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Archive for September, 2013

first-time-homebuyer-advice-276x300One thing that most buyers are looking for is space. They want to know they’re going to have room for everything (and everyone) and they’re not going to grow out of their house too quickly. So here are some ways to make your house seem bigger than it really is.

Get rid of clutter

This is probably the most important secret to increasing the illusion of space. Remove items you don’t need from surfaces, particularly in the kitchen. Keep shelves tidy and not stuffed with books and ornaments.

Paint the walls

Use white or neutral colors to make rooms appear light and spacious. Use tones of a neutral color such as brown or gray to avoid visual clutter and make your décor feel more harmonious.

Consider off-site storage

If you’re running out of room for your possessions, move some of them into a storage unit while your house is on the market. Alternatively, have a yard sale to get rid of unwanted items — or donate them to charity. Otherwise, your house might look as if it’s not spacious enough for a family.

Remove some furniture

Potential buyers need to be able to walk around your house without bumping into chairs and tables. Put some furniture into storage until you move. Leave a path through your rooms that buyers can walk through.

Organize closets

Make sure you’ve tidied your closets. Invest in an organizing system, if necessary. Remove clothing that you’re not likely to wear from your closets.

Clean up the garage

People want to know they can fit a car (or two) in the garage and still have room for storing their possessions. So clear out your garage and neatly organize everything that must stay in there.

Mirrors and drapes

Place mirrors in strategic places and remove fussy window treatments to enhance the illusion of space. More sellers are now using stagers to prepare a home for sale. Emptying your personal items and allowing a professional the job of staging might the most cost effective way to go. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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Kitchen Sept 2013When rating the importance of any particular room from a home buyers perspective, a kitchen ranks right at the top. The kitchen is considered the vocal point for most families. Neglecting a kitchen can be a huge detriment during the sell of a home. Here are a few suggestions that can make a difference.

Cabinet Doors

Damaged or dirty cabinet doors are a big turn-off for buyers. But that’s easy to fix. Most cabinetry can be re-painted after cleaning it and applying a coat of primer. Just check that the materials can take paint or whether you need to give any special preparation to the doors first. Alternatively, you can just replace the doors. There are companies that provide doors to fit existing kitchen cabinets.

Hardware

Another way to fix up cabinets is to replace the hardware, perhaps changing out-of-date fixtures for sleek, modern ones. This is a very cheap and easy way to update your kitchen.

Sinks and faucets

Try trading your faucets for more modern designs and replacing a damaged or very dirty sink.

Appliances

People love modern stainless steel appliances. It could be a good investment to upgrade your appliances to the most modern designs to give your kitchen the ‘wow’ factor.

Backsplash

An easy way to update your kitchen is to replace the backsplash. Subway or mosaic tiles or a sheet of stainless steel are very popular right now, and this quick change can really lift the feel of the room.

Flooring

Dirty, tired linoleum floors will turn off buyers. Try updating with tough laminate flooring or some tiles that tie into the rest of the kitchen.

Paint

Change the décor easily by repainting in fresh, modern, neutral colors. A coat of paint can be a very cheap way to refresh the look of your kitchen.

Clutter

Just by simply removing the clutter that accumulates on your countertops, you can freshen up your kitchen. Throw out things you don’t need; put away others you use only occasionally. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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relocatingAmericans are mobile by nature so it should come as no surprise that relocation is a major reason for buying or selling a home.

Deciding to pick up and move to a new city can be a great opportunity to increase your standard of living for the entire family for years to come, but there are also pitfalls.

Failure to properly consider the full cost of relocation can turn a joyful event into pure stress.

Learn how to calculate the full cost of relocation with these quick tips.

Cost of Living

If you currently reside in a high cost area of the nation like D.C. or New   York City, then most places will seem more affordable.

On the other hand, moving from a relatively rural area to a major city can result in daunting increases for housing, taxes, and even insurance.

Commute and Convenience

Urban warriors relocating to small town life are often giddy at the prospect of saving a bundle on mortgage and insurance.

Before you get too excited, take time to calculate the cost of the new commute and convenience. While it is true that small town living has its advantages, expect to invest more time and money in gasoline, groceries, and other routines.

Cleaning, Clearing and Leaving

Do not forget the cost of moving itself. Whether you rent a truck and do it yourself, or pay to have everything handled professionally, relocation is expensive.

Include moving fees, cleaning, utilities, insurance, down payments, and lost wages, just to name a few of the anticipated expenses.

Taxes

One frequently overlooked expense involves potential taxes. Be sure to calculate the cost of any taxes that may be due on the profit of the home if you have not owned it for at least five years. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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good neighborhoods September 2013Location, location, location — goes the saying about what’s important in real estate. Today’s homes are being scooped up quickly, regardless of location. The difference being, homes in good locations are getting top dollar. Most buyers will always look at location first and condition second.

Most home buyers start by looking for a suitable area. The following tips will help you find a neighborhood that feels like home.

Priorities

Set priorities about things that matter most to you and your family:

  • Is safety a prime concern?
  • Are you looking for vibrant nightlife?
  • Do you need to live close to work?

The best purchase is usually a trade-off among several desirable elements.

Factors

These factors will help to illuminate a neighborhood’s style:

  • Are there good local schools? Whether or not you have children, good schools increase property values.
  • Is the area close to services such as hospitals, public transportation, shopping, parks, and recreational and cultural sites?
  • How safe is it? Check with local police, and look in the newspaper for crime-watch statistics.
  • Are people outside their homes, working in their yards or walking their dogs? Neighbors who interact with one another create a safer and more pleasant environment.
  • Is the area popular? Ask your Realtor, and check the number of “for sale” and “sold” signs.
  • What is the neighborhood’s price range? Have average property values gone up, gone down or stayed the same? Areas about to become trendy are often found on the fringes of highly desirable locations.

Is there vacant space nearby? What kind of development is planned for it?

Guidance

Real estate agents are a valuable source of inside information about how to distinguish two neighborhoods that seem alike. Contact me for the latest information about neighborhoods. Please visit my website www.JohnnybrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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interior-design-modern-living-room-picture-christian-m - CopyA key element in staging a home for sale is to make it look clean, spacious, and presentable.

Learn how to clear the clutter with these quick and easy storage solutions that keep your home looking its best and make moving day a breeze at the same time.

Storage Bench or Seat

Buy an attractive storage bench or seat to store toys, pet items, and garden tools in a great looking container that adds a decorative element to the space. Outdoor PVC garden benches are an easy alternative to keep a patio or porch tidy, while a toy box in each bedroom makes quick work of preparing bedrooms to be shown on short notice. Best of all, storage benches make light work of packing when moving day arrives.

Bright Boxes

Purchase bright-colored storage boxes to use on shelves or inside cabinets to reduce the appearance of clutter.

Overhead Storage Systems

Add inexpensive overhead storage systems to the garage, shed, or even bedrooms. Sturdy and easy-to- install ceiling mounted storage systems keep walkways free of debris, especially in cluttered spaces like the garage. Add colorful ribbons or bright decorations to create the perfect place for stuffed animals, games, or other infrequently used toys in bedrooms.

Racks

From bikes to hats, there is a rack for every reason, so chances are your home could benefit from a few well positioned and inexpensive racks too. Some of the more popular racks include bike racks, multimedia racks, coat and hat rack, laundry racks and of course – spice racks.

Remember, potential buyers are likely to search every inch of your home including closet space, cabinets, and storage sheds to determine if their own belongings will fit.

Stay prepared by presenting your home in the best light possible by putting everything in its place. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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gorgeous landscaping AugustCreating an inviting landscape not only ensures a positive first impression with buyers but may also increase your home’s value and lead to a quicker sale.

You don’t have to spend a lot to make big improvements in your home’s curb appeal. Keeping your lawn manicured – mowed and edged – and trimming bushes and trees is an inexpensive way to make a positive impression on buyers. You’ll also want to remove any dead or diseased plants and ensure beds are weeded and freshly mulched.

Before beginning any landscape project, make a plan. And if you live in a neighborhood with restrictive covenants requiring approval by a landscape committee, be sure to follow proper procedures to avoid spending money on projects that you may be forced to undo later. A project plan will also help ensure that you make wise choices and stay within your budget.

Use color and depth to create visual interest, and select a variety of plants that bloom or change color throughout the year so your yard will be attractive regardless of the season. If your yard is open to neighbors’ yards, a street or public areas, consider screening to create a more private space. This can be accomplished with evergreen trees and bushes or with an attractive fence.

Sometimes what you remove from a yard can be as important as what you put in. If the front of your home is obscured by overgrown trees or bushes, remove them or trim them back to help buyers get a clear view of your home. Remember that the goal is to create a welcoming first impression that says, “Come in!”

Trends in landscaping

  • Low maintenance vegetation: less lawn to mow, helps keep weeds in check.
  • More trees: enhance beauty and provide shade.
  • Decks, patios and terraces: offer outdoor living space for dining, entertaining and relaxation.
  • Outdoor lighting: provides enticing views of your home and landscaping at night.
  • Irrigation system: costs more but simplifies lawn care and is attractive to buyers.

Beautiful landscaping can make a difference in the way a buyer will view your home. If you neglect the yard, what else have you neglected is the way a buyer approaches a home with poor landscaping. Prepare your home for sale by starting with that all important yard. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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