Deborah McLaughlin's Blog
If you’re thinking of renovating your home, you’re probably under the impression that it’s all positive. Be careful in your choices for renovations. Below, you’ll find some renovations that you should avoid for various reasons.
Decrease The Number Of Bedrooms
If you’re thinking of getting rid of a bedroom in order to expand other rooms in your home, it might not be the best decision. The more bedrooms a home has, the more it’s worth. If you’re planning on selling anytime in the future, you should think twice about this type of renovation.
The reason for this is that listing prices are set by looking at comparable homes in the area. If you eliminate bedrooms, you end up changing the comparable value of your home, effectively reducing it. Home buyers are typically attracted to the overall accommodating size of the home and can often ignore the actual size of the rooms.
Large Master Bedrooms
The trend for a large master bedroom is fading. People tend to see that they need extra furniture to fill the space, making it feel overwhelming. The only exception to this problem with master bedrooms is families who have a member that needs a private, separate space in the home.
Taking Out Closets
If you take out a closet to make more space in the rooms of your home, you’ll end up regretting it. Homes lacking closet space will be much harder to sell. People need closets to store their things in. If buyers walk through the home and don’t see a lot of storage space, they could think twice about putting an offer in.
Making Your Garage Anything But A Garage
If you get rid of a garage to store a car and trade it in for a new area of living space, you could end up regretting your decision. The garage is a valuable storage space for homeowners that can take away some appeal from your home. A good majority of buyers state that having a traditional garage is very important for them in their home search.
Wall Colors And Decor That Aren’t For Every Taste
Whether your walls have been wallpapered or painted, you don’t want to do a renovation that will completely turn people off from your home. You can really overdo it when it comes to wall colors, textures, and patterns. Whether you have guests over or are planning on selling your home in the near future, you don’t want to turn people off from your home. As a homeowner, you’ll also get sick of overpowering colors and textures as well.
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Thankfully, the human brain is usually a pretty efficient mechanism for keeping our lives organized, healthy, and safe.
However, when we're rushed, overwhelmed, or feeling stressed, important tasks, safety measures, and priorities are sometimes forgotten.
Most of the time, this does not pose an imminent health or safety threat, but there are exceptions. Fortunately, there are often simple solutions available and preventative measures we can take.
Finding high-tech (or low-tech) ways to remember important things can provide you and your family with improved home safety, more peace of mind, and other benefits.
Here are a few strategies for overcoming the pitfalls of occasional forgetfulness.
- Practice present moment awareness. You'll tend to be happier, healthier, and safer when you condition your mind to stay in the present moment as much as possible. Although there is a lot of value in planning for the future and dwelling on happy memories, it's counterproductive to worry about problems that might never happen or regret things from the past that can't be changed. People waste a lot of energy and create self-imposed stress when they spend more than a few seconds worrying or regretting. Staying focused on the present moment also has some health and safety implications worth mentioning. For example, how many times have you left the house (or gone to bed) and wondered if you locked the door, turned off the oven, or unplugged the iron? Getting yourself in the habit of bringing your mind back to the task at hand and being more aware of what you're doing will help you avoid some of these potential dangers, concerns, and distracting thoughts.
- Set an alarm as a reminder. If you set an alarm on your mobile device or computer to remind yourself to get ready for an appointment, send an important email, make a phone call, or check on the progress of dinner in the oven, then you never have to worry about getting distracted and losing track of time.
- Good habits can be a lifesaver. Going through a mental inventory before you leave the house or go to bed can help reduce forgetfulness about locking doors, turning off kitchen appliances, and reactivating the smoke alarm. And speaking of smoke alarms, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends that homeowners check the batteries in their smoke detectors once a month and replace them with fresh batteries at least once a year. It also urges people to completely replace their smoke alarms every 10 years. Important safety note: The federal agency strongly discourages people from removing smoke detector batteries to silence the device while cooking. Instead, it recommends opening a window, waving a towel at the alarm to clear the air [a paper plate also works], pressing a "hush" button if the unit has one, or moving the alarm several feet away from the cooking area.
Believe it or not, your home's bathroom may make or break your open house.
If you allocate the necessary time and resources to enhance your bathroom's appearance before your open house, you may be able to boost your home's chances of making a positive first impression on property buyers.
On the other hand, a dirty, messy bathroom is unlikely to do you any favors, particularly in a competitive real estate market.
Transforming an ordinary bathroom into an attractive space may seem difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help you simplify the process of cleaning your bathroom from top to bottom.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to improve your bathroom's appearance before your open house.
1. Remove Shower Scum
Soap scum may accumulate in your shower over an extended period of time. However, it is quick and easy to eliminate this problem.
To remove shower scum, use a mixture of dish soap and vinegar. Then, scrub the scum with a dish wand, and you can make your shower sparkle.
2. Clean the Toilet
When was the last time you cleaned your bathroom toilet? If you don't know the answer, it probably means your toilet is overdue for a comprehensive cleaning.
A bathroom scrub brush can help you eliminate grime inside your toilet. You also may want to use white vinegar, as this all-natural cleaning solution has been shown to eliminate bacteria, germs and mold.
In addition, don't forget to wipe down your toilet's exterior. Dust and debris on the toilet surface are simple to eliminate in just seconds.
3. Take a Look at the Mirror
A bathroom mirror may appear streaky and blotchy. But for those who want their bathrooms to impress homebuyers, it is essential to clean a bathroom mirror extensively.
Cotton pads and rubbing alcohol may prove to be exceedingly valuable. Together, these products will enable you to clean your bathroom mirror and avoid streaks altogether.
Or, if you're searching for an alternative to rubbing alcohol or traditional glass cleaner, you may want to use vinegar and water. The combination of vinegar, water and a microfiber cloth offers proven results, especially for those who need a quick, easy solution to clean a bathroom mirror before an open house.
If you need extra help cleaning your bathroom, don't hesitate to reach out to cleaning professionals for expert support. These professionals can streamline the process of getting your bathroom ready for your open house.
Moreover, if you're uncertain about how to prepare for your open house, your real estate agent will be happy to assist you. This housing market expert will describe how the open house will work and what to expect from it. Plus, after the open house ends, your real estate agent can provide homebuyer feedback and insights.
Don't wait until the last minute to clean your bathroom. Instead, use the aforementioned bathroom cleaning tips, and you should have no trouble prepping your bathroom for your open house.
Believe it or not, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be quick and simple, even for a first-time homebuyer. In fact, here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer streamline the process of receiving pre-approval for a mortgage:
1. Meet with Several Lenders
Many mortgage lenders are available in cities and towns nationwide. Meanwhile, these mortgage experts are happy to teach first-time homebuyers about assorted mortgage options and help them get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Set up face-to-face meetings with various lenders in your area. That way, a first-time homebuyer can gain unparalleled insights into a wide range of mortgage options.
In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions during meetings with banks and credit unions. Mortgage lenders possess comprehensive mortgage expertise, and as such, a first-time homebuyer can rely on these mortgage professionals to receive the support that he or she needs to make an informed decision.
2. Understand Your Credit Score
Do you know your credit score? Ultimately, a first-time homebuyer's credit score may dictate his or her ability to obtain the ideal mortgage.
An individual can request a free copy of his or her credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year. This report may prove to be exceedingly valuable, as it can help a homebuyer identify opportunities to improve his or her credit score before a mortgage application is submitted.
Also, if you identify errors in your credit report, it is paramount to contact the agency that provided the report immediately. This will allow you to correct any potential errors quickly and ensure that they won't affect your ability to get the best possible mortgage.
3. Consider Your Homebuying Budget
A first-time homebuyer may have lofty expectations prior to entering the real estate market. However, this individual should consider his or her finances before submitting a mortgage application.
With a budget in hand, a homebuyer can establish realistic expectations as he or she tries to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Plus, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage and accelerate his or her search for the perfect residence.
Lastly, it may be worthwhile for a first-time homebuyer to meet with a real estate agent to learn more about assorted mortgage options.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with purchasing a house for the first time. As a result, this housing market professional can teach a homebuyer about all aspects of the property buying journey and help this buyer plan accordingly.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can set up home showings, keep a homebuyer up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with a home seller on a buyer's behalf. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations to make it easy for a property buyer to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.
Move one step closer to purchasing your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can speed up the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage.