. Even if your can’t afford to upgrade every room, try installing a “statement light” in the entryway, kitchen, or other key common areas that will impress them and their future guests.
Also in the realm of standout features to consider are adding tech touches throughout the home. Two impressive upgrades that are more affordable than you’d think are:
Clutter isn’t always on the counter. If a room has more than four bold colors competing, chances are its carrying visual clutter. Cut down on the number of colors in rooms (especially small ones) to create more visual space and use color to highlight the features that will really make buyers fall in love.
With the start of a new year, it’s always a good idea to assess your home and it’s needs. Taking stock of appliances, home systems and other items that make a house a home will help guide you to home improvements needed, appliances that may be near the end of their lives and any other updates that can help to boost your home’s worth. Listed below are major home systems to evaluate in the new year to help give you peace of mind.
In the winter and summer months a home’s HVAC systems are put to good use.
January is the perfect month to replace disposable filters or wash permanent ones in your home’s HVAC or humidifier systems. Filters should be regularly replaced or washed when use is high or during peak seasons. It’s also an excellent time to vacuum all heat vents, especially those that are located on the floor, which susceptible to dust, dirt,
pet hairs and other particles that float through the air.
Vacuuming has also been known to help with any heating or cooling issues related to clogged air ducts. January is also a good time to check for any leaks in your home’s forced air heat ducts. If any are found, seal the leaks with duct tape.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. Checking alarms and detectors is especially important when cold temperatures in the winter leave homes closed up. This month inspect, clean and test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Also be sure to replace any that are faulty, no longer working or old.
Fire Extinguishers & Fire Evacuation Plan
January is a great time to inspect and charge any working fire extinguishers you may have in your home. Fire extinguishers should also be placed in all accessible areas of the home where fires are more likely to occur: kitchens, garages or areas that house furnaces, boilers, fireplaces and stoves. January is also the perfect time to form a fire evacuation plan. Go over the plan with anyone who might live with you, and if you have kids dedicate a time to have a practice fire drill. If the bedrooms in your home are on the second or third floor, invest in a fire escape ladder which can be found at your local hardware store.
Leaking Windows and Electrical Outlets
With winter setting in, finding the weak points in your home will not only help keep your home warm, but it will also help cut down on heating bills. Identify any windows that may have broken seals by looking for condensation on the inside of the window. Examine electrical outlets throughout your home for any drafts, and insulate those that may be letting in cold air.
Check and Test GFCI Outlets
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are a must have in your home. These special outlets protect people from electric shock by monitoring the amount of current flowing through the outlet. If there is an imbalance of current, the outlet trips the circuit of the appliance, cutting off the electricity. You can test GFCI outlets with a circuit tester that has its own GFCI test button. GFCIs do wear out, and their lifespan is about 10 years. Replace GFCIs that no longer function properly — these outlets save thousands of lives each year.
Other items to look at in a new year:
We live in an area that is known to have inclement weather, make sure you have proper snow removal equipment and alternative energy options in case of power outages. January is also a great month for reviewing warranties and product information on a furnace, large appliances and any other big ticket items in the home. Preventative maintenance will not only save you money and keep your home safe, but houses that do not keep up with maintenance have been known to lose up to 10% to 12% off their appraised value. Getting a head start on yearly to dos and anticipating yearly maintenance will put you ahead of the issues and have you prepared for any upcoming and unforseen fixes.
My son startled me for a moment when I picked him up at school yesterday. For a moment I panicked, “dad, we had a lock down today”. Then I realized that there wasn’t a communique from the district so it must have been a drill. I’m crazy though thinking that there could someday be a need for a lock down at my son’s elementary school. What have we become as a society when this is necessary?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they practice should the need arise but instead of preparing for a fire, in my day bomb scares were prevalent, or nukes coming over from some eastern block threat, we are preparing for someone to enter into the school and do harm. Okay, so they still have fire drills too but you get my point.
I remember the school being a fallout shelter when I was there and they showed us films on how to hunker down under our desks in case the bombs started flying. Not sure how helpful that would be and certainly a complete waste if they were nukes flying over. The fire drills and bomb scares were always fun because maybe we would get out of a pop quiz. But a lock down has to be scary!?!?!
I’m going to talk to my son about this. I’m curious to know what he thinks of the lock down and what he thinks of the circumstances that would lead to a real lock down.
I’m always interested to hear what others have to say Let me know your thoughts.
When you live in a small space you need to utilize every square foot, but what is often overlooked is that hallways can be used for more than connecting rooms. Here are a few ways you can transform the halls of your home…
1. Wall Mounted Cabinets. Slim cabinets are great for adding storage without building into the wall and still allow space for you to hang pictures or artwork above them. For a DIY project, you can purchase the cabinets at any home improvement store, the cost will vary depending on the store and the materials you choose.
2. Hallway Library. Adding bookshelves is one of the most versatile and simplistic ways to upgrade your halls. You can DIY by purchasing floating or bracket shelves, a stud finder, and a level for a relatively inexpensive upgrade. Or for a more custom look, hire a carpenter which could cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000. If you have a hallway with windows, add a ledge to make a window seat and add thin bookcases in between the windows.
3. Make A Work Station. For this project you will need to consult with a carpenter to see if the space is wide enough for a built- in desk. Entry ways and other high traffic hallways are not an ideal location for a workspace, so try to find a hallway off the kitchen or in the rear of the house that has less traffic.
1. A country quilt. Cozy layering on the bed is one of the easiest ways to give a bedroom a farmhouse vibe.
2. A braided rug. These simple rugs are another homespun craft. In days past they were often composed of a family’s leftover scraps and rags. (John-Boy had one in his room.)
3.Lace curtains. Preferably white lace curtain, but any color will work.
4.Wide-plank floors. Ten-inch-wide floorboards were commonplace back in the day. The best place to find wide planks is via local reclaimed wood dealers.
5.Butt boards. These planks, butted up together, represent the time before tongue and groove, they lend a simple farmhouse charm.
6.Agrarian architectural features. Barn doors would not have been seen in a classic farmhouse, but they are a popular modern way to bring the farm vernacular indoors.
7.Repurposed flour or grain sacks. Grain and flour sacks have been repurposed into cushion and pillow covers.
8.Needlepoint. Framed needlepoint samplers are a wonderful country touch.
9.Farm ephemera or implements. Buckets, tools, pails or drums can be repurposed as lamps, hung over headboards or used as wastepaper baskets. Today these remnants of the past have unique craftsmanship and patinas we covet, and the nostalgia becomes farmhouse style in our minds.
10.Board and batten siding. Board and batten is typically seen on the exteriors of agrarian buildings, but bringing it inside is a popular way to add rural style these days. In a bedroom it adds dimension to the walls and feels more rustic than drywall. Because the lines of board and batten are so simple, they work well in traditional and contemporary homes.