Killer Advice For First-Time Sellers



Millennials don’t have it easy. Sadly, there has never been a worse time to get on the property ladder. Let me rephrase that – there’s never been a more difficult time. Property values are at an all-time high and buyers have to think outside of the box to win. Maybe that’s one reason this Beach Lady post has been popular of late.


Buying isn’t the only issue; selling is tricky too. Experts tend to gloss over this fact and concentrate on buying because everyone wants on the ladder. But, it’s important to remember it is a ladder and you must sell to move further up the rungs.


Here’s the advice that can help.


Realtor Roulette


There are almost as many real estate agents on the market as there are attorneys. Picking one is tough if you have no idea what to look for in a professional. Plenty of cowboys can appear legitimate, which is what makes it a lottery in some respects. Thankfully, you’re the lucky type and are about to win big. To hedge your bets, use trusted sources for recommendations, from friends to family to work colleagues. Also, hone in on their personality. Don’t choose the person who is hell-bent on a sale. Go with the one that is driven but flexible as these tend not to give bad advice.


The Price Is Right?


It’s a question because lots of sellers aren’t sure how to value their home. And, even a world-class realtor won’t be able to help if the price is wrong. The agent will be able to provide advice, advice that you should consider. After all, he/she is an expert. Plus, the property itself will shed light on the right amount. Three bedrooms and a garage will get more than a two bedroom house, for example. Probably the best cheat is to evaluate properties in the area. Are they similar to your home? What is valuation? If they aren’t selling, then maybe think about dropping the price.


Bob The Builder


On a major scale, there is nothing wrong with the building whatsoever. It can do with a few quick repairs, but they are small things that are easy to deal with for buyers. Sorry, but this attitude doesn’t fly. Yes, a bidder can hire John McCarter Construction to whip the property into shape beforehand, but they won’t. Instead, they’ll bounce and look elsewhere. The reason is simple: they expect you to do the heavy lifting. If there is work to do, the seller should contact JMC and ask for a quote. They are going to pay thousands of dollars and want value for their money, which means an immaculate home.


Some Like It Hot


Selling is like taking a vacation – there is a peak season. It varies depending on the community, but it is usually in the summertime. The weather is excellent, the house gleams, and everyone is in a great mood. Compare this to the winter and it’s the opposite. So, choosing the right month as well as the perfect day is essential. If you’re unsure, The Balance has inspiration.


Are you a first-time seller? How do you plan to get over this hurdle?

Is It Time For A Complete Spruce?


How do you feel about your home right now? Whether you’ve just recently moved into a new place, or you’ve been in your house for awhile, you may be feeling a bit of a renovation coming on. It’s so easy to get swept up in the everyday process of living your life. Getting up, going to work, looking after the kids, trying to have some kind of a social life – and you tend to get comfortable with that. However, this also means that you don’t always get around to the things that you want to do. And this is often the case when it comes to renovation work. A lot of the time, you’ll find that you wait to do a spruce until you experience home issues and then you have to do it!


But wouldn’t it be nice to just take the bull by the horns and go all in with the renovation? If you have always wanted to do some renovation work, maybe now’s the time to make it happen. Maybe your interiors are looking a little shabby? Or maybe you’ve moved into a new place that really does need some work and you want to get to it before you get too comfortable and start to put it off? Well, when this is the case, you’re going to really want to get started. If you feel overwhelmed and you don’t know where to begin, here are ten different options to inspire you.


  1. Consider Extending


First of all, you’re going to want to work out whether or not you want to extend. Well, actually, the first step to take on this matter is to figure out whether you can actually extend. Because you need to have room around the side or rear of your property. If you do have the space and you want to get some extra room, then this is your first plan to put in place. Just make sure you decide whether you want to do a single story extension or double. Get your architect or contractor to work out the specifics and cost differences here.


  1. Consider Converting


But that’s not all, you may also want to consider any of the unused spaces in your home. From your basement and waterproofing it with, to your attic and converting it into a livable space, there’s a lot you can do. And don’t forget your garage. If you want to add it on as more living space, then build a freestanding garage, now’s the time.


  1. Strip The Place


At the same time, you’ll then want to ensure that you’re stripping the place bare while making these decisions. If there’s wallpaper and flooring in the place, it will all need to go. You’ll also want to ensure that you’re taking out the bathroom and kitchen, so that you’ve effectively got a shell to work with.


  1. Consider Your Theme


With a blank canvas, and before any of the work begins, you’ll want to ensure that you’re coming up with the theme of your decor. To do this, take a look at the different interior design styles that could work out for you. Make sure that you’re picking something that suits with your tastes and the style of home.


  1. Let The Building Work Begin


Now it’s time for the work to begin. When you’ve made the decisions and your architect has drawn up the designs for you, you then need to pick a contractor that you trust. Don’t always go on price. If you get a good feeling about one contractor and you think they get what you’re trying to achieve, go with them. And then, the bulk of the building work can begin.


  1. Decide On A Designer Or DIY


As the work is underway, or even before this part begins, you’ll want to consider whether you want to hire a designer, or you’re going to do it all yourself. If you’re not too sure right now, then these points on may help you to decide. Of course, a designer costs, but if you’re not so great at this yourself, it will be worth every penny.


  1. Choose Your Fittings


From here, you’re then going to want to pick out your important fittings. Here, we’re talking the kitchen and bathroom designs, but also things like the doors, windows, trimmings, and fireplaces. Anything that the contractors will need to work in place during their renovation process needs to be ironed out way before they get there. And you may need to allow time for delivery, so make your decisions ASAP.


  1. Paint & Lay Flooring


Your next job is picking out the paint and flooring choices too. Because as you have things like your kitchen and bathroom going in, you’ll need to have everything from your tiles to flooring to paint colors all up on the walls and floor. As tough of a decision this is, just make sure that you’re really thinking things over, consulting color trends, and going with your gut to make the right decisions.


  1. Get The Garden Together


Then it’s time to consider what you’re going to do with the outside space. This is something that can only start when all of the interior building work is complete. However, you can still work with a designer on what you want to achieve using ideas like to help you. Things like your patio area can often be made by your contractor, so again, it’s good to get in early here. Then you can work on the planting and landscaping when everything is finished.


  1. Add The Finishing Touches


Finally, you’re then going to want to go in with all of the finishing touches. And this can often be the hardest part. Because it’s your accessories and styling that can really create the perfect look. This is the point that hiring a designer always pays off. Because there expert eye can turn a boring blank space into something quite special.


Turning Your Bedroom into a Sleep Sanctuary

Have you ever noticed how some bedrooms seem to have the most relaxing atmospheres? Sometimes it is big glamorous bedrooms on movies, or on reality TV shows, or it might just be the last hotel bedroom that you stayed in. Colours have a lot of impact on where we are mentally. Some colours are bright, designed to shock the system, and others want to tap into your zen mode. That is why is it so important when you are planning your bedroom or maybe trying to find a better balance that you start with the colours.


Firstly, think about the vibe you are trying to create and what suits your personality. There is very little point settling on something that in a few weeks is either too light or too dark. The bedroom needs to be something that envelops you when you walk in, think of it as your in-home sanctuary. Keeping it clean is essential, being surrounded by dust, wrappers, clothing tags or even bed bugs is going to ruin anything you create.


While it might be tempting to stick to blues, because they are touted as the calmest and most cooling colour, that isn’t the be-all and end-all in bedroom design. After all the bedroom is much more than just a place you rest your head, it’s a place for getting ready, a place for reading or relaxing; some people watch telly and others spend time with their partners – whatever it is you do, it is likely more than just taking a nightly snooze.


How does this all work? Well, we have something called ganglion cells in the retina part of our eyes, and these receptors feed information to our brains. Our brains control our 2-hour rhythms and impact how we feel and perform during that time. The reactions sent between sleeping, waking up and daytime is very important. And, while it’s true that the ganglion receptors are more sensitive to blue, other colours have a similar effect.


So, let’s talk about colour combinations:


Blues, whites, and browns. After everything we just said about blue (and the other options available), we’d be remiss not to include it. Keeping the walls white keeps the room light and clean, even on dark days. Using blue accents like rugs, wall hangings, bed covers, and cushions. Where does the brown come in? Dark brown flooring. Carpet it likely to kill the vibe in this one, so you’re ideally looking at real or faux wood floorings. The perk isn’t easier to keep clean and looks much sleeker. Add a few dark wood pieces to your furniture, and you’ll have a perfectly pretty bedroom in no time.

Photo by kaori aoshim on Unsplash


Naturals. Colours like white, cream and soft pinks. It is kind of like unwinding inside an egg. The clean, soft palette can leave towards luxury or relaxation – depending on what textiles you are using. Faux fur throws, silk pillow covers, and some peonies will lead you down the more lux path. If you want some whimsical softness, have voile coverings draped softly across your windows, some fairy lights wrapped around a chair in the corner and a mix of light fabrics like linen and heavier fabrics like chenille or soft wools for throws and cushions.


Yellow toned heaven. You need to be careful with this one; softer yellow tones are up there with blue in terms of what it does for your brain waves. However, if you lean too much towards gold, you’re going to be losing precious hours. Yellow tones throughout a more neutral toned room or combined with blues will give maximum snooze potential. Yellow is generally associated with happiness and joy, so it should have a firm place in the bedroom.


There is a theme with the colours that seem to have the most relaxing potential, perhaps you’ve noticed? They are the colours that you will find more often in nature – blue skies and seas, yellow tones for flowers and the sun, and greens. Green is very soft on the eye. Unsurprisingly (as a combination of blue and yellow) it takes traits from both. It has the cheery nature of yellow, with the relaxing undertones of blue. It is not often that you will find it in the bedroom. However, it is believed that it holds a lot of stress relieving properties and will play a massive part in helping people relax.


It isn’t all about the colour though; it’s about how the room feels. Without the correct design and textural features, you can still be left feeling less than sleepy. So what textures should you be introducing into the bedroom?


Most obviously perhaps, is adding texture with textiles. Adding pillows, pieces of fabric draped over chairs, linen bedding and even burlap. Faux sheepskin has long been a staple of the IKEA masses and works really well with every colour scheme.


Rugs. How many times have you heard “a rug will tie the room together,” probably plenty? Some rooms pivot on that space on the floor. You can place small pops of colour around an entire room, and then find a rug to compliment and tie in all the mini pops. Not overly expensive and indeed a useful design trick.


Greenery. No one is asking you to suddenly turn into Alan Titchmarsh but adding some plants to the room is an excellent idea. Not only do they purify the area, giving you cleaner air in your bedroom, but the naturally improve your mood – so for a bedroom, you can’t ask for more.


Where would we be without books? Well, not only are they great for actually reading, but they work as a design feature too. You can get creative and buy a range of books in the same shade, or perhaps you can line them up like a rainbow. Books tend to make a room look warmer and cosier.


Between great colour choices, adding in some tactile textures and treating the space like a little piece of heaven you can create a gorgeous bedroom in no time.

Photo by Melissa Poole on Unsplash

Tackle These Home Problems ASAP

There are some problems at home that you just shouldn’t let go. While some issues can wait for a few weeks or even months without much impact, other problems will just get worse and worse. If you ignore them, they could end up causing major damage to your home. Even something that might not seem that bad, like blocked gutters, can lead to bigger issues if you don’t take care of them as soon as you can. If you want to protect your home, you need to know what to fix as soon as you can. Here are some of the top problems that might need an expert to help you out.


Damp and Mold


Damp in your home can lead to mold. These issues could not only cause structural problems in your home but could also be unhealthy too. If you have problems with mold in your home, it can cause issues with breathing, especially if you have asthma, allergies or another respiratory condition. It can also affect your skin, causing dermatitis. If you notice any damp or mold, you need a contractor who can sort it out for you as soon as possible. The faster you fix it, the easier and less costly will be to deal with it.


Clogged Gutters


Clogged gutters might not seem like a big problem. Overflowing gutters are annoying, but you might think the issue isn’t worse than that. However, if you don’t clear them out, they could cause huge issues. If your gutters aren’t draining water properly, it could have a knock-on effect for your roof and the exterior of your home. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to clean or even repair your gutters on your own. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can just as easily hire someone to do it for you.

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Pests in Your Home


You often hear pests before you see them. You know they’re there, but you’re not sure what they are or even exactly where they are. Some pests might only be annoying, but others can pose a health risk or destroy your home. From mice to termites, you should try to get rid of pests as soon as you can. There are different methods to choose from, depending on whether you want to try and take a humane path or perhaps you’re looking for a more eco-friendly way to get rid of pests. You can try it yourself first, but a professional might be necessary.


Peeling or Deteriorating Caulk


Caulk helps to protect your doors and windows outside, and your kitchen and bathroom indoors. It keeps out moisture and helps to insulate your home too. If it starts to peel it might not have any effect at first, but it can quickly become worse. If water gets into places where you don’t want it to be, it could lead to mold, rotting and other problems.


Take care of these home issues if you don’t want them to get worse. They could cause expensive damage to your home.

Homes Through The Ages: Which Type Is Right For You?

As you age, the home you live in should change. This is important for personal, financial and even physical needs. The wrong home at a certain age will impact your health while choosing the wrong type of property at another age could cripple you financially. So, let’s look at where you should be living at age stage in your life and why this is the best and brightest decision.


Twenty To Thirty: Living A Friends Kind Of Life

It Won’t Look Quite Like This


Ideally, you should be looking to live in an apartment between twenty and thirty. There are various reasons for this but let’s start with the financial benefits. Living in an apartment will ensure that you have a better chance to afford it. It’s far easier to pay off a fifty thousand apartment compared with a 200K home. This means that you are less likely to end up in a debt trap because you bought that three bedroom house far too early when your paycheck simply couldn’t cover the cost.


Don’t forget that tax and energy bills are also incredibly expensive for a house, at least in comparison to an apartment. For instance, you buy an apartment on a middle floor, you won’t need the heating on in your flat as much because heat will be rising from the properties below you.


There’s another financial benefit too. With this type of property, you can avoid issues with repairs, particularly if you are renting. Once you buy a home, you will have to pay for any repairs that you complete. The beauty of buying an apartment is that the building owner will be responsible for at least some of the repairs and need to pay a certain amount of the cost. Particularly, if the issue was caused by a fault in the building.


As well as this, you can consider renting and dodge repair costs completely. There’s another reason why renting an apartment is a smart choice at this age though and that brings us to personal benefits.


When you rent an apartment, you’re not tied down at all. You’ll be able to move on whenever you want which is great because job security at this age is rare. You need to be able to move for a job without having to worry about selling your property first.


On top of that, there are other personal perks. Young people won’t often be living in houses because they can’t afford them. Instead, you’ll find them in apartments. So, if you want to live close to people in your age group an apartment really is the best possibility. And hey, if the elevator breaks down, at least you’ll squeeze your morning work out in for the day.


Thirty To Sixty: A Comfortable Middle Age

Welcome To Suburbia


As you get older, you’ll be looking for a place to settle down. This is when you want to think about purchasing your first home. You can move to a larger place after a couple of years because hopefully during this time, your income will be rising so you’ll be able to afford it. You’ll also be building up your savings making that deposit more manageable and you should be keeping a check on your credit score. Buying now is the right time because it gives you the stability that you need and you will probably be in the position where you can afford it. This is also the time where you’ll have settled with a partner typically, once again making the cost more manageable.


You won’t be moving around anymore either. Once you reach this age, it’s likely that you’ll be fairly set on where you want to be and what you want to do for a career. This won’t be true for everyone but for the majority, at this point you will have chosen your path so it makes sense to put down roots.


You might also be thinking about having kids. If that’s the case, you need to make sure that you have enough space for them to grow and play comfortably in an area that you feel comfortable they’ll be safe. New build plans in fresh developments are perfect for this with the large gardens that new couples and small families will love.


The other benefit of buying a home is that it gives you finance power to upsize when you want to. You’ll be able to buy a bigger home with even more space, potentially for a growing family. You should probably start looking at this around forty or forty-five and that’s the place where you’ll spend most of your life. This will be your final family home and it will probably be in the suburbs or even a rural area.


Sixty Onwards: An Easy Retirement

Give Your Aching Knees A Rest


Finally, when you hit sixty, you’ll be reaching the stage where, if you had kids, they’ll be moving out and onto their life. If you didn’t have kids, it’s still time to make another move. This time, you should be looking for a bungalow and this can be a move after retirement or before it. The key factor to consider is that you need to be in good enough health to handle the move.


Don’t forget, moving home can be quite stressful and you don’t want to put this off until too late. Anytime around sixty is the right point for this type of change. The main reason for a bungalow is health purposes. It’s about making sure that you don’t risk slipping or falling down the stairs. Once you get to this age the body takes longer to heal and you are more at risk of complications.


As well as this, your income will be more limited so it makes sense to downsize to somewhere a little smaller that is more affordable and comfortable. You might even consider returning to an apartment, particularly if your keen to get an extra level of security that a shared building provides. Moving back to the city can also ensure that you remain sociable even as you age.


We hope these stages of homes help you choose the right type for you, regardless of your current point in life.

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