November 16, 2015
While some people equate Fall with a time of ending and relative quiet, for many savvy homeowners, it’s anything but! Whether landscaping or exterior tasks, Fall is the ideal time to invest some effort to pay you big dividends next year.
Evaluate Your Lawn and Garden
Fall is the best time to take stock of how your lawn and garden fared over the summer and determine what needs adjustment. Don’t wait until spring to try to remember what didn’t do well in its current position. Evaluate what changes you need to make to optimize the beauty and function of your garden and do it now. Transplant what needs to move to more sunny or shady locations and cut back on overgrown beds. Don’t forget a good weeding to stop them from reappearing with a vengeance. Write down the tasks you postpone until next year and pack it away on top of your gardening tools, so you won’t forget when Spring arrives!
Fall isn’t just a time for raking up; it can still be a time for new plantings too. Evergreen trees and shrubs can add to your enjoyment of your property during the winter months and autumn is the optimum time for such plantings. Since they’re in a more dormant phase, evergreens have a far better chance of surviving if planted now versus in hotter months. Check with your nursery for details on evergreen care. Most will recommend that you wrap new evergreens and bushes in burlap to protect them, at least for their first winter.
Fall can also be a good time to plant many varieties of perennials – most of which are on sale now at local garden centres at greatly reduced prices. If you’d like a burst of late season colour, some of the hardier, late-blooming perennials such as asters or mums can extend your garden’s beauty right into Thanksgiving! Of course, planting bulbs such as daffodils and tulips will deliver a gorgeous floral display to herald the arrival of Spring. Your Fall landscaping efforts should also include renewing your soil’s resources to ensure healthy growth next year. A Fall fertilizing treatment of your lawn and garden will bring your soil to optimum levels and ensure a welcoming environment when things come back to life!
In addition to landscaping, your exterior plan should include a walk-around to see what’s in need of maintenance or repair before harsh winter months set in. A thorough power-wash of your walk and driveway will remove harsh chemicals and loose material and let you inspect for cracks and fissures. These should be sealed before freezing temperatures turn water into ice and cause more damage. Do-it-yourself driveway sealers are available from most home improvement outlets or you can contract the job out for a reasonable cost. Your exterior wood surfaces also need protection. Fall is the optimum time for painting and staining, untroubled by insects and oppressive heat. Most paints and stain will dry in any temperature above 10 degrees Celsius. Make sure you ask your paint store manager about the minimum temperature required for the product you choose.
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November 16, 2015
The spring season is a prime time for home buying, and owners who plan on selling a home can start making preparations early on to make the process go more smoothly. There are several actions sellers take when getting their homes ready, and making a checklist to follow can help make sure all their bases are covered.
Make it squeaky clean
One of the most common mistakes sellers make is not adequately cleaning their homes. A clean home generally looks more modern and spacious, and dirt, dust and grime that has been missed tends to stand out more to buyers. So it’s important to go above and beyond when it comes to scrubbing a home down. Not only is it imperative to clean counters, walls and bathroom tiles, but it’s also crucial to pressure wash backyard decks, power wash carpeting and organize closets and drawers. Buyers may want to look at every space in the home, so it’s important that every nook and cranny is immaculate.
Add neutral upgrades
Many homeowners have decorated their home to their specific tastes, but when a home goes up for sale, owners should stop thinking of the home as their own and make upgrades accordingly. For example, bright walls and shag carpeting may have been the preference of the owner, but this style may not appeal to every buyer walking through the door. Instead, experts encourage sellers to neutralize their home, according to MSN Real Estate. First, sellers should repaint the walls. Not only will a fresh coat of paint make a home appear new and fresh, but it can also make rooms appear more spacious.
In addition, cracked floorboards, stained kitchen counters and old appliances can turn off buyers, so upgrading these features can help owners sell their homes more quickly. Individuals should also follow the neutral rule when making upgrades to make sure any improvements are in keeping not only with the home’s particular character, but also similar homes in the neighborhood, MSN reports. For example, if all the houses in a community have granite countertops and upgraded kitchen fixtures, it may be a good idea to make similar upgrades to stay competitive with other properties that are up for sale
November 16, 2015
Whether individuals currently own or are selling a home, making improvements around the house can add more character, charm and utility. There are several projects that may not only add dollar value to a home, but can also make it more enticing for potential buyers. And what’s more, many of these improvements can be completed at a low cost. So whether a homeowner is simply trying to spruce up their property or getting ready to put it on the market, consider a few small alterations to make the house appealing.
Upgrade windows and doors
The entryway to a home should be welcoming for residents, neighbors and guests, so installing new entry doors can make a house appear warmer. Several home improvement stores have a wide variety of doors to choose from, and hanging a new door is also a task that can be completed easily by the homeowner. In addition to purchasing a door that is already finished and ready to be installed, homeowners may also consider purchasing doors they can paint to add a bit of color and
character to their home. Some owners paint their doors vibrant colors, such as red, purple or blue to boost the curb appeal of their property.
In addition, installing replacement windows is another valuable investment that can hold financial benefits for current homeowners and buyers, according to AOL Real Estate. Energy-efficient windows may allow current owners to earn a tax credit for their purchase and lower energy bills for home buyers.
Make good use of additional space
Many homeowners utilize additional spaces, such as a home office, foyer or exercise room. However, it’s easy to forget about other areas that can be converted into valuable bonus rooms, such as the attic and basement. These can be remodeled to serve as additional bedrooms, entertainment areas and home offices.
Remodeling these areas can be especially valuable for sellers because they may appeal to larger families or multi-generational households, AOL Real Estate explains.
In addition, maximizing outdoor space can be a great way to expand entertainment areas for current homeowners or buyers. Outdoor grills or ovens, fireplaces and dining sets can provide an escape for owners and add an air of elegance to a home.