Ideal Real Estate Services



Posted by Ideal Real Estate Services on 7/23/2019

Everyone had something ugly in their yard that they want to hide. For many, itís the oversized trash bins that donít really fit in the garage but are big and distracting when left out. Others may have utility boxes that mar your lovely landscaping. In some cases, itís lawn equipment or gardening tools that donít have a place you can tuck them away.

Here are some ideas of ways to hide your ugly stuff and beautify your home.

Trash Bins

If your oversized cans must be outdoors, create a trellis enclosure to surround them. Place pots with climbing plants such as ivy and trumpet vine along the sides so that they grow up and over the trash cans. However, remember to leave enough space for you to open the lids conveniently.

Another option for trash bins is to make a raised planter box that rises above the cans. Plant bright annuals, vegetables, or succulents in the box.

Utility boxes

To cover a utility box, vent pipe, or other smaller eyesore, purchase a faux stone or cluster of rocks to set on the street-side of it. Surround it with flowering plants or small bushes to give it a more pleasing look.

Disguise utility boxes with raised beds and fill them with taller perennials such as Iris or Agapanthus. The beautiful blooms distract from the ugly utility boxes and hide them in plain sight.

Tools

When a full toolshed is not an option, hide your tools in a patio chest. These chests double as extra seating for entertaining and can even hold a small lawnmower if necessary.Or, create a hideaway cabinet under the deck landing. Just wrap the area with siding to match the deck, add access doors and voila, your tools are hidden in an area that looks like it was meant to be there.

Fireplace Logs

When you have a wood-burning fireplace but donít know where to store the logs, build a bench seat similar to a crate and stack the wood under it. Use the bench for extra seating or as a display shelf for your favorite potted plants.

Use two pillars of your patio cover to stack the logs between, but place lattice on the patio side to hide the wood. Hang planters from the trellis to create a walled garden to bring cheery greenery to your patio area while hiding the logs.

Hoses

Hide your hose in a lovely pot situated near to the faucet. Most garden centers and DIY hardware stores offer choices specially designed to keep unruly hoses in check.

Whatever the problem area, you can find a way to keep it hidden from view with a little ingenuity and effort. Doing so improves your homeís curb appeal and increases your enjoyment of your outdoor living space.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ideal Real Estate Services on 7/21/2019

With school loans at an all-time high, and growing for each passing generation, many homeowners are ready to shoulder off any and all debt as quickly as possible. If youíre in this camp and looking to aggressively pay down debt there are a few options available when it comes to paying your mortgage off.

Seller concessions.

Also known as seller contributions, are where the seller agrees to pay a portion of the closing fees for the buyer. This can include title insurance, inspection fees, and processing fees. If the seller is looking to sell the house quickly they may consider agreeing to seller concessions.

Government options for loans.

Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM) was created to help homeowners renovate to add environmentally friendly features to their home. So if youíre looking to install double-pane windows or update insulation this could be the loan for you.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans offer lower closing costs, smaller down payments, and a fair interest rate.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans can be applied to homes in rural areas, regardless of if they are a part of a farm. You may qualify to apply for zero down payment and loan payments will be at a fixed rate.     

There are also many local programs offered at the state and city level. A quick Google search for loan options for your area should set you in the right direction!

Plan to Refinance

Down the road, you can refinance for a fifteen year home loan instead of thirty. Youíll pay off your loan in roughly half the time and save money on payments towards interest.

Throw It Everything Youíve Got

Youíll want to check with your lending company first as some have penalties for payments outside of the loan terms. However, if possible, making an extra payment either regularly or time to time will help cut down the overall time it takes to pay off your loan.

For example, you can make one extra mortgage payment each year or tighten up your day to day budget and apply what your savings towards your loan. Many homeowners get creative and take on side gigs to create the extra cash necessary to make additional payments.

If you donít have that room to flex you can also always apply any bonuses, tax refunds or windfalls that come your way. This also makes a bigger impact when paired with regularly scheduled extra payments.

Aggressive debt payoff strategies arenít for everyone. And thatís okay! However, if youíre looking to live a debt free life and enjoy your home knowing itís been paid in total these tactics are for you. With some strategy and creativity, you can find plenty of ways to make the process go quickly and smoothly.





Posted by Ideal Real Estate Services on 7/16/2019

A home inspection can make or break a property sale. If all goes well during a home inspection, a buyer and seller can proceed with a transaction. Conversely, if a home inspector discovers major problems with a house, a property sale may be in jeopardy.

As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure a home inspection delivers valuable insights. With in-depth home insights at your disposal, you can determine whether to continue with a home purchase or reenter the housing market.

To ensure a successful home inspection, let's take a look at three common home inspection mistakes, and how a homebuyer can avoid these problems.

1. A homebuyer hires an inexperienced home inspector.

When it comes to hiring a home inspector, it is always better to err on the side of caution. With an experienced home inspector at your side, you can boost the likelihood of a successful home inspection.

Evaluate a variety of local home inspectors. Then, take a look at each home inspector's background and expertise to narrow your search.

In addition, if you feel comfortable with a home inspector, reach out to this professional directly before you make your final hiring decision. That way, you can request client referrals and gain additional insights to help you make an informed selection.

2. A homebuyer does not attend a home inspection.

A homebuyer is not required to attend a home inspection. However, attendance usually is a good idea, regardless of your homebuying expertise.

Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you likely will complete in your lifetime. If you want to ensure a home is a viable long-term investment, it certainly pays to walk around a property with a home inspector and conduct an in-depth evaluation.

In many instances, attending a home inspection may enable a homebuyer to gain home insights that might not be included in a home inspection report as well.

For example, a home inspector who identifies issues with a property may be able to give a homebuyer an estimate about how much it will cost to complete myriad property repairs. These insights are exceedingly valuable and can help a homebuyer determine whether a house is a worthwhile purchase.

3. A homebuyer ignores a home inspection report.

After a home inspector completes a property evaluation, this professional will provide the homebuyer with a home inspection report. Then, a homebuyer will have a set amount of time to review the report to determine whether to proceed with a home purchase.

A home inspection report contains plenty of valuable insights, and as such, should not be ignored. Instead, a homebuyer should spend time evaluating the report and learning from it. And if a homebuyer has any questions, he or she can reach out to the home inspector who provided the report for answers.

Lastly, if you need help planning a home inspection, you should employ a real estate agent. By hiring a real estate agent, you'll have no trouble getting in touch with the best home inspectors in your area.





Posted by Ideal Real Estate Services on 7/14/2019

Sellers who are eager to attract serious buyers and maximize the value of their home often utilize home staging as a way to leave a good impression.

Homes that are skillfully staged look better in photos online, creating more leads, showings, and ultimately, offers. Furthermore, prospective buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in a home. Staging makes it easier for them to understand what it would look like and how spacious it will feel once it has been furnished.

Home staging by the numbers

You donít, however, have to take my word for it. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases an annual report which collects and analyzes survey data from nearly 2,000 agents regarding their experience with home staging.

In their findings, they note that 62 percent of agents agree that staging a home lessens the time the property is for sale. Furthermore, 77 percent of agents said home staging makes it easier to visualize living in a home that would otherwise be empty.

Which rooms should be staged?

Staging an entire home takes an enormous amount of time and money. One way to simplify the process is to stage a select few rooms. In the NARís study, they asked agents which rooms they typically staged when selling a home. The results:

  • 83% Living Room

  • 76% Kitchen

  • 69% Master Bedroom

  • 66% Dining Room

  • 53% Bathroom

  • 31% Yard Space

  • 25% Childrenís Bedroom

  • 21% Guest Bedroom

From these results, we can ascertain that itís important to stage the main rooms of your home. Lesser used a multi-purpose rooms (like offices and guest rooms) arenít as important to stage.

Can staging your home increase the sale price?

Itís difficult to say with certainty if, and by how much, home staging affects the sale price of a home. However, if staging your home is successful at getting the attention at a greater number of prospective buyers, thereís a good chance youíll be able to go with the highest bidder.

When the NAR asked agents if staging increases the amount buyerís offer on a home, their responses were somewhat mixed.

  • 29% of respondents thought it increases the offer by one to five percent

  • 21% of respondents say it increases the offer by six to ten percent

  • 8% said it increases the offer from between eleven to twenty percent

  • 14% said it had no impact on the dollar value of the home

  • 27% were unsure if it had an impact on the dollar value

In general, it would seem that most agents feel that staging a home not only improves a buyerís opinion of a home, but also increases its sale value. If youíre planning on selling in the near future, staging at least part of your home could be something to consider to give your property a competitive edge.





Posted by Ideal Real Estate Services on 7/9/2019

Does your bathroom feel old and kind of grungy, but you don't have the time or the money to have someone do a remodel? There are simple things that you can do to make it feel like a renovation. The assumption is that you are into doing a little "DIY" and that you have a little bit of skill to do that. 

The first thing to consider is painting. 

Lots of bathrooms have the original paint put in by the contractor. You might even have one that has the ceiling and the walls the same color. Choosing colors is probably going to take you the longest, so consider looking at magazines or model homes or even some of the sample books at your local hardware store for pleasing color combinations. If the ceiling is not whiteóor maybe it is but looks dullógive it a fresh coat of semi-gloss white paint. Remove the AC vents and fan vents and ceiling lights before you paint. 

Most people just put those back up as they did not realize that you can replace them for a little more money, or you can buy a couple of cans of white gloss spray paint and paint them. Even if they are plastic, there is spray paint designed for plastic that works great. If you do not refurbish them, they are going to look ugly next to the new paint. Remove all of the plug covers and tape over the plugs with painterís tape before you paint the walls. Now if you are ambitious, you can paint the cabinets. This takes a little more time because you are probably going to need to sand them before you paint them. A lovely satin finish gives cabinets a modern glow. 

Change switch plates and outlet covers.

In a bathroom, most electrical covers need replacing before you put them back up. There are a host of different cover plate styles available depending on your budget but just replacing the standard style with new white ones (least expensive) gives a great fresh look. Now if you are handy with electrical work or have a friend that is, you could replace the actual plugs from round to the square, completely updating the look. If you hire an electrician to change out your plugs, now is an excellent time to put in a GFI (ground fault interrupter plug) for safety. 

Faucets and light figures.

The most dramatic features that you can quickly change in a bathroom are faucets and lighting fixtures. Changing these for something new and bright makes it feel like an entirely new place. Faucets are easily replaced and come in a wide range of styles and prices. A new spigot, even atop the same sink and counter-top, feels like it is all new. 

Lighting changes the entire room. If you can find a light fixture that fits your style, it is usually a simple change. But please remember to turn off the electrical breaker switch for the bathroom before you remove the old light. It would be wise to remove your existing light fixtures before you paint because the new light fixture might not cover the same place. Also, consider putting LED bulbs in the new light fixtures. Depending on the ďcolorĒ you choose (daylight, bright white, etc.) the feel can be much different from traditional bulbs. 

One final suggestion for your lighting: You can replace the light switch with a dimmer switch. Dimmers make a significant change to the bathroom. Now you can set mood lightingóthink spa level or movie star dressing roomóthat once again makes it feels like a different space. Remember, if you choose to install the dimmer switch, you must make sure you use the LED bulbs rated as dimmer bulbs. There are two kinds of LEDs, some that are dimmable and some that cannot. Look for markings on dimmable bulb packages.

Check with your personal real estate agent to see if certain color combinations or fixture metals are trending in your area. Now you have a new looking bathroom, without major reconstruction and all of the mess. Enjoy!







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