Properly Planning Your Home Improvements

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Home improvements are great things to do, because they achieve two purposes. They make your home a nicer place to live while you are there, and they help boost the value when it comes time to move and sell. These particular projects can run the gamut from simply replacing worn carpeting to painting the whole house. Read on into the following paragraphs for how to make sure you properly plan your target improvements.

If your goal is boosting your home value, then you first need to know how much it is currently worth. You need to have a good idea just how much value you will get from a home improvement so you can know where your home value will wind up, and then you can figure out whether or not it is worth all the time and money you have to invest into it.

You have to know what your budget is. You might identify a five thousand dollar project that adds fifteen thousand to your home value. But what if you only have two thousand dollars free? At that budget, you should not even do a two thousand dollar project because you have no wiggle room for errors, accidents or overruns.

Make sure that you apply for and receive all needed permission for the project you want. At a minimum, you have to check your local government for building codes. Depending on your neighborhood or property, deed, covenant and association regulations might also have to be taken into consideration. Also call your homeowner’s insurance, just to see what they have to say.

Make sure that the project is safe to do. Do not work on electricity or plumbing on days anyone else is home so that you can shut them off in full before starting. Do not have your children help you out. Have a first aid kit handy, as well as a way to call emergency services in the event of an incident. Do not handle open flames outside on dry or windy days, and do not use harsh chemicals and aerosols in closed door environments.

Plan out a schedule that is detailed and realistic. If you are planning on putting your house on the market, you want to have your improvement complete before you start the final process. Even if you are staying, you want your project done before shorter or hotter days happen due to a season changing, or have to go on vacation only to come home to a big project needing finished.

If you are seeking home improvements to enjoy rather than just bump up your home value, then you need to think about how long you intend to stay in your home. Your home improvements are going to need maintenance, upkeep, repair and eventually even replacement. Make sure you know what these costs and schedules are and are personally prepared for those responsibilities.

Select Your Home Improvement Contractor

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When you plan any home improvement, you should employ a building contractor knowledgeable with the right building materials and hardware. A good building contractor should be familiar with all aspects of home additions. Your home renovation should meet the following goals.

Comfort

Comfort of existing home improves with the under mentioned processes.

• Upgrading existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
• Enhancing the capacity of electrical and plumbing systems
• Waterproofing of floors, basements, and walls
• Soundproofing bedrooms, bathrooms, and other rooms

Repair and Maintenance

Repair and maintenance work includes

• Tearing off and replacing roofs
• Repairing electrical and plumbing systems
• Repairs to foundation through masonry and concrete repairs

Creation of Additional Space

One of the most important home additions is creating additional space. This could be through

• Converting marginal and free outdoor space as livable spaces like turning attics into extra bedrooms or turning basements into recreation rooms, home offices, or home theaters
• Extending your home by adding rooms to existing building or by building extra levels above the original roof

Energy Saving through Right Home Additions

If you employ an expert home improvement contractor, you could considerably save on utility costs. The home additions expert would implement the following steps to help you save energy.

• Thermal insulation for higher energy efficiency and replacement of lighting and windows for energy saving
• Installing renewable energy devices like solar panels, biomass stoves, geothermal exchange heat pumps, programmable thermostats, and wind turbines

Safety and Security Measures in Home Improvement

The following safety and security measures are part of any good home improvement.

• Installation of burglar alarm and fire alarm systems
• Installation of fire sprinkler systems to extinguish fire quickly
• Security doors, shutters, and windows
• Backup generator for having continuous power when power outages occur
• Storm cellars in areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes

Employment of Expert Home Additions Contractor

Even though you could yourself undertake a few of the above processes, it is always advisable a specialized home additions contractor. When you hand over the entire project to an expert, you could be sure that the contractor would take care of everything related to your home improvement work. The contractor would coordinate work schedules, purchase quality materials and hardware, remove debris, and suggest steps to enhance the efficiency of the project.

Shop Local Home Improvement Stores Instead of Big Box Stores

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Often, people want to improve their homes, but they just don’t have the patience to try to struggle through trying to get a big box home improvement store employee to help. Surly, clueless hourly employees are just one of the many drawbacks to using a big box store for your renovation project. Instead of making revitalizing your home into a hassle, opt to shop at a locally-owned home improvement store. Not only does a local store offer significantly better service, but they also know their products incredibly well, making it much easier for you to find both the help and knowledge you’ll need to make your project a success.

Better Customer Service

Local home improvement stores can offer a better shopping experience all around. With knowledgeable staff, mom and pop stores have an advantage that big box stores don’t have: personal connections to the customers. Many times local home improvement stores are owned by individuals within the community, and because of this, they have more of investment in their customer service. They help their neighbors, their friends, their friends’ friends; basically they represent the entire community within one store. Because of this, they offer a more personal connection to their customers. Local stores tend to be smaller, which gives them more opportunity to get to know their customers and gives the customer a greater sense of comfort. Often in big box stores, customers have to search out an associate to help them, and most of the associates are not as knowledgeable as the local home improvement store owner.

Specialty Stores

The best kind of locally owned home improvement store is definitely the specialty stores that focus their business on one aspect of home improvement, like flooring, cabinetry or countertops. Specialists like this know their product inside out and are able to make the best recommendations for your specific project. Often, flooring, cabinetry, countertop and other specialty stores also have professional installation teams on staff that can help you take your inspiration and turn it into a reality. Even if you want to go the DIY route, specialized stores are an amazing asset thanks to their extensive knowledge.

Community Connections

Because local home improvement stores are owned by individuals within the community, they also have inside information on contractors, builders, electricians and plumbers. Store owners will know the perfect person to help you with any need; all you have to do is ask. They know the people in the trade and can guide you to the business or individual who can solve your home improvement problem. Local business owners will know the ins and outs of who is a reliable tradesmen and who is not, helping you find individuals who will give you the best customer service for your specific needs.

Community Support

Supporting your local economy is always a great idea. This means money being earned within that county is being applied back to businesses within that community. Big box stores do not have much stake in how well the local economy does, but locally owned businesses will. Putting money back into the community helps to support the county as a whole and keep big businesses from moving in. Also, local home improvement store owners will often refer customers to local tradesmen and businesses, which helps increase the overall revenue within the community. Big box stores may not have such information to give. This not only gives the customer a better experience, but helps promote the community’s economy.

Home Improvement Doesn’t Have To Be A Headache

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There are many projects that can improve your home. Maybe money has been the reason you have not done home improvements. Or, maybe you just are not aware of how to do it. If those reasons apply to you, keep reading to obtain some tips for getting started.

Are you attempting a home renovation project for the outside of your home? If so, then you should ensure that your property’s appearance is proper for the theme of your local area. If your property sticks out in a bad way, your neighbors won’t like it and it will also be more difficult to sell.

In the rooms with the most traffic, if you want to circulate air, use ceiling fans. Ceiling fans will allow you to cut back on air conditioner usage and add efficiency to your furnace by pushing warm air down. Most fans switch directions so you can draw air up or push it down, depending on your preferences.

An easy way to improve the functionality of your kitchen is to clean and organize your pantry. Throw out any spices, foods, or canned goods that are past their expiration dates. Once the shelves are cleared, give them a good wipe down. Once they dry, line them with fresh paper liner. Then, organize the shelves, putting like products together. Something as simple as this means you spend less time looking for things you need, and all your ingredients and cooking supplies are available quickly.

If your home is in need of more space or you are not happy with the appearance, consider beginning a home improvement project to change it. Renovating your home allows you the opportunity to build it exactly as you’d like. It is usually a lot less stressful and expensive to renovate the home you have, rather than moving to a new home.

Get paints that are no-VOC. They are environmentally friendly and do not have harmful chemicals. They are equally as effective, but prices slightly higher than other paint.

For a simple, but sometimes overlooked project to improve your home, consider having your air ducts and return vents professionally cleaned. This is a largely overlooked, but very important project when considering the safety and health of your family. Mildew, dandruff, mold and other toxic, airborne debris can be lodged in your air vents and spread to the air your family is breathing. Also, dryer vents that are clogged and have not been cleaned can cause costly, and dangerous fire in your home. Cleaning your air ducts and dryer vents is only a bi-yearly project, but can do wonders for the safety and health of your home.

Are you wanting to save lots of money on your home renovation project? If so, then make sure you are comparing prices for materials at many different stores before you decide to purchase any. When you compare prices you can save a large amount of money.

When choosing paint colors, opt for colors like light blue, light purple or light green to produce a tranquil space. Utilize fabrics such as cotton or linen and not dark patterns and heavy brocades. You can also place a scented candle or potpourri in the room for a nice, tranquil scent.

Get an idea and estimate to figure out what it is going to cost to improve your home. Many novice homeowners make the mistake of underestimating the cost of their improvements. Always get more than just one estimate, and always add in extra for those unforeseen problems that may arise.

Home Improvements

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Money is tighter than ever at the moment and housing markets are nothing like as buoyant or rewarding as they once were, so how can you be sure to protect and add value to your home at the same time as making it more saleable when the time comes. Some home improvement projects are better than others in terms of making your home more attractive and increasing its value. Getting the balance right will make sure you get value for every dollar spent.

Planning Pays

Whether you are planning on trying to do some of the work yourself or will be finding a contractor, good planning will save you time, headaches and money, so don’t skimp on it. Take your time – and get it right first time. Doing it yourself is not always cheaper than hiring a contractor. When you charge out your own time, gas to the hardware depot, the purchase of any special tools, lost time from work or the value of a lost vacation working on the house, you might be surprised just how little difference there really is. Getting estimates from local contractors is always a good idea, even if you do end up doing some or all of the work yourself. It will give you a better idea of the costs, materials, and worked involved in any project, and you may even get an idea or two about how you can do part of the project differently or save some money on materials used.

Research, just like for any other type of project, pays off. Find out what’s available in your local area in terms of materials, fixtures etc., what you can maybe source from elsewhere, and don’t forget to spend some time online where you can find lots of bargains and ideas to help you in planning your home improvement projects.

Depending on the type of project you want to undertake, take into account the time of year as labor can vary and choosing to get the project done when things are quiet in the local market can save you quite a bit if you’re prepared to negotiate with local contractors and wait for the right time.

Best Home Improvement Projects

Top areas to focus on when it comes to trying to protect and increase the value of your biggest asset include making sure that all the basic electrical, plumbing and heating systems are in good state and working efficiently. Potential buyers in the future will welcome the fact that such essential systems will not require any of their attention or money in the first few years after occupying their new home. Consider insulation and energy efficient home improvement projects related to heating/cooling systems as lower energy bills can be a big benefit not only to you but any future buyer of the property. There are also tax credits available from the government for certain energy efficient home improvement projects which can make them even more worthwhile to undertake.

Basic maintenance of drives, lawns, doors, windows, sidings, roof and external paint can not only protect your property but help maintain or increase its curb appeal.

Don’t forget to think about how any building materials used can be recycled if possible, any old lumber that is being removed could possibly be used in another location or on a completely different project you may have also planned. Recycling saves money and resources.

Where to Start?

In terms of getting the most for your money, it’s best to start with general home repairs, making sure that everything is well maintained and functioning perfectly, then move onto energy saving installations such as insulation, solar hot water heating and such like before considering larger projects such as the addition of extra space or bathroom and kitchen remodeling. These are the areas that will give you the best return on the money you spend, help protect your property and its value, and you’ll be able to enjoy lower energy bills, better functionality and any additional new space added into the bargain.

Avoid Home Improvement Pitfalls With These Tips

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Home improvement is a great way to improve the comfort of your home and increase the value. Do your best to learn as much as possible before you begin. This will help make sure you do it right the first time. This will let you feel satisfied with the results, and the following advice can help.

Prior to starting work on your house, write down everything that you will need to do. Obtain a second opinion from a trusted source to see if there are any steps you missed or anything you didn’t take into account. Remember that this type of work takes time, so be sure to allocate more than enough time to finish what you are doing.

If increasing the overall value of the home is what you are trying to do through home improvement projects, contact a contractor to gain some inspiration. They can help you improve the areas of your home that will net the most profit.

Think ahead before tackling a home improvement project. When you plan out all the possibilities you can think of, you can keep to a budget instead of spending under duress.

Everyone knows that planting trees is a good thing for the future of our planet. Planting trees also can really elevate the value of one’s property. Some people believe that each fully grown tree can add upwards of $1,000 to your property.

Lots of home builders use only wood in their cabinets to save on costs and neglect to include hardware. You can buy any extra hardware you need at the store or online. You can choose from designer accents, pulls that have a vintage look or modern knobs which can be put in place in minutes.

If your floors are covered with carpeting, use drapes appropriately to block out the sun. The sun’s rays can actually lighten your carpet and cause unsightly fading. You should close your blinds or drapes while the sun passes throughout your home, that way you do not harm any of your furniture.

When thinking of replacing your cabinets, try using wood cabinets. Wood cabinets are strong, so they can put up with a lot of abuse without showing wear. Cabinets are commonly made of maple, cherry and oak. All of these can be stained, so if you feel like changing the color, it is easy to do so.

Try and visualize any outdoor projects and see if the end result will mesh with the neighborhood. You don’t want to be too different. If so, do you want to be the owner of the house that is so different? You need to consider if the changes you envision will stand out in a good way or just look strange in the surroundings.

If you have suffered through a natural disaster and you are in the market for a contractor, be wary of scams. There are people out there that are shady and will take advantage of people who are vulnerable due to emergency situations, so be very careful. Conduct the same research you normally would prior to hiring a contractor after a natural disaster.

Take note of easily noticeable improvements when making home changes. Home buyers judge housing with their eyes. Old peeling paint and damaged floors can result in a lost sale. It’s true that some improvements aren’t obvious, but the obvious ones are the ones that are seen.

No matter the size of the home improvement project, it can become a nightmare or pleasant dream depending on how well it is executed. By reading and following the tips listed above, you should be able to prepare yourself so that you might ultimately avoid those disasters.

Home Improvement

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Do you want to start turning your home into a dream house? You can accomplish just about any home-improvement goal if you set your mind to it. In addition to being helpful, doing improvements on your own can be enjoyable. It may even prove to be simple if you choose to follow the home improvements tips and advice given in the following article.

Make your home more inviting from the outside by adding new paint and a new doormat. Your front entrance is the portal to your home and it is the first impression that guests get of your home. Placing a nice plant and an attractive welcome mat by the door will give visitors a positive first impression.

When you are refurbishing a room, make sure you consider the 60/30/10 rule. The rule is 60 percent color of dominance, the secondary color should be 30 percent and an accent color should take up 10 percent. In plain terms, the walls get the main color; apply the secondary color through the upholstery and the accent makes up the final 10%.

One great way to save money on winter heating costs is insulating your attic. Because heat rises, houses with bad insulation can lose a lot of heat during the colder months. You can buy quality insulation at any home improvement center, and it’s quite simple to install.

Placing new carpet is a type of home improvement project that will surely change your home’s feel and look. When shopping for carpet, do comparison shopping to find just the perfect color, style, type and price. See if the shop offers samples for you to carry home.

Handy items to have around are ladders, a good tool belt, a good ratchet set, chisels, various screwdrivers, and a rubber mallet. While you may not use each item every day, it certainly helps to have them when the time comes.

The best thing you can do for any home-improvement project is to engage in sufficient planning before starting any project. You can prevent poor decisions and disaster by planning ahead. If you plan out what you are going to do, you will not run into as many issues.

A wonderful idea for all homeowners who are into home improvement is taking classes in your local store that sells home improvement items. Large home improvement chains use classes on such topics as laying tile and painting walls to drum up business. Attend some of these helpful classes to pick up the basic skills you need to tackle your next project around the house.

New wallpaper or even a piece of art can drastically change the way a bathroom looks. It does not cost much, and there are a lot of styles available. In addition, it’s easy to install. If you buy some artwork you can add style and a different look to your bathroom without spending a lot of money.

Many home owners are choosing to improve their home with a vinyl deck. It is very important that you clean your deck so that you can enjoy it for a long time. Fall and spring are the ideal seasons in which to give your vinyl deck a good cleaning.

Low Interest Home Improvement

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We all love to make home improvements but this is truly a very costly project we have to deal with. Of course, no one wants to spend much when it comes to such activities like this. Fortunately, there is good news if you’re considering your home improvement plan. Today, we can avail of low interest home improvement loan which is regarded as low cost as it takes advantage of the equity on the home you’re planning to renovate.

If you’re one of those who wish to redesign and make your home a more comfortable and special place to dwell in, turning to a low interest home improvement loan is just one of the smartest and most economical ways of obtaining financial assistance. They are very easy to avail of as they don’t require many documents for approval. What’s more interesting about them is that unlike unsecured personal loans, they provide more benefits that will surely delight you.

Low Interest Home Improvement Loans are known as home equity loans that are purposely designed to make home improvements in the same property which is being used as a security of the loan. For this reason, lenders can be assured that his finances are secured with a property and that his money shall be used to augment the value of the property used as collateral.

In addition, this type of loan is a type of secured loan which have requirements for approval. These requirements are associated more to the property itself than to the debtor. The debtor’s condition is not as essential as the property’s equity and value. Once you already have secured all the proper documents and there are no further legal conflicts with regards to the property, the debtor will most likely be approved no matter if you had a bad credit record in the past.

Although they make your credit score into account, this will not serve as an issue when they decide for your loan approval. One of the primary requirements comprise of the property which has sufficient equity to provide a guarantee and protection to the amount of money to be borrowed. It is significant to understand that the equity shall then be computed by diminishing the quantity of mortgage loan to that of the entire property’s value. And the outcome shall be the quantity of equity remained on your home.

It is very essential that when searching for the suitable lender for you, you must acquire loan quotes from various lenders in order for you to compare them so you can discover which one has the lowest rate. Be reminded that loans can get very pricey because of some hidden charges so it is a must for you to compare other costs and fees too. You may browse online for your creditor. Luckily, there are several online sites that provide various types of loans. Once you have found the one which you think can perfectly help you with your home improvement loan concerns then all you need to do is to carefully review the terms and conditions so you can start your long dream home project right away.

Low Cost Home Improvements

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Whether you are thinking of selling your home or just wanting to improve it, when money is so tight, it is a good idea to spend wisely to hopefully increase the value of your home. Improving the right areas of your home makes it more attractive to prospective buyers and saves you making costly mistakes. Even though you are on a budget you first need to look at other similar homes in your area to see ‘the competition’. With a critical eye, work out where you house falls short of the competition. If it helps, ask a friend, one who will be honest with you, so they can give an independent opinion.

You should have a list of what your competition has and what areas around the house your home needs to make improvement. Now it’s time to take action.

Before you even get the DIY tools out… declutter. Time spent here can be your biggest and best home improvement investment.

When people buy a house they are wanting to see light and airy properties, they are buying space, so give them space. Tidy up, throw things away you don’t use, and store what’s left properly.

Nothing puts viewers off more, than a mess. Don’t just take my word for it. An ING Direct survey (Aug 2012) found that 41% of prospective buyers would put in a lower offer, if the house they were viewing had untidy kids bedrooms. What you want to do is show off each room to its best and you can’t do this if there’s too much clutter everywhere. They want to see how the property’s space can work for them, with their own stuff. If they see it not working for you, ie not enough living space and not enough storage space, then it will be a turn off.

First Impressions
First impressions count, so you should consider the ‘curb appeal’ of your property. It might seem ‘corny’ but adding hanging baskets or even window boxes improves the appearance of a house and gives the impression of it being cared for.

Hall & Living Room
Consider how people view a property. The Hall and Living room are usually what people see first, so these rooms should be welcoming and create a good impression. Some simple home interior decorating can make the hall feel inviting, light and bright. Add pictures and an interesting mirror to reflect some light.

Worn out seating? You don’t need to buy new ones you just need to recover the old ones, or use throws in neutral colours with colour statemented cushions which all goes to improve the look for a lounge. Check the storage in a living room. If the kids use it as a play room then make sure there’s a storage box to keep everything tidy when they aren’t there. Put some sets of shelves up, perhaps in an alcove area.

Kitchen & Bathroom
The other most looked at rooms are the kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen food is prepared and perhaps a place for entertaining so it should be giving the impression of being clean. The bathroom should have a relaxing feel and give the impression that you would be happy to unwind there in a relaxing bath.

When viewings take place people want to see at least a standard well maintained bathroom suite, so replace any discoloured bathroom fittings like a toilet bowl.

Landscaping
Where there is a garden but it’s either unkept or paved, consider some landscaping. It doesn’t need to be over the top and you don’t need to spend a fortune at the garden centre, but just bring it up to the standard of what would be considered the norm for the area.

Décor
OK so you’ve seen all the property makeover shows where they make neutral coloured interiors. It’s for a reason. Outdated or highly personal décor can put buyers off, so get rid of the purple walls, please. The ING Direct survey found that 1 in 6 buyers would be put off by ‘clashing’ colour schemes.

Standard of maintenance
If there’s something that needs fixing, then get it fixed. You might have lived with it, but what will buyers think? I’ll tell you, they will probably think “Oh look this is broken, cracked or flaky paint, what else is unkept or badly maintained?” If there’s a list of things that need doing and you don’t get them fixed, then at best expect offers to come in lower than you had hoped, or at worst expect far fewer offers and longer for them to be made. People want to move in straight away and perhaps make their own mark by painting a wall purple but at least they know everywhere is clean and well kept and it only needs a lick of paint to make it their home.

The Three Biggest Home Improvements

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Questions To Ask Yourself About Home Improvements

When it comes to making a home improvements you have to look at it two ways. The first way is “How long do I plan on living in this home? How long am I going to use and enjoy the home improvements I am potentially going to make to my home? What is the value of the home improvements to you that you put into the house?” For instance if you’re going to put in a pool, are you going to get one seasonal year of use out of it or are you going to be able to enjoy it for a long time?

The second thing is to ask, “How soon am I going to be selling my home? Am I going to get the value out of it when I sell the home?” So many people make the wrong home improvements that end up costing them thousands and thousands of dollars. There are different improvements to make based on those two questions and the answers you give.

The Most Paid Off Out Of All Home Improvements

The bottom line is that improvements to the kitchen pay off every time. No “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts” about it. This is where life happens for most families. This is where you talk with your family, where you enjoy dinners together, where you help your kids with their homework, and where most people tend to gather with friends and family. You’ve got to really consider, are you going to get a lot of use and enjoyment out of remodeling your kitchen? The answer is, undoubtedly, yes. It’s also pretty affordable to do with today’s pre-fab units, etc. You can generally get a kitchen remodeled for between $2,000-$5,000. Remember most good memories are made in the kitchen. This means that even if you’re NOT staying in the house, the improvement will pay off when you sell it because kitchens are a huge selling point.

“Nickel and Dime” Home Improvements Payoff Big

Fix any of those glaring repair issues. These are the little things that stare at you each day of your life; a cracked window, a wobbly doorknob, a shower door that won’t close unless you lift it a certain way. Buyers see these small things all together and will walk away saying “I’m not going to buy this home because that repair is going to cost me money.” The truth is, small repairs are inexpensive to fix; however, buyers over exaggerate the expensive of fixing these small repairs. Whether you stay in the house or sell it, these small, glaring fixes that you keep putting off will have to be done either way if you are selling or not. The smallest of repairs can make a huge difference, so fix that screen on the front door, patch that hole in the wall where the door knob hit and put a door stopper in to keep it from happening again. These small, “nickel and dime” repairs stand out to those viewing your home and they will overprice what it’s going to cost them to fix them. They think in terms of “this house isn’t exactly in move-in condition,” even if it truly is and the fixes are literally small projects that can take only a few minutes. In the end these small fixes can lead to a sale.

Next, you want to spruce up your home so it looks good at first glance. As we said before, little things make a big difference. Cosmetic things such as new carpeting, a fresh coat of paint, and putting fresh bark in the landscaping make a huge difference. Note; if you have any pets you will want to wait until 2-3 weeks before you put your home on the market to replace the carpet. There’s a saying that goes, “Big doors hang on little hinges.” You’re going to get a 90% return on investment with these types of investments. Spend $10 and get $100 back in value when you sell your home.

So why are we sharing these things with you? We want to make sure you get a good deal no matter who you work with as your realtor. We figure that if we get this information out into the marketplace then everybody wins! Don’t forget, selling homes is our passion. We love selling homes and it’s the way we pay our bills. So if you’d like help on selling or buying a home feel free to give us a call at 888-897-DEAL or drop us an Email.