7 Simple and Affordable Additions for Your Home

7 Simple and Affordable Additions for Your Home

Whether you’re trying to sell your home or simply upgrade it for your own enjoyment, additions do not have to be that pricey. OK, OK, so as you haven’t been born yesterday you do know that any high-quality improvements to your house – the only type worth doing – won’t be as cheap as your daily shop. But the following additions have been selected for their relative low cost and high impact.

The seven recommended additions are applicable to you especially if you feel like modernizing your house, have guests to stay with specific needs, are buying or selling your home and are aware of updates needed.

Garden

It’s always easy to forget the outside area and palm it off as a “dad-job” for a Sunday in the far far distance! Sometimes those days arrive sooner than you think and a good job too because taking care of your outside area is as important as your house.

Built-in seating can be a great alternative to expensive garden furniture and one way to make your outside space guest-friendly and welcoming in a matter of days. Recycling concrete blocks and stacking to make a rectangular bench can be transformative. Top with an upholstered foam mattress and pillows and you’re good to go!

Patio

Patios are pretty self-maintaining year round aside from the odd weeding but if you want them to be extra special you could consider putting in a little more care. More and more folks have opted for patio walls over the last few years to create a homelier space. Adding in a custom-built fireplace to the area will make your regular patio every home-owner’s hosting dream. If you need to start from scratch you certainly can build your own patio yourself and save on the tiresome labor costs!

Railings

Injuries do unfortunately happen regardless of your capabilities and a railing to help you get around the bathroom and in and out of the bath itself is a must. These guys are quite literally a life-saver. Whether in or outside the house – preferably both depending on the terrain – railings give much needed support as well as detail. Protect you, your family and your guests with railings where you need them the most – they can be beautifully designed to match your preferences, too!

Smart Appliances

Smart appliances are the quickest way to add value to your kitchen, your house and to your life! We all know a good real estate agent will make the most out of these centerpieces of our kitchen – dishwasher, fridge-freezer, oven and microwave. If yours could do with some updating it may be time to take the plunge. They can instantly modernize your kitchen into a chic and sleek operating room – stainless steel appliances are still a la mode – and raise your house-cred immeasurably.

Connectivity, intelligent communication and full-on integration is what people want in their new appliances to the point where your fridge will text you when you run out of an ingredient! If you don’t have that much to spend on a major appliance, try revolutionizing your kitchen routines with some of these portable options, however you might want to check second hand options before giving up!

7 Simple and Affordable Additions for Your Home

Lighting

Much like your smart appliances, improving your lighting game is a quick and easy addition to your household that will bring admirers wide and far! Looking at spotlights for example bring a welcome minimalist feel to a home whilst not massively interfering with your interior décor. Lighting is also an easy way to bring balance to a room through adding or taking away warmth depending on the style of fitting and the glow emitted.

Lighting should be uniform throughout your house to some degree to give continuity, therefore if you aren’t careful this can rack up a bill. However, simply moving to energy efficient lights in the meantime will be a fantastic addition to your household.

Upholstery

The DIY and home improvement community has talked about up-cycling a lot for good reason – you have unpolished treasures in your room as you read this and you’re considering buying replacements?! A perfect and easy-going initiation into the up-cycling club is re-upholstering a chair, sofa or headboard. It is guaranteed to be far cheaper than buying new furniture, allows you to pick out exactly the material you want and adds to the atmosphere of your room in a relatively low-effort way!

windows

Windows

I won’t start with a quote about windows and eyes and souls, but windows are very important. Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers are particularly sensitive to amount of light in their living areas and frankly the majority of us are too. So let’s get as much light as possible into your houses! The easiest way to do this without complete overhaul of your existing windows is adding in a sky light where possible.

So, this may be in the same cost ballpark as smart appliances, however adding in a skylight will entirely transform your space and your mood, and add major value if done properly to your property.

Additions do not need to be time consuming, complicated or massively expensive, however they do need to be well thought out. Positioning, overall design and feel and appropriateness all come into play when making changes to your house regardless of how small they might be. But one thing is for sure, simple home additions can bring major positives to your life whether practical and adding convenience or aesthetic and adding comfort!

Author Bio:

Kacey MyaKacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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Outdoor Living Spaces: Three Things Homeowners Must Know

Outdoor Living Spaces: Three Things Homeowners Must Know

Anyone who has watched cable television’s popular shows on home remodeling or home selling knows that outdoor living spaces are all the rage. Capable of adding extra space and comfort to homes in just about any location, these spaces go beyond the porches, decks, gazebos, and bare patios that were once the only options for outdoor seating and entertaining. In addition to being popular, a beautifully designed, outdoor living space can offer even more benefits. If you are a homeowner who is wavering about whether or not to invest in adding an outdoor living space to your home, the following information can help you see what this type of space has to offer your family.

1. Increased Living Space Offers Comfort for Growing Families

No matter how carefully families choose the home they buy, there will still be many times when it feels too small for comfort. Growing children, visiting relatives, and many other situations can cause a home that was once spacious to feel cramped and small.

Adding an outdoor living space provides another area suitable for use from spring through fall in most areas of the country. If the space provides comfortable seating and cooking facilities, it can even become the chosen location for family dinners, helping to reduce traffic in the house and keep it cleaner and more organized.

2. Entertaining is Easier With an Outdoor Living Space

Many homes today are built without a formal dining room, making it difficult to host large gatherings for meals and snacks. An outdoor living area offers a spacious location that can be furnished to handle gatherings of any size. If the outdoor living space also provides electricity to power small appliances, along with a sink, cooking surface, and a cooler or refrigerator, complete meals can be easily prepared and served outdoors, making cleanup far easier.

Many people also add some type of heat to their outdoor living spaces, such as a fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or specially designed outdoor heating appliance, to make these spaces more usable in cooler weather.

3. Outdoor Living Spaces Add Real Value When Selling a Home

Just like porches and patios, outdoor living spaces are considered as part of the base area of the home. Although the base area is not the same as finished interior space, it will still be able to add value in the eyes of both a real estate appraiser and prospective buyers.

To get the most value from your outdoor living space, sellers will want to:

  • make sure the planned outdoor space fits well with the neighborhood and architectural style of the home
  • make sure the size of the planned outdoor space remains in balance with the size of the yard and does not diminish the usefulness of the backyard space
  • make sure the planned outdoor space is attractive both when in use and during the off season
  • make sure the planned outdoor space offers privacy from prying eyes of neighbors or people passing by

For more information about how an outdoor living space can be a benefit, homeowners should consult their real estate professional.

Through the use of recent listing and sales data for similar homes with and without outdoor living spaces, homeowners will be able to gain a better understanding of the amount of added value their home would have after the space is completed. This information can help homeowners  create a realistic plan for these improvements, as well as a suitable budget.

Top 5 Outdoor Home Projects to Increase the Value of Your Home

Top 5 Outdoor Home Projects to Increase the Value of Your Home

When it comes to doing renovations, many homeowners upgrade their kitchens or bathrooms. Their thinking is understandable: They believe these projects add to their home’s bottom line come sale time. However, many outdoor projects also increase a home’s value as well as its curb appeal. If you’re looking for some outdoor projects, start with these five. They’ll add to your home’s beauty today and its value tomorrow.

1. Light up Your Landscapes

Lighting up areas like sitting nooks, backyard fountains, and, of course, the porches makes your home cozy come evening. Additionally, if you’re planning on adding any other outdoor features, you’ll want to light them up, too.

If you’re planning an extensive outdoor remodel, it’s best to map/sketch out your plans for lighting at the same time that you’re planning everything else. This ensures that you’ll have enough wiring for all the lights you install. Also be sure to have a lush lawn, as many of the other additions will look a bit too fancy for a dead lawn. Orem lawn care specialists can offer advice for restoring a damaged lawn.

2. Outdoor Rooms

According to Today, adding an outdoor room increases the value of your home. But these rooms do more than that: They expand your living space. Today prices outdoor rooms like outdoor living rooms starting at $12 a foot, going all the way up to $50 a foot. Outdoor kitchens can run anywhere between $15K and $100K.

There is one more thing to consider, however, if you’re going to build outdoor rooms: Pests. Bugs and other creepy crawlies can detract from an outdoor room’s enjoyment factor, especially if you’re cooking outside. Companies can give you a quote for pest control. Ask about one-time visits as well as maintenance visits to see which plans best suit your outdoor living needs.

3. Garage Door

Aside from your front porch and the front door, your garage is one of the major contributors to your home’s curb appeal. It’s also one outdoor home project that offers plenty of ROI when you sell your home. Typically, replacing your garage door nets you almost an almost 90% ROI at sale time. However, that’s not the only advantage. Replacing your garage door increases your home’s security and even lowers your monthly heating bills. The heat can’t escape out of the cracks around the door.

4. Front Door

If you’re going to change out your garage door, you may want to consider also changing out the front door. Its sale-time ROI runs in the 85% to 100% range. A steel door replacing your existing door will bring the most bang for the buck.

That said, an attractive front door says “Welcome” like few outdoor features can. The porch and door become the backdrop for many of your seasonal decorations. It’s also a place where your lighting investment really pays, too.

5. Water Features

Outdoor fountains and fish ponds add a magical element to your outdoor space. They also provide your backyard with a focal point (or a secondary focal point if you’re also adding an outdoor room.)

A landscape designer as well as a pool designer should give you a hand with this project. The advantage of hiring these professionals is that they’ll guide you toward the right kind of shrubs and greenery as well as the right “ingredients” for your pond or fountain. In the latter case, it’s especially important to get a professional opinion if you’ll add fish to the pond.

Remaking your outdoor space expands your living area and adds to your overall quality of life. The right renovations also add to your home’s bottom line. Even just changing out your front door can bring you a significant amount once you sell your home. However, adding an outdoor room, a water feature, and some lighting adds even more value.

Guest Post By:

Anica Oaks

Freelance writer and web enthusiast
Read some of my published work on my Google+ page.

Expert Guide to Packing for a Home Move

 

Expert Guide to Packing for a Home Move

It is common for people to start packing for a move at least eight weeks before the big day. Still, last-minute moves are not so unusual. There are situations when people need to move in less than four weeks. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, here is a simple guide on how to pack and sort your items on short notice.

Keep only what you need

The best thing about last minute moves is that you can get rid of the ton of stuff you don’t need. Once you start packing, you will quickly realize that it is easier to throw away than to take with you. At the end of the day, you will also save time and energy. It’s a common mistake to believe that you should pack everything and sort later. Not true. Make sure to get rid of as many things as you can.

Walk through the house and make three piles in each room – 1) keep, 2) donate and 3) dump. Involve the whole family in sorting out their stuff, and bear in mind – if you are unsure what to do – dump it.

Donate what you don’t

Charities are always ready to take away your unwanted stuff. Even if your donation pile is large or you have bulky furniture items that are still in good shape, a non-profit organization can organize the transport, saving you both the time and money needed to get rid of them.

Just make sure that you have sorted everything out, so they only have to make one trip. Phone the organization and determine a pick-up date and time. Before you make a call, bear in mind that some charities only pick up on specific dates and specific locations.

Prepare packing supplies

Used cardboard boxes are the most convenient way to transport your items to a new home. Still, if the time is the issue you should purchase your boxes and other packing supplies directly from a moving store or office supply company.

On the other hand, if you are moving locally, ask for green movers who provide multi-use plastic bins. Not only will it save the environment, but also the time needed for finding boxes and getting rid of them once you unpack. Reputable moving companies also offer transport containers for bulkier items like furniture and outdoor equipment.

Ask for help

When it comes to moving, you have three recruitment pools – 1) friends, 2) family and 3) service companies. Friends and family are always eager to help. However, make sure that before you “hire” them, you know exactly what every person’s job will be. There’s nothing worse than a helpful hand wandering around and getting in the way of everybody else.

Professional movers are always a phone call away, and some of them offer a truly comprehensive range of services. For instance, aside from treating your belongings with the utmost of care during the move, the guys who own and operate City Removalist will even do the packing and unpacking for you in case you are, say, short on time.

Once you have the supplies and able-bodied helpers at your disposal, you can start loading the “keep” pile into boxes. Large appliance and some pieces of furniture will require special preparation before they are loaded. Moving professionals will help you with every aspect of the move, either by providing packing containers or pack everything for you. One way or another, they’re a valuable time-saving service.

How a Few Simple Renovations Can Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

When you are preparing to list your home for sale, you will likely have a long list of things to do. By performing some simple renovations now, you can avoid requests for remedy later. These four home renovations are also likely to get all of your investment back through a higher sales price.

How a Few Simple Renovations Can Increase Your Home's Resale Value

Refinish or Replace Your Counter Tops

One of the most important parts of your home is the kitchen. When prospective buyers enter your home during a showing or open house, they are likely to make a beeline for the kitchen. Refinishing or replacing your counter tops will make a big improvement in how the kitchen looks. Granite is a top-of-the-line material. Some other good choices include concrete and Corian. You might also consider refinishing or replacing the fronts of your cabinets if they are old and worn, dented or dinged. If the cabinets themselves are in good condition, a replacement of the knobs and drawer pulls provides an affordable facelift.

Install a Wood-burning Stove

A wood-burning stove is a delightful addition to the living spaces of your home. If you have a family room, adding a wood-burning stove creates a cozy space that is just right for cool autumn and winter weather. Wood-burning stoves in Woodinville, or in other areas, can also be at home in a four-season room or a den. A wood-burning stove adds value to your home because it gives the new owners an affordable and efficient method of heating. Wood-burning stoves are also safe in case of a power outage. Today’s wood-burning stoves offer ideal levels of safety and efficiency. If you have a log cabin or rustic styled home, it will fit right in with your architecture and decor.

Give the Walls a Fresh Coat of Paint

Giving the interior and exterior walls of your home a fresh coat or two of paint is a quick and affordable way to increase the structure’s resale value. A quality paint job can hide many minor imperfections that would capture the attention of prospective home buyers. Choose a neutral yet attractive color for the outside of your home. Make sure that you conform to any homeowner’s association or historical society rules governing exterior colors for homes in your neighborhood. While many real estate agents recommend going all neutral for interior wall colors when selling a home, you could add a little bit of visual interest by painting the wainscoting or trim in a brighter color. You could also turn to less frequently used neutrals such as buttery yellow for the kitchen or a warm gray for a child’s bedroom.

Replace Worn-out Carpeting with New Floor Coverings

Another way to make a big impact on your home’s resale value is to remove the old, stained, worn-out carpeting and replace it with new floor coverings. If your home has hardwood floors underneath carpeting, arrange for the floors to be professionally finished. Hardwood flooring that is in good condition could add thousands of dollars to your home’s selling price. Consider replacing old carpeting with laminate or engineered wood flooring. Cork and bamboo flooring are environmentally friendly options. Ceramic tile flooring is an ideal solution for front hallways, entryways and guest bathrooms. Many homeowners do enjoy the comfort and warmth of a plush carpet in the bedrooms and family room of the home.

Each of these simple home renovations only takes a few days to complete. You could schedule the renovations for a time that is convenient to you. Be sure to schedule any updates and repairs so they are complete before you want to list your home for sale. Account for potential project delays to give yourself some wiggle room when selling.

4 Simple Ways Homeowners Can Increase Their Home’s Value

4 Simple Ways Homeowners Can Increase Their Home's Value

Homes tend to appreciate over time, as long as you take care of them and keep them in good shape. However, there are some things you can do to your home that can increase their value, and you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money on them. Here are four simple ways homeowners can increase their home’s value.

Do a Kitchen or Bath Update

Kitchens and bathrooms are two of the most-used rooms in a house, and they also are the rooms that buyers focus on the most. That’s why it’s important to make periodic improvements to these rooms. You don’t have to break the bank and spend thousands and thousands of dollars. In fact, minor remodels are the ones that tend to add the most value. Some simple things you can do include replacing appliances, replacing a vanity, switching out water and light fixtures and updating your tile and counter tops.

Concentrate on the Exterior

Most people focus on making interior improvements when remodeling their home, but you can actually get the most bang for your buck focusing on the outside. Many of the improvements that have the most return on investment are exterior ones. These include replacing your entry door or garage door, adding or repairing a deck, and sprucing up your landscaping. All of these improvements will be investments that pay back more than they cost to complete, when done correctly.

Structural Improvements

Doing things to the bones of your house aren’t cheap but they are necessary. Take your roof, for example. People do not want to buy a roof that leaks or has broken shingles. Some companies, such as Select Exteriors, know that if this is the case with your roof, you might consider investing to improve it. The same goes for your home’s foundation. Structural improvements can be expensive, but not doing them when necessary can greatly reduce the value of your home.

Make Energy Improvements

Many of today’s home buyers want an energy-efficient home, so you can boost your home’s value by making some simple energy changes. This can include installing a programmable thermostat and changing to compact fluorescent lights. If you want to make a bigger investment, replacing windows or installing solar panels can be good choices.

Making these and other improvements to your home can greatly increase your home’s value. Some improvements require a big investment, but others do not. Either way, you are likely to recoup most of what you spend on these improvements.

4 Key Characteristics To Look For When Choosing A Real Estate Professional

4 Key Characteristics To Look For When Choosing A Real Estate Professional

When it comes time to buy a home, you don’t want to work with just any real estate professional. Instead, you want to work with someone who takes an interest in who you are and what your housing needs are. Let’s take a look at some key characteristics of a real estate professional who is worth working with during your next home search.

This Person Should Be Personable

Ideally, the person who is working with you to find your dream home should be approachable and friendly. There will be times when you have to get in touch with this person early in the morning, late at night or on weekends. If he or she is not interested in working with you at all hours, it may be best to look for someone else.

This Person Should Be A Fierce Advocate

Your real estate agent is supposed to be someone who represents your needs and interests during the home buying process. Therefore, he or she needs to be a fierce advocate who is willing to stand up to the seller or seller agent on matters that are important to you. This could be the difference between getting a better deal on a home or feeling forced to close the deal on the seller’s terms.

This Person Should Be Part Of A Larger Firm

Real estate agents who work for established firms generally get jobs because of their skills and track record of success. They generally have large email lists full of available homes for sale before they are available to the public. Knowing that a listing is available before anyone else allows you to see the home and put in an offer before a bidding war can begin.

This Person Should Know the Area

A real estate agent should be able to narrow down your search based on the criteria on your wish list. If you want good schools for the kids, your agent should know which neighborhoods to look in. If you want a house for less than $100,000, your agent should know which parts of town are more suited to your needs.

You should never buy a home without the assistance of a qualified real estate agent, like the professionals at Re/Max of Boulder, Inc. Doing so could result in spending more money on a home that may or may not meet your needs. In addition to helping find a home, your agent may also know where to turn for financing or who to hire for a quality home inspection.

Remodeling for Revenue: How to Flip Your House to Increase Its Value

Remodeling for Revenue How to Flip Your House to Increase Its Value

Flipping homes can be an effective way to make money from real estate. However, you need to know what types of upgrades will yield the highest returns on your investment before you decide to make them. Here are just some strategies that you should employ to ensure that you maximize your profits from each flip:

More Living Space Generally Means a Higher Price

In some areas, homes are priced per square foot. Therefore, adding more living space will translate to a higher asking price for the house. Some ideas for adding more space include finishing the attic or basement. In some cases, adding an egress to an already finished space will allow you to advertise it when listing the home.

It may also be a good idea to put an addition on the home that can be used as an extra bedroom, office or bathroom. If you are going to add to the house, make sure that you have the proper permits to do so. On average, each additional square foot that you add of living space could equal $100 or more added to the listing price.

Update the Kitchen and Bathroom

For those who have a limited budget, it is in your best interest to focus on the bathroom and kitchen spaces. Kitchens are where those who live in a home are going to spend the majority of their time. Bathrooms are generally where an individual is going to start or end his or her day. Being able to do so in style will make it more likely that a buyer will pay more for the house.

Upgrading the kitchen and bathroom is also a good idea because it makes the home easier for the next buyer to sell in the future. That alone will make the home more valuable because no one wants to pay for something that they can’t liquidate if necessary. Depending on where you live a new bathroom or updated kitchen could add $20,000 to $100,000 to the value of a house.

Put a Hot Tub in the Backyard

A nice spa with all of the proper hot tub accessories in the backyard makes a home more appealing because it gives the owner a place to entertain or relax after a hard day at work. They can be used either in the winter or the summer, which makes it more versatile than a pool for those who live in more temperate climates.

While individuals may be able to install them themselves, it is generally better to have a professional install it for you. It should only take a few minutes to a few hours depending on how much electrical work needs to be done to accommodate the new item.

In some cases, your installer may suggest ways that you can further spruce up your yard to add value to the flip. In most cases, a home’s value goes up by whatever you paid for it, but it could indirectly increase your home’s value because it makes the home more appealing.

Add New Front and Garage Doors

Replacing the current front and garage door with new ones makes the home look cleaner, brighter and more attractive at first sight. Typically, you will increase the value of the home by as much as 400 percent of what you paid for them. Therefore, if you spend $5,000 for new doors, the home will be worth $20,000 more.

While flipping may not be for everyone, it can be lucrative for those who understand how to do so successfully. For the most part, you have to understand what buyers in a given market want and then tailor the home to those needs to make it as attractive as possible when it goes on sale.

How to Increase Your Property’s Value – Infographic

Your property is a long-term investment and one day, you want to release the equity in it.

We can be drawn into thinking that every improvement and renovation we make to our property will add value, increasing the profit we will eventually make on our home.

But, are you making the right changes? Are you doing too much and out-pricing your property from the local market?

Making the Right Renovation Choices

Trends come and go but it is important that you add the right value in the right places when it comes to property renovation, as the infographic explains further.

The one statistic that is on every buyers mind is the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating for the property. If it is near the top of the scale – from A to D – the property should be cheap to heat as it is well-insulated.

Anything lower than a D rating can make for an expensive house to heat. If your EPC rating is low, consider adding value by updating not only the insulation of the property but the type of heating system too.

Underfloor heating costs less to install and run that most traditional heating systems. Coupled with additional insulation measures, your home will be tasty warm and an attractive purchase for potential buyers.

What Else Adds Value?

From a new kitchen to a modern bathroom, there are many changes you can make to your home to add value. Find out more with this fantastic infographic from Balustrade Components.

How Can You Increase Your Households Value

4 Neighborhood Perks To Look For When Home Shopping

4 Neighborhood Perks To Look For When Home Shopping

When buyers are looking for a new home, they must consider many different issues, including price, size, and convenience to work, taxes and a host of other concerns. The neighborhood in which the home is located is another important factor to consider, because it not only influences how comfortable you will be in your new location; it also affects your home’s value in the future.

1 – Convenient Transportation

Convenient access to transportation is one of the top features of a desirable neighborhood. Communities that are close to major highways, provide commuter trains to nearby cities and those that provide local public transportation ensure that residents can get to jobs, shopping and community activities easily.

2 – Park And Preserve Areas

Attractive parks and natural preserved areas always increase the value of homes that are in the area. These settings are important for children’s activities and for family enjoyment, but also singles that enjoy being outdoors, cycling, running and engaging in sports. Many park districts also offer lessons and programs for people of all ages. Some park districts offer swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball courts or fields for ball games. These amenities help to make a community a vibrant place where people get together, play together and socialize.

3 – Neighborhood Festivals And Events

Another perk that helps to promote community enjoyment and increase home values is organized festivals and other community events. Communities may celebrate their history or the founders of the town, which gives an area a strong sense of identity and continuity. Other places celebrate national holidays and other topics. These events provide a central place where residents can meet and get to know each other, as well as to attract public interest in the community as a whole.

4 – Convenient Shopping Venues

The community should have one or more local shopping areas for purchasing food, clothing and home care items. These stores are the most frequently visited venues that will save time and gasoline expense if they are located in close proximity to residential communities. This convenience is important to homeowners now and will continue to be of interest in the future.

Homes that are located in areas with these features tend to be popular with buyers, which increases their value over time. These properties are a good investment for families. Work with a real estate agent, like those at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, to find the perfect spot for your family. Carefully research the amenities in the area where you are considering a purchase, and find the desirable features that will keep neighborhood home values high.

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