Janet Laughead's Blog
Giving your space a much-needed makeover doesn't have to take a lot of time or money. Whether you want to recreate the space for a party, prepare for a sale, or simply make an old room look new, here's a solution for you. Use these tips to completely transform your room in just a day.
Update the Paint
Real estate agents often say that nothing makes potential buyers drunk quicker than a fresh coat of paint. It's intoxicating the way new paint provides an instant makeover to any space. Not only does it scream newness, it also keeps your walls protected from moisture and can improve the air quality of your home. So, if you want to redo a room or an entire house, grab the paint brush and get busy.
Focus on Decorative Storage Spaces
There's no rule that storage shelves must be used for storage. Instead, use them as a decorative centerpiece by establishing a theme or motif and carrying that through with well-chosen colors, textures, and accent pieces. Have a lot of clutter that needs a home? Consider decorative woven baskets to keep magazines, accessories, toys, and more tucked away while looking naturally beautiful.
In the time it takes to place a rug, you can have a completely new atmosphere in any indoor or outdoor space. Rugs allow you to bring texture, color, or patterns into a room without overwhelming it. They can also serve as a focal point when placed correctly, or as a backdrop when something more subtle is preferred.
Switch Out the Pillows
Similar to rugs, pillows can really make a room pop at a fairly inexpensive price point. Mix textures and patterns to create a depth and layering effect on beds, benches, and couches. To create a palette that stuns, consider adding splashes of texture with feathered pillows, tassels, or ribbing. You also may want to choose bold colors combined with neutrals to add dimension to an otherwise flat area.
Power Wash Outdoors
A complete update of a deck or driveway can be accomplished easily with a thorough power wash. Doing so can make a home feel brand new. If time allows, consider restaining any wood panels and adding furniture to a deck, or replacing worn down rockery along a driveway.
Replace the Lighting
How you physically feel in a space often comes down to the lighting. Update your space with a dramatic lighting fixture or simplify and unify a room by choosing a neutral fixture. Effective design is about pairing lighting levels with the tasks being completed in that space. Think of a brightly lit kitchen island instead of a lamp in your reading space.
If you'd like more home decorating tips or want help with an upcoming move, feel free to reach out!
Flooring is a significant part of your home interior decor. It bears the brunt of your daily activities and is always the first surface to reflect wear and tear. With that in mind, consider installing high-end flooring that is durable, lasts longer, and of course, makes your home more appealing. Luxurious flooring can boost your home value tremendously when it is time to sell. Here are top luxury flooring options that are the perfect combination of affordable luxury:
Hardwood flooring has features that bring a natural flair of luxury into your home. Categories of top, quality, hardwood flooring are exotic hardwoods and reclaimed woods. Upgrading from carpeting to hardwoods adds value, decreases allergens and takes your home up a notch.
Reclaimed hardwoods: Reclaimed hardwood is recycled wood from old barns, industrial buildings, and other teardowns. They come in a plethora of species including: walnut, oak, pine, hickory and elm.
Exotic hardwoods: Exotic hardwoods are a great value because of the scarcity of the wood types in demand. Exotic wood comes from continents like South America and Africa, and the species of wood used include: Brazilian Tigerwood, Bloodwood and Cumaru.
Natural Stone Flooring
Natural stone flooring is an option that oozes beauty and adds class to your home. However, stone flooring is one of the most costly options on the market today due to the processes involved with quarrying and transporting the stones. Before you install natural stone flooring, it is important to remember that the harder and denser the stone, the more costly the floor will be per square foot. Also remember that the features of the stone tile influence a homeowner's buying decision. Such features include the color, rarity and, most importantly, the kind of stone used. With a dizzying world of options to choose from, you may want to start with some samples of natural stone flooring such as cobbled stone, Jerusalem stone marble and granite.
Luxury Vinyl Tile
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is one of the most popular options for many homeowners who want to have a taste of luxury but remain within the realm of affordability. LVT is durable and injects a feeling of affluence with its natural wood or stone look. It is resistant to dents, chips, moisture damage and heat. Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring is perfect for those who want high-end flooring at a guilt-free price.
Mosaic/Designer Ceramic Floor Tiles
Bring a touch of style and luxury into your home with mosaic floor tiles. This type of flooring comes in a wide range of options to choose from such as Italian tiles, antique reclaimed tiles, pebble mosaics, custom mosaics, glass tiles and handmade tiles.
Visit your professional flooring store and consult with a designer on some of the best flooring options to consider for your home and office space. If you plan to sell, check with your real estate agent to see what's going for top dollar in your current market.
Choosing what to upgrade or fix in, on or around your home can be a complicated process. Changes fall into two categories – things that increase or decrease value (or sale price) and things that increase or decrease salability (or how willing people are to pay full price for it). Before you start swapping out all the pieces of your home for new ones, determine whether you actually need to make those changes. Any change you make should either add something that adds value or replace something that needs fixing.
Adding Living Space
One of the most foolproof ways to add value to your home is to increase the living space, up to a point. If you have a 1-bathroom home, adding another bathroom definitely will increase the value, same with adding a bedroom to a 1- to 3-bedroom house.
It's essential to understand the difference between adding something to increase value and fixing something to bring back the value that has been lost. For example, fixing the roof doesn't add any value to the home. However, it does negate the devaluing caused by a leaky, old or otherwise poor roof. The same goes for landscaping. With a few exceptions, you can't truly add value to your home by updating or fixing the landscaping. You merely bring back any value lost from previously deteriorating land. This is not to say that these things aren't necessary; they are. It's just important to understand that they bring your property from 80% to 100%, instead of from 100% to 120%.
What to Avoid
If the home has a working kitchen and bathrooms without any significant problems, that are on par with other homes in your neighborhood, you are best off just leaving them alone. Your buyer will likely have different taste than you. That means they're probably looking at your brand-new kitchen and pricing just how much it will be to rip it all out and replace it with their brand-new kitchen. If you lose out on buyers who wanted the slightly lower price of your home without the cost of your new kitchen, you’ll lose out overall.
Before you start dropping big money on changing things in your home that are just fine as they are, get a professional opinion. Real estate professionals are intimately familiar with the best sales features in your area, so take their words to heart.
Many homeowners spend thousands of dollars on improvements and upgrades only to find out that the return on their investment (ROI) is less than $1 to $1. That means that for every dollar spent, the selling price of their home does not go up a corresponding dollar. In fact, very few home improvements offer a dollar for dollar increase in price.
What some improvements accomplish, however, is a reduction of time that your home spends on the market. When calculating overall costs, a quicker sale can save you several additional mortgage payments on your home.
If you intend to live in the house for some time, make the improvements that give you pleasure in your home. Renovate the house to meet your needs and improve your life. If you’re renovating just to sell, unless you bought the home as the lowest-priced house in a highly desirable market, redoing the kitchen and bath won’t always pay for themselves. However, they will make the home more attractive to buyers and give you a leg up on the competition.
Adding a room and increasing square-footage usually improves the home’s value. This means converting an attic or basement might be a better use of your funds. Adding a second bathroom also garners a buyer’s attention. But turning a garage into a family room could backfire on you if buyers treasure a garage more than the extra space. Before undertaking a garage conversion, speak with a knowledgeable real estate agent in that area to see which option buyers most often request.
Curb appeal Improvements
When choosing improvements for resale, adding to the curb appeal gives you the most bang for your buck. Replace street-view garage doors with carriage-house style or modern minimalist options and update the front door to match. Clean out flower beds, replant them, and trim them with stone edging. Keep bushes and hedges trimmed and prune trees to keep them healthy.
Old homes in areas where air conditioning was an afterthought benefit from adding attic fans and insulation to improve the cooling properties. Also, when possible, install a whole house fan (different from an attic fan) as it offers superior circulation for a small investment and makes the lack of central air conditioning less noticeable.
Your professional real estate agent is your best resource to learn what’s selling in homes in your neighborhood.
When selling your home, you want to be able to get the largest return for your investment. And buyers are looking for their next place to call home. They are looking for a place that they can see themselves living and creating a future. And oftentimes, it’s very difficult for buyers to look beyond the cosmetics of a home, especially when viewing online. Therefore, if large investments are not in the cards for you or won’t bring a significant ROI, small home improvements are the way to go. These small improvements can take your home from blah to wow!
Let’s take a look at some of the best small home improvements that will certainly provide you with a return.
1. Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference in a home. It can instantly brighten up a space and make the home look and feel newer—an instant plus for any seller and buyer. But be sure to choose more neutral colors as not everyone will be a fan of bold colors.
2. Adding architectural touches: Architectural features like crown molding and a chair rail can add an elegant upgrade to any home. They can be fairly inexpensive and would only take a weekend to put up.
3. Update front door: Your front door is a large part of your curb appeal. And a home’s curb appeal can leave a substantial impression on buyers. You can go the inexpensive route and add a pop of color that compliments your home’s exterior and landscaping or purchase a new door if a coat of paint won’t do the trick.
4. Add a backsplash: Backsplashes don’t have to break the bank to catch a buyer’s eye. And there are so many options from subway tile to mosaic to antique tin.
5. New hardware: Updating the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom can make the world of a difference. Adding modern hardware to cabinet doors will add a refreshing, simple update.
6. Update fixtures: Replacing old, worn down bathroom and kitchen fixtures is a very simple home improvement. Although not the cheapest of these options, they will definitely make a big difference in those rooms.Think of a home built in the 90s that has brass fixtures. The home looks very outdated and therefore worth less in the eyes of a buyer. If you update these fixtures to pewter or brushed nickel, you are instantly bringing the spaces into the 21st century and catching the appeal of buyers.
The amount of time, effort, and money that you want to put back into your home is a decision that you alone can make. It may seem silly to put more money into the home you are trying to sell, but it’s quite the opposite. Be smart about your updates and improvements. Try to think like a buyer and make updates that the majority will like and want.