Making Your Home Renovations Count

renovationsBefore putting your home on the market, you want to make all your home renovations count. Dean Graziosi has provided some tips to help you know which ones will help it sell.

Begin by assessing your home both inside and out. There may be changes you will be required to make. For example, plumbing or electrical issues will need to be repaired before the house is actually for sale, and sometimes it is necessary to replace the roof or flooring. There are some, however, that may not be necessary, but will help sell your home. The key is to choose wisely so you won’t be out any more money than needed.

The kitchen is among the most important rooms in the home. Kitchens are where a lot of activity takes place. People tend to spend a lot of time in this room, so make it count. Update any appliances that are no longer working properly or are not energy efficient. Home buyers of today look for energy efficiency, so place this at or near the top of your list. Replace any cabinetry or hardware that is in need of repair. Even the smallest of changes can make a huge difference. If the cabinets themselves don’t need to be replaced, at least consider painting the doors.

Make sure the flooring and countertops are in good shape. Prospective buyers will look at these types of details.

Keep in mind maintenance costs are different from renovations. As an article posted on usnews.com points out, sellers look at things like the replacement of a roof as routine maintenance rather than an actual renovation. Maintenance costs are necessary while renovations may be optional.

Renovate the bathrooms. Replace hardware and flooring is needed. Paint or put on new wallpaper. There’s nothing like a little color to brighten up a room. If your bathrooms are small, go with a color that will make the space feel and appear larger.

Consider finishing the basement. While unfinished basements have a variety of uses, many home buyers of today look for bonus rooms and spaces they can turn into game or media rooms. A finished basement with an additional bedroom and bathroom may also be a selling point because it would work well as in-law quarters.

Consider opening up smaller spaces. Open floor plans are popular these days, so knocking out a wall or two can help sell a home.

As stated above, don’t take on any renovation projects you can’t afford. Take care of the maintenance items first, then move onto the renovations. Tackle the least expensive ones first, then assess how much money you have left over for the others. You can learn more about this and other real estate topics by visiting Dean Graziosi’s website.

Using Your Bonus Room As a Selling Point

bonus roomThere are plenty of selling points to consider when selling a home. Your bonus room can become a very important one because of the sheer number of uses it can take on for various home buyers. As Dean Graziosi points out in a real estate blog post, reinventing space can actually boost the value of your home.

The home buyers of today are looking for usable space they can turn into media rooms, home theaters, and other technology-related areas. Computer rooms and home offices have also become quite important to buyers these days. A home with a great bonus room will have lots of potential when it comes time to sell.

Bonus rooms are often used as dens, dining rooms, playrooms, and game rooms. Some are even converted into sunrooms. As mentioned above, media rooms and home theaters have also become quite popular over the past several years. When selling a home, you want the prospective buyer to invent uses for the bonus room upon viewing the house. This means dismantling your own use of the space and keeping it open for imagination. Remove all items from the bonus room before the property is even shown. This will allow those looking at it the opportunity to picture the space as they would use it instead of seeing it in only one way.

Where the bonus room is located in the home can also make a big difference on how it can be used. If, for example, your house is equipped with a very large basement, this space would probably not work well as a sun room. It could, however, be turned into a game room, home theater, or perhaps even guest quarters. Different people will have varying needs that will determine how they would use the space. Perhaps a prospective buyer is in a band and needs a room for rehearsing. Perhaps the buyer is searching for a home with a small apartment for an in-law. There are literally hundreds of ways to use a bonus room, all of which can help sell a home.

Another great option is converting attic space into a bonus room. Whether the attic is accessed from the garage or through a particular place in the home itself, it can be finished and converted into a bonus room that can take on a number of uses. Again, many people convert the space above the garage into an apartment while others choose to convert the attic accessed from within the home into an extra bedroom. Walk-in attics may be easier to convert because of the way they are built, but the space must still be used wisely. Some buyers may wish to turn the attic into an art studio or even a home office. Attics are a great place for gaining privacy because of where they are located in the home.

As an article posted on sfgate.com notes, adding a bonus room can add value and functionality to your home. Consider this as an option when purchasing your new house and consider it once more before placing your home on the market. You can learn more about this and other topics by visiting Dean Graziosi’s website.

How You Can Prevent Mold from Growing In Your Home

mold

Dean Graziosi states that if you’ve noticed that your basement has developed a musty, damp odor then it has more than likely become a breeding ground for mold.  Mold spores have been proven to cause physical reactions such as a stuffy or runny nose, wheezing, watery and itchy eyes, hives and rashes.  It has also been shown to bring on asthma attacks in those who suffer from asthma.  Because these harmful spores can easily travel to other areas of your homes via a draft or heating duct it is important that you take the necessary precautions and steps to contain and rid your home of mold.

The first thing you should do is to remove any unused items and junk that may have accumulated in your basement.  Throw away or donate any items that you no longer want or need that are in good condition.  If you have any items such as old clothing, newspaper, scrap wood or wood furniture that you believe has been affected by the mold you should throw it away.  Once you have separated the items that you are going to keep from what is going to be recycled or thrown out you should place those items in plastic storage tubs that have tight fitting lids.

Once you have cleared your basement, Mr. Graziosi states that your next step should be to clean all of the surfaces extremely well.  You can ensure that you are cleaning properly by using a solution of TSP and water.  This will get rid of the dirt that mold uses to feed upon.  Once everything has been thoroughly cleaned you should then spray down all of the surfaces with a 50-50 vinegar solution that will kill any existing mold that may still be in your basement.  You should allow this solution to remain on the surfaces for between 5 – 10 minutes which will give it plenty of time to thoroughly penetrate all of the mold.  After the recommended amount of time has passed you should then rinse the surfaces and reapply the solution occasionally to keep the mold from returning.

After you have cleaned the interior foundation and any slab surfaces in your basement with the solution you should now seal all surfaces using paint.  Dean Graziosi recommends that you start with a primer that is designed for use on concrete then apply a semi-gloss latex paint to the walls and floor.  Paint will help keep water vapor out of the basement and make the surfaces easier to clean.  To ensure that all of the work you’ve done continues to keep the mold at bay you also need to control the water and moisture that has been finding its way into your home.  To do this make sure that all of your gutters and downspouts are in proper working condition.  You should also slope the ground surrounding your foundation to keep water from accumulating next to the walls of your basement.  Once you perform these steps you should be mold free and stopping it from creeping back into your home.

Buying a Home With Kids in Mind

Buying a new home is always a major decision, but if you have children or plan to in the future there are additional factors to think of besides budget and number of bedrooms. Be sure to consider the following when looking at homes to accommodate your family.

Layout

While a wide-open layout may seem appealing at first, you should think about your storage needs. Toys, strollers, car seats and other baby gear (not to mention sports equipment and school supplies as your children get older) can take up a lot of space. Be sure that there are plenty of cabinets, closets and other storage spaces that will allow your home to be tidy. A mudroom or large entry way might also be ideal to tuck away shoes and coats. You should also consider the outdoor space. Does the property have a yard for your children to play in? Is it fenced in?

Childproofing

While spiral staircases can be visually appealing, they are also difficult to gate off posing a falling risk. Some aesthetically appealing features of a home are not always as appealing when considering raising a family Think about whether or not you will be able to gate off or isolate less safe areas of the home from your children. Other things that might cause additional concern are large open fireplaces and swimming pools. Try to look at each home from a child’s perspective to see what could be potentially dangerous features of the home. These things may just require extra caution in the event that you purchase the home.

Health Hazards

In addition to the visible dangers in a home there are also some things that cannot be seen. Lead is one cause for concern especially in older homes. Lead paint and lead pipes are the most common sources of lead in a home. While not necessarily a deal breaker it is important to be aware of potential additional costs to remove lead paint or replace piping. Presence of mold and radon are other risk factors that should be considered. Be sure to have a complete home inspection for these toxins that could be particularly detrimental to the health of children.

Location

When buying a home it is important to think about not only the house itself but also the neighborhood. Some questions you might wish to ask your self: Can I easily walk to nearby parks and schools?  Are there other families with children in the area? Am I near any busy streets that could be a potential hazard? Are there sidewalks for my child to walk or ride his or her bike on? Lastly, you might consider contacting the local police department regarding criminal activity in the area.

House hunting is an exciting time for you and your family. If you consider a few additional items you can make sure that your new home will meet all the needs of you and your family for many years to come.