If you are thinking of putting your home on the market this spring, the following are the most common features buyers want in a home. Click on photo above to enlarge!
Bring new life to your home in time for the new year
Take advantage of the days leading up to the new year to hit the reset button and look for ways to refresh both your home and your state of mind. To get you started, here are a dozen straightforward and cost-effective ways to bring new life to your home — including how to repurpose holiday decorations and the easiest way to enliven a room with just one purchase.
1. Add plants. Freshen up an indoor space with living plants. Bringing in even a single potted specimen, like a fiddleleaf fig (Ficus lyrata, seen here), will give your living room new life and a welcome hit of green in winter. Most popular indoor plants — such as ficus, ferns and philodendrons — grow best in bright, indirect light. Choose a spot by a window where the plant will receive four to six hours of indirect sunlight. Many succulents and cactuses appreciate at least six hours of bright sunlight.
2. Rearrange framed photos. Instead of purchasing something new to fill a space on a blank wall, work with art and photos you already have but combine them in new, engaging ways. For example, open up more space on your desk, side table or bookshelf by removing all stand-up frames. Combine them to make one high-impact gallery wall — the more eclectic and personal the better.
3. Let the light in. During the coldest, darkest months, any exposure to sunlight can help stave off the winter blues. While it may be too chilly outside to throw open the windows, bring the sunshine in by raising blinds or replacing heavy drapes with gauzy curtains. Pale wall paint, crisp white linens and sparse accessories also help make a room feel lighter and airier.
4. Freshen home decor. For a bright look for the new year, go for clean white, cream, pale blue and metallics. Whereas holiday decor often falls into the camp of “more is more,” a minimalist approach — such as using a single color for decorations and keeping them sparse — can have a light, refreshing feel that is all the more appreciated after holiday gluttony.
5. Repaint old furniture in a bright color. Updating existing furniture with a fresh coat of paint is one of the most economical ways to give an old piece an entirely different look. To add more energy to a room, choose a bold paint color like Kelly green or sunny yellow. If you get tired of the color in a few years or it no longer fits with your decor, you can always repaint in a subtler hue.
6. Repurpose Christmas lights. Before packing away all of the holiday lights, pull out a few strands of all-white ones to use through winter. String the lights up to add a subtle glow to dark areas or under the upper bunk bed in a kids’ room.
7. Rearrange your furniture. For a completely different perspective, try rearranging your existing furniture. Reorient your sofa to face a new direction or reverse the layout of your living room. Go a step further by removing any pieces that are no longer being used or that add clutter to crowded rooms, and either sell or donate them.
8. Declutter, declutter, declutter. Set aside five minutes each day to clean up and put away papers, accessories and general loose items. It may not seem like much, but it could be enough to make a dent in your desk clutter, clear off a horizontal surface or reorganize your bookshelf. Over a week, just five minutes a day spent decluttering can add up to a clearer, calmer space.
9. Reorganize your desk. Clear off the holiday to-do lists, receipts and scraps of wrapping paper, and lay the groundwork for staying organized in the upcoming months. For example, designate one spot for incoming papers. If papers are thrown around haphazardly, they can add up to a lot of desk clutter and be difficult to locate when you need them. Once mail or documents come into the home, do not place them anywhere but your designated spot for incoming paper. Also, use crates, baskets and boxes to collect loose items and hide wrapping materials or accessories that can look cluttered.
10. Give your bookshelf a color boost. Transform bookshelves by covering the interiors with a wash of bright paint or wallpaper. Choose a rainbow effect or a single warm hue for an unexpected hit of color in your living room. Once the paint has completely dried, move books back in place and mix in artistic bookends, potted plants or other accessories to add diversity.
11. Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. Make sticking to those New Year’s resolutions a cinch with easy-to-grab healthy snack options. Bowls of fruit set on the table or on the sideboard by the front door can be a great way to tempt family members to reach for a piece instead of a bag of chips on their way out the door.
12. Welcome the new season. Bring in something fresh and spring-like, such as a budding branch, a bouquet of flowers or potted paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus) to act as a daily reminder that spring is just around the corner.
Victoria Keichinger Today
Houzz Contributor, Lauren Dunec Hoang
Sadly I am not referring to the Disney movie of the same title…
Each winter we hear news reports of homes that have had the pipes freeze in the severe cold weather we experience. Everyone seems to be forecasting for us to have a colder than average winter this year, so I thought I would touch on this early enough for preventive measures to be taken.
Generally when pipes freeze it is because they either run through an uninsulated area, such as a garage, crawl space or an attic, or are located on exterior walls of the house without adequate insulation between them and the wall. Another unexpected, but common cause can be an outside hose that is left connected to an outside faucet. When it freezes it puts pressure on the interior pipes, and can cause them to break, so always disconnect your garden hose at the end of the season. Also, always turn off your outside faucets and drain the last of the water out of the spigot.
If your water pipes run through an uninsulated or poorly insulated area, you can purchase foam wrap for the pipes. If you are concerned that the pipes will be exposed to the full cold, you can also wrap the pipes with a heat tape that will maintain a minimum temperature to prevent them freezing.
For pipes running in exterior walls, the only effective way to correct the problem is to open up the walls and improve the insulation. On very cold walls, you may actually need to reroute the pipes to a less exposed location.
It may seem like a lot of work to do on the chance that the pipes may freeze, but broken pipes will lead to larger repair bills down the road, including the potential for mold removal.
If you are buying an older home, be sure to have your home inspector check where the water feed is in the house. It is always better to know before winter strikes whether you may have a problem…
Also remember if you have a home with a lawn sprinkler system, have the water blown from the system at the end of the season.
As always, one of our Coldwell Banker Community Professionals will be happy to speak with you about this and other home ownership concerns.
At Coldwell Banker Community Professionals, we don’t strive to be the biggest, we strive to be the best!
What is a Smart Home?
In this segment of NBC Open House, Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CNET.com establish a definition for the “smart home” that is simple while allowing still for choices.
We may not remember the advent of the refrigerator or washer & dryer. But we might recall when toaster ovens hit. Or the TV remote control, cordless phones and microwave oven. These were huge. They changed our homes and our lives. But their arrival seemingly came one at a time, once a generation.
We are in different times and I can’t imagine a period where the intersection of home and tech was more prevalent. It is the Smart Home era!
Our homes are major emotional and lifestyle investments. And now, with the development of Smart Home products, our homes want to play an even greater role as they know our habits, simplify our lives and save us time and money.
And those who are buying and selling homes are taking note. Homes – both new and existing – that go on the market with Smart Home products installed are gaining traction.
Coldwellbanker.com even tracks those which come on the market, starting with Diane Polland’s magnificent $100 million listing on Long Island Sound and followed by nearly 1,400 properties featuring Smart Home technology.
And while the revolution is well underway, we noticed that no one had defined for consumers what a Smart Home really is. So we sat down with the editors at CNET.com, the preeminent technology reviewer, to set the standard that was simple while allowing for choices:
Smart Home: A home that is equipped with network-connected products (i.e., “smart products,” connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself. It must have a cable, satellite or DSL internet connection and equipped with at least three Smart Home features including security and/or temperature.
|Security*||Smart locks, networked security cameras|
|Appliances||Smart refrigerators, smart washer / dryers|
|Entertainment||Smart TVs, TV streaming service|
|Heating / Cooling||Smart HVAC system, smart fans or vents|
|Lighting Smart||light bulbs, lighting systems|
|Outdoors||Smart plant sensors, smart watering systems|
|Safety||Smart fire / carbon monoxide detectors, nightlights|
* Must have at least one
The hope – as CBS Marketwatch pointed out – is this definition will set the stage for home buyers and sellers to have a greater understanding of the benefits of their future homes.
Watch a round-up of our favorite moments of awesomeness on NBC’s George to the Rescue.
NBC’s George to the Rescue, a program that celebrates home through the power of renovation, knows about all about these special moments, as the reactions to their home renovations are nothing if not spectacular.
Here is a round-up of some of our favorite moments of awesomeness on George to the Rescue. Share your favorite moments using #HomeIsAwesomeness.
- May 9, 2016
Perfectly situated in the country yet appr a 20 min drive to WWCC campus on Bridge St. A 5 mile drive to the Blue Mountains. This home is updated but still has the charm of early century. Sellers did a full house remodel in 1980. Open concept living in family and kitchen. Upper level has 3 bedrooms and a large shared bathroom and extra large master. Fenced and crossed fenced for animals with a large barn, fruit trees and several covered areas for entertaining. Nice views and peace and quiet. MLS#129916
Home Depot & Coldwell Banker Real Estate teamed up to provide you with the ultimate guide to kitchen remodeling.
Step One: How to Plan Your Kitchen Remodel
Taking the time to plan a new kitchen design is arguably the most important step in the remodeling process. A clear, well-conceived plan will guide you through each phase of the remodel and help ensure that the work progresses smoothly and stays on budget. In our first post, we show you the steps to take and provide you with some valuable remodeling design tips. Read It Here
Step Two: Creating a Budget
After deciding on a plan for your kitchen remodel, the next step is assigning a budget to the project. The easiest, most accurate way to establish a kitchen-remodeling budget is to break down the project into smaller jobs. In post #2, we show you which major remodeling expenses to calculate and other ways to keep your costs on target. Read It Here
Step Three: Put On Your Hard Hat (And Thinking Cap) Time for Construction Planning!
Kitchen-remodeling projects should follow a logical work sequence, as those that don’t are subject to problems down the line. In post #3, we provide a typical progression of work for a moderate remodeling project. Read It Here
Step Four: Picking the Right Appliances
A key component of any kitchen remodel is selecting new products that fit with your design, budget and construction timeframe. In our final post, we take a brief look at six categories of kitchen-remodeling products. With several models, options and variations within each category, picking the right product for your specific kitchen can seem daunting. However, it’s actually a lot of fun and easier than you might think. Read It Here