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How to Amp Up The Resale Value of Your Home

How to Amp Up The Resale Value of Your Home

Whether you're putting your home on the market this year or in the next five years, it is a smart decision to start building your home's resale value now. Here are some ways to create a comfortable home while making it easier to put more money into your bank account on closing day.

Small Maintenance and Repairs

If you think that home maintenance on the weekends waste your time and energy, think again. The small chores you do around your home prevents it from losing value. Neglecting small maintenance and repairs causes 10% of your home's value to walk out your door and slip through your windows. Most appraisers claim that homes showing little to no preventative maintenance can depreciate from $15,000 to $20,000.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Syracuse University shows that regular maintenance boosts your home value by about 1% per year. However, ongoing maintenance costs offset that value, which means that regular maintenance actually slows down your rate of depreciation. Furthermore, because homebuyers generally notice any repairs needed upon buying a new home, proactive maintenance lets the homebuyer know that he or she will not have to spend extra money to maintain the basics. This makes your home more attractive, and thus more likely to get higher priced offers.

Maintaining the basics can cost you little money and certainly some effort, but there’s a way to accomplish this very important activity smartly. This article by HouseLogic, for example, shows you how to keep home maintenance below $300 a year.  Planning ahead will also help make maintaining your home easier. Most professional appraisers and real estate agents recommend a proactive maintenance schedule that includes:

  • Keeping enough cash on hand to replace systems and materials
  • Creating and following a maintenance schedule
  • Planning a room redo every year
  • Keeping a notebook of all your maintenance and repairs


The Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech published a study that shows landscaping can increase a home's value by 15%.  The study claims that a home valued at $150,000 could increase its value between $8,300 and $19,000 with the addition of landscaping. Particular landscape elements add different value. For instance, landscape design can increase your home's value by 42%, plant size can increase your home's value by 32%, and diversity in plants can increase your home's value by 22%.

Replace Entrance Doors

If your entry doors are wood, consider switching them out for either fiberglass or steel doors. Steel doors add style and architectural interest to your home while improving security; you can add a deadbolt and electronic keypads to keep out intruders. Unlike wood doors, steel doors do not rot or splinter.

Alternatively, fiberglass doors can be designed to look like wood doors and give your home a modern look. Fiberglass doors conserve more energy than steel doors.

Pricewise, a steel door will cost you $1,335 with a 91% return on investment whereas a fiberglass door will cost you $3,126 with an 82.3% return on investment.

Garage Door Replacement


At first, you might not think that your garage door increases the value of your home. However, your garage door distinguishes your home from the other homes on your block. As the largest entryway of a house, garage doors get noticed first because they're the focal point of your home. If you want to quickly increase the resale value of your home, you need to make the most of this space.


Some interesting things being done with garage doors include:

  • Increased Size: Bigger garage doors help homes stand out more, and homeowners can do more creatively with them.
  • Bold Colors: Bright and bold colors now can complement the color of your home, or you can build a concept around the color of your home.
  • Faux Wood: You can install fiberglass or steel garage doors that look like wood garage doors. This gives your home a new level of sophistication.
  • Windows: Large Windows on your garage door improve the aesthetic of your home, and provide light into your garage so that it's no longer a dark space.


More importantly, a garage door replacement will cost you $1,652 and add $1,512 to the value of your home; that's a return on your investment of 91.5%.

Fiberglass Attic Insulation

While energy efficiency is still not the sexiest selling point of your home, installing fiberglass attic insulation saves energy and garners a big payback on your investment. According to Remodeling Magazine's 2016 Cost vs. Value top trends report, fiberglass attic insulation gained the top return on investment among the 30 projects in this year's report. Using Remodel/Max as the cost source, a fiberglass attic insulation project cost $1,268 nationwide.  Real estate professionals surveyed estimated that the work would boost the price of a home at resale, within a year of its completion, by $1,482. That's a 116.9% return on investment.

Replacing Windows

Replacing your windows is another way to save energy and increase your home's resale value. Replacing your old windows with energy saving models will beautify your home, keep it comfortable, and ease the workload of your HVAC system. According to HGTV, you'll see a reduction in your utility bill by 7% to 15%. However, if you're selling your home, you could expect a 60% to 70% recoupment of your investment. The two types of replacement windows that fetch the best return are vinyl and wood. 

Remodeling Your Kitchen

Kitchen remodeling can get expensive, but small renovations can make your home more buyer friendly. Changing your kitchen's texture and color using a matte finish and neutral colors such as putty or grey enhances your home's resale value. Because matte finishes have transitional qualities, your potential homebuyer can easily match his or her stainless steel or black and white appliances. Also, refinishing cabinetry, or switching to Energy Star™ appliances provide comfort you like and pizazz buyers adore.

Flow is important to any interior design of a home. If you feel that your kitchen hinders a good flow, change it. A small investment to knock out a non-structural wall or remove a kitchen island creates space and provides flow that buyers love.

A minor kitchen remodel can cost you $20,122 while putting $16,716 of resale value into your home; that's an 83% payback on the project. If you want to do a major kitchen model, this can cost you about $60,000 and put about $39,000 of resale value into your home, which is only about a 65% payback on the project. Therefore, consider a minor kitchen remodel first.

Bathroom Addition or Remodel

Likewise, carefully consider adding a bathroom or remodeling your bathroom. Switching out your frosted glass shower doors for glass doors, cleaning the grout, replacing the shower and floor tiles, switching out your sink or toilet, or replacing your sink and shower fixtures can cost you little money.

Adding a bathroom can get expensive, but it can reduce congestion during hectic times and provide your guests with a bathroom. Consult with your real estate agent or a local appraiser before deciding whether a full remodel or addition is right for your situation. While a bathroom remodel will cost you about $18,000 with a return on investment of about 66%, a bathroom addition will cost you about $42,000 with a return on investment of about 56%. Therefore, it's best do your due diligence before working on your bathroom.

Your Needs and Buyers' Wants

On that note, if you need to renovate your home, be sure to consider how those changes will affect its appeal to future buyers. Knowing design trends will give you the opportunity to make changes to your home based on where your needs and your potential buyer's desires intersect, thus increasing your property's resale value drastically.

Designers and design websites provide great ideas when you’re brainstorming home renovations. Keep in mind as you research, however, that you don’t want to sacrifice your needs for a comfortable home just for the sake of what you think a future buyer will want!

Therefore, before you begin making any changes to your home, consult your real estate agent. Real estate agents, because we are constantly working with new buyer clients, have insider insight into what home buyers are looking for now and in the future. We’ll be able to help you make smart choices when remodeling or renovating your home.

If you think you might want to remodel or renovate your home in the near future, or if you are just curious about other ways you can increase its resale value, please reach out to me!

Be Ready for Summer with No Hassle

Here's what I keep in the tote, ready to go when the moment strikes:

  • Beach towel
  • Plastic tablecloth or shower liner (to sit on a damp or muddy ground)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm (sunscreen has a shelf life of about 6 months)
  • Baby wipes or hand sanitizers
  • Microfiber cloth or rags or paper towels
  • Mini first aid kit (anti-itch spray, bandages, antibiotic ointment)
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Camera or your cell phone with you when you go
  • Small bag with spending money
  • Hat & sunglasses
  • Baby powder and soft-bristle paintbrush (removes sand or dried mud easily)
  • Hair ties 
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Bag for treasures
  • Garbage/recycling bag (not every place has a trash nearby)
  • Taking Fido? Grab water bowl & leash
  • Radio or MP3
  • A watch you can hang from the handle
  • Of course a book to read or maybe your Kindle

Voila you're now ready at a moments notice to go enjoy the sun alone or with family and you don't have to search for anything.

What is your favorite summer thing to do?




What is Love?

What Love means to a 4-8 year old...

Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is so worth it.

Touching words from the mouth of babes..

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8
year-olds ,

'What does love mean?'

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have

'When my grandmother got arthritis , she couldn't bend over and paint
her toenails anymore.. So my grandfather does it for her all the time ,
even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'
                        Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you , the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
                        Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne
and they go out and smell each other.'
                        Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French
fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
                        Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'

Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip
before giving it to him , to make sure the taste is OK.'
                        Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing
, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mom my and Daddy
are like that.
They look gross when they kiss'
                        Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening
presents and listen.'
                        Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better , you should start with a friend
who you hate , '
                        Nikka - age 6
                        (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt , then he wears it
                        Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still
friends even after they know each other so well.'
                        Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital , I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked
at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
                        Cindy - age 8

'My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
                        Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mom my gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'
                        Elaine-age 5

'Love is when Mom my sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is
handsomer than Robert Redford .'
                        Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone
all day.'
                        Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old
clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
                        Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody , your eyelashes go up and down and little stars
come out of you.' (what an image)

Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mom my sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's
                        Mark - age 6

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you
mean it , you should say it a lot. People forget.'
                        Jessica - age 8

And the final one

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an
elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry , the little boy went into the old gentleman's
yard , climbed onto his lap , and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor , the little boy
said ,

'Nothing , I just helped him cry'

When there is nothing left but God , that is when you find out that God
is all you need. Take 60 seconds and give this a shot! All you do is
simply say the following small prayer for the person who sent you this.

Heavenly Father , please bless all my friends in whatever it is that You
know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of Your
peace , prosperity and power as he/she seeks to have a closer
relationship with You. Amen .

Simplify and Savor the Holidays

Simplify and Savor the Holidays

This is the time every year that I start using my Holiday Handbook on a daily basis to keep my thoughts, lists and paperwork organized.

I've set up my handbook in a three ring binder. My dividers are notes/lists, christmas, recipes,thanksgiving, recipes and storage.

This is the perfect place to make a few quick notes. I make a note what went right and what you'd like to repeat (and not repeat) next Thanksgiving, Christmas.

Did I have enough food? Too much food? What did I forget? What recipes were a hit? Which should never be made again? How did the turkey turn out? How did I set the table? How was the traffic? Did I time things well? I also take photos of the table setting jsut to remember.

And most importantly I make notes about what and where I stored items I willl need again a year from now; because I am forever putting stuff away and then forget where I put it. Especially items that I only uses for the holidays I store in the attic and the attic trolls hide away on me. 

I hope this can help you for your holiday planning year afeter year.

Just as an aside, I also have a separate looseleaf that holds all my holiday recipes. Those I made and loved and then a separate section of those I would like to try. these usually are magazine cut outs that I find I want to try. So when I feel the urge to try something I go into this binder.

Old World Christmas Charm In New York City

You don't have to travel to Vienna, Austria or Germany to experience the Christkindlmarkt.

Now in its 16th year the Union Square Holiday Market is modeled after the European style markets. Union Square market seems to be filled with local artisans and crafts people.

There are other markets as well for those who prefer the Upper West Side by central park and a stroll away from Lincoln Center. This market is in it's 7th year and it features original handmade, recycled and organic gifts and decorations.

My favorite market is Holiday Shops at Bryant Park and I can't wait for it to get cold and go there, window shop, look at the skaters and drink some mulled  wine.

Below are the markets and the times that they start as well as the website if they have one.

Union Square Holiday Market
South end of Union Square at West 14th Street
November 19–December 24
Open daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
(Closed Thanksgiving Day)

Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Southwest entrance to Central Park
December 1–December 24
Open daily 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Holiday Shops at Bryant Park
Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and 40th and 42nd Streets

Grand Central Holiday Terminal
Grand Central Terminal, Lexington Avenue at 42nd Street

Holiday Gift Shops at St. Bartholemew’s
325 Park Avenue

12 Days of Christmas

I present “12 Days of Christmas” from the amazingly creative Highland Lakes Realtors staff. If they are half as good at real estate as they are at Christmas carols it’s easy to see why they have been successful :)

Highland Lakes

Their Website states:

After humble beginnings in 1993, Highland Lakes Real Estate has grown to be the largest independent real estate brokerage on the north shore. Our laid back and friendly style of doing business has gained us a reputation as the place to go when you want to buy or sell real estate in central Texas. We were voted the BEST REALTOR ON THE NORTHSHORE in 2007 AND 2008 and have been awarded BUSINESS OF THE YEAR honors multiple times by the Lago Vista Chamber of Commerce.

The video is great but it’s even better if you sing along so to help you’ll find the lyrics detailed under the video. You can also click here if you want a PDF version:

On the first day of Christmas
My buyers said to me,
There are some houses we would like to see

On the second day of Christmas
Their Lender said to me,
A Pre-Approval Letter
For your buyers who found houses they must see

On the third day of Christmas
The first house we did see,
Ended up a Short Sale
Who knows when we’re closing
We must find a home and move within 3 weeks.

On the fourth day of Christmas
My cell goes Ring-A-Ling-A Ling
A New List of Houses
Grandpa came along
Only Two Hours
Can you show us all these houses right away?

On the fifth day of Christmas
My buyers said to me
Hurry let’s get in
Dead E-Key
Two Open Doors
The Alarm goes off as we walk in

On the sixth day of Christmas
My Broker texted me
Alarm turned off
EWEWEW what’s that smell
Smoke or Cat Box
Who can really tell
Oh let’s hurry! Can we write an offer please?

On the seventh day of Christmas
The Contract signed today
Seven Option Days
3 Weeks to Closing
The Inspector called
His boot just
Went through the roof
But the Seller owns a Roofing Company

On the eighth day of Christmas
The Lender e-mailed me
Just got the Appraisal
We need more sold houses
Values must go up
But there is good news
Interest Rates are Faaaalllling
And we need to Quickly Lock the Buyers in!

On the ninth day of Christmas
The Title Company
Asked “What are all these Liens?”
Look at Schedule C
Do you have a survey?
Buyers need more money
Movers will be here
To Load up
All the Buyers things
And We really need to close by New Year’s Eve

On the tenth day of Christmas
The Inspector sent to me
A 30-Page Report
8 Summary Pages
Faulty Circuit Wiring
Water Heater Leaks
Question on Foundation
Overflowing Toilets
Sinks Leak
What could be next?
This house sits in the Flood Plain!

On the eleventh day of Christmas
We’re closing in 2 days
We have Clear Title
Where is your Disbursement
Lender sent the docs
Buyers sign at 10
Find a Closing Gift
Finally get a Check
Had to cut Commission
What else is new?
Shake hands, here’s the key to your new house

On the twelfth day of Christmas
A big sigh of relief
To-Do List on the fridge
Baking still to do
Presents still to wrap
Football on the tube
Empty gas tank
Office Christmas Party
Decorate the Tree
Cell Phone starts to ring
Buyers need to see
This house right away
I’m a REALTOR, there is no time for me!

VN:F [1.7.8_1020]

All Clad has coupon for newlyweds...

Newly wed ALL CLAD Coupon

I love my ALL CLAD cookware and I am always searching for great prices on this product. Also looking to see if they have a factory store. NO luck so far. However I ahve come upon this coupon link above for newly weds between April 5 2009 and APril 4 20010. Just thought this would be of interest.

All Clad has coupon for newlyweds...

Newly wed ALL CLAD Coupon

I love my ALL CLAD cookware and I am always searching for great prices on this product. Also looking to see if they have a factory store. NO luck so far. However I ahve come upon this coupon link above for newly weds between April 5 2009 and APril 4 20010. Just thought this would be of interest.

How to Clean and Polish Chain Jewelry!

How to Clean and Polish Chain Jewelry!

7 Great Tips to Maintain your Chain!

The current trend in jewelry is chain and in going through my jewelry looking for chain I have found a lot of the chain jewelry etc feels dirty and discolored so  I thought why not look into cleaning old chain jewelry and caring for new chain jewelry. Here are a few tips I've learned about cleaning and caring for chain jewelry.

1. Daily Care
When you remove your jewelry, wipe off the chain with a lint-free polishing cloth that has no abrasives. If you have been wearing perfume, rinse the chain with water, pat it dry, then follow with the polishing cloth. This is great for day-to-day maintenance: cleaning off fingerprints, skin oils, scents, and surface dirt.

2. Storage
your jewelry in an air-tight plastic baggie along with an anti-tarnish strip. These strips are fantastic–completely safe and non-toxic. They absorb moisture and neutralize tarnish-producing gases in the air. They will last up to 6 months or longer if placed in a sealed environment. They work for silver, brass, copper, nickel, bronze, tin, and gold. Copper is the villain when it comes to tarnishing, so any metal that contains copper will tarnish. Clean your chains thoroughly, then store them with anti-tarnish strips and they'll be ready to wear for months. You can purchase these strips from jewelers or on line.

3. Weekly Maintenance
Use an ultrasonic cleaner and a cleaning solution that is PH-balanced and ammonia-free. This will eliminate surface dirt, oil, lotion, and perfume. If you are cleaning a rope chain or snake chain where dirt might get into the crevices, use a soft toothbrush to get into those hard to reach areas.

4. Let It Soak
Soak your chains in a PH-balanced, ammonia free jewelry solution for stubborn tarnish. If you have chain with stones, make sure that the cleaning solution you are using is gentle enough to use on the particular gemstones or pearls. Don't use the ultrasonic cleaner as the vibration may harm the stones.

5. Tarnish Be Gone
There are some wonderful polishing pads and cloths that are embedded with microabrasives that get rid of tarnish and dirt in a jiffy. Just rub the cloth over the piece and watch it polish to a clean, brilliant shine.

6. Go Eco
To clean silver, try Jean Campbell’s At-Home Tarnish Busting Remedy. For stubborn spots, use plain toothpaste (no gels or whitening) and a soft toothbrush, then rinse and dry with a soft cloth.

For brass and copper pieces, use hot vinegar mixed with a few tablespoons of salt; let soak, then rinse and dry.


7. When in Doubt
If your jewelry has become really tarnished or you have concerns about any of the gemstones used in your design, take your jewelry to a professional jeweler and ask them to clean your pieces for you.