Staging Tips For Your Home

Staging your home wisely can help you attract a larger pool of potential buyers. When sellers properly stage their home, according to RIS Media’s data, they receive an average of $2 in increased sale price for every $1 they put into smart staging. Try these five methods to make the most of your dollars and get your home ready to show:


  • Paint walls in soothing colors
  • Aim for universal appeal in design
  • Keep accessories to a minimum


  • Add updated handles on cabinets
  • Refinish hardwood floors
  • Consider replacing front door


  • Get carpets professionally cleaned
  • Deep clean appliances and drawers
  • Make sure your windows sparkle


  • Remove family photos
  • Take down busy wallpaper
  • Erase traces of personal hobbies


  • Declutter to open up space
  • Add shelving to get items off the floor
  • Add a mirror to reflect light

Mel Foster Co. is ready to assist you during all steps of the home selling process. Find suggestions on selling to millennials and other homeowner selling tips.

Create A Home Bathroom Spa

You’ve been dreaming of designing your own peaceful bathroom retreat where you can relax and unwind. It’s time to convert your basic bathroom into a spa-like oasis that offers you the solitude you seek.

Upgrade Features

Pamper yourself by upgrading your shower with a massage or rainfall shower head, especially if you don’t have a large soaking tub to indulge in. Choose a unique shower head that has several features like a waterfall, high pressure water or even a hand-held option. Add heated floors in the bathroom for even more luxury.

Add Elements of Nature

Incorporate houseplants and flowers to add natural color and life to the room. Indoor plants are an easy way to turn your bathroom into a more tranquil setting. Consider bud vases that you can fill with blooms from your own garden or a larger vase you can fill with your favorite flowers.

Select Soothing Accents

Choose paint colors that provide a relaxing atmosphere. Treat yourself to deluxe new towels and a bathmat that feels plush and even a little lavish. You deserve it.

Declutter and Organize

Keep bathroom essentials you use on a daily basis handy, but store away the rest of your care products in organized bins in the cabinet. Allow an easy, regular routine without adding angst over an overcrowded countertop or cluttered drawers.

Introduce Aromas

Try infusing essential oils into the room or add scented candles and soaps that evoke a happy memory or calming effect. Lavender or eucalyptus tend to be popular options, but select whatever scent makes you the happiest.

Consider the many different ways you can update your home while increasing your property value.

Kitchen Trends Buyers Want To See

The kitchen gets the most attention and comments from potential buyers. It’s often the room that is easiest to fall in love with…and the one that is easiest to hate. If you are considering updating your kitchen to maximize resale value, include these trends that buyers want to see.

Embrace Grey and White

To create a kitchen that sells, ditch complicated, outdated color themes and opt instead for the simplicity and cleanliness associated with greys and whites. Minimalism is an increasingly popular design trend when it comes to kitchens. White is associated with clean and bright, making this a great color to go with when thinking about cabinets, décor and kitchen furniture.

Grey, on the other hand, can be a very calming and charming color. It’s great to use when you’re trying to create an inviting environment and centralized hub for families.

Think Natural

Instead of making everything in a kitchen look brand new, try a more natural, lived in look. Buyers today are looking for high-quality material that has been creatively reused and repurposed to add charm to a home. Try incorporating natural-feeling elements into your kitchen to create a warm, inviting environment for potential buyers when they walk through the home for the first time. Examples of popular natural choices include:

  • Reclaimed wood for ceilings or ceiling beams
  • Edison bulb lights or industrial lighting fixtures that hang exposed from the ceiling
  • Reclaimed/repurposed wood for floors or kitchen island siding
  • Heavy butcher block counters in place of granite or marble countertops
  • Repurposed subway tiles as charming back-splash features

By adding a few warm features like this, you can add character to a home while still keeping it updated and modern.

Focus on Utility

Buyers don’t just want kitchens to look nice, they want kitchens to function properly. Help find a good balance between aesthetic design and actual function. Try some of these techniques:

  • Hidden storage drawers that pull out for easy access
  • Built-in storage racks in pantries
  • Exposed, easily accessible glass containers that fit into the overall design of the kitchen
  • Mini center islands on wheels that can be moved around various areas of the kitchen based on need (next to the sink, next to guests, off to the side and out of the way)

A great looking kitchen will draw attention from prospective buyers. A great looking kitchen that also has great function will be unforgettable and help you sell your home.

Want to know what home improvement project will give you the best return on investment. Ask a Mel Foster Co. agent.

Read This Before Remodeling your Kitchen

Thinking of kitchen remodel?

Small details can make or break your kitchen renovation. Avoid stress by going through this list before you start making purchases.

  1. Measure Everything

This extra step will save time, money and headaches in the long run. The last thing you want is the refrigerator or dishwasher not opening all the way because the island ended up being too close.

  1. Choose a Timeless Backsplash

It may be tempting to choose a trendy tile layout, but you may quickly become bored with your decision. You’ll also have difficulty selling later on if your kitchen looks outdated due to a very specific design choice. Stick to classic white coloring. White is always on trend.

  1. Decide if a Splurge is Worth it

Sometimes spending a little more now will save you in the long run. If an energy efficient appliance is a little more expensive, it might be worth it to upgrade so you have lower energy bills every month. It’s important to prioritize needs over wants, but sometimes a want is worth the happiness or convenience it will provide.

  1. Consider Open Shelving

A few rows of open shelving can help break up the “boxy” feel of some kitchens. Even an addition of a few shelves can help the kitchen feel more open and also offer you the opportunity to show off some photos or nice dining ware.

Not sure how much upgrading to make to your home before you become the most expensive house in the neighborhood? Ask a Mel Foster Co. agent for comparables in your neighborhood.

How to Create the Perfect Sunroom

Sunroom Elements
Creating a sunroom

The hours of daylight are starting to get shorter with the approach of fall. Soak up all the sun you can by creating a sunroom in your home with these elements.

  1. Comfortable Furniture

Your sunroom should be a second living room. Having a nice area rug or cushioned furniture is a great way to make the space more comfortable. Try to pick natural colors to go with the natural light in the room.

  1. Environmental Controls

Add a space heater or ceiling fan to your sunroom to create a comfortable temperate. And don’t forget you should run your ceiling fan in the winter to push the warm air down. Just reverse the fan’s direction for winter use. If you’re considering a larger investment, adding a fireplace will create a room you can use even when there’s snow on the ground.

  1. Privacy Shades

It’s nice to be able to see out and enjoy the view, but it’s even nicer to have an option for privacy if you want it. Shades or window treatments also keep the room cooler or warmer depending on the season and sunshine.

  1. Greenery

No sunroom is complete without plant life. Even low maintenance plants will make you feel like you’re out in nature. If you have more of a green thumb, you can put multiple types of plants with vibrant colors in your sunroom. As a transitional space between your home and the outdoors, the sunroom needs to have thriving plants.

Want more ideas for your sunroom? Check out this weekend’s open houses.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Deck Maintenance

Tips for a Well Maintained Deck.
Tips for a well maintained deck

Keeping your deck in top condition can be difficult, especially if you’re inexperienced with outdoor maintenance. Follow this list to figure out what will help, or hurt, your deck.

Do Annual Maintenance

Once the weather reaches about 70 degrees, it’s time to prepare your deck. Use a utility brush to scrub where the deck is dirty, especially where mold or mildew is growing. The deck needs to be clean and free of debris so protective sealers can soak into the wood.

Don’t go Overboard with the Pressure Washer

Using a pressure washer is the fastest way to clean a deck, but it can sometimes gouge the wood if you’re not careful. Be sure to keep the pressure washer on low initially and keep the nozzle at least eight inches from the surface. If you’re concerned about using a pressure washer, you can always hire a professional.

Do Cover Furniture and Plants before Cleaning

This is a pretty obvious tip, but new deck owners often forget it. Be sure to remove or cover anything on the deck while cleaning. You don’t want anything to be splashed on your furniture or plants, especially stain or sealer.

Don’t Assume Pressure-Treated Wood is Maintenance Free

Pressure-treated wood may resist rot and insect infestation, but it still needs to be sealed to resist water and sun damage. Use products specifically made for pressure-treated wood.

Do Be Vigilant about Damage

Throughout the year do several checks on the status of your deck. It’s important to catch any damage early. You’ll thank yourself by stopping problems before they spread and become more difficult and expensive to fix.

Don’t Leave Your Deck Uncovered

Large umbrellas and awnings can dramatically extend the life of your deck by reducing the amount of sun that beats down on the wood. Shade structures protect your deck, and as a bonus, provide shade during the summer.

How to Create Your Perfect Home Office

Home Office
Home Office

Whether you’re working at home fulltime or doing some afterhours tasks, having an in-home office is crucial to being productive. If you want to construct a space where you can get work done be sure to follow these tips.

  1. Make the Most of Your Space

One of the biggest constraints for home offices is the amount of space available. Some people turn spare closets into their office and while you may have more space than a closet, you shouldn’t ignore their techniques. You want to maximize the amount of space you do have. Make sure cable management is efficient, utilize nooks and crannies and be sure to plan accordingly. Don’t go overboard and buy massive amounts of storage, just leave a little extra room for growth.

  1. Fill Your Office with Comfortable Furniture

At the office you may not have control over the type of chair and desk you use, but at home you have complete control. Make sure you find a desk large enough to accommodate everything you’ll be using it for. If you’re spending a lot of time in your home office, don’t try to go cheap when it comes to a nice chair. You want a comfortable chair with plenty of support so you don’t end up with any health problems.

  1. Make Your Space Personal and Fun

Your home office should be a reflection of you. Include family photos, hobbies and any interests you have. This space is entirely yours, and whatever you need to be productive or happy should be included.  Even something as simple as a rotating wallpaper or screensaver on your computer can keep your office interesting.

Be Organized this Year.

Are you Organized?
Are you Organized?

If your resolution this year is to get organized, avoid these common mistakes. You’ll be more efficient and less stressed by maintaining order in your home.

Mistake #1 Confusing Neat with Organized

Having piles neatly lined up on the counter unfortunately doesn’t mean you are organized. If your flat surfaces seem to constantly be filling with clutter, designate a spot in your home for each item. Soon you’ll start to notice the piles will appear less frequently.

Mistake #2 Using the Fridge as a Message Center

It may seem like the central hub of your house, but everyone goes to the fridge for food not information. Homes need a place where everyone goes for messages. Instead of cluttering your fridge with notes, messages and reminders, create a bulletin board where everyone knows they can find any updates they need.

Mistake #3 Too Many Storage Bins

Having too much storage is actually an issue, especially if you aren’t using it efficiently. You may be replacing your clutter with larger and boxier clutter by adding so much storage. Instead, consider reorganizing the storage you currently have. If you can take the storage bins you have and organize them in a closet or cabinet, you’ll be able to utilize all of your storage effectively.

Top Five Bathroom Staging Tips.

Bathroom Staging Tips
Bathroom Staging Tips

Home buyers love a beautiful, relaxing bathroom reminiscent of a spa. Mel Foster Co. offers five tips to help you create a beautiful bathroom to attract buyers willing to pay a premium for a gorgeous bathroom.

  1. Create a Blank Canvas.

Start by removing all clutter from the bathroom. Buyers don’t want to see your soaps, hygiene products or medicines. Create an environment where potential buyers can imagine the possibilities of their own personalization.

  1. Clean Extensively.

Once all clutter is removed, clean everything. Every surface from floor to ceiling should be sparkling new looking and fresh smelling. Buyers will pay top dollar for a bathroom that is well maintained and move-in ready. Once you’re finished cleaning, be sure to remove all cleaning supplies or tuck the bottles away in the linen closet or below the sink.

  1. Add Minor Upgrades.

Small upgrades add significant value to your home, especially in the bathroom. Repainting walls, updating the sink faucet and cabinet handles or installing new light fixtures are all inexpensive changes to modernize your bathroom. Stick with classics like stainless steel finishes to create a timeless style to appeal to the majority of buyers.

  1. Replace Towels and Curtains.

Purchasing new towels and shower curtains gives the bathroom a fresh look. White is a great neutral color, providing a fresh and clean finish. Only use your new linens for display so you’ll have an easier time preparing for showings and open-houses.

  1. Add Simple Accessories.

Don’t be afraid to add some accent colors to your bathroom. Including plants or matching set pieces can personalize your bathroom without making buyers feeling like they’re intruding. Don’t go overboard though, one or two items will be enough for most bathrooms.

Ask your agent about other staging ideas to bring top dollar for your home.

Make Your Perfect Man Cave

Perfect for Entertaining

A man cave should be a place for a stay at home vacation. It’s an exciting project to begin, here are ideas to help start creating your own personal paradise.

Personalize with Your Preferences

Your man cave is a reflection of yourself. Your hobbies and interests should be represented and on display for everyone to see. Adding jerseys from your favorite athletes, LED signs from your favorite drink and collectible posters gives you an idea of how the room will look and present possible themes to match your personality.

Choose a Theme

Don’t have wood paneling on the walls with modern furniture as decoration. Keeping the theme consistent is important. Deciding early on if you want a rustic cabin, a sports shrine or classic retro look will make buying furniture and decorations a breeze. Use decorations you currently have as a starting point for what theme to choose.

Keep a Fully Stocked Bar

If you have the space, adding a bar is an amazing addition to any man cave. Stylize and stock the bar as if you were open for business. Being able to accommodate any order for friends and family will make your bar even more impressive, even if you have to Google the recipe.

Include an Entertainment Center

Another must have for your man cave is a fully equipped entertainment center. Pick out a TV, add surround sound speakers and you have a private movie theatre. If you’re tight on space, mount the TV on the wall. Include sufficient seating as well, you don’t want people standing in front of the TV during the big game.

Add a Game to Play

Including a pool, foosball, or ping pong table adds an exciting feature to your room. Maybe you have a favorite arcade or pinball machine you played when you were younger. Anything you enjoy playing is a perfect novelty item to complete your cave. Even something as easy to install as a dart board is a great way to spend time with friends and get the party started.


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