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Breath of Death: 4 Tips for Improving Home Air Quality in the Winter

When the cold weather hits, people spend a lot more times indoors. This means that your home indoor air quality is more important than ever. If you are breathing in bad air, it can have a negative impact upon your health. To prevent this, you must take steps to improve the air quality in your house. Here are four tips for improving home air quality in the winter.

Get a Humidifier
One of the worst parts about winter is how dry everything gets. The dry air is not only bad for your skin, but it is can also be rough on your nasal passages and throat, as well. To help prevent dry air from hassling you this winter, you should invest in a good humidifier to keep the air in your house moister. Just be careful not to make the air too humid in order to prevent the growth of allergens like mold, bacteria, and dust mites.

Vacuum with a HEPA Filter
An important part of keeping your home air quality high is to vacuum regularly. When you vacuum, it is best to use a model with a HEPA filter to help improve your home air quality. A HEPA filter will remove contaminates like mold, dust, pollen, dust mites, and pet dander from the environment to keep your home’s air as pure as possible. 

Proper Ventilation
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when the weather turns chilly is to keep their homes shut up all winter long. This is especially true for people who have older furnaces in their houses. Most older furnaces have an air intake located inside the house. Newer furnaces bring in air from the outside to keep fresh air coming into the home. If you have a furnace with an indoor air intake, then you need to air out your house occasionally to help prevent toxins from lingering in the air inside your home.

The Importance of Running Your AC in the Winter
Sometimes homes can build up condensation when they are shut up all winter. One of the best ways to deal with this issue is to occasionally run your air conditioner during the winter. Although most people think air conditioners are just for cooling off the home, keep in mind that they are also designed to condition the air by removing moisture. This can be just what your home needs if it gets damp from being shut up to keep your home warm during the wintertime. It’s also good home AC maintenance to run your unit on a periodic basis, as it can help you identify potential issues before the warmer months arrive.

With these four tips, you will be all set to keep your home air quality high this winter. With high air quality, being inside so much in the winter won’t seem quite as bad. You will stay healthy and feel comfortable with the good air you breathe in when you are inside.

Article submitted by Lizzie Weakley.  Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

The post Breath of Death: 4 Tips for Improving Home Air Quality in the Winter appeared first on Home Staging Blog.

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41 Real Estate Open House Ideas People Love

By Kiah Treece on January 2, 2019 |

Unique real estate open house ideas can be the key to a successful property showing and subsequent sale. To help make your open house a success, we asked leading real estate professionals for their best open house ideas. Their answers cover everything from cleaning and staging the house to more innovative ideas like hiring a drone banner to advertise your event.

The 41 best real estate open house ideas from the pros are:

1. Promote Your Open House on Your Zillow Page—Free

When you claim a property listing on Zillow, you can include details about your real estate open house at no additional cost. However, when you join Zillow Premier Agent, you can also crowd out the competition by making yourself the exclusive agent for your listing. Plus, you’ll show up on listings that belong to other agents and expand your reach.

2. Engage with Your Visitors & Put Away the Phone Gina Blancarte, Real Estate Agent, The Agency

The best and most treasured tip I can give is to put away your cell phone—out of view, either in your pocket or a drawer—and do not be on your computer. Think about it…when you arrive at an Open House as an agent and you see the hosting agent on their cell phone or computer, what is your first thought? Mine is that they would rather be somewhere else and are not totally interested in selling the house.

I understand there are exceptions. However, I’ve seen this become more than norm. Host an Open House with the intention of engaging EVERYONE who comes in with a smile on your face, eyes up, and armed with facts on the house you want to sell. Your attendees will appreciate your full attention.

3. Offer Your Visitors Food & Drinks Matt McGee, Chief Marketing Officer, Cari McGee Real Estate Team

We had great success at a recent open house by turning it into an event—the main attraction (aside from the beautiful home) was that we hired a popular local food truck, and they parked out front. As people came inside and signed in, we gave them a coupon for a free lunch out at the food truck. It was unique and went over well—lots of good feedback.

4. Know Your Market Data Before Even Thinking About Hosting an Open House Blake Ellis, Broker, Windermere Realty Trust

Before the open house, study up on competing listings so you can speak intelligently on the competition and recent sales. Also, since not everyone who comes through the property will be “the Buyer,” make sure to have printouts of all the competing listings in the immediate area so that in the event a potential buyer doesn’t have interest in the house that’s being held open, you can still potentially work with them on another of the homes they might be considering.

READ MORE. . . 

The post 41 Real Estate Open House Ideas People Love appeared first on Home Staging Blog.

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New Year’s Home Remodeling Resolutions: Enter 2019 In Style

Making promises and writing down New Year’s resolutions become a tradition, and everybody hopes that the next year will bring them something great. You should know those good things won’t happen by themselves, so you’ll need to put some effort into it. There are two paths you can go in order to transform your resolutions into action: work on yourself or work on your environment. This text will try to help you improve the latter and redecorate your living space with style. Keep reading and learn how to remodel your home before the world enters 2019.

Save up some energy

The biggest concern humanity has at the moment is most certainly climate change. Every human being is responsible for what will happen to our planet and ecosystem, so make sure your carbon footprint remains acceptable. The first step toward a better world is to cut down energy usage. Make a promise to the Earth that you’ll be turning off light bulbs when you’re not in the room, recycle every time you can, and invest in at least one solar panel in 2019. Of course, make sure to seal and insulate your home. This will minimize energy usage while decreasing your bills.

Be smart about materials

The next year should be all about low maintenance and durability. Choose materials that are easy to use and that will last for a long time. For example, you can use fiber-cement siding which will stay there for at least 50 years. It will also save your home from bad weather or fire. Next, invest in LED bulbs and scatter them all around your house. These energy savers will illuminate your living space for a long time. If you use them around 3 hours per day, you can expect them to last between 18 and 46 years.

Work on family-friendly kitchen

The kitchen is not just a space for preparing food, it’s also a place where family comes together to eat and relax from everyday stress. That’s the reason why you should keep your kitchen clean and organized. If your kitchen isn’t accessible, make sure to remodel it. Think about the style and look online for inspiration. One of the best decoration patterns is most certainly the chess-based furniture. This uncommon style will make your kitchen more interesting, and it’s black and white colors will keep it minimalistic and modern.

Declutter on a regular basis

Avoid entering New Year with cluttered living space. You should get rid of all unnecessary magazines, papers, and mail which piled up on every flat surface in your living room. Gather and throw out all that junk, and spend some time dusting. Once everything is clean, make sure it stays that way, and you’ll make that possible if you clean every few weeks or so. Your living room will look much better after decluttering and you can even go an extra mile and reorder furniture in it. Making new furniture arrangement will refresh your home, and that a great move for entering 2019 with style.

Final thoughts

Once you’re done with above-mentioned steps, it is time to make more resolutions for 2019. You should promise that you’ll spend more time with your loved ones and include them in numerous family projects. Make a resolution to spend more time in nature, and bring some of it into your home. In the end, promise that you’ll grow and learn about yourself, so everyone around you can benefit. If your inner life is in order, your home will be cozier and more welcoming for every guest. Enter the New Year with the clean house and clean mind, and you can expect it will be a better one than the last.

Article submitted by Bob Gorman / Freelance writer
bob.gorman@go8.com.au

The post New Year’s Home Remodeling Resolutions: Enter 2019 In Style appeared first on Home Staging Blog.

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Facade Falling Short? 4 Reasons to Repaint Your Home’s Exterior

The exterior of your home is important to maintain for more reasons that just appearances. Exterior maintenance ensures, among other things, that the rest of your home is protected from the elements. Here are some of the reasons that you should repaint your home’s exterior.

Weathered and Peeling Exterior
Obviously, that weathered and peeling paint isn’t doing your home any favors when it comes to its appearance. More importantly, however, it may be causing your siding to rot out and cause problems for the inside of your home. Mold and other issues could be developing in your walls. This can lead to more costly repairs if you decide not to tackle the problem head-on. A part of being a responsible homeowner is that you take care of your home both inside and out.

Improved Curb Appeal
The curb appeal of your home might not be a big concern with you until you decide that you want to sell it. Keeping up on maintenance tasks will help to make your home’s curb appeal more pronounced and easier to handle. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the exterior of your home and keep it in good condition for much longer. You can become the house that everyone in the neighborhood is talking about just by getting your home repainted.

Increased Home Value
The value of your home can increase when you take the time to maintain it. Tackling a repainting project is a small task that you can undertake that will allow you to increase its value. If you decide to repaint your home’s exterior without using a professional, rent a boom lift for all of those hard-to-reach areas. This will eliminate you having to pull out that ladder and struggle to reach those spots that are impossible to reach even with the most strategically-positioned ladder.

Pride of Ownership
Taking pride in your home is a healthy thing. You can do so just by having your home’s exterior repainted. Select a brand of paint that will last for years to come. Some paints have warranties that will last for twenty or thirty years. That means that you can enjoy the benefits of having a nicely painted exterior for a long time. It can be nice to come home to a house that looks good both inside and outside.

Repainting your home’s exterior is the right move to make on so many levels. It can increase the appeal and the value of your home. Another benefit is that the rest of your home will be afforded protection with the minimal amount of effort on your part.

Article submitted by Lizzie Weakley.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

The post Facade Falling Short? 4 Reasons to Repaint Your Home’s Exterior appeared first on Home Staging Blog.

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Selling Your Home? 4 Things Buyers Always Look At

After making the decision to put your house on the market, it’s likely that you’ll be feeling overwhelmed at just how much cleaning and renovating needs to be done to get rid of that ‘lived-in’ look. Just like any market, it’s important to consider what the potential buyers will be looking for in a new home. Think like a potential buyer, consider what your concerns would be about a used home, and then make sure those areas are top notch. If you’re having trouble, here are four areas that every buyer will look at when touring your home.

Work on Curb Appeal
There is nothing more striking about a home for sale than that first impression. When they drive up to the house, where are they parking? Are they walking up to the house on a neatly paved walkway or crossing over dead grass and weeds? If your grass is not mowed, the garage door is rusty, the driveway is sinking and cracked, or the house exterior is patchy and worn, then your buyer will be much less likely to want to step through the door, let alone call the house their future home. Also, if the house looks grungy, the buyer may attempt to argue for lower prices to cover the costs of getting things repaired, costing much more to your profit off of the property than it would to get the place cleaned up yourself.

The Bathrooms
Whether we want to admit it or not, the bathroom is an essential center of any home. This is where the buyer will be bathing getting ready for the day, getting ready for bed, and spending hours when a stomach bug hits. Because so much time will be spent in here, a buyer will be drawn in by a quality, clean bathroom and repulsed by a cramped and dirty one. Make sure that your bathrooms have clean tiling free of grout, working utilities, and enough space that your buyer won’t feel claustrophobic just looking in from the outside.

The Flooring
The floor of any home takes a heavy beating over the years. Faded or cracked tiles, worn out carpeting, stains and other signs of wear and tear can make a home even look older than it really is, and be off-putting to potential buyers. Alternatively, fresh new flooring can make a home for sale look younger than it actually is. Not only that, but quality carpeting, tiles, or wooden boards add value to a home and can give you the opportunity to argue for a higher sell price.

A Functional Kitchen
Since most homeowners spend a lot of time in the kitchen, the overall look and feel of a kitchen should be open, functional, and inviting. A well-organized kitchen will have a partitioned sink, numerous cabinets and clean, spacious laminate benchtops. It is important that the color scheme of the kitchen works well also for buyer appeal. Paler colors can make a kitchen look bigger, but it will also show any faults that may have accumulated over the years. Darker colors are always in style, so consider getting your cabinets repainted to hide nicks and faults in the wood, as well as to give the kitchen a fresh, new exterior.

After taking a closer look at your home from the outside in, you have made some significant changes that have made your dwelling sparkle and shine. While some changes may seem costly, they will significantly increase the selling price of your home and attract buyers for a quicker and easier sale. The cost on your time and money to fight for a buyer that will grudgingly pay less than what your home is really worth is far more than that of a few fix-ups here and there, and having these factors taken care of will make buyers more likely to overlook other faults that they may need to take care of later. Be sure to itemize your improvements so that you can point them out as selling points to let buyers know the work you put into the home, greater improving their impression of you as a homeowner and of the house itself.

Article submitted by:

Meghan Belnap / Blogger, Researcher and Freelance Writer

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

The post Selling Your Home? 4 Things Buyers Always Look At appeared first on Home Staging Blog.

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Selling or Refinancing? 4 Factors Affecting Your Home Property Values

There are over 136,570,000 housing units in the United States, and that number continues to grow each year. At any time, there are approximately 1,250,000 homes for sale. The great news if you are looking to sell a home is that number has steadily declined from a high reached in 2010. If you are thinking of selling or refinancing your home, there are many things that can affect its value.

The Neighborhood
The value of your home is largely determined by its location. Home mortgage companies demand a report showing what comparable homes in your neighborhood have sold for lately before they will consider loaning money on it. Its location value is primarily determined by the home’s proximity to good jobs, shopping and entertainment opportunities and the quality of the local public school system.

Home Size
In most markets, the price of the home is determined by the amount of usable square feet in the home. Realtors rarely count unfinished basements, garages or attics in their figure of usable square feet. Therefore, if you want more money for your home, you might think about finishing the basement or adding an attic workspace or bedroom. According to the National Home Builders Association, adding an extra bedroom can increase the value of your home by 20 percent.

Move-in Ready
Buyers want a home they can enjoy without having to do a lot of work on it, and they will pay for upgrades that the seller has made to the home. All upgrades are not equal, however, so if you have a limited budget think about upgrading the kitchen first by installing matching stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. You can generally expect to gain $3 for every $1 you spend in kitchen upgrades.

The Market
The housing market varies tremendously across the United States. In markets where there are more homes for sale than people looking for homes, then prices usually go down. The opposite is also true. In markets where there are more people looking for homes than homes available, then the price usually goes up. If you are wondering if now is a good time to buy property or sell a home, then look at economic projections in your community because housing prices will usually follow them.

Considering these four factors will help you determine if now is a good time to buy or refinance a home. It will also let you know if now is the right time to sell. In the end, however, it often comes down to an emotional gut decision.

The post Selling or Refinancing? 4 Factors Affecting Your Home Property Values appeared first on Home Staging Blog.

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