Does the Property Meet the “Lifestyle Test”
Lifestyle is a very important criterion when you’re shopping for a new home. After all, a home and its surrounding neighborhood are the places where much of your lifestyle is going to be experienced.
So when you consider a new home, think about the kind of lifestyle to which the property needs to lend itself. Ask yourself:
- How much entertaining do we do?
- How important is it to have good schools located nearby?
- How long will the commute to work be?
- How big of a backyard do we require?
- Do we need a rec room?
- How easy will it be to get to golfing, dance lessons, baseball practices, movies and other activities my family and I enjoy?
- How important is it to be in a quiet area?
- Do we want a local park nearby for jogging, playing with the kids, and walking the dog?
This list is just an example. Ideally, you’ll create your own list of questions to ask yourself when considering a particular home and neighborhood.
Surprising Secrets of Successful Home Staging
“Staging” is about setting up and decorating each room of your home so that it looks as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Studies show that a property is more likely to sell quickly and for a better price if it is effectively staged.
Even if you haven’t heard of staging before, you probably already know the basics, such as eliminating clutter and making sure everything is clean and “guest ready”. However, there are also some home staging “secrets” staging professionals use that you may not know. Here are a few examples:
Increase horizontal surface space. Make sure desks, countertops, coffee tables, end tables, etc. are as free of items as possible. Give the impression that there’s lots of room available on horizontal surfaces.
Flowers. Fresh flowers or flowering plants placed in a couple of rooms, such as the kitchen and living room, can have a dramatic impact on how inviting that room looks. Just don’t overdo it.
Don’t be daring when you paint. You may love the idea of a bright yellow and green combination in the family room, but not everyone will share your daring sense of style. If you paint, stick to neutral colors.
Less is more. Be brutally honest about the amount of furniture you have in each room – including wall hangings. Is there a desk, side table or other piece you can put away in storage? Think about ways to make each room more spacious. Space is king!
Ultimately, the best staging advice is to use your common sense. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer as you walk through your home. Ask yourself, “What changes will make this room even more attractive?”
Know Your Smoke Detectors
For most people, smoke detectors are simply taken for granted. But, when it’s time to replace your smoke detectors, be sure to understand the differences between the two main types.
Ionization types use a battery to create a small current that charges the ion particles inside the detector. If that current is disrupted by smoke, an alarm is triggered. Though they are designed to detect all types of smoke, they tend to be more sensitive to smoke from fast-flaming fires, such as those that might occur in a kitchen. Another type is a photoelectric detector, which powers a small beam of light that, when broken by smoke, will sound an alarm. This type tends to be more sensitive to smoke from a smoldering fire, such as a burning cigarette on upholstery.
To be safe, homeowners are advised to use both types of detectors in their homes because no one can predict the type of fire that may break out, nor where it might start. Locate them strategically based on the type. Also, be sure your units are tested regularly, and their batteries are changed bi-annually.