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Category Archives: home care

From Summer Blues to Harvest Hues: Simple Ways to Transition a Backyard Into a Haven Buyers Will “Fall” in Love With

Daylight is dwindling, temperatures are dropping; it’s time to cover up the grill, toss the flowers and retire the patio furniture to the garage, right? Not so fast! Remember that backyard appeal can be just as important as curb appeal to potential buyers – all year long. With proper appointing, the backyard can remain a central hub all the way through the fall. Here are five easy ways to spice up any backyard to impress buyers, while simultaneously transitioning it from summer to fall.

  1. Say goodbye to vibrant petals – and hello to burgundy blooms!

Beautiful summer flowers have long since wilted, but that doesn’t mean plants are off-limits until spring. It’s time to transition into seasonally appropriate plants – you know, the ones that can handle cooler nights but still frame a back door with a pop of color. Pansies and garden mums are notorious for surviving signs of winter weather so they’re both stylish and practical. Feeling creative? Consider stacking this inexpensive wooden plant ladder with fresh herbs or fall flowers.

  1. Find the best seat in the house

Comfortable nooks are more desirable than sterile sitting parlors – that’s a given – so provide your backyard with that cozy versatility. Draping machine-washable throw blankets over outdoor seating acts as an invitation to curl up. And exchanging bold-colored summer pillows for durable outdoor pillows in shades like burgundy and burnt-orange, or even classic plaids, fosters a cabin-like feeling.

  1. Gather ’round the fire

Large bonfires may be a hit in the summertime, but compact fire pits are the perfect accompaniment to fall. There are wood-burning options for the fire-savvy, and gas-burning options for those who enjoy instant gratification. To ensure the safety of you and your neighbors, read up on fire safety protocols before purchasing a fire pit. If the thought of flames ablaze in your yard isn’t terribly appealing, consider a fuss-free heat lamp instead.

  1. Get your head in the game!

A home shouldn’t be too personalized during a showing – but it should show some signs of life. To make a backyard look like a place to lounge and play, include games and entertainment that double as decor. Cornhole is the perfect addition to the yard during the fall and it shows opportunity for people to engage with the outdoor space. Additionally, having a pair of binoculars sitting decoratively on a table or hanging on a hook encourages star-gazing on a crisp autumn night. These playful touches give the backyard character and show it can be a gathering place.

  1. Hang vintage bulbs for a modern feel

Who would have guessed that those oversized, old-fashioned light bulbs would come back in style – for patio fashion! Weather-proof string lights are now a staple for cultivating an appealing backyard during the day or night. Accent lights set the mood, creating a starry-ambiance and providing ample extra lighting on especially dark nights. These lights can wrap around porch railings, weave through a pergola or simply hang in the air.

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, find an experienced, top-producing agent on remaxallpro.com.

3 Things to Consider Before Registering Your Home on a Short-Term Rental Site

Once upon a time, the idea of renting out your home to a stranger while you left for vacation was considered quite odd.

Today, renting a room in your house (or the entire house) to unknown travelers isn’t an outlandish concept, thanks in part to online services such as Airbnb, FlipKey and VRBO. Short-term rentals provide an income opportunity for owners and a unique way for visitors to experience a city. What better way to get the local experience than staying with – or renting from – locals?

If you think you’re up to being a host of a short-term rental, here are three things to keep in mind.

1. Legality

The rise in popularity of Airbnb and other sites hasn’t been without its controversy. There are concerns that short-term rentals threaten the jobs of hotel workers, and that a short-term rental doesn’t have to pass the same certifications and inspections of regular hotels.

Some cities have enacted restrictions against short-term rentals. You may need to register and get a permit or a license – or you may not be able to host at all. Check with your local government to make sure you understand the laws.

2. Taxes

You may not need to report the money earned from the short-term rental of your home if you meet both of these requirements:

1. You rent it out for fewer than 14 days a year AND

2. You live in it for more than 14 days or more than 10 percent of the total days you rent it out during the year (this determines if the property is seen as a residence or a rental property by the IRS).

Still unclear about the taxes on your short-term rental? TurboTax provides some more information, or you may want to consult with a tax professional.

3. Additional Costs

Renting out your home could mean an extra insurance bill. Check with your insurance agent to learn what your current policy covers regarding short-term renters. They may recommend increasing coverage. Airbnb does provide free primary liability coverage for up to $1,000,000 per occurrence, and many of the other sites have partnerships that make it easy to take out additional coverage, if needed.

In addition to insurance, you’ll have to pay a percentage of the rental income to the website: Airbnb and FlipKey both charge a 3% host service fee, VRBO has an option to pay-per-booking or an annual subscription fee.

Start your first home buying experience off the right way by finding a real estate agent who works for you at remaxallpro.com.

 

Tidying Up Tips Hit the Housing Market

 
 

Admit it — over the holiday break you found yourself binge-watching the hit show with superstar organizing consultant Marie Kondo and quickly realized your place is not sparking much joy. Never fear! The KonMari Method is here and the tidying-up trend can give sellers and buyers the gentle nudge needed to organize their personal spaces or clean up their financial houses before showings or placing a bid.

WE HAVE LIFT OFF!
The theme behind the hip, tidying trend is that by making changes in our living space we create a catalyst for change and give ourselves the momentum we need to take charge in other areas of life. A nicely organized and de-cluttered home shows well and knowing your financial story before hunting for a new home sets you up for success.

SPARK TIME SAVINGS
Just like the KonMari method can help organize your home, buyers are encouraged to tidy up their credit to save time too. Buyers who know their credit score, debt to income ratio and come with pre-approved home loans are saving time and headaches in the house hunting process which can mean the difference between deal or no deal. By building a strong financial foundation before you shop, your bid on the house of your dreams will have time on its side.

SHOW STOPPERS
For sellers, once your belongings are scaled back, you can reclaim some of that time you wasted on running around, cleaning up before a scheduled showing. Many sellers say the ultra-approach to simplifying has changed their lives and it helps them with the quick-clean when they are showing their homes to prospective buyers. By staying on top of the little things, like that big stack of papers, mail and books piling up on the dining room table – it’s easier to give your space a quick-clean before a last-minute showing.

SENSE OF SATISFACTION
The tidying-up method can make our brains happy and leave us with a sense of accomplishment. Order matters in avoiding debt and financial stress too. Earn, save and enjoy is key in tackling those finances. Concentrate on being proactive with your finances and stay financially responsible as you try to qualify for a home loan. Having your financial house in order feels as good as organizing that messy hallway closet.

SHOW YOUR BEST SIDE
If you have your home on the market, simplifying a space can help you sell. Agents often tell sellers with big kitchens to clean out the useless items and create that extra space – this allows buyers to get a feel for space and imagine where their own kitchen appliances would be placed or stored.

DECREASE FRUSTRATION
Buying or selling a home is hard, but the simple task of organizing can cut through the daily hassles of life. A well-organized home and a firm understanding of your finances can have wide-reaching effects on our mood, happiness and even relationships during the home buying or selling period.

Looking to simply the hunt for a house or to sell your home? Find an experienced agent at remaxallpro.com

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9 Ways to Make Guests Feel at Home for the Holidays

The holiday seasons means a flurry of activities and family time. Here are some easy ways to make sure you and your guests are comfortable through it all.

1. Sticky-roll the furniture. Have your pets been sneaking a nap on the couch when you’re not looking? Make sure to de-fur the furniture before anyone has to sleep on it.

2. Test your air mattresses for holes. There’s nothing worse than falling asleep on an air mattress and waking up on a deflated tarp on the floor.

3. Pile kids into one room. They’ll love feeling like they’re at a sleepover.

4. Gather all of your old phone chargers. It’s one of the easiest things for travelers to forget to pack. Have your old chargers on hand, and you may save a guest a trip to the store.

5. Make the Wi-Fi password readily accessible. An easy way to do this is to print out the internet information on a notecard for each guest room.

6. Designate a snack and beverage hub. To avoid people tripping over each other at the fridge and during crucial food-prep times, set up a station away from the kitchen – maybe in the study – where guests can grab coffee and a bagel (or the like!) at their leisure.

7. Stock all the bathrooms. Everyone will feel better having all the bathroom essentials on-hand, including towels and washcloths, common toiletries, toilet paper, and, of course, a toilet brush and plunger. No one wants to announce they need a plunger!

8. Let them pitch in. Most guests want to help out somehow. Have everyone pick a regular task they’re willing to be responsible for, like walking the dogs, taking out the trash, making breakfast or doing the dinner dishes.

9. Relax and enjoy yourself! Set the tone for your guests. Do your best to look past the chaos and make the most of the time with family and friends.

An extra bedroom, closet or bathroom can go a long way around the holidays. Is it time you had more space? Find a local RE/MAX agent here who can help you find the right place for you.