Judi Cardello's Blog
Whether you’re selling your home or just need to spruce up the front of your home because it’s lacking curb appeal, you can make a difference in a few simple steps. Below, you’ll find some great suggestions to help you bring the curb appeal of your home to a new level to make your home more inviting.
Paint Your Door
You want your front door to grab attention. That means that you can take a risk when it comes to choosing a front door color. You’ll need to match the front door with your existing exterior home color and style, but don’t be afraid to go bold. Find the right balance for some great curb appeal.
Light The Outdoors
If you really want to add some curb appeal to your home, you should make it visible both day and night. There are plenty of great ways to add charm to your yard all while adding practical lights to highlight your landscapes and provide safety at the same time. Solar lighting is great for any yard because it doesn’t require any type of electrical work.
Redo The Driveway
Your driveway is an overlooked part of the outside of your home. You usually just drive in and out to get to your home. Filling in your driveway, repaving it, filling in the cracks and landscaping alongside the driveway can really make a difference. You can bring your driveway from unsightly to an asset with a little TLC.
Keep Up With The Landscaping
You should never let your landscaping grow tired. Make sure you keep the bushes, flowers, and shrubs along the front of your home updated. Every so often add a new bush or change out your flowers. It can seem like a big project but it really can be rewarding at just how far small changes can go. You even have the option of making these changes gradually. There’s no reason they need to be drastic.
Change Your Mailbox
This idea seems incredibly simple but it can really add a lot to your home. Your mailbox doesn’t need to be boring. It should be one of the features that gives your home some character. You can shop for a unique mailbox to suit your style or you can create one of your own.
Take A Second Look At The Walkway
Your front walkway should be a place that’s inviting and gives an overall feel for your home. Lay cement or stone on the walkway to create a decorative pattern. Line the walkway with cedar, wood chips, or other types of mulch to bring an inviting scent as you walk into the home.
Buying a house is never a simple decision. Aside from all of the financial aspects of purchasing a home, there are numerous life-related considerations you’ll need to think about. So, it comes as little surprise that diving head on into the house hunting process can be stressful and taxing to the home buyer.
With all of the different numbers to keep track of--a down payment, closing costs, credit scores, interest rates, and so on--it’s easy to get lost in the finer details of your budget. This can lead to even more stress as you try to navigate your way through getting approved for a mortgage and shopping for the perfect home.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to maintain your budget and reduce stress throughout the home buying process. That way, when you do finally find the house you’ve been waiting for, you’ll be able to move forward confidently.
Trust the process
Many first-time home buyers enter the real estate market with little knowledge or experience of how things work. Any newcomer to such a huge and complex industry is bound to be flustered with all of the different options available to them.
However, much of the home buying process is relatively standardized. Real estate agents all make roughly the same commission, lenders use similar algorithms to decide how much of a loan you’ll be approved for, and real estate contracts contain legal safeguards and contingencies to ensure that you and the seller’s interests are protected.
When shopping for a mortgage or getting pre-approved, it’s a good idea to ask friends, family, or read reviews online to find someone you know you can trust. From there, rely on the experts to lead you through the process.
Have a long-term plan
Much of the stress and anxiety around buying a home comes from the uncertainty of the future. Sitting down with your family and significant other and deciding your long-term goals for homeownership is a good way to build confidence and know that you’re making the right choice.
Determining things like location, the number of years you want to live in a home, and what priorities are the most important (school districts, neighborhood safety, etc.) will help you make that plan a reality.
Use the tools at your disposal
If you’re reading this article, you already have started to take advantage of one of the most important resources you have, the internet. Look up real estate terminology you’re unfamiliar with, read up on the different types of mortgages, and take advantage of free online calculators to create what-if scenarios to find out what you might end up paying in closing costs and interests.
It’s also a good idea to check your credit score for free online. You can check your official reports once per year, but for simple credit checks you can look it up each month for free.
Knowing that you’re in good hands with a lender and agent, that you have a basic understanding of industry terms, that you have a long-term plan, and that your finances are in order will all help set your mind at ease and give you confidence as you move forward toward homeownership.
Whether you’re a young professional moving to an urban flat or an empty-nester looking to downsize, the challenge of living in a smaller space is sometimes daunting. The things you want (keepsakes, books, collections, specialty kitchen appliances) and the things you need (room for clothes, a home office, space for a guest) vie for the same square footage. How can you fit it all into your space without it being a cluttered mess? Find the hidden spaces in your home.
Of course, first up is getting rid of items you no longer use, want, or need. Once that’s done, take stock of what remains. Seasonal items should go on one list and everyday items on another.Resourcefulness
Pass a critical eye over your furniture. Can you use space under, behind or above it? Will it do double duty?
- A narrow bookshelf set behind your sofa provides storage for seasonal items and functions as a sofa table.
- Stack vintage suitcases or trunks filled with blankets, seasonal clothing or keepsakes beside the bed or sofa as an end table.
- Slide baskets under a coffee table for smaller items you use often. Or turn a cubby shelf into a coffee table for dual use.
- Put storage bins under the bed for sweaters, blankets, or guest pillows.
- Store sheets and extra blankets under your mattress.
- Use a tall bookshelf behind your bed. It replaces the headboard and nightstands, then adds extra storage both above and behind the bed. Keep seasonal items on the lower shelves behind the mattress and items you use often in the exposed shelves above.
- If you rarely bake, store pans in your oven.
- Typically eat take-out? Store extra dishes in that unused dishwasher.
A little creative effort goes a long way when looking for space. Hack something you already own or an inexpensive purchase into multi-purpose storage.
- Hang shower rings from a hanger to hold scarves, ties, or tank tops.
- Install a towel bar to a closet wall below the hanging clothes and hang your heels over it, freeing up much-needed floor space. Or, use a peg rack or stick-on hooks to hang sports shoes and flats.
- Use binder clips to hold computer and charging cords in place and off the floor.
- If the space between your bed and the wall is too small for a side table or nightstand, hang a floating shelf to hold books, your cell-phone, and glasses.
- Add cushions to the top of a low storage shelf to create extra seating.
- Add stick-on hooks to the insides of cabinet doors to hold lids and cutting boards.
Innovative storage is an industry all its own. Retailers such as West Elm, Pottery Barn, IKEA, Target, and several online-only outlets specialize in dual-purpose pieces to help get the most use from a small space. Here are some you may find useful:
- Look for an ottoman that makes into a sleeper. Use it as your coffee table, then pop it open for casual overnight guests.
- Buy a platform bed with drawers or one that lifts on hinges to access storage underneath.
- Install a table that hangs on the wall and folds down when not in use.
- Install modular shelving with a deeper shelf at desk height for a home office solution.
No matter how small the space, there are ways to maximize it. If your home is on the market, ask your real estate professional which items to leave out and which to find a hidden home to make the best impression on a buyer.