How Happy Is Your Home?
“To be happy at home is the ultimate results of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labor tends.”
– Samuel Johnson
Years and years of staring at the same ole thing can really dampen the warm happy place that your home should be. But with a new year comes new hope and it’s the perfect time to take a look at where you are, if you are happy there, and make a plan to move forward if you’re not.
Here are a few inexpensive suggestions:
Studies have shown that giving rooms a fresh coat of paint can really improve the energy in a space. What’s more by painting a room more consistently with it’s purpose can actually make you happier. Spend a weekend giving your bathrooms a crisp clean color make over, dip the brush and stroke bedrooms into warm rich tones to spread warmth.
If you aren’t currently fixing it and it’s broken it might be time to toss it. Holding on to items that don’t work and take up space in the hope that you will fix them “one day” generally only leads to clutter. Having unused, or useless, items laying around in a hoard can lead to depression and frustration any time you try to find something you actually need. Let go of items you haven’t seen or used in more than two years.
Make a List
Lay out the items in your home, habits, or things in your life that you aren’t 100% happy with and then think of positive alternatives or actions you can take to change them. Having a clearly outlined list of problem areas and solutions can not only help you better visualize which tasks you have ahead of you but also can help you not feel so overwhelmed because you can check these items off one at a time as you go.
Update the Outdoors
Get down to the nitty gritty when Spring hits and update your home exterior. There are tons of minor changes that can be made to soup up your home’s curb appeal which will not only help how you feel about your home but also how others see it. Try these quick changes:
Get new house numbers
Get a new door, or paint your existing door.
Get new outside lights
Add a new handle, knocker, or kickplate to the door.
Add or paint shutters
You’ll be amazed how much little changes done to your home’s outside will make you feel better inside!
Wonderful Saguaro Hills Home!
5483 N Saguaro Hills Ave Meridian ID 83646
I just had to share this featured listing of mine!
Meridian, Idaho is a wonderful place to live, this vibrant town has grown from it’s humble roots and into a progressive community rich with amenities. For those of you considering relocating to Meridian; who are interested in an immaculate family home please consider this exceptional residence.
Unique Energy Star Craftsman Style Home. Gorgeous, Bright Chefs Kitchen, Granite, Island, Stainless, Pantry, Double Ovens, Tile Floor. Oversized Master Suite, Dual Vanities, Soaker Tub, Tiled Walk-In Shower, Granite Counters, Tile Floor, Stone Accent. Ceiling Fans In Each Bedroom. Main Floor Bedroom Makes An Ideal Office. Dual Zone HVAC, Central Vac, Water Softener. Huge 3-Car Garage Plus Inside RV Parking. Outside Parking Space For Trailer Or Boat. BTVAI
Baby Boomer Myths
What many new agents fail to realize is just about everything you may have heard about the baby boomer market is wrong; a new study from Merrill Lynch shows this to be true. Let me shine a little light on the top 3 myths:
Believe it or not retirees aren’t all looking to fly far south from their life long homes to revel in sunny beach abodes. Over 80% of 55+ relocators prefer to live in, or near the state they currently live in.
It’s a common myth that people want to be exclusively around people their own age. Many senior and elderly folks in fact prefer the company of somewhat younger people; claim that it even makes them feel younger themselves!
“Oh, Mom and Dad want to do some ‘downsizing’ now that the nest is all cleared out, you know…” Well, actually, a lot of people like larger homes. Turns out it’s about an even 50/50 regarding how many people down sized to a smaller place when they moved in their later years – with some 30% actually up-sizing their new place.
I don’t like to follow all the trends blindly, I follow what I see in the market and what I know – most importantly I listen to my clients to learn how to best serve them, regardless of their age. If you’re thinking of buying a new home in Idaho, or selling your current Idaho home, I’d love to be able to help – get in touch!
Get the Most Out of Home Staging and Curb Appeal!
Home staging and curb appeal are two of the biggest items on your agents checklist to help get your home to sell fast and at a great price. With so much emphasis placed on these trends it’s a wonder that so many homeowners balk when it comes to incorporating these ideas into their home sales strategy. It is my hope that we can help dispel some of the myths surrounding home staging so that it makes more sense as the great marketing tool it can be. Here a a few of the most common misconceptions:
Home Staging is Too Expensive.
It’s natural to focus on return on investment when selling your home; of course you want your home to sell for as much as the market will allow. Think of home staging in this scenario: home staging typically costs from .5 to 1 percent of a homes asking price; studies show that staged homes not only sell faster but they sell for more money than those that aren’t staged.
It’s Not Worth it to Stage a Smaller, Less Expensive Home.
Au contraire! Big or small it’s to your advantage to get top dollar for your home and staging can help make that happen. Staging a smaller home can actually be even more important because you can actually show potential buyers how they will be able to maximize the available space to suit their needs.
Staging is Just Decluttering.
Nope! Staging is about presenting the home in it’s best light. It’s also about styling the home for it’s big photo shoot. Do you think dulce cabana would send their best model onto the runway without at least a once over? Forget it! Your home is the same way! Decluttering can prove to be a large part of the process – especially if you have a lot of clutter – but it’s not what it’s all about.
Staging is Only Good for Empty Homes.
Think again! While staging is critical to empty homes it is also important to occupied homes because it costs less to do and can still have a huge impact. You definitely want to do some staging on an empty home – furniture alone can help give a better sense of “depth” to a space – but don’t underestimate the impact of small accents added to a room that already is furnished.
Neutralize All the Things!
50 shades of grey? Neutral walls, neutral ceilings, neutral neutrals! Sorry, but good staging is about more than just making everything blend in. A pop of color in the right place can not only show a little unique sense of style but it also can snap your buyers back to attention after doubtlessly being confronted with a legion of plain jane paint jobs in other homes they’ve viewed.
It can be a challenge just to find a home stager who understands staging is an art form as well as a powerful marketing vehicle for your home. It’s all about creating a space the buyer will fall in love with; when you do that the demand for the home can’t do anything except go up – along with the price!
Winter Heating Savings
Heating costs can make up 45% of your Winter energy bill. Hefty energy bills don’t have to dampen your holiday season however! Here are some great tips to help you save on staying warm during the cold months.
First, do an energy audit. You can do this yourself by taking a look at your energy bill and thinking of ways that you can cut back on non-heat related costs. This may be as simple as unplugging electronics that aren’t in use, or turning off lights in rooms that you’re not going to be using.
Set the thermostat at 68 when you are home; even lower if you are not going to be home. Don’t let it slip below 58 degrees if you live in a really cold area. By just setting the temperature a little lower for a few hours a day you can save over 10% on your bill in most cases.
Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees to cut back on heat lost to the environment. Heating water can account up to 18% of your energy bill so it’s good to insulate your water heater and also any pipes that carry hot water as well.
Seal up air leaks. Use a candle to test windows for drafts. If you find a draft you can seal the edges of windows with caulking or spray foam depending on the size of the leak. Also consider under door sweeps for exterior doors.
Window glass can be a big reason your home loses heat. Clear windows on the South side of your home to let as much natural light and heat in as possible. If you don’t have double paned windows, you can also keep drapes closed or use a window insulation kit to help keep cold air from coming in from the outside.
Don’t hesitate to contact a local handyman or home service provider to ask them for advice on improving your home efficiency, in some cases they will have tips that can help, or you can even hire them to come and fix the issues for you.
Saving pennies can make sense in the long run! Don’t get all heated up over high energy bills this Winter! Still looking for that perfect home? I can help! I specialize in the best homes in the Boise area – including Star, Meridian, Eagle and more!
Idaho is a Great Place to Retire!
Idaho – and Boise in particular – is a great place to live for those of us over 55 for a number of reasons. Whether it’s the proximity to local amenities and recreation or the number of excellent retirement communities in the area, the Treasure Valley truly has a lot to offer!
Boise was ranked 8 in the best places to retire in 2014 by Forbes Magazine, noting:
“Dry climate, good economy, cost of living about at national average, average home price $168,000, low crime, high rankings for walkability, bicycling and volunteering. “
I’ve put together a website with my business partner to provide a online resource for those of you interested in retiring to the Boise area; it even has great information for those of you who may already be living here. Find helpful information on getting around, where to eat, what sort of things there are to do and more here: What to Do in Boise. You can also get discounts and see on-going specials at these local Boise area entertainment venues.
Is Boise the ideal place for you to retire? There are many good reasons to consider this area for your new home; I hope you will consider contacting me when you’re ready to find your next home in Idaho!
Real Estate Myths : BUSTED!
There’s always a lot of chatter about the real estate industry; as it influences such a large part of our economy that’s really no surprise. Currently there are many saying the housing recovery movement is in full swing; likewise many warn with words of caution that we’re headed for another bubble burst. Yet others remain inclimate by saying a housing slow down is imminent and not to get too all fired up either way. While there are a number of factors yet to weigh in, there are some myths making their rounds that simply must be dispelled.
Real Estate is Only for the long term.
Realistically house prices today are still roughly where they’ve been since the 1950’s, aside from a few booms here and there, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. If that is true – and on average home values only appreciate on average 3% per year – then that’s pretty slow growth; you won’t make as much money over the long term. For those looking to make quick gains buying, improving, and reselling are fast turn around markets. So in truth real estate for your average long term buyer is a *sound* investment because of it’s stability, but there is also room there for the fast and furious flipper as well.
The Suburbs are out.
Many census statistics from last year would have us thinking that for the first time in decades that cities were the place to be. Population will naturally be more dense in urban cores; this is what the higher growth rates can be attributed to. More recent and accurate studies have since been done, taking that factor into consideration, to find that growth in the suburban communities to be nearly 1% higher than in urban cores. What’s more the suburbs are changing, becoming little mini-cores of commerce and culture all their own, making them very attractive for those who prefer a little less hustle and bustle.
It’s a Renters Market.
No way no how. A recent survey found that 96% of American consumers consider home ownership important. 77% of people between the ages of 25 and 44 are also saying that owning a home is “very important” to them too. Trulia data shows 93% of Millennials who currently rent plant to buy a home in the near future – some as soon as in the next two years.
Buying is Always Better.
It’s true that buying a home has become more affordable than renting in most major cities, under certain circumstances. And if you’re looking to lay down roots in the community by staying put for more than five years, then buying is without a doubt the way you want to go. But fact is, if you’re not sure about the future, if it may likely involve big plans to move it may not be the best time for you to buy. It all depends on your personal plans and what your situation may be – the best place to start is to talk to a qualified REALTOR®.
Hopefully this information has helped you understand a bit more about the real estate market, and has dispelled some of the myths going around the industry today. Want to stay up on all the latest Boise real estate news and local info? Visit my website!
Looking for great 55+ Living in Idaho? Here’s a website just for that!
5 Things New Homeowners Should Do Immediately
Finding the home, closing the deal, packing all the stuff, moving all the stuff, unpacking all the stuff. AAAAHHHHHHH! There are a thousand things to keep straight and take care of when it comes to getting into that perfect new place. But did you know there are some things you can do just after the dusts settles to keep your house running smooth and save you some dollars as well?
Take a look at some of these unexpected ideas for doing just that!
Snuggle Your Hot Water Heater
You love the device that gives you hot water for bathing, cleaning and cooking right? Well show it some love by throwing a blanket over it. While most modern water heaters are well insulated, some are more so than others the small cost of a padded quilt or blanket can help keep things nice and warm.
Install Ceiling Fans
If you don’t already have fans in most rooms think about installing them. Just having air circulating more, especially in larger rooms, can help keep you cooler and also lessen the work load on your central air conditioner.
Get With the Program
Programmable thermostat that is! Having one of these makes it easy to keep your home cooler or warmer during the time of day or night when it is most needed – saving you on energy costs!
Put Them On the Rack
No, not your children! Your clothes! Consider installing a simple clothes line in your laundry room or even outside. Many clothes are fine to air dry; besides the wonderful fresh smell of sunshine an added bonus is the savings on drying them!
Develop A Maintenance Schedule
This is one of the biggest things to keep your household in order. Put things like “change air filters”, and “check faucets”, or “close foundation vents” on the list to remind you about the miscellaneous tasks that need to be done every so often. You can color code or organize these tasks into various categories based on how often then might need to be done.
These are just a few quick tips to make your first year of settling into your new home as comfortable and pleasant as possible! If you’ve yet to find that perfect place I invite you to contact me or find homes for sale via my website.
Tips to Clean that House FAST!
Keeping up with the house can be, no pun intended, a real chore. Between work, family, the yard, and then trying to have some kind of social life it’s not hard to get behind on the tidying up. So here are some good tips to make the job a little easier!
Put on some music.
Having some music to distract your mind and lift your mood never hurts to help make the time go by!
Go in circles.
Seems counter intuitive at first but if you start at the furthest corner of the house and work your way in you can maximize your time. This is especially true for vacuuming.
Go through and empty and garbage first. Carry a bag or bin room to room and do a quick pickup of obvious trash. Having a clear floor to start will make the whole thing easier and garbage bins will be empty for any new trash you need to dispose of in the process.
Clean top down.Back-to-front.
It really just makes sense. Start high, finish low. By doing this you can more easily get any dust or grime down on the floor before doing a final sweep or vacuum.
Clean as you go.
You don’t have to make cleaning just a weekend thing. In fact, if you take care of smaller messes during the week as you notice them you will have less to do all at once; can spend that extra time actually relaxing on the weekend!
Working a little double duty into the routine can make it less of a rut. Fold clothes while you watch tv, unload the dishwasher while a commercial is on. Just find little ways to work cleaning into your time and you will be surprised at how much you actually get done.
Put things in their place.
A place for everything and everything in it’s place, right? When you use something, be sure to put it right back when you’re done. Whether it’s a remote or a screw driver, putting things where they are suppose to be helps keep things de-cluttered and keeps you from having to put them back later when you are already in full clean mode.
It’s a hassle, sure, but until you train the kids to be butlers or hire a live-in-maid you can at least make it as little of a production as possible. I hope these home cleaning tips have been of some help! I strive to do more than just get my clients into or out of a home – I want to be a resource for them long after the deal has closed. If there is ever anything I can do to help you don’t hesitate to ask!
5 Tips to Get the Home You Want
Here’s five quick tips to help you find just the right home for you no matter what the market is doing.
Know the Market
It’s a good start to at least know what’s going on. There are any number of online tools to help you do this, or you could just sit down with your REALTOR® and buy them a cup of coffee.
Know How Much You Can Afford
It’s important not to go in with Beverly Hills tastes and only piggy bank pocket money. Know what you can afford. This will help you narrow down your search between what’s out there and what’s actually possible.
Understand the Process
This is especially important if you are looking at short sales or foreclosure listings. It’s better to know a little about the ups and downs and what to expect rather than to rush in and suffer with frustration or disappointment.
Know Where You Want to Live
Get to know the area if it’s not where you’re from and make sure you’re looking for homes in the place you want to be. Being reasonably located to shopping, work, school, or other necessary amenities may seem like a minor thing now but it will count a lot more later when it’s part of the daily routine.
Work with a Professional
Were you expecting that one? Honestly though, a qualified real estate agent can make the entire process a lot easier. From understanding the process, to making sure you have all the right paper work, an experienced REALTOR® if worth their weight in gold.
You can start finding that perfect home for you RIGHT NOW!
And you don’t even have to search! Just go to my website and sign up for the Dream Home Program! This automated home search allows you to receive links to listings that match YOUR needs without having to login and search every day!