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Real Estate Tips

October 18, 2010

Reaping the Rewards of Renovations 

When it comes time to sell, it's important that your home stacks up well against the competition.  In order to have it look its best, renovations are often necessary.  The key to generating a decent return on your investment is to renovate in line with other homes in your area.

The kitchen's the heart of the household and will often yield the greatest return on investment.  A welcoming kitchen that’s functional and up-to-date can have a very positive effect on prospective buyers.  Updating an existing bathroom or installing an additional one is another renovation that adds excellent value to your home.  Adding some recycled glass tile is an inexpensive way to spruce things up.

Eco-friendly homes are on the wish lists of environmentally conscious buyers more so than ever before.  A green home's a healthy home so if you’re thinking about painting or replacing flooring (both yield great paybacks), ensure you use green options like non-toxic paints or environmentally friendly flooring such as bamboo or cork.  Buyers will also appreciate low flow toilets, shower heads and faucets as well as updated cooling/heating systems that provide greater efficiency.

Adding a few perennials is an easy way to improve your home's curb appeal while a few well placed trees and shrubs will reduce utility costs by providing shade in the summer and shelter from the wind in the winter.  Planting native, drought tolerant plants instead of ones that require lots of water will substantially reduce maintenance and water usage.

The advantages of eco-friendly renovations (aside from investing in a greener future) is that you’ll be able to positively differentiate your property from others on the market while reducing your utility costs.  It’s important though to carefully consider your renovations so you don’t end up pouring money down the drain.  Your improvements should be an investment, not an expense. 

Remembering ‘What’s His Face’ from Down the Street 

When someone we hardly know remembers our name, we feel like a million bucks!  You want to make other people feel that good, right?  If so, Halloween's a great time to learn the names of people in your area.

Introduce yourself to everyone you can whether you're waiting at the end of a driveway for your children or when parents come up to your door.  When they tell you their name, focus on it.  The reason we forget what we’re immediately told is because we’re too busy figuring out what to say next.

Try and use their name in conversation a few times, i.e. "Hi Jim, how are you?", “I’ve seen you at the school Jim” and then associate their name with a mental picture.  It doesn’t matter how bizarre -- the more outlandish the better!  As soon as they leave, write their name down so you won't forget it.

Halloween's a great opportunity to get to know the people in your area.  Greeting people by name will make your community a much friendlier place to live!  If you make the effort to get to know people on a first name basis, others will do the same.


Halloween Safety Tips for Homeowners 

With Halloween just around the corner, many of us are getting our porches ready to welcome trick-or-treaters.  Here are a few tips to keep the kids safe when they come to your door:

  • repair any loose railings on your porch and steps
  • make sure the path to your door’s well lit and completely clear of obstacles
  • keep pets in a separate room so they don't escape and scare the children
  • use a light stick or flashlight in your jack-o'-lantern instead of candles
  • have a spare light bulb on hand in case your porch light burns out

Halloween's an occasion where children form lifelong memories.  As homeowners, it's important that we do our best to ensure they have a safe and happy time.


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