Mark Galante's Blog
Home improvements are a great way to add value to your home if you’re hoping to sell in the near future. The problem is, however, that many home improvements are costly and time-consuming. And, if you don’t plan carefully, they could even cost more than the amount of value you add to the home.
The good news is that there are several home improvement projects that will cost you less than $100 and won’t uproot your life in the meantime.
In this article, we’re going to give you five home improvements, all under $100, that can add value to your home. That way when you do decide to sell, you won’t have to scramble to make updates. Read on for the list.
1. Add a fresh coat of paint to your trim and baseboards (Cost: $75 - $100)
Trim and baseboards fall prey to getting kicked and covered in dust and cobwebs over the years. Adding a fresh coat of white paint will make an entire room feel new.
2. Improve your lighting (Cost: ~$50)
Bright lights help to make the rooms of your home feel more spacious. If you can’t increase the natural light of a room, bright, LEDs are the next best alternative.
The cost of LEDs is constantly decreasing, and they’re becoming more energy-efficient as well. To really get the most value out of your budget, use different color temperatures depending on the mood of the room (warm for bedrooms, bright white for bathrooms, etc.).
3. Add a burst of color to your front door (Cost: ~$20)
It can be difficult to increase curb appeal on a tight budget. One way to do so is to repaint your door a bright color that stands out but still fits with the style of your home.
4.Install a new shower head (Cost: $80 - $100)
Adding a new shower head to the main bathroom is a great way to add a bit of luxury to the room. While many stainless steel shower heads cost around $200, there are several chrome options that look just as nice and cost half the price.
5.Upgrade your hardware (Cost: $50 - $80)
Replacing your kitchen cabinets is an expensive endeavor. However, you can easily revamp your existing cabinets by replacing their hardware. Add a fresh coat of paint and they’ll look brand new.
Outside the kitchen, you can also update towel racks, bathroom drawer knobs, coat hooks, and other outdated hardware. Using a consisted, dark color throughout the home is a good way to give your house a theme and a sense of continuity.
With these five simple upgrades, you can increase the value of your home, boost your curb appeal, and avoid breaking the bank at the same time.
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Hanging baskets add personal enjoyment as well as curb appeal to any home. If you're the creative type, you may prefer to make your own rather than purchase ready-made hanging baskets from home and garden retailers. However, DIY hanging baskets sometimes fail to thrive. The following tips and tricks help ensure that your baskets look and perform their best from spring through fall.
Choose Plants According to Sun/Shade Requirements
Sun-loving plants such as petunias languish and eventually fail to even bloom if placed in areas that don't meet their sun requirements, while shade-lovers such as impatiens and fuchsia may literally burn up if they're exposed to hours of hot sun on a regular basis.
If the sun requirements aren't listed on the tag that comes with the plant, check online or in your favorite encyclopedia-style gardening book and make sure that you select appropriate locations for your baskets. Also, keep in mind that varieties that thrive in shaded locations often do quite well in morning sun
Choose Plants That Bloom All Season
Most annual plants bloom from spring or early summer until frost, so stick with them rather than using perennials for your hanging baskets. You'll have to replace them every spring, but that helps keep things interesting and fun.
Pick Off Spent Blooms
When flowers go to seed, that sends a signal to the plant that it's time to start slowing down on the blooming process and focus its energy on seed production. Picking off spent blooms, or deadheading, helps fools the plant into continuing to produce flowers. Some annual varieties, such as Wave petunias, have been bred to keep producing even after individual blossoms go to seed, so these make good choices for busy homeowners who may not have time to pay meticulous attention to their hanging baskets.
Use Potting Soil Designed to Retain Water
Plants growing in hanging baskets require more watering than their counterparts growing in cultivated flower beds because their roots can't reach down deep to access water sources. Using a potting soil designed to retain water helps hedge their bets against drying out before you can get a chance to water them.
Use Potting Soil With a Slow-Release Fertilizer
Fertilizing hanging baskets with traditional products is tricky — if you apply too much, you run the risk of damaging or even killing the plants, and if you use too little, the fertilizer won't provide the desired benefits. Using potting soil that's infused with a slow-release fertilizer circumvents both of these problems.
Making your own hanging baskets not only saves you a bit of money at the home and garden center, it also helps you avoid the mass-produced look of the majority of ready-made hanging baskets.
A home showing may play a key role in your ability to sell your house. If a showing is successful, a buyer may submit an offer in the hours or days that follow. On the other hand, if a home fails to impress during a showing, a buyer likely will continue to search for the perfect residence.
It can be easy to ensure that a home showing is successful. Now, let's take a look at three steps that home sellers can follow to increase the likelihood of a successful showing.
1. Clean Your Home
A neat, tidy home is likely to make a positive first impression on potential buyers. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your home from top to bottom prior to a showing.
Mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and perform assorted home exterior maintenance. That way, you can instantly boost your house's curb appeal.
Also, wipe down countertops, vacuum carpets and complete various home interior maintenance. By doing so, you can guarantee that potential buyers will like what they see as soon as they walk through your home's front door.
2. Remove Personal Belongings
The goal of a home showing is to help a potential buyer envision what life would be like if he or she purchases your house. As such, you'll want to take down artwork, photographs and any other personal belongings before a home showing. Because if you keep these items on display, it may be tough for a buyer to picture himself or herself as the owner of your home.
Don't forget to eliminate as much clutter from your home as possible too. If you put excess items in storage or sell or donate these items, you can cut down on clutter and show off the true size of your residence.
3. Be Flexible
After you perform extensive home interior and exterior cleaning and remove myriad personal belongings from your residence, it may be only a matter of time before a home showing is scheduled. If you remain flexible, you can boost your chances of hosting as many home showings as possible.
There is no telling when a prospective buyer will want to check out your residence. Thus, if you maintain your flexibility, you'll be ready to leave your house at a moment's notice to accommodate a buyer's request for a showing.
After a home showing, you may receive buyer feedback as well. If a buyer leaves negative feedback about your residence, there is no need to worry. Use this feedback to identify and address problem areas in your house, and you can guarantee that future home showings hit the mark with buyers.
Lastly, if often helps to work with an expert real estate agent when you sell your house. This housing market professional is happy to help you get ready for a home showing and will offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent can help you get the best possible results throughout the home selling process.
There are many fees and costs you’ll encounter as a homeowner. From closing costs that are due when first purchasing your home to your mortgage payment and property taxes, keeping up with these expenses is essential. But if you’re a homeowner that didn’t pay your property taxes, you’re at risk of losing your home in a tax sale. Keep reading to learn more about property tax liens and what to do if you have lost your property in this type of sale.
What is a Tax Lien?
If you fail to pay your property taxes or other municipal fees associated with your property like sewage or water bills, any past-due amount that you owe can become a lien on your home. Each state has its own laws regarding property tax liens but generally, if you have a lien on your home, the local government can sell the property to collect any monies owed.
Can I Save My Home After a Tax Sale?
Tax sales are a serious matter but there may be a few different options available to you to help save your home. It is possible to reclaim your home following a tax deed sale by setting aside the sale or redeeming it. Many jurisdictions offer a right of redemption that is available after the tax sale. TO redeem your property, you are required to reimburse the total amount paid at the sale, plus any interest to the purchaser. This must be done within a certain time frame, called the “redemption period,” which typically lasts from 1 to 3 years. Additionally, you may be able to redeem the property before the start of a sale.
If you are unable to redeem the property, you may be able to invalidate or set aside the tax sale. This can be accomplished in a few ways, including:
- Providing proof that there were defects in the tax lien
- Identifying defects in the tax sale process
- Proof that the tax in question was not owed or had been paid in full
- Offering a good reason as to why the neglected fees were not paid
Should I Hire an Attorney?
If you are in a situation where a sale is imminent, or you’re exploring your legal options following a tax lien sale, you should consider working with an experienced attorney. Seeking legal counsel from a knowledgeable foreclosure attorney, tax attorney or real estate attorney may be able to stop or reverse a tax lien sale and help you to maintain ownership of your home.