Century 21® http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog Real Estate Blog Thu, 30 Apr 2015 20:59:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.4 Creative Ways to Hide Your Mess http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/creative-ways-to-hide-your-mess/ http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/creative-ways-to-hide-your-mess/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:02:40 +0000 http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/?p=9159 Continue reading Creative Ways to Hide Your Mess]]> You’ll feel happier at home if your home is clean and organized. Unfortunately, there are sometimes unexpected messes like laundry baskets, wires, and oddly placed items. Don’t worry, there are unique and creative ways to hide the clutter and create an even more organized home!

  1. Laundry baskets: Hide your laundry basket in a cabinet, deep drawer, or closet. It’ll make bedrooms look neater, and you won’t have to stare at overflowing baskets before laundry day.
  1. Wires: No one likes looking at a mess of tangled wires. Hide them in a decorative box! Tip: Do this simple DIY by Sweet Sanity.
  1. Printers: If you have a printer or scanner that is bulky and doesn’t have a proper place in the home, find a drawer to keep it in. Simply remove a few hinges from the drawer and “voila,” it’s hidden! Tip: Do this DIY from Apartment Therapy
  1. Light Switch: If there is an oddly placed light switch or outlet, create a gallery wall. It will distract onlookers from the random placement and add decor to your home!
  1. Pet Bowls: Turn a low drawer into a pet feeding hutch. Tip: Do this DIY from Fresh Home.

There are so many ways to hide little messes in your home. If you don’t like looking at these small eyesores, there is a way to fix it! Be creative, use your imagination, and you can create an even neater home.

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7 Essential Curb Appeal Tips for Sellers http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/7-essential-curb-appeal-tips-for-sellers/ http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/7-essential-curb-appeal-tips-for-sellers/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 13:00:14 +0000 http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/?p=9133 Continue reading 7 Essential Curb Appeal Tips for Sellers]]> With the spring real estate market heating up across the United States, it’s time to focus on curb appeal. You want your home to stand out from the others, and the exterior will be the first area buyers see. If it’s not in top shape, there’s a good chance buyers will move on to the next home. So make sure you’re trimming the lawn, washing the siding and shining everything else up in preparation for showings. Here are some essential areas to address:

 

#1 Wash the siding
Your siding probably looks a bit dirty and dusty after this last winter, so it’s time to wash it off and make it look shiny and new for the spring. Use soapy water and a bristled brush to remove dirt and debris. If the grime and dirt won’t come off easily, you may need to use a pressure washer or power washer to remove it. You can rent a pressure washer from a local home improvement store or hire a professional power washer. The cost for exterior power washing ranges from $200 to $400, depending on the time and square footage involved. You should also take this time to wash your garage door, as it will be one of the first things buyers see. Do not use a power washer to clean your windows and doors though, because it could damage them and lead to repair costs.

 

 

#2 Revitalize the paint job
Once you’ve cleaned off the siding, it’s time to look at the paint. There’s a chance your home’s exterior will have chips, cracks and other paint issues following winter. To increase the exterior appeal of your home, consider repainting it. You could use the same paint color as before or choose a whole new color.. For a job this big, you may need to hire a painting contractor. Then explore how you can accent the paint job, whether it’s with plants, trim or exterior window treatments.

 

#3 Fix up the lawn
Given that winter was likely harsh on your landscape, it’s time to get it back in shape for the spring market. You should trim and prune any trees and bushes that took a beating or look overgrown. Add mulch to your flower beds and around trees to give them a professional, well-kept look. Aerate and dethatch your lawn so it can breathe and absorb nutrients more easily. If you have any barren spots in your lawn from snow and ice, add seeds or sod to help renew and cover those areas. If you have the time and budget, think about new spring garden colors in the form of flowers and shrubs.

 

 

#4 Add a fence
Another nostalgic, yet high selling point for buyers is a fence around the front of your property. It doesn’t have to be a highly secure fence like those you would add around the backyard. Rather, you could install a picket fence or a short chain link fence around the front yard. This can be especially appealing to families with young children because it helps keep kids safe and enclosed near the home. Installing a fence can range from $1,500 to $4,000, depending on the material you choose and the square footage of the front yard.

 



Tuscan Patio by MJ12 Corp. in San Jose, CA

 

#5 Renew the front door
Once people pass through your fence and renewed landscape, they have to open your front door. If your entry door is beaten down, rotting and in bad shape, it sets a bad tone for the rest of the walkthrough. So look at how you can revitalize the door, whether it’s with a thorough cleaning or a paint job. Start by washing it down and then look for chips and cracks in the paint. Depending on the age of the door, it might be time to replace the door. Steel doors are noted as the safest and most effective doors for homeowners, but they are expensive. You might consider an affordable alternative like wood that you can personalize with knobs, windows and colors that complement your home’s interior and exterior design.

 

#6 Add landscaping lighting
For night walkthroughs, a great addition to your landscape is outdoor lighting. Landscape lights can increase the appeal of your home’s exterior and add security. You can accent trees, shrubs and flower beds at night to attract the buyer’s eye. That way, even though it’s dark outside, they’re still noticing the high points of your landscape. You can use solar fixtures that soak up sunlight during the day and light up at night. Otherwise, you can buy light fixtures that draw on power from the house or use batteries. These decisions depend on your budget and what works best for your landscape design.

 



Traditional Home Exterior by Cody Property and Handyman Services in Northborough, MA

 

#7 Update the mailbox
Mailboxes may seem like a nostalgic idea, but they can add definite appeal to your home, especially if you live in the suburbs. You can get mailboxes at a local home improvement store, and they come in various styles to match your home design. You can also fix up the mailbox you already have, whether it means painting it a new color or adding numbers to the side in the form of stickers or metal decals.

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What to Expect During the Closing Process http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/what-to-expect-during-the-closing-process/ http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/what-to-expect-during-the-closing-process/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:35:31 +0000 http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/?p=9144 Continue reading What to Expect During the Closing Process]]> Congratulations, you’ve found a home that is ideal for you and your family. It has all your wants and needs, and it’s even in your price range. You’ve placed a bid and the buyer accepted it! You are finally getting ready to sign your name on the dotted line and buy your home.

You’re not quite done yet, there is another step that you have to go through — the closing process.

Here are some things you should know before going into your closing.

  1. Read everything: Ask your lender and attorney for the documents prior to the closing. It’s important to have the documents beforehand so you can make sure everything is correct. Not reading your documents before the closing can hurt you because there may be a typo or two, which can set back the entire process. Double and triple check everything. Review your loan and mortgage documents and get everything in order.
  1. Bring a check: Your documents will show how much you owe. Bring your checkbook. You should also bring a form of identification.
  1. Walk-through: The contract should allow you to walk through the property twenty-four hours before the closing. Bring your documents with you so you can reference them to make sure that the home is in the condition stipulated in the contract.
  1. Ownership: The whole point of closing is to transfer ownership from the buyer to the seller. Before closing, a title company will come in and make sure the deed, taxes, and other items that may affect the property are in good standing. Once that is squared away and the buyer and the lender approve of everything, you can both sign the closing documents, ultimately making you the owner of the home.

 
Closing can bring unexpected events, but if you are prepared and stay positive, things can run smoothly. This is an exciting time, so after everything is settled, take your new keys and enjoy your home!

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What to Do With the Extra Room in Your House http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/what-to-do-with-the-extra-room-in-your-house/ http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/what-to-do-with-the-extra-room-in-your-house/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 21:46:48 +0000 http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/?p=9125 Continue reading What to Do With the Extra Room in Your House]]> What would you do if you had an extra room in your house? Get creative because the possibilities are limitless.

 

  1. Home Gym: Do you love to start your mornings with a good workout, but hate dragging yourself to a crowded gym? If you have some workout machines at home, transform your spare room into a gym. Even if you just buy some weights, a yoga mat, and other inexpensive equipment, you can turn your unused room into something useful.
  2. Playroom: If you’re tired of tripping over your kids’ toys in your nice, fancy living room, turn that extra room into their own space. Paint the walls with chalkboard paint so they can write on the walls, store all of their toys in the room, and allow them to play. They’ll love a space of their own, and you’ll love not having a mess all over the house.
  3. Contemplation Room: Ever just need some time alone with your thoughts? If you find yourself wanting to escape the craziness of the day and not knowing where to go, consider creating a contemplation room. Decorate it in all white with comfortable furniture, throw pillows, and blankets. This creates a serene space where you can go to clear your head, meditate, and relax.
  4. Library: If you’re a bookworm, you’ve probably always dreamed of having your very own library. Now is your chance! Install bookshelves from wall to ceiling, add comfortable, sophisticated couches, and throw in cozy area rugs to make a comfy and inviting space. Just imagine relaxing after a long day in your library with your favorite book, a cup of tea, and candles.
  5. Entertainment Center: If you don’t have a den or finished basement, and only a formal living room, you may want to consider turning the spare room into an entertainment center. Use dark woods and deep colors, reclining chairs and a sectional couch, and top it off with a flat screen television for the perfect movie theater feel. It can be a great place to have a movie marathon on a rainy day!

 

Having a spare room in the home leaves you with countless opportunities to be unique and create a special room that’s all your own!

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Introducing Moved by Moving http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/introducing-moved-by-moving/ http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/introducing-moved-by-moving/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 18:41:05 +0000 http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/?p=9111 Continue reading Introducing Moved by Moving]]> With a new home comes new neighbors, new friends, and maybe even a new city. Chartering unknown territory can seem scary, but we’re here to show you that it doesn’t have to be!

 

 

Recognizing this challenge, members of our team hope to be there every step of the way with our new, innovative, ad campaign.

 

 

We recently released our video series, Moved by Moving, a first of its kind series created using only moving boxes. The videos were filmed using stop-motion animation, once again establishing CENTURY 21® as an innovator in the industry.

 

The artist behind the spots, Elizabeth Corkery, is no stranger to trend-setting – she’s also the creator of special, limited edition silkscreen prints available at Print Club Boston. Her previous projects are known for being bold and unique – perfectly aligning with CENTURY 21: SMARTER. BOLDER. FASTER ®.

 

We hope to give you the help you need to make your move an easy and smooth process.

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Introducing Our Newest Television Ads http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/introducing-our-newest-television-ads/ http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/introducing-our-newest-television-ads/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 18:31:55 +0000 http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/?p=9107 Continue reading Introducing Our Newest Television Ads]]> One trick to a successful move is working with someone who will go above and beyond to make your dreams a reality.

 

Whether it’s running through an airport to let you know that the home of your dreams is officially yours, or helping you get out of your parents’ basement, a CENTURY 21 ® affiliated real estate professional is there to help.  Watch our newest television ads which bring our SMARTER. BOLDER. FASTER.® campaign to life!

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These Gadgets That Will Do Your Housework For You (Yes, Seriously) http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/these-gadgets-that-will-do-your-housework-for-you-yes-seriously/ http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/these-gadgets-that-will-do-your-housework-for-you-yes-seriously/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 21:14:21 +0000 http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/?p=9101 Continue reading These Gadgets That Will Do Your Housework For You (Yes, Seriously)]]> April 7th was No House Work Day and it was nice to take a break from the daily tasks of cleaning and organizing your home. In reality, housework is an ongoing item on your to-do list and sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to complete everything.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice and convenient to have gadgets that actually do your work for you?

 

 

 

Here’s some gadgets you need to know.

 

  1. Automated vacuum: This is the original hands free housework device, and for good reason. All you have to do is turn it on and let it get to work. Within minutes your floor is clean and you didn’t even have to lift a finger. Vacuuming just became your new favorite chore!

 

  1. Automated mops: Automated mops are now on the market. These trusty devices work just as a mop would, only you don’t need to lug around a bucket of water. The brush heads and cleaning solution work together through a three part cleaning process. Most models work on a variety of floors including hardwood, vinyl, and tile.

 

  1. Window cleaner: Goodbye are the days of step stools and spray bottles. Small window cleaners are now available; they attach to your windows and are able to clean any size or thickness.

 

  1. Hands free mower: Taking care of the lawn may not be a daily task, but it sure is a task that can get tiring. Take the work out of landscaping and invest in a hands free mower. It works just as the vacuum and mop and automatically cuts the grass. When the grass is evenly cut, the mower will return to its station.

 

With all of these gadgets, you’ll  never have to lift a finger again!

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5 Gifts To Leave For Your Old Home’s New Owners http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/5-gifts-to-leave-for-your-old-homes-new-owners/ http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/5-gifts-to-leave-for-your-old-homes-new-owners/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:01:07 +0000 http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/?p=9093 Continue reading 5 Gifts To Leave For Your Old Home’s New Owners]]> Selling a home is an emotional event. You are leaving behind a house filled with memories and venturing off to someplace new. The people buying your home are excited to create their own memories in a home that you loved for so many years. Welcome them with a thoughtful gift that will leave a lasting impression.

 

Here are some ideas for gifts to leave for your home’s new owners.

 

  1. Personalized Key Rings: Mark this milestone in the new owners’ lives by giving them a special key ring. Engrave it with their initials, the date of the move, or even a special message from you. Not only is this thoughtful, but it’s a practical gift as well.

 

  1. Mailing labels and stationery: Personalized gifts go a long way. Create mailing labels with the owners’ names and new addresses; if you want to go the extra mile, create personalized stationery for them as well. Leave these paper gifts on the kitchen counter with a nice note to surprise the owners.

 

  1. Monogrammed Doormat: Doormats are something that may not be at the top of a new homeowner “to-buy” list. Give them a monogrammed one or one that fits well with the decor of the home. They will surely appreciate this gesture.

 

  1. Practical Items: If you’re skeptical about buying personalized gifts, stick to practical home items. Things like smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, unpacking supplies, or even a utensil organizer are useful to new homeowners. They’ll be so busy when they first move in, and these are essentials that they should have immediately.

 

  1. A Neighborhood Guide: Write a detailed list of your favorite places in the neighborhood. Mention your favorite restaurants, boutiques, gyms and more. They’ll love having your recommendations on hand when they start to explore!

 

All of these gestures are incredibly kind and memorable. It’s a nice way to welcome new people into the home and neighborhood you have loved for so long.

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Money Matters: These Write-Offs Could Save You Money http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/money-matters-these-write-offs-could-save-you-money/ http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/money-matters-these-write-offs-could-save-you-money/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 20:53:16 +0000 http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/?p=9086 Continue reading Money Matters: These Write-Offs Could Save You Money]]> It’s April, which means that Tax Day is quickly approaching. Filing your taxes can feel like a daunting task, especially for homeowners. Whether you’re doing your taxes yourself, or hiring someone to do so, it’s important to understand how you can save as much money as possible.

 

 

 

These write-offs are some of the best options for homeowners.

 

  1. Mortgage Interest: This is the biggest deduction for homeowners. You must itemize the deduction, but it must be greater than the standard deduction. You can also use any mortgage points that you used when you purchased your home. (Fox Business)

 

  1. Property Taxes: Yes, you can write-off certain taxes. You can write off your property, state, and local income taxes. (Time.com)

 

  1. Home Improvements: Technically, the only home improvement write-offs you can deduct are those that were necessary for medical reasons like installing a wheelchair ramp outside of your home. Note that it’s advised that you keep all of your receipts for non-medical home improvements because it’s possible that they can be used to reduce your taxes when you’re ready to sell your home. (TurboTax)

 

  1. Moving expenses: If you moved more than fifty miles for a new job, you can write off moving expenses. Talk to your employer to get the necessary paperwork. (Time.com)

 

  1. Home Office: Do you run a small business from the comfort of your home? You’re in luck! You can file for a home office deduction. This even includes everything from the cost of painting the room, to the cost of buying a computer and home office supplies. It’s best practice take a picture of the office to have on record. (TurboTax)

 

  1. Energy efficiency: You can get a deduction for owning energy efficient appliances. Heat pumps and solar powered systems garner the highest deductions. Items like energy efficient windows are the next highest deductible. Keep your receipts for your records. (HouseLogic)

 

If any of these write-offs apply to you, take the extra time to fill out the paper work. It may benefit you in the long run!

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House Hacks for the Vertically Challenged http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/house-hacks-for-the-vertically-challenged/ http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/house-hacks-for-the-vertically-challenged/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 21:02:39 +0000 http://www.century21.com/real-estate-blog/?p=9079 Continue reading House Hacks for the Vertically Challenged]]> You have high hopes. You aim high. You just can’t reach that high. Sound familiar?

 

 

You may be vertically challenged but, fear not, there are strategic solutions that will work for you.

 

  1. Built in step stools: Install a pull-out step stool on the bottom in a hidden drawer or cabinet below hard to reach areas like high cabinets. This will make it easier to quickly get into high places without roaming the house for a step stool.

 

  1. Sliding ladder: If you’d like to get really fancy, install a sliding ladder similar to one you’d find in a beautiful library or bookstore. Add one to your pantry so you can always reach the extra sugar.

 

  1. Automated cabinets: It may seem like something only available to the Jetsons but automated cabinets exist in 2015. With a push of a button, the cabinets open and the shelves slide down to a level that’s easier to reach.

 

  1. Customized counter and cabinet heights: If you’re redesigning a bathroom or kitchen, build counters and cabinets that are customized to a height that is better for you. Yes, this might make it harder to sell in the long run, but if you don’t plan on selling soon it could make daily activities more convenient.

 

Being vertically challenged doesn’t have to put a damper on your everyday life! Reach for the stars (or at least the cleaning products on the top shelf) with our tips.

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