Outdoor Living Expansion

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.

Find more tips for homeowners at melfostercoblog.com

Sellers Market is hot, hot, hot!

Sell Now

It’s a seller’s market right now. There are fewer homes for sale which means more competition for buyers. Let’s look at a few of the reasons not to wait to place your house on the market.

Before School’s Out For Summer

Sell now at the start of the spring real estate season before people prepare to move in the summer when their kids are off school. Be sure to include both indoor and outdoor spring-cleaning projects to get your house ready to show. Moving families will want to settle into a new neighborhood, so school registration for fall is finalized, and new routines are established.

Homes Are Selling Quickly

According to Realtor.com, the median U.S. home listing price is up 15.6%, and homes are spending less time on the market than last year at this time. On average, homes stay on the market for about 54 days, which is nearly a week shorter than a year ago. And the Quad City market is seeing home sales finalized in less than seven days. Fewer homes for purchase allow those available to turn over quickly, which means you’ll have fewer open houses. If you’ve been debating on selling at a time when profit looks promising, now’s the time.

Multiple Offers Mean More Options

Fewer homes available for sale means that, as the seller, you could experience bidding wars and multiple offers. And receiving multiple offers may give you more flexibility on closing dates and fewer inspections to pass. Bidding wars produce more offers to consider and even possible cash offers from buyers.

Money In Your Pocket

Interest rates remain low, and the possibility that they will begin to rise again has incented some buyers to take the leap and act quickly now. As demand for available homes increases, so does the money in your pocket if you’re ready to sell.

Find more selling tips for homeowners at melfostercoblog.com

Maintenance Tips for Your Car

Spring Maintenance For Your Car

Your car needs spring maintenance just like your house does. As we ease out of a tough Midwest winter season, your vehicle could use some tender love and care. Consider maintenance steps to ensure your wheels are ready to roll this spring.

Check Alignment and Rotate Tires

Most of us drove through a pothole or two this winter, and the car’s alignment and suspension are likely imbalanced because of it. Schedule an appointment with your favorite car service company and have the tires rotated and alignment evaluated to confirm the car is safe and secure.

Do A Deep Clean

According to the homeowners’ information website, Angie’s List, leftover salt can be your car’s most damaging remnant of the winter season. Undercarriages, where the metal can rust, endure the biggest hit when they don’t get a deep clean. Take the vehicle to a professional car wash to eliminate salt, so your car has a clean slate this spring. And don’t forget the inside of the car. A quality interior detailing will extend the life of your carpet and mats and will rid your vehicle of those dropped French fries that you just can’t reach between the seat and the console.

Car Part and Safety Upkeep

The emergency kit in the trunk may need some items swapped out after the long winter. Verify that your flashlight batteries are good, replace the flares used, and make sure you still have your jumper cables. Change windshield wipers that don’t quite keep the windows clear and fill your washer fluid.

Test The Battery

Brutal winters with low temps can take a toll on your car battery. Many places like AutoZone offer free battery testing and charging so you know how much battery life is left. Prepare now for the upcoming road trip, so you aren’t stuck on the side of the road this spring or summer.

Find more tips for homeowners at melfostercoblog.com


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