• Buying a Home

    Picking the Perfect Neighborhood

    Community Check out the local markets, parks, shops, restaurants and community events. Attending events will allow you to get a feel for the area and your potential neighbors. Ask store owners and community members what they love about the neighborhood. Crime Check with the local police department or state Web site for crime statistics in the area. Sites like Family Watch Dog and Spot Crime are great places to start. Transportation Consider how you will get around. Is there public transportation? Do most people drive? Is it safe to ride a bike? How far will your commute be to work? Time it during rush hour to make sure. What about…

  • Staging

    Easy ways to stage your home for sale

    (ARA) – You’ve made the decision to sell your home. But before you put the “for sale” sign in the yard, make sure it’s ready to make a good impression on prospective buyers and clearly stands out among the many other homes on the market. There are many easy and inexpensive ways to clearly differentiate your home so that it appeals to a wide range of buyers … and in return, yields a fast and profitable sale. To begin, purge. Nothing makes a home look smaller than cluttered countertops, cupboards and closets. Plus, buyers want to envision a home with their own possessions – not yours. As you start cleaning,…

  • Home Maintenance

    Housing Components Don’t Last Forever

      Many aspects of a home last little more than a decade. Home buyers should be especially vigilant about inspecting these household components because they have a relatively short lifespan, says the National Association of Home Builders. Aluminum roof coating: 3-7 years Enameled steel sinks: 5-7 years Security systems: 5-10 years Carpet: 8-10 years Smoke detectors: fewer than 10 years Faucets: 10-15 years Garage door openers:10-15 years Air conditioners: 10-15 years Asphalt: 12-15 years Termite-proofing during construction: 12 years   Source: Bankrate.com, Marcie Geffner (01/22/2010) Photo ©Teresa Butler 2010. All rights reserved.

  • Selling a Home,  Staging

    10 Inexpensive Ways to Wow Buyers

    Now is the time for home owners contemplating a spring sale to spruce up their properties in anticipation of what Mike Larson of Weiss Research calls a potentially vibrant home-selling season. “If you have been beating your head against a wall, this is going to feel a lot better,” he says.Here are 10 cheap ways to make a property more attractive to shoppers: Improve first impressions. Touch up the paint on the front door and other areas that buyers see first. Clean up the landscaping. Trim the hedges and trees and plant some annuals in the flowerbeds. Paint the interior. A coat of light yellow or cream with contrasting white…