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Economical Upgrades to Increase Your Home’s Value

11/28/2022

Economical Upgrades to Increase Your Home’s Value

Nov 28, 2022

Whether you are looking to move now or may consider it in the future, there are many affordable options for making significant changes to your home without having to do a major renovation. With low-cost purchases of supplies, DIY instructions or professional guidance, and time set aside, you can make improvements that will increase your home’s resale value, save you money on energy costs, and improve your quality of living. When considering improvements, consider what needs attention first, such as protection from the elements, mold removal, mobility safety, and energy efficiency. Once those are addressed, you should pay attention to enhancing the appearance to attract future buyers. Such consideration should include space, lighting, curb appeal, and interior decorum. The following upgrades can transform your home into a more comfortable and stylish environment without stretching your wallet.

Start simple with cleaning, painting, and other resurfacing

Always begin with sparkling up the floors, walls, fixtures, and cabinetry which you can easily do with minimal expense. Sanding and repainting, wallpaper, and retiling can give a new look to what has grown old and drabby. Also, replace old appliances and countertops when you can find items on sale. Another way to eliminate eyesores is to hide them with a photo or painting. You can also cheaply replace old handles, knobs, locks, and outlet plates with a newer style to create a unique look. If preferred, you can paint over these fixtures and tile and tubs. It’s important, though, to match the colors and style of your room, furniture, and appliances. Consult a professional to recoat ceramic, porcelain, or fiberglass.

Give the illusion of space, and don’t waste what you have

Do you have an unused room? Why not turn it into a functioning space, such as a comfortable den or extra bedroom? You can add new furniture, rugs, pillows, a TV, or a free-standing wardrobe closet. Add mirrors to a small area to make it appear more spacious. Install visible storage, such as floating shelves, to allow others to see the capacity. Rid your home of bulky furnishings to free up space.

Refurbishment instead of replacement

Re-stain or refinish old wood on decks, doors, and furniture. Update your windows by adding molding or painting the frames inside to make them appear bigger and more modern. If you need to replace, buy energy-efficient windows; vinyl ones are recommended. You can also add interior shutters for style and privacy.

Upgrade the lighting

You can improve the ambiance of a room with a different light fixture, such as a new dining room chandelier or a vintage lantern, to give a rustic charm to your entryway. Consider investing between $1000-$3000 to install a sliding glass door to bring in more natural lighting. In addition, choose neutral paint colors for a softer environment pleasing to the average eye.

Improve curb appeal

Although they shouldn’t, people will judge a book by its cover. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and that includes your home. You may only need to paint your front door and add a few plants or plant shrubs and perennials to populate a barren area. You’re not only beautifying your property but benefiting the environment. In addition, pay attention to the exterior material of your house. Worn siding and peeling shingles will immediately turn potential buyers off. You can remove dirt and stains by power washing, but if you need to replace siding, fiber-cement is recommended for its affordability and resistance to fire, rotting, and termites.

Compared to more extensive remodeling, these small home improvements are a more affordable and less laborious approach to giving your home the facelift it needs to be saleable. In addition, these upgrades allow you to enjoy the time you have in your home with the added comforts and conveniences they provide.  If you have more questions or need more information, reach out to me at 757-418-2139 and I'd be happy to help.

Should You Sell Your Home in the Fall?

11/10/2022

Should You Sell Your Home in the Fall?

Nov 10, 2022

Spring is the most popular time to sell a home, yet there are some advantages to getting your house on the market in the autumn months. Although you may feel you have missed out by not putting your house on the market in the spring, the fall months for selling your home could be a feather in your cap. Look at the following four benefits to selling your home in the fall, along with tips for leveraging those to find a buyer.

Demographics Most Likely to Buy in the Fall

Serious homebuyers for this time are often millennials, empty-nesters, or relocated employees without children. Without having to consider a new school year, they are more apt to buy before the end of the year to lock in mortgage rates, avoid the hassle of a move in the winter weather, or get settled in a new location for their job before the start of a new year.

 

Less Inventory—Less Competition

Homes listed for sale are generally lower in autumn, so you are not competing as much with other buyers. While sellers are more susceptible to the pressure of buyers’ demands during the peak season, you have a better chance of attracting buyers to your home and getting them to accept your selling price during a slower period.

TIP: Get professional assistance with pricing your home and the right strategy for selling during the off-season

Seasonal Attractiveness

The fall brings vibrant colors, a cooler temperature, and more choices for décor. The heat and humidity of summer have mostly passed, and the new season of harvest and festivals lures people out into the environment. It is a time when people may want to make a big purchasing decision before the rush of the holidays and the end of the year.

Improve the curb appeal of your home and stage the inside. You can do this in the following ways:
1. Clean and De-clutter
2. Replace dim lighting
3. Add flowers
4. Paint and caulk
5. Purchase new pillows, curtains, and candles
6. Re-arrange your furniture for better social interaction
7. Use gas or electric fireplaces for ambiance
8. Don’t overdo decorations.
9. Photograph the property while you still have natural lighting.

Quicker Closing

Since the fall tends to be an off-peak season with fewer home sales and real estate transactions, your closing should go quicker and with less stress. You should be able to book with mortgage lenders, home inspectors, attorneys, and other vendors related to your home’s sale without delay or hassle.

There is never a right or wrong season to sell your home. Although spring may lure many enthusiastic families into wanting to buy in the warm weather, the fall can be equally enticing for others. You’ll find that many are motivated during this time to buy because they want to settle in before the winter and holiday season. Still, whatever season you decide to sell, it’s always important to prepare your home adequately and know the strategies to attract the best buyers.

Home Appraisal Myths Busted

10/31/2022

Home Appraisal Myths Busted

Oct 31, 2022

Most things to do with buying or selling a home can be pretty stressful, from finding the house of your dreams, to securing the financing, all the way through to closing. But for most transactions, everything, absolutely everything, hinges on the home appraisal. This is probably why so many myths and misconceptions have grown up around the process. We’re here to help you sort the truth from the stories.

Myth #1: Home Appraisals and Home Inspections Are the Same

This couldn’t be further from the truth. The sole purpose of a home appraisal is to determine the value of the home, in that moment, in those market conditions, in the shape that home is currently in. A home inspection, on the other hand, determines the condition of the home, along with any major defects, in the moment when it’s being inspected.

The waters get muddied when buyers are securing FHA or USDA loans, which require an additional loan-specific inspection be performed by the appraiser. This particular kind of inspection is there to ensure that the home meets the loan’s minimum standards, not to determine the overall condition of the home. Always have a home inspection, it’s a much different thing.

Myth #2: Home Appraisers Create Market Values

Although the home appraiser will assign your home a rough value, the work they do is actually based on a thorough study of the current real estate market’s conditions, the condition of the home, the value of each component of the home, the value the neighborhood contributes, and a myriad of other factors, as well as the fact that a buyer was willing to pay the amount of your contract for the home.

So, while any individual home appraiser could be considered to be contributing to market values, they in no way set them. You can think of them more like a reporter, simply telling the story of your home and the things in it, for better or for worse. They see homes every day and understand what a dollar will buy in their particular markets.

Myth #3: If You’ve Had an Assessment, You Don’t Need an Appraisal

While an assessment is a type of valuation of a home for the purposes of determining tax responsibility, they don’t go into the kind of depth an appraisal does. Do you remember the last time someone went onto your property and into your home to perform a tax assessment? Of course not, because they’re simply not that thorough. Tax assessments have to be done quickly due to the sheer number performed at once, so they are often painted with a very broad brush.

Appraisals, on the other hand, can each take several hours, including the time the appraiser is on site examining the home’s interior. This is why when someone believes their assessment to be incorrect, they can challenge it using a home appraisal. The appraisal is simply more accurate. Never use an assessment for sales or purchase purposes, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Myth #4: The Appraiser Is on the Bank’s Side

An appraiser is a neutral third-party expert who is contracted by banks to determine the value of your home so they can use this figure in making your loan. This doesn’t mean that appraisers are working on behalf of the bank or that they’re simply there to make the numbers work out every time. Sometimes, appraisers come back with very bad news about homes, determining that they absolutely cannot be appraised for the transaction price, or that there’s something about them that means they cannot meet the minimum requirements of a given loan type.

When It’s Time to Buy a Home…

Although you can’t pick your appraiser, you certainly can choose the bankers you work with who will help you make the best financial decisions about your future home as possible. When you’re not sure who to call, call me and i"ll connect you to the very best financial professionals out there. It doesn’t cost a thing, and knowing you’re using a banker who is recommended so highly can help make your real estate transaction a little easier.
Call or text for any of your real estate questions 757-418-2139.

Good Scents: Using Smell to Entice Homebuyers

9/26/2022

Good Scents: Using Smell to Entice Homebuyers

Sep 26, 2022

There are a number of unpleasant smells that can occur in your home. Sometimes they’re temporary bouts of unpleasantness, and other times they stick around. A lot of smells and odors can seem manageable, since even lingering mustiness or other odors can kind of fade over time as you get used to them. Unfortunately, just because you’ve gone somewhat “nose blind” to those smells doesn’t mean that other people have, and that can be a major problem if you’re listing your home for sale.

If you’re trying to entice people to be interested in your home, you need to make sure that the first thing they smell when walking in the door isn’t some awful smell that you’ve just gotten used to. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to bringing the smell of your home around to work to your advantage. With that said, here are a few things that might help.

Eliminate Smell Sources

If there are unpleasant smells in your home, the first thing that you should do is work on getting rid of the source of those smells. Enzyme sprays and other specialty cleaners can reduce or eliminate the cause of many pet odors, even if your pets have had accidents on the carpet. Likewise, a mix of ice, rock salt, and white vinegar can help clean and neutralize odors from the garbage disposal. A dehumidifier can go a long way toward getting rid of musty smells by reducing the humidity to a level where mildew and mold can’t grow. A thorough cleaning can also help, especially if it involves both vacuuming and shampooing the carpets and plush furniture surfaces.

If specific items such as a rug under the litter box or an old and musty pair of work boots are the source of the smell, get them out of the house or get rid of them entirely. Tossing things out may seem like a drastic step, but unless you eliminate the source of an odor, it isn’t really ever going to fully go away. Plus, if something is stinking up your home that bad then you probably don’t really need it around anyhow.

 

Improve Your Home’s Scent

As you work on removing unpleasant scents from your home, you can also work on adding pleasant ones. Provided that the weather allows for it, spend a few days with as many doors and windows open as possible (shutting off the HVAC first, of course) to air out the house and get fresh air everywhere. You might also want to set up fans to help circulate the air so that it reaches as many points in the house as possible. This will serve the dual purpose of getting out lingering odors and bringing in fresh scents from outdoors.

Air fresheners and air sanitizers are also useful in this regard. Opt for something with a light scent that’s either fruity or floral, but not overbearingly so. After all, your goal is to leave the air smelling fresh but not smelling like perfume. Before people come to look at the house, put out fresh flowers in key rooms to help improve the scent of the room without having to rely overly on sprays or other artificial air fresheners.

Bring in the Pros

With some odors, you may not be able to fully get rid of them on your own. In these cases, it’s a good idea to call in professional cleaners and explain what the problem is. These pros use specially-formulated cleaners and other solutions that help them break down the causes of even some of the nastiest smells to get your home smelling fresh and clean before you list it.

If you’re not sure who to call, Contact me by phone or text , also HomeKeepr can help. Our app can connect you with cleaners and other pros in your area to help with anything that you need before putting your home on the market. Best of all, creating a HomeKeepr account is free! Sign up today to get started.

Trellising 101: Climb, Plant, Climb!

9/22/2022

Trellising 101: Climb, Plant, Climb!

Sep 22, 2022

Growing a garden is the ultimate act of faith. After all, you never know if your plants will thrive or if they will cease to be long before reaching their full potential. Hopefully, with diligent care, and a little luck, your plants will grow big, strong, and glorious. When it comes to growing climbing plants (often referred to as “vines,” “climbers,” or “lianas”), two of the most important parts of their success are having the right kinds of things to climb and the right help to get started on their way up.

What Is a Climbing Plant?

The term “climbing plant” is kind of a giant catch-all term that includes a range of plants with long, flexible stems, and some mechanism that allows them to reach great heights in their native environments. However, some climbing plants will also just become shrubs if they have nothing to climb, and others will climb for a while, then set roots where they land before shedding their climbing tools all together.

But in most cases, when people think of climbing plants, they think of plants that are vining. These plants climb over structures and other plants using several different mechanisms. This can include stems that twist around supports, leaves that twist around objects or one another, curly tendrils that wrap around supports, long roots that help them cling to solid surfaces, or hooks like thorns that help them move upward.

Although it’s common to see vines sold as ornamentals, there are also a number of climbing plants that are part of the vegetable garden. For example, cucumbers and tomatoes are both vining plants, which makes them perfect for vertical gardening.

 

Trellising Vining Plants

Climbing plants can be easy to grow, if you give them appropriate things to climb and help them get a foothold when needed. Trellising a plant isn’t difficult, but choosing the right trellis can be sometimes. Not every plant will respond to every trellis, so it’s very important to consider the method by which your plant climbs before choosing a trellis for it.

For example, if your plant climbs with tendrils, it will do best with a wire trellis with frequent horizontal cross pieces. Because it needs to be able to reach up and wrap the tendrils around something substantial but narrow, the thick, flat trellises can be difficult for this type of vine to climb. On the other hand, if you’re trying to grow something that uses its roots to climb, like Virginia creeper, you need those trellises with the wide, flat components. It’s very difficult for this kind of plant to climb up narrow trellis material because it has to have some significant space and texture to allow it to really grab on with its roots.

So, whether you choose your trellis first (maybe you already have one in mind) or you choose your plant first, they need to be compatible. For many climbing plants, something as simple as mesh fencing can make a magnificent trellis.

How to Train Your Vines

Training vines to their appropriate trellises is surprisingly simple most of the time. As long as your trellis is close enough to the ground that your vine can reach it quickly in its growing process, often all you have to do is wait and let the plant do its own thing. If your plant is a bit more resistant, that’s ok, there are ways to encourage it to grow up.

A common technique for training vines onto a trellis is simply to wait for it to grow long enough for you to start winding it through the trellis material. Be very gentle, as you’ll need those delicate growing tips to remain undamaged, but loosely weaving it through the trellis as it grows will help it establish a framework for where it should be hanging out, so to speak.

With vines that need to attach to flat areas using their roots, you may be able to tie them on loosely until the root has firmly secured the plant. Use a cloth tie if at all possible to reduce the risk of damage to your plant. Before you know it, you’ll be able to untie the plant and let it get on with growing.

Still Need Help Moving Your Plants Up?

If your vining plants are still giving you trouble, or you simply don’t know which vine is right for your really magnificent arbor, it may be time to consult a landscaper or other plant expert. I can help you find them, no matter where they may be! Just ask for a recommendation for the very best plant brains in your area, and in no time, your glorious dream of green will become a reality.

How to Keep Your Ductwork Clean

9/19/2022

How to Keep Your Ductwork Clean

Sep 19, 2022

Your home’s HVAC system works hard throughout the year. Unfortunately, this can cause it to experience problems over time, often at a time when you’d really rather it not fail on you. This is why yearly maintenance and inspections are recommended, since a little bit of attention now can save you a whole lot of problems (and money) later on.

There’s more that you can do to help your HVAC system stay in good working order than just having it inspected and maintained, though. One of the big things that you can do to help is keeping your ductwork clean. This helps to prevent blocked airflow, keeps dust and other particles from being recirculated into the air, and overall reduces the strain on your HVAC unit as it tries to push air through the entire ductwork system. If you’ve never cleaned your ductwork before, here’s what you need to know to start.

Cleaning Your Ductwork

There are a few things that you can do to clean up your ductwork. One that’s often overlooked is actually vacuuming it out to remove built up dust, dirt, and other particles. You obviously can’t do this to the entire length of your ductwork, but removing vent covers and vacuuming around the vent area still makes a huge difference. Dust and debris tend to pile up here because some of it is trapped by the vent cover itself, and it mixes with debris and other items that might get dropped down the vent by mistake. When the air kicks on, some of this loose debris is circulated back into the house, bringing with it mildew and mold spores and a variety of other things that will either be breathed in or clog up your air filter. Vacuum it out now to help keep this from happening.

Speaking of air filters, they are one of your best tools when it comes to cleaning up your ductwork. Changing them monthly keeps them in good working condition, preventing a lot of the dust, dander, and other unwanted particles from making it into your ductwork in the first place. Set a schedule to change your filter, writing it on your calendar or setting up some other reminder so that you don’t forget. Once this schedule is in place, you’ll be amazed at how much of an effect this consistency can have on the state of your ducts.

Keeping It Clean

Cleaning your ductwork isn’t just a one-and-done event. You’ll still need to vacuum your vents periodically and stick with your air filter schedule to keep it clean. There’s more that you can do to help keep the ductwork clean and reduce the strain on your HVAC system, though. Things like installing a dehumidifier to reduce overall indoor humidity and dusting your home on a more regular basis can make a big difference, especially in the weeks following your initial cleaning to get any loose particles that you couldn’t reach with the vacuum.

Another thing that you can do to help keep your ductwork clean is to make sure that all your vents are open at least a little to facilitate air flow throughout the entire duct system. A lot of homeowners close vents in rooms that don’t see much use, but this actually increases pressure on the HVAC system and creates dead ends where dust and other particles can build up. By opening these vents at least partially, you can ensure good airflow throughout the house, and avoid situations where closed vents lead to buildup.

Ductwork Cleaning and Inspection

It’s already been mentioned how important HVAC inspections are, but you can actually get your ductwork professionally cleaned and inspected as well. This cleaning helps to ensure that the entire duct system is cleaned out, and the inspection ensures that there isn’t any damage or other issues that negatively affect airflow. Let me know and I can help you find HVAC pros in your area that offer ductwork cleaning and inspection services. Call or Text 757-418-2139

Create Cool Summer Spaces With Awnings

8/18/2022

Create Cool Summer Spaces With Awnings

Aug 15, 2022

If you have any kind of outdoor space, the chances are good that it’s the perfect place to hang out in only limited windows throughout the year. Although you probably imagined something like a backyard oasis when you chose your home, the reality is a little different when the sun gets a bit too bright and bears down a little extra enthusiastically.

That’s ok! There’s a solution for this very problem, and it’s a simple fix that can help transform that hot, bright patio or deck into a truly flexible outdoor haven. That’s right, it’s time to consider adding an awning to your home.

What Is an Awning?

Awnings were very popular features of homes prior to widespread air conditioning systems, and even persisted after central air was common to help shade windows and porches. You still see them as standard features on recreational vehicles, but they’re also coming back as important parts of a home’s exterior.

These large shades, made of materials like durable cloth or aluminum, are simple to install, relatively inexpensive, and create pools of shade immediately. Unlike trying to grow trees for shade, which can take years and years, or installing temporary shades like sail shades, awnings are fast and permanent solutions to your heat puddle woes.

In the past, they only came as fixed units, so once installed, they were where they were, even if you needed there to be more sunlight in the shaded space at certain times of the year. Today, however, you can choose between fixed awnings and retractable awnings, and even awnings that have remote controls to help you open and close them whenever you feel like it.

Retractable Awnings Versus Fixed Awnings

Because there are so many awning types available today, it can be hard to decide which one is ideal for your situation. Perhaps the most important question you need to ask yourself is if you’d be better off with a retractable awning or a fixed awning. Both have their pros and cons.

Fixed awnings are generally very sturdy, and can be less expensive because of the lack of additional mechanisms required to make them open and close. They don’t need a lot of maintenance because they have no moving parts, so besides the occasional wash, they mostly just hang around. Fixed awnings are great for patios that you’d like to shade year-round, or for places like above windows or doors that let far too much sun into your home.

Retractable awnings, on the other hand, can be an important part of your home’s climate management, even if they also double as shades for entertainment spaces. Because they can retract, you can close these awnings when the weather starts to cool off to allow the sun to help warm your home through passive solar heating. Even if you don’t need the thermal help, they can be closed before bad storms or heavy snows, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.

Freestanding Awnings Offer Flexible Solutions

If you’re not quite sure where you want your awning installed, or that you want it installed on your home at all, a freestanding awning might be the right solution for you. They’re great for backyards and pool areas, creating a lot of shade exactly where you need it, without being dependent on the location of a nearby wall.

Like building-mounted awnings, freestanding awnings come in a variety of materials, designs, and with retractable or fixed options. The only difference is that instead of being mounted on a building, they’re mounted on top of legs, much like a pop-up canopy. There is some risk with this design of wind damage, so if you’re in a windy area, make sure to choose one rated for high wind speeds and mount it securely to the ground.

Need Help Finding Your Perfect Awning?

It can be hard to choose the right awning for your home, but you don’t have to do it alone. Just reach out to me for your contractor needs.

Tips for Your Basement Remodel

8/8/2022

Tips for Your Basement Remodel

Aug 07, 2022

Having a finished basement is a great addition for just about any house. It can give you a place to relax, a play area for your children, or even additional bedroom space if you need it. Some people even use basement areas to create fully furnished workshops, craft rooms, and other furnished DIY areas so they’ll have comfortable places for hobbies and keep DIY clutter out of the main house areas. The possibilities of a finished basement are limited only by your imagination.

With that said, finishing or remodeling a basement area can be a big undertaking. There are ways to keep it from becoming overwhelming, though, as well as things that you can do to avoid potential problems down the line. While the specifics of your basement project will depend on where you live and how you’re designing your basement, here are some tips that should help you to remodel your basement space into something closer to your liking.

Plan for the Basics First

There are a few things that you’re going to want to tackle before you get too far into planning your basement remodel. Some issues such as stuffy air, moisture problems, and poor lighting often plague basements and cause finished basement areas to be underutilized compared to the rest of the house. You’re going to want to make sure that any foundation cracks or other leaks are taken care of, that the basement has good ventilation and air purification as needed, and that there’s sufficient lighting for your needs.

Heating and cooling issues are another thing you’re going to want to plan for early on. Finished basements can become stuffy or drafty if you don’t have proper HVAC extensions or other heating and cooling options in place, and pipes running through the basement ceiling can make a huge mess if they freeze and burst during especially cold winters. Proper insulation, good seals around windows and doors, and some way to keep temperature-regulated air flowing can go a long way toward avoiding these issues.

Make the Room Your Own

Before you really dive into a major remodeling project, take the time to figure out exactly what the space is going to be used for. Once you have this in mind it will help a lot with other design decisions. Having a purpose in place can help you choose wall and ceiling colors, aid in determining storage needs, and even help you choose the sort of flooring or furniture that you want in your finished basement area.

As you plan out your basement and what you want to use it for, your needs can also make it easier to tell whether you’ll need a single large room or if you’ll want to partition the basement space into multiple smaller rooms. Having a plan in place will go a long way toward making sure that all of your needs are covered and that your new space will actually meet your needs.

Bring in Some Help

While there are a number of jobs that you can DIY in a basement remodel, there are still some areas that are best left to the professionals. This is especially important if your basement needs new lighting installed, new plumbing, or an extension to your HVAC system to ensure that you have adequate ventilation in your new basement area. While it may be tempting to try and do some of these things yourself, that can set you up for a lot of problems down the road.

Fortunately, HomeKeepr is here to help. Our app can connect you with plumbers, electricians, HVAC pros, and other professionals to make sure that everything is done correctly and up to code. Whether you just need some lights installed or full room partitions, we’ve got you covered. Best of all, creating a HomeKeepr account is free. Sign up today and get that much closer to being done with the basement of your dreams.

Preserving the Charm of Historical Homes

7/18/2022

Preserving the Charm of Historical Homes

Jul 18, 2022

When you’re looking for a house, or even making decisions about the one you already own, there’s a lot to be said for leaving things be. Sure, there are some horrific things that history gave us that should be forgotten forever, but there are also historical features that are not only charming and quirky, but sought-after by buyers. These days, getting a house ready for sale doesn’t mean having to get rid of everything that makes that house interesting.

Preserving a Home’s Character and History

It’s not unusual to need to do some kind of updates to a home. No matter how cool the mid-century modern bathroom is in your MCM ranch, or how original the kitchen in your Victorian, sometimes change is inevitable. For example, you might need to make these spaces more accessible, or update the plumbing or electrical, requiring extensive changes.

But you can still update and preserve a home at the same time by making careful choices that make sense with the home’s history. Choosing replacement materials that are close to what would be accurate for that bathroom that needs a walk-in shower, or refitting a new kitchen with extensive nods to its period, are common ways to handle these situations. It can help complete the illusion by repurposing as many of the original elements as possible, which also keeps more trash out of the landfill. One notable exception to the rule is if your materials are considered hazardous, like flooring made with asbestos (consult with a remediator on how to legally and safely remove it in your state).

Do Buyers Want Pink Bathrooms?

Yes! Although HGTV would have you believe that the entire world wants homes that are black, white, and gray, the truth is a lot different than that. After touring homes that have been completely “grayed out,” having that cool retro bathroom or deeply detailed wooden trim is actually a point in your favor with many buyers. Your house can stand apart from the crowd, simply by being itself. There’s no amount of sterilization that can make an old house a new one, but you can sterilize the heart and history out of a home very quickly and easily by trying to turn your home into something that it isn’t.

Buyers do pick up on that in homes that have been way overdone. They never quite feel right. When people walk into a house expecting to see wooden floors or chrome plating because it reminds them so much of their grandmother’s house, and what they get is a generic house that looks like 10 others that are currently under construction, it’s a big letdown.

Preservation Also Saves Money

Not only does preserving as many of the cool features of your home as possible keep more construction waste out of landfills and help your home stand out from the crowd, it also keeps more money in your pocket. Things like Formica counters and tile floors never really go out of style, nor do good quality lighting, brick, hardwood flooring, wooden doors, or hundreds of other sturdy materials that you find in older homes.

Everyone who tours your home will have something to say about every material in it, no matter what you choose, so you might as well do yourself a favor and keep all the things that make your house your home. It’ll save you money and draw in new buyers who are looking for something beyond the boring gray of today’s real estate market.

Who Can You Call for Help?

When it comes to a historical rehabilitation, there are plenty of people who can be called in to help get the ball rolling. From general contractors who help preserve historic homes, to electricians who specifically focus on older structures, and even window installers who can upgrade the efficiency of your home without changing the look of it, there’s an army of people to consult.

And, lucky for you, you can find them all in the HomeKeepr community! When you ask for recommendations, make sure you specify that you’d like an older home specialist who can help bring back your home’s period shine without sacrificing too much of it to the aesthetic of the hour. Call or text Maura for any questions 757-418-2139; or email at Maura@MauraBainHomes.com

What Is a SEER Rating?

7/14/2022

What Is a SEER Rating?

Jul 14, 2022

With the cost of heating and cooling a home throughout the year, homeowners want to have the most efficient HVAC units in their home that they can afford. Asking for recommendations for a specific unit can bring about a wide range of different answers, though. Those who are in the market for a new HVAC unit need a way to tell just how efficient different units are beyond all of the hype. That’s where SEER ratings come in.

An HVAC unit’s SEER rating should be one of the most important factors you consider when trying to decide on a model. Unfortunately, if you don’t really know what a SEER rating is or how it’s used, the rating can be kind of confusing. To help, here’s a basic rundown of what SEER ratings are, how they’re used, and where you can turn to get more information.

SEER Ratings Explained

First things first: SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio” and is one of the details provided on those big yellow “EnergyGuide” stickers that you’ll see on things like air conditioners, heaters, and HVAC units. It’s a ratio that compares the output of the unit over the course of an average season divided by the average energy used during that same season. This provides you with an idea of how cost-effective using the unit will be since the ratio sums up how much energy it will take to keep your home comfortable for an entire season.

It’s important to keep in mind that the rating represents the unit’s maximum potential efficiency; your actual experience may be (and likely will be) at least somewhat less than that potential based on weather conditions and other factors such as routine maintenance. Even with that in mind, the SEER rating provides a starting point for comparing different options and finding the best solution for your home.

 

Using a SEER Rating

When it comes to SEER ratings, you want to find HVAC units that have high numbers. This means that a relatively small amount of energy was used to create the output that the unit achieved, which translates to a significant reduction in cost for you. If you’re upgrading from a unit that is maybe 10 to 15 years old, there’s a good chance that you could save as much as 20 to 40 percent on your energy bill due to the higher efficiency of modern units. Using the SEER rating as a guide and comparing new units to the SEER rating of your current one will help you to maximize that savings.

Similarly, SEER ratings can be used to compare models from different manufacturers to find the one that provides the best bang for your buck. A unit that’s more expensive up front may still save you money in the long run if it has a notably higher SEER rating than cheaper models. While there’s obviously limits to how much your budget can spare, using the SEER rating as a comparison point can help you to find the most efficient option from among multiple models that otherwise seem very similar.

Choosing the Right HVAC Unit

If you still aren’t sure exactly which HVAC unit you need, don’t be afraid to talk to a professional. Get in touch with pros that specialize in HVAC sales and installation, as they’ll not only know how to find the most efficient unit within your budget, but will also help you take factors such as your region, the local climate, and the size of your home into consideration. Best of all, they’ll be able to deliver and install the unit for you to make sure that everything is done correctly.

HomeKeepr can help you find the HVAC pros you need for the job. Our app can match you with these and other pros in your area, and best of all creating an account is free. If you’re ready to take control of your home’s temperatures throughout the year without breaking the bank, sign up for your free HomeKeepr account today.

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