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And who’s not impressed with cheap and easy…?

5 Cheap and Easy Fixes Before You List Your Home

DATE:JANUARY 9, 2013 | CATEGORY:TIPS & ADVICE | AUTHOR:

Thinking of listing your home? Of course, you’ll want to get the best possible price. Before you call a major renovation squad for a TV-style home makeover, try these cheap and easy fixes to increase your home’s appeal.

Declutter

Start with the easiest fix of all. Pack up and hide or store some of your possessions. Stash your collections of porcelain dolls or “Star Wars” figurines; the less of your stuff potential buyerssee, the more likely they will be to envision themselves — and their stuff — in the home.

Add curb appeal

Next, take a look at your home from the street. Could it benefit from a little landscaping? Clear away any dead plants, trim back limbs and bushes, and check out your local home improvement store’s garden section. Small flowering plants and other foliage is very affordable and easily adds instant charm.

Deep clean

The next easy fix is to clean. No, really clean. Pressure wash the driveway, and have your tile and carpets professionally cleaned. Clean your window treatments and remove scuff marks around the baseboards. All the little things that may go unnoticed from day to day will make the home look much better when they are all sparkly-clean.

Go neutral

Watch about 20 seconds of any real estate reality show and you’ll surely hear a prospective buyer lament about the owner’s poor choice in color. “Oh, it’s so … blue.” This is like nails on a chalkboard to real estate professionals because it is literally one of the easiest things to change. The solution: Repaint some of your boldest walls a good old off-white or beige neutral. It will also help you start to detach emotionally from your home as you enter the sale process.

Kitchens and bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two rooms that really sell a home. Give them a quick mini-makeover by making a few inexpensive hardware changes; towel racks, accent shelves, even light switches and utility plate covers are cheap and easy to fix. Also, refer to No. 1 and stash your family photos on the refrigerator and deep-six the extensive pile of magazines in the restroom.

With these five tips, you can give your home a major makeover on a budget in the hundreds versus the thousands and get it ready to list for top dollar.

Related:

Samantha (Sam) DeBianchi is a Realtor and founder of DeBianchi Real Estate. Her expert real estate advice and straightforward approach can be seen and heard on FOX Business. Always keeping it REAL, you can follow Sam online on Twitter and Facebook.
 

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”  ― Meister Eckhart

Carpé Diem.  Ten tips for waking up…

Perfect for small urban kitchen gardens or those with limited outdoor space, Pod is afogponic indoor gardening system for cultivating herbs and vegetables.

Similar to hydroponic gardening, the fogponic “plug-and-play” growing system automatically distributes nutrients and water as a fog or mist rather than liquid, rendering Pod easy to clean and maintain.

Bonus: it’s modular design also promotes cultivating community by sharing and exchanging produce with others.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/52987201 w=614&h=345]

Pod from Greenfingers on Vimeo.

Pod was created as a collaborative student project by industrial designers Casey LinAdam Ben-Dror, Robert Skene, Nick Johnston at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Via Yanko Design.

Cheery poinsettias make great holiday gifts.

Garden writer Ciscoe Morris offers tips on selecting and caring for a poinsettia, and reminds us to turn off irrigation systems as winter approaches.

Special to The Seattle Times

If you’re planning to give the special person in your life a poinsettia as a holiday gift, you aren’t alone. Poinsettias are the best-selling potted plant in the U.S., with well over 50 million sold during the six weeks before Christmas every year. Although there are more than 100 varieties available, if you’re really trying to impress that special someone, choose a red one. 

Read the whole article…Picking the perfect poinsettia | Ciscoe Morris | Home & Garden | The Seattle Times.

Standard Splitlevel

Not shown: unicorn corral, candy trees and teleporter.

Here’s a quick primer on the mortgage-interest deduction and related housing write-offs.

Syndicated columnist

 

Nation’s Housing

WASHINGTON — Limiting the homeowner mortgage-interest deduction came up in two of the presidential debates, but specifics about who would be affected and how much they might lose in tax benefits were minimal. To put some rough numbers on the issue, here’s a quick primer on the mortgage-interest deduction and related housing write-offs.

Read the whole article –> Mortgage deductions: What are the stakes | Homes & Real Estate | The Seattle Times.

Custom garage for trike not shown in picture…

Well done…down under.

Ciolino House 1 Modern Australian Residence Spiced Up With Eclectic Additions by Greg Natale

Greg Natale Design completed the Ciolino House, a modern Australian residence in the shape of a large white rectangular box, almost completely opening up towards an inner courtyard with swimming pool. The “perfect” geometry of the exterior is brought indoors, where the layout and the furniture arrangements inspire obsessive neatness. The open plan living and dining area is not just invaded by natural light, but also by fresh air, as sliding glass doors can be easily maneuvered in order to connect with the outdoors.  Read the article…

Wanted Dead or Alive: 10 Criminally Outdated Design Features

What worked in 1980 doesn’t necessarily work in 2012. Don’t believe us? Look in your closet. Chances are, you’ve weeded out the parachute pants, leg warmers and shoulder pads. Similarly, interior design choices are cyclic. Even expensive, must-have features eventually become outdated and need to be replaced.

Is your home stuck in a time warp? That’s fine, if that’s what you like. But if you’re contemplating selling, you’ll want to eliminate the generation gap between your house and potential buyers. Where to start?

 

Gas cooktop

Gas stoves are preferred over electric models by many serious — and even casual — home cooks. Their reasons vary:

  • Gas stoves heat more quickly.
  • They allow for better temperature control.
  • They cool down quickly.

Unfortunately, the house you’re thinking of purchasing comes with an electric range. The good news: It’s often not all that difficult to convert from electric to gas cooking.