Spring remodeling on a budget!

kitchen3Spring is quickly on the way and for many that means it’s time to think about sprucing up – and maybe even remodeling!

Whether you’re thinking about it as a way to increase property values or simply to increase your own comfort remodeling may be something to consider, especially if you’ve been in your home for a while and are suffering from the blahs. A recent cost vs. value report, shows that homeowners will recoup 82.7% of the cost on a minor kitchen remodel, an increase of more than five percent over previous years. But! Not all improvements are created equal; some are just out of range because of cost, so we’ve put together a list of great ways to up your remodeling ROI without breaking the piggy bank.

Kitchen
It’s the heart of the home; one of the best places to maximize your return on your dollar when it comes to remodeling. It’s also one of the first things people look at when considering whether to buy the house, so if you’re remodeling in hopes to sell keep that in mind. Remodeling can be things as simple as changing out fixtures, or replacing an old sink all the way up to full fledged tearing down walls and putting in islands of counter tops. If you’ve got appliances that are outdated or just don’t match it never hurts to switch those out during the process.

Flooring
It can get forgotten pretty easily, tread under our feet every day, but truth is flooring can make or break a home – especially to potential buyers. If you can afford the cost consider switching from carpet to laminate or wood flooring as it often has a broader appeal and in the end generally has lower upkeep costs in the long run. Can’t spring for the new floors? Consider at least having your carpets or floors professionally cleaned if nothing else as that can breathe new life into old flooring.

Bathrooms
This goes right along with kitchens. Bathrooms can be easily updated just by changing fixtures out, or changing cabinet doors. Go for a new color of paint and really up the wow-factor, or if it’s affordable put in a new sink or toilet.Tile looking tired? Replace it if possible or if not just give that grout some deep cleaning.

Exterior
We all know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover…but everyone does. It’s no different with houses; that’s one reason why it’s good to spend some time and budget on the outside of your home. Curb appeal is the word for what real estate agents call your home’s “first impression” to a potential buyer and it really does matter. So spend some time cleaning gutters, washing the exterior of the home, cleaning windows, and keeping the yard trimmed as basic ways to keep your house looking great. If you’ve got it in the budget consider possibly updating your exterior doors and windows, adding fresh plants to the flowerbeds, or changing out the outside lighting.

These are just ideas for some of the most beneficial remodeling options when balancing cost and return! There are any number of other great ways to increase your homes value, and your enjoyment of your home as well. We would love the chance to talk to you more if you are currently thinking about selling your home or buying a new one – it’s a great time to be in the market!

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Get Your House Fresh With These Tips!

welcome homeThe Winter has really settled in and with the closed doors and wet boots coming and going it’s easy for things to get a bit stuffy over the cold months.

Beyond that, it’s probable that you’ve been spending considerably more time locked in the vacancy during the snowpocalypse than you might like as well; that can lead to things feeling drab even when they’re not. Not all hope is lost! Here are some tips to beat the house funk!

Paint It Up!
A new coat of paint can change the whole room, everybody knows that. The impact of some fresh colors can’t be underestimated though; it’s also one of the most cost effective ways to make a big change too. Don’t fret if you have no painting skills, there are plenty of qualified home painters available, just ask your REALTORĀ® who they recommend.

Move It Around
You can make a big difference just by changing things up! Put the couch in the other corner, move the table around, re-arrange everything – you might be surprised how big of a change you can make just by re-positioning the things you already have. Think zen, read up on Feng Shui for some ideas; get creative. Worst case scenario….you might just have to go shopping!

ART!
Earth without ART is just “eh”…more like “meh”. If you don’t already have art adorning your walls it’s a great time to start. If you already have art – get some new stuff! Good art has never been more accessible; whether it be via a bigger box store like Pier One or Michaels, or even from a local artist, there are plenty of places to get some pictures that suit your taste. For the bold: you can even be so brave as to buy canvases and make your own!

Really Tie The Room Together
As Mr. Lebowski was fond of saying, a rug can really tie things together…It’s a great way to layer in new colors and textures into a room as well. You can often find large rugs for decent prices at local thrift stores, so be sure to shop around. Maybe a rug isn’t for you? Consider a tapestry instead – these are excellent for bringing those colors and textures onto the wall for even more impact.

You don’t have to suffer with drab! And while, as real estate agents, it would be easy to say:” Just move – we can help!” the reality is you don’t have to throw out the whole house just because it feels a little mundane.

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Sell Your Home This Holiday

beanieThe holidays aren’t always thought of as the best time to list a house for sale, but it’s not always the case. Yes, while selling a house in Winter when the weather has you feeling a bit down may be a little more challenging in some instances, it may also come with upsides as well.

For one, most people looking to buy a home during this time are motivated and serious about buying – usually wanting to try and be in their new home by the new year. Additionally there will be fewer homes available on the market during this time, lowering the competition.

Before you get started find a qualified professional to work with, and in the meant time consider these tips to help you along the way:

Did We Mention: Hire A Pro
What we mean by this is not only someone licensed in real estate but also someone who is experienced and handles themselves professionally. You want an agent that goes the extra mile, not one that leaves you stranded in the snow two weeks before Christmas with no updates on progress. This is the first, best tip as working with a professional agent will help make the process and your holidays less stressful.

Deck The Halls – But Don’t Go Nuts
It’s okay to enjoy your holiday decorations, but maybe don’t go full Griwswald family if you’re in the middle of trying to sell. Decorations are fine, just keep it to tactful and tasteful without causing a power brown out from all the lights and you’ll be fine – anything too over the top may be a turn off to potential buyers.

Motivated Buyers
If you took the first bit of advice about working with a professional the buyers shouldn’t be too far behind. Be patient though, it is the holidays, so it might be a bit slow on the numbers of buyers who come in, but the good news is that chances are many more of them will be more motivated.

Keep A Warm Hearth
Make your home feel warm and cozy, especially on those colder days. Maybe have some quiet seasonal music on and some holiday snacks out in the kitchen. Turn on a winter spice candle warmer. Entice buyers to spent a little more time inside the house enjoying it’s warmth and comfort to let them imagine what it might be like to call it home themselves.

Selling your home during the holidays can be a challenge – but it can be done! If you’re interested in help selling your home before the new year contact us to see how we can help!

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We Love Calling Emmett Home!

From quiet tree shaded parks, to the cozy atmosphere of a small town cafe Emmett Idaho is a wonderful place to call home for a number of reasons! Life seems to slow down just a little here and give you room to breathe and think on the truly important things – home, family, and matters of the heart.

listings
Located just a stones throw from the heart of Boise our town is close enough to jump into the city to do some stepping out when you like to, but far enough out that you don’t have to fight traffic to go get groceries on the weekend.

 

Our experienced real estate professionals know the area because they call it home and we would love the opportunity to show you why Emmett is a great place to live! Visit our website today to view all of the best homes in Idaho in one place!

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Style Up That Entryway!

house_entranceIs your entryway forgettable? Is it just the door that you walk in to get to the couch and nothing more?

It doesn’t have to be! As a matter of fact the entrance to your home is one of the places where you should take a little extra time to make a statement and welcome the world into the physical manifestation of yourself: your home.

Shut the Front Door!
Well…shut it, or actually take it off the hinges…and then paint it! Changing up the color of your front door can make a big impact on the entryway. Whether it be a bold red or clean white – or even if you decide to swap out the whole door for a new one – changing up the entrance to your home itself is a great place to get the most bang for your buck.

Foy-YAY!
That little space inside your door might not be much more than a place to kick off your shoes but it’s got a lot of potential depending on the space. If you’ve got the room a nice half bench or small table for decorations is a wonderful use of space; a handy place to put a keycatch to make finding the car keys a breeze!

Stow It!
If you’ve got the room consider adding some small storage cubbys to the entrance area – either under a bench or as a stand alone – to increase storage space and make a handy place to stash away shoes and coats when the Winter months come. Extra bonus: this will keep your floors a little nicer too without so many clumpy shoes running all about.

ART! It’s a thing.
Big blank wall? Ugly plain space that people just pass by? ART IT! Art will add visual interest and color to any area. You can find affordable art these days fairly easily – even large pieces that are great for taking up big wall space. An even better idea is to pay a little more and get something from a local artist to showcase in your home, or if you’re beyond daring paint something yourself!

Show Off the Fam
Hey, your wall doesn’t have to just be on Facebook, and your home should showcase the most important things in your life. It doesn’t have to be just stiff posed family photos – make your entry way into your own personal show space of recent photos, vision boards, and happenings. It can be eclectic, that’s fine! If you’re super creative and have the budget you could even get digital frames to make the images easy to change out.

Beyond just helping you buy or sell a home we want to offer advice and help long after the transaction to be a source for assistance for years to come! We want your home to be a happy home wherever it is – contact us today to see how we can help!

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A Wonderful Day In The Neighborhood…Or Is It?

hidyhoSooner or later, no matter how well you know the people living around you a dispute can and will arise.

Though it may be difficult to reach amicable decisions when it comes to neighborly disputes, finding a solution to these issues is well worth it, as no one wants to make an enemy of the people they live next to.

When you share a property line with another person there will come a time when you will have to be involved in joint decisions. Should your fence be replaced? Who is responsible for sidewalk maintenance?

Here are three of the most common causes of neighbor disputes, and how to handle them in a “neighborly” way.

1. Trees:
For the most part you are allowed to trim branches that overhang into your property, but no more. The actual owner of the tree is whoever’s property contains the trunk of said tree. Should you damage or destroy a tree that is no your own you become liable for thoe damages which may well exceed the value of the tree itself (replacement of the tree, uprooting sod etc). If there is some danger of the tree falling onto a structure on your property or your home, then you may have some recourse through local or city ordinances, and of course any HOA bylaws.

2. Good Neighbors, Good Fences:
An ugly fence might not be to your liking but unless your HOA has specific rules regarding what kind of fence is allowed (and they likely do) you may have some trouble trying to argue design tastes with your next door neighbor. Should the fence be in disrepair however it becomes the responsibility of the land owners on both sides to act accordingly – unless both owners have a prior agreement or have paid for their fencing separately. The best course of action is to talk with your neighbor first, as any changes to the fence may effect their property and many states have harsh penalties for crossing these boundaries.

3. If it’s too loud you’re too old:
Well, not quite. Almost every town has a noise ordinance which generally outline reasonable times and decibel levels at which residents can make noise. If you end up having recurring issues with a neighbor about the amount of noise they are making, or regarding the time it is being made, it may be best to allow local authorities to enforce their own ordinances and make a “courtesy” call to resolve the issue.

Whenever any issue arises, take it upon yourself to talk to your neighbor one on one, don’t be the neighborhood tattle-tale and call the HOA or police to come pounding down their door. Approach the situation gingerly. Be conscious that for every viewpoint of your own, there are 10 other, and equally valid, points. By working with some tolerance for the rights and privileges of others (even if they are not respecting your own) you can often come to a much more peaceful, and even mutually beneficial resolution to any situation.

Don’t go over if when you are angry or emotional. This will only hurt your chances of finding a good solution and likely lead to more strife with your neighbors.

Don’t be afraid to be truthful. You are worried that a tree will fall, yes, but you also hate the way it blocks the sun from your porch. State your issues calmly, and honestly, without stepping on toes if possible.

Unless it’s a city law or HOA ordinance, be willing to make a compromise, as well as to offer concessions to a neighbor. Everything in life is a bit of give and take, problems with the neighbors are no different.

Should your calm and direct approach backfire, or your neighbor becomes irate by no means should you tolerate abuse.Hand off this issue to the appropriate authorities like your HOA, or local city police.

As a last resort you may have to seek legal action and while this may break an already stressed relationship with the people around you sometimes it is the only way to come to a resolution. If you must go to court, be prepared, gather evidence by taking photos of the issue and document any interaction you have with your neighbor about the problem in question.

If a legal decision is rendered that is not in your favor, be sure to accept it and to move on. There is no need for harassment or childish behavior — it will surely only make the problem worse. Generally if people can keep cool heads and deal with things in a considerate manner issues rarely get to the point that the law needs to be involved, but nonetheless the importance of considering who your neighbors might be is a big part of finding the perfect home.

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Beat Home Seller Stress

is-it-friday-yet-1239465With the return of a motivated market more and more people in Idaho are looking to sell their homes.

One thing many home sellers, especially those new to the process, are surprised by is the stress that can come with selling a home – the showings, the appointments, and of course the paperwork – but fortunately selling your home doesn’t have to be the cause of your next mental break. We’ve put together these great tips to help you stop the stress!

Stay Excited
Once the ball gets rolling and you’re caught up in the planning and packing it can be easy to get overwhelmed and forget the excitement you felt when you first began. So hold tight to the reasons for this move that are positive and focus on the new space. Take things one at a time and don’t let yourself get buried – just breathe.

Make Time
For you. For the family. For taking two seconds to take two seconds. It’s important to make the time in your busy schedule for just connecting to the things in your life that make you happy and are also very likely one of the larger reasons for your move. Take time to make time.

Jitters Are Okay
It’s completely normal to feel nervous over excited when you stop and think of how big a change you’re making. New place, new stuff, new everything – Ack! It can all be a little bit much to handle and it’s perfectly okay to question yourself and even feel a little unsure. Talk to your loved ones about your emotional concerns, voice them to your agent and talk about any other concerns as well.

Procrastinating Preparation
Don’t put things off that need done, but if your move isn’t coming up fast don’t make yourself crazy trying to rush into things – you’re more likely to make mistakes that way. Organize a list of tasks, create a timeline of when those tasks need to start and be completed, and then go from there. This will help you get a broad overlook of the journey ahead and know exactly how much rush you need to put on things.

These are some simple personal things you can do to de-stress during your home selling process. There are of course any number of tasks in themselves that need to be done – stopping utilities, moving mail, etc – so be sure to keep them in mind as you prepare for you move. Talk to your chosen real estate agent as well, they are sure to have information to help you along the way!

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