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High End “Green” Homes

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on June 04, 2019  /  in Blog, Home Buyers, House Remodeling, Modern Home, Questions and Answers, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

As more buyers look to reduce their carbon footprint, eco-friendly or “green” amenities are a must, especially in high-end homes. But this is more than just having energy-saving light bulbs. For many, “going green” means going high tech, and sellers should take note of these trends as they become more and more common in high-end real estate.

Here’s a look at what’s new and improving in the way of green.

SMART HOMES

Smart homes are becoming the norm across the high-end real estate market. Voice activated and app directed commands allow you to adjust indoor and outdoor lighting as well as heating, cooling, watering, and washing. Take advantage of non-peak hours and control electrical usage while out of town.

DECONSTRUCTED DESIGN

Deconstruction is a concept that utilizes recycled raw materials. This trend is toward more authentic, natural materials such as exposed wood, metal, and brick. It is an exposed style of un-building reminiscent of the ’90s, but with a more refined and green edge to it through its emphasis on reuse, salvaged and donated materials. By mixing in more green materials such as quick-growing bamboo, you can add even add “newer” natural materials to the mix.

BETTER ENERGY GENERATION AND STORAGE

Smart tech is making life easier, cleaner, and cheaper. More efficient batteries are making electrical storage more effective while microgrids allow you to use and buy electricity from off-grid sources, making it easier to take advantage of more clean energy than ever before. Solar technology and the selling benefits they provide make electricity increasingly cheaper for you as a homeowner. Upper-tier home buyers are looking for more than just your typical solar panel. Innovations like Tesla’s solar panel roof tiles are the type of high-tech upgrades that catch the eye of those luxury buyers.

INSTALL AN ENERGY MONITOR

One of the easiest things you can do to decrease energy consumption around the house is to install an energy monitor. Household energy monitors are easy to use and inexpensive, and allow you to see a minute by minute presentation of your energy use. These devices work by clipping onto the power cable coming into your home and transmitting a wireless signal to a display that shows precisely the amount of power being consumed. In studies conducted in the British Isles, households with energy monitors saved between 10 to 15% annually by instituting the simple and inexpensive device.

INSTALL A WIND GENERATOR

Did you know that you can actually purchase smaller versions of these massive power generators? The costs of a home wind generator vary greatly. Some have built their own wind generators with off-the-shelf parts from their local hardware stores. Others have purchased kits or paid for professional installation to supplement the power purchased from their local electrical grid. Many kit based generators will produce only enough power to offset 10-15% of your home energy costs.

With careful planning and wise material choices, you can design an eco-friendly home that’s not only gentler on the planet, but that will help you save on energy bills in the long run.

Interested in remodeling your home to sell or positioning your already green home to buyers? Consult with one of our agents today.

Unexpected & Hidden Costs When Buying Your First Home

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on May 23, 2019  /  in Blog, Home Buyers, House Remodeling, Questions and Answers  /  Comments off

Buying a home for the first time is exciting but can also be a scary experience. You are excited to redecorate, paint, get new furniture, and settle in!

But unfortunately, there are often a lot of hidden costs when buying a home that you may not have budgeted for when you determined your mortgage terms and homeownership costs. Zillow estimates that homeowners, on average, end up spending around $9,000 the first year on hidden costs!

There are some unavoidable hidden costs that you may not have factored in when you purchased your home and signed on for a mortgage.

These costs come in the form of closing costs, hiring a moving company, home inspection, hiring a painter, lender fees, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, setting up internet, cable, and utilities which will be more expensive than your renter’s utilities. These costs are unavoidable and may be a one-time cost or reoccur monthly/yearly. Zillow estimates that you should be prepared to spend an average of $6,000 a year on these unavoidable costs.

When you first buy your home, you dream up all of the project and upgrades you want to do once you move in. Unfortunately, these costs add up and will almost always cost more then what you budgeted. These projects could be as simple as repainting the master or as technical as blowing out a wall in your living room to open it up to the kitchen.

Home DIY TV shows make us think that these projects are simple, inexpensive, fast, and easy to do yourself, but that is not always the case.

We are not all Chip Gaines or have the skills and knowledge to redo the plumbing in your bathroom to expand the shower. For these projects, you would want to hire help and labor rates are the quickest rising cost in your remodeling budget.

Another cost that most new homeowners do not think about it the cost of maintenance. This comes in the form of having to buy a lawnmower or a snow blower, getting the carpets cleaned, having someone clean out your gutters, HVAC maintenance, pest removal, house cleaning, pressure washing, and window cleaning.

For most of these, you can learn how to do them yourselves, which will only cost you money in materials and a few hours, or reading or watching videos to learn the best techniques. If the projects get to intensive it is better to higher a professional in the field.

Buying a home, for the first time is overwhelming, especially when you take a look at the long list of expenses and costs that add up before you can even move into your new home! But don’t be overwhelmed. By planning a budget for your home, and making a list of all costs that are needed you can make sure that you have smooth sailing every step of the way in your first year and every year afterward.

Here are the main costs to remember again: home inspection, closing costs, property taxes, lending fees, maintenance cost, and upgrades.

Before you close on a deal, grab some advice from your Nestlewood Realty Agent! We are here not only to help you find your dream home, but also to make sure you’re fully prepared for the costs you will incur.

 

How to Prep a Room to Paint

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on May 06, 2019  /  in Blog, Home Buyers, House Remodeling, Selling Your Home, Selling Your Home  /  Comments off

With summer right around the corner, now is the time that most of us find ourselves with a list of projects to get done. One of the most exciting projects is getting to repaint parts of your home. An important but overlooked step in painting is preparing your room and wall

If skipped you may end up with paint splatters on your flooring and light fixtures, or paint on your ceiling. Though when done correctly, it will make the entire process smoother and will leave your walls looking amazing! Whether you are thinking about selling your home or are just putting on a fresh coat, here are some of our top tips for prepping your room to paint like a pro.

1) Clear the Room

Take everything out of the room. This includes all of your furniture, curtains, blinds, art, electrical outlet switch plates, shelving, rugs, etc. You don’t want to accidentally get paint on any of your home furnishings so try to move everything into a different area of your home.

2) Cover the Flooring and Fixtures

Lay down a tarp or drop cloth on top any of the furniture that you were unable to move out of the room and lay the tarp on top of all of your flooring to protect it from any drops of paint. Cover lighting fixtures with plastic or tarp and wrap plastic bags around doorknobs and hooks using rubber bands.

3) Clean the Walls

You may not realize how much dust, dirt, and pet hair accumulates on your walls. Use a sponge and a mild soap to clean all of the walls that you are painting. During this step, you also want to check for any cracks or holes that need to be filled with caulk or spackle and be sure to sand the area down to create a smooth surface for applying paint.

4) Apply Painter’s Tape

Using painters tape will ensure that you get clean, straight lines when painting and will help stop drops of paint getting on any molding. First, you want to clean your moldings to get rid of any dust buildup. Otherwise, the tape will not stick well and will become a hassle to keep in place. Next, lay the painters tape on top of your molding and cover the entire base of the wall you are painting. You will also want to tape around window frames, vents, and along the ceiling line. Once you lay down the painter’s tape you want to go back over the edge of the tape that is against the wall and press it down to ensure there are no air bubbles and it is as tight as can be.

5) Prime & Paint

You are now ready to begin priming your walls and painting!

 

Sources

https://www.familyhandyman.com/painting/tips/using-masking-tape-when-painting/

https://www.houzz.com/magazine/how-to-paint-a-room-prep-to-painting-stsetivw-vs~71374323

Top 10 Actions to Take During Your Deep Clean

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on April 19, 2019  /  in Blog, House Remodeling, Luxury Home, Selling Your Home, Uncategorized  /  Comments off

Spring has sprung! Now is the perfect time to deep clean your home.

Cleaning your home makes it feels fresher and more open. Whether you’re preparing for a sale or clearing the cobwebs of winter, this means going further than your regular tidying and making time to dive into the seldom-touched areas of your home. Here is a list of the top 10 actions to take during your deep clean: 

1. Hitting the Baseboards

You probably loathe dusting the baseboards of your home, but the immediate feeling of gratification makes it worth it. Simply take a soft towel, spray with your favorite all-purpose cleaner and wipe away the build-up of dust and dirt. This will leave your home sparkling and your wood moisturized for the coming months.

2. Dusting the Blinds

Blinds are an area of your home that get used a lot, but get little cleaning attention. Take your soft towel and your favorite all-purpose cleaner and wipe off the dust build-up on your blinds. If you have wood blinds, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on how best to treat the wood.

3. Vacuuming Couch Cushions

This step can (and should!) be done more frequently than just during your Spring-cleaning. If you ever eat on your couch, like most people do, this is especially important. Take every cushion off your couch, vacuum the front and back of each and hit the couch base. This is also a great time to clean the floor under your couch. Pull the couch out so that you can get to the rest of the crumbs, forgotten pens, and cat toys!

4. Climbing Up to the Light Fixtures

Your light fixtures gather a lot of dust and pet hair. Grab a ladder or step stool and gently wipe down the fixtures. Depending on the materials of your fixture this can be done with a light cleaning spray or water and soap.

5. Washing Pet Toys

Pet beds and toys are often forgotten about when we clean. Depending on your pet’s bed and toys, you may even be able to throw them your washing machine. If you are not able to, use the hose on your vacuum to get the build-up of pet hair and dust/dirt that has accumulated. If your pet has especially fine hair (like cats!), use a brush to run through their beds.

6. Clearing the Vents

Air vents both on the floor and on your ceilings need a good wipe-down. They accumulate dirt and dust which is then put back into your home when they are pushing out heat and cool air! Use a comfortable and light duster, making sure that it has an extendable arm for those hard-to-reach places. You can also use your vacuum hose to get any loose dirt or animal hair that’s stuck in the vent.

7. Fine-tuning Windows and Doors

Like baseboard cleaning, wiping around windows and doors is tedious, but satisfying! You may need your step stool or ladder to reach these. The tops of doors and windows accumulate a lot of dust, especially if you open your windows during the day. Once again, take your soft towel and all-purpose cleaner and wipe down these areas. This is also an excellent time to get both sides of your doors, especially if they have carved out details that have built up dust accumulated.

8. Wiping Down Bookshelves

Since most people tend to dust around objects on shelves and bookcases during a “regular” clean, now is the time when you should take the items of your shelves and dust behind them. Often times you will find dust built up and pet hair behind your books and vases. Depending on the materials of your shelves, take your soft towel and light cleaning spray and wipe down the entire shelf, both the top and bottom sides.

9. Emptying the Cabinets

Similar to shelves, you probably aren’t able to get behind the items in your cabinets and wipe them down during a quick clean. This step will take a decent amount of time depending on the number of your kitchen cabinets, buffet cabinets, and media console cabinets. Take everything out of these cabinets and wipe down all four sides of the cabinet. (And get rid of the items you no longer use!) Make sure to finish by wiping down the front and back of cabinet doors.

10. Disinfecting Door Handles

Door handles and knobs are frequently overlooked during cleaning. Take the time to go around to all of your doors and wipe down the handles and knobs. You should do this on your hooks, railings, and cabinet knobs. Make sure you are using an appropriate spray for the materials of your knobs, hooks, and handles. This is also a good time to buff them so they look brand new once again! 

Of course, there are many other areas of your home that rarely see a deep cleaning, but we hope this list helps you get started and leaves your home feeling fresh and clean for summer!

Cleaning your home for an upcoming sale? Let one of our agents guide you through the process…

The Home Decor Trends We Can’t Stop Raving About

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on April 08, 2019  /  in Blog, House Remodeling, Luxury Home, Modern Home  /  Comments off

Whether you’re upgrading your home to prepare for sale or to enjoy for yourself, these are the interior design style trends everyone is talking about this year.

Bedroom

Bold Headboards

Imagine having sweet dreams at home under gorgeous fabrics. Try upholstering your headboard in a jew-toned velvet to add a touch of sophistication in your bedroom. Even better, help your bed stand out with a textural, out-of-the-box headboard! Use ceiling-to-floor curtains, mirrors, and floating shelves to elevate your bed’s look.

Canopy Beds

If your bedroom is large enough to accommodate, make a big statement with a canopy bed! Whether they are traditionally styled or are more modern, there is a canopy bed that goes perfectly with every bedroom design. From old-world four-post beds with curtains and plenty of flounce, to a more sleek and modern white canopy bed with minimal details.

Boudoir Vanities

The retro-inspired boudoir vanity is *officially* back on trend, and it’s an easy addition to any design style. The best part? They’re totally functional! Vanities are perfect for an awkward corner in the room, or to create a shocking visual impact with an oversized mirror in the middle of a wall. Choose any color, texture, and material for your space, but we suggest going unexpected.

 

Kitchen

Darken the Mood

Optic white isn’t going anywhere, but designers are leaning towards moody, matte kitchens this year. Set the tone with a rich and unexpected color for a more nuanced look. The antithesis to the tendency to go for all-white kitchens, black and moodier hued kitchen design ideas add a sense of drama to any home, are easier to manage, and are an elegant alternative to standard ivories. Finish off with slick matte touches.

Custom Pieces

If standing out with bold colors and textures isn’t enough, opt for handmade, custom furniture pieces. Further, know and understand where your pieces come from by commissioning its build! Companies like Tuckaseegee Timberworks, Hedrick Custom Designs, and Barden Built Remodeling can work with you to build exactly what you envision for your kitchen.

 

Anywhere

Art Deco

Art deco influence has come in and out of the limelight several times over the past 90+ years. It began trickling into design in 2018, but will become more prominent this year. From color shift (lots of pinks!) to textile design and furniture silhouettes, expect Gatsby-inspired looks to populate the market.

Natural Elements

Tech-centered decor dominated interior design last year. In response, designers are shifting toward fresh, natural elements in accents, furniture, decor, and even wallpaper. Materials such as stone, copper, concrete, and granite will be more prominent. Floral accents and floral wallpaper can lighten and soften the ambiance of the room. Push the boundaries of where you can incorporate these pieces.

Artisinal Lighting Fixtures

The installation of unique fixtures can elevate any space. Vintage lights, pendants, and sconces in brass and copper finishes are making their comeback in 2019. Designers are pushing for homeowners to mix and match metals and be more expressive with their lighting choices.

The overarching theme of the year can be summed up in two words: Go Bold. Mirroring the world around us, designers urge homeowners to turn up the volume in their rooms this year.

Thanks to our friends at Decor Aid, Elle Decor, West Elm, Oh Joy! + on Instagram for inspiring this post. For more on styling your home for sale, give one of our seller’s agents a call.

5 Tips for Moving with Pets

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on March 18, 2019  /  in Uncategorized  /  Comments off

If you think moving is stressful for your family, just imagine of how hard it is on your pets.

You have time to prepare yourself for the exciting chaos that is a move, but moving day for a pet is simply a sudden upheaval. Want to make the transition easy for the whole family? Follow these five tips for protecting your furry friends during the moving process.

Tip #1 Plan Ahead

Depending on where you’re moving, landlords or homeowners’ associations may have specific pet rules. Your pet may need specific vaccinations, medications or certificates depending on their policies. Ask your landlord, new neighbors, or local animal control facility what they allow and require.

If you’re moving across town, it’s likely the rules and regulations will be the same, but if you’re making a big move, you’ll need to check local laws in your new neighborhood. Find out if you need a new license, what the leash laws are, and whether or not there are breed bans in place.

Tip #2 Update Your Veterinarian + Information

A big move will require you to find a new vet. (Don’t wait until your dog gets injured or sick!) Your current vet may be able to make recommendations for colleagues he or she knows in your new area. It is recommended to set up an appointment as soon as you move in order to get established and to obtain a copy of all of your pet’s medical records to give to your new vet before you leave home.

Before you make move, have new identification tags with your new address and phone number made for your pet’s collar. If your pet has an identification microchip, remember to update your contact information with the electronic database. If you do not have a microchip in your pet, discuss the pros and cons with your pet

Tip #3 Prepare Your Pet

Cats, especially, are not big fans of change. You can help your cats (and skittish dogs) adjust to the moving process by bringing in moving boxes early, and by packing over a long period of time so that your pet thinks everything is normal. This will keep their stress level down.

During the actual moving day (where boxes and furniture are being moved), pets should be removed from the noise. Find a friend who wouldn’t mind pet-sitting or find a place like a dog or cat care center. If you must keep them with you, put them somewhere that’s locked away, like a quiet room with their food, water, bowls, and any other important supplies (that favorite squeaky toy!).

Unless your move is long distance or international, your pet will likely be traveling by car with you nearby. By driving them yourself, you can care for them and give them a sense of familiarity as they move. To prepare your pet for this trip, drive for short distances with your pet to get them used to the car ride.

If you are moving your pet by air, be sure to check rules and regulations far ahead of moving day (and to keep your pet’s special documentation at hand!).

Tip #4 Pet-Proof Your New Home

Once you get into your new place, you need to pet-proof immediately. Check your fence for places they may escape, and install gates and additional fencing as needed. Keep potentially harmful items packed away so your pet can’t get into them. After harm has been tucked away, take some time to create a familiar space for your pet using beds, crates, and toys they are acquainted with.

It will take some time for your pets to learn where they can and cannot be in and around your new house.  After moving day, don’t let pets roam through the neighborhood until they are acclimated. Instead, take them out on a leash to explore their new territory and show them how to get home.

Whether you’re going across town or across the country, your moving day checklist will include packing up your four-legged family members. Using these tips, you can make moving into your new home as stress-free as possible for everyone in your family.

If you’re preparing your home for the market, consult with one of our agents for ways you can make the home-selling process easier for you and your wallet.

When is the Best Time to Sell A Home

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on March 05, 2019  /  in Uncategorized  /  Comments off

No matter what leads you to put your home on the market, you probably want to sell your house fast and at top dollar. While it’s your property and you can choose to sell at any time of the year, there are a few seasons of selling that may be better for your stress levels and your bank account.

The condition of the market and the time of year are two of the most important factors to consider when preparing your home for market. Selling at the right time means you can sell your house quickly and at a high asking price, and your local agent can help you determine the best time to sell your home.

When you discuss home selling strategies with your realtor, they will likely suggest putting your house on the market during Summer season. If you peruse realty sites like Zillow and Trulia, you will find that the maximum numbers of listings are posted at the end of the Spring and the beginning of the Summer.

Early Summer is the time of year when school has ended and families with kids can get into a new home with enough time to register for classes the following year. Additionally, days are longer during this time of the year, giving more hours for buyers to devote to their house hunt. Plus, there’s optimum light in the evening for those buyers dropping by to view your home after they get out of work.

In Summer there is also the benefit of good weather conditions, allowing you to impress potential buyers with landscaping and curb appeal.

This is the time of the year when flowering plants blossom, grass is green and the outer attractions of your home can shine. In locations where snow can build several feet high, warmer months are especially important in the process. Zillow says that homes listed at this time of the year sell 2 weeks faster and fetch an extra $2500 for the owners.

It can be a good idea to research the month where the maximum numbers of homes in your area are typically sold. Then, plan to list your home 2-3 weeks before that month begins. For example, if most homes in your area are bought in May, you should list your house in mid-April. Putting your house on the market does not happen overnight, you’ll need to plan ahead.

While most realtors will tell you that late Spring and early Summer are the best times to sell your house, the whole process is largely dependent on the market.

There are plenty of locations where a home may sell exceptionally well in the Fall or Winter. Finances and the time and effort you put into the home-selling endeavor can also affect best the timing of your sale. If you can’t put energy into selling in the Spring, another season may be better. In the end, selling and buying a home is a different experience for each person and each market.

This year, mortgage rates are inching lower and lower which may mean Spring buying season will come sooner than usual.

Their Chief Economist explains, “Wages are growing on par with home prices for the first time in years, and with more inventory available, spring home sales should help the market begin to recover from the malaise of the last few months.” The National Association of REALTORS® reported  that more houses were on the market in January, rising to 1.59 million nationwide and at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace. (And our recent numbers match this trend!)

It is always prudent to consult your broker about the best time to sell. They can ease the stress of researching the market, as they will already be aware of its conditions, and ultimately earn you more from your sale.

Ready to chat about putting your home on the market? Give Nestlewood Realty a call today.

8 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Selling Your Home

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on February 20, 2019  /  in Uncategorized  /  Comments off
Selling a home can be either an exciting or a stressful time, depending on how much you have considered before deciding to sell. Before setting your heart on a move, be sure to consider the following questions that will help clarify whether or not selling at this time will benefit you based on your goals, expectations, and financial status.

1.) What do I hope to accomplish with the sale?

Before beginning to answer the remaining questions – you should first keep in mind why the idea to sell your home came to be. Are you relocating for work? Are you expanding your family and in search of more space? Do you desire lower payments or less maintenance? Identifying these goals will help you to examine the remaining questions with a more transparent lens and eventually determine whether or not selling your home at this time is right for you.

2.) How much do I owe on my primary mortgage?

Even though not every home sale results in a profit for the seller, you’ll generally want to make money through the deal. The first thing you should look at is the current estimated market value of your home. If the market value of your home is MORE than what you owe on your mortgage, you’re much more likely to see a favorable financial outcome when selling. If you owe MORE on your mortgage than your home is currently worth, you are taking more of a financial risk putting the home on the market.

3.) Have I taken out any home equity loans that have a current balance?

If in regards to question #2, you determined that your home is worth MORE than you currently owe on your mortgage – you’re in good shape. However, you also need to add any home equity loans that you have taken out against your home to your debt total before making this determination. You’ll be required by the loaning bank to repay both of these (primary mortgage and home equity loans) when you sell so take the time to get your home appraised and make this calculation carefully.

4.) Should I hire an agent?

Unless you are a real estate professional experienced in selling homes, it’s often best to leave the work of selling your home to a licensed agent. Not only will they work to sell your home for the highest price and in the shortest amount of time, but they will handle many legal aspects of the sale including offers and contracts, aspects that can make or break your home selling process.  Also, they will take away the home-showing stress as much as possible, market your home effectively, and assist you in determining the market value of your home and what you can expect to make on the sale.

5.) How much do I need to spend on home repair and improvements before selling my home?

If you choose to work with a real estate agent, they can recommend the most appropriate repairs and improvement. Homeowners often assume their home needs to be in pristine move-in ready condition before they can negotiate the price they want, but the value of some repairs and improvements impact the value of your home more significantly than others. You will want to work with your agent to determine which projects will be worth the investment in the end so you can prioritize them and allocate your money and resources as effectively as possible.

6.) Is the timing right to sell my home?

While the real estate market ebbs and flows on a longer term scale based on interest rates and buyer demand, there are also certain seasons and times of year where selling your home could have a more favorable outcome than others. Generally speaking, April, May, and June see a peak in home sales, but if you’re looking to sell outside of that window, don’t fret. Your agent will help you determine the best marketing tactics to use regardless of when you put your home on the market. For example, if you’re selling in the early fall season, buyers may want to be reminded how nice it will be to host winter holidays in their new space or ring in the New Year with a fresh start.

7.) Where will I be moving to?

Assuming you will be purchasing a new home as a part of the moving process, you will want to work especially closely with your realtor to determine the logistics of selling and purchasing a home simultaneously. If you are relocating to a new home in the same area, it should be relatively easy to both ready your home for showings and also attend open houses in search of your new space. However, if your move will require travel, you’ll want to work with your agent to determine a schedule for showings that coordinates with your search. Another aspect to consider is what your real estate agent should write into your contract to protect yourself as well as the sale. For example, will the purchase of your new home be contingent on the sale of your current home? Or, can you afford both mortgages should you find your new home before selling your current one? These questions will often impact the offer decision, so consider them carefully.

8.) What will I need to leave behind in the house after it’s sold?

To prevent any misunderstandings in the contract phase of your house, consider what you will leave behind in your current home for its new occupants. Sellers are expected to leave any fixtures, meaning anything physically attached to your home like landscaping, ceiling fans, and countertops. However, things like appliances, decor, and furniture are open for negotiation and may impact the price you can ask for your home. Be sure to determine early what you’re willing to part with so that if it comes up, you’re able to respond quickly and not delay an offer.

Hopefully, these questions have shed some light on the considerations that must be made before placing that “for sale” sign on the lawn and have given you a clearer picture of what you can expect from the home sale process.

Remember, everyone’s situation is unique. Working with an agent will help paint an even clearer picture based on your set of circumstances. If you’re ready to get your home on the market, contact one of the amazing listing agents at Nestlewood Realty.

 

4 Easy (And Cheap!) Ways to Improve Your Landscaping

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on February 10, 2019  /  in Blog, House Remodeling, Selling Your Home, Selling Your Home, Uncategorized  /  Comments off

Is your property looking drab during these winter months? It may be time to update your home’s landscaping!

Your landscape is more than just a way to increase the curb appeal of your home when you’re ready to sell. A welcoming landscape is a perfect way to turn your property into an inviting outdoor space for family and friends. Regardless of the motivation, there are several quick fixes that can be done in a weekend (or less!) to make your yard instantly more attractive, without breaking the bank.

1.) Power Clean

It may sound basic, but if you haven’t spruced up your yard in a bit, the first thing you need to do is clean. This means taking the time to rake, prune and pull as much as you can in your yard. Start with one area to tackle first– probably your front yard, and deep clean. Remove leaf debris from the ground, dead buds in your planters and trim neglected, overgrown bushes that have lost their shape. This also includes scrubbing or power washing your walkway and driveway.

Have a high-traffic area that’s constantly in need of cleaning? Consider adding walkways between doors and storage areas or from the driveway to the front porch, as needed.

2.) Use Ground Cover

When you imagine a lush front lawn, you likely don’t see the financial burden of keeping your grass green. Many homeowners deal with dry, patchy, and weeded lawns simply by re-sodding the yard, but this can cost several thousand dollars– especially if professionally installed. Grass also requires a hefty amount of water and may need fertilizer and weed treatments as well, all of which will significantly impact your bottom line.

To combat these costs, use an easy-maintenance ground cover like thyme, bishop’s weed or lamium over the sections you want to hide. Not only will you save money on ground cover, but the maintenance is also easier and less costly over time.

3.) Keep it Evergreen

If you live in an area where winter months mean sparse trees and brown plantlife, opt for evergreens. Your front yard will shine all year long if you fill it with a collection of evergreens like boxwood shrubs, holly, juniper, and spindle tree. Choose varieties with different shapes, colors, and textures to create a glowing garden with little effort (and replanting).

4.) Add Small Touches of Color and Fun

The simplest addition of small pots of flowers, whimsical decor, and water features or the use of rocks in your landscaping can add personality to your yard. Plant colorful flowers that you love and that will draw attention to your home. Consider adding a flower bed border (a simple stone edge and mulch to pretty up your flower bed) to clean up your curb appeal.

Remember, if you select annual flowers that die every year, you’re going to wind up spending a lot of cash on replanting. Instead, buy perennials like alstroemeria, catmint, and coreopsis that will return each year with just as beautiful colorful leaves and flowers.

Don’t be afraid to incorporate elements of your personal aesthetic into your landscape design to add to the comfort and warmth of your home, even if you plan on selling soon. Buyers will be happy to move to a property that’s been well groomed and taken care of.

Interested in preparing your property for a sale? Our diverse team is ready to meet your needs. Contact a Nestlewood agent today at [email protected] or by calling 704.302.4464.

10 Home Improvements with a Huge ROI

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on January 21, 2019  /  in Uncategorized  /  Comments off

Before you sell your home, ask yourself this: Is your property one step above the others in your neighborhood? If the answer is no, or you simply want to make upgrades to your home that will yield a high return on your investment, consider these home improvements that will pay off.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

If your kitchen needs a cosmetic update, consider a small kitchen overhaul. The average minor kitchen remodel costs about $14,913 and recoups about $14,691– a 98.5% return. A small kitchen remodel may include refacing cabinets and drawers, installing new countertops, sinks, and fixtures, and updating your appliances with energy-efficient models.

Minor Bathroom Remodel

Instead of making your toilet the star of the bathroom, consider updating its design. It costs about $10,500 to replace a tub, tile, floor, toilet, sink, and fixtures, and you’ll get an average of $10,700 back at resale. (A 102% return!) Modern faucets and hardware will make your home feel up to date and are easy enough to install yourself. You can also save money on your remodel by simply re-glazing and re-caulking your old tub instead of installing something new.

Backyard Seating

With owning a house comes owning private property, so capitalize on it! Nothing embraces a backyard like a wood deck and patio with outdoor seating. The average cost of a 16 x 20-foot deck and treatments is $10,950 and resells for about $9,000, earning you about 82% back. Make sure to include safe railings, decorative planters, and inviting lighting in your build. You can also use this opportunity to cover any unattractive units in the rear of your house.

Paint Walls and Refurbish Floors

The easiest way to give value to your home is to updates its colors and freshness. For as little as $25, you can freshen the walls of a room with a light, neutral color. Brightening trim shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Do the job yourself for about $100 in material costs or pay a professional $1,000 or so, which should cover multiple rooms, and earn an average 40% return. Quality hardwood flooring can be expensive but yields a similar return. Already have hardwood? Save money by hiring a professional to sand your floors and stain them yourself.

Landscaping and Curb Appeal

An overall landscape upgrade tops the list for outdoor projects that provide the greatest value to a home. Simple lawn maintenance landscaping improvements can cost you $1,500-$4,000 and earn you an estimated 105% return on investment. Decor and design trends can go out of style, but well-maintained greens grow fuller and more attractive as time goes by. Don’t forget to add to your curb appeal by paying attention to outdoor lighting and porch cleanliness and decor.

Some of the home improvements that will provide the greatest ROI in your home, like a major kitchen and bathroom renovation or major floor plan rework, can be quite expensive. If you don’t have the budget for a huge remodel before you sell, remember that you can still derive value from less expensive projects.

Updates like replacing lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, door handles, and hinges, and other details may not necessarily make your home worth more money, but it will increase the perceived value of your house. There is also value in putting an updated home on the market simply because it will sell more quickly.

Provide some serious boost to your home’s value with cleanliness, modernization and simplified organization, which can pay off bigger than you imagine. When you’re ready to sell, give us a call at 704.302.4464.