If you don't have to financial means to replace your outdated garage doors, try slapping a coat of fresh paint on there. But if you can afford to replace those old aluminum or vinyl doors with wood, I going to highly suggest it. Notice how the door above almost resembles carriage house doors with those Dutch style handles, which go well with the traditional architecture. Make sure that no matter what you decide to go with that it compliments the architecture and doesn't distract from it. I also like how the color of the doors in the image match the door on the house. If the trim of the house had been that color and the door white, I would have gone with white garage doors and colored trim. Keep it consecutive.
Meet Peekay. The love of our lives.
Don't let that aggressive pitbull face fool you. Before she came to us from Georgia, she was left chained to a tree on an uninhabited property, literally left for dead. She was skin and bones; couldn't even lift her head when she was found. Then she spent 2 years in a shelter, originally being nursed and eventually left to live out her entire life. But a simple twist of fate put her in a horse trailer to send her north and in our minds, that's how angels arrive on earth. In horse trailers. Because she's actually an angel sent from heaven as a dog to teach us what pure kindness, sweetness and love actually are.
And to get on our furniture with muddy paws, tear up the garbage when left alone, eat my shoes, sunglasses and leave lovely golden puddles throughout the house.
If you relate to our situation in any way whatsoever, you understand how our love for these creatures seems to override any rational sense of human/canine relationships. Dogs on the floor or outside and humans rule, right? Ummmmm not so much.
We actually have 2 dogs, a cat and a wife who tracks the barn inside with her. Fortunately, we're not planning on selling our new home any time soon, but if we were, there would be some major changes.
Quick tips for preparing your furry home for sale:
Peekay napping in the car Bonsai showing affection for Bodhi
The importance of a fresh coat of paint on your exterior cannot be stressed enough! Simply painting the trim if your siding is in good shape can really make a house pop. I love the 3 colors used on the house above; the white trim, blue shutters and teal door and gables beautifully accentuate the house. I love the use of different colors of equal tone. Simply painting your front door could be all the edge you need to get noticed, but obviously if there are any cracks or chips in your paint then it's probably time to go ahead and do all of it. The best part is that a gallon of exterior paint runs at about $30 so you won't necessarily be breaking the bank to make a big impact.
When it comes to your walls when preparing your house for sale, it's once again important to show the best form and function of what your house has to offer. Artwork is a great way to make a den feel cozy or to give a sparse room the appearance of depth and dimension.
A few things to keep in mind when staging your house:
Don't be afraid to ask for help or a second opinion! It often takes a fresh eye to make new choices for an old space.
It's Funday Monday just before the holidays so I just wanted to share some simple holiday decorating tips and inspiration for your exterior!
Here is an article with some great insight for holiday decorating with potential buyers in mind. The most important points being
There is one thing we have not talked about when it comes to staging your home, and it's something you may or may not believe in. However, it is a fact that atoms are made up of 99.999...% energy, which is every single thing in the physical world, and energy moves. You've probably heard of Feng Shui; the Chinese way of creating harmony in a space, which is just one tradition. Basically every traditional culture around the globe has some way of cleansing spaces of negative energy. True Feng Shui requires a lot of work, but it all really comes down to this: Declutter. Because clutter is made of things, which are made of atoms, which are made of energy...
Smudging with herbs is a technique realtors and stagers are using more and more. What's crazy is how often I hear of properties sitting on the market for a long time, empty or staged and priced right, yet not moving until someone cleanses the space. Typically a space needs cleansing beyond the steps listed below if a negative event occured in the house, such as a divorce, bankruptsy, death, or just a lot of fights. Often this energy will carry over to new owners. For example, the house my friend lived in as a child was bought from a divorced couple. Then her parents divorced, and the people who bought it after them divorced.
Smudging's history goes primarily back to Native american traditions, although has been found in different cultures. I don't recommend smudging due to cultural appropriation, but there are other techniques such as burning rock salts or epsom salts to clear the space.
Before you go crazy lighting things on fire though, know that negative energy will only collect again if the space isn't decluttered. Getting rid of clutter will immediatly allow trapped energy to free up and you may be able to forgo burning things anyway. If you've practically emptied a space and it still just doesn't feel right, next step is rearranging furniture, then painting and replacing carpet or finishing floors. A lot of great energy can come from just those steps alone.
Do you have any experience with this? If so we'd love to hear from you!
Click the image above to get more tips on filling your house with positive energy.
Besides having a great looking front yard and entrance, it's just as important to have an updated kitchen. A dated kitchen will quickly deter potential buyers because of the potential costs, the inconvenience of renovating, and even more simply, the lack of visual appeal. They may struggle to see themselves living in the space or preparing meals there. You don't necessarily have to make major renovations either: updating the knobs, lighting fixtures, stools at a breakfast bar, appliances, or painting the backsplash or cabinets may make all the difference you need.
The kitchen below had heavily patterned wallpaper removed from the walls and ceiling then painted white in order to better show the features.
Click the images to see more of these properties
If I had a dollar for each time I hear about a property staying on the market because the owner refuses to paint, replace carpeting or remove wallpaper.... Well let's just say I'd have more than $1. I'd have at least $10. I was in a house recently that is only 4 years old, has a great floor plan, is close to town, comparatively very reasonably priced, but has been on the market for over 5 months. Why? Because its walls are yellow. Very yellow. And not just in one room. Now, yellow can be an uplifting, very warming color, but it is also shown to cause anxiety. In those five months, 2 contracts have fallen through- not because the buyers have complained of the color, but because they have literally gotten anxious about going through with the deal (one can surmise.) According to color-affects.co.uk:
Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide.
The yellow wavelength is relatively long and essentially stimulating. In this case the stimulus is emotional, therefore yellow is the strongest colour, psychologically. The right yellow will lift our spirits and our self-esteem; it is the colour of confidence and optimism. Too much of it, or the wrong tone in relation to the other tones in a colour scheme, can cause self-esteem to plummet, giving rise to fear and anxiety. Our "yellow streak" can surface.
The word "suicide" is mentioned. That isn't to say that you can't have yellow in your home and have it work just fine! Again, the right amount of it and the right shade make all the difference. And that rule does not just apply to yellow! Every color has a positive AND negative, so any color that is taking president over what your house has to offer is a distraction and has a potentially negative affect on the sale. Keep it NEUTRAL.
Here are some of my favorites for staging:
Sailcloth PM-21, by Benjamin Moore, which has some warmth to it
Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams, which we have in our kitchen, which is gray with just a touch of beige
Sherwin Williams Allabaster (NOT Benjamine Moore) is a fantastic white with a hint of a yellow undertone
This blue-gray, especially when it has a hint of green which can only be seen in the right light. It adds so much more dimension yet retains its neutral status. On the ceiling is Rainwashed by Sherwin-Williams.
images courtesy of makedoanddiy.com
It's amazing what a bit of paint can do for outdated tiles. While the images above are of kitchen backsplash, bathrooms are probably the most common place an agent or stager will recommend painting tiles because that's usually the place in the house where renovations are last and their age truly shows. But just a bit of primer and paint and you can have yourself a brand new bathroom. Sure the chances of a buyer ripping it all out and doing their own thing are high, but by giving the appearance of a newer bathroom (or kitchen) the odds of a faster sale are much more in the seller's favor.
Click the images above to get the full tutorial by makedoordiy.com, a fun blog full of great tips and tricks, or check us out on Pinterest to get loads more inspiration for updating the tile in your house.
Keeping with the fall theme, I just wanted to share some pretty decorating inspiration that makes a curb that much classier. I love all the colors that pumpkins and gourds come in these days, and bittersweet is one of my favorites for wreathes and tablescapes. These pictures make me want to break out the wool sweaters, drink cider and smell the fall air.
Sometimes the most simple decorations are the best
I love the pumpkins in the window boxes!
The photo of the room above works well with the patterned rug for a couple reasons: 1) the pattern isn't overbearing and 2) the quilts and pillows are neutral and calming while pulling from the rug colors, tying the room together.
It's important keep spaces neutral to allow the focus to fall on the house's features and not to distract heavily from those features. It is easy from this photo to get a sense of the size of the room which is key for potential buyers. Bathrooms are an easy and important space to maximize by keeping the walls neutral and shower curtains and towels white. They can have pattern or perhaps a colored embroidery as long as they are not initials and don't clash with other colors in the room. Colors are okay as long as they are simple and not distracting. Keep surfaces clear of all personal items.
Click the images to see more of this gorgeous home
Once you have decluttered, removed your wallpaper and gotten your house cleaned up, it's time to get your personal items out of sight. This is a stage that can be difficult for many people. Maybe you lost a family member and you find it important to keep their picture hanging in every room. Maybe you became an obsessive hobby photographer once your kids were born (you know who you are!) Either way, your pictures are an important part of what makes your house a home, but now it is time to turn that home back into a house until you find your next home.
Next is to remove all other personal items: monograms, toothbrushes, shampoos, etc. Get your notes off the fridge, clear the cork board entirely, wipe off the chalkboard wall, take your child's name out of their bedroom and make that home a house. Buyers can't see past a stranger's personal items unless they are in a rare circumstance where it's THE neighborhood at THE price and the rest they can deal with. But don't ever bank on this happening, regardless of how desirable your location is. When you completely depersonalize you are in addition decluttering even further, which makes the space seem larger. Majority of buyers are looking for more space unless they are downsizing, in which case they are sub-consciously either enjoying the space you've created or are on edge about the lack of room.
One tip I often suggest to clients, especially ones with children, buy some extra laundry bins and throw everything into them so you can be out the door at a moments notice. Especially if you just can't live without those photos.
Lighting is a crucial part of being sure your exterior is appealing, both to a buyer driving up and a buyer looking at photos online. It doesn't matter what kind of lighting you go for, but it is important to have strategically placed lighting in order to enhance your house at night with light and during the day with detailed fixtures.
There are many places lighting can go and types of lighting out there. This image is a perfect example of a classic look with both an overhead chandelier and sconces on either side to add symmetry to these french front doors.
One of my favorite things about landscape lighting is creating a magical, dramatic effect by lighting the foliage. Whether using large lanterns such as the ones above or small spot lights which are flush with the ground, the impact can be well worth the installment. It creates an incredibly welcoming atmosphere to any home.
Finally, pull it all together but being sure your exterior is lit well enough to show your house's expressions. Direct overhead lighting onto windows (not in them!) and keep things as symmetrical as possible even if you may only have room for one sconce. If you click the image above it will link you to some very useful tips as to how to go about planning your lighting out.
As long as you constantly keep in mind that you want to show of your house's best features, the rest should come easily.
According to a recent survey conducted by Caldwell Banker Real Estate and Parks Associates, 44% of Americans buying move-in ready homes expect smart home technology to be already installed, even in older homes. So what is smart home technology exactly?
Each week we will take a look at the latest gadgets and installments available on the market designed specifically for houses, learning what the purpose of each product is and why you need it. Whether you are getting your house ready to be listed or in the market for a new home, understanding what buyers expect, or what the technology you will be dealing with is, can make life a whole lot easier.
If there is one thing that has potential buyers wanting to see more, it's curb appeal. Whether your house has been on the market for some time and isn't getting much traffic, or you're just thinking about getting it ready to sell, the first thing you want to consider is the exterior. The fact is, people judge houses by their cover because the cover has a lot to tell.
Each Monday we will be offering gardening, landscaping and lighting tips, look at popular colors and styles for siding, windows and doors, and most importantly learn what is eye-catching for potential buys.
This week we are starting with just a few simple tips to get you started. Click any image for its origin.
When you’re hoping to add curb appeal to your home, look no further than the part that’s closest to the curb: your porch. A porch makeover can help you make a great first impression on visitors, and it provides you with a pleasant place to spend some time, whether you’re living in Nashville, TN, or San Diego, CA. Here are a few ways you can update your porch’s look without spending more than $1,000.
Click on the image to read the full article.
With a flooded market and tons of competition, selling a home in the summer can be worrisome for sellers — but it really shouldn’t be. Here are five essential summer staging tips to give your home the competitive edge it needs.
Click on the image to read the full article.
Aajority of real estate professionals expect a strong housing market in the Mid-Atlantic region for this Spring, according to a new survey.
Authored by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems 57 percent of those surveyed predict this spring will be busier among homebuyers and sellers than spring 2015. The group polls experts in the industry from Maryland, Virginia and D.C. as well as parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia.
Last year marked Anne Arundel County's busiest selling period in a decade, with 8,101 homes were sold. That was a 17 percent jump from those sold in 2014, and the first time housing sales in the county surpassed the 8,000 mark since 2005 and the recession.
The market already has shown some preliminary growth in 2016 over last year.
Click on the image to read the full article.
If you have decided now is the time to sell your house, the first step is to prepare it for the market. Keep in mind, nothing adds to a buyer’s first impression like a clean home.
Click on the image to read the full article.
Many homeowners dream up living room design ideas that never take off. It could be that they don’t have the budget or the space to make those ideas a reality. Read on for some ultra-smart ideas to instantly update your home.
Click here to read the full article.
Travis Gray was born in Annapolis and raised on the Severn River. He specializes in marketing fine homes and waterfront property in the Annapolis area.