Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Year of Gratitude, May 2015

We don't have to have extraordinary moment to find happiness-it's right in front of us if we're paying attention and practicing gratitude.
Brene Brown

I am grateful for:
My daughter Annika, she is so kind, loving and forgiving

Our mothers give us so many gifts. They give us the precious gift of life, of course, but they also leave treasured lessons that can guide us along our journeys even when they are no longer with us.


The beautiful blue sky
                                  (Photo cred Anne Monsen)

Paved streets, I have traveled outside the country many times and as much as I enjoy my time away I am always grateful to be home and drive on streets that are paved and safe.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Five Inexpensive Ways To Improve Your Home

1. Improve the curb appeal – Whether or not you are planning to sell your home, an inviting first appearance is important. Spend some time in the front yard from the curb in, making your yard free of weeds and your grass and hedges neatly trimmed.. You can make needed repairs to fences or front steps and change out your old, dull mailbox all for under $500.

2. Paint the front door – A spiffy new fiberglass front door could cost $1,000 or more, but you can upgrade the look for a lot less by adding new hardware and a fresh coat of paint. Add a new light fixture, a fresh doormat and/or a pot of flowers and you may have money left over from that $500 bill.

3. Paint interior walls – Nothing changes the look of a room more than a fresh coat of paint. It can get complicated and expensive if you need to repair drywall, remove mold, or have really tall ceilings, so you may need to hire a professional. But if you can do it yourself, you may even be able to upgrade baseboards or add crown molding and stay within a $500 budget.

4. Update the lighting – Lighting fixtures are to a home what jewelry is to an outfit. They can add pizzazz or look dated and dowdy. Switching out a chandelier over the dining room table is a fairly easy, budget-friendly project. Shop big-box stores for inexpensive models or ask about floor sample sales at retail outlets. If you’re on too tight a budget, consider updating lamps you already have with new shades.

5. Install new toilets – It may not materially change the look of your bathrooms, but if you have 20+ year old toilets, replacing them with new models will save thousands of gallons of water you won’t have to pay for. You can get new models for well under $200, so you may want to spend some of that $500 budget to upgrade the look with bathroom lighting, mirrors or storage units.


Shauna Quick
Exit Realty Success

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Want To Make A Great First Impression On Buyers?

Follow these 12 steps:                         

1. Mow the lawn, prune bushes, remove dead tree branches, and get rid of outdoor furniture you don’t plan to take with you.

2. Clean the front door and lintels and paint them if necessary.

3. Check for leaks throughout the house. A drip may not seem important, but it could suggest poor maintenance elsewhere in the house. Don’t leave room for doubt in a buyer’s mind.

4. Clean out closets and storage areas. Donate old clothes and furniture to local charities. This will create a sense of greater space in the home, and would also mean fewer items to move.

5. Professionally clean the carpets. This is especially important if the carpeting will remain for the new owners.

6. Flip every switch to make sure the electrical works throughout the house. Prospective home buyers will do this. Fix any switches that need help.

7. Caulk around tubs and sinks. New caulk looks better than old caulk, and you’ll also prevent those tricky leaks.

8. Replace light bulbs that don’t work and use as much wattage as the fixture will take. Good illumination makes your home seem light and airy.

9. Tour the property from the perspective of a first-time visitor. Is there anything that may seem uncomfortable to visitors? The 30-year-old green shag carpeting can be off-putting and mirrors in poorly lit basements can be dangerous, for example.

10. Clean out medicine cabinets. Remove out-of-date items, and consider removing prescription pills when buyers visit. Buyers might look in every nook and open every door. No one wants to be embarrassed by what they find.

11. If you have a pet, make arrangements to have it elsewhere when your home is being shown. Some people have allergies. No one wants to be barked or pawed at when they enter.

12. Ask your broker to examine the property for specific showing tips to make your home more attractive when compared to others in the area.

Shauna Quick
Exit Realty Success