Affordable Ideas To Improve Curb Appeal

Boost your home’s curb appeal with affordable and classy improvements that don’t need to be expensive. Whether you’re getting your home ready to sell or refreshing your porch for spring, try a few small projects that will make a big difference.

Simple Solutions

First impressions of your yard and the path leading to the front door should offer a welcoming vibe. Start with washing the windows, so they sparkle. Providing symmetry to your landscaping and decorating is visually appealing, so flank the front door with matching pots or plants. Coordinate décor and exterior garden accessory colors. When in doubt, refer to the color wheel for guidance. Pick any color on the color wheel, then move your finger to the opposite color. Colors opposite on the wheel are complementary colors.

Borrow and Build

You don’t have to purchase new lawncare gadgets to complete curb appeal jobs. Instead, borrow your neighbor’s power washer and work to remove the spiderwebs in the corners and the grime on your gutters. Try your local hardware store to rent a stick edging machine that creates a root barrier and stops the grass from invading your landscape and garden beds. Build and install flower boxes and shutters to add dimension to the front of the house.

Porch Perfect

One of the most appealing ways to showcase your home’s entrance is creating a cozy seating area on your porch. Maximize the space and let your style present your version of charm and flair. Consider spending as much attention to detail on your porch as you might in the baby’s room or your home office. Tackle these projects to refresh the entryway:

  • Upgrade the light fixtures and door handles
  • Paint the front door and add a porch swing if possible
  • Add potted plants for a splash of color 
  • Hang a wreath on the door and display seasonally festive pillows 

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Home Staging

Industry professionals recommend staging your home before putting it on the market. So, what exactly does staging the home mean, and what do you need to know to do it well? 

Defining Home Staging

Home staging refers to the decorating method used when preparing a home for sale. The goal is to eliminate distractions while assembling the space. Staging is designed to showcase a home’s assets to attract and impress buyers.

Home Staging Dos And Don’ts

Do

  • Highlight your outdoor living area not included in the home’s square footage.
  • Share adorable photos of your pet in the house. They get shared more on social media.
  • Show off your feature wall. It can grab attention, and most buyers repaint rooms anyway.

Don’t

  • Overdecorate so your space looks crowded.
  • Leave patterned window treatments up. Replace them with neutral curtains.
  • Declutter so much that rooms feel empty or cold.

Virtual Tours Are Valuable

Once the home is staged, attract more buyers by providing a virtual tour. You’ll stand out from your competition and allow prospects to do the virtual walk-through of the property at their convenience. Statistics show that homes with a virtual tour option sell at up to a nine percent higher sales price.

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Questions To Ask When Finding A Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, finding a real estate agent to help you achieve your goals means you must ask good questions. So how do you find an agent right for you? Focus on the following categories when determining what to ask.

Experience

Experience matters, so find out what they know. Consider questions like these:

  • How many homes have you sold? 
  • Do you work full or part-time? 
  • In which neighborhoods do you primarily work? 
  • Is your license in good standing? 

If you must choose between two good candidates, compare sales results and how you relate to each other. Don’t forget to notice his or her level of professionalism to help you decide. A good agent knows the area and current market conditions to streamline your search.

Communication

Use an agent you connect with. Find a personality fit first, and then match your comfort using technology and their knowledge of the relevant neighborhoods for your search. It’s ok to ask how many other buyers or sellers the agent represents. Hint: the busiest agents are often the most efficient.

Support

Look for an agent with a strong support team. It’s good to know if there is always reinforcement available at any time. Your agent will be in your corner from start to finish, and their experience will help connect you to qualified loan officers and real estate attorneys that will ultimately aid in the process until closing.

Find a Mel Foster Co. agent today.

Design Trends 2022

Design trends in 2022 make room for individual style. After months of focusing inward, designers suggest that it’s time to let our unique personality influence our interior design in a very intentional way. For example, clean white fixtures offset by simple grey walls have shifted to color trends that provide warmth, whimsy and wow factor.

Moody And Memorable Matters

Where minimalism was a recent key design element, today’s trends indicate the desire for elaborate changes and lots of them.

  • Moody spaces will include colors like caramel, chocolate, hunter green or aubergine that feel expressive and still cozy and comfortable.
  • Homeowners want to make their home look and feel like they are either at their favorite vacation spot or in a place they long to go. 
  • People want to have more fun at home, so they may experiment with wild patterns or color combinations, letting personal expression lead the decorating. 

Something Old And Something New

Buyers looking for something new will find that almost every manufacturer, from budget-friendly to high-end companies, is showing furniture pieces with curved edges and softer lines. Homeowners look to multipurpose pieces as better financial investments. And mixing and matching old and new items is the way forward. Vintage furniture is in high demand because it does not have supply chain issues. Want to incorporate a modern sofa with a family heirloom roll-top desk? Now’s the time! Younger clients want an alternative to mass-produced items and prefer furnishings that reflect their character and can grow with them, even if it starts with Grandma Pearl’s marble-top side table. 

Definitely In The Details

Making décor changes can be accomplished in big and small ways and is all in the details.

  • People are starting to value the idea of investing in higher-quality pieces that are well-made and long-lasting. 
  • Buyers look to add soft accent items like pillows and linens if they aren’t ready to repaint a room or purchase a new sofa. Think rich palettes of color and specialty textures, like mohair.
  • Materials like leathered granite or quartz in kitchens offer a slightly bumpy texture that tends to hide messes and is excellent for those who struggle to find time to clean.
  • Custom furniture made by local makers is in demand, as clients find value in having a unique and exclusive piece.  

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Home Design And Remodeling Trends

Today’s design and remodeling trends can be followed by tracking what homeowners are searching online. Companies compare last year’s to this year’s website searches to get a glimpse at what people are researching. See what trends have been popular in the first half of this year, as reported by Houzz Pro.

Dedicated Activity Space

Having flexible and functional space at home became important once working from home became prevalent. Home office searches jumped 108% over last year’s searches, indicating that finding practical use of existing space at home is a big deal. Turn a spare bedroom into a place for work. Rearrange the furniture to carve out a nook for a desk and laptop near the window.

Green Makes A Statement

After years of cool grays, blues and white, homeowners turn to green to add warmth to the home. And where do we see green? Pretty much everywhere! The most significant search trend for green is for kitchen cabinets and bathroom tiles. Living spaces are filled with organic green botanical motifs when combined with natural wood. Existing chairs and sofas are being recovered in luscious, velvety fabrics in stunning emerald or peacock.

Decorating Accents

Add flair to a room by introducing new accent pieces to your living space. Replace your existing mirror with a luxurious and contemporary gold one. Swap your faucets, light fixtures and handles in the powder room with the updated champagne finish from the matte silver you have now. Jazz up your furniture pieces by purchasing new accent pillows for a fresh feel.

Swimming Pool And Water Features

Swimming pools are fun, and homeowners want control over when they can enjoy one and with whom they can enjoy it with. Pools that offer a water feature, like a waterfall, also provide the luxury and soothing sounds for relaxation owners seek. Pool companies are having a hard time keeping up with demand for the addition of this feature, confirming that the searching trend for pools being up 797% is right on point.

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Outdoor Living Expansion

Everything we do inside, we now want to do outside more than ever before. Consider a few options as you plan projects to enhance your outdoor living spaces.

Renovation Nation

High-end accents like a fire pit or hot tub are both in demand right now. Homeowners want tailored, renovated spaces for safe gatherings and more staycations. Create a custom look by adding lighting, which is on the list for more than half of those tackling an outdoor reno project.

Work And Cook At Home

Many are still working from home. And if you work from home, you eat and cook more at home too. Add an outdoor kitchen with a cooktop, extra counter space and a refrigerator for convenience. Outdoor pizza ovens and barbeques are hot trends. Foodies are planting vegetables and herbs right outside the door, too, since fresh produce tastes so much better in summer salads and entrees.

Focus On The Front Yard

Before 2020, we did most of our socializing in the backyard, where we had room for cozy gatherings on the deck or patio. But many are now looking to enhance the usefulness of the front yard too, where they can visit while maintaining guidelines for social distancing.

Space To Relax

Homeowners seek out space where they can unwind and find quiet. And privacy has become a big priority. Outdoor additions like covered side yards and nooks provide an area of respite. Build a garden set away from the house to relieve stress and triumph in the crop pick. Add feeders and a water source for the friendly neighborhood birds, who will bring soothing bird melodies with them during their visit.

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Create A Calming Home Office

With nearly 40% more people working from home on a permanent basis as compared to one year ago, it’s more important than ever to make a relaxing yet productive home working environment a priority.  Take these steps to create the workspace you’ll need this year.

Get The Space Right

Determine where the ideal home office space could be in your home. Then find a way to rearrange or organize to put the office together. Our surroundings can have a huge impact on how we feel and how effective we can be. You may need to repaint the walls a more soothing shade of green or yellow, which are colors that are easiest for our eyes to see and process. Select a comfortable chair that provides back support through proper ergonomic design when possible.

Let There Be Light

It’s extremely important to have proper lighting in a home office. Warm light is best for the eyes. This includes filtered natural light and light produced by incandescent and LED light bulbs. To reduce eye strain, have lighting installed over the reading or writing area and near the computer so there’s no reflection off the computer screen. In general, it’s best to have natural light in front of or next to work surfaces and computer screens to avoid glare. By reducing eye strain, you’ll be able to work longer and more safely.

When It’s Not Black And White

If you’re not able to make a dedicated workspace, and you have your computer on the dining room table, don’t fret. Sometimes your options are not as clear as black or white, and your choice ends up being a shade of grey instead. Consider being creative with your work expectations in conjunction with your family’s schedule. If there’s a time of day that is critical to focus on spreadsheets or work on copywriting, maybe this is when the kids have quiet time in their rooms. Trying to orchestrate zoom meetings alongside your spouse, who is also working nearby? You may need to alternate working at the nearby coffee shop on those days.

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Get Organized In The New Year

Out with the old and in with the new. The start of a new year often prompts us to consider this age-old saying and then do something about it. Having trouble getting motivated or not sure where to start when it comes to getting organized? Try a few suggestions below to begin putting your house in order.

Netflix Offers Motivation

Grab a comfy spot on your couch, your remote and browse these Netflix shows to help spur your imagination and transform your cluttered space into something more useable.

  1. The Minimalist – Less Is Now, offering practical ways to find order without an outrageous process
  2. Get Organized with The Home Edit, where professional organizers aid in straightening up any space
  3. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, where Marie’s ideas help you declutter your home and your lives

Store Sales On Storage Items

Take advantage of store promotions on storage solutions in January while you’re indoors and available to tackle organization projects. Check with your local hardware stores for their bargains of the month to help you get started. Many big box stores, like Home Depot or Menards, also offer savings up to 40% off of items to help organize your belongings. Take the time to search for sales to make the most of your dollar.

Selling and Donating

If you’re ready to part with the gently used couch or rocking chair that you aren’t using, consider donating the items through a local Facebook marketplace group. You can search these groups easily to find one nearby. If you list your item free with pick up, it becomes less hassle and you don’t need a truck if you have larger furniture pieces. If you no longer love it, need it or use it, there is likely someone else who would really benefit from it. Other local organizations like Bethany for Children and Families or Humility Homes and Services welcome most items for families in need.

If you’re getting organized to prepare to sell, connect with a Mel Foster Co. agent to help.

How to manage a Difficult Neighbor

Dealing with a neighbor who isn’t cooperative or respectful can be challenging and should be managed carefully. Consider efforts listed below in order to help keep the peace. 

Look At Your Behaviors First

Before you decide that the neighbor next door and their annoying behaviors must be addressed, take a moment to evaluate the kind of neighbor you are first. Ask yourself a few questions and decide if your answers qualify you as a thoughtful, model neighbor before you decide to criticize your neighbor’s bothersome actions.

  • What’s your typical noise level? Do you mow the lawn too early or have kids screaming all day?
  • Are your pets contained in your yard and reasonably quiet and kind?
  • Do you respect the property line when caring for the lawn or adding structures?

Attempt Friendship And Assume Good Intentions

Make the effort to get to know your neighbor. Establishing a friendship can alleviate issues because both parties might be willing to respectfully discuss conflicts as they arise and work together to find solutions. Are you planning an outdoor gathering where the party’s music will extend into late night hours? Share your party plans with your neighbor in advance so he or she is aware and can plan accordingly. Assume that most people have good intentions and aren’t deliberately creating problems, until you learn differently.

Document Everything

While you may not ever need to involve a third-party during conflicts, it’s always a good idea to take good notes when disputes arise. Be sure to document date and time in your notes, list what witnesses may have been nearby or involved and take photos if any property damage has occurred. Keep relevant emails or texts in the event you have to involve your HOA, or Homeowner’s Association, or lawyers or police.

Call Proper Authorities For The Circumstance

If you’ve genuinely tried to address concerns with peaceful resolution in mind and this is not working out, take the steps necessary to get the proper authorities involved. Contacting the police should be a last resort. For instance, if your neighbor continues to throw trash in your yard after repeated requests to stop, you can probably resolve the issue with the city’s code enforcement department. A noisy or frequently loose dog might warrant a call to your HOA before the police or animal control.

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