Tag Archives: moving on up

3 Things To Check Before Selling Your Home

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3 Things To Check Before Selling Your Home

It’s time to move on, and you want to find somewhere new to live. Obviously, there are lots of different elements of selling a home, and plenty of things to think about. Preparation is key as it can help you get the most out of your sale, bagging you a pretty handy profit to go towards your new dream home.

Let’s not waste time looking at the obvious things and instead turn your attention to some of the more hidden elements of your home that need checking presale. Here are a few things you should definitely spend some extra time looking at and preparing before selling your house:

Furnace:

Every home has a furnace, but how old is yours? If it’s over ten years old – which it might be, then it’s no longer working at peak efficiency. In fact, it will probably only be working at 60%, meaning you lose 40% of the energy created. Do you think this is an attractive prospect for buyers? Here’s a hint, it’s not! So, you may need to find a furnace repair service to touch this bad boy up before you sell your home. It’ll mean you can list your house for a higher value, and you will also have fewer complaints from any prospective buyers.

Windows:

Okay, you’re not technically looking at the windows themselves, but more the sealant around the edges of your windows. This can peel away over time and look quite bad. It also likely leads to drafts of air coming through, which is not good for the energy efficiency of your home. If a viewer sees your nasty window sealant, then they may be put off. Or, they will hit you with a low bid as they argue they’ll probably need to replace the windows. You can avoid this by replacing the sealant to give your windows a more modern look. There’s nothing for buyers to worry about and you make your home look more appealing.

Grout:

For those that don’t know, grout is the little space between tiles. Why does this need checking? One word; mold. Grout is very prone to turning horrible and black with mold. This usually only happens in wall tiles in your bathroom or kitchen. Water can be trapped and absorbed into the grout, which then leads to mold formations. It’s incredibly off-putting and will lower the value of your home if people see it. So, before selling your house, make sure you check the grout between your tiles and clean them if required. Hopefully, you don’t need to do anything as cleaning mold from grout is a tough task.

You should already be carrying out lots of different checks and preparations throughout your home. The three things on this list are things that a lot of you probably wouldn’t think about checking. So, consider them secret ways to boost your sale price! Unless your home is either relatively new or in phenomenal condition, you’ll likely see issues with these things and need to fix them before selling.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Selling Your Space: Services You Need To Find A Buyer Faster

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Selling Your Space: Services You Need To Find A Buyer Faster

There is much money to be made in the real estate industry. Buying from developers and selling to budding homeowners, when done with acute timing, can rake in a multi-million profit. However, this is one of those trades that sounds easier said than done. While it’s a lucrative business for the flipper, people will always be wary about where to spend their hard-earned cash on. Thus, you have to make your property as attractive as possible. How do you close that sale and make millions in a jiffy? Here are some services you can use:

It’s all about the angles:

Showcasing all of the best features of your property requires expertise. Make sure to hire both a professional photographer and an expert photo-editing company so that the ending photos look exquisite.

To make sure all of the shots present spick and span angles, clean the property from top to bottom a day before. Remove all clutter from the floor to clearly show open walking spaces. Rearrange furniture so that all rooms seem larger. Every wide shot should include at least half of the room or two adjacent walls and a clear view of the floor to ceiling. Let as much light in by turning on lights and opening windows. Accessorize flat elevated areas like dining tables and nightstands for added dimension.

Spruce up your space:

Once you get inquiries and viewing requests, it’s time to let them see the stylish side of the house. Within the industry, this is called “home staging” or remodeling a real estate property to look its best before being sold. It requires renovating the room without installing permanent or personal furnishings. For this, you might need a professional interior designer or an expert carpenter to do the job for you.

Create a theme for your home and find pieces and colors that adhere to the theme. This includes repainting the house and renovating significant and noticeable furnishings such as lighting fixtures, flooring, kitchen kits, bed components, bathroom vanities, and the like.

De-personalize the space. Remove rugs or carpets from your floor and keep all storage spaces bare.

Get your ears on the ground:

Sometimes, an expert set of eyes and ears is what you need to sell your home quicker. Make sure to scrutinize your potential agent’s background. As you take them around the property for sale, ask about their training, their license or certification, and how many years of experience they have had in selling homes. Ask about the last property they sold – how quick they did it and to whom they sold it to. Request a marketing plan and a comparable market analysis of your property to determine how best to sell it.

Don’t be afraid to assess multiple agents. This is so you can either test their listing prices or compare their proposed commissions.

Get more mileage with social media:

In this day and age, your potential client will probably see your property off social media. Thus, leverage your digital platforms.

If you’re clueless about the best practices, you can ask a seasoned social media manager for help. They can set up your own Facebook page, blog, or even a whole website and build a marketing strategy to drive organic traffic to these sites. Shoot a video tour and post it on YouTube or share it through every possible channel.

You can also join online marketplaces, niche groups, and online real estate listings to give your property more mileage.

Don’t work hard by doing all of this yourself; work smart and know the right kind of help you need. Do these things correctly, and you’re on your way to making money off of your property!

Goodwill Amazing WTF Find

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Goodwill Amazing WTF Find

Hello! One of my clients absolutely loves old school VHS movies and we end up frequenting one Goodwill or another weekly. From clothing to decor for my apartment, I usually end up finding a little something for myself or my boyfriend during these shopping trips, too. Thrifting is like a modern day treasure hunt and, I think I hit the mother load this past week, if I do say so myself. Lol, check it out:

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While my friend browsed her preferred movie section, I perused through the records and ended up walking towards the wall art. I didn’t really plan on looking through it because I still have quite a few pictures that still need hung up in my apartment. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I just happened to see Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers franchise and said “Wait… what?”

Upon taking a closer look, I happened to see that the poster of Austin Powers In Goldmember was signed by Mike Myers, Seth Green, and Verne Troyer offering his “best wishes”. It was in that moment that I realized I had hit the jackpot. Goldmember just so happens to be my personal and my family’s favorite Austin Powers movie and I just knew everyone would be as excited about it as I was…

AND THEY WERE!!!

For four dollars, I purchased the most randomly wonderful come up I’ve ever had in my life. The entire time I was thinking “wtf?” to myself because no one in their right mind would be giving something so fantastic away. But, hey, one man’s trash and whatever.

I, for one, am THRILLED with this Goodwill find and it is definitely the best thing I’ve come across yet. You would have to pry this poster out of my cold dead hands so, although I can’t comprehend dropping something like this off at the local Goodwill, I am so glad someone did! 😀

Do you have any celebrity autographs? What has been your favorite “wtf” thrifting find? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Art Gallery: Accent Wall Edition

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Lil Red’s Art Gallery: Accent Wall Edition

Hi! Ever since moving into my apartment this past year, I have wanted to do something with the wall alongside my staircase. I pictured a wonderful accent wall with artwork of all different shapes and sizes and decided to go for it… Several months later! Haha, when I first moved in, I bought tons of framed art pieces from Goodwill and a few other locations and they have since been laying in a pile underneath my staircase.

Whomp whomp.

But, thanks to a new record player in my apartment from my boyfriend (which all of you will see later), the under the stairs space needed cleared and it was about damn time to get some of those pictures hung. So, Johnny and I went to Walmart, purchased some Command strips, and I spent some of an afternoon off creating the following:

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I am so pleased with how my art wall is starting to take form and there is still much work to be done because those aren’t all of the pictures that I have. However, I am not so pleased with the holding power of the Command strips because the embroidered peacock beneath my “Welcome” sign fell within one hour of hanging it.

And, to make matters worse, simply tapping my Welcome sign when trying to rehang the embroidery made that one fall, too! I was able to get that picture rehung but, sadly, the Command strips were already so worn out on the embroidery that I had to put it back in its nook under the stairs with a broken frame, no less.

Despite how happy I am with the outcome so far, I don’t think I would use the Command strips again to hang the rest of my pictures. I am also pretty nervous for the ones on the wall to fall and cause even more damage! We’ll see how the remaining pieces fair and if they can hold on for longer than a day but, I think I’ll be using the old fashioned way of a hammer and nails in the future. BOOOO.

Do you have an accent wall in your home? What is it like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Ready, Set, Spring Clean!

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Ready, Set, Spring Clean!

Hi! Although the winter season in Ohio hasn’t been awful this year, things took a drastic turn into freezing rain and snow and it has me eagerly awaiting the warmer weather. Spring is (somewhat) just around the corner, which means that sunshine, flowers, and oh yeah – spring cleaning is near!

Is cleaning house the best part of the transition from winter to spring? Not by a long shot. But, it sure feels good once you’re all done! So, let’s go over some pro tips to get the process started:

Take Inventory:

Before you start your cleaning, take a look around your cupboards to see what you have and what you need to finish your task. You will totally lose all of the motivation you had to sweep the floors once you realize you would need to run to the store to grab more liquid for your Swiffer. Complete the chores you can do with the cleaning products you have and then set aside some time to restock your supplies as needed.

Take Your Time:

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to mean a whole day dedicated to scrubbing, dusting, and reorganizing. That’s just too much for anyone. Rather, go from one room or area at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Set aside an hour or two for each project until your whole home is spick and span and don’t forget to play some great tunes to get you grooving. I promise, it will make your deep clean go by so much quicker!

Decluttering Is Key:

In my apartment, there really isn’t much space where I can place all of my crap that I collected throughout the day. So, my kitchen table ends up being covered in paperwork, jewelry, and whatever else I didn’t feel like returning to its proper home. If this sounds familiar to you, then really try and focus on tidying up these spaces and keeping them as such. I know it’s hard but nothing feels better than not having to hunt for something you placed down weeks ago and a kitchen table to actually eat on doesn’t hurt, either. 😉

Decluttering Is STILL Key:

I find that it’s much easier to do chores once all of the unnecessary stuff has been removed. Take a look around your home and evaluate everything there. Is your Christmas decor still up? Maybe it’s time to clear that away to make room for the Easter Bunny. Is your mantle and the knick knacks on it coated in dust? Take the time to remove and clean them individually and see if there are any you could do without or replace with different decor to freshen things up.

Keep Your Cool:

Cleaning sucks but it doesn’t need to be stressful. If you create a game plan and stick to it, your home will be spotless in no time. Delegate tasks if you have any helpers around and don’t take any breaks until the chore is complete. Because, believe me, once you watch just “one episode” of your favorite show, you’ll be posted up on the couch binge watching instantly!

Ready, Set, Spring Clean with the pro tips above!

When do you start your spring cleaning? Which part of your home needs some extra love during your cleaning sesh? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Get The Best Price For Your House (Without Breaking The Bank!)

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How To Get The Best Price For Your House (Without Breaking The Bank!)

If you are taking the plunge and selling your house, there is one thing that will drive the wholesale, and that is getting the very best price for your home. While there is a lot of information around on the internet telling you to spend here and spend there, there are, in fact, some remarkably cheap ways to add some value to your home.

In this post, we are going to be taking a look at some inexpensive and free ways to add value to your home, and we will even take a look at what buyers really want to see when they view a house:

Why Make Changes If You’re Selling:

The most important thing to realize when it comes to selling your home is that the market is extremely competitive. So, in order to ensure you can sell your home as quickly as possible, you will need to make some moves that aren’t being made by other sellers.

When buyers visit homes, they are looking at every little detail, and in order for you to not only make a sale but also get the best possible price, there are some things that need to be addressed. The number one thing buyers want for their money is value, and when it comes to value, they really want space. Space, however, is generally an illusion, and we will address this a little later on in the post.

You should be looking to make your house stand out above any others in your neighborhood that may also be up for sale, and doing all of these things is far easier than you may believe. We will now take a look at some of the things you should be doing and will also see why each of these can help.

Improve Your Curb Appeal:

The very first thing you should be doing for your house is to make it look welcoming. Let’s be honest; if your house looks like 112 Ocean Avenue, you may have a little trouble selling up.

If, however, you put in a little effort by taking care of the garden and aesthetics of the home from the outside, you will find you are onto an instant winner. People will often judge a house by what it looks like on the outside, so you may even consider updating the exterior paintwork a little, as well.

Another thing that will often go down well is if if your driveway is clean and paved. The best way to get your driveway looking its best will obviously be Pressure Washing, while most people would consider doing this themselves, they would very rarely have access to industrial-strength units, and this is what would be required for a job like this.

Give The Illusion Of More Space:

If there is one thing that is going to either reduce or increase the price that will be offered on your home, it will all come down to space. It’s important to remember that when a buyer comes to view your home if they are interested, they will also be looking for anything that can be used as a negotiation point. It is your job to preempt what they may deem as a problem and fix it before they ever see it.

The best tip that can be given when it comes to ensuring you get the right price for your home is to start filling some moving boxes before you even have your first house viewer. By simply boxing up items that you know you will not use, you will end up dramatically reducing the number of items in the house.

When you reduce the number of items in the house, you give natural light the ability to hit areas that it usually wouldn’t. When the light penetrates every corner of the room, you will find that every room in the house has the illusion of looking bigger.

Give Buyers The Canvas They Want:

The most sought after thing when people head out and start to view homes is something they can visualize living in. More often than not, if the house they are viewing is decorated with dense colors and items personal to the current owner, while this may be homely to you, it won’t be to the potential buyer, in fact, it will be quite off-putting.

The best possible thing you can do is to give them a completely neutral canvas. By painting the house in neutral colors, this will allow the buyer to visualize how they see the house in their own mind and is one of the best selling points that you can offer.

In Conclusion:

As you can see, these are some simple solutions for giving you the best possible price when you are selling your home. While they may all seem very basic at their core, they are all vital when it comes to what is wanted from buyers in the real estate market nowadays. When it comes to selling houses, it’s not as easy as it once was, and buyers are more easy to scrutinize than ever before.

If you are selling up and want the best possible price, you will need to put in a little effort and a little cash in order to see a very handsome return.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Dollar Tree Haul

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Dollar Tree Haul

Hello everyone! If there’s one thing that Lil Red doesn’t believe in, it’s paying full price for just about anything. So, it’s pretty shocking that I really didn’t get into shopping at the Dollar Tree until this past year. One of my clients loves that store and I always end up there at least one time a week. It wasn’t until I took a closer look around until I realized that the Dollar Tree is friggen awesome and I have had much success shopping there, especially since moving into my apartment. Don’t believe me? Check out this big ol’ haul for yourself:

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For twenty items I paid twenty dollars altogether and I am confident that if I purchased all of this at a normal grocery store it would easily be over fifty dollars. The Dollar Tree pulled through in the clutch for me at just the right time because after all of my holiday shopping this month, my credit card bill is going to be huge. BUT, I also have no food in my apartment. This will definitely tide me over until my bill turns over in December and I can do a bigger grocery shopping trip.

Also, can we please talk about the potato gnocchi and Arizona nacho trays?! They are both SO freaking good and the only thing that isn’t pictured is the nachos that I already ate, lol. They are a perfect snack for when I get home from work and I was so stoked that the Dollar Tree that I was at had them that I just had to get six, lol! The gnocchi is also a quick, easy, and delicious meal that my boyfriend and I both love and will be a perfect, simple dinner after we’ve both had a long day.

I have never quite understood the people that considered themselves above discount shopping but I, for one, will never be. Compliments of shopping at TJMaxx and Marc’s (a discount grocery store in my neck of the woods), I am sure that I’ve saved over thousands throughout the years and that ballin on a budget train isn’t going to end any time soon!

What is your favorite discount store? How do you ball on a budget for your grocery shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Five Ways To Make Your First Apartment Feel Like Home

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Five Ways To Make Your First Apartment Feel Like Home

It’s one of the most exciting milestones of adult life: moving into your first apartment. Heading out on your own is a great chance to go shopping for fun decorative items and really make a space your own. After all the stress of hunting down a place or trying to find new condos for sale, it’s a chance to get creative and enjoy your new space. Once you’ve navigated the stress of moving day and hauled in that last cardboard box, how do you go about making the place your own? Start with some of the following:

Start With A Deep Clean:

The first step to reclaiming any space is to give it a deep clean. Even if your apartment is brand new it will have been standing empty for a while, gathering dust. Wipe down all of the surfaces with disinfectant, thoroughly mop the floors or vacuum, clean the oven, and scrub the bath or shower to create that fresh start.

Repaint To Add Character:

Repainting is a quick and cost effective way to make a space your own. It immediately changes the feel of your space and adds some personality. Remember to opt for a tester pot before diving straight in, as colors can look very different in different lights and spaces. Neutral shades give a timeless, classic feel while vibrant shades make a statement. Do some research on color psychology to understand how you want your home to feel.

Sort Out Your Storage:

A harmonious home is a well organized one, and that’s easy when you have a place for everything. Invest in some clever storage solutions – freestanding shelving units are a great way to both store and display favorite items and can go with you if you ever move. Opting for sofas and beds with inbuilt storage is also a great idea – you can’t tell it’s there, but it gives a lot of capacity. A stylish storage ottoman can provide extra seating or act as an informal coffee table but it also lets you hide away items that don’t quite have a home yet.

Design A Great Lighting Scheme:

A great lighting scheme can transform the look and feel of your apartment, but most people don’t pay it enough attention. Think about the lighting requirements you have in each space – from bright LED strip lighting or spotlights in task focused areas like the kitchen or the bathroom, to lighting that creates cozy, more intimate spaces, like a beautiful floor lamp. You could also use statement pendant lights to really define a space and add a lot of drama and character.

Add Your Sentimental Items:

That collection of vintage china, the knitted throw passed down as a family heirloom, or those treasured photographs make your new space your own by giving them a great display. You may have artworks you’ve collected over time or a collection that you want to show off – these are the touches that will really make an apartment feel like yours.

With the tips above, your new apartment will feel like you’ve been there for forever and will turn it into home sweet home!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Three Simple Home Improvement Projects That Increase Market Value

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Three Simple Home Improvement Projects That Increase Market Value

Unless you’re a real estate pro, you might not know how to get the best return on your investment when the time comes to sell your home. For example, did you know that your home could sell for significantly more if you spend a little extra time and money on a few simple improvements? While it may seem counter intuitive to invest money and time into a home you wish to get off your hands, a couple of choice updates and additions to your property could give you a decent return on your investment:

Invest in Exterior Features:

While a home’s exterior features such as the garden, garage, swimming pool, roof, and gutters may seem less important than the interior, ensuring that these features are both operational and attractive to the eye is a great way to add value to your home. Keeping your garden and lawn well maintained will leave a strong impression on any potential buyers who turn up for your viewings.

There may be a lot of work on the exterior of your property that you can do yourself, like painting and cleaning gutters. Larger additions will need to be handled by experts who can ensure that installations are done according to spec. For example, a high-quality water tank can be a strong selling point. Tank Direct is a fantastic option for your water tank requirements. A fresh and well-maintained exterior is a useful way to help a potential buyer imagine the lifestyle their family might enjoy, should they buy the property and move in.

Get Those Repairs Taken Care Of:

While you might imagine that getting your bigger projects done (like a bathroom remodel or retileing the kitchen backsplash) would be more attractive to potential buyers, it’s crucial to put these jobs on hold until any necessary structural repairs have been completed. These will make a tremendous difference when it comes time to put your property on the market. If you don’t, you risk your buyers being too distracted by the leaky ceiling or the odor of mold to even notice the fancy additions like new tiles. Before you get started on those more exciting beautiful additions to your home, make sure you sort out your repairs, whether it’s electrical, plumbing, or structural.

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Pexels CC0 Licence

Update The Heating System:

If you install a modern central-heating system in your house or give the existing system a comprehensive update, you’re almost certainly going to enhance your home’s value. Older properties such as Victorian houses are charming in many ways, but your potential buyer won’t be charmed by a chilly walk down the hallway as they try to imagine their life in their future home.

Some newer homes come equipped with somewhat dated heating systems that don’t provide enough warmth, and can cost a lot to run. Updating the old system should prove highly attractive to a potential buyer. An extra bonus you get when you add a new heating system to your home is that if you don’t end up selling the property right away, you will save money and stay warmer while you wait for the right buyer to come along.

Whether you’re listing your property in the near future or you’re planning to sell one of these days, these updates are sure to boost the value of your house!

Featured Image By: Pexels CC0 Licence

Lil Red’s Art Gallery: This Is Halloween Edition

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Lil Red’s Art Gallery: This Is Halloween Edition

Howdy! So, while shopping at Walmart with a client, I went a bit too hard in the Halloween department and picked out some new wall art and knick knacks for the apartment. What can I say, I just couldn’t help myself! It may be mid September but, in my humble opinion, spooky season is officially among us and I couldn’t be more excited if I tried! And, although I still have none of the paintings that I got compliments of Goodwill in my apartment, I couldn’t say no to these beauties. Check it out:

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that as soon as I saw the skeleton pop out picture, it went right into my cart. And, it was a wonderful surprise to me to find the ghoulishly gorgeous butterflies behind the skeleton one. So, into the cart it went. These pictures combine creepy with pretty (My own personal aesthetic!) and I am deeply looking forward to eventually getting them hung up in my apartment.

Normally, I am not one to fill my living space with all Halloween everything and I liked that these pictures were a little dark and disturbing without a giant Frankenstein being plastered on it. However, I guess if it was done in the style of the pictures above, it could be kind of cool! 😉

What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? Which stores have the best Halloween decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah