Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 31-40 of 42

Five Tips to Enhance Curb Appeal

by Rose Price

It's important for sellers to do what they can to get their home to stand out. Here are five quick tips to generate some excitement for your home in today's market.

  • Use Paint:  A new coat of paint can go a long way to make your home look up to date. Neutral colors work best because they appeal to the most people.
  • Mow the Lawn: Take the time to mow the lawn and clean the yard. Rake leaves and grass and put away any tools that may be lying around. Don't turn buyers off with a messy yard. If they like what they see on the outside, you'll improve your chances of getting them to look inside.
  • Plant Flowers: Seasonal or perennials can bring a splash of color to your home and brighten the view from the street. Flowers throughout the house will please the senses and make your house feel like a home.
  • Spruce Up Your Walkway: Dressing up your walkway with bricks or paving stones will lead people to your front door. Inexpensive solar lighting can further enhance your entry.
  • Window Treatments: Keep your home from looking plain or boring with some decorative shutters. Windows are very important to the overall appeal of your home. Add planter boxes underneath for an immediate improvement that doesn't cost a lot of money!

By following these tips, you will be able to capture the hearts and minds of today's buyers, as well as improve your chances for a quick sale at the best price possible.

When you are ready, contact me today for a personal market value analysis of your home. No hassles or obligation - just honest advice on how to get top dollar for your home!

Plant a New Investment

by Rose Price

Looking for a simple way to add beauty and value to your home? Plant a tree! There are a wide variety of trees native to Illinois, but making the best choice takes a little work. Adding a healthy, beautiful tree is an excellent investment in your home’s value.

First of all, you’ll want to have a good assessment of the quality of the soil where you want to plant the tree. The pH balance of your soil, for example, can make the difference between a beautiful tree and a dead eyesore. Soil testers can be purchased at most lawn and garden centers.

You’ll also need to know how well-drained the planting area is before you put the tree in the ground. Too much water in the soil can cause problems for the roots. Adding bark mulch around the base of the tree will help add nitrogen to the soil. And wrapping trees in the fall and winter will protect them against the cold and deer.

The University of Illinois Extension has a wonderful website filled with information about trees you might want to consider. You can use the site to filter trees by size, tolerance to different conditions, exposure and use. It also contains useful warnings about pests specific to central Illinois.

Whatever your choice is, you’ll probably want to consult with a local garden center or tree farm to confirm you’re making a good decision. Do you have a favorite tree? Send me a picture! Plant a tree, invest in your home’s value, and make Illinois just a little more beautiful.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 
Featured Champaign Properties 
Champaign Condominiums 
Selling Your Champaign Home
Champaign Real Estate Market Information

Let’s Connect!

Facebook 

**

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Andrew Griffith/flickr.com

DIY Painting: Ceilings and Walls

by Rose Price

Previously, we’ve talked about how a new coat of a paint is vital when you’re planning to sell your home. But, you may decide that the expense of hiring a professional painter is too much when you can do most, if not all, of the work  yourself.  In the first part of this series, we looked at the steps you need to take before you dip a brush into a can of paint. Today, we’re going to get to work painting.

The first stage of paint is treating the surface with a coat of primer. The primer protects the surface, gives the paint something to adhere to and helps prevent stains. The guidelines below work for both the primer and paint.

Wait! Put the brush down for a second. You’ve moved the furniture out of the room, or pulled it away from the walls. You need to use drop cloths or tarps to cover the flooring and any furniture still in the room. Murphy’s law says if you leave something unprotected, it will wind up with paint drops on it. Anywhere on the walls and along the edges of a ceiling where you don’t want paint splatters needs to be covered with strips of painters tape. Also, go ahead and make sure you have cleaning supplies on-hand just in case.

Okay, let’s get to work. If you’re going to paint the ceiling, and that’s usually a good idea, do that first.  Again, these guidelines work for both the ceilings and the walls. The first steps here is to use a trim brush to outline the edges of the ceiling. You’ll want a border about three inches wide. When that’s done, move on to the roller and the rest of the surface.

You’re going to pour the out the paint into a roller pan. Make sure you don’t overfill the pan: Fill it so they paint just touches the grated part of the pan.  Depending on where you’re painting, you may need to work on a ladder or with an extension pole. Dampen the roller with water for latex paint or paint thinner for oil paints. Coat the brush completely with paint, and then roll it against the grate to distribute it and squeeze out and excess.

Using a zig-zag motion, cover an area three to four feet square. Then roll over the same area in straight lines. Make sure to overlay the edges of previously painted areas to reduce visible lines when the paint is dry.  Once you’ve completely covered the surface you’re working on, move to another area and let the first dry.

You’ll want to let the painted surfaces dry before you apply a second coat, which will ensure the paint isn’t too thin or missing in places. Don’t remove your drop cloths or tape until you’re sure there aren’t any spots that need touch-ups.

The next part of your painting project is to tackle the door frames, window frames and molding. We’ll talk about that and cleaning up in an upcoming blog post. So for now, get to work on your walls. That way, when you call me to help you sell your home, we’ll already be ahead of the competition!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 
Featured Champaign Properties 
Champaign Condominiums 
Selling Your Champaign Home
Champaign Real Estate Market Information

Let’s Connect!

Facebook 

**

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy theunquietlibrarian/flickr.com

DIY Painting: Getting Started

by Rose Price

Many people know that painting is one of the easier home improvement efforts you can make yourself. If you have the time, and doing it right does take time, then you can save a lot of money if you can do at least the basics yourself. And that's what we're talking about today, giving your rooms a face-lift without the expense of painting contractors.

What are you painting and how do you want it to look when you're finished? Color is beyond the scope of this discussion, so let's wrap up that point by saying that unless you're going to live with the color for a good, long time, don't get  too crazy: You'll wind up having to tone it down when you decide to sell.  

You probably know there are a variety of interior paint types you can work with, but in general, you're going to use a flat, non-reflective finish on the main walls and semi-gloss or gloss finish on trim, moulding, baseboards, and door and window frames. You'll get great advice for your particular situation from the folks at your local paint store or in the painting section of Lowes or Home Depot.

How much paint to you need? You'll need to determine how many square feet you'll need to cover. Simply measure the height and width of each wall (in feet) and multiple those numbers together. If you have a lot of windows or doors along the wall, you'll want to subtract the square feet they take up from the total square feet. The paint can itself should tell you how many square feet it will cover.  Remember, paint left over is great for when you need to do repairs or touch-ups later!

You'll also need the tools to do the job: Brushes, rollers, roller tray, painter's tape and drop clothes. Don't skimp on these items - the quality will make a difference! Make sure you have a sturdy ladder. And grab some  face masks, because breathing those fumes isn't good for anyone! For more on the tools you'll need, here's expert painter Grady Johnson:

Before you start painting, you'll need to ensure your walls are ready. You're going to have big problems if you don't take care here. You need the painting surface to be in great shape, and that means fixing holes or other damage, and make sure the wall is free of dust and debris. You're going to also need to make sure you have plenty of space to work in and that the floor and any items in the room are properly protected with drop cloths.

For more details, let me suggest these articles on Sherwin-Williams.com, or the TLC network's articles on HowStuffWorks.com. And stay tuned here for the next step, actually putting the paint on the walls!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 
Featured Champaign Properties 
Champaign Condominiums 
Selling Your Champaign Home
Champaign Real Estate Market Information

Let’s Connect!

Facebook 

**

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Wuertele/flickr.com

Add an Outdoor Entertaining Space

by Rose Price

As we head into the final days of summer, you may be planning one last outdoor party. Not every home has an ideal layout for such parties, and if you find yourself in that situation, here are a few relatively inexpensive ways to create an inviting area for entertaining, while investing in the value of your home.

Budget

Your first step is to set a budget.  You don't have to spend a lot of money to make a dramatic impact. The budget may change as you explore your options, but it's good to have a ballpark figure so you don't overdo it.

Survey

Next, make a detailed survey of what you have to work with around your home.  Do you already have a functional outdoor entertaining area that you can improve? Or a nicely shaded area where you can develop a feature?  Do you need shade? Chances are good you already have some ideas.

Explore

Now you'll want to explore your options in terms of designs and materials. You can draw on your friends and neighbors experiences and outdoor spaces. Turn on HGTV, or go to HGTV.com, which offers a variety of ideas that are definitely work checking out. Home Depot and Lowes both offer sections on their websites that can provide inspiration and ideas.

Plan

The hard part is narrowing your project down to its essentials!  Create a simple sketch or layout of what you have in mind. If you're accomplished at home-improvement, you'll be able to determine what your material needs will be and how best to proceed. If not, turn to some of the experts at your local home-improvement center for direction. You'll find a wide variety of books for sale or available at the library that can help. Also make sure your project won't violate any city or county ordinances: Better safe than sorry.

Build

Doing the actual hard work might seem like a daunting task, but turn it into something fun! Invite your friends and family to help you create your outdoor living space in exchange for a great summer-time cookout.  That way you can have your party and your brand new outdoor entertaining space at the same time!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 
Featured Champaign Properties 
Champaign Condominiums 
Selling Your Champaign Home
Champaign Real Estate Market Information

Let’s Connect!

Facebook 

**

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy R_A_L/flickr.com

Spotlight: Quick Bathroom Renovations

by Rose Price

Home owners considering putting their house on the market often know they have work to do to maximize the value of the property. Renovations that include new flooring and appliances can go a long way, but usually need to be done by professionals, are expensive and time consuming. But, there are things you can do yourself. Today, let’s talk about making the most of your bathrooms.

The first step is to do a maximum cleaning job on the bathroom. It’s going to be easier to identify the biggest problem if everything is a spotlessly clean as possible. I’m talking about the old-fashioned, Momma’s watching you type of clean. Wash the sides of the cabinets and make sure that the area behind the toilet shines!

With that out of the way, what you see is the best of what you’ve got. Now you can start to prioritize ways to give the space a quick renovation.

Some things are almost mandatory if you’re looking ahead toward selling. The walls, for example, should be spotless and a simple, neutral light color, preferably white. Any other choice you make is a potential problem for possible buyers, who will be looking for things they’ll have to do after buying. Strip that wallpaper! Prime and paint. A fresh coat of paint is an amazing start on a great renovation. And it’s easy enough that just about anyone can do it themselves.

Got grout? You need to make sure it’s as white as possible. The Do-it-Yourself Life website has an excellent article on cleaning tile grout quickly and inexpensively. And don’t overlook the shower or tub.

Make sure your light fixtures are clean and the lights bright. Fixtures are easy to overlook when cleaning, but clean fixtures keep the look bright. Make sure the bulbs are fresh and match, and don’t even try to hide imperfections with dim light.

Add decorative touches, but keep them simple. Again, a buyer is going to do their own thing in the room, and it’s hard to imagine that when your own stuff is cluttering up the space. Make sure you coordinate colors, and avoid garish artwork.

At this point, you may want to replace a fixture or alter the flooring. But, you’ve already got a good start on improving your home and making some potential buyer a little more interested in your home. For more ideas, check out this article on Stylist Home.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 
Featured Champaign Properties 
Champaign Condominiums 
Selling Your Champaign Home
Champaign Real Estate Market Information

Let’s Connect!

Facebook 

**

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy A30_Tsitika/flickr.com

Managing the Little Fix-ups

by Rose Price

Before you put your house on the market, you have to address a variety of issues. Not the least of which is making the house look fantastic. So as you survey your home, you'll start to see little problems that have to be dealt with. For example, damage to drywall where you have hung artwork or secured tall furniture pieces.

And that's what I want to talk about with you. If you've got something larger than small holes, you'll probably need some professional help. It's pretty remarkable what a contractor can do to make repairs. But, if you've just got some small holes, you can save yourself some money by doing it yourself. It's not going to take long, but we need to get some tools. You’ll need to have spackle, a putty knife, a sanding block, primer, paint and a paint brush. I’ll wait while you go get them.

Fill – Okay, we’re going to use the spackling paste to fill the hole itself. Spackle is just a putty made of plaster and glue. Fill the hole and then use the putty knife to scrape off any spackle sticking up out of the hole.

Sand – A tiny hole won’t need much, if any, sanding. But, if you can You’re going to want to use a sanding block or even a dry wall sanding screen to make sure the result is perfectly flat. Just using sandpaper by hand won’t cut it.

Paint – Again, with a small enough hole, you don’t really need to prime, but it’s not a bad idea. Then you’re going to want to find the paint that was used to cover the wall you’re working on. Usually, when an interior is painted, the contractor will leave a can of the color they used in a storeroom or garage.

If you can’t find the right paint, you’re best bet is to repaint the entire wall: Any odd color patches are going to really stand out when the room is empty of furniture. And, if the hole is a bit bigger, you can find self-adhesive patching kits that include a metal mesh and come in a variety of sizes. You’ll still need to sand, prime and paint.

If your walls are bare, you can tackle this chore quickly. And a lot less expensively than a contractor will do it!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 
Featured Champaign Properties 
Champaign Condominiums 
Selling Your Champaign Home
Champaign Real Estate Market Information

Let’s Connect!

Facebook 

**

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy mich_bsd/flickr.com

Is Your Lawn Feeling The Heat Wave?

by Rose Price - Champaign, Illinois Real Estate

Making a good first impression when you’re trying to sell your home is vital, and one of the first things prospective buyers are going to see is your front yard.  There’s nothing quite as important as having a luxurious, well-maintained landscape to set the scene when a buyer first sees your property. 

Unfortunately, this summer’s heat waves are taking a major toll on landscaping. But there are several things you can do to avoid a scraggly, brown grass, withered shrubs and dead flowers.

When caring for the lawn, remember not to cut the grass too short.  Making your front yard look like a putting green might be nice, but trimming that closely to the ground can wind up doing far more harm than good in a hot, dry climate.  Set your lawn mower to cut just the scraggly tops of the grass and your lawn will reward you for it. 

In dryer climates, the lack of rain means lawns will dry out and go dormant.  It won’t die, but it won’t be a gorgeous, healthy looking green.  Keeping it looking that way requires regular watering, and if mother nature isn’t helping, you’ll need to get out the sprinklers and hoses.

Now would be a good time to remind you to check to see if you’re under watering restrictions, a common ordinance in areas affected by drought.  Watering rules can be very specific and the fines expensive.  If you have a sprinkler system, double check to make sure it’s set to run only during the allowed time frame.

Watering a large lawn can be an expensive proposition when the water bill comes.  You can make the most of watering by doing it at night, when the sun won’t evaporate the moisture before it has time to soak into the ground.  Soaker hoses cost about the same as regular hoses, but use less water more efficiently.

Soaker hoses are also ideal for keeping shrubs, flower beds and gardens alive during the brutal summer months.  Heat and lack of rain can kill delicate plants quickly, so keep a close eye on them and keep them well-watered if you want them to stay looking good for the entire season.

You can save yourself a lot of headaches ahead of time by planting drought resistant strains of grass and plants, especially in areas where the soil quality is poor.  And make sure you feed your landscape with the right amount of the proper fertilizers.

Without mother nature’s help, maintaining a beautiful lawn may take a little work, but the result is well worth the effort when you want to sell your home.

 

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate Champaignrose.com
ChampaignRose.com

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 
Featured Champaign Properties 
Champaign Condominiums
Selling Your Champaign Home
Champaign Real Estate Market Information

Let’s Connect!

Facebook 

/kh

 

Choosing a Pest Control Service

by Rose Price

Summer is almost here in Champaign Illinois. Unfortunately, that means the bugs are here too. If you are a homeowner who has these uninvited guests, fortunately they can be controlled. Household pests can be eliminated through a combination of preventive measures, including proper sanitation and over-the-counter pesticides. However, some pest infestations may be extensive or a particular pest may be difficult to control, requiring pest control services.

While many household pests are merely a nuisance, some can cause serious damage to our homes or property and other pose dangers such as bites, stings, and transmit disease-causing agents. Choosing a pest control company is a serious matter, you want someone who is honest, dependable, state-certified, and who has the proper training and expertise to use the pesticides safely in your home. Below are some tips to help you in your search to find a professional in your area.

• Select a company based on their reputation, time in your community and willingness to answer your questions. They should give you written material that describes the problem they propose to treat and how they propose to treat it including what chemicals will be used and in what amounts.

• Pest control companies differ in their guarantees so be sure to Inquire on the specifics. If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.

• While the cost is an important factor, it is important to not base your decision on price alone. An advertisement in the phone book or the "deal of the week". Be cautious of unsolicited sales pitches and never select treatment just because your neighbor's property is being treated or because there is "leftover spray from another job." Get references and check them. 

• Make sure you receive a written estimate detailing how much will they charge to do an inspection to determine the extent of your problem, outline the services they would perform.

• Ask how long it will take to solve your pest problem, and how often the company will return to do more work or to track results. Ask the company what other measures they can take to manage the pest problems, or what you can do to reduce future pest problems.

Choosing a quality
pest control company is an important decision. You want the company to get rid of the pests but you also want to keep your Champaign Illinois home safe.  Do not be pressured by a sales person or a company to sign a contract immediately or to pay in advance, take your time to make a sound decision. The key to any decision is having confidence in the company you chose.

 

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

    Featured Champaign Properties 

    Champaign Condominiums 

    Selling Your Champaign Home

    Champaign Real Estate Market Information 


    Let’s Connect!


    Facebook

 

**

Eight Simple Ways to Add Curb Appeal

by Rose Price

Need help selling your Champaign home? Add some curb appeal!  Some of the tips can be downright overwhelming! Want to improve the view from the other side of the curb without breaking the bank or making remodeling your full time job?

Here are eight easy tips to help you with your curb appeal!

1. Look at the big picture. Some things should go without saying. But the truth is that after you've lived with fading trim or a cracked driveway for a year or two, you probably don't even see it anymore. Remember that people are not going to look at your home the same way that you do, Ask your real estate agent, or a trusted friend to look at the front of your home with a new set of eyes. Would they be interested in the home if they didn't know you? If not, what are the turn-offs?

And always do the obvious: keep the lawn mowed and the gutters clear. Trim the bushes, get rid of any dead branches and fix anything that's hanging or broken. And keep outdoor lights on in the evening and in good working order, the better to show off your house 24-7.

2. Got a brass doorknob? Make it shine. If you have wrought iron, clean it or paint it. Wash the windows so that they gleam.  Make your home look cared for!

3. Mesh your home to fit into the community. For example, if you live in a neighborhood with alot of young children, it's OK to have a bike in the yard. Most buyers interested in that type of a neighborhood most likely have children as well. Keep your audience in mind as you show your house.

4. Use flowers. If you have room, go for the traditional two large planters -- one on either side of the door or walkway. Fill them to overflowing with flowers if it's spring or summer or evergreens in the cooler months, she says.

This will create a focal point, forcing home buyers to focus on one area rather than the whole home at once. Consider hanging a colorful flag out front to draw in the buyers' eye. Or put a seasonal wreath on the door. You really want your home to say, "Come on it!"

5. Apply pressure! If the exterior needs a fresh look, consider getting it pressure washed. (This is a great way to clean trim or walkways and give them a clean, white look.)

6. Make the yard look manicured. Put some fresh mulch or bedding material around the plants in the yard and use a hoe to make the edges of the bedding sharp.

7. Paint. Want to make the house look great without painting the whole thing? Just paint the trim and the front door. And since the porch frames the front door and is the first part of the house buyers will actually visit, make sure it looks freshly painted. But if it needs it, then paint the whole house. The outlay will be well worth the money if you get a clean looking home that moves fast.

8. Invest in landscaping. If you have just a little money to spend, consider visiting a nursery where they can recommend the most bang for your buck. Or, if you don't have a lot of time or a green thumb, think about creating some informal garden areas. 

Your realtor has been through this many times and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to curb appeal and these easy and inexpensive tips should be able to get you started!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

    Featured Champaign Properties 

    Champaign Condominiums 

    Selling Your Champaign Home

    Champaign Real Estate Market Information 


    Let’s Connect!


    Facebook 

 

 

**

 

 

Displaying blog entries 31-40 of 42

Syndication

Categories

Archives