4 Low-Cost Curb Appeal Boosters for Your Home

Curb appeal, the illusive secret weapon that enamors potential buyers from afar and draws them into your home. There have been several attempts to nail down the “secret formula” for curb appeal.

In reality, the best approach to improving your home’s presentation from outside is to take the time to consider what fits.

In this post, we’ll give you some budget ideas to help you find the curb appeal boosters that will match with your home.

1. Fresh paint

One well-known curb appeal strategy is to repaint some of the notable components of the outside of your home. The places that have to most impact?

  • Front door – a front door that pops, but that also fits with the style of your home and complements its main color will make your home stand out from the neighbors.

  • Shutters – repainting your shutters is another inexpensive area to add some color to your home. However, be wary of choosing bright colors for your shutters if they’re going to clash with or disrupt the overall style of your home.

  • Mailbox – a neglected, dented, and a dirty mailbox is a huge turn off for potential buyers. Buying a new one, or adding a fresh coat of paint to your old one that matches one of the highlight colors of your home, can be a great way to add a sense of continuity to the exterior of your house.

2. Sparse decorations

Just like the inside of your home, less is often more when it comes to decoration. There are a number of things to add to your yard that will improve its overall presentation. But, just be sure that it doesn’t appear out of place or tacky. A single, small, and brightly colored bird house in a tree is usually a safe bet.

3. Simple landscaping

There’s no need to hire contractors for elaborate landscaping or to purchase expensive plants and shrubbery. A well-manicured yard is enough to make your home stand out. And, remember that potential buyers will most likely be looking for a home that is low-maintenance. A simple lawn and walkway say just that.

Also be sure to trim and prune your current trees, bushes, and flowerbeds. You might find that a cleanup is all they needed to be impressive once more.

4. Pressure washing

Most of us grow accustomed to how our home looks and might not notice the accumulation of dirt on the siding. By hiring or renting a pressure washer for a day, you’ll be able to update a number of aspects of curb appeal. From siding and decks to walkways and driveways, you can cover a lot of square footage with a pressure washer.

One note on pressure washers: the better ones can be dangerous. That means hiring a professional could help get the best results for your money. Also, while you can buy a pressure washer, you might find that for the amount you use it, it’s easier just to hire or rent every few years.

What You Need To Know About Throwing A Housewarming Party

You’ve finalized the paperwork moved the last box and may have even kicked up your feet to relax. It’s time to celebrate owning your very own home. Homeownership is a major milestone after all and you deserve to bask in the pride of this accomplishment by throwing a housewarming party. Share your new home and kickoff memories to come with your favorite people.

Start planning by tallying the number of guests on your list that will comfortably, and safely, fit into the amount of space your home has. You also want to keep your budget in mind as you finalize the number of guests for your party.

The best time to throw a housewarming party is two to three weeks after you’ve moved and have begun to settle in. Most of your boxes are probably unpacked by this point and you have an idea of how you’d like everything to be set up.

Send out invites two weeks ahead of time to give everyone enough time to arrange their schedules plan for your party. This is also a good time to begin planning food and drinks. You’ll want to create a cohesive spread of food or if your party is at a mealtime plan a full dinner. Make calls to get pricing for any catering you may want to have done or start gathering recipes.

You’ll want to have every room of your home ready for showing the day of the party as guests will want to see the full house. Do your best to make each room presentable and try to have everything unpacked and put away. Have a playlist of music to play for the party and buy some fresh cut flowers to put a finishing touch to each room.

Have your home ready for the influx of guests by stocking your bathroom with plenty of toilet paper, several fresh hand towels and a full bottle of hand soap. Have a place ready for guests to leave coats, bags, and shoes.

On the day of the party, try to greet every guest as they arrive. Offer them a drink, show them where refreshments are available and give directions to the bathroom. Offer tours of your home throughout the day/night in small groups so everyone has a chance to get the full viewing.

Signify the party is wrapping up by offering dessert and coffee. Thank all of your guests for coming as they depart. It is always a nice touch to send thank you notes to guests, especially to those who brought housewarming gifts.

Owning a home is a major accomplishment and one that should be celebrated! Housewarmings are a fun way to gather friends and family together and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Are You an Ambitious Property Buyer?

An ambitious homebuyer goes above and beyond the call of duty to find a great residence at an affordable price. As such, this individual is better equipped than others to streamline the homebuying journey.

Anyone can become an ambitious homebuyer. Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help you seamlessly discover your dream residence.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

Buying a home can be simple, particularly for those who establish property buying criteria. If you enter the real estate market with homebuying criteria in hand, you can hone your search to residences that match your expectations. Then, if you find a house you want to buy, you can move quickly to acquire this residence.

As you craft homebuying criteria, it often helps to evaluate your short- and long-term aspirations. For example, if you strive to live close to the beach, you may want to pursue residences near top beaches in various cities and towns. On the other hand, if you require a house that includes a central air conditioning system, you can search for residences that boast this feature.

2. Develop a Budget

A homebuying budget is essential, as it will help you search for houses that fall within your price range. Perhaps most important, a budget limits the risk that you will be tempted to spend beyond your means to purchase your ideal house.

Generally, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about a variety of mortgage options and help you make an informed mortgage selection. Best of all, banks and credit unions can respond to any of your mortgage concerns or questions, at any time.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you want to speed up your home search, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to discover a terrific home that can serve you well for years to come.

A real estate agent understands the importance of conducting a comprehensive home search. Thus, he or she will do whatever it takes to help you find a home that suits you perfectly. From setting up home showings to helping you craft a competitive offer to purchase, a real estate agent is prepared to assist you in any way possible.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will offer plenty of guidance as you get ready to close on a home. The weeks and days leading up to a home closing can be worrisome, but a real estate agent will provide tips to alleviate stress. As a result, a real estate agent will help you enjoy a stress-free homebuying experience.

Want to navigate the homebuying journey like an expert? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can become an ambitious homebuyer and find and purchase your dream house in no time at all.

The Beginner’s Guide To Water Softeners

If your new home comes with a softening system or you are thinking of installing one to combat particularly hard water there are some differences you will need to account for that you may not expect. In fact, you might even be using tactics to combat hard water in your current household and not even realize it!

So what is soft water?

Hard water has high concentrations of magnesium and calcium in particular. Whereas soft water has little to none leaving only de-ionized sodium.

One of the first things, and arguably the most important, you need to know about living with soft water is that it is not recommended as your main supply of drinking water. Soft water is very high in sodium which in addition to the typical American diet being high in sodium can lead to increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke.

I don’t say this to scare you! Usually, water softening systems have a bypass valve that allows you to choose which appliances gain access to which water type.

This means that in most cases your kitchen sink should have access to the hard water supply.

If you aren’t familiar with benefits of soft water you are probably wondering why have it all.  

But benefits there are!

Hard water is tough on plumbing, appliances and even clothing. Those high concentrations of calcium and magnesium build up and cause havoc. They can even make clothing dingey and surfaces like your bathtub difficult to get clean.

What this means is that with soft water you don’t have to spend as much time cleaning/scrubbing the effects left behind by hard water. And you even can, and should, use less soap. This is most important to keep in mind with your washing machine and dishwasher. Soap can suds up much easier in soft water. So when there is too much soap it leads to too many bubbles and this leads to damage to your machine and even leakage over time.

In addition to using less soap, you will find you will need less, or even none, of “booster” products like Borax and Oxiclean. This is because these products are actually water softening agents and help keep soap “sticking” to clothing after it’s attracted up all the dirt.

Your appliances and plumbing will also have a longer life thanks to the lack of magnesium and calcium building up inside pipes and hoses. This is true for your water heater, washing machine, dishwasher and even smaller appliances like your coffee pot.

If you’re thinking of having a softening system installed, have your water levels tested first. They might not be so high that an entire system is necessary. For the most part, and with some research, you can find other solutions to combat hard water just as well!