Tips for cleaning your beautiful hardwood floors and keeping them looking great!
Hardwood floors make for a beautiful, stunning addition to your home. However, they can bring new cleaning and maintenance challenges that aren’t present with carpet. Here are some tips for simple, efficient, and thorough hardwood floor cleaning.
Make the job easier Place mats on either side of your exterior doors and always remove your shoes before entering your home—and make sure your guests do the same. Protect the floors by placing felt (or similar) protectors on the feet of your furniture, and use area rugs to designate play areas for the kids. This will reduce extra dirt, dust, and floor scratches.
Weekly cleaning Sweeping with a standard broom will remove some dirt and dust, but not as much as a mop, wipe, or broom that’s been treated with a dusting agent such as a Swiffer. You could also invest in a vacuum that is designed for hardwood floors. Just be sure that the vacuum won’t leave scratches!
Deeper cleaning Regular sweeping will remove most dirt and dust, but occasionally you’ll need to give the floors a deeper cleaning to remove the dirt and grime that builds up in your floors’ seams. Use a wood-cleaning soap to thoroughly mop your floors, but make sure the mop isn’t sopping wet—you don’t want to leave standing water.
Spots and scuffs Most of the marks that occasionally show up on your floors, such as scuffs from rubber soles on boots and shoes—can be wiped away with a rag or very fine steel wool.
There are a lot of factors that will determine how quickly your house is sold, and it’s important to tackle the factors you can control. If you’re still living in your home while trying to sell it, these are a few simple ideas that can help speed up the home sale process.
1. De-clutter: Buyers want to step into a prospective home and imagine the possibilities. That’s a lot easier to do when a space is airy and clutter-free. Get rid of the clutter that’s just taking up space in your home, and it can totally transform how a buyer sees the property.
2. Offer an incentive: Don’t break the bank for add-ons that don’t make financial sense in the long run, but there are some reasonable expenses you can use to entice buyers, such as offering a home warranty.
3. Focus on flow: Now that you’re working toward a new home, it’s important to position your furniture for easy movement through the space, rather than how you personally like it arranged. Position your furniture so that it’s natural to flow from one room to the next.
4. Take care of your to-do list: There’s probably a list of small repairs that you’ve been putting off for a while, like fixing a dripping faucet or touching up paint on some walls. Make those repairs so that the home is more move-in ready for buyers.
5. Commit to cleanliness: Just like removing clutter, keeping your place clean can go a long way toward appealing to buyers. It’s especially true in the kitchen—no dishes in the sink or coffee rings on the countertops!
Bathrooms can be the most difficult places in our homes to keep clean. However, with a few clever changes and upgrades, it can be much easier to clean and maintain your bathroom.
No-Touch Faucets: They’re not just for public restrooms, you know. A sensor on your bathroom faucet will eliminate one of the main touchable surfaces.
Install or upgrade the exhaust fan: The fan isn’t just for reducing odors or keeping the mirrors from fogging. The better your ventilation system in the bathroom, the easier it will be to prevent mildew and mold. It’ll also prevent paint from bubbling and peeling.
Easy-Clean Toilets: Whoever designed older toilets certainly didn’t design them with cleaning in mind! Newer toilets are often designed with smoother services that make cleaning a much simpler task—no more standing on your head to reach every toilet surface.
Remove grout: Germs and grime love to build up in the spaces between tile. Instead of tile, you can cover larger surfaces with glass or stone veneer, or simply use larger tiles. That’ll reduce the overall amount of grout in your bathroom.
Not all home improvement projects are created equal. Some renovations may cost a lot but not add significant value to your home. This list goes in the opposite direction: Here are some inexpensive home improvement projects that will not only increase your enjoyment of your home, but will also increase the home’s value.
1. High quality ceiling fans: In a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, ceiling fans ranked No. 1 as the most-wanted decorative item. If your ceiling fans are outdated, replace them with something in the $400 range—it’ll make a big difference when it’s time to sell.
2. Trees: Mature trees can be worth as much as $10,000 toward the value of your home. Trees also protect your home from the elements and prevent erosion.
3. Energy efficiency: Buyers are increasingly interested in saving energy, so any efficiency update is worthwhile. Switching from a wood to gas fireplace is a great start.
4. Outdoor lighting: Exterior lighting is great for highlighting the accents of your home, and you can typically expect a 50 percent return on investment.
5. Molding: You can finish a room with crown molding or railing for as little as $1.50 per foot if you take a DIY approach, and it’s extremely desirable among prospective buyers.
With the change in seasons may come the urge for change, whether it be in your habits, activities, clothing, or in your home. If you are looking for a home refresh, look no further than the top hot home trends for 2019. Below are five of our favorites!
Biophilia. One of the largest décor trends this year center around connecting with nature by bringing the outside indoors. Natural materials such as wood and stone paired with ocean blues and various shades of greens or grays are a common theme.
Jewel Tones. Colors such as indigo, emerald green, ruby reds, and sapphire blue are making a statement this year. Whether they are used on walls or for accent pieces and furniture, these colors create a rich, luxurious atmosphere in any room.
Bold Backsplashes. Homeowners are looking to spice up their kitchens by opting for bold colors or graphic tiling for their backsplash. Additionally, there has been a lot of interest in taking the tile from countertop to ceiling, making for a nice feature wall.
Light Wood Flooring. This trend had taken a seat on the back burner for a while but is now back with a vengeance. Homeowners are leaning towards more open, spacious concepts, and light-colored floors help reflect light and create an airy, bright feel.
Painted Ceilings. People are no longer ignoring the ceiling in their home. Instead they are using it to round out the décor in each room with accent paint colors or eye-catching graphic wallpaper.
Curb appeal is a big factor for home buyers. The exterior of your home is the first thing buyers will see when they come to a showing or open house, and you want to make a great first impression. And even if you’re not selling your home, these are low-cost, low-time investment fixes that can make a big difference.
Fix landscaping eyesores A brown, dead lawn—or an overgrown one—isn’t the best way to welcome buyers to your home. If your lawn is in need of repair, consider watering it regularly. If your grass is healthy, keep the lawn freshly mowed. An appealing lawn can be worth more than $1,500 in the final price of your home.
Shutters and siding It’s easy to let your exterior walls fall into disrepair, or even to let them get a little dirty. A good scrubbing or power washing can make your siding look brand new, and you can touch up any major issues with some paint. The same goes for your shutters.
Add some living accents So far we’ve covered fixing what’s broken. Next, it’s time to add a little personality. Planting flowers will add some much-needed color to an otherwise ordinary outdoor space. Potted plants will do the trick too, especially if you have a deck or patio that needs a little decorating.
Work on your walkway The path to your front door should be inviting. A stone walkway from the driveway instantly upgrades your curb appeal. And if you’ve already taken care of that part, tidy up by removing weeds and debris, and then line the walkway with some subtle lighting. It’ll make your home look cozy and appealing, day or night.
As a seller, there are a lot of things you can do to prepare your home for sale that will help attract buyers! However, there is one specific detail that really makes an impression that not many sellers are doing!
My #1 Tip: PROVIDE THE PAPERWORK
Get a binder for $3 at Target and start to accumulate all of the paperwork you have on your house. Receipts from updates you’ve done, permits that were pulled, manuals for appliances, smart home tech how to’s, and any information you have on the age of the Roof, AC, furnace and other mechanicals.
As a bonus, you could create a 1-2 page document that lists the ages of your mechanicals, the updates you’ve done, your favorite features and any other important information about your home. Put this list at the front of the binder and stick everything else inside.
Providing buyers with all of the home’s information up front, will not only make you stand out as a seller but it will really give the impression that the house has been well taken care of and that you also care about the next owners who are going to live there.
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Purchasing a home can be a stressful experience, whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve been through the process before. But that’s one of the reasons that working with a real estate professional is so worthwhile. With your agent’s guidance, buying a home should be enjoyable, rather than stressful. Here are some of the more unique circumstances where your agent can make your life much easier.
Out-of-town buyers: If you’re looking for a vacation home, or moving to a new city for work, there’s a good chance that viewing homes will be difficult—you could be a long drive or even a plane ride away. With today’s video messaging apps like Skype or Facetime, your agent can walk you through a property virtually. Although it’s not the same as walking through it in person, it will at least give you an idea about whether a property is worth pursuing further.
When life is just too crazy: If you’re just getting too busy with everything else going on in your life, a good buyer’s agent should be able to recognize the situation, and help you take a step back. He/she can suggest that you take a few weeks off from your home search to recharge, or only focus on properties that exactly fit your wish list.
Inspection issues: You’re dreaming about move-in day! Then some unforeseen issues turn up during the inspection. A good agent can work out those issues by negotiating a lower offer—to cover costs of repairs—or by getting the seller to fix the problem(s).
Sometimes you need to keep a poker face when you’re buying a home. It’s not in your best interest to be totally candid with the seller and listing agent when you’re considering a home. Here a few things that are better left unsaid.
“This is at the top end of our budget”: Don’t let the listing agent know that a home is at the top of your budget. You want to keep all the bargaining chips you can, and letting the seller know your budget can hurt you when it comes time to negotiate.
“I hate the paint”: Or furniture. Or cabinets. Or any of the decor. No matter how hideous the wallpaper in the kitchen is, take care not to insult the seller’s taste. If they’re considering multiple offers, you don’t want to be the buyer that offended the seller!
“We can’t wait to renovate”: Customization is one of the big perks of homeownership, but it’s best to keep your renovation plans quiet for the moment. The seller may have a lot of memories in the home, and may not appreciate your plans to immediately tear down some walls.