Stephanie McGowan's Blog
One question you may often have in your home is when will be the right time to renovate things? The kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house. You may wonder how often you need to make updates to your kitchen. If your kitchen is 30 years old or more, it’s almost a sure bet that you’ll need to renovate. There’s some other sure signs that a kitchen needs some updating. Whether you’re getting ready to sell your home in the future, or you just want your home to be in the present, there’s a few signs it needs updating:
The Kitchen Was Designed For One Cook
If your kitchen was built before a certain year, it’s a good bet that it was designed for only one chef. The kitchen is probably separate from the dining quarters as well. In the present day, couples often cook together. The dining and kitchen areas are also often one in the same.
Your Appliances Are Old
Newer kitchen appliances are much more energy efficient and can do a lot more than their older counterparts. Anyone who is searching for a home would relish the idea of saving money on utility bills and knowing that reliable appliances are already present in the home. There’s no need to spend money in the immediate future on replacing appliances for anyone who buys the home. New kitchen appliances that are a must:
- Microwaves that serve as a vent hood or second oven
- Energy Star refrigerators that dispense water and ice
- Under-cabinet units
- Flat screen TV mounts
The Kitchen Isn’t Very Functional
Of course you use your kitchen to cook in, but it’s important that a kitchen functions well. The better designed a kitchen, the easier it is to clean and cook. Newer kitchen are also more likely to be environmentally friendly which is good for everyone. This functionality also goes along with the countertop material. Today, people look for easy to clean counter surfaces including stones like granite and quartz. The storage in the kitchen also should be more functional with easy access and streamlined, pull-out drawers.
Your Kitchen Looks Like Something Out Of History Books
If your kitchen is looking similar to that of what you’d see in a classic home design book, you might want to get on the task of updating it as soon as possible. Even if you can’t overhaul the layout of the room, you’ll want to make updates that bring the kitchen into the 21st century. These include countertops, floors, the sink, and the cabinets. Anything major in the room should be updated to keep it from looking dated.
Whether you have set some money aside for renovations, or plan on refinancing your home, it’s a good investment to update the kitchen because the return is certain.
A home showing can make or break your chances of selling your house. Therefore, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure that each home showing is a success.
Ultimately, there are several best practices for home showings that every home seller needs to know, and these practices include:
1. Clean and Declutter Your House
A tidy home is sure to garner homebuyers' attention. Comparatively, a messy house is unlikely to do you any favors in a competitive real estate market.
Allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your house. Mop the floors, wipe down the walls and perform assorted home interior cleaning. Also, don't forget to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and ensure your house's exterior looks great.
In addition, eliminate clutter from your home as soon as possible. By doing so, you can show off the true size of your living space to potential buyers.
2. Remove Personal Belongings from Your Home
Although you may have many personal photographs and other treasured mementos scattered throughout your house, you should put these items away before a home showing. That way, you can make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they purchase your house.
When it comes to personal belongings, it sometimes can be tough to hide these items. However, if you store your personal belongings properly, you can guarantee these items will maintain their quality and appearance until you sell your house.
Pack up any treasured belongings carefully. Then, you can put these items in a storage unit for safe keeping. Or, if a family member or friend has storage space to spare, you can always ask a loved one to store your personal belongings temporarily.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to host a successful home showing, you're not alone. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals know what it takes to transform an ordinary home showing into an unforgettable experience.
A real estate agent can offer expert recommendations to help you get your house show-ready. In fact, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best home cleaning companies in your area. He or she also is unafraid to be honest and will share any home interior or exterior concerns with you.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will teach you about the real estate market. He or she can educate you about the differences between a buyer's and seller's market, respond to your home selling concerns and questions and much more. Thus, if you work with a real estate agent, you should have no trouble making informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.
Take the guesswork out of prepping your house for a showing – use the aforementioned best practices, and you can improve the look and feel of your house in no time at all.
When you’re showing your home, you need to stage the home properly to impress buyers. Buyers need to be able to get an idea of what it would be like to live in the home. No matter what your own lifestyle is, or what problems you have had in the home, there are certain things that you probably don’t want to share with anyone who could be a potential buyer on a walk through.
Any Kind Of Taxidermy
Although you may enjoy hunting and taxidermy, there are few things that creep out potential buyers more than seeing animals that were formerly alive hanging on your wall. It’s been shown that taxidermy often gives buyers a sense of dread and can creep them out. Yes, that bear rug may be comfy and quite the accomplishment, but not everyone will share the same sentiment as you. Be sure to get all of these animal displays out of your home when you’re getting ready to sell it and show the property.
Personal Collections That May Be A Bit On The Strange Side
It’s really cool if you want to collect dolls, clowns, or have some kind of a celebrity shrine in your home. It’s cool for you, that is. Keep these items to yourself, especially when the home is going to be shown. Any room that could be considered too full of any one kind of item should be redecorated slightly before a home showing.
Weapons are on the same spectrum as taxidermy. Many people may have differing opinions with you on the subject and it could creep some buyers out. If you have any kinds of guns or knives displayed in your home, you should put them away for showings. These items can make buyers feel very uncomfortable and leave them turned off by your home.
If you like to get political, know that many people who are potentially going to buy your home probably don’t share your views or interests. Keep any politically charged signs and organizational symbols out of view for the showing of your home. Buyers may not be able to relate, and in turn, end up being turned off by your home.
Bug Traps Or Mouse Traps
We all have experienced bugs or mice in our homes at one time or another. When the house goes up for sale, you don’t want to advertise this by keeping any kinds of traps in view of buyers. People will get creeped out easily by the thought that pests have infested the home at some point. Although the home inspection will probably note that there was some type of a pest problem in the home, you don’t want to lose potential buyers because a mouse trap was in view.
Walls and carpetsIt can be off-putting when you go and view a home and the walls are covered in antiquated wallpaper or painted a color you can't stomach. It can also be hard to ignore, since the walls make up such a large, visible portion of the house. Instead, try to envision the room with the walls painted the colors you would use. If a home has a carpet that looks straight out of the 70s it can definitely be a distraction and give you trepidations about the house. However, just like walls, this is a relatively simple fix if you have the budget for it. Imagine how the room would look with hardwood floors, tile, or a carpet that's more to your liking.
An unkempt yardThe first thing you see when arriving at a house is the yard and driveway. Maybe the grass hasn't been mown in a while, the mulch is looking faded and there are weeds growing up along the walkway. These are all aesthetic problems that can be easily and, if planned correctly, inexpensively fixed. A good rule is to determine if the parts of the yard you dislike can be cleaned up in a few afternoons or if they would require a lot of time and money.
It feels like someone else's homeViewing a home can be awkward. If the seller still lives in the home you might feel like you're intruding. In some cases, they could even be at home while you're viewing the house. As you walk through the home, be sure to remind yourself that if you lived here the picture frames would have your family photos in them instead. Similarly, if the seller has (to put it nicely) a "different" taste in decoration it can seem distracting and off putting. Fortunately, they'll have to take all their decorations with them when they move--even that wall mounted deer head in the living room.
Decide based on these factors insteadNow that we've talked about the things to ignore, here are the details you should look for when shopping for a new home.
- Size. The size of the home, the rooms, the yard, and the driveway will all be a huge factor in your decision.
- Architecture. Take note of how the home was built and if there are certain architectural aspects that you love or hate.
- Windows and lighting. Natural lighting is an oft overlooked feature that really enhances the atmosphere of a home.
- Plumbing and electrical. Make sure you're happy with the condition of the home's HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems because these will be time consuming and expensive upgrades.
- Kitchen and bathroom features. Look for a home that has the kitchen and bathroom design elements you love, the space you need, and the features you desire (appliances, shower type, sink type, etc.)