Archive for December, 2009

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Cost effective tips to help you sell your home in 2010

December 28, 2009

Planning on selling your home in 2010? Looking for a cost-effective way to add value without spending a lot of money? Below are some tips from HGTV FrontDoor on improvements that will surely impress prospective buyers – all for under $500!

Tip 1: Spend an hour with a pro.

Invite a Realtor or interior designer over to check out your home. Many Realtors will do this as a courtesy, but you’ll probably have to pay a consultation fee to a designer. Even small suggestions, such as paint colors or furniture placement, can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home.

Tip 2: Paint, paint, paint.

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is a fresh coat of paint. Newly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. Neutral paint colors appeal to the greatest number of people, making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, tape, drop cloths and brushes.

Tip 3: Save the popcorn for the movies.

Few structural elements date a house more than popcorn ceilings. So dedicate a weekend to ditching the dated look and adding dollar signs to the value of your home. First, visit your local hardware store for a solution to soften the texture. Then, simply scrape the popcorn away. It’ll bring your house into the new millennium with minimal cost and effort.

Tip 4: Cleanliness counts.

You only get one shot at a first impression, so make the interior of your home shine from the entrance to the exit. For less than $400, you can hire a cleaning service for a thorough top-to-bottom scrubbing. Even if you clean your home regularly, you likely miss or overlook some nooks and crannies.

Tip 5: Small bathroom updates equal a big return.

Bathroom updates are always a smart move. Even if you can’t afford a full remodel, small changes can update the room without bruising your bottom line. For a quick, inexpensive face lift, replace dated wallpaper or light fixtures with updated paint and lighting.

Do you have any other budget conscious ideas on how to add value to your home?

Courtesy of: http://twitter.com/CB_Florida

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Christmas Wishes

December 24, 2009

Someone once said “The best Christmas of all is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up with one another”. Truer words were never spoken.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Hutchinson family to you!

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Biggest Losers: 20 Home Design Features That Send Buyers Running

December 24, 2009

By Barbara Ballinger, Architecture Coach columnist and guest blogger

ugly-wallpaper

Design glitches draw attention away from a home’s best features. Don’t let out-of-date fixtures and unappealing decor cost you a sale. While some buyers may actually appreciate “vintage” features, home and design experts say these 20 features almost always serve as a turnoff.

1. Dated and excessively bold or dark paint and tile colors, such as “Pepto Bismol” pink, avocado green, deep plum, or jet black. “Dark can be cool, but it has to be a color that’s popular today,” says sales associate Jennifer Ames, crs®, of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicago.

2. Lacquered or high-gloss painted walls that are expensive to repaint and show all defects. Likewise, faux- and sponge-painted walls can be so passe.

3. Painted trim that’s very dark-and costly to remove.

4. Wallpaper, which is a lot of work (and potentially expensive) to remove. Most disliked: Dated flowered or striped patterns.

5. Kitchens that lack any dining space. Also, outdated, small-scale, and dirty kitchen appliances that look like they won’t perform.

6. Worn, cracked laminate countertops, and backsplashes or plastic cultured marble.

7. Outdated bathrooms with small sinks, short toilets, squatty bathtubs, and tight showers-all of which aren’t conducive to unwinding after a long day’s work, says Ames.

8. Lack of ample closet space in bedrooms, or no closet at all and no place to build one or add an armoire.

9. Dens, libraries, and family rooms without built-in bookcases or a space to include shelves.

10. Stained and worn wall-to-wall carpet in rooms or on stairs. Worst choice: shag. Also, worn linoleum that suggests a house was never updated.

11. Poorly built additions that don’t blend with a home’s architecture, such as a sunroom with tinted glass.

12. Shortage of windows or very small windows, which makes a home feels dark and gloomy.

13. Ceilings with so many recessed lighting spots that they resemble Swiss cheese and are expensive to remove. Worst offenders: big 6-inch diameter lights.

14. Too many rooms outside the kitchen and bathroom that have cold ceramic tiled floors.

15. Children’s bedrooms with a theme that runs through the carpeting, wallpaper, murals, ceilings, light fixtures, curtains, and furnishings.

16. Homes without a foyer or garage.

17. Too many mirrored walls, ceilings, doors, and backsplashes in a single room. The effect is dizzying, Ames says. One mirror magnifies, but many cheapen the look.

18. Skimpy molding and trim, such as 1-inch baseboards.

19. Noisy, grinding fan in a bathroom that’s attached to a light switch so it can’t be turned off.

20. Inexpensive gold-colored light fixtures in any room. Also,  Hollywood-style lighting with huge bulbs in a bathroom is also out of date, design experts say.