9 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

how to a. value to your home

Your home – not only does it provide shelter for you and your belongings – but is also an investment of your money. Here are nine tips to increase your home’s value with updates, repairs and cosmetic changes:

1. Create More Space in your Home
Buyers look for open spaces in homes. You may be able to take down a non-structural wall to open up space and create a better flow in your home. Or, you might be able to have an addition. to increase square footage.

The number of bedrooms has a large impact on a home’s value. If your neighboring homes have four bedrooms, your home should have the same number.

If you live in an area where many homes lack a garage, consider adding one. The most valuable garages are attached to the home, but you may need to opt for a free-standing one. 

2. Landscaping
Neat and tidy landscaping looks appealing. If you have weeds and bushes that have grown too tall, you need to pull and prune. By planting attractive trees, bushes or flowers, you can add value to your home. HomeGain.com cites that an investment of $400 into landscaping can bring a return of four times that amount.

3. Light the Way
Lighting is important to home buyers and can add even more appeal to your home. Make sure your lighting features are up-to-date. Read more about lighting here.

4. Maintain
Have your “to do” list of repairs for your home and check those items off as you keep your home in good repair. (Repair plumbing leaks, inspect the furnace, weed the flower beds, etc.)

If you live in an older home, make sure the plumbing and electrical is up-to-date. Maintaining basement and foundation issues is important. Leaks and cracks need to be investigated. 

5. Think Green
“Green” energy efficiencies are desirable by home buyers and can save you money. 

6. Front Door and Curb Appeal
A home’s first impression starts with the front door. Make your front yard and porch look fabulous. 

7. Flooring
An upgrade in flooring will add more value when it is time to sell.

8. Upgrade the Bath
Some easy bathroom improvements include cleaning or replacing the grout, updating doorknobs and cabinet pulls, replacing faucets, and installing a new toilet.

9. Paint
Painting is one of the most economic ways to update your home. Be sure to use a neutral color if you planning to sell your home. It will appeal to more home buyers.

Need help with your home maintenance or renovations? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can put you in touch with many service vendors!


Selling Your Home? Paint Tips to Help Get Your Home Ready!

Tips on painting rooms in your home

Getting your home “market ready” is an important step to make it stand out among other available homes for sale. Here are painting tips to make your home look its best:

Touch Ups
Take a tour of your home and make note of the walls and trim areas that need to be touched up inside and out. A few neglected spots might be a signal to potential buyers that the home is not well maintained.

Are Your Colors Neutral?
If your painted walls are in good condition, you will also need to access whether the color is appealing to the masses. Although you may have enjoyed an expressive color, the person moving into your home may not. It is best to neutralize those “avant-garde” colors. A DIY repainted room usually costs under $100.

Exterior Paint
Go conservative with color. White and neutral colors are the safest choices as these colors will appeal to the largest number of buyers. Make a buyer’s first impression positive!

Select Your Paint Carefully
A high-quality acrylic latex paint can last for 10+ years and offers prospective buyers a “no maintenance” situation when moving into your home. Less work for them might mean a faster sale for you.

Prepare and Know Your Surface
Taking the time to properly preparing your surface before painting will result in a quality finish and thus impress buyers. Make sure you understand what type of paint your surface requires before you paint!

If DIY is not your thing, contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend local painters to help you out.

Home Improvements: What to Do and What to Avoid

Shopping cart in a hardware store

Planning on updating your home? Before you make changes, consider if the updates will bring value to your home when it’s time to sell. Here are some tips to consider:

If you have a kitchen that has seen better days an update may be the right thing to do. A total renovation can be expensive so consider cosmetic changes before committing to any major updating.

Budget Friendly Changes:
1. If cabinets are in good condition, paint them and add new hardware. (If the cabinet face needs updating, have them replaced and then painted.)
2. Update the hardware and/or sink.
3. Missing a backsplash? This is an easy update to make. See how to here.
4. New appliances can make a big change in a kitchen. Just do not go overboard with the brand.

Bathrooms are one of the most popular home-improvement projects for home owners. And, it’s a project that can pay off! Keep your renovation simple with paint, new lighting and fresh caulk. If you keep your update under $5,000, you might turn a profit when selling.

If you need more extensive work in the bathroom, do not go overboard with the tub, shower and floor.

Avoid fancy “to taste” lights and chandeliers. Trendy lighting can be “in” one day and “out” the next. New lights can be relatively inexpensive and make a large impact. Consider replacing light bulbs with brighter, more efficient ones. While you are at it, purchase new light switch covers.

Although you may love your wallpaper selection, the next home buyer may not. Stick to paint – it’s safer.

Over-personalized tile may be a mistake for a home renovation depending upon the taste of the next homeowner. Keep your tile installation neutral. Then add a colorful or quirky rug to place on top.

The number of bedrooms is important when selling a home. If you have been considering converting a bedroom or widening a bedroom into another, think again. It might be better to put renovation dollars into another project.

If the windows are efficient and in good shape, consider adding trim to give that wow factor. Molding works wonders.

Interior Doors
Have your doors and their hardware seen better days? Think about replacing doors them. Having matching doors will make your interior spaces feel more cohesive and appealing. (Consider fire resistant materials for bedroom doors.) Watch this video and follow instructions from the Family Handyman if you enjoy DIY projects.

Before installing wall-to-wall carpet, think about using hardwood or laminate flooring instead. People prefer these type of materials over carpeting. A new carpet will only remain “new” for a short period of time.

Front Door
New doors can be expensive. If your front door is in good condition, consider updating the hardware. Add a new welcome mat and you will be set.

Curb appeal is very important when selling your home, but there is a fine line of overdoing landscaping projects. High-maintenance gardens could be daunting to prospective buyers. Keep it simple: add new flowers and plants and be sure to pull weeds. Add walkway lights.

Sun Room Addition
This type of home addition can be expensive and you usually only recoup half of what you spend.

Hobby Rooms
Rooms converted for hobbies (ie: sewing rooms, man caves, home gyms, themed bedrooms, etc…) take a generic room and change its focus on that single hobby or interest. What you spend for your enjoyment may leave few interested buyers in the future.

If you do want to pursue having a hobby room, consider changes that are easy to remove when you sell.

Built-In High-Tech Installations
Customized electronics and built-in technology can quickly become outdated and bring down the value of your home. A home theater is a safe bet, but avoid adding a custom fish tank or expensive techie items.

New Deck
A new deck costs an average for $17,000 (per Remodeling’s Cost vs Value Report.) If your deck is in good condition, consider staining or painting it to freshen it up. Add lighting to your deck to create ambiance. This can be a DIY project.

Garage conversions will not work in your favor. People want garages for their cars and storage. If you make it into a bedroom, study, gym or other type of room, home buyers will want it converted back. Simply paint the garage floor to freshen it up and add storage shelves if needed.

Pool/Hot Tub
A luxury item such as a pool or hot tub are great to enjoy during hot summer days, but when selling your home, they might not pay off. In-ground pools are expensive, require maintenance and treatment. The same goes for a hot tub. Remember, not everyone wants to take care of a pool or hot tub.

Ultimately when making changes to your home, you need to ask: “Am I remodeling for my quality of life or to increase my home’s value or resale price?”

Need assistance with your home update project? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They have vetted pros who can help!

Winterize Your Home Now So You Can Sell This Spring

Tips to winterize your home

It’s important  for homeowners to keep their homes in the best shape possible during the winter season and be prepared as potential listings for the spring. A little bit of work to winterize properties before colder weather really sets in can go a long way toward keeping a home in great shape.

Start Indoors
There are plenty of ways to winterize a home and the simplest usually start indoors. For instance, by simply checking and swapping out old furnace filters (which are available at a relatively low cost) homeowners can both improve the quality of the air in their homes and make those furnaces run far more efficiently.

Don’t forget to drain the water pipes that run water outdoors. Whether it’s a spigot that comes out of the side of the house or an underground sprinkler system, flushing them out at this time of year is vital. Otherwise, they can burst, leading to lots of water damage and costly repairs.

Where Inside Meets Outside
Homeowners may not be aware, but a primary cause of high heating bills is cracked seals around doors and windows. These can be small, but across an entire house can add up to be equal to the size of leaving a window open. Going through the home and inspecting the frames around windows and doors for cracks or fissures, then closing them up with weather stripping or a sealant, will make a home heating more efficient.

Make sure the roof is in good shape before the first snowfall or cold rain. If there are damaged shingles, replace them, and if gutters are clogged with fallen leaves or other debris, clean them out. In a lot of cases, a small issue on the roof can lead to big problems if left unaddressed.

Owners of older homes should evaluate their insulation situation. If it hasn’t been changed out in a decade or more, now might be the right time to do it. Often, homeowners might not even notice the difference over the years, but putting in new insulation could really help them save on their heating (and cooling) costs for years to come.

Out in the Yard
This time of year is the right one to go around your yard and see if there are any hazards, such as rotting trees or big, overhanging branches. Weighted down with snow, they could fall and do damage to your house or other parts of the property. Taking some time now (before the first big snowfall of the year) to trim them back or have them removed altogether can help avoid what would otherwise be some rather costly damage.

It’s also important to have plenty of products on hand to keep walkways clear – with deicers and shovels and perhaps even a snowblower – so guests and family members can keep their footing even when conditions aren’t ideal.

When Selling a Home
Many homeowners who plan to sell within the next few months may not think of all these aspects of winterizing as being particularly vital, but if something were to go wrong with their plumbing, roof, siding or any other part of the home, that could really hurt their sales prospects.


How To Prepare Your Garage for an Electric Car

Get your garage ready for an electric car

Electric car sales have been growing and with rising gas prices, many people are considering an electric one for their next vehicle purchase. In the U.S., currently under 1% of all cars are fully electric. However, hybrid vehicles have had a 76% increase in sales and there has been an 83% increase for fully electric cars. By end of 2022, it is expected that 5% of all car sales will be electric vehicles.

With an all-electric car, finding a charging station is a concern. Having a personal charging station housed in the garage is what car owners want.

An electric car’s charger is actually buried inside of the vehicle. It takes an AC course from the electric supplied and then converts it to DC so the car’s battery pack is charged. In a garage you will need a wall-mounted box with the cord and plug that supplies those volts of electricity. The system is known as an Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE).

Level 1 and Level 2 Charging Stations
There are a variety of EVSEs available and it is important to choose one that is right for your car. You will want to install either a level one with a 120-volt/12-amp outlet; or a level two that has a 240-volt/20-40-amp outlet. (A 240 EVSE service gives you about 23 miles of range each hour of charging.)

240V (Level 2) Is the Best Option
A 240-volt outlet uses more power in half the time than that of a 120-volt outlet and is best for those who are always driving. (It costs more but will give you more power in less time. It takes between 4 to 9 hours to recharge – depending upon the kind of vehicle you own.)

An electrician should be involved in the installation of the circuit board and ESVE. If the ESVE is on a shared circuit, other appliances in your home will slow down the car-charging process. Your electrician should:

• Have experience with this type of installation.

• Review where the EVSE should be placed in relation to how your car is parked. You need to consider the length of time the car will be charging and if the cord/car will be in the way during that time period.

• Do a load calculation of all existing circuits. You need to know how much power you have in your home and garage. Make sure the new circuit is capable of 40–50 amps.

• Determine if permits are required prior to installation.

• Once the garage is wired, the charging station should be bolted securely to the wall. Make sure the cord is long enough to reach a car parked outside of the garage (16–25 feet).

Garage Details
Is there climate control in the garage? Electric car batteries do not handle fluctuating weather well. An insulated garage door will prevent the interior temperature from changing too drastically and will help extend a car battery’s life.

Some systems come with a “Juice Box” app which lets you track how much power your car uses.

Need Helping Installing a Car Charger System in Your Garage?
Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend an electrician with experience.

Quick Tips for Kitchen Redecorating on a Budget

Tips for updating your kitchen

Here are a couple of great tips for updating your kitchen on a budget:

One of the most common problems with older kitchens is harsh or insufficient lighting. Luckily, this is also one of the easiest problems to solve! While it may seem like a daunting task to switch out a hanging light fixture, there are plenty of online guides that will take you through the process. Many homeowners are surprised to find that it’s easy to do. Light fixtures can be very affordable. Most local home improvement stores carry a nice selection of modern fixtures in inexpensive to moderate price ranges, so chances are good that you’ll find something you love.

Another quick fix that will have your kitchen looking great is a hardware upgrade. We’re talking about the hinges, handles and knobs on the faces of your cabinets. For $15 to $30, you can buy all new hardware and install it yourself in an afternoon. Brushed copper or brass is very popular right now, but the most important thing is that you pick something that complements the color of your cabinetry and works with the style of your kitchen.

With a wrench and some silicone caulk, you can have your new faucet installed and running in half an hour. High-arching, single-handle faucets are most popular, as these styles have technical advantages over their flat, double-handle counterparts. High-arching faucets give you more room to maneuver dishes and pots and single-handle faucets allow more control over water temperature. These are a little more expensive, but a great faucet should cost you around $150 – a small price to pay for serious utility. Bonus points if you pick out a faucet that is functional and unique.

Unfortunately, replacing your counters is a big job that requires a real investment. If you’ve just moved in, and are strapped for cash, you may wish to wait until your finances are a little bit more stable. In the meantime, you can still have good looking counters with a little bit of ingenuity.

One option is to cover your counters with a butchers block. If you look around, you can even find butchers block wood that is cut specifically to the size of your counters. Simply rest the block on top and voila – beautiful wood counters. Remember to invest in mineral oil for proper maintenance.

The other option is to paint your counters. This is a little trickier than painting a wall, but easier than you might think. “The Kitchn” blog has a great step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Once you’re finished, take a look around. We’re betting that you won’t even recognize the kitchen that was there when you moved in.

Not into DIY? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services for specialists to help with your kitchen updates.

Your Winter Home-Maintenance Check List

Caulking WindowWinter is just a few months away. Now is the time for homeowners to take the time to perform one last check of their homes before cold 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.

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 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.

8 Popular Home-Staging Trends

home stage tips when selling

Thinking of selling your home? Read about some current decor trends for staging your home:

Do you have an attractive “outdoor room” that needs to be highlighted? Show off how this space can be used for entertaining purposes. Set out a few dishes to set the table for an outdoor meal or barbecue. Add a hammock with a book and a comfy blanket.

Look at some of our outdoor rooms on Pinterest here. Go here for porch ideas.

A new trend for kitchens is white and bright. If you are not willing to paint your cabinets, perhaps consider showing off spare, white accessories that will make your kitchen seem brighter.

Gold and brass are back in style! Think framed mirrors and brass bar carts. Use these types of accents sparingly. Get some inspiration here.

Navy blue is an easy color to work with and is popular. This is a strong, neutral hue to use as an accent wall. Navy blue looks great with yellow, tan and chartreuse.

(5) BLACK 
Black elements can be found in lighting, framing or a statement piece of furniture. It’s good to use as a focal point. See ideas using black here.

Is your dining room an empty space? Do not worry about staging this room with a full suite of matching furniture. People are using unique pieces in their dining rooms. Chairs do not have to match the table. The side board can be an old dresser. Get some ideas here.

Home offices are coveted rooms. If you have a home office, be sure to showcase it. If not, think about converting a rarely used corner of a spare bedroom into a mini office. Many people have used their dining room tables staged as desks when selling their homes.

Live, indoor plants, macrame and Scandinavian-style furniture are current design trends that reflect natural elements. Plants add energy to rooms and a neutral look is calming and appealing to home buyers. (Think IKEA designs.)

Need help staging your home to sell? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can put your in touch with professional stagers who can provide consultations or temporary use of furniture.


Sibcy Cline Home Services: Finding Reliable Contractors for Your Needs

If you’re selling your home, there’s a good chance that you have some repairs or improvement to make in the process—and the same goes for buyers. You may have just purchased your dream home, but that flowered wallpaper is NOT part of the dream. Even if you’ve been in your home for a while and have no intention to move, this pandemic has you looking around and wishing a few things were just a little different.  

The “home remodeling bug” seems to have been contagious. During 2020, Sibcy Cline Home Services saw an increase in homeowners who desired to make repairs and improvements. We had 3900 new customers in 2020 who were able to work with our Home Services Coordinators to get the help they needed from local vendors and see their projects and/or move to a new home to completion.  

Are you seeing some projects you’d like to complete in your home? Getting the help you need is easy with our home services department. We’ll match your project to one of our 200 local vendor partners—all of whom meet our standards of service. You’re assured prompt and reliable service for your home repair or home improvement project, and our services to match with you up with a reputable vendor near you are FREE.  

While we have services for just about any type of project you may have, we’ve compiled a list of the home services that were the most popular during 2020 and created the graphic below. The graphic excludes our #1 service, which is home inspections. During 2020, we provided 1446 home inspections for buyers around the region.  

By enlisting the help of our coordinators, homeowners were able to fix plumbing and water issues, repair electrical problems, fix roofs, paint, clean, and of course, hire movers to move them into or out of their homes. And don’t forget the best part: our coordinators’ services are FREE to anyone in the local market.

For more information on how Sibcy Cline can make your next project go smoothly, watch our video here. To speak to one of our Home Services coordinators, visit the Home Services contact page to fill out the form and someone will reach out to you right away!  

Pantone Colors of the Year 2021 – How to Use Them in Your Home!

pantone color of the year 2021

Thinking of adding some color to your home this year? If you want to be on top of the newest trends, Pantone suggests Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow for 2021.

Why these two colors?
Per Pantone, gray is the color of strength and fortitude. Yellow is a color for aspiration and hope. Yellow also denotes positivity and warmth. Read more about these colors here.

Using these colors in your home
If you are inspired to add gray and yellow to your home’s decor, here are some ideas:

1. Accessories
Using gray and/or yellow accents with pillows, blankets, curtains or art are simples ways to splash these colors without having to invest in expensive items such as furniture. Another idea would be to use gray-colored pottery. Remember – use yellow sparsely since it is such a strong color.

2. Kitchen
If you have considered painting your kitchen cabinets, Ultimate Gray might be the perfect color. This gray pairs well with other colors. You could use accents of yellow with kitchen accessories.

3. Bathroom Accents
Ultimate Gray looks nice as a bathroom wall color or as a backsplash or floor tile.

4. Front Door
Consider Illuminating Yelllow as the color for your front door. Yellow will stand out especially against gray siding and roofing materials. Use a white trim for the highest contrast.

5. Bedroom
Gray on the walls creates a neutral, calm setting for a bedroom. If you want to add yellow, consider a rug or pillows.

Are you making updates to your home? What colors are you using this year?

If you need assistance with any of your home’s updates, connect with Sibcy Cline Home Services. They have many vetted, local vendors providing all kinds of services for the home!