Five Curb-Appeal Ideas to Consider When Selling Your Home

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Curb appeal plays an important role in luring potential buyers to want to see what’s inside the home for sale, too.

An alluring walkway, an array of colorful flowers, an inviting nighttime glow and other visually pleasing characteristics can draw more people, and subsequently increase competition for the property and raise its overall value.

Here are a few of the curb-appeal projects buyers will be drawn to:

1 – Stick with Sustainability
Sustainability is popular among homeowners and buyers. Luckily it isn’t difficult to boost curb appeal in a sustainable way. One perpetually popular curb appeal project is a well-lit walkway. When potential buyers drive by the property at night they will be enamored with all of the lights. Solar-powered path lights can kick up your curb appeal in this sustainable and affordable way. Look here  and here for ideas.

Additionally, home sellers may want to try using sustainable materials. Walkways made of reclaimed stone or siding composed of recycled materials will appeal to buyers with sustainability on the mind. (See more about stone walk ways with tip #4.)

2 – Enhance the Front Door
Make your front door a statement piece and focus! Paint it to stand out. Replace door fixtures and hardware. Perhaps consider adding wood moldings around the door. Look for ideas here and here.

3 – Instant Garden
Container gardens add color and are appealing. Place them in a staggered,  asymmetric arrangement. Find ideas here and here.

4 – Buyers Love Low Maintenance
A front yard should look lovely, but require little work. This means choosing flowers and other plants that are hardy enough to survive with minimal attention; and products that rarely, if ever, need repairs or touch ups. From gutters to gardens, there should be minimal upkeep required. Yards that look like they need to be completely renovated are more likely to turn potential buyers off before they ever step foot inside the house.

5 – Steal the Hearts of Buyers with Stone and Brick
Natural stone and brick have an affluent appearance that can improve the value of a home. Homeowners can mix the two together for a unique and attractive combination. Look for ideas here and here.

Need assistance with your curb appeal? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend a service vendor to meet your needs.

Nine Ideas to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

American craftsman house exterior. View of entry door and porchHomes with curb appeal draw in buyers and make them want to see what is inside. Here are nine tips to make your home’s curb appeal irresistible to them:

1 – Lots of Mulch
During warmer months, mulch makes garden beds look pleasing. Heavy mulching looks even better.

2 – Add Trim
Add more trim to windows and doors. Trim elevates something very basic and makes the home more special. Consider adding trim around your front door to make a grand entrance. Depending upon your home style, you may also want to add shutters to windows as a decorative element.

3 – Add Color
During warmer months, be sure to have a splash of color in your year. Seasonal flowers will look wonderful. Think about adding a colorful bench or chair on the front porch.

4 – Mailbox
Upscale your mailbox, house numbers or address plaque.

5 – Camouflage an Eyesore
If you have a large electrical box, piping or wires, paint them the same color as your home and they will be less noticeable. Add a small fence around your air conditioner or garbage area.

6 – Window Boxes
A window box filled with flowers can transform a so-so window into a showstopper.

7 – Create a Walkway
A simple stone pathway adds character to your yard.

8 – Update the Garage
It you have a plain garage door, consider purchasing ahardware kit to make your doors look like carriage-style garage doors.

9 – Lighting
Landscape lighting sets an ambiance for your yard in the evening.

Need assistance with your home curb appeal project? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services for recommendations of vetted professionals.

Look for homes for sale here.

 

 

Six DIY Home Projects for Spring

With the spring season here, it’s a great time to accomplish a few quick and easy indoor DIY jobs inside the home. Here are six improvement ideas to work on right now:

1 – Air Filters
Swapping out air filters on your heating and air system (as well as clearing debris built up around a central air unit outdoors) are easy tasks to undertake without much trouble.

2 – De-Clutter From Winter
When it comes to more cosmetic features for your home, it’s a good idea to start in rooms where clutter has built up over the course of winter. Stow all coats, mittens, boots and hats out of the way. The same goes for the snow shovels and sleds.

3 – Paint
Another DIY project is to repaint a wall or two. Fresh paint can make a room look like new and costs very little to do. Remember you’ll need to keep a window open for ventilation.

4 – Kitchen Touch Ups
If you feel more adventurous, consider installing a new backsplash in your kitchen or swap out the hardware on cabinets.

5 – Bathroom Ideas
Bathroom storage can be made even better with new shelving. If your bathroom fixtures have seen better days, consider installing new ones. Re-grout the tile in your bath for a fresh look. A new bath mat is an easy way to spruce up the floor.

6 – Insulate
Adding insulation to your home not only will help lower utility bills, but will also help to make your home more comfortable. Don’t forget to seal windows and doors with caulk or weatherstripping. And, if you haven’t done so already, consider installing a programmable thermostat.

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Need more inspiration? This Old House has 100 DIY Upgrades for under $100!

And if DIY is not in the books for you, contact Sibcy Cline Home Services for recommendations of service vendors who can help with your spring home projects.

Brought to you by Cinch Home Services, an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  

 

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Home

cleaningSpending time at home, you may be inspired to tackle spring cleaning. Here are some useful tips to make this job less painful and complete in a short amount of time:

Top To Bottom
When cleaning, work top to bottom from the ceiling down. This forces dirt and debris downward so you do not need to re-dust. Remove cobwebs from ceiling corners and fans. Then dust furniture. Finally, clean the floors.

Room By Room
Tackle cleaning room by room. You will feel more of a sense of accomplishment when you do so.

Kitchen 
One of the biggest areas for spring cleaning is the kitchen. Cleaning a refrigerator both inside and out doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process as long as you plan ahead. Slowly remove items as they’re used – without replacing them – so that there’s less clutter to take out. Once your fridge is decluttered it will be a lot easier to remove all of the shelves and drawers and give them a good scrub without having to spend a lot of time removing and replacing food and drink items.

Clean out the microwave oven. It tends to gather dirt. In a bowl, combine a cup of water, cup of vinegar and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Place the bowl in the microwave for two minutes on the high setting. Follow up by wiping the interior with a soft, damp cloth.

Wipe down kitchen cabinets. Be sure to take a look at your pantry and toss old items. Have a junk drawer? Be ruthless about organizing it.

Clean your trash receptacle and pay attention to lid hinges. De-crumb the toaster.

Bathroom 
The bathroom is another area that requires a deeper clean over a given time. For showers with grout, it may be wise to first rub the affected areas with a high-grit sandpaper to clear off the top layer, and then carefully apply bleach to those stained areas to ensure there’s no leftover mildew. Once this is done, allow some time to dry and then apply sealant.

For faucets and shower heads covered in soap scum, scrubbing with balled-up aluminum foil will clear off debris with ease, without scratching the metal.

Change out the shower curtain or wash your fabric and plastic liners in a gentle cycle. Organize the cosmetics drawer and medicine cabinet.

Unexpected Places To Clean
Spring cleaning isn’t just about getting at the “problem areas.” You need to address less-considered parts of your home as well. For instance, countertops and cabinets can get a little dirtier than people might expect and cleaning them off with a high-power cleaning product, then sealing them, can help them stay much cleaner for years to come.

Here is a tip on cleaning windows: clean them on a cloudy day. Sunlight won’t dry out cleaners when applied, making the wipe-down more effective.

Winter Clothing
Now is the time to clean and store all winter items. Pack up gloves, hats and scarves. Coats should be stowed. If you do not have room in your closet for winter sweaters and other heavier clothing, now is the time to pack them away. If you have clothing you did not wear this year, consider donating their items.

Need help with your spring cleaning efforts? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can put you in touch with local vendors to help get your home clean top to bottom.

Brought to you by Cinch Home Services, an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  

Eight Tips to Help Declutter Your Home

Declutter your home

When spending time at home you may realize how badly it needs decluttering. Having things crammed into every corner is not an appealing way to live. (And, if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, a thorough cleaning and decluttering is a must.) Here are eight tips to make the decluttering process more bearable:

1–Paperwork
Paper here, paper there, paper everywhere. A few pieces of paper turns into piles and piles. Cleaning out paper is a page-by-page task. Have a discard pile for recycling and be sure to shred anything with sensitive info. If you have papers to keep, place them in a more organized order with a labeled filing system. Or, consider scanning important documents and keeping only digital copies.

2–Home Records
How organized are your home records? Have a binder that has your improvement records and receipts. Store warranties in those binders, too. (When it comes time to sell your home, you will have all of your documents at your fingertips.)

3–Closets
When you open the closet does something jump out? If so, it’s time to tackle one closet at a time. Be ruthless. If you have not used an item in a year, do you really need it? Why are you holding onto those 1990s clothes? Remember, even if they come back into style, color and sizes change. Be sure to donate clothing that is in good shape to a place like Good Will or another organization. Remember, less is more.

4–Pantry
Cans from the year 2010 are not a good thing. Check expiration dates and discard old items. While you’re at it, think about attacking the freezer for old items.

5–Basement and Garage
If your basement and garage are dumping sites, you made need to plan some time sorting through items. If these things are in your basement or garage and you are not using them, why are you keeping them?

6–One Room at a Time
Don’t let the clutter overwhelm you. Tackle one room at a time. Start with the messiest room first. You will have a feeling of accomplishment when that room is done.

7–Why Are You Holding onto Something?
Things can be functional and sentimental. If you are keeping something you do not regularly use, ask yourself why you need to have it.

8–Sell Items
You may be getting rid of household items that someone else might cherish. Consider selling unwanted things with Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. You will get rid of the clutter and make some money at the same time!

The Result?
By clearing out clutter now, you will enjoy your home all the more and it will be easier to maintain and clean. And, when it’s time to sell, your home will not only look more appealing to home buyers, but you will have less stuff to haul to your new home.

Need help with organizing your home? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend professional vetted vendors to you.

 

 

At Home? Read about these Affordable Home Improvement Ideas

PaintWhile spending time in your home, now may be the time to think about making home improvements. (And, this does not always mean breaking the bank!) Here are 10 cost-conscious ideas to make your home an even better place to live:

1 – Tile Backsplash
A backsplash in a kitchen or bath makes that room look more sophisticated. This project can be either DIY or hire a professional if you do not feel confident. Select tile that ties in the cabinets, counters and wall color. Learn more about backsplash options here.

2 – Paint
Paint is a very economic way to update your home. Consider painting one wall in a room with an accent color to add drama and a focal point. Or, paint the entire room with a fresh, neutral color. Light tan, grey and white are popular colors now.

3 – Trees
Trees look attractive in landscaping and can reduce your cooling costs in warmer months.

4 – Bathroom Sink
Replace your old bathroom sink and make your bath look more modern.

5 – More Bathroom Updates
Consider replacing the toilet seat or re-grouting tile.

6 – Kitchen Faucet Set and Cabinet Door Handles
Replace the faucet set with a more up-to-date version. Kitchen cabinets will look fresh with new handles.

7 – Replace Appliance Facades
Some kitchen appliances have facades that are replaceable. Contact the manufacturer to see if you can order panels that will create a cohesive look in your kitchen with an all-black, white or stainless look.

8 – Lighting Fixtures
If you have old, outdated fixtures, new lighting can make a room look fresh and up-to-date.

9 – Cover Basement Columns
If your unfinished basement has unattractive support columns, you can cover them with Pole-Wrap. This way, you can still use the space as a playroom or home office.

10 – Garage Organization
Organizing your garage will benefit in more storage space and room for cars. Consider adding a few shelves and plastic bins.

Need help with any of your home improvements? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend professional vendors to help with any home-related project!

 

Buying a Home? How To Overlook Minor Blemishes

Young woman painting wall at homeWhen searching for a home to buy, keep your eyes open for possibilities when touring. If a home meets your price and location needs, it may require just a few modifications to suit your taste. Here are some tips about overlooking minor flaws and blemishes:

Old Homes
“Old” does not mean “bad”. Homes built many years ago have withstood the test of time. Many are well constructed with quality materials. Newer homes may offer more modern conveniences, but might lack that charm and character that an  older home offers.

Paint Colors 
Repainting a room is one of the most economic and easiest changes to be made to a home. Instead of focusing on the colors of a room, pay attention instead to a room’s structure.

Wallpaper
If you do not care for the wallpaper selection in a home, remember this can be fixed by removing, covering over or replacing it.

Kitchen Appliances
Do not discount a home just because the kitchen’s appliances are older. A kitchen appliance such as a refrigerator can be replaced as long as the item fits your budget. You many need to live with the old appliance for a while and save up for a newer one.

Dated Decor
The decor in the home may not be to your taste, but you like the floor plan.  The home’s furniture will be gone when you move in and you can decorate rooms to your taste and style. So, forget about the flowery curtains or that funky chair.

Carpeting
There are many different types of flooring available at all price points. If you cannot afford to replace carpeting with hardwood floors, then a laminate that looks like hardwood may be the answer. Keep this in mind when you are touring a home with ugly green carpeting.

Popcorn Ceiling
A ceiling specialist can be hired to scrape off the popcorn look from the ceiling. It is best done before you move in as it is a messy job.

No Curb Appeal
Perhaps the home just needs bushes trimmed, flowers planted or the front door painted. A lack of curb appeal might need just a little TLC from you!

Need help fixing up a home? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend experienced and vetted home-related vendors and services.

Get Your Home Ready For Spring Now!

Hands of worker using a silicone tube  for repairing of window

It’s been a mild winter so far this year. Perhaps now is a good time to focus on some spring-oriented house projects to prepare for the upcoming warmer months (as well as have your home staged to be “market ready” if you are planning on selling). Here are some projects to tackle inside and outside of your home:

PROJECTS INSIDE THE HOME

How are the “Holders” Doing?
Are the towel racks and toilet tissue paper holders sturdy? If not, unscrew the item and see if it needs a more secure wall anchor like a toggle bolt.

Door Hinges
If you have squeaky doors, get some powdered graphite and squirt it into the pin where the hinge turns.

Floor Boards
If floor boards make noises then you need to secure them down better. You can also add talcum powder in the seams to lubricate boards that rub against each other.

Shut-off Valves
Check your sinks and toilets to make sure the shutoff valves are not rusty. WD-40 can help.

Shower Ceiling
If the paint is not looking so great above your shower, scrape it off, re-coat it and then use high-quality exterior-grade paint. This type of paint should take the heat and moisture better in this room.

Windows
If it is warm enough, this could be a great time to clean the windows inside and out. Be sure to check for any gaps.

Loose Handles
If any cabinet doors have loose handles, you can probably tighten them up easily with a screwdriver. Or, if the screw will not tighten, stuff a toothpick (coated with glue) into the space or use a larger screw.

Safety First!
Be sure to change your batteries to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Outlets
Test your ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets found in the kitchen, bath or outdoors. Make sure the device trips and resets correctly.

Clothes Dryer Vent
Vacuum lint out of the vent pipe where it connects to the dryer. Wipe off lint from the dryer vent.

Drain Hoses
Inspect the hoses for the clothes washer, dishwasher and ice maker.

De-Clutter
Now could be a great to go through closets and drawers and de-clutter. Donated unused items such as housewares and clothing. Other items may be placed into your recycling bin. (You’ll need to check to see what is recyclable or not.) And, you may want to pass on some items to a friend, relative or neighbor who could use them.

Paint
If the paint on your home’s interior walls is out of date, chipped or in bad shape, think about adding a new coat.

A Big Clean
Now could be a great time to plan a thorough cleaning of your home. Wipe down walls and floors. Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures. Vacuum and mop floors. Carpets may need to be professionally cleaned.

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PROJECTS OUTSIDE THE HOME
(WHEN IT IS WARM ENOUGH!)

Check Gutters
See if any gutters are loose or have leaks.

Check Roof Shingles
Inspect for damaged shingles from the winter. Shingles that are cracked, buckled, loose or missing granules need to be replaced. (Use binoculars to check!)

Concrete Slabs
Fill any cracks with concrete crack filler or silicone caulk.

Hose Faucets
Check for freeze damage from the winter. Turn on the water and place your thumb over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, the pipe inside the home is damaged.

Air Conditioning
Have your air conditioning serviced once it is warm. Coils should be cleaned. Interior filters should be changed regularly.

Have a Wood Deck?
Remember the wood needs to be protected with a sealant to keep in good shape.  A thorough power wash can help make the deck look ship-shape, too.

 

Need help with any of these home-related activities?
Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They are in touch with many vetted service vendors and can make recommendations to you.

The Benefits of Selling Your Home During Winter

Selling your home during winterAlthough winter is not a time usually associated with a lot of home sales, real estate experts advise that homeowners can actually tap this unique market to sell their homes. All it takes is a different type of prep work and a positive attitude.

Everyone is Motivated
A huge benefit that comes with putting a home up for sale in the winter is that there is usually an interest in getting a deal done as quickly and easily as possible. Owners who decide to sell in the winter are typically those who either have to get their homes on and off the market quickly (for instance, if they have to move for work) or have had the property up for sale for a few months and want to strike a deal as soon as possible. Another possibility is that they want to get a head start on the spring market to get their home sold first.

In either case, veteran real estate professionals will often advise that buyers at this time of year are likewise motivated to move in quickly. They, too, might need to move for job-related reasons, and want to do so when there’s less competition from other buyers.

What to Keep in Mind
It’s worth noting that homeowners have a serious part to play in making sure their properties are fully up to code and ready for the sales process. Any issues that arise could hold up what would otherwise be a quick and easy sales process. That point goes beyond simply making sure a home is ready for a photo or video shoot and involves ensuring all home systems (heating and cooling, hot water heaters, etc.) are in good working order.

When mishaps arise with those home systems, they can lead to delays because of how busy the associated repair professionals are at this time of year. Therefore, getting systems tested before the home is put up for sale is usually a great idea.

Likewise, it’s usually smart for owners to invest in a home warranty ahead of a sale to make sure that if something does go wrong for those systems, they’ll have some financial protection and added peace of mind. That can be a huge benefit for buyers as well, and highlighting that protection might be an extra selling point at this time of year.

Hosting a Successful Open House in Winter
At this time of year it’s important to keep your yard in the best shape possible, even if there’s a blanket of snow on it. Clearing out sticks and dead leaves can go a long way.

Make sure all paths are safe for people to walk on. Clearing snow, ice and puddles from driveways and walkways, as well as the front sidewalks will help sellers avoid any potential accidents and also show that you are conscientious about attending to your property.

Issues to Avoid and Keep a Positive Attitude
Once open houses have been held and bids are starting to come in, keep a positive mental attitude. It can be easy to worry about getting a sale done in short order, but at this time of year, sellers’ agents will have more time to devote to their sale in particular and make sure everything goes as well as it possibly can.

At some point, the finer details of a sale are out of owners’ hands, and rather than getting worked up about uncontrollable things, it’s a better idea to let agents do their jobs.

Need help with getting your home ready to sell? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can share vetted vendors with you including snow-removal vendors!

Brought to you by Cinch Home Services, an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click https://www.cinchhomeservices.com/partners/real-estate/overview.

Your Winter Home-Maintenance Check List

Caulking WindowWinter officially begins on December 21st, and now is the time homeowners should take the time to perform one last check of their homes before cold, snowy, icy weather really sets in for the next few months. Doing so can help to keep everyone in the house safe and warm, while also saving money and averting potential issues.

Pipes
Perhaps the biggest financial risk homes face during the winter are burst pipes. When that happens, water can spill into the walls and cause a lot of damage long before a problem is even detected. It’s always wise for homeowners to assess where they stand with their water pipes.

Pipes that run along the outside of a home or along the ceiling in the basement and are uninsulated could be at risk. Wrapping them in an economic, specialized material or even towels can help protect them even if a home’s heating system stops working. Wrap your pipes and keep your home at 65 degrees or more. Also, know where your home’s water shutoff is located, so you can quickly shut off your water in an emergency.

Other Insulation
When insulating pipes, it’s also important to make sure you aren’t losing a lot of heat through uninsulated attics or other spaces. Since heat rises you may lose a lot more heated air through ceilings. When attics are properly insulated along floors, they not only help to save on heat, but also prevent potential ice dams from forming undetected on the roof because a warmer roof can lead to snow melting under its surface.

Up on the Roof
When thinking about the roof, it’s a good idea to make sure all tiles or shingles are in good shape; and all gutters are cleared of fallen leaves and other debris that can lead to backups and more potential ice dams. A quick trip up a ladder might be all it takes to identify problem areas before they become major issues.

Inspect Your Home’s Exterior
Inspect the exterior of your home and look for any cracks and holes along the edges of window frames and doorways. Fissures can be filled or covered with caulk, which will help keep the heated air inside this winter. While any individual crack or hole is going to be small, some experts estimate that the collective area of all of them across an entire house can amount to the size of an open window.

Need Help?
If you are not comfortable climbing onto the roof or doing other home-related activity, reach out to Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can make recommendations of vetted vendors to you.

Brought to you by Cinch Home Services. An industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click https://www.cinchhomeservices.com/partners/real-estate/overview